23 January 2018 | Eldritch Horror

Beat Back the Crawling Chaos

A Preview of Masks of Nyarlathotep for Eldritch Horror

#EldritchHorror

“I remember when Nyarlathotep came to my city—the great, the old, the terrible city of unnumbered crimes. My friend had told me of him, and of the impelling fascination and allurement of his revelations, and I burned with eagerness to explore his uttermost mysteries. [...] And I heard it hinted abroad that those who knew Nyarlathotep looked on sights which others saw not.”
   
–H.P. Lovecraft, Nyarlathotep

Following your hunch, you watch the park from a window across the street. A tall, smiling young man gives a subdued lecture to a small group of people. The listeners recline lazily in a small green clearing encircled by a thin line of trees. Despite the apparently innocuous nature of the gathering, a large crowd quickly gathers around the man and his listeners, all of them decrying the grinning lecturer, many calling loudly for his harm. As you watch, the anger in a pocket of the mob boils over, and a man rushes the group of listeners. Inexplicably, as the newcomer approaches the group, he slows to a walk, and then sits complacently before the smiling man. This happens several more times, and each addition to the listeners whips the crowd into a greater fury. They are tearing at one another, biting and scratching and screaming for the speaker’s death. At last a group of police officers arrive and slowly approach as the speaker, smiling, steps carefully into the trees behind him, apparently finished with his lecture. As the man vanishes, so does whatever held back the raving mass of the crowd, and they descend upon the apparently unconcerned group of listeners. You look away as the police struggle to gain control of the sudden and horrible violence, and you notice one man calmly walking away from the park. You shudder as you recognize the speaker’s cold, unmistakable smile on the face of a now short, stout, and elderly man.

Your investigation into strange and seemingly unrelated cult activity has taken you to sites of gruesome, bizarre, and often unintelligibly complex rituals, each one different from the last. The one, thin thread that has tied each of these incidents together has been one name; a name often whispered in fear, muttered at times in confusion, but a name always spoken with an awed reverence: Nyarlathotep. In Masks of Nyarlathotep, the newest expansion for the Lovecraftian board game Eldritch Horror, Nyarlathotep dons hundreds of guises to manipulate the cults that worship his many aspects all over the world.

For eons, Nyarlathotep, the Messenger of the Outer Gods, has walked among the ranks of mankind, bearing a vast array of names and visages. Some claim to have walked and spoken with him, and there are those that say Nyarlathotep has yet to awaken. Still others claim that Nyarlathotep has never truly slept, but works tirelessly to summon his kin from beyond the stars. Are you bold enough to follow these leads and uncover the truth? You can pre-order your own copy of Masks of Nyarlathotep at your local retailer or online through our webstore today!

Peeling Back the Masks

If our world is to survive, then the investigators must rise to the challenge of seeking out the underlying patterns within the many aspects of the one known as the Crawling Chaos. Nyarlathotep’s followers know him by many faces and many names, and each cult worshipping his aspects grants him influence in our world. The investigators must take time to unpack the secrets surrounding each different bastion of occult power that feeds the Crawling Chaos.

In Masks of Nyarlathotep, the investigators will undertake the search for each aspect’s worshippers by using unique adventure decks in conjunction with Nyarlathotep’s mysteries. Each mystery’s adventures require the stalwart investigators to use a different approach in order to come closer to sealing away Nyarlathotep and his minions. Perhaps there is a rumor of occult activity in Shanghai, requiring the investigators pool their gathered clues and begin to uncover the secrets of the Order of the Bloated Woman.

Conversely, the Cult of Sand Bat may rise to prominence by uncovering incredibly ancient ruins, and the investigators will have to plunge beneath the earth, taking on special encounters designed to stop the cult from gaining knowledge not meant for this world. Each set of worshippers and each cult that arises against you will present a different set of adventures that will lead the investigators further on their journey to confront the Messenger of the Outer Gods. It will take men and women of extraordinary mental and spiritual fortitude to delve into so many of these dark places and still retain some shred of their sanity.

Followers of Faith and Fact

Agatha Crane has devoted her career to attempting to prove to her colleagues that the study of the paranormal is worth their attention as scientists. Agatha has accrued a vast knowledge of the occult during her years of research, and she’s worked out a tenuous pattern beneath the seemingly unconnected actions of these cults.

Agatha begins her journey armed with powerful spells, and is able to enact Rituals and use Tomes with an advantage due to her time spent studying the arcane. Agatha combines her deep knowledge with her keen eye for gathering evidence, and gains a clue for passing a lore test when casting spells.

 

In focusing her research on parapsychology, Agatha has struggled to gain the backing of other professionals for years. After gathering enough evidence, Agatha will at last feel confident in her findings, and gains the Rational Explanation reward, improving her already sharp mental faculties and allowing her to use clues to a much greater effect. Unfortunately, such immersion in the occult may take its toll. If Agatha doesn’t devote enough of her clues to gaining her reward, she may find her sanity, and her evidence, quickly slipping through her fingers as she loses the ability to tell science from superstition.

Discerning fact from fiction has never been a difficult task for Father Mateo. Mateo’s faith has instilled within him an unshakable certainty that there is a higher power that can help guide our world to salvation from the dark forces that have been hounding his hometown in Mexico. Father Mateo knows that he need only ask for the truth, and God will show him the way.

Mateo has traveled to Rome with nothing more than his King James Bible, seeking a way to rescue his flock from whatever creatures have been attacking his town. Mateo’s powerful faith gains him a Boon every time he is faced with closing a gate to another realm. Even in these dark times, Father Mateo serves as a beacon of hope, and is capable of granting these Boons to companions.

 

After traveling the world and facing the soulless horrors that Nyarlathotep has brought into our reality, Father Mateo’s faith will be sorely tested. Father Mateo may find solace and salvation in his mission to help others, gaining his reward and a greater ability to focus his faith to fulfill God’s will. However, if the investigators do not act fast enough in uncovering a path to defeating the Ancient One, Father Mateo’s faith may begin to falter, making it harder for him to help in sealing away the dread force that threatens our world.

Beneath the Horrid Masks

As the investigators swell their ranks, Nyarlathotep continues to formlessly flow through our world, leaving chaos in his wake as he moves towards his ultimate goal. What will all of this Ancient One’s machinations accomplish? How many times must these creatures be stopped before our world can take no more? Join us in our next preview as we seek answers and explore the Campaign Mode of Masks of Nyarlathotep!

Pledge yourself to the coming challenges and pre-order Masks of Nyarlathotep (EH09) from your local retailer or on our webstore today!

Discuss this article
in our forums!

Back to all news