An Adventure Worthy of Song
Beneath the Sands Is Now Available
"There is more in you of good than you know, child of the kindly West. Some courage and some wisdom, blended in measure. If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world."
–J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit
The time has come for a small band of Middle-earth's greatest heroes to set forth on the next leg of their perilous homeward journey through the hostile lands of southern Harad… Beneath the Sands, the third Adventure Pack in the Haradrim cycle for The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game, is now available at your local retailer and online through our webstore!
So far, these heroes have endured a shipwreck, desert crossing, and an assault upon the village where they had been granted a chance to rest. They have made allies of a small band of Haradrim willing to resist the Dark Lord. They have traveled with these noble Haradrim into the jungles to tame the wild Mûmakil, and they have crossed the barren wastelands, racing hard to stay ahead of the band of Orcs and Wargs that nearly spelled their doom.
Now, as the Haradrim cycle continues to follow these heroes and their allies along their northward trek, it finds them in the desert once more, where the sands don't just make for long, hard days of travel—they also conceal whole nests of deadly predators.
And when these predators strike, abducting several of the heroes' new friends during the night, these heroes—your heroes—must act swiftly to save them. They'll descend into an underground series of tunnels, navigate labyrinthine corridors, and fight hordes of deadly creatures. They'll save their friends, or they'll die trying. But either way, it will be an adventure worthy of song!
In his introduction to the Haradrim cycle, developer Caleb Grace discussed how the nature of the heroes' journey and their alliance with the Haradrim led to the exploration of new side quests and Trait-based designs that influenced many of the cycle's new player cards.
"One idea we latched onto early in the process was the idea of powerful events that require you to control heroes with different Traits. We felt this would be a fun way to represent the ways that the heroes needed to make allies in a hostile territory and the idea of different types of people coming together to accomplish what neither could do on their own."
And while this renewed exploration of the game's many Traits has already led to such cards as Proud Hunters (Race Across Harad, 32) and Hunting Party (Beneath the Sands, 57), it hasn't been restricted solely to these events that require the pairings of different Traits. This ongoing exploration has also led to the development of new cards that lend greater strength to decks built around some of the game's more thematic Traits.
In The Mûmakil, for example, we gained a new Pipe, the Dwarf Pipe (The Mûmakil, 7), which lent new strength to both Pipe decks and Dwarf decks that "mine" their decks with cards such as the Zigil Miner (Khazad-dûm, 9).
Now, as our heroes embark upon yet another adventure worthy of song, we get a new Song to commemorate their endeavor, Fireside Song (Beneath the Sands, 61).
Playable only on a Hobbit hero, Fireside Song adds a point of Willpower for each Song the hero has attached, including Fireside Song. At the very least, then, Fireside Song functions much like The Favor of the Lady (Core Set, 55), but its true potential is far greater.
In a deck that uses three copies of Love of Tales (The Long Dark, 85) to gain resources each time it plays a Song, it's quite easy to imagine a Hobbit like Bilbo Baggins (The Hunt for Gollum, 1) or Sam Gamgee (The Black Riders, 2) loaded with Songs such as Song of Travel (The Hills of Emyn Muil, 81) and Song of Battle (The Dead Marshes, 104).
These Hobbits may even be paired with a Noldor character, such as Galadriel (Celebrimbor's Secret, 112), who can take advantage of such Songs as To the Sea, to the Sea! (The Grey Havens, 14) and the Tale of Tinúviel (The Dread Realm, 146). And they're likely to gain even greater mileage by playing such Songs as Hope Rekindled (Across the Ettenmoors, 63) and The Road Goes Ever On (The Sands of Harad, 12). After all, each new Song they play may fuel their Love of Tales, providing them the resources to pay for yet more Songs, and taking heart from those songs, gaining courage to face the trials that lie before them in the spiders' den.
So it is that even while the Haradrim cycle throws your heroes into a seemingly unending series of deadly encounters, it also provides them new ways to rise to the occasion. Your heroes' northward journey leaves them plenty of time for exploration and self-reflection, and many of the new player cards, like Fireside Song, go beyond their immediate impact to suggest whole new ways of looking at the Traits that already exist within the game.
What Will You Discover in the Spiders' Den?
From adventure to adventure, the Haradrim cycle races headlong through a hostile realm, begging you to explore and gain your bearings at each new turn. And there's plenty to explore—from the cycle's new side quests to its alliances and the new Trait-based decks it promotes.
What will you find along your journey? The time has come to find out. The next leg awaits you—this time within the darkness Beneath the Sands!
Beneath the Sands (MEC58) is now available at your local retailer and online through our webstore. Pick up your copy today!