The Red Hand Edit
Between 1944 and 1958, Romania was occupied by the Soviet Union, who maintained a large military presence in the country throughout the period. Although Bacas County saw few soldiers there were other, more clandestine operations here, in the remote farmlands of Transylvania.
The Soviets permeated all aspects of Romania's government, including the Ministry of Internal Affiars, the Romanian Army and the Securitate - but omitted from history books was the presence of the Soviet secret occult warfare division, the Red Hand.
The Hand, formed by some of the nation's brightest and most ruthless scientists overseen by occultists and generals, was a group obsessed with harnessing 'bio-energy'- more correctly anima - and pushing the human body beyond its limits. At its peak, it ran more than twenty installations around the world, employing thousands of workers.
The Red Hand aimed to create mutations in the human DNA that would improve muscular density, stamina, life expectancy and the body's ability to recover from physical trauma. All their knowledge would be used to create super soldiers, a breed of humans who would be near-invincible and could once and for all establish the power of the Soviet Union.
They got far more than they asked for.
With the help of several magi, the Red Hand had discovered an unknown occult signature ripe with potential for their purposes in the Custurii mountain valley of Bacas County, Romania. In 1945, they built their largest ever facility in the valley, where they, with complete disregard of all laws and conventions, would perform horrific human experiments over the next few decades.
Despite having several magi and people sensitive to arcane powers on their payroll, the Red Hand never uncovered the actual source of the abnormality in the area. Still, they were able to harness its powerful energy and use it to perform half-scientific, half-magical experiments. By the time their operation was at its peak, no one cared about what lay below as much as what lay ahead.
While the Soviets left Romania in 1958, the Hand would stay behind for another twenty years as an independent, scientific group.
The Red Hand made its greatest strides in the 1960s, when their infamous ally Mara provided them with pure-blood vampires to use as experimental test subjects. Along with Soviet and Romanian convicts, prisoners of war, criminals and other outcasts, the scientists suddenly had an unlimited supply of subjects and could test their most absurd theories on them, often with horrific results.
Though the facilities were guarded, there were always young local men who snuck past the barbed fences and armed guards, either from curiosity or plain stupidity. Sometimes these men would get caught. Officially, they were sent away to 'correctional facilities', but since they were never heard from again, most families assumed the Hand had taken them.
Apart from of the few times they were disturbed, the Red Hand administration largely ignored the locals, regarding them as simpletons. Eventually, the population of Bacas County learned to avoid them too. Whether the villagers knew what was going on in the facility or not, it has remained a non-topic to this day, and few people willingly share what little they know.
Despite having reason to celebrate when the installation was finally closed and the Hand left, decades after the Soviets pulled out of the country, the locals have shied away from the area. Those few who have been near - hunters, shepherds and the odd hiker swear they have heard blood-curdling screams from within the facility walls, but no one knew how horrific the truth was until recently.
Decades after the Soviets left Romania, their terrible legacy has broken into daylight, as the masses of half-vampire, half-human progeny pour out of the old research facilities to wage war on both the locals and the secret world.