21 July 2015 | Eldritch Horror

The Universe Is Against You

Preview the Ancient One of Eldritch Horror: Strange Remnants

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In one feverish, kaleidoscopic instant there burst up a gleamingly eruptive cataclysm of unnatural sparks and substance; blurring the glance of the few who saw it, and sending forth to the zenith a bombarding cloudburst of such coloured and fantastic fragments as our universe must needs disown… Behind and below was only a darkness to which the men dared not return, and all about was a mounting wind which seemed to sweep down in black, frore gusts from interstellar space. 
  –H.P. Lovecraft, The Colour Out of Space

They knew it was coming. The blue-painted inhabitants of southern Britain and the wealthy court astrologers of Qin dynasty China; the learned high priests of the Yucatec Maya and the pukao-crowned leaders of the Rapa Nui. They all foresaw that centuries in the future, the very universe would turn against Earth and her peoples. The far-flung stars would naturally shift into a precise, evil alignment and unlock a terrible portal in the center of the cosmos. Our planet would fall into this black maw, doomed to dwell eternally among the countless horrors within. 

In the Strange Remnants expansion for Eldritch Horror, that predicted moment has come. That cosmic alignment, known as the Syzygy, is now imminent. Unless you and your fellow investigators can seal the trans-cosmic portal that the Syzygy is opening, the whole world will meet an unimaginable end. Today’s preview prepares you to combat the Syzygy, this expansion’s Ancient One. You’ll learn about the dark and primeval mysteries of this inevitable cosmic alignment and the dreadful ways it affects life on earth even as it approaches. You can also now download the expansion’s rules from the support section of the Eldritch Horror minisite

The Impending Syzygy

Humanity has been preparing for the Syzygy for millennia, but now, on the cusp of its advent, you and your fellow investigators don’t have much time. You must solve its mysteries before Doom advances to zero, or darkness will consume the world. In addition, every time the Omen advances to the red space on the Omen track, you must place an eldritch token there. When there are three eldritch tokens on the red space, the portal opens – no matter what.

Solving the Syzygy’s mysteries will take you to ancient sites scattered across the globe, the ruins of cosmic bulwarks built long ago. At these sites you might strive to fortify the barrier that exists between us and the dark god Azathoth, who waits on the other side of the portal. You may have to perform unsettling rituals, appease the spirits that haunt the ruins, or reinscribe faded magical runes . But since the perils of the Syzygy are not common knowledge, be careful to avoid the curious gazes of historians and tourists. 

You may discover that Cultists are gathering a secret altars in the wilderness, practicing evil rites to keep the dark god’s attention upon Earth. As the Syzygy approaches, these Cultists become more formidable. Each eldritch token on the red Omen space increases their toughness and horror. The sooner you confront them, the easier defeating them will be. 

Sealing the Portal

You may be able to battle monsters, close gates, and even solve the mysteries of the cosmos, but you cannot halt the movement of the stars. When three eldritch tokens sit atop the red Omen, the portal opens. In truth, by solving mysteries you are causing the portal to open sooner, racing time in order to preserve your stamina, sanity, and other resources. For once the portal opens, you must solve the final, most challenging mystery of all.

That entails going to a powerful ancient site – Chichen Itza, Stonehenge, Easter Island, or the Great Wall of China – and executing the requisite deeds. It may be a matter of traveling through the portal and defending humanity to a jury of inhuman and evil beings, or of conquering the dark thoughts that plague your psyche before they become incarnate. To win, your entire team might converge to work dark rituals at one hallowed place. Or you may be scattered across the world and focused on different tasks, separated geographically but never confronting the darkness alone.  

Earthly Disturbances

Even before the portal opens, the movement of the stars towards Sygyzy causes bizarre and dangerous disturbances upon planet Earth, disturbances brought to life through the expansion’s new Mythos cards. The strange energies of the shifting cosmos may produce uncanny lights in the sky and electrocute flocks of migrating birds so that they plummet dead to the ground. Or monsters may proliferate , blocking your attempts at research until an investigator uncovers the summoning runes to master them. 

Yet never forget that the forefathers of all humanity thought of this time and constructed bulwarks against it. You and your team of investigators are fighting a long-anticipated battle, armed with the wisdom and magnificent works of countless men and women before you. At a moment when you find yourself in dire need, you may, for example, uncover an ancient Relic that could save your life now and ultimately enable you to save the entire world.

Syzygy Approaches

Strange Remnants pits you and your fellow investigators against a foe unlike any you have encountered before: the cosmos itself. In the stone remnants of ancient monuments lie the keys to overcoming the very movements of the universe. Will you be able to discover them in time to save the world, or will Earth be plunged into unfathomable darkness? 

If you haven’t yet experienced Eldritch Horror, or want to introduce the game to friends, you can come demo the game in the Fantasy Flight Games booth at Gen Con.

Strange Remnants will be available soon. 

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