Item #: SCP-1215
Object Class: Euclid
Special Containment Procedures: SCP-1215 must be contained within a locked room pursuant standard Level 2 (Moderate Threat), Type 3 (Visual Stimuli), Mind-Altering Protocols. Access requires written approval.
Due to the object's age and fragile nature, SCP-1215 must be maintained in a hermetically-sealed chamber of inert gas with extremely low humidity at a temperature of ten degrees Celsius. SCP-1215 should not be exposed to ultraviolet light for longer than absolutely necessary. Routine inspection, and maintenance as necessary, is to be performed twice monthly by religious Class-D personnel certified in the care of rare books and manuscripts (cooperation of these Class-D personnel is grounds for indefinite suspension of their termination). Failure to comply with these measures will result in the object's significant damage and/or destruction.
Personnel exposed to SCP-1215 are to be placed in isolation for their own protection and the protection of other personnel. A sincere confession and repentance of one's sins to a qualified priest of the affected personnel's religion, even for religious traditions which do not include a confessional rite, has been shown to cause the effects of SCP-1215 to subside over the following 24-48 hours. For non-religious personnel, confessions to individuals holding doctorates in philosophy have proven effective in approximately 60% of cases. Personnel who cry while confessing generally recover more quickly and (if non-religious) have higher likelihoods of recovery. Non-Class-D personnel who are asymptomatic after fourteen days may resume their previous duties after the successful completion of a psychiatric examination.
Description: SCP-1215 is a 4th century illuminated manuscript, written in Medieval Greek on vellum. It was recovered from an archeological dig of a Byzantine monastery in ███████████, Turkey. Illustrations are decorated with both gold and silver. The manuscript is a version of the Peri Logismon, apparently an original copy written by the work’s author, Evagrius "The Solitary" Ponticus (345-399 CE), a Christian monk and ascetic. The Peri Logismon is a treatise on temptation, and the “Eight Evil Thoughts”, the predecessor to the more modern “Seven Deadly Sins”. The text of SCP-1215 varies appreciably from other copies of the work.
Individuals exposed to the text or illustrations within SCP-1215 have their behavior altered, though these alterations do not appear to manifest themselves until the individual leaves the immediate proximity of the object. Subjects exhibit behavior consistent with one of the “eight evil thoughts” described within the manuscript. Analysis of personnel and D-class under SCP-1215’s influence suggests that the alterations to their behavior is based on their prior personality; additional testing for a statistically significant sample is ongoing.
The effects of SCP-1215 vary, not only based on which vice manifests itself in the behavior of exposed personnel, but also in the severity of the behavior. Currently, symptoms are divided into three phases.
- Phase I (Initial) symptoms are exhibited immediately upon leaving the vicinity of SCP-1215, and are sufficiently minor that they may go unnoticed.
- Phase II (Intermediate) symptoms are exhibited starting approximately 12-36 hours of leaving the object’s vicinity, and, while noticeable and potentially hazardous, are unlikely to result in permanent harm to the subject or others.
- Phase III (Terminal) symptoms are exhibited starting after approximately 48-96 hours of leaving the object’s vicinity. Phase III symptoms often result in significant harm to the subject and personnel nearby.
Observed effects of SCP-1215 are as follows, though no subjects exposed to SCP-1215 have been known to exhibit more than one of these effects:
- Gastrimargia (Gluttony) – The subject develops an intense and insatiable appetite. Phase I symptoms are minor feelings of hunger or thirst, consistent with not having eaten for several hours. At Phase II, the subject is constantly eating. Phase III symptoms are attempts to eat anything nearby, regardless of whether or not the item being devoured would normally be considered food.
- Porneia (Lust) – The subject develops extremely heightened libido. Phase I symptoms are minor feelings of sexual arousal. At Phase II, subjects begin to experience hypersexuality and lowered sexual inhibitions. At Phase III, subjects will actively seek out sexual gratification by any means necessary, while simultaneously ignoring other bodily needs. While no subjects have remained in Phase III for long enough to confirm this, it is conceivable that an individual suffering from Phase III Porneia effects could starve to death as a direct result of their symptoms.
- Philargyria (Avarice) – The subject develops excessive greed. Phase I symptoms consist of heightened desire for wealth, status, and power. Phase II symptoms consist of attempts to acquire material possession through theft, bribery, or other means. Hoarding is common. Phase III symptoms are extreme attempts to obtain wealth, often including violence, trickery, and/or manipulation of authority.
- Hyperephania (Hubris) – The subject develops extreme pride. Phase I symptoms are minor feelings of pride. Phase II symptoms include a tendency to shame others as being inferior, and a sense of gratification for doing so. Phase III symptoms include more extreme manifestations of Phase I and II symptoms, as well as insolence, contempt, and a tendency towards violence against anyone who is perceived to have disparaged the subject.
- Lype (Envy) – The subject develops extreme negative emotions at the good fortune of others. Phase I symptoms are minor feelings of jealousy. Phase II symptoms include underhanded attempts to engage in character assassination of those to which the subject feels jealous. Phase III symptoms are characterized by extreme negative behavior, including strong and persistent attempts at causing misery towards the object of the envy, and sometimes violence.
- Orge (Wrath) – The subject displays intense and unstoppable rage. Phase I symptoms are minor feelings of annoyance and irritability. At Phase II, subjects become pugnacious, though physical altercations are rare. Once Phase III has been reached, subjects will respond to the slightest trigger with extreme fury, which can result in attempts to kill those nearby.
- Kenodoxia (Vanity) – The subject holds an excessive belief in his/her own abilities and/or attractiveness to others. Phase I symptoms include a feeling of superiority. Phase II involves unjustified boasting. At Phase III, subjects descend into extreme self-idolatry. Note: While subjects displaying Kenodoxia tend to not cause direct harm to themselves or others, they tend to cause sufficient irritation in those around them that it is not uncommon for others to cause them harm.
- Akedia (Sloth/Dejection) – The subject suffers from extreme laziness and despair. Phase I symptoms include procrastination and minor feelings of sadness. Phase II symptoms are consistent with extreme cases of general depressive disorder; the subject has extreme difficulty mustering the energy necessary to perform nonessential tasks. At Phase III, the subject becomes catatonic.
History: Evagrius wrote the Peri Logismon as a guide for understanding and learning to overcome temptation. Records recovered from the dig site (see [REDACTED]) suggest that SCP-1215 was an attempt by Evagrius to create a morality tool for use by the mostly illiterate general population. Though SCP-1215 has demonstrated effective for its purpose, records found alongside the manuscript suggest it was written earlier (approximately 373 CE) than the more widely known version of the Peri Logismon (written 375 CE).
According to the records found alongside SCP-1215, Evagrius (then still a lector in Neocaesarea and a disciple of Basil of Caesarea) created SCP-1215 and presented it to Basil. Basil (329 or 330 CE – January 1, 379 CE), an influential theologian later canonized as St. Basil the Great, apparently rejected his pupil's creation, instructing it to be sealed away and that all subsequent versions of the work had to be substantially censored. Evidence of this censorship can be seen clearly in Chapter 16 of the Peri Logismon, where Evagrius writes, "I cannot write about all the villainies of the demons; and I feel ashamed to speak about them at length and in detail, for fear of harming the more simple-minded among my readers." After Basil died in 379 CE and Evagrius moved to Constantinople in 380, it appears SCP-1215 was forgotten until it was rediscovered in modern times.
SCP-1215, as well as the history surrounding it, reinforces theories that the early Christian church was involved in the containment of paranormal and preternatural items. St. Basil of Caesarea, who holds a very important place in the history of Christian liturgy and is regarded as a father of communal monasticism in Eastern Christianity (as well as a major influence on St. Benedict in Western Christianity), is credited with having written no fewer than three Prayers of Exorcism. Evagrius, beyond being the original author of what would eventually become a major tenant of Catholicism (the Seven Deadly Sins) and being a major influence on many later church figures, was accused of heresy later in life for his esoteric speculations regarding the pre-existence of human souls. The extent to which the early Christian church's possible efforts to contain items of paranormal and preternatural natures affected the development of Christian ethics, practices, beliefs, and Western culture as a whole, is unknown at this time.