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    amused Ultimate Pragmatism: A Guide to Being Neutral Evil.


    The Truest Realization of One's Self :
    A Guide to Being Neutral Evil

    "Truth, like light, blinds. Falsehood, on the contrary, is a beautiful twilight that enhances every object." - Albert Camus

    1. Introduction: The purpose of this guide is to drive insight into the heart of that darkest, most perfect alignment, Neutral Evil. DMs, Players, come one, come all, sit, listen, learn what it is to be completely unfettered, and to chase your heart's desires at all costs.

    2. What does it mean to be Neutral Evil? Well, WotC says:
    Quote Originally Posted by SRD
    A neutral evil villain does whatever she can get away with. She is out for herself, pure and simple. She sheds no tears for those she kills, whether for profit, sport, or convenience. She has no love of order and holds no illusion that following laws, traditions, or codes would make her any better or more noble. On the other hand, she doesn’t have the restless nature or love of conflict that a chaotic evil villain has.

    Some neutral evil villains hold up evil as an ideal, committing evil for its own sake. Most often, such villains are devoted to evil deities or secret societies.

    Neutral evil is the most dangerous*alignment*because it represents pure evil without honor and without variation.
    Which... isn't wrong, so much as it is woefully incomplete. What would be a more complete description? I'm glad you asked. Following the example of Red Fel, I'll break it into points.

    1. Power- Like all evil, the foremost thing is power. Acquiring it, using it, exploiting it. The important thing is to have it. Without power, none of your goals can be accomplished.

    2. Everything is a tool- Codes of Honor, treachery, other people, your god, even power. They're all just tools to be used and discarded as needed. If it gets you what you want, use it. If it gets in the way, discard it.

    3. Absolute self-interest- And finally, the heart of it all. You are out for your own good. Advancement of the self is the priority, anything else can be compromised, or even given up entirely, but you never stop moving forward. You (or your cause) are everything.

    To be continued with archetypes!
    Last edited by Svata; 2015-10-09 at 11:08 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Extra Anchovies View Post
    A 20th-level fighter should be able to break rainbows in half with their bare hands and then dual-wield the parts of the rainbow.

    Dual-wield the rainbow. Taste the rainbow.

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    Default Re: The Truest Realization of One's Self: A Guide to Being Neutral Evil.

    3. Archetypes
    Spoiler: The Caligula
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    The ruler of an evil empire (or just the evil ruler of an empire) who generally defies his own laws, but strictly enforces them on others.

    Spoiler: The Ego
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    This archetype is a bit odd, as they don't acknowledge their own evil. In fact, oftentimes they think they're the hero of their tale. If anything, they see themselves as beyond petty concepts like "good" and "evil". They deserve what they have, and everything they want, too. In no way are they incapable of doing incredible evil, they just won't think anything of it. Because them? Evil? Nawww, that's just what you think 'cause you're jealous of how incredibly... incredible they are.

    Spoiler: The Deluded
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    Alsø Alsø WiP

    Spoiler: The Sadist
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    The stub filler has been sacked.

    Spoiler: The Devoted
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    Møøse

    Spoiler: The PMC*
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    Sure, Chaotic Neutral claims it has the mercenaries, but those are little more than thugs who will turn their coats at the drop of a hat. These guys? They're professionals. You pay them. They kill. No need to watch your back, they will do what you hired them for. No telling what they'll do afterwards, but that's the risk you take. Some members may be little be little more than raving psychotics, but others are as suave and cool headed as you like.


    Spoiler: The Amoral
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    This archetype is defined by the fact that they are less overtly evil than most of the others, and less given to enjoying their acts of evil. They perpetrate some truly despicable acts, true, but only as a means to an end, not out of any particular love of evil for evil's sake. They're after power, not revenge.


    Even the ones with descriptions are WiP. They just got a bit more progress.
    *This archetype is mainly for organizations, not individuals.
    Last edited by Svata; 2015-10-09 at 10:13 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Extra Anchovies View Post
    A 20th-level fighter should be able to break rainbows in half with their bare hands and then dual-wield the parts of the rainbow.

    Dual-wield the rainbow. Taste the rainbow.

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    Default Re: The Truest Realization of One's Self: A Guide to Being Neutral Evil.

    3. Interactions with Other Alignments
    • Lawful Good:
      Ugh, these guys. They suck. They're opposed to all of your plans, and they tend to get really worked up about the whole "hiding behind some laws while blatantly breaking others." All in all, not worth the trouble.
    • Lawful Neutral
      While better than LG, these guys are entirely too rigid. They don't compromise, they just enforce the rules without fail. Which you can respect, honestly, but they don't have to know that.
    • Lawful Evil
      These guys... are actually pretty cool. Sure they can be a bit of a stick in the mud, but they're really good as friends or underlings. They can keep you grounded, and know their way around all the rules, which they will gladly help you exploit. Just don't ever trust them to do any more than fulfill the letter of their bargains. Keep one or two around, though, they're most certainly worth the trouble.
    • Neutral Good
      They just don't make any sense. Altruism for its own sake, helping because it's the right thing to do? I mean, I guess they're okay if you can convince them to be on your side, but otherwise? I just don't see the point.
    • True Neutral
    • Neutral Evil
    • Chaotic Good
    • Chaotic Neutral
    • Chaotic Evil
    Last edited by Svata; 2015-10-09 at 09:27 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Extra Anchovies View Post
    A 20th-level fighter should be able to break rainbows in half with their bare hands and then dual-wield the parts of the rainbow.

    Dual-wield the rainbow. Taste the rainbow.

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    Default Re: The Truest Realization of One's Self: A Guide to Being Neutral Evil.

    Reserved 3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Extra Anchovies View Post
    A 20th-level fighter should be able to break rainbows in half with their bare hands and then dual-wield the parts of the rainbow.

    Dual-wield the rainbow. Taste the rainbow.

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    Default Re: The Truest Realization of One's Self: A Guide to Being Neutral Evil.

    Reserved 4
    Last edited by Svata; 2015-10-07 at 10:58 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Extra Anchovies View Post
    A 20th-level fighter should be able to break rainbows in half with their bare hands and then dual-wield the parts of the rainbow.

    Dual-wield the rainbow. Taste the rainbow.

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    Default Re: The Truest Realization of One's Self: A Guide to Being Neutral Evil.

    Reserved 5. Go ahead and post.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Extra Anchovies View Post
    A 20th-level fighter should be able to break rainbows in half with their bare hands and then dual-wield the parts of the rainbow.

    Dual-wield the rainbow. Taste the rainbow.

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    Default Re: The Truest Realization of One's Self: A Guide to Being Neutral Evil.

    Aperture Science: Doing What We Must, Because We Can


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    Default Re: The Truest Realization of One's Self: A Guide to Being Neutral Evil.

    That quote is gonna be used on an archetype. Also, Char and his myriad clones get one.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Extra Anchovies View Post
    A 20th-level fighter should be able to break rainbows in half with their bare hands and then dual-wield the parts of the rainbow.

    Dual-wield the rainbow. Taste the rainbow.

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    Default Re: The Truest Realization of One's Self: A Guide to Being Neutral Evil.

    Ooooo the competition looks stiff!
    I need to start posting.
    Proud avatar of Neutral Evil

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    Default Re: The Truest Realization of One's Self: A Guide to Being Neutral Evil.

    Updated a bit. Sorry, I've been busy recently.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Extra Anchovies View Post
    A 20th-level fighter should be able to break rainbows in half with their bare hands and then dual-wield the parts of the rainbow.

    Dual-wield the rainbow. Taste the rainbow.

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    Default Re: The Truest Realization of One's Self: A Guide to Being Neutral Evil.

    I think your biggest challenge will be distinguishing NE from CE, particularly with the title and emphasis you present. Self-fulfillment and personal expression are more hallmarks of Chaos than Neutrality. To be fair, NE is a challenging alignment to illustrate, and it can be tough to avoid the mustache-twirling "for the evulz" archetype.

    I look forward to seeing what you do with it.
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    Default Re: The Truest Realization of One's Self: A Guide to Being Neutral Evil.

    The big one is that NE is more long-view than most CE, and they will use laws when it is to their advantage, rather than constantly despising them. Also, you have a point about the title. Any suggestions for a better one would be appreciated.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Extra Anchovies View Post
    A 20th-level fighter should be able to break rainbows in half with their bare hands and then dual-wield the parts of the rainbow.

    Dual-wield the rainbow. Taste the rainbow.

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    Default Re: The Truest Realization of One's Self: A Guide to Being Neutral Evil.

    Quote Originally Posted by Svata View Post
    Also, you have a point about the title. Any suggestions for a better one would be appreciated.
    Well, I'd suggest looking at what Neutral Evil wants and values, more than anything else. Then find a clever way of phrasing it, or a quote if you can.

    So, let's start there, because quite honestly, if you can't point to NE's most primary values, the rest of the guide is going to stumble. What does NE want most of all?
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    Default Re: The Truest Realization of One's Self: A Guide to Being Neutral Evil.

    The two main traits that most all NE shares would probably be ambition and pride, in my opinion. But that goes for all evil alignments, honestly. NE is kinda tricky to define, as it is generally used for those who don't quite fit as either LE or CE. Mostly I see it as those who (mostly) use the traditional methodology of one of them to achieve one of the traditional goals of the other. Them, and those who are willing to use any methods at all, so long as it means they end up coming out ahead.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Extra Anchovies View Post
    A 20th-level fighter should be able to break rainbows in half with their bare hands and then dual-wield the parts of the rainbow.

    Dual-wield the rainbow. Taste the rainbow.

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    Default Re: The Truest Realization of One's Self: A Guide to Being Neutral Evil.

    Quote Originally Posted by Svata View Post
    The two main traits that most all NE shares would probably be ambition and pride, in my opinion. But that goes for all evil alignments, honestly. NE is kinda tricky to define, as it is generally used for those who don't quite fit as either LE or CE. Mostly I see it as those who (mostly) use the traditional methodology of one of them to achieve one of the traditional goals of the other. Them, and those who are willing to use any methods at all, so long as it means they end up coming out ahead.
    I think you've touched on the key, though.

    Neutral Evil is Evil untainted by concern over Law or Chaos. It is Evil in its purest form, much like NG is Good in its purest form, LN is Law in its purest form, and CN is murderhoboing in its purest form. NE shares those traits with all Evil alignments because it embodies the purest form of the Evil side of the alignment grid.

    To define Neutral Evil, therefore, is to define two things. First, what is Evil? Second, in what way is it not Chaos or Law? The first part, as you've observed, is exceedingly straightforward; the second, as you've also observed, is particularly challenging, in that you essentially need to define a negative.

    I'd start with the first, then, and go from there.

    As for a title, there are so many quotes on Evil that I don't know where to begin. There is one, though, of which I've always been a fan.

    "But deliver us from evil."

    Speaks volumes, doesn't it?
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    Default Re: The Truest Realization of One's Self: A Guide to Being Neutral Evil.

    I'm going to suggest to you what I've suggested to the other non-double-extreme alignement guide makers: make sure to cover the archetypes that are solidly NE, but also make sure to show the archetypes (or the parts of other archetypes) that are slipping closer to other alignments. Make sure to show us what is definitely NE, but also show us NE that's just barely non True Neutral, or Lawful Evil, or Chaotic Evil. Those are important too.


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    Default Re: The Truest Realization of One's Self: A Guide to Being Neutral Evil.

    "Ultimate Pragmatism: A Guide to Being Neutral Evil."


    Because NE is distinguished from the other two by caring about Law exactly as much as it's useful, and violating them strategically rather than just because. Everything, to the NE, is a tool, especially animals and thinking machines that happen to superficially resemble you. Ethics, therefore, are a tool, and the first thing you must know about a tool is when, and when not, to use it.

    A tool never binds nor constrains; it only ever aids.

    CE refuses to use the tool unless it's really necessary, out of some sort of misguided fear that it is a crutch on which they could become dependent. NE uses it as long as it's convenient; why complicate things that are working?

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    Default Re: The Truest Realization of One's Self: A Guide to Being Neutral Evil.

    Quote Originally Posted by Red Fel View Post
    Neutral Evil is Evil untainted by concern over Law or Chaos. It is Evil in its purest form, much like NG is Good in its purest form, LN is Law in its purest form, and CN is murderhoboing in its purest form.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Fel View Post
    Neutral Evil is Evil untainted by concern over Law or Chaos. It is Evil in its purest form, much like NG is Good in its purest form, LN is Law in its purest form, and CN is murderhoboing in its purest form.


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    Default Re: The Truest Realization of One's Self: A Guide to Being Neutral Evil.

    Preface: I'm on mobile so pardon the terseness and typos, if any.

    A thought just occured to me, and I'm not sure if it makes complete sense. Nonetheless, I'm gonna shoot from a different angle, and suggest what embodies NE the most:
    Spoiler
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    The End (aka the Goal)

    By the way, these vary: power, ambition, respect, money, progress, a particular (aligned) cause, etc. It can be short-term or long-term, immediate need or overarching scheme, grand or petty.

    The point is, there is just you (point A), and there is your goal (point B). And what yoy do is connect A to B, by any means possible.

    IMO, NE can be defined as the absolute, goal-oriented alignment, even more so than LN, LE, or N. Being NE, you are the most willing to compromise and use (and discard) anything at your disposal.

    Unlike NG, you are not beholden into avoiding acts of the opposite alignment. Remember Belkar's quasi-god acts? It felt dirty, but in the end, it serves his goals, and that's what's important: Good means to serve Evil ends is still Evil.

    On the flip side, even if you dub your cause as "The Greater Good", you don't shy away from choosing the easiest, most convenient, most practical, shortcut to achieve that: Evil means to serve Good ends is still Evil.

    Then there's doing Evil for the Evulz, but that's a given.
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    Default Re: The Truest Realization of One's Self: A Guide to Being Neutral Evil.

    Quote Originally Posted by zergling.exe View Post


    Mind if I sig this?
    Sig away.

    As an aside, I like ben-zayb's reasoning. Segev also hits this point. The distinction between Evil and Good is that Good cares about means as well as ends, whereas Evil couldn't give a rip about the means provided that they achieve the ends. Law and Chaos simply circumscribe the means and ends. So Neutral Evil is focused on desired outcomes, without limitations on methodology or ideology. I like it.
    Last edited by Red Fel; 2015-10-09 at 12:36 PM.
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    Default Re: Ultimate Pragmatism: A Guide to Being Neutral Evil.

    And that's basically what I had meant before. You care about you, and getting what you want (achieving your desired ends), not anything else.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Extra Anchovies View Post
    A 20th-level fighter should be able to break rainbows in half with their bare hands and then dual-wield the parts of the rainbow.

    Dual-wield the rainbow. Taste the rainbow.

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    Default Re: Ultimate Pragmatism: A Guide to Being Neutral Evil.

    Quote Originally Posted by Svata View Post
    And that's basically what I had meant before. You care about you, and getting what you want (achieving your desired ends), not anything else.
    I can see why that sounds CE to people: "not anything else" sounds a lot like complete disregard for rules. That's not quite what you mean, I think, but it's how some are probably reading it.

    NE plays by the rules because it's usually easier than cheating, and certainly less likely to get you "caught." But, the moment the rules are in the way, NE will break them. Strategically.

    CE plays by the rules generally only by coincidence, unless they really, really fear punishment. They ignore them unless compelled or coerced into following them. Note that "ignore" does not mean "set out to break at every opportunity."

    NE, instead, follows the rules by default; given two equally-profitable ventures, on legal and one illegal, NE will go with the legal one. CE would probably flip a coin (not as a caricature, but as they literally don't see "follow the rules" as an important point, so they literally see the two options as equivalent). However, where there's a venture that's illegal and more profitable, NE will go with that one. LE would not. It's against the rules.

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    Default Re: The Truest Realization of One's Self: A Guide to Being Neutral Evil.

    Quote Originally Posted by ben-zayb View Post
    IMO, NE can be defined as the absolute, goal-oriented alignment, even more so than LN, LE, or N. Being NE, you are the most willing to compromise and use (and discard) anything at your disposal.
    So, the Zealot minus the adherence to cause-related principles that made them a Zealot?

    What would you call that as a NE archetype? The Sellout? The Driven? The Convicted?

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    Default Re: The Truest Realization of One's Self: A Guide to Being Neutral Evil.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cirrylius View Post
    So, the Zealot minus the adherence to cause-related principles that made them a Zealot?

    What would you call that as a NE archetype? The Sellout? The Driven? The Convicted?
    The determinator?

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    Default Re: Ultimate Pragmatism: A Guide to Being Neutral Evil.

    That's the devoted.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Extra Anchovies View Post
    A 20th-level fighter should be able to break rainbows in half with their bare hands and then dual-wield the parts of the rainbow.

    Dual-wield the rainbow. Taste the rainbow.

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    Default Re: The Truest Realization of One's Self: A Guide to Being Neutral Evil.

    Quote Originally Posted by Red Fel View Post
    Neutral Evil is Evil untainted by concern over Law or Chaos. It is Evil in its purest form, much like NG is Good in its purest form, LN is Law in its purest form, and CN is murderhoboing in its purest form.
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    Default Re: The Truest Realization of One's Self: A Guide to Being Neutral Evil.

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc_Maynot View Post
    Can I sig this?
    You would be the second, but I'll say yes.

    If for no other reason than my eagerness to watch two people duel to the death to sig one of my quotes.

    ... That is what people do, right? That's a thing?
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    Default Re: The Truest Realization of One's Self: A Guide to Being Neutral Evil.

    Quote Originally Posted by Red Fel View Post
    You would be the second, but I'll say yes.

    If for no other reason than my eagerness to watch two people duel to the death to sig one of my quotes.

    ... That is what people do, right? That's a thing?
    *Pulls out Duom* I think so?
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    Thank you Ganorenas

    Quote Originally Posted by Fax Celestis View Post
    An Animated Object is a kind of creature. An animated object is a kind of item. So no, you can't apply a template. Unless you were to use animate objects to animate objects into Animated Objects and somehow apply templates while using animate objects to turn animate objects into Animate Objects for your Animated animated Object collection (or perhaps for a friend to watch anime with).

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    Barbarian in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2009

    Default Re: Ultimate Pragmatism: A Guide to Being Neutral Evil.

    Quote Originally Posted by Svata View Post
    That's the devoted.
    *squints suspiciously up at guide*

    ...was that there before?

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    Ettin in the Playground
     
    PirateCaptain

    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    material & internet plane
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    Male

    Default Re: The Truest Realization of One's Self: A Guide to Being Neutral Evil.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cirrylius View Post
    So, the Zealot minus the adherence to cause-related principles that made them a Zealot?

    What would you call that as a NE archetype? The Sellout? The Driven? The Convicted?
    Maybe not necessarily without adherence at all. However, some of them will come off as an extremely hypocritic version of a Zealot (and a Radical), who, despite strongly pushing for and/or strictly imposing to others a specific agenda, will not let themselves be shackled by dogmas/responsibilities associated to or required of it. NEs are strongly defined by the (lack of) lines that they are willing to cross in order to reach their objectives.

    How would I call it? Maybe something ethics/morals neutral... The Hunter? The Predator? The Businessman?
    Quote Originally Posted by MERC_1 View Post
    I find it very amusing that a very theoretical discussion of how to Optimize Bardic Music, turns into a discussion on how much worms you can eat in 7 minutes.

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