The Palantir of Westernesse
|( The Palantir of Westernesse
The Palantir of Westernesse was the Elf quest artifact that previously appeared in NetHack. It served as the prize for completing the Elf quest and defeating the quest nemesis, the Goblin King. It was chaotic for wishing purposes, and its base item was a crystal ball.
The Palantir of Westernesse was introduced in NetHack 3.1.0, and last appeared in NetHack 3.2.3 - it was rendered defunct along with the Elf role in NetHack 3.3.0, which introduced the ability to choose a starting race, including the elf. The role itself was given a spiritual successor in the Ranger, whose quest branch employs a somewhat similar structure and uses the exact same layout for the goal level, though the quest artifact and the nemesis guarding it are much different.
A palantír (/ˈpælənˌtɪər/; pl. palantíri) is a magical artifact from the setting of J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth novels. It is an indestructible ball of crystal, used for communicating and viewing past and future events in other parts of Arda. The palantíri were made by the Elves of Valinor in the First Age - by the time of The Lord of the Rings, only a few remained in existence.
Various major characters make use of palantíri, and a major recurring theme is that users had to "possess great strength of will and of mind" to direct the stone's gaze to its full capability. Others would find the stones unreliable, since it was unclear whether the events shown were from the past or future - users with sufficient power could take advantage of this if they chose to.
Palantíri are the basis for Elvenkings in NetHack generating with a crystal ball, which has a 1⁄50 chance of occurring. Elves are also the only starting race that can naturally reach an Intelligence of 20, which allows crystal balls to be applied without any chance of failure.
Most variants still retain the Palantir of Westernesse in some manner, and a few of them opt to retool it.
NetHack Plus/SLASH 6
In NetHack Plus, the Palantir of Westernesse was made lawful to reflect the Elf role being lawful instead of chaotic. SLASH 6 retained this while making the Elf role open to all alignments. Their successor SLASH'EM did not retain the role or its artifact in versions based on 3.3.0 and later.
dNetHack retools the old Elf quest as the Elvish Racial Quest, where elven Nobles, Priests, Rangers, and Wizards face the Necromancer for the Palantir of Westernesse. The Palantir remains a chaotic, elf-favoring intelligent crystal ball - when carried, it grants x-ray vision, telepathy, warning, and reflection. Invoking the artifact can tame nearby monsters.