16 February 2016 | Elder Sign

Arctic Exploration

Preview the Investigators, Equipment, and Allies of Omens of Ice


"Tuesday, May 17th. My voyage to Anchorage has been slowed by surging waves and heavy storms, apparently related to the unseasonal chill sweeping down from the arctic. I have taken advantage of the delay to more closely review the profiles of the other expedition members. They number a waitress, a news reporter, a politician, a sailor, and a street urchin. City folk, all of them. I am not certain how any will be of much use in the wilds. Only Silas, the sailor, has ever ventured into the arctic, and only then aboard a steamer on the North Sea."
     –from the journal of Ursula Downs

The strangest and most frightening perils of the Alaskan wilderness await you in the Omens of Ice expansion for Elder Sign. Ancient and terrible forces are gathering their strength, threatening to spread cold, hunger, and death across the entire world. You know all too well that the Ancient Ones are causing the weather and hunger, but since the government and scientific establishment discount your claims as madness, it falls to you and your fellow investigators to journey into the darkest and coldest of Alaska's arctic forests. You must find some way to stop the Ancient Ones before it's too late.

In our announcement of Omens of Ice and in our first preview, we focused on some of the ways that the new Alaskan Adventure deck reshapes your Elder Sign experience. You are no longer in the museum. You are no longer even in Arkham. Instead, your every step leads you inevitably deeper into Alaska's unnaturally frozen interior, toward encounters not only with the cold, but with wild animals, ravenous monsters, and the madness that seems to befall those unwary souls who enter this isolated, white world.

With your cause already so desperate and your chances of survival already so slim, you need to know that you can rely upon every single member of your expedition, no matter how unlikely an explorer he or she may be.

Assemble Your Team

As you consider how best to find and confront the elder evils that lair within the Alaskan wilderness, you might begin by recruiting investigators to your expedition from among the eight new investigators included in Omens of Ice. While many of them, such as the urchin Wendy Adams , may appear to be among the most unlikely candidates for this expedition, it's important to remember that your journey is already one of the most extraordinary circumstances. Your typical explorers may be well-suited to the basic challenges of survival in the arctic cold, but could they retain their sanity in the face of monsters and events that defy all reason?

More likely, you'll want a balance of talents among your team that can better prepare you for the unexpected. Wolves are one thing; ravenous wolf packs driven to insane hunger by the influence of an evil otherworldly force are quite another. Even so, there's no guarantee that your ability to deal with these wolves can prepare you to confront the formless, malignant oozes that you might find pouring out of the ice.

The best you can hope for is that your expedition leader will help you negotiate your journey as quickly and safely as possible. No one is better suited to that task than the explorer Ursula Downs. Few human beings can claim to have climbed a mountain on every continent that has one, and fewer still can claim to have stolen a golden idol from a tribe of cannibals. But Ursula Downs has spent the majority of her life chasing adventures that would terrify most people. When the winter winds howl, her leadership may prove the difference between life or death, not just for you and your expedition, but for all humanity.

Ursula's ability to examine the top two cards of the Adventure deck on each of her turns not only allows you to place the most challenging Adventures to the bottom (or raise those with the greatest rewards to the top), but it also gives you advance knowledge of the challenges you'll face when you flip an Alaskan Adventure. After all, she can look at both sides of an Adventure, which means that in Omens of Ice, she gives you advance knowledge of three pieces of information, not just one.

While the back side of the top Adventure will already be visible, Ursula Downs allows you to look at its front, then look at the front and back of the next Adventure card as well. Given that some of the Adventures from the second half of Omens of Ice can trigger powerful effects while their backs are exposed, the ability to sift between the information on both the front and back of the top two Adventures can set you up for success over the long haul, not just the first time you attempt an Adventure.

Who Will You Choose for Your Expedition?

Omens of Ice is now just a few weeks away, and the first investigators are already on their way to the Expedition Camp .

There, they are working hard to secure Personal Provisions and recruit other allies, like Bill Morris and Allakariallak , but the composition of your team is ultimately up to you. With her potent ability to lead you quickly through the Alaskan wilds, Ursula Downs should be near the very top of your list, but who would you choose to accompany her?

Over the next several days, you can find more information about the expansion's other investigators on our Twitter feed and Facebook page. In the meantime, head to your local retailer to place your pre-order for Omens of Ice!

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