The Book Club

Introduction:

This scenario works best with PCs who are not yet members of Delta Green. Instead, they should be a LEO team tasked to investigate a bank robbery, like the agents of a local FBI field office. The scenario takes place in a large city, one with a sizable number of wealthy people. Los Angeles can be used as the default city.

The bank robbery has baffled local police. Five deposit boxes were opened up with power tools and their contents removed. The vault door is intact and was not opened during the night. No tunnel into the vault was made and it is perfectly intact. Security camera footage confirms the vault was not opened. There is no camera inside the vault.

Shortly after the PCs get on the scene, a man tries to enter the bank and demands to talk to the investigators. He is Horatio Munoz and wants to know if his safety deposit box was taken. It was. He panics and tells the PCs that he knows who broke in: Brant Hayward. When asked how he knows this, Horatio explains that he had very important documents stored there that Brant wanted. If asked on how Brant got entry, Horatio pauses and thinks. He says he can explain better at his house.

The Demonstration:

PCs who take up Horatio on his offer are shown a series of bizarre artifacts, each odder than the last. The Green Box generator is a good source for these, although nothing is overtly supernatural. After three or so artifacts, Horatio shows them a shard of cloudy glass, about eight inches in diameter. He asks the characters to look into the glass. It depicts a scene of a distant and rocky plain. Shortly thereafter, a monstrous spider crawls across the ground. No examination of the glass will reveal how it shows this scene. 0/1d4 SAN loss.

Horatio explains that he and his friends found out how to do the impossible. Brant used that knowledge to steal a document that will allow him to do something terrible. He begs that the investigators stop Brant before it is too late.

Investigating the Book Club:

Horatio will cooperate with the players, assuming they do not threaten or hurt him. He names the other members of the book club and their contact info. At this point, the PCs can investigate the rest of the club, although Brant and Cassie are in hiding.

Background:

A group of six amateur but wealthy and well-educated scholars acquired a mythos tome. They decided to work together to translate and study the tome. Together, they learned different hypergeometric incantations and rituals. At first, they were only motivated by curiosity, but as their exposure to the unnatural increased, their minds fractured under the stress. The group stopped studying the tome and they have not yet progressed to murder. Each still has some sanity left, but it is slowly eroding. All have high power, 15 or above. They still talk to each other, but all distrust the others to some degree.

Each member mastered one or more rituals, but each only mastered part of Immortal Messenger, which they call “Gift of the Divine.” They believe it will grant great wisdom and power to the person who activates it, but the group is divided on whether it should be performed or not. Horatio traveled to a distant planet via Winged Steed and Elixir of Infinite Spaces and realized that the Immortal Messenger was a malevolent being. He cannot bear to destroy his notes so he put them in a bank safe deposit box.

Cassie convinced Brant to steal the notes so they can perform the ritual, after she tricked Horatio into revealing the location of the notes to her. Brant used the Open Gate ritual and a power saw to open the safe deposit box. However, her trick caused Horatio to decide to move the notes to a different location, so he arrives at the bank a few hours after the bank robbery.

The Book Club

Wants to Stop the Ritual

Horatio Munoz: Knows Elixir of Infinite Spaces and Winged Steed and parts of Immortal Messenger ritual. Antique and art dealer who owns a gallery. Has a collection of artifacts from his travels to distant planets.

Alexandria Ketchum: Knows Infallible Suggestion and Obscure Memory. Banker. Has used rituals to close a few important deals. Does not want the ritual to proceed because she is doing fine as it is. Doesn’t want to risk any more. Allied with Horatio but will betray him if necessary to survive.

Neutral

Helen Stewart: Knows Fascination and Speech of Birds and Beasts. Comes from a wealthy family. Runs a sanctuary for exotic animals. Doesn’t care about the Immortal Messenger and will help PCs if asked but will overreact to any threat from PCs as she suffers from paranoia. She will only consent to interviews in her sanctuary in an outdoor patio. If she is threatened, she will use Fascination to paralyze lone agents and then use Speech to kill them (a venomous snake or the adult tiger). A source of intel for agents who are stuck but potentially a deadly enemy.

Wants to Perform the Ritual

Brant Hayward: Knows Create Stone Gate and Open Gate. Robbed the bank, using the Open Gate ritual. Stole Horatio’s notes in a safe deposit box. Retired Silicon Valley software engineer (rich from stock options of an IP), terrified of climate change. Wants to save the world with the Immortal Messenger. The Book Club helped Brant create a Stone Gate in the basement of his mansion, using prostitutes who were bled, but never killed, over the period of a year. The group opened a gate twice and decided to never use it again because of the danger.

Cassie Bragg: Homeopathic medicine maker. Knows healing balm, which is used on very rich clients. A few have begun to show signs of mutation. Wants the wisdom of the Immortal Messenger to improve her healing techniques.

Dead

Greg Sandoval: Dead. Killed by Winged Steed on a failed summoning check – taken to Azathoth’s Court. No one knows this – just disappeared. Was a librarian and was jealous of Horatio’s collection. Investigation will reveal his plans to summon the Winged Steed in his emails and personal diary, left in his house. Has been gone for three weeks and will not be missed for another two.

The Tome:

Any important mythos tome can be used for this scenario. Horatio only had access to it for a few months before he sold it to a client. The Book Club took high resolution photos of every page of the book and each member has a copy of these photos. Horatio will not divulge any information on the client until his notes are returned or he is sufficiently threatened. The identity of the client and the tome’s current location are left to the GM to decide.

Resolving the Scenario:

Brant and Cassie have gone to a nearby condo (rented under an assumed name, but still traceable) to study the notes and perform the ritual. They will succeed in a matter of days and summon Nyarlathotep, who will convince them to start a violent mythos cult. They can be found through normal investigative methods, because neither believes that the FBI will be able to find them so they have not covered up their tracks very well. If confronted, they will deny and stonewall PCs. Remember that if the PCs are not yet Delta Green, then they must use legal methods or face consequences for their actions.

Brant and Cassie made digital copies of the notes and the PCs will be unable to find legal evidence to prosecute them for the robbery. Brant disposed of the power saw and the contents of the other four boxes with a Gate.

If the PCs report any hints of the unnatural to their superiors, one faction of Delta Green will pick up on it and send a handler to recruit the PCs. The handler may try to have the PCs recruit or kill the Book Club (or some combination thereof). At this point, the PCs must decide what to do, but failure to stop Brant and Cassie will result in the creation of a new cult. After the summoning, they disappear, only to resurface a year later, as leaders of a cult with over a thousand members. The end times draw even nearer.

If the players decide to kill the Book Club, they will fight back, using what they have available. Every surviving member will become more paranoid after the first death. Helen is extremely dangerous when she is at the wildlife sanctuary. She is able to send a variety of exotic animals after the PCs. Horatio and Alexandria will try to flee, using their wealth and rituals to aid them. Brant and Cassie may try to convince the PCs that their ritual is the only way to save humanity.
 

Credits

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

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.