Recovered from its times of trouble and under heavy threat from the Daqan Lords, the city of Nerekhall stands firm in its declaration: “The shadow has passed.” Yet sinister forces continue to build strength within the hidden corners of the city. They prepare for the day soon to come when Nerekhall, the baronies, and all of Terrinoth will tremble before their might.
Shadow of Nerekhall is an expansion for Descent: Journeys in the Dark Second Edition, opening the gates to Nerekhall, a city with a dark and troubled past. The city’s officials proudly declare that Nerekhall’s days of evil are long gone, but others protest that evil stirs once more in dark corners. Whether an outside source is worming its way into Nerekhall, or whether the city’s old sins have returned, you and your band of heroes must discover the truth and destroy evil wherever you find it.
Streets in Shadow
Nineteen new quests await you in this expansion. The heroes no longer walk in the wilderness, far from the civilization. Now, the heroes must pursue their quests in the middle of the thriving city of Nerekhall, brought to life by a set of new map tiles, illustrating city streets, sewers, and academies, as well as the Black Realm – the home of vile demons.
Although Nerekhall may be more clean and civilized, comfort may prove hard to come by. Demons from the Black Realm enter the city, spreading danger and corruption, while in the sewers beneath Nerekhall, rumors abound of the rise of a new foe: The Rat-Thing King. Even the past may not be as distant as you would like, and before too long, even enemies from Nerekhall’s tainted history may rise once more.
In Shadow of Nerekhall, the overlord also gains a new effect that he can use to his ultimate advantage. This ability is known as influence. At the beginning of many quests in Shadow of Nerekhall, the overlord is given a choice between several options that can drastically change both the plot and mechanics of the quest. For example, the overlord may need to decide whether an errant executioner is corrupt or simply insane, forcing the heroes to uncover the truth before they can act with certainty.
Each of the overlord’s choices of influence effect in a quest are paired with a symbol. When the overlord chooses which influence effect he will use for the quest, he secretly takes the influence token with the symbol that matches his choice. Until the heroes find information about the overlord’s nefarious schemes, only the overlord will have full knowledge of the quest’s potential twists and turns.
The overlord may have the advantage of using influence to fool the heroes, but the overlord will certainly have to work to pull the wool over the eyes of the new heroes joining the adventure in Shadow of Nerekhall. From Orkell the Swift, a reformed bandit, to Ravaella Lightfoot, a gnomish wizard, these heroes will stop at nothing to defeat the dark schemes of the overlord and defeat the darkness gathering within Nerekhall.
In addition to four new heroes, Shadow of Nerekhall also introduces a new hero class for each archetype. The Warrior archetype receives a new adherent with the Skirmisher class. The Skirmisher is a light and quick Warrior, excelling at fast attacks and speedy escapes. While some Warriors fight best with a single, massively powerful weapon, the Skirmisher favors a different form of combat. By fighting with two one-hand weapons, Skirmishers can receive bonuses from skill and abilities.
Scouts have always been stealthy fighters, using camouflage and cunning to get the upper hand on more well-armed foes. Now, a Scout can make the shadows themselves his ally with the Shadow Walker hero class. This class allows a Scout to summon a Shadow Soul familiar, in addition to other stealthy tricks. Although a Shadow Soul moves slowly, its mere presence can drain the life from unwary monsters and servants of the overlord.
A Mage with a dangerous amount of tricks up his sleeve can be extremely useful in a fight, and the Conjurer is no different. By scattering his image tokens throughout the battlefield, a powerful Conjurer can cause the overlord no end of trouble, whether by making ranged attacks from one of his image tokens, or detonating every image token with a concussive explosion of magic.
The final new hero class introduced in Shadow of Nerekhall is the Bard. The Bard – a sub-set of the Healer archetype – takes a rather unorthodox approach to healing. Almost all of his hero class cards have two separate effects. One effect is triggered when the melody token is placed on the card, and the other effect is triggered when the harmony token is placed on the card. By customizing his effects to match whatever the heroes need, the Bard can ensure that his companions stay hale and healthy, while the overlord’s creatures suffer from the Bard’s musical attacks.
Shadows with Teeth
Although the heroes receive powerful new classes and effects in Shadow of Nerekhall, the overlord obtains equal power as he swells his ranks with new monsters and learns a new Overlord class. The overlord gains access to the Shadowmancer Overlord class, offering him new options and opportunities to attack the heroes with Overlord cards. The Shadowmancer class opens new forms of attack for the overlord, as he waits in the darkness until his plans have come to full fruition. The overlord can use these new Overlord cards to force the heroes apart, potentially turning them against each other and forcing them to split up, so he can pick them apart, one by one.
New monsters charge into battle for the overlord as well. Perhaps the most powerful of these are changelings. Although changelings are deadly in combat even without additional enhancements, when a group of changelings enters the quest, the overlord has the opportunity to play a Corrupt Citizen card, allowing the master changeling to take on a new form. Whether he impersonates a mage, a simple citizen, or even a hero, the master changeling is certain to be one of the principal servants of the overlord’s will.
Demons other than changelings are also breaking into Nerekhall from the Black Realm. Ynfernael hulks are large and surprisingly fast, their bodies rippling with heat and power. Powerful and dangerous, these creatures rip through the fabric of reality in search of the blood and agony that gives them sustenance.
If an influx of demons wasn’t bad enough, strange things have also been happening in the sewers beneath Nerekhall. Although rats are common throughout Terrinoth, they seem to be swarming together, as if controlled by a malevolent force – and whispered rumors seem to suggest that a new creature, the Rat-Thing King, has established itself beneath Nerekhall.
The heroes may not even have to look very far from home to see new enemies. Although they appear as mere metal statues, the ironbound of Nerekhall are in truth powerful magical constructs forged from black iron They act as defenders of the city, detecting, absorbing, and dissipating malign magical energy. Lately, their behavior has become erratic, although Chief Artificer Rylan Olliven assures the city that this is all normal and will soon be resolved.
The Mystery of the Past
No one can truly say how deeply corrupted Nerekhall has become. The heroes must determine whether an outside force is working to subjugate Nerekhall, or if the city itself is rotten to the core. As the heroes begin to uncover the truth, Nerekhall’s past returns to haunt its future. The Shadow of Nerekhall is rising once more! Prepare for an adventure like none other.
© 2013 Fantasy Flight Publishing, Inc. Descent: Journeys in the Dark is a TM of Fantasy Flight Publishing, Inc.