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Welcome to Arzium, land of ancient civilizations, bizarre creatures, unexplained wonders, and vibrant characters.

A great sleeping sickness has spread across the land, sending every type of creature to wander for hundreds of miles in a dazed, incoherent march. It's your job to seek them out and wake them from their sleep, recruiting them to help you find even more lost souls!

Arzium is the setting of other games, including Above and Below, Near and Far, Islebound, and City of Iron.


  • 43 Land/Character Cards
  • 12 Starting Cards
  • 96 Explore Markers
  • 24 Artifact Tiles
  • 30 One-Coin Tokens
  • 6 Five-Coin Tokens
  • Instructions


  1. Give each player a set of 3 starting cards in one color (starting cards have flags on them). Place any remaining in the box. Players take markers matching their flag color.

  2. Shuffle the land cards and place them in a pile (land side up).

  3. Draw 6 land cards and place them in a 3x2 grid (land side up) in the center of the table. This is called the "map". Place them so that their edges are adjacent, without much space between. The paper scrolls should be on the outer edge of the map, as shown.

  4. Each player must line up their starting cards adjacent to one edge of the map. Each player must choose a different edge.

  5. Choose a starting player. Give that player the player aid that says "First Player" at the top. Turn order moves in a clockwise direction. Give each of the other players a player aid. Place the coins near the map. The second and third players start with 1 coin each. The fourth player starts with 2 coins.

Artifacts: If you are playing the basic game, return these to the box. If you are playing the full game, see page 12 for how to use them.

Note: All components are limited except for coins. If any run out during the game, then they are not available. If you run out of coins, use a suitable substitute.

Game Play

Starting with the first player, players take turns in clockwise order.

On your turn, use one of your available (face up) characters to place explore markers on the map. To do this, flip the character card face down and place your explore markers on the map in the same shape and configuration that is shown on the character card, and in the same direction that the card is facing.

The shape must fit completely within the edges of the map (exception: "blank" markers on the pattern do not need to fit within the map). You cannot rotate marker patterns, and you must place all markers as shown if possible.

If a square is already occupied by an opponent's marker or by one of your markers that was placed on a previous turn, skip this square (while still placing the remaining markers).

Important: A square on a land card may never contain more than one marker.

Note: You may not reclaim any of your markers from the board until a card that they occupy is completed.

If you run out of markers to place, take your turn as normal, but do not place any markers.

If you place any explore markers on coin symbols, take a coin for each symbol. Keep your coins next to your character cards. Coins are open information (you cannot hide your coins from other players).

Coin Ability

On your turn, when you place markers, you may pay 2 coins to place a "blank" marker, as shown on the character card you are using this turn.

You may perform this ability for each blank cube on the card, provided you have enough coins (but remember that you can only use one character card per turn, and each square on the map can only hold one marker). You may use coins that you gain during the same turn to place a blank marker.

By paying 2 coins,
this card can place
1 extra marker.

At the end of your turn, if all six squares of any land card are occupied by explore markers, the lost character there is found!

  • The player with the most explore markers on the completed card claims the card.

  • If there is a tie for most cubes, each tied player may bid coins to attempt to claim the card, starting with the active player (the player whose turn it is) and going in clockwise order.

    Each player may only bid once, and each bid must be at least one coin greater than the last (although players may choose to "pass" and not bid). The tied player who bids the most coins claims the card.

    Only the player who wins the bid needs to pay their coins. Paid coins are returned to the supply. A player may not bid more coins than they have. A bid of zero coins is allowed.

    Example: Cid places his third marker on a card, tying with Zoey. Cid starts the bid at 0. Zoey has no coins, so she cannot bid higher than Cid. Cid wins the card.

  • When you claim a card, place it character-side up next to your other cards, in the same direction they are facing. Return all markers that were on the card to their owners.

    Replace the missing card from the map with a new card from the top of the deck (place it in the same orientation as the card it replaces).

  • If another player claims a card, but you have at least one explore marker on it, you gain one coin. You never gain more than one coin for a claimed card (even if you have two or three explore markers on the card).

    Note: Multiple players can claim a coin if they have a marker on the card but do not claim the card.

    Example: Cid places his third marker on a card, and now all six spaces are occupied. Cid has the most markers there, so he claims the card. The three other players each have one marker on the card, so they each collect a coin.

If at the start of your turn all of your character cards are face down, turn them all face-up. After this, take your turn as normal.

Early Rest: At the start of your turn, you may flip all your characters face-up, even if some are still face up, but you must pay to do so. The cost is one coin per character that is still face up.

If you do this, you must flip all of your characters face-up (you cannot choose to keep some of them face down).

Artifact Abilities

  • When you use this ability, you may place one blank for free (instead of paying 2 coins). This does not allow you to place a marker without using a character card.

  • When you use this ability, you may replace another players marker with pour own (as long as you are using one of your characters to place the marker).

    This does not allow you to place a marker without using a character card. If you replace a marker on a square with one or more coin symbols, you collect the coins for those symbols.

  • When you use this ability, gain 1 coin.

  • When you use this ability, you may rotate one of your search patterns 90 degrees clockwise when placing markers on the map.

  • When you use this ability, you may slide any one marker on the map (even one owned by another player) to an empty vertically or horizontally adjacent square. Do not collect any coins for this.

  • When you use this ability, you may flip one of your character cards face up op face down). You may use this ability at the very start of your turn.

    For example, you could flip your last face-up card face-down at the very start of your turn in order to be able to flip all of your cards face up.

End of the Game

Play until one player has ten cards (including the three they start with). When a player has ten cards, finish the round so that all players have an equal number of turns.

Then, each player counts the points on cards they own. The player with the most points is the winner. If tied, the player with the most coins wins. If still tied, the players share the victory.

Point Symbol

Full Game

Shuffle the artifact tiles and place a row of four above the board.

At the end of your turn, you may purchase one of the artifact tiles for the coin cost listed. If you purchase an artifact, place it near your character cards and refill the artifact row with a new artifact from the top of the pile (so that there are always four showing).

You can own any number of artifacts but can only purchase one per turn.

Artifacts give special abilities.

  • To use a special ability on an artifact that you own, turn the arti- fact face down.

  • You may use these abilities only on your turn.

  • There is no limit to the number of artifacts you can use on your turn.

  • Whenever you flip all of your character cards face up, also flip any face-down artifacts face up (so that you can use them again). Do this even when using the early rest.

  • You do not need to pay a coin for each artifact that is face up if you use an early rest.

At the end of the game, count points on the artifact tiles you own and add them to your final score.

Outpost Variant

Place the Outpost card near the board.

If, during the game, you use your markers to completely surround a marker belonging to an opponent (8 squares), you claim the Outpost card, which gives you 3 additional points at game end.

Once you have claimed it, no other player can claim it.

Stacking Variant

Instead of playing with a limit of one marker per square, each square can hold up to two markers (you place one on top of the other).

The player with the most markers on the card (when complete) claims the card as normal. Resolve any ties as normal.

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