Through the Darkness of Futures Past by Simon RJB
"Resolute is not the end of the world, but you can see it from here…" - Resolute’s town motto
The characters are contacted by their superior in the higher cell, preferably someone they've had contact with before, enough to establish as a reliable and/or good superior officer, but at the same time someone who you're willing to let die as a result of this mission. It's not a foregone conclusion, but should events go badly for him (or her), the character will either be dead or retired from normal service. This character will be briefing them in personally, and will be their main point of contact with Delta Green. They won't actually meet him until in the field. For
ease of reference, the agent will be called Agent Han, of Cell H.
The agents are informed that, following a mission in Alaska, a cult of native Wendigo worshippers have been terminated, following a bloody battle. Whilst the Cell H have requisitioned planes to fly them north to Grise Fiord, Ellesmere Island, on the trail of the mysterious totem and the shaman that headed up the cult, but that it is suspected that the cult may not have been completely destroyed and that there may be further activites ongoing in Resolute. Travel arrangements are made for the PCs to travel up to Resolute, along with the necessary equipment and clothing to comfortably perform their duties.
Upon arrival in the 'town' that is called Resolute, the PCs witness how inhospitable the climate is. They meet Han at the airport, where he gives them details of the small hotel where they've got rooms. Resolute has a little of the tourist haven mentality. But beautiful though the region is Resolute is essentially a series of gravelly roads, maybe a hundred houses, and a whole heap of ice and snow. Yet they've got their gift shop, with their Inuit carvings and 'not the end of the world' t-shirts. No five-star hotel complexes just yet, but they've got running water, they've got heat, they've got internet in case you don't want to wait a fortnight for mail. In this climate it's a slice of heaven.
Han also shows them a photograph, of one Ipiktok Irniq. This, Han explains, is the cult shaman who has still not been found by Cell H in their expedition further north, although signs of cult activity, including the blasphemous totem, have been found. Han needs to return to his fellow agents (one of which can be seen waiting by a HC-6 Twin Otter outside), but tells them that there's every chance that the shaman may return to Resolute in the future. They have been
warned that he may be armed and dangerous but at the same time he is to be kept alive and if possible kept in isolation. It is suggested that his escape is due, in part, to his ability of suggestion, the ability to cloud people's minds and make them bow to his will. On no accounts should you allow him to speak to you, and for much the same reason it will be risky to bring him
into a built up city. It is also clear from the photo that he wears some sort of charm around his neck, which Han explains contains the shaman's soul, according to custom. This knowledge might be used as leverage against him, should they need it.
There may be hints that the cult is not dead in Resolute. The signs are not obvious, but out in the wilderness there may be found small 'altars' made out of stone, there may been found strangely beautiful but mysterious carvings, bloodied animal remains. Nothing explicitly spells out that there is cult activity, everything easy to explain away due to the agent's unfamiliarity with the setting and the hostile wilderness and sometimes desperate wildlife. Over time though the agents begin to notice that the townsfolk are suspicious of them, that everyone seems to be
watching them. In truth all of them know about the shootings that killed a number of 'cultist's and yet their sympathies lie with these victims.
Over time there will be some Mythos activity, sightings of strange shapes skulking in the shadows, perhaps sounds of unearthly howling that mimicks horribly the more recognisable sound of wolves. The characters may have strange dreams that offer clues, a light glowing from the window of a certain house in town, footsteps in the snow showing their way to hidden destinations.
Eventually the characters will find Irniq, being looked after by one of the locals, possibly a family.
He is weak, and wounded, and when the characters find him he will struggle to get to his feet, unfamiliar words slipping from his lips. If he is subdued, the extent of his injuries, frostbite, malnutrition and savage burn and cut marks to his back all are visible, plus a more recent bullet wound to his right thigh, which forensics will identify as having being fired by local law enforcement. If not subdue, and it becomes clear that the players are not out to kill him, the
man spills out a completely unexpected story, though this is more likely to occur once the characters have earned his trust.
His charm, worn around his neck, does not resemble any reconisable Inuit craft or design, made of an unidentifiable metal not unlike gold.
Ipiktok Irniq is not an Inuit. It's not even his name. He has, through means unknown, escaped the tyrannical future that awaits mankind many centuries on, ruled over by the Hsan Empire. The gate technology that brought him back, to some spot near Grise Fiord, and was one of several slaves to escape. They each wore 'charms' that, whilst worn, disguise the scent that Hounds of Tindalos might use to track them. He doesn't know who Delta Green are, but from the evidence has deduced that they are in league with the Empire.
Agent Han is an ancestor of one of the dreaded sorcerers that rule the Hsan Empire, through whom he is able to track down the escaped slaves and use magic to track and point the finger towards the fugitive. Whilst he's mainly concerned with closing the gate elsewhere, he is planning to catch up with the slave, make sure he hasn't told anyone else too much, and
The rest of Cell H are oblivious to the truth.
The dramatic climax will come through one of two ways. Firstly, the characters will restrain their captive, and keep him isolated. He will be safe until Han returns, with the rest of his cell, unless they've removed his charm. If removed he has maybe an hour before he is located and killed by something beyond the walls of time and space. If Han gets to him, he'll ask to be left alone with him. After an hour or so, much the same scenario will unfold, Irniq dead and Han wounded but clutching the charm as a ward. If the story looks like it might end in this way, you might
want Han’s motivations to slip out, and end with a more epic ending.
If the characters side with Irniq, the situation potentially gets worse. Agent Han will know that the agents are helping the fugitive unless they pretend otherwise, and will use direct magic on them. His fellow team members will attempt to capture the PCs or else shoot them down in the line of duty. Agent Han will avoid firefights himself, since the existence of his sorcerous descendant depends on him living long enough to father a child, but is capable of demonstrating great magic, mostly summoning. In particular it should be apparent that the monsters that start stalking the streets have more in common with worshippers of Cthulhu, Hastur or Yog Sothoth
than the Wendigo-orientated Inuit.
Irniq has not special ability to help the characters, as such, although if his charm is removed, a Hounds of Tindalos enter the fray. The charm actually renders a character invisible and scentless to the Hound. If it has materialised and cannot find the target it has been tracking, it may attack indescrimately.
Ideally the characters can win by knocking Han out of action, although if not killed his ancestor may return to wreck havoc on them (then again, it’s likely that he will not have to, since the agents will find it hard to do anything that will threaten the future Hsan Empire). If this becomes too difficult, the alternative is to get to the airport, jump into a HC-6 Twin Otter plane, and flee. Cell H will have arrived in Resolute in one, so there will be at least one waiting.
The now sealed gate further north also presents future scenario possibilities.
“Through the dark of futures past the magician longs to see, one chance out between two worlds, fire, walk with me.” Twin Peaks