Binder quest (dNetHack)

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This article is about the quest branch for the Binder role as it appears in dNetHack.

The Binder quest sees you traveling to the Tower of Woe to defeat Acererak. For more information on the quest branch in general, see the quest article.

Home level the lost library
Locate level village of your birth
Goal level the Tower of Woe
Leader strange corpse
Guardians peasants
Nemesis Acererak
Quest Artifact The Pen of the Void

Levels

Random monsters on this Quest are generated with the following frequencies:

Many of the random humans will be quest guardians from the roles from whose pantheons the lawful, neutral, and chaotic gods of your game are taken. Depending on which pantheons those are, they may be more or less of a threat to you. Some may have extra melee attacks (pirate brothers, roshi, warriors) or spellcasting abilities (abbots, acolytes, apprentices, and guides).

Home level

............................................................................
.. ...................   .......|------|....................................
....  .................. .......|. .. .|....................... ............
..... .... ...   ..... ....|-+---.+.. .--+--|...............     ...........
.........  ... . ..........|...... .. ......|....  .............  ..........
.......   .....  ..........|     ..>...     |......  .......................
....... ........ ..........+........M.......|...  ..........................
..... .. ..................|     ......     |...............................
....  .. ..........   .....|................+.................   ...........
..............   .... .....|--++-......-----|........ ...........    .......
....   ......   ................+......|.............   .......  ...........
................................---++---..........  ... .........  .........
.....    ............ .............................. .......................
........  ..................... -.-..-.-....................................
....  .............................. ......  .........................  ....
...............  ............... .   . ..... .....................  ....  ..
.... ............  ....   ........ . ..   ... ................ ....  .......
..........  ................ . ..... ........................ .. ...........
...  ............. .......   ..............................  ...............
....  .... .......  .................................. ..................  .
....  ...  ......... .................................   ...............  ..

You arrive in the portal outside the walls of the library. Your quest leader, the strange corpse (Dahlver-Nar, the first Binder), will be found inside the library, at the point marked M. Note that all of the doors to the library are actually empty doorways.

The library contains five cursed scrolls of scare monster embedded in the walls of solid rock. These can be dislodged with a wand of teleportation, but because each one is cursed you will not be able to pick it up without it disintegrating.

Scattered throughout the level are sixteen peaceful shades, which in ASCII interface are easy to mistake for rock. Although these are found on the home level and are peaceful, like quest guardians, they are not really quest guardians, i.e. they will not give you messages when you #chat with them.

The entire level is considered a morgue.

Upper filler level(s)

These levels are open, with random outcroppings of solid rock. Each level has three random objects, four random traps, two hostile liches, and six other random hostile monsters.

Locate level

..................................................
.-----..-----..-----..-------.#.#.#.#.#.#.#.#.#.#.
.|...|..|...|..|...|..|.....|.....................
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......................|.....|.....................
.|-|..................|.....|.#.#.#.#.|---------|.
.|.|..................---+---.........|.........|.
.|.+..................................+......._>|.
.|.|..................................|.........|.
.|-|..................................|---------|.
<....................|-|........................#.
.--+-................+.|..............#.........#.
.|..|.--+--..--+--...|.|..............#graveyard#.
.|..|.|...|..|...|...|.|..............#.........#.
.----.-----..-----...|-|..............###########.
..................................................

The locate level contains a hostile captain, lieutenant, two hostile sergeants, and six hostile soldiers, nine other monsters, and 16 peaceful peasants. The peasants are the real quest guardians and will reply with messages if you #chat with them.

The large building on the right is a randomly aligned shrine.

The layout is mostly identical to the goal level of the Noble quest, except that the shrine has a down staircase behind the altar.

Lower filler level(s)

This level is an ordinary room-and-corridor level, with six rooms, three of which are morgues filled with hostile undead. The other three contain one wraith and one human zombie. Two of the morgues and two of the other rooms contain one random trap.

The downstair will be in one of the morgues.

Goal level

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....#.|.|ks.|.|##}##|.|food|shop|ks.|--|--.-.._..-..------             
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.....||.S...|.|##}##|.|....|....|...|       -----                      
..#..|..|---|}.-###-.}|---------|---|                                  
            |---------|                                                

Behind the secret door to the Tower of Woe is a long hall flanked by two pairs of barracks, a decorative room with a fountain, a prison (with eight peaceful prisoners), and four shops (a bookstore, scroll shop, food shop, and one random). The secret rooms off the barracks on the left contain random blessed weapons; those on the right contain random wands.

The three smaller rooms in the center right are shrines randomly assigned to the three alignments. The altar in the larger room to the far right is unaligned.

The quest nemesis, Acererak, is not automatically generated, but appears when the unaligned altar is converted through sacrifice. This room, in turn, can only be accessed once all three of the altars in the shrines have been converted. Since these are all temples, you will have to deal with the angered priests. The last altar is attended by a random L and three skeletons.

The upstair is located somewhere at the left end of the map. Besides the undead and the humans generated with the special rooms, nine random monsters are scattered throughout the level.

Messages

Transporter level

On descending to the level where the transporter is located:

You sense something reaching out to you...

Entry

First time:

Suddenly, you stand before the ruins of an ancient building. All 
around you, shadows flit and flicker below an indistinct sky. A
cold breeze blows in aimless breaths, bearing the rumor of distant
whispers.

You know this place well; though you have been here but once before,
and that in a dream. That night, as you stood over the strange, dry
corpse that sprawls alone within the shell of this ruined library,
the wind whispered to you with a thousand tounges, speaking the 
names that still ring in your ears, the names that drove you
into exile.

You do not dream now. The wind is filled with a muted tension, 
as of a scream just bellow the threshold of hearing, and dark
creatures stalk the wastes around the lost library.

Next time:

Once again, you stand before the lost library.  You know that the strange corpse
still waits within.

If already rejected twice due to bad alignment:

Again, and you think possibly for the last time, you stand before
the lost library.

Quest guardians

(Note that the quest guardians are the peasants on the locating level, not the peaceful shades on the home level.) If #chatting before the quest is complete:

"Why have you returned? The Order of Seropaenes is hunting you!"
"Get out!"
"Go away! These fanatics never bothered us, before you left!"
"The baron is going to kill you, and all that have harbored you!"
"The Order of Seropaenes will hunt you down."

If #chatting after the quest is complete:

"Leave, now!"
"Go."
"This is no longer your home."
"Run, or the baron will kill you!"
....

The prisoners on the goal level will respond with the following if #chatted to:

"All this, because of a dream?"
"Why are they doing this?"
"I thought these religions had nothing to do with each other!?"
"Shouldn't these gods be enemies?"
"To what Power are the Keter sworn?"
"They said the world was cracked. They said it was our fault."
"They said there is an Enemy in the Void."
"They say the Enemy seeks to destroy the world, though she is not of it."
"I heard them talking about a device to force open a path to the Void."
"I saw them bring in a silver bell."
"I heard a bell ring frantically, just a short while ago."

Quest leader

When you first meet your quest leader:

For the second time in your life, you stand above the strange mumified 
corpse that lies alone in the ruined library.

You feel something reaching out to you, as though across an infinite
distance.

When you return, having been rejected due to lack of experience:

You stand again above the mumified corpse, and again you feel something
reach for you within your mind.

This message is not currently used:

You stand again above the mumified corpse, and again you feel something
reach for you within your mind.

When you are expelled from the quest for having failed the alignment test seven times:

You feel that you have left your path, and will never again stand in
this place.

When being rejected due to lack of experience:

The reacher falls back, in failure. Perhaps an Akousmatikoi could hear it.

When being rejected due to having worse than pious alignment:

You feel that you have left your path, and must return to the Void.

When finally assigned the quest:

You reach out as well, and together you bridge the distance.

A bloody form now hangs before you, a form that may once have been
a man, now savaged by great beasts. So violent was the attack that
the beasts' teeth were torn from their sockets, and lodged in the
man's skin. The shear variety of teeth bears mute witness to the
number of assailants that dogged the man.

The thousand wisperers speak as one: "Dahlver-Nar; Dahlver of the
teeth; the first to listen, the first to speak. Dahlver-Nar, of
the Gates of Teeth, who built the way through which we reach."

The bloody form moans in pain and paws at it's ruined, 
toothless mouth with its ruined, tooth-torn hands.

"Another now seeks to close those Gates. A mortal man, who died
and yet walked on, who moulderd to dust, and yet thought on.
Acererak the Devourer, Acererak the skull; who lives and stands
and thinks now on both sides of the Gates, who has but to bite
down, to cut off the breeze through which we talk, to sever 
the way on which you walk."

Encouragement

Subsequently #chatting to the strange corpse will not give any significant messages.

Locate and goal levels

When first entering the locate level:

This place, too, you know well, for it is the village of your waking
life, the village of your birth.

In your youth, the world was a simple place. You could see your whole
life, mapped out in the lives of your ancestors. You knew the one 
that you would wed, the church where you would marry, the land that 
you would work, and the place that you would lay until the world
was remade.

But all that was swept away in a single night, by the dream that
led to your exile.

Some strange magic is at work, for your village is not located near
the Lost Library. At least, you don't think it is, you never were
a traveler. You resolve to pass quickly through the village. You 
know of a passage to the woods outside town, through the church
catacombs.

When returning:

You stand again in the waking world, in the village of your birth.

When first entering the goal level:

You have come upon a tower in the woods outside your village. You are
certain that this wasn't here when your exile began. You feel that 
Acererak is within.

When returning:

You stand again before the tower.

Quest nemesis

When first encountering the quest nemesis:

"So, you are the one who dreamt of the Gate. All your false sinner
spirits will not avail you against me. I shall slay you, then return
beyond the Gate, to close the path your kind have opened into the world."

Upon further meetings:

"I have wasted too much time on you already.  Now, you shall die."

And on the 4th and subsequent meetings:

"Once, I was lost, aimless, but now I serve the one true God!"

When you have the Pen of the Void, but Acererak has not been destroyed:

"Give me the Pen of the Void."

Discouragement

Acererak will occasionally utter maledictions:

"This is your final night!"
"Your sinner spirits will not save you from me!"
"In God's Name!"
"You shall never pass the Gate!"
"You have reached the end of your path."
"Your gnostic nature makes you weak.  You cannot defeat me."
"Come, Binder.  I shall kill you, then live forever."
"Once you are dead, there will be none to contest my 
hold over the Teeth."
"Fight, Binder, or are you afraid of the mighty Acererak?"
"You have failed, Binder.  Now, my victory is complete."

Victory

When picking up your quest artifact:

As you pick up the Pen of the Void, you feel the power of it
flowing through your hands.  It seems to be in two or more worlds
at once, even though you are holding it.

(Note that if you received the Pen of the Void earlier as a sacrifice gift, you will get this message when you first pick it up, rather than here.)

When destroying the nemesis:

Acererak falls to the ground, and utters a last curse at you.

You fool! You have killed me, and all you love.
There is an Enemy in the Void. She comes from outside
the world, to drown it all in waves of Chaos!

His golden skull shatters to jewelled fragments when it hits.
The whispers on the wind grow more distinct, and the fragments
are drawn together by the breeze. You can here them clearly now.
It is Acererak's name they repeat.

When returning to your quest leader:

Dahlver-Nar is still dead

When subsequently throwing the Pen of the Void to the strange corpse:

You pick the Pen of the Void back up.

Post-Quest

Talking to the strange corpse after the quest or after getting the Amulet will not produce any messages.

References

  • dNetHack role.c line 117
  • dNetHack Binder.des
  • dNetHack Quest.txt