“Those Old Ones were gone now, inside the earth and under the sea; but their dead bodies had told their secrets in dreams to the first men, who formed a cult which had never died. This was that cult, and the prisoners said it had always existed and always would exist, hidden in distant wastes and dark places all over the world until the time when the great priest Cthulhu, from his dark house in the mighty city of R’lyeh under the waters, should rise and bring the earth again beneath his sway.”
–H.P. Lovecraft, “The Call of Cthulhu”

The Sleeper Below is the seventh deluxe expansion for Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game .

When you discover the terrifying truth about the full reach of the cult of Cthulhu and its sinister agenda, how will you respond?

Cthulhu’s hidden cults and dormant evils lie at the heart of The Sleeper Below , along with those secretive societies that share pieces of information related to the slumbering Ancient One. With its 165 cards (three copies each of fifty-five individual cards), roughly two-thirds of which focus on the Cthulhu faction, The Sleeper Below immerses players in a world of frantic struggles against a host of countless evils, forever roiling just beneath the superficial veneer of mundane existence. You’ll discover some of H.P. Lovecraft’s most nefarious and powerful evils, as well as a number of Explorers and other unique characters drawn straight from the pages of his classic short story, “The Call of Cthulhu.”

The Cult of Cthulhu

“The secret priests would take great Cthulhu from His tomb to revive His subjects and resume His rule of earth. The time would be easy to know, for then mankind would have become as the Great Old Ones; free and wild and beyond good and evil, with laws and morals thrown aside and all men shouting and killing and revelling in joy.”
    –H.P. Lovecraft, “The Call of Cthulhu”

Since the dawn of humanity, the cult of Cthulhu has grown around those dreamers who learned the secrets of the Old Ones. In The Sleeper Below , this cult rises to unprecedented prominence as its secret priests accelerate their efforts and the ensuing terror and chaos spread rapidly throughout the world of Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game .

The Sleeper Below recruits no fewer than thirty Cultists to the Cthulhu faction (three copies each of ten different Cultist characters), and while this renewed focus on the oft-overlooked trait opens synergies throughout the game’s card pool, it most clearly benefits the cult of Cthulhu, itself.

The cult benefits from more than merely the raw number of new recruits. It benefits from the synergies it derives from the addition of such characters as the Watcher of Signs ( The Sleeper Below , 2), who gains a rare in-faction Investigation icon so long as you control no non-Cthulhu cards.

Additionally, the expansion’s Cultists have their efforts coordinated and enhanced by new support cards, such as the Ritual , Summon the Sleeper ( The Sleeper Below , 24), which allows you to quickly translate your Cultists ’ efforts at stories and other matters into a powerful summoning spell, one that can call a Servitor or Ancient One into your hand.

To Wake an Ancient Evil

“In his house at R’lyeh dead Cthulhu waits dreaming.”
    –H.P. Lovecraft, “The Call of Cthulhu”

The cult of Cthlhu began when the dead bodies of slumbering evils whispered dreams to the first men. Naturally, then, as The Sleeper Below delves into the cult of Cthulhu and its perfidious activities, it also explores those Dormant threats the cult seeks to wake.

To represent these long-slumbering threats, The Sleeper Below introduces a new keyword, Dormant :

“During the operations phase, you may pay X to attach a card with the Dormant ability facedown to a story as a Dormant card. X is the number of success tokens you have at that story. Limit 1 per story per turn. When that story is won, you may play that card reducing its cost to 0.”

Dormant cards add another layer of intrigue and tension to the resolution of the game’s stories. Given that his victory at a story might accidentally wake an Ancient One like Cthulhu ( The Sleeper Below , 19), your opponent will have to think carefully whether he’ll push to win a story with a Dormant card attached, or leave it alone until he’s in a better position to respond to whatever evils his victory may unleash.

Will the fear cripple him? Will he push ahead and accidentally unleash Cthulhu upon the world? If he does, can anything stop the great Ancient One ?

Fighting for Humanity’s Continued Existence

Though the Cthulhu faction and its many Cultists seize the spotlight in The Sleeper Below , the expansion introduces unique characters for each of the game’s factions, including several characters drawn directly from the classic short story, “The Call of Cthulhu.”

Some of these characters may seek only to outmaneuver the expansion’s Cultists , in order to gain new power for themselves, but some others, like the Heroic Investigator Inspector John Legrasse ( The Sleeper Below , 39), arrive to expose Cthulhu’s cult and the extent of its influence.

It’s a daunting task, however, and likely one that leads down the path to madness, especially for those who delve into such dark secrets on their own. Still, the expansion offers even more means to fight back against the cult and imminent doom…

To that end, each of the game’s factions gains a powerful Society character, like the US Archaeological Society ( The Sleeper Below , 44), which starts at a cost of six resources, but has its cost lowered by two for each story in an opponent’s won pile. By combining potent combinations of struggle icons, high skill, and powerful abilities, these Societies may help you recover from early losses, but will they be enough?

Will You Stand with Humanity… Or Against It?

In The Sleeper Below , the cult of Cthulhu presents a singularly potent threat to all of humanity. Will you help the cultists raise their dread master from his deadened sleep in the watery city of R’lyeh? Or will you join the desperate struggle to stop them and save humanity from ruin?

Decide for yourself. Once you’ve realized the horrifying forces at war for the fate of humanity, there’s no escaping the madness that must follow!