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  1. - Top - End - #121
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Lord Magtok's Avatar

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    Dec 2006

    Default Re: Serious Plots 8: Rawr serisaurus!

    Blue City - Scrambled Eggs

    Quote Originally Posted by Gnrlshrimp View Post
    [Blue City]

    Finally. Comes the mental reply, layered with irritation as if it'd taken months for Needs to carry out this simple act, and they'd all been left in limbo in the meantime.

    Blue walks onwards.

    Let me know when you grow tired of playing her game- I grow tired of playing all their games- then, hmm?

    Of course, he has absolutely no idea where here is relative to where they need to be, or where this path goes. He just knows where he needs to be, and knows that he could get there, if these Magtoks weren't so determined to "play their part" in this story.

    Well, it doesn't hurt to play along, does it?

    Perhaps he should pay more heed to the tar, and the dragon's transformation. Beyond the obvious time-trickery, there's some other mischief at work here. Oh well, that's for whoever's bringing up the rear to worry about.

    Off Blue goes down this newly discovered path. Who knows what wonders await?
    Quote Originally Posted by Chaotic Bob View Post
    [The Blue City]

    Beyond the opening lies the open field.

    And yet more open field. Broken only by those lonely trees, it stretches off seemingly forever. On and on, blades of grass swaying in the most gentle of breezes and a faint flowery scent alongside it.
    At least, this is the view ahead.

    Turning around presents a slightly different view of the world.

    Most immediately:
    Blue (and the others, when they get around to it) seem to have exited a great black egg, the size of a small hut. Not as large as it seemed from inside, but certainly larger than one would expect from such a thing. The surface isn't a pure black, marked as it is with thousands of bright purple runes, flashing brightest and most prominently around the jagged hole broken into its side.

    A short distance behind it, off to the right, sits another similarly massive egg. It is a vibrant turquoise color, with similar runes across its surface but in a soft white color. This one also seems to have been broken, though more cleanly. One side of it seems to have been neatly sheered off and lies on the ground next to it.

    Beyond the two eggs, the field continues for approximately a football field's length before abruptly ending. It terminates into a spectacularly steep hill which falters into a rocky terrain lining the lip of a canyon. The scene mirrors beyond the canyon, rocky turning into grassy field and hill. Somewhere off in the distance, a massive white and black spire corkscrews into the sky from some unseen point.

    Looming low and ominously, a gargantuan sun bathes the world in the discolored light of either twilight or dawn.
    Needs frowns, resisting the urge to stroke the scales of the fallen key dragon as he floats by. I'm pretty sure nothing good would come of that, no matter which hand he used to do so.

    There is no immediate threat in our path, no paved road guiding us towards further challenges and struggles. Fine. Do what you must, Professor, The newly reborn sorcerer cleric conveys to his comrades, again without words, telepathy, or anything approaching traditional means of communication. The information he wishes to communicate simply manifests in the air, using the magic in the atmosphere to create a series of feelings, desires, and thoughts where Purple Robe can pick up on them. The Professor too, if not for his whole thing with magic blocking supernatural nonsense like that.

    "Needs says go for it, Aff. Your turn to do a thing," the other one translates, still not a hundred percent clear exactly how Blue is supposed to lead them towards wherever they're going. Did he download a map somewhere, last time he was here? He tries his best not to worry about it. The really big eggs are awfully fascinating, but there's no time to study any of it. There's no time for anything that isn't the mission, because that's just how these sorts of stories go. It doesn't matter how long it took us to prepare to get here; now that we've actually arrived, everything is on a timer and there's not a single second to lose.
    Last edited by Lord Magtok; 2019-10-30 at 12:15 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by RabbitHoleLost View Post
    Magtok's the best
    "You probably found 'How to Survive a Robot Uprising' in the humor section. Let's just hope that is where it belongs."
    -Daniel H. Wilson
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  2. - Top - End - #122
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    5a Violista's Avatar

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    Default Re: Serious Plots 8: Rawr serisaurus!

    [Gem Mountain - Below]

    As the two look around down here, nothing changes: they have time to sort through the books or look around or whatever they want. It's not quite as shiny as the treasure room, but it should be pretty easy to find a scholar or dark magician or cultist or museum willing to get their hands on some of these books.

    The diary seems to be mostly about the daily life of this girl called Emma, in this dungeon with her sister Janet and her half-sister Jess. The start of it features her mother the queen, the king, and her actual father who is the court magician. Pretty normal stuff. As the book goes on, it's less about 'normal princess's life in the castle' and instead it becomes more and more obvious how much she hates everthing and everyone. There's mention of doing rituals, trying to destroy things, and so on.
    With the exception of the last entry, there's really not all that much relevant to the current situation these two are in.
    The last entry, however, talks about how she's basically marked the safe paths that lead to other ways up to the other floor. She placed different flowers along the walls so that she could travel around in the dark, just by smell, and that she's finally going to 'take care of' something. She doesn't mention what it is, however, but she does threaten to punish the diary if it tells anybody.

    If they look around, they'll notice dried and dead flowers on the ground in the hallway going northwest, and in the hallway going south. The north path has chrysanthemums and the southern path has roses, lilies, and heather mixed together.

    It's up to the two adventurers what they want to do, however. The benefit of staying down on this floor is that they don't have to deal with the weird wind and smells and whatever caused the corpses, as well as the cave-ins noted by the construction workers. The downside of down here is they need to use their own lights, the staleness and stagnation of the air, and there's no guarantee the upper-floor map perfectly matches this floor's layout.

    ...If they choose to stray from the safe flower-paths, however, I'd probably recommend a canary or gas-detector. They'll probably be safe but in a place like this probably not suffocating isn't what people bet on.
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  3. - Top - End - #123
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Earl of Purple's Avatar

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    Default Re: Serious Plots 8: Rawr serisaurus!

    Pyramid of the Cosmos

    Benedict is one of the adventurers appearing in the circle. He looks to be barely twenty, with dark skin and black hair tied back in a ponytail. His eyes are bright green, and he's wearing a set of pale leather robes made of human skin, covered in wards and runes to protect against missiles, and reflect and enhance magical attacks. He holds a staff made of white wood, carved with a slight twist and topped with a crystal sphere filled with roiling black mist. At his waist is a curved sabre with a basket hilt carved from the bone of a master swordsman, which grants some of that skill to the wielder. Opposite is a revolver made of brass, with twisting glyphs of fire and flame etched into the barrel. Over his back is a hefty rucksack, though his has been altered with enchantments to make it lighter and easier to carry. He's coming alone, since whilst he considered bringing a servitor he'd created using magic, he decided he didn't want to risk it.
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  4. - Top - End - #124
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    Murkus's Avatar

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    Default Re: Serious Plots 8: Rawr serisaurus!

    [Gem Mountain]

    Reinholdt gets a peck on the head for his trouble. Fettina looks on at the books as he shows them, but she'll pass on them as well. As much as she understands anything could be valuable, it sounded like they'd have to sell these to some skeevy types, and she'd rather snag something that shines.

    "I'm game. But if we see worse down here than those things upstairs, I might change my tune," says Tina, following Rein over. She'll let him peruse that diary, and probably suggest when he's done that they take the chrysanthemum path. Maybe just cuz she loves that smell.
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  5. - Top - End - #125
    Halfling in the Playground
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    Default Re: Serious Plots 8: Rawr serisaurus!

    [Fairy Mountain]

    A troll? How interesting. Damon likes the sound of that.

    "All handsss? No, I'm afraid you're quite missstaken." He takes a step forward, hissing eagerly. "Ssshow me to thisss troll, Haabeth. Ssshow me, and then tell your people to get out of my way. I would be delighted to ssshow you what a ssservant of the King in Ragss iss capable of."

    *****

    [The Blue City]

    No paved road? The voice asks, amused, Is the path not obvious, all the same? Blue strolls over towards the turquoise egg, inspecting the runes upon it, as a mind that has dedicated far too much time to deconstructing all supposed magic seeks to understand its supposed purpose. Blue spends only a moment studying before peering inside the egg, wondering what little curiousity has been tucked away within here.

    I am glad you agree with my assessment though. Worry not. I shall "do a thing" in a moment. Let me indulge my curiousity for but a minute. But you two- take a moment to prepare yourselves. When I do what I do, you mustn't look, you mustn't listen, you mustn't think about how impossible whatever I'm doing is. Don't try to understand, because you can't understand.

    *****

    [TBC - Pyramid of the Cosmos]

    Among the group making their arrival here, is Magtok. Clad in robes with a single glowing red eye providing a little illumination in the darkness beneath his hood, the cyborg takes a moment to look around the room.

    ...and there's a person here?

    Magtok glances at Jaahlyn and shrugs at her question. "I guess we could ask the receptionist?" She's the dungeon greeter or something, right? How dangerous could she be? "Hey, uh, Miss Syncope- how do you pronounce that? Is it sin-cope or sin-cop-ee? Anyway, are you real?"
    Before you criticise someone, walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticise them, you'll be a mile away and you'll have their shoes.

  6. - Top - End - #126
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Serious Plots 8: Rawr serisaurus!

    Pyramid of the Cosmos

    Among the would-be adventurers is a rather out-of-depth doctor-turned-angel. The blue-winged angel is clad in flowing cloth and heavy plate armor that's been stripped down to the bare essentials and polished to a high shine. The armor seems to glow slightly blue itself, and a hood is pulled up over Norael's head to hide her face with a magic shadow. She carries a long spear in one hand and a heavy sphere-headed mace on her hip. As soon as she arrives, she flings out her hand, casting a dome of shimmering light around them. "Purify!" She declares, purging the air and ground of any potential poisons and toxins and to help shield any curses that would be activated by their immediate presence.

    The moment the spell goes off, she reaches out, tapping the shoulders of her compatriots to establish a connection to each. "Vitals are set. Seeming normal." The angel was there for magic support and healing and casts a glance around, checking for any magical DOOM hanging around.

  7. - Top - End - #127
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Beholder

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    Default Re: Serious Plots 8: Rawr serisaurus!

    [TBC - MagQuest]

    There are a handful of curiosities around. If one is so in tuned to the narrative pull of such things, both the near egg and the far spire do seem to have importance to some degree or another.
    But Blue is indulging the former of the two.

    Within this egg, the interior is again larger on the inside than it should be, though considerably less so than in the black egg. Perhaps 50% bigger as opposed to nearly 200%.
    This could be related to the decaying echoes of magic swirling around within it, as some great enchantment dies within the slurry of far more recent, more active magic. Slight marks of corrosion mark most of the inner walls and floor, while one side is coated in a thick layer of gray crystals.
    Situated in the middle of the surviving egg "room", is a crystalline statue of a dragon, posed into the traditional fire-breathing position. Stretching across the floor behind it, and across the aforementioned wall, are those same gray crystals.

    It isn't very difficult to tell there was another fight in here, ending with this dragon being petrified in crystal. Somewhat recently too, perhaps in the last couple of hours.
    Plenty of time for someone to have left the egg and begun to move on.

    [TBC - Pyramid of the Cosmos]

    Norael's immediate purification does seem to have an effect here. Not in that an invisible cloud of toxins has been banished, but in that the carpet at their feet has inexplicably turned into a pile of ash. There was certainly a curse of some type lurking within it, though it seems to have been old and weak.
    Not a problem now though!

    Scanning for possible trap magic (beyond whatever the carpet used to be) presents two rather simple ones:
    1) The big metal door seems to be heavily (and explosively) warded against anyone actually trying to open it.
    2) The empty doorframe has a dormant teleportation effect lurking within it, with no immediately apparent trigger. Just seems to be lacking necessary get-up-and-go juice.

    Then there's Syncope.

    She glances up from her book, as Norael breaks out immediate magic and Magtok starts babbling. Only a moment or two is wasted on staring at them, before a quiet sigh is released and the book is closed.
    "Granularity index of...16."
    Muttering under her breath and making a small "16" on the back of her book with a pen pulled from a pocket wastes another couple of seconds. After, the book is set down on the air beside her as if there was a table there and it promptly disappears.

    Syncope stands up from her chair, does a little stretch and a small stage cough into a fist.
    "Welcome heroes and/or thieves and/or adventurers and/or very lost travelers to the Pyramid of the Cosmos. Before anything exciting happens, I am required to ask you if you'd be smart enough to just head back the way you came, or if you really are comfortable with probably dying for no especially impactful purpose."
    It's all said with the bored voice typically reserved for teenagers doing a summer job their parents have forced them into.

    Magtok is flashed a little "two" gesture with her fingers, to indicate his second guess was the correct one without actually breaking whatever script she's running off of. No immediate reply to the actual question in there, but maybe that's part of "anything exciting".
    "Fear and creativity are conjoined twins."
    Absentee Spirit

  8. - Top - End - #128
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Earl of Purple's Avatar

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    Default Re: Serious Plots 8: Rawr serisaurus!

    TBC- Pyramid of the Cosmos

    Benedict stands up and adjusts his rucksack with one hand whilst reaching out and drawing a symbol in the air in front of him. A green line is left by his finger, and the symbol he's drawn is large and complex. When he's complete, there's a slight breeze emanating away from Benedict as he creates an aura around himself of purified air, protecting himself and the others from any airborne toxins. "Mark me down as 'thief', if it matters. I am not smart enough to go back the way we came, either." He'll look at the others, then the door. He could probably examine it with another spell, but somebody might volunteer to do it first.
    Terrowin Avatar by HappyTurtle. Much thanks!

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  9. - Top - End - #129
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Shadowcaller's Avatar

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    Default Re: Serious Plots 8: Rawr serisaurus!

    [TBC - Pyramid of the Cosmos]

    Jaahlyn steps off the carpet just as Nora causes it to turn into a pile of ash. She doesn't even seem to notice however as she's too busy perfoming an elaborate bow before Syncope while gently pushing aside Benedict. "Likewise, miss. We're all prepared to face the painful death that we might endure." She looks around. "Aren't you afraid that thieves such as us might cut your lifethread short though, miss? Even if you are reborn, death can be painful." Almost sounds like she's speaking from experience.
    While talking to Syncope, her tail moves up and the tip of it moves against the back of her coat which leaves this smokey trail behind it, like a pen. She writes a quick message before the letters all fade.

    NO STRATEGY TALK

    Most of them probably didn't need to be reminded of that, but Jaahlyn seemed to feel the need to mention it.
    Last edited by Shadowcaller; 2019-11-03 at 03:42 PM.

  10. - Top - End - #130
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Reinholdt's Avatar

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    Default Re: Serious Plots 8: Rawr serisaurus!

    [Gem Mountain - Second Floor]

    Reinholdt frowns in sorrowful recollection of the diary's owner. He wishes there was something more he could have done, some way he could have expunged that hate without- it was done. Only the regret lingers heavy in him. Rein closes the diary with a sigh and nods to Tina. "Sure, sounds reasonable. Why not?"

    Turning his light towards the north tunnel, he starts towards it, following the path of the dead chrysanthemums.

    [Fairy Mountain]

    Ilpholin eyes Damon for a moment, before suggesting to Haabeth, "We might as well accompany you anyways. If trolls are as vulnerable to fire as the stories claim, then it would be a mistake not to." For Damon has been on fire for as long as Ilpholin has known him.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Magtok View Post
    Gods, Reinholdt was right, a hundred percent right.
    Spoiler
    Show
    -Nyahahaha~
    Quote Originally Posted by Supagoof View Post
    Tale as old as thread
    And you find yourself dead
    Reinholdt was the Beast
    Quote Originally Posted by Philistine View Post
    Reinholdt had already told the truth once in that post, and therefore was over his annual quota.

  11. - Top - End - #131
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Lord Magtok's Avatar

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    Default Re: Serious Plots 8: Rawr serisaurus!

    TBC - MagQuest

    So what do you think, Needs asks his brother, producing a book written in draconic from within his robe. A book of prayer and funerary rituals, from which he conducts what few rites and rituals they have time for, before the Professor finishes his own business. Just enough time to honor fallen foes in the most meager and (pardon the pun) bare-bones fashion. A handful of gestures, a few foreign sounds, and maybe a bowed head and a moment of silence is all we really have time for. Meanwhile, the purple-robed one sits beneath a tree, idle and dour as the others do their work.

    "I feel like we're walking into a trap we could've avoided. I feel like I've already done everything wrong. What if all our efforts to go against the grain and defy convention has itself become too routine and conventional? What if by trying to avoid stepping into a betrayal cast down on us by Feia's son, I've just hurt Libby's chances through senseless paranoia? What if Affidavit is the real trap? He's never been half this...cooperative before," Purple points out, before gesturing towards the spire in the distance.

    "Feia's outplayed us, Needs. We're storming a castle with no idea what's inside, hoping that heroic pluck and luck will carry us to victory. That would be all fine and dandy, except we don't have a single hero on this team! You're a Lovecraftian arcanist turned death priest, he's the digital ghost of a Knazi scientist, and I'm...well, I'm the biggest joke of us all. You could fill a library with stories of all the awful things I've done, the rotten deals I've struck, the people I've hur-" A resounding slap interrupts all of that useless whining. Needs claps his book of funerary rites closed, tucks it back into the void of his black robe, and shakes his head.

    You question our chances of success because you recognize that you are motivated by guilt and shame, rather than any innate sense of righteousness or belief in the every sapient being's right to self-determination. You don't care who dies, so long as you are not responsible for Libitina dying a second death. You do not think this is how a hero should think, how a hero should fight. You have some lofty, unattainable vision of what a hero should be, must be, and because you fall short of that vision, you insist you must be the most craven and despicable of villains. You know you have failed at this before, and to justify these failures, to satisfy your ego, you've have made being a better person into an impossible, Sisyphean task. One not worth attempting in earnest ever again.

    "Needs, that's not-" This time it's a backhand that cuts off Purple mid-sentence.

    Can a villain not redeem himself, brother? Do you spit on Happy's memory? Was her vision for GLoG built on a lie? The Professor has changed himself. I have changed myself. Do not dare to tell me that you cannot.

    "...Fine."

    Fine, what? Needs insists, reaching out a hand to help his brother up off of the ground, but pulling it away when it looks like his brother's going to take it without clarifying his position first.

    "Fine, I quit being a villain, okay?! I quit being a villain! I'm going to try...no, I'm going to be good, even when it's difficult. Especially when it's difficult. We're not going to hurt people or do bad things just because anymore. No moral ambiguity, no shades of gray nonsense. I'll wear the white robe and we'll pay the Magbots a salary and we'll save Libitina and the world! If I screw up and do something wrong again, I won't use it as an excuse to just give up and go back to what I was. There, is that good enough for you, Needs? Is that enough to get you off my ****ing back and leave me alone already?!" he growls, just about fed up with all of this preaching even though his brother has only been a cleric for like six minutes. This was so much easier when Needs couldn't talk.

    That's all that we ask of you. Now prepare yourself, the Professor's surely wrapping up his work by now.
    Last edited by Lord Magtok; 2019-11-04 at 01:53 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by RabbitHoleLost View Post
    Magtok's the best
    "You probably found 'How to Survive a Robot Uprising' in the humor section. Let's just hope that is where it belongs."
    -Daniel H. Wilson
    The Original Hooded Magtok avvie by urodivoi
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  12. - Top - End - #132
    Halfling in the Playground
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    Default Re: Serious Plots 8: Rawr serisaurus!

    [TBC - MagQuest]

    Curious...

    Blue finishes his inspection of the egg-interior and rejoins his companions.

    We're not alone here, it seems. Another egg, another path, another group. And given where we started, perhaps the capacity for more eggs beyond that. Regardless, it would seem we are not the only group of "adventurers" who have been set upon this particular route. With the abilities at our disposal, I dare say we could overtake this other group and beat them to that spire. But why would we? The voice of Affy asks in their minds, I would say we have played Feia's game long enough, but that would be misrepresenting our current situation. This is a machine, a colossal self-indulgence, designed to process adventurers through mechanism after mechanism that glorifies her until they die. This path does not lead to Feia. Not in any direct sense anyway. She may perhaps be watching us in particular, she may not, but the only way this route connects to her is via progressing far enough to perhaps impress her, earn her attention, and have her step in directly. Falling short of that, there is no game. Just the machine. Adventurers go in, bones come out.

    It shouldn't come as much of a surprise to anyone that the Prof has no particular interest in trying to prove himself to Feia. And there's possibly just a hint of bitterness to his voice, perhaps suggesting he'd love to have this sort of playground at his own disposal.

    The difference being that he'd never make an appearance. That's what he's telling himself anyway. Such actions only ever lead to the downfall of the "villain".

    You know, between the three of us, we could probably monologue Feia to death. What is this, Magtok, the fifth time you've promised to be "good"? The tenth? The hundredth? Do we add or multiply by the number of clones that have been tossed aside along the way? And you, Needs, what makes you think this time will be any- what makes you think I've changed in the slightest?- different?

    Blue sighs and stares off towards the spire. Affy would never admit as much, but there was some appeal to playing along with this charade. If there were less at stake, perhaps he'd have committed to indulging himself in Feia's indulgences. But circumstances are not so kind right now.

    Let us be off. Close your eyes. Shut down your robot ones. Hell, just flip the "off switch" on everything for a few moments. We've wasted enough time.

    They're all so blind. Even Feia. This world is not as their puny minds perceive it. To go from here to there, to anywhere, why...

    It's as simple as a few words on a page.

    So Blue starts walking in a direction that doesn't exist within the realms of their reality. Straight towards F-

    Straight to-

    Even I can feel a little sympathetic sometimes. Needs wants his story. Magtok wants, well-

    Close your eyes.

    Walk with me.

    And when you open them again, dear Magtok, you shall see your beloved Libitina.
    Before you criticise someone, walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticise them, you'll be a mile away and you'll have their shoes.

  13. - Top - End - #133
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    5a Violista's Avatar

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    Default Re: Serious Plots 8: Rawr serisaurus!

    [Gem Mountain - Second Floor/basement]

    And so, Reinholdt and Fettina head northwest into the unmapped unknown, getting farther and farther away from their initial target, the treasure room.

    So long as they don't stray from the chrysanthemum path, everything is pretty calm and dark and stale. They're basically following a couple of hallways that go this way and that way, with offshoot doors and pathways that are flowerless. If they choose to look into the rooms they pass, they look like they were once grand bedrooms and other living quarter necessities but had been repurposed for something nefarious and dark, fitting for the location of these rooms. There's definitely somethings in the rooms, but they're always just barely out of sight or - when no light shines directly on them, it appears like there's eyes glittering in the rooms. Eyes that are...watching, but nothing else.

    To be honest, this pathway is much better than that flame-zombie pathway up above.

    Finally, the chrysanthemum pathway ends in a particular room at the end of one of the halls. Looks to have been a master bedroom at one point, but deteriorated to nearly-beyond recognition from disuse. The flowers lead directly to a ladder along one of the walls. The ladder is warm to the touch - unusually warm - and looks like it will lead back up to the above-floor.
    Of course, they only get there if they stay on the path.
    Last edited by 5a Violista; 2019-11-04 at 01:03 PM.
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  14. - Top - End - #134
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Morty's Avatar

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    Default Re: Serious Plots 8: Rawr serisaurus!

    [Fairy Mountain]

    Haabeth looks between Damon and Ilpholin, uncertainty plain on her face, before nodding and taking off at a run. She will lead them through a side-passage and another flight of stairs, before arriving on a very wide, spacious stairway that really looks more like a road with steps. It's filled with agitated elves all heading upstairs, while Haabeth runs in the opposite direction. There's a sound of heavy blows and shouts, but no roars or screams one could expect from a monster.

    The stairway ends in a wide, tall corridor filled with massive chunks of the same crystal the pair have seen adorning the walls of the underground kingdom. More pressing, however, is the issue of a massive troll striding among them, smashing them with its fists. The creature is easily four metres tall, but its hunched posture suggests its true size isn't apparent. Its limbs are long and gangly, ending with six grasping fingers. The troll's skin is so dark as to almost be pitch-black and covered in stony growths. Its head is large and round, with a prominent nose and a pair of burning red eyes. It doesn't open its mouth or indeed make any kind of sound at all, advancing in total silence save for the thumping of its fists and the cries of a dozen elven warriors trying to keep it at bay with long spears and sleek javelins.
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  15. - Top - End - #135
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Serious Plots 8: Rawr serisaurus!

    [TBC - ???]

    There is a rather tense standoff underway, within a room that was once a cafeteria but is now a ruin with the rotted remnants of furniture.
    Corpses dot the floor, scattered amongst the detritus. Primarily humanoid, each is nonetheless entirely different from the others and clearly unnatural. Most are filled with bullet holes.

    There are six, arguably seven, individuals still up and functional in the room. It is between six and one (perhaps two) that the standoff is established.
    Moments prior, there had been shouting, waving of guns, and some desperate requests to calm down.

    This has all paused, as all stare at one of the five, looking down at device in his hands.
    Something else is coming.

    [TBC - MagQuest]

    "Blue" has bucked the rails and decided to abandon the path laid out for them.
    This is fine. For him.
    Other trains are still running their tracks and may not derail so neatly.

    ~~~~~

    "Uh, boss, these entropy spikes are witch-level."
    "Switches ready, I'll keep an eye on our first guest. Leonard? Steady."

    There are four men dressed in top-of-the-line military garb, guns at the ready, the faint glow of low-light vision goggles on their faces.
    One has a small tablet attached to the side of his weapon, with wildly flailing line charts scrolling across it.
    This one is scanning the room around them with a panicked expression.
    The other three are varying levels of more comported. Two scan the room with their weapons, periodically glancing back towards the panicked one.
    The fourth keeps his weapon pointed directly ahead, towards the other occupants in the room.

    It is in this moment that the various Magtoks suddenly exist, directly in a pile of corpses that may or may not resemble grossly mutated humans.
    Directly in the middle of a dimly lit room sized for a couple hundred people, but occupied by far less.

    "Contact!"
    "Contact!"
    Scarcely a second will pass before three dangerous-looking rifles snap in their direction from the grips of equally dangerous-looking soldiers.

    But, maybe they won't really care about that too much.
    They might care more about the fourth rifle, pointed towards one of the walls.

    A great shadow wraps around a fifth soldier, binding him with clearly unnecessary force. More of this darkness looms up and behind his head, the faint outline of a hateful face etched within it, small spikes of yet more lurking just around the soldier's head. It is not entirely around its victim, however, a rather large portion of it extending from the space just to the left of it.
    It is here that Libitina stands pressed against the wall, with a horrified expression on her face, eyes clenched shut and feverishly muttering words under her breath.

    There she is, Magtok.
    Looks like Libby is on the bad side of a hostage situation.
    "Fear and creativity are conjoined twins."
    Absentee Spirit

  16. - Top - End - #136
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    Pyramid of the Cosmos

    "I'd say I was smart enough, but I'm being paid enough to ignore the smarter part."
    Norael admits as she kneels down and examines the remains of the cursed carpet. After dusting her fingers off on her knee she'll look up at Jaahlyn. "If it is illusion, it is the best I've ever seen. Oh, and don't go through that door." She warns, sending out a black line from her finger to touch the surface of the blast-happy entrance to a possible egress. The inky black forms the words DON'T DEAD OPEN INSIDE on the surface and with a bit of luck the spell will stick. Whether or not the spell sticks, she looks over at the Receptionist and inclines her head politely. "By any chance, before we decide to go in further, you don't happen to have the fine print to any sort of agreement we may be partaking in by moving on?"

  17. - Top - End - #137
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    Default Re: Serious Plots 8: Rawr serisaurus!

    [Gem Mountain]

    Fettina is, perhaps sadly for the sake of adventure, not interested in exploring the spooky side rooms. A couple peeks are enough to keep her away. She's all set to climb the ladder in the 'master bedroom', but...

    "Hey Rein," Fettina says. "Some pretty heavy stuff in that old book, huh? You looked... I dunno." Her lashes flicker at him. "Kinda sad."
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  18. - Top - End - #138
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    TBC - MagQuest

    "Hold your fire!" Purple calls out, instinctively raising his arms over his head. A hostage situation. Five enemy contacts. One temporarily contained by Libby, another holding her at gunpoint, and three of them pointing their weapons at us, as if that could possibly accomplish anything. Under normal circumstances, Purple would try to reason and negotiate with this fine gentlemen, certain that diplomacy and charm would win the day. It is, after all, a method that the tin man has a lot of talent and experience with. On top of that, he's outfitted himself for war with a dragon, so getting shot in the chest and face several dozen times isn't really as scary as it normally would be.

    Unfortunately, these are not normal circumstances. A trigger can be pulled in less than a heartbeat, and we really can't say for sure that these soldiers won't be opening fire a moment after his arrival. Before Magtok has even uttered a single syllable, decisive action is already being taken. He's already committed to killing these men. Those words and gestures are just a distraction, really, to keep their eyes and guns on him instead of anywhere that would actually make a difference. Tell me, are you familiar with waterjets? I glanced at wikipedia right before writing this post, and it was described as 'an industrial tool capable of cutting a wide variety of materials using a very high-pressure jet of water, or a mixture of water and an abrasive substance.' It's high pressure water (and maybe little bits of something else, like garnet or aluminum oxide) used to cut through material like wood, metal, granite, or in this particular scenario, human flesh and bone.

    Hey, remember when Ambriel reunited with Ithuriel in Riverside? No no, I swear this is relevant. You remember, don't you? Well, just in case you don't, all you really need is this one post here. The one where Needs has been walking up and down the city of Riverside's eponymous body of water for three days, conducting an unusual ritual. A ritual which I can now safely reveal was meant to usurp roughly one-seventh of the city's river water, bound to his will and crammed into a single magical bottle. This was going to be used to try to drill through Feia's thick, scaly hide, to hit like a bolt of lightning and stab through her heart, but Purple seems to think we need it now, that all of these soldiers need a perfectly round, fist-sized hole in their head before they can so much as breathe the wrong way. It starts with the one pointing his gun at Libby, rocketing forward to remove this man's entire skull before he can so much as think about pulling the trigger. The rest should follow after that. Animating water is honestly such a crude, rudimentary form of magic. Needs is actually more than a little irritated that this weapon was deemed vital to the operation, that his brother thought so highly of this utterly banal, pedestrian means of mass-murder. Honestly, trepanation, in this day and age? How utterly medieval.
    Last edited by Lord Magtok; 2019-11-06 at 02:33 AM.
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  19. - Top - End - #139
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    Default Re: Serious Plots 8: Rawr serisaurus!

    [Gem Mountain - Second Floor]

    Reinholdt also doesn't stray from the path. When all paths are equally unknown, there isn't much reason to stray from one.

    "Hmm? Oh." Reinholdt frowns. "I knew the person who wrote that diary. Or rather I killed her." Rein takes a moment to test the ladder's integrity.

    "She was a menace, perhaps. The kind that would have done a lot of damage if she turned out to be a capable menace. But I still think I should have tried harder, could have tried harder, to find another solution. To convince her that maybe the world isn't as terrible as she thought it was. Maybe there were things worth loving too."

    Rein glances upwards at where the ladder leads. "Yeah, the possibility of changing her mind was practically non-existent. Yeah, if I hadn't stopped her here, she'd have probably really hurt people. But... There are some people out there who didn't give up on me either and I certainly gave them every reason to. I think I made yet another of my mistakes with that girl and took the easy choice."

    He shakes his head as if trying to forget about it. "Anyways, I suspect we may have taken a shortcut under the fire zombie spirits. So, whatever made them is probably at the top of this ladder."
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Magtok View Post
    Gods, Reinholdt was right, a hundred percent right.
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    Reinholdt had already told the truth once in that post, and therefore was over his annual quota.

  20. - Top - End - #140
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    Default Re: Serious Plots 8: Rawr serisaurus!

    [TBC - MagQuest]

    Blue-

    Well, Blue doesn't really do anything to help here. His job is technically done now, right? He's got 'em to Libby. It's only a matter of time now until Feia makes an appearance, whatever else may happen. That or Libby will point them in the right direction once they're done saving her.

    Speaking of which, those two have it well in hand, right?

    "No. Please. Don't shoot." Distinct lack of care in Blue's voice as well. Oh, and he's not actually standing still like the other two - almost like he's just asking to be the one out of the three of them who gets shot.

    *****

    [TBC - Pyramid of the Cosmos]

    "Absolutely, they are all prepared to face certain death." Magtok remarks with a nod. "So, Syncope 2, this is the point where you tell us we've got to go through the "Don't Dead Open Inside" door, right?" That's how this goes, isn't it? The "helpful receptionist" tells them to go straight through the first deathtrap. Well they totally saw through that one!

    *****

    [Fairy Mountain]

    Damon looks at the scene in front of him, and rests a hand on the wall, causing black fire to start spreading along it, lines of flames flickering into existence and rippling across the stone towards the scene of combat. As the fire spreads, it starts to consume the surrounding light, gradually darkening the corridor.

    "I wasss not sssimply bragging for the sssake of it. I fight besst when my fire can ssspread without fear of injuring alliess." Damon hisses, his eyes fixed on the troll. "In a little while, there won't be an ounce of light left in thiss tunnel. I would encourage you to call your troopss back before that happenss."

    In truth, Damon could just exercise some restraint and use a more modest amount of fire, but someone's going to have to remind him of that.
    Before you criticise someone, walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticise them, you'll be a mile away and you'll have their shoes.

  21. - Top - End - #141
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    Default Re: Serious Plots 8: Rawr serisaurus!

    [Gem Mountain - Second Floor]

    The ladder will lead upwards to a room that's presumably also a master bedroom, given how this floor appears to have been the same as the one above it.

    Looking up the ladderwell shows it goes up to a landing. Light from the floor above peeks through, suggesting that after climbing through the ladder they'll have to walk through a closet or wardrobe to get into the room.

    It's true: they probably skipped all the fire-zombie-things and whatever else was beyond that hallway, straight to the end.

    Very close to the ladder, they'll notice that charcoal smell again.


    ....
    Sure, maybe Rein could have convinced her of something eventually, but remember the questgiver was the father of both those girls and he sent him there, without telling him he had the intent of ultimately "putting down" both of his remaining daughters. The other one did somewhat survive, thanks to Rein's actions.
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  22. - Top - End - #142
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    [TBC - Pyramid of the Cosmos]

    Unless there's something particularly fancy in the structure of Norael's labeling spell, the door's wards simply eat it.
    More fuel. But at least they don't explode in response.

    Syncope doesn't seem to care much about it, either, pushing on through with the talking phase of things.
    "Everyone is committed, then. Your funerals."
    She doesn't sound too beat up about it.

    Instead she snaps her fingers towards the empty doorway behind her, sending a little purple spark to ignite the sleeping magic within it. A faintly glimmering vine pattern pulses into existence across the doorframe.
    "Prior question answers: Sin-co-pee, I'm real, I'm not really afraid of any of you, there is no fine print beyond acknowledging probable death as really anything goes from here on out, and I don't really recommend the deadly metal door no."
    That done, she's going to heavily drop herself back into the chair off to the side of the doorframe and vaguely gesture at it.

    "Step inside and let your adventure begin. May it last longer than I expect it to."

    [TBC - MagQuest]

    A lot is happening in these opening moments of arrival.
    There is, almost immediately after their shouts of contact, an ugly color change on the screen of the scanning-soldier's tablet and an apparent alarm noise.
    All four of the soldiers respond to this noise as if someone in the room shouted "GRENADE!" and begin to move.

    There are weirdly varying levels of movement here, that seem borderline nonsensical and varyingly useful:
    The one with the gun pointed at Libby drops to his stomach.
    The scanner jerks himself to the side.
    The one to the left jumps straight up.
    The middle one leaps forward.

    Two of these don't really...work.
    Leaping forward still involves a hole being drilled in one's head and jumping upwards just moves the hole down into their chest.
    Both are still fatal.
    Scanner's brisker movement has the goggles shredded from their face, breaking into a nasty spray of metal that carves jagged cuts along the soldier's face. They yell in pain and fall the rest of the way to the ground, not in a position to respond more usefully.

    The fourth one seems fine though. Which is a problem.

    Being alive gives them the time to roll over to their back, tilt their rifle back towards the Magtoks, and release a burst of rather interesting bullets towards the source of the waterjets.
    In addition to the usual "punch nasty holes in victims" effect most bullets have, these ones also seem to carry some sort of magic-disrupting energy to them, designed to strip down prominent magical forces on impacted targets.
    On a golem or basic undead, this would be animating energy. On a wizard, defensive enchantments. Big wall of fire, a generic localized dispelling. Etcetera.
    No comptent mage hunter should leave home without them.


    While all of this is going on, we have the Libby side of things.
    When Magtok speaks, her eyes snap open and a complicated series of emotions fly across her face. Surprise, glee, terror, sadness, surprise again, then finally it settles on alarm.
    Though, this last is not actually aimed at her rescuer(?).

    The moment the fourth soldier's gun is aimed away from it, the shadow entity makes its move and Libitina shouts in panic.
    "Azq, stop!"
    Those threatening array of spikes snap inwards and drill their way into the captive soldier's head. No blood is sprayed, no terrible sounds of crunching bone are heard.
    It's a silent and quick action, a quick jerk and abrupt conclusion of life.
    "Fear and creativity are conjoined twins."
    Absentee Spirit

  23. - Top - End - #143
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Serious Plots 8: Rawr serisaurus!

    TBC - MagQuest

    Quote Originally Posted by Libitina View Post
    "Azq, stop!"
    You hear that? Libby wanted that one alive. Possibly all of them alive. That's the only sensible explanation. I mean, she wouldn't shout like that out of squeamishness, surely. Not a goddess who presides over death. No, this is all about the optimal way out of this crisis, the most effective way to get out of here alive. We should've tried to negotiate after all, and now three men are dead because of our rash actions.

    "Needs, stop. You, hold your fire," Purple orders, as the waterjet shifts into an angry serpent, hissing with steam and posturing menacingly in front of the soldier doing the shooting, rather than making any attempt to kill the man. A very mild courtesy, as Needs himself cowers behind Blue and Purple. They might not have anything to fear from magical bullets, and in fact seem to be making no real effort to avoid being shot by them, but Needs is not so blessed with such casual disregard for antimagic and/or 5.5645mm NATO cartridges. Those two holes in his bony shoulder (the one made entirely out of bone, I mean) are going to take some effort to patch up later. Assuming, of course, that Blue and Purple continue to be very good and cooperative meatshield and doesn't let any more bullets through.

    "She doesn't want you dead," he points out. Gods only know why, but it's reason enough to keep Needs from killing for a moment. Just a moment.
    Quote Originally Posted by RabbitHoleLost View Post
    Magtok's the best
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  24. - Top - End - #144
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    Default Re: Serious Plots 8: Rawr serisaurus!

    [Fairy Mountain]

    Ilpholin looks apologetically at Haabeth and shrugs. "Better do it. Is there anyone who still needs to be evacuated? How stable is this tunnel?" Probably pretty stable normally, but there's a rampaging troll causing havoc.

    A rampaging troll her attention falls back on as she narrows her eyes and takes a step back. The spears didn't seem effective against its rocky hide, but worse it seemed fully at home in the darkness. The lack of sound it was making was the most disturbing part. Fighting blind was one thing. Fighting blind and death seems questionable.

    She'd have to wait and see how Damon does first. Seeing being a questionable term here.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Magtok View Post
    Gods, Reinholdt was right, a hundred percent right.
    Spoiler
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    -Nyahahaha~
    Quote Originally Posted by Supagoof View Post
    Tale as old as thread
    And you find yourself dead
    Reinholdt was the Beast
    Quote Originally Posted by Philistine View Post
    Reinholdt had already told the truth once in that post, and therefore was over his annual quota.

  25. - Top - End - #145
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    Pyramid of the Cosmos

    "May I ask why you are not afraid of us?" Benedict's quite interested if she has any protective enchantments or artefacts on her. Whilst some of his compatriots might look down upon trying to kill her for whatever is preventing her from being afraid of them, it's something Benedict is currently considering. Although warning her might make things trickier, which he has just done simply by mentioning it.
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  26. - Top - End - #146
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    [Fairy Mountain]

    Haabeth looks between Ilpholin and Damon with a fairly confused expression, which turns into determination. If the ancient King in Rags chose these two as his envoys, they can surely handle a troll.

    "Fall back! Let him handle it!" she cries out. The elven guards are more than happy to get out of the trolls reach, but to their credit their retreat is orderly and organized. They take up a position near one of the tunnel exits. Damon has the troll to himself, as it starts lashing out against the crystal chunks, instead of pursuing the elves or attacking the guests. "Everyone nearby has retreated to the upper levels already," Haabeth tells Ilpholin. "His tunnel is stable, but with a troll this big, who knows what can happen. But it's as fixated on the crystals as the rest of them."
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  27. - Top - End - #147
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    Default Re: Serious Plots 8: Rawr serisaurus!

    [Gem Mountain - Second Floor]

    "Jesus, man, that got heavy," says Fettina, staring at him, though doing her best to keep her tone and body language devoid of judgement. This is outside Fettina's usual area. Sure, she had some friends who were pretty prolific murderers... but they didn't usually share that so readily with Tina, and if they felt bad about it they kept it to themselves. Maybe it says something about Rein, at least in his present state of mind, that he considers his very serious actions so carefully.

    "...Maybe once we're out of this death trap, you can tell me a little more about her." Tina looks up the ladder a little warily... "...Let me go first. I'm a lot tougher."

    And up they'll go. Hey, if there's something bad up there, it ought to have treasure right?
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  28. - Top - End - #148
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    Default Re: Serious Plots 8: Rawr serisaurus!

    [Gem Mountain - Second Floor -> First Floor]

    Rein's mouth twitches a little in an attempt to force a smile. "Sorry. You did ask. It's my fault for choosing this place though. I didn't expect to find a diary, but still, never go back to the scene of the crime." This is basic knowledge! Rein is bad at crime.

    He ends up shrugging a little. "Anyways, sure. I kept a record of the entire excursion somewhere. I'll share it with you." Even if it means showing off very old, cringe-worthy posts.

    "After you," Rein says, letting Tina climb the ladder and following up right behind her, looking up the whole time and biting his lower lip to keep from saying anything. By Eve, she's an amazing woman.

    Theoretically it has treasure because the stronger something is, the cooler stuff they have. Either because they're using it, or they killed someone who was.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Magtok View Post
    Gods, Reinholdt was right, a hundred percent right.
    Spoiler
    Show
    -Nyahahaha~
    Quote Originally Posted by Supagoof View Post
    Tale as old as thread
    And you find yourself dead
    Reinholdt was the Beast
    Quote Originally Posted by Philistine View Post
    Reinholdt had already told the truth once in that post, and therefore was over his annual quota.

  29. - Top - End - #149
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Serious Plots 8: Rawr serisaurus!

    [Gem Mountain -> First Floor]

    The ladder brings them up to a wardrobe that they'll have to make their way out, pushing through clothes.

    The room above is, in fact, a master bedroom. Lots of reds and golds, and not very much dust (especially compared to everything else they've seen so far). A large bed is in next to the wardrobe they came out of, and so far there doesn't appear to be any immediate danger. Mirrors on the wall, as well as most other things you'd expect in a bedroom. A vanity is located on the other side of the bed. No signs that the construction workers even got here to disturb anything.

    The room smells like charcoal, and the air feels like it's swirling around the room.

    The room is lit by a fireplace on the right side of the room.

    And, in the middle of the room, there's a fancy little box, closed and standing upright.
    It's just like the one that was found tipped over in that other bedroom, the one that the construction workers found.

    And also, there's a woman doing her makeup in the vanity, wearing a purple dress. She doesn't seem to have noticed the two adventurers yet. Around her head is a crown of fire, also helping light up the room.
    When they entered the room, I could've sworn there was only one source of light and it was the fireplace. I wonder where the woman came from? Was she even there a moment ago?
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  30. - Top - End - #150
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    Pyramid of the Cosmos

    "I have to admit, I'm actually impressed by you, Syncope. If I survive and you ever need employment elsewhere, come to Skyside. Can probably hit you up with something a bit more entertaining."
    Norael says, sounding quite sincere. It was so difficult to find someone who didn't care to such a level. The angel steps forward, raising her hand to the indicated door, but instead of touching it she lets her magic flow out to mingle with the door and beyond, trying to get a sense as to whether or not hostile and what sort of magic was waiting to target the door as soon as it is opened.

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