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roboblu

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Posts posted by roboblu


  1. whoops, my hand slipped

      Dali Hildebrand Mythal Senaria Singlace Uldwar Caro Karradeen Tankred
    Dali   Friendly Marriage         Neutral Friendly
    Hildebrand Friendly   Friendly Neutral Neutral Friendly Neutral Neutral Marriage
    Mythal Marriage Friendly           Hostile Marriage
    Senaria   Neutral           Neutral Neutral
    Singlace   Neutral       Hostile   Hostile Neutral
    Uldwar   Friendly     Hostile     Friendly Neutral/Friendly
    Caro   Neutral           Neutral Neutral
    Karradeen Neutral Neutral Hostile Neutral Hostile Friendly Neutral   Friendly
    Tankred Friendly Marriage Marriage Neutral Neutral Neutral/Friendly Neutral Friendly  

    help me fill this in?


  2. As of September 29 AO, Tankred is formally OK with most, if not all of the houses. By nature, Tankred is a house that does best when it has multiple buyers alliances, so some very determined brown-nosing has happened since the tyrant-king fell. Informally, I assume many other noble families and citizens of UM still distrust Tankred for its role in Damien's reign, and also because they're just weird, asocial folks

    They very much value intellectual progress, and only like making friends because it funds their research. They've been this way for generations. I am sure this attitude is somewhat off-putting for many typical noble houses.


  3. Wl7EShY.png?1 

    FLORACLE FLOWER SHOP + APOTHECARY

    OVERVIEW: Looking to surprise your romantic partner with flowers? Collecting rare, organic ingredients for a spell, tincture, or charm? Want to escape the hustle and bustle of Terrenus's primary port city? Look no further than the Floracle Flower Shop and Apothecary, a beloved landmark of Casper, Terrenus for over 50 years. Founded by Hector Marie, renowned botanist and apothecary, the Floracle has since fallen into the ownership of his granddaughter, Valentine Marie, assisted by her twin brother, Caspian. Hector's memory lives on through the passion his grandchildren carry for flowers, herbs, and natural medicine, and long-time patrons of the Floracle will recognize his sparkling, kind blue eyes in young Valentine. The shop is open from Tuesday through Sunday from 8:00am until dusk, though the courtyard closes at around 11:00pm in the spring and summer. 

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    STOREFRONT: As befitting of any flower shop, the Floracle's storefront is characterized by large, floor-to ceiling windows. The purpose of these windows is twofold: one, they allow passersby to admire the forest of flowers and plants just inside its doors, and two, they provide light for the plants growing on nearly every surface within the shop. During nice weather, outdoor displays burst with color and fragrance, and a few small tables and chairs are set up for those who need a minute or two to rest during their shopping.  It is not uncommon to see Valentine herself sitting outside when business is slow, typically with a cup of tea in hand and a smile on her face. 

    MAIN ROOM: Upon first entering the Floracle, one is assaulted by a rainbow of colors and scents from every angle. Blue tiles with a floral design cover the floor, bright and glowing in the morning sun. Nearly every other surface is crafted from dark mahogany wood engraved with flowers and swirling, natural designs. The right and left walls are covered in wooden slots containing loose blooms organized by region and color. Although individual blooms may remain on display for weeks at a time, they retain the beauty of a freshly cut flower thanks to a specially crafted longevity spell. Patrons are welcome to pick and choose flowers to design their own bouquets, or they may peruse the pre-made bouquets on several tree-inspired displays around the shop. The colors and style of bouquet rotate seasonally so that customers are presented with the freshest flowers at every point in the year. A containment spell keeps pollen and other irritants away from guests with allergies so that all may enjoy their shopping experience. 

    At the rear of the main room, a dark wooden staircase guides guests to an upper level that overlooks the rest of the shop. Ferns of all shapes and sizes spill from hanging baskets and shelves against the walls, filling the space with green. (Inspiration photo here, though considerably larger in scale.) Tucked beneath the staircase is the cashier's counter, and a wall of glass windows directly behind it sections off the apothecary. 

    APOTHECARY: Located beneath the upper level is the apothecary, a small but mighty room usually occupied by the scholarly Caspian Marie. Its walls are lined with dark wooden shelves containing every manner of herb and common, organic spell ingredients. Bunches of dried fruits and flowers hang from the ceiling, so tall customers may need to watch their step. The resident apothecary stands at a counter in the corner of the room, where he may create simple charms, salves, and tinctures at the customer's request. Rarer ingredients are stored on a shelf behind the apothecary's counter, so guests will need to specially request these items for purchase. A loosely swinging door to the left leads to the greenhouse. 

    GREENHOUSE: Light floods in through the green-tinted, glass windows of the greenhouse, filling the long room with sunshine. Several work benches boast a hodgepodge of pots, trays, and baskets, each filled with dirt and budding blooms. Many hanging plants droop from its ceiling, and shelves containing tools and plants line the wall it shares with the apothecary.  A small, man-made creek trickles from a bed of rocks in the corner of the greenhouse, flows across a section of the room, and exits through a narrow, horizontal slit in the wall near the ground. River plants grow in the dirt lining the artificial creek, being too stubborn to grow in any old pot. Another swinging door on the greenhouse's left wall exits into the courtyard. The greenhouse is typically inaccessible to patrons.

    COURTYARD: The man-made creek exits the greenhouse and flows into a shallow pond in a corner of the courtyard, but the remainder of the space is filled with vegetation. A few proud trees spangle the yard, each one bearing several different kinds of fruit in the summer. The trees provide shade in the heat of day, and visitors are welcome to sit at the tables beneath their branches and enjoy the cool sea breeze. At night, fairy lights strung between the fruit trees create a warm, twinkling ambiance. For the right price, it is possible to rent the courtyard for private events; it is a beautiful, romantic venue perfect for a small garden party or wedding celebration. A white, gated picket fence separates the yard from the sidewalk, though it is scarcely visible through a tangle of green ivy.

    From the courtyard, it is possible to re-enter the main room through a side door. An iron, spiral staircase rests in the corner of the yard, leading tenants up to the residential apartments above the shop. Thus the Floracle has three levels in total. 

    EMPLOYEES: 

    Valentine Marie - 23 - shop owner, botanist, florist. Valentine has been working at the Floracle since she was able to hold a watering can. She has recently inherited the shop from her grandfather, who passed away due to illness. Sweet, caring, and maybe a little melancholy, the young redhead is easy to take advantage of, but has a small army of big, brooding men looking out for her- scammers beware! Valentine is likely the first friendly face you'll see when walking through the Floracle's thick, walnut doors. 
    Caspian Marie - 23 - apothecary. Caspian is Valentine's twin brother, and has recently returned after graduating from university. He manages the Floracle's apothecary, creating charms, tinctures, and potions from local and rare ingredients alike. Although Caspian is a stereotypical, awkward academic, he is always willing to talk herbology with anyone interested (and a good number who aren't). 

    TO PLAY:

    The Floracle is a perfect place for casual flower shopping, collecting ingredients for a spell, and slice-of-life moments between players. There are also a number of quests available, with the possibility of earning various charms and potions. To engage the Floracle staff, please tag roboblu in your post. Expect a reply in 3-7 days. Minor power-playing is permitted for small or otherwise insignificant interactions with the shopkeep/apothecary. Please- no violence or shady activities allowed without permission from robot blues! And please mark the date/time in your post. I will section my responses if more than one setting is specified. Happy writing!

    AESTHETIC: 

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    LOGOS n' BANNERS:

    Spoiler

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    by roboblu

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    by KittyvonCupcake

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    by KittyvonCupcake, cropped with love by roboblu

     

    TRUSTED FRIENDS AND PARTNERS: 

    Want your advertisement listed here? PM roboblu! 


  4. Leoa's confession was met by a surprised, amused glance cast over one shoulder. Hasan could not picture his soft-spoken friend attempting a murder, but, remembering the savage look Desmond had given his sister, Hasan mused that perhaps this angry side had simply been laying dormant. "So he has a mother and a father complex," the mage sighed, turning around to face the golden goddess. "Splendid." Hasan understood complicated familial relationships, but the Melisende family drama was far beyond his scope. Despite his frequent squabbles with Kaseem, the Inderpal family had always been a tight-knit unit. With the harsh judgement they had faced because of his parents' unlikely marriage, the family's unification had been a necessity against a hostile, fearful Kalopsian society. Hasan had taken after his mother, a talented earth mage: stubborn, conscientious, and willing to make difficult choices on behalf of his people. Kaseem, on the other hand, had taken after their father, the fire mage: clever, often difficult, and fierce in his own quiet way. It was a strange twist of fate that had given Hasan the powers of flame, and his brother the gift of earth. 

    Regardless, as he grew older, Hasan felt a closer connection to his father through his position as Raj. The struggles of leading a fractious kingdom had already taken its toll on him, not to mention the fear and disgust he often faced in the eyes of other court subjects. Though his father had died years ago, Hasan often felt himself drawing on the strength of Krishanu, wondering if the man had made similar decisions during his reign, during his youth ... He often questioned his mother during visits to the Earth court, trying to glean information on her long-dead husband without seeming desperate. Krishanu had soiled his reputation upon marrying his wife, and so history obscured what had been a prosperous, fair rule. Hasan hoped his term as Raj would prove just as successful, but given the recent conflict, his hope was steadily failing. 

    “Tell me, Hasan, what do you know of daemons?”

    He frowned, walking toward her across the ivory, tiled floor. "A passable amount. The Wind Court had a possession almost ten years ago, but we haven't had an issue since." The fire mage shuddered internally as he remembered the incident, which had demanded the attention of the Maharaja and all of his Raj's. The wind mage had contracted the daemon while traveling in Genesaris, and had carried it with her into Kalopsia without realizing it. The creature had grown more active in the tropical environment, taking strength from the thick magical aura. The possessed woman had gone violently rogue. It had taken them several days to follow the trail of bodies she had left in her path, but eventually she had been apprehended and brought to the Maharaja. He'd called an audience of his Council and his Raj's to determine the best course of action; the resulting exorcism had killed the woman. It was a painful memory. The screams of the tortured, dying mage still rang clearly in his ears. 

    The implication of Leoa's question did not slip by the Raj, though he wouldn't believe it until she'd put her claim into words. Aside from the most recent outburst, he had not seen any violent symptoms in the man, his friend, his Maharaja; the possibility only deepened his guilt. If a daemon sat upon the gilded throne ... 

    Hasan's eyes flickered to his own throne, so white and pristine. It was not hard to imagine a stain of red spreading from its head to the ivory tiles beneath. His green gaze found Leoa, silently pleading with her.  


  5. 41 minutes ago, Punx said:

    So, who wants in on this shady cabal? In the meantime, I'm going to do some reading and get familiar with everyone's house and characters. Once the head count is going we can start planning the specifics of our devious plan.

    One of mine is interested but he’s a punk ass 16-year-old. Major events in the future may give you access to Tankred’s armory


  6. The veteran watched, wordless, as the woman before him absorbed his jab coolly, the air chilling between them. His heart, which had felt so light only moments earlier, was now heavy and wet. It was clear that something here needed to be healed, but the turbulent mix of emotions swirling through his head prevented him from viewing the situation rationally. He could only listen and wait, and hope that a combination of time and kinder words would patch the wounds. For a moment, he considered whether or not he wanted to make amends, but his doubt was short-lived. He had already promised Cosima that he wouldn't leave her again, and his heart, though jaded, reached for her like water in the desert. No matter the consequences, no matter how long it took for the past to stay in the past- he would stay, and he would try. 

    A small flicker of movement caught Wren's attention; it was then that he finally noticed the young creature stirring at Cosima's feet. It was a cub of some sort, but where he would have expected to see soft brown fur, there was instead a coat of feathers. The beast's snout ended in a beak, and two small wings sprouted from its back. He stared at it, bewildered, even as it scampered across his princess's feet and down the hallway. She followed, waving him along, and, still a little dazed, the veteran hobbled off after her. It had just dawned on him that Cosima had faced many challenges in the past year, too, and behind those dark eyes were secrets he would need to work to unlock. 

    The feeling only exasperated as the princess led him into her study, with maps and papers and books strewn haphazardly across the room. She led him to a large map of the islands, with notes scribbled into the margins. He listened as best he could, but there were still some gaps in his knowledge that prevented him from fully understanding. "So Balverines," he began with some difficulty, "are in an advanced stage of the sickness?" Soft brown eyes narrowed as he skimmed the information splayed out before him. "It seems like more heavily forested areas are being hit harder than the mountains." The main pointed with his four-fingered hand to the green sections on the map, which had a high priority ranking. The brown, barren mountainous regions were of lower consequence. "Do you think the vegetation has something to do with spreading the disease? Or maybe there's something polluting the water ..." Wren trailed off, feeling vastly unqualified to assess this epidemic. It was clear that the woman beside him had been agonizing over this for many, many months, and he, an outsider, was in no place to contribute. 

    He turned toward her, his face grim. "I don't know that I'll be of much use to you, but I'll do what I can." He ran a hand through his shaggy, tawny hair, still unsettled by the sensation of only four fingers raking the scalp. "I'm not the same person you knew. I've grown weaker, and older ..." The heavy grey in his hair and beard was an attest to this statement. The new lines on his face, too, spoke of hardship and painful experiences. "I just ... need to help. Anywhere. I'll do anything." He did not meet her eyes. 


  7. SEPTEMBER 3rd, 29 AO // LOCATION: TORINNE, MISRAL

    Many who have visited Torinne castle have remarked on the mist constantly swirling beneath its arching bridge. The tropical heat of Ursa Madeum suddenly chills in the valley breeze beneath the castle, creating thick, rolling clouds that make Torinne seem as if it's floating on a cloud. On a particularly obstructive day, it is barely possible to see the green roof of Torinne, with thin wisps of smoke rising from the many workshops present throughout the castle. On a clear day, one can see those proud stone walls rising from the valley, and, perhaps most curiously, a number of flying contraptions flapping around the castle in wide, lazy circles. They certainly aren't birds, one might think, watching a small, quick object do a spirited loop-de-loop. To residents of Torinne, however, such contraptions are commonplace, even ignored- Gaia forbid you give Ramhart Tankred something to notice. As a child, he often took delight in dive-bombing unfortunate passers-by with his mostly wonderful, sometimes terrifying flying machines. 

    Mischief, of course, was all in the past for 18-year-old Ramhart. The teenager had recently been given control of his House's department of transportation, a job he took very, very seriously. In the past year alone, Ramhart had cut travel speeds around the northern end of Misral by a whopping 15%, and had vastly improved the accessibility of Crow's Nest, his sister's private lab and observatory on the side of Mt. Egon. He had worked on the latter for selfish reasons; Birdy was Ramhart's favorite sibling, and after she had locked herself away on the mountain, his heart had sunk deep into his chest. Ramhart had built her a modest flying contraption for gliding down the rocky mountain, and had recently installed a cable car system for travel back up to Crow's Nest. It was some of his best work, but Birdy had received his gifts with nothing more than a morose smile and a nod of halfway approval. It was a look he was familiar with; even now, he heard her voice over his shoulder, her hands gesturing thoughtfully toward his blueprints. "The design is solid," she would say, "-but what's the point?" After a long, heated discussion that Birdy somehow always won, he would groan, and she would laugh. "Nothing comes from nothing, Ram."

    "Nothing comes from nothing." 

    Ramhart whispered the words to himself, the sound of his voice absorbing into the padded walls of his workshop. He was staring down at two long blueprints: one was of the cable car system he had designed for Crow's Nest, and the other was of a similar, but much more extensive system. He stared at the newer, bigger design for a long time, trying to find any final errors in his work. Of course, there were none. This was Ramhart's masterpiece, and his Tankred surname, though adopted, meant he possessed a perfect attention to detail. Still, the teen stared and stared, trying to scan for mistakes with his sister's clever eyes. After a few more minutes, he removed the round-rimmed spectacles from his face and hefted a heavy sigh, running a hand through shaggy, sandy hair. After nearly three weeks of work, it was finished. He grabbed a stamp from his desk, pressed it into a pad of scarlet ink, and stamped the abridged Tankred sigil neatly into a corner of the paper (and ... the six papers beneath it). 

    The most difficult part of his task was yet to come. Ram shuffled a few papers around until he found what he was looking for in the organized mess: a light green envelope containing a letter he had already read dozens of times. Although few words were written in his mother's neat, feminine script, they carried enormous weight to the Tankred family name. Again, his hazel eyes scanned the parchment. 

    Crossroads
    Attn: House Mythal 

    To the noble House of Mythal, 

    As promised, contained within this parcel are plans for increasing the accessibility of the Free Marches. Building materials are plentiful in the rocky mountains of Misral, and a secondary delivery shall be arriving by cargo ship in short order. My second youngest son, Ramhart, shall be onboard with a small but worthy team; as a talented engineer, he will be able to provide guidance for your own construction crew, who no doubt are more familiar with the mountainous terrain surrounding Crossroads. Ramhart will be able to provide more detail on an estimated length of construction once he arrives, though current figures range from four to six weeks. Having already designed and implemented a similar system for use in the mountains of Misral, Ramhart is confident that work in Corinth will run smoothly. 

    We sincerely hope that this offer will suffice as dowry for my daughter, Bernadine. Albert and I have complete confidence that a union between our two noble houses will bear bountiful fruit. 

    Burning Brightly, 
    Lady Cassidy Tankred

    The devil works hard, but Cassidy works harder, Ramhart thought, his mouth set in a grim line. He had seen the way his mother had practically skipped through the hallways after securing the Dred Wolf's hand; marriage to such a large and powerful family was more than she had hoped for, especially so soon after the Hildebrand engagement. Finally, their house was beginning to gain ground. He slipped the letter back into its envelope, and picked up a stray piece of paper that had fallen onto his desk. His young heart ached to see the face of his older sister staring back at him, her dark eyes peering through a curtain of thick, brown lashes. He wasn't sure when the small portrait had been painted, but, to him, it was clear that Birdy had been absolutely miserable posing for the painter. Her hair was loose, cascading down her shoulders in ringlets with fresh, mountain flowers woven into it. She was wearing formal attire, her shoulders rigid, mouth set into a stony pout. Worst of all were those eyes, which pooled with melancholy; without a doubt, he decided, the portrait had been painted at some point in the past year. He would have laughed at her sullen face if not for those eyes, which tugged the corners of his mouth down into a frown. Without staring at it for a moment longer, Ramhart stuffed it into the same green envelope, and sealed it with a bit of wax. 

    The engineer's mind was whirring as he rolled the blueprints up and slid them into a long, narrow tube. He needed to pack, but how could he face his sister's newly betrothed with a clear conscience? The sins of his father had necessitated Birdy and Fitzhugh's punishment, and he, Ramhart Tankred, was playing co-conspirator without question. Was it duty to family that had possessed him to comply with Cassidy's scheming?

    Ramhart knew the truth: no. He had been presented with a challenge, and the engineer in him had been unable to refuse. 

    Still, his steps to the window of the workshop were slow and dragging. A white heron was perched there, its beady black eyes surveying him with curiosity. Ramhart gave the beast a nasty look, and, without fanfare, tied the tube to its wide, clawed feet. The letter he tucked into a small compartment on the heron's pack, and added a few coins in case she was intercepted by pirates. With a flap of its massive wings, the bird lifted itself from the window, and disappeared into the mist. Ramhart watched it go with the frown still plastered on his face. One day he'd be able to replace those bloody birds, but until now, the fate of his sister would soar toward Corinth on a bed of ivory feathers. 

    @Aleksei


  8. I changed things around and added actual dates to the events I want happening: 

    1. SEPTEMBER 3rd 29 AO || roboblu/Kleksei (engagement)
    2. AUGUST 18th 29 AO || roboblu/ourlachesism (engagement)
    3. AUGUST 1st 29 AO || HOUSE DALI PRE-NUP PARTY (not featured, just a chronological marker) 
    4. MARCH 16th 28 AO || roboblu/Grub (Uldwar ship deal)
    5. JANUARY 26th 28 AO || roboblu/ourlachesism (farm equipment deal)
    6. JANUARY 3rd 28 AO || roboblu/supernal (lie detector)
    7. NOVEMBER 1st, 28 AO || roboblu/Tyler (Karradeen ship deal)** pending
    8. AUGUST 28th, 28 AO || roboblu/self 

    If anything seems off, let me know. This was the product of about 1.5 min of thinking, so it's definitely open to change. That being said, Aleksei is up for the first sequence- will have the topic up by tonight!

     @Tyler I'm still thinking about Karradeen. At that point in time, Tankred will be desperate for some sort of contact with another house, but they won't have many resources. They'd probably gift something small and innovative in the hopes of getting in Karradeen's good graces. 


  9. When the star elf responded, it was with an oddly dry tone that implied something mischevious behind her black eyes. Maya's head turned sharply, an uncertain smile on her face as she tried to ascertain whether or not her guard was joking. If so, it would mean Itylra was attempting humor and needed to be encouraged for the effort. If not- well, as Maya soon found, the star elf seemed to have more than a few tricks up her sleeve. The hesitant smile grew into an all-out grin, with the diplomat hanging on every word to leave Itylra's mouth. She would have never pegged the stoic, masculine, analytic star elf as anything but a warrior, and the juxtaposition of 'artist' and 'soldier' was most curious, indeed! The offer of a homemade gift only stunned Maya further, though she was too sensible a connoisseur to refuse. "I-oh! Of course! I need to decorate my office with something other than marble." A small jab at the white city was worth the heart-warming offer, she thought, and the smile that had melted onto her lips would not recede for a few days at the very least. 

    "I didn't know you were an artist," she added matter-of-factly, though she doubted Itylra would be surprised. "My younger brother is an artist, too. He's a painter." A warm, reflective smile played about her mouth, mind lost in memories of Andreas. He was probably around Itylra's age, but carried himself with much much youthful abandon than the serious elf beside her. She hadn't seen him in a few weeks- or had it been a month or two? Maya and her brother were alike in that they both chased their ambitions with fierce focus and determination, often neglecting other vital parts of their lives in the process. At one point before Maya's deployment, the two had been thick as thieves, bonded by the loss of their older brother. Not many knew it, but Maya, too, had a creative side, and, as a teenager, had enjoyed long weekends painting by the mountain lake near her childhood home. She and Andreas would leave early with their easels in hand, and not return home until many hours later, covered in mud and grass and little flecks of blue paint. Though Maya had caved under her parents' pressure and joined the military, Andreas was a wild, rebellious thing, and had started out on his own in Casper just over a year ago. 

    Maya bit back a sigh, returning to the topic at hand. Her next words were a little more careful. "Are you from a region of Genesaris? I must admit," Her dark brow furrowed very slightly, "I haven't been able to place your accent, especially now that your Terric has improved." She was taking a leap in asking Itylra about her homeland, but her curiosity had grown too large to ignore any longer. 

    The diplomat noticed a clothing store up ahead, and eyed the window display with envy. The citizens of Nu Martyr were certainly stylish, she thought, admiring the clean lines and cool, crisp colors. It provided her with something beautiful to stare at while she awaited Itylra's reply. 


  10. As the lioness neared, Hasan was struck by the intensity of her aura; it was immediately clear that Leoa was no longer hume, having ascended into some higher plane of existence. Still, she did not frighten him. The Raj had spent too many hours in the company of his closest companion to fear the woman who had brought Desmond into the world. Instead, her familiar smile and gestures brought some comfort to him in this maddening state of separation; he saw his friend reflected in her eyes, and smelled the familiar scents of his unkempt, dark hair. Hasan met Leoa's embrace with warmth of his own. Though they had just met, they greeted one another like old, dear friends. His glowing right hand met her shimmering left, their fingers intertwining to produce a bright red aura with streaks of holy gold. Seeing this, the fire mage smiled, at peace if only for the briefest of moments. He was not able to sustain physical contact with the magical being for long, but her touch left him with a burning warmth in his chest that spread into his fingers and toes. He didn't know how much he had needed Leoa's visit. 

    "You are a magnificent man Hasan," 

    He gave a humorless chuckle, clasping his hands neatly behind his back. "So I've been told."

    "Tall, dark, and handsome! How we Melisende's get mixed up with such reputable partners, we may never know."

    "It seems to be a fatal weakness," he remarked, offering a smile. "Though apparently fatality does not last for long in your family." He would be lying if he claimed her words hadn't stung, even if unintentionally. Every word that left the lioness's lips seemed to be a reflection of a recent conversation he'd had with Desmond, and the familiarity of it all brought an aching to his troubled heart. That the holy mother considered him to be Desmond's partner ... well, it left a melancholy smile lingering on his lips. Even if he himself did not believe the words, they had a curiously bittersweet impact. With Desmond brooding in his castle miles away, and Hasan nursing his wounds across the vastness of the sea and mountains, he felt like anything but a partner. After the Maharaja's recent display of anger, Hasan wasn't sure the man he thought he knew existed in flesh and blood. Perhaps he had been blinded by love, and, in his reverie, had constructed a version of Desmond to adore- a version that had been rudely shattered by recent events. Still, he owed it to his friend to find out, and would investigate once the smoke had cleared. The damage had been done, but he would not be Hasan if he did not at least try to mend something that had become very precious to him. 

    Leoa's face fell into darkness, and the fire mage waited patiently for her to speak. When at last her red lips parted, it was to utter an apology- but what Hasan needed would not come from Leoa. Still, he allowed her words to sink into the moment before speaking himself. "As of yet, it hasn't," he began with some difficulty, beginning to pace as he searched for a way to express his complicated feelings. "But I fear for the day when Corvinus decides to strike back." There was a knot in his throat as he struggled with the wicked thought he had been grappling with over the course of the past few days. It demanded release. "At times, I ... I regret having reached out to Primera. If Kalopsia falls ..." His dark green eyes were misty now. "My hands will be stained with the blood of my people for having placed him on the throne." Speaking his truth brought a tremble to the man's usually confident hands; the words seemed to hang in the air, dangerous, burning. He hadn't voiced his feelings aloud, and now, with his heart on his sleeve, he felt a new responsibility to face the truth. 

    His adoration of Desmond had become directly opposite of his love for his country. It had happened slowly, with small acts of revenge snowballing into an all-out feud with Corvin's empire. It was not supposed to be this way, Hasan thought, his pacing coming to a gradual halt with his body turned away from Leoa. Desmond had brought healing to Kalopsia, but the larger effects of his rule may bring much more severe destruction than any plague or famine. Actions had consequences, and the weight of the impending war was bearing down on Hasan's shoulders. A lesser man would have already broken under the pressure. 

    He had no words left to speak, instead staring, wetness in his eyes, at the hall through which he'd come. He did not expect his admonition to sit well with Leoa, but being trapped in his ivory prison had left him with few outlets. He had needed to get this off of his chest. 


  11. 22 hours ago, Tyler said:

    Works for me, I'll just need maybe some level of context (like what Tankred is trying sell to Karradeen, or your idea for the context of the meeting or whatever) as well as an approximate place in the timeline or an approximate date of occurrence (just since Karradeen undergoes some changes in leadership in their establishment thread and I need to know if it is before or after).

    Good question. I'll say Karradeen is probably the first house Tankred reaches out to ... maybe a month after the tyrant-king's fall? Now that I think about it, when exactly did the tyrant-king fall? In any case, I can certainly be flexible with whatever works best for you. Since I have a number of political events happening in recent history, however, I would need some after the deal with Karradeen in which those events can feasibly occur. 

    What are we selling? NOT SURE YET. Have to do some research. Your post would not be until considerably later in the thread, so you (and I) have time to mull this over. 

    16 minutes ago, Aleksei said:

    AND YOU GET A MARRIAGE AND YOU GET A MARRIAGE!

    like 90% of my marriages are to you ya trollop!

    UPDATED current plan for the thread, located on the first post. Aleksei is now up first. Thread pending- will hopefully start tomorrow! 

     


  12. The forests of the cold south were deep, dark, and soft with snow. To the human traveler, the woods carried the implication of danger; what foul beasts roamed in the darkness? One felt as if eyes were following them from their periphery, never quite making a move, but always scanning for a source of weakness. It was common knowledge that it was not safe to travel alone, especially at night. The forest was simply too vast and too quiet, ready to swallow any unfortunate travelers whole- to be discovered when the snow melted, which, of course, would never happen. For the beasts of the night, however, the cold south was a haven of sorts. The woods were peaceful in their own way, without the interference of the steel and blood of men. The creatures avoided one another with the mutual understanding that theirs was a life of solitude, and in the quiet of falling snow, many found a sense of belonging, serenity, and safety. 

    A dark, lithe form weaved through the trees, finding comfort in the shadows of the night. It was a small fox, grey of color, with white stockings on each of her legs and fur as soft as velvet. One whose eyes were accustomed to the blackness might be surprised at the three fluffy tails that trailed her through the forest, but surely it was just a trick of the moonlight. The fox paused frequently to sniff at the trees, watch shapes move in the darkness, and occasionally even hunted a rabbit or two, though there did not seem to be an overarching purpose behind her midnight stroll. She was simply enjoying the freedom of the night, relieving the stress of the waking hours by traipsing casually through the forests of the cold mountains. No other creature dared step into her path, for her innocent form disguised a great and terrible power that none were foolish enough to cross.

    Hotaru was relieved. She was poised to seize an opportunity very soon, one that would bring Koji some much-needed information in the quiet battle for Genesaris. Her contacts had informed her of an opening in the Kadian palace staff, though the position was long-term in human standards, and extraordinarily high risk. It made no difference to the kitsune. Her life would stretch for centuries more- certainly plenty of time to raise and shape a child into adulthood. The risk was more of a concern, but she would face the adversity with a calm heart and mind. Hotaru had experienced imprisonment, and she had survived. No worse fate could ever befall her than being gawked and stared at for decades and decades. If she was caught, she would escape. It was a simple problem with a simple solution, and she would gladly risk her temporary freedom to further the noble cause of Emperor Koji. 

    -SNAP-

    The fox reeled back, though discovered that her front right paw was bound to the earth by jaws of steel. Some incredibly foolish human had set a bear trap in the snow, and somehow the little fox had triggered its release mechanism. Crying out in her impish, fox voice, Hotaru struggled, pulling her paw toward her in an attempt to free herself. The mechanism simply clamped on more tightly, probably powered by some old spell that, against all odds, had withstood the test of time within these cold, abandoned forests. She gave up the struggle, instead focusing her magical attention on the murderous trap. She could try and pump electricity into the steel to perhaps melt it around her paw, but would risk shocking herself in the process. It was a magical device only breakable by human hands, and, locked in fear and panic, she found herself unable to change forms. The feeling of being trapped washed over her senses, muting them, weakening them. A long, eerie cry escaped her parted maw, wavering through the night breeze and haunting those unfortunate enough to trespass the beasts' forest. 

    A sound in the nearby brush caused her cry to cut short; with what was left of her senses, she quickly masked two of her tails, leaving the form of a poor, helpless fox sitting calmly in the snow. The only indication that this creature may be something special was the small jade teardrop hanging from a chain around her neck. 

    Spoiler

     


  13. Maya had watched with a polite smile plastered on her face as the first man had interrupted her motion to speak with Aurora. After all, he was easy to look at, and it was very possible that he had not seen her in the swarm of guests. However, when a second man interrupted her, and then the bloody Empress Raveena, the diplomat couldn't help but feel irritation rise in her throat. There was a literal queue lining up behind the newly crowned queen, with honored guests and diplomats and loyal subjects of Crystallo Stella all wishing to pay their respects- and she, Maya Zapatero, was at its apex. As a woman in the military, much less in the diplomacy sector, Maya was accustomed to being interrupted and ignored, and had fought tooth and nail to earn her current position. To be so blatantly disregarded at a foreign celebration was an annoyance at best and an insult at worst. Ever the professional, however, the ram-horned woman simply gritted her teeth and produced a hazy smile, keeping her facial features slack to avoid any bad blood. She would not bring personal grievances into this military endeavor no matter how jaded she felt in the moment. 

    Her neutrality proved to be a blessing in the next few minutes as the situation unraveled before her very eyes. An elf from House Aetherion had insulted the Empress, who naturally fired back in kind. A bold move, Maya thought, her brow furrowing slightly as she listened. Sure enough, Raveena's son stepped in, followed closely by her husband, the elusive Rowan Knight. The diplomat inhaled sharply. The Terran military kept tabs on most high-profile individuals across Valucre, but Rowan had evaded them for weeks now, and his absence had begun to raise questions. Raveena was too highly respected to garner any serious inquiry, but her husband's infrequent visits had resulted in whispers behind closed doors. Maya, of course, was not one to talk; she was a professional, and preferred a written record to idle gossip. Still, staring at the powerful man, she found it impossible not to feel a hint of curiosity. What was life like for these men and women who stood so tall among the rest? 

    Maya could only guess; she was not in a position to ask. She silently watched the rest of the confrontation unfold with dark, intelligent eyes. A bitter taste rose in her mouth as the queen fled to the balcony, likely overwhelmed by the drama. To begin one's rule as a mere spectator to such nasty political conflict ... well, it seemed unfair. Maya felt the urge to follow the young queen out onto the balcony, but refrained with great effort; she, a stranger, could not offer comfort to Aurora, especially when she had come for political reasons. Any words she spoke to the queen would be tainted by her position, her genuine warmth put under question. Taking advantage of the queen in her vulnerability was a very real possibility- one that Maya would avoid. The last thing the red-headed beauty needed was another person to mistrust in this game she was now expected to play.

    When elves and faeries began to scale the walls of the ballroom, Maya knew it was time to leave. She picked up her skirts, smiled politely at the guest waiting behind her, and swiftly glided across the glittering ballroom floor. On her way, she bade farewell to her new Genesarian friend, and, of course, took a minute to say hello to Hoshozel. With her business more or less resolved, the diplomat made her way to the exit portals. She had a great deal to report to her commanding officer. Though she hated to leave the celebration early, the diplomat suspected her career would bring her back to Crystallo Stella in the near future. 

    [exit]


  14. Large, armored fingers were suddenly combing through her silvery hair, stroking her trembling cheek. She wasn't quite sure why, but the action soothed her frail human body. Still, shaky breaths continue to breeze in and out of her slightly parted mouth as she listened to the creature speak. "Survive?" she asked in a quiet voice; the word unsettled her. Survival had never been a problem in her true form. She had simply existed as a collection of particles, her mass finite but expansive, her age immeasurable against the banner of space. Occasionally a neighboring star would venture too close, and on those occasions she had feasted, adding to her own mass by stealing from another. There was no question of survival: there was only the simple fact of existence. A few shimmering tears fell from her eyes, landing on the armored fingers with a light sizzle. Every part of the fallen star glowed, from her skin to her hair to her miserable tears. Every part of her contrasted with the black hole sitting next to her, its soft words masking a terrible hunger she knew was meant for her. 

    "Dredge," she finally spoke, the name tasting dark and heavy on her tongue. "Dredge." Her silver eyes were still locked on the red lights shining out of his helmet, but they had lost their malevolence. Now she was simply exhausted. "Who am ... I?" She had often felt the whispers of prayer from a far-off land, but she did not remember what the prayers had called her. A guiding light, a goddess among stars, she had once meant something to feeble minds, had possessed a name whispered in hushed tones. It escaped her now, but it made no difference. This new body required a callsign, she instinctively knew; this creature of flesh before her would not possess that right and leave her with nothing. Being assigned words would inevitably bind her more tightly to this world, specifically to Dredge, but it would provide her with agency, with purpose, something she would need in the months to come. 


  15. Character: Evanjalin

    Affiliation: Legion of Doom

    Location/Objective: Beach / kill Itylra

    Allies: @Zashiii, tentatively

    Enemies: @Old Man Jean @amenities

    -click- 

    The star's head turned in what seemed like slow motion to behold the quiet source of noise behind her. Her glowing, silvery hair pooled around her wild eyes, which descended upon an elf in the mud; an elemental fury rose in her gaze. Although the cause of the noise did not register with Evanjalin's brain, she understood its implication: this weak, small, earth-bound creature had attempted to kill her, a titan. Her time on this world had been punctuated by men and women of flesh trying to use her, trying to kill her, trying to understand her. Evanjalin did not want to be used, nor killed, nor understood; she wanted to be home, in her glorious throne of space. She wanted the noise to die, and this weak matter to fall away and unleash her true form. Every minor entity on this forsaken planet sought to pull her away from this ultimate goal, and she despised the world for it. 

    There was not much energy left to fuel the dark star's attack, but she intended to use the last of it to kill the whelp where she lay in the sand. Her arm raised, palm out, fingers splayed. Itylra would feel a subtle ripping sensation in the very fiber of her being, but only for a brief moment- the tearing of molecules was immediately halted when the bullet lodged itself in Evanjalin's gut. 

    Star and star elf stared at one another, both too stunned to speak. Evanjalin brought a hand to her gut, and it came away soaked in gleaming blood. The fragile pieces of her human body were so unsettled by this little cylinder of metal, she thought- how ironic it all was. The sensation of unraveling began in her stomach, and clawed its way into the outlet of her power: the hands. The bright golden skin began to bubble and crack, the flesh simply melting away due to the pressure building up behind it. Evanjalin took a deep, throaty gasp; the remainder of her energy exploded out of her hands like two beaming lasers. If Itylra was quick, she would be able to avoid the deadly beams; perhaps if Evanjalin had been quick, she would have been able to avoid the explosion of anti-psion missiles behind her. ... Perhaps not. 

    She was already unconscious when the force of the golem's attack sent her glowing body flying, coming to land in the blood-soaked sand with a dull thud. Geomancers were quick to bind her feet and smoking hands -or what was left of them. Much of the skin had melted, leaving only sinewy muscle and silvery, exposed pulp. Against all odds, a mere private had felled one of the Legion's most powerful witches. 

    It was not all bad for Evanjalin, however. Her dreams were black and full of stars. 

    [KO]


  16. Maya nodded. Terrenus had come into the negotiations prepared, with its ducks all lined up in a row in the case of a successful agreement. She understood that Primera needed time to complete those same preparations. "By all means, take your time," she offered, collecting her briefcase and following the Grand Kommandant out of the observatory. "Though should your work take longer than a day, I would appreciate any recommendations for lodging." The flame-haired ruler spoke with confidence in her words, but Maya secretly hoped for an extended stay. She had been given a taste of Nu Martyr's splendor in Primera's palace, and desperately longed to explore its beauty. As if the Grand Kommandant had read her mind, a guide was offered to show them around the city. She nearly threw her briefcase down the hall in excitement, though, through the sheer force of will, managed to accept the offer with a gracious smile and nod. "An excellent suggestion! The weather is fair and I would relish a closer look at your city."

    The two women talked for a brief minute as Primera led them back toward the bridge overlooking the lush, green landscape. With sunlight pooling in through the windows, and whispered prayers of encouragement following close at her heels, Maya felt as if she were walking on nothing but air. It was then that her heart decided to express its displeasure at their high altitude, thumping irregularly against the inside of her ribcage. The diplomat stifled a gasp, instead reaching a hand to rub at her chest in order to ease the pain. Her actions were for naught. The arrythmeia was a symptom of her heart defect, which had caused her episode of cardiac arrest a few years prior. It was agitated by exercise, panic, and, of course, a lack in oxygen associated with high heights. Maya hated flying for this very reason- the journey up to Renovatio had been one hellish nightmare of vomit and chest pains. She desperately hoped the discomfort would subside soon ... Perhaps she'd get used to it! Yes, that was a positive thought. Even as she took step after step forward, Maya felt the pain slowly fade into a dull ache. Since all seemed to be going well, this diplomacy mission may keep her in Nu Martyr for an extended period of time. She would need to get over little episodes like this if she wanted to make any progress whatsoever. 

    The image of a young man greeted them halfway across the bridge. Grinning through the physical discomfort, Maya switched languages to greet him in his native tongue. "Hello! Thank you for agreeing to show us around Nu Martyr. My colleague and I cannot thank you enough for this kindness." Her face was beaming sunshine, with the poor soldier in its direct line of focus. To say she was eager to explore was an understatement, but Maya needed to bid a proper farewell to the woman who had moved worlds to meet them in the middle. "Grand Kommandant, you have been a gracious host. We appreciate the time you've taken to meet with us today." The diplomat offered the Renovatian ruler a warm smile. "We are so grateful for your generosity, and hope to contribute to Renovatio's forward progress."

    Spoiler

    You've Unlocked: Smiley Maya gif

    ER2KZ9A.gif 

     


  17. While the hustle and bustle of an opening celebration might have suited his sister, Caspian Marie was not amused. He spent a few minutes ushering customers toward the refreshments, but soon grew tired of the constant smiling and waving, not to mention the many condolences that flooded from the mouths of long-time patrons. The young man was a scholar, after all, not a shop keep like his sister. He was responsible for the Floracle's apothecary, as well as the day-to-day finances and paperwork, and she had assured him many times that he would have limited face-to-face time with the customers. Why, then, had Valentine suddenly abandoned him at the first whiff of something interesting? It was so very like her to write him off as a mere resource when he was an academic- someone well-educated, very powerful, and certainly above greeting ever tramp and truant to walk through the Floracle's doors! 

    The tall, scrawny redhead glanced toward his beloved apothecary, wishing he could simply abandon his post next to the bloody pastries and return to the comforting, rich smells behind those glass doors. He had spent the past 48 hours gutting and reorganizing his grandfather's old apothecary, purging it of expired or crumbling herbs and adding fresh stock from the midlands. Everything was exactly where he wanted it to be, and simply walking inside and casting his gaze over the organization was soothing to his scholarly mind. He hefted a light sigh and glanced back toward the door, hoping that his sour gaze would deter any more patrons from entering. Valentine would kill him if she saw the look on his face right now, but Caspian didn't care- he needed a break. 

    crash sounded behind him, drawing the graduate's attention to the few aisles present on the main floor. A gray blur of movement caught his eye, and, with a start, he realized that a large dog was sprinting through the shop! "HEY!" the mage yelled, shoving the round-rimmed spectacles higher up on his nose. "WHA- NO! NO, BAD DOG!" The mutt was knocking over a few of his grandfather's vases, scattering loose blooms across the blue tiled floor. Caspian gasped, and hurried to pick up as many of the rare flowers as possible. It was a moment before he realized that he probably ought to be trying to catch the dog as opposed to picking up the blooms, cutting the chaos off at its source. With his robes all askew and his hair sticking up in the back, Caspian marched over to the counter to retrieve one of his old spellbooks from underneath. He knew he had a containment spell that would do the trick, but he'd need to find it fast ...

    Silence drew Caspian's attention up from his tome, and he realized that the mutt was looking him in the eye- a hungry look on its slobbering face. He winced in anticipation, and, sure enough, the massive thing began bounding toward him with unbridled energy. Suddenly, it leaped-

    The natural solution was to duck away from the dog's plate-sized paws, therefore avoiding a collision. But Caspian was the only thing standing between this ... this beast and the thin glass walls of his beloved apothecary. So he made a decision to stand perfectly still, and didn't even flinch that much when at last he and the dog collided. His green eyes ended up staring at the ceiling, having been knocked flat on his back with the wind knocked out of him. 


    Valentine finished showing her new customer the room, then, after answering his questions, guided Thorn back down the spiral staircase and into the courtyard. Upon reaching the bottom, she spied a very hungry looking man with a small pile of apple cores next to him. He was voraciously chowing down on the low-hanging fruit, and, by the looks of it, would be out of apples in a few minutes. Valentine wasn't sure what possessed the man to eat with such gluttony. Perhaps he was some sort of wood sprite, or perhaps he just really loved apples. In any case, she would need to restock to fill his massive appetite! Waving Thorn to follow, the shopkeep walked over to where the cloaked man sat, and, with visible effort and a wave of her hand, caused the apple tree to sprout a few more fruits. "Welcome to the Floracle, sir! We're glad to have your patronage here."


  18. Nur the Feral's approach was a welcome disruption to Maya's suffering, though his immediate inquiry brought a short-lived, humorless chuckle from her lips. "That's the general idea," she spoke through clenched teeth. Even as the words left the diplomat's mouth, the ship began its descent and her stomach lurched in response. She envied Nur, who, though green of skin, seemed unaffected by motion sickness, and Cadmium, who moved freely toward them without the need of a support rail. For Gaia's sake, Itylra was even practicing drawing her pistol on the moving ship! Watching her friend and guard move so fluidly despite the rolling deck caused Maya to clap a hand over her mouth, feeling bile rise in her throat. She turned to cast her gaze off the side of the ship, toward the approaching forest, and, after a minute or two, felt her nausea subside. By the time she had collected herself enough to tear her eyes off of the island, Cadmium and Itylra had joined her on the small observation deck. 

    Maya beheld each of the three before her, her hands shaking a little out of embarrassment and sickness, but her dark eyes sharp with intelligence. Ordinarily military files were restricted to reconnaissance, but Maya had gained a positive reputation in the past few months. This, paired with her charming attitude and warm smile, had gained her special permission to research her cohorts for this particular expedition. 

    Nur the Feral, 20 years old. From what she had read in his file, Nur was a recent addition to the Terran military. His sudden commitment to the cause, much less diplomacy, was surprising given his ogre blood, but Maya, with her curling ram horns and exotic features, was not one to judge. Besides, Nur had already demonstrated remarkable dedication to home and country. His first official mission had been in Casper, securing a bridge that had previously been occupied by bugbears. Interestingly, his file had mentioned another feat of heroism in the Biazo Isle. She assumed it was this expedition that had earned Nur a place in military ranks, as he had been recruited by Cadmium shortly after. He was still fresh to diplomacy, though his profile mentioned other strengths such as enhanced senses ... which probably meant that he had been smelling and hearing her profuse vomiting over the course of the last day and a half. Maya's cheeks flushed as she realized this, and she shot the green-skinned sergeant an apologetic smile. 

    Cadmium Metireal, 22 years old. Maya knew a little about the Metireal family through her parents, and Cadmium's file had filled in the gaps. He was the second youngest son of a military family, and had joined ranks as soon as he had reached an eligible age. Maya could only guess at Cadmium's motivation for joining -perhaps he felt pressured by his parents, like herself- but she had no idea why someone of Cadmium's talents and lineage had chosen to join the Wasteland border patrol. His career had taken him to other places in Terrenus, however, most notably in the port cities of Casper and Palgard; perhaps he had missed the cool ocean breeze during his assignment in the desert, she thought, a wry glint in her eye. Cadmium's recent rank advancement was a testament to his skill and courage, not to mention his advanced powers of metal manipulation. In her personal interactions with Cadmium, Maya had also noticed a capacity for deep, creative thought, though, in her opinion, the captain seemed to take himself a bit too seriously. Regardless, she was glad to have his experience on this mission. 

    Finally, Itylra Yurieshanyaar, 18 years old. Itylra's file was short and sweet, reflecting her status as an immigrant from an unidentified land. Though her background was still under investigation, Itylra seemed well-suited for life in the military. She had survived multiple interactions with the Dredge, her most recent role in Tormo having prevented a significant number of civilian deaths at the hands of the overlord. Ityrla had since been assigned as Maya's personal guard due to her quick, critically-thinking mind. While their time together had begun to result in a slowly growing friendship, Maya couldn't help but feel that the soldier resented her role as a diplomatic guard. She had tried to give Itylra her space on the flight down from Palgard, and, judging by the star elf's shy smile, it seemed a little time apart had done their relationship some good. Maya would have to speak with her superior officer about rotating Itylra out on more engaging missions, though she genuinely appreciated her friend's company in the bustling isolation of Nu Martyr. Maya hoped this new mission would give Itylra a much-needed escape from the frivolities of high society and diplomatic negotiations. 

    With a start, the diplomat realized that she hadn't yet responded to the latter half of Nur's question. What did she know about Amalia? Maya's dark eyes flicked down to her binder of notes, then up to meet three sets of curious -and slightly concerned- eyes. "Truth be told, we know very little about Amalia," she began, hefting a light sigh. "The other two expeditions were ... inconclusive. We have a general map of the island thanks to reconnaissance satellites, and we know a few species of plants and animals ..." Maya knew she was scraping the bottom of the barrel, but it was beyond her control. "-But the surviving soldiers all have wild, contrasting accounts of the locals. We aren't sure how accurate these reports are since they were given in a state of hysteria." The prognosis was grim, but the diplomat had never encountered an impossible challenge. Her grip tightened on the binder in her hands. "One of the soldiers brought back a fragment of diamond- we believe the natives use diamond to craft their weapons." Her gaze fell to Cadmium, whose skill as a metalmancer would probably be of little use on this mission. "We have reports of Cain Rose, founder of criminal organization The Dead, having a presence in Amalia, but sightings have been sporadic over the past few years. We haven't been able to establish contact."

    Maya offered her compatriots a grim smile, and stooped to tuck her binder into a messenger bag on the ground. When she stood, her features were decidedly more determined. "Our goal is to determine whether or not the natives are hostile, and, furthermore, if they are capable of ruling themselves." Amalia's coastline was quickly approaching now, and with it came a marvelous view of the sprawling, lush landscape. The ram-horned woman gestured over the deck of the ship, her hand waving excitedly. "Oh, look at that! It's beautiful, isn't it?"

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