7 March 2016 | Talisman

After the Fall

Preview the Transformed Realm of Talisman: The Cataclysm

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When she approached the edge of the cliff, the scavenger stumbled and slipped down it, landing among her myriad belongings on a bed of ferns. She instantly knew where she was. This was the hidden valley she’d discovered as a child so long ago. It used to have a pond in which bizarre, slow, long-necked, dog-sized reptiles lived. Now she could see that the pond had become a lake, and far off she glimpsed a massive reptile, ten times her size, with a neck as long as a tree trunk, grazing on the palm fronds.

Visit a realm transformed in The Cataclysm, the upcoming expansion for Talisman. Decades ago, an apocalypse, heralded by the appearance of The Harbinger, devastated Talisman. Now, at last, the realm is recovering from its fall and undergoing a strange renewal. Those who fled the fires and warp storms of the apocalypse are slowly returning, building settlements and havens. A few beings are even seeking the long neglected Crown of Command. They are discovering that realm is full of as many fresh opportunities as it is inconceivable perils. 

The Cataclysm includes much more than the new characters, alternative endings, and Adventure Cards of other expansions. It brings to the game an entirely new center board, populates the realm with Denizens, good and evil, and enables you to change the landscape of Talisman yourself with Terrain cards. Today’s preview introduces you to this realm transformed, its still-changing topography, and a few of the Adventures you may have there. 

Overgrown and Grown Cold

Some locations of Talisman are scarcely recognizable in The Cataclysm; others are barely altered at all. The Hidden Valley is now much larger, filled with lush tangles of plant life. The few dinosaurs who once wandered it have matured and evolved into a range of species. The Oasis has also expanded and grown wild. That small spring, its water no longer drained by travelers, feeds a growing ring of palm trees. Now, the Oasis can actually give you life, replenishing what your trek through the desert may have taken away. 

The towering stone Sentinel who once prevented passage from the Outer to the Middle Regions has been destroyed, his stones are now eroding in the river. He has been replaced by a new Sentinel, a dragon-winged demon with a Strength and Craft of 8. The most drastic change of all, however, has befallen the Inner Region. Its fires have been quenched and the region is now entirely frozen over. The Vampire, Werewolf, and Pit Fiends who used to dwell there have all fled or frozen to death. A Mutant has taken over the Werewolf’s den, and a bloodthirsty Snowbeast has made the Pits its lair. 

A Time for Rebirth

The Cataclysm transports you to a realm that is not only different from the Talisman you once knew, but still in the process of being reborn. It is a time of rich possibilities and new life. Sometimes, that new life takes the form of a rediscovery. The Order of Josephine was absent from the realm for ages but has arisen once more to venerate a long-lost saint of healing and restoration. If you encounter its devotees, they will offer to heal you, as long as you promise to pass on that gift of life to another. 

Not only are you traveling through Talisman as it experiences a rebirth, you are actively participating in that renewal as you populate the land with Followers, Strangers, and Objects. Rebuilding even gives all characters a chance to chance to transform the landscape they inhabit by choosing and placing Terrain cards in their region—if they can afford the investment. You may even experience your own Rebirth and suddenly heal back up to full life and full fate. 

Nascent Civilizations 

Untold thousands lost their lives during the apocalypse, but just as many fled the realm to save themselves, leaving long-enduring civilizations desolate and empty. Now, nascent civilizations are appearing throughout the realm, utterly unlike those that existed before. Within the Forest a barbarous civilization called Blightwood is developing around a mysterious stone shrine that causes strange mutations in others. If you pause there, you can gain Craft or a Spell, but you may lose a Follower.  In fact, the mysterious lure of Blightwood is likely to rob of you of more than one of your Followers. They may join the Blightwood Rabble : a fervent group of Cultists that becomes stronger with every Follower who joins it.  Or you might encounter a Blightwood Slaver who captures travelers and brings them to the Forest against their will. 

While Blightwood absorbs Followers into the Forest, Havenville offers discarded ones a temporary home before they take up other journeys. If you visit Havenville, you can choose whether to let one of its inhabitants join you on your quest.  With a Havenville Recruiter at your side, you can take up a new Follower at the start of your turn—but you’ll have to let go of one already in your company. Meanwhile, on the Brakwater (formerly known as the Storm River), a more nomadic civilization has developed. With fortune on your side, you’ll encounter   Brakwater Traders willing to sell you a Water Bottle, Haversack, or even a Crystal Sceptre. A Brakwater Diver may descend to the bottom of the river and return with an Object for you, or he may desert you at the sight of the river and swim away downstream.

Remake the Realm. Take the Crown! 

More than ever before, The Cataclysm puts the future of the realm into your hands. You have a chance to remake this land even while still on your journey towards the Crown of Command. Imagine the power you could wield once you take that crown and truly rule Talisman! 

Pre-order your copy of The Cataclysm today! 

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