With isolation and limited ability to go outside the home, I find myself in a position (along with the rest of you) of nervousness and boredom. One can only watch so much Netflix before you develop bedsores and a stiff neck! So, I’ve set myself a challenge to play at least one board game a day during this time and if possible pair it with a good beer, wine, or cocktail. Why not! Feel free to play along.

Mansions of Madness

Upon yon day of huddling in our home, visions of horror taunting us from the outside world, we sat down to pass the time with a monolithic box containing a multitude of strange and singular components. This mysterious box was entitled, fittingly enough, Mansions of Madness by an obscure company named Fantasy Flight. Within it’s shadowed depths lurked beautifully decorated tiles designed like miniature rooms, hallways, and gardens. We turned up the kerosene lamp and set out small decks of cards, tokens with strange symbology, and handsomely painted miniatures of near microscopic design.

With the help of a futuristic contraption called an iPad, we were soon immersed in a most complex and time consuming passtime that was immersive and fully took our minds off the surrounding chaos. Soon, we were no longer ourselves, but Leo Anderson the expedition leader, and Amanda Sharp the student, invited to a fabulous dinner party in the manse of our employer Thomas Carvey. We had been hired to find out which of his richly appointed collegues and contemporaries was out to end his life.

Whilst immersed in this unfolding story of murder, intrigue, and the surreal, we sipped upon libations to kill the angst and calm our shaking hands. In my glass was a strange concoction similar to the India Pale Ales I had tried back in the Punjab on my previous expedition there in the late 1890’s, a drink called Citralicious from a company called Lupulin (I can only assume named after the dusty and aromatic yellow powder found upon the Humulus Lupus flower). The can was coated in a strange and incomprehensible text, perhaps fragments from the Pnakotic Manuscript, or possibly even the dread and whispered Necronomicon. The shimmering scratches seemed to twist and turn in the firelight, almost becoming legible, but just out of reach of comprehension. Blinking away the disconcerting images, I sipped at this “beer” shocked at the citrus flavors and dry finish that was both tasty and puckering to the mouth. I may have to find more of this odd but addictive substance. Sarajo…or is it Amanda…took a large crystal glass of a rose colored wine from the the rustic lands of the American Wild West, from a small winery named Sokol Blosser.

Soon, a treacherous and toothed beast took up residence in the half-full box, daring us to reach into it for more of the neccessary components.

Our journey and exploration of the twisting mansion involved us interviewing the suspects, the house staff, as well as poking our noses into hidden nooks and crannies, looking for clues and trying to piece together this horrific mystery before time ran out on us. This experience took more than two hours, and this was apparently a shorter adventure than some of those offered in the mystical box! One must be fortified and ready for such an involved undertaking.

Once finished, rattled but successful, Sarajo and I returned to our normal lives, wishing with much fervor that we had not seen those things humankind were not meant to witness. We would be forever scarred and perhaps never see the world in quite the same way. Enter the Mansions of Madness at your own risk!

The Savage Beast Soothed