Khelavaster is the sage who discovered the Coming of Chaos, and
entered the dungeons hoping to stop it, but never returned. You'll
meet him somewhere below the Animated Forest and the Dwarven Halls,
usually on D:16. Unfortunately, he will be mortally wounded when you
find him, and the only (known) way of saving him is to give him an
amulet of life saving. (N.B. Talking to him will allow him to die.)
He is also on the down staircase, and it does not seem possible to get
past him without either saving him or letting him die.
If you save him, he'll give you a very nice reward including six
blessed scrolls of chaos resistance, and if you're attempting an ultra
ending, saving him is compulsory so that he can summon the Trident of
the Red Rooster. Therefore, most people will try to save him if they
can, and will wish for an amulet of life saving for him if they get
the chance. Extreme chaotics who feel that saving him is out of
character can always kill him after he reappears in Terinyo. See Andy
Williams' Guidebook for a bit more detail on Khelavaster.
How to maximise your chances of saving him
If you are lucky enough to acquire an amulet of life saving before you
meet Khelavaster, take great care of it. I'd recommend that you stash
it somewhere safe (such as the Old Barbarian's Glade) at the first
opportunity and do not pick it up again until you're ready to give it
to him. If you keep it with you, and especially if you wear it, you
run the risk of having it destroyed by a trap, which is extremely
If you haven't found an amulet of life saving by the time you meet
him, don't give up yet. There is no time limit on saving him - you
can head off and spend months searching for the amulet, and he will
still be alive when you come back. Here's a list of strategies you
can employ in the attempt to find an amulet of life saving:
- Drain every pool you've found, hoping for a wish. By now you
should be able to cope with all the bad pool effects except perhaps
- Search everywhere you can get to, as long as you're confident that
your character can survive there. Here's a list of places I tend to
go when searching for an amulet of life saving.
It may help your search to know that ordinary rings are often (not
always) rings of djinni summoning.
- Gremlin Cave
- Darkforge (there are 3-12 guaranteed pools there)
- Tomb of the High Kings
- Tower of Eternal Flames
- Water Dragon's Lair
- Dig up graves which say ``Great treasures are buried here''. I
don't like doing this myself, because it summons nasty undead.
- If you dip items into potions of raw chaos or blessed potions of
exchange, they will transform into random items of the same general
type. This technique is known as ``polypiling,'' or ``chaos
roulette'' if potions of raw chaos are used. Polypile rings or
amulets on a dangerous level such as DH:2 (the
second level of the Dwarven Halls) to increase your chance of
obtaining a ring of djinni summoning or amulet of life saving.
Potions of exchange are quite rare, but there is no risk involved in
dipping items into them, and if you dip a heap of 19 useless rings you
may get a heap of 19 rings of djinni summoning out of it.
Potions of raw chaos can be manufactured by dipping a corrupting
artifact such as Moon Sickle into useless potions.
N.B. Playing chaos
roulette is very risky. The potion may explode, doing 100-200 HP of
damage and causing about four corruptions. To reduce the risk, do all
of the following before you start:
- Ensure that you are lucky, that fate smiles upon you, and that you
are not cursed or doomed. One sacrifice while very close to your
deity will do it.
- Wear the blessed ankh and two blessed rings of luck.
- Bless your potions of raw chaos.
Items transformed by chaos roulette will always come out cursed, and
if you dip a heap of 19 useless rings into a potion of raw chaos
you'll only get one ring out.
- If you're really determined to save Khelavaster and have a lot of
patience, you can just hang around until an amulet of life saving is
generated. The Infinite Dungeon and the wilderness seem to be popular
places to hang around in.
Alternative strategies (sadly, none of them work)
If you've tried everything and you still can't find an amulet
of life saving, you might hope for some way to avoid allowing
Khelavaster to die, or failing that, to wish him back from the dead
when you finally get a wish. For example, the first time I got a
wizard that far, I thought ``No problem - I'll just teleport him out
of the way and go on,'' but it did not work because he resisted my
teleportation spells. Here is a list of all the alternative
strategies I've tried or heard about, none of which actually work.
Healing him (without an amulet of life saving)
- Khelavaster appears to refuse everything you offer him that isn't
an AoLS - I have
tried blessed potions of extra healing, pepper
petals, spenseweeds and crystals of health. The stuff he refuses will
be piled up on the stairs beneath him, and you will not be able to
retrieve it until you've dealt with him.
- If you zap him with a healing spell, ADOM will tell you that he is
beyond the help of your feeble healing magic.
- Healers of level 18 or higher who attempt to use their First Aid
or Healing skills on him will receive the message ``Khelavaster, the
dying sage, does not seem to be injured'' (this bug has been
- If you lure Jharod the healer to him, nothing will happen - Jharod
will just keep wandering around aimlessly. Luring Jharod is tricky
because it is hard to calm him down after turning him hostile, and
Vladimir Panteleev, who carried out this experiment, used a cheat
program to create staircases so that he didn't need to turn him
If only you could move Khelavaster off the down staircase, you could
explore the deeper levels of the Caverns of Chaos. You'd be
practically certain to find an amulet of life saving or some way of
wishing for one down there (because of the high danger level), and
then you could come back and save him.
- Khelavaster will resist any attempt to zap him with the
Teleportation spell or swap places with him (not tested with the ``swap
places with hostile monster'' special power that Monks and
- Since the typical behaviour of stunned, confused, hostile or
frightened monsters involves moving around, you might think that if
you could get Khelavaster into one of these states, he would start
moving around too. My experiments with this have involved zapping him
with Stun Ray and Scare Monster and using Ventriloquism on him. He
shrugs off stun rays, which turn him hostile but do not start him
chasing after you, and he appears to be immune to Scare Monster and to
the effects of the unholy aura corruption. Apparently he does not
panic or go into a blind rage when wounded either. He can be confused
by Ventriloquism but won't start staggering around aimlessly.
- Someone on rec.games.roguelike.adom once suggested that you could
acquire an exceedingly wimpy pet, order it to attack Khelavaster, then
swap places with it and hope that he will go after it. It seems that
most pets and companions will silently ignore commands to attack him
and just stand next to him. Occasionally pets will attack, but even if
he is wounded he still won't move.
- You almost certainly can't tame humans, but if you could, you
could try taming him and commanding him to move.
Wishing for him
It would be nice if you could call Khelavaster back from the dead with
a wish, but you can't. Wishing for ``Khelavaster'' silently fails, and
wishing for ``ancient sage'' results in ``Nothing happens''. I've heard
that wishing for ``dying sage'', ``Khelavaster, the ancient sage'', or
``Khelavaster, the dying sage'' will all also fail.
Many thanks to David Chapman, Vladimir Panteleev and several people on
the ADOM forums, including
Dougy, Messiah, Jan Erik, Locke and HicPotboy, for some of
the information in this spoiler.