ADOM Guidebook


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The Mad Minstrel

Click here for a color map of the Mad Minstrel's clearing.

The Mad Minstrel lives in a hut in a clearing found in the northern central part of the wilderness map. As he wanders about, he will randomly drop corpses that correspond to the danger level of the level he is on. In his own clearing, he drops mainly goblin, orc, and bat corpses. If one leads him a few steps over to the bug-infested temple, he will drop plenty of dragon and giant corpses. Pretty safe, but at least one greater bug will have to be killed first. That's not difficult though, as any offensive wand will work nicely. To get the Mad Minstrel out of his glade, order a companion to attack him when he is close to the map border. The PC can then switch places with the pet, and the Mad Minstrel will come to stand on the border. Careful with pet type though, as if it's too weak it will die in one hit.

The Mad Minstrel will sing songs which are somewhat cryptic hints about important parts of the game. If a player wants to finish the game without reading extensive spoilers, it is very important to sit through his concerts until the player has memorized everything he has to say. Alternatively, they are reproduced here along with [some interpretation]:


The Song of the Mad Minstrel

"I am the thorn in the foot, I am the blur in the sight;
I am the worm at the root, I am the thief in the night.
I am the rat in the wall, the leper that leers at the gate;
I am the ghost in the hall, herald of horror and hate.

I am the rust on the corn, I am the smut on the wheat,
Laughing man's labor to scorn, weaving a web for his feet.
I am canker and mildew and blight, danger and death and decay;
The rot of the rain by night, the blast of the sun by day.

I warp and wither with drouth, I work in the swamp's foul yeast;
I bring the black plague from the south and the leprosy in from the east.
I rend from the hemlock boughs wine steeped in the petals of dooms;
Where the fat black serpents drowse I gather the Upas blooms.

I have plumbed the northern ice for a spell like Frozen lead;
In lost grey fields of rice, I have learned from Mongol dead.
Where a bleak black mountain stands I have looted grisly caves;
I have digged in the desert sands to plunder terrible graves.

Never the sun goes forth, never the moon glows red,
But out of the south or the north, I come with the slavering dead.
I come with hideous spells, black chants and ghastly tunes;
I have looted the hideen hells amd plundered the lost black moons.

There was never a king or priest to cheer me by word or look,
There was never a man or beast in the blood-black ways I took.
There were crimson gulfs unplumbed, there were black wings over a sea,
There were pits where mad things drummed, and foaming blasphemy.

There were vast ungodly tombs where slimy monsters dreamed;
There were clouds like blood-drenched plumes where unborn demons screamed.
There were ages dead to Time, and lands lost out of Space;
There were adders in the slime, and a dim unholy Face.

Oh, the heart in my breast turned stone, and the brain froze in my skull --
But I won through, I alone, and poured my chalice full
Of horrors and dooms and spells, black buds and bitter roots --
From the hells beneath the hells, I bring you my deathly fruits."

[This currently has some display errors, as anyone who spends time talking
to MM will know - a bug report has already been made. This is actually a
poem written by Robert E Howard (more well-known as the creator of the story
of Conan) - someone suggested it be included in an RFE a while back.]

    "Deep in the forest of moving trees,
        Crossing is not such a breeze,
   It may take some time, but be persistent,
        Even if some may be resistant,
     But whatever you do, don't use fire!
Or else you'll be faced with even hotter ire..."

[warning about the Animated Forest, section 2.5.3.2]

 "The Lord of the Cats is a touchy fellow,
His teeth are sharp and his eyes are yellow.
  All kinds of cats he calls his subjects,
  Small ones, big ones, all he'll protect.
       If kind ye be to cats, I sing,
      Talk from him his precious ring!"

[reference to the Cat Lord and felines; see section 0.9.2]

    "Felines have a shiny fur.
When you feed them, they will purr.
  True cat-lovers never harm them,
 some musicians try to charm them.
 For all others, let me warn them:
  As soon as felines meet disaster
 their energy rejoins their master."

[more reference to the Cat Lord and felines]

    "Heaven help you in the tower of hell,
The elements will surely sound your death-knell,
 If walking on fire still shrouds you in pain,
  You might just need some more of the same..."

[Tower of Eternal Flames; be prepared warning, section 2.19]

      "In a very hot tower
  your points in life get lower.
Resisting fire not once but twice
       Would be very wise."

[Tower of Eternal Flames; have two fire resistance 
  sources beyond the intrinsic, which counts as two]

       "A drakelings scales may be crimson red
       if a creature of fire for dinner he had
    he may wear tough scales and two rings to boot
      he may have the armour and all of the loot
          but fire is still a hazard to him
  cause a drakeling will start to burn from within.

     He will become fast, even fast as the light
  his foes may run screaming at this unearthly sight
      as quicklings so fast, he may just become
      but the hazard of fire will never be gone
  cause the speed makes him dizzy and dazy and that
  and no ring and no scales will save him from that.

      So the tower of fire is a dangerous thing
and you should really listen to the sound of my string
   for a drakeling has really a hard time in there
   without healing and stuff he won't get anywhere.
      So a potion or herb might be a good boon,
 but if you enter without them - you are just a loon!"

[warning about the special problems Drakelings have in the ToEF]

       "Fire - fierce and full of vigour
        Earth - tough with age old rigour
        Water - possessing strength within
        Air - so agile it'll make you spin

        These Four combine to make all life,
But when there is imbalance it brings great strife,
       For their product, Mana, will fluctuate,
          And Chaos floods out from the Gate.

          Five keys you need to open the way,
       And then from your path you may not stray,
     You can only proceed, there is no turning back,
    So be sure you are ready for the final attack..."

[hint about the orbs - currently split into 3 seperate songs, 
but should be all one]

"The Banshee sings a strangely compelling song,
      No one can listen to it for long.
              You better beware
                And take care.
           Beware is what you need,
     Understand this verb and take heed."

[warning about the Banshee: bee-ware (beeswax) is what you need, section 2.17]

   "A small cave for beginners
   The big ones are for winners
    Do it the other way around
And strange monsters will be found."

[warning about the nature of the small cave; see section 1.4]

      "The trinity is very tough to find
                in case you mind.
           three parts you will need,
          lots of blood you will shed.
            Once all are collected,
      once your deceitful fame is erected,
   once in servitude you seem to be joining,
once chaos powers the word "friend" are coining,
            you'll enter the gate...
        Quickly - before it's too late!"

[advice about acquiring the Chaos Trinity; advice about the level of 
 corruption needed to enter the chaos gate (as a chaotic); do not 
 tarry or corruption will kill the PC - this is pertaining to the 
 "ordinary" chaos god ending, section 4.2]

            "I'm so lazy,
         My knowledge's hazy,
         My sounds are loud,
         but rarely I shout.
        My lyrics are coarse,
        I never owned a horse.
      My songs I'm improvising,
       I use them for advising.
          Listen with care,
       and well you will fare."

[warning to pay attention to these poems, though they are cryptic]

     "Ancient dwarfs
  often come in halves.
    Babbling they do,
     Ladies they woo,
    Useless they are,
Ignorants receive a scar."

[unknown]

  "Hotzenplotz a bandit is,
  Many a woman he did kiss,
 His guards are very strong,
so don't make anything wrong."

[warning that Hotzenplotz is not a pushover, section 1.3.5]

   "Dungeons are Grimy
     Blobs are Slimy
When dealing with Puddles
   Missiles are Subtle."

[warning about jellies in general and the fact that they corrode melee weapons, 
section 0.9.5.1]

      "Molochs are mighty daemons to face,
    For they are the strongest of their race,
  They possess great strength and much immunity,
     So don't try to test out their impunity,
         Run! I say, as fast as you can!
        Teleport, dig or swim like a man!
       Get away! Get away! Quickly, I say!
Else your head will be the main course of the day!"

[warning about molochs]

          "Only fools
 would try to build without tools
    A bridge sturdy and strong
With good tools you can't go wrong."

[the need for a hatchet when bridge building]

           "Once a tiny cavern,
  was a monument built by the powers of Law.
        Now it's strangely distorted,
by the powers of Chaos it's meaning thwarted.
          In the depths of infinity
   it holds the first part of the trinity,
     which, once assembled and refitted,
            will make it permitted
        to become a Chaos God supreme,
     if forceful enough yourself ye deem!"

[origin of the Infinite Dungeon, section 2.25]

 "Caladriel was an ancient crone,
Karmic beings brought her down!
 A phial of light she created,
 but once she did not use it...
 In a dark room she dissipated."

[origin of the Phial of Caladriel, section 2.10]

     "Rehetep was a long-lived guy,
But his skin got cracked before his eyes.
            He would not die,
          And he would not quit,
But his skin just wouldn't stay well-fit.
    He wrapped it up in rags at first,
  But after a while the rags all burst.
         Now to keep his body in,
 He needs to borrow someone else's skin!"

[warning about Rehetep's true nature, section 2.9.2.1]

 "Chaos piranhas really bite.
 All are amazed at their might.
  Yrrigs knew more about this.
He manages to survive the fish."

[warning about the chaos piranhas; 
hint about how to get around them, section 2.12]

    "Nothing can protect you for long,
  No matter how tough, blessed or strong,
   No armour, girdle, helm nor shield,
     No artifact that you may wield,
     No amulet that you find or nick,
     No god's blessing or intrinsic,
     But a way across there is still,
 For they say the fish will easily chill..."

[another warning about the chaos piranhas & hint]

  Whether champion or fallen,
   On two legs or crawlin',
  Big or small, troll or man,
   Pious priest or barbarian,
  Fighter true or learned sage,
     Marksman or elfin mage,
 None can face the fish's might,
Not one can ever stand their bite."

[another warning about the chaos piranhas]

  "Go deep within the mountains and you will find
  An ancient library filled with tomes of all kind.
       The librarian there is a fussy fellow,
   "Silence!" he asks for, "Please do not bellow!"
But the music overwhelmed me and I could not stay mute,
    So I played a little tune on my piccolo flute.
    The librarian got angry and asked me to leave,
 It's for that book that I wanted that I now grieve..."

[hint about library + weird tome, section 2.22.2]

         "In the forest deep,
         all living beings weep
       for fairies cruel and fast
          won't let you last.
            Search with care
and fast like lightning you might fare!"

[hint about finding the quickling tree, section 2.24]

   "Chaos powers mighty and dangerous
      strive to alter all of us.
  Corrupting effects transform thee
faster than you would like that to be.
   Although useful they might seem
 they just will bring a sorrow stream."

[warning that corruption will eventually kill]

            "I am a baby dragon
      My mother is bigger than a wagon
Still she lives in a place on watery ground
          That I have never found."

[hint about Blup and Shyssiryxius, section 2.13]

  "The Hero Rolf, of Dwarven Kind,
     A Pillar of his Society --
  He had an Axe, the Cutting Kind,
  Which Caused Orcs Great Anxiety.
  What Became of Rolf the Mighty?
   Does Yet the World he Wander?
The Elders Wise and Mystics Flighty
      Even they must Wonder..."

[story about Rolf the dwarven hero]

       "An age ago, there lived a king, most pious and benevolent,
  Who from his god received a ring to shield him from the elements.
      This king, he had a brother true, a fighter lion-hearted,
Who sought to rout all Chaos through the Gate from whence it started.
   He purged the evil from the land, his blade once never faltered,
       And only by his god's own hand was his adventure halted.
  "O fighter brave," his god did say, "though noble is your mission,
       Yet centuries must slip away before it finds completion.
     The Balance leans too much to Law, and I must now amend it;
    Let Chaos have its time on Earth ere back to hell you send it.
    But watch this stair eternally, and wait for Heaven's message,
    To show the mighty champion who's earned the right of passage.
    For only one you'll step aside and cease your faithful vigil:
 The one who wears your brother's ring emblazed with Heaven's sigil.""

[warning about the Eternal Guardian and hint about the Ring of the High Kings,
section 3.2, 2.12]

       "Floors without any friction
     are no longer a thing of fiction.
To cope with them you need a lot of thrust,
        on this one you can trust."

[reference to D:49, section 3.12]

  "On Darknight chaos rules supreme,
 On Silvernight evil ones will scream,
 But when it comes to thy day of birth,
 Thou shalt find great joy and mirth!"

[hint about ADOM dates]

"At different times you may enter the Drakalor Chain,
  And these times may bring some loss or some gain,
    The end of the year is celebrated with drink,
  But on the day after you'll be too tired to think,
On the eve of the Lord's birth you may see a lucky star,
    But on Friday the thirteenth you won't get far.
      And Creator's Day is by far the best date,
   For on that day you'll receive a smile from Fate..."

[hint about starting dates, section 0.1.1]

The Mad Minstrel is also a critical part of the special endings. More about his role in the special endings can be found in section 4.3.1.2.


Please note that this is an unofficial and unauthorised copy of Andy William's ADOM Guidebook. For further information on the legal and moral challenges raised against this Improved ADOM Guidebook please see rec.games.roguelike.adom.
Updated June 29th, 2009