“Nothing that we have endured of late has seemed so grievous as the treason of Isengard. Even reckoned as a lord and captain Saruman has grown very strong. He threatens the Men of Rohan and draws off their help from Minas Tirith, even as the main blow is approaching from the East.”
– Gandalf, The Two Towers
The Fellowship is broken. Of the Nine Walkers that set forth from Rivendell, two have fallen, two have been captured, and two have disappeared, including Frodo Baggins, the Ring-bearer, on whom rest all the hopes of Middle-earth. Still, three remain, three who draw breath and can still draw arms. Led by Aragorn, son of Arathorn, the rightful heir of Gondor, they must do what good they can, even if they must do it without hope…
The Treason of Saruman is the third The Lord of the Rings Saga Expansion for The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game . Its 165 new cards introduce three new scenarios drawn straight from the pages of the first half of The Two Towers .
Join Aragorn ( The Treason of Saruman , 1) and the Three Hunters as they pursue a pack of Uruk-hai across the plains. Take up arms against the forces of Isengard at the defense of Helm’s Deep. Steel your will against Saruman and his wizardry as you join the march on Orthanc. Throughout your trials, you’ll visit iconic locations, confront infamous villains, and enjoy game experiences shaped by innovative new mechanics that bring you as close as you can get to the drama of the classic fantasy epic without finding your name in its pages.
Of course, as a The Lord of the Rings Saga Expansion, The Treason of Saruman also comes with new boons and burdens that allow you to connect its scenarios with those of other The Lord of the Rings Saga Expansions. Woven together in Campaign Mode, the scenarios from The Treason of Saruman serve as chapters seven through nine in an epic narrative that recounts the fantastic journey of The One Ring from the Shire to the fires of Mount Doom.
The Three Hunters
“We will make such a chase as shall be accounted a marvel among the Three Kindreds: Elves, Dwarves, and Men. Forth the Three Hunters!”
– Aragorn, The Two Towers
Because the events of The Treason of Saruman follow those from the first half of The Two Towers , its scenarios and player cards alike turn our attention away from Frodo Baggins and The One Ring toward the Three Hunters and their journeys across the plains of Rohan and, ultimately, to the walls of Orthanc.
As with its scenarios, all the heroes and player cards in The Treason of Saruman are inspired directly from the first half of The Two Towers . Among them, we find new versions of each of the Three Hunters, along with a Fellowship sphere event, The Three Hunters ( The Treason of Saruman , 13), that provides you with a number of potent and thematic benefits as you pursue your captive companions across the boundless plains:
“Play only if you control [Fellowship sphere] Aragorn.
“ Quest Action: Choose 3 heroes committed to the quest. Ready those heroes. Until the end of the round, each of the chosen heroes gets +1 Willpower, +1 Attack Strength, and +1 Defense Strength.”
Of course, throughout the expansion’s scenarios, your heroes are led by no one less than Aragorn son of Arathorn, the heir of Isildur and rightful king of Gondor. The pivotal character from the first half of The Two Towers , Aragorn passes along with the first player and must survive in order for you to overcome the forces of Mordor and of Isengard. However, as integral as he is to your success, Aragorn is not one to cower from battle. He is a powerful Dúnedain and Ranger , fully capable of holding his own in battle, even as he inspires others.
As you play, then, you’ll have to decide how much you’ll risk making use of Aragorn’s talents in order to press through the dangers that assail you. Equipped with the Andúril boon from The Road Darkens ( The Road Darkens , 14), Aragorn makes an excellent defender, but whenever he defends, one nasty Shadow effect can spell disaster. You risk everything. But as the Dark Lord’s power grows in Mordor and Saruman reveals his treachery in Isengard, everything is already at stake…
The White Hand
“There is ever a fume above that valley in these days,” said Éomer: “But I have never seen aught like this before. These are steams rather than smokes. Saruman is brewing some devilry to greet us.”
–J.R.R. Tolkien, The Two Towers
Though he doesn’t make a personal appearance until the expansion’s third scenario, Saruman’s influence underscores each and every encounter in The Treason of Saruman . His Uruk-hai are tough and brutal warriors, he has manipulated the wild men of Dunland toward new heights of fervor and hatred, and he has blanketed the lands within Isengard with powerful enchantments.
Saruman’s hand guides each of the three scenarios in The Treason of Saruman , and together they present a vivid picture of just how devious and varied an Istari’s machinations can be. Meanwhile, each presents a new, scenario-specific mechanic that ensures it offers a unique and thematic experience, unlike anything that has come before it.
Of course, as potent as Saruman’s voice may be as you play through The Road to Isengard on its own, the doubts and confusion it can sow in your heroes’ hearts may have even more haunting repercussions in Campaign Mode. Given form as one of the expansion’s five burdens , Saruman’s Voice ( The Treason of Saruman , 68) can significantly undercut your long-term efforts by attaching to one of your heroes and slowly eating away at your ability to play more cards:
“Forced: When attached hero commits to the quest, is declared as an attacker or defender, or triggers its ability, its controller must discard 1 card from his hand.”
Gird Yourselves for the Tasks That Lie Ahead
“We must do without hope,” he said. “At least we may yet be avenged. Let us gird ourselves and weep no more! Come! We have a long road, and much to do.”
–J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring
With or without hope, Middle-earth’s heroes must fight against the forces of evil. Frodo Baggins is lost, as is The One Ring, but your heroes still have the chance to save those who were captured. In The Treason of Saruman , your pursuit of your captured friends will lead you across the fields of Rohan and into some of the greatest battles and foulest treachery of the whole The Lord of the Rings fantasy epic.
Race headlong into some of the greatest scenes from the first half of The Two Towers . With its three scenarios, three new heroes, five new burdens , and thirty-nine player cards, including six new boons , The Treason of Saruman gives life to the classic tale in a way that you’ve never seen before.
Steel yourself for the tasks that lie ahead. No blow you’ve yet suffered has been so terrible as the treason of Saruman!