Whilst you are reading this you could open the theme tune to this...
So here goes...the Title Slide...
Its 1936, February in Egypt, the news that the lost tomb of Thutmonkon in the valley of the kings has been discovered by local Egyptologists. Secretive agencies from across the world have descended on this small piece of the world to seek out one of the fabled parts of the Scales of Anubis...the balancing piece or specifically the fulcrum.
Our adventurers have no idea where this tomb lies but a series of clues are scattered across the valley there might reveal its whereabouts...
1. The Film crew who captured the initial opening
2. The Diggers themselves
3. Some French historians working in the area
4. The secretive Bedouin
5. Heiroglyphics etched on the entrances of two other tombs
To reveal the location a League had to procure three of these plot points.
Four teams descended on the valley in their search for treasure...
|The Valley of the Kings - Shed Style|
As part of the background the players were given rosters, some secret information and a symbol of their team...
Up First we have PITH - lead by the famous hunter Grainger Stewart
PITH - is Britain Secret Paranormal Service - stands for Paranormal Incidents that threaten Humanity - established by Battiscombe Gunn their primary mission to stop the Nazis from procuring artefacts of history that might endanger human civilisation. PITH have infiltrated the Digger Gang with one of their Allies.
Secondly we have the Chicago Institute of Antiquities. This supposedly privately funded organisation has similar goals to PITH but wants to store these artefacts in a large warehouse where nobody can ever use them. The team in Egypt is lead by Texas Jack. The CIA have managed to implant one of their agents (follower) into the Bedouin encampment.
The third in our list is the White Cross - a Vatican Sponsored organisation (with links to the Mafia) that is intent on destroying all pagan artefacts. This team is lead by Cardinal Don Delgado.
The White Cross have in fact discovered that one of the plot points is actually a hoax - this will not be revealed until it is tried to be used. The White Cross chose the Film Crew to be the host plot point.
Finally we have the Order of the Black Sun. The German Nazi sponsored organisation intent on capturing said artefacts of power to ensure the dominance of the third Reich.
The Order have already deciphered some of Adolf Erman's notes and begin the adventure with one plot point already secured -= so they only need two. They also start with a numerical advantage in terms of henchmen (Authors note: the Bad Guys always have the advantage until the end)
Lead by Al Queresh, the high priest they must stop these infidels. Al Queresh already knows the location of the Lost Tomb.
With so much going on I decided that I would Umpire the game - we were due to have a sixth player present but sadly for them they could not pitch in.
The table: I pretty much used all of my desert terrain including recently constructed ruins on this massive board. By using large slabs of foam I was able to terrace the valley.
|The Lower Valley|
|The Upper Plateau|
All the Cliffs and Ruins were deemed as perilous terrain with rolls against dodge or might required to traverse these. In addition the Camels on the board were deemed as perils. Anybody running past the rear of one of these beasts could receive a sizeable kick...a dodge roll to avoid. At least one German trooper came a cropper to one of these to much hilarity.
|Mind the Camel...|
The plot points were scattered and I allowed John the player controlling the Path of the Dead to determine where each player would start from the designated starting locations - see map below
|The stars denote locations of plot points|
The game started relatively smoothly with each of the leagues rushing towards the various Plot points. PITH quick captured the first at the closest tomb, although many of the followers quickly succumbed to the falling masonry. Fortunately only cuts and scrapes were recorded.
The Americans (CIA) recognising the film crew were their closet target headed into town. The Leaders sidekick proceeded to the crew, in the process he avoided the kick of the camel and passed the peril surrounding the camera crew - their copious amounts of kit, film cases etc could cause a nasty cut ! With some smooth talking (finesse) the plot point was his - little did he know that this was a hoax ! mind you it made no difference to the game read on.
|The Film Crew|
By now those gun toting clerics of the White Cross had emerged on the outskirts of town and engaged in a deadly gun battle with the Yanks. This soon petered out as the Nazis entered the fray.
The Town was soon buzzing with the sound of bullets and cries of the wounded. We genuinely did have a Pulp, Blood and Guts Alley.
|Gunfight in Little Egypt|
With so much incoming fire the CIA broike cover and headed for the nearest escarpment. No sooner than they had climbed half way they became targets for the nefarious Nazis. A fusillade of lead flew across the dunes cutting down the Americans. Within three short turns Texas Jack lay in a pool of blood. His only grace being that in his dying shoot out he tool at the Nazi Ally Lieutenant Zwei.
|The demise of Texas Jack|
In both Pulp games we have played the Nazi ally has been a goner - first it was Einz, next it was Zwei...guess what the third ally will be called (no prizes)
|The Beduoin Encampment|
|White Cross sieze the plot point on the escarpment|
With all this going on in town PITH was having a relatively easy job of collecting the plot points on the top valley floor. Successfully managing to heave open the second tomb door and avoiding the falling masonry Grainger Stewart held two tokens, and the third was soon his when he managed to persuade the French Archaelogists to hand over theirs. However before this happened many of his gang were overcome by the smell of garlic in the encampment (peril) and they were lucky to leave alive.
|PITH engaging with the Protectors of the Path outside a tomb (Plot point)|
|Protectors of the Path fail to prevent Grainger Stewart from capturing his second plot point|
|Siezing the plot point from the French|
With three plot points in their possession PITH could tell the location of the tomb entrance was under the Anubis crouching statue in the lower board area. Avoiding a slippery death on the cliffs the team made their way towards the tomb revealing its position to the rest of the leagues.
|The Lost Tomb entrance is under the statue|
It was at thios point the carnage and chaos began. A three way fight broke out between the PITH explorers , the Protectors of the Path (and the Mummy they controlled inside the tomb) and some rather desperate Nazis who had run across the desert floor.
|This is what awaits in the tomb - guarding the fulcrum|
The firefights and brawls were chaotic, wearing and bloody.
As the sun slipped behind the hills for an end to an interesting day a long leather coated figure appeared in the entrance of the tomb clutching part of the fabled artefact. The suns last rays catching the red and white swatika'd armband on his sleeve.
|Herr Gruntz exists the tomb with his prize|
So the Order of the Black Sun (Nazi's) had captured the first piece of the puzzle. The race is on....
More photos of the game can be found here
Background for Part 2 -
THE DISH OF THE HEART
Stop Press: 28th March 1936
British Military Intelligence has intercepted a communique between the personal office of Himmler and the Kriegsmarine - the coded message reads that the German Registered steamer Vancouver was to be crewed by Naval personnel and to sail to Acajutla on the West Coast of El Salvador , Central America. The Passenger manifest would include Hauptmann Gruntz (the man responsible for seizing the fulcrum in Egypt).
Local agents in the town report of a sizeable German Archaelogical build up.
Rumours abound that the Germans have been excavating around the pre-columbian Maya complex at Tazumel.
British Military Intelligence has shared this information with the CIA who are known to have a team in the area. This team lead by the Famous Adventurer Oregon Tom are collaborative with local Rebels
Forces loyal to the President in the Area Are Known to be Sympathisers to the NAZI cause.
As has been said before I am trying to root this campaign in history to give it the right sort of flavour. It is not unreasonable to assume following the adventures in Egypt in January the events can shift to Central America two months later. From now on I'll add the sources...
The Vancouver was a Nazi registered boat sunk off the coast of El Savadore in April 1936
Tazumel was a pre Columbian Maya complex excavated properly in the 1940's
Both Tazumel and Acajutla are on the western side of El Savadore
El Savadores's president - Martinez was drawn to the fascist ideologies of Germany and Italy but in 1940 committed his country to supporting the allied cause
So in good traditional Pulp style here is the map...from Egypt to Central America
Until next time...
Part 2 can now be found here