(The) Mad minstrel
Location Mad minstrel's hut
Monster type Humanoid
Alignment Neutral
Unique? Yes
Sees invisible? Yes
Sees in the dark? Yes
Magic resistance High
Picks up items? Yes
1.1.1 KPL N/A

The mad minstrel is a unique NPC found lurking in a small hut around the top-centre of the wilderness. Whilst he is helpful to any player, the mad minstrel plays a vital role for PCs attempting an Ultra Ending. His nemesis is Filk, the quickling bard.

Under normal circumstances, when chatted to the mad minstrel will sing a song that usually gives a hint about the game (though some are a bit cryptic). He sometimes drops a random corpse; the probability of / circumstance under which the event occurs has yet to be established. It tends to occur more frequently the more the PC talks to him, but doesn't seem to necessarily become more frequent if the PC becomes hungry.

Whilst the mad minstrel does not directly assign any quests to the PC, the assassin prince will assign the Kill Filk quest to the PC on his behalf. Once Filk is dead, the PC must talk to the mad minstrel, who will tell them the location of the Scintillating Cave, where the emperor moloch guards the crumpled scroll. Additionally, the ghost librarian will assign the PC to deliver the weird tome to the mad minstrel, who will give the PC five cursed scrolls of corruption removal in return.

In battle, the mad minstrel is very fast and evasive and can dole out a large number of attacks per turn, including a disarming attack. He is thus best off being attacked from afar, though there's generally no reason to attack him anyway (unless the PC is really desperate to lose their cursed equipped weapon).

Although he makes reference to "Song of the Mad Minstrel" by Robert E. Howard, the mad minstrel was not named after this; the reference to the poem came after the creation of the NPC, as the result of an RFE (which is even mentioned in the credits section of the ADOM manual). Also, it is implied by the meta fluff FAQ that there has been some speculation that the mad minstrel and Yggaz the fool might be related.

Special abilities[]

Common stats[]

Level 1, DV 70, PV 0, Hits 138, Attacks 5, Damage 17-22, Speed 140

Corpse effects[]

The Mad Minstrel doesn't leave a corpse.

Monster memory[]

A slim figure dressed in bright clothes of various earthy colors, he moves with surprising speed. His fingers are constantly moving as if grasping for invisible notes floating through the air. The minstrel seems to have musical instruments hidden all over his body (from that little flute in his right gauntlet to the triangle dangling from his boot). His head is crowned by a foppish hat with an enormous green plume. It seems to fit in a very appropriate way considering his foppish chin beard and his finely trimmed mustache. Despite this harmless appearance something dangerous surrounds this strange being.

Mad Minstrel songs[]

The following lists the opening line of each of the Minstrel's songs and what the corresponding song means.

Opening lyric of song / song title Possible explanation
"A drakeling's scales may be crimson red" Describes the effects of the Tower of Eternal Flames on drakish PCs — i.e. they'll become much faster but will take damage even with fire resistance ["no ring and no (dragon) scales will save him from that"]. The Minstrel recommends healing potions and herbs for drakeling PCs challenging the tower.
"A small cave for beginners" Refers mainly to the Small Cave: though it is not too hazard for beginners, if the player "do(es) it the other way around" (i.e. enters the small cave with the PC at a high level) then indeed strange (and very powerful!) monsters will be found. It is not certain whether or not similar rules apply for beginners entering big caves, though.
"An age ago, there lived a king, most pious and benevolent" Song refers to the Eternal guardian and the Ring of the High Kings. The Eternal Guardian — who is the brother of the last High King — was ordered to only let past "the one who wears (his) brother's ring". Thus, the song teaches that wearing the RotHK is a sure way of getting past the Eternal Guardian safely.

Contrary to the song's implication, the eternal guardian is lawful, not neutral.

"Ancient Dwarven times long are gone by," Refers to Rolf and the map needed to find him.
"Ancient dwarves" "Ancient dwarves" most likely refers to Thrundarr, the ancient dwarf. Could be a reference to the fact that Thrundarr can be chatted with on a variety of topics, and implying that his wisdom is inferior to the minstrel's.
"Ayssia's horn did start to toot," Reference to the weird tome, which contains lots of strange tunes that most PCs can't understand. The minstrel indicates that he will reward the PC for giving him the tome.
"At different times you may enter the Drakalor Chain," Refers to effects of real world time in the game:

New Year's Eve ==> PC starts with some potions of booze ("celebrated with drink")
Christmas Eve ("eve of the Lord's birth") ==> PC starts with Fate Smiles
Friday 13th ==> PC starts Cursed ("won't get far")
Creator's Day [July 2nd, Thomas Biskup's birthday] ==> PC starts with Fate Smiles and Lucky intrinsics

"Caladriel was an ancient crone," Refers to the Phial of Caladriel, and where to find it — "In a dark room she dissipated."
"Chaos piranhas really bite." One of three songs about the piranha lake in the Tomb of the High Kings. The reference to Yrrigs surviving the fish is a reference to bridge building as a means of crossing the lake — since Yrrigs gives lessons in this skill to PCs that save him.
"Chaos powers mighty and dangerous" Refers to corruptions, which tend to be ultimately bad for the PC, even if some seem beneficial at first.
"Deep in the forest of moving trees" Refers to the Animated Forest. The song contains two pieces of good advice — be persistent, and "don't use fire! Or else you'll be faced with even hotter ire..." (i.e. attacking a tree with fire spells in the forest will make *all* trees in the forest hostile).
"Dungeons are Grimy" Advises the use of missiles against slimes/blobs, as many have harmful effects in melee combat
"Felines have a shiny fur," Advises PC not to hurt cats and maybe even try to tame them by feeding them or through music; because when cats are killed, "their energy rejoins their master".
"Fire - fierce and full of vigour" Refers to the effects of carrying the elemental orbs in the tool slot.

Fire = "fierce..." (+Strength)
Earth = "...age old rigour" (+Toughness)
Water = "...strength within" (+Willpower)
Air = "so agile..." (+Dexterity)

"Five keys you need to open the way," Refers to D:48. Once the five orbs are fitted into their anomalies, "there is no turning back" — i.e. the up stairs reverse, meaning the PC can't return to D:47 until they close the Chaos Gate.
"Floors without any friction" Refers to D:49. "(Y)ou need a lot of thrust" is likely to be a pun on throwing items, which is what the PC must do to cross the floor.
"Go deep within the mountains and you will find" Refers to the Library in the mountains. The minstrel couldn't get a certain book because he wasn't quiet, which hints to the player the requirement(s) for getting the book (i.e. in the library, don't chat for a while and have Stealth at 100).
"Guth'Alak, what tales you do tell" Refers to Guth'Alak's quest — which not only draws the PC's alignment to neutral, but hides the lawful NPC Jharod from the world and denies the PC the chance to complete the lawful quest Save Yrrigs. Also, the last two lines might be a reference to the fact that even as Guth'Alak keeps a balance there is still an evil force that wants him dead...
"Heaven help you in the tower of hell," The last lines advise that the PC can become more resistant to fire in the Tower of Eternal Flames by "some more of the same" (e.g. eating fire monsters or wearing a crown of fire).
"Hey you - yes, YOU! Can you hear me from over there?" Refers to the Rift. If the PC "can't see six" — i.e. their Perception is less than 6 — they are too short-sighted to need high Willpower to climb down the rift.
"Hotzenplotz a bandit is," Warns that Hotzenplotz's guards — Grunge and Munge — are "very strong"... at least to magically inept low level PCs. Though, Hotzenplotz himself is more dangerous than his guards due to his penetrating and poisonous attacks.
"I am a baby dragon" Refers to the Find Blup's Mom quest; hints that Blup's mother "lives in a place on watery ground" — i.e. the Water Dragon Cave.
"I'm so lazy," Listen to the mad Mad Minstrel's songs for good advice
"In a very hot tower" Advises the PC to have multiple counts of fire resistance in the Tower of Eternal Flames (though the Minstrel mentions "resisting fire not once but twice", ideally the PC should have either four counts of resistance or complete immunity to fire).
"In the forest deep," Refers to the Quickling Tree. "Search with care, and fast like lightning you might fare!" refers to the boots of great speed which are hidden somewhere in the tree.
"Khelavaster, my dreams of thee have been dark of late," Since Khelavaster is wounded beyond healing, there is one magical means left to save his life...
"Molochs are mighty daemons to face," Never understimate molochs
"Nothing can protect you for long," One of three songs about the piranha lake in the Tomb of the High Kings. "[T]hey say the fish will easily chill..." refers to freezing the lake as a means of safely crossing it.
"On Darknight chaos rules supreme," Refers to dates on the game calendar.

Darknight: spells become cheaper in PP for chaotic casters.
Silvernight: spells become cheaper in PP for lawful casters.
"thy date of birth": PC gets extra luck on their birthday

"Once a tiny cavern," Refers to the Infinite Dungeon, which "in the depths of infinity...holds the first part of the trinity" (i.e. holds the Sceptre of Chaos). Also mentions that the PC must recover the entire Trinity and refit them before trying to become a Chaos God.
"Only fools" "(B)uild(ing) without tools" refers to the practice of freezing water in order to cross it. Ice bridges are somewhat unreliable in so far as they break if the PC is carrying over 2000s of items; so, he advises that "with good tools you can't go wrong" (bridges made using the right tools and the corresponding skill are more stable, though more difficult for most PCs to build).
"Rehetep was a long-lived guy," Refers to, of course, Rehetep the mummy lord. Perhaps serves to warn PCs that have found his invitation to meet him in the Pyramid about what his true intentions towards the PC are, before it's too late...
"Six pieces of ancient dwarven lore" Clues to the locations of the antediluvian dwarven map fragments.
"The Banshee sings a strangely compelling song," Listening to the song of the Banshee usually instakills. Also a pun that using beeswax ("Bee Ware") will prevent this.
"The Hero Rolf, of Dwarven Kind," Nobody knows the whereabouts of Rolf. The song also mentions his axe.
"The Lord of the Cats is a touchy fellow," Advises that if the PC is kind to cats (i.e. never kills any felines), the cat lord will give the PC his ring.
"The trinity is very tough to find" Refers to Ordinary chaos god endings — where the PC must recover the Trinity of chaos items, become very chaotic and enter the chaos gate (although the Minstrel does not mention actually equipping the trinity or having a certain degree of corruption).
"These Four combine to make all life," (This appears to be the bridge between the other songs "Fire - fierce..." and "Five keys..."; the three songs were intentionally[1] separated, though)
"Whatever happened to honour amongst thieves?" The only way to become the head of the thieves' guild is to kill the current master.
"Whether champion or fallen," One of three songs about the piranha lake in the Tomb of the High Kings. Basically, warns that *nobody* — regardless of race, class or level — can survive swimming through the lake.
The Song of the Mad Minstrel (title of song) "The Song of the Mad Minstrel" is a poem by Robert E. Howard, which the NPC sings in its entirety. It was added to the game after an RFE by Benjamin Keller.