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Anyone attempting to win in Ancient Domains of Mystery (certain challenge games being the exception) will visit each of the elemental temples at least once. Within each temple is a boss character, and held by each boss character is a chaos orb of the corresponding element (water, fire, air, earth, or mana). Khelavaster explains their importance. These orbs are all part of the locking mechanism on D:48 - all 5 are required to reach the endgame.

General

Teleportation

All temples are no-teleport floors. Some of the orb guardians can and will teleport if lured off of their floor. Spellcasters with teleportitis can use these floors to read particulary powerful spellbooks (Wish), however there are better (less corrupting) options.

Digging

All temples occupy rougly half of a floor. The other half is random dungeon (and can contain anything - shops, tension rooms, 50 diamond golems that take forever to kill and keep punching through your armor and hitting for, like, a gazillion damage) separated by solid rock. Since you can't teleport, digging is necessary. Wands of digging, using a pickaxe, or the Mystic Shovel/Divine Digger spell will work.

Elemental Altars

The orb guardians each begin standing on top of a chaotic elemental altar. Due to the high concentration of invisible-seeing chaotic monsters just waiting to sacrifice you to their gods, standing on these altars is not recommended. Champions of Balanace or Order can convert these altars, although it is highly dangerous and not really worth the trouble.

If you kill a guardian on top of an elemental altar, kick the orb off before you grab it.

Guth'Alak

Guth'Alak is a druid in Terinyo (green @, near the center). He will trade one potion of cure corruption for the corpse of each of the orb guardians (he'll also accept Keethrax and Keriax corpses, for a total of 7). Potions of cure corruption are extremely useful, especially in the deeper parts of the dungeon where corruption has skyrocketed. The problem, then, is transporting the corpses to Terinyo. Corpses rot, and rather quickly. Having the food preservation skill, preferably at 100, helps enormously. Humans, Hurthlings, Drakelings, Trolls, Farmers, Necromancers, and Rangers all start with food preservation. The corpses can also be cooked, either with the Cooking skill or with fire, as in a wand of fire or a spell. Either cooking or high food preservation is usually enough on its own, and both together is an almost surefire way of getting the corpse back to Terinyo. If it isn't, dipping the corpse in holy water will extend its life.

And remember kids, don't pick up your stack of PoCCs with poison hands and no thick gauntlets.

Using the Orbs

Each orb can be 'u'sed, for a special effect. This causes a fair bit of corruption; the game will ask you if you're really absolutely totally sure, cross your heart and hope to die, because corruption isn't really something to take lightly. Wearing the elemental gauntlets, which are available to any character, will halve the corruption from using the orbs.

However, the Orbs do not carry the essence of Chaos and Corruption, meaning that wearing or carrying them does not corrupt you at all. In fact, each of the chaos orbs, when held in the tool slot, will give you +10 to a specific stat. +10 is a lot.

The Temples

Water Temple


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Located around D19-20, you'll get the message "Water constantly drips from the ceiling" upon entering the water temple floor. This is generally considered the easiest temple, and will usually be the first one you encounter. The monsters are:

s - water snake
C - chaos servant
x - water grue
& - water demon
E - water elemental
center s - Snake from Beyond

All of these monsters, except the elementals and the chaos servants, are highly vulnerable to fire. They all have a corrupting touch. Invisibilty is extremely useful, since only the Snake from Beyond and the chaos servants can see invisible. A means of crossing water (remember, no teleport) is very useful as well, but not absolutely necessary since floundering across two squares of water is rarely lethal, although it can rust equipment and leave you weakened. Ice bridges will only carry your weight + 2000s, wooden bridges are difficult to create (logs are heavy).

The Boss: Snake from Beyond

"*yOu ArE dOoMeD!*"

The Snake from Beyond is not an overly tough opponent, especially with some (ranged) fire spells. He has a corrupting and poisoning attack, with a high to-hit. With stacking poison this can become problematic; poison-curing spells, herbs, or potions are highly recommended.

The Chaos Orb of Elemental Water will give +10 willpower when held in the tool slot. Using the orb gives .6 (.3 with elemental gauntlets) corruptions and a full heal.

Fire Temple


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On the fourth floor of the Tower of Eternal Flames (a red o in the western wilderness) you'll know you've hit the temple floor because the walls are really awesome looking. Ice is very effective against most of the monsters, including the Ancient Chaos Wyrm. Monsters are:

C - chaos servant
E - fire elemental
& - fire demon
x - fire grue
D - ancient red dragon
W - Ancient Chaos Wyrm

Hot, Like Ice

The ToEF is very hot; you'll take fire damage almost every single turn. Fire immunity is extremely useful, either as a crowning gift, from a crown of fire, from the ring of immunity, or from red dragon scale mail. If you do not have immunity, four sources of fire resistance will have the same effect. Intrinsic fire resistance counts as two sources. As an example, you can have intrinsic fire resistance (2), a ring of fire resistance (1), and the elemental gauntlets (1), adding up to four sources.

Drakelings have special problems. Even with all the resistance in the world, and fire immunity, they still take fire damage, albeit less of it. Large numbers of blessed spenseweeds are highly recommended. They also gain massive speed boosts, maxing out at +100, making them pretty much faster than any monster in the tower.

All of this fire damage also affects your equipment, which is A Bad Thing™. Having fireproof blankets in your inventory, preferably blessed, will protect the items in your bag. Fireproof blankets can burn away, and there are none guaranteed, but two or three blessed ones should cover your inventory.

This leaves the problem of your worn equipment, unless you're attempting the ToEF naked, in which case you probably don't need to read this. Artifacts will never be destroyed. Rings can't be destroyed until the gauntlets over them are, which means nonartifact rings are protected completely by artifact gauntlets (the elemental gauntlets just get better all the time). Adamantium and eternium are almost guaranteed not to melt (mithril slightly less so). A blessed ring of ice will protect both worn equipment and your inventory almost completely, with a very small rate of failure. Unidentified rings of ice are always 'mithril rings', just like potions of water are always 'watery potions'.

The Boss: Ancient Chaos Wyrm

"YE SOON WILL FILL THE RANKS OF THE DAMNED!"

Corrupting melee, sees invisible, is iummune to fire, and casts spells. The ACW will use heal and confusion, but more importantly, he can cast energy ray. This spell will do, on average, 100 damage each hit. Blessed potions of extra/ultra healing are highly recommended, as well as 100 alertness (which helps you avoid bolts/rays).

The Chaos Orb of Elemental Fire gives +10 strength when held in the tool slot. Using it casts a fireball and gives .3 (.15 with elemental gauntlets) corruptions. If you throw the orb, it creates a fireball wherever it lands, and gives no corruptions.

Air Temple


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"The air reeks of ozone!" Located between D:38 and D:42, this temple is all about being fast; getting in and out in the minimum amount of time. Monsters are:

r - vapor rats
C - chaos servants
& - air demons
E - air elementals
x - air grues
@ - Yulgash, the Master Summoner

The left/temple side of the floor is filled with lightning, which hurts. Blue dragon scale mail gives shock immunity. Darkforge is a good place to look for this, I've found some form of dragon scale mail nearly every time I've cleared out the armor room. Shock immunity can, of course, also come from crowning, or a crown of lightning (which also gives +5 speed), or various artifacts.

I'm not sure how much the lightning hurts with only shock resistance, since I've never gotten to the air temple without acquiring immunity in some form. I wouldn't recommend attempting the temple without any resistance at all, especially since rings of shock resistance are fairly common.

More important is the equipment damage. There is no way to prevent it, and sometimes I've lost heaps of scrolls, arrows, potions, etc. in this temple. Just don't stay too long, and don't take in anything too valuable without a replacement; amulet of life saving, girdle of giant strength, seven league boots (this is why you wish for 'pairs of' 7lbs, kids). DO NOT take your corruption removal items in there. If you really, absolutely, totally need to remove a corruption (mana battery?), you can make a hasty retreat and pop up one floor to your item stash.

The center room is hidden with secret doors (the 1's). The monsters inside the center room will not be aware of you until you open it. You can clear out some or all of the outer area, then open up the middle and take on Yulgash. Clearing out the whole outside will put you at risk of more item destruction, and is probably a bad idea if the lightning is doing damage.

Also note the traps. You can just stumble through two traps, it's not that major, but if you happen to have some means of trap detection with you it's worth using.

The Boss: Yulgash, the Master Summoner

"My MiNiOnS wIlL eNd YoUr UsElEsS eXiStEnCe. PrEpArE fOr DeStRuCtIoN!"

Being a Master Summoner, he can summon just about anything, from large kobolds to ancient karmic dragons. You'll probably have to fight through the elementals and grues to get to him, but he might rush forward and make it easier for you. Yulgash isn't really very strong (I don't waste magic on him with wizards, even grey elves can clobber him to death by now), but he could always throw ogre emperors or molochs at you.

The Chaos Orb of Elemental Air grants +10 dexterity when held in the tool slot. Using it gives .4 (.2 with elemental gauntlets) corruptions and creates an air elemental pet.

Earth Temple


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After the air temple blitzkrieg comes a brick wall, in convenient temple form. Will be somewhere from D:42 ro D:46. Lots of passwall monsters, that have lots of HP and PV, and regenerate. Fun! Monsters are:

s - stone snakes
x - stone grues
C - chaos servants
E - earth elementals
Y - stone golems
F - Ancient Stone Beast

Because of the passwall nature of some of these monsters (everything except the golems and chaos servants), rushing into the temple is a bad idea. You'll be surrounded on all sides by elementals and grues who are taking forever to kill and corrupting you. Ideally you can lure the monsters down/up stairs two or three at a time and kill them. The objective is to dig into one of the two circular rooms on the left, deal with the monsters now around you, go through the secret doors (1), past the trap-halls, get in range of the Ancient Stone Beast (F), and then lure him (after several of his grue friends) off the floor, preferably alone. Once you have the ASB isolated, you can begin the final fight.

The Boss: Ancient Stone Beast

"GGRRRR! I'LL TEAR YE APART!"

The ASB has 1091 hp, 60 PV, and quickly regenerates. This means that attacks under 60 damage per hit do nothing, and attacks slightly over 60 damage per hit might as well be nothing since it'll all be regenerated back. Penetrating weapons, demon-slaying ammo, or lots and lots of magic highly recommended. The ASB doesn't do that much actual damage, but if you need to stay in melee range to hurt him he'll be corrupto-touching you the whole time. This means you could very well gain two or three corruptions entirely from fighting the ASB. If you have a long-range option for killing him, use it.

The Chaos Orb of Elemental Earth gives +10 toughness when held in the tool slot. Using it gives .3 (.15 with elemental gauntlets) and causes an earthquake (really, really useless).

Mana Temple


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This is the deepest, darkest, and scariest of the temples. It serves as the final test before the endgame, to see if you're worthy of being balor chow or not. Listing the monsters is a bit tricky, since it's all Cs and es of different colors, but here goes nothing:

e (various blues) - magebane/magedoom eyes
C (dark blue) - annihilators
C (light gray) - chaos wizards
C (the same color they were in every other temple, light red) - chaos servants
@ - Chaos Archmage

You'll probably be seeing various other Cs as well (plague bearers, greater servants, chaos warriors, etc.) because the chaos wizards summon things like there's no tomorrow.

Firstly, finding the temple. Below the earth temple, D:47 or so, you will find a two down staircases. One goes to the rest of the caverns of chaos, one leads into the unreal cave system. The unreal caves are 6 floors long and probaby contain some interesting things like a tension room of emperor liches and ghost kings. The last floor of the unreal caves is actually "MT", or mana temple.

Secondly, getting into the temple. Except for that 1x1 box at the bottom, all of the walls of the temple are undiggable. This means you have to open up that box, go through the secret door, and wade through that long trap-filled hall to reach the next secret door which will lead into the temple proper. A wand of trap detection should make this task much, much easier. You'll probably need more charges than are in the wand - blessed potions of booze or scrolls of charging are handy right about now. Also, the eyes will be draining your PP the whole time, so don't expect to have much once you get through the hallway. You can always pray for full PP once you open the temple; your piety should pretty much be as high as possible all the time once you've passed the casino.

Thirdly, surviving the temple. This is the tricky part.

You need, absolutely: death ray resistance, confusion resistance, and a source of light. The light is important, because Nuurag-Vaarn likes casting darkness with a range of 'holy fuck, that's a lot', and fighting greater chaos servants and plague bearers in a trap-filled hallway while getting hit in the face by death rays is just that much worse when you have to do it all in the dark.' If you're using wands of light or the spell, Nuurag-Vaarn can just recast darkness, so a torch is preferable. An everburning torch, if you're lucky enough to have one, is even better.

The two resistances are pretty simple. Just make sure you have them somehow and you should be fine. And if you can help it, don't let anything in there touch you.

Fourth-ly, getting out of the temple. Be quick about it.

The Boss: Nuurag-Vaarn, the Chaos Archmage

"It'S jUsT a KiNd Of MaGiC, yE kNoW?"

He's real nasty. Don't like him at all. He'll fire death rays, cover huge swathes of the screen in darkness (this makes the trap-hall suck, a lot), confuse you, corrupt you, gets more critical hits, and drains stats like gangbusters. Pretty much every turn you spend in melee range, he'll suck three points out of a random stat. If you have humanoid slaying ammo, you should really, really use it. As for ranged spells, he's immune to shock, fire, and ice, so you need acid spells or magic missile. Once you finally kill him, do a little victory dance, grab the orb, and refer to point four above.

The Chaos Orb of Elemental Mana gives +10 mana when held in the tool slot. Using the orb gives you 5 (!, 2.5 with elemental gauntlets) corruptions, fully restores your PP, and increases your mana stat by 3.

What's Next?

*DIE, MORTAL*

You are now very very close to the end of the game. All that's left is to head back to the main dungeon, find D:48, and put all of the orbs in place. Of course, you might not be ready for the endgame. You probably gained a level from Nuurag-Vaarn. If you gained more than one, do not go to D:50. You should be at least level 40 before you head off to stare down Fistinarius, even more if you want the neat level 50 powers some classes get (archers who don't reach level 50 are just a waste). A good place to exp at this stage is the lower blue dragon caves, which are on the other side of a stairway on UL:4. Sharad-Waador, the ancient karmic wyrm, will be next to the stairs.

There might be some other quests you want to do just before the final plunge (the karmic wyrm I just mentioned has a particulary difficult and rewarding one). However, if you're doing bad on corruption removal, you might want to hit the endgame as soon as possible. You probably want to max out your piety (with the heaps of gold you've earned in the casino), bless all your equipment, etc.

And, depending on how you plan on finishing D:50, don't forget your weapons of mass destruction.

Source: The ADOM Guidebook - http://www.andywlms.com/adom/adomgb-toc.html

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