A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
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    It is the year 776 R.E (Recorded era). Forty years after the devastating war that consumed half of the world, the Republic has entered a golden age. Bolstered by the Velmeran addition to the population, the successful founding of New Velok, and the colonization of the Demarcus region, the country is enjoying great economic prosperity in this time of relative peace. It is because of this prosperity that the Republic is expanding, and many merchant guilds have begun to take action.

    Looking north-west towards the Tatariaque region, Auri Maraxi, a small merchant guild based out of Lorethos, has set to motion the ambitious plan of colonizing the area. For weeks they were laughed at, not only did they not have the money for such an expedition, but the region is notorious, nay, even named for its bleak weather and formidable monsters. Not only that, but the area lies too close to Trewasha Naruk clans, and the city-states of ancient Norkindar. Even the biggest risk takers knew better than to attempt a settlement there. But something changed.

    Within a week after they made their claims of colonization, Auri Maraxi suddenly came forth with all of the supplies needed for the expedition, and fliers for recruitment were sent out all across the country. Anything from guards, to cooks were welcome. The ad promised fame and riches for the individual, and glory for the Republic. This of course attracted the eye of many an adventurer from across the land. All amassing, in Lorethos, all heading to the North. All heading to the same untamed lands that brought forth the great evil forty years ago. One could only hope that they are prepared...

    It has been weeks since the settlers last saw civilization. The journey, which started in May, had been a slow trek across the vast wilderness. To most of the forty or so people on this expedition, it was a dull march across the lands. With the exception of Maxwell Turnius, the Emoc in charge, who was delighted by the steady progress. But only few days before, the weather had gotten worse. Rain and thunder storms slowed down travel, along with chilling nights that would freeze unprotected souls. It was supposed to be Summer.

    That evening, there was finally a break in the dark clouds. As twilight set in, the setting sun created streaks of gold across the sky. The air was crisp and chill, but nothing like the past few nights. Earlier today the caravan stopped at the foot of tall mountains. It was the first real obstacle in the way of the journey. Scouts were sent out to search for a safe route through the moutnains in the morning, and were due back that night. But they did not return.


    Spoiler: Around the Cooking Fires, Pyrom, Dracarius, Zander, Gorthax, Clarence
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    During the evening it was not uncommon for many people to gather around the trailer of Malcundus T'Orven, and his sister Aelia. The two half-breed Velmerans tagged along as cooks, bringing along what they like to call their "portable tavern". They were keeping morale up with their excellent dishes, and of course, they brought the ale. It was a boisterous evening like any other. People gathered around camp fires, exchanged stories and enjoyed their meals. They were unconcerned the scouts hadn't come back.

    Spoiler: For Dracarius, Pyrom, Zander and Clarence
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    Like any other evening, associates of the University were gathered around their fire discussing Arcane theory and other academic topics over dinner. Usually, it was the only time of the day all of the mages were gathered in one place. After all, during the day everyone conducted their own business and research.

    Clarence had come to join his friends from the university for dinner. He had just finished the evening service. As the only holy man that joined the expedition, he was asked by a few of the settlers to perform sermons for the devout.

    That evening, Justinius, a recent graduate of transmutation, was arguing with his colleague, Janette, also a recent graduate, although she specialized in conjuration.

    "...but that's my point!" Justinius retorted. "Zera's Theory of Sorcery is old. We have much more sophisticated methods of conducting research now. To accept that sorcery is a practiced art fueled by the desires of the individual, rather than inborn, unrefined talent and aptitude for the arcane is preposterous, when the only evidence supporting that fact is her subjective, mind you, subjective, experiences on the matter. Do we, as mages, not also have the desire to control magic? Do we not practice our art?" Justinius sighed and rubbed his head, combing his blond hair.

    "I don't know ..." Janette replied with a slight pout. "I'm pretty sure Zera was a lot smarter than you'll ever be."

    Bah!" Justinius bent over and rubbed his temples before he turned towards the rest of the group. "Guys, help me out here!"



    Spoiler: For Gorthax
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    The roar of fires and laughter greeted as Gorthax as he returned from patrol, which was boring as usual. Since the beginning of this trip he was put on look out duty everyday, and always by himself. Over the past few weeks, he noticed the other settlers seem to shy away from him, and that just by being next to him made even the tougher guards nervous. However, this attitude was not shared by Malcundus, or "Mal", to his friends. Gorthax walked up to Mal's trailer, which had one wall that lifted like a window, allowing viewers to see inside. But it also served as a makeshift bar.

    Mal was slouched over the bar, eyes lazily drifting over the crowd, before noticing the shaggy Maltora. He tilted his head up slightly, and his mouth formed a slight grin.

    "Well, well well, look who it is. Just wait right there my friend, I'll get you the good stuff." Mal spoke with a friendly voice. He reached under the bar and brought forth a pitcher of ale and a flagon. Pouring the contents of the pitcher into the flagon, he passed it over to Gorthax.

    "So?" His voice became inquisitive. "Any word on the fools that were sent into those damn mountains?"





    Spoiler: For Xapham
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    Seeking a quiet place for meditation, Xapham wandered slightly away from the campfires. The noise now from the settlers now muffled and only the murmur of the chill wind filled his ears, he could finally start to relax.

    Xapham was not outside the camp, merely away from the loud settlers gathered around the campfires. He found an unoccupied area, covered in soft grass. Xapham had found the perfect spot for contemplation. Nearby are were a few tents that were dark as no one was within them. Or so he thought.

    Minutes after he sat down to meditate, an angry yell came from the tent closest to Xapham.

    "What?" Came a loud, but somehow small, voice. Xapham of course recognized it. That was the voice of Maxwell, the expedition leader. The middled aged Emoc stormed out from behind the tent near Xapham. Followed closely behind him was a tall, lithe human women, in a scarlet dress. She kept her blond hair in a bun, and always carried around a ledger. She seemed completely misplaced in the current environment, but Xapham couldn't recall her not being around Maxwell.

    "This is absurd! You can not be a part of this expedition if you refuse to aid it!" Maxwell yelled as he marched off towards the campfires.

    Moments later, another figure stepped out from behind the tent. He was a Belial, something Xapham did not expect. Although his features were silhouetted, Xapham's eyes could make out his red fur in the low light. The Belial seemed to reply casually to Maxwell as the Emoc left.

    "Actually, I feed myself, travel by myself and take care of myself. I've yet to do anything that suggests I am part of this expedition." He sighed. But his ears perked up when he noticed Xapham sitting in the grass. "Huh. Well aren't you a freakshow." He said after gazing at Xapham for a few moments.
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    I fail to see the importance of the debate. Magic is magic, however it comes into the world. And some things that people claim cannot be done without magic, such as many of my techniques, can be learned by anyone.
    As he speaks, Dracarias is going through the motions of some of his techniques and checking the wand chambers on his spears. They were a new idea he had been experimenting with, and he wanted to make sure the wands were secure.
    I follow a general rule: better to ask and be told no than not to ask at all.

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    I'm myself a bit biased on this account considering I'm a sorcerer but I hold that it is quite likely that desire and practice holds an important part for sorcerers. How many sorcerers do you know that are not happy with the spells they master? Most of the ones I know are quite happy with their spells they have and often get the spells they wish when they get stronger. I know I'm happy with the spells I have. That seems to hint that the power needs desire not just raw talent and by practicing we can get the spells we wish. I never had any real interest in the spells from the other schools and I never learned spells from many of the other schools. Besides, sorcerers working off desire and practice does not preclude the possibility of mages also using desire and practice to learn their spells. Raw talent does factor in but it factors in for mages as well. Not everyone can learn to cast spells or can learn only minor spells even with all the desire and practice in the world.


    Discussion is important, it doesn't matter if nothing comes from this or if the discussion doesn't particularly serve any point. Discussion allows ideas to spread and grow.
    Pyrom said as he ate. He didn't drink any of the offered alcohol.
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    Now, now, no need to get so heated. As time goes by our understanding of the arcane grows and as such even Zera's Theory is not infallible. While that doesn't mean it is wrong, some of its finer points may need to be reexamined and possibly changed to accommodate what has been learned since it was first proposed. Remember, its a theory because it is not yet proven fact! Having finished with his lecture, Clarence begins to shift through his pack for a book on the theory, unsure if he has one or not.
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    Gorthax scratched at his chest and shook his head. "No, not yet. The blasted fools probably got lost looking for berries or some such." He took a swig of the ale."Where I come from - when the scouts go missing, you should keep a look out for giants." He motioned towards the mountains with his tankard. His belch echoed in the cold night air. "bloody stinkin' giants, damn their stupid eyes" he mutters to no one in particular.

    "I suspect in the morning they'll send me out to go find those fools. " Gorthax observes. "Or at least find the bodies" he adds grimly.

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    "Hm, you all make good points. Surely this is testable? After all, Justinius, you mention superior research techniques for the modern arcanist. When we get back from our expedition, surely we could test the aptitude and desires of a wide variety of sorcerers. With our resources, we ought to find out these things core to the very nature of magic... Us Myzandian Emocs have a natural aptitude for the arcane arts, but not all become sorcerers or wizards - neither my mother nor father were. At the same time, Pyrom and I are obviously capable, and so perhaps there was some level of nature over nurture... We should gather information - attempting to train a dozen young adepts the basics of sorcery is well within the University's budget."

    Zander sits back, hand tugging on his beard, smiling at the conversation before him, thinking back to something one of his colleagues once said. Discussion becomes research, and research becomes new discoveries... it's nice to see a young conjurist theorizing about such things.
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    Xapham continues to meditate, undisturbed. His master always lectures him that being deeply affected by emotions can cloud decisions and it is not the way of the silver dragon. Heck, even the noises coming from the tents and the Belial are muffled. His eyes is shut but he does not depend on sight. His other senses can tell him when there is a telling blow.

    Spoiler
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    Listen (Take 10) - 20
    Sense Motive (Take 10 - on movement and sound) - 13
    Concentration (Take 10 - for funsy) - 25
    Autohypnosis (Take 10 - Resist Fear) - 20
    Last edited by Yas392; 2014-08-15 at 06:32 PM.

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    The wind is starting to pick up. The settlers huddle closer to the fires, the noise dies down somewhat, as if the chill of the wind sapped the people of joy. It wouldn't be long before everyone would seek shelter.

    Spoiler: For the Mage table
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    Justinius sighed. "I guessing the real problem would be tracking down Sorcerers before they discover their powers. How else would we know that they were born with magic instead of just discovering it accidentally? Justinius asked with a shrug, before he took a sip from his glass of wine. It was obvious over the weeks that he couldn't stand alcohol, but he swallowed it down anyway, perhaps to feel more mature.

    After digging around through his pack of beloved books, Clarence found his copy of "The Works of Zera: a Compendium".

    Janette made to speak to Clarence, but decided against it, and closed her mouth.



    Spoiler: For Gorthax
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    "Heh, giants it may be then. It was not too long ago they came down from these part" Mal paused, then poured a pint for himself. "Y'know, seeing as you think you'll be looking for them tomorrow. Want to make a wager?" The half-breed grinned. "I'd put gold on at least one of them being alive."



    Spoiler: For Xapham
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    Xapham couldn't see expressions the unpleasant Belial before him, but he could hear his muffled voice. "Whats this? Don't tell me you didn't inherit any Vikzalxi wit. I hear it's legendary. He paused for a moment. "Perhaps there's more demon in you than I had first suspected. Or perhaps you're just dull. Either way, your silence has earned a little respect, if only because it proves you're no hard headed fool.

    Xapham could hear the footsteps receding, before suddenly vanishing altogether. Finally, peace and quiet.

    For a few moments there was indeed peace. Xapham barely noticed the wind picking up around him. But something else called his attention. His keen ears and focused senses had picked up a rumbling sound coming from the direction of the campfires. It was steady, and paced. Not like the cacophony of a rock slide. It was getting louder, only slightly, but it still was.


    Across the way, it was clear that two figures were approaching the fires. One was obviously Maxwell, the leader of the Expedition. It was hard to miss the middle aged Emoc. He was already bald, and had a scowl on most of the time. Behind him came a human women in a red dress. She kept her blond hair in a bun and carried a large ledger. Common sense would place her in some nobles court back in Benzaius, she seemed completely out of her element. However, she wore an expressionless face and never seemed bothered by the chill or rain.

    Maxwell was clearly angry about something. either he would be yelling at the settlers or sit alone, mulling over his thought. It was a coin toss either way.
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    We wouldn't need to find them before they find there powers. In essence, no one is saying natural talent doesn't have anything to do with it. The argument comes in whether training affects how the sorcerer progresses spell wise. We just need to find them before they unlock all their powers. We get some who are naturally able to cast spells and show them a several different spells that are just slightly beyond what they can currently cast then they choose which spells they want to learn the most. This works better if their preexisting spells don't seem to have a preference to one school as it guarantees they at least have the natural ability to cast from that school. If they get the spell they want then that hints practice and desires affects which spell a sorcerer gets and it is not all about their natural proficiency. Pyrom explained.


    What do you think has Maxwell so worked up? He seems more perturbed than usual. Do you recognize the women he is with? Pyrom projected into Zander's head.
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    Clarence begins to thumb through the book. What is it my dear? I cannot hope to answer your question if you do not ask it. He gestures at the transmuter. Do not mind him, he is entitled to his opinion the same as you or me. A warm smile crosses his face as he tries to comfort the young woman, while at the same time trying to read a particular passage in his book.
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    Dracarias scoffs at the group.
    Magic is as magic does, and it comes in many forms. Would you call this magic?
    He twirls his spear, then stabs upwards. A cone of electricity shoots out from the tip of the spear, bathing the camp in bright white light for a moment before fading out.
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    Pyrom pulls out his own morningstar. He mutters and gestures for a second before swinging his mace into the sky creating a cone of electricity that came off of the end of his Morningstar. The electricity looks bright but no light comes off it and it is entirely silent. The bits of electricity then coalesces to make the appearance of a giant spiky humanoid figure that bows before disintegrating.

    What is the difference? Sure, mine is just an illusion but it is not like a cone of electricity is beyond the scope of spells. What is the difference between you and a sorcerer with a much more limited spell list but with a lot more spells? Sure some of your powers may be not currently explained in magic but once no magic was explained.


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    If it matters at all, I cast a silent image with a dc 17 to resist it. Just in case someone is watching or something.
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    The difference is that mine wasn't magic. It is simply skill and technique. Anyone can learn it. I'm sure we all know the techniques for seeing the traces of magic. This technique doesn't register at all. So where is the line between what is and isn't magic?

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    In case it isn't obvious, he's referring to Detect Magic
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    The sudden appearance of lightning caused the camp to cry out it shock.

    "Three Gods! What was that light?"

    "Damn, is it gonna rain again?"

    "No you blasted fool, it was that crazed Doronar over there!"

    "By the Abyss man, are you trying to scare us to death?"

    Were only some of the shouts that echoed through the night.

    Justinius and Janette stared at Dracarius, jaws wide open. Maxwell stopped in his tracks, eyes wide open, the women, however, stayed calm. After a few moments Janette spoke

    "Um, I'd call that magic, probably an evocation. This was a test right?"
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    That is a very good question my friend, one that does merit further research. Remember that at one time anything that was not normal was considered magic, including the lighting that rains from the sky. Just because we currently do not have the ability to accurately define it does not mean it is not magical, we just simply don't know. Clarence goes back to thumbing through his book, Oh and if you could refrain from such grand displays of power when people are trying to settle down and sleep then many of the people here would appreciate it. He smiles and gives a small wink
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    Dracarias smiles at the collegiate mages.
    Nope. It was entirely without magic. Just like this.
    He strikes the haft of his spear against the ground and a bolt of lightning leaps from the tip, remaining in a current reaching almost five feat from the tip. He tumbles through on of his exercises, striking forward with the elongated spear.

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    Initiate Shocking Shaft.
    As a note: His spears have metal shafts, not wooden ones. And last round was Hatchling's Bolt
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    Pyrom managed to hold back his giggle from the evocation comment barely.

    Of course it doesn't show up on detect magic, your first effect appeared to be an instantaneous effect. Besides, it is not like all magic detects on detect magic. My magic gear doesn't show up on it for example because of my spells. Also do you actually believe if you pick up a random person off the street they could learn it? That seems doubtful, not everyone could have the mental fortitude to focus on the training or the will to practice it. Even if they could that again does not preclude it from being a form of magic. Also again, electricity isn't exactly uncommon in magic, you can even buy magic weapons that use it. Pyrom said.
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    "Hey keep it down out there. Some of us are trying to ..sleep!" Gorthax yells out towards the campfire. He turns back to Mal and finishes off his ale. "Only a fool bets against his bartender - either way you will lose in the end. Do you know something I don't ?" Gothax inquires absently.

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    Well this is unfolding nicely... I was hoping to quietly contemplate, oh well.

    Well, we can see you're quite the lightning evoker, then... So, Jannette was it? Were you ever in one of my classes? I'm a conjurer myself, you see... Always nice to see another friendly face around.

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    Dracarias laughs again.
    You lot don't get it, do you? Even people who have no magical gifts can learn these techniques. It isn't evocation, or any other kind of magic. And I have only practiced one kind of this art. I have seen others who can teleport themselves even through fields of anti-magic.
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    Really! I've heard of such things, though they don't seem to be inherently magical in nature... Of course, there are all kinds of examples of magical aptitude without an inherent knack, though many seem to be racially based... So there's certainly precedent for that sort of thing. Have you been to the University researchers about this? Perhaps they've already considered it, heavens know I'm terrible at keeping track of these things, but... we could have whole new colleges dedicated to these things, if it could make magic or even psuedomagic available to all.

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    Xapham rushes to the origin of the sound, mindblade in his right hand glowing steady. Are we being attacked?
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    Zander laughs at the warrior's alarm, though he quickly cuts it off, hoping he wasn't too rude. "No, we are fine. There was simply an enthusiastic demonstration of arcane capabilities by our friend here."

    Realizing he was being dense, he quickly adds "Err... not arcane. Sorry."
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    Yes, everything is well. But you do have impeccable timing as we were just having a discussion on seemingly magical abilities that were not actually magic, Clarence eyes your mindblade, Would you mind enlightening us on the origin of your ability if you can?
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    Xapham rushes into camp, straight past Maxwell who is still standing in awe.

    Spoiler: For Xapham
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    You are positive you heard the rumbling well before the lightning appeared over the camp.


    However, with the arrival of Xapham, Maxwell somewhat regains his composure. And begins to shout at the crowd.

    "Alright people! Listen up. No more of this magic business in the camp!" He tried to sound imposing, but his voice cracked.

    He continued anyway. "Listen we're down our scouts, and all I see you louts doing is hanging around. I want them found, and I want the found tonight!"


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    Everybody give me listen checks please
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    Default Re: Ancient Nightmares IC

    Oh dear... I have a connection to the Spellpool left, should I use it? I could cast an Augury, if one of the people back at the University has taken that niche option and contributed, but Augury is unreliable at best and cryptic at worst.

  27. - Top - End - #27
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Ellowryn's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Valley of the Sun
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Ancient Nightmares IC

    I did not prepare my Divination spell today, otherwise i would be glad to cast it to find them. He sighs And i rather dislike Augury,because for me cryptic would be an improvement....

    Spoiler: Listen Checks?
    Show
    Would you like us to reroll, or is this another time slip post for the Listen rolls we already made?
    Last edited by Ellowryn; 2014-08-15 at 11:25 PM.
    78% of DM's started their first campaign in a tavern. If you're one of the 22% that didn't, copy and paste this into your signature.

    Mine started in a Dwarven church of Pelor, now with a moon!

    Also, note to self, sacrificing KFC in a small apartment is not a good idea.

  28. - Top - End - #28
    Troll in the Playground
     
    DwarfClericGuy

    Join Date
    Aug 2012

    Default Re: Ancient Nightmares IC

    Well, I might as well check...

    Zander focuses, calling on the Spellpool at the university, searching for the spell.

    Spoiler: Actions
    Show
    Listen check if needed: (1d20+3)[18]
    I'm checking the spellpool for Augury.

  29. - Top - End - #29
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    AssassinGuy

    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    New Zealand

    Default Re: Ancient Nightmares IC

    Simmer down, Maxwell! There is no need for more sling fest. We do not need our problem to be more severe. Xapham did not dissipate his blade. There was a sound I caught during my meditative trance. And it echoed quite nearby the campsite. I suggest you prepare yourselves. His eyes wanders, searching for the ones responsible for the start of the rumbles.

    Spoiler
    Show

    Spot (Take 10) - 20
    Readied action to hurl his mind blade if he spotted something hostile
    Last edited by Yas392; 2014-08-15 at 11:51 PM.

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Keledrath's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    GMT -5
    Gender
    Male2Female

    Default Re: Ancient Nightmares IC

    Dracarias focuses his mind, restoring the power he had expended.

    Spoiler: OoC
    Show
    Refreshing my maneuvers.
    I follow a general rule: better to ask and be told no than not to ask at all.

    Shadeblight by KennyPyro

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