Item #: SCP-1623
Object Class: Keter
Special Containment Procedures: Each Diana event is to be monitored by four assigned SCP personnel present in situ.
Update ██/██/████: Due to the events of Incident 1623-1, no personnel, Foundation or otherwise, are to enter the respective SCP-1623-3 area during a Diana event and an additional security perimeter must be maintained on the borders of the SCP-1623-3 area. Violators of this perimeter are to be terminated with extreme prejudice.
The areas of SCP-1623-3 -1, -2, -3 and -4, comprising an approximate 860 m², 4 km², 12 km² and 32.5 km² are to be closed to the public as private property owned by Soldatesca Cavalleria di Pisa, an Italian Foundation front company as military training grounds. An automated security perimeter is to be established in these areas.
Due to the nature of SCP-1623, the location of the next Diana event cannot be ascertained until the beginning of the event itself. Four MTF stations are to be built at the borders of each of the SCP-1623 areas.
Security is to be reinforced by an additional MTF unit (MTF-Kappa-7 "Italian Inquisition" as the currently assigned unit, Kappa-8 "Spanish Inquisition" as the additional) on the four days with the highest measured temperatures every year three days prior. Accurate future temperature measurements are to be obtained by Foundation satellite SCPSat Origin. If contact with the satellite is lost, the usage of SCP-████ to predict the weather data is to be utilized with the permission of the SCP-1623 HMCL liaison (currently Prihoda, M.) until the appropriate repairs are carried out on the satellite.
Instances of SCP-1623-1 and -2 in the public are to be tracked, but otherwise ignored. Instances in Foundation custody are to be kept in standard humanoid containment cells, monitored by infrared camera. During a Diana event, the unconscious instances are not to be manipulated in any way, unless in a case of emergency. Instances of -1 can be housed together in special circumstances. Care must be taken to distinguish a -1 instance from a -2 instance because of their similar appearance; housing of -2 instances together presents a security risk.
Foundation and Horizon Initiative liasons are currently participating in a joint effort in tracking instances of SCP-1623-1 and -2 in public. Expirations are to be recorded as soon as possible with newborn instances to be tracked from birth.
In case of a sudden disparity (1:1.3 and more) between the -1 and -2 instances, Procedure-1991-Zorutti is to be immediately carried out to even the ratio.
Description: SCP-1623 is a designation for anomalous phenomena taking place in the region of Friuli–Venezia Giulia, Italy, referred to by the local inhabitants as "Night marches".
SCP-1623-1 is a portion of the inhabitants of the Friuli–Venezia Giulia region (currently estimated to be █% of the local population), that refer to each other as "Benandanti". Instances of SCP-1623-1 differ from the rest of the inhabitants by old, worn clothing, many times including linen and tie-dye aspects, with their appearance generally described as neglected. At approximately 2100 hours on the four days with the highest measured temperatures every year, instances of SCP-1623-1 lose consciousness and participate in a Diana event (see Document AstralT by Dr. ████ for a further elaboration on a part of the mechanics involved).
SCP-1623-2 is a portion of the inhabitants of the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region (currently estimated to be █.█% of the local population), that the SCP-1623-1 instances refer to as "The Witchmen/Malandanti". Instances of SCP-1623-2 differ from other inhabitants and SCP-1623-1 instances by dirty, dark clothing, often including jewelry made from wood, copper, and silver. Many SCP-1623-2 instances have been spotted as beggars or street thieves.
SCP-1623-3 is a designation for a series of fields and plains (designated 1623-3-1 to -4) in the Udine and Pordenone provinces at which Diana events take place. The choice of the field used for each event has proven to be random, with no discernible pattern discovered so far.
A Diana event is a designation for a skirmish that takes place during the nights of the four days of the year with the highest measured temperatures between projected instances of SCP-1623-1 and SCP-1623-2. These projections bear similarities to the instances themselves, although their exterior appearances vary and have frequent and impractical modifications. These include changes in clothing, colored patterns or lights on the clothing and skin, suits representing various animals or becoming animals themselves, makeshift weapons unusable for real combat, stalks of fennel and sorghum and flags showing the stalks. The projections are intangible to the touch and appear to be able to interact only with each other.
The skirmishes usually proceed in a disorganized manner. The SCP-1623-1 projections fight the SCP-1623-2 projections until they are about to expire, but instead, the projections in question disappear and their respective instances wake up from their unconscious state shortly after. These skirmishes always continue until one side has no "surviving" projections.
The highest recorded number of projections on either side had reached ████ on ██/██/19██. However, more than █ projections of either the -1 or -2 instances had never remained on site after the skirmish. During this time, all remaining projections undergo a [REDACTED] before disappearing from SCP-1623-3.
In the following weeks (or months, if there were at least █ projections remaining), the region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia experiences an improvement in agricultural production, a higher birth rate (in case of 1623-1 projections remaining) or an agricultural drop and an increase of miscarriages and stillbirths (in case of 1623-2 projections remaining).
Because of the personal modifications and as per the revised containment procedures, the projections have proven very hard to identify with their respective -1 and -2 instances. Aerial reconnaissance is under consideration as a method to identify possible –1 and -2 instances participating in a Diana event.
Interviewed: █████ ██████████(█████), a citizen of a small rural village of █████ and a SCP-1623-1 instance. █████ has been psychologically evaluated before this interview with an average intelligence score.
Interviewer: Agent McFlannagan (F), overseeing research assistant Dr. Anderson.
Foreword: █████ had been the sixth instance of SCP-1623-1 interviewed. Interviews have so far yielded similar information; this interview had been translated from Italian and redacted for brevity to list the most recurring elements between interviews.
F: This is John McFlannagan, interviewing █████ ██████████, an instance of SCP-1623-1. The date is Tuesday ██, ████.
F: █████, how are you feeling?
█████: Fine, sir. I hope I can soon be released to see my family.
F: Most certainly, we only need to make a last review of your testimony here. Now, what can you tell us about your "night marches", as you call them?
█████: I already told the other policeman – on the nights of the four driest days, I travel to the ███ field to wage war against the witchmen there. We carry stalks of fennel, and they carry sorghum.
F: Who are these witchmen you speak of?
█████: Oh, those are the mali andanti, sir! They eat children and poison our crops. And at night, they sneak into our houses and sleep in our beds, and when the beds aren’t prepared, they piss into our wine barrels!
F: Why do they eat your children and poison your crops in particular, when it’s the ██th century?
█████: It's just the way they are, and… so they cannot do this, we fight them each night, and many times, the benandanti succeed.
F: What does the "benandanti" mean and how do you become one?
█████: A benandante is a … a good walker, you could say. You become a benandante when you are seventeen, like in the army. And after serving for ten years in the night marches, you can stop and never go there again.
F: What prompts you to "become" a benandante?
█████: Nothing, you're just… born that way, if you're born in a caul (Note: "to be born in a caul" was later discovered to be a benandante term of being born with amniotic sac covering their face). And when I was seventeen, ██████ ███ had visited me and told me that I am to become a benandante.
F: Is ██████ ███ also a… benandante? And who else is a benandante that you know?
█████: I can't… say, sir, they would find me and beat me. And-
F: We have gone through this before. <through intercom> Dr. Anderson, tell Mr. ██████████ of the terms that he agreed to.
F: I see. Do you wear anything special when you visit these night marches, and how do you recognize each other?
█████: No, sir! During the four driest days, I lie on my bed and only my spirit leaves my body, I… had told ████ not to touch me when my spirit leaves. Then, my spirit wages war against the witchmen! The captain leads us, and he is the tallest in the army, he always wears a [REDACTED].
F: And how does your spirit look?
█████: Sometimes, it’s like me, but… naked, sometimes I arrive there on a cat, a dog, or on a deer. Sometimes I can't recognize myself at all. Please, sir, is this all? I don't… feel so well.
[SUBSEQUENT PASSAGES REDACTED]
Closing Statement: Subject 1623-1-6 had been given Class A amnesics and kept in Foundation custody as a prisoner, convicted for Intoxicated Assault Charges.
On ██/██/████, a strike force of Horizon Initiative agents have interrupted an ongoing Diana event, using a device (now designated SCP-███) with the intent to terminate as many SCP-1623-1 and -2 projections as possible. Because of the proximity to the projections, only the remaining SCP-1623-1 projections had been "terminated" and the remaining ██ SCP-1623-2 projections have quickly underwent [REDACTED] and disappeared. See Log-1623-1816 "Year without a summer" for more information on the event fallout.
This prompted Foundation agents to discover and document the SCP and the Foundation was offered a mutual agreement by the Horizon Initiative on a cooperative containment operation.