Monsters of Primal Myth
Preview an Ancient One and the Adventures of Mountains of Madness
The things once rearing and dwelling in this frightful masonry in the age of dinosaurs were not indeed dinosaurs, but far worse… They were the makers and enslavers of that life, and above all doubt the originals of the fiendish elder myths which things like the Pnakotic Manuscripts and the Necronomicon affrightedly hint about.
–H. P. Lovecraft, At the Mountains of Madness
Eons ago, sentient life forms stronger and more ruthless than mankind ruled the earth. These Elder Things enslaved other species and built a civilization far more advanced than our own. But as earth’s climate changed, the Elder Things lost their power and withdrew to what is now Antarctica, waiting out the millennia for a time when they might rise again. In the Mountains of Madness expansion for Eldritch Horror, that time has come. The Elder Things are awakening, and you must prevent them from retaking control of the world.
Today’s preview focuses on the Rise of the Elder Things, one of the two Ancient Ones that you can combat in Mountains of Madness. We will also look at the expansion’s Adventures, which guide your Antarctic expedition and reward you for braving the continent’s terrible conditions and terrifying horrors.
The Rise of the Elder Things
When Professor Lake and the other members of the Miskatonic University expedition found star-shaped, tentacled, and winged creatures in the Antarctic ice, they understood the monumental significance of their discovery, but not the monumental threat these creatures posed. They thought they had found frozen fossils, but instead found living, vicious, and enraged Elder Things. Since then, the Elder Things have only become stronger. There are even reports of them venturing beyond Antarctica. Your struggle against them may therefore take place on multiple fronts: in Antarctica, Arkham, the Heart of Africa, or even in Other Worlds.
Because the Elder Things are pernicious and persistent creatures, and because the necessary Antarctic journey is an immense undertaking, a larger Mythos deck grants you and your fellow investigators more time to defeat them. To fight their brainwashed Cultists, you must test your knowledge of arcane lore. If you manage to break the power that the Elder Things hold over a Cultist, however, he will join you as an Ally and aid you in your investigation.
To quell the Elder Things you must solve four mysteries, one more than is necessary to defeat other Ancient Ones. Your search for answers will certainly lead you south to Antarctica, where you will follow in the footsteps of Professor Lake and his colleagues. You may have to visit the Miskatonic Outpost and defeat a Crazed Elder Thing, so horrifying that seeing it can instantly wreck an investigator’s sanity. To kill it, you’ll need a weapon created by the Elder Things’ ancient enemies, the alien Mi-Go.
You may seek clues in the prehistoric City of the Elder Things beyond the Snowy Mountains, fight brainwashed Cultists at Lake Camp, or enter an Other World from Shanghai only to exit it on the icy, transdimensional Plateau of Leng. Or you may end up investigating an international string of mysterious disappearances in cities across the globe, tracking down a rumoured human trafficking circle or investigating a quaint inn where travelers check in, but never leave. If allowed to run free, the Elder Things will use their speed, strength, and vast intelligence to subjugate humans as they have countless other species. By solving their mysteries, you can save the human race.
The Path of a Doomed Expedition
If you are fighting the Rise of the Elder Things as your Ancient One, it is inevitable that some investigator on your team will undertake a journey to Antarctica. Yet such an expedition is still a worthwhile undertaking even if you are fighting Azathoth, Yig, or Cthulhu. If you choose to play with the Antarctica side board, but are battling an Ancient One other than the Rise of the Elder Things, Adventures guide your Antarctic expedition. They compose a three part story, assigning your team of investigators specific tasks and offering substantial rewards for success.
At the beginning of the game, you’ll draw an Antarctica I Adventure which will lay the groundwork for your journey to Antarctica. Raising Funds for an Expedition, for example, compels you to go to Arkham and test your influence in order to gain a funding condition and retreat Doom by one. Once the preliminary step is completed, you’ll draw an Antarctica II adventure guiding you on the early stages of your expedition. If you draw Excavating the Elder Things, you'll have to visit Lake Camp and encounter the horrors that Professor Lake unearthed there. Once you’ve performed your research there, an Antarctica III adventure may take you to the City of the Elder Things in order to defeat the Rampaging Shoggoth monster that dwells deep within the ruins. Killing it allows you to advance the active mystery– that could involve placing a clue or Eldritch token on the mystery, or dealing damage to a more fearsome Epic Monster.
Face What You Fear
The cruel and cunning Elder Things will not be satisfied with slaughtering explorers and ravaging outposts. They have global ambitions, and their awakening deep in the ice has global repercussions, from gates opening in the Amazon to cult-related abductions in London. Whether you spearhead a worldwide fight against their rise, or undertake an Antarctic expedition within your struggle against Azathoth or Shug-Niggurath, in Mountains of Madness you must confront the horrors awakened by the Miskatonic University expedition… or else watch as humanity falls under their control.
Our next preview will feature the other Ancient One introduced in this expansion, as well as the Prelude cards that introduce a unique starting setup to each game of Eldritch Horror.
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