The Elixir of Life

So Far pt. 4

121. The group encounters a nest of spider in the woods south of Tyrkrag Falls. There they find a note containing information that a group of soldiers is stationed outside the falls. They wait until dawn, hoping to confront these soldiers with renewed vigor.
122.
123.
124. Remmar is sent out to investigate the site, and a plan is made to round up the Vaton outpost to the west, and send them in against the Hilmartian squad located at the falls.
125. A mutiny has recently broken out at the Vaton outpost. The outposts’ captain has seized control along with a band of defectors. The commander and his loyalists have been jailed in the outposts’ dungeon.
126. The group defeats the mutineers and attempts to recruit Commander Munger to their cause. He refuses, claiming dwindling numbers have weakened the outpost. The group kills him discreetly, and Remmar takes his place, leading the outpost to attack the Hilmartian camp.
127. The group attacks the camp, and Nal’vyr slays the cleric. Devils emerge from her incinerated corpse, and destroy the camp.
128. The group enters the cave behind the waterfall, and heads toward the Kobold city.
129. Clerics of Mephistopheles have seen the party interact with Nal’vyr’s dagger, the Dagger of Denial. They attempt to contact the party to inform them of the weapon and of others like it, and their role in accomplishing Mephistopheles’ goals.
130. The party makes its way through the caves, getting ambushed by a beholder’s slaver party, but overcomes them and exits.
131. A group of patrolling Ibixians comes across the party, and invites them into their village.
132. The party sells their wears, acquires new provisions and attempts to wait out the incoming storm.
133.
134. The party sets out the next day towards Iejirokarthel.
135. After narrowly escaping the dungeon entrance to the city, the party is captured by kobold guards. Taysok is personally captured by Irthos when she comes to check on the cadaver collector and finds him in a pit trap.

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So Far pt. 3

74. Upon their return, the party is attack by pirates, but the pirates causing the most damage are mysteriously defeated. The party pulls next to the floating craft to see that Jack there, accompanied by a Shield Golem.
75.
76.
77. The party discovers the robbed store and follows a wild goose chase. Finding nothing and becoming extremely frustrated, the party leaves a swath of destruction as they head back to the boat and North to the Dragon Realms.


Meanwhile -———————————————————————

82. In Strand Ellis, a new party has formed. There is word of an army moving in on the city, so each member prepares separately.
83. Farrok arrives at Elysium, and makes his way across its seas. He’s encountered by guardianls, who argue amongst themselves, then politely usher Farrok into Purgatory. When asked why, they reply, “On Pelor’s orders.”
84. In Purgatory, Mephistopheles approaches Farrok. He beckons Farrok to protect a tower where he claims Pelor has wrongly imprisoned someone. He shows an army advancing on one side, protected by another on the other side. Farrok refuses, and Mephistopheles leaves.
85. Farrok is pushed/forced/beckoned by an unknown entity to go to the rescue. He goes.
86. Upon arriving at the tower, Farrok is halted by Pelor.
87. Pelor attempts to banish Farrok. It fails.
88. Farrok looks within the tower, sees a lager, golden version of himself. With a smile, the doppelganger says, “As it should be.”
89. Farrok awakens on the beach where he was killed, surrounded by his comrades.
90. Party heads north into the Dragon Realms. Encounters guards.
91. Guards attempt to bring intruders to Oolaatiskith, as per her orders.
92. Party converses with Oolaatiskith. She threatens their death. Georg arrives, asking for explanation. She explains the disappearances of dragons throughout the realm, and her murdered husband and hatchlings. She says they were killed by “humanoid weapons,” though she’s unsure of what such mark a weapon would leave. Demands that Georg confirms it.
93. Oolaatiskith sends Kurnoc out ahead to, “Bring me a witness. I want another dragon to see this declaration of war.” He goes to warn the drow and set an ambush.
94. Party makes way to lair.
95. Oolaatiskith asks party to look at the bodies and that evil statue, and tell her those are not the doings of humans. The statue has a Ghoul Glyph on it, and is an idol to Mephistopheles for the Desecrate spell. Attacked by drow and zombie green dragons while Oolaatiskith and Kurnoc escape to the Dragon Capital.
96. Party defeats drow and zombies and interrogates remaining drow. He gives them information about the attack and the party heads north.


Meanwhile -———————————————————————

98. The Southern Army has landed on the southern shore of Breze Island. Forces coalesce in isolated camps. A new party is formed.
99. Captain Lochther, their superior and head of the group’s unit, informs party of their mission.
100. Party flanks opposing troops upon city ramparts. Make their way towards their first target: the gate.
101. Party encounters Rilin and Arden upon the gate. Rilin, Arden, and Rilin’s troops attempt to defend city gate, but retreat after heavy losses.
102. Captain Lochther and Taysok have confrontation. Taysok finishes off a badly injured Captain Lochther.
103. Party makes their way towards inner city.
104. Party encounters troops defending the walls of the inner city. After the troops are defeated, wizards confront the party.
105. The party flees. Soon after, there is a strange explosion from the inner city.
106. The party is separated. They survive, and make their way through the rubble. Nal’vyr returns to the inner city, where he discovers an enormous crater centered with a strange, dilapidated, alien-like facility. Nal’vyr collects a piece from the wreckage.
107. Nal’vyr reunites with Udamorn and they make their way back to camp.
108. The two meet with an old friend of Udamorn’s: Yonda Graythorne. She explains her mission and the two assist her. She rewards them with a strange pearl she found in the inner city.
109. The pearl reveals several different groups of people, each apparently looking into the pearl saying “Shen?”
110. Party reunites on the way to camp. Army officials separate the party and check for magical hazards from the explosion.
111. Clerics detect a strong magical aura on Nal’vyr and he is questioned about it. He abandons pearl in field near medical tent.
112. Nal’vyr discreetly recovers pearl, unaware that he is being observed by Kane.
113. Party goes about usual operations until Garin, chief strategist of the Southern Army, and Kane, High General of the Southern Army, personally recruits them.
114. The Pearl is confiscated. Kane sends party on a “special mission” to bring blinded and deafened prisoners infected with the Bristle Plague to the northern shore of Breze Island to be rescued by scouts from Cageathan. They are accompanied by 4 other individuals hand-selected by Garin, Kane, and Dremock Truefang, chief of the wild tribes of Breze Island. Once the party reaches the shore, they are to remove their prisoner’s afflictions and leave without being detected.
115. The new party makes their way through the wilderness, reaching the north shore.
116. When the antidote to remove the blindness and deafness is applied to the prisoners, the individuals selected by their superiors attack the party.
117. Party defeats “traitors” and questions Aaron, the only survivor. He explains it was a test.
118. Party returns to camp. They are informed that an individual named Shen caused the explosion, and that he is attempting to mobilize the world against Mephistopheles’ oncoming forces. The party has been tasked as a counter-effort to this cause.
119. The party is presented with their first mission: A group has been located and identified in the Dwarven Kingdom in the Tyrkrag Mountains. They have the backing of Lahsguul, as well as the capital city of Belegost. The group is ordered to eliminate the group, while framing the nearby kingdom of The Mines of Kiirazeerne, a kobold nation in the southwestern chain of the mountain range.
120. The party is outfitted, and travels north between Hilmartian and Vaton territories.

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Lost2

Farrok’s “thoughts” immediately after being killed, but before stepping out of his body.

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Farrok's Journal: Entry 2

Location: Helientas Port

A month now has passed since our time in the Cave of the God-touched. My mind reels at the experience still, such that words refuse to form and the pen refuses to move.

After two days of fighting through waves of inherently good creatures, whom when damaged sufficiently disintegrated into a shimmering golden light, we came finally to a large hall. Standing at the altar was an elderly Aasimar— as rare a sight as seeing an elderly Warforged. He said his name was Corinthin Illifur, and that he would be our final test. He was a test we very nearly did not pass, but after defeating him and his summoned minions, we were healed completely. A blinding light enveloped us all, and after a moment, there stood in front of us an angel. It was none-other than Barachiel, the Messenger, and he indeed had a message for us. It seems Mephistopheles has his sights on a new artifact of power. Luckily it is within the capitol city of the Dragon Realm, and if I know dragons and their hoards, it will be difficult for even his agents to access. When I questioned Barachiel about which course to pursue, the freeing of Warforged or the attaining of the item, he told me only that I must follow my heart.

“Follow your heart.” It seems a rather obtuse instruction at first glance, particularly when given to me. But when I consider the options for even a moment, I have no doubt what my course of action will be. The item must be found soon, yes, but the freeing of my people is already far over-due.

In times of war, mobility can mean the difference between a swift victory and a crushing defeat. Mobility itself, however, means little without the skill to maneuver consistently, and the wisdom to know where to go. Up until now my comrades and I have had the former-most aspect, but were sorely lacking in the remaining areas. Now, with a new ship, and the hiring of a proper captain and crew, we will be able to more efficiently prepare this world for the forthcoming storm. Our first destination will be my former “home,” Strand Ellis. Our captain, a former pirate and former admiral, tells me on average our journey should take little over a week. While no time longer than instant would entirely satisfy me, this is certainly preferrable to attempting a march from Helientas through Cageathan and the brutal Nogan Desert.

We set sail soon. We are better outfitted than we were before, but whether it is enough to free my people and assemble an army remains to be seen. All I know is that my heart tells me that it must be done.

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So Far pt. 2

55. Unbeknownst to the party, Roy never made it out of Kresh’s lair. When confronted by Mephistopheles, he was tortured and killed, converted instead into the ranks of his minions. The “Roy” that travels with the party now is secretly an aspect of Mephistopheles.
56.
57. Party attempts to make contact with officials in Helethrane. Their attempts are fruitless. They end up convincing the head of impound to relinquish their boat in exchange for some gold (50,000?). He gives them two tokens – one of Massive Sphere of Invisibility and one Massive Feather Fall.
58. The ship makes its way from Helethrane and encounters Lantern Archons. Roy kills one, but the party stops him from killing more and they follow them to an island.
59. While party rests, Roy searches the area. Mephistopheles tells him to bring the others to the temple he found in order to discover its contents. He assumes there might be a clue as to the locations of more of the artifacts he seeks. He is right.
60. Party makes their way through the dungeon of good creatures. At the end, Barachiel the Messenger explains to the party that Mephistopheles is collecting artifacts of great power, and that an item they believe he might need, along with the information they seek about him, is located in the Dragon Capital of the Dragon Realms. He warns them of its danger and tells them to rendezvous with Georg Brenstiene for assistance.
61. Party leaves but decides to instead head to Strand Ellis to recruit the Warforged. Roy becomes bitter and angry about the delay, but stifles his contempt to keep up his guise.
62. The party leaves the island and find themselves within sight of shore. They come across the mouth of a river and make their way up it to the town of Helientas.
63. Party encounters law officials who confiscate Farrok. They run some test and place some divinations on him. Rurik dispels them when Farrok is returned.
64. Party sells their loot. Brerk has been confiscated to an unknown area. Bellum wanders off repeatedly to find him.
65. Farrok acquires a Hat of Disguise. Roy meets up with him while selling his goods and recognizes him despite the disguise. A thug and his cronies attempt to mug the two down a seedy street, but are easily overcome. Farrok notices Roy get scratched by the thug’s dagger, but emits a faint yellow line and disappears instantly.
66. Party attempts to locate a captain for their new vessel. They hear of a former naval captain of great renown somewhere within the city.
67. The party gathers enough information to discern his home within the city. While waiting for him to “return home,” the thugs reappear. Again, they are beaten easily, but a mysterious figure has been observing them and beckons them into his home.
68. After a month, The party commissions the construction of a new, larger boat, and finally recruits the mysterious figure, Rashad Nabil, a former naval officer for the Hilmartian Navy.
69. The party heads south to free the warforged, but is attacked by a sea drake that recognizes Rashad from his pre-naval days. The ship is badly damaged and must land on the coast.
70. On the coast, dinosaurs and yuan-ti attack the ship. The party retreats from shore back to the ship.
71. Through clever manipulation, Farrok unveils Roy as a devil, and the party battles and defeats him, but not before he kills Farrok.
72. Farrok, now dead, sees the near past and future, but with no way to help his friends, he leaves the Material Plane to the Outer Planes.
73. The party heads north with a fixed ship.

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Farrok's Journal: Entry 1

Location: Unknown Island, Unidentified Temple

As my sense of self grows, and as my perilous journey shows no sign of decreasing in danger, I feel the urge to record my experiences and feelings. One of my team, a divinely empowered human named Rurik, has been kind enough to give me a simple blank book and some ink. My immediate realization is that when alone with my thoughts, I feel far more unnatural than when speaking with my comrades. These idle hours, when their bodies beckon them to rest, are the loneliest stretches of time I’ve perceived so far. I think, however, that were I a creature who could sleep, I would not be capable at this moment.

I nearly died today. Or perhaps I did die— what happened was not entirely clear to me. But wait, I’m getting ahead of myself.

Following my mast keepe friend Jack‘s trial in the Court of the Mage Council, he felt he was best suited to keep working there. We did not press him far on this, as his argument was easy to see; the place truly is full of knowledge and arcane power if you’ve a stomach for the local etiquette. We said our goodbyes, and Jack noted that he would be in contact if he had any helpful information. After several weeks of attempting to get near Orion, and making no headway in the formalized bureaucratic system on which the grand floating city runs, we decided to leave. Having only the faintest of instruction from Orion, that of readying the world for the impending invasion by Mephistopheles, we decided the first course of action should be to get ourselves mobile again. This required a bit of cajoling between ourselves and a dock warden, with us seeking our impounded vessel and him seeking a rather sizable compensation. Bellum, another member of my new squad, seemed concerned only with pursuing our set course of action(or perhaps any course of action that did not involve pacing around a town full of studious bureaucrats and dusty tomes). After an outburst by the hulking half-ogre, he decided to just pay the man a great sum and be done with it. While I can’t say his methods or motives are the most well thought out, his passion for the mission is endearing nonetheless.

Our ship reattained, we piloted it timidly out of the sky-bound harbor. None of us are particularly adept at running such a vessel, though through some clever divine spells we managed to make it once again sea-worthy. Or, rather, sky-worthy. After nearly a day of blindly drifting through the clouds, we encountered tiny, glowing creatures. Before he knew what they were, Roy, my final companion(save for his enormous pet griffon), fired an arrow at one. He stated that he was not taking chances with any possible threats— though anything that can by dispatched by a single arrow is likely not much of a threat to us. When more appeared, Rurik recognized them instantly as Lantern Archons, celestial creatures of an inherently good nature. They bade we follow them, and despite Roy’s protests, I did. With no sight of land or anything but ocean in every direction, it seemed the only option available. Roy seems to chafe under my direction, but I feel no more at home than when convincing him or the others of the best course of action.

As we descended, a small jungle island appeared on the horizon. We set down on the water just off the shore. Roy, after a bit of scouting, discovered a massive temple built into the side of a mountain, with an ominous message on its entrance. “Those Touched by the Gods— Enter and Be Tested” it said. Rurik certainly applied there, and Bellum seemed also to command a certain level of divine aptitude, but myself and Roy seemed a bit out of place at such a temple. Not content with splitting up our forces, I entered anyway. Bellum, Rurik, and myself entered just fine. Roy, however, was blasted by some unseen force when he attempted to go in. When we attempted to get back to him, we were barred by the same invisible wall of force— though we were not struck by any trap or effect. Roy decided to look for an alternate entrance, and we decided to do the same from within. After a short few steps, we were shaken by a booming voice that seemed to emanate from the temple itself. We were directed to defend ourselves, and to overcome the challenges ahead of us. Fine, golden motes of light coalesced around us, and formed into humanoid figures. Aasimars, I recalled. Yet another inherently noble and good being. Soon we were surrounded by combatants. Bellum was hesitant to the challenge for a moment, but when they showed no fear of him or the prospect of a brutal death, he was delighted to take them up on their offer.

I faltered a bit in the confines of the cave, but BellumBellum moved like a hurricane. In a blink he had taken out four of them, and in another blink, the rest of them. While barbaric and wild in appearance and demeanor, he moves with unhindered fluidity, chaining swing after swing of his massive hammer into one another. Every time Bellum landed his final blow on an opponent, they erupted in fire and returned to their previous form, then disappeared. In a moment he had completed the first challenge. We pressed forward, Bellum’s mighty hammer again proving an invaluable asset when bypassing breakable barriers. Deeper in the cavernous temple, the tremendous voice boomed again. A creature once again began to form in front of us— this one much bigger. I recognized the form before it had even finished. A Gold Dragon. I had fought many in the Dragon Wars over a thousand years ago, but I was still shaken by its presence. Bellum and I dispatched it, though only barely. His natural healing abilities had him completely recovered in moments, but my harder form took considerably more effort to repair. This is where Rurik shines. All in all we are a tremendous team, even if I am a bit ill-suited for indoor combat.

Our challenges were not over, however. After discovering a cache that we assume is intended as a reward for our efforts, we were waylaid further by clerics as well as some sort of celestial construct— though I didn’t get much of a look at it before Bellum did what he does best. Further still we came upon a room of Hound Archons, as well as massive Tiger-like creatures expelling a deadly-cold breath, not unlike that of the White Dragons I encountered so long ago. Breaking the ranks and getting myself cornered, I took one too many blasts from this beast. I was down for a moment, with everything going black. Before I knew it, however, I was… well, I suppose conscious is the word. Rurik explained that I had sustained nearly irreparable damage, and I would’ve likely died had he not been there. Rurik doesn’t know it, but he is perhaps a more fit leader than I am, but for the fact that he rarely speaks up, or takes charge. He too will be an indispensable boon to our cause, and I’ll be sure to keep an open mind to his guidance.

I am still locked on that moment in my mind. As the world faded away from me, I didn’t feel a void of nothingness that so many speculate awaits any Warforged that falls in battle. Indeed, quite the opposite. I felt a compelling force, benevolent and welcoming, begin to draw me closer. It was only for a second, but it was like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. Perhaps further discussion with our chaplain is in order.

For now, however, my friends rest. They set up a rudimentary defensive perimeter, though the disembodied voice informed us that we would be safe for the evening. I only hope Roy is faring well, having been cut off from the benefit of a quarter-ton hammer-wielding half-ogre and the healing powers of a divine agent. As I am exposed to more challenges, I feel my powers grow, and soon I will truly be a leader fit for the task at hand. Soon I will the full might of an army behind me once again.

And soon I will return to Strand Ellis.

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So Far

1. Meet individually with Kord messenger, Jarek, who has snuck past Troxiny soldiers that guard his ports. Asks each mercenary to join party. Must be discreet.
2. Party meets in tavern (those who do not wish to join first time are there drinking, may choose to join second time). Discusses mission. Says to meet at docks tomorrow morning.
3. Board ship. Captain wants to talk to whoever is in charge. Reveals that he is secretly under the employ of Kalernane, working with Kord allies, and that his ship is full of soldiers, though disguised as a merchant vessel. He was the one who brought Jarek here. Party may take this anyway they choose. Party positions themselves among ship.
4. Encounter with pirates.
5. Arrive in cove around the corner of town. Meet with Jarek. Explains situation with blockade and soldiers outside city. Cast Alter Self to look like guards.
6. Make way up to castle.
7. Jarek and Jack encounter guard outside the walls. Jarek kills him and he and Jack dispose of the body.
8. Jack transports invisible party into the city. They are spotted by guards armed with magic spyglasses and alarm is sounded.
9. The party meets with the king and Bathal, a rogue under the king’s employ. Party exits town and encounters guards in the town square. Jack runs off to speak with the king and saves him from guards.
10. Jack runs to the library and grabs a strange glowing book. Another encounter with guards.
11. Jack hangs out in the town before returning to the cove. Starts a fire and kills 37 people.
12. Jack and Angiers (Sean) separate from party and encounter Griffin Troops. Sail ships out of harbor. Griffin Troops retreated and waiting capture upon return.
13. Jarek, Bellum, and Rurik encounter enemies on way to Yjals River. Meet with Jack and Angiers.
14. Party “encounters” Astral Stalkers under employ of Mephistopheles.
15.
16. Astral Stalkers ambush party. One is killed, but the others manage to successful kidnap Angiers.
17. Angiers is not reunited with the party. Party meets Roy upon the ship. He leads them to his village.
18. The party meets Jarek in a grove with Orion’s familiars. Jarek explains that the prince was his son, not the kings. Jack insults Jarek and they battle. Orion intervenes.
19. Orion explains that they hold book of Infinite Spells, and that Mephistopheles is after it. He offers his access to his father’s hoard if they comply with him and be bait for Mephistopheles.
20. Encounter with Ogre Mages. Discover mouth of cave.
21. Bathal appears before the mouth of the cave and offers the party Rings of Protection +4, which are cursed. (-2 AC and Slow).
22. Party enters cave. They see a waterfall enhanced by Mee’Al and cannot discover the source of its magic. They discover that the waterfall separates them.
23. Rurik and Bellum encounter individual scouting parties. Rurik is downed and is looted, but is saved by Jack.
24. Concerted party effort to try and communicate through the waterfall. Successful, but encounter Skullcrusher Ogre guards.
25. Party reconvenes outside mouth and Bathal returns. Jack asks Bathal to leave because he does not trust him. Takes his dagger. Lets party know how he feels, then leaves to apologize to Jarek
26. Bellum, Roy, and Rurik return to town and sell their loot. They “celebrate.”
27. Return to boat and sail it to the mouth of the cave.
28.
29. Jack flies to Jarek. Encounters Roc hunting party.
30. Rocs capture Jack and move him to nest on Strand Ellis.
31. Jack escapes. Meets Dris.
32. Jack spends time chumming up town. Goes to Jor’s bazaar to sell items, which doesn’t work because of uptightness of Jor, plus Jor freaks out when Jack reveals Troxiny spyglasses.
33. Jack becomes disturbed by Warforged slaves. He sets up scheme to free one. Frees Farrok. Farrok joins party.
34. Rurik, Bellum, and Roy travel around and find treasure and speak with mermaid – Jar’Deen. They hear suspicious things about Bathal.
35. Jack gets a boat to islands. Takes a few days. Meets with party.
36. Encounters ogre guards again. Battle and captured a guard. Ogre guard reveals more information about Bathal. Party killed ogre captive. Creates tension in party.
37. Party attempts to enter waterfall without Roy. Fails
38. Party asks Farrok how to enter waterfall. He explains that he’s seen this magic employed during the Dragon Wars. Bellum finds sail to cover party and they enter the waterfall together.
39. Encounter Skullcrusher Ogres and Ogre Mages. Party defeats them and moves into next room.
40. Party encounters Spellwarped Boneclaws and Clerics. Bellum is killed and party exits.
41. Party meets Jarek outside the caves entrance. He gives them a small dose of the Elixir of Life and teleports away. Jack is surprised.
42. Party hears the assassination of the assassination attempt on the party. They witness the dead Ogres in the morning upon entering the cave again.
43. The party awakens animated statues. They fight. The statues now litter the entrance of the cave fortress.
44. Spellwarped Bulette appears and attacks Jack. The party defeats it, but not after a severely beaten Roy swears a lot in Elvish from the attack. Angers Jack and brawl ensues.
45. While party fights among itself, Kresh sends Luminous Assassin in for Jack. Jack is stabbed and Roy follows bleeding trail. Shoots Jack and kills him.
46. Kresh sends in Bathal. He activates rings. Party about to battle when Orion, who has been watching Jack via Discern Location, realizes he’s dead and steps in to intervene.
47. Orion kills Bathal and beckons party to follow. Jack does not and kills Roy
48. Kresh appears and attempts to stop Jack. Jack escapes, but Roy and Brerk are captured.
49. Orion kills astral stalker assassins as they attempt to kill party upon exit. The remaining party teleports to the floating island Helethrane, the headquarters of the Mages guild and location of the Mages Council.
50. Orion is placed under house arrest by council member Erit des Porif. Party is likewise jailed.
51. Greaves, captain of the guard asks Orion’s permission to have party join his in rescuing Roy. Orion agrees.
52. Party returns to cave to see that it is abandoned. Devils begin to appear and they eventually find Roy before coming face to face with Mephistopheles. Orion and the council seal the area and Mephistopheles is trapped for 5 years.
53. Roy and Jack play chess and discuss what transpired. They reach an agreement.
54. Jack has his trial, and shocks the court with his disregard for the decorum of the court. He is still found not guilty.

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