The 5,000 Year Sacred History of Our Nation

What's Going On:

The Chinese anti-mythos agency Xianfeng has stumbled across a cache of 1930s era Japanese documents detailing the ARCHINT projects of their occult research program. They have been slowly working their way through the list by funding controlled archaeological digs, which have mostly led nowhere or yielded merely mundane archaeological discoveries. The Chinese foreign (aka extraterrestrial) technology acquisition and research group Huodezu has been keeping tabs on it, but consider it a wild goose chase.

One of these digs has been arranged for a site in the Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture in Jilin Province, where records indicate a Japanese site was attacked and destroyed by Korean partisans in 1936. This piqued the attention of Office #44, specifically Ryu Tok-hun, who believes the Chinese are trying to hide evidence of the glorious ancient Korean civilization Taedonggang, considered to have centered around the Pyongyang area and extended deep into the Chinese northeast.

In truth, the site is home to the remains of the ill-fated Japanese dig from the 1930s, over top of the ruins of a temple/school/outpost of the 5th century Koguryo Kingdom, over top a prehistoric settlement of a lost and uncategorized people, over top an ancient but still functional sky-car belonging to Vruman, sorcerer of Mu and follower of the heretic Zanthu, who crashed here millennia ago and whose psychic resonance is still potent after all these years.


Somewhat unconventionally, this briefing will take place in the offices of Ryu Tok-hun, the head of the Unyakmun Publishing Company. He will rage about Chinese perfidy and revisionism at quite some length, expecting the Agents to agree with him, then reveals the plan.

Xianfeng has pulled strings in Beijing to get this dig approved on short notice, bypassing the usual protocol and refusing to explain the purpose of the dig to the provincial archaeological community. This ruffled some feathers, and led to demands that at least some local students be permitted to participate in the dig. Office #44 is using assets embedded in Jilin University to create cover for the Agents as graduate and undergraduate Korean-Chinese students.


After infiltration into China, the Agents will assemble with a group of lanky, naive and somewhat nervous Jilin University students and be bussed to the site, isolated and miles from any settlement. There they find a small tent town and are met by the Site Director, the Deputy Site Director, the Dig Administrator, the Technical Administrator, and a gaggle of pompous, pretentious and snobby Beijing University students.

The Site Director is Chen Lei, an imperious and arrogant man who thinks fairly highly of himself but keeps himself somewhat removed from the nitty-gritty aspects of the dig. This is the fourth such dig he has supervised, and while he is happy they haven't stumbled across anything Unnatural, he is beginning to find it tedious. He is a member of Xianfeng, a member of the Old Guard recruited during the Cultural Revolution after finding a horror in a Sichuan cavern. He is bombastic if diffident and haunted, and has a thick Beijing accent (English accent equivalent: pirate by way of New York City).

The Site Deputy Manager is Zhao Gang, a cold and calculating enforcer and fixer for the Director. He is essentially in charge of everything practical. He has not tired of this work so much, as it suits his personality, but is skeptical of finding anything actually useful. He is an asset of Huodezu, the Chinese foreign-technology acquisitions group. He speaks in short, clipped, precise sentences. He believes the Americans are treating with an extraterrestrial power, and China needs an edge.

The Dig Administrator is Ba Nikan, a local archaeologist who has finangled his way into this dig and is happy to be here. He is a garrulous and somewhat crude man of Manchu descent, though is significantly more intelligent than he lets on. He is encouraging of hard work and aware of the limits of his young charges, but does not tolerate laziness or outright incompetence. He is in charge of manual labor for this dig. He has an aggressively casual manner of speech, and shouts a lot.

The Technical Administrator is Zhou Xiulan, an archaeologist from Beijing University who is usually more comfortable in a lab. She is friendly but vaguely distant and distracted at most times, and very pretty in an academic sort of way. She is in charge of non-manual labor for this dig. She speaks softly with a sing-song tone.

Get a Job

The Agents will be interviewed and assigned different roles according to their skill sets. An agent with a high skill (50%) in the following skills will be assigned or given a choice of assignment.

  • Accounting - Record-Keeping
  • Art: Photography - Photographing the site and artifacts.
  • Art: (Other) - Unless completely irrelevant, duties creating sketches or maps of the site, or perhaps molds or recreations.
  • Heavy Machinery - As on the tin.
  • Science: There are a number of duties relevant to Sciences such as Chemistry, Biology, etc such as soil filtering and analysis. Physics will be shit of of luck, but Astronomy might be useful for trying to work out if the site architecture reflects the stars in any way.

Those lacking those skills will be given manual labor roles, which may include:

  • Digging (Athletics or STR)
  • Pick-axing (Melee Weapons or STR)
  • Cleaning (DEX)
  • Cooking (INT)
  • Latrine Duty (no skill required)

At the end of each day of work, each Agent will roll against the relevant skill or stat, the results of which are listed below. Those doing Manual Labor must roll against CON or lose 1D4 WP.

Critical Success: The Agent's work has impressed the Site Director and he invites them to join him for dinner at the hotel. It is a long night of drinking, heavy food, karaoke and eventually paid female or male company. The Agent get two chances to uncover clues from the people present, once during dinner and once at karaoke.
During karaoke, the Agent will be expected to join the Site Director in singing Frank Sinatra's My Way, rolled against Art: Singing, Foreign Language: English or CHA. A success alienates the Director (-20% to interaction, -40% on a crit), but he finds a failure hilarious (+20% to interaction, +40% on a crit).
At the end of the night, roll a CON save against Exhaustion.

Success: Good job, buddy. A slap on the back from Ba Nikan, or a smile from Zhou Xiulan, granting 1WP. +20% on social rolls from their work detail (either Manual or non-Manual).

Failure: The Agents knows they need to pick it up. Two failures in a row means reassignment. -20% on social rolls from their work detail (either Manual or non-Manual). A failure allows a chance to plead the Agent's case to their Administrator in order to be moved to a different area of duty.

Critical Failure: Reassignment, from Non-Manual to Manual labor, from Digging or Pick-axeing to Cleaning or Cooking, or from Cleaning or Cooking to Latrine Duty. Derision in the mess tent.

At the end of each work day, during dinner, the Agents get a chance to use their social skills on their fellow workers to try to gain clues and insights. The Beijing University students have all been placed on non-manual labor duties at first, while the Jilin University students have been put on grunt work. They sit separately in the mess tent during meals, eyeing each other with contempt.

The Beijing University students are cold at first, but warm up to those who present themselves as sharp and competent, and are willing to join in on decrying the "northeastern bumpkins". An Agent who presents himself as "one of the good ones, who knows his place" is going to be in good stead with them, which may be revealed through a HUMINT check.

  • Qi Li (Female, baifumei, judgemental)
  • Xie Mao (Female, dumpy, dependable)
  • Zou Yin (Male, short, aggressive)
  • Yu Fang (Male, lanky, cowardly)
  • Bai Qiangmin (Male, plain, lonely)
  • Shui Yongjun (Male, handsome, unkind)

The Jilin University students are slightly suspicious at first, asking why they haven't seen the Agents before, but warm up to those who give a good story and don't put on airs. They are pleased by Agents willing to decry the "arrogant Beijing bastards", and acts like one of the locals, which may be revealed through a HUMINT check.

  • Zhu Juanyan (Female, severe, aggressive, Korean-Chinese)
  • Qin Ping (Male, tall, diplomatic)
  • You Zhanwang (Male, thick-necked, introspective, Korean-Chinese)
  • Xu Na (Female, intense, mysterious)

Digging Days

Day One is a mundane day of work, to introduce the rules detailed above. Most of the artifacts uncovered on this day originate from the 1936 Japanese dig: old-fashioned archaeological tools, a broken pair of spectacles, a bento box with a plum pit and some dried pieces of rice inside, bullets.

Dinner will be cumin chicken bones served with potato, peppers and eggplant.

Day Two uncovers a complex dating from the 5th century and built by the Koguryo empire: stone blocks and bricks showing evidence of burning, pottery shards and tiles, bronze tools and weapons. Someone scoring a Critical Success or high success on this day uncovers a painted image of a man who appears to be descending from the sky on a lotus flower. During the evening, a furious debate breaks out between the Beijing University and Jilin University students over whether Koguyro was a Korean or a Chinese kingdom.

Dinner will be Northeastern hotchpotch: potatoes, beans, Chinese cabbage, eggplant, wood ear fungus and random vegetables stewed with pork belly.

During the evening, each Agent will feel a strong desire to improve themselves, to stay up late and practice a skill. Those who do so are able to place a check next to the skill on a failure, and lose 1D4 WP for staying up late.

Those who choose to sleep dream of looking down at glittering towers connected with tunnels on a vast archipelago, and listening to a voice which seems alien and persuasive. Roll SAN for 0/1 on awakening, and on a failure gain 1d4 points in Foreign Language: ????

Day Three uncovers layers of prehistoric settlement, with signs of repeated violence. There are bones which appear to belong to multiple genuses of Homo Sapiens, some of which have been enscribed with unknown runes and symbols (which seem vaguely recognizable to those with Foreign Language: ???? but clearly degenerate.)

In the evening, the topic of conversation is "why are we still digging?". Dinner will be blood sausage and caramelized sweet potato.

At bedtime, the Compulsion is much stronger, a feeling of needing to improve one on the Agent's lesser skills, usually one of the lower ones in which they have placed points. If the Agent stays up all night practicing that skill, roll against it. Gain 1 in the skill on a success, and 1d4 on a failure, but lose SAN for every skill point gained in the skill above 1. The Agent is exhausted.

Those who choose to sleep instead, enjoy bizarre dreams of engaging in an activity in an alien world, at one point passing by a mirror.

You admire your reflection. Your skin is white, but not like a European, more like sour milk. Your eyes have oblong irises, your nose is long and flared at the nostrils, your mouth altogether wide and filled two rows of flat, ivory teeth. You're beautiful.//

The GM should choose a skill at random to give the PC dreams visions of engaging in that skill in a completely alien context: ad lib here. On awakening, lose 1d6 SAN. Gain twice that much in the skill, as well as in Foreign Language: Muvian Naacal (replacing ????).

Day Four uncovers the outline of something which looks like a glass lotus with places to sit inside a transparent plexiglass-like substance. Inside, there is a petrified mummy slumped against what looks like some kind of control mechanism. The Site Director is extremely perturbed and the Deputy Site Director is excited, showing the most emotion he has thus far revealed as he rushes off to make phone calls.

Dinner will be sweet and sour catfish. The argument seems to be crossing inter-faculty lines, with some of the students telling of their strange dreams and other students dismissing them as insane.

In the evening, the Compulsion is even stronger, and will follow the same rules as on Day Three.

Those who sleep enjoy visions of glittering towers turning black and shuddering in the sky as dark shadows move between them, of screaming crowds mummified in their tracks in the middle of streets and plazas, of a shrill whining and a voice calmly instructing residents to EVACUATE THE METROPOLIS IN AN ORDERLY FASHION, of running to your home and loading your precious tomes into the back of your sky car and taking off, seeing the sky filled with sky cars loaded with refugees, one by one picked out of the sky by black winged creatures that shatter the windscreens and tear passengers apart. See your proximity detector shriek and press the accelerator, desperately trying to reach the western continent as monstrosities pursue you hungrily. Escape, reach the edge of the continent, only to have your battery run out on you before you can even reach the Plateau of Tsang, your ultimate destination. Plummet to the ground, stoically singing along with a Muvian equivalent of My Way.

On awakening, roll SAN at 1d6/1d12. Gain thrice that in Drive: Skycar (from a base of 20%), and also gain that in Foreign Language: Muvian Naacal.

Day Five is chaos, the students are in uproar and some have gone mad. The Deputy Site Director has a gun and is standing next to the sky car, desperate trying to keep the students and the Site Director away. In the distance, there are the sounds of police cars and an approaching helicopter. A Huodezu team is coming to claim the site, and quite possibly kill everyone who has seen the craft.

The Agents may choose to sneak away with whatever information they can carry, which will involve dodging a police vehicle to make a clean getaway. Or they can try to steal the sky car and its contents, which involves neutralizing the Deputy Site Director and the Site Director and turning enough of the students on side. The Sky Car can be opened with a code, 4321, which can be known through memories on a roll or if any of the Agents suggests something similar.

The sky car fits five comfortably, and up to eight if they just pile in there. A few minutes into the flight, they will be pursued by two J-20 Mighty Dragon fighter jets (patrolling on Huodezu orders), which can be evaded with creative driving because the sky car does not obey the usual rules of aerodynamics. The Agents must choose how they wish to cross the border (to avoid an international incident) and to find a place to land surreptitiously once back in DPRK territory.

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