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Cover artwork of SCP-2873-1. Note that it is identical to non-anomalous copies of the Monster Manual II 3rd edition.

Item #: SCP-2873

Object Class: Safe

Special Containment Procedures: SCP-2873-1 is to be kept in a secured locker at Site-19 when not currently being used for testing purposes in Cell ██ (see below). Due to the close proximity-based memetic nature of SCP-2873-1‘s content, as well as the literary nature of the object, this level of containment is sufficient to avoid the accidental creation of new instances of SCP-2873-2. All requests for testing the effects of SCP-2873 must be approved pending review of Dr. Aalsburg and not conflict with scheduled and/or ongoing tests involving both SCP-2873-1 and SCP-2873-2.
All requests must state the number of D-Class personnel to be brought into the testing area as well the entry within SCP-2873-1 that the test subjects should read. Non-anomalous copies of the book SCP-2873-1 is derived from will be provided for reference.

All tests involving the effects of SCP-2873 are to be conducted in a testing area custom built for the purpose. Cell-██ is a 10m x 10m x 3m room with remote video and audio feeds, as well as a tannoy system for communication with instances of SCP-2873-2. Cell-██ is to be furnished with a rectangular table one hundred and sixty centimetres in length and ninety centimetres wide, as well as many chairs to accommodate up to six D-Class personnel. SCP-2873-1 is to be placed onto the table and can only be opened and read by D-Class personnel authorized for testing the affects of SCP-2873. During testing the doors of Cell-██ are to be electronically locked upon entry of participating D-Class and only unlocked for new instances of SCP-2873-2 complying with testing procedures, or the termination of non-compliant instances.

When a test is complete the newly created instance of SCP-2873-2 should be instructed over the tannoy system to close SCP-2873-1 and leave it on the table. As soon as the instance of SCP-2873-2 is at least thirty metres away from the testing area they are to be considered safely disassociated from the proximity-based memetic threat posed by SCP-2873-1. They may be kept in Site-19 custody for a period up to three weeks and undergo psychological evaluation. If the affects of SCP-2873 are successfully diagnosed utilizing standard psychiatric evaulation of the SCP-2873-2 instance, an amnestic suited to removing the affects of SCP-2873 must be administered. They may then be reassigned to D-Class duties on other projects pending peer review from B-Class personnel.

If one or more instances of SCP-2873-2 are uncooperative or hostile in disassociating themselves from SCP-2873-1, or else refuse to leave Cell-██ for any reason, they are to be kept within Cell-██ for up to forty-eight hours for observation and surveillance. After that time on-site security personnel are to terminate all instances of SCP-2873-2. Dr. Aalsburg and any personnel of at least Class-B rank are permitted to order termination before the allotted forty-eight hour period.

Description: SCP-2873 is a memetic psychological phenomena present within a book (hereby referred to as SCP-2873-1) which manifests as changes in the readers mindset, ranging from subtle alterations in outlook and beliefs, to sudden and aberrant behaviour inconsistent with normal social mores or the subjects own psychiatric history.
SCP-2873-1 is an anomalous copy of a third edition Monster Manual II rule supplement book published by Wizards of the Coast in 2002 for use in the role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons. It describes around two hundred and fifty imaginary monsters or otherwise non-human entities generally suitable for a fantasy setting. Each entry includes full statistics to utilize these monsters with the d20 gaming system, detailed description of the monsters appearance and behaviour (sometimes called “lore” or “flavour text”), details of it’s typical modes of combat, and other notes on the monsters society and options for players.

Physically it is identical to other copies of the book and shows minor wear and tear consistent with its age (assuming it was printed the same year as non-anomalous versions of the book) and usage. The only cosmetic alterations to SCP-2873-1 are various notes written in pencil in the margins and bottom edges on the majority of pages. There is no obvious connection or single source for the various notes, although thematically they seem to be myriad quotations on the nature of madness, psycho-social subjects, poverty and the history of medicine.

The anomalous nature that sets SCP-2873-1 apart from other copies of the book becomes apparent when a person reads one of the entries within. Depending on which monster an individual reads the fictive description about first, they will undergo a subtle change in behaviour and personality that is vaguely related to the nature of the monster. This manifests as a negative delusion that often involves irrational and obsessive thoughts of something that the individual was previously unaffected by, or otherwise an alteration in perception that makes the individual cognisant of something they were otherwise indifferent to or unaware of.
This effect typically manifests in individuals who have read the descriptive text placed between the monsters statistics and other notes beyond the entries combat descriptors, although these elements play a part in entries that feature multiple varieties of the same or similar monsters and thus contain multiple sets of statistics. Providing the aforementioned criteria has been met, these individuals become an instance of SCP-2873-2. It is unknown if the hand-written notes have the same memetic effect as the printed text, or otherwise contribute to the process.

The real danger that SCP-2873-1 manifests when two or more individuals are present to a person reading an entry within it, or otherwise affected and remain in close proximity to it. Any individual sat within five metres or less of a person who has become a newly created instance of SCP-2873-2, or else an instance of SCP-2873-2 within five metres of SCP-2873-1, they will share the delusion held by the original instance and simultaneously become an affected instance too. Note, that multiple simultaneous instances can only be created under the aforementioned proximity-based criteria, and that any non-affected individual who moves into SCP-2873’s prior range of effect won’t actually become a joined instance of SCP-2873-2 unless they also read the entry.
The more individuals affected by one specific entry in SCP-2873-1 will cause the delusion to “amplify”, transforming into a much more serious group delusion and often resulting in drastic changes in the behaviour, world view and conduct of all connected instances.

The following list describes a typical progression of the strength and extremity of the manifested delusional tendencies depending on the number of affected instances of SCP-2873-2:

  • One individual: Subject will manifest a mild though often illogical delusion. Subject may not even be aware that any change has taken place or that the entry they read in SCP-2873-1 has altered their mind. This delusion is usually treatable using standard psychiatric methods and it’s affects can be removed with a Class-C amnestic.
  • Two individuals: Same as with one individual, however the presence of another subject with the same delusion compounds the belief of the idea and somewhat strengthens the resolve of both subjects, resembling non-anomalous cases of folie à deux1. Standard psychiatric treatment or application of Class-C amnestics can remove the delusion, though it is recommended that the two subjects are kept separate and not scheduled to work with one another in future assignments.
  • Three individuals: Same as with two individuals, though a much stronger feeling of solidarity exists between the subjects often resulting in a higher degree of resistance to personnel instructions. Psychiatric treatment becomes difficult due to the way subjects remain guarded around non-affected people, even when separated from one another. Subjects show an unusually high degree of resistance to amnestics. A minimal application of a Class-B amnestic as well as the full three month term in Foundation custody for observation and psychological evaluation for non-hostile subjects is recommended.
  • Four individuals: The shared effect of SCP-2873-1 becomes a much more serious group delusion, resulting in aberrant behaviour and beliefs that have no bearing on reality. The affected group take to performing strange ritualistic actions thematically linked to the nature of the monster described in the chosen entry. Given time this typically results in the subjects attempts at altering the interior and furnishings of Cell-██ in order to prevent or minimise exposure to their imagined source of fear or obsession. Subjects usually stop cooperating with Foundation instructions and personnel, as the group are much engaged with their own endeavours. Assuming this lack of cooperation doesn’t result in eventual termination of the group, standard psychiatric treatment typically fails to yield results. Separation of affected group causes extreme and unmanageable behaviour the subjects, typically resulting in near-catatonic states of non-compliance or else uncontrollable states of anger and hysterics. Subjects prove to be extremely resistant to all amnestics, only two instances of SCP-2873-2 from a two unrelated groups of four subjects have ever been successfully treated with Class-D amnestics.
  • Five or more individuals: The subjects totally withdraw from engaging with reality and Foundation procedures. The aberrant and ritualistic behaviour associated with a group of four becomes more extreme and outside of normal human psychological tropes, instead resembling the imagined behaviour and conduct of the monster described in the chosen entry. Paradoxically the subjects still retain an extreme version of the delusion thematically linked to a danger presented by the monster or some negative belief or fear held by the monsters fictional society. All groups with five or more instances of SCP-2873-2 become hostile to any and all interference from personnel, and sometimes attempt to breach containment from Cell-██ itself. All tests involving five or more individuals have resulted in termination of the group within the forty-eight hour period as instructed in SCP-2873’s containment procedures.

History: The Foundation came into possession of SCP-2873-1 on 12/10/2013 after embedded agents located in █████████, Birmingham, United Kingdom intercepted reports from social services describing a group of four men living together in a terrace council house who had collectively quit their jobs and consequently stopped paying rent because “the Queen would die without them”. Two agents who initially made contact with the four men were inadvertently drawn into the books memetic nature. What was initially a case of a shared delusion between four socially withdrawn individuals suddenly amplified into a localized threat consisting of six highly unstable instances of SCP-2873-2 that could of easily proved disastrous in the populous suburban surroundings of █████████.
Fortunately another local asset by the name of K████ D████ - employed by a civilian-led archival inquiry group known as the Ypotryll Committee but otherwise liaising with Foundation staff - who was aware of the two aforementioned agents plans, brought his superiors attention to the events after the two agents failed to get in contact with him at a pre-designated time and place. The Ypotryll Committee informed the Foundation who mobilized several members of Mobile Task Force Iota-10 ("Damn Feds"), who happened to be London at the time covertly acting as semi-autonomous security partners for a business coalition under Foundation observation.

A team were assembled and immediately sent into the location under the guise of a police drugs bust on the apartment containing SCP-2873-1, who terminated both the two compromised agents and the four individuals they had gone to meet. During the raid one of the compromised agents badly injured a member of Iota-10 after lunging at her with a sharpened metal bar. During a post-operation debriefing it emerged that the compromised agent had covered his arms, face and torso with stripes using black paint, and the Task Force operative who terminated the instance claimed that whilst attacking the injured operative, he produced buzzing vocalisations “like an insect”.
Iota-10 found that the rooms in the house had been transformed by the inhabitants into a strange warren of cramped spaces composed of appropriated materials (including cardboard, clothing, books and myriad foodstuffs such as honey, peanut butter and tomato ketchup) roughly conforming to the interior of the household. SCP-2873-1 was soon found in the bathroom with [REDACTED] assumed to be the “Queen” mentioned by the reports, holding open page twenty two which described “Abeils”, a race of anthropomorphic bee people that came in Vassal, Soldier and Queen varieties.

Dr. Aalsburg requested and was granted the position of project leader assigned to SCP-2873. This was decided the best course in dealing with the item due to his experience and expertise regarding anomalous psychology, his public work on the nature of mental illness and trauma in the context of paranormal belief systems, and because he is himself a self-professed “avid DnD nerd”.