I'm currently fighting my way through the castle in Nethack. I was wearing 2 rings when I reached this level (a ring of protection and a ring of regeneration), and after a long battle both my rings are simply gone. Everything else I was wearing/carrying is still with me (including some other rings).

I don't remember taking them off, and I'm positive I didn't fight any nymphs or inccubus/succubus. I'm a dwarven valkyrie (though I'm pretty sure it doesn't influence anything).

What could have happened to my rings?

  • Against what was the long battle?
    – user7220
    Aug 3, 2011 at 0:08
  • @Tim: The ones I remember for sure were: many soldier/sergeants, several trolls, a couple different liches, a titan, a giant, and a few different elementals. I know there were one rust monster and one disenchanter, but I was paying very close attention to them, and I hadn't even fought them yet when I noticed the rings were gone. Beyond that, I think there were several different giant bugs, several "animals" (probably nagas and wolfs), and several meaningless undeads. It's the fight that happens right when you open the drawbridge.
    – Malabarba
    Aug 3, 2011 at 12:12

2 Answers 2


Do you have reflection? Lightning can destroy rings that you are wearing. Sources of lightning that you're likely to have met include:

  • Blue/chromatic dragon
  • Wand of lightning
  • Trapped chests

You could try to cycle through previous messages until you see something about your rings.

  • I tried cycling through previous messages, but it was too far back. I have shock resistance, but I did get zapped several times by a wand of lightning, so that's probably it.
    – Malabarba
    Aug 3, 2011 at 12:06
  • 1
    To clarify, shock resistance has no effect whatsoever on rings and wands exploding; you need reflection to protect them. Going to the Castle without reflection is generally a Bad Idea.
    – Wooble
    Aug 4, 2011 at 20:24
  • @Wooble: Thanks, I've edited to reflect that mistake. Does reflection protect against chest traps?
    – user7220
    Aug 4, 2011 at 21:58
  • 1
    Unfortunately, neither reflection nor shock resistance protects your wands and rings from chest traps. High luck, however, can.
    – Wooble
    Aug 4, 2011 at 22:25
  • Those chest traps are bad news, too. I once lost the Castle wand of wishing when its chest exploded. I did actually win that game, though almost wishless. I tried going wishless out of spite after that incident, but Gods help me I had to wish for a cockatrice corpse on the Plane of Fire to get out of a mob. Ah, good times.
    – andronikus
    Nov 3, 2011 at 22:34

Was your Valkyrie throwing Mjollnir, the Valkyrie artifact weapon? Whenever you throw it, there is a 1/200 chance of it striking you upon returning. This can cause rings you're wearing to explode, even if you're shock resistant. I've definitely lost rings this way. See http://nethackwiki.com/wiki/Mjollnir.

  • She was wielding an excalibur. But it's good to know that can happen.
    – Malabarba
    Aug 4, 2011 at 13:12

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