The Withered Heath
Announcing the First Adventure Pack in the Ered Mithrin Cycle
“We may well be seen by watchers on that narrow path, and waylaid by some evil; but the weather may prove a more deadly enemy than any.”
–Gandalf, The Fellowship of the Ring
Fantasy Flight Games is happy to announce The Withered Heath, the first Adventure Pack in the Ered Mithrin cycle for The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game!
The road goes ever on for your small group of heroes seeking a new home for the remnants of a Haradrim tribe. After journeying up the Anduin River on the eve of winter, braving the Forest Road through Mirkwood, and plumbing the depths of the caves that lie below the Iron Hills, word of a new threat waiting high in the Grey Mountains has reached your ears. This dire pronouncement has sent you in search of the Withered Heath, a long valley where Dragons are said to breed. You must search there for an ancient Cold-drake who could spell doom for your entire quest.
With its sixty cards (including a new hero and three copies of each new player card), The Withered Heath finds you and your heroes desperately seeking to extinguish this danger before it can direct its wrath to the whole of the Wilderland. But the road through the mountains is treacherous, the weather being just as dangerous as any of the creatures you might encounter. With each step more difficult than the last, will you see this quest through to the end, or will the mountains’ frosty chill force you to turn back?
The Edge of the Wild
Your wanderings in The Wilds of Rhovanion have taken you through the lands of many peoples of Middle-earth, from the Beornings to the men of Dale, and several of these companions continue to accompany you to the Grey Mountains in The Withered Heath. Most notably, Grimbeorn the Old (The Withered Heath, 1) enters the game as a hero for the first time.
A mighty warrior, Grimbeorn is more than capable of taking the fight to whatever creatures might cross your path in the Grey Mountains. But perhaps his greatest strength lies in defending the weak. After Grimbeorn the Old defends an attack against an enemy, you can spend one of his resources to perform a retaliatory attack, reducing the enemy’s defense by two for that attack. Not only does this allow Grimbeorn to both defend and attack in the same breath, his Sentinel keyword accentuates his abilities, letting him to defend and immediately strike back against attacks made on other players.
Even though your quest takes you far north of Dale, the folk of that city know the power of your quarry and have sent several allies to assist you on your journey. On the surface, the Guardian of Esgaroth (The Withered Heath, 2) may seem to be relatively ordinary. Once you start adding attachments to this ally, however, it can become a mighty boon to your party. For each different player card attachment it has, Guardian of Esgaroth receives an additional willpower, attack, defense, and hit point, making it a natural match for a card like Squire's Helm (The Withered Heath, 3). When equipped with one of these, Guardian of Esgaroth suddenly has two willpower, attack, and defense, and four hit points, making it useful for almost any task.
The beast you seek lies high in the stony heights of the Ered Mithrin and this path is far from easy. The Grey Mountains are filled with all manner of caves and dens that you’ll have to explore via the Deep keyword. There’s no telling what you’ll find as you plumb these depths. Will the caves provide some hint of your quarry? Or will they reveal a terrible Snow-troll (The Withered Heath, 13)?
Despite the dangers that lurk in the caves, monsters aren’t your only concern this deep in the mountains. The chill winds of winter are at home here no matter what time of the year and your heroes will feel the wind’s cold bite on their faces throughout The Withered Heath. Your path could take you through a Mountain Pass (The Withered Heath, 15) or across some High Falls (The Withered Heath, 19) where there is little shelter from dangerous weather.
When bad weather does strike, it’s certain to cause hardship. Heavy Snow (The Withered Heath, 20) might fall, impeding your progress by forcing you to exhaust a character. To make matters worse, no characters can be readied by player card effects. Or, your party could become gripped by Deadly Cold (The Withered Heath, 21), presenting you with a difficult choice for each ready character you control. Do you slow down and exhaust your characters? Or do you deal them damage to press forward? No matter what you choose, you must always remember that a greater danger waits amid the cold heights.
On the Trail
After days of navigating steep cliffs and narrow paths, the end of your journey is close at hand. Despite the rough road that lies ahead, you must push on until the beast you seek is no more. The fate of the Wilderland rests with you.
Pre-order The Withered Heath (MEC66) at your local retailer today or on the Fantasy Flight Games website here!