Thomas Meyer, a 56-year-old chemist has committed a murder-suicide at his workplace in Tampa, Florida. His employer was the perfume manufacturer Fulvio Eneide. Thomas killed himself and Sebastian Clark on the night of October 14, while also destroying large parts of the company's laboratory using an improvised explosive device. In his office, scribbled on his desk was a note bearing the lines: The mask of self-deception was no longer a mask for me, it was a part of me.

Meyer previously worked in the company’s R&D department with a project to synthesize new scents using an AI powered randomizer with artificial pheromones. Similar to the case of a thousand monkeys with a thousand typewriters, the AI created something of horrendous serendipity, labeled Ylang-33.

To humans, Ylang-33 is an aromatic, complex, and musky scent. However, to insects, including the common house ant, who communicate using pheromones, it's a nightmarish virus. Translated through the insect's olfactory center it is equivalent to a written record of the dreaded play The King in Yellow.

Favoring the fragrance of Ylang-33, Meyer used it personally and also brought a sample home. There it acted as a catalyst for the insectile fauna. In particular a colony of house ants has become the vessel for Carcosa. While an individual ant cannot wholly comprehend the force that is The King in Yellow, a colony of ants act similar to neurons in a brain, carrying the taint into its hive mind. Growing strange and monstrous, they in turn inflicted the taint on Meyer as well as his neighbor, Janice Brown. In the attic lies the Hive, where their feeble insectile minds try to translate the substance’ message into something that can bring more citizens into Carcosa.

The Briefing

The Agents are contacted and gathered in a conference room at Tampa Airport on October 15 and are told of the murder. The phrase on Meyer’s desk is flagged as extremely dangerous and related to a forbidden French screenplay from 1895, connected to mass hysteria and bloodshed. The Agents are told to investigate and stop this vector using extreme prejudice.

Fulvio Eneide Inc

Fulvio Eneide is cordoned off. The two-story building has been ravaged by the explosion. The blast was located in the laboratory which is completely destroyed, as well as the remains of both Meyer and Sebastian Clark. Local police on site have concluded that Meyer jury-rigged the bomb using chemicals available on site and that he detonated it when Clark, a nighttime security officer, discovered him.

When talking to his colleagues or boss, Samantha Clemens, they are shocked by the bombing and mention that Meyer was utterly unremarkable. The only odd thing he did for the last year was complaining about ants in his home, but for the last month he worked primarily from home. If asked about, Ylang-33 has had no strange effects on anyone else at the office.

Meyer's office in the administrative wing offers some clues:

  • On a successful Alertness roll, the Agents can smell a faint, pleasant smell (residues of Ylang-33).
  • The phrase from the Play is scribbled manically on various office documents.
  • A successful roll on Computer Science on his work computer reveals that Meyers primarily worked on the now destroyed synthesizing project. His mail account also mentions several potential new products, of which he shows the most interest in Ylang-33, which was invented two months ago.

Inquiries regarding Thomas Meyer

A successful Bureaucracy or Computer Science roll reveals that Meyer was an introverted chemical engineer. He moved into an apartment at Monticello Gardens three years ago, after the divorce of his estranged ex-wife. He was employed at Fulvio Eneide Inc for the last decade.

Monticello Gardens 4214

Meyer lived in a two-story stone house. The bottom floor contains the closed restaurant The Bergamo. The second story contains two apartments, Meyer’s and Janice Brown’s. Above them is a locked attic (home of  the Hive).

Meyer’s apartment

Meyer's home is unkempt. There is however no odor or foul smells, instead there is a similar aromatic smell as in his office. The house contains the following:

  • His laptop has been violently destroyed and painted yellow recently. A successful Search roll reveals weird constellations of dead bugs on the floor. The dead bugs are of different species and arranged in a Yellow Sign on a 10x10 inch area. All legs and antennae of the bugs have meticulously been removed and piled next to the carcasses. SAN 1/1D4.
  • In the bedroom there is a stack of Meyer’s diaries next to the bed. The entries were normal and dull until six weeks ago. He then writes enthusiastically about the Ylang-33 compound and how he even brought home a vial for personal use. Two days later he writes a severely annoyed note that he has lost the vial at home. Another two days later he complains about insects biting him in his sleep. After this the annotations slowly turn to ramblings of weird nightmares. The last entry is the same line as on his desk at work. SAN 0/1
  • A successful Search roll also reveals a colony of ants under the kitchen sink. They flee into a hole in the wall. On closer inspection, they are yellowish in color and asymmetrically bloated, emitting an odor similar to Ylang-33. San 0/1

The Bergamo

The Bergamo is a small, Italian lunch restaurant that was temporarily closed due to a health inspection four weeks ago, after repeated (mundane) ant infestations. The owner, Ravenna Michels, lives nearby and can be contacted via the restaurant's website. If given proper credentials, she is willing to allow the Agents to inspect the restaurant. She is however unwilling to discuss the reason for closure. If pressed (requires some type of skill roll) she divulges ant infestations in the kitchen and vents over the last months. She has previously checked in on Janice regularly, but hasn't done so since the closure. She never talked to Meyer.

The dining area is dusty and of little interest. In the kitchen there are many insect traps as well as several yellow, bulbous ants close to a large ceiling vent. If an Agent reaches into or closely inspects the vent, a mob of ants emerges, herding several Black widow spiders. The nearest Agent must manage a DEX x 3-save or get bitten and poisoned (Speed 1d6 hours, Lethality 10%).

Janice’s apartment

Janice Brown, 82,  is a retired receptionist, suffering from dementia. She has been affected by the Hive and its gospel. She does not let the Agents into her tiny apartment willingly, but opens the door partially, with the security chain still on. She seems happy but confused. She does not wish to be disturbed as she is “watching a sermon, where the little angels sing”. On the topic of Meyer, she seems ignorant, they had little contact. From her bedroom beyond, vague voices can be detected as well as whiffs of Ylang-33. In her pocket are the keys to the attic.

If the Agents break into her apartment, they find it empty. Furniture has been moved to the walls in the bedroom and a tiny, circular theater the size of a shoebox is placed in the center of the floor. On it are several insects moving like performers of a play. In the middle is the empty vial of Ylang-33. On the walls are ants forming the shape of words, citing The King in Yellow. They flee into a ceiling vent if confronted.

The Hive

The ants' nest is located in the locked attic. It is an enormous colony taking up the entirety of the cramped area. It reeks of Ylang-33. It seems like the hive is impossibly large and resembles a madman's sand castle with spires, spinous outcroppings, and galleries. Strange pinpoints of light can be seen in it. In the farthest part of the hive, a mesmerizing abyss is enclosed in the hive, about 15 inches wide. Faint orchestral music and shrouded reflections of black stars can be discerned from it. San 1/D6. Destroying the Hive requires fire or explosives.

When the Agents arrive in the attic hall it's quiet. As they approach the abyssal portal, the Queen emerges. She is a bulbous mutated form, the size of a large hound. From huge glands on her back emerge odoriferous clouds that cause vivid hallucinations of black stars over the lake of Hali. San 1/1D4. If the Queen is attacked, the Swarm of ants flood the room from all corners of the hive to defend her with instinctual rage.

End game

If the Agents manage to destroy the hive and its Queen, they are awarded 1D4 sanity each. If Janice is left alive, she soon rotates into Carcosa and will spend her days dancing in its halls. If production of Ylang-33 is not stopped at Fulvio Eniade Inc, the compound soon creates more insectile vectors. Either way Delta Green will monitor the Agents to see If they have been infected by The King in Yellow.


STR 11 CON 13 DEX 12 INT 11 POW 12 CHA 13
SKILLS: Accounting 30 %,  B ureaucracy 30 %, Computer science 30 %, HUMINT 30 %, Law 30 %, Science (Chemistry) 30 %, Pharmacy 30 %.
ATTACKS: Unarmed 30 %, damage 1D4.

STR 12 CON 13 DEX 12 INT 14 POW 10 CHA 13
SKILLS: Accounting 50 %, Alertness 30 %,  40 %, Athletics 40 %, Bureaucracy 40 %, HUMINT 40 %, Persuade 50 %.
ATTACKS: Unarmed 30 %, damage 1D4.

STR 7 CON 6 DEX 5 INT 10 POW 8 CHA 12
SKILLS: Art (theater) 30 %,
ATTACKS: Unarmed 30 %, damage 1D4-1.

STR 14 CON 10 DEX 16 INT 11 POW 12
HP 12 WP 12
ARMOR: 2 points of mutated chitin.
ATTACKS: Biting Mandibles, 40%, damage 1D6, Odoriferous clouds 70 % (See SCENTED VISIONS).
SCENTED VISIONS: Yellow mists erupts from the Queens grotesque back, targeting everyone in a 2-meter radius. The targets must pass as POW x 3 test or become stunned for 1D4 rounds while they suffer visions of the lake of Hali, suffering 1D6 SAN in the process.

STR 25 CON 20 DEX 19 INT 8 POW 10
HP 23 WP 10
SKILLS:Alertness 60%
ATTACKS:A thousand bites 70%, Damage 2D6 (see A THOUSAND BITES).
A THOUSAND BITES:  The swarm may spread this attack to two or even three targets in one turn: with two targets, each attack is at 60% and inflict 2D4 damage; with three attacks, each attack is at 50% and inflicts 1D6.
SWARM: The unending multitude of ants are not easily damaged by bullets or blades. Guns do 1 damage on attacks, but fire, explosions and shotguns inflict full damage.
UNSTOPPABLE: The swarm can traverse walls and ceilings and slip through cracks without issue. Most barriers are useless against them for long.


Ideasthesia was written by Erik Ahlin for the 2023 Shotgun Scenario contest.

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.