Ice Queen's Realm

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The Ice Queen's Realm is a dungeon branch that appears in EvilHack, and consists of three levels with fixed maps. It is the first of the new branches added to the variant. All three levels are no-teleport levels, with undiggable floors and walls.

Generation

The Ice Queen's Realm is accessed via a magic portal that can always be found in the Dungeons of Doom, on the floor above Medusa's Island.

First level

The first level is set in the midst of a frozen river that winds through a dark forest mostly comprised of dead trees, though some live trees are also present.

Map

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The portal is set in the southeastern region, and the down stair in the northwest. Nearby is the corpse of an archeologist named Carl the Excavator; on the same square is a fedora and a novel named "The Adventurer's Journal". Both items are uncursed.

Four frost salamanders patrol the icy river, and a quartet composed of goblin outriders and their captain are generated just outside of a ring of dead trees around the stairway. Within the ring of trees, a snow golem guards the staircase down. Nine other random monsters are placed around the map at level creation. There are additionally an axe and battle-axe, as well as a crystal chest, randomly placed on the map, as well as five bear traps and three spear traps.

The icy river is "composed" of many frozen pools. The dead trees surrounding the stairway cannot be phased through, and must be chopped down or otherwise removed to gain access; the guaranteed axe and battle-axe are provided for this purpose.

Second level

The second level is a vast icy plain, with a gorge running through the middle of it. There is only one path across the gorge, which is heavily defended by several monsters.

Map

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The stairway from the first level leads out into a narrow passage that connects the two cliffsides, with the Abominable Snowman placed in the middle of the pass - it stands in front of a spiked pit, with a spear trap behind the pit. A trio of revenants is generated a short distance from the up stair, just in front of a bear trap.

Further south, a saber-toothed tiger is generated next to the corpse of a wizard named Tim the Enchanter; there is a cornuthaum and a random spellbook on top of the corpse, both of which are uncursed. Four frost salamanders are generated at the marked locations above; a frost giant and a mastodon are generated near the down stair; and 12 random monsters are randomly placed around the level.

It may be wise to lure the Abominable Snowman off the gorge pass towards the east if you plan on keeping the pass boulder-free; at least one boulder is worth leaving intact in order to fill up the spiked bit blocking the west end of the pass. Giant players can catch the boulders and either hold on to them or lob them back at the Abominable Snowman.

Third level

The third and final level is the treasure zoo-filled castle of the Ice Queen, who awaits within the innermost room alongside her loyal guardians.

Map

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The stairway from the second level is placed in the southwest of the courtyard outside the castle. All of the castle's doors are locked, and iron bars can be seen on the watch towers of the castle. A woolly mammoth, a frost giant, and a saber-toothed tiger are generated just outside the entrance; blocking the doors are a pair of spear traps. Ice trolls are stationed in the watch towers, each generated with 100 orcish arrows and an orcish bow (both uncursed).

Three unlit treasure zoos are present within the castle, which is structured so that you must pass through at least two of them. Iron bars within each of the "side" zoos connect them to the foyer, patrolled by a pair of snow golems. Four ice devils are stationed outside and within the easternmost room, which is a temple of Moloch and has an unaligned priest of a random race tending to the altar; this priest is implied to have assisted the evil witch that placed the curse upon Kathryn, transforming her into the Ice Queen.

Kathryn the Ice Queen and her pets Bourbon and Ozzy await beyond the foyer in the center-most room of the castle; next to Kathryn is a grave for Koa, and each of the dogs generate in front of a fountain. Kathryn is generated hostile, while Bourbon and Ozzy are peaceful, but they will become hostile once you attack Kathryn. Defeating Kathryn the Ice Queen turns her into Kathryn the Enchantress, rendering her and her pets peaceful, with one exception - if playing as an Infidel, Kathryn the Enchantress will be hostile towards the player. She is still grateful for being released from her curse, but she will not tolerate evil; as such, she will grant the Infidel 100 turns of safe passage before she becomes mobile and attacks.

A crystal chest is placed in each corner of the room; the lower-right crystal chest has 3 apples, 3 oranges, 3 potions of acid, an uncursed saddle, and a 20% chance of barding being generated (80% chance of spiked barding, 20% chance for barding of reflection). The barred cage in the west end of Kathryn's room holds the prizes for the branch: a pegasus is generated peaceful and asleep within the cage, with 4 piles of 2000 zorkmids inside; a pegasus egg has a 15 chance of being generated underneath the sleeping pegasus on its marked square. The marked square also has a crystal chest that holds the Bag of the Hesperides; there is also a 10% chance of a magic marker appearing inside the chest. The guaranteed potions of acid found in one of the crystal chests can be used to melt the iron bars.

The Adventurer's Journal

The novel found on the archeologist corpse in the first level is a source of hints describing various aspects of the branch and its inhabitants.

First entry

While exploring the Dungeons of Doom, I stumbled upon a magical portal, 
transporting me to an inhospitable, frigid wasteland.  It looks as if   
the forest here died ages ago... so many dead trees.  The freezing cold 
is unbearable - I must find a means to keep myself warm, or I may freeze
to death.                                                               
                                                                       
There is a frozen river nearby, perhaps it leads somewhere?  I shall    
investigate, and may Quetzalcoatl protect me.                           
                                                                       

Second entry

So many strange and exotic creatures in this dead forest!  All of them 
adapted to the extreme conditions here.  I thought salamanders prefered
only the extreme heat of the lava caves... who knew?  And I swear to   
whoever may read this, I have seen the largest cat anyone has ever laid
eyes on.  As big as a warhorse, and its fangs were the size of swords, 
Quetzalcoatl as my witness!                                            
                                                                       
My intellect tells me to turn around and leave this place immediately, 
but my gut tells me I am on to something much more important.  I will  
continue my explorations.                                              

Third entry

I have searched this forsaken forest for nearly three days, and finally     
I believe I have found a way forward.  I stumbled upon a thicket of dead    
trees to the northwest whilst fleeing from yet another pack of hungry       
winter wolves.  In a last-ditch attempt to save myself, I chopped my way    
through the thicket, which revealed a small clearing.  In this clearing     
was a path leading out of the forest.  As I was about to make my way        
through, I caught a glipse of something huge moving towards me.  I couldn't 
quite make out what it was, it seemed as if it blended right in with the    
surrounding snow.  I ran for my life and hid, and only now have I dared to  
venture out and try for the clearing again.  May the Luck of the Grasshopper
be with me!                                                                  

Fourth entry

I have left one place of immense danger, only to stumble into another place
even more dangerous than the first.  The dead forest has given way to an
utterly barren icy plain, with a deep gorge running through the middle of it.
A very narrow ice bridge connects this side to the other, but I fear I
cannot cross.  Some enormous monster guards this ice bridge; I dared not get
close enough to find out what this immense creature might be.  I fear I may
have to turn back, otherwise I could very well die in this godforsaken place.

Fifth entry

This may be my last entry, but I pray to Quetzalcoatl that it is not.  I am
attempting to make my way back to the magical portal that transported me
here, but I am pursued at every turn.  The terrifying undead creatures that
inhabit this place are relentless, and their very touch paralyzes you with
fear.

Whilst fleeing, I stumbled across the corpse of another adventurer,
a powerful wizard.  His journal described a castle that resides even further
in, beyond the ice bridge that I did not cross.  He made mention of a powerful
sorceress that lives in this castle, and she is the one responsible for this
never-ending winter that afflicts this land.  She is guarded by extremely
vicious monsters, and he went on to mention that she had in her possession
some sort of prize that was beyond the wealth of even the most powerful kings.

Tempting to be sure, but I wish to live.  I will return to this realm and seek
out these riches.  I just need to make it out of this place alive first...

Strategy

A source of cold resistance is required to travel safely within the levels - similar to Gehennom, entering without any source of the resistance will cause your hit points to slowly deplete, with the cold damage dependent on the amount of cold resistance you possess. Various cold-resistant monsters are generated on each level, and their corpses should be enough to obtain full 100% resistance if you lack either that or a ring.

Crossing the widespread ice can be hazardous without water walking boots, or else a levitation or flight source - a monster that has an item capable of creating fire can melt it away and drown you, though this is just as much of a hazard for other monsters. As such, the odds of a monster generating with a wand of fire in the Ice Queen's Realm are lower.[1]

History

The Ice Queen's Realm was added to the game in a commit that also introduced dead trees to EvilHack (modified adapted from UnNetHack) alongside the various unique monsters that appear within the branch, prior to the release of version 0.5. The same commit also added the Hell-like trait of constant HP loss without fire resistance to Gehennom. The developer, User:K2, had promised his then-seven-year-old daughter Kathryn in 2019 that he would add her and their dogs to EvilHack; Kathryrn loves the movie Frozen and likes to pretend she has Elsa's ice magic.[2]

Messages

You hear a howling wind.
You hear an eerie, ominous wail.
You hear someone singing "Do You Want to Build a Snowman".
The portal to the Ice Queen's Realm is present on the level.
You arrive in a frozen, barren wasteland.
The remnants of a once majestic forest stretch out before you.
These messages are displayed upon entering the branch for the first time.

References

  1. https://github.com/k21971/EvilHack/commit/324d4b2d8f37b1459e4c29b8459c90a42633fbdc EvilHack commit 324d4b2: "Adjust odds of a wand of fire randomly appearing in a monster's ..."]
  2. New branch: The Ice Queen's Realm.