Ancient and Forbidden
Preview the New Locations and Preludes of Eldritch Horror: Strange Remnants
I was quite unbalanced with that instinct for the strange and the unknown which has made me a wanderer upon earth and a haunter of far, ancient, and forbidden places.
–H.P. Lovecraft, The Nameless City
Ancient, eroding ruins of magnificent stone structures are scattered throughout the world. These temples, statues, and walls were built long ago as defensive bulwarks in the eternal conflict between humanity and the Ancient Ones, and while many people have forgotten the original purpose of these landmarks, those who dwell nearby have always sensed their incredible arcane power.
In the Strange Remnants expansion for Eldritch Horror, you must travel to some of these ancient sites in your quest to save the human race – and the entire world – from impending doom. Your enemy is no mere immortal creature, but a celestial Syzygy that threatens to plunge the world into a terrible, inescapable, darkened void. In today’s preview, you’ll learn about the four mysterious sites opened up by the new Mystic Ruins Encounters deck, and about the preludes that give shape to your desperate, all-important struggle.
Far-Flung Ancient Sites
In the arid center of the Yucatán plain, the forest suddenly opens up to reveal a prehistoric Mayan city, Chichen Itza: a complex of moss-covered temples and plazas. From the El Caracol observatory temple you can monitor the movement of the conspiring stars, or you might want to perform a ritual to earn the favor of Yig at the temple of the feathered serpent god. Since Chichen Itza has as many football courts as temples, you may be invited to join in a game of Ollamaliztli , the Mayan soccer-like game. But be warned: losers of Ōllamaliztli were traditionally killed, their heads used as the balls for the next match.
Many ancient stone monuments are linked to the stars, but only the Great Wall, stretching thousands of miles across China, can be seen from the Earth’s orbit. Records from the Qin dynasty when the wall was begun say that it was built to protect China from nomadic Xiongnu raiders, and some scholars of historical arcana even say the desert-dwelling Xiongnu worshipped Cthulhu. Searching for signs of that ancient cult could reward you with a powerful Asset, but your discoveries could also cause nightmares that haunt you for weeks.
You may also need to book passage out to small, isolated Easter Island, where countless monolithic Moai statues watch over the meadows and surrounding seas. Within each of these fearsome statues is stored incredible magical energy, and possibly even treasure. Yet the spirits of long-dead tribal leaders also reside in the stones. You must be careful to not awaken them as you disturb their resting places, for they can prove hostile and dangerous even in death.
Mystical and ancient sites exist even in the most populous and modernized parts of the world. Less than two hours travel from London lies Stonehenge, a circle of menhirs erected millennia before Chichen Itza and the Easter Island Moai. Nothing is known for sure about the civilization that built Stonehenge, but medieval legends say that the wizard Merlin magically transported the stones from Ireland and that the father of King Arthur is buried there. In the grasses at the feet of the stones you may encounter ruthless Cultists, find an invaluable Relic such as an inscribed stone tablet , or you may lose your mind, overwhelmed by the powerful supernatural energy of this prehistoric site.
Dark Blessings and the Dunwich Horror
Your battle against the inevitable Syzygy will take you on an unprecedented journey to the old and haunted corners of the world. Even If your primary goal is to defeat Cthulhu or Yog-Sothoth, you may nevertheless find that the stars are still moving against you. Strange Remnants features prelude cards that shape your struggle, adding unique obstacles – and often advantages – to your games of Eldritch Horror. One of them pits you against the inevitable, evil cosmic alignment regardless of which Ancient One you have chosen to battle, compelling you to investigate Chichen Itza and Stonehenge as part of a larger struggle.
Another prelude offers investigators a tantalizing deal: the lead investigator can gain a Boon condition and become Blessed or Righteous if she is willing to agree to a Dark Pact. Other investigators then have their own opportunities to sign Agreements or go into Debt in order to gain a Boon. Of course, at Reckoning you’ll discover whether the Dark Pact and other Conditions you agreed to were wise and useful to your cause – or merely foolish and lethal.
A third prelude combines your international quest with a local New England struggle against the grotesque spawn of Yog-Sothoth. Born into a family notorious for practicing dark rituals, the hideous Dunwich Horror has now crept down from its rural Massachusetts home into Arkham and grown incredibly tough through eating entire herds of livestock. But worse than the amount of flesh it consumes is the monster’s ability to spawn gates and rend apart the Earth. Thankfully the Dunwich Horror prelude also arms each Investigator with a Spell so that the team can more easily combat this giant, ravenous creature.
Encounter the Forbidden
With the Ancient Ones and other horrors gradually awakening, the names, stories, places and objects that were long forbidden must now draw your attention. Only in haunted ancient ruins can you discover the secrets to save Earth from the cruelty of the cosmos itself. Only by overcoming your instinctive fear and foreboding will you be able to battle the darkness… and survive.
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