Treasure can come in many different ways; A good meal with friends, a quiet beautiful sunset, the laughter of children playing. One thing that I definitely treasure are any drops of wisdom that I can acquire on my life’s journey. They can more valuable than gold and silver.
I wanted to infuse this thought in the board game Treasure Trove as players traverse the world collecting fabled treasures. We all fantasize about what it would be like to find lost treasure in an attic, or win the lottery, or what it what be like to have come up with Facebook. It is human nature to wonder about such things. And yet, the important things of life are right in front of us, if we choose to see them. If we choose to search for them right under our noses.
I choose to place within the situation cards drops of wisdom that have come from all religions that remind us of spiritual truths. I think it is God’s way of trying to teach us to search for the spiritual things of our lives, not just physical blessings.
Many truths about something of great value in God’s Kingdom are often conveyed in the sense of something that would be of value such as gold or diamonds. One of the situation cards describes a large pearl, one of great value. Most of you would recognize the saying as that of Jesus, who often taught in parables.
Have you ever tried to define what a parable is? What is a fable? We have an idea what they are, basically, short stories with fictional characters that have a moral lesson. People love stories, and these are a great way to teach, which Christ did.
Included within the game is a booklet that gives brief descriptions of the treasures on the game board. Some real, some only myths, and some of the treasures I just made up. A footnote section at the back of the instructional booklet lists real treasure findings. There is also some discussion about things on the game board. What is an archeologist? Who was Dr. Livingston? What is a herpetologist? Where is Shangri-La?
The following comment was placed in the footnote section concerning the difference between a parable and a fable.
“A parable is a brief story that illustrates a moral or religious lesson. It differs from a fable that uses animals or inanimate objects as actors while parables generally feature human actors. Jesus often taught his followers by use of parables.”
I don’t think people take the time to read the booklet given with the game. Most of the time we are in too big of a hurry, including when we are playing the board game. Such is the pace of our lives. Consequently, we miss a lot of lot of little factoids, and truths. It takes time to search for those drops of wisdom and truth, but they can make the playing of the game that much more rewarding. I think our lives are often the same way. We are searching for life’s treasure often in the wrong places.
Early this morning I read from the book of Matthew, Chapter 5. Not one of the parables of Jesus, but his Sermon on the Mount, the Beatitudes. Now that is real treasure. I could read it ever day, and never get tired of it. If I had a large diamond, I suppose I would love looking at every day, but I don’t. Instead, I will enjoy my treasure of living for Christ, and holding onto those beatitudes.
In 1862 Mexico defaulted on some loans to France. Napoleon III was wanting to expand the French empire and used the excuse of Mexico’s loan default to invade. Neither Britain nor Spain offered protest and of course the United States was embroiled in conflict. The invasion and defeat of Mexico took over a year and in 1864 an Austrian named Ferdinand Maximilian was placed as Emperor of Mexico. His rule would not last long. During his short reign the upper class of the Mexican populace lavished him with expensive gifts which he seemed to have a never ending appetite for. The American Civil War ended shortly after he gained his throne and it was obvious the United States wanted the French out of Mexico. He realized his time was short and that the Mexicans may not let him get out of the country alive much less with his wealth. In 1866 He devised a plan to transport his riches by way of Texas to Galveston and form there back to France.
The loot was hidden among barrels of flour on fifteen wagon loads as it crossed into Texas near present day Presidio. I live in West Texas and have traveled it extensively and let me tell you Presidio is way out in the middle of nowhere. It is west of Big Bend National Park and east of El Paso.
A very remote area, and a long, long way from San Antonio, much less Galveston. The wagon train had the ill fortune of meeting a group of renegade Confederates on the way to Mexico. The Confederates reported seeing Indians so the Austrians hired the Confederates to protect them on the long journey from Presidio to San Antonio. During the trek the Confederates noticed the Austrian guards were over protective of the flour. As they headed east somewhere near the Pecos River the curiosity of the Confederates got them to spying into the flour barrels. After discovering the hidden treasure, you guessed it, they killed everyone who had traveled from Mexico. They buried the jewels and most of the loot and made the wagons look like they had been attacked and destroyed. They then decided to carry with them as much of the coins as their saddlebags would carry, anxious to get to San Antonio. They would of course return later to retrieve the buried riches. One of them fell ill and was thereafter shot and left behind to die in the Texas sun. He survived only to catch up with the others who themselves had been killed by either Comanche or outlaws, empty saddlebags strewn about. This lone survivor of Maximilian’s expedition was picked up by some horse thieves who were then arrested by a sheriff. They need to make a movie about this if they have not already.
The wounded man placed in jail told his tale to a doctor and an attorney shortly before succumbing to infection from his gunshot wound. He drew them a map on where to find Maximilian’s treasure. Several years passed until the Indians were pushed further west before the doctor and attorney used the map to try and locate the loot, and once again as you probably guessed they found nothing. Supposedly, the whereabouts is somewhere along the Pecos river south of Odessa. Sounds easy enough but that is still a big area, even if the tale is true. I suspect there is some truth to the story but then again Texans like to tell tall tales.
As for Maximilian, he never did get out of Mexico, and was executed in 1867. So there you are, a little bit of history entwined with a treasure tale. Those are some my favorite to share.
When I hear the word, “explorers,” the first thing that comes to my mind are the Spanish explorers. Nowadays, I often think of archeologists such as Indiana Jones in the context of explorers with the adventure element. For the most part my mind is still captivated by the wooden ships of the high seas discovering unknown and exotic far away destinations during the 15th, 16th, and 17th centuries.
I love history and it began for me in early childhood during the 1950’s with the Davy Crocket and Daniel Boone stories. Then in fifth grade we studied world history and the chapter on the Spanish explorers still rings in my mind. I recall memorizing names such as Columbus, Balboa, Pizarro, Cortes, Ponce de Leon, Magellan and many others. The picture in our schoolbook introducing that chapter had a colorful picture of the Spanish with their swords and muskets strapped to their belts standing on the sandy seashore with the masts of their ships in the nearby blue ocean behind them. One of the men held the Spanish flag. They looked like they were about to embark on an adventure. They also had those cool helmets.
We all know the wealth in gold, silver and gems that Spain acquired from the New World and the fortunes to be found. Stories of fabled gold such as El Dorado in South America and Coronado’s golden Seven Cities of Cibolo in western Texas continue to intrigue us. Not to mention tales of pirate treasure that also emerged during that same period of European exploration in the context of world history.
When I was creating the board game TreasureTrove I wanted to give players an option of choosing a player token representing what they might want to be if they were searching the world for fabled treasure. For some, that might be like Indiana Jones and therefore they would want to be an archeologist. Someone else may be fascinated with underwater diving and they might want to SCUBA for wealth such as a deep sea diver. Others my think of an oil man exploring for black gold such as a wildcatter of the early 20th century. A tycoon with money to invest in treasure hunts is in many ways the adventuresome individual of modern times. For me though it will always be pirates and Spanish explorers that come to my mind when treasure is to be found. Player tokens representing each of these give participants a choice in what they would want to be if they could travel the world hunting for treasure.
I choose to use a purple helmet to represent the conquistador. You had to be of royalty to be given ships to explore the high seas and purple represents royalty. I thought the helmet more than anything represents the Spanish explorer. I also think conquistador is a cool name.
Please visit our website at www.treasureTrovegame.com
The fabled wealth of King Solomon is legendary. He is thought to have been one of the richest men to have ever lived and many believe he was perhaps the wealthiest of all time. If what he possessed in his time was compared to today’s prices, his net worth would easily outpace the richest people living in modern times. He would have been richer than the oil baron John Rockefeller at the turn of the 20th century or the computer billionaires of the early 21st century.
His kingdom is written about in the Old Testament books of 1st Kings and 2nd Chronicles. The vastness of his wealth and how he managed the Israelite Empire he ruled over is quite detailed in these accounts. He lived almost three thousand years ago. He oversaw the building of the Temple in Jerusalem for the Israelites to honor and worship God. It was probably one of the most expensive architectural accomplishments ever completed. Rulers from distant places, such as the Queen of Sheba, traveled to visit him and marveled at his great wealth. It has been recorded that the utensils and drinking cups of his palaces were only of gold. It was plentiful enough in his household that silver was not considered of much value. (1st Kings, chapter 10, verse 21)
Hundreds of years after King Solomon lived, the Babylonian Empire(located in present day Iraq)destroyed the Temple and looted the treasures. Archeologists discovered Babylon in the mid 19th century but no treasures of King Solomon. Yet his greatest treasure remains with us to this day: his wisdom. He is regarded as the wisest man who ever lived. The recorded writings of his wisdom are in the book of Proverbs of the Old Testament. The following is a sample of his inspired words:
“Joyful is the person who finds wisdom, the one who gains understanding. For wisdom is more profitable than silver and her wages better than gold. Wisdom is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her. She offers you long life in her right hand, and riches and honor in her left.”
When players compete in TreasureTrove, they are trying to collect as many treasures as they can as quickly as they can. Included in the playing of the game are situation cards that by chance allow players different options. Some of the cards allow players to acquire more treasure, some cause a lose a turn, while some send players to different places on the game board. There are also some cards that offer a quote of wisdom to remind of us life’s true treasures. A sample of one of such card reads as follows:
A card such as this one is not going to help one win the game but reminds us hopefully that treasure is held in our hearts not just in our hands.
To learn more about the game go to www.TreasureTroveGame.com