King of the Stolen Lands

Session 3: Beneath the Old Sycamore Tree – 12/22/2011
Mabel McCurren

[Session 3: Beneath the Old Sycamore Tree – 12/22/2011]

###Insert Date###

Today we attempted a foray into the depths of the mites subterranean layer. The labyrinthine tunnels run deep and are supported by the root system of a massive sycamore tree.

The mites infesting the sycamore tree are of the odd sort, and seem to play at games that injure and maim one another. The expedition witnessed a game where they used miniature catapults, laded with spiked caltrops, endeavoring to lob them into their compatriots gapping maws.

We rescued a kobold that goes by the name of Micmac and identifies himself as a member of the sootscale tribe. Understandably he was quite gracious and seemed to be of the logical sort. I have hopes that his tribe would make for an agreeable alliance.

Nephwick’s magic has proved useful once more though sleeping a group of four of the nasty creatures. More poured forth from the bowls of the den. A particularly ugly mite rode on the back of an unusually large sized tick to do battle. He summoned forth a giant centipede that terrified Nephwick. Kalanvrae did battle with the dreaded beast. I was nearly fatally wounded. Kalanvrae managed to slow it down so that Nephwick, Jessi-Belle, and I could escape.

I blacked out near the end to find myself in the cart. Nephwick is going on holiday. I don’t think he will be back. Kalanvrae is not among us, and is assumed to be dead by at the means of the sycamore’s centipede. He will be missed.

We will need new recruits. Perhaps we bolster our ranks with sootscale kobolds. Perhaps Kurgar’s letter will bring more mercenaries to the expedition.

Today was a bad day. I am hoping better for tomorrow.

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Session 1: Into the stolen lands – 11/12/2011
Mabel McCurren

[Session 1: Into the stolen lands – 11/12/2011]

24th day of Therendor

I have been hired by Lord Brindol the Regent of the Dragondscale in order to explore, map, and pacify banditry in the wilderness region of the Stolen Lands known as The Greenbelt.

My fellow explorers consist of a Darkesh (some form of silk wearing elf) ranger by the name of Kalanvrae D’Arzanath, a half-orc druid by the name of Ghazog, a dwarf mercenary by the name of Kurgar Mourngrim, and a gnome sorcerer noble by the name of Nephwick.

I remember my parents working closely with some form of elves in my childhood. Darkesh, of all things, reminds me of my cudgel, and dagger of elven make, and magic – mysterious, and deadly.

Similarly I remember tails of my parents battling a scourge of an orc tribe while aligned to an elven tribe of some sort. The half-orc does not quite sit right with me. I can feel the anger flow from the elevn weapons while in Ghazog’s presence. I must endeavor to keep my feelings, and that of the weapons separate, and make note that Ghazog is not an enemy of my family.

Kurgar will be quite useful, he is heavily armed, heavily armored, and obnoxiously loud. I am sure the attention of territorial wildlife, and bandits will be focused on this fellow well before noticing me.

Nephwick is . . . special. He thinks everyone he meets is one of his subjects. Kurgar has convinced Nephwick that he is in his employ, and has started collecting salary. I am hesitant to follow suit in case the sorcerer manages to overcome his delusions, and in a moment of clarity entrances me into thinking I am a cricket.

##Insert Date###

We met Oleg, and Svetlana Leveton, presented our charter, and began hunting bandits forth width. We set a trap in the center of the small trading post during the early hours when the morning mist is prevalent, and the lighting soft. Kurgar began the battle, and is a skilled armsman. Ghazog ambushed the men on their horses. Ghazog’s badger companion is quite terrifying, and did more harm to the bandits than one would think possible. Darkesh ambushed the laeader, rushing from the barn, and did battle. Nephwick ambushed a group of mounted bandits, but was quickly struck down. I spend most of the fray bestowing divine luck on others, and healing. I was able to get in a particularly well placed sling stone though the use of a well timed truestrike spell.

We took a prisoner, interrogated him, equipped a stout wagon, and as spoils of war were the proud owners of a half-dozen fine riding horses.

##Insert Date##

The party split up. Darkesh, and I skulked along a path near where the bandits were said to be. We were ambushed. Knowing I had healing spells Darkesh bravely drew there fire as I mad a dash to warn the party. We were able to regroup, and bring force to bear.

Once again Ghazog’s badger tore into the opposition with a ferocity equaled to none. I am beginning to wounder if the badger is possessed by some nefarious specter of bloodlust.

The party opened with ranged attacks on the bandits while Ghazog’s bewitched the forest to twist its foliage upon the thieving brigands very feet, thus entwining them in place. Nephwick ensorcelled them to sleep with a enchanting lullaby. We were doing quite well till their leader nearly slew three of the band. I feel as if I should have quaffed the potion of sharkhood, and did an end to her while we wrestled in the river bank. Darkesh chased two of the bandits into the forest, and reclaimed stolen treasures to fill the bands coffers.

This is turning out to be quite the adventure.

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Session 2: Wayfarers of the Greenbelt – 12/03/2011
Mabel McCurren

[Session 2: Wayfarers of the Greenbelt – 12/03/2011]

##Insert Date###

I woke up from a disabling blow to find out that some gypsy women standing over me. I proceeded to check if the bandits were slain, or bound, and bathed the area in healing of the divinities. I then proceeded in securing resources to fund the expedition. I detected that one of the items was some sort of magical potion, valued at the minimum 50 Galifars, the gypsy clamed the magical elixir, and acted like she was entitled to it.

She offered to join the expedition, at least in an informal fashion, and no one protested. It is certainly welcome to have another target on the field of battle to increase ones odds of survival. It turns out that she is a local, and is somewhat familiar with the area. Jessi-Belle could be a welcomed member as having a local traveling with us could prove useful.

Unfortunately the walking target, Kurgar, went back to Oleg’s Trading Post seeking to send a messenger requesting payment from the Sword Lords. I will miss him on the battlefield, but not at mealtime.

We entered a wood infested with fey. Kalanvrae had his sandals swapped out for bread, Jessi-Belle must have had something stolen and replaced with voodoo dolls, and my bathing bowel’s water was replaced with the sweet golden honey of The Greenbelt! I could not believe my fortune! I enjoyed quite the snack, and carefully pored as much as would fit into an empty vial. This will be quite the treat to add to my morning oats!

We did not find Svetlana’s wedding ring. Nephwick’s lackey, Clarence, claims that some little blue men living under a tree took it. I have never seen, nor heard of such beings, mights he called them.

I am apprehensive, but a job is a job, and I want to get on the good side of the Leveton’s. They could stand to introduce us to the local hunters, and trappers of The Greenbelt. They could buy the spoils of our anti-banditry operation, and hopefully possess a mail order catalog. I am thinking in investing in their business. We have yet to find other traders, and I get the impression that they are it. If we are to have a foothold in this land, then economics, and a good name will prove to be most useful. Yes, perhaps offering gold for store credit would be a good place to begin in aiding Oleg’s Trading Post.

##Insert Date###

Kalanvrae went off scouting without me. I do not like being left without the martial symmetry a swordsman offers my particular divine blessings. He found two four trolls! Four! They were playing in the water, splashing, and playfully hitting each other with two deer . . . as if they were highborn girls on a nighttime retreat pillow fighting . . . and then evidently they began with the “pillow talk.”

I am not terribly thrilled with the number of trolls the expedition has encountered, five to date. I think we should arm ourselves with what anti-troll paraphernalia we can find, and afford before we are whisked away to be devoured in some fifthly den.

##Insert Date###

Jessi-Belle is not convinced that we are the local constables, and that Nephwick is a king. I will let her figure out that he is insane on her own, it should not take much time. It would seem that the expedition does not mind having a king along, or at least does not mind humoring him. Thus far it has not been an issue.

We found the hundred-foot tree easily enough, and began our initial observations. Ghazog and Jessi-Belle noticed six of them running, two broke off from the group, and we succeeded in tracing them down. They were less than cooperative, and evidently are some sort of enclave of sentient vermin bandits. As such we decided to eradicate them.

Next we tracked down the group of four, fortunately to find them pre-slain. Kobolds seem to be helping in our efforts to rid the area of bandits. I only hope they prove to be of the civilized, or otherwise peaceful variety.

Randall, should make short work of these mights. Ghazog did well befriending such a devastating magical creature. I look forward to the fray, and hope we find the spoils necessary to obtain some troll slaying implements.

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Jessi-Belle's Journal Session 2
Jessi-Belle's Journal,

Dearest Papa,

I have made myself known to the group that has been traveling through the river lands lately a few days past. They are monsters, and I worry about placing myself in their circle. They have murdered many men, in horrible ways. Drowning in the river, and worse commanding people to obey their commands.

I did not reveal myself until after their fight, so far I have tried to avoid to overtly letting them think they are getting me on their side. A Human woman, Mable, was injured gravely though, as well as their Half-Orc druid. I aided the druid, and then the woman, who went about delivering aid to the rest of the others about.

Mable after seeing to her friends, started raiding the dead with out bothering to give their souls any parting prayers, she began to loot the pockets and packs of the dead. I lit a pipe of tobacco and spoke a word to the departing spirits, I asked Hansper to deliver their spirits to Dolurrh. Shortly after I had finished Mable approached me and gave me a small curative potion, asking what it was. Knowing her healing skills I told her it was nothing to her, and pocketed it for later. Mable seemed oddly displeased with my explanation, but c’est la vie.

The dwarf exchanged a few words with me, not enough to form a proper opinion, but it seems the stories of old about Dwarves seem to have made them more cultured than they appear. This one was actually smoking body parts of the fallen, not smoking like fish, like pipe. This one has left the group now along with a wagon, one of their horses, going to claim a payment he believed he was owed by the Sword Lords.

Speaking of horses, how is Pretty? I do hope little Odranoel is taking proper care of her. I have included in the letter a few candies left for me by a faerie, please be sure to give one to her.

A gnome travels with the group as well, Nephwick, he seems to be most proficient at magics, but believes himself to be a king. It is quite funny to listen to him speak, I may need to record that which he says find a way to make a performance for some of the others out of it.

The druid is probably the one I have spent the most time with over the last few days, but we have spoken little. He does have a wonderful pet though, it has spent many hours running around my feet and scampering around with various things.

The elf and I spoke, he seems filled with so much hate and anger, I am not sure what could have happen to one such as him, but he shows signs of potential for redemption, I will go into the details later though. His name is Darkesh. It is sad though, even when he is smiled upon by the Fae, he grimaces at their gifts and grouses about wonders. You see, the elders were right, and Thelanis has come to the forest land again. The group wanted to explore the woods, a part of their mission it would seem. While we were resting one night, they spirited away his boots and replaced them with loaves of bread. The next night the boots were returned the next morning with gold inlay and wonderful filigree, but as I said Darkesh just complained, said they were ugly.

I planted the small healing potion Mable had given me as an offering to our faerie friends and when I awoke, there were the most wonderful wicker men, one of each of us hanging above me. As I mentioned before, they have also given me candies, this was because Darkesh had made comments about how he had heard stories of our prowess at song and dance, and had not yet seen any such acts from me, so I dedicated a dance to the wee folk, and when I was done there was a pile of candies waiting for me. Don’t worry, I know enough to be weary of the ways of the Fae, but so far all they have given me is payment or gifts in return for what I had given them, keeping the scales balanced as you would say.

Oh, also possibly of interest to you, when Mable was taking from the dead, after I first met everyone, they found a crate of “hill people milk,” the green kind that tastes like licorice root. Apparently it was a shipment for the Stag Lord. I will do my best to look into this, and will keep you abreast of any revelations.

It appears that the group is currently here with three assignments, the first is to explore and map the area, nothing of our concern. The second is to recover a lost ring of some sentimental importance, but little monetary it would seem. If by chance any of the family sees a plain brass ring with a pearl, it may be the one they are after, and we might be able to recover more than its worth from the group. Finally, what concerns me most, is that these people, at least Mable and Darkesh, believe themselves to be the law in the land, I am sure that the lands will “balance the scales” as they have other times, this group scares me. Attached is a copy of a letter “entitling them to power in the region.” You’ll forgive me for not sending you the original, but it may be of use later.

I must conclude the letter to you now dear papa, I just saw some creature leave the old Sycamore, we have been watching it believing that the small ones living under it have taken the ring. I must alert the others. Much love to the family.

Jessi-Belle

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Jessi-Belle's Journal Session 3
Jessi-Belle's Journal,

Dearest Papa,

I know it is odd to be writing you only a few hours after my initial report, but you said to write you when I had time, and when major events had taken place. While I had to stop my last letter because some of the mites riding off, a raiding party would seem. We followed them, and ended up dispatching their numbers with relative ease, they seemed to do more damage to those I travel with after their death with the booby traps they would carry.

That is unimportant though, what really matters is once we headed into the tree. The stories of the tunnels under the old sycamore seem to still be right in their flavor. The dense roots, and compacted ground absorb the sound cancel out the sound, it is easy enough to travel with out drawing much attention. Though I will say, the stories leave out the large deposit of spore every where, I’m sorry if any is stuck to the letter, it seems to attach itself to everything.

We did meet the most interesting captive of mites… it is one of the Suit Scale Kobolds, they are the red featherless chickens, the ones that dress in soot suits to distinguish their tribe. He was given a dagger and lent a hand in fighting the mites. Help that ended up being most advantageous in the upcoming fights. First we stumbled upon the mights playing the most disturbing game. They would launch spiked metal balls at one another and catch them in their mouth, or swallow them. This leads me to believe that they have some sort of ability to resist the damage done by stabbings, or maybe by the metal, but I could not recall anything such detail from the tales I have heard. I know these letters won’t reach you for some time, but when you do respond, if you could confirm it. We dispatched those ones quickly, though I scuffed my boot by crushing the throat of a mite that was choking on the barb.

We traveled the tunnels deeper, I am not sure if the mites have tunneled these themselves but I had to walk hunched over and my back is killing me. We found a large chasm with bridges made of brambles. We fought, if not a leader, definitely one of the higher echelon of the mites. This is where things became troublesome. We were able to take out the Mites, but the diminished group, I am not sure where the Druid went to, he never joined us in the tree. We ended up taking everything out in the end, but the elf, the one I mentioned in the previous letter, that I thought might be a redeemable person. He decided early on that the fight was futile and he would sacrifice himself to allow us to escape. The gnome ran off early…. I don’t think his mind could handle the reality of the places he was treading. The girl… she was beaten rather badly I ended up dragging her body out of the hole. The elf died and I could not get to him, I would like to find his boots, remember they had the beautiful fairy filigree, or maybe his blade to be honored. He was a fool, but seemed to be a good man and does not deserve to have his remains desecrated by the Mites.

We are traveling now, I think to some outpost that who ever hired these individuals have set up, maybe you have seen it? I will let you know if it is a place that the Family should come to. I am still doing well, oh, though sadly my dress has been awfully torn up. I will write you again soon.

Love you Papa.

Jessi-Belle

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Mik Mak's Stories

Leave tree and find Zat. Tell Zat stop.

Tell humans that purple shaman, Tartuk, come and bring statue. He tell Chief that we die if we don’t sacrifice to Old Sharptooth. Chief Sootscale strong, take over after thwomptail die. All bow to Tartuk and Tickbiter (talking bird). We no fight purple shaman. We feed Scales to Old Sharptooth every phase of the moon. Statue stolen, we go find.

We fight tiny shaman king and take hims treasure. I get big big axe.

Ride towards caves, stay away from home. Smell bark-crunch so no stay.

Mik Mak and shaman need rest. We get fight by bad bad and win. Mik Mak eat chief’s heart, Mik Mak gain power.

We find dead clutchmates. Bristik, Brongyong (tell haha funny), and Zinzert (smell pretty).

Go back to tree. We find Sharptooth statue, but we no touch. I find bag and dump out and put in bag without touch. Carry sacred statue. Zat make map, then we break map so ugly ugly mites cannot use.

We go back Chief and fight Tartuk. We kill foul purple-scale. Glorious day for Sootscales, new age.

We leave to find more Sootscales. Meet man of the Great Water Dragon. He ask for body of “Stag Lord.” We search- Kill Beak-bear.

Then we find Swampwater Scales! Thems fight croak-monster. We tell that we help! They say they from forest.

We spend much time looking for other Scales to join us.

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Session 4: Of Mites and Kobolds – 01/02/2012
Mabel McCurren

[Session 4: Of Mites and Kobolds – 01/02/2012]

###Insert Date###

Evidently while recovering from the giant centipede attack the group encountered four of the Staglords men. Unlike the common misconception kobolds are terrifying warriors.

After I regained consciousness we traveled onwards to the sootscale tribes liar. Interestingly enough they took up residence in an old abandoned silver mine.

Mik Mak and Zat Katel ventured into the lair, presented the devil idol to the chief, who smashed it on the ground, and rallied his tribesmen to do battle with the purple scaled kobold shaman named Tartuk. After much confusion, and dark sorcery, Tartuk was slain.

We found a gold vein, and encountered a drowned soul requesting the body of the Staglord in out travels. It would be nice to have gold, and it is interesting to have undead allies. We encountered a vile owlbear on the plains, and dispatched it. I think it was elder and sickly.

Ghazog, Mik Mak, Zat Katel, Jessi-Belle, and I headed off to Oleg’s Trading Post. I hope the humans react well to the kobolds presence.

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Jessi-Belle's Journal Session 4`
Jessi-Belle's Journal,

Hello again Poppa,

Much has happen since my last letter. I am not sure where I left the last letter off, so I might be repeating myself in the beginning, if so I am sorry. We left the old sycamore tree and headed to the cart, this was just the kobold who ran off when the elf let himself die, and the gnome. When I got to the cart, there was another kobold attacking the human we left to guard the card. I am not sure if I had mentioned him previously, I have yet to talk to this one, Ranblow I think is his name.

The other kobold, Zit Zak Zat or something like that was an ally of one that we had rescued in the tunnels. He stopped trying to kill Ranblow and we worked it out that the first and most important thing was to get away from the tree, to rest and tend to the wounded girl. We traveled south west for some time, and thought we found a spot, but one of the kobolds was able to smell wolves, so we went along the river for a while longer. We found a little spot along the river where another group had set up camp. We figured they would be leaving soon. I occupied my time by begging to dig a shallow grave to lay out Mable in, just in case. Unfortunately when the other party woke up they were less than righteous people. They attacked me, and one tried to lay hands on Mable while she slept… At least one of them was in the employ of the Stag Lord, they were wearing his amulet around their neck.

Once everyone was well healed the kobolds insisted on returning to the tree, I didn’t mind this seeing that I still wanted to get the remains of the elf so he could be properly venerated. Traveling through the tree was rather simple at this point, we had already dispatched most of the Mites, and quickly found a few things of interest, including a map of the land around here, which one of the kobolds reproduced, the statue they were looking for, and I found the body of the elf. I did not know of a better way to deliver him to his ancestors, so I laid his body to rest in the river so than Hansper may carry him to where he needs to be.

From there we headed toward the Kobold’s den. Originally the two had us “big folk” wait outside. A short time later, Mic Mac came running out in terror with a few of his brood following suit, it appeared that they were fighting a false shaman, a purple kobold named Tartuk, I had not heard stories of him previously, but he would apparently lead kobold tribes to doom and wars they could not win. He was defeated, and the kobolds celebrated and allowed us to enter as allies of Mik Mak and Tic Toc. I was honored as being a representative of Queen Nyrissa. This, along with the other recent appearance of the fey, and their interactions with my group has lead me to believe it is finally time for me to pick up the grandmama always said I would. Which is why I went to the river to try to commune with Nyrisa herself. I have made a pact, as Grandmama has, and carry on the family way.

It was after we left the kobolds den that I made the deal, we took a very winding route toward the trading post I had previously mentioned. We met the drown spirit of one who is an enemy of the Stag Lord, I promised the tortured soul that after we killed the Stag Lord, that we would throw the body of the Stag Lord in the river. We are coming up on the trading post now, so I will wrap this up.

Jessi-Belle

P.S.
I sent the little king in the direction of the tribe. I told him that the family would help to assist him get back to the lands he comes from, I am sure he understood that meant for a fare price.

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Kurgar's Musings...

By the sweet buggering gods and unholy hells in this blighted and forsaken place, Oleg’s continues to collect a particular sort of idiotic loser. Good thing the do-gooding fools have returned. Maybe now I can get paid and get the fuck out of here before my wits drain out of my ears like these inbred, mouth breathing fools. Their damn brains are entirely too far from the earth for them to function properly.

Looks like that pasty, self-important, hopped-up idiot of a gnome either went mad or dead, and the drooling mouth breathers have replaced him with a blasted passel of kobolds. I can’t say that it’s not an improvement, but now everything will be covered in kobold shit, and smell of ass and wet dog hair. At least it won’t stink of gnome.

I am going to go mad with all the damn yark-yarking. I guess I could just kill them. They’re only kobolds after all. Though there are two that seem relatively useful. Muckfuckface and ZitPockAss. Or something like that. Fuckin’ kobolds and their idiotic names.

Maybelle the Cow returned. Still the delectable little morsel, but she’s got the Host jammed so far up her ass, it wouldn’t be worth trying to make “half-dwarfs” with her, iffn’ you catch my meaning. heh heh.

But she did bring a scrumptious little gypsy twat that thinks she’s tough. She pulled a knife on me. It was cute. I’m pretty sure she wants the big dwarf mining pick, iffn’ you catch my meaning. heh heh.

And the Sword Lords did send payment, so back out into the wilderness with these do-gooding waterheads and their pet dog-faces.

I’m actually looking forward to this…

By the all the buggering gods, where did my life go so wrong?

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More of Kurgar's Musings

I swear by all the filthy perversions of Khyber, these mouth-breathers are going to get me killed.

It’s not enough that they’re all pretty much useless waterheads that don’t understand which end of a weapon is the business end. They all run around like a bunch of spastic cankerblossoms at the drop of a hat, and have no concept of making a plan and sticking to it.

Points in case:

One of the damned dog-faces can’t keep from getting knocked up and has to go “clutch” every other day. I want to “clutch” her throat and slowly throttle her promiscuous yark-yarking ass. At the rate she’s pumping out dog-faces we’re either going to be overrun in a less than a generation, or eating kobold is going to become a popular dining experience. I’m hoping for the later…

The half-dork is a gut-griping coxcomb. I swear I saw him having unholy congress with that demonic badger of his. Or maybe it was that yark-yarking maggot pie, it was kinda dark. Maybe he’s the one that’s causing her to “clutch” so much.

The gypsy is a beslubbering twat who can’t figure out if she’s a codpiece tease or just a dizzy-eyed, mouth-breathing drooler. She’s all gypsy pride with “my people this” and “my people that”. Trust me honey, your people are a bunch of sticky-fingered, thieving, child-stealing molesters. Just because you don’t remember it doesn’t mean that you haven’t blocked out the memories. Probably one to many jipzzy shots to the face, iffn you know what I mean…

Oh, and we found a bush of “special” berries for the twitchy fucking hophead back at Otto’s. As I’m picking them to take back, trying to help out and minding my own business, a swarm of vicious back-biting spiders attack me. Now I’m not bothered by spiders, but the gypsy flirtgill starts beating ME in an attempt to kill them. She’s causing more damage than they are, and I’m getting pissed off.

Knowing that most animals have a fear of fire, I fumble my way to the cart, upend a bottle of lamp oil, take a deep breath, close my eyes, and spark my flint and steel. Needless-to-say, I go up like the proverbial torch. The gypsy starts running around like a boil-brained goose, the Sovereign Host child’s eyes roll up in her head and she faints. The dog-faces jump up and down, yark-yarking with excitement.

And the spiders flee. Did any of the others help? Like maybe throwing some water on me? Or wrapping me in a blanket to smother the fire?

No. They didn’t. Useless bunch of bum felchers…

A couple of seconds later the fire burns out, and aside from a couple of burned patches of skin, a couple of missing inches off my beard (the greatest tragedy mind you!), and the stink of burning hair, everything is fine.

Only everyone is staring at me like I’m crazy.

Well, maybe I am. I certainly have to have some sort of insanity for staying around these craven, elf-skinned clotpoles.

I hate them.

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