Improved ADOM Guidebook

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Unreal Caves

The Unreal Cave system is a sub-dungeon, the entrance to which is found on D:46 or D:47. It has six levels, contains the Mana Temple and its own sub-dungeon, the Blue Dragon Caves. It is a very high danger level area, home to the game's most dangerous monsters and a vicious corruption rate. All PCs are required to enter the Unreal Cave system in order to access the Mana Temple on the lowest level. Vaults cannot be generated in this area.

3.19.1 Sharad Waador, the ancient karmic wyrm W

Sharad Waador, the ancient karmic wyrm
Level: 1, DV: 60, PV: 60, Hits: 1080, Attacks: 3, Damage: 9d12+12, Speed: 120.
As his name suggests, Sharad-Waador is a karmic being, and thus attacking him in melee is not recommended. Note that ancient karmic wyrms are wishable. Although they have powerful breath attacks of all elemental varieties, a dangerous melee attack, rapid regeneration, and immunity to all elemental attacks, they're critically vulnerable to invisibility, and thus may be killed by an invisible PC bombarding them repeatedly with magic missiles. They are worth a lot of experience when killed.

Sharad-Waador is found on level 4, standing next to the stairs leading to the Blue Dragon Caves. He is nonhostile and will assign a quest to kill an ancient blue wyrm, Srraxxarrakex, who is his mortal enemy. This is a difficult quest and is in no way necessary to finish the game. Part of the difficulty is the presence of Srraxxarrakex's children: many different blue dragons including ancient blue dragons which see invisible. Blue dragons breathe lightning bolts, which will damage a PC without very good resistance or immunity as well as destroying items, both worn and in the pack. There is no way to prevent the item destruction (though high Alertness, Dodge, DV, Sixth Sense, Luck and lightning resistance/immunity helps). Items can be left in Sharad-Waador's room for safekeeping while on the quest. Sharad-Waador does not move unless he is attacked or the PC reneges on the deal to take the quest.

To receive the quest, the PC must first decide what equipment will be left behind, drop it, stand on the down staircase in Sharad-Waador's room, then Chat with him. This sequence of events is necessary because Sharad-Waador will not chat with the PC until the PC is on the down stairs, and after chatting with the PC demands that the PC descend immediately. If the PC moves off the staircase at this point, Sharad-Waador becomes hostile. A trick that can be used is leaving some of the PC's precious but 'might be needed' equipment on the stairway. Sharad-Waador does not become hostile if the PC emerges from the Blue Dragon Caves without moving from the stairway. This provides a means of protecting very valuable equipment (such as scrolls of chaos resistance) that might be needed to save the PC's life. Despite the fact that Sharad-Waador does not see invisible, he will detect an invisible PC that emerges from the Blue Dragon Caves without killing Srraxxarakex and become hostile if the PC moves from the stairs.

The main reason for taking this quest however, is because Sharad-Waador rewards the PC with a huge pile of equipment for completing it. Among this equipment, which generally does not contain anything remarkable, is the artifact dagger Needle:
----------- black rune-covered dagger "Needle" (+8, 3d4) [+4, +1] ----------

Weight: 10s

When worn it modifies DV by +4 and PV by +1.

When used in melee combat it grants a +8 bonus to hit and causes 3d4 points
of damage. When used as a missile it grants a +8 bonus to hit and causes 3d4
points of damage.

(Sting has the same base properties, but Needle + Sting grant +50 to hit and
damage when dual-wielded)
Be very careful with this pile of equipment. Needle is indistinguishable from ordinary daggers until it is identified. It is best to have a blessed scroll of identify at the ready, to identify all the treasure the PC has taken from the Blue Dragon Caves and the heap of stuff Sharad-Waador provides. The junk can then be safely dropped without risking misplacing Needle. When Needle is combined with its twin, the artifact dagger Sting, held by the Assassin Prince, they become the most powerful weapons in the game, at least in terms of raw to-hit and to-damage. If a PC planning an Ultra Ending makes it this far, check section and get the Filk quest from the Assassin Prince. He can then be killed for Sting, if desired.

Updated March 10th, 2013