"It is well known how the book spread like an infectious disease, from city to city, from continent to continent, barred out here, confiscated there, denounced by press and pulpit, censured even by the most advanced of literary anarchists."
–Robert W. Chambers, The King in Yellow
It has become evident that the play, The King in Yellow, is somehow cursed. But how it's cursed? That's harder to explain.
Until that explanation is offered, however, you have very little that you can bring to any authority. Your early investigations have left you certain that there's something terrible somehow connected to the play, but who would believe you? Who would believe that evil Omens could follow a theater performance from city to city? Or that it could leave a trail of disappearances, suicides, delusions, and insanity in its wake?
The very idea must almost strike you as madness, and you may, at times, doubt even your own sanity. But the things you've seen cannot be unseen, and as is so often the case in Arkham Horror: The Card Game, you find yourself compelled to dig deeper for the truth.
In the scenario from Echoes of the Past, then, you and your fellow investigators follow up on your limited leads, heading to the Arkham Historical Society. There, you hope to see if there were any previous connections between Arkham and The King in Yellow, but something at the Society doesn't quite line up…
It's late. The sun has set, and the night is dark—cold, misty, and starless. But when you arrive at the Historical Society, you find the front doors cracked halfway open. Someone has come here ahead of you, but who?
The Race for Answers
In Echoes of the Past, you and your friends will find you're not the only one looking for information about The King in Yellow.
A number of Cultists have secretly made their way to the Arkham Historical Society, and they don't seem interested in sharing whatever they find. You don't know whether they're hoping to uncover the play's secrets or if they're working to bury the information forever—but one thing is certain. You need to look quickly for your answers, or you'll never get your hands on them.
Accordingly, Echoes of the Past throws you headlong into a desperate race for information, and it introduces unique, scenario-specific mechanics that pit your skills as investigators directly against those of the Cultists who are conducting a search of their own.
This race is driven largely by the text on cards like Agenda 1a, The Truth is Hidden (Echoes of the Past, 121): "Do not add doom to this agenda during the Mythos phase. Forced – after 1 or more clues are placed on an Enemy in play: Flip those clues to their doom side."
Typically, in the Arkham LCG®, the agenda ticks forward steadily—with a seeming inevitably—as the forces of the mythos advance their schemes with only the rare surge. You place one doom on the agenda at the beginning of each Mythos phase, and every now and again, you'll encounter a treachery or enemy that accelerates the agenda by adding another doom or two. Still, the effect is one that puts you on a timer, but it generally feels measured.
In fact, if you're efficient enough with your investigation, you may not even feel the first pangs of dread settling in before you uncover all the clues you can. Sure, you might be treading a razor's edge with the time you have allotted, but it's a razor's edge you understand.
Echoes of the Past throws out that steady, measured bleeding of doom in favor of a new sort of chaos. A panicky, paranoid, "what will the encounter deck reveal next?" sort of chaos. Your doom won't march forward at any predetermined pace; instead, it will collect doom in fits and starts as you come across enemies like the Seeker of Carcosa (Echoes of the Past, 144) as they dart the Society's different rooms and hallways.
This new mechanic does a couple of things in the scenario. It allows you to play with an agenda deck that can advance in a single round—or not at all. It demands that you deal swiftly with all of the Cultists you encounter in order to prevent them from collecting doom. And it personalizes the effort—no longer are the forces of the mythos proceeding apace somewhere in the hazy distance; they're in your room, or down the hallway, or scuffing furniture and bookshelves along the floors above you!
In the meantime, you can rest assured that the scenario is still going to force you to make the most of every action. After all, each agenda step offers only a very narrow margin for error. And, in the end, if the Cultists find their clues before you? It's not clear exactly what the changes will mean, but your whole campaign will shift.
What Will You Find?
What will you find during your search of the Arkham Historical Society? Will you uncover any books that may lead to the truth behind The King in Yellow? Will you be upstaged by masked Cultists? Or will your discoveries lead you further down the slippery slope to madness, tempting you forward into delusion with tainted relics like The Tattered Cloak (Echoes of the Past, 143)?
You'll soon be able to conduct your investigations. Echoes of the Past (AHC12) is due October 2017.