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The Xianfeng, literally the Vanguard, is a fan-created organization in China.
Behind the booming economy and liberalizing society of modern China, there lurk ancient evils. These corruptions existed long before the first bronze age kingdoms, and still walk unnoticed among the teeming throngs of New China. Among the hundreds of millions of people migrating into the urban agglomerations for work there are cultists long scattered all over the country coming into contact with each other. Ancient villages of degenerates are absorbed into the expanding Chinese metropoli, and things best left alone are awoken by the booming construction industry. In a population exceeding one billion, where everyone is striving for success and prosperity, there are those whose motives aren't personal prosperity or national power, but rather serve interests far darker and older than the Middle Kingdom.
But these cults and individuals, these monsters human and otherwise, do not stand unopposed. There are those who stand against the tide. Like Delta Green, these fighters have existed as both a legitimate organization and as an illegal conspiracy. Today they occupy a role somewhere in between, protected by allies in Beijing's political elite and using China's expanding civil society to cover up their operations. Now the old cadres are forced to work next to a young, impetuous new generation. Regardless of the changes, they all refer to their organization by a name taken straight from the thought of Chairman Mao: Xianfeng, the vanguard.
Table of Contents
The Mythos has always had its friends and enemies in the Middle Kingdom. Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of Unified China, introduced the policy of “Burn the Books and Bury the Scholars” between the years of 213 and 206 BC, where books and intellectuals who did not adhere the official legalist dogma of the Qin state were destroyed. Amongst the thousands of philosophical and historical works destroyed in this process, hundreds of blasphemous Mythos tomes and spellbooks were put to the flame, and many worshippers of the Outer Gods and Great Old Ones buried alive. Later in other dynasties, there were further books burnings and persecutions with a similar cleansing effect on Chinese civilisation. It was often Taoist priests and strict Confucian officials that rooted out dark cults and worshippers of foul things, but these elements always re-established themselves inevitably despite the best efforts and programs. As dynasties fell and central control wavered, elements of the Mythos would inevitably creep into the edges, only to be eradicated or driven underground by the later order.
This waxing and waning broke down toward the doddering end of the Qing dynasty, when there was chaos in the Middle Kingdom and foreign interests controlled much of the country. A quasi-Christian cult under "Heavenly King" Hong Xiuquan took over a third of the country during the Taiping rebellion before being put down. Opium and famine ravaged the population. The imperial ambitions of the Western powers and the increasing weakness of the Manchu government saw the spread of the Black Ocean Society, a vile Japanese secret society and terrorist organisation. They infiltrated Chinese secret societies and expanded along with Japanese imperial interests. The Black Ocean Society suffered reversal during the Boxer Rebellion, when Christian missionaries and Cthulhu cultists alike were slaughtered by the conservative anti-imperialist movement. But when the Eight-Nation Alliance consisting of Britain, Japan, France, Germany, Russia, Italy, Austria and the United States put down the rebellion the Black Ocean Society quickly swept back into prominence. The Black Ocean Society became the Black Dragon Society in 1901 and continued to spread throughout China and further Asia under the flag of imperial Japan. When war came between China and Japan, the Black Dragons began to operate openly in occupied China, using atrocities such as the Rape of Nanjing to perform dark rituals and ceremonies. Chinese vigilantes opposed them, but lack of knowledge and organisation doomed many of these early efforts to failure.
War against the Dragons
Many of the vigilantes that opposed the Black Dragons and other cults in China eventually became associated with the nascent Communist movement of Mao Zedong, and began to push for strikes against the Dragons, requests which were initially ignored. This changed when the leadership realised the extent of Black Dragon power and influence. The Zheng Feng (or “Rectification”) was a mass movement organised by Mao Zedong and his security service head Kang Sheng in 1942 at Mao’s power base in Yenan, intended to give thousands of new members of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) a basic understanding of Marxist theory and Leninist principles of party organisation. In practice, the Zheng Feng devolved into a vicious campaign of physical and psychological persecution of those perceived to be dissidents. It also revealed a widespread conspiracy of Black Dragon agents who were attempting to infiltrate the CCP. This conspiracy was crushed, but kept secret by Mao and Kang in order not to disturb morale. Kang was given the responsibility of overseeing the CCP campaign against the Black Dragons in China.
The struggle against the Black Dragons became the seedy underbelly of the more general struggle against Japan's military forces. Toward the end of the war, there were even a number of joint operations between the Nationalist forces of Chiang Kaishek and Mao's Communist forces against cult centres and the Black Dragons. These combined cadres fighting the Black Dragons became known to PISCES in its Pacific operations, and they nicknamed the groups the St. George cadres. This monicker was adopted by the cadres themselves as they became more organised. The St. George cadres received support and intelligence from PISCES over the course of the war, and were considered able fighters, if expendable. This relationship ended with the War and PISCES distractions in Europe, and Delta Green never became aware of the actions of these cadres. The Civil War between the Nationalists and the Communists in China saw the collapse and breakup of the St. George cadres. Kang was demoted to a position of CPC chief in Shandong province (due to Mao’s disapproval of his extensive cooperation with Nationalist forces and the British in the anti-Black Dragon campaign). Some of the cadres were absorbed into the Nationalist forces that later fled to Taiwan, others remained with the Communists on the mainland.
However, veterans of the St. George cadres on the mainland often held positions of notable political influence, and waged a campaign against what remained of the Black Dragons in China. In this effort they soon stumbled across other, older cults and vile sects. They learned of the widespread influence of the Order of the Bloated Woman, as well as the fanatical worshippers of Madame Yi, avatar of the Outer God Yidhra. They encountered ghouls and deep ones, and worse. Shocked that there could be indigenous organisations in collusion with the same toxic forces that spawned the Black Dragons, they struggled against them as best they could. Over time they continued to send reports of these outbreaks to Kang Sheng, who attempted to support their actions but remained politically isolated until the mid 1950’s, when he resumed control of China’s security apparatus. With Mao’s support, Kang Sheng organised the formation of the Revolutionary Committee for the Opposition of Superstition and Occultism. The rank and file of the organisation adopted a shorter and more pleasing name for the organisation, Xianfeng, "the vanguard".
The Revolutionary Committee was adept at manipulating Communist ideology in order to facilitate the suppression of Mythos elements and forces. During the chaotic famine years of the so-called Great Leap Forward, operations were initiated against a variety of cult centres, though initially the efforts were crude and often mis-directed. There was initial contact with GRU SV-8 but with the political split between the Soviet Union and China the connection was severed, and at any rate the Revolutionary Committee had been feeling increasingly threatened by certain activities by Smersh in some of the very areas that Xianfeng were most concerned with. There was a variety of political problems in the early days, with a general sense of distrust by sections of the government and the military. However, things were about to turn rapidly to Xianfeng's favour.
The Cultural Revolution brought the apex of Revolutionary Committee power. In the chaos and ideological fervour of the period, Xianfeng was able to orchestrate a series of crushing blows against Mythos cults and elements. As the country stood on the brink of civil war, the Revolutionary Committee used the fervent and excited Red Guards to further their own goals in the guise of opposing rightists and "black elements". Countless ancient buildings, artifacts, antiques, books, and paintings were destroyed by Red Guards. In 1966 Mao Zedong issued orders instructing police not to interfere with Red Guard activities, which greatly benefited Xianfeng operations.
In 1968, the Revolutionary Committee caught wind of strange reports coming from the southern region of Yunnan province near the border with Burma. Provincial officials had reported a number of strange atmospheric conditions and the recent disappearance of hundreds of local villagers with evidence that they had been siezed forcibly from their homes. An investigative team discovered evidence of a widespread cult known as the Brotherhood of the Star Treader and a number of blasphemous texts and statues were discovered. It was soon determined after communications with the Burmese government that the fabled plateau of Sung was somehow the source of the disturbance. The Revolutionary Committee decided that a direct intervention was necessary, and authorised Operation JOURNEY TO THE WEST, the first international effort for Xianfeng.
A combined force of Red Guards and Burmese soldiers entered the plateau when it manifested in an obscure and little inhabited border region between the two countries, and became involved with a conflict with an unexpectedly large group of Tcho-tcho, who were keeping captives taken from villages in both China and Burma as breeding stock and a ready food supply. The Burmese force was largely destroyed by the Tcho-tcho and by a sudden and ferocious windstorm, but the Red Guards were able to make it to the shore of a body of water, in the centre of which was a barely-visible ancient city of unfamiliar architectural style. This was soon followed by sudden appearance of Tulku, the astral form of the Great Old One Zhar, which led to the deaths of most of the remaining Red Guards. However, as the last of the cult was wiped out the Tulku and the adverse weather conditions ceased, and the survivors beat a quick retreat back out of the plateau. In the aftermath what little remained of the cult was wiped out, and many of the Tcho-tcho fled China, only to find themselves slaughtered in Burma under the orders of the dictator Ne Win.
Further cult activity was discovered in the rural region of Gansu province in 1971, where an agricultural commune with unusually high levels of productivity in a time of national famine and crisis was lauded as an example of the success of the socialist work model. Closer investigation discovered that the commune was held in the thrall of a powerful young woman with an unknown past. A Xianfeng cadre dispatched to investigate discovered the woman was actually an avatar of the Dream Witch Yidhra, and the resulting cleansing operation codenamed Operation DRAGON TURTLE left the commune a smoking ruin. This success was mixed, as the avatar of the Dream Witch was able to escape by consuming the likeness of a young female Red Guard, who then vanished into the rural countryside.
Other campaigns waged in this period included the long campaign against the Cthulhu cult in the mountains of western China, which saw the arrest and execution of a number of so-called "Deathless" sorcerers in a campaign known as EIGHT IMMORTALS CROSS THE SEA. Some fled, including a single individual that relocated to California, where he is believed to have revived the cult under the guise of a Chinese Baptist congregation with ties to anti-communist agitator groups. Another front involved a number of villages along the Fujian coast that were investigated following long reports by nearby towns of degeneracy, cannibalism and the worship of devils. The local villagers were found to be engaged with congress with tribes of aquatic humanoids living off the coast, and the villages were almost completely depopulated.
Meanwhile, throughout the Cultural Revolution period there were concerted efforts by the Xianfeng to root out and destroy the Bloated Woman cult of Shanghai, in a long operation codenamed WHITE BONE SPIRIT. This campaign involved mass arrests, the fall of corrupt municipal government officials and the destruction of cult centres and temples. However, this served merely to scatter the Bloated Woman outside of the city into nearby rural regions that spoke the same Wu dialect as spoken in Shanghai. Whenever Xianfeng's back was turned the Cult seeped back into the city's seedy underbelly, and grew increasingly adept at avoiding and embarrassing the Xianfeng. In the process, the Revolutionary Committee made countless enemies in the city.
Fall from grace
As the Cultural Revolution waned, Xianfeng's arrogance and brash attitude in their operations began to backfire on them. In 1975 a group of Tibetan Red Guards were involved with destroying Buddhist monestaries in their province, and had recieved reports of a fanatical sect worshipping some they referred to as "Bloody Vishnu" or "Chaona Fu". Soon after these reports the Tibetan communists were mysteriously slaughtered, and some were found drained of blood with bizarre wounds. A Xianfeng group arrived in the area soon after, but due to the fact that the cult activity was believed to have originated in a salt plain known as Aksai Chin (a region disputed by India but controlled by China over which the countries fought a major war in 1962), the local military leaders took exception to Xianfeng's presence. A fiasco followed, with Xianfeng forces being arrested by the People's Liberation Army and held in a prison in Lhasa while the cult seemingly disappeared. Some believed the cultists to have fled to the neighbouring Indian province of Jammu and Kashmir, others said they simply went underground. Regardless, the debacle illustrated the growing hostility with the PLA. The PLA disliked the power and uncontrolled nature of the Red Guards, and viewed Xianfeng operations as poorly justified and excessively secretive, and suspected non-Communist motives behind them.
The glory years came to an end with the death of Xianfeng's political patron Kang Sheng of cancer in 1975. The Revolutionary Committee then relied on the protection of Mao, and after his death, on the sufferance of the Gang of Four, a political alliance of Jiang Qing, Mao's wife and a number of associates who were involved with a power struggle with reformist figures like Deng Xiaoping and Zhou Enlai. The fall of the Gang of Four and the ascendancy of the reformers under Deng spelled a deathknell for the Revolutionary Committee. Many Committee members were subject to purge and persecution, and some were sent to re-education camps. While the Revolutionary Committee continued for several years, it was officially disbanded by Deng Xiaoping in 1980.
Xianfeng tried to continue its operations but suffered from severe police harassment and an inability to coordinate, which only got worse in the coming years. The Deng Xiaoping era saw prosperity for China, but this also had the result of many former Red Guards moving back to the cities to take on jobs in the burgeoning new industries. Old enemies and cults came out of the woodwork and made sorry examples of some of those diehard vigilantes who continued to fight the Mythos. These vigilantes still referred to themselves as Xianfeng, but kept a low profile, operating like terrorist cells or a secret society. These used Cultural Revolution-era terminology and ideals, but operated without the support of Beijing. They were often small groups of old comrades or friends, or even family groups, and the contact between the groups was limited.
These were dark times. Many were arrested and whenever an information network arose between the vigilante groups, it was smashed by officials and polices fearful of insurrectionist groups. The CCP viewed any kind of organised secret group to be a threat to their own rule, and few officials believed explanations of a hidden war against cults and monsters. Some unlucky vigilantes were executed, others found themselves in re-education camps. At any rate, vigilante actions in this era were of limited success in this period. Cultists were increasingly able to hide behind legitimate organizations such as underground churches and the Falun Gong cult. However, even as these vigilantes faced resistance, an unexpected new ally was being born.
The Ministry of State Security (also known as Guojia Anquan Bu or Guoanbu) is the security agency of China and the largest foreign intelligence agency in China, with significant domestic powers as well. It is a direct descendant from the original Central Department of Social Affairs which was the primary intelligence organ of the Communist Party before its accession to power in 1949. The CDSA later became the Central Investigation Department, which was merged with the counterintelligence aspects of the Ministry of Public Security in 1983 to create the new Ministry of State Security. Its operations cover a diverse range of interest, such as domestic and foreign affairs, counterintelligence and counter-surveillance, and research and development. Historically Xianfeng had little influence over this organization, but did not suffer the same emnity from this Ministry that they did from the Ministry of Public Security. In any case the Ministry had little experience with Mythos events for most of its early years.
In 1986, Guoanbu became aware of an extraterrestrial vessel entering Earth's atmosphere and crashing in Russia, followed by a successful recovery of the vessel by the Soviet Union. A GRU SV8 agent known as Yuri Lachenko was coopted by the Bureau to provide information on GRU SV8 activities. Guoanbu spies were only able to glean very limited information (and a lot of info which they dismissed as fantasy and paranoia, such as investigations into paranormal phenomena and cults), but this episode proved an impetus for further investigation into foreign knowledge of extraterrestrial activity. They studied reports of UFO crashes at Roswell, Aurora and Kecksburg in the United States, Shag Harbour in Canada and Berwyn Mountain and Rendlesham Forest in Britain, as well as other reports from all over the world, both the West and the Communist bloc. In this operation they became aware that at the very least the United States had been somewhat successful in replicating alien technology, and it was likely that the Soviet Union was actively trying on the same path. It became imperative that China narrow the gap with the superpowers on this front, lest she suffer a chronic handicap in the technological arms race.
Bureau 11 was formed as a secret organisation within the Ministry with the mission of recovering extraterrestrial evidence and technology and to assess the extent of which foreign powers have utilised extraterrestrial technology. They realised that it would not be possible just to wait for an opportune UFO crash within Chinese borders, but it would be necessary to maintain a worldwide vigil for such phenomena. Bureau 11 agents began to crawl over regions of the third world alleged to have experienced UFO crashes, with limited success.
In the frantic search for extraterrestrial tech, Bureau 11 realised that there was indeed a case of a UFO crash in China, known to the world as the Dropa Stones. The original remains of the crash held at Beijing University were siezed and studied by Bureau 11 scientists that quickly realised that they were dealing with the real deal. The Ministry began the long task of collecting all the remains of the crash, scattered across the country in museums and universities and even held in foreign collections. This success was the first example of the increasing Bureau obsession with the recovery of extraterrestrial objects and reports of UFO sightings in China and abroad.
Initially, the Xianfeng vigilantes and the Bureau 11 agents were suspicious and distrustful of one another. They crossed paths on several occasions, and neither knew how entirely to judge the other. The vigilantes saw the agents as toying with forces they didn't understand, the bureau saw the vigiliantes as luddites and criminals. In this period, the loose network of vigilantes calling themselves the Xianfeng were involved in a series of This mutual opposition came to an end with the arrival of the Colour.
In early 1997, a Colour Out of Space landed in a remote village in Sichuan province in a rural area near the city of Chengdu. The bureau reacted to the reports of an unidentified flying object crashed in the region, the vigilantes were simply in the region and responded to the strange reports from the area of failing crops and animals behaving strangely. There were also a number of sightings of what the locals called feicai, or the evil colour. The centre of the phenomena was found to be the ancient Dujiangyan irrigation system , and a meteorite was recovered. Soon, however, the local population began to exhibit strange behaviour, and began blaming the "outsider's", both the agents and the vigilantes. The spreading of the behaviour led to fears that whatever was contaminating this sector of the irrigation system would feed into the system that provided for Chengdu, with potentially devastating consequences.
This joint cooperation led to the word spreading amongst the networks of vigilantes in China, and soon Bureau 11 was viewed as a potential ally. For Bureau 11's part they began to acknowledge that they may have been acting too arrogantly, this view is encouraged by a series of unusual deaths in Bureau 11 researchers. For the next several years, the vigilantes began to give Bureau 11 information and support in operations, and Bureau 11 began to use its own powers and influence to shield the vigilantes from official scrutiny. However, this cooperation never reached an official or even a particularly developed level. Bureau 11 could not risk giving open support to these rebels and criminals, and the vigilantes didn't trust Bureau 11 not to turn them all in.
The mission statement for the 11th Bureau of Guoanbu is complex: To determine the extent of extraterrestrial activity in or cooperation with foreign powers, to recover and exploit extraterrestrial or extraterrestrial-derived technology, and possibly to open relations between the government of the People's Republic of China and extraterrestrial powers. This mission has been accepted by the powers that be within the Ministry, and their political allies in the Chinese Communist Party in general. But to most, the 11th Bureau's work remains secret, and it is considered by the rest of the Ministry to be the Holy Grail of blacker-than-black intelligence work.
The Bureau absorbs promising candidates from across the other bureaus, which are as follows:
- First Bureau - Domestic Affairs
- Second Bureau - Foreign Affairs
- Third Bureau - Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan
- Fourth Bureau - Technology
- Fifth Bureau - Local Intelligence
- Sixth Bureau - Counterintelligence
- Seventh Bureau - Circulation
- Eighth Bureau - Research
- Ninth Bureau - Anti-Defection and Countersurveillance
- Tenth Bureau - Scientific and Technological Information
- Personnel and Education Bureau
- Supervision and Auditing Bureau
And other offices:
- General Office
- Political Department
- Party Committee
Most of the recruits for Bureau 11's work come from Bureaus 4, 8 and 10, and tend toward heterodox manners of thought and operation.
Guoanbu officially lacks the ability to charge or arrest people, but this does not always reflect the reality of Guoanbu domestic operations and they have overstepped their official boundaries on several occasions. Bureau 11 agents operating intrernationally hide amongst the thousands of Chinese diplomats, businessmen, scholars, journalists and students that visit the West every year, and they recruit from among the Overseas Chinese community in both the Greater China region and the West. Overseas intelligence agents are generally assigned to postings of 6 years, 10 years or long term in duration. Bureau 11 maintains its own agents in the field, but also retains access to the wider circle of Guoanbu agents.
Bureau 11 has a strained relationship with the other intelligence organs in the People's Republic of China. The Ministry of Public Security is suspicious of the protection offered the Wei Foundation and the Xianfeng vigilantes by the Bureau, while the intelligence organs of the People's Liberation Army remain deeply skeptical. They are dismissive of the Bureau's claims of extraterrestrial evidence and technology and find their interest in fringe archaeology to be hokum. They have refused to share their own human, signals and imagery intelligence resources with the Bureau, preventing them from building up a clearer picture of Majestic 12 activities.
The Lianyungang warehouse
The Bureau is interested in artifacts and devices that would largely be consigned to fringe archaeology in the West, and they have collected a variety of bizarre objects throughout. Some are legitimately miscategorized, but others have a far more exotic history. The warehouse itself is maintained in an ex-military bunker complex in Lianyunggang in the coastal province of Jiangsu and is under strict guard. Ministry scientists run experiments and perform testing on the artifacts, but so far have been too afraid of damaging the objects to pry too aggressively into their secrets.
- The remains of a sky-chariot belonging to one of the followers of Zanthu that fled the cataclysm claiming Mu 160 000 years ago. The vessel and its unfortunate crew crashed as they tried to flee to the mysterious plateau of Tsang. This vessel was recovered by a coal mining company in Shanxi province in 1989 and quickly seized by the Bureau.
- A Mi-go brain cylinder, recovered during a dinosaur dig in Inner Mongolia, was quickly siezed by the Ministry and the French paleontological team that recovered it were intimidated and bribed into silence. Study has so far yielded little information about what the strange object is. Unbeknownest to the Bureau, cased inside the cylinder is a perfectly preserved but currently inactive Elder Thing brain. What happens if they succeed in switching on the devices sensory input and speech devices is anyone's guess.
- The fossilized remains of several Yithian devices. These were part of machines destroyed by Star Spawn during their ancient territorial wars, and no longer function as anything other than peculiar artificial taints on the fossil record.
The Wei Foundation
The Wei Foundation was founded in 1999 by an eccentric Chinese businessman known as Wang Xiaoping. The official purpose of it was to track the spread and development of new religious movements in mainland China. The internal threat represented by the Falun gong cult as well as underground Christian churches and separatist Muslim and Buddhist movements were of concern to the central government, and Wang sold the idea of having an independent group within China's awakening civil society to keep a track of these movements. This was a good story wasn't too far off the truth, but the actual purpose of the organisation was actually to analyse the spread and growth of Mythos cults in China over the last 20 years. After a year of investigation, there were few conclusive results, but two important facts were learned. One was that Mythos cults and interests were growing in strength, numbers and influence across China. The other was that many of those Red Guards who once fought under the auspices of the Revolutionary Committee were continuing their activities in secret. Wang Xiaoping presented his evidence to some of his friends in political high places and was met with some skepticism. But Chinese government officials are nothing if not cautious, and they continued to support his work.
With the support of his political allies, Wang decided to take the operation to the next level. As a Non-Government Organisation active in the People's Republic, the Wei Foundation required a ministerial patron in order to operate, and this was the Ministry of State Security. He came into contact with the leader of Bureau 11 and convinced the man that the Bureau and the Foundation could form a mutually beneficial relationship.
The next step was bringing together the old Revolutionary Committee fighters. Wang wanted experts and consultants, and wished to bring some of the old warriors in from the cold. The Wei Foundation's new mission was to bring the vigilantes together and use their experience to train the next generation of investigators. In exchange, the Wei foundation was tasked with giving the vigilantes actions some degree of legality, and to reduce the level of official scrutiny, by using their contacts within the Ministry of State Security. The number of vigilantes contacted and brought into the fold was comparatively small. The Xianfeng veterans were charged with the training of special teams of investigators and imparting wisdom as to how to deal with Mythos threats. In practice, it has meant aging and political extremist ex-Red Guards leading groups of naive 20-somethings into conflict with the Mythos.
Today, Xianfeng is a network of interests with central nodes around the Wei Foundation and Bureau 11. Its tentacles are the vigilantes, some who have been fighting the Mythos for decades, others who have only just joined the fight but have very different ideas how to wage it. Xianfeng still has a variety of enemies. Wang Xiaolong's political and economic enemies are watchful for any evidence of the organization overstepping itself and so the organization has several times had to restrain itself from intervention in sensitive situations. Despite the Ministry of State Security's protection, Xianfeng agents still find themselves under the scrutiny of the police and the Ministry of Public Security.
Facilities and fronts
Named after the dead brother of Wang Xiaoping who was sacrificed by Yog-Sothoth cultists, the Wei Foundation is the public face of Xianfeng. The Wei Foundation maintains offices in Shanghai and Beijing, with intentions to expand to Hong Kong. The Beijing office is largely maintained to maintain a relatively normal cover for the Foundation's political supporters, and deals with the study of more conventional religious trends in China: the underground Christian churches, Falun Gong and so forth. It largely engages in "official" Wei Foundation work, and there is little evidence of Xianfeng's activities. The Shanghai office is the real seat of power. Due to Wang's highly developed political connections within the city, this is a much safer locale for the secret work that is the foundation's main focus.
The Foundation's greatest asset is political connections, and when in 2005 when entrepreneurs became eligible to join the Communist Party, Wang quickly joined and greatly expanded his network of contacts and allies. However, the use of connections represents a double edged sword for the Wei Foundation. Though they enjoy support in Beijing, this support does not always filter down to a provincial level. Local and provincial officials are often distrustful of Wei Foundation activities, and in some provinces past activities have left a relationship that is downright hostile.
The Foundation recruits young and eager men and women who have in one way or another come into contact with the Mythos. These are often students of history and the liberal arts, particularly ancient languages and cultures. These students have a tendency for a level of naivety and enthusiasm that sometimes protects them from the ravages of the Mythos, and sometimes leads to tragedy.The ex-Red Guard "consultants" have made a large and unique contribution to the running of the Foundation. Of particular interest is the phenomenon of "self-criticism".
During the Cultural Revolution, comrades living in agricultural communes would participate in self-criticism sessions, admitting to their various personal sins and transgressions against Marxist-Leninist-Maoist orthodoxy. Now, the self-criticism sessions are focused on the Mythos and its effects on the individual. Foundation members operate in group therapy sessions guided by a psychiatrist and a Xianfeng veteran and discuss how their work has affected them personally. Strange dreams, odd desires and fears, personal realisations, recurring memories and hallucinations tend to be the focus. This process has been largely positive in maintaining strong sanity through social pressures and a group dynamic, and has helped to reveal some new dangers, such as the Hasturian Vibe. This process does, however, run the risk of spreading sanity loss across an entire group, and one session has so far ended horribly as the conversation led to a piecing together of disassociated knowledge and subsequent madness. In general, however, these sessions do more good than harm.
The Wei Foundation is deeply reliant on the money and connections of Wang Xiaoping, and it is unlikely that the organisation would be able to maintain itself without his interest and patronage. He is aware of the danger this represents and constantly seeks to find other potential patrons or sources of assets for the organisation, but so far has had little success. The Foundation recieves a number of government grants but the costs of their unofficial operations eat up most of these. Another source of funds are foreign organisations. The Foundation has a cordial relationship with both the Miskatonic University and the Sanbourne Institute of Pacific Antiquities through the "Confucius Institute" initiative, and the Foundation has assisted MU and Sanbourne students studying in China with language study programs, as well as providing them with access to the Foundations closed reserve of ancient Chinese esoterica.
Library of the Wei Foundation Closed Reserve
In its heyday, Xianfeng insisted on a slash-and-burn attitude towards Mythos texts and considered the hoarding of such texts to be dangerous. Many of the older Xianfeng still feel this way, but the Wei Foundation has taken the attitude that its better the devil you know than the devil you don't. These texts are kept in a highly Access to these texts is highly restricted, limited only to agents working for the Ministry of State Security, employees of the Wei Foundation, and the occasional student of Miskatonic University. However, compared to other comparable collections of arcane literature of this nature, the security around the reserve is lax. The Foundation has as yet had no reason to fear attacks or raid, and there is the risk that interested parties with the right amount of resources and greed may take advantage of that fact.
The Seven Cryptical Books of Hsan
Language: Classical Chinese, Mythos Gain: +8, SAN loss: 1d4/1d8, Study Time: 40 weeks
Spells: Call Down Spirit (Summon/Bind Byakhee), Call Forth the Earth Spirit (Contact Cthonian), Contact Ghoul, Contact Hound of Tindalos, Contact Nyarlathotep, Door to Kadath, Restore to Life (Resurrection)
The Dhol Chants
Language: Burmese, Mythos Gain: +10, SAN loss: 1d6/2d6, Study Time: 62 weeks
Spells: At Keeper's Discretion
The Black Sutra
Language: Burmese, Mythos Gain: +7, SAN loss: 1d4/1d8, Study Time: 18 weeks
Spells: Word of Madame Yi (Contact Yidhra), Presence of Madame Yi (Summon/Dispell Yidhra), Blessing of Madame Yi (Blight/Bless Crop), Skill of Madame Yi (Consume Likeness)
Language: Laotian, Mythos Gain: +7, SAN loss: 1d4/1d8, Study Time: 18 weeks
Spells: At Keepers Discretion
The Tao of Immortality
Language: Classical Chinese, Mythos Gain: +8, SAN loss: 1d6/1d8+1, Study Time: 28 weeks
Spells: Ascend the Stairs of Immortality, Cheat Karma, Short Path to Immortality (Call/Dismiss Quachil Uttaus), Debt of the Taoist Emperor (Unspeakable Promise), Escape the Grasp of Emma (Create Self Ward), Favour of the Taoist Emperor (Extend), Protect the Vessel (Flesh Ward), Wisdom of Emperors (Flesh Ward)
The Kingdom of Wa
Language: Classical Chinese, Mythos Gain: +14, SAN loss: 1d8/2d6+1, Study Time: 48 weeks
Spells: Ancestral Ward (Elder Sign), Blessing of the Dragon's Tongue (Call Yig), Contact Serpent People, Counsel of the High Sorceror (Tsathoggua), Eye of Inari (Bless/Blight Crop), Lakazar's Bridge (Create Window), Light of the Sun (Augur), Mirror of the Past (Create Scrying Window), Summon Dragon (Dagon)
The Tale of Prince Kwan
Language: Classical Chinese, Mythos Gain: +5, SAN loss: -1/1d6, Study Time: 18 weeks
Spells: Grasp of Kui (Grasp of Cthulhu), Vigour of Kwan (Power Drain), Black Intonation (Shrivelling), Youth of Kwan (Steal Life)
The Goddess of the Black Fan
Language: Classical Chinese, Mythos Gain: +5, SAN loss: 0/1d4, Study Time: 12 weeks
Spells: Contact Bloated Woman
Book of Cho Shek
Language: Classical Chinese, Mythos Gain: +4, SAN loss: 0/1d6, Study time: 15 weeks
Spells: Call Lan Shi (Summon Star Vampire), Mercy of Lan Shi (Bind Star Vampire)
Journey of the Twin Obscenities
Language: Tcho-tcho/Burmese, Mythos Gain: +8, SAN loss: 1d4/1d8, Spell Multiplier: x2, Study Time: 15 weeks
Spells: Contact Zhar, Contact Loigor, Summon Tulku
Notes: Recovered by the Xianfeng operation on the plateau of Sung, this document languished in a makeshift storage facility used by Red Guards in the jungles of southern Yunnan before being recovered by the Wei Foundation. Some water damage is evident.
Language: Chinese, Mythos Gain: +7, SAN loss: 1d4/1d6, Study Time: 18 weeks
Spells: Pnakotic Pentagram, Create Gate
Notes: This tome is a book of prophecies of the next 3000 years, though they are written in such arcane language and symbolism to be extremely difficult to divine. It briefly discusses the return of the Great Old Ones to Earth, and the subsquent destruction of our civilisation, but largely deals with later events, with an emphasis on the Empire of Tsan Chan in the year 5000 AD.
De Vermis Mysteriis
Notes: This document was found in the home of a reclusive eccentric in the city of Qingdao, which was once a German-controlled port.
Plots seeds for the Xianfeng.
Laogai 528 is a Bureau 11 penal colony in northern Heilongjiang province, near the border with Russia. The camp is set in the Lesser Khingan mountains, in a harsh subarctic climate where temperatures occasionally drop lower than -30 degrees celsius. It is officially one of hundreds of laodong gaizao, or "reeducation-through-work" camps scattered across the country, camps which have received condemnation in the West for the awful and slave-like conditions endured by the inmates. Some refer to them as "bamboo gulags". The prisoners in Laogai 528 work daily in a factory producing industrial engines for the government, in truly horrifying conditions. But unlike the criminals and dissidents that make up the population of most Chinese penal colonies, these prisoners have something in common that makes their ordeal perhaps easier to stomach. The prison population is largely made up of hundreds of cultists from all over the country, from a variety of religious orders, from the Green Dragons to the cult of Yidhra. After Xianfeng operations, those cultists not killed outright or later executed are shipped to this colony and immediately put to work, with indefinite sentences. Security is tight around the camp and the inmates are subjected to constant examination and testing by government psychiatrists.
The prisoners are largely the toadies and underlings of China's Mythos cults, the leaders and priests tend to flee or die in a burst of glory when confronted by Xianfeng assault, and those that do survive are subject to a speedy execution. The logic behind this camp is to "deprogram" the cultists, just as is common procedure with the Falun Gong, while keeping the cultists removed from mundane laogai populations (after past experience showed how easily the cult could spread in captive conditions). Many of the cultists also hate each other on religious grounds
Laogai 528 is a simmering pot that is threatening to boil over. Many of the cultists inside hate each other and would kill each other as soon as not. The various factions within the camp are based on religious differences, though some groups are aligned or have merged, the balance of power is known to shift quickly and fluidly. The ringleaders of many of the factions are low-level priests of the various orders, and there are even a number of middling sorcerers amongst the prison population who have been adept at keeping their powers hidden from the watchful guards and government psychiatrists. As Xianfeng operations become more extensive, further prisoners may be shipped out to this facility. The question is when too many insane cultists are put together and the whole operation explodes in chaos and horror.
The White Acolyte
Kenneth Shaw was one more businessman with ambitions to open China to Western commerce, only to have those hopes dashed by the complexities of a Chinese business world hostile to foreigners with delusions of grandeur. Nearly ruined in the late 90s, he went back to his native Quebec to drown his sorrows. At his lowest point he found himself drawn into a mysterious cult known as the Blood, who initiated him into the worship of Chaugnar Faugn. He returned to China and travelled to the lair of the Elephant God himself, and recieved a vision that convinced him that he was the White Acolyte prophecised to bear the Great Old One to a new land. He found local allies and formed a joint venture known as SinoExports. He has recieved assistance from an American company known as Tiger Transit. Shaw communicates with the Great Old One through the medium of a young Tibetan man who has become a Companion of Chaugnar Faugn, telepathically linked to the deity. The man is feverishly insane, except when the Great Old One is communicating through him and his face has become a disgusting parody of the elephant head of Chaugnar Faugn.
Gray Dragon Island
Gray Dragon Island, once a centre of the Cult of the Bloated Woman and a colony of Deep Ones, was occupied by the United States military following WW2 and subject to a Delta Green cleansing operation. Today, however, the island is administered by Japan, which has largely ignored the local population and their bizarre customs. The island is claimed by both the People's Republic of China and the Republic of China (Taiwan) and while it has not received the same amount of attention as the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands, it still represents a chronic political dispute. In recent times, the area around the island has seen the presence of Japanese naval vessels, Chinese protesters and Taiwanese coast guard vessels. This activity has seen a revitalisation of the Bloated Woman cult on the island, with the introduction of some new blood from the Chinese mainland. Xianfeng, aware of this growth, has so far been unable to do anything about this growing threat due to the political dispute and the risk of international media exposure.
Friends of the Undistinguished Peoples
China officially recognises 55 ethnic minorities, which entitles these minorities to special rights, such as exemption from population control mechanisms, and special representation and even a degree of autonomy. However, there are a number of ethnic groups which are distinct from the main Han population, but whom have not been officially recognised. These groups are called the undistinguished peoples. A Western organisation known as the Friends of the Undistiguished Peoples was formed to promote the plight of these forgotten peoples, and have recruited a number of international celebrities to the cause. However, the problem is that among the peoples represented by this organisation are the vile and hated Tcho-tcho, referred to as the "Cho people of southern China". The degenerate race are using Western sympathy to make it difficult for Xianfeng to kill them and burn their temples to the ground.
Overseas Chinese cults
The Black Dragons, Green Dragons, Cult of the Bloated Woman and so forth, while opposed with deadly force in mainland China, have spread with the Chinese diaspora around the world. Xianfeng had become aware of continued cult activities in those regions of Greater China outside of the range of Xianfeng, such as Singapore, Taiwan and among the overseas Chinese populations of Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and the West. Xianfeng believes these foreign cults to be responsible for the coordination of activities within mainland China itself, and seeks to alert foreign intelligence and police organisations of the threat posed by the cults. Overt cooperation with foreign government agencies on this matter risks exposure to Xianfengs enemies, which limits prospects of joint action with Delta Green or any potential Taiwanese groups descended from the original St. George cadres. Xianfeng agents are increasingly active abroad, though some may have been coopted by the very cults they were meant to be observing.
Delta Green: Blissful ignorance. Xianfeng is aware that Delta Green existed at some point, but believe the organisation to have been disbanded in the 1970's.
Majestic-12: Direct contact with MJ-11 Project LOOKING GLASS has been established since the beginning of the 1990's, though Majestic 12 is as yet unsure of the Bureau 11's links to any anti-Mythos organisations. Bureau 11 has become aware of several Majestic projects, including PLUTO, REDLIGHT and MOONDUST, but has not connected them to any single conspiracy within the US government, but believes them to simply be supersecret projects of the US military. The Bureau 11 does believe the US government to be in contact with some kind of extraterrestrial intelligence.
GRU SV-8: There are few links and a lot of distrust between these organisations. The older Xianfeng vigilantes remember the bad blood of the Sino-Soviet split and associate GRU-SV8 with the excesses of Smersh, and Bureau 11 suspects the organisation as having access to extraterrestrial technology.
PISCES: Xianfeng and PISCES have a long history that dates back to joint operations against the Black Dragons during World War Two. PISCES maintained operations in Hong Kong for decades, maintaining surveillance on triad groups with Mythos connections. After the 1997 handover of Hong Kong from Britain to China, PISCES has maintained its presence with a branch of the ESPer Tech Corporation. With the second rise of Xianfeng, they have had several run-ins with the ESPer group and so far consider them as a potential private-sector ally with some suspicious foreign connections. If Bureau 11 was to become aware of the possibility of extraterrestrial presense at Severn Aerospace they would try everything in their power to implant an agent, and they have several promising candidates in the British aerospace industry.
The Severn connection
A new theory has developed in Severn Aerospace, championed by a young Shan occupying the mind of a Severn Aerospace scientist known as Miles Godwin. Both the Shan and its host are scientific geniuses, and, unlike many of the Earthborn Shan, he is a firm and passionate devotee of Azathoth. The Shan believes that the 4th dimensional phenomena that causes the fluctuations of the Plateau of Leng to be similar to that which once powered the Shan templeship. He also believes that it may be possible using modifications on existing Shan technology to control the times and places of Lengs manifestation, allowing the Plateau to manifest at Severn Valley, or on L'grh'x, or on Shaggai before the coming of Ghroth. His ideas are held with skepticism by the Elders, but they respect his undying faith in the glory of Azathoth, rare in a young Shan.
PISCES could make an ally with Bureau 11 by presenting them with certain innocuous but intriguing pieces of intact Shan technology, in exchange for Bureau patronage for Godwin's dimensional experiments in the deserts of southern Xinjiang.
Chen was born in the midst of the Dengist reformist era to discontented intellectual parents. When he was a young student he was at Tiananmen Square during the massacre and he followed his parents in becoming a political activist. He became involved with the burgeoning Chinese rock scene in Beijing just as it just beginning to wane after 1994. During this time encountered a bizarre group called Black Pharaoh which seemed to have developed some strange underground following, peculiar in China. He narrowly escaped with his life after stumbling onto some kind of human sacrifice ritual, it was only due to a timely police raid (who expected to find drug users and revolutionaries, not cultists) that allowed him to flee intact. Shaken, he worked at a newspaper in Beijing and remained a part of the pro-democracy movement. He frequented pro-democracy websites and spent hours reading Western works of political philosophy. It was in his personal researchers that he first encountered, by chance, references to certain occult texts, such as Von Junzt's Unaussprechliche Kulte. He considered this interest to be a guilty pleasure, of no real import until he stumbled across a reference to the Black Pharoah.
His online presence soon gave him away, his pro-democracy posts on forums brought the attention of the government upon him, and soon the newspaper worked at (and now was an editor of) was shut down by the police and he found himself destitute. He was contacted by Wang Xiaolong in the harsh winter of 1998 and offered a research position in the new Wei Foundation. He showed himself to be both an expert organiser and networker but also an accomplished researcher, especially with access to the Foundation's closed reserve. Chen considers himself loyal to the mission of the Wei Foundation despite his political misgivings. However, unknown to Chen, an old girlfriend of his from his activist days is currently being held at Laogai 212. He would do anything in his power to free her, even though she is now helpless in the thrall of the worship of the Black Pharaoh. Chen in his spare time is a member of the political rock band Foreign Barbarians, which draws as much influence from Rage Against the Machine that it does from the flagbearers of Chinese rock. They play at bars and clubs that cater largely to Western expatriates or alternative-minded Chinese, and have a small local fan base.
Ambitious Young Turk, age 33
Physical Description: Chen is tall and of obviously northern appearance, and speaks Chinese with a distinct Beijing accent, and has attempted to adopt a Californian accent for his English. With long hair and red-rimmed glasses, he maintains a neat appearance for his Foundation work but is definitively casual otherwise.
Ms Gan Hongqi was born in Hebei province, the daughter of a farming family. When she was 17, her father was denounced as a petty bourgeois landlord and killed by a mob, and she was raised in a state orphanage. She did well in school and eventually went to university to study engineering and Russian, but her university education was interrupted when she was sent to the countryside as part of the Maoist push for intellectuals to learn from the farmers and rural folk. She took strongly to this lifestyle and became highly and obsessively political. It was during this period that she found herself involved in a struggle between a Kuen-yin "Deathless" sorceror and a cadre of Xianfeng Red Guards under the control of the Revolutionary Committtee. She proved herself an able and accomplished fighter when she resisted the sorceror's mental powers through her faith in the historical dialectic and ran the hapless villain down with a piece of heavy farming equipment. She was readily brought into the fold and given deliberate missions by the Revolutionary Committee.
After the Committee disbandment, she spent some time working at a state engineering firm in Harbin but soon found herself pulled back into the struggle against the Mythos. Despite official censure and personal poverty she maintained a group of vigilantes that struck decisive blows against cult centres across China, before her main comrade and lover was arrested by public security officers and executed for crimes against the state. She nearly gave up hope then, and spent some years as a migrating worker on the cusp of poverty before she was contacted by some young men and women from the Wei Foundation. She now fulfills a role as a consultant, which has given her a degree of wealth she has never known in her life. However, she still lives a simple existance and gives away much of her earnings. Unapologetically ideological and strict in her beliefs, she has distaste for the new blood, seeing them as corrupted by Western and capitalist influence. But she has taken surprisingly well to her new position, and her young charges, full of ambition and hope, remind he uncomfortably of how she and her friends were like as earnest young Red Guards.
Revolutionary in the face of apocalypse, age 62
Physical Description: Gan Hongqi was once the epitome of rural proletarian beauty, she could have come straight from a propaganda poster extolling the vitures of the rural women. Fashion and time have now passed her by. Short and stocky, Gan betrays her peasant upbringing in her appearance. She has a round, serious face and she keeps her hair short and practical. She dresses in simple, asexual Maoist jumpsuits.
Born in Qinghai province in the 60's, Wang Xiaolong was born in the thrall of the Thousand Face Science Priests, a hideous cult of sorcerors dedicated to crossbreeding humans with YOG SOTHOTH. Wang, a failed experiment, was destined for sacrifice when he reached puberty, until he was rescued by a group of Xianfeng vigilantes in 1977. The Thousand Face cult was scattered, and the young Wang was placed into the care of a Shanghainese couple with links to the Xianfeng. As he grew, his parents taught him of the threat of the Bloated Woman, but in his dreams he saw only the glistening cosmic orbs of YOG SOTHOTH. However, he turned himself to a world of business, reinventing himself as the epitome of Shanghainese cosmopolitanism and sophistication. Seeking to remove himself from his provincial and cultist origins, he was able to ride the booming Shanghainese economy in the 1980's and 90's to make himself into one of the richest and well-connected men in Shanghai.
Billionaire with dark memories, age 51
Physical Description: Wang Xiaolong is a rotund and jovial man who always dresses in the finest suits. He has a red face and thick square glasses.
Kan Shikai is a senior Bureau 11 agent. After making a name for himself analysing the technological capabilities of US and NATO militaries in both the first Gulf War and Yugoslavia, he found himself transferred to Bureau 11. What he learned in the Bureau seemed to explain everything he learned about the advantage of Western militaries over the People's Liberation Army. To Kan's mind, the technological advantage that the US enjoys over its geopolitical rivals is largely due to the reverse-engineering of alien tech. Kan is personally convinced in an extraterrestrial presence on the planet Earth, and believes that both the United States and Russia possess recovered extraterrestrial craft. He is obsessed with the recovery and understanding of alien technology.
He is extremely skeptical of the reports of cultists, monsters and gods that the Bureau now finds itself having to deal with, preferring to interpret unexplainable events as some form of foreign threat, either extraterritorial or extraterrestrial in nature. Kan views the Wei Foundation with skepticism and suspicion. He sees the old Xianfeng fighters as political dinosaurs and the Wei Foundation's rank and file are naive children. The whole obsession with cults and monsters strikes him as a waste of time and resources and the whole operation seems to represent a liability that the Ministry doesn't need.
However unfortunately for him, Kan is also a rather accomplished Dreamer though his waking mind has little knowledge of this. His dreamself is an alchemist living in the mysterious city of Yian-ho. Upon awakening every morning, he has the dim memories of a city of a thousand bridges, where it is always summer and there is always the sound of silver bells in the air. This impression soon fades as he embarks on the seriousness of his working day. However, this neat divide between the two lives of Kan Shikai is being jeapardised by his exposure to Wei Foundation mission reports and casefiles. Several times he has come across references to places, books or gods that have caused him to have sudden attacks of strong deja vu and overwhelming sensations of vertigo. He is doggedly and stubbornly ignoring these events so far, but it might not be very long until his waking life and his dreaming existance begin to collide violently, and whether his sanity survives the process remains to be seen.
Eye on the Sky, age 34
Physical Description: Kan dresses by the book, and maintains a scrupulously neat and professional appearance. He has been told he has a hawklike face in the past.
Terrance Yao's family immigrated to the United States in 1978 using Taiwanese passports. Terry found success at university, completing an advanced PhD in Mathematics at MIT in 1992 and soon he found himself working on top secret projects for the US military. Unbeknownest to the military, while Terry was studying for his PhD he was contacted by Chinese intelligence. Terrance is Bureau 11's most valuable agent. He has penetrated the most important conspiracy in the world: Majestic 12. He is currently working in Area 51 as part of Project REDLIGHT. Terry, as he is known, is considered nearly invaluable due to his mathematical skill and is explicited trusted by MJ-7 Director Edward Penn. Penn considers that Yao's work on the next generation of antigravity stealth craft to be the most promising in the project, and has been seeking to raise Yao's clearance in order for him to get stuck into the nitty-gritty of the faster-than-light initiative.
Terry cares only about himself, but believes that by funnelling information to Bureau 11 he will be able to play both sides against each other. He has so far had only limited success in getting technical details to Bureau 11, but has been able to inform his handlers of much of the history behind the Bucket and the Accord. Project LOOKING GLASS has grown suspicious of Yao in the past, but has so far had no concrete evidence to suspect him as a spy. He doesn't fit the personality profile, he is considered a flake and a goofball, if a valuable asset nonetheless. Terry's goofy exterior is merely a cover for his rapid mental degeneration in the face of the alien mathematics that are central to REDLIGHT's operations. He has begun to spend many of his hours away from the lab in seedy gambling parlours and brothels, watched carefully by handlers. If he continues down this path, he could very easily slip up and end up very dead.
Man on the Inside, age 29
Physical Description: Classic slob.