Fortunes Death was founded in early 1931, by a former member of the
Spanish Air Force. His original name is not known, he has taken
the name Don Karnage, the Don being a title (Such as Duke, or Lord) and
not a first name. And the few veteran pilots that are still with him
refuse to state his old name. The unit has no official
insignia. Instead using the age-old standard of a skull and crossbones,
with a sand-dial to signify time is running out, it in itself being
unusual, few bands using it in these modern times.
As Spain's internal struggles
increased, he recognized the signs of the upcoming troubles.
When the order came to invade Cuba, he deserted, recognizing it as a
morale-boosting attempt, taking with him his squadron.
Armed with 12, Grumman G 5 fighters, they made their way across the
atlantic to the Caribbean.
After spending a short time as mercenaries, he soon decided that piracy
was the answer, naming the band Fortune's Death. Most of 1931 was spend
in South America and the
Caribbean, much of their time spent on the lucrative lanes carrying
Peruvian silver and gold to Panama (Where it was purchased by various
nations, using the neutral ground of Columbian controlled Panama).
In 1932, they captured a cargo zeppelin and with a accumulated store of
wealth, left South America for the Pacific. No-one knows why
Karnage abandoned the rich targets in South America, although many
believe he wanted to put more distance between him and Spain, and to
leave before rewards and attention became more focused on him.
He arrived in the Marivellas and discovered Achilles island, declaring
it his homebase.
By now Fortune's Death had managed to aquire two of the new Hughes
Devastators, and bring their old fleet of 12 Grumman G5's up to
14. With this enlarged company based from their zeppelin, they
began raiding Japanese and French transports.
The group continued expanding, growing to two full squadrons, although
the zeppelin could only carry 12 fighters. They struck far and
wide, from Ceylon off of India, to the Peruvian coast. Disappearing
afterwards and then spending their loot on purchasing newer and better
As their prestige grew, more pilots wanted to join the group. As
all new candidates had to take part in a mock-dogfight with Karnage, he
kept only the skilled pilots, keeping his unit full of veteran
pilots. His group continued expanding, and Karnage began
outfitting his squadron's aircraft with pontoons, allowing his second
squadron to begin operating independantly of the zeppelin.
Beginning in 1934, Don Karnage began searching for a new zeppelin,
suitable for his new needs, and at the same time, he began re-working
his base on Achilles to make it a more usable home base.
His base projects had been redone by the end of 1934, and on New Years
day 1935, he captured the French cargo zeppelin Bastille.
It took nearly half a year to renovate, using the crude zeppelin docks
on Achilles and eighty hired natives to help, before the zeppelin was
turned into Karnage's vision. He renamed it the Iron
Vulture and based his entire unit from it, with the exception of a
single squadron that he retained at the base as a reserve.
In late 1935, Karnage and Akela Khan of Khan Industries struck a
back-room deal. Karnage did not harrass the Khan Industries
and also "Discouraged" other pirate groups from attacking.
exchange, Khan Industries aircraft ignored Fortune's Death, and on
provided information on opposing shipping lines manifests. A
Now, in 1937, Karnage operates 5 active squadrons of aircraft, 4 on the
Iron Vulture and 1 on Death's Hand, his second zeppelin.
His homebase is completed, a safe haven from prying eyes.
Defended by flak cannons, machine guns and rocket launchers, Karnage
has hired a number of natives to permanently man them and keep out
intruders. All situated to defend against aerial and ground
attack. Karnage is as paranoid as he is
over-confidant, and keeps a massive supply of parts, ammunition and
other supplies. Ensuring that in case of a failed raid, they are
immediately ready for battle.
Don Karnage's preferred tactics for attacking targets usually involve
crippling the defences and then dropping boarders, leaving the target
(hopefully) unscathed by the brunt of his attack. His
boarders are among the best in the business, even better than his
pilots. They specialize in close-range brute
attacks. And although Karnage orders that unnecesary casulties
are kept to a minimum, they do their jobs with deadly effeciancy.
Any crewman who gives them the slightest excuse, will quickly fall to
their blades or lead.
The Iron Vulture is a
cargo zeppelin, that underwent massive refit. Almost
to the point of being brand-new. Of course this is impossible due
to Karnage's being a pirate. Thus, he was forced to do it with
privately hired engineers and native labor.
In it's original state, the zeppelin was 1890 feet long, carried 4
fighters and had only 8 engines and capable of 70MPH. It
had been a pure cargo vessel, capable of carrying massive amounts of
weight. Which is why Karnage stole it. It's reinforcement
allowed him the changes he wished, without compromising it's integrety.
Since being redone, it's length is now 1900 feet even, can carry 48
fighters, and now has 10 engines capable of 80MPH. It's light
"Civilian" cloth armor was removed and replaced with military grade and
the engines were yanked, two extra naccelles added, and engines with
20% more horsepower added. The zeppelin is still slow
by raider standards, but it can still outdistance, or outgun most of
the combat zeppelins the powers send to the colonies.
The engine guns are twin .50
caliber Brownings, while the nose and tail guns are purchased 3.7CM
flak auto-cannons. There are a total of 4, flak
auto-cannons, 2 mounted on the nose, and 2 on the tail, straddling the
Karnage also added a launch bay, one of the first constructed outside
of military zeppelins. The nose of the zeppelin has a "lip"
that allows direct launching of aircraft, two at a time.
Retrieval is still by hook, but it allows him to empty the zeppelin in
a third of the time a standard hook is used to launch.
He also installed 12, 6" cannons and 18 rocket racks on the
zeppelin. However not in the usual gun positions. Instead
of laying in traditional broadsides, he installed them in the nose and
tail of the zeppelin, splitting them evenly, fore and aft.
This allows him a massive surprise
in engagements, somewhat making up for the lack of actual
firepower. This is why he chose the zeppelin, it allowing
him the changes without restructuring it.
This arrangement came in usefull recently. The Vulture was
under pursuit by a British King Edward class
zeppelin. Karnage allowed the British zeppelin to close, then
unleased his stern weaponry. Puncturing the nose gasbag and
destroying an engine, he caught the British by surprise. They
called off the pursuit, allowing him to escape yet again.
However with all of these changes, the Iron Vulture
cannot hold hardly anything for cargo. It can carry food supplies
for two weeks, basic parts, fuel and ammunition, and fuel to fly 6,000
In fact, even to carry large items they have stolen, they either have
to take the target zeppelin with them, or use their second zeppelin.
The Death's Hand was the bands first
zeppelin. It is only 1500 feet long, with 8 engines, capable of
pushing it at a leisurely 75MPH. It can carry 12 fighters,
and has adequate cargo space. However it is filled with hydrogen
instead of helium, one of the reasons it is rarely exposed to
It only has light cloth armor, and the engine guns are merely .40
calibers from a relative unknown. The nose and tail guns are
single-barreled 75MM flak cannons. A decent
combat zeppelin (Just don't light a match!), it nonetheless serves more
a role of tender to the Iron Vulture.
Any aircraft piloted by Fortune's Death can use pontoons with no
Pilots joining the Fortine's Death, must have a NT, SS, and DE of 4
Fortunes Death Boarders are only veteran and elite. No green boarders
Biography: Standing average at just under six feet, Karnage
usually retains a cavaliers coat, double rows of buttons kept dull as
to avoid shine. A pair of riding boots, cavalry trousers and
cutlass round off the image of a Spanish pirate. He has a
hair-edge rage, and when entering a spell, can spew a confusing mixture
of French, English and Spanish, leaving even skilled linguists
History: A pilot from before the Spanish Civil War, Karnage is
used to flying antiquated, flying junk aircraft, maximizing his flying
capabilities in the air. He is a capable gunner, fast on
the firing button, and accurate. His largest problem is his
hair-thin rage. He easily flies into a rage, and consequences be
damned he charges headfirst into it, ignoring those behind him or the
result of his action. Although this can be a double-edged
sword, half of the time it works, fighting with ferocity gained only
through blood-red anger he has fought off opposing forces twice his own
Aircraft: Karnage currently uses a Hughes Devastator, appreciating it's
agility.. He has replaced the standard .40's with rapid-fire
versions, allowing twice the firepower.
Weapons: Karnage always carries his cutlass with him.
Relying on hard steel (As do many Pacific pilots) due to the sometimes
knife-range distance of fights. For most however, he
carries a Smith and Wesson .44 revolver.
Special Rules: Karnage has to use the rules for superior rapid-fire
weapons (Found in this websites "Rules" section). In addition his
Devastator has the Superior Engine (-1) characteristic.