Ideal Education


Situation: In Minneapolis the primary care doctor Vincent Connolly has raised an alarm about a huge spike of cases of severe unconscious trichotillomania (pulling out hair) and excoriation disorder (picking skin).
Order: Assess if there are any unnatural causes, deal with it and report back.

Doctor and Patients

Dr. Connollys medical office was last week overrun with cases of adults without any prior mental illness that rapidly had developed really unconscious trichotillomania and excoriation disorder. He asked his colleagues and this seems to be a new phenomenon throughout the city. He counted a total of 30-40 cases last week. Connolly answers basic questions about the diagnosis and will emphasize that a rapid onset like this is totally unheard of.

The physician can point the agents to some of the patients for further investigation. The patients are all adults that have begun to pull out their hair and try to smooth the skin in their faces. Their heads are marked by scabs and ulcers. They all began doing this unconsciously and have trouble resisting this urge for any longer period of time. Many of them wear gloves on their hands to prevent themself picking and pulling, but it doesn't seem to help.

The patients are from different households but are hard to differentiate as they make a similar impression - they have removed most facial hair and have artificial smooth faces but are also displaying similar mannerism. Realizing this cost sanity 0/1D4.

The affected has all, two - three weeks ago, seen a School Play that was performed by the special educational class at Pratt Community School. These patients know kids that attend the special education class at Pratt - a class for kids with severe learning disabilities and developmental delays. Affected parents convey that they are very positive about the school's new curriculum that has been introduced this semester. All students have learned and mastered subjects these last months, way beyond what their own parents expected.

The School Play

This year's play was really good. The yearly school play can be dull but this production was really engaging. The patients don't seem to remember any closer details but recall that the play was set in a throne room and that the kids on stage were all wearing masks.

The play was recorded by three parents. Watching the videos is not as bad as viewing the play directly but is still dangerous. It is hard to make out what the kids are saying on the recordings but the visuals of kids on stage with blank masks and the stage décor of a strange looking city is both disturbing and intriguing - sanity 1/1D4. Those who watch more than a minute have to succeed a POWx5 or be infected by the Caracosan ideal.

The Caracosan Ideal

Agents infected by the Caracosan ideal have to actively spend 1 willpower point at the start of each scene to not unconsciously begin to pull their hair or pluck at any bumps in their face.
The obsession to make one's appearance as smooth as possible manifests in the following overlapping stages. First stage is to remove protruding things like hair and glasses from the face and head. Stage two is removing skin irregularities on the head. When the face is properly smooth, stage three is an emerging longing to find the way to paradise, i.e. Caracosa.

Pratt Community School

Both the teacher mr. Abbott and the principal mrs. Fisher at Pratt is eager to talk about the success of the new education paradigm. They have invested in a newly developed program to teach children with learning disabilities and they have really great results. Reading comprehension, writing skills and verbal reasoning have all improved rapidly. The principal is planning to expand the program outside of the special education class so all children at Pratt can get this great benefit.

“We are tapping into the childrens full potential. Children that last year wouldn't touch a book are now avid readers!”

Mr. Abbott can tell that the students wrote the play themself. Abbott has trichotillomania - like the parents - but is wearing a wig and sunglasses to hide it.

The Educational Paradigm

The school has bought this program from the company LEARNPSYCH. It is a pedagogy that have a lot of visual aids, a strict way of presenting assignments where the teacher starts with the goal of the task and work backwards from there - “it's good for kids that needs to work on their executive functions” - it has frequent movement breaks and all kids gets apples to eat twice each day.

LEARNPSYCH is a small company started by psychologist Ella Sandberg. She is really excited about her work, fueled by the success in this class. Before starting the company she worked as a school psychologist and has now designed this program for kids with learning disabilities. It didn't work this well from the start but then it really took off. The last thing she added was the fruit. She had underestimated how much the kids really need a healthy supplement to their diet. She believes that she has found a way to help students with intellectual disabilities to prosper.
LEARNPSYCH are buying their apples from Simon Bigler - owner of a few local businesses - of which one is a farm with three large greenhouses.

Strange fruit

The “apples” are making the minds of those eating them reaching the planes of existence where the Yellow King resides. Like a constant silent whisper is he guiding them. Their plays are his gospel and those who watch it become obsessively focused on the Caracosan ideal.

The Source

Five years ago Simon Bigler got a breakthrough. For decades he had tried to decipher the Voynich manuscript and at last he succeeded. The medieval manuscript turned out to be an instruction on how to plant a garden and to cultivate the special plants needed for it. As the owner of a biotech-company he sped up the cultivation process with modern DNA-techniques. Last three years he has grown the garden in three enormous greenhouses outside the city. This year he has begun to sell the fruits - looks like apples - from the garden. His secretary informs those who call upon him that he mostly can be found in his large greenhouses nowadays.

The Greenhouse

People who visit the greenhouses see upon first glance nothing strange, but the greenhouses are huge. Simon Bigler isn't at the entry. A hairless gardener points further inside the greenhouses where she last saw mr. Bigler.

If the agents walk deeper into the greenhouse, a mysterious garden with plants that look strange slowly emerges. The alien plants have parts in odd shapes, forms or colors and that seem to fit together haphazardly. On the paths discolored moss is growing and roots and fungus are making weird symmetric patterns. The overhead glass windows give the sky a whitish look. The arrangements of flower beds, huge pots, frequent pergolas and flowerportals doesn't make much sense. The greenhouse never seems to end. Navigating through the garden begins to be really hard and it is easy to lose one's bearing. A damp fog is slowly rolling between the larger plants and trees. The water dripping from the many hoses has a pinkish tint and smells of rott.

The corpse of Simon Bigler is to be found, half sunken into a three trunk, overgrown by moss and horsetail-plants, becoming nourishment for his own garden - sanity 1/1D6.

The plantation in the greenhouses has become a portal between our world and the palace garden of Caracosa. To find the way back, roll Navigate. Each try also has all in the group roll sanity 1/1D4. If the agents fail to Navigate three times in a row they have walked into the Caracosa palace garden. They will need to find a way back to our reality.

If your session needs more confrontation, a hungry Byakhee who has lost its way in the palace garden might be stalking the agents in the greenhouses.


To contain the unnatural the agents have to:

  • Destroy the garden/greenhouse (+1 SAN).
  • Destroy the translation of the Voynich Manuscript (+1 SAN).
  • Destroy the Video of the play and the script. (+1 SAN)

If the garden is destroyed the pull of the Caracosan ideal weakens. Left is a normal trichotillomania and the risk that moments of stress could trigger other episodes of mental illness.

Without eating from the apples the kids in the class regress to their old self, but with a permanent craving for apples and yellow as their new favorite color.


Make this scenario personal for the Agents by making one of the children performing in the school play a child of an Agent. Foreshadow it in home scenes by making the play something the Agent had to skip during a recent operation. If that Agent's partner or parents were at the play, play some scenes that show the onset of trichotillomania with them before this scenario begins.

List of NPC

Vincent Connolly (physician)
Primary care doctor and whistle-blower.

Patients and parents
To your making.

Mr. Abbott (Teacher)
Teacher at Pratt Community School. Wears a wig and sunglasses to hide that he has unconscious trichotillomania.

Mrs. Fisher (Principal)
Principal at Pratt Community School.

Ella Sandberg (Psychologist)
Owner of LEARNPSYCH, school psychologist

Simon Bigler (CEO)
Owner of several businesses in the local area, including a small Biotech company and the farm with the three large Greenhouses.

Lost Byakhee

Physical Description
The Byakhee is a menacing black winged shape with four forward-reaching talons with hooks, and a dark face with a huge hooked maw and a clatter of a dozen glaring eyes.

STR 25 CON 14 DEX 17
INT 14 POW 13 CHA -

HP 18
Skills Stealth 40%, Search 40%, Dodge 35%
SAN-Loss 1/1D6
Armor 2 pts of dark hide

Attacks Claw 55% 3D6
Bite 60% 1D6 Vampyric Blood Drain

Vampyric Blood Drain
A successful bite attack lets the Byakhee drains 1D6 HP points per round (starting the same round as the attack) from the victim until death, drained points restore the Byakhee. A victim of a bite is also locked in the Byakhee´s jaws.

Driven by an ancient hunger the Lost Byakhee wants to ambush their prey, pick it up with its bite attack and fly away to consume it in peace and quiet.

The Byakhee has three foldable wings, and can fly, even when carrying a grown human in its jaw.

Upon death the Byakhees body dissolves into its chemical components. An examination of the body reveals little but chlorine and other base chemicals. During the dissolution the body releases clouds of noxious gases. Any agent that hangs around the corpse without proper protection has to roll CONx5 or become intoxicated, critical failures should be life threatening.


This was an entry to the 2021 shotgun scenario contest. Written by Martin Stackelberg

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