The Oncoming Storm
Black Stars Rise Is Now Available for Arkham Horror: The Card Game
“The people faded away, the arches, the vaulted roof vanished. I raised my seared eyes to the fathomless glare, and I saw the black stars hanging in the heavens: and the wet winds from the Lake of Hali chilled my face.”
–Robert W. Chambers, “In the Court of the Dragon”
Long after The King in Yellow was first performed at Arkham’s Ward Theater, strange occurrences have continued to wreak havoc on those who witnessed the cursed play. You could not find the answers you sought in Arkham. Tracing back the history of the play, you voyaged across the sea to Paris and delved deep into the catacombs where few dare to tread. Even that was not enough. As the mystery unravels, you follow the trail to Mont Saint-Michel where a storm is brewing. Hastur is coming…
Choose Your Fate
The island commune of Mont Saint-Michel is both elegant and enigmatic. During low tide, you would be able to walk across the tidal causeway to reach the island, but when you arrive the tide is higher than you anticipated or even thought possible. Dark clouds circle overhead, blacking out the sun, and the distant roar of thunder speaks of an approaching storm. With a rare stroke of luck, you find a boat with a captain willing to take you to the island, and prepare for the ritual to come.
As the Black Stars Rise, there is no hope for escape. This Mythos Pack, which can be played as a standalone adventure or as part of the larger The Path to Carcosa campaign, has no Act deck. Rather, the only agency you have is in choosing how you will meet your doom with two Agenda decks in play at any given moment. By investigating the island locations, you will uncover clues that you can spend to advance the agenda of your choice. Advancing one agenda will bring you closer to opening a path to lost Carcosa, while the other will provide Hastur with a chance to escape into our world.
In some instances, you will have no choice which fate you suffer, such as when doom is placed on a location you visit or a monster you encounter. This counts towards the doom threshold on both agendas. But perhaps the freedom from choice is a blessing when your options may lay bare your soul for all to judge. A Rift Seeker (Black Stars Rise, 301) may force you to make an impossible decision when they attack: either take an additional blow to both your health and sanity or place one doom on each agenda in play. Do you push yourself closer to the brink of death or sacrifice yourself to protect the world, when you know it will only delay the inevitable?
How you respond to these shifting, inescapable agendas is entirely up to you. First, you may simply choose to prepare for the dangers to come. To help in this endeavor, Black Stars Rise provides you an upgraded version of Ward of Protection (Black Stars Rise, 270). This Spell, which originally appeared in the Core Set, allows you to cancel the revelation effect of a non-weakness treachery card, in exchange for suffering one horror. But while the original Ward of Protection (Core Set, 65) only permitted you to make this exchange in your own defense, the upgraded version found in this Mythos Pack lets you pay this price for any investigator, no matter how far away they are. With the coming of Carcosa and your impending doom, your companions are all you have left.
If the odds appear insurmountable, you can always surrender to despair and embrace the fact that you have nothing left to lose. The certainty of your demise may embolden you to stop trying to escape the monsters that stalk your every move and instead go On the Hunt (Black Stars Rise, 263). You may use this Tactic when you would draw an encounter card during the mythos phase. Rather than drawing an encounter card, you can search the top nine cards of the encounter deck for an enemy and spawn it engaged with you. But be careful—those who go looking for trouble often find it and when courage becomes foolhardy, you put more than just yourself at risk.
But one more choice remains. You can decide that this cursed place so far from home is not where you meet your demise. No, you will fight what is written in the stars and prove that you are a True Survivor (Black Stars Rise, 273), using all your knowledge to pull through this ordeal and keep your Spirit alive. After all you have learned, all you have seen, it cannot end like this.
Your fate is sealed, but all hope is not lost. You may be powerless to escape the horror of Black Stars Rise, but you can be sure that you will not go down without a fight. Journey to Mont Saint-Michel, battle the agents of Hastur, and discover The Path to Carcosa!
You can pick up Black Stars Rise (AHC16) at your local retailer today or on the Fantasy Flight Games website here!
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