Magda McFarlin (part two)

The Magda McFarlin posts are written by Bruce Arbuckle, posting as BritInFrance, on the RPG Project Zero on

Click here to read Part One

Magda turned away from the notice and almost collided with someone. A young man, in his early twenties, was standing beside her, reading the notice.

“Excuse me,” she said. He looked up. He had a strange facial expression. Magda had seen something like it once before. In Afghanistan, when visiting one of her colleagues in hospital. The man in the next bed had had the same wild stare as this guy. A mixture of determination, satisfaction, and… hunger. It had scared her. And she wasn’t easily spooked.

The door of the bar, across the road opened, drawing her attention away from the strange young man. The military guy walked out. A General, if she was not mistaken. She saw him remove his weapon as the door closed behind him. There was a flash of something green – a trick of the light? – and then he closed the barrel and the gun was back in his holster.

She weighed up her options: follow him, or introduce herself? Their eyes made contact, as he glanced over to the notice board. Her decision was made. She cleared her throat, and crossed the street, aware of the eyes of the man by the Town Hall burning into her back as she did so.

“Excuse me, Sir?” Magda said.

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Please read the whole story here:

Magda McFarlin (part one)

The Magda McFarlin posts are written by Bruce Arbuckle, posting as BritInFrance, on the RPG Project Zero on

Something has escaped from a Military Base in Colorado. The nearby town of SnowPeak has been isolated. Magda (formerly in the British Army, currently employed in a private security firm) has received worrying emails from a former colleague. After loosing contact she makes her way to the town.

Magda McFarlin (posted 9th January 2013)

Magda sat on the edge of the bed, wondering how it could be colder than in the forest. SnowPeak was as she had expected: a small town, covered in snow with locals making her feel as welcome a syphilis in a brothel. There was just one motel in town. She had checked. Twice. It was dirty and uncared on the outside. To the owner’s credit he had tried his hardest to keep the same theme throughout his establishment. And, as she saw, when he eventually came to the desk, he had extended this to his personal appearance.

“You a reporter?” he said, after she had asked for a single room for a week.

“No,” she said. “Why?”

He gestured to the TV on the desk behind him. It was tuned to a local channel, there was a reporter standing in the snow in front of a roadblock. The sound was turned down, but the headline read “Bigfoot on the loose in SnowPeak?”.

“Na, didn’t think so,” the man said scratching his backside, before reaching round and plucking a key from a hook, behind him. “You ain’t pretty enough to be a reporter.”

After fiddling with the radiator, Magda managed to get it lukewarm. She decided to take a look around the town. Not trusting the owner, she took her backpack with her, leaving nothing in the room.

The town was not exactly busy. It was ski season: she had expected a few tourists, even in a place like this. More worryingly was the lack of military personnel, or police. It seemed either nothing was going on, and one of her closest friends was playing a joke on her, or that Joe Kirk was right: the people in charge seriously underestimated the threat.

She went into a store and bought herself a Coke. The man behind the counter, looked her up and down as he dropped the change into her waiting hand.

“You ain’t from round here, are you darling?” he said. “You a reporter?”

“No,” Magda said. “I’m not pretty enough.” The man nodded, sagely. “I’ve just come in for a bit of skiing and hunting.” She gestured to the rifle, hanging from her backpack. “I’m meeting up with my cousin, Joe Kirk. He works up at the military base. You know him?”

The man narrowed his eyes. “Don’t know no one from up there, and don’t care to, neither. Say, where you from? You talk funny.”

“I’m from Dublin,” the lie came easily. No one knew where Belfast was, any way. And everyone loves the Irish.

“You don’t say,” the man said. “You come all the way over on the Greyhound bus?”

Magda looked at him in the eye. He was serious. “That’s right,” she said.

As she left the store, she saw a man in uniform pinning something on the notice board of, what she assumed was, the town hall. She watched him walk away, and saw him enter a bar across the road.

Checking no one was watching her she walked over and read what was written:

…..Looking for Volunteers; Skilled both in Combat and Tracking, or are willing to Learn.

Oh, dear God. What kind of amateur operation are they running here?


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Please note: any text written in red, or in bold has been taken from another players posts. Please read the whole story here:

Ladrón Mentiroso (part one)

The Ladrón Mentiroso posts are written by Bruce Arbuckle for the Role Playing Game: A New World. Part I. The First Sand.

The year is 1557. In a world where anything is possible, a group of adventurers have set sail to open new trade routes to the East. But what they have discovered is a New World, with new rules. After 7 weeks at sea and 4 deaths the adventurers have landed and are ready to explore…

Ladrón Mentiroso (known as The Reverend) – Part One

Ladrón Mentiroso sat on his trunk, leafing through the large book. He hoped his farrowed brow, and thoughtful expression, would lead others to believe he was finding inspiration within it’s pages. In fact, he was watching Antonello carefully, as he walked from one group of men to another. Ever since the blacksmith had his little “accident”, Mentiroso had made it his business to keep a closer eye on all the men. Luckily most of them were The Maker-fearing idiots who would swallow any nonsense as long as it came from a man wearing a clerical collar, but he didn’t intend to take any more chances.

“Reverend?” He looked up, quickly removing his instinctive scowl at having his thoughts interrupted, and replacing it with the caring regard of the “reverend”. It was one of the kitchen boys.

“Yes, my boy?” Mentiroso said. The boy held out a plate and a mug of ale. “Ah, thank you, my son. The Maker be with you.” Mentiroso made a vague form of a cross with his right hand before taking the plate and the mug. “And do thank Chef, for me,” Mentiroso said, nodding in the direction of the large man by the fire. If he had known all the little extras afforded to a Priest, he would have considered joining the Church for real, a long time ago.

Of all the men under Columbus’ command, Antonello seemed the best judge of character. And therefore, the one to be most careful around. Columbus himself, like most men in his class, was easy to manipulate. Columbus was a pompous ass, full of his own self importance, and a fair bit of rum too, if Mentiroso was not mistaken. Antonello was another being altogether. Clearly intelligent, sure of himself but did not immediately assume that people respected him because of his rank. Yes, it was important to ensure Antonello remained a friend and not a foe.

He was close enough to hear Antonello speak to a young man, Jemsey-something-or-other.

“Jemsey, you’re coming with us! Up, up, up!” Mentiroso, successfully covered his smirk, by taking a huge swig of ale, as the young man jumped to his feet, as if someone had hit his privates with a hammer.

“Lead the way, sir,” the young fool said. That one would lay down his life for a better, as soon as take a nap. Certainly, he would ensure no harm came to one of The Maker’s chosen ones.

Mentiroso put down his now-empty plate and mug. Picking up his cane, he strolled over to Antonello, trying not to over-emphasise his limp.

“Mr Antonello, I wonder if I could have a word?” he said. He waited until he had Antonello’s full attention.

“Perhaps it would be beneficial for me to come on your, eh, ‘scouting party.’” Mentiroso said. “Always useful to have The Maker on your side, don’t you think?” He paused, and looked around him, “And I really could do with stretching my legs.”


Written by Bruce Arbuckle

Published (as BritInFrance) on on 9th November 2012

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