The Investigators of Under the Pyramids
“His worst fears concerned himself, and the kind of unholy rapport he felt to exist between his mind and that lurking horror…”
–H.P. Lovecraft, The Haunter of the Dark
In the far outskirts of Cairo, south of Giza but north of the temple complex at Memphis, lies a misshapen monument to evil: the Bent Pyramid, where the Dark Pharaoh has rested for millennia. Now, the Dark Pharaoh has begun to stir as thousands of Cultists engineer his return, and the Bent Pyramid is sending out an irresistible summons to all occultists and scholars of arcane arts, pulling them towards the Nile.
Under the Pyramids, the upcoming expansion for Eldritch Horror, immerses you in the deathless mysteries of a land preoccupied with the dead. However, to explore alone is to risk drowning in the sands or falling victim to countless monsters. In today’s preview you’ll meet four of the expansion’s eight new investigators. All of them are fearless and determined individuals, but when working together their abilities are profoundly better.
The Diplomat’s Daughter
East Asia in the 1920s was a place of tumult and cultural transformation. On the one hand, France used Indochina as a slave-run plantation and Japan was transforming Korea into a police state. On the other hand, westerners were pouring into China and Japan, importing Hollywood cinema and exporting ancient relics.
Minh Thi Phan is very much shaped by this multiculturalism. Her father left French-occupied Indochina to do business in Japanese-occupied Seoul. As an adult, she moved down to Tokyo, where she found work with an English importer/exporter named Mr. Thomas, who became as much mentor and friend as employer. One morning she arrived at work to find Mr. Thomas's lifeless body, murdered in cold blood, clutching a cryptic text . Now Minh is determined to find out why.
Minh is not only shrewd, she is educated in ancient lore and able to converse in five languages. Her greatest value is her extraordinary ability to help others. She can procure travel tickets for herself and another investigator, even in the Heart of Africa. Her presence also adds +1 to the skills of anyone traveling with her. If Minh is merely traveling in the company of an Ally, her own skills still receive a +1 boost, as she makes the maximum use of their abilities in her own endeavor.
The Monster Slayer
While Minh was growing up in Asia’s largest cities, Hank Samson knew nothing but wide open spaces. Having worked as a farmhand-for-hire since his teens, Hank’s life changed when he saw a giant avian creature ripping whole cattle apart in the Texas ranchlands. The other workers fled, but Hank walked up to the monster and used his sledgehammer to smash its skull.
Hank doesn’t wait around for monsters to attack him. As an action, rather than an encounter, he can test his strength and discard a monster whose toughness is less than or equal to the number of successes. Hank isn't afraid of anything, not Cultists, Mi-gos, Mummies, or even Giza’s infamous Sphinx-like Beast, unless it’s already done him harm. So, he never needs to resolve horror checks when fighting a monster unless he first loses health from the physical battle. That's why, although they’re from very distinct corners of the Earth, Hank and Minh make an excellent pair. He fights what she cannot, while she calmly facilitates travel, deciphers texts, converses with the locals, and enhances his skills.
Rex Murphy is a talented writer and acclaimed reporter. He is also cursed: bad luck and unlikely disasters have surrounded him all his life. Rex’s curse has also opened his eyes to the activities of the Ancient Ones and their minions, for whatever evils exist in the universe are never far from him. Rex has learned to keep a lucky talisman on hand as a weapon against his ill fortune, however, and when he manages to shake off the curse, Rex becomes capable of incredible deeds. He starts the game with a Cursed Condition, but the moment he can get rid of it, he immediately gains a clue, improves a skill, and then… gains another Cursed Condition. Even when Cursed, Rex can always utilize his press credentials to procure goods, allies, and services. As an Action, he can simply take any number of Assets from the reserve, as long as their total value is less than his influence.
Fortunately for Rex, there is one person able to help keep his curse at bay. Sister Mary may be young, but she has willingly dedicated her life to the Church and to the battle against darkness. Divine favor is evident in her innate radiance and strong will, and the fact that her mere presence benefits those around her, much as Minh Thi Phan’s does. Investigators on the same space as Sister Mary add 1 to the results of any tests made when dealing with Bane or Boon conditions, such as Haunted or Blessed . She can also aid others in recovering from Madness conditions, such as Despair. Finally, she carries with her a vial of holy water , which she can use to gain superhuman power in an emergency, or to render another investigator Blessed.
No matter how strong, oberservant, or schooled in arcane lore, no single investigator can withstand the maelstrom of horrors that herald the awakening of an Ancient One. Yet together, these investigators can not only resist the terrible draw of the Bent Pyramid or survive in the blazing sands of the Sahara, but stop the Dark Pharaoh—and even greater threats—from ravaging the known world.
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