Dawn to Dust

"And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust."

• T.S. Eliot, The Waste Land

Delta Green Briefing

The silent alarm at Green Box 117 in El Paso,Texas, has triggered and signaled a breach. The only thing seen by Delta Green security cameras before they are destroyed is a human figure unlocking and opening the door, pointing their pistol at the camera, and pulling the trigger. There are no identifying features of the figure. Delta Green believes they obviously have prior knowledge of the Green Box and it’s contents, and that is what sets the perpetrator apart: no normal burglar would know the exact location of the storage unit except someone with such a background. The agents are tasked with getting into the green box, reviewing any outdoor security footage of the storage facility, Metro Self-Storage, and identifying the thief to track them down. They should then find his motivation, and his knowledge of DG and the Green Box. Liquidation Then the next objective is to return the objects they stole to the Green Box and secure it.

What’s Happening

The true thief of the El Paso Green Box is Delta Green Friendly Jeremy Zimmerman, an avid worker and professor of history at the University of El Paso. He is an avid hiker, and was traveling the mountains in Franklin Mountains State Park when he stumbled upon what he thought to be a native american relic halfway buried under sediment in the mountains. Intrigued, he brought the artifact home for his own study. He believed he had discovered a new ancient human civilization in the area, as no markings on the artifact were unlike any of indigenous peoples known in North America. What he excavated was a small clay tablet, with forms of unknown writing on it (These were the words of a summoning ritual of a Couatl.) When he returned to the site at a later date, he uncovered what seemed to be the ruins of a small platform in the rock, buried after erosion many years ago.  Unknowingly to Zimmerman, his small podium was a sacrificial altar: created only during the early 1900s, it is a relic of a small former cult of Yig in the El Paso area, the Disciples of The Serpent. Using magic granted to them by The Scaled Redeemer, they planned to summon a creature to do their bidding: a Couatl, a large serpentine creature used by Yig for his own duties. They failed magically bind the creature once they had summoned it, and the ensuing massacre ended with the leadership of the cult dead, and the Couatl returning to the realm from whence it came . The cult was eventually disbanded. When investigating the ritual site, Zimmerman accidentally conducted the summoning ritual for the Couatl. When he summoned it he was unable to control it without the binding spell, the creature attacked him, and he barely escaped with his life. Afterwards, the Couatl continued to prey on hikers in the mountains, for the past week. Zimmerman became distraught when he learned that many hikers were found missing in the mountains, and piles of dust were found scattered about. Knowing very little of the Delta Green operations to destroy an unnatural threat, and fearing consequences from his Delta Green superiors if they found out about his mistake, he decided to take matters into his own hands and destroy the creature. He was formerly assigned to keep watch of the El Paso Green Box, and as such had the keys to the storage unit. He decided to take what he could from the green box and use it to try destroy the Couatl. He took only a few items from the green box, as will be seen when the agents investigate the scene:

  • A Beretta Cx4 Storm Carbine with an H-1 2 MOA Red Dot Optic.

  • A box of four magazines of 15 9x19mm Parabellum Rounds each.

  • A battle-worn CBP Kevlar vest. 

  • A Book- The Plumed Serpent. Written by D. H. Lawrence. Hoped to gain information about the serpent he had summoned through the book.

  • A Machete w/ sheath.

After stealing the materials, he went to his house and prepared himself to (misguidedly) go on a hunt for the creature.
By that time, the characters have received their briefing and are deploying in El Paso for the Investigation.


The agents are scheduled to meet in a private TSA room in El Paso International Airport. The Handler briefs them of their directive, and hands them the keys to the Green Box.

The Green Box

They arrive at Metro Self Storage and after a short time the owner allows them in. The Green Box is fairly orderly, besides the camera dead on the floor, and the absence of the items detailed in “What’s Happening.” The Green Box Has been wrecked, with many boxes turned over or open. This can be extremely dangerous to the PCs. Make sure to include obstacles in the box that may hinder or even hurt the PCs. For inspiration, an example has been included.

  • When the Green Box is opened, a green gas seeps into the PCs noses and mouths. They must make SAN, with 1d4/1d6 on a loss. The agents are wracked with visions of great creatures, as long as city blocks, sliding under the ground, burrowing, and coming to devour the world. (These are of course Cthonians, Dholes, and Shudde M’ell)

  • A large, metal pyramid sits in the center of the room. There are locks and chains around it, and it radiates a pulsating, sickly purple light. A Post-It-Note is on i, which reads “KEEP OUT OF DIRECT MOONLIGHT.” If opened, it contains an Ovular egg. With enough time, the egg will hatch into a baby Shantak. It costs 1/1d4 SAN to see the egg or the baby Shantak.

If investigating, the players can find the spent casing of a 9mm Parabellum on the floor (requiring an alertness roll) , and a Forensics roll reveals dusty boot prints going towards the area where certain items were held, and on the box where the Cx4 Carbine was held, there are fingerprints that if ran through any normal civilian database match a human male, and the ballistics on the spent shell casing identify : Jeremy Zimmerman, DG Friendly. The characters know the location of his home.

Zimmerman’s House

Assuming the player characters deal with the problem directly, when they arrive at Zimmerman’s house, he is not present, identifiable by the fact that there are no cars in the driveway.(He has chosen this time to go on a proper hunt for the Couatl.) If the characters forcibly enter, they find a pristine, normal home, except for his bedroom. On his desk they find the clay tablet that Zimmerman originally found in the site. Anyone with Archeology Or History 20% or higher can tell it matches no known native tribes in the region. Anyone with 10% or higher Unnatural notices that the characters have a starting resemblance to those generally used in summoning spells. They also find a small diary with notes about the artifact. They eventually become fervent, detailing his encounter with the Couatl, then how he stole from the Box and plans to kill the Couatl. This allows them to find the exact coordinates of the ritual site. They also find the open book he stole from the Green Box and some 9mm Rounds. The characters are assumed to head to the ritual site.

The Ritual Site/ Franklin Mountains State Park

When they arrive at the ritual site by hike, they find that Zimmerman was already here, and seemingly so was the Couatl. All that the characters find left of Zimmerman (requiring a forensics roll)  is blood and a extremely large quantity of dust scattered about the site. (These are the remains of Zimmerman after he was killed by the Couatl.) The stolen carbine and magazines, plus the CBP Kevlar vest, are strewn about the ground. The vest now has two large puncture wounds in it. Anyone succeeding on a Alertness roll notices a large amount of holes strewn in the rocks around the site. They also find another clay tablet inscribed with similar magical signs as those on the tablet, (learned if they succeeded on their first roll), except these are of dismissal. It is at this point when the Couatl attacks. The main altar has many pictures of snakes swallowing human beings on it. The glyphs, if transliterated, speak a spell that dispels the Couatl if it is within ten feet of the speaker, however reading it out loud requires a SAN check, 1/1d4+1 on a loss to anyone hearing or speaking it. After the Couatls death, it immediately turns to dust.

Thank you for Playing!



STR 10 CON 12 DEX 10 INT 13 POW 11 CHA 12
HP 11 WP 11
Skills: Anthropology 30%, Archeology 30%, Athletics 40%, Firearms 30%, History 60%, Occult 40%
Attacks: Unarmed (40%, 1d4-1), Beretta Cx4 Storm Carbine (30%, 1d10, +20% if not hit this turn.), Machete (30%, 1d8)


STR 20 CON 17 DEX 13 INT 15 POW 16 CHA 7
HP 40 WP 16
Skills: Alertness 60%,  Athletics 80%,  Search 50%, Stealth 70%, Unarmed Combat 70%
Armor: 4-5 Points of Scaly Hide
Attacks: Bite (70%, 1d10+2, Petrifying Venom) Tail Swipe (70%, 1d10+2, Plume Shards)
Petrifying Venom- Whenever a character is bitten by a Couatl, they must roll CON x5. If they fail, the character starts to petrify and turn to dust. They take 2d10 damage every turn until they drop to zero hit points, then they are turned to a pile of fine dust. No effect except magic can reverse the spell during it’s transformation.
Plume Shards- If a character is struck by a tail swipe, the spined inner feathers of the Couatl lodge into the victim. The character takes 1d4 damage every turn for 3 turns. This ignores armor.
SAN Loss: 1/1d6


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

The intellectual property known as Delta Green is ™ and © the Delta Green Partnership. The contents of this document are © their respective authors, excepting those elements that are components of the Delta Green intellectual property.