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Spoiler2010.png This article contains massive spoilers. If you do not wish to have your game experience spoiled, do not scroll down!
A portion of the Underworld. The large pink & black areas are eerie glowing pits, which go all the way to the lowest z-level in the map. Demons can be seen wandering through it.
"Hidden fun stuff", "HFS" and "eerie glowing pit" redirects here. For other hidden content in the game, see easter eggs.

The Underworld is the absolute bottom of the world, located below the semi-molten rock reached by digging under the magma sea and breaching a hollow raw adamantine vein. Breaching it serves as the end-game of dwarf fortress mode for those unfortunate or daring enough to do so.


A cross section of a typical adamantine spire you will need to mine through in order to reach the underworld. Beware that the single empty tiles are likely to contain fun surprises!

The Underworld takes the form of a massive open cavern of slade, dotted with giant, bottomless eerie glowing pits (*) which will instantly kill anything that falls into them (unless floors are constructed over them). It is inhabited by demons who, when first encountered, will immediately rush to the nearest exit they can find, typically leading to overwhelming amounts of fun. The initial demon invasion may reach well over a hundred attackers, sometimes leading to FPS death before they even reach the fortress itself.

The Underworld expands out in all directions without bound, with a height varying between 1-4 z-levels. Its rough floor slopes up and down, making it possible to walk around and explore should you get an adventurer down there. If you dig down through a hollow adamantine pillar, but had previously blocked off the particular hallway with a drawbridge and raise it, you can discover the location of all adamantine on the map with no negatives.

Demons spawn on the edges of the Underworld much like animals do on the surface; demons thus spawned will be content to meander, without going out of their way to extinguish all life they can reach. It is yet unclear whether the number of demons is finite; in information exported from the legends screen, the population of demonic species is listed as "unnumbered", a descriptor usually reserved for ants, worms, and other omnipresent vermin. Clusters of webs can be found scattered across the Underworld's surface, marking the presence of demons able to spew webs as a form of combat. In worlds generated without demons, the Underworld is empty and goblins are not present either, but goblins can still appear through historical deep-dig disasters.

If not properly prepared, breaching into the Underworld can wipe out the entire fortress in seconds - it will be burned to ashes, and levers will often be useless for blocking them off through bridges, because those demons are extremely fast.

When digging through the adamantine spire, there is a mixture of 7/7 squares of magma and water, obsidian, high-quality gems, and raw adamantine. Intermingled with this are single-tile empty squares, which can contain four different types of things:

  1. An artifact made with divine metal. "Deep within this strange place, we've uncovered what must be a treasure of the gods!"
  2. A gout of flame which shoots in a random direction. If it strikes your miner, they will be set on fire. Otherwise, it will harmlessly strike a wall nearby, and burn out shortly. "We checked that stone for heat! What devilry is this?!"
  3. A single demon. "Something evil is emerging from this newly exposed pocket!" or "Some ancient horror was encased here, until now!"
  4. A single angel. "We have unleashed the echo of a forgotten divine retribution!" or "Apocalypse! We are being judged by the gods!" If you dig out both of these at the same time, they will fight each other.


Upon first discovery, the place is referred to as an eerie cavern. Nearly all other references in the game, including dialogues and descriptions, call it Underworld or underworld.

Hell is a popular alternative name among DF players due to its hellish overtones, but it is rarely referred to as such in-game. Hell is included in the game's languages, and generated names for people, sites, regions, etc., can contain the word hell. When the Underworld and its contents are spoken of in the context of spoilers, players frequently use the term "Hidden Fun Stuff" (HFS) or the "circus" (with demons nicknamed "clowns").

World generation[edit]

In world generation, two kinds of gates to the underworld can be created: a deity may thrust an underworld spire as part of their ritual to bring a unique demon into the world, and goblin civilizations will be built around them; or a dwarven civilization may dig too deep and inadvertently breach into the underworld, and the civilization is (abstractly) taken over by goblins. Only the first kind leads to an actual physical passage into the underworld, and every such goblin civilization will contain one.

Reaching the Underworld[edit]

Fortress mode[edit]

Not the best vacationing spot.

Upon digging sufficiently deep (usually z-level ~160, but it can vary wildly) you will find huge magma lakes. These are surrounded by semi-molten rock which cannot be cleared by digging, but seems otherwise stable. Eventually, you will reach a layer which contains nothing but molten rock and little to no possibilities to pass. You can reach the critical layer by digging through solid rock which gets rarer the deeper you dig. In fortress mode, there are two ways through the impassable layer:

Digging through an adamantine vein: Raw adamantine veins are shaped like vertical tubes and breach through any layer of semi-molten rock, right down into the Underworld. The lower layers of the vein are often hollow and act as a tube, leading straight to your doom. Breaching into the hollow center of a vein has the same effect as breaching into the Underworld, so beware. You could easily dig around the hollow core provided you knew where it was, but every vein's hollow center is located at a different height - the risk is all part of the fun. Adamantine veins always seem to end in mid-air, so once you breach the final layer, you will face a horde of demons which hovers directly below your feet.

Channeling through semi molten rock: It is possible to channel into semi-molten rock (and, to a lesser extent, slade) from above, as long as the tile below is not yet discovered. In older versions, you had to remove the magma-flow and ramps in a complicated procedure that killed one dwarf per level, but now it is possible to channel directly into the underworld without losing a dwarf, though the miner tapping it will likely get killed by demons or drop into an eerie glowing pit. The difference is that, in older versions, the miner was placed onto the magma flow, but now they are placed under the magma flow, and can channel on.

  • Start one or more levels above the lowest rock layer above the magma flow. (this is important, as the miner must fall below the magma flow)
  • designate channels (d-h) from here down to the bottom of the map.
  • The miner will first generate a downward ramp into the rock. Now build a hatch above this ramp.
  • The miner walks down this ramp, and channels into the semi-molten rock, as the game only sees the granite upward slope.
  • Now, the miner is trapped below a magma flow (floor) and surrounded by semi molten rock. They will proceed to channel down until they reach the underworld, leaving magma flow tiles above them, as well as channel one level into slade. (if they survive long enough)
  • You now have a chute - blocked by magma flow floors - into the underworld. By constructing up/down stairways, you can build a stairway into the underworld (the magma flow is removed in that process).
  • If the site has no adamantine (otherwise you probably wouldn't do that), no demons will be generated (except the "wildlife"-demons), and you might even be able to save the miner, if you build the stairway before he starves to death.
  • As both magma-free pillars and eerie glowing pits are placed in the corners of embark tiles, the miner will likely fall into an eerie glowing pit - use zones (i) to find solid slade floor and prevent this from happening.
Announcement upon revealing the Underworld

Regardless of the method of breaching, you will receive an announcement upon piercing the Underworld. One step later, you will get a second announcement: "Horrifying screams come from the darkness below!" At this point, a massive number of demons will be spawned - though the number is not fixed, the demons will likely fill many pages on the Units screen. You'd do well to prepare for the worst.

Adventure mode[edit]

In adventure mode, one may find huge slade underworld spires built as gateways to the Underworld. Only the sites that a unique demon rose up from will have an opening into the Underworld. The lowermost levels of these structures indeed lead directly into the Underworld, with several demons waiting below.

Alternatively, adventurers may enter through player made fortresses that have opened a way into the Underworld. Generated Dwarven sites do not enter the Underworld, even if they have allegedly breached into an eerie cavern during world generation, and will terminate at the top of the magma sea.

Starting Adventure mode in the Underworld[edit]

First, you need to build a camp and claim it for yourself. This will turn you into a lord, and make the camp into a proper site to which you will be able to recruit and assign hearthpeople to.

Then, if you make a zone inside your camp several levels down, assign hearthpeople to that zone, and retire and unretire them, you may very well end up starting the game in the Underworld. In fact, any adventurer with a background of being a hearthperson to that site may start in the Underworld as well.

Invading the Underworld[edit]

Assuming you survive the initial onslaught, you may then proceed to explore the newly discovered land. The most impressive example of this feat is recorded by Sethatos in Archcrystal. Dwarves of the highest skill are recommended.

Note that the Underworld is completely devoid of useful resources, as most demons are sentient and cannot be butchered, there are no plants, water, soil or ores, and the unique slade rock the Underworld is made out of cannot be mined. The only reason one would have to invade the Underworld is pure bragging rights.

D4Dwarf.png This article or section has been rated D for Dwarf. It may include witty humour, not-so-witty humour, bad humour, in-jokes, pop culture references, and references to the Bay12 forums. Don't believe everything you read, and if you miss some of the references, don't worry. It was inevitable.

After Settling In[edit]

For training purposes, the Underworld is a perfect place for a Dwarven Boot Camp. Even if a soldier dies in the battle for hell, you can track down their sorry dwarven butts, and drag them out of the eerie glowing pit... And right back to boot camp! Side effects of Underworld Boot Camp include: Mental trauma; repeated cases of death; losing the will to live; fun.

"Underworld" in other Languages Books-aj.svg aj ashton 01.svg
Dwarven: Arôloram
Elvish: Tariteyo
Goblin: Sumspabuzong
Human: Ngironra
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