Curious Expedition Wiki

Shrines are dangerous, but valuable, looting locations. There's always at least one shrine on every map, but some may have as many as six.

Each shrine contains valuable items, but beware - stealing from a shrine always triggers a disaster of variable amounts of danger, all of which have the potential to endanger your expedition, or end it completely. In addition to these disasters, looting a shrine always reduces standing by -3.

Interacting with a Shrine[]

A hill shrine.

Exploring a shrine and investigating its altar does not cost any standing.

Shrines located on hills require either a rope or a climbing gear to enter safely. Without these tools, the shrine can still be entered safely with a successful Agility.png roll. Failure results in the injury or death of companions, or even the explorer.

Artists visiting the shrine can paint its exterior with no negative affect.


Inside a shrine.

The most common items found in Shrines are cultural artifact trophies, which can be traded or exchanged for large amounts of fame or funds at the end of the expedition. All cultural artifact items with the exception of mummies and idol statues have a chance of spawning here.

Certain special-use items can be found on a shrine's altar as well, including moon stones, metal cubes, and tome pages. Very rarely, a unique/special item such as the Eye of Horus, Obsidian Mirror, Crystal Ball or the Necronomicon may be present on the altar.

Each shrine will contain either 2 or 3 unique items. Lower-value items such as goblets, earrings, and jewels may appear in stacks of 2 or more.

Aftermath Disasters[]

The description of the shrine, visible from its exterior, will always includes hints (in bold) about what kind of disaster awaits if looted. Once a shrine is looted, the only way to avoid a disaster is to leave a metal cube in place of the loot on the altar. However, this does not prevent the -3 loss of standing.

Shrine disasters typically start on the shrine itself and spread outward over time. Some have a radius of effect, while others spread continuously until the entire map is affected. Possible catastrophes include:

  • If the ground is hot to tread upon and there is heat in the ambiance, volcanoes will erupt around the shrine, setting nearby forests on fire.
  • If the ground is wet and the shrine is partially submerged in water, the shrine will be swallowed by spreading waves of water that follow the player for a few days and form a new lake, destroying much of the terrain and potentially blocking travel routes.
  • If the shrine is cold to the touch, arctic terrain will spread from it in a wide radius for several days.
  • If the shrine is covered in sand, a change of climate will cause desert terrain to spread from it in a wide radius for several days.
  • If there are fume tendrils rising around the shrine, fumaroles will erupt around it and release poisonous foul gas.
  • If there are long cracks on the structure of the shrine, mountains will form from the flat lands around the shrine, drastically changing the topography of the region.
  • If there is a circle drawn in blood and spears planted into the ground, the shrine and spreading hexes will be swallowed by an endless pit, cutting off travel routes and possibly destroying the expedition entirely.
  • If the shadows are longer and darker than usual and you have a full trek, one of your companions will develop a strange biting mark and transform into an abomination after a few days. However, if your party has at least one free space, an abomination will appear and the player must decide to either combat it or to welcome it to the group as a companion.
  • If there is a fungal growth over the shrine, up to three points on the map will become the source of a spreading corruption. and Giant Spider Dens will emerge across the map. The corruption will spread outward from the lairs and will continuously spawn giant spiders.
  • If there are animal tracks on the ground, a group of wild beasts will attack the trek.
  • If there are celestial symbols, an endless and impassable void will continuously spread from it, creating a large and impenetrable darkness that swallows everything and never stops growing.
  • If there are heads on sticks, the world will become forsaken. This renders all villages, polar stations, and possibly even missions empty and unusable. Empty villages begin spawning abominations.
  • If the structure is tilted and subsiding, or if the text mentions ground, a chasm will develop and block travel routes.

In addition to the direct aftermaths of looting a shrine, the resulting drop in standing may trigger groups of angry natives to constantly pursue the troupe and prevent villages from being used for the remainder of the current expedition.


  • When looting a shrine, prepare to immediately flee as fast and as far away from the shrine as possible. Many of the more deadly shrine effects expand outwards in a growing area-of-effect from the shrine itself.
  • Beware of the void from celestial temples, as this is the most destructive force in the game. The void will eventually consume the entire expedition map, so if the void blocks your access to a seal or the pyramid, you'll be forced to abandon the expedition. The void can even destroy your ship, leaving the hot air balloon as your only escape route.
  • In the late game, the Spider den generated from fungal temples can be farmed for fame and funds if you have a powerful hunter team build (especially if you have a cook in your team), as spider dens may generate an infinite number of spiders, producing as many spider leg as possible.
General Arctic StockpileCamp SiteCave EntranceElephant GraveyardHealing SpringsLizard VillageMissionOasisOld CampPolar StationRaptor NestShaman HutShipShipwreckShrineSlaver CampStone OverhangStone StatueTombTrading CaravanVillageWaterfalls
Special AltarCenoteGiant Spider DenGolden PyramidGolden SealPortalStone CircleTemple