Operation BIG STICK


Delta Green received a package of materials from friendly Gerald Brinkman. A self described cryptozoologist, Gerald set up a dead man’s switch to email the files to Delta Green if he didn’t return from his latest expedition.

The documents and videos chronicle Gerald’s search for the elusive “Stick Man”, a legendary creature that lives in the woods. Nobody in the legends can remember seeing it firsthand, only through vague secondhand descriptions from witnesses who later forgot what they saw. Gerald was convinced that the creature was somewhere in Allegheny National Forest, and was wandering the woods looking for it. In the last video, he plans to visit Big Skip Mine next. That was a week ago.

Gerald was obnoxious and pelted Delta Green with a lot of false positives, but also delivered useful leads on a couple genuine Unnatural threats over the course of the relationship. He’s valuable enough to the organization that it’s worth sending a couple Agents to find him, although he’s probably just wandering around in the woods like an idiot.


Big Skip Mine is a disused anthracite coal mine in the wooded hills of Pennsylvania’s Allegheny National Forest, which operated from 1960 to 1982. Officially, the mine is only temporarily dormant, and could re-open at any time if coal prices increased. The obvious truth is that the mine is closed, and will remain closed forever. The owners at the Big Skip Concern don’t want to (and probably can’t) pay for remediation. Regulators know it’s a sham, but if pushed the company would just declare bankruptcy, dumping responsibility for cleanup on the state anyway. Aside from a part-time worker who occasionally inspects the fencing, nobody from the company monitors the site.

The surface of the mine site is fenced off and abandoned. Trees and plants have grown on the site. The garages, storage sheds, trailers and administrative buildings have not been maintained. Searching inside, they all have signs of human habitation. Fires have been lit, cans have been opened, game has been butchered, beds and sleeping bags have been slept in. It looks like maybe four people live on the site. The walls are decorated with drawings of a stick man.

The mine tunnels are partially flooded. Drowning and cave-ins are hazards to anyone exploring them. There’s a dessicated corpse in one, at least twenty years old. Forensic examination shows the victim died of neglect, starvation or exposure.

Deep in the mine is a cluster of glistening transparent eggs, gestating the nymphs of an unknown arthropod.


Occasionally, people visit the abandoned mine. The lucky ones leave with holes in their memory, stumbling home and recalling nothing of interest. The unlucky ones also leave with holes in their memory. But they come back. They can’t explain why. They can’t remember all the visits, which become more frequent. For the ones with no friends or family to draw them back to reality, the visits become permanent. They live at the abandoned mine full time, leaving only to steal what they need from outside.

(The Stick Man’s venom is a neurotoxin that erases memories, blanking the Stick Man’s existence from the victim’s mind. The toxin is addictive, and neurodegenerative over time)

LOTUS EATERS - Slaves to the Stick Man’s Secretions

STR 12, CON 12, DEX 12, INT 12, POW 12, CHA 12
HP 12, WP 12, SAN 46, Amnesia, Addiction (Stick Man venom)
SKILLS: Alertness 50%, Athletics 50%, Firearms 40%, Melee Weapons 50%, Navigate 50%, Survival 50%, Stealth 50%
ATTACKS: 1903 Springfield (40%, D12+2, 5 AP)
or SKS (40%, D12, 3 AP)
or Ithaca Hunting Shotgun (60%, 2D10)
or Subcompact Glock (40%, D10)
Hunting Knife (50%, D6, 3 AP)

The Lotus Eaters will violently resist any attempt to remove them from the site. They are not aware that the Stick Man exists, though they see it in their dreams and draw pictures of it on walls. In its presence they sit stupefied, unaware of it but basking in the chemicals it secretes into the air. If someone attacks it, it gives off an alarm chemical that calls them to violently defend it.

Sandoval “Val” Fick first came through Big Skip on a backpacking trip. Now he’s the Lotus Eaters’ most skilled hunter. He’s good at stalking and shooting with his bolt action Springfield, but often forgets why he’s there or what he’s doing, leading to missed opportunities.

Jane Ystumllyn is an ecologist, who disappeared while studying regrowth of ecosystems around disused mines. She lives a wild existence, rarely talking to the other Lotus Eaters. Nevertheless she is fanatically protective of them, ambushing threats at close range with her enormous hunting knife.

Ernie Bryson is the oldest Lotus Eater, one of the original miners. He’s suffering mild dementia from overexposure to the stick man’s toxin, and there’s a risk he’ll mistake fast moving Agents for Charlie and open fire with his bringback SKS. He’s already shot two hikers in this fashion, bodies dumped into deadfalls or lost under snowbanks.

Juliet Bagration is the most lucid Lotus Eater, and the one who goes out into the “real world” when they need something - ammunition, medicine, cigarettes. She enjoys the sense of clarity she gets on the outside, but feels the pull of the mine calling her back. She carries a hunting shotgun or concealed pistol.

Gerald is stuck in the Lotus Eater camp at the abandoned mine. Every time he tries to leave, he wanders into a haze of amnesiac Stick Man venom and gets lost, forgetting where he is. The Lotus Eaters find a stranger wandering lost in the woods, bring him back to camp to warm up, and the cycle repeats. He’s in the early stages of addiction after a week of exposure, and won’t want to leave (though he can’t articulate why). The other Lotus Eaters will resist attempts to remove him if they realize what’s happening. He’s one of them now.


The Stick Man is an enormous arthropod that lives at the mine site. It’s a species unknown to science, but looks like a big stick insect. It’s an herbivore that eats leaves from trees, like a giraffe. It lives a very slow paced life, protected from predators by its venom, which erases it from the awareness of anyone around it. It lays eggs parthenogenetically in cool, dark, damp places, but usually eats its children after mistaking them for tasty plants. It is intelligent, but incapable of and uninterested in communication with humanity.

STICK MAN - Natural Amnesic

STR 10, CON 30, DEX 5, INT 8, POW 10
HP 20, WP 10
SKILLS: Blend In With Trees 50%, Eat Leaves 60%
ARMOR: 5 points of chitinous exoskeleton
ATTACKS: Slow Moving Radula (40%, D6, Ablative)
AMNESIC SECRETIONS: The Stick Man secretes a chemical as an aerosol that drifts in the air. If inhaled, the chemical is a neurotoxin that prevents memory formation, keeping the Stick Man’s existence hidden. It breaks down over time, but the erased memories are never recovered. Repeat exposure leads to addiction.
ALARM CHEMICAL: If attacked, the Stick Man releases an alarm chemical that interacts with the neurotoxin, spurring anyone already infected to violently defend it from harm.


Agents who explore the mine site without respirators will experience “lost time” as they pass through high concentrations of the Stick Man’s toxin, and encounter the Stick Man itself. Agents don’t just sit placidly during these episodes, they might move around, investigate things, lose items, or even get into fights with the Lotus Eaters. The episodes affect the Lotus Eaters too. Interrupting a tense or stalemated situation with a blackout as the Stick Man passes by is a great way to make it more interesting. Agents are yelling and waving guns one moment, running through the woods the next, not sure if they’re chasing someone or being chased themselves. As a rule of thumb, don’t kill anyone in one of these blackouts unless they were doing something incredibly stupid beforehand.

The toxin is most concentrated in the mine tunnels, sticking to the walls and hanging in the air. The blackouts get more and more frequent the closer you get to the eggs, until they become continuous - something you never wake up from.


This was an entry to the 2019 Delta Green shotgun scenario contest, written by mellonbread.

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