|Built from enormous blocks of obsidian, this sweltering chamber may once have served as a temple to some strange deity, or perhaps the dwelling of a mighty fire giant. The air shimmers with oppressive heat, and the dull roar of the volcano's heart never ceases.|
|Leading directly into the rock is a dark and forbidding tunnel. Every so often air, hot enough to singe your face, blasts from within, and, as though triggered by the air, rocks fall from the roof and sides of the tunnel, slowly filling the entry.|
The volcano is a single-floor mini-branch one can reach via a timed portal that shows up in the early- to mid-game (the Lair or the Orcish Mines may have such entrances). The volcano usually contains fire-themed monsters and loot, but may also feature the undead, various humanoids, a surprising number of toenail golems, and the occasional unique. Its most defining feature is that it occasionally erupts, with predictably dreadful results.
Although some variation is possible, the volcano generally consists of a small entrance area, a large central chamber with a lava pool taking up much of the area, in the center of which is a stone- or metal-walled chamber filled with fire-themed loot and powerful monsters. Other formats can incorporate twisting, narrow passages or a small central chamber with multiple branches each containing small piles of loot. One possible layout is a stone structure that is completely shielded from the volcano; eruptions here will instead collapse portions of the roof, sealing off the treasure chambers one by one (move quickly if you want to get the treasure; Apportation and Haste will both help).
Be aware of the message, "The air gets thick with the scent of sulphur." This means that large portions of the volcano will soon be filling with fire clouds, and in some maps will cause new rock walls to form. If this happens, you may need levitation and dig to fully explore certain maps.
- Even a single rank of fire resistance can make a big difference. Pile it on as best you can. If you lack it, be aware that much of the loot found here will provide it (though you'll probably have to fight your way through to get at it).
- If you have Mephitic Cloud, you can avoid eruptions easily by creating mephitic clouds on yourself before the eruption occurs. New clouds cannot form on tiles that already have existing clouds. Just don't wander around while confused.
- Conservation will protect your scrolls fairly well, but it's probably wisest to drop off any valuable ones you're carrying before going in.
- Most things found here will be weak against cold, though mummies instead fear fire.
- Stealth helps tremendously here, giving you the option of ignoring all those pesky monsters living in the lava which really don't pay off when killed.
- Confusion can be absolutely lethal if you can hit an enemy standing by the edge of the lava with it. Although time-consuming, this CAN allow you to avoid death curses.
1st: "Rocks fall inside the tunnel."
2nd: "Debris falls inside the tunnel, filling the entry."
3rd: "Rocks fall inside the tunnel, blocking the entry."
4th: "Rocks have almost completely blocked the tunnel."
Final: "There is a deep roar within the tunnel. Moments later, a river of lava pours forth, sealing it permanently."