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The Illithanachronounbinder (or Acu for short) is a role that appears in notdNetHack. They are based on Anachrononauts and Binders, and act as their opposite number as implied by the role's name.

Illithanachronounbinders can be any of the following races: humans, orcs, dwarves, elves, drow, gnomes, half-dragons, incantifiers, ents, salamanders, or yuki-onna.

An Illithanachronounbinder is always lawful and cannot change alignment; they are also considered a mind flayer of the selected starting race, possessing all of that race's abilities alongside those of mind flayers.

Below this point are major spoilers for the Illithanachronounbinder role.


The components of the name "Illith-anachrono-un-binder" describe what the role is and does:

  • Illith refers to illithids, another name for mind flayers. That is what an Acu character is: a mind flayer that has taken over the body of a member of the selected starting race.
  • anachrono refers to Anachrononauts, whose mission is to go back in time and eject the mind flayer goddess Ilsensine from the universe, to change history and stop her from conquering the universe in the future.
  • binder is a role that summons spirits and gains power from them by binding them to their soul.
  • un is a prefix that means "not" or "opposite", and in this context it refers to how Illithanachronounbinders are opposing Anachrononauts and Binders:
    • They are trying to undo what the Anachrononaut achieved and save their goddess Ilsensine.
    • They also summon Binder spirits, but unlike Binders who work with their spirits, Illithanachronounbinders must battle and kill the spirits in order to grow stronger.

The Illithanachronounbinder was originally going to be called the Anachronounbinder, but the letters a and A were already taken in the role selection menu (for Archeologist and Anachrononaut).

Starting inventory


All Illithanachronounbinders gain these intrinsics at the following experience levels:

  • XL 1: ESP, tentacle attack, mind blast ability
    • The tentacle attack automatically triggers in melee, giving nutrition to the user if the target has a brain; you cannot choke or vomit obtaining nutrition this way. The attack can also kill the target by brainlessness.
    • The mind blast works identically to the Madperson ability, but is stronger due to the player being a mind flayer.
  • XL 4: Psionic pulse ability: a directional psionic attack which deals damage and is able to knock monsters back.
  • XL 7: Psionic echolocation: works identically to the chiropteran echolocation ability.
  • XL 10: Flying
  • XL 12: Psionic craze ability: allows you to "psionically torture" a monster, which may make it flee.
  • XL 14: Reflection
  • XL 15: Telekinesis: allows picking up items from a distance.
  • XL 17: Teleport control
  • XL 20: All thrown items return


Illithanachronounbinder skills
Max Skills

Special rules

Illithanachronounbinders are immune to madness, and their sanity is always locked at 100.

Illithanachronounbinders cannot level up normally, and must summon spirits in order to gain experience levels.


Main article: Spirits (dNetHack)

For Illithanachronounbinders, spirits function similarly to Binders, though with a twist: once summoned, they will also appear as hostile monsters.

Illithanachronounbinders begin with knowledge of Ahazu's and Amon's seals, and can only learn most of the other seals by gaining levels - the seals are unlocked in in vaguely alphabetical order. Summoning a spirit is enough to be able to gain an experience level: while killing the spirit is not required, they can drop often-useful items that make it worthwhile.

Spirit seal XL learned Reward(s)
Ahazu 1 4-5 food rations
Amon 1 frost horn with a high chance of a non-standard material (e.g. gold or mithril).
Andrealphus 2 sensor pack
can of grease
Andromalius 3 5-15 daggers
Astaroth 4 2-3 upgrade kits
Balam 5 two large daggers
large robe
Berith 6 the uncursed Crown Of Berith
plate mail
long sword
several gold pieces
Buer 7 the uncursed Talisman of Buer
Chupoclops 8 large number of giant spider eggs
Dantalion 9 the uncursed +3 Dread of Dantalion
+1 plate mail
pair of gloves
high boots
helm of telepathy
Shiro 10 uncursed stone equipment:
Echidna 11 3 random items
Eden 12 Eden's Scales
Enki 13 cloak
Eurynome 14 the uncursed Eurynome's Dancing Shoes
Eve 15 bow
12 arrows
Leo Nemaeus hide
Fafnir 16 the uncursed Ruinous Strike
several gold pieces
Huginn and Muninn 17 Thought and Memory
Iris 18 +7 psionic morning star
Jack 19 cursed +1 Jack's Torch
cursed potion of booze
Malphas 20
Marionette 21 the uncursed Puppet Wire
Great Mother 22
Naberius 23 several potions of booze
Orthos, Sovereign of the Howling Dark 24 the uncursed +1 Flickering Outline
Ose 25 +9 misty mithril trident
high-elven gauntlets
high-elven plate
high-elven helm
shield of reflection
Otiax 26
Paimon 27 the uncursed +3 Archivist (currently a named quarterstaff due to a bug)
+3 gemstone helm of brilliance
Simurgh 28 Simurgh's Feather
Tenebrous 29 the uncursed +3 Touch of the Void
Ymir 30 +7 platinum double lightsaber
amulet of reflection
gigantic armor:


The Illithanachronounbinder quest sees you fighting the alhoon Menzoberranzan for the Elder Cerebral Fluid, a dilithium crystal which confers half spell damage and energy regeneration while carried.

The quest contains many hostile mind flayers ("adversaries") and so-called villithids, which are vampire mind flayers that can drain your levels in addition to sucking your brain.


Main article: Religion

Due to their god Ilsensine being fallen, praying and sacrificing is impossible for Illithanachronounbinders, though beatitude-testing on altars still works as usual.

Rank titles

The status line shows you to be one of the following ranks when you reach the specified experience level:

  • XL 1–2: Exorcist
  • XL 3–5: Unbinder
  • XL 6–9: Vestige Vanquisher
  • XL 10–13: Spirit Killer
  • XL 14–17: Mind Flayer
  • XL 18–21: Psionaut
  • XL 22–25: Void Voider
  • XL 26–29: Telekinetic
  • XL 30: Keeper of the Gate


Illithanachronounbinders must fight many mini-bosses to advance, with the rewards further encouraging you to vanquish them. Fighting some of the spirits will be tough - however, unless specifically mentioned, they are all vulnerable to your brain eating attack.

  • Ahazu:
    • He has threatening melee attacks, including Famine's touch and can digest you. Use ranged attacks.
  • Amon:
    • Very early tough fight. He will hit fast and hard. Due to his high speed and thick hide, it is usually required to draw the seal, escape downstairs, get some equipment and gain a level and then come back. Drops a frost horn you will likely need for Balam's seal.
  • Andrealphus:
    • Very fast but not nearly as threatening as the previous two. Can teleport you around with his attacks.
  • Andromalius:
    • Will use the stack of daggers he is guaranteed to spawn with, so be prepared for some ranged attacks. He can both paralyze you and teleport your equipped gear away, which is especially dangerous in combination with the paralysis he inflicts. Ranged attacks are strongly recommended.
  • Astaroth:
    • Will create automatons such as clockwork dwarves to fight for him. Can hit hard in melee but it is managable.
  • Balam:
    • Another tough fight. She is fast and will use a ranged icy gaze at you and a cold touch attack in melee. Beware of her demon gating abilities.
  • Berith:
    • Due to the artifact helm he will be dropping, he is invulnerable to your brain eating attacks. He hits hard and fast in melee and deals more damage to creatures with blood, so basically all races except Etherealoids, Ents, and Clockwork Automata. He also has an AC of 0.
  • Buer:
    • Beware his poisonous bite and speed. He is fortunately rather unremarkable and binding him will permanently unlock martial arts for you.
  • Chupoclops:
    • Would be dangerous if the binding did not confer immunity to webs and movement speed penalties to nearby monsters. Beware her poisonous bite. The many spider eggs she drops will hatch and spawn an army of cave spiders. They are not too dangerous, but they will be annoying.
  • Dantalion:
    • Hits hard in melee and will teleport to the upstairs like some of the demon lords. He will wear armor and will thus be resistant to brain eating attacks.
  • Shiro:
    • Very hard to hit and will retaliate by throwing rocks as a bonus attack. Vulnerable to brain eating attacks, but they will rarely land due to his high AC. Annoying to fight but not too dangerous.
  • Echidna:
    • Beware her seducing attacks. Her acid breath is also pretty nasty, but can be countered with reflection.
  • Eden:
    • Basically a silver dragon with a fire breath attack, much higher MR and less damaging physical attacks.
  • Enki:
    • Will use water-based attacks to try and apply water damage to your inventory and equipped weapon.