The Lair

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Most adventurers find the Lair of Beasts to be an exciting change of climate. And indeed, there is something to be said about getting gored, mauled and eaten rather than sliced, burnt or stabbed.

The Lair contains the entrances to one of the Swamp or the Shoals, one of the Snake Pit or the Spider Nest, and to the Pits of Slime.

The entrance to this branch can be found between levels 8 and 11 of the Dungeon.

This branch is 5 levels deep.

Lair entry.png The Lair of Beasts (commonly known as the Lair) is a branch filled with natural beasts. While the Lair itself doesn't have a Rune of Zot, it features entrances to three themed branches that do. There is one poison-themed branch (the Snake Pit or the Spider's Nest), one water-themed branch (the Swamp or the Shoals), and the acid-themed Slime Pits.

The staircase to the Lair is located on D:8-11, and is often surrounded by plants, fungi, or occasionally an oklob plant. There may also be multiple denizens of the Lair scattered around the entrance, like yaks, basilisks, or a komodo dragon.


The Lair is 5 levels deep. Floor layouts vary significantly, including wide open chambers with almost no cover, series of interconnected small chambers with narrow hallways between them, and open areas dotted with either small forests or ponds. The topography of the Lair is quite irregular; while narrow passages exist, often there will be few true one-tile-wide tunnels, ensuring the various pack animals have ways to swarm passersby. In any case, there will often be pools of shallow water, deep water, and occasionally lava placed throughout.

While there are very few altars found in the Lair, those wishing to worship Jiyva can often (66%) find an altar immediately outside of the Slime Pits on Lair:4 or 5.


The bottom floor of the Lair is generally fairly open, but will always contain one or two end vaults that contain both an assortment of stronger monsters and a selection of treasure. These vaults may range from a secluded set of caves to a forest containing a temple or perhaps several bands of spriggans. See the #Lair:5 vaults section below for what to expect from the different options.

Like other branch ends, Lair:5 is usually more dangerous than the preceding floors, so explore it carefully.


This branch is generally worth doing, at least for the XP and items. The Lair, when compared to late Dungeon (D:13+) and Orcish Mines, is usually easier and/or safer to do. The other branches are more likely to have nasty out-of-depth monsters: Dungeon can have banishing wizards, even storm dragons if you're unlucky. Orc can host brutish ettins and stone giants.

Lair is filled with animals. A good chunk of enemies (cane toads, blink frogs, black mambas) are fast - and each one is surprisingly deadly. Hydras can be obscenely strong melee threats, depending on the number of heads. Elephants can shove you off the stairs, lindwurms and rime drakes can fire elemental ranged attacks, and death yaks are tough pack enemies with high willpower.

Poison resistance is helpful, due to the amount of venomous creatures, but not necessary. Most other resistances aren't necessary, though having swappable resistances (rF+ for lindwurms, rC+ for rime drakes, rCorr for oklob plants...) won't hurt.

The Lair's sub-branches are significantly more difficult than Lair itself. At the very least, you'll want to clear Lair:1-5 before entering any of the branches. Many players will additionally clear Dungeon and Orc before attempting any of the branches. Also, note that the Slime Pits is much more difficult than the other possible branches, often saved for much later in the game.


Common Monsters

Y Yak.png Yak Y Death yak.png Death yak Y Dream sheep.png Dream sheep Y Elephant.png Elephant Y Catoblepas.png Catoblepas
h Polar bear.png Polar bear h Black bear.png Black bear S Water moccasin.png Water moccasin S Black mamba.png Black mamba B Boulder beetle.png Boulder beetle
w Torpor snail.png Torpor snail D Hydra.png Hydra F Cane toad.png Cane toad F Blink frog.png Blink frog k Rime drake.png Rime drake
D Steam dragon.png Steam dragon S Electric eel.png Electric eel k Lindwurm.png Lindwurm l Skyshark.png Skyshark

Monsters native to a lair branch may reside at its entrance; merfolk for the Shoals, redbacks for the Spider's Nest, etc.
There are also many pregenerated vaults with monsters inside (ex. a Hive filled with killer bees and a queen bee).


6 Amaemon.png Amaemon x Erica.png Erica e Fannar.png Fannar w Gastronok.png Gastronok
g Grum.png Grum @ Harold.png Harold @ Joseph.png Joseph @ Josephine.png Josephine
@ Kirke.png Kirke @ Maggie.png Maggie o Nergalle.png Nergalle c Nessos.png Nessos
F Prince Ribbit.png Prince Ribbit @ Rupert.png Rupert T Snorg.png Snorg K Sonja.png Sonja
o Urug.png Urug

Lair:5 vaults

The last level of the Lair is more difficult than the previous levels. It always includes at least one of these vaults -- either one large vault, or two small vaults.

Large lair end vaults

Small lair end vaults

  • wormcave: A cave full of tyrant leeches, torpor snails, hornets, and lindwurms. There's also a single fire or ice dragon guarding a room full of piles of gold, but that fight is optional (don't open the runed door if you aren't ready to face it).
  • hangedman_lair_caniforms_friends: An assortment of hound- and bear-type monsters. Expect fire damage from hell hounds, electricity damage from raiju, and heavy physical damage from angry polar bears.
  • guppyfry_lair_end_dragon: A grove of trees surrounded by a small lake. Full of lizards and lesser dragons, with one proper dragon in the center.
  • hangedman_lair_in_review (S): A series of ruined rooms. This vault is a review of the Lair's monster set: you'll be seeing a variety of different monsters found in the Lair, plus a few more dangerous creatures like manticores.
  • hangedman_lair_tendril_chambers: A circular area cut into several wedge-shaped sections full of fast, often venomous monsters (wyverns, black mambas, cane toads, etc.). One or two of the wedges lead to a central chamber that in turn leads to a stone room that contains the treasure and a more dangerous assortment of monsters like wolf spiders, redbacks, and a guardian serpent.


Dungeon branches
Dungeon exit.png The DungeonTemple entry.png The TempleDepths entry.png The DepthsZot entry.png Realm of Zot
Lair entry.png The Lair ( Spider entry.png Spider's NestSnake entry.png Snake PitSwamp entry.png The SwampShoals entry.png The ShoalsSlime entry.png Slime Pits)
Orc entry.png Orcish Mines ( Elf entry.png Elven Halls) • Vaults entry.png The Vaults ( Crypt entry.png The CryptTomb entry.png The Tomb)
Abyss entry.png The AbyssPandemonium entry.png PandemoniumHell entry.png Hell ( Cocytus entry.png CocytusDis entry.pngDisGehenna entry.png GehennaTartarus entry.png Tartarus)
See also: Portal