Saturday, February 27, 2016

Fortune and Glory

It is the late 1930s, and the Nazis are scouring the earth for rare artifacts to help them take over the world.
Duke Dudley, prestigious British Lord, and Sharon Hunter, daring press photographer, are embarking on separate missions to save as many of these artifacts as possible from the greedy hands of the Nazis. Will Dudley and Sharon be able to defeat their enemies, and will they be able to gain fortune and glory in the process?

Sharon starts her journey from her newspaper's office building in New York City. They've given her a special assignment: accompany the archaeologist who is being sent to recover The Shield of Pharox from the ices of Antarctica and return with an article in photographs, documenting the search. What Sharon's paper doesn't know, however, is that she is the archaeologist being sent to recover The Shield of Pharox...

Sharon stares out the window of the plane she's chartered. She's already taken several photographs of the clouds, of the interior of the plane, and of her pilot.
"Are we almost there?" she wonders.
"Have patience!" replies her pilot, through a wad of chewing gum. "We'll get'der when we get'der."
Sharon sighs and looks out the window again. What was the speck in the distance? A bird? No... it was travelling much too fast to be a bird...
"I think—" Sharon says, but it cut off by the pilot.
"I see 'em!" he says. "They're hot on our trail!"
"Nazis?" Sharon wonders, while snapping a photo of the rival plane.
"They're firin' at us!" yells the pilot.
"Well, outmaneuver them!" Sharon yells back.
Her pilot turns around in his seat.
"Look, lady," he says. "I didn't sign up for this! I don't even have my pilot's license yet!"
"Then why are you the one flying this plane?" Sharon shouts.
"You said you needed a pilot right away! I was the only one around."
Sharon stares incredulously at the pilot. Just then, the enemy fires another volley of ammunition. Sharon's plane is hit!
"We're headed straight toward the mountainside!" Sharon shrieks.
"Don't worry!" shouts her pilot. "I can crash anything!"

Meanwhile, in England, Duke Dudley retires his monocle and dons his fedora, ready for his next adventure.

"But where are you going, Dudley?" asks the Duchess.
"I've already told you, mother," replies Dudley. "I am going to the countryside for a few weeks to clear my lungs from this London fog."
"I don't understand why you refuse to keep a phone in your country house," huffs the Duchess.
"I don't like to be disturbed when I'm in the countryside," replies her son.
In reality, Dudley is going to India, to search for The Amulet of the Cursed Eye, but he doesn't want anyone to know about his secret life as an archaeologist.
In addition to his fedora, he grabs his trusty wrench, which he never leaves at home. You never know when you're going to need to fix something... or conk someone over the head.

"We are NOT going to crash into the mountainside!" Sharon says fiercely. "Strap yourself into a parachute!"
She quickly stows her camera in it's case, thrusts the case into bag, and slings the bag over her head and shoulder. Then, she struggles into a parachute. The pilot has opened the side door of the airplane.
"Jump!" Sharon says, and leaps out of the plane.
For a terrifying moment, she plummets toward the mountainside amid a barrage of gunfire from the Nazi plane. Then, she pulls the cable that releases her parachute. She floats down from the sky and lands in the snow at the foot of the mountain. She looks up; the plane is about to crash into the mountain! Rather than thank the heavens that she had gotten out in time, Sharon pulls her camera from her bag, unlatches it from its case, and takes a photograph just as the plane hits the mountain and explodes in flames.

A moment later, her pilot lands beside her.
"I saw you: you didn't even look to see if I was okay. I coulda still been up there," he says.
"Sorry," says Sharon, not sorry at all.
"Don't apologize," says the pilot. "I can tell you're dedicated to your work. I'm Randy, by the way."
"Hello, Randy," says Sharon.
They shake hands, strip out of their parachutes, and then look around. Nearby, camouflaged in snow, is a little wooden hut. Smoke trickles out of the disguised chimney.
"Maybe they can help us," suggests Randy.
"Let's get closer," says Sharon, taking a picture before starting to walk.
As they near the hut, they hear chanting coming from within the walls. Sharon puts a figure to her lips and listens, her ear against the wall of the hut.
Her eyes widen when she realizes what's going on inside the hut. She backs away quickly and beckons for Randy to follow her. They run toward the mountain, though what protection that will give them, Randy doesn't know.
"What was that back'der?" he pants, as they stop for breath.
"That was a meeting of the Order of the Crimson Hand," Sharon replies, holding her sides. "They're a cult, and not to be messed with."
"Oh, well, then, I'm glad we ran all this way," says Randy.
Sharon leans against the snow drift next to her—and disappears!
"Sharon? Sharon! Where'd'ya go?" shouts Randy.
He peers at the place where Sharon had been standing just moments before. She had fallen into an ice hole!
"Sharon! You alright?" Randy asks.
"Fine, fine," grumbles Sharon. "Come join me down here. It's very pretty."
Randy steps into the hole. The ice cave is pretty. It gives off a glowing, teal-ish tint.
"Wow!" Randy exclaims. "I'm gonna go in a little further." He starts walking down the tunnel, but soon stops.
"What is it?" Sharon asks.
"Um... haha... uh, Sharon... This ice cave is already occupied."
"What do you mean?"
"There's a Yeti!" Randy says, backing away.
Sharon walks forward and, sure enough, there is a sleeping Yeti at the end of the cave!
Sharon spins around to face Randy. He has bubblegum covering his mouth.
"Sorry," he says. "When I'm nervous I blow bubbles."
"Cut it out!" says Sharon.
Randy's last bubble was the biggest. When it pops, the Yeti stirs. It stretches. It opens one eye.
"Now you've done it!" Sharon whispers.

Dudley's flight to India was uneventful. Now, he is off in search of The Amulet of the Cursed Eye! He has an idea of where to look: a shadowy castle hidden deep in the jungle.
"Fedora, check. Bug spray, check. Water, check. Wrench, check."
Dudley goes over his checklist and is finally ready to find that castle. He pulls on his hiking boots and sets off. It takes him most of the day, but he finally reaches his destination. The dark walls of the castle loom above him. It looks abandoned. Could this really be the hiding place of the The Amulet? Will it be this easy to find?

Dudley must break a window to enter into the castle. Once inside, he turns on his flashlight and begins looking around. The castle is much bigger than he expected. He enters room after dark room, but finds no clues.
What was that?
Dudley's heart beats quickly. He realizes that he is not the only one in the castle.
Stealthily, he creeps into the next room. Light and sound come from under the crack of the door at the far end of the room. Someone is having a party. Dudley backs up, intending to leave the way he came, but bumps into a lamp! It falls to the floor and shatters. He hopes that there is enough noise in the next room to cover his clumsiness. But, no. The door opens. Dudley is momentarily blinded and deafened by the bright light and loud music. Then, four strong arms grab him and pull him into the next room.
Dudley's eyes adjust to the light and he recognizes his captors: Nazis! Slightly drunk Nazis, but Nazis nonetheless. They had raided the castle's cellars and had set up a makeshift bar. They had brought in a band and a singer and were celebrating.
"Oh, no... you won't capture me so easily..." Dudley mutters to himself.
With a burst of strength, he frees one arm from the Nazis' grip. He grabs his wrench from his back pocket and smacks the other Nazi in the nose. The Nazi reels backwards. When he regains his footing, he swings a punch at Dudley, but Dudley ducks and the Nazi hits his compatriot. Rather than attack Dudley, the two Nazis begin fighting each other. Accidentally, one of them hits the trombonist. The trumpeter comes to the trombonist's rescue, but hits the wrong Nazi. Soon, the whole room is fighting. Poor Dudley is stuck in the middle of a bar brawl!

Sharon and Randy are frozen in fear. If the Yeti wakes up, they will be killed. They wait for fifteen agonizing seconds, but the beast only turns over and begins snoring.
Sharon and Randy slowly back out of the ice cave. When they are in the open, they run back to their parachutes.
"What do we do now?" Randy asks. "The Order of the Crimson Hand is on one side, and a Yeti is on the other!"
"We'll head that way," Sharon decides, pointing away from the mountain. "We can't be that far from the temple where The Shield of Pharox is hidden. Let's take one of these parachutes with us for warmth, in case we have to sleep in the snow."
She and Randy fold one of the parachutes as best they can, and then begin walking.
They walk for hours, the exertion of wading through the snow while carrying a heavy parachute the only thing that keeps them warm.
Just as night begins to fall, Sharon spots something on the horizon.
"That must be the temple," she says confidently.
"It will take hours to reach!" whines Randy. "Please can we stop for the night?"
"No," says Sharon. "It will get even colder during the night. We have to keep going or we'll freeze. Come on."
So, they continue walking. They walk and walk and walk, until they finally reach the temple, long after dark.
"Can we stop now?" asks Randy.
"We have to get inside first," replies Sharon.
She pulls her camera out of her bag and puts the flash bulb on. She takes a picture of the temple and the momentary flash shows them where the entrance is. There is no door, but there are lit torches in the entryway.
"I don't like this..." says Randy.
Sharon steps forward and a poisoned dart flies out of the wall and narrowly misses her cheek!
"The floor is booby trapped!" Sharon says. She grabs a torch from the wall. "We have to be careful."

Sharon tests each floor panel with her foot before putting her whole weight on it. This way, she is able to reach the other side of the room in safety. Randy follows in her steps.
"Now where do we go?" Randy asks.
"Let's explore this way," Sharon replies, and leads the way into the next room.
As soon as they pass through the doorway, a large stone falls from the ceiling to cover the doorway. Their only escape, blocked!
"Oh no!" Randy cries.
"There has to be another way out," Sharon says, and starts feeling the edges of the room for a secret door.
Just then, they hear a rumbling, scraping noise coming from above them. They look up.
"Is it just me..." says Randy.
"No, I see it, too," says Sharon. "The ceiling has been booby trapped, too! It's coming down to crush us!"

Someone punches Dudley and he reels backwards, into the makeshift bar. Glasses and bottles fall to the floor, sending shrapnel into the feet of anyone nearby.
Dudley clambers over the bar and spends a few seconds crouching behind it, catching his breath. Then he spots it: a sword hanging on the wall in front of him. Dudley has to admit that a sword is a better weapon than a wrench. He grabs the sword and re-enters the battle. With his new weapon, Dudley is able to fight his way to the door. He breaks the nearest window and escapes outside.

Now, Dudley is in the backyard of the castle. Grass rolls down to a lake. Thinking that he'd like to wash the blood from his sword, hands, and face, Dudley walks down to the water's edge. He washes his sword first, and then his hands. He washes one hand at a time so as to keep one hand on his weapon at all times, just in case. As he's splashing water on his face, someone taps him on the shoulder. Dudley reacts fast: he whips around, sword pointed at his enemy, only to find that his enemy is a gnarled old man holding a diving suit.
"You search for Amulet of Cursed Eye?" asks the old man in broken English.
"Yes, that's right," replies Dudley.
"I throw in lake when Nazis arrive," says the old man. "I wait for someone worthy to rescue it and bring it to museum in Bombay." He holds out the diving suit and beckons for Dudley to put it on.
"How do I know this isn't a trap?" Dudley asks suspiciously.
"No trap. No trap," replies the old man, and waves the diving suit in Dudley's face.
Dudley contemplates the old man and the diving suit for a few minutes.
"Alright, fine," he says at last. "I'll trust you."
"Quick. Hurry," says the old man. "They come after you."
Dudley dons the diving suit and hands his sword to the old man.
"Wish me luck," he says.
"Luck," says the old man.
Dudley wades into the water. Soon, he is fully submerged. He turns on the light on his diving helmet and begins searching for the Amulet.
Everything is so quiet under the water, Dudley thinks.
He swims past fish and sea plants, which look like the tentacles of monsters. He swims all the way to the bottom of the lake. An hour has passes. Now, an hour and a half. He only has thirty minutes of oxygen left before he has to return to the surface of the lake.
And then, Dudley spies it. It twinkles in the light from his diving helmet. The Amulet of the Cursed Eye.
Dudley surfaces, the Amulet gripped tightly in his hand. He has gone much farther away from shore than he expected. He can barely see the castle in the distance. The sun is rising behind its spires. Dudley pulls off his diving helmet and takes a moment to look at the Amulet. Then, he hears an engine! Dudley ducks beneath the water so only his hair and eyes are poking above the surface. A U-boat is sailing the lake. He would be able to reach Bombay quicker if he had a boat... Dudley swims toward the U-boat. He climbs aboard and hides himself behind a crate. No one knows he's there. Shortly thereafter, Dudley hears that the U-boat's destination is Bombay. Perfect! Dudley makes himself comfortable behind his crate and enjoys the free ride to Bombay.
Once there, he sneaks off the U-boat and makes his way to the museum. After haggling about price, the museum buys The Amulet of the Cursed Eye from Dudley.
His mission is a success! Dudley only faces one more difficulty: how to explain his bruises and cuts to his mother.

Sharon wakes up in an American hospital.
"What happened?" she wonders.
"Oh, good, you're awake!" says a familiar voice.
Sharon turns her head and there is Randy, sitting by her bedside, his head and arm wrapped in casting.
"Randy? What happened?"
"The ceiling collapsed on us, remember?" Randy asks. "Well, we were both nearly crushed, but, then, the Nazis showed up. They were taking us to interrogation when some American soldiers appeared outa nowhere! I guess they got that S.O.S. I sent out from da plane. There was a shoot out, but they rescued us and brought us back to America. You've been unconscious for a week."
"What about The Shield of Pharox?"
"The Nazis got it," Randy says. "I'm sorry." His face brightens. "But we got your pictures developed and they look great!" Randy waves the pictures in Sharon's face. "Look at this one of the plane exploding. Fabulous, if I do say so m'self."
"Let me see," says Sharon.
Together, they go through the pictures, reliving their adventures, and, though they did not recover The Shield of Pharox, they gained an everlasting friendship.

Fortune and Glory is a pulp fiction board game. You can learn more about it on


  1. Ha ha! I really appreciated the light hearted tone of this little narrative. And the pictures-nice touch! I've seen this game floating around online and now I am intrigued. I love these kind of pulp fiction games. I might have to pick this one up.

    I am curious as to what inspired you to write this, though. Was it an actual game you had?

    1. It's a really fun game! The theme is fantastic and there's lots of variety in the play (you can play as a team or against each other, plus there are many different "danger" cards that you have to defeat on each turn).
      Originally, I had planned to write a review of the game, and then it evolved into a story. This was a third of a game that my dad and I played last weekend. Each aspect of the story (like the plane crash or the bar brawl) was a danger card that we had to overcome.