An agent with the Unnatural skill has a vision when they sleep, too real to be a nightmare. They are in another person’s body, experiencing everything they do. The person has been kidnapped by masked strangers. They undress the person and haul them into a warehouse with a trapdoor. The kidnappers throw the victim into a metal chute leading underground. The victim tries to climb up, but the metal is too slick, and the angle is too steep. They land in a dark metal hallway. The air reeks of meat and death. A creature lurches into view, a monstrous giant with an open maw in its chest. It bellows in a voice that is not human or pig, but somehow both. The victim flees, but the giant overtakes them. The agent experiences the death of the victim, ripped apart by rows of pig and human teeth. This vision costs 1d6/2d6 Unnatural SAN.
The agent remembers everything about the vision, including memories of the victim. They know all of the victim’s vital information and everything that happened to them in the last day. Any agent with bureaucracy or computer science can verify that the victim is a real person. Realizing that the vision was not a nightmare is 0/1 SAN.
The victim’s identity is left to the Handler, but they were kidnapped by the cult of the Drove and fed to the monster as a sacrifice. They could be a homeless person, a victim of human trafficking, or some other person who would not be missed. A skilled investigator can still retrace the victim’s steps with the aid of their memories.
The victim remembers seeing Augusta, especially the warehouse. The victim does not know the name of the town. An agent with memories of the victim who sees Augusta must make a 0/1d3 SAN check.
The center of the cult’s worship and an abomination. It is a bloated thing of pale flesh with an enormous maw in its chest. Rows of misshapen teeth line the maw. Human and pig teratoma, especially human eyes and pig noses can be seen at random intervals around its body. It tries to grab victims to shove them into its chest maw.
It will survive forever as long as it consumes at least one adult-sized human a week. It excretes no waste, as it uses everything it consumes as fuel. It is resistant to conventional weapons, but fire and explosives with a lethality rating are effective. It is kept in an underground prison called the Chute.
The Cult of the Drove
Augusta, a small farming town, was slowly dying and turned to the Unnatural to revive its pig farming business. Profits were down and people were beginning to leave. Abandoned businesses lined main street. The pig farmer was desperate to find a way to save Augusta and his way of life. Somehow, he found a vector for the Unnatural that would save his farm. The nature of the vector is left to the handler. Three possibilities:
- Shub-Nigguruth contacted the farmer in a dream and gave him a ritual to transform his son into the Drove. The farmer agreed, as he hated his son for not following in his footsteps.
- A Serpent Person needed human proxies and wealth to fuel his real plans. He made a deal with the farmer and transformed his son into the Drove.
- The son was a soldier subjected to COOKBOOK experiments. He became the Drove and the farmer built the Chute to contain it and discovered the Elixir by mistake.
The cult feeds the Drove a human sacrifice every week and collects the Elixir in return. The Elixir creates incredibly healthy and delicious pigs when it is injected into a pregnant sow.
The farmer is a trusted and charismatic man, so he was able to recruit six community leaders, (three businessmen, a pastor, the police chief, and a doctor). In turn, each of the leaders revealed some of the truth to about a dozen other members of the town, mostly police officers and workers in the farm. About a hundred townsfolk know something is wrong about the town, but keep their mouths shut out of fear.
The cult uses low-level members to spy on the community. If they discover outsiders are investigating the farm, they try to discredit them first by using the local police to frame them for possession of illegal drugs. If that doesn’t work, they try to kidnap and feed the outsiders to the Drove. If that fails, they send out an armed mob to kill them. The cult believes that no one in Augusta is brave enough to report a gunfight in town to the outside world. Whether that is true or not is left to the discretion of the handler.
All of the leaders and some of the inner circle are zero SAN cultists. They have repeatedly consumed pig meat and experienced the deaths of dozens of victims. They are no longer horrified by the vision but see it as a religious communion with the divine. They know what death is while they are still alive. They began the cult as a business, but it is now their faith.
The Elixir’s Hidden Property
The cult knows that the Elixir makes their pigs far more profitable, but they misunderstand its other property. When an Elixir-imbued pig is consumed by a human with the Unnatural skill, they receive visions of the victim that was consumed to create the Elixir. The cult leaders believe they receive the visions as a message from the Drove, but it works on anyone with the skill, like a Delta Green agent who enjoys a meal with organic pork, for example.
The Chute was built from buses and shipping containers and buried. A warehouse was built over the ground where it is located. Sacrifices are thrown in the primary entrance, a hollowed-out bus chassis buried at a steep angle so no one can climb out. Once inside the Chute, the victims find themselves in a maze of metal corridors in pitch darkness. The air is stale and reeks of rotting meat. Bits of broken wireless cameras can be found, experiments of the cult to observe the Drove.
The only other exit is a narrow tunnel too small for the Drove to enter. The tunnel is barred but beyond that is a ladder leading to the surface. The bars are weak so a strong human could kick them out, if they can reach the tunnel. The exit looks like an abandoned well on the surface outside the warehouse.
The drove’s mind is too alien to remember its human origins but it knows that it must excrete the Elixir at a receptacle near the exit tunnel. A groove at the bottom of the tunnel lets the liquid pour into a container past the bars.
The town of Augusta
Augusta is a prosperous small town, supported by an organic pig farming industry. Their pigs are high quality and sought after by foodies, restaurants, and gourmets. It is secretly controlled by the cult of the Drove. They keep outsiders from moving into town by controlling all real estate near the farm and warehouse. A few members of the local police work with human traffickers, giving them a safe haven in exchange for a cut of the profits and ‘volunteers’. The traffickers have no idea what the police do with the people they give them and don’t care.
Stopping the Cult
The leaders and the Drove itself must die to stop the cult. If at least one leader and the monster survive, the cult can rebuild itself. If the Drove is destroyed but some of the leaders survive, it is possible they can create another Drove, depending on the vector.
- Inexperienced: The cult is relatively new and only fears discovery by legitimate authorities. The idea of an opposition group who will kill them instead of arresting them has never occurred to them. Regular members of the cult are not fanatical. They can be flipped through coercion and deception.
- Looking for Investors: The leaders of the cult want to expand their operations. They believe they can stretch the Elixir out and raise more pigs. They need investors for that. This is easily discovered through accounting and bureaucracy skill checks. Undercover agents can infiltrate the farm by posing as potential investors.
- Overconfident: The leaders of the cult have absolute faith in their own abilities and the loyalty of their followers. They are likely to ignore bad news if it contradicts their own plans.
- Visions: Agents who realize the source of their vision may attempt to experience multiple visions to gain more intel. The Handler should provide vital clues if they take this route.
The Drove Stats
STR 25 CON 25 DEX 10 INT 5 POW 10
HP 25 WP 10
Armor: 7 points and see Resilient
Skills: Alertness 35%
Attacks: Slam 50%, 1d12 damage, Grapple 60%, Maw 80% - can only use Maw on grappled targets – inflicts 10% lethality to living creatures. May slam once a round even while it has another enemy grappled.
Undying Flesh: The Drove heals half of the damage it inflicts with a Maw attack. For every week it does not consume an adult-sized human, it takes a 20% lethality attack. If it fails, it messily dissolves into a pile of blood, bone, and ooze.
Resilient: A successful lethality roll does not destroy the Drove but inflicts HP damage equal to the lethality rating.
SAN: 1d4/1d8 to encounter the Drove. 1d6/2d6 SAN to experience a death vision.
The Drove was written by Ross Payton for the 2021 shotgun scenario contest. Source: https://docs.google.com/document/d/153-ImKx8OD4g6ToWSjwvhQrLvmyLWhjOKbauQxx81us/edit