Stories from the Sword Coast

Redbrands Red-faced by Red Demon
There's a new Sheriff in town...

From the Journal of Pazlo Cobbletoes

We enter the Stonehill Inn and immediately see Walter McClintock perched at a table with Sildar, sharing conversation and a warm ale together. I buy the table a round of drinks while Sildar explains that Gundren appears to have been taken by the Black Spider (a brigand of some reputation) for his map that shows the location of the Wave Echo Cave. Sildar explains that this cave system is actually a set of mines that is said to hold a forgotten forge of great power (Phandelvars Pact).

I head over and talk to the innkeeper, Toblen Stonehill, and discern that the Townmaster of Phandalen is one Harbin Wester. I also discovery that the Dwarven Brothers of Gundren have not been seen recently and that they should have be here by now as they were to meet up with their brother here at the Inn. I also manage to overhears some of the gossip going on around town.

  • A miner (named Lamar) tells of orc raiders out on the Triboar Trail and that the Townmaster is looking for a group to run them off.
  • Overhear a conversation between a small boy named Pip (the innkeeper’s son) talking to his mum about “Carp says he saw a secret tunnel”. I later talk to the boy and offer a silver coin to tee up a meeting with Carp the next day. I find out that Carp is a young halfling and his surname is Alderleaf.
  • Talk around the room is also about a group of brigands, calling themselves the Redbrands. These Redbands are running riot in the town and taking law into their own hands. The Townmaster appears to be doing nothing about it.

Satanas is shocked that nothing is being done about this threat and upon hearing of the recent actions of these brigands, wants to know whether the Redbrands have ever attacked the Shrine of Tymora. He says not so quietly If they have, I will make them sorry!

The Innkeeper’s wife rushes over with more food to placate the situation and answers some of the questions for us in relation to what she knows of the Redbrands. She says the Redbrands run the Sleeping Giant Inn (a tap house in the eastern part of town) and do not come here.

Satanas decides to make his presence felt at the Sleeping Giant Inn and declares in front of the whole crowd that “Let it be known that these Redbrands will no longer be threatening this town in the manner that they have!” (maybe not in these exact and less abrasive words….hehehehe) and assertively strides out of the Stonehill Inn to deal with the matter. That is not what I said! I said the Redbrands would pay (Satanas)

As one we headed towards the Sleeping Giant Inn, with myself and Raiden moving into the shadows while Satanas and Kano steadily approach. I can hears lots of noise from the tap house and notice a cloaked figure darting in the main door before heading to the rear of the building to check the back entrance. Inside I can see a female dwarf behind the bar and also notes a group of 5 people just leaving the through the front entrance (4 humans in grimy scarlet cloaks and 1 other in a hooded cloak; the person i saw dash into the taproom a few minutes earlier).

Deciding to sneak back around the front I determine what this new group is going to do. Satanas walks right up to the group and is forthright and firm in his request to know whether they have desecrated the Shrine of Tymora or similarly hurt any of their devout worshipers. The speaker of the group identifies themselves as part of the Redbrands and laughs off any notion of declaring anything to Satanas. He states that some people get hurt and some people don’t, it depends on a number of factors, shrugging and looking smug. It was enough to provoke Satanas into action there was never any doubt there would be action, only when it happened was up for debate (Satanas) and catches the Redbrands off guard with his flaming burning hands.

Kano swings into the melee and also takes a hit in the close quarter combat. I stay in the shadows trying to determine where the fifth member with the hooded cloak could be, while Raiden shoots another dead. Meanwhile Satanas casts a summoned missile at the leader and takes him out. Kano uses some quick thinking and knocks out the last man standing in order to interrogate him for questioning.

The female dwarf comes running out of the Inn while the other patrons are in shock. Satanas makes it clear to the dwarf that the Redbrands will not be running the city any longer as she turns back around and throws a tirade at her customers and tells them that the Inn is closing for the night. We all move the bodies off the road and drag the unconscious Redbrand off to the Townmaster’s Hall. On the way we pass by the Stonehill Inn and see Walter outside and he leads a rousing cheer with the other townsfolk for our efforts in dealing with the Redbrands.

At the Town Hall we find a notice next to the front door; “Reward for Orcs at Wyvern Tor”. Satanas raps on the door to request demands!!(Satanas) an audience with the Townmaster. Harbin Wester slowly opens the door and is immediately shocked when he sees the unconscious form of the Redbrand in our custody. He instantly begins babbling “what you have you done?” and ushers us all inside as quickly as possible and into his customary meeting room. Harbin pours himself a drink (and I help myself to one as well) and offers Satanas one. Raiden stays outside in the shadows, in case of any reprisals from the Redbrands.

Satanas requests the prisoner be put in a holding cell and Harbin agrees and gives a key to Kano and directs him to the back end of the Hall. Harbin continues to babble “things can be put right”, “there is a solution to this” “I’m sure Glasstaff could…..”. I overhear this Glasstaff name and query the Townmaster. Harbin tells us that Glasstaff is the name of the leader of the Redbrands.

Satanas requests for us to be deputised to enforce law and order in the town so that we can deal with the Redbrands. Harbin ponders the situation and believes that this solution might just work. He advises us that the Redbrands are responsible for the missing wife and child of Thel (the woodcutter) who spoke out vehemently against the brigands. We talk about what other members of the town can be called upon to form a militia group to quell any reprisals from the Redbrands (if necessary). Harbin explains that there are a couple of people we could talk to

  • Harleia Thornton of the Miner’s Exchange (appears not to be troubled by the brigands)
  • Dareen Edamath – Retired adventurer on the outskirts of town.
  • We also believe Sildar could play a significant role in the up and coming events.

Harbin says he will require witness signatures from the other key council members to make the deputation process enforceable. He requests that we gather Toblen, Garella and Elma here as soon as possible. Raiden and I go to the Stonehill Inn to request Toblen’s presence and we also recruit Sildar’s services at the same time. Kano and Satanas go to Garella’s house and explain the situation to her and to enlist her services, for the witnessing and for some minor first aid for Kano.

On the way back we all meet up again with our escorted personnel in tow, at the Shrine of Tymora, and continue towards the Town Hall. We reach the door and just as Satanas is about to knock, he and Raiden notice movement on the rooftop of the woodcutters hut which is directly opposite the Town Hall.

Satanas casts a magical firebolt in that direction, while Raiden lets loose an arrow of his own. Whilst neither come to bear in the victim, it is enough of a distraction to cause the assassin to miss his target, for when the Townmaster opens the door, a bolt slams into the framing right in front of his eyes (the bolt appeared to have some type of poison or acid on it). Harbin squeals and slams the door shut, but upon hearing the protestations from the everyone outside he opens the door quickly to usher the council members in.

Outside, Kano is even quicker to react and runs at swift speed directly for the woodcutter’s hut and in a single powerful leap grabs hold of the roof edging and acrobats to the top. Standing in front of the shocked attacker, he hurls a dart at him and scores a direct hit, and then rushes forward again before the assassin can re-adjust. However, the assassin is just as quick and pulls two weapons out and tries to cast a spell on Kano. Kano shrugs it off and strikes back in an opportunity attack with his staff to knock the attacker off the edge of the roof. The assassin hits the ground hard, breaking his arm and lies there stunned.

Just as Raiden and I get to the corner of the building, we see Kano jump down atop the assassin and knock him out cold. Kano then picks him up, throws him over his shoulder and head towards the Town Hall. I pick up a wicked looking dagger that had been dropped during the assassins fall from the building.

Back at the Town Hall, I remove the all equipment from the assassin and check the prison cell before binding him up and locking him in. After this we assemble in the meeting room and Harbin enlightens the council members on the events of the evening and the proposition of deputising us to assist with removing the threat of the Redbrands. They all agree and Satanas explains to Sildar his role in guarding the Townmaster while we go and deal with the brigands. Sildar agrees to the plan.

though the fact Sildar had already lost one charge didn’t fill me with much confidence, but a man works with what he must (Satanas)

Reflecting upon whom the intended victim was for the deadly attack by the assassin, Satanas determines that the bolt was xxxxxxxx??? a real bolt shot from a ranged weapon (Note – the weapon has not yet been located). We assist in the writing up of the contract as local law and order enforcement officers against the Redbrands. Satanas requests no further compensation for assisting, while I on the other hand request a tithing of land (namely the ruined building of Tresander Manor).

I’ll give the halfling that one, that was smart (Satanas)

We also request food and lodging be absorbed by the township while they are dealing with the threat, as well as badges be made for each member for constabulary purposes. After signing the contract, we escort the council member’s home and come back to the Town Hall to interrogate the prisoners.

Sildar explains to us that he really works for the Lords Alliance Faction (Lords of Waterdeep), which help protect the interests of the Lords, from the shadows.

Christ on a Cross!!!! (Satanas)

He states he has been looking for a friend (also a member of the Lords Alliance Faction) who has not reported in for some time. He describes the man as a short, dark skinned, bearded man human wizard in his 30’s, named Iarno Albrek.

Upon hearing the description Harbin gasps as he recognises this to be a clear description of the leader of the Redbrands, the man known as Glasstaff. Sildar is shocked to learn that his friend has defected from the Lords Alliance and broken away to lead a local brigand group. (Note – There appears to be more to this scenario than a minor defection). Sildar makes a decision and offers us a reward of 200 gold for the removal of the Redbrands and dealing with Glasstaff – by any means necessary.

We begin the process of interrogating the Redbrand prisoner to discern more information on this rogue group. I do the questioning while Satanas plays the threatening overseer role.

who said I was playing (Satanas)

We are able to workout that the Redbrands hideout actually under the old ruins of Tresander Manor and that there is an entrance through the old basement cellar. After some more grilling the prisoner tells of another secret entrance through a cave in the forest. (Note – Carp should be able to provide more details)

After all questions, Satanas moves behind the prisoner, appearing ready to whisper something in his ear and instead goes to strike a quick blow, but Kano moves so fast that he shoves Satanas away. Kano shakes his head at Satanas and says “NO” with resounding firmness and conviction in his voice. The prisoner is none the wiser for what happened.

sigh….. gods how I hate Lawful people (Satanas)

Kano takes the prisoner back to his cell and tells Raiden that he wishes to speak to the Townmaster so that charges can be laid against the prisoner. As Kano walks back past the meeting room he tells the group that he will be pressing for a trial, looking directly at Satanas. Raiden and Kano go off to talk to the Townmaster, while Satanas and I move the prisoner cells to deal with the Redbrand with our own form of justice. (Note: not sure who advised of the death).

Upon hearing the news of the prisoner’s death, Kano goes immediately to the cells to determine how it happened. Kano tries to question the assassin, but he remains silent. Kano is not happy; he has his suspicions on exactly who did it.

like there was any doubt, but one thing about these Lawful types, no conviction without evidence. I don’t hold anything against Kano for his nature, he has shown himself to be useful, but no one stands in my way….never again! I was pleased with how pragmatic the halfling was… Maybe I was wrong about him being a no good shithead….(Satanas)

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On the Hunt
The Search for Spock... Gundren Style!

From the Journal of Pazlo Cobbletoes

The group follows a well-worn trail for approx. 3 miles, its late afternoon, and they navigate a number of rudimentary traps along the way. The group reaches a steady flowing stream, with thick brambles to the left and right and the only way forward leading to what appears to be a cave mouth where the stream flows from.

Kano and Pazlo scout each side of the stream. Pazlo note’s a trail further to the right of the cave entrance. Kano jumps across the stream to begin scouting the right hand side when he is shot at by some unseen attackers in the brambles. Kano lights the brambles, which begins smoking, and goes to ground in case of further attacks. Pazlo shoots an arrow into the thicket on the off chance he scores a lucky hit. Unfortunately Pazlo is shot by two arrows from some Goblin snipers that have come out from their hiding spot to the north, and is almost taken out by the surprise attack. Kano crawls up to intercept them along the edge of the thicket, while Pazlo drops back behind Raiden, who returns fire back at them and takes them down with the assistance of Kano.

Fortunately for the group the brambles have not gone up in flames and they decide to take a short rest to tend their wounds in the hideout area behind the thicket where the goblin snipers had taken shelter for their ambush. During the rest, 2 more goblins come out of the cave to relieve their companions. Satanas, smiling wickedly, tells the group he has a plan for these goblins and charms/intimidates them into thinking he is an all and great powerful demon. He appears very convincing and extracts a lot of information on the number of goblins in the cave (10 in total), who is held prisoner (a human in the eating room, but no dwarf…hmmm) and who is in charge (Klarg). Indicating to the group, that their worth is quickly coming to an end, Satanas moves closer to one of the goblins with a dagger ready behind his back and strikes mercilessly into its neck, while Pazlo fires an arrow at the other and misses badly. It turns to run in panic and is shot down by Raiden.

The group decides discusses its strategy from here and plan on moving into the cave complex before any alarm can be raised on the non-return of their comrades.
On the way into the cave entrance, Pazlo determines that the water level of the stream appears lower than normal levels (it’s either a very dry season in the mountain or something could be blocking it). The group move in cautiously and come across a room to their right with 3 wolves, which are held back by pitons in the ground. Kano notes a large refuse pile in the back of this room and upon further investigation identifies a hole in the ceiling which is obviously used as a refuse chute for the local inhabitants. Satanas decides to cut up the goblins and feed them to the wolves to keep them sated while the group scouts the remainder of the complex.

The group moves slowly further in, with no other light source, than from the remaining daylight coming from the cave mouth behind them. Raiden takes point/scout position and moves further up the passage way and notes movement up on a bridge that spans across stream, approximately 20 feet higher than their current level within the cave. Kano decides to jump in the stream and climb the bridge to gain an advantage over the goblin scout. Both Raiden and Satanas miss with their attempts to fire at the sentry, while Pazlo scores a freak shot and takes it down at the same time as Kano jumps up on the bridge to determine where it is.

Move to room where there are 3 goblins. Satanas moves in and casts distracting sounds to cause confusion amongst the goblins. He also creates a light source, from an existing campfire in the room, which gives the group a surprise round on the goblins. We take them out quickly.

There are 2 other exits from this room (one leading to the bridge across the stream and the another room to the south) The group decides to clear the area this side of the bridge thinking it would be wiser to leave no enemies behind them. Raiden spots 2 goblins and a Bugbear (group assumes Klarg)

  • In discussion with the group Satanas plans to run the same scenario of demon power play again to gain coercion over the Bugbear.
  • Satanas moves in while Pazlo and Raiden stealth in behind, ready with their bows. The group also sees a wolf standing behind the Bugbear.
  • Satanas again is very convincing playing the role, however Klarg is not intimidated in the slightest and tells his minions to kill him.
  • The large wolf jumps at Satanas and almost knocks him down. Paz and Raiden shoot the wolf.
  • Satanas casts a spread of fire (burning hands) and obliterates the wolf and the 2 goblin minions.
  • Big fight with Klarg. Klarg tries to flee after being bested. Kano knocks him away from the refuse chute and we group together to take him down.
  • Satanas cuts off Klarg’s head and bags it.

Phat loot!

  • Klargs chest has a Jade Frog with tiny golden orbs (30-40g), 2 Red Potions (Paz and Satanas), 600CP (150ea), 110SP (27ea)
  • 7 pieces of artwork (25g each) – 10 (gold locket with painted portrait – quest item), 8 (small mirror set in painted wooden frame – Satanas ), 2 × 2* (Small miniature bones figurines – set), 9 (embroidered silk handkerchief – Raiden), 4 (cloth gold vestments – Kano), 7 (bone dice – Pazlo).
  • Drop dead goblins down chute. Move across the bridge.
  • Find a room with 4 goblins and a human captive. The human is tied up at the back of cavern on a partial raised area with one goblin on close guard.
  • Satanas again use his demon power play tactic and pulls out the head of Klarg in a display that completely makes the goblins subservient to him.

The other goblin on guard near the human is not intimidated and wants the power of the goblin clan for himself. We kill it before it can do any harm to the human. Satanas extracts more information from the goblins. King Grol is behind the abduction of our missing dwarf friend, Gundren and resides in a place called Cragmaw Castle. The black Spider has paid for King Grol to capture the dwarf and his map of the mine. A large goblin patrol had taken the dwarf to Cragmaw Castle, about an hour before we arrived in the cave.

  • Obtained basic directions to Cragmaw Castle (20 miles NE in Neverwinter Wood)
  • Gundren’s wagon was moved on to the Castle with the patrol.
  • We kill the goblins and feed them to the wolves as well.
  • Group takes a long rest in Klarg’s room.
  • Human (Sildar) shares some information (didn’t get many notes on this) – He is a member of the Griffon Cavaliers from Waterdeep.
  • We escort the human to Phandalen.
  • Group pays homage at the Shrine of Luck in their own individual ways.
  • We notice, near the stables, that the wagon has made it to Phandalen safely.
  • Note – a group known as the Redbrands are keeping their own version of local law and order – must look into this.
  • The acolyte bless’ the group – get +1
  • We go to the Stonehill Inn where we are to meet up with Walter (the wagon driver)
  • Name of the tavern owner is Toblen.

From the Infernal Journal of Satanas

I decide that we will rescue Gundren. I send the others ahead to scout and we find the enclave of the Kobolds. I manage to bend a number of the stupid creatures to my will and we move through and find their leader Klarg. With my great power I destroy him utterly, but not before I am attacked and almost killed by one of their savage massive wolves that the others couldn’t protect me from. The kobolds finally realise the utter stupidity of not taking my powers seriously. As a side note Kano did well as did the midget and the hunter. (Except for not stopping that wolf)

While we did rescue Gundren’s bodyguard Sildar Hallwinter, I did learn from the Kobolds that Gundren has been taken to Cragmaw Castle. (no one seemed to understand my comment about Hallwinter perhaps not being the best bodyguard considering he was saved and his charge was not ?!?) It seems someone known as “the spider” (a spy/traitor) from Neverwinter has paid King Gol for the capture of Gundren and his map. It was a large Kobold patrol that took Gundren to Cragmaw. In the end we decide to head to Phandalen.

When it is all said and done I realised if the gods has thrown a different cast of the dice Kano would probably be weeping uncontrollably and in the process of sorrowfully conducting my burial. After much thought and meditation I finally came to the realisation it is my “luck” or “fate” that has saved me time and time again. And while to this point in my life I have not felt the urge to worship any god, when I saw that shrine to Tymora in Phandalen I knew it was a sign. If I am every going to realise my goal I will need to cultivate as much of this “luck\fate” as I can.

GM NOTE – its all about Satanas! Do the others realise this???

GM NOTE 2 – further updates still to come but this an overview of what happened from player notes.

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The Adventure Begins
Meet and Greet

The characters finally meet, and after introductions, the adventure is outlined. Gundren leaves with Sildar and the characters are left to their own devices for the night. Gambling (a cheater thrown out and a flop called Erik seen), sexy times, deep embarrassment and much laughter is had before hitting the road. On the way to the stables to collect the wagon and its driver, the characters come across a strange symbol drawn on a wall of an alley. It is the mark of the Cult of Asmodeus and as far as they can tell it is geniune and drawn in blood. Pazlo also finds a dice on the ground that looked surprisingly like one a cheat tried to use the night before in the gambling room before Pazlo had the guy thrown out for cheating! Does not look good for the missing cheater!

Once travelling the first night comes round and things almost fall apart as Kano attacks a traveler on the road during his watch. Before the characters are alerted and able to ‘take the creature down’ Kano and Satanas both fall and could die, before the lone Duergar is slain and the two stabilised. Pazlo searches the body of the Duergar and they start to wonder, why was a Duergar on the road, heading south without a care in the world? What can it mean? And why did the creature scream Asmodeus as it threw its weapon at Satanas?

Are leaving later the next morning the characters get to the Triboar Trail and head east and before long come across the Goblin Arrow’s encounter from the Lost Mine adventure. The Goblins are defeated with only Pazlo being hurt before the characters realise that the horses are indeed those of Gundren and his bodyguard Sildar. After much debate it is decided that the wagon and Walter will continue to Phandalin and the party will follow the trail and tracks Raiden has located.

From the Journal of Santanas

• While we were camped that night a duergar dwarf – known as the grey dwarves – attacked us. We manage to kill it but it dropped Kano and Satanas
• Seems the duergar is a part of the Asmodeus cult as he yelled that out. They speak language of the underground and dwarven. Asmodeus came to the duergar as a god to help overthrow their slavery. Asmodeus is the lord of the nine hells – who urges the dwarves towards greater acts of tyranny. Seems the coins he had on him were old. Pazlo believes maybe the duergar got the coins from the old ruined part of the city. Which could mean the cult is active in that part of the city also.
• Next day we are travelling and Raiden had gone ahead and scouted. He comes back and signals for us to come ahead. Seems he has found some dead horses that have black arrows in them. Satanas stays in the wagon readying his crossbow. Kano and Pazlo jump out of the wagon hurry ahead. The wagon keep moving slowly forward down the road.
• They see 2 goblins hiding in the bushes. Raiden falls over down the embankment. (Phillip rolled a crappy one)
• Pazlo stealth up behind one of the goblin and with his rapier decapitated the goblin.
• A goblin steps out and shoots Pazlo with a shortbow. Same black arrow that killed the horses. There ends up being 4 goblins and the group manages to kill all 4. Pazlo and Kano show themselves to be quite adapt at moving through quickly and quietly through the brush.
• Raiden locates a small trail that seems to be where one of the goblins was running towards.
• These goblins have another marking – different from the ones who captured Kano.
• We find an empty leather map case – it was Gundrens. Raiden manages to find two sets of tracks a human and a dwarf. They seem to lead towards the path.
• We decide to send Walter on ahead in the wagon, he is only an hour from the turnoff to the highway to the town. Once the horses are watered Walter sets out and we gather our gear and head towards the trail.

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A Brief Interlude
The Journal of Satanas

• Rescuing Kano from Goblins
• Chicken Foot – left to right claws black, white, and red. Goblin tribe that caught Kano
• They are further north, has dealings with gnolls
• I freed Kano from the goblins by doing an Obi-Wan
• Gauntlyngrim – ancient dwarven city in area. Seems Gundren and his brothers are searching for it. Brothers are Tharden and Nundro.
• The dwarves are miners, traders, warriors.
• They have a homestead about 5 miles of north of Neverwinter that was once a quarry.
• We do a couple of jobs, trading goods to the goblins for the dwarves
• Wave echo cave – Place where dwarves and humans built something (seems to be a mine) – in there is something called the forge of spells. Near a town called Phandalin. – We have made a deal that if I find forge then will involve dwarves and vice versa.
• Gundren has told me, I should be ok in Neverwinter. Gundren seems to frequent the “Forge and Hammer” in Neverwinter.
• We reach the forge and hammer
• Sildar Hallwinter – Human – Gundren companion and bodyguard for this job. Symbol on his old uniform – some sort of animal with wings
• We have met Pazlo, Gundren has headed down to Phandalin. Our job is to escort a wagon of supplies. McClintock stables has the wagon.
• We meet the 4th of our group a wood elf. Raiden. Seems to be a hunter or ranger.
• Joe (cook) at Forge and Hammer.
• Get some travel packs made up for Kano and Satanas
• Satanas checks out Pazlo gambling. Pazlo wins some gold and manages to catch a cheater who with quick movements reveals the cheater to the bouncer.
• Satanas find a room in the inn that is a bordello and drug smoking room. Satanas pops his cherry.

Leave the next morning going via back alleys and lead by Pazlo as he seems to know his way around the city. Come across a killing – seems a cult (Asmodeus) is killing innocents – I think it is like Goblin ritual he saw as a prisoner before being taken to a Gnoll. Probably the same Cult which means Asmodeus. Kano thinks the sacrifice was human blood.
• Pazlo finds something on the ground and picks it up and says for investigation later.

We arrive at McClintock’s – Walter McClintock, he is driving the wagon. His brother who works their also is Albert. We depart. Albert does the books.
• We see part of the ruined city. Seems there are ruined library and areas in the old city. City has only been repopulated for the last 5 years or so.
• While having lunch I transcribe the drawing of the cult Kano took.
• Kano looks for a piece of wood to carve.
• We decide to rest for the night with Kano on the first watch.

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Prologue
A Friend in Need

Up until the last few months, life has been hard. But that all changed when you met a dwarf not long after arriving in Neverwinter. He introduced himself as Gundren Rockseeker and over time he has given you each a number of different jobs to do in and around the city. Now he is more of a patron and friend. Word came to you to meet him at a local tavern, the Forge and Hammer as he has a special job for you. When you arrive at the tavern you find Gundren seated at his usual table in discussion with a human you have not seen before. Well this should be interesting!

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