The Dread Realm

Announcing the Climactic Conclusion to the Angmar Awakened Cycle
 

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"It was at the beginning of the reign of Malvegil of Arthedain that evil came to Arnor. For at that time the realm of Angmar arose in the North beyond the Ettenmoors. Its lands lay on both sides of the Mountains, and there were gathered many evil men, and Orcs, and other fell creatures."
     –J.R.R. Tolkien, "The North-kingdom and the Dúnedain"

Fantasy Flight Games is proud to announce the upcoming release of The Dread Realm, the climactic conclusion to the Angmar Awakened cycle of Adventure Packs for The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game!

For months, several of Middle-earth's greatest heroes have traveled with the Rangers of the North and fought alongside them in the hopes that they might safeguard the realm against a new and massing threat. Now, their adventures have led them to the fortress of Carn Dûm, the very source of the North kingdom's greatest evils. There, accompanied by a small army of Elves and the few remaining Dúnedain, they have fought through the outer guard and their captain, earning passage into the darkened hallways that lie ahead of them, but those hallways are eerily quiet, cold, and lonely in comparison to the battle raging outside…

In the new scenario from The Dread Realm, your heroes must make their final push through the halls of Carn Dûm to prevent an ancient evil from returning to the world, but the halls that initially appear so cold and empty are full of terrible sorcery and other evils. The dead don't lie quiet in Angmar, and you'll need to battle past wraiths, witches, and possibly even those members of your fellowship who fall in battle only to be reanimated by the dark magic that pervades the fortress and its catacombs.

Additionally, The Dream Realm introduces a new Spirit hero and three copies each of twenty-seven player cards (three copies each of nine different cards), many of which cap the cycle's final exploration of its new Dúnedain and Noldor themes. You'll find a new Dúnedain ally for the Tactics spheres, a Leadership Weapon that enriches the armies of Gondor or the Dúnedain, and a Spirit Song that recalls the lay of Beren and Lúthien to encourage stronger alliances between the region's Dúnedain and Noldor. Finally, The Dread Realm introduces a neutral attachment that allows you to profoundly alter the composition of your fellowship.

Reanimated Dead

There's no peace for your heroes in Carn Dûm, not even in death. Throughout The Dread Realm, your fallen allies, and even the cards from the top of your deck, may turn against you. At the cold, dead heart of this scenario are the sorcerous rules for Reanimated Dead .

Whenever a card is reanimated, it becomes an Undead enemy with two Threat Strength, two Attack Strength, two Defense Strength, and two Hit Points. Of course, there are myriad ways for your characters to become Reanimated Dead throughout The Dread Realm, and any card that is reanimated is immediately brought into play facedown in front of you as though it had engaged you from the staging area.

Because the foul sorcery within Carn Dûm constantly threatens to turn your own strength against you, it adds even more menace to such enemies as the Dwimmerlaik (The Dread Realm, 155) and an extra sting to the possibility that one of your allies could be overwhelmed by some dark spirit's Possession (The Dread Realm, 162).

The result is that your mission takes on an increased urgency. Your enemies won't stay dead forever. The allies who were helping you may very well turn against you, meaning even their most heroic sacrifices are in vain. All the time, the hour of midwinter approaches, and you can hear more and more clearly the tortured cries of the fell keep's unlucky captives as the sorcerous ritual you've set out to stop draws ever nearer its completion.

Sword-thain

As you navigate the new scenario from The Dread Realm, you may find yourself surrounded by Undead on all sides, threatened by lurching figures that were once the very allies who fought beside you, and you may find yourself wishing you weren't limited to a party of just three heroes. Well, wishes sometimes come true, and The Dread Realm introduces Sword-thain (The Dread Realm, 149), a unique neutral attachment that allows you to cheat the usual cap on the number of heroes in your fellowship.

For four resources, the Sword-thain Title attaches to any unique ally belonging to one of the four spheres of influence and transforms that ally into a hero. This is a potent effect, and one that quickly pays for itself. After all, your newly converted hero will generate one extra resource for you each turn, and you may even be able to use the hero's promotion as a means of balancing out your resources, even permitting you to play Thicket of Spears (Core Set, 36) or Shadows Give Way (The Antlered Crown, 143) in a deck that starts with just two heroes of the appropriate sphere.

Of course, there's a lot more to each of your heroes than the resources they generate. Most of the game's attachments work only on heroes, and you need heroes you can afford to exhaust in order to play such powerful events as Peace, and Thought (Shadow and Flame, 135). Moreover, you can quickly add strength to a number of strategies by promoting an ally to hero status.

  • Merry (The Black Riders, 3) and Pippin (The Black Riders, 4) become more effective as soon as you promote another Hobbit to hero status, such as Bilbo Baggins (The Road Darkens, 6) or Farmer Maggot (The Black Riders, 8).
  • Promoting another Tactics ally to hero status enhances the boost to Willpower that you gain from Théoden (The Morgul Vale, 134).
  • Recruiting a fourth hero to a mono-faction deck would allow you to play Tome of Atanator (The Blood of Gondor, 109), or any of the other three unique Record attachments from the Against the Shadow cycle, for free.
  • You could add Sword-thain in a deck with Caldara (The Blood of Gondor, 107) and a small army of Spirit allies to ensure maximum impact from each use of Caldara's ability. Just remember to include Fortune or Fate (Core Set, 54)!

All told, there are a great number of ways that you can take advantage of Sword-thain, and as you send your heroes into the depths of Carn Dûm's darkest catacombs, you would do well to explore them.

Can You Save the North?

The halls of Carn Dûm are filled with evil spirits and foul sorcery, and it will take all your strength to survive them. Even should you survive them, will you arrive too late to stop the midwinter ritual? Can you save the North? Nothing is certain within the catacombs of Carn Dûm… not even death.

Look for The Dread Realm to bring the Angmar Awakened cycle to its climactic conclusion when it arrives at retailers in the fourth quarter of 2015!

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