From NetHackWiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

A Grey-elf, @, is a type of monster that appears in NetHack. Among the randomly generated elves, Grey-elves are only slightly stronger than Green-elves and Woodland-elves. They have a single weapon attack and possess sleep resistance, infravision and the ability to see invisible.

Eating a Grey-elf corpse or tin has a 25 chance of conferring sleep resistance.


Grey-elves can generate in small groups, and randomly-generated Grey-elves are sometimes peaceful towards chaotic characters and always peaceful towards player elves. A Grey-elf can grow up into an elf-lord.

The Wizard quest goal level contains a peaceful Grey-elf as one of the prisoners, occupying the second-rightmost cell.

Grey-elves are generated with elven equipment using the following odds:[1]

The following information pertains to an upcoming version (3.7.0). If this version is now released, please verify that it is still accurate, then update the page to incorporate this information.

An elf will grow up into an elf-noble of the appropriate gender, rather than always becoming a male elf-lord regardless of gender.


Grey-elves are the strongest among the trio of "basic" elven monsters, but this distinction makes little difference in practice - as with other elves, they can be quite troublesome in groups.


The Grey-elf first appears in NetHack 3.0.0.


Grey elves are derived from Dungeons & Dragons, and are somewhat based on the Grey Elves (or Sindar) of J.R.R. Tolkien's legendarium. A sub-type of high elf introduced in Greyhawk, grey elves are not to be confused with moon elves (or silver elves), the most common subtype of elf and one for whom being called "gray" by another elf was a huge insult. Grey elves have tall, slim builds and often have pale grey skin, silvery hair, and amber-like eyes; some grey elves known as "faeries" have pale-golden hair and violet eyes.

Grey elves are highly intelligent, to the point they are sometimes considered the most intelligent among elves - their society values scholarly pursuits accordingly over physical ability. Grey elves spending much of their lives studying, while elves of other races act as servants for menial and physical labor. Like many elven societies, they are heavily secluded: they live in large citadels and isolated meadowlands that are typically hidden by powerful magic to ensure only other elves can find them; only a select few outsiders, such as very powerful mages and wizards, are even allowed entry, and these visitors are still treated with great suspicion.

Grey elf society almost always takes the form of a very rigid hereditary monarchy with a caste system, and they are naturally highly intolerant of other races, to the point they fear their bloodlines being "tainted" by unions with shorter-lived beings. Grey elves are a very arrogant people that believe themselves the purest form of elf - superior to both non-elven races and even other elves - and almost never associate with non-elven humanoids. Conversely, other elven folk highly disdain grey elven arrogance and their treatment of elven servants, often making unfavorable comparisons to the lifestyles of humans or dwarves.

Grey elven craftsmen specialize in spellbooks and scrolls, and are capable of making powerful magic items that could hold the strongest of enchantments and had charms that made them more receptive to enhancing magic - this is most likely the basis for elven armor in NetHack being safe to enchant from +5. Grey elven armor often consists of winged helmets with shimmering suits of plate mail or chain mail, particularly elven chain mail; their weaponry includes bows, spears, swords, and two-handed swords. Despite this selection of weaponry, grey elves often take up mage professions with little relative specialization; those that do specialize tend to become bladesingers (which blend swordsmanship with arcane magic) or spellfilchers (essentially a form of mage-thief).



In SLASH'EM, the Necromancer quest goal level (which is a copy of the Wizard quest goal level) contains a peaceful Grey-elf as one of the prisoners, occupying the second-rightmost cell.


In dNetHack, female Grey-elves will grow up into elf-ladies.

In the Mordor Ruins Quest, several Grey-elves are generated at the edge of the Elven Forest level, where an Elvenqueen, an elf-lord, an elf-lady and two Firre Eladrin leads them against a horde of Mordor orcs and other monsters led by a Nazgul.

Grey-elves may appear among the court of an Elvenking or Elvenqueen-ruled throne room.


In xNetHack, Grey-elves are moved to the Quendi monster class like all other elves.


  1. src/makemon.c in NetHack 3.6.7, line 222: Default equipment for elves