Lord Surtur

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Lord Surtur, H, is the Valkyrie quest nemesis. He is a fire giant that guards the Bell of Opening and the Valkyrie's quest artifact, The Orb of Fate.

Like any other fire giant, eating Lord Surtur's corpse may grant fire resistance with a 50% chance (compare to 30% from any other fire giant), and also has a chance to raise the player's strength.

Strategy

Since Surtur is generated meditating at the center of his lair, any Valkyrie can easily use their innate stealth to clear the area of fire ants and his fellow fire giants. Lord Surtur can be defeated easily by a prepared Valkyrie; even so, he is likely one of the first covetous enemies a Valkyrie will meet, and novice players must still handle him carefully. As a monster that is fire resistant but not cold resistant, he will take extra damage from cold attacks, such as a wand of cold.

Like all other quest nemeses, you can also awaken him remotely and bring him to you. Lord Surtur respects Elbereth and the scroll of scare monster, and can be killed instantly with a wand of death. A wand of polymorph or wand of sleep may also work to incapacitate him, but may take a few attempts due to his relatively high MR.

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.

Lord Surtur, like all uniques, no longer respects either Elbereth or scrolls of scare monster.

Origin

Lord Surtur's depiction draws directly from Norse folklore - in The Prose Edda, Surtr is depicted as an important giant of Ragnarök, the Norse mythos's end of the world. The mythological name is spelled Surtr in Old Norse, and Surtur in modern-day Icelandic.

Encyclopedia entry

Yet first was the world in the southern region, which was
named Muspell; it is light and hot; that region is glowing
and burning, and impassable to such as are outlanders and
have not their holdings there. He who sits there at the
land's-end, to defend the land, is called Surtr; he brandishes
a flaming sword, and at the end of the world he shall go forth
and harry, and overcome all the gods, and burn all the
world with fire.

[ The Prose Edda, by Snorri Sturluson ]