When on the Avatar of Boris challenge path, your trusty minstrel Clancy follows you in place of any familiars. Clancy will perform functions similar to those of a familiar and will change functionality, depending on what instrument he is holding.
Clancy "weighs" five times his level for familiar effects.
The Minstrel Cycle
Unlike familiars, Clancy gains levels and effectiveness not by combat, but by discovering his old equipment or discovering new sources of musical inspiration.
Collectively, this is called the Minstrel Cycle. Clancy will try to get your attention whenever the latest step in the cycle is possible.
Quests in the Minstrel Cycle must be done in order, for example, the Knob Shaft quest won't open up until you've Jacked the Jukebox which in turn won't happen until after you and Clancy have formally introduced yourself. There are 5 quests in the cycle, 4 of which will permanently raise Clancy's level by 1 for the duration of your run. The other quest will result in Clancy regaining his lute.
The various stages of the Minstrel Cycle:
- After reincarnating -- The Minstrel Cycle Begins
- After unlocking The Typical Tavern -- Your Minstrel Vamps
- After reaching Level 5 -- Your Minstrel Clamps
- After encountering A Miner Variation and reaching Level 7 -- Your Minstrel Stamps
- After unlocking The Icy Peak during the Mt. McLargeHuge Quest -- Your Minstrel Camps
- After encountering Mercury Rising and discovering the Ancient Buried Pyramid -- Your Minstrel Scamp
Clancy would like you to take him to the Typical Tavern, so he can learn some new songs from the various angry, drunk patrons there.
Clancy would like you to take him to the Knob Shaft, so that he can learn how to play miner chords.
Clancy would like you to find the grave of The Luter, so that he can retrieve the lute the Luter looted long ago. Your keen adventuring instincts tell you that the grave is probably near a graveyard.
Clancy would like you to take him to the Icy Peak, so that he may hear the mournful mating call of the Knott Yeti.
Clancy would like you to take him to the Ancient Buried Pyramid, so that he can find an ancient piece of sheet music.
You have taken Clancy on a whirlwind tour of the Kingdom, and he is now equipped with enough songs that his musical style will never be cramped again.
Aside from the Minstrel Cycle, Clancy may gain extra levels from the following sources.
- Investing 8 skill points into Feasting and learning the More to Love passive skill. (+3 levels)
- Singing the Song of Accompaniment. (+3 levels)
- Equipping Boris's Helm or its askew form. (+1 level)
All said, Clancy may reach a total of 12 levels.
This chart shows the bonus Clancy provides with each instrument.
- For comparison's sake, please note that:
- Clancy serves a familiar-like function, but he is not actually considered a familiar. You cannot equip him with familiar equipment, and you cannot use him to compete in The Cake-Shaped Arena.
- Not being a familiar, he does not need to breathe underwater.
- The name of Clancy's Minstrel Cycle sounds an awful lot like a certain other cycle. In addition, all of his quest names are variations of the name of a certain type of cramp.
- The lute message about bright copper kettles and brown paper packages is a reference to the song "My Favorite Things", from the musical The Sound of Music.