Away From Keyboard

The Gist

An agent’s niece is missing from a small, unremarkable, rural hometown. It is rumored that the farmhouse at the edge of the city is inhabited by “a witch and her son”. The truth, as is the case so often, is far worse.


Katie lives in Cherry Hills Village, Colorado - She is 11 years old and didn’t come home after going trick-or-treating. Her friends last saw her in the late afternoon, at some point they had all approached the edge of town and turned back towards the city center. She told the other girls to go on without her for a bit because she wanted to call home and “her mum would be asking those uncool questions as usual”. She’d catch up with them just after they turned the corner. Nobody saw her or talked to her since.

It is now three days after Halloween and Katie’s mother, an agent’s sister, called them at 7 a.m. in a frantic state. She explained the local police had no clue on what to do; she hoped the agent would be able to pull rank, manage to take over the case, anything as long as they could find Katie.

Case Handler’s Truth

Katie can be tracked down and saved but she’s much further away than anyone might have imagined – her body is close, yet her conscious state is in a twisted province of Carcosa. She has been abducted by Soula Pavlov, a crone living at the farmhouse at the edge of the city with her son, George.

Soula is criminally insane and worships the Yellow King for decades, perhaps centuries now. Nobody knows how old she really is, but even the oldest townsfolk recall her living at the farmhouse “before they were born”. In reality, she travels around the state every few years and abducts homeless and destitute people.

She performs an ancient ritual which effectively disintegrates them, but also magically refills a large wine barrel for each person she sacrifices “to the good health of the King”. This wine, which she positively adores, grants her extended life as well as considerable strength and agility as if she’s rejuvenated; this is the reward of the ritual.

However, when she resisted sacrificing her own son a couple decades ago, the King considered this an act of treachery and physically manifested before her. Losing the last shreds of sanity she once maintained, she offered her son up to be the King’s servant for all his life, as long as he would consider gracing her with her lovely wine.

The Yellow King accepted the bargain and took George with him in Carcosa, where supposedly he “squires” for him. George’s body is in the farmhouse’s basement, at a vegetable state usually. Occasionally he “takes a brief vacation” from his duties and is seen around the town for a couple of days before vanishing again for many months.

The story around town is that George is living on disability benefits of some kind, administered at a federal level as a result of a rare genetic illness – They believe that George stays at home and plays World of Witchcraft pretty much all the time, day and night. Considering Soula’s reputation in town, nobody wants to know more about what exactly they both do.

Soula had a dream, the night before Halloween, a dream which filled her with joy: The King ordered her to track down a suitable bride for her son, he intended to let him marry. The bride had to be innocent, courteous and unspoiled.

Katie was in the wrong place at the wrong time – Soula had spent hours hidden and ready to strike, yet most children avoided that part of town or were continuously watching each other’s backs. She abducted Katie and using her ritual, cast her away into Carcosa as she had done for George that fateful night, 23 years ago.


Regardless of whether the Agents are Program or Cowboys, this is an unsanctioned operation by Delta Green itself. An Agent with a high Bureaucracy roll will be able to “greenlight it”, i.e. make it appear as a tidying-up loose ends operation inside the Program, authorized by a handler, as well as avoid additional scrutiny. A critical success will provide additional resources and a real handler assigned on the “operation” for assistance. Cowboys are on their own, and A-cell doesn’t give a fuck, as usual. Be that as it may, resources are minimal and time is of the essence.

The town can be reached by coach from Denver, and by car. All arrivals are routinely monitored by bored cops stationed at guard duty outside the Sheriff’s office and usually half-sleeping on the job.

However, this recent disappearance case has put them on high…nay, medium alert let’s say. Sheriff Chris Balikton is dreading what might happen if, God forbid, the FBI is brought into the case…and find the Sheriff’s office at this state of dilapidation? He has divided his last two days evenly between “working the case” as he puts it, and tidying up “that eternal mess”, i.e. cleaning up and dusting off the sheriff’s office with an assorted blower.

The Farmhouse

If the Agents attempt to find out more about the farmhouse (as it was the closest property to the disappearance spot of Katie), they‘ll be stonewalled, as if the place isn’t really there and they’re all suffering from mass illusions.

The police sent over a uniform and asked a few questions but didn’t follow up on anything. The Sheriff seems much more interested in keeping his personal desk dust-free than doing any actual investigative work.

Regardless of the Sheriff’s blessing or lack thereof, the agents end up in the farmhouse. They may have procured a warrant, or not, depending on their agency affiliations and skills.

The farmhouse seems to be two-storied and has several rooms on the ground floor, including a kitchen, a living room, a storage room and a bedroom. Upstairs there’s another bedroom, two bathrooms, an office room also used for storage and a balcony. There’s a basement, too, presumably a cellar of sorts.

The entire house is a dump – not cleaned in years, with sticky door knobs, plenty of insects of all shapes and sizes going around, paint falling off the walls, and such. Make it gross and neglected. Nobody answers the door or seems alive in there.

The Basement

When climbing down the stairs, Agents will hear a gulping sound, becoming more pronounced as they approach the end of the stairway. A single, weak lightbulb is clearly too weak to illuminate the place, which is as large as the entire house.

Going in, Soula Pavlov will be seen having opened her mouth underneath a tap of wine in a barrel and gulping down what seems like several gallons – enough to drown anyone you know if they attempted the same. The wine seems to sparkle curiously as if filled with stardust/glitter.

Agents with an Unnatural affinity/check or may comprehend, to their horror, the supernatural properties of the liquid (-5/1 SAN).
Any action which might disturb Soula from her drinking will result into an immediate attack unless an agent has a flask or other container filled with high-quality alcohol; in that case, she’ll sniff it, drink it forcefully, and pass out instantly.

Further, in the basement, a soft glow may be seen from afar. Approaching there, it looks like a computer system with no keyboard, a device resembling a mouse from approximately 10-15 years ago, and a monitor to match. There is a “Log out” button on the monitor as a video of World of Witchcraft plays above it in a loop.

In front of the computer, there is an armchair where an obese man (~300 lbs.) is sitting passively, staring at nothing, drool dripping from his mouth. Onto him, dressed in white rags which might resemble a wedding gown once, lies Katie, seemingly asleep and otherwise unresponsive.

If the computer is approached, it becomes evident that the application cannot be terminated or switched, and if properly checked, the computer and the monitor are both unplugged (-5/1 SAN).

Clicking on the “Log out” button causes a momentary flashback sequence where 23 years of torment are summed up in quick succession. The Yellow King is far from merciful or kind to his “squires”. The sequence ends with an image of George screaming “I WANT TO GO AFK!” (-3/1 SAN)

Once awake, you realize that the logout button has been replaced with a login button and the “mouse” is pulsating with an ochre yellow light. You realize that this link cannot be broken without considerable effort, and the only temporary resolution is to have somebody “Log In” to take George’s (and by extension, Katie’s) place – surely vanishing in Carcosa themselves. (-2/1 SAN Helplessness)

Regardless of who you elect to “Log in”, once Katie comes to her senses you gain +1d8 SAN. If you fight and kill Soula, thus ending the unholy wine ritual, gain +1d10 SAN.


Soula Pavlov (SAN 0)
STR 13 CON 20 DEX 14 INT 11 POW 15 HP 15 WP 16
Alertness 40%, Athletics 90%, Stealth 80%, Track Prey 99%.
Attacks: Claw 80% (1d10 or Grapple), Bite 80% (1d8)


This was an entry to the 2017 Delta Green shotgun scenario contest, written by John Matzavrakos.

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