Nighthorn (dNetHack)

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)   Nighthorn   Unicorn horn.png
Base item unicorn horn
Damage vs. small 1d12 +1d24 fire
Damage vs. large 1d12 +1d24 fire
To-hit bonus +1d12
Bonus versus non-fire resistant
Weapon skill unicorn horn
Size one-handed
When carried
When wielded
When invoked
Base price 5000 zm
Weight 20
Material bone

Nighthorn is an artifact that appears in dNethack and notdNetHack. It is chaotic-aligned, and its base item is the unicorn horn of Nightmare.


Nighthorn is only generated upon killing Nightmare in a way that would normally leave a corpse (i.e. any method minus disintegration or digesting) - Nighthorn will always be generated cursed and at an enchantment from +0 to -3. Since Nightmare is always generated in the Chaos Temple Quest, Nighthorn cannot be wished for and will always revert to its base item if left in bones.


Nighthorn is intelligent and will always subject the player character to an artifact blast - it will also evade their grasp if they are lawful. Nighthorn acts as a luckstone when carried, and grants fire resistance while wielded. As a weapon it has +1d12 to-hit, and deals +1d24 fire damage against monsters without fire resistance, also creating a 3x3 fiery explosion centered on the target. If a chaotic character stands on a square where Nighthorn is on the floor, non-chaotic monsters will flee from you similar to a scroll of scare monster. Invoking Nighthorn toggles levitation on or off.


As dNetHack unicorn horns are one-handed weapons, Nighthorn is a much more viable and valuable artifact: the fire resistance it provides will protect your character and inventory from fire damage, though it does poorly against major demons and fire-resistant monsters, and you will want to avoid catching peaceful and tame monsters in the blast. Since Nightmare is treated as a unicorn, it may generate as peaceful for chaotic characters: in such a case, a character that desires Nighthorn may have to risk a −5 penalty to luck and alignment if they cannot get a pet to do the dirty work for them.