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)   Grayswandir   Silver saber.png
Base item silver saber
Damage vs. small 1d8 ×2 +(1d20)
Damage vs. large 1d8 ×2 +(1d20)
To-hit bonus +1d5
Bonus versus (any)
Weapon skill saber
Size one-handed
When carried


When wielded
When invoked


Base price 8000 zm
Weight 40
Material silver

Grayswandir is an artifact weapon that appears in NetHack. It is lawful-aligned, and its base item is a silver saber.


A randomly generated silver saber has a 120 chance of being generated as an artifact, which has a 12 chance of being Grayswandir (and will otherwise be Werebane, the other artifact silver saber) if no artifacts have already been generated. Lawful characters may receive Grayswandir as a sacrifice gift.

Player monsters on the Astral Plane that generate with a silver saber have a 12 chance of that saber being turned into a compatible artifact that is not yet generated, resulting in an effective 14 chance of the saber becoming Grayswandir if no artifact saber are generated.[1]


Grayswandir deals double damage to all targets, with the doubling applied to the weapon's base dice and any enchantment followed by silver damage and other bonuses, and confers hallucination resistance while wielded.


Grayswandir is one of the most sought-after artifact weapons in NetHack, both for general use and twoweapon: while it lacks utilities outside of resistance to a status property that characters can avoid by selectively blinding themselves and cure with a unicorn horn, it more than makes up for this with sheer damage output, especially at high skill in saber and against silver-hating monsters like vampires and major demons. It is also not intelligent and so can be used by non-lawfuls, with the only risk being a 14 chance of 4d4 damage each time they touch the artifact.

Due to damage calculation, Grayswandir shines most when it is heavily-enchanted, and is arguably most useful in the late game, when characters are guaranteed to encounter several silver haters and will have enchanted the weapon a reasonable amount - ironically, this is also where artifact weapon selection matters less: hit points, magic defenses, evasion strategies, and armor class are each just as valuable as weapon damage at this stage, if not more so. Characters in the early game should prioritize survival and a consistent source of damage before trying to maximize said damage, while late-game characters with more available artifact weapons that can do more damage at Basic skill before enchantments (such as Excalibur) should stay the course, unless they really want the extra damage.

Average damage calculation

The average damage calculations in the following table do not include bonuses from weapon skills, strength, or from using a blessed weapon against undead or demons. In addition, remember that double damage applies to the damage from base dice and enchantment.

Weapon Not silver-hating Silver-hating
+0 Grayswandir \left (\frac{1+8}{2}\right )\times 2=\bold{9} \left (\frac{1+8}{2}\right )\times 2+\frac{1+20}{2}=\bold{19.5}
+7 Grayswandir \left (\frac{1+8}{2}+7\right )\times 2=\bold{23} \left (\frac{1+8}{2}+7\right )\times 2+\frac{1+20}{2}=\bold{33.5}


Grayswandir first appears in NetHack 3.1.0.


Grayswandir, is a weapon from Chronicles of Amber book series by Roger Zelanzy. Also known as the Night Blade, Grayswandir is the silver sword of theprotagonist, Corwin, and has a twin called Brand's Werewindle, the Day Sword. Both swords are inscribed with portions of the Pattern of Amber, granting them some power over Shadow, and Corwin is able to call Grayswandir to him while travelling in the region. The sword also enables him to speak to the shades of Tir-na Nog'th and inflict damage on the hostile ones he fights.

The weapon's name and its abilities echo that of Graywand, the longsword of Fafhrd in the Fritz Leiber tales of Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser: Fafhrd naming consecutive swords Graywand after losing the previous one may be the basis for Grayswandir reappearing to Corwin even after being lost.


NetHack: The Next Generation

In NetHack: The Next Generation, Grayswandir is the most expensive artifact available at The Forge with a base price of 17,500 zm.


In SLASH'EM, Grayswandir's to-hit bonus is a flat +5 and it can be used in the offhand when twoweaponing - the artifact functions the same otherwise.


In dNetHack, Grayswandir confers warning while carried, always hits insubstantial monsters, and deals an additional +9 damage against non-lawful monsters.


In EvilHack, Grayswandir can be combined with Dragonbane at a forge to create the Gauntlets of Purity.


In addition to SLASH'EM details, SlashTHEM incorporates The Forge from NetHack: The Next Generation, and Grayswandir is available there with the same base price - it is the second-most expensive artifact available there after Houchou.

Encyclopedia entry

Why had I been wearing Grayswandir? Would another weapon have affected a Logrus-ghost as strongly? Had it really been my father, then, who had brought me here? And had he felt I might need the extra edge his weapon could provide? I wanted to think so, to believe that he had been more than a Pattern-ghost.

[ Knight of Shadows, by Roger Zelazny ]


  1. src/mplayer.c in NetHack 3.6.7, line 270: Artifact generation for Astral Plane player monsters