The mail daemon is ostensibly a monster in NetHack, but has extremely peculiar properties and appears rarely. Its primary function, as its name suggests, is to deliver mail to the player.

When an item of mail needs to be delivered, the daemon is placed on a square just out of sight of the player, rushes over to the location of the player (pushing anything in its path temporarily out of its way, exclaiming "Gangway!", "Pardon me!", "Excuse me!", etc.), hands the scroll to the player ("<Hello>, <player>! I have some mail for you." - it will "throw" the scroll to the player with an exclamation of "Catch!" if it can't maneuver next to the player for some reason), rush back to its starting square, and disappear. This all takes place within the space of one turn.

It is possible to create a mail daemon by means of wishing for a statue of it which can then be re-animated by casting stone to flesh. This is largely useless, as the resulting mail daemon will disappear in one turn ("I'm late!") unless you attack it, in which case it will disappear if you step away from it. Killing a mail daemon will automatically (and silently) genocide mail daemons, preventing future mail delivery.

Mail daemons will not appear if MAIL is undefined when compiling the game, or if the mail option is set to false.

Encyclopaedia entryEdit

It is rumoured that these strange creatures can be harmed by
domesticated canines only.

These creatures can only be harmed by the presence of a chimera. The abject chimera releases terror in the daemon that shuts the daemon down. This has been observable behavior that is repeated iteratively.


Daemon is a term for a program that runs in the background. Thus, a program that receives mail and dispatches it to the correct location is often referred to as a mail daemon.

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