The Haunted Few
Preview the Investigators of Mountains of Madness
We might have known from the first that human curiosity is undying, and that the results we announced would be enough to spur others ahead on the same age-long pursuit of the unknown…
– H. P. Lovecraft, At the Mountains of Madness
In the Mountains of Madness expansion for Eldritch Horror, a savage prehistoric species that once ruled earth is awakening again in Antarctica, its primal stirrings unleashing disorder and terror across the globe: monsters assault workers in the streets of Tokyo, gates open in the heart of Africa, and cultists perform ritual sacrifices in the cold American heartland. It will take an international effort to stop the spreading horror that threatens human civilization. War must be waged on multiple physical, intellectual, and psychic fronts, not only in the coldest parts of Antarctica, but in London’s secret libraries and Arkham’s dimly lit restaurants, in lavish Australian parlors and the busy oceanfront marinas of Bombay.
Today’s preview introduces you to four of the investigators who have dedicated their lives to combatting the horror. Whether by making the long voyage deep into Antarctica and over the snowy Mountains of Madness, using political influence to facilitate the expedition, or scouring dusty and cryptic tomes of ancient lore for answers, each investigator is willing to do everything in his or her power to prevent the Ancient Ones from awakening, or die trying.
“Never lose track of the exit or the merchandise,” the infamous Finn Edwards tells his men. Having spent most of the 1920s running bootlegged whiskey down from Canada to the decadent cities of the East Coast, Finn has never lost track of either and has never been caught. But now he’s gotten caught up in something far more dangerous than smuggling liquor. The merchandise is far more controversial and delicate than anything he’s touched before, and there is no exit.
The skills that made Finn excellent as a bootlegger make him invaluable in the struggle against the Ancient Ones. He can move people as well as goods, using an action to move himself and/or another investigator one space along a ship or train path. Or, he can use Whiskey to help someone regain sanity. Finn begins the game with the Cat Burgler asset, allowing him to roll one die to gain an item or trinket from the reserve, and is immune to effects that might cause him to lose his burgled possessions. He also begins the game with a Task set for him: a Courier Run to a certain city on a secret errand. Similar to Spells and Conditions, Task Assets must be flipped over when they are completed – only when Finn reaches the assigned destination will he understand what he came there for.
For years, patrons eating coffee and pie at Velma’s Diner in Arkham were served by Agnes Baker, a quiet, hardworking waitress with a faraway glint in her eyes. But recently Agnes was flooded with memories of a past life as a sorceress in the ancient realm Hyperborea, and is now driven to understand the arcane ideas and images flashing through her psyche. These memories gave her more than curiosity: Agnes knows an incantation strong enough to defend her against the most vicious monsters, and carries with her a Profane Tome that can keep her sanity intact in the face of danger.
Long nights waiting tables have made Agnes the opposite of frail. With a health of seven, she can withstand harsh conditions and brutal attacks. In a dire emergency, she can also spend a health to add two dice when resolving a lore test as part of a spell. Not only will Agnes go to any length to solve the mysteries surrounding her identity, but she possesses the fortitude to withstand Antarctica’s climate, and the arcane understanding to bring its darkest secrets into the light of day.
Since the dawn of human civilization, it has been recognized that beautiful music flows in accordance with the fundamental laws of the universe. Internationally renowned violinist Patrice Hathaway knows this more viscerally than anyone: when she plays, the notes connect her with other consciousnesses, even other worlds. Terrified by her experiences, she will do anything to prevent those consciousnesses from further awakening, and to shut our world off from the bleak and horrifying others that she has glimpsed. When she uses her transcendent music to close a Gate, therefore, she gains a clue and a Focus.
Introduced for the first time in Mountains of Madness, Focus tokens can be acquired using an action and spent to reroll a die when resolving a test. Patrice, however, can use an action to spend a clue and a focus to improve a skill, perhaps increasing her knowledge of arcane lore, perhaps enhancing her influence or her powers of observation. She also enters the game with a Banishment spell, which allows her to use her lore to overcome any monsters that stand between her and the Gates that she is inexorably drawn to.
George Barnaby devoted his life to justice, working tirelessly over the course of his legal career to prosecute anyone responsible for human suffering, grateful every day that his own life was calm and safe– until his retirement. Having been too much in court to see the world, he embarked on a voyage around the world with his wife, only to return from buying breakfast one day to find her dead in their boat, surrounded by occult symbols. Now he seeks justice for his wife’s murder, but the answers to this mystery cannot be found in any legal brief, and this enemy is far too powerful to be brought into a courtroom.
As a former lawyer, George has a lot of influence and can use it to prevent other investigators from going into debt or becoming Detained. The concentration that helped him untangle complicated legal texts aids him in the search for answers: once per round, he can spend a Focus to add one to the result of a die when resolving a test. He joins the struggle against the Ancient Ones with an Investment, which he can cash in during reckoning to provide funding for your investigation, or even for an Antarctic expedition. He also carries a Pocket Watch to prevent him from becoming delayed unless it is advantageous. George Barnaby’s retirement is over. He will not rest until justice has been done.
United in the Search for Truth
Once you have fought off a monster’s grasping tentacles, felt an Elder Thing’s mind probing yours, or found yourself awake in another universe, you cannot return to the innocent life you had before. The only hope is to solve the mysteries that now surround your existence and to defeat the forces of darkness that spawn monsters and splice open the boundaries between worlds. The investigators of Mountains of Madness may come from wildly different backgrounds and adhere to conflicting ideologies, but they are irrevocably united by their experiences of profound horror and by the drive to wipe such things off the face of the earth. The question is, once immersed in this struggle, can you endure the horror long enough to emerge victorious?
Our next preview will acquaint you with the two new Ancient Ones featured in Mountains of Madness so that, armed with that knowledge, you can plot your first movements in the battle against them. You can also find more information on the Mountains of Madness and Eldritch Horror minisites.
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