"There are horrors beyond life’s edge that we do not suspect, and once in a while man’s evil prying calls them just within our range."
–H.P. Lovecraft, The Thing on the Doorstep
It is the roaring 1920s, and strange things have been happening in the sleepy New England town of Arkham, Massachusetts. People have gone missing. Others have reported sightings of indescribable creatures. The very air thickens with a sense of foreboding like an evil mist in the streets. The Ancient Ones are stirring…
The alternate history of the Arkham Horror Files universe is one of terrors so unthinkable that merely catching sight of one can cause you to lose your grip on reality. The greatest of these are the Ancient Ones, terrifying beings from beyond time and space that threaten to wake from their eons-long slumber and return to the world. Even in their slumber, these Ancient Ones reach across the barriers between worlds to affect our reality. They touch the dreams of troubled mortals, many of whom become cultists, and they unleash spine-chilling monsters and eldritch horrors.
In the face of these threats, humanity’s continued existence depends upon the actions of a few unlikely heroes—those men and women willing to stare into the maw of madness and take action. These heroic investigators and their adventures are the beating heart of the Arkham Horror Files universe, and you will find their lives and stories given new depth amid the 264 full-color pages of The Investigators of Arkham Horror.
Welcome to Arkham
Hardbound and illustrated by more than forty of the industry's top artists, The Investigators of Arkham Horror is the definitive guide to the heroes of your favorite Arkham Horror Files games and, in turn, to the setting itself, regaling you with fifty-two thrilling and evocative tales that showcase a distinctive blend of rich characterization, unnerving atmosphere, and pulp action.
"Old New England towns hold their secrets close. Off the Aylesbury pike, in reclusive Dunwich, rolling hills hide decrepit farms and witch-haunted hollows. Past Cape Ann, the remote fishing village of Innsmouth rots from within. At the mouth of the Miskatonic River, mist-shrouded Kingsport lies dreaming. All the while, historic Arkham broods on the upper banks of the Miskatonic, its famed university delving into the world’s darkest, most ancient mysteries."
With each story focused on a different investigator, you'll gain new insight into the lives of such a diverse cast of characters as Joe Diamond, Jenny Barnes, Daisy Walker, Jim Culver, Akachi Onyele, Sister Mary, Minh Thi Phan, and more. What drives these characters to explore the mysteries of the Ancient Ones? How are their investigations colored by their personal histories? By what personal demons are they haunted?
Moreover, the more you start exploring these stories, the more you'll start recognizing the various threads that run through them. You’ll find that the threats these investigators face are larger than any one of them. Portents of doom run through multiple stories. Many of the investigators know each other or are connected by their ties to the Clover Club or Miskatonic University. Many find themsleves drawn to the tomes in the Orne Library Restricted Collection and their dark secrets. You’ll return multiple times to some of Arkham’s more prominent landmarks, and you’ll find that the Ancient Ones’ otherworldly influence pervades all.
In short, you’ll find Arkham and its investigators brought to life in an all-new way—as a living, breathing town with a host of investigators whose lives and fates are joined by their common struggles.
As editor Katrina Ostrander phrases it in her foreword to the book, “You won’t unlock the secrets of the Ancient Ones, dissect Deep Ones or Dholes, or uncover the lost lore of Carcosa or Hyperborea […]. But you might just feel the hair on the back of your neck prick up as you read Darrell Simmons’s notes from his night in the Unnamable. You might wistfully pine for that sweet, sweet moonshine you coulda bagged were it not for that blighting thing. And you’ll begin to learn what the investigators are truly made of when confronted with cosmic horror.”
Visions of the Beyond
There's more to this world than human senses can perceive. There are answers to questions that science has not yet developed the vocabulary to ask. And there are creatures that humanity cannot comprehend, who reside in dimensions other than our own, and that threaten to stir from their slumber, enter our world, and bring an end to life as we know it.
"It was too early in the day for the sky to be this dark. Daisy looked around her, reaching down to steady her hand on Dr. Armitage’s old desk. Her hand met empty space.
"She stood up and took a tentative step forward."
–Daisy Walker: The Librarian
These threats are realized throughout the fifty-two stories from The Investigators of Arkham Horror, as are many others. You'll encounter ghosts and ghouls, vile tomes, and other worlds. You'll be swept along by the magic of words, and you'll feast your eyes on hundreds of lavish, full-color illustrations. Above all, though, you'll encounter more than the threats of the Arkham Horror Files setting, you'll meet the investigators who rise up to confront them.
These are the brave men and women who give us hope. These are the heroes we seek to emulate when we play Arkham Horror, Eldritch Horror, Elder Sign, or Mansions of Madness. Now, with The Investigators of Arkham Horror, we can slip deeper into the roles of these investigators than ever before… This is the true dark magic of The Investigators of Arkham Horror; it transports us to another world, and it lets us slip into the heads and skins of our favorite investigators.
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