December 20, 11PM. Orders from the Program throw seasonal plans into disarray. The Handler leads with Home scenes and explores the domestic fallout. (In a one-shot, Agents are assigned to Taskforce GRINCH, under a taciturn, sibilant CO calling himself Karloff.)

December 21. Agents meet their case officer at a truck stop off Massachusetts Route 1A, where they are given keys to a large SUV. They’re briefed on Project REFEREE: a HUMINT network of friendlies embedded in institutions known to possess dangerous arcane artifacts. Tina Weston (BOOKMARK) works in the Miskatonic University HR department, surveying students and staff for telltale signs of “tome rot”. She thinks she’s reporting to an unsanctioned team of FBI behavioral experts.

Last night, BOOKMARK called and reported that Santa Claus tried to kidnap her daughter. When Tina went downstairs at 10PM, she found seven-year-old Sophia standing under the Christmas tree, beside an intruder wearing the iconic red coat. While Mama retrieved her pistol, Santa grabbed the girl and tried to drag her outside. BOOKMARK said she shot him in the face, but Santa kept running. He left no fingerprints or blood. Just misshapen tracks.

The Agents will investigate the incident, ascertain whether it is unnatural in nature, and defend REFEREE assets accordingly. If need be, sanction Saint Nick.

  • BOOKMARK is briefed only on REFEREE. She recognizes keywords and behaviors tied to “cult extremism”, but doesn’t know their significance.
  • When recruited in 2009, Tina had access through HR, and through the social circles of her husband, tenured professor Arthur Weston.
  • At 9PM on June 21, 2016, Arthur left the house on a night walk, headed northeast towards Arkham. When he did not return, Tina called her case officer, who gave permission to file a missing persons report. To date, the local police have turned up no leads; sometimes, people in Miskatonic Valley just go missing.
  • The University’s upper echelons have grown distant since Arthur’s disappearance. Tina is still friendly with the faculty partners and Arkham community, but only so much gossip is actionable.

Better Watch Out!

Tome rot takes many insidious forms. Professor Arthur Weston had access to an exceptionally dangerous library, but when he met Tina in 2003, he’d barely started exploring the Unnatural. He occasionally checked an esoteric reference like Prinn or Von Junzt. It took years for the Mythos to capture his interest and erode his humanity. By the time Sophia was born in 2011, Arthur saw himself as a budding mage, his wife as a pet, and his daughter as a future disciple.

In public, Arthur was a gentleman scholar. At home, he demeaned, gaslighted, and even mind-controlled Tina, while doting endlessly on Sophia, developing fatherly trust. The cycle of violence peaked at Christmas, when he castigated his wife for trying to adhere to a seasonal budget. Tina never reported these abuses to the Program, as they didn’t match the oblique criteria she was given.

Better Not Cry!

In June 2016, in the middle of an argument, Tina pushed Arthur off the front porch. He cracked his skull on a garden stone, and that was it. Guilty and frightened, Tina buried her husband in the woods. She lied to her case officer, to police, to Sophia, and ultimately to herself. Tina will only accept the truth if presented with hard evidence, and the sudden rush of traumatic memories will be devastating. Tina knows that since Arthur’s been gone, things have been better. Maybe someday, Sophia will understand too.

Santa Claus is Coming!

Last month, the scavengers feasting on Arthur’s body reached critical mass, and the sorcerer was reborn as a shuddering, roiling worm-collective. Now a Worm That Walks, Arthur possesses all the knowledge he had in life. Having acquired a nostalgic disguise, he intends to claim Sophia as his arcane heiress. If Tina won’t cooperate, he’ll leave her behind - or inhabit her dead body, like an awful puppeteer.

Professor Arthur Weston, 100-lb Bowl of Jelly

STR 4, DEX 10, CON 15, INT 17, POW 21, CHA 3
HP 10, WP 21
SAN Loss: 0/1 (Santa disguise), 1/1d6 (true form).
Skills: Alertness 30, HUMINT 50, Melee 30, Search 30, Stealth 40

  • UNNATURAL BIOLOGY: No bones, no vital organs. Physically incapable of Unarmed Combat.
  • INHUMAN MOVEMENT: Invertebrate body compresses into tiny spaces, allowing movement under doors, behind walls, through vents (Stealth +20).
  • RESILIENT: Soft body takes only 1 point damage from any stabbing weapons and firearms (except buckshot); weak to bludgeons, pesticides, and fire.
  • BURROWING PARASITE: Worms can infest and control human corpses, which are then sustained with raw meat.
  • RITUALS: Winged Steed, Infallible Suggestion, Obscure Memory, Withering, (1d6 Handler’s Choice)

Making a List…

The two-story, colonial-style Weston house is twelve miles southwest of Arkham, surrounded by wooded hills.

  • There are no obvious signs of forced entry. Search/Alertness reveal trails of mucous and mud slithering up the back wall, onto the roof, and into the chimney (0/1 Unnatural). With additional checks, similar traces can be found inside the house…
  • The footprints left between house and treeline are dirty, formless, and obviously inhuman. Survival: followed through the woods, the tracks end in a deep burrow half-shielded by snow. The walls are combed with worm tunnels - big ones. Fresh prints exit the pit and meander towards the Weston property before vanishing.

Tina Weston, “BOOKMARK”

STR 9, DEX 14, CON 15, INT 13, POW 7, CHA 14
HP 12, WP 7, SAN 33, BP 28
Disorders: PTSD, repressed memories
Skills: Accounting 50, Alertness 30, Bureaucracy 50, Firearms 30, HUMINT 30, Law 40, Occult 20, Persuade 30, Special Training (REFEREE) 40

Tina meets Agents at the door, wearing a reindeer sweater, jeans, and a .38 on her belt. She’s been awake since yesterday and won’t leave Sophia unsupervised until the intruder is caught.

  • Last night, Tina was certain she hit the intruder in the head. She’s been doubting herself ever since. The gun is legal, registered in her name since 2017.
  • “Santa” wore a creepy plastic mask and fake beard. The suit looked like six others seen around Arkham this Christmas. Tina won’t leave home unless Agents have a destination in mind, preferably out-of-state.
  • Agents verifying REFEREE clearance can get months of Miskatonic reports from Tina. Nothing is relevant. Tina has neither access nor interest in “reading freaked-out culty shit” in the library’s special collections.
  • Agents who ask about Arthur’s disappearance get the summary from the beginning, verbatim. Tina refuses to contemplate that Arthur could be the intruder. Why come back after two years, disguised, in the middle of the night? HUMINT: Tina thinks Arthur is dead. With critical, she knows.
  • HUMINT/Criminology/Psychology: Tina is hypervigilant, has terrible self-esteem, and flinches whenever people shout. These are lingering symptoms of partner abuse. If pressed on this, Tina will panic or shut down. Unnatural: she genuinely doesn’t remember, and can’t explain why.

Sophia Weston, Daddy’s Little Angel

STR 3, CON 6, DEX 8, INT 7, POW 10, CHA 10
HP 5, WP 10, SAN 46, BP 40

Young Sophia is in the living room with the Christmas tree, drinking cocoa and reading a storybook. Gentle Agents have an easy time. Rude, harsh Agents are rewarded with a tantrum.

  • Last night, Sophia snuck downstairs to peek at presents and saw Santa by the tree. It was obviously Real Santa, not just Mall Santa, because he showed up at night without any noise! Magic!
  • Santa had a hood and beard and big red cheeks. He didn’t talk. He just waved hello, motioned for her to be quiet and come close. Then Mama showed up, and Santa tried to take her away. Sophia didn’t like that. Santa can’t be pushy. He’s not supposed to smell like wet leaves, either.
  • Christmas is Sophia’s favorite holiday, and she’ll gush all about it. She shows friendly Agents a family album with pictures of half-remembered holiday parties. Arthur is front and center, dressed like Santa.

There’s an extra box under the tree for Sophia, wrapped in plain red paper. It contains a grimy silver pocketwatch. Inside the hinged cover is a picture of baby Sophia, cradled in Daddy’s arms. Tina panics when she sees it (costing her 1d4 SAN); Arthur was carrying this watch when he died.

…Checking it Twice

Once the Agents leave their vehicle unattended, Arthur will slash their tires, then Sneak inside the house and bide his time, eavesdropping, evaluating. He will use mind tricks to confuse, divide or spark conflict. When Agents’ backs are turned, he will use weapons placed around the house to stage ambushes.

When seriously damaged, Arthur’s suit splits open, vomiting out a torrent of massive, greasy worms. As the costume falls apart, the worms stagger and rise into a humanoid shape, lumbering forward undeterred. (1/1d4 Unnatural)

If all else fails, Arthur invokes Winged Steed (+20% Activation, on Yule) to either slay his foes, or whisk him and Sophia off into the night.

Naughty and Nice

  • Destroy Arthur: +1d6 (+2 if Sophia shielded from identity)
  • Save both Westons: +1d4
  • Sophia kidnapped: -1/1d6 Helplessness
  • Tell Program that Tina murdered Arthur, providing leverage against her indefinitely: -1d4 Violence
  • Convince Program to relocate Westons: +1. Worms come for us all in the end, regardless.


This is an entry to the 2018 Delta Green shotgun scenario contest, written by Sarah Szell.

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.