1 February 2017 | Elder Sign

R’lyeh At Last!

The City Is Risen in Elder Sign: Omens of the Deep

 

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“They worshipped, so they said, the Great Old Ones who lived ages before there were any men, and who came to the young world out of the sky. Those Old Ones were gone now, inside the earth and under the sea; but their dead bodies had told their secrets in dreams to the first men, who formed a cult which had never died.”
 
 –H.P. Lovecraft, The Call of Cthulhu

Twisted spires rise to dizzying heights, lit by an unknown source with an eerie green glow. The Ultima Thule is a mere shell of its former self, wrecked on the muck and mire of shores that sank beneath the waves aeons ago. The amulet is nearly whole again, but its maddening pulse calls out for its missing pieces. 

Certainly the goal of the investigators throughout their journey has been to follow the amulet and their other clues to the lost city of R’lyeh, but once they’ve arrived, what then? On the shores of the risen metropolis, your investigators will face even greater challenges in Omens of the Deep, an expansion for the cooperative dice game, Elder Sign. In this preview, we’ll explore the second stage of the R’lyeh Rising mode, and we’ll see how returning home affects the Amulet of R’lyeh. Perhaps we will even get a glimpse at what ancient horror threatens to devour the world.

The Amulet’s Purpose

The strange force that pulses in the broken amulet has grown stronger since arriving on the outskirts of where it had first been assembled. When the investigators advance to the second stage of the R’lyeh Rising mode, the scenario card is flipped from the Dark Waters track to the Amulet of R’lyeh track. The amulet’s surge in power can both help and hinder the beleaguered investigators as they face a power completely beyond their comprehension. 

When the omen token would advance, a member of the Deep One Legion is repelled by the amulet’s power, removing it from the game. If the omen token would retreat, then the amulet calls out to the city’s inhabitants, and a monster appears. Savvy investigators will quickly learn to choose their adventures wisely, wielding the amulet with skill to keep the Deep One Legion at bay.

At the outset of the game, the investigators are granted one broken amulet token. When the Amulet of R’lyeh track is first revealed, it will not only lock one green die, but also the powerful red and yellow dice.The only way to regain their poweris to acquire the extremely rare broken amulet tokens and use them to free your dice.And if that weren’t enough motivation for the investigators to pursue the remaining fragments of the amulet with all due haste, if they  tarry too long and the Ancient One wakes, any of the amulet’s locked dice will be removed from the game.

The amulet’s fragments are scattered throughout the fallen city, and reassembling them will be no easy task. However, there are ways to mitigate this extensive search. If the investigators travel to R’lyeh in the second stage of the game by completing the Echoes of the Dream Special Adventure card, they’ll gain a major advantage by starting the second phase of their mission with an additional fragment in hand. If they arrive at R’lyeh by any other means, they’ll need to hunt down any remaining fragments in the second stage’s more difficult Pacific Adventures, get a lucky break with a Mythos card, or perhaps require a brave investigator from their team to sacrifice themselves at The Citadel to gain one of the precious fragments. 

Even with the mounting threats in the risen city, R’lyeh also holds the investigator’s only hope of sealing away the threat: Elder Signs! Elder Signs appear with much greater frequency in the second stage of the game, giving your bold investigators a fighting chance against the might of the Ancient One.

Of Dreams and Nightmares

As The Ultima Thule nears its launch, Doctor Mason Phillips, the sponsor of the search for R’lyeh, makes an alarming discovery while he continues to enlist a crew:

“It is as I feared. The very worst of my theories appears to be the very threat that the expedition will face. I am working as hard as I can to equip these brave souls with information and equipment before they are sent out into the Pacific. The only way that I have been able to keep my sanity intact is with the assistance of my secretary, Miss Minh Thi Phan. She has been absolutely indispensable. I am amazed on a regular basis that she is able to locate people, places, and bits of my own research that would otherwise be lost to me. 

I hired Miss Phan shortly before I began this project, and I initially had resolved to keep the nature of my research a secret. However, Miss Phan seemed to quite easily deduce my aims based on the materials and contacts to which she had been directed. Once she realized what I was studying, Miss Phan added herself to the list of the individuals going on The Ultima Thule entirely without my knowledge. When I inquired, incredulous, as to why she would wish to undertake such a dangerous journey, Miss Phan indicated that this opportunity would allow her to fulfill some unfinished business with a former employer, and left it at that. I did not feel comfortable pressing the matter further, but I am sure that Miss Phan will utilize her skills to run The Ultima Thule as a very tight ship indeed.

Miss Phan’s contacts strike me as all the more mysterious as she has directed me to a truly remarkable young man who has done more to further my research and stoke my fears than any other single individual: Mr. Luke Robinson. Mr. Robinson, or simply ‘Luke’ as he insists he be called in conversation, describes himself as a dreamer, nothing more. Luke claims to have the capacity to deal with dreams ‘directly.’ Mr. Robinson refuses to elaborate on the particulars of this peculiar skill set, but he has been able to corroborate remarkable information with a level of accuracy that astounds me.

Once Mr. Robinson had convinced me of his abilities, I provided him with questions where my research had left me at an impasse. If I am being honest, I had some inkling of the answers I might receive, but did not want to believe that my conclusions could be correct. Some days later, a wild-eyed Luke Robinson came knocking at my office door with such vigor that he threatened to shatter its glass. Mr. Robinson was breathless and perspiring, and babbled incoherently for the first few minutes of his visit. Abruptly, he regained his senses, gripped my shoulders like a vise, and whispered the one word I had feared to hear: Cthulhu.

Mr. Robinson had used my research and tapped into whatever strange sources to which he is attuned only to confirm the very worst of my fears. Cthulhu, the great priest of ancient beings which defy all attempts at human description, sleeps in the halls of R’lyeh. This great thing stirs, and I fear that our fragile world would not withstand its waking. Our only hope lies in the hands of the crew of The Ultima Thule.”

-From the journal of Doctor Mason Phillips

Cthulhu is just one of the three new Ancient Ones that the investigators will face in the Elder Sign: Omens of the Deep expansion. With a total of eight new investigators, the two-stage Pacific Adventure and Mythos decks, and new Items, Skills, Allies, and Spells, your team will board The Ultima Thule and attempt to seal the great darkness dwelling beneath the waves. Brace yourself for what lurks in the depths, and pre-order Elder Sign: Omens of the Deep at your local retailer today!

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