The Iron City of Dis

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Version 0.28: This article is up to date for the latest stable release of Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup.
The Iron City of Dis is home to many of the most resilient guardians of hell. Those who do not belong in the halls of Dis will find the very earth itself opposing them.

The malice of this metal realm corrodes equipment.

Dis is seven levels deep and contains the iron rune of Zot. It can be accessed via the Vestibule of Hell.

A gateway to the Iron City of Dis. Who will stand the test of iron?

Dis entry.png The Iron City of Dis is the iron branch of Hell, accessible from the Vestibule of Hell.

Contents

The Iron City of Dis is 7 levels deep and, true to its name, is both cosmopolitan with its demonic / undead residents and focused on iron themed. The standard hellspawn of demons and tormentors are common. Various (possibly) stair-containing vaults have iron trolls, iron dragons, and quicksilver elementals. On the last level, these are are joined by war gargoyles, hell sentinels, and in most ends mirrored paired guests of brimstone fiends and ice fiends. The imposing iron giant and iron golem also are essentially unique to the branch. Crystal echidnas will inflict barbs on you, making it difficult to run away. As with all Hell branches, a mystical force will rain down varied miscast effects and monster spawns periodically, and the the Serpent of Hell is guaranteed to appear on the last level of one of the four Hells per game.

Dis contains several layouts, all of which are built out of metal walls. It shares the grid-based layout_city, the messy layout_chaotic_city, and the tangled gates of layout_gridville with other branches, but has three unique layouts:

  • layout_subdivisions, which sets down a sprawling box-packed grid maze of connected open rectangular rooms
  • layout_overlapping_boxes, similar to the sub_divisions but with the occasional corner-accommodating box
  • layout_jigsaw, which mixes together misshapen rooms on a regular spaced-out 4x4 grid on the pointed between a connected 5x5x grid

Except for the last floor, there is no loot to be found. These floors are much smaller than regular floors, having only one exit and one way down.

The last level contains the iron rune of Zot, guarded by & Dispater.png Dispater. Layouts include a large and straight gate standing before a castle, a densely packed city, an iron fortress with arched gates and a broad column-filled interim field, and a trio of very large arched barriers pockmarked by small asymmetrical boxes.

Hell Effects

In addition to the universal forces of hell, Dis' abrasive atmosphere gives adventurers 2 irresistable ranks of Corrosion (-8 AC and slaying).

Assessment

The Iron City of Dis has ascended over years of development from one of the easiest branches of Hell to one of the hardest. The guaranteed hell sentinels may lack the capability to cast Torment like the first-tier demons of the other hell branches, but make up for it between their capability to hurl damnation and their longevity granted by high defenses and heavy resists. Iron giants follow the same conceit, replacing their resistances with even higher health, heavy melee damage, and monster repositioning. While few other residents are particularly dangerous for their depth aside from regular tormentors and fiends for their torment capabilities, end vaults can vary heavily in openness while packing high monster density and roundabout, winding passages.

Dis' hell effect is generally weaker than other branches; characters can afford a relatively minor (by the time you get to Dis) AC hit, and the holy wrath brand is still amazingly powerful.

As with the other Hells, it is recommended to leave Dis to the end of extended endgame runs- for most characters, the only other levels of equal or further difficulty are the Tomb and Ziggurats.

Trivia

In Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy, Dis is the City of the Dead, and is located in the Fifth Circle of Hell. Punished within Dis are those whose lives were marked by active (rather than passive) sins, such as heretics, murderers, suicides, thieves, and traitors. In Roman mythology, Dispater was a god of the underworld, later subsumed by Pluto or Hades. Originally a chthonic god of riches, fertile agricultural land, and underground mineral wealth, he was later commonly equated with the Roman deities Pluto and Orcus, becoming an underworld deity.

History

  • Prior to 0.28, The Iron City of Dis did not corrode all adventurers who set foot in it. In addition, floors 1-6 were longer, more chaff monsters like iron imps appeared, and unique but slower hell effects occurred.
  • The Iron City of Dis has had several notable changes to its themed monsters guaranteed in the vault ends. 0.11 replaced pit fiends with hell sentinels, 0.12 upgraded metal gargoyles to war gargoyles, and 0.16 shifted iron devils to rust devils. Iron giants joined the branch population in 0.18.
  • End vaults were upgraded in 0.11, introducing pit fiends / hell sentinels and quicksilver dragons, setting a divider wall between the entrance stairs and the castle in older layouts, and bringing in the famously monster-heavy box-based layout of dis_st that served as a design influence for future Dis end vaults.
  • Until teleport control was removed in 0.17, it was blocked on the last level of Dis until one picked up the rune.