Betrayal: Campaign Guide

Betrayal at the Mountains of Madness

“It is altogether against my will that I tell my reasons for opposing this contemplated invasion of the antarctic, and I am the more reluctant because my warning may be in vain. Doubt of the real facts, as I must reveal them, is inevitable; yet if I suppressed what will seem extravagant and incredible there would be nothing left.”
-HP Lovecraft, At the Mountains of Madness

It is 1935. The world has changed, and so have the investigators of Arkham. The great depression brought massive unemployment, while in Europe fascism is on the rise and the spectre of war once more hangs over the continent. The rate of technological change has never been higher, and new aeroplanes and steamships are making the world smaller. Forbidding locations that seemed out of reach only a decade ago are ripe for exploration – locations like Antarctica, still untamed and mostly unexplored. But something ancient lies beneath the frozen continent…

Contents

Additional Rules & Clarifications

Abducted

  • Some effects in this campaign can abduct Ally assets. When an Ally asset is abducted during a scenario, place it in an out of play pile of abducted cards. Sometimes a card will be abducted while face-down, in which case it is added to the pile face-down without being revealed. Players can look at the face-up abducted cards at any time, and count the face-down ones.
  • Creature assets cannot be abducted. Ignore any effect which would abduct a Creature asset.
  • Other copies of unique, face-up Ally assets that have been abducted cannot enter play.

Abductor (Keyword)

  • Whenever an Ally asset leaves play (such as by being defeated) at a location where any card has the “abductor” keyword, that asset is abducted instead. (Remember that Creature assets cannot be abducted.)
  • If an investigator is defeated at a location where any card has the “abductor” keyword, all of their Ally assets are abducted.
  • A treachery with the “abductor” keyword is considered to be at the location of the investigator resolving it until its effects finish resolving.

Inexorable (Keyword)

  • When an enemy with the “inexorable” keyword would leave play, except by flipping or being replaced, instead remove all damage from it and automatically evade it. The next time it would ready, it doesn’t. (To track this, you could rotate the enemy 180 degrees, then adjust the enemy’s rotation to 90 degrees the next time it attempts to ready.)

Patrol (Keyword)

  • An enemy with the “patrol” keyword moves like a hunter enemy, but rather than moving towards the closest investigator, it moves towards the location specified in brackets. If more than one location fits the criteria specified, the lead investigator chooses a location from amongst the eligible options.

Rival (Keyword)

An enemy with the rival keyword will attack (and hunt, with hunter) other enemies which match the specified trait or traits.

  • All enemies which match the specified trait or traits are adversaries of the rival.
  • While an enemy with the rival keyword is at a location with one of its unengaged adversaries, the rival has aloof. While an adversary is at a location with one of its unengaged rivals, the adversary has aloof. (Remember that aloof enemies spawn unengaged.)
  • When enemies resolve attacks during the enemy phase, each rival which is ready and unengaged attacks one of its adversaries at its location, and each adversary which is ready and unengaged attacks one of its rivals at its location. See “Enemies Attacking Enemies” for more details.
  • A rival or adversary which is massive does not gain aloof.
  • Rivals at a location with their adversaries, and adversaries at a location with their rivals, do not resolve the hunter or patrol keywords.
  • A rival with hunter treats its adversaries as investigators when choosing which location to move to. The lead investigator chooses between ties as always.

Enemies Attacking Enemies

  • Some game effects (such as the rival keyword) may result in enemies attacking other enemies instead of investigators. The investigators choose the order in which enemy attacks are resolved, including enemy attacks against other enemies.
  • To resolve these attacks:
    1. Choose a target enemy at the location. This must be an enemy that the attacking enemy is required to attack, such as the adversary of a rival or the rival of an adversary, or as specified by the effect triggering the attack.
    2. The target enemy takes damage equal to the attacking enemy’s damage value.
    3. Exhaust the attacking enemy.
  • Enemies defeated by damage from other enemies are not removed from play until the end of the enemy attack step. This means that enemies fighting each other, or engaged with investigators, will still get to make their own attack.
  • When massive enemies attack, they attack each investigator and each valid target enemy at their location. For example, a massive rival would attack each investigator and each of its adversaries, while a massive adversary would attack each investigator and each enemy that rivals it.
  • Any enemy with health per investigator, or which gets additional health per investigator, is a “boss” enemy. Whenever a boss enemy deals damage to another boss enemy, multiply that damage by the number of players in the game. Do not multiply damage dealt by boss enemies to non-boss enemies or vice versa. Non-attack effects which causes an enemy to damage another enemy should be multiplied in the same way. If any additive modifiers are applied (for example “reduce all damage by 1”), apply these modifiers before multiplying the total.
  • An enemy defeated by enemy damage is still defeated for the purpose of other game effects – for example it will still be placed in the victory display if it has Victory X.

Damage Types

  • Some effects that deal damage have a type of damage specified, for example “1 frost damage”.
  • Damage type has no implicit effect unless referred to on another card.
  • Damage without an explicit type is normal damage.
  • If an effect adds damage (such as the Vicious Blow card), any additional damage has the same type as the source it is being added to.
  • During this campaign all damage dealt by the Lightning Gun asset is considered lightning damage, and all damage dealt by the Flamethrower asset is considered fire damage. Be aware that this may not always be a good thing!

The Miskatonic Trait

  • The Miskatonic trait is referenced during this campaign.
  • During this campaign, the Ursula Downs and Wendy Adams investigators are considered to have the Miskatonic trait printed on their investigator cards.

Missing and Deceased

  • Some effects may cause names (and/or card titles which are treated the same as names) to be added to the “Missing” or “Deceased” headings in the campaign logs. Ally assets matching these names are not abducted for the purposes of game effects which reference abducted cards (abducted refers only to cards in the abducted pile).
  • When a name is added to the “Missing” or “Deceased” sections of the campaign log, any unique cards with that name must be removed from all investigator’s decks, and unique cards with that name cannot be added to investigator’s decks while those names remain in one of those sections.
  • When the card title of a non-unique card is added to the “Missing” or “Deceased” sections of the campaign log, the number of cards with that title that can be included in any investigator’s deck is reduced by 1. Card titles can be added more than once. (For example, if the card title “Beat Cop” is listed under “Missing”, then each investigator can only include one copy of Beat Cop in their deck. If the title were listed twice, no copies of Beat Cop could be included.) Any cards in excess of the allowed limit should be removed between scenarios. If the limit ever increases, such cards can be repurchased as normal.
  • (Remember that if your deck ever ends up with less cards than required in your deckbuilding requirements, you can add level 0 cards to your deck for free to reach the required minimum.)
  • A name listed in the “Deceased” section cannot be added to the “Missing” (or “Survivors”) section without first being removed from the “Deceased” section.
  • If an investigator is killed or driven insane, add their name to the “Deceased” section of the campaign log.

Investigator Allies

  • Some unique Ally assets in this campaign share a name with an investigator card.
  • An Ally card cannot enter play or be included in a deck if it shares a name with an investigator being played. An Ally card also cannot enter play or be included in a deck if it shares a name with an investigator who has been killed or driven insane during the campaign.
  • When choosing a replacement investigator during the campaign, players may not choose to play an investigator whose name is listed under “Missing” or “Deceased” in the campaign log.

Campaign Setup

  1. Choose investigators.
  2. Assemble player decks.
    • Each investigator is a veteran of previous mythos events, and begins the campaign with 5 experience and their choice of 1 physical trauma or 1 mental trauma.
    • Investigators who are chosen later in the campaign to replace retired or fallen investigators also receive this experience and trauma.
  3. Choose difficulty level.
  4. Assemble the campaign chaos bag:
    • Easy: +1, +1, 0, 0, 0, -1, -1, -1, -2, -2, {Skull}, {Skull}, {Cultist}, {Elder Thing}, {Tentacle}, {Elder Sign}
    • Standard: +1, 0, 0, -1, -1, -1, -2, -2, -3, -4, {Skull}, {Skull}, {Cultist}, {Elder Thing}, {Tentacle}, {Elder Sign}
    • Hard: 0, 0, 0, -1, -1, -2, -2, -3, -4, -5, {Skull}, {Skull}, {Cultist}, {Elder Thing}, {Tentacle}, {Elder Sign}
    • Expert: 0, -1, -2, -3, -4, -4, -5, -6, -7, -8 {Skull}, {Skull}, {Cultist}, {Elder Thing}, {Tentacle}, {Elder Sign}

Prologue

SYMPOSIUM on the PARANORMAL
7.30 PM, October 12, 1935
Sever Hall, Harvard Yard, Cambridge, MA

Keynote Address by
Professor Henry Armitage
Dean of Academic Affairs, Miskatonic University
Author of ‘Supernatural and Preternatural Occurrences in New England’

  • Investigators with the Miskatonic trait should read the following:

Miskatonic University’s reputation for entertaining the paranormal has led in recent years to some ill repute amongst the Ivy League institutions, so for Harvard of all places to host a conference on the supernatural came as quite a surprise. Of course, you’ve seen things that defy any natural explanation, but it’s been the work of a lifetime to convince other respected academics of that. Perhaps this conference will be an opportunity to regain some prestige or, at the least, credibility.

With MU’s own Professor Armitage invited to give the keynote address, a large delegation of you set out for Cambridge this afternoon. Stepping out from the subway into Harvard Square, you are as surprised as always at the good weather – even on a twilit October evening, Cambridge lacks the dark and claustrophobic pressure that you are so used to in Arkham. With high spirits, you enter the building that hosts the symposium.

  • Investigators without the Miskatonic trait should read the following:

A conference on the supernatural being held at a respected institution of learning that isn’t the Miskatonic University is a rare thing indeed in these modern times. While not strictly speaking an academic, through your contact with Professor Armitage at MU you were able to book attendance. Too few people know the truth, and perhaps a more respectable academic interest in the subject will alert the world to the very real threats that face it.

You arrive in Cambridge, and fall in with the Miskatonic lot as they exit the subway and head for the building that hosts the symposium. Strange for a conference to begin in twilight. For the most part the academics seem in high spirits, speaking of their reputations and future knowledge exchanges. But one or two of them have a haunted look that you know well – the look of someone who has already seen too much. 

Scenario I: Boston Red Line

An hour of profoundly awkward networking and an introduction from one of Harvard’s deans later, Professor Armitage begins his speech:

“Ladies and gentlemen, it is an honour indeed to be invited to speak here at this august institution, the first and oldest in our great nation’s history. I would like to start by thanking the sponsors of this event, the Star Chamber Foundation of Cape Tow-“

He is interrupted by a series of loud bangs – all the doors to the hall have been slammed shut, and standing before them are armed men dressed like gangsters, or perhaps federal agents. People jump to their feet in confusion and begin shouting, but a burst of gunfire brings silence. At the front of the room Professor Armitage is pushed to join the crowd by one of the agents.

The man at the front speaks with a distinct Afrikaans accent. “The Star Chamber Foundation thanks you for your attendance. We recognise your great intellect and knowledge of the supernatural. Remain calm and you will not be harmed.”

The crowd does not remain calm. Several members of your group, including Professor Morgan, produce concealed weapons, and a firefight breaks out. The agents seem reluctant at first to fire on the crowd, and you are able to fight your way to an emergency exit in the confusion and break it open.

Academics flood out into the night in a chaotic stampede. The flight back to the subway is a blur, but you find yourself staring at a chained gate and the words ALL TRAINS CANCELLED mocking you while submachine gun fire is audible behind you. Professor Wilmarth somehow breaks open the chains, and you flee down the tiled steps.

You pause for a moment on the platform to catch your breath, but more gunfire drives you down onto the tracks to escape. Before you can stop them, the rest of your group have scattered into the darkness of the subway tunnels.

Suggested Music

Setup Instructions (Paper Version)

  • Gather all the cards from the following encounter sets: Boston Red Line, Miskatonic Day Out, Pitch Black, Surging Rats, Agents of the Star Chamber, Alien Activity, Alien Abduction, Loathsome Abominations.
  • Put all seven locations into play.
    • Each investigator begins play at Harvard Station.
  • Prepare the academics deck as follows:
    • Gather all the story assets in the Miskatonic Day Out set.
    • Find each card in the set which shares a name with any investigator being played, and remove it from the game (e.g. if Ursula Downs is being played, remove the Ursula Downs card).
    • Shuffle the remaining cards in the set and deal out a total of 7 cards per player (e.g. 21 cards for a 3 player game). This is the “academics deck”.
    • Each card that wasn’t dealt into the academics deck is removed from the game.
  • Shuffle the academics deck and place 1 card per player face-down beneath each location (e.g. 2 cards per location for a 2 player game). Place cards under South Station Under last (in a 4-player game you may not have enough cards left to fill South Station Under).
  • Spawn the Bosch enemy at Harvard Station.
  • Attach a copy of the Platform Crossfire treachery to Harvard Station.
  • Shuffle the remaining encounter cards to build the encounter deck.

Setup Instructions (Tabletop Simulator Version)

  • Click place on the scenario container.
  • Each investigator begins play at Harvard Station.
  • Prepare the academics as follows:
    • Find the Miskatonic Day Out deck.
    • Find each card in the deck which shares a name with any investigator being played, and remove it from the game (e.g. if Ursula Downs is being played, remove the Ursula Downs card).
    • Shuffle the remaining cards in the deck and deal out a total of 7 cards per player (e.g. 21 cards for a 3 player game). This is the “academics deck”.
    • Each card that wasn’t dealt into the academics deck is removed from the game.
  • Shuffle the academics deck and place 1 card per player face-down beneath each location (e.g. 2 cards per location for a 2 player game). Place cards under South Station Under last (in a 4-player game you may not have enough cards left to fill South Station Under).
  • Shuffle the encounter deck.

The Ally Trait

  • Many cards in this scenario count or target Ally assets. Some of these cards only count or target specific kinds of Ally assets, such as unique assets, story assets or assets with or without particular traits. Be careful to only count or target the cards specified. Also, remember that cards with the Ally trait do not fill the ally slot unless they have an ally slot icon (the story asset allies in this scenario do not have ally slot icons).

Story Assets

  • During this scenario, investigators may gain control of story assets. They control these assets, but do not “own” them because they are not part of their decks. If a story asset leaves play (such as being defeated, discarded or returned to hand), but it wasn’t part of its controlling player’s deck, it is discarded to a special discard pile that belongs to the scenario. It is not placed in any player’s discard pile or the encounter discard pile.

Treacheries

  • Remember that you can activate triggers on encounter cards in other investigator’s threat areas.

DO NOT READ until the end of the scenario

If no resolution was reached (each investigator resigned or was defeated):

Lost and scattered in the dark, you somehow find your way to an unguarded exit. A voice calls down to you from above.

“This way, quickly. It’s safe for now but they will return soon.

You drag yourself upwards to safety.

Proceed to Resolution 1.

Resolution 1

You emerge onto the concourse at South Station to a scene of carnage. Multiple dead agents are heaped onto the ground, and standing calmly among them is the man you heard call out. He looks wild and unkempt, obviously having been living rough, and is holding a military rifle.

One of the Miskatonic academics gasps. “William? William Dyer?”

The stranger grunts.

“What the devil happened to you, man? Where have you been? And what’s going on?”

The stranger, evidently Miskatonic University’s famous missing geologist William Dyer, looks over your small group of survivors.

“I told Moore,” he says, more to himself than any of you, “I told him not to go poking around down there. I pleaded. And now look at what he’s stirred up.” He looks each of you directly in the eyes. “These attacks aren’t going to stop unless we cut them off at the source. You can come with me, and help me deal with them, and perhaps we can rescue some of our colleagues. Or you can keep running until they catch you. Are you coming? We need to leave immediately.”

Confused, you ask where to.

“Where’d you think?” Dyer replies, “Antarctica.”

  • In your campaign log, record the investigators escaped the agents of the Star Chamber in Boston.
  • All remaining cards beneath locations are abducted.
  • If there are at least 5 cards per player in the rescued pile, add a {Cultist} token to the chaos bag for the rest of the campaign.
  • Check the victory display:
    • If Bosch is in the victory display:
      Record the name Bosch under “Deceased” in the campaign log.
    • Otherwise:
      Add an {Elder Thing} token to the chaos bag for the remainder of the campaign.
  • If there is at least one story asset in the scenario discard pile (likely due to being defeated without being abducted), add a {Skull} token to the chaos bag for the rest of the campaign.
  • Each investigator earns experience equal to the Victory X value of each card in the victory display. In addition, for each card in the rescued pile, choose an investigator to earn 1 additional experience point. Experience from this reward must be divided as evenly among the investigators as possible.

The investigators must choose:

  • “Wait, the abducted academics must still be in the city. We have to try to rescue them.” Proceed to Resolution 2.
  • “There’s no time to lose.” Skip to Resolution 3.

Resolution 2

The rest of the night passes in a blur of gunfights and empty warehouses. By dawn you are convinced that the Star Chamber have left the city, but you intercept one unmarked van. There is not a shred of useful evidence, but in the back you find several of the abducted academics, bound and still alive.

  • Look at the cards in the abducted pile. Each investigator may choose one card in the abducted pile and move it to the rescued pile.
  • Add a {Cultist} token to the chaos bag for the rest of the campaign.
  • Proceed to Resolution 3.

Resolution 3

With little time to prepare, you leave Boston harbour on board a steam ship, bound for Argentina.

  • Record the title of each card in the abducted pile (even non-story assets) in the campaign log under “Missing”.
  • Record the name of each story asset in the scenario discard pile (likely due to being defeated without being abducted) in the campaign log under “Deceased”.
  • Record the name of each story asset in the rescued pile in the campaign log under “Survivors”.
  • For the rest of the campaign, each investigator may include one of the story assets listed under “Survivors” in their deck. It does not count towards deckbuilding limits. Between scenarios, investigators may freely add and remove story assets listed under “Survivors” to and from their deck as long as no more than one is included in each deck. If a story asset is no longer listed under “Survivors” at any point it must immediately be removed from the deck.
  • For the rest of the campaign, when choosing a replacement investigator, players may not play any investigator whose name is listed under “Missing” in the campaign log.
  • Proceed to Interlude I: Rendezvous in Argentina.

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Interlude I: Rendezvous in Argentina

“We are heading for Argentina,” Dyer tells you, looking over the handrail at the passing coast. “If I have calculated the dates correctly, there we will meet up with an expedition who are scheduled to collect supplies on their way to the Weddell Sea. I have already made contact and I am sure they will welcome our involvement.”

On the way, Dyer gives you what seems like a heavily abbreviated summary of the situation. In 1931 he was part of Miskatonic University’s Pabodie Geological Expedition to the Antarctic, during which he saw things which resulted in a firm belief that no one should ever explore the continent in detail. You think back to the news stories of the time, when the expedition reported with great excitement absolutely incredible fossil finds which would certainly trigger a complete re-evaluation of models of life’s evolutionary history on Earth. On his return to the US however, Dyer publicly denounced the earlier reports, and stated that the finds had in fact been not nearly as interesting as initially thought. You ask Dyer what it is that he saw.

“I saw… I cannot bear to speak it aloud, even now. I documented it all soon after returning. I will loan you a copy to read on the journey. I gave it to the university – they dismissed it as the work of a fragile mind, shattered by a traumatic experience. The irony!”

In 1933 a second Miskatonic expedition led by Professor Moore set out in pursuit of the initially reported discoveries and in defiance of Dyer’s pleas to the contrary. Neither Moore, nor his co-leader James Starkweather, ever returned from the ice.

“I knew Moore, you know,” adds Dyer. “He was a student of mine before the war, and a colleague afterwards. He helped organise my expedition, although he was unable to participate – and I think he never forgave me for refusing to explain what really happened, not to mention making every effort to cancel his expedition. And of course I was right, though it gives me little comfort.”

That same year, the Barsmeier-Falken expedition out of Germany also visited the Antarctic, and returned after a terrible accident killed nearly four-fifths of the expedition’s personnel, including Falken. Disgraced and ruined, Josef Barsmeier killed himself in 1934.

“No one really knows what happened to either expedition. I believe both had access to my report, and while my purpose was to dissuade further investigation, I fear it may well have had the exact opposite effect.

“And now there is this new threat, this so-called Star Chamber Foundation. I believe them to be nothing more than another cult, unwitting slaves of our alien enemy that lurks in the south. Either my expedition stirred up this evil, or some further foolishness in ’33 did.

“So we must go there ourselves and try to put a stop to this. I know that you and my erstwhile colleagues have some facility with these matters, but if I am right then this may well be a threat on a scale you have not yet experienced. I can only hope we, and our allies in Argentina, are enough to meet it. Now go, read my report, and get some rest.”

Dyer’s report begins normally enough, telling a mundane tale of Antarctic exploration, but it quickly takes a turn towards the fantastical. He claims to have discovered an ancient, ruined city on the frozen continent, a city over forty million years old. Supposedly, it was built by extinct alien creatures referred to as ‘elder things’ and their slave species, the shape-changing ‘shoggoths’. The incredible fossils the expedition had earlier reported on publicly are found to be hibernating ‘elder things’, who awaken and kill most of the expedition members. Following them to the city, Dyer and his student Danforth encounter the corpses of four out of the eight revived aliens before being discovered by the still-living shoggoth that killed them. They flee for their lives, but while escaping by plane, Danforth looks back and sees something beyond the city which leaves him insensible.

The rest of the trip to Argentina passes in uneventful, brooding calm. When the ship docks at Buenos Aires, you find the city even more bustling than you expected. Two obvious reasons for this are clearly visible from the ship: the first is a zeppelin, looming over the city and casting its immense shadow. The second is the ship docked alongside yours. It is an icebreaker steam ship, seemingly brand new, but what stands out about it are the bright red flags that hang from it – flags that proudly display the icon of Germany’s new ruling party – the Nazis.

You confront Dyer immediately.

“There are no other expeditions this year, and we do not have the resources to organise one of our own,” he replies. “I am sure that the Germans have some dark purpose in Antarctica – doubtless they seek to exploit the very powers that I warned of in my report. If that is so, then it seems to me it is better to be well-positioned to confront and stop them than to leave them unobstructed.”

The Germans clearly recognise Dyer from his expedition, and at his recommendation welcome your party aboard their ship, the Herman Wirth. They proudly announce that they are the first large-scale expedition funded by the Ahnenerbe, an archaeological society dedicated to the pursuit of evidence of Aryan – and specifically Germanic – superiority. Exactly what they hope to discover in uncharted Antarctica they are less clear about, but you can’t help wondering if their eagerness to welcome Dyer has something to do with it.

With the last supplies aboard within a week, you set sail for the Antarctic.

  • Proceed to Scenario II: In the Company of Monsters

Scenario II: In the Company of Monsters

Herr Schmidt, the expedition leader, gives you a tour of the Herman Wirth on your first day at sea. It is an impressive ship. The most distinctive feature is the massive mooring mast that rises from the aftercastle for the convenient docking of the zeppelin that looms overhead, keeping pace nearby. Your inquiries about visiting the airship are rebuffed – the attempt would be hazardous while at sea, and only to be even attempted in an unimaginable emergency.

Other than the mooring mast, the ship seems to be something of a hybrid of cargo and  passenger ships, with an unusually large number of staterooms and an oversized superstructure. Huge loading cranes are tied down on the deck, ready to unload onto the ice upon arrival. Your group have been assigned shared cabins in the aftercastle with the engineering crew – poor quarters, but you’ve slept in worse places.

“The ship was built to our exact specifications,” explains Herr Schmidt proudly as you walk along the deck in the bright sunlight, “We have the latest steam-powered, turbo-electric drive. The Ahnenerbe anticipates many such expeditions to the forlorn areas of the globe in search of our ancestry and… perhaps even greater things. But you would know more about that than me, I am sure.”

Schmidt does not seem to be a man of science, but rather a political figure within the Nazi party attached to the Ahnenerbe. He is approachable, but gives away little or nothing in conversation, instead constantly probing you for information regarding your previous exploits. 

An oversized platoon of soldiers openly armed with machine pistols and carbine rifles accompanies the expedition. Bringing soldiers to the Antarctic at all, let alone an entire platoon, is highly unusual. They are led by a colonel named Gunter Gunther, a dashing hero of the Great War sporting a pencil moustache and a bellowing laugh. The soldiers guard sensitive areas of the ship, although most of them seem lax so far from Europe even with foreigners aboard.

A dozen scientists of many specialities form the core of the expedition. Most have set themselves up with experimental apparatus of one sort or another to occupy the six week voyage. The dominant personality is Herr Doctor Lange, an Ahnenerbe ethnologist who seems to spend his time arguing with the others in favour of exploring any pursuits of his own. You also hear of an occultist, Frau Voigt, but she must keep mostly to herself.

The four massive holds of the ship hold the vehicles and supplies for the expedition. Schmidt explains that even two years of food and fuel barely scratches the ship’s capacity.

On the bridge you meet the captain, Simon Roth, engaged in heated conversation with a stern-looking officer in a black uniform with a red armband. You’ve read newspaper stories about the secret police in Germany and this would seem to be their agent on the expedition. The man turns to regard you with cold eyes.

“SS-Colonel Bauer, at your service,” he says, not extending a hand. He turns to Schmidt, “I was surprised to be informed that we had let a group of foreigners aboard.”

“It should come as no surprise to you that the Reich welcomes any and all assistance from esteemed experts in any field, kamerad,” replies Schmidt, “For are we not all explorers and adventurers on this journey of discovery?”

“The security of the expedition-“

“The security of the expedition will, I’m sure, be quite fine in your capable hands, colonel. Which is not to mention the very large number of soldiers we have accompanying us. You are dismissed, kamerad.”

With a click of his heels, Bauer salutes and leaves.

“The Sicherheitsdienst,” says Schmidt with a dismissive wave, “They are trouble. I doubt they’ll last too much longer now that Germany is safely under control. And now I must leave you, for there are many matters that require my attention. I do recommend that you keep yourself confined to the aftercastle and superstructure. We are not the SS American, yes? Anything does not go here. Good day.”

While the stated purpose of the expedition is mapping and exploration, you still suspect other motives. The journey to the Antarctic will take at least six weeks, so you have that long to uncover what you can on the ship – if you can avoid being shot first.

Suggested Music

Setup Instructions (Paper Version)

  • Gather all the cards from the following encounter sets: The Voyage South, Surging Rats, Dark Dreams, Agents of the Star Chamber, Alien Activity, Alien Abduction, Loathsome Abominations.
  • Put the location cards into play as follows:
    • Each of the seven locations has three stages.
    • For each location, place the three stages in a pile with stage III at the bottom and stage I at the top. Only stage I begins in play.
    • Each investigator begins play at the Bridge.
  • Set the following cards aside, out of play: Star Chamber Commander, the four copies of Star Chamber Vanguard, the two copies of Massacre, and all cards from the Agents of the Star Chamber, Alien Activity, Alien Abduction and Loathsome Abominations encounter sets.
  • Find SS-Colonel Bauer (Exposing Disloyalty) and put him into play at the Staterooms.
  • Shuffle the remainder of the encounter cards to build the encounter deck.

Setup Instructions (Tabletop Simulator Version)

  • Click place on the scenario container.
  • Each investigator begins play at the Bridge.
  • Shuffle the encounter deck.

Staged Locations

  • Each location in this scenario has three stages. These locations enter play revealed and so should have clues immediately placed on them. If a staged location leaves play, the next stage of that location immediately enters play and is revealed (the investigator counts as revealing it). Staged locations have story cards on their reverse side. For the best experience, do not read the other side until instructed to.

DO NOT READ until the end of the scenario

If no resolution was reached (each investigator resigned or was defeated):

If it is Act 1:

The last thing you see is SS-Colonel Bauer’s grinning face and the barrel of his pistol.

  • How did you manage that?
  • In your campaign log, record the investigators were executed by the SS.
  • The investigators lose the campaign.

If it is Act 2:

Incapacitated, you are powerless to prevent the aliens from completing their objectives and evacuating the ship.

  • For each location without a horror token on it, flip that location and resolve any instructions regarding the campaign log.
  • Skip to Resolution 3. 

Resolution 1

The remains of the alien commander are a grisly sight. The huge, barrelled torso is surmounted with a grotesque, splattered wound where the head seems to have been hideously sucked from the body.

  • Record in your campaign log that the commander’s headless corpse was recovered.
  • Skip to Resolution 4.

Resolution 2

The remains of the alien commander look relatively undamaged. 

  • Record in your campaign log that the commander’s largely intact corpse was recovered.
  • Skip to Resolution 4.

Resolution 3

Taking stock of the situation, the expedition is in dire straits indeed. With many of the crew and most of the specialists and equipment abducted or stolen, things seem hopeless. The fuel tanks are full and the engines are undamaged, so there is nothing to prevent the Herman Wirth from turning around and heading straight back to South America. The first officer, now in command of the ship, begins preparations to leave Antarctica.

Then Herr Schmidt appears, a small pistol in his hand. “Leave? Are you insane? Look at what we have! Proof of nonhuman beings, here, on Earth! The power, the technology, this is exactly what we came here for! Yes, our supplies are depleted, but so is our need for them. The scientists who came here to study the weather and lick the snow are gone, but the LZ 125 is intact. We press on!”

The first officer looks like he’s going to object, and then drops his head.

“Good. You are captain now,” says Schmidt, “And your ship is a mess. Clean it up.”

  • Record in your campaign log that the ship survived the alien’s attack… barely.
  • Record the title of each card in the abducted pile (even non-story assets) in the campaign log under “Missing”.
  • If SS-Colonel Bauer is in the victory display, record his name in the campaign log under “Deceased”.
  • Each investigator earns experience equal to the Victory X value of each card in the victory display.
  • Skip Interlude II: The Autopsy and proceed directly to Scenario III: Cold Heart.

Resolution 4

Taking stock of the situation, the expedition is in bad shape. Crew, soldiers and scientists are dead, wounded or missing, supplies have been stolen and equipment damaged. But Herr Schmidt seems jubilant.

“This is excellent!” he says, “Proof of nonhuman beings, here, on Earth! Such power! I am more confident than ever in the value and rightness of this expedition. You!” he points at your group, “Come with me. You are experts on the supernatural, or you claim to be, I have something supernatural for you.”

  • Record in your campaign log that the ship survived the alien’s attack.
  • Record the title of each card in the abducted pile (even non-story assets) in the campaign log under “Missing”.
  • If SS-Colonel Bauer is in the victory display, record his name in the campaign log under “Deceased”.
  • Each investigator earns experience equal to the Victory X value of each card in the victory display.
  • Proceed to Interlude II: The Autopsy.

I want these scenarios to be as good as they can be, so any feedback you have would be gratefully received. Click here for feedback and contact information.

Interlude II: The Autopsy

The Autopsy 1

Herr Schmidt leads you to the medical bay, where the huge body of the alien commander is laid out over four metal tables which have been pressed together. The smell is atrocious, and it takes you several attempts to fight off the nausea and enter the room.

“We were unable to recover any of the other alien corpses,” says Schmidt, “But we have one, which is all the proof we need that our efforts here are well invested. Herr Dr Seidel is a qualified biologist, but this is of course an important scientific and historical matter. Are any of you better qualified to handle the knife?”

  • If Vincent Lee is one of the investigators:
    It’s been a while since you had to perform an autopsy, and even longer since you performed one on something so strange. You roll your sleeves up and get to work.
    In your campaign log, record that Vincent Lee autopsied the alien commander.
  • Otherwise, if Dr Milan Christopher is in any investigator’s deck:
    Dr Christopher, who has taken apart a monster or two over the years of your association, pushes his glasses up on his nose as he inspects the body.
    “Well, it’s no insect,” he says, “But I’ll do my best.”
    In your campaign log, record that Dr Milan Christopher autopsied the alien commander.
  • Otherwise, if Francis Morgan is a Survivor:
    Professor Morgan is no stranger to engaging with the mythos in a very personal manner, whether it be with a scalpel or a shotgun. With a gulp of whisky for his nerves and another for luck, he sets to it.
    In your campaign log, record that Francis Morgan autopsied the alien commander.
  • Otherwise, if Herbert West is a Survivor:
    You all look at each other, each unwilling to admit the obvious truth – that Dr West is by far the most appropriate choice for this task. With a look of determination, he brandishes his knife and sets about his grim business.
    In your campaign log, record that Herbert West autopsied the alien commander.
  • Otherwise:
    As none of you possess the medical skills required, the task falls to Dr Seidel, the Ahnenerbe biologist. He seems confident, but unused to performing medical procedures on such a large creature, and quite unnerved by the nature of the thing.
    In your campaign log, record that Dr Seidel autopsied the alien commander.

Although they have been hunting you for several months now, it is still strange to see one of the great creatures so close. The rippling, flagellant movement of the thing is gone, leaving only a heap of grey leathery flesh which puts you in mind of ragged clumps of seaweed carelessly tossed onto the shore by the tides.

The limbs of the thing you have already observed in motion. Five arms circle its middle, that conjure images of the snowflakes of Helge von Koch or the bizarre triangle patterns of Sierpinski in the way they divide and divide again to form a forest of tentacles. Five leg-like appendages extrude from the base, ending in great paddles or fins over a foot long.

The examination of the wings answers a question that has been puzzling you since your first encounter in Boston. The thing has five wings, each neatly folding into the vertical recesses on its ridged torso. You are sure you have seen them aloft on only two of the great membranes.

A subtle detail is found on the leathery skin of the torso. An elaborate pattern is inlaid into it, curves and angles of no apparent meaning, resembling nothing so much as an abstract form of tattoo. The effect is especially pronounced around each of the ridges, but still difficult to detect from a distance. The method of application is unclear, but it may have been cut or burned into the skin, or applied with an unknown chemical substance.

  • Check the campaign log.
    • If the commander’s largely intact corpse was recovered:
      Proceed to The Autopsy 2.
    • If the commander’s headless corpse was recovered:
      Skip to The Autopsy 3.

The Autopsy 2

The head of the thing has five eye-tentacles and five mouth-tentacles, and after some digging, the neck is found to be covered in long and elaborate gill-like organs wrapped tightly around it. The great glassy eyes stare unblinking, and there are so many of them there is nowhere in the room that readily escapes their accusatory gaze.

“How long is the torso?” asks Dyer suddenly. A figure of seven feet and one inch is reported, and in reply to Schmidt’s inquiry, Dyer replies that he merely wished the record to be as accurate as possible.

The punctures and rents sustained during the fight have largely stopped oozing the stinking, thick, greenish fluid that apparently passed for blood within its alien body, but this is the limit of the detail that can be determined without a more invasive examination.

After several unsuccessful attempts with surgical implements, industrial tools are requisitioned from elsewhere on the ship, and the dissection begins in earnest. A powerful electric saw, intended for cutting ice, is applied to the thing’s corpse, its immediate success attested to by the grotesque spray of ichor which coats the ceiling, two walls and most of the observers, including you.

The thing’s interior is bewildering, and as it is gradually mutilated into smaller and smaller parts, the questions only grow. Although the Germans seem initially reluctant to accept it, it is clear that the thing is part of no known terrestrial order of being. You can locate no internal vulnerabilities, and you learn little of value that will help you to defeat them in battle.

Staring into one of its severed eyes is, however, strangely demystifying. To see one of the monsters brought so low, to see its constituent parts laid out like choice cuts in a butcher’s shop –  these are no eldritch beings of quasi-matter who walk from strange places beyond space and time. Alien as they are, powerful as they are, these are merely creatures of flesh and blood, and you have faced far worse and lived to never speak of it.

  • Add one {Tablet} token to the chaos bag for the remainder of the campaign.
  • Skip to The Autopsy 4.

The Autopsy 3

The neck of the thing is a ruined mess, the impossibly tough flesh having been ripped almost effortlessly by the grotesque and many-eyed assassin as it beheaded its prey. A massive quantity of the stinking, thick, greenish fluid that apparently passed for blood within its alien body was disgorged onto the deck where it fell, and it continues to leak now into a bucket carefully placed to catch it.

Around the neck are remnants of gills – clearly there were originally five, but four were ripped away along with the head. Only one remains intact, perhaps two feet long, its delicate fronds caked with the fluid.

“How long is the torso?” asks Dyer suddenly. A figure of seven feet and one inch is reported, and in reply to Schmidt’s inquiry, Dyer replies that he merely wished the record to be as accurate as possible.

After several unsuccessful attempts with surgical implements, industrial tools are requisitioned from elsewhere on the ship, and the dissection begins in earnest. A powerful electric saw, intended for cutting ice, is applied to the thing’s corpse, its immediate success attested to by the grotesque spray of ichor which coats the ceiling, two walls and most of the observers, including you.

The thing’s interior is bewildering, and as it is gradually mutilated into smaller and smaller parts, the questions only grow. Although the Germans seem initially reluctant to accept it, it is clear that the thing is part of no known terrestrial order of being. You can locate no internal vulnerabilities, and you learn little of value that will help you to defeat them in battle.

  • Proceed to The Autopsy 4.

The Autopsy 4

Schmidt turns to Dyer. “This is one of your aliens, is it not? You believe them to have come from elsewhere, another planet perhaps, some time in prehistory?”

“Yes,” replies Dyer, “They are the ones referred to in certain awful texts as the Elder Things. They are what I warned everyone of.”

Schmidt waves his hand dismissively, “And as you can see, we have defeated them! The German Reich is not so easily dissuaded as isolationist America. Now we will press on, and seize their secrets for ourselves!”

The public autopsy concluded for now as Dr Seigel settles in to conduct more specific tests on the various pieces of organ and offal, you clean yourselves as thoroughly as possible and reconvene in a quiet corner of the mess hall.

“Were you paying attention?” Dyer demands in a forceful whisper.

You inquire what to.

“The details! The details were wrong. The size of the feet, did you see them?” he rummages in his document before showing you a particular paragraph. “Here. Lake says they were about eight inches long, but these were fourteen! And the size of the body, it was seven feet and it should have been over eight. And the gills. Did you see the gills? They were huge, far larger than they should have been.”

You ask Dyer what he is getting at.

“Something has been bothering me since even before Boston, when I started tracking the activities of the Star Chamber Foundation. You read my document, yes? Lake unearthed fourteen of those creatures. I found six buried at Lake’s camp, and four more in the… tunnels beneath the city. That leaves only four survivors at most, assuming any were able to escape that terrible place.

“But all of the Star Chamber teams seem to be accompanied by at least one, and I think there may have been as many as six or more during the recent assault. Where are these creatures coming from? The autopsy confirms my suspicions. I do not believe these things are the ones Lake recovered, the explorers lost a hundred million years out of time – I believe these things are from here, today, now. They are living, extant beings from deep beneath the sea.

“The gills, the feet, the reduced size – these show both the degeneration I observed over time within the city, but also modest adaptation – adaptation to an underwater state of being. And the… the markings on the skin, the tattoos. Did they not communicate a singularly primitive state of being? These must be decadents, the ones who fled the city and have lived in hiding beneath the sea ever since.

“As to why they have emerged now… I cannot say. Is it connected to the awakening of those ancient ones? Was it some doing of Moore’s? Is it a strange coincidence?”

Dyer falls silent. Tomorrow, the ship will arrive in Antarctica, and the expedition will finally begin.

  • Add one {Tablet} token to the chaos bag for the remainder of the campaign.
  • Proceed to Scenario III: Cold Heart.

Scenario III: Cold Heart

The ship arrives at the ice on the afternoon of December 16th, 1935. The looming cliff of the Filchner Ice Shelf rises well over three hundred feet from the sea, far too high and far too dangerous to make a conventional landing. As you approach, about a mile to the north you witness a huge chunk of ice, bigger than the ship itself, crash down into the water and bob slowly away.

The landing is accomplished with the aid of the undamaged zeppelin, LZ 125, which with an elegant lack of alacrity ferries the expedition’s supplies and vehicles up onto the top of the ice shelf. A base camp is established several miles inland beyond the risk of fracture and collapse, and everything is gradually moved there from the ship. It is tedious and exhausting work, with hundreds of crates and pallets and barrels to unload and sort.

Time on the ice is everything you’ve been warned about. It is strangely difficult to maintain a sense of perspective and distance, you are constantly slipping over, and you must guard vigilantly against frostbite caused by sweating. The penguins at least offer some relief, flocking around the expedition members fearlessly and charming you all with their inquisitive antics. It takes nine days of hard work (interrupted only by a modest Christmas celebration with the crew) before the job is done and the Herman Wirth can back away from the ice into the comparatively safer waters of the Weddell Sea.

Herr Schmidt announces the expedition’s main objective – to locate the base camp of their predecessors, the Barsmeier-Falken Expedition or BFE. The real coordinates of the abandoned base camp have been lost or concealed, and so exploration teams escorted by soldiers will divide up to search the ice shelf and nearby land for hints as to its location. Each team has been assigned a new, prototype machinegun called an ‘MG34’. You are expected to assist in this endeavour, and will be assigned dog sleds for this purpose, although apparently you will have to provide your own weaponry.

Professor Dyer takes you back to the partially buried cabin where you have quartered. He opens his satchel and rummages around in it, and for a moment you catch sight of something odd – a huge black-bound book, clearly a mythos tome of some sort, and something about it looks familiar. Before you can clearly identify it, he closes the satchel and moves to the table with a folder overflowing with papers. He pulls out a large sketch and lays it on the table for your inspection. It seems to show a roughly circular shape covered in lines that radiate from a single point near the edge of the shape.

“I never understood this picture,” says Dyer, “This is Antarctica, I believe, at some point in the aeon-dead past when its boundaries were different. And these lines… I am not sure what they represent, but this nexus point where they meet, this must be their city. And if that is the city, then this line,” he points to one which runs across the continent, to the opposite coast, “Must run from the city to an area somewhere near this ice shelf. Before we can even think about these Star Chamber cultists, we cannot allow these Nazis access to whatever the BFE found. We must get there before them, at any cost.”

You prepare to set out.

“There are one hundred thousand square miles of ice shelf,” adds Dyer, “We can’t possibly explore that by dog sled. We’re going to need a plane.”

Suggested Music

Setup Instructions (Paper Version)

  • Gather all the cards from the following encounter sets: Cold Heart, Antarctic Cold, Frostbite, Dark Dreams.
  • Put the Expedition Base Camp (A Welcome Respite) location into play.
    • Each investigator begins play at the Expedition Base Camp.
  • Shuffle the nine Neverending White Expanse locations and put them all into play.
  • Put the LZ 125 (An Elegant Means of Transport) and Junkers JU-52 (Workhorse of the Reich) assets into play at the Expedition Base Camp.
  • Put one copy of Exploration Team (Heavily Escorted) into play for each investigator. Put each Exploration Team at a different Exposed location. Remove the other Exploration Team assets from the game.
  • Each investigator begins the scenario with an Antarctic Supplies (Fully Stocked) asset in their play area. Remove the other Antarctic Supplies assets from the game.
  • Put the Independent Inquiry story card into play near the agenda deck.
  • Set the following cards aside, out of play: the four Frostbite weaknesses, the Barsmeier-Falken Base Camp location and the Munitions Crate asset.
  • Shuffle the remainder of the encounter cards to build the encounter deck.
  • Skip to Additional Setup.

Setup Instructions (Tabletop Simulator Version)

  • Click place on the scenario container.
  • Each investigator begins play at the Expedition Base Camp.
  • Shuffle the nine Neverending White Expanse locations and put them all into play.
  • Put one copy of Exploration Team (Heavily Escorted) into play for each investigator. Put each Exploration Team at a different Exposed location. Remove the other Exploration Team assets from the game.
  • Each investigator begins the scenario with an Antarctic Supplies (Fully Stocked) asset in their play area. Remove the other Antarctic Supplies assets from the game.
  • Shuffle the encounter deck.
  • Proceed to Additional Setup.

Additional Setup (Paper & Tabletop Simulator Versions)

  • Check the campaign log. If essential tools and supplies were stolen:
    Flip each Antarctic Supplies asset to its (Low on Supplies) side. (This will remove 1 supply from it.)
  • Check the campaign log. If Herr Doctor Lange is not Missing:
    Several of the friendlier expedition scientists assist you in your preparations for the ice and share survival tips.
    Each investigator places 1 damage token on their Antarctic Supplies asset. They may spend this token to prevent 1 frost damage.
  • Check the campaign log. If spare engine and boiler parts were stolen:
    The unloading was all the more difficult due to the lack of parts onboard the ship.
    Each investigator begins this scenario with 2 fewer resources.
  • Check the campaign log. If Gunter Gunther is Deceased:
    Without Colonel Gunther’s moderating leadership, the soldiers are instinctively distrusting of the foreigners, seemingly blaming you for the expedition’s troubles so far.
    Place 1<per> clues on Act 1c.
  • Check the campaign log. If Captain Roth is Missing:
    Without the captain’s experienced guidance, several mishaps during unloading caused additional delays.
    Place 1 doom on Agenda 1a.
  • Check the campaign log. If Frau Voigt is not Missing:
    Before you depart, the expedition occultist visits your cabin. “Last night I dreamed of a place I believe to be your destination. I informed Herr Schmidt, but he did not seem interested, and so I turn to you. I saw a square place, like a fort in the snow, and inside there was blood, and dogs with skin as black as the stygian abyss. There are answers there, but also great danger. It lies to the north, I think.”
    Each investigator gains 1 clue (from the token pool).
  • Check the campaign log.
    • If the expedition aircraft were sabotaged:
      The mechanic Fritz Muller finds you suspiciously poking around the expedition’s only functioning plane.
      “You need to get away from there,” he cautions.
      You attempt to reason with him, but he tries to call the soldiers. He tries to grab a wrench, and you try to take it from him. Things get out of hand, and a few minutes later you are doing your best to bury the body in the snow.
      Record the name ‘Fritz Muller’ in the campaign log under ‘Deceased’. Flip the Junkers JU-52 asset to its (The Last Plane) side. (This will remove 1 supply from it.)
    • Otherwise:
      You approach the mechanic Fritz Muller about the use of an airplane. It takes some convincing and a little subtle bribery, but you are able to get your use of the plane officially approved.

Two Acts, Two Agendas

  • This scenario has two act decks and two agenda decks. Agenda deck a and act deck a represent the forces of the mythos and the player’s objective, as usual. Agenda deck c and act deck c “belong” to the German expedition, and represent their suspicion of the investigators and the progress of their own efforts respectively. The c decks advance only when specifically instructed by scenario cards.

No Connections

  • None of the locations in this scenario have connection icons. This means that no locations are connected, which makes normal movement impossible (including movement “to a connecting location” on cards such as Shortcut). Movement is only possible via effects on cards which move to specific named locations or to “any location”.

Revealing Chaos Tokens

  • Some effects during this scenario require a chaos token to be revealed on behalf of enemies or uncontrolled story assets. When this happens, no investigator is considered to have drawn the token (even though a player needs to physically perform the action). This means that effects that trigger when “you reveal” a chaos token (such as Grotesque Statue) will not trigger. However, effects which do not specify an investigator (such as Premonition) still work.

DO NOT READ until the end of the scenario

If no resolution was reached (each investigator resigned or was defeated):

You are helpless to prevent the Germans from plundering the base camp for their own purposes. As the blizzard rolls in across the ice shelf they retreat temporarily to their own camp, and you take advantage of their absence to investigate for yourselves.

  • In your campaign log, record that the Germans recovered 5 pieces of evidence from the BFE base camp.
  • In your campaign log, record that the Germans were forced to retreat from the BFE base camp by the blizzard.
  • Each investigator earns experience equal to the Victory X value of each card in the victory display.
  • Proceed to Interlude III: The Trial.

Resolution 1

Perhaps now you can find out what wiped out the Barsmeier-Falken Expedition, and whatever it is that Herr Schmidt thought was so valuable.

  • In your campaign log, record that the investigators reached the BFE base camp ahead of the Germans.
  • Each investigator earns experience equal to the Victory X value of each card in the victory display.
  • Proceed to Interlude III: The Trial.

Resolution 2

Perhaps now you can find out what wiped out the Barsmeier-Falken Expedition, and whatever it is that Herr Schmidt thought was so valuable.

  • If Act 2c is in play with at least 1 clue on it, record in your campaign log that the Germans recovered X pieces of evidence from the BFE base camp. X is equal to the number of clues on Act 2c, divided by the number of players, rounded up to a maximum of 5.
  • In your campaign log, record that the Germans retreated from the BFE base camp.
  • Each investigator earns experience equal to the Victory X value of each card in the victory display.
  • Proceed to Interlude III: The Trial.

I want these scenarios to be as good as they can be, so any feedback you have would be gratefully received. Click here for feedback and contact information.

Interlude III: The Trial

“In conclusion, the proposed expedition must not be approved. Thank you.” Dyer resumed his seat. The small panel of academics, mostly from Miskatonic University’s geology department, looked on, appearing unimpressed.

“Now come, Professor Dyer,” said Dean Armitage, chair of the proceedings, “Your objection is based on a tale most extraordinary, but the evidence on offer is not commensurate.”

Armitage thumped the freshly printed manuscript in front of him, which sat next to a thick and disordered notebook of scribblings and drawings. “We were promised photographs – many photographs, in fact, but at least one would be ideal – and instead we have only your sketches.”

“As I told you, the photographs were stolen!” shouted Dyer, “I don’t know if it was poor Danforth, or some third party who realised their value. Surely that only further proves my point – photographs of Antarctica are hardly worth the bother of stealing, unless they depict something truly incredible.”

“But William,” interjected Professor Moore. Moore was a younger man than Dyer, an ex-student in fact, now a respected geologist in his own right, “We have only your word that they existed at all. I don’t mean to accuse you of lying-“

“And yet what else can your insinuation mean!”

“-I don’t mean to accuse you of lying. Your experience with… with Lake and the others was truly horrifying. God knows Danforth may never recover, and while you are obviously a good deal more lucid than he, to spin such a… such a yarn. Why it resembles nothing more than the sort of astounding story one might read in a magazine.”

Dyer looked down, “I admit that it must seem fanciful to one who did not witness the events themselves.” He looked up, “But consider the accuracy of the text itself. Are the details not recorded with utmost precision? Do the early chapters strike you as the work of a madman? Why, then, should you doubt the part that is harder to believe?”

“Professor Dyer,” said Armitage, “No one doubts your geological expertise. Why, I expect that even were you in Danforth’s state you could hold your own on the subject of pre-Cambrian strata, but that is not in and of itself enough to make your word beyond question.”

Armitage removed his glasses and rubbed his eyes, “William. Nobody here is your enemy. We want to believe you. God knows I have seen things in my time to make me question the most basic assumptions about our place on this Earth. But what you ask of us… and even if we agree, and we put a stop to this expedition. What then? Do you mean to halt all exploration of that continent?”

“Yes, if I must!”

“How, William? This is not even the only expedition departing from the USA this year. And as our esteemed visitor can attest, Germany is organising an expedition of their own – is that not so, Dr Falken?”

The German geologist, a small man wearing round-rimmed glasses over his kindly face, nodded. “Indeed, Professor Armitage. It was the purpose of my visit to confer with Professors Dyer and Moore for my own little jaunt. To find these proceedings is something of a surprise.”

“I have no choice, William,” said Professor Armitage. “This University cannot possibly make large-scale financial decisions based on the hearsay of one man, no matter how esteemed or experienced.”

“So I stormed out,” says Dyer, concluding his story, “And Moore went on his little excursion, damn him, and damn me for telling him all that and getting him even more excited. Armitage was right, of course. I can’t stop the whole world from coming. So here we are. We save humanity from whatever doom is planned for it, or we die trying.”

  • Proceed to Scenario IV: Frostbound Cenotaph.

Scenario IV: Frostbound Cenotaph

The Barsmeier-Falken base camp that you have been searching for all this time finally lies before you. It is a sturdy complex, far more permanent than the tents and pits of the Ahnenerbe expedition you have left behind. Four large, intentionally sunken buildings lie at the four corners of a square, with submerged tunnels cutting through the snow between them.

Two years ago, half the expedition were wiped out by something that was never reported or recorded by the survivors. The base was abandoned then, and although parts of the connecting tunnels have collapsed, from the outside it looks to be in good shape. Somewhere inside there must be some clue or record of what happened here.

  • Check the campaign log. If the Germans recovered pieces of evidence from the BFE base camp:
    The Ahnenerbe arrived first, before being driven off by the storm. The wall of the north tunnel has been cut open and carefully covered over. You begin your investigation there.
    Otherwise:
    There is no obvious entrance that isn’t frozen over, but you are able to dig your way in through the flimsy wall of the north tunnel, and begin your investigation there.

Suggested Music

Setup Instructions (Paper Version)

  • Gather all the cards from the following encounter sets: Frostbound Cenotaph, Antarctic Cold, Frostbite, Fire, and Pitch Black.
  • Put the Hangar, North Tunnel, Offices, Radio Room, Generator Room, Medical Facility, South Tunnel, Barracks and Dog Tunnels locations into play.
    • Each investigator begins play at the North Tunnel.
  • Attach the William Dyer asset to the Generator Room.
  • Spawn a Stygian Rat enemy at the North Tunnel and place 1<per> horror on it. This enemy enters plays exhausted due to the text on Agenda 1a.
  • Place the Cold and Dark treacheries into play near the agenda deck. Their effects apply throughout the scenario.
  • Set the following cards aside, out of play: any unused Frostbite weaknesses, Mysterious Figure, Generator, Welded Oven, 3 copies of Stygian Rat, all 6 copies of Stygian Hound, all 3 copies of Fire!, both copies of Repugnant Lurching, both copies of Loathsome Call.
  • Shuffle the remainder of the encounter cards to build the encounter deck.
  • Proceed to Additional Setup.

Setup Instructions (Tabletop Simulator Version)

  • Click place on the scenario container.
  • Each investigator begins play at the North Tunnel.
  • Place 1<per> horror on the Stygian Rat at the North Tunnel.
  • Shuffle the encounter deck.
  • Proceed to Additional Setup.

Additional Setup (Paper & Tabletop Simulator Versions)

  • Check the campaign log. If the Germans recovered pieces of evidence from the BFE base camp, apply each of the following effects, up to and including the number of pieces of evidence recovered:
    • If at least 1 piece of evidence was collected:
      The Ahnenerbe clearly made an effort to start carefully clearing the site, and reinforced the north tunnel.
      Place 1 doom on Agenda 1a.
    • If at least 2 pieces of evidence were collected:
      The packed snow in the tunnel has been thoroughly disturbed. If there was anything here, the Ahnenerbe took it.
      Do not place clues on the North Tunnel location when you reveal it.
    • If at least 3 pieces of evidence were collected:
      Lying in the snow is part of an arm, still fresh. The wound seems to have been caused by a strong acid.
      Each investigator takes 1 horror.
    • If at least 4 pieces of evidence were collected:
      Towards the east end of the tunnel is a massive… thing. It doesn’t seem to be moving.
      Place an additional 1<per> horror on the Stygian enemy at the North Tunnel.
    • If 5 pieces of evidence were collected:
      Around the still creature are a number of odd items… belt buckles, pieces of metal equipment, and shell casings, but no clothing and no bodies. You realise that there are at least five soldiers’ worth of equipment here.
      Add one {Cultist} token to the chaos bag for the remainder of the campaign.

Flipping and Replacing

Effects in this scenario may require you to flip or replace cards. Treat these in the same way – when a card is flipped or replaced, what happens depends on whether the type of the card changes.

If the type remains the same (for example an enemy that flips to or is replaced by another enemy):

  • The card does not enter or leave play, it simply remains in play.
  • Any tokens or attachments (such as damage or apparatus) remain with the new card.
  • The state of the card remains unchanged (for example its location, or whether it is exhausted).

If the type changes (for example an enemy that flips to or is replaced by a story asset):

  • The old card counts as leaving play, and the new card counts as entering play.
  • Any tokens or attachments are removed.
  • The state of the card is as if it just entered play, with the exception that it enters play in the location the old card was in (if there was one).

Cards that “cannot leave play” can still be flipped, even though that could cause the card to leave play through the type changing.

DO NOT READ until the end of the scenario

If no resolution was reached (each investigator resigned or was defeated):

  • If the act deck was at act 8, skip to Resolution 2.
    Otherwise, proceed to Resolution 1.

Resolution 1

Forced to retreat from the BFE base camp, you are powerless to prevent the Ahnenerbe expedition from moving in and securing the site. You spend a few fraught days observing them from a distance, when finally they dispatch a plane south towards an unexplored area of Antarctica. They must have found a lead, so estimating its bearing you board your own plane and follow, well out of sight.

  • Record in your campaign log that the investigators followed the Ahnenerbe to the tunnel entrance.
  • Each investigator earns experience equal to the Victory X value of each card in the victory display.
  • Skip to Resolution 3.

Resolution 2

With the coordinates in hand you flee the BFE base camp and return to your aeroplane. Whatever this tunnel site is, it’s close at hand now. You board the plane and set off in that direction.

  • Record in your campaign log that the investigators discovered the location of the tunnel entrance.
  • Each investigator earns experience equal to the Victory X value of each card in the victory display.
  • Proceed to Resolution 3.

Resolution 3

The site is a few hours flight almost directly south. On the journey, you discuss the stygian creatures and what you learned about them with Dyer. They are not, you agree, shoggoths, although there is some faint resemblance in their elastic qualities. Though you are on the other side of a vast continent from Dyer’s alien city, you cannot shake the feeling that they are related somehow.

“As for that… thing, that impersonated me,” says Dyer, “That one did uncannily resemble a shoggoth in both its sheen and its movements. If they have learned to walk and act like men, what does this mean for our world? All the more reason to contain this threat at the source, if we can.

“It seems we have two enemies – three, if you include our erstwhile Ahnenerbe compatriots. I feared the elder ones and their slaves had reconciled after Boston, but the assassin on the ship seemed hostile still. Perhaps we can turn this enmity to our advantage somehow.”

Dyer reaches for his bulging pack, and withdraws the huge mythos tome you spied there before. To your surprise you realise it is the Necronomicon – the very same translation that ought to be under careful guard in the Orne Library – the very same tome that lead to the troubles in Dunwich not ten years prior.

“I assumed we would have need of it,” he says with forced ease, then bends over to study it.

Most of the rest of the flight passes in silence, but as a mountain range starts to rise ahead of you in the distance, Dyer suddenly begins reading from the cramped and barely legible text:

“‘I tell you of the Elder Things, the ancient, the clever, the godless. Ever are these impious wretches found in their temples. What use have the godless for temples? Not worshipping, never worshipping, but scheming and plotting to steal the primal white jelly that is the very children of the gods they hate. From Enki the Gatekeeper and from Tiamat the mother of a thousand serpents and from all the Annunaki they steal. But theft will be their undoing.’

“‘I tell you of Abzu, the original, the eternal, the undying. That vast and formless ocean which birthed forth Enki and Tiamat. Oh hellish day, when Abzu’s eye falls upon this earth. The godless will bring it. The Elder folly. Into the black pit with the carven rim! How It longs. How It hungers. From within the nameless cylinder It watches with eyes of darkness. No vessel can contain it. It spills forth. Its waters cover the land and all is darkness.’

You recall that ancient texts link Enki with Yog-Sothoth and Tiamat with Shub-Niggurath, but outside of Mesopotamian mythology you cannot recall any other references to Abzu. You ponder the possible meaning of the prophecy. Is this what the aliens are plotting? To summon this Abzu?

  • Proceed to Interlude IV: The Impossible Pit.

I want these scenarios to be as good as they can be, so any feedback you have would be gratefully received. Click here for feedback and contact information.

Interlude IV: The Impossible Pit

The coordinates of Falken’s tunnel site lie at a point where the ice shelf meets an unexplored mountain range, about 300 miles inland. What you find there is somewhat surprising, though: an immense semicircular pit or hole in the ice shelf, perhaps a mile across and as much as six hundred feet deep, with sloping sides. To its southern side the pit has revealed a rocky cliff face of dark, worn stone, at the base of which is what looks to all the world like a beach of white sands. The curving northern edge of the pit floor is open water, teeming with seals and penguins.

Where the beach meets the cliff face, in more or less the exact center, is a clearly artificial rectangular structure, looking somewhat like a gateway, with a dark opening leading into the mountainside. A few hundred yards before it, where the beach meets the water, stands a gigantic statue of a humanoid figure, apparently carved from black stone. Incongruously, the wreckage of a plane – a Junkers model similar to the very one you are flying in – lies upside-down on the beach near the statue. There is no sign of a crash, but even from this distance you can clearly see that the body has started rusting. It must have been lying there for some time.

  • Check the campaign log. If the investigators followed the Ahnenerbe to the Tunnel:
    North of the pit you see a second Junkers, this one obviously having landed just a few hours before. There is no sign of activity near the plane, but a trail leads from it to the pit.

The rocky beach doesn’t look safe for a landing, so you put down on the snow west of the pit and hike over to it. As you approach the lip you find that the sloped sides of the pit are still in the process of slowly melting. Scrambling and slipping down, the temperature rapidly increases until it is quite uncomfortable in your heavy winter gear.

The beach is not white sand after all – a thick layer of something that strongly resembles damp, mushy ash lies over a bed of dark pebbles. As you hike towards the statue, the striation in the ash – where it hasn’t been disturbed by the passage of penguins – tells of ice that melted and ran down into the sea.

The statue is humanoid, if not exactly human. It looks quite abstract, perhaps a symbolic representation of a human rather than a literal depiction of some monster. The mushy ash covers the pits and creases of the statue, giving the impression that it once covered it, but has since washed away.

A sound from the water draws your attention. The seals and penguins are all rushing away towards the edges, as something massive starts to rise from the pool. You take cover behind the statue’s base and watch carefully as a huge metal vehicle of some kind pushes out of the water and partially up onto the rocks, looking bizarrely like a beached whale.

The front of the submarine craft hinges open, and from within a strange procession emerges. At the front is one of the aliens, the five-pointed star of its head clearly visible in the bright sun. Behind it come humans pushing a sort of large cart that looks like a huge suit rack. There are two of these racks, each carrying maybe a dozen large, hanging bags on their frames. Bringing up the rear are several more aliens, visibly smaller than the one at the front, although still towering over the humans.

After the whole entourage leaves the ship, the front closes back up and it recedes back into the water again. The aliens advance up the beach, on the other side of the statue from you, towards the stone gateway. As they pass by, you can clearly see that the bags hanging from the frames are human bodies, sealed by some bizarre process inside a shimmering material that clings tightly to their forms.

The procession moves past you and passes under the great stone archway and into the blackness beyond. The seals and penguins cautiously move back to the water and before long the pit is again filled with their raucous racket.

You move carefully up to examine the dark stone archway. It looks ancient, and Dyer rushes over to examine it. As he does so, you check inside for threats, but you can see or hear no sign of the alien party.

“This is Cambrian slate. Maybe 500 million years old. From the architectural style this was definitely created by the city builders, around the height of their civilisation. We are nearly two thousand miles from where I explored. Is this another city from the same period? I remember there being what I thought was a settlement marked somewhere around here, but I got the impression it was underwater.”

Just as he finishes, a blast of hot air emerges from the tunnel entrance, continues for several minutes, and then fades. The cause of the pit around you is suddenly very evident. You don’t see that you have any other option than to pursue the alien party into the dark.

Advancing cautiously through the gateway, you find yourself in a huge tunnel that heads into the mountain. The walls and floor are clearly natural stone, although cut with great precision and smoothness, and wet with moisture. The air itself is heavy, warm and damp, and you are struck with the unnerving sensation that you are venturing into the mouth of some great serpent. Down the center of the tunnel the floor is so heavily worn by foot traffic that a deep channel has formed, with a trickle of water running down it. Inside it is completely black, and a few yards in from the entrance you must rely on flashlights to make your way forward.

Further along the tunnel, the right wall opens onto a tall room a few meters wide. It contains, somewhat unexpectedly, a collection of decorated spears and aboriginal garb. You’re no expert, but they put you in mind of the peoples of the Pacific Islands, perhaps Tongan or Maori. The clothing items look like heavy coats or ponchos, and have partly rotted in the damp air.

As you emerge from the room, another blast of hot air fills the tunnel, accompanied by a distant howling or rumbling from up ahead. Although not actually painful, it is intensely uncomfortable, especially in your heavy furs, which you remove and tie carefully to the supply sled. It is a good four or five minutes before the air dies down and the tunnel is silent once more.

  • Check the campaign log. If the investigators followed the Ahnenerbe to the tunnel site:
    Further along the tunnel you discover the fate of the Germans that you followed to the tunnel site. The corpses of three soldiers and one scientist are heaped against the walls, apparently having been moved there out of the way. Their weapons and tools have been taken. This is less than a full squad – were the remainder also abducted?

Finally the tunnel opens out onto what resembles nothing so much as a wharf, or train station platform. The edge of the wharf lies along the open side of another tunnel, this one larger and with angled walls and ceiling. Lined up in the tunnel along the wharf’s edge are several large platforms like huge, pentagonal, stone, flatbed train cars. Upon inspection, they appear to be suspended by nothing, floating silent and immobile.

Looking down into the tunnel floor you see odd items scattered there, all of metal – a belt buckle here, several bullet casings there – clear evidence of the stygian animals from the base camp that absorb all organic material into themselves, but leave behind the mineral. This warm environment is perfect for beings that seem attracted to, even animated by, heat. Is this the resting place of the twenty-six men who came here from the Barsmeier-Falken base?

  • Proceed to Scenario V: Mainline to the Mountains of Madness.

Scenario V: Mainline to the Mountains of Madness

Investigating the platforms, you discover that one is piled high with a cache of dull, reddish crystals. Each is about fist-sized, and the heap towers higher than a yard, so there must be hundreds of them, all identical in size and shape. Picking one up, you feel a sudden fatigue in your hand and immediately drop it again. The fallen crystal is now glowing faintly from inside, a red light which is equal parts bright and horrible.

Each platform has a sort of raised control cabinet like that on the bridge of a battleship. It is studded with indentations which are the exact size and shape of the reddish crystals. Retrieving the glowing one – and being careful not to touch it again with bare hands – you insert it into the cabinet, which causes a very obvious lever to slide out. From the smaller tunnel leading outside you hear the sound of human voices shouting in German, as well as the deep rumble of some kind of huge vehicle.

  • If there are two or more investigators:
    One platform will not be large enough to transport all your companions, but you discover that the control cabinets fold over to create a sort of magnetic linking mechanism which somehow binds the stone platforms together. Only the frontmost platform’s cabinet can still be used, and by dismal happenstance the cache of fuel crystals is at the rear of your makeshift train.
  • Otherwise:
    Fortunately, the frontmost platform is the one holding the cache of fuel crystals.

You push the lever forwards, and the train begins to move, slowly at first but faster and faster until the stone walls are a blur.

Suggested Music

Setup Instructions (Paper Version)

  • Gather all the cards from the following encounter sets: Mainline to the Mountains of Madness, Alien Activity, Looming Presence, Loathsome Abominations, Thermodynamics and Agents of the Ahnenerbe.
  • Arrange the train as follows:
    • Put one copy of Floating Platform into play for each investigator in the game.
    • Remove each other copy of Floating Platform from the game.
    • Arrange the Floating Platforms in a straight line from left to right.
    • Attach the Crystal Cache story asset to the leftmost Floating Platform.
    • Attach the Control Cabinet story asset to the rightmost Floating Platform.
      • (In a solo game, both assets will be attached to the same location.)
    • Each investigator begins play at the leftmost Floating Platform.
  • Set the following cards aside, out of play: German Platform, Alien Platform, the Agents of the Ahnenerbe encounter set.
  • Shuffle the remainder of the encounter cards to build the encounter deck.
  • Skip to Additional Setup.

Setup Instructions (Tabletop Simulator Version)

  • Click place on the scenario container.
  • Arrange the train as follows:
    • Put one copy of Floating Platform into play for each investigator in the game.
    • Remove each other copy of Floating Platform from the game.
    • Arrange the Floating Platforms in a straight line from left to right.
    • Attach the Crystal Cache story asset to the leftmost Floating Platform.
    • Attach the Control Cabinet story asset to the rightmost Floating Platform.
      • (In a solo game, both assets will be attached to the same location.)
    • Each investigator begins play at the leftmost Floating Platform.
  • Shuffle the encounter deck.
  • Proceed to Additional Setup.

Additional Setup (Paper & Tabletop Simulator Versions)

  • Add the name William Dyer to the campaign log under “Survivors”. (This means that one investigator can include the William Dyer story asset in their deck instead of a different story asset.) If no one includes William Dyer in their deck, set him aside out of play.
  • Check the campaign log.
    • If the investigators followed the Ahnenerbe to the tunnel site:
      Surely stopping to attack and capture the Ahnenerbe team must have slowed the aliens down.
      Place 1 doom on Agenda 1a.
    • Otherwise:
      The aliens have quite a lead on you.
      Place 2 doom on Agenda 1a.

The Train

  • Locations in this scenario form a continuous train from left to right. Each location is connected to each location adjacent to it.

Rival

DO NOT READ until the end of the scenario

If no resolution was reached (each investigator resigned or was defeated):

  • If the act deck was at act 4, skip to Resolution 2.
  • Otherwise, proceed to Resolution 1.

Resolution 1

You continue to pursue the alien platform but it is hopeless. Hours of travel later, an orange glow ahead of you in the tunnel draws your attention. You start to slow the train, but it is too late. A sudden collision sends you flying, and you black out…

  • Proceed to Resolution 2.

Resolution 2

You awaken groggily to flickering firelight. Around you in the tunnel you see your companions in various states of injury. Nearby, the silhouettes of the stone platforms are clearly visible piled into a heap, one of them cracked in two. Intense fire lights up the tunnel beyond them.

Your companions start to get to their feet, and you realise that you don’t recognise the figure moving between them to assist. It is a small man, with a neatly trimmed moustache surrounded by a heavy fur hood.

Dyer gasps.

“Falken? Dr Klaus Falken? You’re alive?”

“Not exactly,” replies the man.

  • Check the campaign log.
    If the investigators rescued alien captives in the elder tunnels:
    Choose up to one player card name per investigator listed under “Missing” in the campaign log. Remove those names from “Missing” and record them under “Survivors” instead.
  • Record in your campaign log that the investigators survived a train crash in the elder tunnels.
  • Add one {Cultist} token to the chaos bag for the remainder of the campaign.
  • Check the victory display.
    • If Durer is in the victory display:
      Record the name Durer under “Deceased” in the campaign log.
    • Otherwise:
      Add 1 {Elder Thing} token to the chaos bag for the remainder of the campaign.
  • Each investigator earns experience equal to the Victory X value of each card in the victory display. In addition, the investigators earn 1 additional experience for each act card that was completed.
  • Proceed to Interlude V: The Emissary.

I want these scenarios to be as good as they can be, so any feedback you have would be gratefully received. Click here for feedback and contact information.

Interlude V: The Emissary

Over a year ago, a German expedition led by Dr Klaus Falken set out to explore a tunnel network that runs for thousands of miles under Antarctica. Now that same Dr Falken stands before you, seemingly healthy and unharmed. How can he have survived? You demand he explain his cryptic introduction.

“I thought you might find this face less displeasing. One night ago I protected Dr Falken from the cysts of darkness, but his wounds were already dire. I saved his face, his memories. When we last met you reacted with hostility to my true appearance.”

Dyer raises his gun. “You’re that thing… that changeling, from the abandoned base. You attacked us! Show yourself!”

The thing shakes its head. “It is my observation that my own face induces an irrational revulsion in your kind. I could show you your own face, but last time that also met with a hostile reaction. This is the only other human face I have. It was never my intention to attack you. I was defending myself. I was simply curious. There are so few of your kind here, I take whatever opportunity I can to observe you.”

Dyer seems taken aback by the man’s – the thing’s – mannered decorum. He lowers his gun subconsciously.

“You are… a scientist?”

It looks thoughtful. “Not in the sense you mean it, no. I am an explorer, an emissary.”

It speaks at length of its people, who it refers to as the fluid ones, and of their sovereign who rules from a place known as the Protean Court, which it describes in glowing terms as a place of civilisation and safety. 

When you explain your mission to rescue your abducted colleagues, the changeling nods gravely. “It was three nights ago that the stagnant ones returned and began their machinations once again. They use the train to bring prisoners to their city. I do not know their plans or their precise location, but I will help you find them if you will help me stop them.”

Trainwrecked deep underground and with no idea of where to go next, you hesitantly accept the creature’s offer. You introduce yourselves in turn, and ask its name. It responds with a series of hoots and howls that are horrifying emanating from a kindly, human face.

It looks thoughtful once more, before saying: “How can I translate this… I have only Dr Falken’s limited cultural knowledge to draw on.” He ponders for a moment. “Ahtu, I think. Ahtu ibn Sotut. Now, are any of you in need of healing?”

  • If any investigator chooses to be healed:
    Ahtu reaches out to touch your exposed skin. You shrink back as its hand melts and deforms, but steel yourself. The feeling is not unpleasant physically, but profoundly disturbing as you cannot shake the sensation that it is healing your wounds by creating flesh anew.
    Each investigator may either remove 1 point of physical trauma or permanently remove 1 Injury weakness from their deck. Any investigator who does either must take 1 mental trauma.
  • Proceed to Scenario VI: City of the Elder Things.

Scenario VI: City of the Elder Things

It’s a Two-Parter!

  • City of the Elder Things is a two-part scenario – Part A and Part B. For campaign purposes, each part counts as an entirely separate scenario – for example, players can earn and spend experience between the two. However, many mechanics, rules and themes are shared between the two parts, including the scenario reference card.

Scenario VI-A: City of the Elder Things (Part A)

You are deep beneath the surface of Antarctica, somewhere on the other side of the continent from where your ship landed. Ahtu, a changeling wearing the face of the missing Dr Klaus Falken, attends to the members of your expedition, healing wounds where permitted.

“We are deep beneath the city of the stagnant ones – the ones you call ‘elder things’,” says Ahtu. “This was once the territory of my people, the fluid ones, as was this whole continent. These warm tunnels were our most treasured region, but long before I was born, perhaps a hundred and fifty nights ago, they became quiet and cold. That was when-“

Suddenly he looks up, alert. Beyond the crashed and broken stone platforms that block the tunnel, one of the flying, elemental creatures that dwell within the power crystals has taken to the air once more. As you watch the whirling arc of its flight, a tenebrous black shape reaches up and engulfs the elemental, extinguishing it.

“A cyst of darkness!” Ahtu says, “It grows fat on the fire and flesh of the wreckage. We must leave.”

A long, pitch-dark tentacle snakes its way over the stone platform, followed by another. The tunnel in the opposite direction is shrouded in darkness, but open. You run.

Suggested Music

Setup Instructions (Paper Version)

  • Gather all the cards from the following encounter sets: City of the Elder Things, City of the Elder Things A, Pitch Black, Thermodynamics, Loathsome Abominations, Agents of the Ahnenerbe.
  • Place the Crash Site location in the bottom right of the play area.
  • Place the Protean Court in the upper left of the play area.
  • Find the four Caves, four Vents and five Ruins locations and shuffle them together to form the location deck. With the Crash Site at the bottom right and the Protean Court at the top left, randomly deal the location card deck facedown into a grid which is 5 locations wide and 3 locations tall.
    • Each investigator begins play at the Crash Site.
  • Spawn the Stygian Ignivore at the Crash Site, exhausted.
  • Arrange the six Palimpsest cards into an ordered deck, with Palimpsest I at the top and Palimpsest VI at the bottom.
  • Choose a player to take control of the Ahtu ibn Sotot asset.
  • Set the following cards aside, out of play: The four Tunnels locations, Sunless Shore, Dormant Shoggoth, both copies of Albino Penguin, both copies of Star Chamber Wrangler and the Agents of the Ahnenerbe encounter set.
  • Shuffle the encounter deck.
  • Deal one random encounter card at each empty location. If the card is an enemy or a treachery which attaches to a location, put it into play at that location. Shuffle each other card back into the encounter deck.

Setup Instructions (TTS Version)

  • Click place on the scenario container.
  • Shuffle the unexplored locations deck. With the Crash Site at the bottom right and the Protean Court at the top left, randomly deal the unexplored locations deck facedown into a grid which is 5 locations wide and 3 locations tall.
    • Each investigator begins play at the Crash Site.
  • Choose a player to take control of the Ahtu ibn Sotot asset.
  • Shuffle the encounter deck.
  • Deal one random encounter card at each empty location. If the card is an enemy or a treachery which attaches to a location, put it into play at that location. Shuffle each other card back into the encounter deck.

Connecting Locations

  • Each location in this scenario is connected to each orthogonally adjacent location (north, south, east or west).

Scenario Interlude VI-A: The Protean Court

Read this interlude only when you are instructed to do so.

Ahtu leads you to what you believe to be the north-west, assuring you that you will come to no harm amongst his people. After a series of tunnels which Dyer notes with some discomfort are swept clean you finally come upon the Protean Court. A vast cave, with mouths at many levels looking something like theatre galleries. In many you see writhing movement, but in the center – a vicissitudinous abomination larger than any you have seen before, even the colossal specimen that boarded the ship. This must be Abd-Azathoth, the regent of these amorphous creatures. Dyer’s arms are shaking, but he says nothing.

Before your arrival can be noted, a disturbance from one of the gallery-caves draws your attention and that of the courtiers. From it emerges that black, oozing shape – too large now to suspend itself on legs, but terribly mobile nonetheless. Abd-Azathoth roars and howls and hoots as the stygian assassin plunges toward it, and the two seem to merge – the smaller stygian thing being completely swallowed. For a moment you wonder if the pursuit is finally over, but then the king’s skin begins to swell and discolour, until the whole being has been absorbed and replaced with utter darkness. Once again, you run.

(Paper Version)

  • If the agenda deck is still at agenda 1a:
    Subtract the total doom in play from the current doom threshold. For each point remaining, each investigator may heal 1 damage or 1 horror. Remove all doom from agenda 1a, skip agenda 1b and advance immediately to agenda 2a.
  • Flip the Crash Site. Move each surviving investigator to The Fallen Court. Remove the Stygian Ignivore from play (removing any tokens and attachments), then flip it and spawn the Stygian Regivore at the Fallen Court, exhausted.
  • Set all other location cards aside, out of play. Any other cards at those locations are discarded.
  • Add the encounter discard pile to the encounter deck. Search the encounter deck and all play areas (including threat areas) for each copy of the following cards and set them aside, out of play: Pentacephalic Lamprey, Stygian Tunnel-Dweller, Star Chamber Hypotherminator.
  • Add each set-aside copy of the following cards to the encounter deck: Albino Penguin, Star Chamber Wrangler, the Agents of the Ahnenerbe encounter set. Shuffle the encounter deck.
  • Find the five Ruins locations and four Caves locations you just set aside, and shuffle them together with the four Tunnels locations to form a new location deck. Place the Sunless Shore location in the upper left of the play area. With the Fallen Court at the bottom right and the Sunless Shore at the top left, randomly deal the location card deck facedown into a grid which is 5 locations wide and 3 locations tall.
  • Deal one random encounter card at each empty location. If the card is an enemy or a treachery which attaches to a location, put it into play at that location. Shuffle each other card back into the encounter deck.
  • Skip the Mythos phase of the next turn.

(TTS Version)

  • If the agenda deck is still at agenda 1a:
    Subtract the total doom in play from the current doom threshold. For each point remaining, each investigator may heal 1 damage or 1 horror. Remove all doom from agenda 1a, skip agenda 1b and advance immediately to agenda 2a.
  • Flip the Crash Site. Move each surviving investigator to The Fallen Court. Remove the Stygian Ignivore from play (removing any tokens and attachments), then flip it and spawn the Stygian Regivore at the Fallen Court, exhausted.
  • Remove all other location cards from the game. Any other cards at those locations are discarded.
  • Remove the encounter deck and discard pile from the game. Remove all encounter-backed cards in all play areas (including threat areas) from the game.
  • Shuffle the set-aside unexplored locations 2 deck. Place the set-aside Sunless Shore location in the upper left of the play area. With the Fallen Court at the bottom right and the Sunless Shore at the top left, randomly deal the unexplored locations 2 deck facedown into a grid which is 5 locations wide and 3 locations tall.
  • Shuffle the set-aside encounter deck 2. This is now the encounter deck.
  • Deal one random encounter card at each empty location. If the card is an enemy or a treachery which attaches to a location, put it into play at that location. Shuffle each other card back into the encounter deck.
  • Skip the Mythos phase of the next turn.

DO NOT READ until the end of the scenario

If no resolution was reached (each investigator was defeated):

These tunnels are a hell on earth, infested by otherworldly beings that no man should see, let alone encounter. Fleeing wildly, you emerge from a passage onto what can only be a lightless beach. Shocked for a moment, you look around in puzzlement before realising that you have reached your destination.

  • Proceed to Resolution 1.

Resolution 1

Ahtu leads you across the beach. In the distance you hear what can only be more of the plastic monstrosities hunting out in the teeming sea. After some distance you come to a cliff face, which Ahtu begins to climb with unnatural vigor, clinging to it like a great man-shaped spider, and urging you to follow. The more practical of your group unpack climbing gear, and with everyone securely tied together you begin to slowly and carefully ascend with the use of pitons.

It takes what must be over an hour of exhausting and painstaking clambering, the sound of penguins in the air all the time. You are not halted by creatures natural or unnatural, and you feel the pressing weight of the stygian abomination far below fade from your mind. At last you reach the top of the cliff, and find Ahtu there waiting for you, cooking the flesh of several huge penguins into a surprisingly civilised and appetising feast, given the circumstances.

Famished, you feast before moving on.

  • Record in your campaign log that the investigators traversed the tunnels beneath the sunless sea.
  • Each investigator earns experience equal to the Victory X value of each card in the victory display.
  • Proceed to Scenario VI-B: City of the Elder Things (Part B).

I want these scenarios to be as good as they can be, so any feedback you have would be gratefully received. Click here for feedback and contact information.

City of the Elder Things (Part B)

On the clifftop high above the sunless sea, the sound of penguins is still omnipresent. In the cave wall ahead of you is a worked opening, which rises into a shallow ramp. Dyer notes that it was on a very similar ramp that he and Danforth came face to face with a shoggoth on their previous visit.

“Yes, this is that same ramp,” comments Ahtu, “We are at the bottom of it. The fluid ones do not come here often – food and warmth are more plentiful down in the sea.”

“I still haven’t been able to piece together what any of this is about,” comments Dyer as you slowly ascend the ramp. “What are the city builders doing? Why are they abducting academics? What are these stygian… things that thrive in warmth? The city ruins are filled with murals which I found quite comprehensible – perhaps we can learn something.”

Suggested Music

Setup Instructions (Paper Version)

  • Gather all the cards from the following encounter sets: City of the Elder Things, City of the Elder Things B, Pitch Black, Antarctic Cold, Frostbite, Alien Abduction, Agents of the Ahnenerbe, Loathsome Abominations.
  • Place the Sunless Cliffs location in the bottom right of the play area.
  • Place the Cyclopean Gateway location in the upper left of the play area.
  • Find the four Tunnels, four Lower City and five Ruins locations and shuffle them together to form the location deck. With the Sunless Cliffs at the bottom right and the Cyclopean Gateway at the top left, randomly deal the location card deck facedown into a grid which is 5 locations wide and 3 locations tall.
    • Each investigator begins play at the Sunless Cliffs.
  • Arrange the four Nameless Darkness cards into an ordered deck, with Nameless Darkness I at the top and Nameless Darkness IV at the bottom.
  • Arrange the three Prothallic Heresy cards into an ordered deck, with Prothallic Heresy I at the top and Prothallic Heresy III at the bottom.
  • Choose a player to take control of the Ahtu ibn Sotot asset.
  • Set the following cards aside, out of play:
    • The eight Upper City locations, Vertiginous Citadel, Dormant Shoggoth, Botticelli, LZ 125, Tripod from Yuggoth, Unshackled Star Spawn, both copies of Star Chamber Fungicider, all four copies of Fungal Warrior, both copies of Ceaseless Conflict, the Alien Abduction, Antarctic Cold and Frostbite encounter sets.
  • Spawn the Pathfinder from Yuggoth (Scout the Cliffs!) enemy at the Cyclopean Gateway.
  • Shuffle the encounter deck.
  • Deal one random encounter card at each empty location. If the card is an enemy or a treachery which attaches to a location, put it into play at that location. Shuffle each other card back into the encounter deck.

Setup Instructions (TTS Version)

  • Click place on the scenario container.
  • Shuffle the unexplored locations deck. With the Sunless Cliffs at the bottom right and the Cyclopean Gateway at the top left, randomly deal the unexplored locations deck deck facedown into a grid which is 5 locations wide and 3 locations tall.
    • Each investigator begins play at the Sunless Cliffs.
  • Choose a player to take control of the Ahtu ibn Sotot asset.
  • Shuffle the encounter deck.
  • Deal one random encounter card at each empty location. If the card is an enemy or a treachery which attaches to a location, put it into play at that location. Shuffle each other card back into the encounter deck.

Connecting Locations

  • Each location in this scenario is connected to each orthogonally adjacent location (north, south, east or west).

Interlude VI-B: Path to the Surface

Read this interlude only when you are instructed to do so.

As you start up the ramp, Dyer begins to talk. “I never told you what I hoped to achieve in this desolate place. How can we, a group of ephemeral mortals, hope to triumph over such eldritch horrors as these? There is a spell in the Necronomicon which I believe can wreak devastation on these creatures. Let’s survey the area, see what state the city is in, and plan from there.”

While you climb and Dyer talks, you begin to hear noises from above: muffled bangs, the sound of falling and breaking stone, and all manner of alien hooting and cacophony. Reaching the surface door of the building you peer out to a shocking sight. The anticipated timeless, quiescent city is an incandescent warzone.

(Paper Version)

  • If the agenda deck is still at agenda 1a:
    Subtract the total doom in play from the current doom threshold. For each point remaining, each investigator may heal 1 damage or 1 horror. Remove all doom from agenda 1a, skip agenda 1b and advance immediately to agenda 2a.
  • Flip the Sunless Cliffs and move it to the bottom left of the play area. Move each surviving investigator to the Spiral Ramp. Remove the Pathfinder from Yuggoth from the game. Set all other location cards aside, out of play. Any other cards at those locations are discarded.
  • Add the encounter discard pile to the encounter deck. Search the encounter deck and all play areas (including threat areas) for each copy of the following cards and set them aside, out of play: Trackless Darkness, Deeper Darkness, Claustrophobia, Albino Penguin.
  • Add each set-aside copy of the following cards to the encounter deck: Ceaseless Conflict, Star Chamber Fungicider, Fungal Warrior. (Do not shuffle the encounter deck yet)
  • Find the five Ruins locations you just set aside and shuffle them together with the eight set-aside Upper City locations to form a new location deck. Place the set-aside Vertiginous Citadel location in the upper right of the play area. With the Spiral Ramp at the bottom left and the Vertiginous Citadel at the top right, randomly deal the location card deck facedown into a grid which is 5 locations wide and 3 locations tall.
  • Find each Monster enemy in the encounter deck. Add the set-aside Botticelli, LZ 125 and Tripod from Yuggoth enemies to form a deck of 15 enemies. Shuffle these enemies and randomly spawn 1 enemy faceup at each location. Exhaust the enemy that spawns Shuffle the rest of the encounter deck.
  • Skip the Mythos phase of the next turn.
  • (When resolving the hunter keyword on rivals, you may find it helpful to rotate enemies 45 degrees to remind yourself which hunter keywords you’ve resolved.)

(TTS Version)

  • If the agenda deck is still at agenda 1a:
    Subtract the total doom in play from the current doom threshold. For each point remaining, each investigator may heal 1 damage or 1 horror. Remove all doom from agenda 1a, skip agenda 1b and advance immediately to agenda 2a.
  • Flip the Sunless Cliffs and move it to the bottom left of the play area. Move each surviving investigator to the Spiral Ramp. Remove the Pathfinder from Yuggoth from the game. Remove all other locations from play. Any other cards at those locations are discarded.
  • Remove the encounter deck and discard pile from the game. Remove all encounter-backed cards in all play areas (including threat areas) from the game.
  • Shuffle the set-aside unexplored locations 2 deck. Place the set-aside Vertiginous Citadel location in the upper right of the play area. With the Spiral Ramp at the bottom left and the Vertiginous Citadel at the top right, randomly deal the unexplored locations 2 deck deck facedown into a grid which is 5 locations wide and 3 locations tall.
  • Shuffle the set-aside encounter deck 2. This is now the encounter deck.
  • Shuffle the set-aside enemy deck. Randomly spawn 1 enemy faceup at each location.
  • Skip the Mythos phase of the next turn.
  • (When resolving the hunter keyword on rivals, you may find it helpful to rotate enemies 45 degrees to remind yourself which hunter keywords you’ve resolved.)

DO NOT READ until the end of the scenario

If no resolution was reached (each investigator was defeated):

  • If the act deck is at act 1:
    There is no day here, and no night. You do not know for how many hours you plunge through the caves and ruins, evading horrors innumerable. At last you emerge on the surface near the base of a tall spire. You ascend it, hoping to evade your pursuers.
    Skip to Resolution 1.
  • If the act deck is at act 2:
    Fleeing from the warring aliens, you somehow find your way to the tall spire and ascend it, trying desperately to evade them. As you reach the top, the fighting begins to die down, and the various groups of aliens retreat.
    Proceed to Resolution 1.

Resolution 1

The building is tall – the tallest in the city, or close to it. You emerge onto a flat roof of dark stone, and avoid the dizzying look down from the parapet at the edge. From here you can see out across the alien metropolis for miles in every direction.

Dyer looks around. “We should be secure here for now. I know our task seems insurmountable, but I did not come here unprepared – our salvation lies within the pages of the Necronomicon. It contains the workings of a spell, one that can destroy what remains of this accursed civilisation and end the threat to mankind forever. I’ve been studying it. I think we can make it work. I know this spell was performed at least twice before, in Dunwich. You must help me-“

From behind you, a voice you don’t recognise with an obvious Boston accent calls out: “William!”

Dyer turns to look. A man in a black parka, clean shaven with goggles pushed up onto his forehead, stands with his hands raised.

“William, it’s me. It’s Paul.”

“Danforth…?”

“Yes. Please, William, you have to-“

“No” shouts Dyer, and before you can do anything he has shouldered his rifle and fired a round into the other man. “No more! Shoggoth! Infiltrator! You devoured him! You killed my friend!”

But far from rippling and changing and revealing its true form, the man claiming to be Dyer’s erstwhile companion in the city collapses to the ground and begins bleeding into the snow. You rush over to give medical attention, but the wound is severe and the closest medical facility is back at the Ahnenerbe camp on the other side of the continent. Ahtu pushes past you, but there is apparently nothing the changeling can do.

“Danforth… I…” Dyer kneels by his friend, “I thought you were…”

“William…” gasps Danforth, “Moore sent me. You must… hear him out. Do as he asks. Everything depends on it.”

“Moore is alive?”

“He is in… the tower. It lies before… the storm. To the west.”

“The elder pharos, William! The nameless… cylinder in the black pit! I tried to tell you! I tried to…”

Danforth is dead. Dyer gets to his feet, a grim expression on his face.

“Moore? He never returned from his expedition. How could he have survived down here? How could Danforth?”

He cycles the bolt of his rifle, the cartridge spinning off into the snow, and doesn’t look back at the corpse of his friend. “To the tower, then.”

  • Record in your campaign log that Dyer killed Danforth in the city of the Elder Things.
  • Check the victory display.
    • If Botticelli is in the victory display:
      Record the name Botticelli under “Deceased” in the campaign log.
    • Otherwise:
      Add 1 {Elder Thing} token to the chaos bag for the remainder of the campaign.
  • Each investigator earns experience equal to the Victory X value of each card in the victory display.
  • Investigators may not remove story assets from their decks before the next scenario.
  • Proceed to Interlude VII: The Whole Story.

I want these scenarios to be as good as they can be, so any feedback you have would be gratefully received. Click here for feedback and contact information.

Interlude VII – The Whole Story

(Warning! This interlude is very long.)

Part 1 – To the Dark Tower

As you exit at the base of the citadel, the battle between the alien forces has completely cessated. On a nearby, flat area you find a large plane with the engines idling – Danforth must have used this to reach you. The paint on the plane has been scoured by Antarctic winds, but the signage of the Starkweather-Moore expedition is still visible, along with the plane’s name – the Weddell. Your group climbs aboard, and with minimal delay you head up into the kaleidoscopic sky.

This is your first time seeing the city from the air, and as it stretches beneath and behind you it looks serene and unchanging, despite the battle that raged across it only recently. Looking east, you see the so-called mountains of madness, whose dark, barren peaks climb as high as 30,000 feet into the air by Dyer’s reckoning.

Suddenly another one of the strange quakes or convulsions hits the city. High up in the air, you do not feel the ground move, but you can clearly see the visual distortion. It is like a wave, rolling in from the west and spreading out across the city. Wherever it reaches, everything changes. Where there was ruin and a thick glacial layer, now the city lies intact, spiralling domes rising even higher into the sky and thick jungle winding its way around and between the buildings. As quickly as it came, the vision fades, and you are once more looking out across a vast, frozen ruin.

Looking towards the west, from where the strange effect emanated, there is nothing but a prismatic haze and an almost featureless, blasted plateau. A barely visible riverbed leaves the city to the west, and recalling its significance in certain murals, you follow its course. After half an hour or so, you dimly see the tips of mountains appearing beyond the horizon. As they rise into view, it quickly becomes apparent that they dwarf even the mountains behind you. Dyer has his face pressed eagerly against the foggy windscreen. The fierce, craggy mountains behind seem like the mere foothills to these titans, and their shape and position has a curious regularity to it – a sawtoothed line of savage black triangles.

As you come even closer, you make out a huge, strange shape directly ahead of you. The mountain range is not an even line – it recedes slightly in a semicircular indentation, and nestled into that recess is a tremendous storm, a thick tornado which rises amongst the mountain peaks before gradually dissipating into the thin air. It is entirely fixed in place, and completely regular and symmetrical in shape, speaking to a profoundly unnatural origin.

Near the base of the storm is a tiny, but extremely bright, blueish light. You descend towards it, and can soon make out the shape of a tower, squat and brutal, some 400 feet high, with the light emanating from the very tip. There is nowhere near the tower to land, and the ground as far as you can see is torn into rippled patterns radiating from the storm. The old river bed runs nearby, though, and you head towards it to land a couple of miles away.

From the ground, the tower sits within a snow-filled valley, and the huge tornado soars into the sky beyond it, with the formidable mountain range climbing even higher still. Descending into the valley, you cross the long distance to the tower. It is made of the same black stone as the city, but polished and seemingly intact despite the long aeons. Near the base is a huge opening, but to your surprise it is blocked by a clearly recent addition – painted metal fills the gap, and a large but clearly human industrial door blocks your entrance. Even more incongruously, at the center of the door is a large, brass door knocker.

Unsure of what else to do, you knock on the door.

  • In your campaign log, record that you found your way to the dark tower before the black pit.

Part 2 – A Civilized Welcome

For a moment, there is no answer. You weren’t sure what you expected when you knocked on the door of this strange tower at the very end of the Earth. You step back to search for another entrance, when suddenly there is a shearing sound of metal scraping against stone, and the door begins to open. You ready yourselves for a fight.

The man who opens the door is a tall, serious looking fellow with a neatly trimmed beard and horn-rimmed glasses.

Dyer gasps. “Moore! It is you! What is- what are-“

“Professor Dyer, thank goodness you’ve come,” replies the man, evidently Professor Moore of the Starkweather-Moore Expedition. “Have you brought the survivors from Boston with you? Good! Excellent! We still have a chance then! Come in, come in, you must be freezing, not to mention short of breath. Is Danforth with you? No? Regrettable.”

He steps back, allowing your entire entourage to troop inside. The tower is warm, and the air somehow thick with oxygen. You greedily gulp in lungfuls of the stuff, only now realising how faint you were feeling from the thin air of the plateau. Moore leads you up a long, dark ramp – the weathered, patterned stone reminds you of the tunnels in and around the alien train system – and into a wide, open hall filled with the now-familiar murals. A few items of human furniture – tattered couches, end tables, small bookshelves and the like – are nestled between cyclopean, alien pillars.

Some of the academics sink wearily into the available seating, while others excitedly study the room. One mural dominates the wall – a crude, late work that depicts what appears to be nothing less than a ritual human sacrifice. Human – or perhaps humanoid – heads are being offered up by the city builders to some tall, many-headed deity. The depiction is quite unsettling, and very unlike the otherwise irreligious aliens.

“I’d offer you all glass of brandy,” says Moore, “But I’m not sure I have enough for everyone. It costs a tremendous amount to bring it in from Cape Town, and our resources are stretched as it is. Professor Dyer, you’re leading this expedition I assume? If everyone else could just wait here for a moment, I have something I must discuss with him.”

Moore takes Dyer gently by the arm and leads him towards one of the gloomy archways. Dyer beckons for you to follow.

“What in God’s name is happening here, Moore? You’re alive? What have you been doing?”

“Lake woke them up,” replies Moore, “And thank the Lord he did. They arrived just in time. The consequences otherwise would have been dire.”

Beyond the doorway, a spiralling ramp leads up to another level. The chamber is five-sided, with more archways leading away. Above you, the ramp climbs higher, and a tangled mess of pale, fleshy roots follows it upwards. As you watch them, the roots slowly pulse and writhe, as if breathing.

“Welcome to the Star Chamber,” says Moore, gesturing around. “A little joke on my part, but a fitting one. King Charles’ Star Chamber meted out justice from a secret court, and here we are forced to do the same.”

A man in a plain suit emerges from one of the side rooms. Moore nods with him, and the two quickly converse in what you think is Afrikaans. The other departs, and Moore leads you further up the ramp.

“We have made useful contacts in the Union of South Africa. The government there is not entirely aware of the nature of my associates, but they are very interested in the technology we have to offer, and we have found them ideologically compatible.”

“Your associates… Moore, you didn’t-?”

“They’re called the ‘Qhrell’. That is to say, that’s the name given to them in the Pnakotic Manuscripts. Their name for themselves is a sort of whistle I haven’t been able to emulate. They’re everything you thought: intelligent, industrious, civilised, but so much more!”

At the top of the ramp, you emerge into a chamber so high that it fades into mist high above you. Further ramps ascend still further, but around and around them grows a thick jungle of vines, interlaced with a crystalline lattice of dizzying complexity.

“It’s a computing machine, William! Like a differential analyser, but impossibly complex. It maintains the black pit, you see, to stop- I’m getting ahead of myself. I’m sorry, but we don’t have much time.” He glances quickly at his wristwatch. “They imprisoned it accidentally, you see. Something much too powerful, much too large for the prison. It can’t get out, William. It will destroy the Earth, just annihilate it, in moments. Nothing can stop it. Not my associates, certainly not humanity. Our only hope is to keep it trapped, don’t you see?

“All their resources, their whole civilization, they put it to keeping the prisoner trapped. They struggled with it for millions of years, William, their civilization fell, but they kept it trapped. The plateau itself, you see, it was all part of the machine. A jungle grew for hundreds of miles – a biological network, a living nervous system, supplementing the crystal matrix in the tower. Then the cold came, and the jungle froze, and the city was abandoned, but they still kept it trapped.”

You reach a wide platform, a sort of landing amongst the jungle, and Moore leads you along a precarious walkway to the west. Shattered crystals crunch underfoot, and it quickly grows colder. Up ahead, you see that the western side of the tower has broken open, and the howling winds of the storm reach inside. The jungle recedes, and huge swathes of the crystal lattice near the breach are simply gone.

“The tower was damaged, the machine weakened. Without the jungle, they had to find other materials. They made… sacrifices. Pilgrimages from deep in the warm sea to this tower, to maintain and repair it. Then, some time in the 1830s, an explorer named Arthur Gordon Pym somehow made it here, to the tower. He damaged the vents – the heat, they take the heat away, to keep it trapped, to keep it frozen. He damaged the vents, and the prisoner began to escape, but your – Lake’s – things, they found the tower, they repaired it, just in time. They kept it operational, but it’s been weakened. We have to keep it operational!”

Looking out through the gaping hole in the tower, you see the western end of the snowy valley stretching towards the storm. Odd, triangular, dark patches are evenly distributed across the area, and it takes you a moment to realise the snow is melting.

“Even now the prison is breaking down. We have been doing all we can, but the materials, the materials are so hard to locate. I advise you not to look into the storm itself.”

Instinctively you look up, and just for a moment, a crack forms in the wall of the tornado. Inside, all is black.

  • In your campaign log, record that you looked into the black pit and beheld its prisoner.

Part 3 – What Must Be Done

Your mind’s eye spins beyond all of time and all of space. You see the primordial ocean, you see the nuclear chaos, you see the mist and the darkness at the start of everything. Then you feel the cold, the stillness, the cessation of all existence, for uncountable cycles, and you feel the unending, unquenchable need to escape, to be free. Then you see the future – the prisoner, freed. All of Earth, all of space, all of our reality, crumbles to dust in an instant under its entropic presence. You know for sure that should it be freed, this will come to pass.

But this is not the first threat to all of time and space you have faced. Wrenching yourself free of the vision, you turn on Moore and tell him as such.

“You do not understand,” replies Moore sadly. “What you have seen… the beings you have faced in the past. They were shadows. Mere vestiges, avatars, of things that lie beyond the limits of what is possible in our realm. This one, this prisoner, is here. All of it is here, in one place, subject to a set of physics that impose no more limitation upon it than a sieve imposes upon a limerick. You think you can defeat it with shotguns and dynamite? An entire civilization of our betters could do nothing but hold it in place! Come, I have one final thing to show you.”

He turns and heads back east along the walkway. The air grows warmer as you move back into the jungle. You cross the open platform and continue east, the walkway winding to and fro amongst the thicker trunks.

“I never tried to contact you, William. I wasn’t sure how you’d react. I know you were opposed to our expedition. Now you’re here, though, now you’ve seen what is at stake – I need your help. I need all of your help.”

At the end of the walkway, a semicircular platform fills the eastern side of the chamber. The gnarled and twisted coils of the thick jungle vines twist across it before rising and disappearing into the mist above you. In the middle of the platform, entwined with and framed by the pulsating vegetation, is a grotesque sight. A corpulent pillar of flesh, covered in dozens – hundreds – of the same, awful thing.

It is a column of human heads.

The heads vary in age quite substantially. Most are just skulls, some with scraps of flesh still clinging to them. Some are much more recent though, skin and hair still intact, and you notice then that they are not just intact, but alive. Unfocused eyes twitch, and mouths murmur incoherently. Thick rolls of some slime ooze down from above, coating the whole affair in a shiny, protective layer.

One of the alien creatures occupies the platform, and from its height you recognise it as one of the atavistic survivors – a being forty million years out of time. It lifts a large, round bowl reverently up towards the pillar. You cannot see the contents from below, but suddenly part of the pillar detaches and extends downwards. The shoggoth reaches into the bowl, plucks the fresh head, nervous filaments trailing from it like the fronds of some sea ray, and carefully fixes it in place, weaving the nerves into the pillar. As the shoggoth withdraws, the new head’s eyes flick open, and it adds its voice to the pillar’s chorus.

A sound draws your attention to Dyer, who is heaving his penguin supper over the edge of the platform. “What have you done?” he asks, wiping his mouth on his sleeve.

“What we had to, William,” replies Moore. “I was as horrified as you were, at first. They took James- they took my friend to the pillar. We cut the head free, damaged the machine, and almost freed the prisoner. Others had to die to atone for that mistake. Eventually we learned how to communicate with the Qhrell and work together.

“They can’t fully repair it. They don’t have the tools, or the industrial base. They found their surviving descendants, deep under the sea, and they’ve been trying to teach them, trying to regain what was lost. They can’t grow new crystal, and they can’t grow new jungle in this climate. They need biological material – brains, William, nervous systems – and as sophisticated as possible, to keep the prison intact.”

A shudder runs through the tower then. You recognise it as one of the strange earthquakes, but it is much stronger here. You stumble to your feet and almost slip from the walkway. Moore, clinging to a vine, checks his watch again.

“They’re coming faster now. Please, the prisoner is breaking free. When you interrupted the shipment in Boston, we were left with insufficient material for repairs. The crash you caused in the vent system has made travel difficult.

“Your friends downstairs, we need their brains. Please, you must help us!”

  • In your campaign log, record that Moore asked you to help him repair the tower.
  • Proceed to Scenario VII: Judgement at the Dark Tower.

Scenario VII: Judgement at the Dark Tower

Moore’s question hangs in the air. Is this really the only way? Even if it is, can you go through with what needs to be done?

Before you can answer, the sound of Dyer chambering his rifle draws your attention.

“You’re insane, Moore! We didn’t come all this way just to murder our colleagues!”

The alien on the platform launches itself up into the air and Moore dives awkwardly for cover as Dyer opens fire.

Suggested Music

Setup Instructions (Paper Version)

  • Gather all the cards from the following encounter sets: Judgement at the Dark Tower, Miskatonic Offerings, Alien Activity, Alien Abduction, Loathsome Abominations, Agents of the Ahnenerbe, Agents of Cthulhu.
  • Put the Howling Breach, Synaptic Jungle, The Wall of Skulls, Pool, The Star Chamber, Dissectory, Storage, Heritage Hall, Ossuary, Nursery, Geothermal Well and Flesh Mine locations into play.
    • Each investigator begins play at The Wall of Skulls.
  • Spawn the William Dyer, William Moore and Caravaggio enemies at The Wall of Skulls. (Caravaggio enters play aloof due to its rival keyword.)
  • Set the following cards aside, out of play: Sealed Aperture, The Dream-Eater, The Dunwich Legacy, the Agents of the Ahnenerbe and Agents of Cthulhu encounter sets.
  • Temporarily set the following cards aside, out of play: Bosch, Durer, Botticelli, the Agents of the Star Chamber and Miskatonic Offerings encounter sets (they will be used during additional setup).
  • Shuffle the remainder of the encounter cards to build the encounter deck.
  • Skip to Additional Setup.

Setup Instructions (TTS Version)

  • Click place on the scenario container.
  • Each investigator begins play at The Wall of Skulls.
  • (Caravaggio enters play aloof due to its rival keyword.)
  • Proceed to Additional Setup.

Additional Setup (Paper & Tabletop Simulator Versions)

  • Find the Agents of the Star Chamber encounter set. For each player in the game fewer than 4, remove 1 copy of Star Chamber Constable from the game. (For example, if there is only 1 player in the game, remove 3 copies of Star Chamber Constable.) Add the cards you did not remove to the encounter deck.
  • Check the campaign log. For each of Bosch, Durer and Botticelli, if that enemy is Deceased, remove it from the game. Otherwise, add it to the encounter deck.
  • Shuffle the encounter deck.
  • Sort the Miskatonic Offerings as follows:
    • Find the 28-card Miskatonic Offerings encounter set.
    • Remove story assets as follows:
      • Any player with an Ally story asset card in their deck which is listed under Survivors in the campaign log permanently removes it from their deck.
      • Find each Miskatonic Offerings card that shares a name with any of the cards you just removed. Spawn each according to its spawn keyword.
      • Players cannot include Ally story assets listed under Survivors in their deck for the remainder of the campaign.
    • Attach cards to locations as follows:
      • Find each Miskatonic Offerings card whose name is listed under Missing in the campaign log.
      • Find each player card that is listed under Missing in the campaign log. (For example, if Beat Cop is listed twice under Missing, find two copies of Beat Cop.) Add these cards to the Missing Miskatonic Offerings and shuffle them together.
      • Attach 1 random card from this deck to the Dissectory location, facedown.
      • Attach the remaining cards from this deck to the Wall of Skulls location, facedown.
    • Form the Academics deck as follows:
      • Find each Miskatonic Offerings card whose name is listed under Survivors in the campaign log.
      • Shuffle these cards together to form the Academics deck.
    • Remove each other Miskatonic Offerings card from the game.

DO NOT READ until the end of the scenario

If no resolution was reached (each investigator resigned or was defeated):

  • Proceed to Resolution 1.

Resolution 1

It is time.

  • Record in your campaign log that you did as much as you could bear to.
  • For each unique Elder Thing enemy in the victory display, remove an Elder Thing chaos token from the chaos bag for the remainder of the campaign.
  • Each investigator earns experience equal to the Victory X value of each card in the victory display.
  • Take any remaining facedown cards attached to the Dissectory and attach them facedown to the Wall of Skulls instead.
  • In your campaign log, record X components were added to the machine where X is the number of facedown cards attached to the Wall of Skulls.
  • If William Dyer and/or William Moore are attached to the Wall of Skulls, list their names in the campaign log under Deceased.
  • If any non-story assets are attached to the Wall of Skulls, list their names in the campaign log under Deceased.
  • If any weakness enemies are attached to the Wall of Skulls, remove those weaknesses from their bearer’s decks for the rest of the campaign.
  • Each other story asset attached to the Wall of Skulls should be listed in the campaign log under Deceased, but this won’t matter for the rest of the campaign if you don’t want to track it.
  • The surviving academics are in no shape to help. Players cannot include Ally story assets listed under Survivors in the campaign log for the rest of the campaign.
  • Proceed to Scenario VIII: The End of the Earth.

I want these scenarios to be as good as they can be, so any feedback you have would be gratefully received. Click here for feedback and contact information.

Scenario VIII: The End of the Earth

Exiting the tower, you carefully make your way down into the valley beyond. The storm ahead of your stirs furiously, but that is not what attracts your attention. Moore was right – whatever arcane apparatus funnels heat away from this area is clearly malfunctioning or perhaps overloaded. When you arrived at the tower, it sat in a largely seamless basin of snow, but now that snow is starting to melt, revealing what lies beneath.

Dark, twisted, grasping remains are gradually pushing through the receding frost. At first you take them for bones – the mass grave of some long-extinct megafauna. As you get closer, you see more clearly that it is flora – the desiccated remains of some ancient jungle, preserved beneath the snow. The visible vines and trunks strongly resemble the living jungle inside the tower, and you realise that this is the external part of that synaptic system. You envisage a great brain, overflowing its skull, poured out across the landscape, frozen and amputated.

Around the edges of the valley are partially visible ruins. They appear to be other elements of the same giant system that maintains the storm. Entryways you recognise as the work of the city builders dot the hillside, and from the absence of ice and snow around some of them, you can see which are emanating heat. Dark spots like ants flow from the ruined apertures and down into the jungle. It takes you a moment to recognise the jerky, distorted motion of the stygian cysts. They are flooding down into the valley along clear channels through the snow.

The imprisoned god is making its final bid for freedom. You have to stop it before it is too late.

Suggested Music

Setup Instructions (Paper Version)

  • Gather all the cards from the following encounter sets: The End of the Earth, Antarctic Cold, Frostbite, Loathsome Abominations, Ancient Evils.
  • Find the four Resolved locations and shuffle them together to form the random location deck.
  • Put the four Unresolved locations (The Elder Pharos, North Valley Side, Thawing Jungle, South Valley Side), The Carven Rim and The Black Pit into play.
    • Each investigator begins play at the The Elder Pharos.
  • Spawn the Stygian Convergence enemy at the Thawing Jungle.
  • Attach the Nameless Cylinder treachery to the Black Pit.
  • Place the Stygian Swarm enemy card near the agenda deck for reference. This enemy card does not enter play, but the effect on the agenda will create copies of it.
  • Add {Cultist} tokens to the chaos bag until it has a total of 4 {Cultist} tokens.
  • Set Agenda 7 aside, out of play. The agenda deck consists of agendas 1-6.
  • Set the following cards aside, out of play: William Dyer (Of Unsound Mind), Emissary from Yuggoth, Ahtu ibn Sotut, the Antarctic Cold and Frostbite encounter sets.
  • Shuffle the remaining encounter cards to form the encounter deck.
  • Skip to Additional Setup.

Setup Instructions (TTS Version)

  • Click the place button on the scenario container.
  • Each investigator begins play at the The Elder Pharos.
  • Add {Cultist} tokens to the chaos bag until it has a total of 4 {Cultist} tokens.
  • Shuffle the encounter deck.
  • Proceed to Additional Setup.

Additional Setup (Paper & Tabletop Simulator Versions)

  • Check the campaign log:
    • If William Dyer is Deceased:
      You managed to recover Dyer’s satchel and the Orne Library’s copy of the Necronomicon from within it. He has covered the priceless relic with scrawled annotations and scraps of tattered paper. As far as you can determine, Dyer was attempting to recreate the spell to summon Yog-Sothoth.
      Choose an investigator to take control of the Necronomicon (Olaus Wormius Translation) asset. (This asset is on the reverse of the William Dyer (Of Unsound Mind) asset.)
    • Otherwise:
      “My plan! I was going to summon something into their city, something vast and powerful, enough to destroy them and their whole damned civilisation! But here is a far better use – what could possibly oppose a heathen god but another heathen god?”
      Choose an investigator to take control of the William Dyer (Of Unsound Mind) asset.
  • Check the campaign log. If William Moore is not Deceased:
    Moore is too badly wounded to directly assist you, but he tells you what he can about the arcane machinery in the valley.
    Each investigator starts the game with 1 clue.
  • Check the campaign log. If you parleyed with the Mi-go:
    The alien representative warily keeps its distance from the dark tower.
    Spawn the set-aside Emissary from Yuggoth story asset at The Elder Pharos.

Random Locations

  • Many effects during this scenario require you to select a random location. To do so, shuffle the four cards that form the random location deck and use the location that matches the name of the topmost card. (Only the four locations in the random location deck can be selected.)

Tracking Trauma

  • Many effects during this scenario will inflict trauma on the investigators. You may wish to keep track of this using damage and horror tokens. Remember that trauma inflicted during play does not automatically deal the same amount of damage and horror. If, during play, an investigator’s physical trauma reaches their health, or mental trauma reaches their sanity, that investigator is killed or driven insane as usual.

DO NOT READ until the end of the scenario

If no resolution was reached (each investigator resigned or was defeated):

  • If Yog-Sothoth is in play, skip to Resolution 2.
  • Otherwise, proceed to Resolution 1.

Resolution 1

Your body is broken. Your mind is shattered. You watch, helpless, as the Nameless Darkness swells larger and larger, its encephalitic gloom filling the sky. Mercifully, you never have to see what becomes of the Earth and our universe.

  • In your campaign log, record that the Nameless Darkness dismantled reality.
  • The investigators lose the campaign.
  • Each investigator is killed.
  • Do not read the Epilogue.

Resolution 2

Your body is broken. Your mind is shattered. You watch, helpless, as the Nameless Darkness swells larger and larger, its encephalitic gloom filling the sky. Then a bulbous mass rises before it, and the smaller god’s voice echoes through your synapses.

BROTHER, speaks Yog-Sothoth, RETURN WITH US TO THE BLACK THRONE. THE PIPERS WILL PLAY, AND YOU CAN DANCE ONCE AGAIN.

An aeon passes in a moment, before both entities begin to rise into the sky. Your vision darkens. The last thing you see is the two gods fading out of our reality, and your last thought are the words of the Harmonic Spheres:

YES. WE MISSED YOU TOO, BROTHER.

  • In your campaign log, record that Yog-Sothoth returned the Nameless Darkness to the Black Throne.
  • The investigators win the campaign… but never return from Antarctica.
  • Each investigator is killed.
  • Do not read the Epilogue.

Resolution 3

Just for a moment, you stare up at the blue sky.

  • In your campaign log, record that the Nameless Darkness was sealed in its prison.
  • If Yog-Sothoth is in play, proceed to Resolution 4.
  • Otherwise, check the campaign log. If you made a deal with the Mi-go, skip to Resolution 5.
  • Otherwise, skip to Resolution 6.

Resolution 4

A blazing light fills the valley as Yog-Sothoth floats above it, the god’s great central eye swelling larger and larger. You feel its words blast through your mind.

YOU WERE WISE TO CALL UPON ME, it says, FOR THIS IS A WORLD IN DESPERATE NEED OF SALVATION. I SHALL PROVIDE IT.

  • In your campaign log, record …But Yog-Sothoth reigned over the Earth for all eternity.
  • Each investigator is driven insane.
  • Yog-Sothoth wins the campaign!
  • Skip to the Epilogue.

Resolution 5

Buzzing fills the air as the alien crustaceans land all around you. It is time to pay the price for their assistance. You wonder what the universe will look like from the inside of a canister.

  • In your campaign log, record …But the investigators were taken by the Mi-go.
  • Each investigator is killed – in a manner of speaking.
  • The investigators win the campaign, but their brains never return to the Earth.
  • Skip to the Epilogue.

Resolution 6

You force yourself to your feet and escape back to the tower as ice starts to fill the valley. The remaining Star Chamber agents are fearful, but look to you for guidance. Now the maintenance of the god trap is your responsibility.

The continued operation of the god trap mechanism is an all-consuming endeavour. Just growing and expanding the synaptic jungle consumes enormous resources, and as the years pass you are forced to build a complex network of agents and industries just to fund it.

  • In your campaign log, record …And the investigators continued to maintain that prison.
  • Each investigator earns 10 bonus experience for facing the Nameless Darkness and coming out alive.
  • The investigators win the campaign!
  • Proceed to the Epilogue.

I want these scenarios to be as good as they can be, so any feedback you have would be gratefully received. Click here for feedback and contact information.

Credits

Design & Writing: Tim Fletcher (Jaxtrasi)

Arkham Horror LCG Design: MJ Newman, Nate French

Strange Eons tool: Christopher G. Jennings

Strange Eons Arkham Horror LCG plugin: Tim Bennett

Playtesters & Feedback: Deg, Timbo, Jennie, Iain, Megan, Iain, Si, Ben, Dane, Dane, Axolotl, The Beard, bluehg, Fredmans, Josef747

If I’ve forgotten to include you in the playtesting credits, I apologise! Please let me know, along with how you’d like to be credited!

Special thanks to the Miskatonic University Radio podcast for their encouragement and feedback.

Special thanks to everyone in the #homebrew-scenarios channel of the Mythos Busters discord server. If you want to make your own content, definitely pop in and say hello – everyone will be happy to offer advice and feedback.

Epilogue

  • If Yog-Sothoth reigned over the Earth for all eternity, proceed to Epilogue 1.
  • Otherwise, if each investigator was killed or driven insane, skip to Epilogue 2.
  • Otherwise, if 4 seals were placed on the prison, skip to Epilogue 3.
  • Otherwise, skip to Epilogue 4.

Epilogue 1

5430 in the Year of Our Illuminated Master

Father Nazgroth,

Proles attacked the sector six perimeter again today. Archon Ghatanothoa easily repelled the attack, but still it troubles me. Can they not see? How do they not live in our harmony? The light of the All-in-One fills the skies but somehow they are blind. I do not understand.

Our supplies of vitreous humour are running low. Please dispatch more thralls to the western recylotorium. The rector has requested that four parts in ten be from the lucid, although I have doubts that such a demand can be fulfilled.

In nomine patris tenebris,

Deacon Cyunet

Epilogue 2

“An extraordinary tale, Professor Dyer.”

Miskatonic University President Erwin thumbed again through the typed report, “No other survivors. I am sure the experience must have been quite harrowing for you. I am beginning to think that these Antarctic expeditions are simply too dangerous to pursue.”

Ahtu smiled with Dyer’s lips, “As I have said before, sir, I think that might be for the best.”

Epilogue 3

1952, The Incredible Inventions Show!

“What have you got for us there, Bob?”

“Well Jim, it’s the latest and greatest invention from Star Chamber Technologies.”

“The flying car people?”

“The very same, Jim.”

“Why, that just looks to be a square of plastic.”

“In a way, Jim. This is something SCT are calling an esotercuit. It’s a computing machine, but it’s not built using tubes. This is a sheet of… well I don’t know exactly what it is, and our people haven’t been able to tell us. But the electrical circuit is cut directly into it using SCT’s proprietary process.”

“How many of those little squares do you need to build a computer, Bob?”

“Well, that’s the thing Jim. One tiny square is a computer – all you have to do is hook up your external devices and you have everything you need. Here, I already rigged this one up – I’ll turn it on and show you.”

“It’s- wait, what’s that noise? Ernie, what is that – we’re recording, Ernie. What is that racket? Dogs? Just how many dogs are there outside?”

“It’s a side effect of the esotercuit, Jim. I’ll switch it off. Something about the sound drives animals crazy. A small price to pay for progress though, wouldn’t you say?”

“I’m not so sure about that, Bob.”

Epilogue 4

McMurdo Station, Antarctica, 1998

Special Agent Baker Steele slammed the metal door behind him, shutting out the howling Antarctic wind. He took a moment to warm his hands, his breath still clouding in the freezing air, before switching on his flashlight. The iridescent beam revealed very little of the silent, cavernous hangar. The wing of a huge cargo plane loomed over him.

It had been a long journey to get here. His missing sister. The traitors within his own department. His abducted partner. A shadowy conspiracy dating back to 1935 or beyond. Finally, he had reached the heart of this organisation. Finally, he would learn the truth.

Up ahead of him, the silence was broken by a familiar clicking sound and a tiny burst of light. The flare of the lighter illuminated the face of the one who had killed his father.

“You’ve done well to make it this far, Agent Steele.”

“You!” shouted Steele, raising his gun, “I know this is where you’ve been bringing the missing test subjects. You’ve been here since the beginning! What are you doing with them? What happened in 1935? Answer me!”

The other took a long drag of the cigarette, “They went to the wall. They went to the wall and gave their lives so that the human race might go on existing for another worthless day.”

“Do you mean they were executed? What are you talking about?”

“Come with me, Agent Steele. I will show you the Nameless Cylinder. You’ve earned that much. A single glimpse will answer all of your questions. If you survive, I hope you will choose to help us. If not… well, the machine always needs more components.”

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