Moloch's Sanctum

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Moloch's Sanctum
Location Level 20-24 of
Gehennom
Bones No
Mappable No
Teleportable No
Diggable floor No
Diggable walls No

Moloch's Sanctum is a special dungeon level. It is always the lowest dungeon level, the 20th–24th level of Gehennom, and so Dungeon Level 45–53. To enter it you must perform the invocation. This is the level that contains the real Amulet of Yendor. Magic mapping does not work here, although the only variable in the map is the location of the secret door to the temple. The map looks like this:

                                                                               
                                       |||                                     
                --------------         |||                                     
                |............|         ||| -------                             
          -------............-----     ||| |.....|                             
          |......................|     |||--.....|            ---------        
       ----....^^^^^^^^^^^.......---------|......----         |.......|        
       |.......^---------^.........|......+.........|     ------+---..|        
     ---.......^|.......|^.........--S----|Graveyard|     |........|..|        
     |.........^|..._...|^............|||||.........------|..----------        
     |.........^|.Temple|^.........----||||..........|....|..|......|          
     |.........^|.......|^.........|   |||--.......----+---S---S--..|          
     |.........^---------^.........|   ||| |.......|.............|..|          
     ---.......^^^^^^^^^^^.........|   ||| -----+-------S---------S---         
       |...........................|   |||    |...| |......|    |....---       
       ----.....................----   |||    |...---....---  ---......|       
          |.....................|      |||    |..........|    |..<..----       
          -------...........-----      |||    --...-------    |.....|          
                |...........|          |||     |...|          |.....|          
                -------------          |||     -----          -------          
                                       |||                                     

The room marked as Temple is the temple housing the high priest of Moloch carrying the Amulet of Yendor. The entrance to the temple is a secret door randomly placed on one of the four walls (shown in blue above). The traps surrounding the temple are fire traps.

The high priest attending the temple of Moloch has, in addition to his usual priestly accoutrements, the Amulet of Yendor. The courtyard surrounding his temple contains nine priests of Moloch, a horned devil, a barbed devil, an erinys, a marilith, and a nalfeshnee; in addition to the standard undead in the marked graveyard, the level also contains two random L and three random V. The temple is surrounded by fire traps, and a secret door is placed randomly on one wall; there are also two more fire traps, a spiked pit, a magic trap, an anti-magic trap, and a sleeping gas trap randomly elsewhere on the level. Four pieces of armor, two tools, a gem, four potions and five scrolls are randomly located about the level, as well as the usual chests in the graveyard. All walls are undiggable. Also, the (marked in purple above) dividing line between the two halves of the level cannot be phased through by polyself into a xorn or earth elemental except at the very top of the map.

The entire level is non-teleport and ineligible to leave bones.

Strategy[edit]

Typical methodology[edit]

Because of the fire traps surrounding the temple it is desirable not to have to pace along each wall searching for the door. If you have any charges remaining in the Bell of Opening, applying it on each wall will identify the door, as will a wand of secret door detection. In a pinch you could also use a stethoscope, as a single use does not take a turn.

Once inside the temple, the goal is to kill the high priest(ess) as fast as possible and get out. Once the priest(ess) is killed, attacking monsters is no longer a priority (except for the Wizard of Yendor, should he appear). For this reason it is handy to have thinned out the crowd in the graveyard before entering the temple.

The priest(ess) will always drop the Amulet of Yendor. The first thing you want to do upon picking it up is #name it "Real" or similar, to distinguish it from the fake amulets that may appear with the return of the Wizard.

The Sanctum done quick[edit]

The Sanctum is a non-teleport level, but that doesn't prevent you from levelporting (either in or out). As soon as you finish the Invocation you can levelport into the Sanctum. You do not even need to have entered it previously; you'll land somewhere randomly in the level, perhaps even in the temple. Once you grab the Amulet of Yendor you will not be able to levelport. However, if you quaff a cursed potion of gain level you can leave the level as quickly as you came into it.

If you must traverse any part of the Sanctum, you should consider jumping. Using a light source of some kind is helpful because most of the level is unlit.

Even faster is luring Asmodeus or Yeenoghu into the Sanctum. Any of the demon princes, as well as the Wizard of Yendor, will teleport to the high priest, fight him for the Amulet, and bring it back to you if successful. However, Juiblex and Rodney are not capable of hurting the priest at all, Baalzebub has an annoying stunning gaze attack, and Dispater, Orcus, and Demogorgon are all high-level spellcasters, which makes luring them far too dangerous. Geryon is not hugely dangerous and is theoretically capable of taking the Amulet, but appears very rarely and is quite slow, making him an impractical choice. This leaves Asmodeus and Yeenoghu as the best choices for monsters to retrieve the Amulet.

The high priest is initially peaceful[edit]

Player about to kill the high priest.

Using ranged attacks to kill the high priest can be a good idea, but a pitfall waits for the unwary. If you attack the high priest without first entering the temple, it is considered an attack on a peaceful human, and killing him will then incur the penalty for murder. Be sure, then, that you have entered the temple and that the high priest has said:

Infidel, you have entered Moloch's Sanctum!  Be gone![1]

At that point the high priest is reset to hostile and becomes fair game.

Things not to do[edit]

By any means, do not try to convert Moloch's High Altar. Moloch will zap you with lightning and a wide-angle disintegration beam if you do, which means instadeath for nonresistant characters and possibly item loss for resistant ones. It's still possible to summon Jubilex or other named demons by doing a same-race sacrifice on the High Altar though.

UnNetHack[edit]

The high priest of Moloch is replaced by Cthulhu.

The exterior of the Sanctum is lava, the middle choke-point is a pair of drawbridges over lava and there are two wands of striking randomly placed in the temple half of the level, so players should be careful about crossing the drawbridges.

Recent versions also contain a few Shambling horrors.

References[edit]

  1. priest.c, line 352

This page is based on a spoiler by Dylan O'Donnell. The original license is:

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