WFRP3 - The Eye of the Storm

They really ARE out to get me!

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Its amazing, just a day ago, I was exhausted both emotionally and physically, after the shock of the “eye painting” and everything that came after, culminating at nearly collapsing in fear after again seeing the painting and the execution of the cute serving girl. But since then, my mind has cleared, and I have never felt more clear headed and strong than I ever have in my life. I now realize that it really is up to me to make my own future, that I really cannot depend on anyone else. And I realize how strong I am by myself. In just 6 hours I’ve become an accomplished killer, having killed three people in just a single stroke or arrow each. I’m a killing machine! And I find I like it, especially when my enemy, the one who is trying to kill me, suffers a little before the end.

Everywhere there is danger lurking. My senses have become so keen, and able to quickly hear, see or smell my enemies around me. And they are everywhere – I really cannot trust anyone. Better to be alone. Well sometimes it serves a purpose to work with a team, such as when we were on the roof, killing the cultists and beastmen climbing the walls. The others did help – but it really was me that broke the back of the enemy. It was nice being up on the roof, without being cramped inside with all the others.

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Doctors Notes - Patient Alex Bartok

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Patient is a man in his thirties, average build and health, appears to be Estalian by birth. Patient came to me with complaints of inability to sleep. Further questioning revealed a host of mental abnormalities, including visions, agoraphobia and a disturbing evidence of sadism. Patient was delusional, with paranoid tendencies. Described events where he was hired by a person of noble birth to investigate unusual goings on. In his delusion he grouped with a strange group of individuals he had never seen before. He reports a house full of sympathizers with chaos, a poisoning, and encounter in an underground temple to the ruinous powers, a fight, a painting of a magical eye with powers to invoke fear. He recounts some events in great detail while others he claims to have been unconscious for. Patient shows signs of exhaustion and extreme stress, likely caused by lack of sleep from visions and the fear induced from his delusions.

He does however have a number of suspicious wounds that he states occurred in battle with worshipers of the painting with the eye – suspect they are self induced.

Bled patient from head and neck veins to release the delusional spirits. Provided patient with a supply of calming tea. Recommended to the house of Shallya in Altdorf, where I have been told some success with insanity have been demonstrated. However have little hope he will go there or find relief from his madness. Will not be surprised to find his body in the Garden of Morr in the not too distant future..

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A dark ritual: The beginning

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From the unfinished Chronicle of Barnabas Boven
By Nigel Kurst : Scribe at the Imperial Library of Atdorf.
(Author’s note: For ease of reading while I compile my notes and rough drafts I will denote the words of Barnabas within these lines) → ~ ~

I’ve started seeing new faces loitering in the hall outside my room, and I’ve even caught glimpses of shadows moving into alleys while out shopping. I suspect the Head Archivist is having me watched. In response to this I’ve destroyed my old work and reproduced it using one of Barnabas’ ciphers. One thing can be said about the man, he knew how to hide information.

~”The Puff” must have injured himself while trying to lift the heavy frame off the wall. He slowly made his way out of the sitting room while mumbling something about his groin. After his departure I followed “The Fox” to the trap door for inspection. “The Fox” deftly picked the lock, proving a lie to the “The Puff’s” story of incompetence. I knew it wasn’t true.

“The Fox” was reluctant to explore the newly opened passageway without additional help so we decided to wake up “The Praegustator. ~

…….

~We ran into the most recent arrival to this den of chaos after gently waking “The Praegustator” and it was decided he “The Catcher of Rats” would be the first down the trap door. “The Catcher of Rats” in turn decided that his dog would be the first to go. I believe he has the right idea, send the expendable ones forth. ~

Charming. My employer may be a sour old goat that is planning to steal my work but at least he wouldn’t try to get me killed…. I hope (Remember to lock the door tonight)

~After climbing down the ladder we quickly discovered a narrow passageway leading to a room where an unspeakable ritual was taking place. Echoes of the terrible chanting still resound in my mind. Swift action was needed to stop the madness, so as I magically extinguished the torches in the ritual chamber “The Praegustator” loosed an arrow into the back of the head of the cultist blocking our entry to the foul chamber.

Unfortunately this only caused a very brief interruption of the ritual. The chanting resumed almost as quickly as it had stopped and someone relit the torches as two more cultists stepped into the passageway. The resulting fight was over in a matter of seconds with “The Catcher of Rats” putting an end to the conflict with the deadly precision of his sling.

Without pause “The Fox” rushed into the ritual chamber and clashed with the false doctor. The fight was over in a few heartbeats, so I entered the chamber to assist “The Fox”. That’s when I saw HIM. The leader of the cult, none other than the steward. I KNEW he was guilty. His face was revolting. A large black bulbous sphere protruded from where his right eye should have been. Ringing this mutation was what could only be described as rows of tiny sharp teeth. ~

I don’t think I will sleep for a week.

~Before we could stop him he slashed the throat of his sacrifice, the serving girl “The Fox” had been flirting with. Her blood sprayed into the air and flowed over the Eye painting. The steward cackled as he slit his own arm, adding his blood to the painting. With that the ritual was complete. The painting seemed to writhe under the servant’s body as it absorbed the blood offering. The firelight from the torches flared brightly for a brief moment before snuffing out, plunging the room into darkness save for a dark glow emanating from the unblinking eye. ~

……

For some reason reading his words is almost like reliving that moment in time, perhaps this book absorbed enough of his magic to cause such an effect. I don’t want to even think about that right now! I can’t do anymore tonight. I need a break, and a large drink. Make that two.

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The mysteries of the box... revealed?

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From the unfinished Chronicle of Barnabas Boven
By Nigel Kurst : Scribe at the Imperial Library of Atdorf.

(Author’s note: For ease of reading while I compile my notes and rough drafts I will denote the words of Barnabas within these lines) → ~ ~

The Head Archivist stopped me in the hall on my way back from the evening meal. He mockingly asked me how my research was going. When I told him I was making progress he scoffed at me. When I showed him some of my notes his face drained of all its colour and he demanded that I finish the assignment will all haste. What does the old goat think I’ve been doing for the past year of my life!? I will have to be careful, he is the type of man that would wait for me to do all the hard work and then swoop in to steal the credit. (Do not show this page to the Archivist)

~While the others went downstairs for dinner I took the opportunity to speak to the old priestess about the hammer. She told me it was a family heirloom of the dying dwarven smith and that she hid it in the shrine until she could find someone to take it back to his family. After hearing her story I decided to trust her with my suspicions about the cultists. She took the warning as well as could be expected. ~

~At the dinner table I was most displeased to see the lazy gardener sitting across the table from me. I also noticed a new face at the table, I suppose I missed the introductions but he ended up leaving with the “Master of Hounds” before the meal was over. Some of my potential agents could not resist the smell of the dishes and they succumbed to the poison later in the evening. I was wise enough not to consume the tainted food and instead amused myself by using small amounts of magic to make the gardener spill wine on himself and drop food on his lap. ~

……

~My temporary employer wanted a status update but he had consumed large quantities of poisoned food at dinner and wasn’t worth speaking to. “The Storyteller” helped himself to a bottle of brandy as our employer fell asleep on his large bed, curled up with one of my unlikely agents. It was the perfect time to search for the box. ~

I’d wager those men had an awkward few moments upon awakening.

……

It seems Barnabas found the box but that it was empty. Barnabas spent the following dozen pages obsessing over the box. The hours he spent hypothesising about the box translated into days of exhaustive work for me. Thank you Barnabas for sharing your frustration with me.

……

~While searching for the steward I discovered “The Puff” wildly slashing at the painting behind the curtains. Not wanting to catch a glimpse of the cursed thing again I turned my back on the scene. “The Puff” must have decided his work was done because the next thing I knew there was a loud crash behind me as the large frame hit the floor. He explained to my back that he was going to use the massive frame to break into a hidden trap door in the library. When I asked why “The Fox” did not simply open the lock “The Puff” accused him of being a bumbling fool that spilt ink everywhere and carelessly misplaced his tools. This did not sound like “The Fox” that I knew. Perhaps the painting touched “The Puff’s” mind after all. ~

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The broth thickens

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From the unfinished Chronicle of Barnabas Boven
By Nigel Kurst : Scribe at the Imperial Library of Atdorf.
(Author’s note: For ease of reading while I compile my notes and rough drafts I will denote the words of Barnabas within these lines) → ~ ~

I feel like I’m finally starting to get the hang of this. Every line I decipher makes the next a little bit easier. At least on the surface. Barnabas has layered the text in a way that to fully grasp the contents of one page I need to reference at least two other pages.
In my earlier notes I said I wasn’t sure if Barnabas was a madman or a genius. I have decided it must be both, no sane man would go through such great lengths to hide what he has to say.

~”The Fox” and I met with the “Master of Hounds”. A large and imposing man as was described to us. He shares my opinion of the lazy gardener. I look forward to throwing another bucket of water on the lazy man. ~

It must be nice to be a wizard. You can get away with actions like that.

~When the “Master of Hounds” left to feed his girls “The Fox” and I found the remains of a beastman in the “Master of Hounds’” bedroom closet. It was clear to me that this was food for the hounds. …. Beastman flesh. The short crazed one would like this man I think. ~

I will need to heavily edit this and many other pages before publication. The constant references to eating beastmen will cause nothing but trouble for me.

~“The Fox” didn’t handle this discovery well. His mind still reeling from the painting seemed to take a break from reality. “The Fox” decided he had seen enough and needed some down time and rushed off to the hospice. I believe his mind was struggling, but that it was also an excuse to flirt with the old female priestess of Sigmar. ~

I’ve met a few men that desired anything in a dress, but I do not believe this “Fox” character sought the attentions of an old priestess. The man surely had some standards.

~I went to the library to research some herbs I discovered in the garden. The old librarian was in the same place I had last seen him, still reading his “cook book” ~

It’s possible I translated that line incorrectly. I would think a librarian would have better things to do than to read a cook book. I must double check this line before publication.

~The musical storyteller came in and interrupted my research. At least he was up and about after his second long nap. Despite the interruption I found what I was looking for. One of the plants is used to make a potent drug. I believe this drug is the cause of everyone being so lazy here. When I have time later I will see if I can confirm my suspicions. Perhaps I could test the plant on someone… the gardener would suffice. But first I need to explain the current situation to the musical storyteller ~ (herein to be translated as “the storyteller”)

I do not pretend to truly understand the man, not yet at least, but one thing is clear. Barnabas really disliked that gardener.

~While I was briefing “The Storyteller” a female servant came in and told us dinner would be ready within the hour, he followed her out of the room chattering at her in what I assume was a friendly manner. After “The Storyteller” returned we decided the best way to administer the drug would be through food, so we proceeded to the kitchen to look for evidence. When we arrived in the kitchen we saw a man looking for a missing blunderbuss. I was baffled he thought the weapon would be in the kitchen, is everyone in this manor lazy and simple minded? I decided it would be a good idea to help the man find the weapon. Weapons don’t wander off without help, and the agents of chaos wouldn’t want such a potent weapon in our capable hands. ~

~Before we left the kitchen I noticed the whole place reeked of the drug and I decided not to eat anything at the upcoming dinner. I managed to stop “The Storyteller” from eating a potentially drugged egg, and I swear the man’s stomach rumbled in protest. ~

That’s a grand idea. I will break for the evening and have a meal.

…….

After a nice meal and some sleep I feel ready for a big day of deciphering your book Barnabas!

~In the stables we found a lazy boy sleeping in the hay. While “The Storyteller” engaged several gambling men in pointless chatter I sent the boy up the ladder to search the hay for the missing weapon. The boy wasn’t putting much effort into his search so I climbed up there to give him some magical encouragement. ~

The poor lad…

~It worked. With proper motivation the boy found the missing weapon. I claimed the weapon and returned it to its owner. “The Storyteller” accused one of the men of stealing and hiding the weapon. The man denied it but wasn’t very convincing. I took the playing cards from the men before leaving the stables and making my way to the “Master of Hounds”. He agreed to my proposal to start patrolling the manor grounds with his girls, paying special attention to the large section of collapsed wall “The Storyteller” and I discovered. ~

~I sit here in the hospice, gathering my thoughts. The rug in the library had the exact same patterns as the frame of the painting. That must mean something. I do not want to look at the painting again, so instead I will examine the rug again. “The Puff” is still wandering around taking notes on medicine from the false doctor. He claims to have an interest in becoming a doctor himself, but I think he should stick to blathering at people for me. ~

The following page contains several half finished drawings of complex geometric patterns. I surmise these are the patterns Barnabas spoke of but he didn’t finish drawing any of them. Perhaps Barnabas discovered the patterns had power too, not just the painting. It’s probably best that he did not fully reproduce the patterns. I will have to decide whether the drawings should be completely removed before publication or if I should just scribble down a few funny shapes as a replacement.

~“The Fox” seems to have recovered some of his wits and appears to be well enough to go down for dinner. He will be most disheartened when I tell him not to eat any of the food. I found “The Storyteller” to be a useful tool once he was armed with enough information. So far I have two possible agents that are good at speech craft, one possible agent that is sly and able to be in places he doesn’t belong. I have my doubts about the short crazed one. He is deadly, but so far too unpredictable to be a useful agent. A servant approaches, dinner is served. ~

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The trail of the box leads to Chaos

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From the unfinished Chronicle of Barnabas Boven
By Nigel Kurst : Scribe at the Imperial Library of Atdorf.

(Author’s note: For ease of reading while I compile my notes and rough drafts I will denote the words of Barnabas within these lines) → ~ ~

I have discovered some new information today, but deciphering this book is difficult even at the best of times. It is unclear why but it appears Barnabas was part of a group of individuals hired to investigate the goings-on at some backwater noble’s manor. It’s possible Barnabas wrote down the name, but until I unlock more of the mysteries of this book that level of detail is beyond me.

The group he was working with sound like a colourful lot.
The following is a brief description Barnabas assigned to them…

~The little one is full of fury. Half crazed and deadly. Not useful for item recovery but handy in a fight. Can handle the dirty work in a very direct/blunt way. Possibly eats beastman flesh. ~
(I can see it now, the priests and witch hunters light torches and burn my chronicle, Barnabas’ book, and me. Remove that detail before publication)

~The musical one has many stories to tell, but won’t do what is necessary to find answers to the most interesting questions. He seems to sleep a lot. Possibly due to excessive drinking. ~

~The clever one turned out to be a sly one as well. Useful skills and appears to be willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done. Could become a useful agent in the future. Unfortunately women seem to be a constant source of distraction. ~
(I could use the distraction of a woman after trying to decipher your book Barnabas)

~The one with the flowery words seems to be a noble of some sort. Is skilled at blathering on with lesser individuals, which decreases my need to speak to them. I like that about him. I might keep him around as long as he doesn’t start talking my ear off. ~

……

~The secret of the box still vexes me, but I will find out soon enough. The little one caused some damage then wandered off. The musical one was probably sleeping again. But that doesn’t matter. I see the pattern now. The Masters put me on the trail of the box so that I would uncover this den of Chaos.

I located a number of heretical works of literature in the library. Everyone in the manor that can read is a possible sympathiser of the ruinous powers. The sly one (herein to be translated as “The Fox”) brought me an additional piece of evidence, it proves the doctor to be a fake, an agent of the previous lord here. I also found a journal entry written by the previous lord, he spoke of an eye that showed him visions, and of giving his blood to the eye for those visions. It’s no wonder his family sent him out to the middle of nowhere to be lord of this place… he was mad.

While the puffed up one with all the flowery words (herein to be translated as “The Puff”) distracted the manor’s librarian “The Fox” and I found strange drawings within the librarian’s desk. They depicted half man half animal hybrids. Not the run of the mill beastmen, but surely chaos touched.

Suspects:
The previous lord is guilty. He is missing, or dead.
The librarian is guilty.
The fake doctor is guilty.
The steward is either guilty or utterly incompetent. Either way I don’t like him. Guilty.

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The three of us stumbled upon a painting in the ever cold sitting room. It was the eye. The pain in my head while gazing at the painting was extreme. It’s like it was digging around in my mind, I don’t like that. The painting had the most intricate geometric patterns… the promise of knowledge was there but even as I write this my head still hurts. My first reaction was to burn the painting but the other two dismissed the idea of setting fire to the manor. Instead we went to confront the current lord of the manor about the state of his household.

The lord seemed unaware of the taint of chaos infesting his house. His reluctance to take action against his staff is strange. Perhaps it’s a noble thing. Their image is the most important thing to them, and they don’t like to make waves. I find dealing with him to be troublesome.

Suspects:
The current lord: I don’t believe he is part of this. Looking into his eyes is like looking into the eyes of a big, dumb, talking cow. A big, dumb, talking cow that has my box.

The current lord’s manservant is unlikely to be involved.

Old blind priestess of Sigmar: Helps at the hospice. Probably the only reason why the patients aren’t dead. Not guilty.~

……

Much of the text after the second suspect list has yet to be translated. But the following passage is noteworthy because the name Learna is mentioned.

~”The Fox” and I found a dilapidated shrine to Sigmar as we explored the manor’s grounds. While “The Fox” looked around I quickly lit the single prayer candle and silently said a prayer for Learna. I don’t put much faith into a once man turned god, but Learna is a strong believer and I wanted to honour her by doing this simple task. After I blew out the candle I noticed the shire wasn’t just rundown like everything else around this place, it was actively defiled. Upon cleaning off what appeared to be the shrine’s holy symbol I realised it was in fact a real hammer. I am no master of weaponry but I could tell the hammer was a fine piece of craftsmanship. I’ve taken the hammer and I intend to ask the resident priestess of Sigmar about it. ~

……

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Was it the cook?

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Having failed to hear anything at the door of the Lord’s room, I snuck back to the Hospice. Just in time, as the Steward left just as I approached. Having made an excuse about having dropped something in the hallway, he directed me to my quarters, a room off to one side of the hall.

Inside Gustav lay on a bed, snoring loudly, sleeping off whatever had made him sick in the journey. Sitting in a chair, also amazingly sleeping through the snoring was a pretty young maid. I cleared my throat loudly, even more loudly than Gustav’s snoring, and she startled awake. Very embarrassed to be caught sleeping she quickly stood and apologized, but I assured her that I fully understood, and that I had worked service myself. I tried to flirt a little to see if I could learn anything, but the only thing I learned was that the staff didn’t have a common room below floors, as many of the larger estates have.

Gustav awoke during our conversation and after the girl rushed off to her chores, I filled him in on what had happened. We both headed back down the hall to a now very crowded hospice.

The beds were full of staff – a couple of guards and a gardener, all who had been apparently injured in a Beastman attack a few days ago. A dwarf was on one bed, muttering in delirium and another face was in the opposite corner, apparently another traveler such as ourselves.

After a bit of learning who was there, Gustav started on one of his stories. I actually really wanted to hear it, as he is entertaining, but it seemed just too good an opportunity to sneak off again.

This time I headed down the stairs to the kitchen. There an obviously drunk cook Karla was making a dinner of venison and goose. I chatted her up a bit. Every household that I’ve ever known had a center of power in the kitchen. Usually the cook was well in tune with the goings on as the kitchen was usually a gathering place and gossip place for the staff. Even if they didn’t do that here, the staff helping in the meal preparation and serving always had to talk about SOMETHING.

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I decided to take a risk and pretended to confide in her that I was an agent of “the conspiracy” sent to make contact with those involved here. Of course, I had no idea there was a conspiracy. I was still betting that the biggest problem here was incompetence, not planned insubordination. But it was worth a try. I figured at least her reaction might tell me something. But it only succeeded in getting me shushed out of the kitchen, saying she knew nothing of such matters.

In the middle of all of this, the oaf troll slayer, barged in, and out, going down into the wine cellar, where he promptly knocked over shelves destroying countless bottles of wine. We are going to pay for this, I fear.

I smelled a strange smell in the corner of the kitchen, but when I went over to investigate. I couldn’t place it. Maybe one of the others could identify it, or maybe it was just a new spice.
Up the stairs I found the study. Now here is what I am looking for. I searched the desk and found a letter. Of course I couldn’t read it, but something about me told me it might be interesting. I considered making a quick rough copy, but it seemed buried in a drawer, so I decided no one would miss it.

The dwarf followed me in. Was he following me? As he picked up something and pocketed it, I realized he had done this before. Was he a thief?

Knowing from the map given us by the Lord that the Library was next door, and that Barnabas has told us he would go there to question the librarian, I proceeded there, hoping he could read the letter for me.

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A stressful arrival

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The coach picked us up at the crack of dawn, as promised. The coach was full of possessions, and there was room only for 2 inside. Gustav hauled himself inside and promptly fell asleep, The rest of us climbed up to ride by the driver or on top of the coach. I took position behind Vern Hendrick, my eye on the small case as he slipped it into his coat. Once we got on the way, I looked for an opportunity to pick the case away myself. When the coach hit a particularly big rut, I fell forward and attempted the slip. But he pulled away at the last moment and I had to sit back, and apologize for my clumsiness. I did notice Barnabas looking at me as I leaned back.

We had a bit of a conflict when the dwarf tried to take the box from our employer. It seems that the wizard Barnabas had offered him 6 shillings to acquire it. The dwarf proved lacking in subtlety and directly tried to take it. I calmed the situation by offering my own bribe for him to sit down.

The rest of the journey was uneventful…until the walls of the manor came into view. As we approached it, a small herd of beastmen appeared. We should have had no difficulty reaching the gate and safety, but the oafs guarding gate seemed either completely incompetent, or intentionally delaying opening the gate. The dwarf charged out and met the herd head on, and with a little help from the wizard and myself, dispatched the beasts. Another herd charged from the woods. I seriously considered shooting them myself with the bow, when they finally cranked it open and we drove inside, just as the beasts approached the gate, bellowing.

Inside we met the lord of the household, as well as the chief steward and proceeded to visit the Hospice, to get the dwarf’s wounds treated. I slipped away and went back to see what I could learn from listening in on the Lord’s and Vern Hendricks conversation in the Lord’s chambers.

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Welcome to your campaign!
A blog for your campaign

Wondering how to get started? Here are a few tips:

1. Invite your players

Invite them with either their email address or their Obsidian Portal username.

2. Edit your home page

Make a few changes to the home page and give people an idea of what your campaign is about. That will let people know you’re serious and not just playing with the system.

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If you want to set a specific mood for your campaign, we have several backgrounds to choose from. Accentuate it by creating a top banner image.

4. Create some NPCs

Characters form the core of every campaign, so take a few minutes to list out the major NPCs in your campaign.

A quick tip: The “+” icon in the top right of every section is how to add a new item, whether it’s a new character or adventure log post, or anything else.

5. Write your first Adventure Log post

The adventure log is where you list the sessions and adventures your party has been on, but for now, we suggest doing a very light “story so far” post. Just give a brief overview of what the party has done up to this point. After each future session, create a new post detailing that night’s adventures.

One final tip: Don’t stress about making your Obsidian Portal campaign look perfect. Instead, just make it work for you and your group. If everyone is having fun, then you’re using Obsidian Portal exactly as it was designed, even if your adventure log isn’t always up to date or your characters don’t all have portrait pictures.

That’s it! The rest is up to your and your players.

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