Last night saw another episode of our Hollow Earth Expedition campaign. The characters have been searching for the lost Illuminati treasure that they have previously discovered had been entrusted to American Freemasons by members of the Areopagus, the governing body of the Illuminati prior to their disbanding by the various German countries in 1776. In a letter dated 1784 between Benjamin Franklin, then the outgoing ambassador to France, and Baron Krigge, Franklin confides that the treasure is “safe in the house of the President.”

Having done their research, they concluded this was the President of the Congressional Congress, Richard Lee of Virginia. They were interrupted by German agents — the first we’d seen them as they’d been using mobsters to do their dirty work in the other sessions — and in the fray they kidnaped a woman that had claimed to be the “friend” of character Jack MacMahon’s now-dead uncle (and man that sent them the journal that started the adventure).

Last night saw the crew skip Manhattan, despite having a grand jury appearance for “assault with a deadly weapon” and “attempted murder” hanging over their head (meaning they are now fugitives who have absconded across state lines…if they don’t get home in time.) They took the Pennsy Railroad’s Afternoon Congressional to Washington DC, and from there were driving a car they’d bought to Stratford Hall, home of Richard Lee and later Robert E Lee. However, more mooks boarded the train in Philadelphia and began surveilling them. The characters decided on a confrontation that led to a fight on the platforms between the train cars and the accidental breech of the hydraulic lines controlling the brakes.

They manage to find that the mooks were reporting to the Nazi agents already on the train (meaning the girl has talked, either willingly or under duress.) The fight that ensued involved a chase and fight on the top of the icy, wildly racing train, and a firefight in the baggage car of the train, before the bad guys cut the connection between the engine and the rest of the train. Now the characters have to flee before there’s any chance they are connected to two new dead bodies on the train.

Following this, they managed to gain transport from Baltimore, where the train had stopped to Washington in a cab. they then had to buy a car, cash, so they could get out to Stratford Hall. They were able to make contact with the Robert E Lee Memorial Society that owns the place and set a meeting with the president of the group. there they find out that no treasure was present, but one of the amateur historians of the group points out that there were more than one “president” in the United States at the time. One of those was Benjamin Franklin…in 1785, the president of Pennsylvania!

They left to pursue this lead, only to be intercepted by the Nazis, who caused them to crash their car into an icy pond… Cliffhanger!

The adventure ran quickly and smoothly, and I was glad that the red herring of the Lee home was followed. Next, they will have to race to Philadelphia and try to find the treasure. There’s a few problems that they will be running into…not the least being the Franklin home no longer exists.

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