In a 2-player game, a third player called the enemy is set up at the start of the game. Place 1 Temple and 2 Settlers onto each of the 3 Outer islands (the ones that touch the edges of the Map), using pieces from the 2 player-colors not being used by either player. The enemy represents both of these colors, and starts out controlling each of these Islands (however, leave the Island Runes placed on each Island, and do not increase their gods’ Fury). If you remove an enemy’s Settler from one of its Islands, return the Settler to the box.
Deal both players the normal number of cards for the era, and then deal the enemy a facedown hand of cards: the era’s number of cards, minus 1. The enemy "sits" between both players at the table, and players pass cards to and take cards from it (following the direction of passing cards listed for the current era on the Era Mat).
For example in Era 1, deal each player 4-card hands and deal the enemy a facedown 3-card hand (4 cards - 1):
• Player A chooses 1 card to keep, passes 3 cards facedown to the enemy, and then takes the 3 cards passed from Player B.
• Player B chooses 1 card to keep, passes 3 cards to Player A, and then takes the enemy’s 3 cards.
After each pass, shuffle and discard 1 card from the enemy’s hand before passing again. Players continue drafting and discarding an enemy card until both players and the enemy are passing a single card. Finally, discard the enemy’s final single card.