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The long winter is coming to an end; spring is coming. It is time for mankind to plow the soil and to tame the beast. It is time for the children of the earth to erect stones of power.

It is time to enchant the land anew.


  • 1 gameboard
  • 5 forest shamans
  • 5 sea shamans
  • 3 Action tiles
  • 1 Transformation tile
  • 14 Megalith tiles
  • 2 Score tokens
  • Instructions

Object of the Game

Each pl ayer represents a shaman tribe participating in the grand spring ritual. The goal of this ritual is to construct 3 megaliths before your opponent.

The tribe that wins will gain the favor of Mother Earth.


  • Each player chooses a tribe and takes the corresponding 5 shamans and Victory token.

  • Place the gameboard in the middle of the table, such that the sea is in front of the sea player and the forest is in front of the forest player.

  • Places 3 of your shamans on the 3 spaces of your first row that have no totems, and place the other 2 shamans in your village 1.

  • Place your Score token on the first space of your score track 2.

  • Shuffle the Megalith tiles to form a face-down deck beside the gameboard 3.

  • Draw 2 megaliths from the deck, and place one face up on each of the two Stone Circle spaces on the gameboard 4.

  • Draw 2 megaliths from the deck, and place one face up on each of the two Upcoming Megalith spaces on the gameboard 5.

  • Toss each Action tile in the air, and place it on an empty Action space on the gameboard 6.

  • Toss the Transformation tile in the air, and place it on the Transformation space on the gameboard 7.

  • Choose a first player, and the game can commence.

Setup for your First Few Games

Your First Few Games For your first few games of Cairn, we suggest that you use the Megalith tiles that have an icon on a light stone background .

You can add the Megalith tiles with a dark stone background once you have mastered the rules of the game. Place the following two megaliths on the Stone Circle spaces of the gameboard instead of drawing them from the deck:

The Gameboard

Game Play

On your turn, perform the following steps:

  1. Choose 1 of the 3 actions.
  2. Check the Transformation effect

I. Choose 1 of the 3 Actions

The actions are depicted on the double-sided Action tiles. When you choose an action, you apply its face-up effect; once you have completed that action, flip the Action tile to its other side. The 3 actions are as follows:

  1. Add a shaman to a Totem space (white or black)
  2. Move a shaman 1 space (orthogonally or diagonally)
  3. Jump over a shaman (yours or your opponent's)

Important: Each space can only contain one shaman.

1. Add a Shaman to a Totem Space

Add a shaman from your village to the white Totem space in your first row.

Add a shaman from your village to the black Totem space in your first row.

Important: If your opponent has a shaman in the Totem space, Banish it, then add your shaman.

2. Move a Shaman 1 Space

Move one of your shamans in the field 1 space orthogonally.

Move one of your shamans in the field 1 space diagonally.

3. Jump Over a Shaman

Jump over one of your shamans, adjacent to your shaman, to the space directly after it.

Jump over one of your op- ponent's shamans, adjacent to your shaman, to the space directly after it.

You can jump orthogonally or diagonally.

Important: By using the move or jump action, your shaman can exit through your opponent's village, and construct a megalith (see page 5). This is the only way to exit the field.

II. Check the Transformation Effect

Once you have finished your action, and you have flipped over the Action tile you used, check whether you can activate a Transformation.

Transformation allows you to Banish one of your opponent's shamans, and to construct a megalith. You can activate only one Transformation per turn.

To activate a Transformation, you must fulfill two conditions:

  • You must have formed the arrangement depicted on the Transformation tile. AND

  • You must have moved one of the shamans depicted in the arrangement. In other words, if you did not make the arrangement by moving one of the depicted shamans this turn, you cannot activate a Transformation.

If you fulfill both of the conditions, apply the following effects:

  • Flip the Transformation over to its other side.

  • Banish your opponent's shaman that is part of the arrangement (see box below).

  • Construct a megalith (see page 6).

You can make the Transformation arrangement orthogonally or diagonally.

Banishing a Shaman

Certain game effects allow you to Banish a shaman. When you Banish a shaman, remove it from the field, and return it to its owner's village.

The Megaliths

The megaliths enable you to activate powers during the game.

The first player to construct 3 megaliths wins the game.

Constructing a Megalith

Two game effects allow you to construct a megalith:

  • As soon as one of your shamans leaves the field through your opponent's village, you construct a megalith on the last space your shaman occupied.
  • When you create a Transformation, you construct a megalith on the space your opponent's shaman occupied.

When you construct a megalith, perform the following steps:

  • Choose one of the two upcoming megaliths, and place it on the field.
  • Advance 1 space on your score track.
  • Draw a new upcoming megalith.

Very important: Each space can only contain one megalith. If the space is already occupied by a megalith, you cannot construct another one there (and thus you also cannot advance on the score track).

1 Lucy leaves the field by jumping over her opponent's shaman.

2 She constructs one of the two upcoming megaliths on the space her shaman occupied before leaving the field.

3 Then, she draws a new upcoming megalith and advances 1 point on her score track.

1 Christian moves one of his shamans one space and activates a Transformation.

2 He banishes his opponent's shaman, but unfortunately, the space that shaman had occupied already has a megalith in it.

3 He, therefore, cannot construct a new megalith. He also does not draw a new upcoming megalith, and does not advance on his score track.

Activating a Megalith

Once it has been constructed, a megalith can be used by both players. A megalith activates when a shaman is moved onto it (whether voluntarily or not). The shaman's owner must apply the megalith's power.

Clarification: When a shaman moves onto a megalith after an action, you must first flip the Action tile, then apply the megalith's power.

1 Lucy chooses the White Totem action, and moves a shaman from her village onto the White Totem space, which contains a megalith: Deer Rock.

2 She flips the White Totem Action tile.

3 Then she activates the megalith's effect, which permits her to move an adjacent shaman one space.

1 Christian jumps over one of his shamans, landing on a space with a megalith: Fairy Circle.

2 He flips the Action tile, then activates the megalith's effect, which permits him to move an enemy shaman. He moves one of Lucy's shamans onto a space that contains another megalith: Sanctuary of the Ages.

3 Lucy activates the Sanctuary, which moves a megalith one space.

End of the Game

Cairn can end two different ways:

  1. As soon as you have constructed 3 megaliths, which means you have reached to top of your score track, you win the game.

  2. If at the beginning of your turn, you cannot perform any of the 3 actions, you immediately lose the game.

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