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A marilith, &, is a type of monster that appears in NetHack. Mariliths are major demons that can deal damage extremely quickly, and possess six attacks per move - two 2d4 primary weapon attacks and four 2d4 claw attacks.


Like most demons, the marilith is randomly generated only in Gehennom; it is also a valid form for polymorph traps that appear in other branches of the dungeon. Mariliths are also eligible for gating by other major demons, and can generate as minions of chaotic gods and the unaligned Moloch.

A marilith appears in the courtyard of the temple within Moloch's Sanctum.


Mariliths are dangerous foes to run into before Gehennom, and remain troublesome to face even once you are prepared for the depths of Hell - they have a stellar natural AC of -6 and 80 MR, can see invisible, and move at the same base speed as you. Be well-armored and have your best weapons at the ready if one approaches: a blessed, silver and/or well-enchanted weapon at around Skilled level should do her in quickly.

As pets

Mariliths make excellent pets due to their six attacks and natural AC, which compensates for their inability to wear armor outside of gloves and a helm - though equipping them with powerful items and weapons is also much more straightforward as a result. Their other main drawbacks include their weakness to silver, inediate diet and comparatively low HP; additionally, a marilith that is killed will not leave a corpse to revive. Due to their high monster MR, gating them yourself is one of the more reliable methods for obtaining a tame marilith.

As a polyform

Mariliths are even better as polyforms, though turning into one will break worn body armor, and you are similarly restricted to boots, gloves and non-silver weapons. Fortunately, you can #twoweapon as a marilith if your original role can, and the marilith's bare-handed melee attacks have the greatest chance of gating in other tame demons, which are also likely to be mariliths.


The marilith first appears with most other major demons in NetHack 3.0.0.


The marilith originates from Dungeons & Dragons, where they are depicted as serpentine demons with six arms and a humanoid; they are always female, and can wield up to six weapons simultaneously. Their appearance may take cues from Hindu folklore, whose deities and demons frequently possess multiple heads and arms; serpentine creatures such as the Naga may also have multiple heads and/or limbs as well.

Dungeons & Dragons mariliths (also known briefly as "type V demons") are highly intelligent and disciplined, with a good sense for strategy, tactics and martial combat. They serve as commanders to demon hordes, with the rare ability to unite and coordinate the otherwise-chaotic beings. Mariliths favor longswords or scimitars and consider their weapons to be their most cherished possessions; they are also capable of casting illusions and charms among other spells, and can use their tails to lash and/or constrict their foes.



In SLASH'EM, chaotic gods may send you a tame marilith minion as a sacrifice gift from experience levels 22 to 27.

The marilith's low level works in the favor of Dopplegangers, who can reliably turn into mariliths at experience level 7 and potentially gate in others with bare-handed attacks, though they only get 5 per move due to the lack of twoweapon skill; other races can also do so with polymorph control. As in vanilla, gating via polyself is generally preferable if you want a tame marilith, since it can be done at a much lower level and minions cannot be given equipment like pets.


In UnNetHack, at least two mariliths are placed in the same room as Asmodeus and his throne within the demon prince's lair when his level is generated; additional mariliths may be among the major demons generated in the fountain room at level creation.


In dNetHack, shalosh tannah can spawn strange larvae that may quickly grow into mariliths and other major demons with organic equipment.

Kary, the Fiend of Fire is a unique marilith that has somewhat lower defenses, but has cold and stoning resistance along with two additional attacks that randomly occur in her routine - a 4d6 bearhug attack, and a spell randomly selected from a set of three that may blind you, stun you, or target you with a powerful blast of fire. Kary is the name originally given to the Marilith boss from the first Final Fantasy game in order to avoid potential copyright issues with Dungeons & Dragons, and her spells are based on her attack pattern from that game.

Shaktari is a unique marilith demon lord that can only be encountered as a statue trap within the lair of Demogorgon. Shaktari originates from a 2nd Edition supplement for Dungeons & Dragons in issue #60 of Dungeon magazine, and is the Abyss-dwelling Queen of Mariliths.

Encyclopedia entry

The marilith has a torso shaped like that of a human female,
and the lower body of a great snake. It has multiple arms,
and can freely attack with all of them. Since it is
intelligent enough to use weapons, this means it can cause
great damage.