Northern Lights

Campaign Resources

HomeNPC Cast

Turn Info

View Larger Map


Northern Lights is a play by email campaign based in the 1930s using FUDGE. The heros are larger than life adventurers in a world on the brink of world war.


FUDGE, using the On the Fly rules of character creation:

Turn Format

I will be writing weekly turns, either individual or group as the game requires. Additional mail as needed to keep the game running smoothly.

Player requirement

Personal interest and the willingness to spend time on writing a turn once a week (more than a one liner). A willingness to collaborate on both character and story development. No in-depth rules knowledge needed as I will be dealing with the mechanics of the game. Players should read the on the fly and FUDGE nutshell guides.


Action adventure, 1930s, Indiana Jones, The Mummy, Archeology, Secret Government Programs, Supernatural Happenings, Weird Tales

The game will begin somewhere in the Pacific northwest and go wherever the action leads. Historical accuracy is not expected.


Early Spring 1939 - War. The word is on everyone's lips. Between the Soviet Purge, the Japanese invasion of China, Germany's warmongering and Italy's occupation of Albania, there is no question Europe will be plunged into conflict.

The United States is still in the grip of the Great Depression but Roosevelt's New Deal has given the country a breath of hope. Despite the grim news abroad, the United States is crawling out of the depths of economic horror and into a new age.

The main news of the day is a sorry mix of political crisis, world conflict and economic suffering, but for those that read between the lines, those who watch the fringes of the news, it is obvious something is happening in the cold Arctic waters between the Alaska territory and the Soviet Union. Black ships spotted off the coast of the Aleutian Islands. A Soviet sailor found dead on the beaches of Nome. Strange shapes in the sky backlit by the Northern Lights. Hulking creatures seen by prospectors in the northern reaches. A USGS team gone missing along the northern coast. Individually, the stories mean nothing, together they point to a mystery that draws you northward as surely as the sword of war descends on central Europe.

Seattle - Why Seattle? You're not sure, it seemed like the right place to be, closer to the action. The city is alive with activity despite the Depression, shipyards gearing up for the coming war, Boeing factories churning out the famous Clipper (and perhaps other, less well known aircraft). The local lodgings are cramped and cold. Winter's bite can still be felt in the night air, and sailors in the taverns and bars mutter darkly about the huge ice fields and a late thaw.

It is early afternoon on a cold and dreary Tuesday. You find yourself walking the docks near the point that guards the Seattle harbor. This section of the dock is quiet, almost empty, and you barely notice your surroundings as you ponder your next step. The days are growing longer, but already the sun is low in the sky. You pause for a moment, and look back along the dock towards the center of town. The dockside taverns are already lit and a cargo vessel inches away from the dock, nudged by a squat, yellow tug.

It is then that you hear it. Low, almost inaudible, but powerful, like a vast windmill turning some inhuman grindstone. You turn and scan the buildings and shoreline behind you. "Earthquake?" you think, wondering exactly what you would do if it was. Then you realize the sound is not coming from shore. You turn towards the mouth of the harbor just as a ship slides into view around the point, sleek and black. You don't know a lot about ships, but this one seems curiously tall relative to its wake. Then you realize it's still passing the point. Exclamations arise along the docks and someone calls out "God, what a monster!" You're no sailor but you've never seen anything like this. 700 feet long, a huge armored bow, sleek upper deckworks guarded fore and aft by vast metal shells or housings, a curiously empty rear deck. The vessel carves a path down the central channel, then turns toward the naval shipyard on the far shore. You can just make out the name on the stern as ship weighs anchor in a secluded berth: USS Thunderfish.

Thunderfish. Pride of the US Navy. Part ice breaker, part research vessel, part warship, the Thunderfish was always turning up in unusual places. And now she was here. You knew now what you had to do. Somehow you had get aboard that ship and go where ever she took you. There was trouble ahead, and Thunderfish was headed right into the heart of the storm.

All material Copyright (C) Mark A. Thomas. All rights reserved.