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 Post subject: 300 years later...
PostPosted: Dec 29th, '10, 15:09 
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Location: TOOOOLSET!!
And the Fourth Godswar
Painting by Joe Thiel at: http://www.thieljoe.com

After Binn Gan Fo the bringer of Eventide was unleashed on the lawful lands of Kymlun, the already tipping scales have been turned upside down and not even the return of Domorus could stop the onslaught wrought upon the realm. Among all the species Man stood the most valliantly. The Elder Gods awakening, they came from the south. Zan rising to take his older brother's rightful place, he came from the west. The Curse spreading from the north now taking casualties and engulfing all the fallen mortals has grown substantially stronger than any divine power.

The first to fall in the onslaught was Handauk himself: Where millions of lives were snuffed out in one single breath by the awakening Yurth, the bleeding god lie forsaken.
The second to fall was Seleen, all in her good graces she stood no chance against the infernal wrath of Undeath, taken from atop her ivory tower she fell into ruin.
Third the bastion of Eneil was breached by the ravaging orcs of Rabio, both deities fighting to the death - the death of both.
Binn Gan Fo orchestrated the fall of the Light and he saw that it is good.

It all happened in one day and one night, none of the heroes were there until it was too late. By Galiae's plea, Jared opened Babylon's gates to unleash the forces of Kingdom Come, and Man beheld the fury that was meant for no mortal eyes to behold. Come the demons of the Abyss, and the forces of Hell riding atop the tide of disfigured corpses reanimated in their servitude. And the wrath of heavens to counter - the world would burn like it hasn't been burning as far as lore remembers.
By the second day Heaven and Hell were both pouring into the mortal realm, tearing the world asunder.
Binn Gan Fo created Chaos in his wake.

It was time for the Ghazakiin to make a move. The Ancients returned with The Spellsaint, Princess Mirage leading the unbreakable armies of the immortals, and by the third day Man and Elf fought alongside Orc and Goblin under the flag of Sylvana not to bring peace or to preserve order, but to see another day.
Binn Gan Fo rejoiced that there is unity.

The fourth day the rivers ran dry and the undead surrounded Babylon, the demonic armies, now lead by Laura Kendra were pressed to join the earthen cause against the exponentially growing unholy armies of devils, undead and the damned.
Binn Gan Fo has disappeared from sight.

By the fifth day all the remaining living have retreated into Babylon or were hiding where they could, but those who hid had little hope of survival when Lucifer himself unleashed the elder gods Anubis, Seth and Thoth upon the mortal realms.
Haniel has returned to fight back to back with the remaining forces of the mortals.

Babylon was uprooted on the sixth day, the Gnomes, Dwarves and Halflings navigated the Skytower to a new location where it would be much easier to defend than in the vast northern reaches: It was transported beneath Zheradan Mountain.
Haniel repelled the forces with Joshua Scarbo, Anni Redriner, Scyla Revanos and Candeth by his side.

On the seventh day there was silence, and the land would come to rest. And then three hundred years of growth would bloom from the chaos and destruction: Sylvana's throne replaced within the southern jungles and the Hin joined forces with the Gnomes and Dwarves to forge a brighter day.

"There is no Sparta.

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 Post subject: Re: 300 years later...
PostPosted: Dec 30th, '10, 05:23 
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Location: In ur base killin ur doods.
Alone atop the peak of claw mountain as he often was of late, Keldrin Mortanis stood and watched the world fall apart around him until his beckoning date should come forward. Days passed and nothing but the damned found their way to him. As they shambled up from the base of the mountain to its beak, the ground began to quake; vast vissures carving their way through the ground around him as the monolith city behind took to the skies. He turns, slowly, casually and watched it take to the skies, the wind taking his hair in hand and dancing with it for a lingering moment; something that seemed like eternitys passing. His face devoid of emotion as all good sorcerers would be soon sank to regard the recent addition to his torso, a diamond steel arm engineered by Gabriel and enchanted by potent gnomish magic; the fingers of this contraption opened and closed as though fueled by his very will. With that he gazed into the nothingness; the constant climb of ghouls and ghosts ever dawning upon his locale.

"A long time ago I made an old man a promise... That I would defend these lands when the time came in return for life. I suppose the time is here."

A moments lingering followed, eyes tracing the hands of the first ghoul to make its way to the peak. As it pulled itself up, the mage took to motion, smashing the heavy set magically enchanted diamond steel fist against its rotten face in the motion of leaping from the peak, armoured or not, those chaos black wings spun to blot out the sun in his wake, and he took to flight.

The clouds were by no means a safe place; every present denzien with wings would strike at the arch necromancer, and each was bested by a potent mix of energies, positive and negative, shrouding his form in the form of a shield; black eyes scrying the world beneath for those few stragglers that had failed to make it to the great city. His black winds took him to the deserts, where the denzians clung to the last few oasis they had, surrounded by thousands of the marauding dead; clutching scimitars and shields as best they could in the face of death. From above he swept down, landing with a shower of sand, his vissage a known one, almost as terrifying as those undead that looked upon them. Unsure what to do, the common folk beheld the figure in fear of a swiftened demise. Instead he rose, clad heavily in pale steel plate armour, staff in one hand, diamondsteel arm representing some vague form of shield. He turned his back on the citizens to face their oncoming foe, raising his staff to the skies. Without a word uttered past those emotionless lips, the staffs tip began to glow with a bright white light, one that grew in luminosity, one which brought with it hope, and from such a man of all. It was cast forward with an aggressive shunt, bowling through countless zombies and ghouls, each of which turned from rot to dust. Soon, the orb crashed against the sands and expanded vastly, the sheer force enough to bowl over the living, and splatter them with the dusty remains of bone.

The mage turned from his position to regard them all again, speaking from beneath his decorated helmet.

"You are right to fear me. I have done things that you could not dream of. I have killed children in cold blood, I have brought emperors to their knees, i have been the source of nightmares for tens of years. But before you now the world crumbles. Before you now, I am changed. No more, the bone armed marauder, no more the lone wanderer of this world. I will not prey on your dreams. You cannot fight this war. You will die. You must flee, and fast, before--"

The ground took to tremor and once more the mages attention was stolen from him, his gaze shifting back to where the armies of the undead had risen, only to see more strange entities; jackel headed monsters crafted of the sands themselves, each casting their deathless howl into the skies, and behind each of them stood a new figure, one which he had not seen before, nor heard of, a man it would seem, with the head of a jackel, holding in one hand a polearm of some form or other. Such a threat brought a coy smile to take to his lips, his head cast over his shoulder to the leader of the Kahallan's. He offers a nod to him, and he in turn flees with his own, leaving the mage standing alone against an army of dogs.

A hum of blue takes to his flesh and the metal substitute of an arm, and with that he calls to the skies; words that none would understand, an unholy tongue to rival the rumbling of the ground. Red eyes phased in two at a time beside the mage; ten, then fifty, then countless as the incorporeal rallied to his side. One final word saw massive draconic claw burst from the sands, then a second. The massive draconic monstrosity he had willed his own pulled forth, as mindless as any skeleton but just as potent as any dragon. Charcoal wings beat, taking him high into the skies, and with it, the staff lunges forward and an undying cry takes to the air. Wisps of bent light take forward at unmeasurable speeds, slashing the creatures of sand every which way, casting grains of dust to the wind, every strike they dare to lay back against the incorporeal missed, as though their weapons were useless, but just as useless were the incorporeal claws, for every grain lost would climb back into place, a timeless battle. Forward charged the dragon, leaving the arch necromancer floating alone once more. The sandy jackels were crushed underfoot as the monstrous skeleton charged the largest at the back.

The creature lifted its odd weapon and spoke in an ancient Kahallan tongue; the words caused the very sand to move, and before long strange beetles pulled themselves from the animate surface, clambering over the draconic bones. Before the monstrosity could even reach this master of sands, it fell into nothing more than a pile of beetles, devoured it would seem, the culprits scampering beneath the sands once more. A cold laughter filled the air at the archmages attempt at damage, but he was not swayed.

Clenching the fist of diamond steel tight, the winds carried him as fast as they would allow, over the battle field, closing the ground between foes mile at a time before finally a blow as well as any drunk barbarians lands upon the strange divine figures snout, casting him onto his back. The archmage landed feet first, fist deep in the sand. No sooner had he risen to his feet did he feel the swift retort of the pole arm slice against his chest, landing twice and casting blood to the sands before that magnificent arm could sweep in to parry the next. Both wore the face of irritation, both pairs of eyes narrowing in deep anger as the truth of wounds shone from one to the other and returned.

Finally each lept back as best they could, landing, Keldrin with little to no grace, his assailant with the skill and grace of the jackel. The skull headed staff lifted into motion, thrust forward, from the tip a searing red light cast straight for the jackel headed monstrosity, a blow that would surely kill, but to his horror the sand behind merely turned black as it is charred with the hate of a man scorned. Before he could react a clawed foot struck his cheek, casting him to the sands beneath. Shadow covered him, the beast leaping skyward to deliver the last blow. The pole arm sank swiftly, aimed at the mages head, but struck sand, casting it high to the skies. The creature looked watched, bemused, before jerking forward, a blow from behind sapped the life from his sandy veins. With the speed of a bull he span to regard the bloodied face of the arch necromancer, wearing a tooth-bloodied grin, his chest heaving with excitement and fatigue.

"Take back to the sands, monster. You have no place here."

True to the rage of the wolf the creature sprinted through the sands as though he were on earth and the mage through the air like an eagle, a potent red glow taking to that new arm of his. Each cast sand to skies, one twice as tall as the other. The archmage cast forward that arm to strike a blow on the approaching threat, only to find contact with a wall of sand and pass straight through. Confused, he peered about, left, right, behind, nothing brought purchase of the monster he fought, until its spear found itself pushed through his chest; scewering him like meat. From his lips, a blood as red as any mans took to the air. His staff fell from limp fingers and hit the sands beneath. After a moment impaled in the air, the creature threw him half a mile or more in his chosen direction. Impact tore his flesh from bones, tossed him through the sands and left him fatigued, peering up at the sun. Despite the influence of the hells being gone, the mage stood, somewhat significantly slower than he would have in times of old, and peered about blindly for the creature, dazed by wound and sunlight. Before he could gather himself, blow after blow from that vicious weapon struck from each side, severing flesh and muscle, casting blood and sweat to the air. He crumbled to his knees before the creature, peering up at the dizzy sight, offering one query to him before the final blow struck the top of his forehead, casting the world to black. "Who are you?"

Never under estimate the power that language imparts. Sticks and stones may break your bones, but words can break hearts.


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 Post subject: Re: 300 years later...
PostPosted: Dec 30th, '10, 08:30 
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Elissril stood on the bridge of Babylon built to cross its river at the south , except it had gone dry for at least a day now. She had been here for days now, keeping the road to Babylon clear as best as she could, but the armies were beginning to grow more numerous, and soon Babylon would be surrounded. Thankfully, it was still dark, being just an hour before the dawn of the fourth day. Elissril glanced up the road before her, her sharp eyes caught sight of a torch burning in the distance. However, her eyes also pierced the darkness to catch sight of several skeletons advancing slowly from a side towards the torch, the survivors probably not even aware of the incoming danger. Elissril decided she would keep the road clear of danger once more, as asked.

She drew out her glowing Onikata, gifted to her by her boyfriend. Her free hand moved to touch a multicolored gem on her belt, which had a rune on it. In an instant a nearby shadow from the gates extended to cloak her in invisibility, she would have the advantage of surprise, for whatever that meant.

She began to sprint towards the incoming survivors, as she got closer, she could see there was at least 6 of them, all of them common looking folks,
men, women, and even a single child. One of the men carried a short sword, but looked hardly ready for real combat. Elissril glanced to her left at the incoming skeletons, and saw that some distance behind them, many more skeletons were coming. It was possible that they might get very close to her and overwhelm her in their numbers if she fended off the few skeletons ahead, but it was a risk she was willing to take.

The travellers paused, and glanced around as they not only heard footsteps, but also the rattling of bones nearby, warning them of advancing danger. They glanced towards the sound only to spot the three skeletons charging them, the one with the short sword raising his weapon fearfully.

But hope came to them unexpectedly as a glowing sword suddenly appeared severing one of the skeleton's skull off. For a moment, they watched in awe for a moment, and then took the opportunity to run, while they still could, fleeing down the road towards Babylon. The two remaining skeletons charged for Elissril, both of them swinging their axes for her in an upwards slash.

Elissril vanished in a puff of shadowy smoke and appeared behind one of the charging skeletons in an instant, bringing an upwards slash of her own towards an arm of a skeleton, severing it off, though its axe still remained firmly grasped in its other hand as it turned around with a swing of its axe, albeit slightly slowed, and clumsy from carrying the weight of the axe with one skeletal hand left, and Elissril leaped back from the attack. She had become practiced at dodging, and easily avoided the swing.

The swing incidentally smashed into the other remaining skeleton that had, unfortunately for it, began to try and run for Elissril to chase after her leap back. The skeleton was practically knocked back and into the ground from the blow, and it did not get back up.

Elissril took the opportunity to charge forward and place another upward slash, severing off the other arm, and up along its ribcage, sending it back into the ground. She then quickly glanced to the greater advancing numbers, they were close, and then she heard more from behind. She glanced over her shoulder, seeing that overwhelming numbers were advancing on her from two sides, and then she turned to look at the road leading back to Babylon, the travellers had made it, but she knew that she would not make it back before the undead would get to her, and most likely, surround her, nor could she take on an entire army of undead, especially on her own. Was this her destiny? Was she to die, so that some lives would be saved? Perhaps, but she had one final card to play, before she would let that happen, it was desperate, but it was better then death, she thought.

Elissril simply stood her ground, awaiting the skeletons to advance on her, she watched the shadow of the nearest skeleton to her that wishing to draw the first blood. The skeleton swung its axe towards onto Elissril, and just a moment before the axe connected with Elissril's upraised arm, her form suddenly became black, and sunk into the ground, and then she was gone, leaving nothing behind.

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 Post subject: Re: 300 years later...
PostPosted: Dec 30th, '10, 17:33 
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"Ladies, and gentlemen, I just conducted a thorough military review of the situation and have come to the conclusion that today is indeed a good day to die"

Lord Remmington, addressing his cavalry.

Day One:

So the cavalry marched forth one last time, golden armour glinting in the sun, the wind on their backs.

They knew that they had no place in the desperate urban fighting that was surely to follow. They knew that Solinar's people needed more time, to either escape, or prepare themselves to stay and fight.

Centuries of tradition dictated their decision, they had a god given duty to do, and by Domorus, they will go down fighting.

The cavalry fell in to formation, line upon line, row upon row of cavalryman and horse, banners fluttering in the wind, blades at the ready.

Their reputation proceeded them, and at the sight of such a fine body of men and women, the foul enemy knew fear.

The officer in command, the Warlord himself, sitting tall and brave upon his horse at the head of the formation gave the order to advance in good order and close with the enemy.

What followed will go down as one of the bravest actions in military history, the one thousand men of the Solinar Light Cavalry fighting the horde to first a standstill, then a rout.

Only fifty two men survived the day to retire the field, the gravely wounded Warlord amongst them.

The price was high. Yet due to their sacrifice, thousands of civilians had time to flee before the city was encircled and besieged.

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 Post subject: Re: 300 years later...
PostPosted: Dec 30th, '10, 18:28 
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Location: The Netherlands
As legends are told, the day of that battle has gone down through the years as one of true legend. Many a bard would claim that these brave men, following the Warlord himself, were accompanied by the Burning King himself.

As mortals fought for their survival, the Returned Lord, as is claimed, stood with them in the sky. His Judgement befalling on the soldiers that gave their life, His Blessings on those still standing. Rumours claim that the survivors, few as they were, grew exceptionally old, other bards claim they were granted eternal youth by their Lord. What truth remains is unsure, but Heroes these brave soldiers are.


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 Post subject: Re: 300 years later...
PostPosted: Dec 30th, '10, 20:51 
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Posts: 46
Corrinn walks thru the large double doors of Elmenfaar, the Gates are locked behind her. She is in full Battle gear and walks with intent into the queens chambers.
My Queen we must get the princess to some safe place, I suggest the fortress of the Celestrial in Babylon. The queen looks up at her......If i knew where she was i would give you that order corrinn.
I will find her My Queen or die trying. She spins on her heals and heads out with a purpose greater then any she has been given before. Corrinn looks for days for Tammy and then goes to the Hill where she usally talks to her boyfriend.

[\\Tammy needs to add her bit here]

Last edited by avatar6666 on Dec 31st, '10, 06:24, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: 300 years later...
PostPosted: Dec 31st, '10, 06:16 
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Location: Lushleaf, Gnavin's Laboratorium
To this day it is an impossible enigma to scribes and bards to describe the visage drawn upon Candeth's face as she looked out across the lands. She was perched high atop the Barrier mountains, those very mountains that had been her people's salvation for so long now acted as a wall now prevented their evacuation. Hovering to each side of her, projected from strange cubical gnomish devices were the spectral faces of her two most trusted advisors. She turned from her vantage point and tucked her cloak around her tighter, wrapping it around her body and face to shield herself from the elements of winter. With long strides through snow nearly as deep as her height, she endured her way back within the temporary sanctuary of the dragon's lair. The two boxes hovered up into the air and zipped after her, magically willed to follow her.

"The time has come my great friend. Your kin are needed to preserve the children of the world. I call upon your oath, great Chaosmos. Protect us with your lives as the life wardens you have vowed to be." Candeth's voice boomed throughout the deep recesses of the ancient caverns, bouncing off the walls and sending it deeper yet.

With a great roar, so loud that outside an avalanche swelled up and rampaged down the frail remains of a mountain trail Candeth and her company had just scaled, Chaosmos rose up to his full height. "The time has come my children. To the air we fly, to the air we go to fend off these invaders." He looked to each of his generals, giving direction and course of action.

"Alexridra, go forth to the Solinari plains and have your flight collect all the humans and orc kind within your capabilities. Give no precedence to noble over goblin pup. All life is equal. Take them and bring them to Babylon."

"Zephalien, Claran'nathar -- take the talons and assist the dwarves, elves, and those few remaining in the northern wastes."

"Nebul'Alindas, Quasar'icsi, Griqua'Nysas -- go to the shires Lushleaf, Crossroads and Winterbloom. Collect the orcs, hinfolk and those who dwell in the shire lands. We do not have much time."

"But father..." Nebul rushed to Chaosmos's front claw, leaning against it and looking upward to her patriarch, "where do you go?"

"I go to Evil's Wake Volcano. It is there Candeth and I make our stand for life."


"Professor, all the students have been evacuated from the academy. We have alerted The Archmage and have begun opening the docking bay doors. We await your orders."

"Thank you Ms. Gyrorocket. I will be on the bridge shortly. I have a few things I must see to first." Gnavin wiped his brow, the beady sweat had been forming on it since he received word of the first blow of Bin Gan Fo. He looked around his library quietly. "For millennia now I have toured the realm finding your precious artifacts. But in this age of darkness come, I can not allow your secrets to be plundered by the forces that wage against us. I can not allow even a single relic in this room to fall into the hands of the enemy."

Gnavin turned and slowly walked down the halls of his estate. Upon stepping outside, he turned slowly around and looked at the steward of his estate.
"upon my departure, the entire estate will fall unto your shoulders. I can not guarantee my return. It is up to you to ensure the continued stasis of every object stored here."

"20G32 20G32" The steward responded.

"The Age of Legacy ends." With that, Gnavin raised his left hand into the air, only the index finger extended. He stretched his arm out and tapped the space above his head. A small purple arcane rune shimmered into view. He reached to his side and again tapped the space. A second rune appeared. Lowering his arm to his side, two eldritch hands fused themselves into existence by Gnavin's will alone. Like hands on a clock they ticked and churned, spinning with such speeds it is a wonder they could be seen at all. Gnavin frowned as the clock hands gave the requested calculations.

"Three hundred years... three hundred... years. Theira my dear, how I cry for the pain you will feel in the coming age of darkness. How even I cringe at the agony you will suffer for your forests, for your mountains, for your skies, for your seas... For once in my life Theira, I feel powerless, helpless to come to your aid."

Taking one last glance at the clock in front of him, "Nancy, activate the particle beam and return me to the S.S. Cogwork. It is time...."


Candeth braced against Chaosmos's back as he wheeled and turned, fighting with tooth and nail for every inch to reach their destination. The harpies screamed, lashing at his scales, tearing at the membrane consisting of his wings. With each dreadful scream, Chaosmos was losing ground. "I can't hold out much longer Candeth. This is as far as we go!"

Candeth patted the scaled neck of the ancient wyrm. "If we come out of this alive Chaosmos, I will rub numbweed on every single scrape and scar you've endured while we sit and grow old together. She looked down and leaned to the side, letting herself fall from him as if she were just another slain body falling to the ground below.

After falling down far enough to not draw any attention from the assailants above, Candeth stretched her arms out and let out a cry of concentrated anger. Anger for the lives lost. Anger for the lives yet to cease. Anger for the marriage to Rago she will never have. Anger that she was not beside him, charging forward into the forces of the enemy. With all her anger she let herself burn, she let her belongings burn. She drank in the rage, the bittersweet rage that surged through her every fiber of being. She was the rage and the rage was her.

With Chaosmos's careful precision that only a dragon could endure while in combat, with the tactical grace only a halfling can learn ducking beneath the legs of her enemy, Candeth fell precisely within the caldera of Evil's Wake Volcano. While swimming within the superheated liquid lava, she finally let loose all of those emotions she had to feed the volcano. She reached outward and drank in the emotions of the many druids and elementals who called out to the land, and she embraced them.


"There is the signal Professor! There it is!" Nancy was all but bouncing on the edge of her seat.
"Sky Admiral, target the volcano."
"Volcano targeted sir."
"Load the cannon with the Catalyst."
"Loaded sir."
"Engage the particle beam."


Sitting on a stone bench, looking down at two dwarven children, a gnomish pipsqueak, and a goblin pup, the old gnome women slowly shut the book. "And that my dearies, is how the Evil's Wake Volcano erupted. Its contents spilled outward and destroyed thousands upon thousands of undead, giving many of your parents parents the time needed to escape for their very lives."

"What happened to the halfling lady? Did she get married?" questioned the eager gnomish pipsqueak.

"I'm not sure honey."

"I heard her husband was whisked away to the plane he came from, to escape the horrible demise of everything... down there."

"I heard that the halfling lady can be heard at sunrise, singing with the birds."

"I hope you are right deary." Nancy closed her eyes slowly. She was getting old and it was sounding like a good time for a nap... She looked toward the horizon, the clouds in which they soared creating their horizon, not the land below. "Two hundred years... ...two hundred years."

It is better to be silent and appear ignorant, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.

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 Post subject: Re: 300 years later...
PostPosted: Dec 31st, '10, 17:35 
Masters of Fate

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Lights danced on the fields and treeline of a distant village in the Roburan hills. Hundreds of shambling cadavers descended upon the village, the forests swarming with shapeless horrors in the nightfall, no escape for any living soul.

A lone figure clad in gleaming chainmail and a dark, hooded cloak held back the encroaching doom as best she could. The sorceress brought her spells to bear against the horde, wielding flame and arcane energies as great scythes, unraveling the forces binding wraiths and voidspawn with her necromantic incantations.

The daughter of the northern streams had returned home after years of exile, to die with her friends and family as the world came to an end. She did not approach the village closer, nor enter its questionable safety, fighting the battle on the fields and hillside where the arcane wrath would not harm her kin.

Relentlessly the dead marched on, even as their numbers dwindled under the barrage of spells. Finally it seemed the contest was over: the witch stood unmoving as dread zombies surrounded her, the dark cloak flowing in the freezing wind.

Daylight visited the darkening winter night briefly, as luscious lips spoke a powerful evocation spell to rend and scorch all undead caught in its area of effect. The woman threw aside her cloak with a forceful motion, a true daughter of Roburan, and made ready to face the end with steel in hand. Warded and empowered with protective magic, her deadly scimitar now wreathed in flames, the sorceress called into being elemental shields around herself.

So armed, the witch waded into melee with sword and shield. Whether she struck a blow or received one, terrible harm was brought to the unfeeling, uncaring foes. Despite her magic and items of power, she was still a soft, frail being under the armor forged by immortals, and soon brought to her knees. But the final strike did not come.

With trembling hands she pulled up her helmet's visor and looked about the battlefield. Her defensive spells and reciprocal wards had served their purpose well. She had won.

There, her clansmen stepped forth from the village gates, great axes in hand. Women, even children came out to greet her, to welcome her home. She would now have the chance to recover in safety, rest and renew her sorcerous energies. Together the clan might survive the end of the world. Perhaps they'd agree to escaping an impossible situation to the astral plane, should it come to that.

They moved closer as she collected herself, they moved... they moved wrong. These were not living men and women, but ravaged bodies raised in undeath.

A wordless scream of rage escaped Erika, echoing in the northern winter night. It was all in vain. She was too late. The only thing that mattered to her in the world, besides her freedom and her power, had been taken away from her. Flames of anger flared in the sorceress' embittered soul; the fires of hatred fueled her magic to new heights.

Once more darkness gave way, once more sorcerous fire seared undead flesh. As the fires died down, the village was gone, as were its denizens. All that remained were a curved blade struck into the earth, a blackened suit of chainmail slowly cooling in the night, and ash in the wind.


"Have courage, friends! The road is not far now, and it is kept open by the defenders of Babylon." The celestial's words had a visible effect on the group, bolstering their spirits, though more due to the reassuring tone and the woman's calming presence than their content.

The hours of travel and skirmishes through the snowy forest had left the refugees weary. Two dozen human men and women, two male elves and one female all placed their hopes on the dark-skinned paladin getting them through the increasingly numerous undead roaming the north. Though most of the travelers had some skill at arms, none of them could hope to fight the Legion's footsoldiers without the celestial taking the brunt of the battle.

They pressed on until reaching a pass blocked by a force of undead commanded by what seemed to be a devil warrior. The hulking figure clad in ebon plate adorned by burning infernal runes carried in one hand a blade of such size and weight that most men would have had trouble wielding it with two hands. Some of the undead wore armor, some did not, but it was clear they had been soldiers and warriors in life. This was a warband, not a mindless gathering of walking corpses.

Elena signaled a halt and motioned the group to return to the trees' cover, pausing to consider the situation. The devil had chosen its place well, and the ambush was skillfully set. Amidst the trees near the pass lurked lesser undead, likely in great numbers, even though she could only spot a few from distance. Any refugees hoping to reach the road from the west would either go through here or spend another hour or two looking for a suitable crossing, likely to be set upon by incorporeal undead and whatever else the darkened woods concealed. The warband was not hidden because the devil welcomed battle, and the sight of the lifeless warriors would send frightened travelers fleeing into their doom in the woods.

"We have little choice but to push through here," she said quietly, addressing the armed individuals in the group. "Ahead of us lies an ambush. As we walk the path between the slopes, undead will charge from the trees to take us by surprise and block retreat. Do not run. Do not leave each other's side. Only together will we succeed."

The holy warrior gathered the group close, armed and unarmed alike. Wards against evil she cast, blessings and prayers spoken in the ageless language of the higher planes, empowered by the angelic might of her soul, not any deity in this world or another. She divided what blessed arrows were left among those few who carried bows and again reminded the living to stand together once the dead came for them.

Though fear gripped mortal hearts tight, it could not take proper hold; this was the celestial's greatest boon to her followers. As they walked down the path toward safety or death, the refugees seemed to grow more confident.

A few steps ahead of the others, Elena raised her blade to issue the hellknight a challenge. "You and I, fiend. Grant the others safe passage and you shall have a battle unlike any other you've fought."

Mocking laughter echoing from under the black helmet was all the response the devil deigned to give. A swarm of slavering ghouls raced down the slopes on both sides, crashing hungrily into the feast of warm flesh waiting below.

The devil's laugh died off as his minions' appetites were denied. Some turned to dust in the silverclad woman's unearthly aura, some stumbled back in the mindless terror undead are stricken with in the presence of holy power. He snarled and raised his cruel blade. The undead warriors took positions aside their commander, ready to march on the living.

Divine light seeped into Elena's silvery armor, warding her from blows, and imbued her sword with energies greater than its own enchantment. She dropped her visor and held high the shield once carried by one of the Nine Chosen.

Two uneven groups clashed, the odds heavily against the living fighting for their survival. The two champions were more evenly matched than it seemed at first. Although the celestial was still a mere glimmer of the angel's true power and her equipment humble compared to heroes of legend, she was far stronger and more resilient than might have been expected of such a small frame, and stood her ground steadfast as they traded blows.

The undead pawns grew weaker and their numbers waned, while the humans and elves fought valiantly. Where the living fell, holy magic restored them to full health and vigor just as it made undead crumble and collapse. Thrice the paladin staggered, grievously wounded, and thrice she healed herself and all nearby allies.

Dark ichor oozed from the hellknight's wounds, yet he showed no sign of weakening. Finally he brought down his devilforged blade with both hands, shattering the celestial's shield. With a mighty roar the warrior of Hell ran his opponent through.

She might have won the battle at the cost of her charges, had she fought more selfishly, Elena thought as she lay dying. Not only was this group lost, but any others that would follow as well. Yet, given the same choices, she would make the same decisions again. She had tried her best and failed.

The refugees did not scatter or flee westward in fear. They closed ranks around their fallen champion and kept fighting off the undead. Some of the civilians made an effort to bind the silverclad woman's wounds, though she was beyond mundane help.

This was the essence of courage, Elena realized. Hope and faith were not enough on their own, and courage without faith was an empty thing. Faith, hope and courage together gave mortals the strength to perform unlikely feats of valour and heroism. Understanding this, experiencing this had been her true purpose in the world. She had served her purpose. She remembered now. The paladin smiled gently and breathed her last.

A shining spirit ascended from the ruined armor, its eyes ablaze with Heaven's glory. Wings of light spread and the undead fell as dust. The devil warrior brought up his sword in futile defense as he was obliterated by the angel's vengeful wrath. Wounds were healed, illness eradicated, even the winter's chill receded. One final message was spoken to the refugees' hearts before the spirit was gone.

Have courage, friends! The road is not far now, and it shall be open. Onward, to Babylon.

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 Post subject: Re: 300 years later...
PostPosted: Jan 2nd, '11, 23:14 
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The Fall

She watched Corrinn leave the throne room, remaining silent until her final steps echoed away into nothingness. With a quick gesture of her wrist, she motioned towards a figure in the shadows on her left before speaking, “That satisfy ya, Cam? I’m a pretty good you when I wanna be.”
The queen stepped from the shadows, examining Tammy with a raised brow. Her arms folded over royal robes, identical to the ones clothing the current imposter, “Not bad. But are you sure you’re up for this type of task?”
Tammy waved a hand over her eyes, dismissing the glamor that had temporarily turned them from dark purple to piercing blue, “Let’s face it. I’m the best double ya ‘ave and not ta knock your fighting abilities, but I’m more in practice ‘an ya are. Considerin’ how things’re goin’, ya might need me. That little demonstration was just ta show ya how effective I can be.”
The queen of Elmensfaar nodded, a faint smirk playing about her lips, “Are you sure I shouldn’t send you away to safety, Tammy? Your bodyguard seemed very concerned.”
Tammy rolled her eyes and stepped down from the dais to stand next to her twin, “My bodyguard needs a bodyguard. I’m more ‘an capable’ve takin’ care’ve myself. Unlike some of the so-called heroes, I know when it’s the best time ta run rather ‘an fight.”
“Your courage astounds me,” Cam replied drily. “You must be the envy of all paladins.”
“Well I admit that Pelgrin was a bit jealous.” Tammy brushed her hands on her robes, wrinkling her nose, “I can promise ya that I won’ get used ta wearin’ this get-up, though. Fortunately for ya, I’m a great actress.”
“Fortunately.” Cam glanced towards the entrance of the throne chamber before speaking again, “There are rumors that Domorus has returned, but that something is stirring to the north. This…Binn Gan Fo. What do you know of him?”
Tammy followed her sister’s gaze towards the entrance of the throne chamber. White columns, seemingly woven out of the trees themselves spiraled upwards into the leafy canopy above. The light that filtered through cast golden, dappled patterns on the smooth floor.
“I’m assumin’ he was once Haniel’s counterpart in the beginnin’ve creation an’ was somehow sealed away. That’s just my theory, though. I ‘ave a feelin’ he was ‘is rival or ‘is opposite. I’m not sure ‘xactly which since like I said, I’m goin’ by thought an’ from what I’ve observed rather ‘an from literature.” She rubbed her forehead briefly, eyes flickering towards her sister, “I just ‘ave a bad feelin’ in general. Things aren’ goin’ ta go well.”
Cam turned slightly to meet Tammy’s gaze, “I hope you’re wrong.”
“So do I.”

That’s the only way she could describe the utter and complete destruction in front of her. Shattered buildings and torn streets were littered with the debris that had survived the blast. Here was a human outline to be forever imprinted in black against the side of a mostly collapsed building. There was a small doll with torn limbs and its stuffing coming out of the sides. And…there. There was the cracked sign of a store with its writing scoured from the wood. Any indication of identity, of existence, had been erased.
Worse still were the constant moans of the dead. Yurth’s resurrection may have caused thousands of lives to be erased in seconds, but it had also brought new denizens to the destroyed city. Shrieks of those long past filled the cold air. The dry, shifting sound of bone and stretched flesh scraped over paving stones. The faint rustle of wraiths in their shadowy haunts added to the chorus, their red eyes glinting in shade as they waited for the cover of night.
Nheraz’Kharr was no more.
Tammy closed her eyes briefly, resting a hand against a pitted wall to steady herself. She had been curious about the loss of connection to the northern city, and her sister had encouraged her to investigate. Gabriel had shown more caution, but he always did. Now she knew the truth. Never again would Solinar and Elmensfaar need to worry about their rival.
She blinked once, then blinked again. If everyone in the north was dead, then what about Hendok? With no followers, would he be…?
Tammy barely noticed where her feet took her. She scrambled over rubble and stone, ducking under arches and sliding past the undead. It was only a few minutes before she stood in the ruins of a grand hall. Twisted metal contorted itself into strange shapes around the perimeter, no doubt the remains of the walls and ceiling. A few columns had cracked and crumbled into pieces, littering the floor with further debris. Yet her eyes fixed on what must have been the back and center of the room. The bowl that held the ceremonial fire had already been upturned and destroyed, yet the altar still remained intact.
Tammy found herself slowly approaching the stone slab, her eyes transfixed by the carved flames on its sides. A few feet from the altar, she paused.
And with a resounding crack, the solid stone split down the center.
A chill travelled down Tammy’s spine. The place felt empty, dead. She quickly backed out of the ruins and fled, leaping over trash and debris, dodging the restless dead, running towards the south.
Tammy hated to be overdramatic, but this looked a lot like the beginning of the end.

She didn’t want to lose her again. That was the thought that pummeled her mind over and over and over again as she listened to her mother. On Tammy’s right was her sister and in front of both of them was their mother, garbed in gleaming silver. Her weapon was in hand, a deadly combination of grace and force; the two blades gleamed faintly in the dying light of the afternoon.
“…I just wanted you both to know that I love you dearly, but you need to understand that this is something I must do. I cannot leave my goddess to fend for herself when her need is most dire.”
“And what about your country, mother. Don’t forget that you’re the General of Elmensfaar. My general. I don’t think running to Seleen’s aid will help troop morale. We’ve already lost enough elves to her cause,” Cam leaned forward slightly, placing both hands on top of the stone table they were seated around. “We should concentrate our forces in Elmensfaar and take to Eneil’s cause. Hendauk has already fallen; we can’t afford to let our grandfather…your father…fall as well.
Tammy remained silent as Anastacia spoke, noting the bit of irritation that had crept into her voice, “I don’t need to be told this, Camilla. I’m well aware of the situation. But do you think that letting Seleen fall will ensure our success? We need to stop the infection before it spreads. We can’t afford to wait until the problem is on our very doorstep.”
Cam’s retort was swift, “And do you think we can afford the loss of our best general? You know that this is a fruitless task. We can’t hope to win against this power.”
“I still need to go. I am a paladin of Seleen, and with that come certain obligations. She is calling to her followers, and to her I must go.”
“And getting yourself killed is helping her?”
“It’s better than waiting here.”
Tammy gritted her teeth as they argued back and forth. The undead were already at their very doorstep. What did it matter if they went out to meet them or not? They were trapped. They needed Solinar’s support, but Solinar had its own issues to worry about.
“I think you’re both bein’ moronic.”
Anastasia opened her mouth (probably to chide her about calling her mother moronic), but Tammy quickly continued, “Gods’re supported by their followers, right? As long as they ‘ave one follower, they’ll live. Ta be honest, I think the best thing ya can do for Seleen is keep yourself alive. That’s my take on things, anyway. ‘Sides, Cam ‘as a point. We need ta martial our forces and prepare ourselves for what’s comin’. We don’ wanna be the next Nheraz’Kharr.”
Cam smiled slightly while her mother’s face resumed impassivity. Of course Cam would be happy that she had supported her idea. Unfortunately for her, she wasn’t finished.
“I think we should also consider evacuatin’ Elmensfaar completely if need be. It would cause a loss’ve fewer lives if worse came ta worse.”
Both immediately protested the idea. Her mother still wanted to go and aid Seleen, and both of them refused to consider abandoning the city that the elves had worked so hard to build after the fall of Langoria.
“It’s inconceivable to even consider, Tameliel. That would lower morale even further.”
“The elves wouldn’t hear of it…not to mention the Council.”
“And how would we…?”
Tammy heard their protests in quiet for a few moments before jumping in herself, “Neither’ve ya saw Nheraz’Kharr. It’s demolished. Gone. D’ya really think so little’ve the Northern Kingdom that ya would believe we could stand without allies?”
Both of them stared at her, and then Cam shook her head, “You don’t understand these things, Tam. Asking them to leave would kill them.”
The conversation continued and Tammy murmured to herself, “Asking ‘em ta stay’ll kill ‘em, as well.”

Tammy ducked under a battle axe, slick and wet with blood. The creature holding it pulled his lips back in a snarl, showing yellow, rotten fangs. Tammy returned the snarl with a grimace as she shifted the grip on her sword and with a leap, plunged the blade into the weak portion of the creature’s armor between shoulder and head. The orc spasmed for a moment as electricity shot through its body and then with a loud groan, slumped to the ground.
One down, a few thousand to go.
Tammy yanked her sword from the body, blood crackling and drying almost instantly before flaking off from the electric blade. Her peripheral vision caught other elves fighting by her side in the name of Eneil, their double edged blades cutting through orcs. Some of them were victorious and some of them fell. It was a grim sight. Bodies were already piling up around the battlefield, staining the snow red and soaking into the ground.
Seleen had fallen. The undead had breached the Ivory Tower and had slaughtered her followers. Tammy would never forget the sound that the young Seer had made when the goddess finally succumbed. The scream had gone on and on and on.
Tammy’s own mother had shut herself off in her room for a few hours to weep only to appear later with a hardened face and new resolve. Tammy supposed she had done what her mother considered to be unthinkable; Anastacia had most likely abandoned Seleen and had shifted her faith to Eneil. What it cost her? Tammy wasn’t sure. If they lived, though, she was sure that her mother would never forgive herself for abandoning her goddess, even if it was for the sake of Elmensfaar.
Unfortunately, it didn’t seem that Elmensfaar was doing very well.
Orcs had come from both the north and the south. Never before had white and green orcs mixed in this way. Their two pronged attack had come as a surprise; why would Rabio declare war if the undead were the real issue at hand? It reaffirmed the notion that Tammy already had of the goddess. She was batshit insane.
She dispatched another orc in the same manner and stepped into the shadows briefly, twirling to face her next opponent. It was a white orc with greasy, pale hair that had been pulled back into some semblance of a braid. Yellow eyes glinted at her as he circled, fanged teeth showing as he spoke.
“The Queen of Elmensfaar. I’ll win Rabio’s favor if I bring her your head.”
Both Tammy and Cam had decided that they would dress the same for the sake of this battle. It would present two targets for their enemies and would hopefully keep the strongest warriors divided. The golden armor that she wore wasn’t really her style, but it was just for show, anyway. Underneath she wore her regular ironsilk.
Tammy smirked slightly, “Is that so? It’s a pity that Eneil won’t reward me in the same way. You’re beneath his notice.”
The orc snarled at her. How typical. “Your god will fall, elf! Eneil will be crushed under the might of Rabio!”
Before Tammy could react, the creature lunged at her. She felt her body responding before her brain did, moving out of the incoming path of the weapon. She felt the air from the axe whiz past her ear. It was a close call.
The orc turned and lunged again. Once more, Tammy dodged. The battle went on like that for several minutes; the orcs attacks wouldn’t allow her to get in a hit of her own. He was a decent warrior, she had to admit. He might even be Rabio’s new Champion, though she switched her favor every few minutes from what Tammy had seen in the past.
Tammy grinned at the orc after another of his failed blows, and he hesitated a fraction of a second, long enough for her to make her move. With a quick twist, she stabbed the creature in the face. He stumbled back with a howl, blood pouring from the wound and into his mouth as he swung wildly. She leaped back, avoiding another blow and with a burst of strength, flipped onto his back.
Tammy couldn’t help herself. She gritted her teeth and spoke to the orc, “It’s a good thing I don’t worship Eneil, isn’t it?” She let energy flow down her arm and with a swift motion, chopped off his head.

It was worse than Nheraz’Kharr by far. Bodies littered the ground, elven and orcish alike. Fire flickered in a few places as Tammy led the remaining survivors from the wreckage. Her sister walked beside her, mouth set in a grim line as she carried her son. Silence reigned except for their hurried footsteps across the ground and a few muffled sobs.
They had to flee. After the horrors they had witnessed, they had no choice. It was a pity that they hadn’t resorted to this course of action sooner. More may have survived.
Then again, how can you flee when both god and goddess appear to do battle?
Tammy had watched her mother die. Again. Silver armor had been exchanged for gold as Anastacia confronted Rabio’s newest Champion. This time, she didn’t lose. Eneil and Rabio had possessed their chosen ones, power blazing through their bodies as they moved at impossible speeds.
She had won, but the strain on her body had been too much. Tammy had watched as her mother’s body had crumbled into ash, only to be taken away by the wind.
It was funny how things could turn so badly so quickly. She had waited for the familiar surge of energy that would signal her Shadowform, but it hadn’t come. Instead, numbness spread through her body like ice.
It was then that Eneil and Rabio appeared.
Their forms clashed over the burning ruins of Elmensfaar and the elves redoubled their efforts. Gold light mixed with sickly green, throbbing and repulsing each other as they struck and struck again. Tammy had averted her eyes.
When Cam called for the retreat, she ran. They had gathered up the few remaining survivors and had fled.
Tammy snuck another glance at her sister. She could tell that she was barely holding it together, not surprising. Her husband wasn’t among the survivors. He had died protecting their son.
Thoughts whirled around in Tammy’s head, each refusing to settle. She was only certain of two things: they needed to head south, and both Eneil and Rabio had fallen.
Divide and conquer. Binn Gan Fo was playing his cards well.

What is chaos without law?
It is madness at its very core. No sense, no order, no thought. It ricochets through the world at random. A source may be found at one point, but then it appears somewhere else and it is found that there really is no plan behind it.
Tammy found herself wondering if Janzel reveled in the feeling, or if it was like drinking too much wine. After a while, you found yourself with a pounding headache and a sick stomach, nausea bubbling at the back of your throat.
She had seen the very forces of Hell and the Abyss break open upon the Earth. Bleeding eyes and contorted limbs; screaming mouths and frothing lips; burning flesh and charred bones.
It was a nightmare. The elves had taken refuge in Babylon, marshaling their forces against the terrors outside. Tammy had practically had to drag Gabriel from his hill, now probably overrun with the undead.
Cam wasn’t taking things well. She was remaining strong for the sake of her people, but Tammy could tell she was having a rough time of it.
She sat in the courtyard beside Gabriel, inside the thick walls of Babylon. Most of the others were inside the city itself, unwilling to venture outside for a quick breath of fresh air.
Tammy couldn’t stand it inside. It was too stifling and too trapped. Her body screamed for movement, for anything that would make the horrors go away.
She settled for sitting outside.
She could hear the constant thud of the Hellish armies against the gate and when the fighting became especially bad, all she needed was to look upwards. There she would see white feathers clash against leathery wings. Bright lights constantly illuminated the dark night, creating some sick take on fireworks.
She curled next to Gabriel, both remaining in silence as she stared forward. It was then that Tammy heard the knock on the gate. It took her a moment to realize that something had changed. Gone were the sounds of battle and the moans of the dead.
Her eyes flickered to the massive doors, braced with iron and wood. She stood, unsheathing her sword as the gates, impossibly, shifting and then slowly opened.
The armies of the Ghazakiin had arrived. They marched in perfect unison, their armor seeming to shift and change with the surrounding light. Their faces, as proportional as elves’, remained stoic and unchanging as they took their places in the courtyard.
Tammy stood and walked inside.

Lightning arced through another one of creatures, burning hair and sizzling bone with no effect. Tammy gritted her teeth, calling upon her reserves to smash the undead creature again and again and again, until even the pieces wouldn’t be able to reform.
She wasn’t sure how long she had been fighting. Minutes? Hours? Sweat caused her hair to cling to the back of her neck and forehead; it dripped into her eyes and beaded on her nose.
Others fought around her. The Ghazakiin smashed through the undead as if they were balsa wood. Unfortunately, more kept coming. She didn’t have the stamina to keep this up. It was too much.
She glanced to her right and saw Cam flickering in and out of the shadows, attempting to destroy another undead creature. To her left, Gabriel punched and kicked, runes blazing along his gloves. He wanted to leave, she knew, but she couldn’t abandon her sister just yet. It’d be selfish.
She ducked under a fireball as it hurtled towards her, pivoting on the ball of her foot to deliver a smack to another creature’s skull. It rolled away and left the body flailing helplessly, trying to find its eyes in the chaos surrounding it.
Tammy leaped over a corpse and began to work on destroying another creature. It was then that the earth began to rumble.
The battle ceased momentarily, all eyes turning towards the ground that had essentially erupted, causing a few less-fortunate creatures to be hurled hundreds of feet into the air and meet their demise once they hit the ground.
The thing that clawed its way wasn’t mortal. Its features were dark and perfect in a terrible sort of way. Black armor plated its body, its burning eyes fixing on the elves and Ghazakiin before it.
Tammy gripped her sword tightly as it swung its weapon, causing elves, dwarves and Ghazakiin alike to fall. She quickly backed away, looking to Gabriel first and then to Cam…
What the hell was she doing? Instead of retreating, Cam had charged forward with a scream. She leaped and sliced at the creature. It paused for a moment in its advance, perhaps surprised that a half elf would dare challenge it.
And with a flick of its fingers, it cut Cam in half. Both sides fell to the ground, blood mixing with blood.
Tammy choked, staring at the place where her sister had once stood. Rage bubbled to the surface, coating her tongue with bitterness. Her vision changed to red; she didn’t care about thinking and didn’t care about what might happen. She screamed and charged.

Silence. Tammy cradled her nephew in her arms, staring blankly at the devastation around her. Gabriel stood next to her as they surveyed the scene. Carnage was everywhere. Some would claim that they won, but they hadn’t. Binn Gan Fo had won; the world hadn’t changed although the order had.
It was so stupid. Infighting and constant cycles happening over and over and over again. Why even bother? She still had a responsibility, though, and she would uphold it.
She would go wherever Gabriel decided they would go. Do whatever he decided they should do. He was the only family she had besides her nephew. It was sickening; all this destruction for the sake of power.
From the fallen ashes, the same world rose again.

"I see,"
said the blind man
to his deaf daughter.

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 Post subject: Re: 300 years later...
PostPosted: Jan 2nd, '11, 23:47 
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