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PF IC - Tideruler: The Fall of Laholt

A sudden disruption can be heard coming from the top of the aqueduct. At first, it sounds and feels like static running through the air. But suddenly a low, breaking sound, as if a compressed air sphere suddenly popped, comes from above. A teleportation spell, and not a subtle one at that, was cast, revealing a traveler in the privileged position. Two steps, and the figure reveals itself: a hooded humanoid, only a pair of long, curved horns, slim and elegant, showing from the shadows below, and the sound of hooves coming from the creature's steps. The arrival leans towards a long shepherd's cane and carries a purse.

"My, my... You sure are a quick lot, aren't you?" - the soft, humorous voice sounds as young as it did years ago. The hood falls back, revealing the face of a full grown satyr of golden hair and beard. His smile suggests satisfaction and happiness, despite the circumstances. Such is the typical posture of light-hearted goliath.

"I'm glad all of you answered our invitation." - he says to the quartet, clearly seizing the ladies with particular interest. He then jumps down, falling slowly to the floor, right in front of Daxio. "And you, you old errant dog, you..." - he laughs out, loudly and heartily, as he embraces Daxio - "...the quickest of them all, I see! Come, now, care to introduce me to our lot... At least, formaly?" - he glances at the others with curiosity. Still, his somewhat errant eye keeps sliding towards the ladies, even though he seems to fight the impulse as he speaks.
[MENTION=813]jmucchiello[/MENTION] [MENTION=6801311]KahlessNestor[/MENTION] [MENTION=24380]Neurotic[/MENTION] [MENTION=4936]Shayuri[/MENTION]
 

KahlessNestor

Explorer
Laholt/Alessia
Afternoon

Daxio grinned broadly as Goliath jumped down from the aqueduct. “You old goat!” he said, returning the embrace. “Well, I had a very willing highlady offer to give me a ride,” Daxio said with a wink. “So the journey was pleasant.” He turned back to the others, making introductions as best he could. “We were only just getting acquainted.” His own gaze also settled appreciatively on the two ladies.

[sblock=Actions and Rolls]
Move:
Action:
[/sblock]

[sblock=Ministats]
HP: 122/122 NL: 0
AC: 19 FF: 14 T: 15
CMD: 20
Fort: 10 Ref: 10 Will: 13
Armed: Dagger
Arcane Reservoir: 9/15/day
Consume Spells: 5/5/day

Conditions:

Spells Prepared
0 (9): Acid Splash, Detect Magic, Ghost Sound, Light, Mage Hand, Message, Prestidigitation, Ray of Frost, Read Magic
1 (4/4/5): Burning Hands, Charm Person, Disguise Self, Magic Missile, Vanish
2 (4/4/5): Darkvision, Hideous Laughter, Invisibility, Scorching Ray, See Invisibility
3 (4/4/4): Dispel Magic, Hold Person, Suggestion, Fly
4 (4/4/3): Charm Monster, Confusion, Greater Invisibility
5 (4/4/2): Dominate Person, Hold Monster
6 (2/2/1): Mass Suggestion

Spell Book:
0: All
1: Burning Hands, Charm Person, Disguise Self, Enlarge Person, Featherfall, Grease, Liberating Command, Magic Missile, Obscuring Mist, Ray of Enfeeblement, Shield, Silent Image, Vanish
2: Darkvision, Hideous Laughter, Invisibility, Scorching Ray, See Invisibility
3: Dispel Magic, Hold Person, Suggestion, Fly
4: Black Tentacles, Charm Monster, Confusion, Greater Invisibility
5: Dominate Person, Feeblemind, Hold Monster
6: Greater Dispel, Mass Suggestion
[/sblock]
 
Goliath explodes in hearty laughs as Daxio describes his journey. He barely manages to contain himself - or his instinctive wandering eyes - as he turns to face the stern question presented by Zyara.

"Come, I'll tell you all about it while we move towards the old castle." - he proceeds, leaning forward as a tracker would.

"After we took Alessia, there were some grudges left... You know..." - he cuts the sentence midway with a frown. "They didn't understand the matter of honor that was involved. Anyway..." - he sighs -"... After a while, some of our lot grew even more disquiet. You know, we satyrs are known for having a lot of..." - he eyes the women suggestively -"...energy... But even for our standards some of us were growing agitated. Mostly, they mentioned dreams of a strange sort, related to a dark, seductive figure that seemed to call for them. The dreams wouldn't go away, and so some just decided to leave, seeking the strange creatures that now crowded their deepest thoughts. Others - the ones who didn't - grew increasingly aloof. Weakened, they simply feel to their beds, unable to complete even the simplest of tasks." - he finishes as the heroes reach the border of a massive, difficult wood. The satyr glances around and begins to uncover a path, slowly.

"So, that's about it. Those who left did not come back, and those who stayed grew increasingly sick. We called you out because we were met with..." - he pauses for a second..."Well, I'll leave it to the arrival. You'll understand."

@Neurotic @Shayuri @KahlessNestor [MENTION=813]jmucchiello[/MENTION]
 

Neurotic

Adventurer
Draconic creature that greeted Aranel so enthusiastically withdrew as the satyr appeared, hiding among his larger companions. With his wide wings and garish color, he could hardly be inconspicuous here in the street. But as soon as they entered the forest, Moss nicely blended in, flitting from branch to branch above the companions.

"Feels like home."
 

Shayuri

Villager
"Goliath," Aranel greeted with a relatively formal, distant bow. The frequent glances and flirting seemed to faze her not one iota; she let the indignities pass by without deigning to comment. "you have my sympathies for the troubles your people have been having. I am here to do everything I can to help find the source of this affliction and stop it. May I ask though, is it only the satyrs falling prey to this strangeness? I had heard the elves living in this area had also been suffering."

"I had also heard that the humans living here have, so far at least, not been troubled by it."
 

KahlessNestor

Explorer
Laholt/Alessia
Afternoon

Daxio shook his head and followed Goliath into the thick woods. “I told you you should have left the city alone,” he told Goliath. “Sounds like you pissed off the wrong entity. How long has this been going on?” he asked.

[sblock=Actions and Rolls]
Move:
Action:
[/sblock]

[sblock=Ministats]
HP: 122/122 NL: 0
AC: 19 FF: 14 T: 15
CMD: 20
Fort: 10 Ref: 10 Will: 13
Armed: Dagger
Arcane Reservoir: 9/15/day
Consume Spells: 5/5/day

Conditions:

Spells Prepared
0 (9): Acid Splash, Detect Magic, Ghost Sound, Light, Mage Hand, Message, Prestidigitation, Ray of Frost, Read Magic
1 (4/4/5): Burning Hands, Charm Person, Disguise Self, Magic Missile, Vanish
2 (4/4/5): Darkvision, Hideous Laughter, Invisibility, Scorching Ray, See Invisibility
3 (4/4/4): Dispel Magic, Hold Person, Suggestion, Fly
4 (4/4/3): Charm Monster, Confusion, Greater Invisibility
5 (4/4/2): Dominate Person, Hold Monster
6 (2/2/1): Mass Suggestion

Spell Book:
0: All
1: Burning Hands, Charm Person, Disguise Self, Enlarge Person, Featherfall, Grease, Liberating Command, Magic Missile, Obscuring Mist, Ray of Enfeeblement, Shield, Silent Image, Vanish
2: Darkvision, Hideous Laughter, Invisibility, Scorching Ray, See Invisibility
3: Dispel Magic, Hold Person, Suggestion, Fly
4: Black Tentacles, Charm Monster, Confusion, Greater Invisibility
5: Dominate Person, Feeblemind, Hold Monster
6: Greater Dispel, Mass Suggestion
[/sblock]
 
"Feels like home."
"Well, they're welcoming you... They seem to like you. Or...know you... I can't tell with them." - he speaks as the path appears before the group, almost as if the wood made way for them. "Same goes for Aranel. Zyara and Daxio... Well, don't get too far."

"May I ask though, is it only the satyrs falling prey to this strangeness? I had heard the elves living in this area had also been suffering."
"Elves as well. But we make no distinctions here. We're one... and the same." - the observation is filled with a sense of fondness and humanity, but he seems to accidentally suggest something more with the last words. It's not even what he says: the look on his face seems to force his manners and words towards a sort of libidinal frenzy every time he sets his eyes on someone that interests him. Aranel heard of such aspects of satyr live. Lust and pleasure are addictive to them, and the elves that live in Alessia are not very different, for all accounts...
Daxio shook his head and followed Goliath into the thick woods. “I told you you should have left the city alone,” he told Goliath. “Sounds like you pissed off the wrong entity. How long has this been going on?” he asked.
"By... the gods, Daxio, I had nothing to do with it! I... think. Anyway, how was I to know that the mage girl was fondling around with her master... And in my defense we were just testing that spectral hand staff. He misread everything... Clearly!" - he falls silent once more, as the woods begin to rescind, falling behind the heroes to give place to the ruins of the old city center.

"Oh, everything is very recent. It began two, maybe three years ago. But the sickness and numerous disappearances happened in the last few months." - longevity has it's perks. Certainly a strange notion for humans, but elves and satyrs would say the same about the brevity of human life.

"I had also heard that the humans living here have, so far at least, not been troubled by it."
"No, the humans haven't been targeted, as far as we know. We manage to stay close to them, even though they don't receive us well these days..." - he continues as the heroes advance. "Some still remember how life was before... well... never mind. The fact is that only our people get affected for whatever reason... And our seers and oracles are incapable of finding out why. We've sought out the help of the nymphs... You know, their divination spells are pretty strong... And the elves among us did try to find out what has been going on... At least those intimate with magic. None has obtained an answer."

"And then the rumors started... Oooh boy, the rumors... Some say that demonic powers are in place... Others speak of human treachery. Others yet distrust the very nymphs that once helped us... But it seems that everyone has an agenda nowadays, and opinions are as unreliable as ... well, dreams..." - he shakes his head, unsure of his own inclinations on the matter.

A small walk later, the heroes are conducted to what used to be the innermost area of Alessia. Now, the city's been taken by a rich wood. The walls sunk beneath a wealth of flowers and vines, and old houses crumble beneath the heavy hand of nature. Still, another city seems to work where the first one once stood. The houses are now inhabited by a number of children, both satyr and elfic in nature. The sound of laughter is crossed by that of animals, birds and insects being the most present. Here and there, diminutive pixies mix their flights with those of beetles and dragonflies. Entire streets sunk into ponds and channels, now covered in water lilies and brimming with life. Goliath takes the heroes trough less crowded areas, avoiding the inevitable glances of the reclusive inhabitants of this world.

"Here, he indicates a house in ruins, crossed by an oak that might have been there for centuries, judging by it's size. "The last one to be targeted by the disease is here. You might want to take a look at him." - he gestures towards the house. A couple of pixies fly around the group, curious about their presence there. The small, whispered voices debate, in a fast pace, how inappropriate is to have outsiders within Alessia, specially human outsiders. As soon as they find a chance, they begin to harass Goliath about the topic in quick whispers.

[If you decide to follow in, this is what you see]

Within, the oak opens up, embracing the many pavilions that once were the house. At the center, a bed of leaves and straw was set, covered in silks and skillfully made to fit the natural hall. A red canopy covers the area made to lay down the sick man, and as the heroes enter, two elfic maidens - one of them pregnant - leave the sick man to talk to the arrivals. Laying underneath covers they find the figure of a bronze-skinned elf, thin and tall by all accounts. His red hair is carefully combed and still wet, as if he had just bathed. He holds a noble visage, but his eyes are sunken and his arms, frail, stretched alongside his body. He receives the arrivals with a smile and a hopeful expression, forcing himself up as if to greet them.

"They're here, Alanor. These are allies. They'll help, I'm sure." - Goliath's comical expression vanishes and the pixies fall silent for a second, still surrounding the satyr's head.

"Thank you, my friend..." - the elf's voice is soft and old, so very distinct from his apparently youthful image - no more than forty years old.

"I take it that Goliath has updated you on our predicament." - he pushes up, clearly trying to leave the bed in order to greet the heroes.

@Shayuri @jmucchiello @KahlessNestor @Neurotic
 
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Shayuri

Villager
"To some extent," Aranel agrees lightly. "Even so it seems there's a number of questions yet to be asked."

She glanced behind over her shoulder back at Goliath.

"How many have fallen ill so far, and of them how many are fit enough that we might see them?"

Once the satyr had responded she nodded and returned her attention to the elf.

"Alanor...tell me of this sickness. When did you realize you had it? What symptoms have you experienced? Tell me in your own words, assuming I know nothing about it already."
 

Neurotic

Adventurer
"And do you have anything in common with other sickness people? How did you get...infected? Something that only those sick ate, drank or visited."
 
Last edited:

KahlessNestor

Explorer
Laholt/Alessia
Afternoon

Just in case, Daxio pulled out a handkerchief, covering his mouth, and stood at the back of the room by the door, as far away from the sick elf as possible. He couldn’t help, though, eying the two elven beauties and flash them a melting smile. Idly he let the others handle the questioning as he went over to the non-pregnant elf.

“Anything I can help you with?” he asked charmingly. “Daxio Flynn, at your service.” With a flourish, he took her hand in his and bent over it, kissing it lightly.

[sblock=Actions and Rolls]
Move:
Action:
[/sblock]

[sblock=Ministats]
HP: 122/122 NL: 0
AC: 19 FF: 14 T: 15
CMD: 20
Fort: 10 Ref: 10 Will: 13
Armed: Dagger
Arcane Reservoir: 9/15/day
Consume Spells: 5/5/day

Conditions:

Spells Prepared
0 (9): Acid Splash, Detect Magic, Ghost Sound, Light, Mage Hand, Message, Prestidigitation, Ray of Frost, Read Magic
1 (4/4/5): Burning Hands, Charm Person, Disguise Self, Magic Missile, Vanish
2 (4/4/5): Darkvision, Hideous Laughter, Invisibility, Scorching Ray, See Invisibility
3 (4/4/4): Dispel Magic, Hold Person, Suggestion, Fly
4 (4/4/3): Charm Monster, Confusion, Greater Invisibility
5 (4/4/2): Dominate Person, Hold Monster
6 (2/2/1): Mass Suggestion

Spell Book:
0: All
1: Burning Hands, Charm Person, Disguise Self, Enlarge Person, Featherfall, Grease, Liberating Command, Magic Missile, Obscuring Mist, Ray of Enfeeblement, Shield, Silent Image, Vanish
2: Darkvision, Hideous Laughter, Invisibility, Scorching Ray, See Invisibility
3: Dispel Magic, Hold Person, Suggestion, Fly
4: Black Tentacles, Charm Monster, Confusion, Greater Invisibility
5: Dominate Person, Feeblemind, Hold Monster
6: Greater Dispel, Mass Suggestion
[/sblock]
 
Alanor's gestures are slow and dragged, as is his speech. He seems weak and distracted, and words don't flow from him as expected. He starts slowly as the young ladies leave the room - the last one giving Daxio a suggestive glance, clearly enjoying the attention he dedicated to her. She whispers something about 'the backyard' and leaves, smiling gently.

"Well.... I guess we were nearly.... Fifty affected?" - he throws the question towards Goliath, that promptly confirms with a nod. "It's hard. I've been forgetting things for a while, now... But I remember Tulius... He got sick. And Belios.... Belios is a vegetable, now..." - Alanor doesn't seem to understand the impact of his own poor choice of words. "I suppose we all did the same things, mostly. We partook at the rituals, back at the old castle... Drank near the fountain.... We were there for the fertility festivals as anyone else... Roamed around..."

Goliath interrupts with a sober tone.

"We don't really know how far it did go. We've had around fifty known cases that we know of. But behavior is erratic, to say the least. And since our population wanders around a lot, there might have been other cases we aren't aware of." - he tries to line up Alanor's discourse. "Alanor here is the lucky one... Others just became weaker and weaker, until one day they wouldn't wake up at all."

"Yes, yes... Poor Belios. I like Belios." - Alanor regrets. "I remember that, right before being sick I was... I spent the nights with my lover in the Golden Orchard. And... Yes... Belios loved the Orchard. And Tulios, fat little Tulios, always eating the fruit. We used to play a few cantrips around, on summer nights... Lately, my lover and I were there on our own..."

He dozes off for a second, and then continues.

"I remember dreaming... Intense... dreaming. As if a god was speaking to me through my dreams, yes. But it was my lover, my Amalia, there with me. And she ran through the Orchard, like a gazelle, and soon she was a gazelle. But she was also at my side, telling me, saying that I should kill her. And I shot, and the gazelle and the Amalia by my side... they both died."

"I'm sorry..." - Goliath says - "He's incoherent again." - his face turns to a tender expression as sadness overwhelms him.
[MENTION=24380]Neurotic[/MENTION] [MENTION=6801311]KahlessNestor[/MENTION] [MENTION=4936]Shayuri[/MENTION] [MENTION=813]jmucchiello[/MENTION]
 

jmucchiello

Adventurer
Zyara addresses Goliath with her questions. "These fertility festivals, are they common among your people? Frequent or infrequent? Could they all have been infected by the food? The fountain? Have any of these places been checked for poisons or similar toxins?" She leans in closer, stepping away from Alanor. "Did the women he mentioned die?"
 

Neurotic

Adventurer
"How about The Orchard? You just said some of you shared several things from there. Might we take a look?" asks Moss from between larger beings legs.
 

KahlessNestor

Explorer
Laholt/Alessia
Afternoon

Daxio returned the young woman’s glance with a smile as she slipped out, catching her message. He glanced over at the others. They all seemed to have the situation under control. They didn’t need him yammering at an old man. He could get the details later.

Daxio quietly slipped out the door, leaving the others speaking with the old man. He made his way around the house, looking for the backyard and the beautiful young woman

“Young miss?” Daxio called quietly.

[sblock=Actions and Rolls]
Move:
Action:
[/sblock]

[sblock=Ministats]
HP: 122/122 NL: 0
AC: 19 FF: 14 T: 15
CMD: 20
Fort: 10 Ref: 10 Will: 13
Armed: Dagger
Arcane Reservoir: 9/15/day
Consume Spells: 5/5/day

Conditions:

Spells Prepared
0 (9): Acid Splash, Detect Magic, Ghost Sound, Light, Mage Hand, Message, Prestidigitation, Ray of Frost, Read Magic
1 (4/4/5): Burning Hands, Charm Person, Disguise Self, Magic Missile, Vanish
2 (4/4/5): Darkvision, Hideous Laughter, Invisibility, Scorching Ray, See Invisibility
3 (4/4/4): Dispel Magic, Hold Person, Suggestion, Fly
4 (4/4/3): Charm Monster, Confusion, Greater Invisibility
5 (4/4/2): Dominate Person, Hold Monster
6 (2/2/1): Mass Suggestion

Spell Book:
0: All
1: Burning Hands, Charm Person, Disguise Self, Enlarge Person, Featherfall, Grease, Liberating Command, Magic Missile, Obscuring Mist, Ray of Enfeeblement, Shield, Silent Image, Vanish
2: Darkvision, Hideous Laughter, Invisibility, Scorching Ray, See Invisibility
3: Dispel Magic, Hold Person, Suggestion, Fly
4: Black Tentacles, Charm Monster, Confusion, Greater Invisibility
5: Dominate Person, Feeblemind, Hold Monster
6: Greater Dispel, Mass Suggestion
[/sblock]
 
EVERYONE

"These fertility festivals, are they common among your people? Frequent or infrequent? Could they all have been infected by the food? The fountain? Have any of these places been checked for poisons or similar toxins?" She leans in closer, stepping away from Alanor. "Did the women he mentioned die?"
"Well..." - he glances at Zyara once more, almost forgetting the others in the room - "...They're pretty common. the gatherings happen at the central gardens, in front of the old castle. We meet at least once per season, and everyone's here, as well. The water nymphs gather around the fountain, the place is decorated accordingly, and we sing, eat, drink and love each other in celebration of a world that is unfortunately lost for us..." - oddly enough, his voice mixes different degrees of nostalgia and malice. "Everyone partakes... It's like your religious celebrations, a bonding moment. Of course, unlike you, we do it the right way..." - he smiles.

"As for the infection, we've thought it possible. But still, we couldn't identify any reasonable causes. Of course, the most competent magic users in Alessia are either away or... well... Like Alanor here." - he motions towards the sickbed. "They behave like children, unfocused and lazy, unable to cast even the simplest of spells, or consider the rational implications of... anything, really!"

"How about The Orchard? You just said some of you shared several things from there. Might we take a look?" asks Moss from between larger beings legs.
"Sure, sure! I think... No harm can come from it..." - Alanor drags his voice. Goliath nods again, but now he looks concerned, as if the visit might be problematic.

DAXIO

“Young miss?” Daxio called quietly.
Daxio finds her behind the oak, amidst a series of ruins. Ironically, this seemed to be the place of a Nymphaeum, back when the city was still standing. Only faded frescoes and half-broken statues remain. She fills a jug with water, her skirt tied to her thighs as she walks the transparent waters amidst water lilies. She smiles towards Daxio, a sweet and peaceful smile that only an elf could deliver in the middle of a crisis.

"I've heard of you, handsome man." - she bends her head, intrigued and delighted. "I am surprised."
[MENTION=6801311]KahlessNestor[/MENTION] [MENTION=4936]Shayuri[/MENTION] [MENTION=813]jmucchiello[/MENTION] [MENTION=24380]Neurotic[/MENTION]
 

Shayuri

Villager
"The Orchard it is then," concludes Aranel. "Now, I believe someone should fetch Daxio before he potentially exposes himself to infection, for all he knows. As interesting as it would be to have a fresh case to examine the progression of."

She glances at Goliath then, not missing his moment of hesitation. More quietly she asks, "Is there some problem with us visiting this orchard?"
 

Neurotic

Adventurer
Moss feels at home at the cramped quarters as much as in the open sky. He comes forward among his larger companions, flaps his wings and lands on the table to look Goliath in the eye. "You mentioned 'they like me' in the forest. And Aranel too. Who did you mean? Did you have some new creatures come and join you?"

OOC: [MENTION=6855545]Archon Basileus[/MENTION], will we have "time off" in the adventure for crafting and such? There is fighters advanced training allowing him to enchant his own armor - and since the storywise his armor is made of remains of his crysalis, Moss would like to discover new powers of it rather than having some mage work on it :) I just realized that whatever I do, I'll never have magical +1 weapon barring whole body enchantment. Permanent magic fang +1 that will get dispelled by the first demon we encounter :p
 
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KahlessNestor

Explorer
Laholt/Alessia
Afternoon

Dazio rounded the oak and paused, taking in the fountain, the faded frescoes and broken statuary -- and the long, lean, lovely thighs of the beautiful elf in the pool.

“Heard of me?” Daxio asked, both flattered and curious. “Goliath has told you of me? I’m not sure how much you should believe him!” he said with a wink. “You have me at a disadvantage, though. He has never told me he had such a beautiful...friend?”

Daxio stepped up to the edge of the pool. “Please, allow me,” he said, taking the full jug from her to free her hands. “May I have your name, lovely elf?” he asked, taking her hand in his and kissing it gently, his blue eyes meeting hers intently.

[sblock=Actions and Rolls]
Move:
Action:
[/sblock]

[sblock=Ministats]
HP: 122/122 NL: 0
AC: 19 FF: 14 T: 15
CMD: 20
Fort: 10 Ref: 10 Will: 13
Armed: Dagger
Arcane Reservoir: 9/15/day
Consume Spells: 5/5/day

Conditions:

Spells Prepared
0 (9): Acid Splash, Detect Magic, Ghost Sound, Light, Mage Hand, Message, Prestidigitation, Ray of Frost, Read Magic
1 (4/4/5): Burning Hands, Charm Person, Disguise Self, Magic Missile, Vanish
2 (4/4/5): Darkvision, Hideous Laughter, Invisibility, Scorching Ray, See Invisibility
3 (4/4/4): Dispel Magic, Hold Person, Suggestion, Fly
4 (4/4/3): Charm Monster, Confusion, Greater Invisibility
5 (4/4/2): Dominate Person, Hold Monster
6 (2/2/1): Mass Suggestion

Spell Book:
0: All
1: Burning Hands, Charm Person, Disguise Self, Enlarge Person, Featherfall, Grease, Liberating Command, Magic Missile, Obscuring Mist, Ray of Enfeeblement, Shield, Silent Image, Vanish
2: Darkvision, Hideous Laughter, Invisibility, Scorching Ray, See Invisibility
3: Dispel Magic, Hold Person, Suggestion, Fly
4: Black Tentacles, Charm Monster, Confusion, Greater Invisibility
5: Dominate Person, Feeblemind, Hold Monster
6: Greater Dispel, Mass Suggestion
[/sblock]
 

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