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Version 0.21: This article may not be up to date for the latest stable release of Crawl.
A grim and frost-bitten wasteland.

Cocytus is seven levels deep and contains the icy rune. It can be accessed via the Vestibule of Hell.

A gateway to the freezing wastes of Cocytus. From the frost-bitten lands, a cold chill touches your soul.

Cocytus entry.png Cocytus is the cold-themed branch of Hell, accessible from the Vestibule of Hell.

Useful Info

Cocytus is 7 levels deep and populated by several kinds of "ice"-themed monsters, of which ice fiends and powerful simulacra are the most dangerous if you lack proper cold resistance. You'll also meet several undead dragons and draconians, zombies, water elementals, and shard shrikes. All the while a mystical Hellish force will assault you as is usual for all Hell branches, causing multiple nasty effects.

As far as layout goes, Cocytus is fairly open with several streams and lakes of deep water.

The last level of Cocytus contains the icy rune of Zot, which is guarded by Antaeus and a multitude of ice fiends.


Cocytus is one of the harder Hell branches, and you should not venture here until you've cleared almost everything else in the game, aside possibly from Zot:5, the Tomb, Pandemonium, and Ziggurats. Having as much cold resistance as possible is strongly recommended, with rC+ being a strict minimum. It's wise to carry some potions of curing to prevent your body from rotting away, which may happen occasionally by the effects of Hell.

Flying is useful throughout the branch, and especially on the final floor to navigate the sometimes vast expanses of water. In absence of flight, translocations such as passage of golubria can also make your travel through the waterlogged levels of Cocytus much more efficient.

Having access to fire-based attacks or powerful Fire conjurations such as Fire Storm will make your journey much smoother, as the vast majority of monsters in Cocytus are not resistant to fire, and in some cases, are even vulnerable to it. Holy wrath weapons are also very effective. See the Antaeus article for advice on defeating the branch's boss.

Hell effects


In ancient mythology, Cocytus was one of the rivers in Hades, with the most famous one being the Styx. In Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy, Cocytus is the ninth and final circle of Hell, where traitors are imprisoned in its frozen waters along with Satan.


During the Christmas holiday of 2014 and 2015, online Crawl servers renamed Cocytus to the North Pole:

This gateway leads to the North Pole.

The North Pole is a festive place, home to all the world's good cheer.

The North Pole is seven levels deep and contains the icy rune. It can be accessed via the Vestibule of Hell.

This had no effect on gameplay, and was just plain silly.

  • Before 0.20, many rune level layouts in Cocytus required flight or use of translocations to access the rune vault.
  • Cocytus got a new layout in 0.12.