Fury of the Immortals

Almost Famous
Fury of the Immortals

 

Campaign Journal – Sviftmont 28 1005AC

Word of the Companions' glorious deeds have begun to spread throughout the Known World as fast as The Master's agents.  Called "Dragonslayers" and "Giantslayers," the common people have begun to whisper that maybe these heroes are the ones to send The Master scurrying back to The Great Hule and save the Republic.

It is said that one is a whirlwind of bladed death, one so powerful in magic that he once blew an entire navy out of the water, one so lost to this world that his armor is filled only with a vengeful shade, and the last, a giant man with flaming orange hair, so righteous that he metes justice to tawdry women in every land.

While some of these stories may be exaggerations, the Companions have gathered allies for the beleaguered Republic of Darokin with much personal risk to life and limb.  In spite of the poisoning death of Counselor Omor, they carried on his mission while constantly threatened by The Master's soldiers and spies. 

At times a mysterious red wolf, hardly more than an apparition, appeared to lead the Companions to safety – first hiding the party from a troop of The Master's cavalry and then leading them through the shifting, snowy passes of Rockhome.  It is unknown what this wolf may be, though The Seer of the Lake of Lost Dreams did confirm it was not one of his fey companions.

In an act of selfless generosity, Nike returned the Fire Opal Eye to people of Free Traldara by way of their spiritual leader The Seer.  The Seer would be able to use the Eye in combination with its sister to trap the Black Eagle Baron in the Feywild long enough to permit Free Traldara's militias to march to the relief of Darokin.  Further, after the party frolicked for a few days in The Seer's enchawnted glade, he gifted the Companions with a dagger crafted from shards of a red gem that was formerly the prison of the fey Silver Princess.  The Seer told the party the weapon could be used to trap The Master's soul putting an end to his reign of terror. 

After traveling on to defeat Rockhome's Frost Giant menace, the party was urgently called back to Darokin.  There they learned from General Winter that Bozdogan's war had ground to a stalemate – thanks to the assistance of their elven, Traldaran and dwarven allies.  Thinking that their Crystal Dagger might be a means to change this the party has considered traveling to Sayr Ulan to force a final confrontation with The Master.

30th and 31st session – 4000 XP (total all sessions: 49,430)

 

 

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The Master Strikes Back!
Fury of the Immortals

Campaign Journal – Felmont 21 1005AC

It appears the reports of The Master's death have been greatly exaggerated.  His forces occupying the desert nation of Sind crashed into Akesoli like a howling sandstorm.  Actually, their attack on Darokin's westernmost city was in fact preceded by a dark, red swirling sandstorm that concealed their advance.

The party was caught in this maelstrom while following up a lead with the "ill" Jeddarin Corran.  The illness he was suffering from turned out to be a burgeoning paranoia that he apparently developed spending time in Corran Keep and with his ancestor's diary.

Given the unholy blood altar discovered in the Keep, it may not have been surprising for the party to learn that the Keep's original occupant and owner of the Mirror Shield, Balthac the Dragonslayer, turned to worshipping the elder gods of Chaos and descended into madness in the Keep.   It is said just a glimpse of the true nature of these Old Ones can drive one out of one's mind in an instant.  Still it added a further evidence that The Broken Lands and its environs are fast becoming a hot bed of activity for those serving such "deities."

Resisting the urge to panic, the party fought through The Master's monstrous skirmishers to Akesoli's wharves.  Exhausted, wounded and pursued by cavalry, they managed to find a small rowboat that had not already been commandeered by desperate, fleeing civilians.

Rowing into Lake Amsorak, their last sight of Akesoli's walls was of the unfurling of The Master's black banners embroidered with drinking horns overflowing with burbling blood.  This now third war and The Master's encroaching forces will surely impact the party's mission from Rheddrian to uncover the source or sources of Mystara's deepening turmoil.

29th session – 4525 XP (total all sessions: 45,430)

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Back to the Future
Fury of the Immortals

Campaign Journal – Felmont 11 1005AC

While the party only sought Rissa Alford in the Frog Temple’s lower dungeon, they stumbled upon the first of many surprises.  Amongst the bedraggled prisoners mumbling their thanks in one deep cell, they found a familiar figure with a slight greenish tint to his skin – Rheddrian!

The freed prisoner was unmistakably the man who had been trapped in the Mirror Shield.   Shockingly, the party’s previous encounter with him was some number of miles and 5000 years distant.  But, the many questions for Rheddrian and his cellmate Rafiel would have to wait until the Companions were clear of the Temple and the Swamp.

Their escape held several more shocks: Baik cowing a squad of Temple guards by sheer force of will, Ruda, Veslo and Miklos arriving at the compound dock with several swamp barges to ferry escapees, and a Saint blasting away at them with a magical cannon.  Only Eaeros heroically diving in front of one the barrages of radiant energy saved Rissa’s life.

Also unexpected were the numerous offers the party received for the Saint’s magics they pilfered from the Temple.  To Arwan's credit, he turned down thousands in gold from Miklos’ mysterious friends and The Fetch only to turn a few of the unusual items over to Rheddrian for safekeeping.

Rheddrian’s most astonishing revelation was that he arrived from across the stars – some accident bringing his ship crashing to Mystara’s surface.   Sometime he was awoken by St. Stephen and his mutineers.  They murdered many of Rheddrian’s crewmates, took him captive and disappeared into the Great Dismal Swamp.  According to Rissa, it appears St. Stephen was building an army to raid the City of the Gods.

Not surprising was the heroes’ welcome the Raven’s Companions received upon their return to Blackmoor. The King was grateful for the immense service he did them and offered them great rewards.  He also tried to convince them to join an expedition to the City of the Gods where the reward might be incalculable.  This time it was the Companion’s opportunity to amaze all when they remained firm on returning to their own time.

Jalapiere, who was to return the party through the Comeback Inn’s misty portal, was startled to find that Eaeros wore his stolen Brooch of Shielding.  Only after great cajoling did Eaeros agree to return the purloined item to its rightful owner.  Upon returning to the future, Jal was devastated to find that, at least 5000 years in the future, Blackmoor was indeed no more.  It was the only time the monkish diviner had displayed emotion in front of the Companions.

The final wonder for the Companions was learning that their world (well, their world a handful of years further in the future than when they left) was at war.  A timely intervention by an armed and armored stranger saved Filandriel’s life when a trio of Wyverns dove upon them as they stopped to assist a stranded Traveler.  Apparently, the summoning of such beasts may be a stratagem employed by Alphatian wizards seeking to inflict long range harm on Glantri in the war's opening gambit.

As a side note, before leaving Blackmoor, the Companions did travel to the dead wizard’s tower to see if  any trace of Alywn Morland could be found.   In fact, she was found whole if not exhausted and wounded hiding in the tower.  Apparently, playing her lute, charmed the beast that emerged from the tunnel wall, possessed Marfeldt's body and carried her own prostrate form out of the trap.  She had since been trapped trying to find a way out…until the Companions appeared and saved her!

28th session –3250 XP (total all sessions: 40,905)

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Heart of Darkness
Fury of the Immortals

Campaign Journal – Spring, 11th year of the reign of Uther Andahar

Almost as soon as the party landed in the Outer Bailey of the City of the Frog they made their way to one of Frog Town’s cleaner and classier brothels.  Earos seemed content to only chat with the establishment’s matron Madame Egraine, while Arwan got an eyeful peeping through the velvet curtained rear windows.

Not solely seeking titillation, Arwan was able to snatch the red robes of a preoccupied Inner Circle Monk with the assistance of a sleeping draught applied by Old Sly Boots.   Armed with this disguise, and the knowledge that high-value prisoners were kept on the highest levels of the Temple, Arwan and an invisible Earos made their way into the Temple of the Frog.   

Bluffing his way past gatehouse guards, Arwan opened the main doors to the Temple using a magic ring found in one of the pockets of his purloined robes.  The Temple, which does really look like a 130 foot tall frog, contained a number of strange features: carvings and friezes depicting the destruction of the world by frog-like humanoids, softly glowing stones lighting its interior, and a temperature less humid and cooler than the swamp outside.

Finding the stairs, Arwan and Earos made their way towards the top of the Temple.  Finally reaching the “mouth’’ of the “frog” – a balcony that turned out to be home to giant swamp-dwelling lizards.  After a short fight, Arwan and Earos decided it might be sensible to get their friends.

Returning to the Temple the same night with Niko and Baik, the Companions again made their way upstairs.  This time, the party decided to accost the guards blocking the stairs on the third floor to see what lay beyond.  What they found were the quarters of a sleeping woman and her Displacer Beast.  Killing her pet and eventually knocking her out, the party found a Saint’s gold robes and a variety of strange magics. 

Interrogating the foul-mouthed woman, she gave them a plan to reach the Lower Dungeon and Rissa – apparently the intelligence gathered in Frog Town about the location of prisoners was bad.  Moving quickly and either bluffing or beating into unconsciousness any priests encountered along the way, the Companions eventually found themselves in the lower dungeon in a barracks.

Their final deception failing, the party found themselves in close quarters combat with a dozen guards.  Victory was won with each Companion giving their all.  Moving onward into the rough-hewn lower dungeon, the Raven’s Companions have located cells where they expect to find Rissa and her men-at-arms.  Surely, all that remains is to rescue the prisoners and flee into the Great Dismal Swamp.

26th and 27th session –3050 XP (total all sessions: 37, 655)

 

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Out of the Frying Pan
Fury of the Immortals

Campaign Journal – Spring, 11th year of the reign of Uther Andahar

Tensions were clearly running high as the Raven’s Companions spent ten days on the Gretchin’ in the barge’s cramped, cloying hold.  The lingering smell of sickness below decks did little to help. The fifteen minutes breaks spent above deck in the gloomy light and chill Spring air only served to highlight to each traveler the danger of The Great Dismal Swamp.

Amongst those dangers were foot long leeches that drained a hapless deckhand of his lifeblood and schools of vicious fish that stripped the flesh from a hapless sailor who fell into the water when the Gretchin’ ran aground.  Eaeros selflessly dove into the frigid, sulfurous swamp water to rescue the dying man suffering dozens of tiny wounds.

Such incidents did little to put the party at ease.  Adding to the dangers without, within the hold Veslo Meridan found occasion to pointedly sharpen her sword while re-telling the tale of how her friend Alwyn Morland was lost – after Alwyn insisted on exploring the dead wizard’s tower to help “that charming Eaeros out.”

This simmering powder keg exploded on a small island in the swamp not far from the Temple of the Frog when the Gretchin’ happened upon a group of monks pulling a small rowing boat ashore.  Arwan insisted Captain Tehn order the barge ashore to see if the party could be of any “assistance” when he overheard the monks’ white-robed leader implore the others to pursue some escaped slaves.

Arwan and Niko readily volunteered to track down the terrified family hiding in a grove of swamp trees.  When the white-robed monk moved to lead them back to his boat, the man in the group slashed at him with a rusty knife.  Arwan promptly knocked the man unconscious and dragged him back to the waiting monks.  All the while, his wife and young daughter crying and begging for mercy.

This turned out to be too much for Eaeros to bear.   He was not content to allow the slaves to be returned to their captive condition at the Temple.  He refused an order to load the woman and child into the monks’ small boat putting the party’s clandestine mission in jeopardy.  When the white-robed monk gave the order for his four subordinates to kill Eaeros, a fight ensued. 

All five monks were felled and Eaeros and Niko displayed newfound and gruesome powers.  Not all the monks were lucky enough to experience the relative ease of dying upon Arwan’s razor-sharp blade.  The monks white-robed leader wept blood from his eyes, infected with foul contagion by Niko, as he was interrogated kneeling in the stinking mud.  After telling all he would, he was granted the release of death.

After witnessing such horrors, only a large amount of gold and a healthy fear of Arwan will likely ensure the silence of Captain Tehn and his crew.  

All Miklos, Ruda and Veslo could do was shake their heads and wonder whether the party was cut out for a mission requiring a certain amount of discretion.

Everyone earns an Inspiration.

24th and 25th session –1950 XP (total all sessions: 34, 605)

 

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Total Chaos
Fury of the Immortals

Campaign Journal – Fall, 10th year of the reign of Uther Andahar

The Chaos Blade lies on the floor next to the face-down form of Arwan, its hilt bathing the gore-splattered temple to Abholos the Infinite Blight in a dull red glow.  The red light makes the blood pooling on the floor look almost black and the crushed chitinous form of the lobster-like creature seem even more otherworldly.  The stench of burned meat wafting from the charred body of the corrupted Ogre chief fills the temple with smoky dense air that almost burns one’s throat. 

The only sounds presently heard in the temple are the coughing of Lwin, likely caused by whatever noxious fumes he inhaled from the Plague Doctor’s censor rather than the Ogre chief’s corpse, the quiet mutterings of Niko over Arwan’s body, and the soft weeping coming from the late Baron’s wife.  No noise can be heard from without to indicate whether the war galleys’ war parties of Gnolls and Lizardmen have regained any semblance of control or forayed into the cave, but the temple lies too deep within the caverns to permit sound.

As such, exiting the temple may be as risky as entering – particularly since, to the surprise of all, the Baroness Glendower appears to be very pregnant. She is also distraught and nearly catatonic after her long tenure of suffering at the hands of the Egg’s cultists.

There are also the matters of the Chaos Blade and Scroll of Final Words, two-thirds of the objects required to complete the ritual to free Abholos, and the Chaos Mote, the enormous, cracked silver orb that is a gate to the malevolent entity’s extraplanar prison.

It appeared from the Plague Doctor’s soliloquy that gathering all three of the evil artifacts might not have been enough to free the plague cultists' dread lord.  He seemed to say that even more power would be needed than could be provided by the artifacts.  He believed that the City of the Gods was the source of the Wyrd and the cultists might be able to harness the Wyrd to their ends if they could only gain access to the City – access that might be had through the magic of the Vault of Song.

What the party will do with the objects and such information will only matter if they can escape the Egg’s domain with their lives.

23rd session –4000 XP (total all sessions: 32,655)

 

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Fortune Favored the Bold
Fury of the Immortals

Campaign Journal – Fall, 10th year of the reign of Uther Andahar

As the cool, crisp air of autumn caught up and overtook the warm breezes of summer in Three Crowns, so too did the Raven’s Companions past visit upon them.  It appeared in the guise of hunched, cloaked figure in a beaked mask with glassy eyes born aloft in a thorny palanquin.  It brought tidings as noxious as the fumes emitted from the censor atop its staff.  The creature arrived to the shores of Three Crowns aboard a “plague ship” … a galley flying a black sail, fitted for battle and transporting a war party of hungry looking Gnolls.

Three bells rang for the militia to muster and Arwan strode forth to bravely parlay with the Egg’s ambassador. In a muted, tinny voice, it demanded the Key to the Vault of Song – the Diamond Staff.  Arwan agreed to trade the Staff for the Baron of Glendower and his bride.  The ambassador gave Three Crowns 30 days before he returned in force to collect the Staff or destroy the village.

The party flew into action – Eaeros preparing the villagers for a long march to safety in Blackmoor Town, Niko sending riders to allies in Maus and the Elf Wood and Arwan organizing the village’s military defense and developing a bold plan to rescue the Baron, destroy the Egg’s forces and end the threat to Three Crowns.

When Ondres failed to return with information on the plague ship’s direction (after quickly turning into a shark to pursue it) the party set out in their new sailing boat to catch up with Eaeros in Blackmoor Town. 

Eaeros provided the key information with launched the rest of the Companions against the keep of Coot’s Watch.  Infiltrating the Baron’s former, crumbling fortress, they eagerly led the King’s soldiers against the mangy Gnolls inside capturing their bandit leader.  Thinking the battle won, they then learned that the keep held a deeper, darker secret below.

An unknown entity living beyond the Prime Material Plane saw fit to reveal to Niko the magical password that would permit the party to enter the cultists’ hideout underneath the stairs. They descended into the gloom with a peculiarly single-minded companion newly unshackled from the galley’s rowing benches.  Below the keep they defeated the ironically named Lareth the Beautiful- who was little more than a collection of fungal spores – and his thugs.

Niko then lost himself in the darkness of the Scroll of Final Words, learning that the cultists aim was to use three evil artifacts, of which the Scroll was one, to free Abholos the Infinite Blight from his prison.  A map and some notes in the room suggested this event would take place in a temple to Chaos situated amongst a swamp and some caves on the Egg’s island. 

The party soon set sail in their new galley in hopes of thwarting this threat, rescuing the Baron and dashing any planned invasion of Three Crowns.

22nd session –3000 XP (total all sessions: 28,655)

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The Gods Must Be Crazy
Fury of the Immortals

Campaign Journal – Summer, 10th year of the reign of Uther Andahar

High atop the sun god’s cathedral in Maushold, Niko, Fil, Baik and their new companion Ondres caught a purported glimpse of the City of Gods … that same city that is professed to lie south of Blackmoor in the Valley of the Ancients.  That hint of the rumored City was caught through a portal opened by Karis, a wild mage with the ability to manipulate the Wyrd, and husband to Den-el Svarga – the “Tormentor.”  That brief view of its spires suggests the City does indeed exist.

The portal was part of Svarga’s plan to transport Karis to the City of the Gods in hopes that they could end her catatonic state.  She had been convalescing as a “guest” in Maushold ever since she was struck down by Robert the Bald during the Vestfold wizards’ rebellion.  In the intervening years, the priests of the sanitarium made little progress in relieving her condition.  The storm of wild magic brewing around Maus was a sign to Svarga of some small return to consciousness by Karis, though not enough for her to apply her powers and control it.

Prevented from blackmailing Lady Nidris into giving him ships by kidnapping her son, Svarga hoped his powers of mental manipulation might allow him to direct whatever existed of Karis’ mind to transport them more directly to the City via the storm.  Apparently, his alliance with the Egg’s fire cultists was one of convenience – muscle he could use to his ends.  

It was not learned why he thought the gods could help Karis or where he obtained the steel “lightning staff,” but it is clear he believed in their power.   With the death of the two Cabal wizards, the storm cleared and some normalcy returned to Maus, though the “Night of Madness” will be spoken of across the Northland’s for many years to come.

Before journeying back to Three Crowns, Filandriel made the most of the wine dens of Maus while Nikolaj spent time studying with Jal – who was most pleased to learn of the demise of the two rebellious wizards and the recovery of an artifact of the Gods.  Jal also disclosed that during the Night of Madness the son of the Baron of Maus apparently murdered his father the Baron and then fled into the fens.  Last, but not least, Niko, Fil, Baik, Ondres and Noctis were rewarded 2000GP each as a reward from the Mayor of Maus.  

Life at Three Crowns continues much as before Niko and Fil left for Maus and its people are eagerly awaiting the first harvests.  Arwan and Earos have been dutifully studying oration and healing.  Though there are the matters of the disappearance of the Baron of Glendower, the murder of the Baron of Maus, the ongoing tragedy at Bloodstone, and the City of the Gods, it appears the Companions have settled nicely into a domesticated routine.  Only time will tell if such bliss will be interrupted.

21st session –5875XP (total all sessions: 25,655)

"When it's sunny in Niflheim." (Northern proverb, meaning that it will never happen.)

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A Lyin' in the Sand
Fury of the Immortals

Campaign Journal – Summer, 10th year of the reign of Uther Andahar

The party’s experience in the city of Maus has been certainly more eventful than the trip through the swamp to reach it.  It is difficult to say what has been more alarming – the sacking of their mark Lady Sala Nidris’ home, the kidnapping of her son Zan, the fierce battle on the beach that nearly cost two of the party their lives, the transformation of the Raven’s Companions from a figurative to a literal moniker, the disappearing man in the devil mask, or the storm that is eerily like the tempest that swallowed the Calypso in The Broken Lands.

These trials leave Niko with much to ponder as Lady Nidris’ armored coach rattles over Maus’ cobblestone streets on the way back to her house.  Her young son Zan babbles on about “the Tormenter” and stares blankly at the roof.  Clearly, the devil-masked man had been working some kind of mind magic on Zan when the party interrupted him.  His mother pets his hair and stares out at the rain. 

Arriving, it appears the Lady’s servants have begun to clean up the broken glass and furniture in her house.  The Lady also sends Tulzu to call upon on a priestess of Freya known to her.  The priestess tends to the most badly wounded members of the party.  She is able to rouse Ondres and Noctis.

“The ‘Tormenter’ is still out there…a danger.  He hurt my son and I expect he’ll hurt others,” says the Lady quietly.  “If there are fire cultists here in Maus, then they must be stopped at all costs.  If you head back down to the docks maybe a shop owner or a patron of the Beached Leviathan saw something that could help you track him down.  He couldn’t have gotten far.  I’ll see to it that the Mayor offers a reward.”

Tulzu warns that you will need oilskins if you head back out into the rain.  He also warns to be on the lookout for people acting strange.  On his travel back from the priestess’ he saw a man crawling along the street stones on all fours barking at passersby like a hound.  “He tried to bite the priestess on the ankle before I gave him a swat.”  He swears he also saw two men trying to carry away a goat to the head of which they had affixed a great, pink bonnet.  “The King’s soldiers busy indeed…”

At that moment, you hear what sounds like the mewing of a cat and a scuffle out in the street …

20th session –1680XP (total all sessions: 19,780)

"Down the mushroom road." (Dwarven, refers to delirium tremens from mushroom moonshine)

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On the Road Again
Fury of the Immortals

Campaign Journal – Summer, 10th year of the reign of Uther Andahar

In truth, the road to Maus is little more than a wet, spongy track twisting through endless fens.  The cloying mud creeping up the bank of the Raider’s “Road” pulls at the legs of horses and heavily spatters travelers’ cloaks.  The dense canopy of birch and white oak trees allows in little of the warm summer sun to dry your clothes.

The four and a half days of rough, damp travel does not seem to perturb monkish Jallapiere.  He seems content to sit on a wet stump or log each twilight next to a fire of rank, smoldering grass and talk while you attempt to knock weevils out of your moist hard tack.   

Jal seems disturbed that the destruction of Blackmoor appears to have come to pass – given the nature of The Broken Lands in your own time. He wonders aloud whether the Halfing’s misgivings about the University have any merit?  He says “surely the Hin will point to the destruction of Uvaeren by an apparent act of the gods as a warning to those who seek to learn the secrets of the Spheres of Power.  They certainly are sticklers for tradition.”  Still, he has a hard time imagining how working to bring the races together and improve their lot through advancing the University (“even the Orcs!”) could be anything but the gods’ plan for mortals. 

He also entrusts to you that he believes that the star that destroyed Uvaeren might have something to do with the Wyrd.  He believes it is not a coincidence that the areas where the star crashed have concentrations of the smooth, starry black stones that appear to influence wild magic.  Odd too that the Wyrd still seems to affect magic in your time based on your tales of spells going awry, strange magical storms, extraplanar monsters and portals and objects that seem to bend time, space and magic.  “Perhaps its source has outlived Blackmoor!”

He also posits that it cannot be a good sign that creatures in your time bearing the mark of the Egg were sniffing around the Mirror Shield and Fire Opal Eye.  He frowns, “They can mean no good if they seek a portal to your time and world.  Perhaps you should heed the doomsayer’s from your own time.”

He remarks again that the Raven’s Companions did a great deed by keeping the Cabal of Wizards out of Uvaeren.  “The Cabal’s obsession with the purity of magic and taming the Wyrd has driven them mad.  They say the University’s science will destroy magic, but if they can ever bend the Wyrd to their ends that will surely unbalance the Spheres and bring catastrophe – it is too much power.”

He says once you arrive in Maus, you should seek out a merchant – a Lady Nidris Sala – Skandaharian in origin – who owns several ships and is suspected of being engaged in the elicit flesh trade.  She can often be found at day’s end in the Moonstone Mask.  Jal says he will be making use of his divining tools to see if he can learn any information while you investigate.

He hopes that the dark clouds that appear to be gathering on the outskirts of Maus as you approach do not interfere with your investigation.

He also appears to avoid the topic of his dual prophecy out of politeness…

19th session –2500XP (total all sessions: 18,100)

“Blue ones are at it again.” (Ylari/Sindian; lighting is associated with blue dragons mating or battling)

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