One of the readers wanted a recap on the characters of the current Hollow Earth Expedition. My games tend to wind up with loads of long-running NPCs that flesh out the players’ worlds, so here’s the primer:

PLAYER CHARACTERS (aka “The Guys in the Credits”)

LADY MARGARET “ZARA” ANSOM-BOSE (player: Ysharros; deceased..?) — She was the impetus for the campaign, then the player had to back out over work and personal scheduling. The character was the classic pulp “modern woman” who smoked, drank, caroused, and flew planes. She had money, being the ex-wife of an oil tycoon, and was lost a while back in one of their fights.

GUSTAV HASSENFELDT (player: Jim S): Son of a German doctor and missionary, he was raised in German East Africa until the Great War. He’s a big game hunter with a reputation for scrupulous honesty, bravery, loyalty, and recently for leaping before he looks. He is the moral center of the group, and their ranged “brick.”

DAVID GOULD, MD (player Matt M): A Spanish Jew, he was run out of Spain for getting too friendly with a powerful(and Catholic) politician’s daughter. He’s a bit of a scoundrel who is starting to develop into a “hero.” He has Atlantean blood, causing Atlantean technology to operate for him. He is fixated on Atlantis and “saving” the Inner World.

JOHN HUNTER (player Ponz): A late comer to the game, Hunter is an Italian-American, a former US Marine during the Great War, and an “overseer” with the Terra Arcanum, a secret group trying to protect the world from the technology of the Atlanteans (or so they say…) He’s become their brick — a fierce close in fighter. Recently, he was made Sky Marshal of the races allied against Atlantis…for some reason, people trust this guy.

IMPORTANT NPCs (Supporting Cast)

OLGA MUHIDNOVA/LADY MORANA: A Russian Jew and some kind of “psychic battery” the Soviets created or trained, she is a deadly killer. She and Gould became lovers, and she seemed to be mellowing into just friggin’ dangerous. She was captured before the group was ejected from the Hollow Earth in their last big battle with the Atlanteans, and has spent over a year in the emperor’s clutches. According to new intelligence, she is being trained as some kind of psychic or magician, and has taken the name Lady Morana (Slavic goddess of death and magic). She supposedly gave the emperor his first son.

PRINCE AMON: The former ruler of Ultima Thule, he was overthrown by the emperor’s forces for trying to snap up Gould before the emperor could. He’s been their companion and a decent friend, but now that his return to power is close, they don’t quite trust him, anymore.

“UNCLE” ZEK (Zebulon Edward Koenig): A former agent of the Terra Arcanum, he was a protege of Nikola Tesla, and was lost in an operation to stop Rasputin from using an Atlantean warship to take over Russia in 1908. (See Tunguska…) He is a master tinker and inventor, and his daughter Erha is a top notch pilot of the half-assed planes and other things he’s created.

GENERAL INANNA: One of the “white Vril” — the almost albino-like, tall rulers of Atlantis and Valhalla, she is the emperor’s tursted consort and top general until a lucky counteroffensive by the group took her flagship. She is a prisoner, now, and they are hoping to use her for leverage.

OBERSTURMBANNFUHRER GEORGE WERNER: This SS officer is the head of the Nazi expedition into the Hollow Earth, he has been a thorn in the group’s side and occasional ally. He is actively playing Amon, hoping to gain advantage for the Reich. His base of operations is the airship LZ-128 Deutschland, which was built in secret.

REAR ADMIRAL RICHARD BYRD: Famed arctic explorer, expert airplane pilot, and the head of the American expedition to the Hollow Earth. He is also a member of the Terra Arcanum, a master. His base of operations is the airship ZR-3 or USS Los Angeles. Byrd is trying to match Werner’s moves, without exceeding his legal mandate.

OSHA: A mermaid princess, she is King Triton’s daughter and Gus Hassenfeldt’s lover. She holds a strange charm over him that even he thinks is unnatural. While they were out of the Hollow Earth, she had his child — a “walker” or legged merman.

LORD TREVOR ANSOM: Zara’s uncle (and the guy they rescued in the first adventure.) He was a captain in the British Army in the Great War, and suffers from shell shock, absent-mindedness, but is a brilliant philologist and historian. He came along on the Los Angeles mission to find Zara.

BIT PLAYERS (Speaking parts)

Emperor Mot of Atlantis: Our Ming the Merciless.

Princess Shria: A former ally captured with Olga, she is the daughter of Mot and General Inanna.

King Woden: King of the Vril of Valhalla.

Lady Sigrun: A Valkyrie that is Woden’s emissary to Los Angeles.

King Triton: Leader of the merfolk. Osha’s father.

Prince Glaucus: A walker and Triton’s son and ambassador. Osha’s brother.

Princess Aditra: Ruler of the hawkmen since her husband was killed by the Inanna’s last attack.

General Akator: The hawkman general.

Captain Thoth: Head of the Emperor’s secret police.