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The Pen is Mightier than the Sword

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  1. Earlier
  2. Garm and Tanis.

    The ground began to rise as they ran and soon they were leaping over gullies and fallen trees. After twenty minutes of this they came to a fallen tree bridging a deep ravine. "*do you think they would try to lead their horses across this ?*" "*Maybe; Depends on how well trained the horses are and if they have any levation magic strong enough to try jumping it.*" They padded across and jumped to the ground on the far side, where Tanis resumed human form. "If we've got enough of a lead on them I might be able to make a trap out of this." Tanis said drawing the Rune Dagger she had used before. Holding it blade up in her left hand with her right palm facing the dagger and the way they had come she began chanting softly. After a minute or so a faint glow formed in the air between the dagger and her palm. "Good, they're just now reaching the edge of the broken ground. That should give me just enough time." Tanis climbed back onto the fallen tree and began carving Runes into it with the dagger and whispering Words of Power. After about five minutes she plunged the dagger into the tree in the middle of the spell speaking a final Word of Power. Causing the whole thing to glow brightly for a moment before fading from view. "I'll miss that dagger, we've been through a lot together. But with a little luck I'll be able too make a new one in Bristol." Tanis jumped down from the fallen tree and resumed her cat form "* let's go, we will want to be well away from that when it goes off. *" "*won't they know that you did a spell, because of the tracking spell they're using ?*" "*They will know that I did a spell, but they won't know what I did. If they slow down enough to find my trap and avoid or disarm it...Well, it's not as good as a kill; But it will give us a heck of a lead on them.*"
  3. Grendel 621

    I finished just before sunset, well pleased with the results. Once the basic spell was in place on the orb in was really a rather simple matter to reverse the basic light spell already on the crystals and link it to the Orb. A small tweek and the Light crystals were also absorbing a bit of ambiaent Magic to keep the whole thing going. I was a bit surprised at how easily I was able to do this. Mage work was not part of my basic Grendel programming nor did it feel like a part of my former life as a Ranger. And yet here I was planning to add all sorts of tweeks and extras to the Spell Web I was weaving. This was a thing to Meditate on at length once I could find the time. I was just settling down to test out the quality of my work when I saw the wagon coming up the road. It seems I had finished just in time. Ishmael was driving with Elizabeth sitting next to him. Isaac was in the back talking to an older woman who I later learned was Helga, Elizabeth's "nanny/chaperone/traveling companion/servant and dear friend" as Elizabeth put it while explaining things over dinner. It was my great good fortune that the Wave Runner had been late in arriving so that introductions and so on had had to be rushed and the wagon driven fast enough to greatly limit conversation along the way. If whatever god of luck was responsible made his/her/its self known to me I'd've become a worshiper on the spot. But no supernatural beings appeared to take me up on the offer. So, either no god was involved, or my gratitude was worship enough.
  4. Wylding Zombie War

    It has been said that I should have made note of the Wylding's Cloak at some point in these writings. And this is quite true, given that the Cloak is part of the Wylding's innate magic and an iconic tool. The Cloak is a part of the Wylding and takes effort to separate from themselves. So they are careful about who they loan them to. And only under extreme conditions will they bestow one. Of course during a war extreme conditions happen rather a bit more often than otherwise. Which is where the common misconception that Wyldings need the Cloak in order to transform. They don't. But the loss is still an inconvenience and creating a new Cloak takes quite a bit of time and effort. Now one upon whom a Cloak has been bestowed is dependent on the Cloak in order to transform. At least until they can find a Druid or Shaman to preform the Wylding Ritual. Assuming that they want to become a true Wylding of course. Once a Cloak has been bestowed it is linked to the new owner and what happens to the Wylding who gave it no longer matters. This is of course not the case with a Cloak that has only been loaned. If the link is broken the Cloak will lose its powers. Although a Shaman or Druid of sufficient skill can restore the Magic; at least in most cases. Assuming that not too much time has passed. And there have been reports of Loaned Cloaks becoming Bestowed upon the death of the Wylding; a dying wish effect as it were. It likely goes without saying that Cloaks of this sort can't be stolen. At least not stolen for use. They can be stolen and destroyed or magically bound. Assuming such action is taken quickly. As a Wylding can call the Cloak to themselves by a simple act of will as long as the Cloak is within a few miles.
  5. Garm and Tanis.

    The thunder of galloping hooves cut off further conversation as Tanis draped her cloak over Tom and spoke a Word. A second harsher Word sent the bespelled horses galloping off to the North. And a moment later Tanis was dropping to all fours next to Tom. "* We'll wait until they've passed, then head southwest*" Before Tom could reply one of the pursuing Naazz raised his arm and spoke a Word. A bolt of dark energy shot skyward bursting into a rain of smoking arrows forming a net in front of the bespelled horses. "*Run!*" Tom didn't waste any time on questions he ran, and soon found that his new form was in far better shape than his old one. "*Speed and distance will buy us some time. But we need a place to hide and work. Are there any towns big enough to fend off this many Naazz ?*" Tanis ask after they'd been running for about 10 minutes. Tom thought for a bit, "*Maybe Bristol, if we can reach it. It's most of a day's travel from here even at this pace. Assuming we can keep this pace for that long.*" "*Bristol, sea port, shipyard, Magus training school. Yes; that should be enough to give them pause. And give us the time and cover I'll need to turn this mess around.*" "*I'm a bit slow at the magic game; what have we stepped in, and how deep is it ?*" "*Not sure. They caught the horses while my spells were still fresh. They can use that to track me. Any magic I do now will be like sending up a firearrow. We can use that to lead them into a trap, if we can get enough of a lead on them to have time to set one.*" "*Head a bit more south then. And we'll reach a stretch of ground that'll slow them up quite a bit. Slow us a bit too, but a cat will still make better time than a horse and rider. Couple of places they'll have to get off and lead the horses or risk losing them.*" "*purr-fect.*"
  6. Grendel 621

    It was a crisp autumn night with a hint of frost in the air and an almost full moon to light my way. I would have been happier with less light as I didn't need it and would have been better hidden by more darkness. Even so, I made the trip quickly and without incident. The hints of coming Winter in the air also gave me the beginnings of an idea for how to befriended my hosts before fully revealing myself. Sooner or later they were going to notice that someone or something was lurking about better therefore if that unseen presence proved to be helpful and protective. And the spy eyes and ears I was planning to setup would give me an easy way to know of things they were needing or otherwise concerned about. Now I just need to find a crystal of the right size and shape. This proved to be more of a challenge than I had expected. Which lead me to wonder just how the Yuun-Xi had guarded the complex back in the day. I wondered, but no answers came, and it wasn't worth taking the time to meditate on just now. My searching did lead me to the discovery of a small but well equipped workshop that I had overlooked before. And that solved my crystal problem quite nicely. Glass while not exactly a crystal is close enough for quite a few things, including the spell I was planning to setup. The spellbook had even mentioned it as an option. Crafting the glass ball I needed, along with a few other items that could prove useful later, took longer than I had expected and it was almost sunrise as I headed back to the cabin. My hosts would be back before the end of the day. So, like it or not I was going to have to setup my spy net during the day and just hope no one was around to notice.
  7. The Land of Failed Gods

    I really enjoy this. Well done.
  8. The Land of Failed Gods

    The time will come, when I no longer allow the Gods to rely upon their immortallity. I shall deny them their omnipotence and take from them the faith which sustains them. They will be cast down and judged. As they had judged. Had they adhered to the Laws I handed down to them, so long ago? The scales of justice shall weigh their fate. Those found to have stayed true will ascend to my Kingdom, to live, eternally, by my side. The others shall become mortal, to live out their lives amongst the many others who have failed, and fallen from my Grace.
  9. Garm and Tanis.

    Tanis looked down at the Naazz, whose throat she had just cut, and then at the blood on her dagger as it flowed into the Runes. They started to glow. A quick look to see if Tom had lead the horse far enough away. He had. Pointing the dagger at the fallen Naazz she spoke a harsh guttural Word of Power. Greenish Flames leapt from the dagger to the fallen Naazz. Engulfing the body in an instant and racing outward along the lines of magic leading to the other Naazz and their master. "That should get their attention." She said with grim satisfaction. "What did you do?" Tom ask as Tanis walked over. "Psi-poisson. They'll likely see it coming and block it, but it should still get them riled up. And, an angry foe is a stupid one." "Aye. And I'll gladly take any advantage we can get. Now, what's yer, plan for these horses ?" "Decoys. The more we can split them up, the better our chances of getting away." And with that said Tanis walked slowly around the first horse chanting words of Power and tracing Arcane symbols in the air with her dagger. After the first circuit there was a hazy form taking shape in the saddle. By the end of the second, it was recognizable as the fallen Naazz. And by the end of the third, Tom was forcing his hand to let go of his swordhilt. Tanis took a small vile from her cloak and poured the contents over her dagger as she headed to the second horse. Tom opened his mouth, then closed it again. Tanis gave a small nod."Blood Magic. Nasty; but effective." Tom waited for her to finish with the horses, keeping a close eye on their back trail. When she was finished "And while they're chasing the horses we'll be...?" "Sneaking away through the underbrush in cat form." She said taking off her enchanted pantherskin cloak. "We've been lucky to take down three of them. I'm not going to push it by trying for four; at least not today."
  10. Garm and Tanis.

    Garm lay under the enchanted wolfskin cloak with the stones of the not quite dry streambed pressing into his belly. Which helped distract him from the feel of Anna's body pressing into his back and side. Now was not the time for that sort of thing. Not with a Naazz, cloaked and mounted, scanning the landscape for you less than fifty yards away. Taking out the one at Old Tom's cabin had been a mistake. But how was he to know that there was a whole Fist of them out there. Only eight of them left now; and he longed to make it seven. But that was Tom and Tanis' job; leading the Naazz away. As if in answer to his thoughts, the Naazz jerked in his saddle and galoped of to the northeast. "Now's our chance." He said scrambling out from under the cloak and quickly settling it on Anna's shoulders. A Word of Power, and she was dropping to the ground on all fours. A moment later and a pair of gray wolves were bounding away to the South.
  11. The Naazz

    The Naazz are the latest weapon/agent to be added to the Necromancer side of the Necromancer/Druid Wars. I say Wars rather than just War due to the common view that the war was won when the Yun-Xi were defeated with the help of the Wyrdlings. Which is true, as far as it goes. Necromancy became a hidden secret branch of Magic after that. Until the rise of the Litch Lords and the other free undead. Along with their newest servants, the Naazz. So, what are they already, you ask ? Well, they are to Litch Lords what Dracons are to Dragons. More or less. That is to say they are living beings bound to a powerful undead Necromancer able to partake of their master's undead nature and powers without the related weaknesses of being undead. Spells and Wards that work on Evil effect them normally, but Spells that target Undead specifically have little or no effect. At best their Naazz powers are suppressed and the mindlink to their master and fellow Naazz is blocked. Which is better than nothing but given that most Naazz are powerful spell casters and warriors even without the added benefit of their Naazz powers... As they have been compared to Dracons the question of whether they can go Ronan has naturally been raised. And so far there is no clear answer. There are no reports of Ronan Naazz and Undead Essence is not the same as Dragon Essence. But given that most Naazz are powerful Necromancers in their own right it is likely that they would be able to keep most of their Naazz powers even if their Master were destroyed or the Naazz Bond were broken in some other way. So far only the Litch Lord Angmar has produced Naazz in noteable numbers. The Bone Troopers of the Dread Emporior being a different sort of half-undead and so not useful for this line of speculation. We are left waiting for more information to become available.
  12. Wyrdlings

    It has been said that Wyrdlings were created as a counter measure to the Grendels; but this isn't really the case. Wyrdlings are reported in several places months before the first recorded encounter with a Grendel. This is not to say that Wyrdlings were not effective against Grendels; they were Very effective. And not just against Grendels. They were, arguably, the most effective countermeasure to the Yun-Xi weapons program as a whole. And one of the key factors in winning the war as well. For those of you who are not up to speed on all this. I'll cover Wyrdlings here, and you can learn about Grendels and the War as a whole from my other writings. The main reason for Wyrdlings was as a way to counter the Yun-Xi practice of making weapons out of our troops without having to take the time to train Spellcasters up to the levels needed for the most effective countermeasure spells. And yes creating Artifacts is one way to deal with that problem. And it was tried. But, Artifacts have to be recharged and repaired by trained Wizards; of a higher level of skill, than what is needed to just cast the spells in the first place. Living Artifacts; and that is what Wyrdlings are (as are Wyldings, Lycains, Grendels, and so on for that matter.) have several advantages over the regular sort. Being alive, their Energies renew over time. And if they fall into enemy hands they can attempt to escape before they can be studied or corrupted. And, given their powers it would be quite hard for the Yun-Xi to take a Wyrdling captive in the first place. First of all there is their Disruption ability. Which not only cuts off Undead from their environment but also blocks the Yun-Xi from using their Mind Web abilities. So the Yun-Xi troops have no way to get power or orders. This was totally devastating to the early types of Undead, which would collapse on the spot. Of course this lead to the Yun-Xi placing Rune Stones into their later types of Undead and Corrupting living beings. Of course this lead to the next Wyrdling ability, Restoration. Which does basically what it sounds like. Restoring the mind of a Corrupted being to it's former state. Of course this didn't always work on the Undead, as there wasn't enough mind left to be restored. And this lead to the Third Ability, Supplant Control. Which is exactly what it sounds like. And that is where the problems started, Wyrdlings ordering about enemy troops, both Undead and living including some lower rank Yun-Xi; lead some people to wonder if the Wyrdlings wouldn't become corrupted by the lure of Dark Magic. And, Sadly, some did. What most people don't seem to want to understand is that usurping control of someone or something that is already being controlled is much simpler than taking control of a free mind in the first place. Very few Wyrdlings were ever able to do that. And several of those that did played a key role in the winning of the War, by taking control of key members of the Yun-Xi Highcomand.
  13. Behind the House of Usher

    Like the two Styx's Gollums that were coming around the corners of the fortress. Runecleaver flew back to Targon's hand just avoiding a spray of Styx's Water. I put up a shield, for the little good it would likely be. I didn't think they could reach us with their spray at this range, but better not to take chances. The real question was; how to cross with them there. The Styx is tricky enough without being shot at while trying to cross it. Yerico looked like she was getting ready to try it anyway; as she already had Kabaru in the water and was calling for the rest of us to get on board. "What about the Golems?" I ask as I ran up the gangplank. "You'll see." She said pointing to a high window in the Fortress, as we shoved off into the current. It took me a moment but then I saw her. Just as she let loose with a blast of draconic ice-fire turning one of the Styx's Gollums into an ice sculpture. I took out the other one with a blasting spell as it was turning around. And Latara launched herself out of the window. A large Tome clutched to her chest. Moments later, she was on the deck and we were heading for shore.
  14. On Nerfs and Gribbles

    Poundfoolish lurked in the hallway outside of the Wabe, at one with the darkness. It worked. The plan had worked. Zatar had gotten the Egg and hatched it. And now there was a Bandersnatch hatchling just waiting to be posisesed. Oh what a lovely deadly form to wear. Well, once it was a bit more grown up. But that would take care of itself. The real kink in the plan was that blasted Gargoyle. If only that dottering old janitor hadn't wandered into the Gribble pens before the spell had finished melting into the Portal. Ahh well. The rest of the plan had worked beautifully, and Zatar was enough of a showman to want to show off his new prize at some point. And then it would just be a matter of slipping in with the crowd. Maybe a Suggestion Shard to put the Gargoyle guarding the Gribble pens during the tour... Maybe. But a second Shard might remind Zatar of the first one and lead to his investigating things far more closely than would be safe. No, better to just watch and wait for now. And so, Poundfoolish settled deeper into the shadows to wait.
  15. MAJOR NEWS!!!

    OMNI is back. For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, know that those who do, have already stopped reading and are breaking traffic laws as they speed to find as many copies to buy as they can. OMNI is a magazine that you HAVE to read. It’s science, futurist, sci-fi and more. Looks like it will be quaterly. Run out and buy it ASAP. This magazine is on my list, right up there with D&D, The Dancing Wu Li Masters, Tolkien, Willy Wonka, Star Wars, Mickey Rooney Boys Town and Andy Hardy movies, Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday, Dragonlance, Villains by Necessity, Silver Call series, the Final Cut, Wizards, Harold and Maude, Rick and Morty, Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, Descendents Weinerschnitzel, I can go on but I’ll stop here. Buy a copy!
  16. On Nerfs and Gribbles

    The egg rocked; lay still for a little while; and then rocked again, harder and faster. There was a crackling noise and cracks began to appear. Zatar opened his eyes to watch. The omen spell hadn't been able to give a hatching time closer than 48 hours. So he'd been catnaping in a recliner next to the incubator for over a day now. Sure he could have left Gus to watch the egg and all. But, being there for the first recorded hatching of a Bandersnatch egg... He checked the recorder. Running, having started as soon as the egg began to move. Gus entered the room with a breakfast tray just as the egg rocked again and split down the middle. "Ah, perfect timing." Zatar said as he opened the cover of the incubator "Now, let's see if these guys are enough like dragons to be impressed." Gus took the lid off a plater on the tray revealing a pile of assorted chunks of raw meat. Zatar took a chunk and dropped it into the hatchling's open mouth. The hatchling chewed twice and swallowed, then looked up for more. Ten minutes, and about half the pile of meat, later the Bandersnatch hatchling was curled up in a ball sleeping. "Did it work ?" Gus ask, settling himself in the other chair. "I think so. But it's a bit hard to tell. The bond isn't nearly as strong as what is reported for Dragons. And Rasputin was using spells, So, nothing there as far as natural bonding goes." "But he hadn't done anything to it's mind; so the mental strength rating should be about right?" Gus observed. "Yes. And it checks out, along with the expected emotions. All well and good as far as it goes; but we're about as far along as the notes go."
  17. Behind the House of Usher

    As we advanced through the graveyard the Styx's fog grew thicker and the grave markers loomed larger. Soon becoming full sized Gargoyles. One moved; and I threw a basic Binding Spell over it. A couple of quick spells later and we had a scout flying off into the Fog, as I fell back to the middle of our little group. Seeing through the Gargoyle's eyes would rather limit my ability to keep track of what was going on around me; but the tradeoff was well worth it. As I was able to take out three other Gargoyles before they even knew were there. There was no way of knowing who or what they were working for; if anyone. I hadn't found any spells on the one I was using. But still, better not to take chances. And then we were there. And right across from the island we were looking for. And there on the bank facing us was a Styx's Gollum. I cast a Binding Spell at it through the Gargoyle. Which it blocked with a spray of Styx's Water. Knocking it out of the air and wiping away my spells. But this distracted it enough for Targon to split it in half with that monster axe of his. So much for stealth. Someone, or at least some thing knew we were there. If we are lucky it is just the automated defenses from back in the day. But even then Some One could be on their way to see what had tripped the alarms.
  18. Behind the House of Usher

    I stood under an old maple tree across the road from the graveyard wrapped in my cloak of shadows waiting for the others to arrive. The first I spotted was Targon. He came walking down the road not even trying to hide. I thought about it for a moment and decided that in his case this mightbe the better option. After all if you are spotted trying to hide you are more likely to be remembered than if you're just walking along out in the open. When I looked back Hawk and Kain were standing by the graveyard gate and Yerico was stepping out of the trees by the corner of the wall. I pulled back my cowl and stepped forward to join them, thinking that Targon was sharper than I'd given him credit for. By walking openly down the road, not only was he likely to be only lightly remembered but the rest of us were all the more likely to go totally unnoticed. Hawk and Kain had seen me coming and had a brazier set up on either side of the graveyard gate by the time I reached them. I took my place in the center and began the Chant as they tossed incense on the glowing coals. Yerico was doing a lesser fog spell, but by tying it to mine the fog gained the memory clouding effects of the Styx's fog we'd all be dealing with once we finished crossing. A clever move on her part. Not only would this cover our tracks from any locals who might have been around, but it was also an easy way to check that our protective charms were working. The Smoke and Mist swirled together over the graveyard gate making strange complex patterns. I spoke the final Word of the spell and the magical smog froze in place overlaying the graveyard gate which swung open with eerie silence. The rest of the Styx's fog we'd created rolled and boiled around us as it flowed tword the banks of the Styx which now lay waiting at the far end of the graveyard.
  19. It's been a long, long time since I was active here, but I came back to trawl the archives because I'm attempting to collate all my poetry in one place. Looking back at the threads I participated in reminded me what a boon this community was for a lonely teenager when I first found it 13 years ago. Hard to tell how active this place is anymore, but I'm glad it's still around :)

  20. First Lines (V. 2.0)

    Angry Flowers lie in wait Alluring scent, enticing bait Colors that beguile the eye All of it a cunning lie Angry Flowers lie in wait Toxic nectar dripping hate While spiteful thorns accentuate And joyful moods evaporate Flee before it is too late When Angry Flowers lie in wait. ******* Next line: Fairy Dust upon the wind
  21. Challenging Myself

    And, I'm back... at least for a short while. Here's #12.... #12 Home burning bridges never felt as sweet as it does with you. to replace that would be a sin - but - I'd think about it if it meant never being questioned again. never again loathing tearing at my breast. making me hate you, hate me, wanting nothing more than love, love to rescue me... from home.
  22. Behind the House of Usher

    We spent the afternoon going over maps, both of the part of the Styx we expected to be going to and the local area between where we were and the Graveyard we were planing to use as our gateway. Which still left us with a few hours to fill before it was late enough to go skulking off. Kain, Targon, and Hawk spent some time sparing while the rest of us selected spells likely to be useful against Styx Golems and whatever else we might run into along the way. I prepared a couple of Sleep spells just in case we were spotted by any locals. A bit of a risk, as nothing along the Styx would be effected by such spells and they would be just taking up slots once we crossed over, but still...
  23. Grendel 621

    A long shot I had no way of following up on just now, but still worth thinking about later. In the short term there were a number of spells in Isaac's book that were well worth learning. It took me longer than I would have liked to copy them into another book. But it was far safer to make the copy than just take the original. After all I didn't want my presence discovered before I was ready. One spell in particular could solve my observation problem; assuming I could manage to cast it. It was a lookout spell, used to allow the ship's captain to take a look at different parts of the ship without having to leave his cabin. Just the thing. And there was a second spell for talking to different parts of the ship as well. I'd need to be careful using that one, as the talking was two way. But that would be a minor matter. The bigger problem would be finding a crystal for the center piece of the spell. The light crystals I'd taken from the complex would be perfect for the "eyes". It was after dark before I set out to get all the things I'd need to get from the Complex. But, maybe that was for the best. After all there was no reason to assume that other people weren't around to notice me. And for now that was a thing I felt it better to avoid.
  24. Grendel 621

    As I had hoped Isaac had been a ship's Magus and not only had he kept his log books but also his spell books. I hadn't even thought of those; but once I found them I saw that here was a possible answer to several minor problems. Gate spells and scrying spells being the bulk of a ship's Magus' duties; if I could master a few of these, then both my observation and coming and going issues would be solved. Grendels, may not have been designed to be spell casters, per say; but we had the ability. Or at least I did, along with some knowledge of the Art left over from my former life. I hadn't been a great spell caster before, and wasn't likely to become one now, but I could manage the spells I needed; with some practice. I was also in luck in terms of information about time. In his journals Isaac made several references to duties that were leftover from "the war". That he found irksome, and pointless, given that "the war" had ended over 30 years ago. So, guessing Isaac at around 60 years old now, and likely in his 20s then, I'd been down there for 70 years or more. Long enough that fear of the Grendels should have faded somewhat. Long enough that most of the people I might have known in my former life would be dead. But, maybe not all. If I had been a Ranger, then I was likely trained by Elves... A long shot, but a possibly.
  25. Hallo friends I've met and not met!

    If it's Atlantis, then this thread has drawn the attention of all the sea-dwellers (what an inexplicable spike in viewings of this thread!).
  26. Grendel 621

    I perked up at this news; my hosts were going away and would not be back until late the following day. This would give me ample time to set up housekeeping in the cave, and explore the house and grounds for a solution to my observation problem. And if the father, Isaac, had been a ship's Magus he might have journals that could give me a more accurate measure of how long I'd been down there after the Base had been abandoned. And the arrival of "Elizabeth" from foreign lands could also offer opportunities to learn about local history and customs. So much to learn. But, here was a wonderful opportunity; and all it required at the moment was patients. Which I found I had less of than expected. But, finally, they were on their way. I forced myself to wait a full 15 minutes after the sound of the wagon had faded, just to be sure they didn't return for some forgotten something or other. They were some of the longest minutes of my life. But the wait was worth it.
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