I've finally reached the valley of the dead, but I'm having trouble getting my pet to follow me down there. Seeing that it is a silver dragon, I really didn't want to leave it behind.

The problem is that pets don't normally follow you through trap doors (only through stairs) and the only ways to get to the valley are the trap doors inside the catle. Is there a way around this problem? As long as I'm in the valley of the dead with my pet beside me, it's fair game. I'm playing a barbarian with tons of scrolls and a wand of wishing (which I didn't want to waste).

  • 1
    i love that i have played nethack for so long and still have no idea at all what is going on here.
    – TrewTzu
    Commented Jul 20, 2011 at 13:38

4 Answers 4


I tend to lose my pets pretty early on, so this won't be a great answer. I think the best way to do this is to get a saddle and ride your Dragon. Ridden animals are affected by traps, so I think in the case of a trapdoor you both fall through, although I'm not certain.

The only other way down to the Valley is by level teleport, but I'm fairly sure that doesn't take your pet with you.

Once you're in the Valley, there are stairs leading back up to the Castle. I don't recall whether you can use the stairs to subsequently return. If you can, then you could pick up your pet by coming back upstairs, meeting up, and then walking down again.

  • 1
    The stairs you mention go up, but not down. They just lead to a random spot to the right of the castle. Unfortunately, I haven't found a single saddle so far (and wishing for one seems a little over the top), but your idea sounds like it should work. I tried walking onto the trap when the pet is right next to me, but it doesn't work either (probably because I'm effectively moving away from the pet before descending).
    – Malabarba
    Commented Jul 20, 2011 at 2:47
  • 8
    For the record, floating over the trapdoor and then pressing > (when your pet is next to you) also works.
    – Malabarba
    Commented Jul 20, 2011 at 5:35

A pet adjacent to you when you change levels (as long as the pet is not busy eating, or asleep, or unable to follow for some other reason) will always come with you, regardless of whether you're falling down a trap door, levelporting, branchporting, using stairs, quaffing a cursed potion of gain level, etc.

For the trapdoors in the castle, of course, the pet usually needs to begin on the other side of the trap to end up adjacent to you when you actually step on the trap. If this is difficult to set up, try to find a leash.

Of course, the trap doors aren't actually the only way into the valley; if you can acquire teleport control (probably with a ring), you can read a cursed scroll of teleportation and teleport to the Valley from anywhere in the Dungeons of Doom or Gehennom.

  1. Put on a levitation item
  2. Float over one of the trap doors
  3. Use your magic whistle to position two pets right next to you; one on each side
  4. Remove levitation item
  5. If you escaped the trap door reposition the pets next to you again if they have moved then go down

You will now have brought two pets down with you to the valley of the dead. Use the up stairs, leaving your pets behind, and repeat the process if you need to bring additional pets down.


A leash is handy for many pets (I don't know if you can leash all possible pets) because a leashed pet goes where you go. However, in that particular passage, you may need to make a trip for each pet. If you have a magic whistle, you can just stand near the trap door and repeatedly apply it until the pet lands on it and falls through (pay attention to messages about them falling through, or blind self with Telepathy). Sometimes the pet may escape the trap, step on to the trap. Then go down and apply the whistle again to gather them up.

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