Looters are pillaging Native American burial grounds
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March 24, 2010: Large numbers of looters are descending on the Ozark Mountains and other regions of the American Midwest to plunder ancient Native American burial grounds, frequently to pay for their meth habits - the artifacts are often directly traded for drugs. The looters are often high on drugs while they are digging, often making them highly agitated, dangerous, and aggressive.

The artifacts are then sold on the black market or even on online sites like eBay, and ultimately often land in Japanese collections. Many local judges and sheriffs are often hesitant to fully pursue the looters, as digging for Native American artifacts is considered a socially acceptable past time in many regions.

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Game and Story Use

  • What ancient, vengeful spirits might these looters attract for their sacrilege? What otherworldly forces might they perceive in their altered mental states? What doorways to the unknown will they unwittingly open? And just how are the PCs going to deal with the resulting mess?
    • If you are annoying various spirits, doing so with your spiritual defences undermined by mind altering drugs is a really bad idea - with the exception of a few known entheogens1, most mind altering substances render the user much more vulnerable to possession.
  • Ancient Indian Burial Grounds are a staple of US horror … after all, an evil that's more than a couple of centuries old needs to involve the Amerindians somehow if it's going to take place in the New World.
    • And now, said horror can go international.
  • Looters? Or is this simply a cover story for the buried inhabitants rising as undead from some reason?
  • And what do the buyers want with the looted artifacts anyway? Are they after magical items or mundane ones with ties to their former owners? Or are they after the owners themselves - and what for? Knowledge forced from the dead? Spirits they can bind? Or are they searching for the mortal remains of Amerindian shamen for some kind of inherent power?
  • Even for those not interested in what the looters are actually doing, the prospect of randomly encountering armed, meth-addled men who aren't pleased to be discovered could make hiking in the Ozarks unnecessarily exciting…
  • If the looters get as far as Oklahoma - especially the area around Binger they may find more than they expected down there...
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