Hey guys. Now that my first SCP proved to be less than completely disastrous, I had an idea for a second one. I'll let the draft speak for itself here. Any suggestions or opinions are greatly appreciated.
I was with you until the townspeople became strangely hostile, and human sacrifice. Even your writeup claims there is no connection. If so why is that information even present?
If you are saying there is a connection,
1) Why didn't the SCP figure it out?
2) How is this "safe" bird causing this?
3) Why doesn't it show any other anomalous signs?
You either need a stronger connection or drop the ritual stuff altogether.
My recommendation is the latter. Honestly I like the weather changing bird alone. If you want an element of danger have it summon up lighting storms when it feels threatened (or something similar).
The point I was trying to make is that there is nothing supernatural at all about the hostility of the townsfolk or the human sacrifice; They just panicked because the weather changed due to the bird's own cycle and went back to old pagan traditions in order to please what they considered an idol of spring. The sacrifice never actually did anything, and they killed someone every four years for nothing. Their behavior was entirely their own natural fear and cruelty, and had nothing to do with SCP-XXX at all, which is harmless.
Perhaps I should try and make that clearer.
Its pretty clear. Apparently I'm not being very clear.
This is a scientific brief on an anomalous object. If it has nothing to do with the object it would not be included. At most there would be a brief mention of hostile behavior along the lines of "While retrieving SCP-XXXX the villagers reacted with hostility towards the agents. Interviews with detained villagers determined no relation between behavior and SCP-XXXX's abilities"
It feels like the entire section with the villagers is thrown in for the sole purpose of adding creepiness rather than building upon your idea. Also your writeup makes it sound like some odd compulsion is affecting the villagers. Unless the bird has some sort of mental compulsion associated with it I see no reason why they would become so dedicated to its worship. Reviving old traditions because of superstition is one thing, but human sacrifice + speaking in first person plural + attacking armed government officials is entirely another. Also in order for a strong cult to form around this bird I would imagine it would have to enjoy something about the cult. If the followers see that the bird "enjoys" what they sacrifice they have more reason to follow it. You could make the bird love to be around people and enjoy a specific type of fruit or meat that the cultists sacrifice to it.
You could put some notes in about how researchers begin to theorize, due to similarities between different cults, the existence of additional SCP-XXXX's out in the wild.
This post is getting a bit long I imagine, but the summary is don't include details that don't have anything to do with the object. They would never be included in a scientific brief.
Right, I see your point. I'll give either adding those additional examples or giving up on that angle entirely. Thanks for the feedback, it's quite valuable.
I tried making the entire incident with the townsfolk a recovery log that can either be read or ignored. This way the main text is only about the bird and only makes infrequent references to the sacrifice. I also removed the "we" part of the constable's speech. I think it's better now, but it might need more work.
Hmm, making the reading optional was a good touch and the interview is a bit better, however as you mentioned I think this is going to need more work before it will be successful. Unfortunately at the moment the best I can think of is simply pointing back to my previous suggestions. I think a better connection needs to be made between the worship and the behavior, or the behavior omitted completely.
Your help is appreciated regardless. I'll consider making a a connection between the bird and the worship, though I feel it undermines the message of the thing a bit. It's food for thought anyway.
though I feel it undermines the message of the thing a bit
It might, but I don't think the message is going to make it a winner. I could be wrong, but I think the bird itself will have to be good enough on its own in order to survive. Your message is good but not clever enough to win on its own. Go ahead and include your message, but be sure the actual content (the SCP) is excellent. Don't expect a message about humanity to make it a winner.
Hope that doesn't come across as too harsh. I do like your article, I just don't want it thrust into oblivion like so many other SCPs I've seen.
You are making constructive criticism, don't worry about harshness. I might change it and make the bird have a subtle mental power to make people want protect it. It still doesn't want any sacrifice and is benign otherwise, but it would explain why the townsfolk are so aggressive.
I couldn't help but notice that you've set it in Scotland.. where I live.
We're not exactly a group of pagan savages over here, and haven't been so for a veryveryveryvery long time. Maybe it would work in someplace like the rainforests of brazil, where there are still many indigenous tribes, or better yet, austrailia (aborignies and such).
I realise that I'm probably one of few people that might have my jimmies somewhat rustled about this, but it's kind of threw me out of the whole immersion aspect of an scp.
Also, it's never nice in Scotland. Magic birds or not! : )
I just chose a place where the Common Blackbird lives, it's fairly cold and has at least some pagan traditions. Places like Brazil are naturally warm, so it wouldn't really work. I of course know no such traditions truly existed and even if they did it was a heck of a long time ago (hence "old ways"). I suppose I could just blank the entire location of the town if it's that immersion breaking.
Alternatively, if you're dead set on Scotland, you could pick a remote area - think "wicker man". Or don't, people would maybe call you out on that.
The blackbird also lives in Australia, so I think the aboriginal route would be a decent one to take. Perhaps there could be a valley that hides a small forest inside it, surrounded by desert. That would give the foundation a motivation to investigate. The aboriginies live in said valley, and have done so for centuries, worshiping (and sacrificing to) the bird.
This is just something that has spilled out of my head in a few minutes, and I've probably rustled an australian member's jimmies the same way mine were rustled but whatevs. Ideas are ideas.
Think I'll just blank it. Better that than offend someone for no reason.
After some additional feedback from the chat I made more changes. I think this one I almost ready to be posted, but if anyone has any more comments I'll be happy to hear them.
Much improved. I feel something is missing from both the interview and description but I can't quite figure out what it is. I'll do a more detailed examination in a bit and see if I can figure it out.
Kudos on the blackouts, somehow removing the town name and other details really improved the containment part for me.