SCP-4397
rating: +21+x
altar.jpg

SCP-4397 in its original location. Anomalous runes have been expunged.

Item #: SCP-4397

Object Class: Artifact

Containment Class: Euclid

Special Containment Procedures: SCP-4397 is to be contained in a soundproof locker located at Armed Site 53. Site 53 is equipped with a greater number of armed personnel in order to prevent incursions by hostile forces. The locker of SCP-4397 in particular is to be guarded with several ritualistic shields1 in order to prevent members of GoI-301 from influencing SCP-4397 in any way.

Testing may be scheduled with approval from the on-site HMCL director and the project head for SCP-4397, and may only occur in reinforced testing bunkers underneath Site 53. Only known Activation Phrases can be spoken to SCP-4397. Before testing any new possible Activation Phrases, they must be cross-referenced with the Avenomicon2 in order to assure that the consequences of activating SCP-4397 will not impact the Veil or any of the Foundation's other goals.

A GPS-based tracking beacon has been attached to SCP-4397 for the purposes of relocation in the event of another theft incident.

Description: SCP-4397 is an altar primarily composed of gold approximately 0.6 meters in height. SCP-4397 is decorated with imagery and text related to members of the Aves family3 and has several rings believed to have been used to hold a text of some kind. The back side of SCP-4397 contains a mosaic of two large birds, one made of fire4 and one made of dirt5 locked in combat. The position of characters in this mosaic have been noted to change from time to time6.

When an Activation Phrase is spoken within earshot of SCP-4397, it will react by inciting a paranormal event. All Activation Phrases are in Avian Latin, an offshoot of Latin created by GoI-301 that can be spoken by birds. A full list of Activation Phrases are stored in Document 4397-NIGHTINGALE. Some examples of the anomalous effects of SCP-4397 include:

  • Summoning one or more specimens of Corvus caurinus (Northwestern Crow) that will fulfill the summoner's commands to the best of their ability.
  • Manifesting an instance of Polioptila caerulea7 able to be controlled mentally. Modifications to this Activation Phrase allows the summoner to share vision with the P. caerulea instance.
  • Allowing the user to communicate with members of the Quiscalus genus for a period of two hours. Due to lack of sapience on the part of these specimens, very little use can be found for this ability.
  • Causing the spontaneous manifestation of feathers and a beak in the user's biology.

In addition, SCP-4397 causes dopamine rushes in the brains of non-anomalous specimens of Aves when they come within 10 meters of the object. If left outside, a crowd of birds will gather around SCP-4397 and attack subjects attempting to move SCP-4397.

Additional Notes: SCP-4397 is an important religious artifact for GoI-301 ("Avianolyte"). GoI-301 is a cult surrounding the worship of several pagan deities involving avian imagery. To them, SCP-4397 is known as the "Altar of Medila". GoI-301 is also responsible for SCP-30958; however, GoI-301 had no other significant anomalous activity at the time and was unknown to the Foundation until the discovery of SCP-4397.

Shortly after SCP-4397 was seized from the private collection of Russian engineer Makarov Luka, GoI-301 revealed itself to the Foundation and began demanding the "return" of SCP-4397. These demands were rejected.

Addendum 01: Document found in the estate of Makarov Luka (translated from Russian)

To my son,

This is a strange artifact indeed. The circumstances that I found it in are even more bizarre.

I was assigned to a project in the Aral Sea after I lost you. My task was to collaborate with a party of several other engineers in order to build some waterways. The most interesting man in this party was a man named Fedir9, a strong Ukrainian who was the mystic type. I mean that he was a strict believer in the Orthodox church, and I often saw him praying to a picture of what I assume to be some Orthodox symbol five times in a day.

Once I was alone with Fedir and George10, another one of the engineers, observing the digging of a trench that would soon become a channel. Then Fedir looked over at the Sea, wildly gestured into it, and spoke:

"Do you know that this was once a beautiful civilization here?"

George was the one to respond. "I don't think so" he muttered while eating a sandwich, "it seems like it's been a desert around here for forever. You say that people lived here?"

Fedir seemed visibly saddened by this. "You think I am crazy, do you?"

I did not say anything out of the risk of offending him. But George was an individual less concerned about emotion than of practicality, so he simply nodded.

Fedir appeared to consider this for a minute before he spoke again. "Tell you what, I can make the three of us very rich men if you come with me."

George asked how much, and when Fedir responded with a rather large number in front of "Ruples", he eagerly accepted. For me, I'd been lacking in coin ever since I began my experiments with you, and I'd badly needed more if I wanted any significant progress. So I agreed to come with them.

The hot Kazakh sun quickly made me regret embarking with them. After an eternity of trotting through the desert, Fedir stopped and pointed out a cave, embedded in a wall of rock, that would have been hidden if it had been high tide. We very carefully scaled down the hill in order to find what appeared to be the barren insides of the cavern.

George was obviously impatient. "So, where is it hidden?"

Fedir looked around for a moment. "It's here, I know it" he spoke in a scratchy, desperate sounding voice. He then appeared to search around the cave's walls, as if he was expecting to find a secret panel.

I did not want to face the wrath of our supervisor for not working, so I announced my desire to leave. At this point, Fedir dropped to his knees, and spoke in some tongue that I was unable to recognize. He then screamed and collapsed to the ground and his skin glowed a shade of orange. This turned into a blinding light which eventually faded, revealing that his body had transformed into a number of petrels. They were quite obviously distressed and flew away after their birth.

After that, a strange golden altar appeared in the center of the cave, as if it had been invisible prior to Fedir's odd sacrifice. George and I spent some time admiring the altar and its shining composition. We worked together to lift it out of the cavern, carry it up the riverbed, and slowly push it back to camp.

Unfortunately, our supervisor did not find our excuses for the disappearance of Fedir trustworthy, and thus we were both soon relocated back to our hometowns. Fortunately, we had buried the altar in the desert, and George and I had made plans to go back in order to retrieve it.

When I did arrive on the exact date and time, however, I could not find George. I would later find out that he had been the victim of an unfortunate accident. It did take me some considerable effort to bring it back to my housing. I still do not know what to do with it; so far I have yet to find a buyer, and I can't seem to evoke any magic from the altar like Fedir did.

Do what you may with it, son.

Addendum 02: Incident 4397-VOID

<Begin Log: 29/08/2005, 0700 hours UTC>

<Footage is from a CCTV camera located in Containment Chamber 103A at Site-19, SCP-4397's former containment cell. SCP-4397 is inert.>

<A cube of pink light suddenly appears in the chamber. Two figures step from the light. The first is wearing a full-body dark gray robe and a rubber crow mask. The second is a woman in her 20's wearing casual clothing11. Both are covered in feathers belonging to avians of various species.>

Williams: Wow, Danny, you were actually right.

<"Danny" turns around and gestures at Isabelle to be quiet.>

"Danny": Don't say my name! They have cameras in here, and I don't want them tracking me down.

Williams: Whatever. I never thought I'd see Medila's altar in the flesh.

"Danny": W— yeah. It looks a lot like the replica they have at Crescent… Speaking of which, how do we know this isn't just a replica?

Williams: [DATA EXPUNGED]

<SCP-4397 activates. A plume of feathers belonging to the Sturnella magna12 shoots out of the top of SCP-4397.>

Williams: It's the real deal. Let's get it back before someone sees.

<Williams and "Danny" both take one side of SCP-4397 and begin lifting. However, the door to the chamber burst open, and Corporal Mason, the security guard for SCP-4397, comes through brandishing a pistol.>

Mason: Put it down, kids.

<"Danny" extends his hand towards Mason and a number of specimens of Dryobates pubescens (Downy Woodpecker) fly towards Mason. Some begin pecking at his face, while others disable his hand. Mason screams in agony.>

"Danny": I— sorry about that!

Williams: Don't be.

<Williams takes out a feathered stick13 and waves it. Another cube of pink light appears, which "Danny" and Williams take SCP-4397 into. Once the cube fades, "Danny", Williams, and SCP-4397 are gone.>

<End Log>

Addendum 03: Incident Response

After the theft of SCP-4397 during Incident 4397-VOID, several new measures were taken. Firstly, precautions were to be applied to prevent further theft incidents by GoI-301. A team of researchers was assigned to identify GoI-301 and then study GoI-301's religious and arcane texts in order to ascertain how further theft incidents could be stopped.

Secondly, research into the perpetrators began. Facial recognition software identified the woman as one "Isabelle Williams", a Stanford student who had been reported as missing in early 2001. The man was unable to be identified from voice alone. Cross-referencing "Danny"'s mention of "Crescent" with Stanford's surrounding area implied Crescent Cove, California.

Investigations into Crescent Cove revealed an abandoned temple that suspicious individuals had been seen coming and going from. Seismographs of the area found the existence of a large complex underneath this temple, and also implied that it was populated by a medium number of GoI-301 members. Explorations of this complex have been scheduled in order to determine if SCP-4397 is located there, and if it can be feasibly retrieved.

Addendum 04: Exploration Logs

Addendum 05: Incident G-301-LOSS

Agent Witt and Agent Rodriquez were found outside of L-301 shortly afterwards completely naked except for their undergarments. When asked, Agent Witt produced a VHS tape, which he asserts that he woke up with.

The contents of the tape are transcribed below.

<Begin Log>

<Isabelle Williams, one of the GoI-301 members seen in Incident 4397-VOID, can be seen activating the camera. She can be seen wearing a ceremonial robe laced with golden feathers. She takes some steps back. Behind her, Agents Witt and Rodriquez can be seen trapped in a prison cell.>

Williams: All we ever wanted was peace. We've been peaceful, what wrongs have we done?

<Pause.>

Williams: Uh, I guess this is for the altar? It's been our property for generations. Could you consider that it's just been returned to its proper owners?

<Pause.>

Williams: Please don't come back. I… I think I need to do this.

<The camera rotates slightly to the left. SCP-4397 can now be seen. It has been attached to several other objects via metal wiring. The details of these objects cannot be made out.>

<Williams approaches SCP-4397.>

Williams: [DATA EXPUNGED]

<SCP-4397 begins to activate. Agents Witt and Rodriquez begin screaming. The camera suddenly cuts out.>

<End Log>

It was found that Agents Witt and Rodriquez were not hurt, save for a new anomalous property. Whenever they held a weapon17, the weapon would transform into a specimen of Tyto alba (Barn owl). Both agents were relocated to an advisory position and a more direct approach to retrieving SCP-4397 was formulated.

Addendum 06: Incursion Log

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