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The slab.

A vault () is a site that constitutes the ultimate challenge for any adventurer. Vaults are created by demons during world generation as part of the process of escaping into the world. After constructing the vault and a slab, demons enlist the help of a deity with a relevant sphere, and the deity performs a ritual at the vault to bring the demon physically into the world (for example, a god associated with Fortresses may release a demon associated with Fortresses). The slab used in the ritual is then stored in the vault and various guardian angels make it their duty to defend the vault, and the slab, against adventurers.

After the demon has been brought into the world, it returns to the underworld spire from which it originally emerged. When history begins, goblin civilizations build a dark fortress around the spire and make it their capital, with the demon their leader. It is not known for certain whether there are always the same number of goblin civilizations as escaped demons, but it seems to be the case.

Vaults are large cylindrical structures constructed from slade, descending many Z-levels into the ground and filled with a mostly linear chain of rooms (similar to those found in Sewers and Tombs) occupied by the angelic guardians and containing occasional parkour-esque climbing challenges. Along the way can be found several levers linked to vertical bars which must be raised in order to progress further. At the bottom of the vault is a giant slab inscribed with the demon's true name, and this knowledge allows you to track it down and either banish it or compel it to serve you (join you as a companion).

There are three types of angels you will meet in vaults: assistants (bestial creatures with random features and low combat skills), soldiers (sentient humanoids with weapons and armor made of divine materials and Talented-level combat skills), and the archangels (gigantic beasts with size relative to forgotten beasts, and possessing Grand Master combat skills). Every vault has exactly 50 assistants, 25 soldiers and one archangel. Vaults will actively replenish itself with new angels after each visit, meaning the angels must be defeated in one go, without any rest.

Attempting to defeat a vault and retrieve the slab will be a difficult challenge for even the best equipped and skilled adventurer. It is recommended to have at least high physical attributes, mastery of at least one weapon skill, and a breadth of capability in others. The rewards will be worth the effort and risk; knowledge of the slab and the divine armor and weapons from felling angel soldiers will tremendously improve your adventurer.


  • The slab may not load, or certain rooms may not be connected, preventing players from accessing the final chamber. DFHack may be used to reveal the local map (which will unreveal once the player character moves) and then teleport the player character to the inaccessible area (the player character's id is given by cprobe).
"Vault" in other Languages Books-aj.svg aj ashton 01.svg
Dwarven: ubbul
Elvish: thenaca
Goblin: ötak
Human: pamnot
General World Generation (Basic / Advanced / Rejections) - Map legend
Climate - Surroundings - Civilization - Holdings - Calendar - World activities
Biomes Chasm - Desert - Forest - Glacier - Grassland - Lake - Mountain
Murky pool - Ocean - River - Savanna - Shrubland - Tundra - Wetland
Underground Cavern - Magma sea - Underworld
Features Aquifer - Brook - Deep pit - Island - Magma pool
Passage - Road - Tunnel - Volcano - Waterfall
Sites Camp - Cave - Dark fortress - Dark pit - Forest retreat - Fortress - Hamlet - Hillock
Labyrinth - Lair - Mountain halls - Ruins - Shrine - Tomb - Tower - Town - Vault
Structures Catacombs - Dungeon - Keep - Library - Market - Mead hall
Sewer - Tavern - Temple - Tomb - Underworld spire
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