Fate may seem interchangeable with Fortune in the modern idiom, but I choose approach them in this way:
- Fate represents the path in life that was fixed for every living and unliving thing in the world. It was the order that was proclaimed when the universe was ripped and formed from the fabric of what would eventually become chaos. It was a delicate dance of matter, energy, time, and thought -- that was corrupted by enemies from without and from within. Now it is a weight, a terrible gravity that pulls all things down to a fixed state and an eventual finite end.
- Fortune resists Fate. It rages against the confines of fixed destinies and pre-ordained endings. It is the blur in the sight of seers, the gap between the readings of soothsayers, the spark in the eyes and hearts of heroes and villains across the world who struggle to change the world and themselves. Agents of Fortune -- Adventurers, Doomed Slayers, Delvers -- challenge their fates, risking a safe, predictable, and often boring end to their lives in the hopes of making things better for themselves and, perhaps, for society and the world at large.
Luck -- good and ill -- dominates the most crucial moments of their lives. But this was something that they accepted or got used to early in their careers: when party members died right and left in an unforeseen encounter, when defeat befell their greatest leaders in the face of almost-certain victory, when inexplicable fumbles plagued even the surest of strikes. And they accept it, because when up against implacable foes, the same rules bedevil them as well.
Of course, there should theoretically be a third face. Some whisper that it is Destiny, but how does that differ from Fate or Fortune?