Several Orange County California residents suffered from hallucinations and insanity. Locally harvested honey was found to be the cause. The FDA recalled the honey and interviewed the victims. They had daydreams of taking animals, flying galleys and medieval castles. One suffered a mental breakdown and raved about the “Plateau of Leng” and “giant bees”. Hearing this, the FDA DG friendly contacted DG.
A serpentman planted black lotus seeds from the Plateau of Leng. He’s trying to grow them for his alchemical pursuits and found a suitable habitat near the San Juan Hot Springs in San Juan Capistrano California. His efforts have produced 2 black lotus stalks.
Bees have found the black lotus enticing and collect its nectar. Small portions of their honey have become laced with the black lotus’ alchemical properties. Those eating the laced honey fall into a daydream and are transported to the Dreamlands for approximately 10-15 minutes.
DG orders are:
- Go in as FDA or FBI assistance.
- Find cause of infected honey.
- If the cause is a threat, contain and eradicate.
- Maintain secrecy.
The agents can be briefed with the first paragraph in the Summary and FDA info below.
The agents learn the following from the FDA report they’re given or talking to FDA Inspector Chelsea Wingate:
- Four victims suffered from eating the honey.
- It was sourced from Guerilla Beekeepers and only sold from the Tustin Wholefoods.
- Infection traced to their San Juan sourced honey.
- 113 jars of honey were recovered, 10 of them being tainted.
- Contamination is of unknown origin but similar to ergot.
- The jars are at the FDA Pacific Southwest Regional lab nearby at 19701 Fairchild, Irvine, CA 92612. They will be released to the agents on a successful Bureaucratic roll with a +20% bonus due to Agent Wingate. Otherwise the agents need to wait a week while DG pulls strings.
The Keeper can make up the 4 honey victims. Their contact information and statements are in the FDA report. Three remember waking up on the ground and having vivid dreams while the fourth is insane. Here is what they remember about their dreams:
- One was talking to a zebra near a castle.
- The second was running from a monster with a mouth on its head and 4 claws.
- The third was on a galley sailing in the sky watching cats jump to the moon.
- The fourth is in a county mental health facility at 1030 W. Warner, Santa Ana, CA. He is in a secure room sitting on the floor in the corner. He is paranoid and constantly says “the satyrs are after me” and “on the Plateau of Leng”. If pushed, he will become hysterical and shutdown.
Beekeepers and Hives
The honey is from local grower Guerilla Beekeepers who supply the Wholefoods chain with locally sourced honey. Their address is on the web and the owner, Bill Walter, is very friendly. He says the honey in question was gathered from his San Juan Capistrano hives near San Juan Creek and can show the agents. He’ll meet them at the US Forest Service fire station on Hot Springs Rd and Ortega Hwy. There are 3 hives on the grass lot 125’ East of the fire station and Bill calls them the fire station hives. They look normal. These had the tainted honey (and should be destroyed). Two hives are also at the Tree of Life Nursery.
Bill will share the following:
- The bees typically forage 2-3 miles from the hive and probably stay along the San Juan Creek bed where the water and flowers are.
- Whatever they ate is what’s in the honey. Nothing in these parts would cause hallucinations that Bill knows of.
USFS Fire Station
Manned by 3-6 shovel-crew volunteer fire fighters and they will warn of rattlesnakes, which are common here.
If the agents seem stuck on what to do, Bill encourages them to forage/scout the San Juan Creek bed, like a bee.
The wide creek bed and stream go up into the hills. It’s lush with plants and wildlife. Gullies branch off the canyon. Let the agents search the canyon for a few hours and maybe encounter a rattlesnake(s). Then move to the Black Lotus section.
San Juan Hot Springs
Near the creek are 6 small natural hot springs ranging in size from 4’ – 9’ in diameter and 3’-6’ in depth. They smell like sulfur and are 121 degrees F.
The agents don’t know they’re looking for this. They will find it by stumbling upon them.
They’re growing near a small 2’ hot spring puddle, 50’ into a shaded gully, 1200’ North of the hot springs.
When the agents come in the vicinity of the ravine’s entrance, they will hear the rattle of multiple rattlesnakes a little bit away. Three rattlesnakes, controlled by Sa’aasa, guard the entrance and rattle at anyone within 35’ of them. They are trying to scare everyone away. Approaching the entrance, one can see the snakes when they’re 10’ away. Roll zoology, success tells you their behavior seems unordinary. Anyone trying to enter the gully will be attacked by them.
At the gully entrance, make a listen roll. Success, you hear low buzzing within the gully. A tracking roll reveals someone has walked in here recently. Going in one faintly smells eggs (sulfur from the hot spring seep). Fifty feet in are 2 black purple tinged flowers on 1’ stalks. Approximately 50 bees are flying around them, taking pollen/nectar and flying away. There is also a rattlesnake hiding here. It will surprise attack anyone trying to pick the black lotus. If searching, roll spot hidden to notice it.
If picked, drying the lotus leaves can be used to create a tea that will transport one to the Dreamlands. Fresh leaves can also be used as an ingredient for Space Mead. A Mythos roll is needed to know this.
Is the serpentman raising the black lotus. He looks like a human male and poses as a geologist studying the hot springs. He can be seen around the creek bed. He will keep an eye on anyone hiking along the canyon, with hiking stick, hat and backpack. If they near the gully with the black lotus, he warns that he saw a snake nest there and it’s not safe.
If anyone goes into the gully, he will watch and act horrified as the snakes attack them. He will find any excuse to follow any survivors into the gully. He will surprise attack anyone noticing the black lotus when the time presents itself. The hidden rattlesnake will attack as well. He will not throw his life away, use subterfuge, cast mesmerize, be on the other side of the rattlers, etc.
The laced honey has hallucinogenic effects on people. Roll POW x 5, failure causes the victim to pass out and travel to the Dreamlands for 10 minutes. When the unfortunate traveler comes back, they must make an Idea roll. Failure results in vague memories of their dream. Success requires a SAN roll 0/1d4, for the vivid journey.
It’s up to the Keeper to determine where in the Dreamlands one is dropped off. It’s possible to encounter something that requires a SAN roll, up to the Keeper. So it’s conceivable to awaken from their daydream insane.
+1d3 for taking black lotus. +1d6 for killing Sa’aasa.
Google map of locations for Keeper.
Youtube video of hike to hot springs.
Race: Serpentman, looks like 35 y/o Caucasian male
HP 13, MP 18, WP 18
Damage Bonus: +1
Sanity: 0/1d6 (if seen as a serpentman)
Skills: Search 60%, Stealth 80%, Anthropology 75%, Alertness/scent 75%, Track 90%, Alchemy/pharmacy 90%, Geology 90%, Botany 90%, Unnatural 55%, Cthulhu Mythos 50%.
Languages: Sumerian 90%, Egyptian 90%, Hebrew 90%, English 90%, Latin 90%, Spanish 90%, Aklo 70%
Claw: 75%, 1d6+1
Bite: 70%, 1d6+1 + poison (lethality 10%, use rattlesnake poison page 60 in rulebook)
Hiking stick/cane: d6+1, target loses 1 POW point per 30 seconds the cane is held against them. The cane gains it as a magic point. This cane stores 50 MPs.
Pistol: 60%, damage is whatever pistol he picks up.
SPECIAL ABILITIES: Illusion to appear human. HUMINT doesn’t work on him.
Spells: Blight/Bless Crop, Brew Space Mead, Contact Yithian, Eibon’s Wheel of Mist, Enchant Cane, Mesmerize, Summon/Bind Child of Yig (works within 50’ radius of black lotus).
Rattlesnake, 8’ adult
Damage Bonus: -1
Attack: Bite 50%, 1d2 -1 (impaling) + poison (lethality 10%). Can strike out to 4’.
*Damage: if bite doesn’t cause physical damage but still hits, poison is still injected.
*Poison: See page 60 in rulebook.
Skills: Alertness/scent 50%, Climb 50%, Dodge 50%, Search/scent 50%, Stealth 90%, Swim 50%.
This is an entry to the 2016 shotgun scenario contest. Written by Gil Cruz.