Ixoth

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Ixoth, D, is the Knight quest nemesis. He is a red dragon that guards the Bell of Opening and the Knight's quest artifact, the Magic Mirror of Merlin. Strangely, the default tileset gives him an identical appearance to Nalzok and the Minion of Huhetotl.

Like any other red dragon, eating Ixoth's corpse or tin is guaranteed to confer fire resistance.

Generation

Ixoth will always generate at the same point on the goal level, deep within his dark cavern; he sits meditating next to the entrance of a small subsection where he stores his hoard.

Ixoth does not drop any scales upon death, unlike normal red dragons.

Strategy

Approaching Ixoth can be difficult due to the layout and darkness of his cave; unless you have stealth, he will likely become aware of your presence and teleport next to you while you are navigating the southern bend. As with all covetous monsters, it may be more ideal to engrave Elbereth or drop a scroll of scare monster on the stairs and awaken him from there.

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

A scroll of scare monster on the ground no longer scares any @ monster or any unique monster.

In practice, Ixoth will not use his fire breath unless he has teleported to the upstair to heal, since his covetous behavior will keep him in melee range. The magic resistance from the Magic Mirror of Merlin will prevent a wand of polymorph or death from working on him, but not the wand of sleep. Magic resistance of your own is recommended to protect your items from curse items and destroy armor.

If you are mounted and are at least skilled in using the lance, you can possibly use your speed to joust Ixoth to death, especially if you can lure him out while remaining on the upstair. Note that while Ixoth will be unable to attack on most turns after being stunned from the joust, it is more likely than not that there will be one or two turns where Ixoth recovers before you can joust, potentially trying to destroy your armor or else flee to the upstairs.

Variants

Biodiversity patch

In any game with the biodiversity patch, Ixoth is no longer a red dragon, but instead the white-colored Hwitwyrm, though his attacks and attributes remain the same.

dNetHack

Ixoth still appears in dNetHack, but his role as the nemesis guarding the Knight's quest artifact is given to Nimune - he instead appears as a monster around King Arthur's castle on the home level.

EvilHack

In EvilHack, Ixoth has a stronger hit die for his claw attacks, and he is additionally given poison resistance.

Encyclopedia entry

Ixoth shares his encyclopedia entry with all other dragons.

In the West the dragon was the natural enemy of man. Although
preferring to live in bleak and desolate regions, whenever it
was seen among men it left in its wake a trail of destruction
and disease. Yet any attempt to slay this beast was a perilous
undertaking. For the dragon's assailant had to contend
not only with clouds of sulphurous fumes pouring from its fire
breathing nostrils, but also with the thrashings of its tail,
the most deadly part of its serpent-like body.

[ Mythical Beasts by Deirdre Headon (The Leprechaun Library) ]


"One whom the dragons will speak with," he said, "that is a
dragonlord, or at least that is the center of the matter. It's
not a trick of mastering the dragons, as most people think.
Dragons have no masters. The question is always the same, with
a dragon: will he talk to you or will he eat you? If you can
count upon his doing the former, and not doing the latter, why
then you're a dragonlord."

[ The Tombs of Atuan, by Ursula K. Le Guin ]