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Word of Mouth

Risk-Reward Assessment Report

Due to dangers relating to the Kaliningrad exclusion zone, certain parts of northern Poland (especially in the Warmia–Masuria Province) have been evacuated over the short term in order to protect its inhabitants from high levels of radiation. Kaliningrad itself has been rendered entirely uninhabitable by the accident, and the number of deaths of those living inside Kaliningrad itself are incalculable, given Eastern Federation record keeping. That said, a number of long term arcane and sorcerous projects by the NBC had to be swiftly abandoned in the wake of the accident.

One of the largest evacuated Polish cities, Giżycko, has been the home base of several operator teams from Mortfield Industries that are investigating the Kaliningrad Exclusion Zone. While the general judgment of both the US Military, the Allied Nations, and Mortfield Industries is that NBC projects are unstable and dangerous, that does not mean that there are not lessons to be learned. However the nature of those projects has led to the loss of an unacceptable number of Mortfield personnel.

This is perhaps most easily illustrated by the most recently failed mission.

On this day approximately 16 allied operators were present inside Giżycko. Limited radiation protection was being provided by two contractors employed by the US Military. The remaining two teams of seven were pulled from Mortfield Industries own workforce.

An unknown creature had been spotted wandering Giżycko's abandoned streets. Team one was tasked with an exploration of the local zoo and team two was sent to the local aquarium. It was believed that there was a small to moderate chance that the creature was mundane in nature. This turned out not to be the case.

Upon arrival at the Giżycko Zoo, the first team found it remarkable that the majority of the animal enclosures were empty except for obvious signs of struggle and blood. Evidence of a large jawed creature attacking the outside of enclosures to gain entry were documented. The few noted exceptions were the tiger, lion and elephant enclosures. These bodies were mostly eaten but not entirely consumed. However the elephant and lion heads were intact and missing their teeth.

This was reported over the radio to team two, which had not checked in with mission control for several minutes. Team one was dispatched to recover or relieve team two. Upon arrival at the Giżycko Aquarium, team one discovered the bodies of 6 members of team 2. These bodies were also missing teeth. Beyond the large bite marks present, there was no other damage to the bodies.

The events following the discovery of the bodies is not as well documented as we'd like, given the deaths of most team members, but team lead Kimberly Phillips (who lost her left arm in the ensuing incident) has provided us with a description of the creature in question:

"Imagine a mass of teeth. All kinds of teeth, blunt... sharp.. everything. Like a centipede as big as a hippo with teeth for legs. It was low to the ground at first so we didn't realize what was happening until it curled up and jumped Steven. The thing just curled around his body and he broke in half.

It snapped back open and flew through the air to catch my arm. The force was like nothing I've ever felt, but I tried to keep running. It yanked me back and then the shark teeth it grabbed me with just kind of sliced the whole thing off. At that point I was running on adrenaline. Mark and I made it into the next room and shut the door. He put on the tourniquet while we listen to it roar and eat the entire team. I wasn't sure what to do next so we just waited for it to be over and then we snuck out of there."

This is just a single story of many from the Exclusion Zone. We know that exploration of the Kaliningrad exclusion zone is itself a controversial topic given rising tensions with the Eastern Federation. But it is highly unlikely that they're going to go to war for the sake of a radiological contamination zone that no one can use. And if they had creatures like this hiding in there, what other projects might they have had?

The risk-reward assessment is quite simple. We should continue to explore as much as possible and claim as much anomalous technology as we can before the Eastern Federation agents recover enough to reclaim their old stomping grounds. However, the near-complete loss of two teams is intolerable. We can no longer justify such costs, even if we cannot afford to stop exploration. Thus, these missions will be escalated to high-ranking security operators.


Dr. Jeremiah Cimmerian

Michael Lee-Graham


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