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Lamashtu, &, is a unique monster that appears in dNetHack and notdNetHack. Known as the Demon Queen, she is one of the most powerful demon princes that can be encountered in the game. Lamashtu is covetous, desiring the invocation items, your character's quest artifact, and the Amulet of Yendor. Of Lamashtu's effective -26 AC, 20 points are in the 'natural' category, 4 are in the 'dodge' category and 12 are in the protection category.

Lamashtu has a life draining bite, a touch attack capable of teleporting worn pieces of armor off to a random location on the level, a touch attack capable of teleporting targets to a random location on the level subject to magic cancellation, and will attempt to cast two monster spells clerically during each of her turns. She possesses fire resistance, disintegration resistance, poison resistance, acid resistance, stoning resistance, and immunity to sickness.

Lamashtu is poisonous to consume, which primarily comes up if she is digested by another monster.


Lamashtu is always generated hostile, and is not a valid form for polymorph.

Lamashtu is one of the demon rulers whose lair can appear as the third Abyss level in Gehennom, and she is generated meditating in the center of the palace.

Lamashtu does not leave a corpse upon death.


Lamashtu is vulnerable to silver and holy damage like a mass majority of demons, and can cast very debilitating monster spells - each time she casts, she has a 12 chance of selecting from the following instead of the standard clerical monster spell list, with an equal probability of each:

The standard clerical monster spells include (but are not limited to) punish, plague, blind, paralyze, and confuse.


Lamashtu does not fully respect any ward, and is only affected by the following 13 of the time: a scroll of scare monster, a fully reinforced (seven-lobed) elder elemental eye, the pentagram, the hexagram, and the heptagram. She will also respect a Gorgoneion ward 23 of the time, though the base success rate of a Gorgoneion ward depends on the level of reinforcement, with a chance of 99100 at 3 levels.

Fighting Lamashtu

The first and primary tactical suggestion for any character fighting Lamashtu is to not fight Lamashtu: the majority of games will grant most characters some other options beyond trying to kill her. A character with access to polyself and polymorph control can bypass her lair itself both on the way down and on the ascension run back up by using a form that has phasing to cross through the stone along the bottom rows of the map; a character without access can use level teleports and cursed potions of gain level. If all else fails, a wand of locking and/or the wizard lock spell can close the drawbridges and prevent her from seeing you cross. Whatever options are available to skip Lamashtu entirely should be employed if at all possible - avoidance is the best policy.

If a character is incapable of bypassing Lamashtu, or else she is awakened due to factors outside of their control, they are unlikely to be able to kill her - in this case, the next best option is to strand her elsewhere: warp to another branch if she is adjacent, then ensure a square's distance between her and the character before using cursed gain level or level teleport to strand her. Sokoban is normally a good branch for fighting or else isolating demon lords and princes, but is slightly riskier than other options with Lamashtu since it prevents escape via teleportation in a pinch; levelport and cursed gain level will still suffice, since a character can then safely wait out the invoke timer for their branchporting artifact.

For characters that are aware of the threat she poses and seek to bring her down regardless, the following items and tactics are recommended, in roughly decreasing order of importance:

  • Maximize protection and ensure that all possible resistances, as well as free action and very fast speed, are available without armor - this is perhaps the least negotiable element of any "anti-Lamashtu kit".
  • The primary source of damage should be a melee weapon, and this is similarly non-negotiable:
    • While spells and projectiles read as more ideal on paper, Lamashtu is covetous and will force her way into melee range, on top of her spells frequently stunning and confusing you - her potential summons can also include uvuudaums, which will all but ensure constant confusion. Confusion also blocks spellcasting and limits multishot from most launchers to 1.
    • Non-weldproof characters (e.g. any character that is not a vampire, an android, or a Binder with Acererak bound) should curse their weapon and any worn rings to prevent them from slipping away.
  • Multiple escape items and backups - e.g. cursed teleportation scrolls, cursed potions of gain level, The Silver Key (or, in notdNetHack, The Cage Key) - are worthwhile, with two caveats:
    • All of them will cause an adjacent Lamashtu to follow the escaping character, and may additionally be blanked and/or stolen.
    • Bringing an excess is likely unwise, since death or stunlocking may well prevent a character from using any of them.
  • As teleportation is blocked on Lamashtu's level, it is a good idea to draw her attention and branchport elsewhere (e.g. the Gnomish Mines) to actually fight her. While levelporting up by one level and descending to fight Lamashtu on the upstairs can work, a character displaced from the up stair (e.g. via Lamashtu's second touch attack) cannot teleport back.
  • A hit point pool of 500 or more is highly recommended, and characters that can push this value higher should do so.
  • A stack of individually named full healing potions is a good idea to minimize the chance of losing them all as a result of dilution from filth and exposure from acid; full healing is also the best primary method to clear illness, hallucination, and confusion for this fight, since a unicorn horn is likely to get cursed very quickly unless you have curse resistance.
    • A source of curse resistance can also be helpful to prevent Lamashtu's spells from cursing your items.
  • Some effigies and/or potions of sleeping or restore ability might be good ideas as well - Lamashtu and many of her potential summons can torpedo a character's sanity and cause them to waste turns panicking or otherwise incapacitated from preexisting madnesses.
  • If you have one, a doll of clear thinking will grant clear thoughts (immunity to madness effects) for 100 turns. The Star of Hypernotus also grants this when carried, but is only an option for Madpeople.
  • A source of time stop, such as The Garnet Rod or wages of sloth, can be invaluable. If you can kill her before time stop runs out, none of this matters.
  • Remember that Lamashtu's level has multiple drawbridges right outside her inner keep - a particularly brave character can lure her near one and destroy her and the drawbridge with a force bolt or wand of striking, and an aforementioned source of time stop to get situated may help for this.
  • Misotheistic pyramids block clerical spellcasting temporarily, which makes up the entirety of Lamashtu's casting abilities. Note that using a misotheistic pyramid will grant you darkvision and remove your ability to see in light for its duration, as well as angering your god if used outside Gehennom.
  • Dimensional locks block the creation or summoning from any source, including Lamashtu's spells, for 100 turns each.
  • A scroll of scare monster combined with one of the wards mentioned above on a character's square can be a good idea - beware that Lamashtu's spells include fire pillar, which destroys flammable items on a target's square.
  • A stethoscope to track damage on Lamashtu can be helpful, but is not really required.

Here is a ttyrec example in which Lamashtu is taken down - note that this is from a much older version of dNetHack, and that many changes have occurred since that version.


In Mesopotamian mythology, Lamashtu is a female being regarded as a demon, monster or malevolent (demi)goddess - she menaced women during childbirth, and even kidnapped their children while they were breastfeeding to gnaw on their bones and suck their blood, among numerous other evil deeds. Among these deeds are: eating men and drinking their blood; disturbing sleep; bringing nightmares; killing foliage; infesting rivers and lakes; and being a bringer of disease, sickness, and death. She was a daughter of the sky god Anu, and unlike many other demonic figures in the folklore she acts malevolently of her own accord, rather than at the gods' instructions.

Lamashtu is depicted as a mythological hybrid, with a hairy body, a lioness' head with donkey's teeth and ears, long fingers and fingernails, and the feet of a bird with sharp talons. She is often shown standing or kneeling on a donkey, nursing a pig and a dog, and holding snakes, with some notable similarities to the Jewish demon Lilith. Lamashtu bears seven names and is described as seven witches in incantations - the number's significance is mirrored in the damage dice used for her attacks. Her malice is such that Pazuzu, a deity or demon said to be bringer of famine and drought, is among the beings invoked to protect birthing mothers and infants against her malevolence, and is primarily and popularly invoked against Lamashtu in general.

In the Forgotten Realms setting of Dungeons & Dragons, Lamashtu is also called She Who Erases and the Demon Queen of Monstrous Births, and is a vile and hateful demon lord associated with deformities and monstrous births. Here, Lamashtu is sometimes described as a wretched, deformed hag, though whether in reference to her appearance or personality, or both, is unknown. Pazuzu was Lamashtu's former consort: when she betrayed him, he ate out her eyes in retaliation, imprisoned her in his former domain of Torremor, and impaled her on a gleaming spire in Onstrakker's Nest. Even after Lamashtu eventually assumed control of Torremor, Pazuzu does not consider her a threat, instead watching with amusement as she grasps for power and influence.