Barrow wight

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The barrow wight, W is a monster that appears in NetHack.

Barrow wights may be the first monster the player encounters that follows the player from level to level if it is nearby when the player leaves. They are resistant to cold, sleep and poison, and do not normally leave corpses.

Generation

A barrow wight always carries a long sword and a knife.

Strategy

The barrow wight can be a stronger threat than its figures may suggest. From long range, the barrow wight may throw projectiles (usually its knife) and close in to use spells on the player. If the player attempts to engage in melee combat, they put themselves at risk of being stunned, as well as the wight's level draining (but otherwise harmless) weapon attacks. A barrow wight is best dealt with quickly, but without undue alarm.

Origin

Barrow wights originate from the universe of Tolkien's works. "Barrow" refers to the burial mounts they normally inhabit, while "wight" is old English for "thing, living being creature", used in the less archaic sense meaning "ghost". It resembles a wraith.

Variants

UnNetHack

In UnNetHack barrow wights are slightly more common; if a player is killed by a Nazgul, they will rise as a barrow wight in the bones file.

Slash'EM Extended

Barrow wights leave corpses (1200l) in Slash'EM Extended, and they are usually hazardous to eat.

Encyclopedia entry

When he came to himself again, for a moment he could recall
nothing except a sense of dread. Then suddenly he knew that
he was imprisoned, caught hopelessly; he was in a barrow. A
Barrow-wight had taken him, and he was probably already under
the dreadful spells of the Barrow-wights about which whispered
tales spoke. He dared not move, but lay as he found himself:
flat on his back upon a cold stone with his hands on his
breast.

[ The Fellowship of the Ring, by J.R.R. Tolkien ]