Location Mana Temple
Monster type Humanoid
Alignment Chaotic
Unique? Yes
Sees invisible? Yes
Sees in the dark? Yes
Magic resistance Very high
Picks up items? Yes
1.1.1 KPL N/A

Nuurag-Vaarn the Chaos Archmage is a unique boss in ADOM. He carries the Chaos Orb of Elemental Mana, which the PC needs to complete the game.

As his title implies, the Chaos Archmage is one of the most dangerous magic users in the game. He wields the dreaded Death Ray spell, which can instantly kill any aspiring hero that doesn't have death ray resistance, and still does serious damage to PCs that do. He is the only death-ray-wielding enemy that the PC must fight in order to achieve a regular victory.

Nuurag-Vaarn also attacks with very powerful ice and shock bolts. He can drain the PC's attributes in melee range, which can severely hamper the PC depending on which attributes are drained. He often casts confusion on the PC and surrounds them and himself in darkness; both spells have frustratingly high effectiveness and range. He tends to be invisible. He is immune to confusion, paralysis, and all elements besides acid.

In some versions[1] Nuurag-Vaarn was able to teleport on the Mana Temple level despite it being a no-teleport area. This had the potential to skip the whole temple fight and was removed in later versions[2].

Like with the Ancient Chaos Wyrm, preparation is crucial when attempting to defeat the Chaos Archmage. Intrinsic death ray resistance is a must to avoid being instantly killed by his death rays; even then, the PC may need lots of healing spells, potions, or prayers to recover from his attacks. The ancient mummy wrapping can be a useful source of death ray resistance, the ability to see invisible, and immunity to his powerful cold bolts.

He will attempt to attack the PC in darkness whenever possible, meaning he will often get a number of potentially lethal attacks in while the PC tries to find him. This problem can easily be solved with light sources, though the player may find themselves wishing to use those slots for other purposes, such as equipping the Water Orb. Moreover, the large number of traps in the area make torches somewhat unreliable due to destruction or extinguishing.

Humanoid slaying missiles are extremely advantageous in this fight if the PC can maintain a line of sight on the Archmage. Missile users may wish to pull the Archmage into the trapped hallway, or even farther back, in order to maintain a clear shot. Since the Archmage tends to be accompanied by lots of magebane and magedoom eyes, magic can be risky against him (if the PC has to cast from HP) and mindcraft difficult to use at all. If the PC can keep their PP up, Acid Balls are probably the best way of dealing with him. Due to his powerful corrupting attack and stat drains, melee is risky but often unavoidable. He can be blinded, so Phial of Caladriel, potions of blindness, cursed potions of invisibility, or cursed potions of raw mana can be thrown at him to temporarily disable his spellcasting.

One tactical approach is to run through the trap corridor to left part of the level as soon as the Archmage gets out of the temple itself. While this has a risk of getting hit by a few spells in the process, it allows easy setup for characters who cannot kill the Archmage quickly. If the PC is not in a direct line, the Archmage will mostly use ice bolt which is the least dangerous attack from his arsenal, although this may still be problematic for cold-blooded PCs.

Special abilities[]

Common stats[]

Level: 1, DV: 60, PV: 30, Hits: 932, Attacks: 2, Damage: 9-36, Speed: 120.

Corpse effects[]

As a being of true evil, eating Nuurag-Vaarn's corpse corrupts heavily (about 4 effects). It also grants a huge Mana increase (up to +12), and a direct increase to maximum PP. The attribute gain depends on the PC's Mana value; the corpse will usually not give much of a mana bonus. Alternatively, rather than eat the corpse non-chaotic PCs that can preserve it long enough to take it to Guth'Alak can exchange the corpse with him for a potion of cure corruption.

Monster memory[]

You face an ancient, crippled man, who only manages to stay erect due to some invisible force. As frail as his body appears his wrinkled face sports two glowing eyes emanating with waves of incredible power. In the rare moments you manage to look into the bright glowing eyes you are able to catch a glimpse of many tentacles growing from the eye holes. The body of this creature is covered in an ancient black, very tattered robe that seems to be moving around his body with its own will.