The Treasury of Proteus

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(   The Treasury of Proteus   Chest.png
Base item chest
Affiliation
When carried
When applied
When invoked (none)
Base price 2500 zm
Weight 150

The Treasury of Proteus is the quest artifact for the Pirate role, incorporated into dNetHack, Slash'EM Extended, and SLASHTHEM. Its base item is a chest, but it weighs just 150 units—the same as a crystal ball—which is one-quarter of the weight of a regular chest.

The Treasury has the unique property of occasionally polymorphing items that have been placed inside it, according to the rules for polypiling objects. This offers users a means of polypiling items without a wand, spell, or potion.

While carried, the Treasury protects items in the player's inventory from becoming cursed (just like Magicbane when wielded). The explanation given for this is that the Treasury itself is so heavily and intrinsically cursed that it sucks in lesser curses like a black hole. (Indeed, the Treasury is generated cursed.) It also grants magic resistance.

The Treasury of Proteus is chaotic for bones and wishing purposes. As a quest artifact, it is intelligent and will blast non-Pirates who touch it.

King of the Hill

While the player is carrying the Treasury, hostile pirates will begin to appear as part of the random monster generation. If the player is not in Gehennom, the Elemental Planes, or the Astral Plane, skeletal pirates may be randomly generated. While the player is in Gehennom, these will be replaced by demonic damned pirates, and when the player reaches the end game, astral githyanki pirates will begin to appear. These pirates are generated instead of other monsters, rather than in addition to them, are not particularly difficult for the areas in which they appear, and attack other monsters and fight among themselves even as they pursue you. Overall, then, this is a beneficial effect.

In the Pirate patch code, having the Treasury in open inventory sets a flag named "ukinghill". A comment explains that this means that the player is "king of the hill", so implicitly the other pirates are pursuing the player in order to kill him/her and take the treasure.

Messages

You hear distant waves.

You hear distant surf.

You hear the distant sea.

You hear the call of the ocean.

You hear waves against the shore.

You hear flowing water.

You hear the sighing of waves.

You hear quarrelling gulls.

You hear the song of the deep.

You hear rumbling in the deeps.

You hear the singing of Eidothea.

You hear the laughter of the protean nymphs.

You hear rushing tides.

You hear the elusive sea change.

You hear the silence of the sea.

You hear the passage of the albatross.

You hear dancing raindrops.

You hear coins rolling on the seabed.

You hear treasure galleons crumbling in the depths.

You hear waves lapping against a hull.
Any one of these messages indicates that the Treasury has just polymorphed its contents.
You feel a malignant aura surround the cursed treasure chest.
The Treasury has just blocked a curse.

Origin

Proteus is a god in Greek mythology who is associated with the sea. He is known for his ability to change form as desired, which he often uses to escape mortals who seek him for his ability to foretell the future. Hence the Treasury's property of polymorphing objects entrusted to it.

References

Reference: Chris's Pirate Patch