Schach
kurentovanje

SCP-XXXX containment ritual, 1960.

Item #: SCP-XXXX

Object Class: Euclid

Special Containment Procedures: Containment of SCP-XXXX involves the performance of a ten-day-long ritual. In this ritual, called Kurentovanje (see Addendum XXXX-1), a group of individuals dress up as SCP-XXXX-1 instances and march in a procession. If this ritual is performed, an SCP-XXXX event does not occur that year. The ritual can be performed at any point in the spring as long as it is finished before March 171. Since 1960, the civilian population of Ptuj, Slovenia has consistently performed Kurentovanje every spring, seeing it as merely a local tradition and unaware of its anomalous significance. No SCP-XXXX events have occurred since 1959, and there are currently no SCP-XXXX-1 specimens in containment. Foundation personnel must ensure the continued practice of Kurentovanje by the civilians. Personnel who are stationed in or near Ptuj are advised to encourage civilians to participate in the ritual during springtime.

The general public must remain unaware of the true nature of the Pannonian Avars and how they arrived in Europe. Foundation-funded academics are to publicly propose various theories that the Avars are of Slavic, Turkic, Mongolic, Uralic, or Tungusic origin to create an artificial sense of confusion and uncertainty about their ethnolinguistic affiliation. The academics must also publicly describe the Avars as Tengrian, not Sarkic.

Description: SCP-XXXX is an annual phenomenon affecting the town of Ptuj, Slovenia and surrounding areas. Every 17th of March, approximately 27% of all unmarried men over the age of 20 transform into instances of SCP-XXXX-1 over the course of ten days, with the likelihood of transformation increasing with an individual's age2. The exact appearance of SCP-XXXX-1 varies from instance to instance, but some common traits are:

  • 250-300 centimeters tall
  • Thick white, black, or grey fur covering the body
  • Horns or feathers protruding from the head
  • Fangs and/or tusks
  • No external sex organs
  • Bell-like structures composed of bone which protrude from the waist and make a sound similar to that of a non-anomalous bell
  • A club-like structure composed of bone which the instance manually wields as a weapon

SCP-XXXX-1 instances tend to avoid humans, preferring to live in forested areas and feed upon wild animals. Some travel in groups with other instances, while others live alone. Interactions with humans suggest they are capable of understanding human speech but not producing it. They seem to retain memories of their previous human life, and frequently show symptoms of depression and anxiety. They have a natural lifespan of exactly one year, although some have been observed to commit suicide before this point. Every SCP-XXXX-1 instance produced by an SCP-XXXX event dies before the date when the event is expected to occur again the following year. The corpses of SCP-XXXX-1 instances decay naturally and do not revert back to their original human form.

Addendum XXXX-1: History of SCP-XXXX

Letters, diaries, and records indicate that both the authorities and civilians of Ptuj were aware of SCP-XXXX and the ritual necessary to contain it as early as the 10th century, with the word "Kurentovanje" first being used to refer to the ritual in 966 CE. According to these documents, SCP-XXXX was created by the Pannonian Avars, a Sarkic group that inhabited the area of Pannonia3 from approximately 500 to 900 CE. Later documents indicate that the population of Ptuj still practiced Kurentovanje as of the 16th century, but by this point they had forgotten about SCP-XXXX and the significance of the ritual, merely performing it out of habit or tradition. Over the following centuries, the popularity of the ritual declined and fewer people practiced it each year. Finally, in 1959, there was no Kurentovanje at all.

On March 17, 1959, 27% of all unmarried men over age 20 in and near Ptuj transformed into SCP-XXXX-1 instances. This incident is what drew SCP-XXXX to the Foundation's attention. The ensuing coverup required cooperation with President Josip Broz Tito and the Yugoslav government, distribution of amnestics to the general population, intervention in every news outlet in Europe, termination of SCP-XXXX-1 instances and civilians4, destruction of bodies and media, and reconstruction of architecture. Much of what is currently known about the traits and behavior of SCP-XXXX-1 instances comes from observations made during this year.

In 1960, the Foundation funded the Historical Society of Ptuj and local historian Drago Hasl to revive public interest in Kurentovanje. Hasl and the Society organized a Kurentovanje event more extravagant than it had ever been before, with new characters in the parade. Since then, the population of Ptuj has performed Kurentovanje every year.

Addendum XXXX-2: History of the Pannonian Avars

The earliest evidence of Avar presence in Europe dates from around 500 CE. The Greek writer Procopius, in his Wars of Justinian circa 550, describes the Pannonian Avars as having "a curious combination of features that makes them distinct. They have the red hair and green eyes of a Hibernian, yet the black skin and lanky stature of a Nubian5." Genetic analysis indicates that they only bred within their group and did not interbreed with other populations.

The native Europeans saw the Avars as foreign invaders living on stolen land. The Avars fought a series of wars against neighboring groups including the Byzantine Empire, the Bulgars, and the White Croats6. Despite their advantage in Sarkic biotechnology, the Avars lost most of these wars and were eventually massacred by the neighboring groups, experiencing a rapid decline in population from about 800 CE onwards. The Avar authorities most likely implemented SCP-XXXX around this time to counter the depopulation, incentivizing young Avar men to marry and have children so as to avoid becoming SCP-XXXX-1 instances. In spite of this effort, the Avars went extinct at some point in the 10th century. They have no living descendants today.