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Todd Stewart's page

Contributor. Goblin Squad Member. Pathfinder Society Member. 2,022 posts (2,168 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist. 3 Pathfinder Society characters. 6 aliases.


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Contributor

Allow me to smile as I see Pathfinder being played in my original hometown. Why couldn't RPGs have been a thing when I was growing up there? XD

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1 person marked this as a favorite.

Evidence Supporting the Biological Nature of Gender Identity Very good review paper covering a wide range of examples supporting the current theory that internal gender identity is a fixed, biological trait, not subject to social factors.

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There's a map of Finder's Gulch, a town in western Isger, in 'Undead Unleashed'

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3 people marked this as a favorite.
KSF wrote:
Todd Stewart wrote:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25392513

Very interesting paper, building on some other recent studies. This particular one included both FtM and MtF subjects as well as cis-gendered controls, though I'd be most keen to see the data segregated out into those on HRT and those not on HRT.

Todd, would it be possible for you to clarify what the abstract is saying? (For those of us who don't do this kind of thing for a living.)

The methods used here are outside my field, but here's my best shot. The math used to calculate the images for the DMRI (diffusion MRI) is beyond me.

The paper's authors used a very specific type of MRI (magnetic resonance imaging - basically a giant electromagnet) that allows for imaging/measuring of neuronal fine-structural as a result of the diffusion of water molecules. Previous studies have found differences in brain white matter in trans individuals versus cisgender, and this study observed a clear pattern in the mean diffusivity (the physical correlation here would be higher white matter density leading to lower diffusivity). They observed cis females with the highest diffusion rate, cis males with the lowest, and trans individuals in between in virtually all white matter regions mapped.

The diffusivity numbers also matched up with the plasma testosterone levels in their bloodstream (I don't have access to the full paper at home, so I don't know if the trans individuals were on HRT or not, which could make a difference here). The study suggests that the observed brain differences are the result of testosterone exposure levels during prenatal development of the fetal brain and possibly the earliest post-natal stage.

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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25392513

Very interesting paper, building on some other recent studies. This particular one included both FtM and MtF subjects as well as cis-gendered controls, though I'd be most keen to see the data segregated out into those on HRT and those not on HRT.

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Congrats to the Top 32 and alternates. It's awesome to see new folks and some familiar names as well. :)

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Congratulations to everyone this year! I notice some familiar names and I also see some new folks as well. I can't wait to see what you all come up with for round 2! :D

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Best of luck with the surgery and the recovery afterwards Lissa. :)

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1 person marked this as a favorite.
Rysky wrote:
Todd Stewart wrote:
Ambrosia Slaad wrote:

There are hints that the upcoming Rat Queens issue, Rat Queens Special: Braga #1, will deal with a topic of much interest to this group. Must. not. spoil. it. further.

(And really, if you're hanging out on an RPG messageboard, you should already be reading Rat Queens anyway.)

I'm so looking forward to that one-shot special, and then after that I'm just about dancing because of Stjepan Sejic coming on as their new artist.

Where have I heard that name before...

*googles*

SUNSTONE!

Precisely.

He's also done work for Image before, with Witchblade being where I first came across his work. He's also doing his own comic 'Death Vigil', and apparently he's working on a 'teen witchblade' spinoff comic. I have no idea how he manages to sleep with that workload. :D

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1 person marked this as a favorite.
Ambrosia Slaad wrote:

There are hints that the upcoming Rat Queens issue, Rat Queens Special: Braga #1, will deal with a topic of much interest to this group. Must. not. spoil. it. further.

(And really, if you're hanging out on an RPG messageboard, you should already be reading Rat Queens anyway.)

I'm so looking forward to that one-shot special, and then after that I'm just about dancing because of Stjepan Sejic coming on as their new artist.

Contributor

Thanael wrote:

My favorite possible heresy: Grazzt as the son of Pale Night and unknown to even him Asmodeus.

Not sure where I have this from though.. ..though it is even on this FR wiki

I suspect it's an amalgamation of lore from 2e/3e and 4e. In 2e and 3.x, Grazzt was explicitly the child of Pale Night. However 4e used an entirely different cosmology and in-game history, and placed Grazzt as the child of Asmodeus IIRC.

The subtext to suggest the pairing is easy to pick up on, and in some nebulous form it has probably been dancing around for a long time.

To be honest it's a fun idea to suggest that Grazzt was born of a chance meeting on the battlefield of the earliest years of the Blood War, when Pale Night encountered Asmodeus prior to his fall from LN to LE, and that his encounter with her may have been the original trigger of his corruption by Evil. And even if that never happened, even if the story was 100% false, I'm sure that the 'loths would happily whisper it just to put seeds of doubt and confusion into Grazzt and Asmodeus's minds.

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And I'm already 700 words into a story to submit. :D

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Lemartes wrote:

Despair.

Granted in the current state of the Oinodaemon madness seems appropriate.

Prophecy might also make some sense as the Oinodaemon has uttered prophecies...ones that I think even scared the other horsemen. So Despair again.

Also, I guess prophecy about the end of times etc. is kind of fitting.

I'm also wondering if rebirth makes a slight bit of sense. As the horsemen destroy which gives way for something new. However, that makes no sense for a Daemon. Unless that is why they turned on him in the first place. I doubt it.

I'm thinking more Terror, Loss, Forgotten, Forsaken, Finality, the end...Despair.

I guess if I say every word in the English language maybe I'll get the right one.

If there was a tangent point for Obsession/Despair/Hunger/Agony you'd have the Oinodaemon, at least in my headcanon. :D

Contributor

thejeff wrote:
But by singling out Islam as inherently political, you're doing just that. Or at least defining fanaticism and political aspirations as outliers in Christianity, but the norm in Islam. Which is very hard to justify historically. Even if it might be the case at this point in time. That doesn't mean it's inherent in the nature of either religion.

I'm curious what exactly you mean by this? Christianity began among the politically marginalized and faced Imperial sanction and suppression up until 311CE and was legalized in 313CE. It took centuries before it had political power and became the Roman state religion in 380CE.

Islam on the other hand (assuming here for the moment the historicity of largely 9th century sources discussing 7th century events) began with the spread of faith by violence and then empire building in the vacuum of collapsing Byzantine and Sassanian power in late antiquity. Among the earliest titles for the Caliph was 'commander of the faithful' with no real difference there between religious authority and secular/military power.

That's a very distinct difference between the two religions.

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Hama wrote:


I wonder what you think about Hitchens.

Difficult to say, because I'm utterly unfamiliar with him and his positions (outside of skimming over his wiki page just now).

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Cool! :D

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I'll be reading everything later on tonight, but at first glance everything looks awesome.

I'm also proud to have a story in this issue, 'Lamashtu be Praised!' which I co-authored with my partner in crime.

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3 people marked this as a favorite.

Night hags primarily worship Alazhra the Dream Eater. Though it might be termed propitiation more so than veneration.

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Mikaze wrote:

Finally came out of the closet today.

"God I love my friends" is all I can say right now. The relief is amazing.

You know who truly good friends are and how wonderful they can be in times like this. Congrats Mikaze :)

Contributor

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Ray Vallese wrote:

1. Yes.

2. Yes.

Sorry, I couldn't resist. To be honest, I never intended Kylie to be the literal daughter of Shemeshka. I figured it was part of a scheme or mind game.

And A'kin has a bit of Garak in him (from Deep Space Nine, one of the best shows on TV at the time), so at any point he can be as friendly or as devious as the DM needs him to be. I think in Faction War we fingered him as the brains behind The Factol's Manifesto, which of course called that book's veracity into question.

*chuckle*

1) Well now I'm quite glad that I kept the truth of that relationship ambiguous when I wrote up the Marauder in Dragon magazine a few years ago. :)

2) Garak was a great character on DS9. As for A'in, that's largely how I always played him as well, much to my players curiosity and eventual lament. Such a fun character to use.

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1 person marked this as a favorite.

Factol Ray,

In 'Faces of Sigil':

1) Did you intend for Kylie the Tout to actually be the Marauder's daughter as implied or just to have the Marauder's protection of her from Autochon be something just to mess with the Bellringer's head?

2) A'kin is indeed just a really friendly shopkeep I assume? ;)

Contributor

Greatbear wrote:


So, while there isn't a single book by Paizo describing the planes,

It's called 'The Great Beyond: A Guide to the Multiverse', it just hasn't been updated from the original 3.5 publication to the Pathfinder ruleset formally. But the fluff still describes all of the planes in overview, with later books like the BotD series going into specifics on their area of focus. :)

Contributor

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Gaberlunzie wrote:
Also, it should be noted that until very recently, the law required anyone who juridically transitioned should be sterilized (even if there where no medical issues with them getting kids) and any saved eggs/sperm be destroyed

:O

That's an absolute abomination. What was the medical or ethical rationale used to even vaguely attempt to rationalize that? That's horrific. :(

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2 people marked this as a favorite.
Tarinia Faynrik wrote:
*reasonable questions*

While Lissa and Crystal both gave some pretty comprehensive answers to your question, I'll chip in what I can.

Each of our experiences is going to be unique on some level. The best way that I can relate from my perspective is that it's on some level like phantom limb syndrome in that it feels like portions of my body are missing and things that shouldn't be there are. Looking in a mirror is often jarring and I try to avoid it if at all possible, even if by most standards -and most importantly my spouse's standards- I'd be considered an attractive male.

It's a combination of that gnawing physical perception of things being -off- and then the social perceptions and reactions from other people that likewise register as being wrong. For me at least I very much could care less about other people's perceptions of me, clothing, etc versus just having a body that didn't feel like a costume with a broken zipper so it can't be removed.

Contributor

Qstor wrote:
memorax wrote:
Nicos wrote:


Agreed. Hopefully will happen someday.
I wish they would have published something like this . Instead of the strategy guide imo. The Great Beyond is in need of a update yesterday. Considering the great work they did wiht Inner Sea Gods vs the old Gods and Magic companion. I hope it's a 2015 release.

I'm surprised they haven't done it yet. I'm hoping for 2015 too.

Mike

Let them know that you want such a book and it might happen. :)

Paizo also knows the extent to which I'd go to contribute to such a book, including no longer bugging the hell out of them at GenCon for that, and buying them all pizza, among others. :D

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7 people marked this as a favorite.
Marroar Gellantara wrote:
The way I see the transgender experience is that such people have a gender that requires a different physical expression than the intelligible gender sphere our western thought wants to place them in at birth. This way gender is still something core about a person that we should allow them to express, but it does not depend on genders being essentially different. It would also explain why not all transgender individuals require genital surgery or even hormones.

It's becoming increasingly clear from the scientific literature that internal gender identity is neurologically hard coded into brain structure during early fetal development, but due to certain events (likely included an interplay of genes and maternal hormone exposure) specific regions of the brain are masculinized/feminized on a sliding scale, allowing for a very diverse degree of potential internal gender identities, some of which may lead a person to desire to ultimately transition and some of which do not, with a ton of variation thereof.

We're still figuring out everything that's going on, but it's fascinating. It also arguably IMO makes non-emperical theories of gender somewhat irrelevant.

Contributor

David knott 242 wrote:

Little Red Goblin Games published a Xaoling rece -- it is a chaos-based native outsider race.

That one was by Rogue Genius Games actually (I wrote it).

Contributor

KSF wrote:
And in Not-Good-News, Republican Congressmen ask Labor Dept. to withdraw the LGBT Protections the Dept. recently set forth.

Frown. :(

They're asking for a 60 day public comment period during which the labor dept ruling would not be in effect. I strongly suspect that the two members of Congress behind this may be surprised at how much flak they're going to get from a good chunk of their own party over this. It's rapidly becoming an issue of civil rights that's supporting by people across the political spectrum. This is a good thing. Those railing against equality for LGBT folks are an old and dying breed on both the Left and Right.

Contributor

James Jacobs wrote:
graystone wrote:
James, since you've been playing with it, what do you count as small stowed object and/or small unattended object? Just curious where you draw the line between small and non-small.

Rob McCreary is my GM in that game, so he's the one that gets to draw that line.

If I were running the game, I'd allow the tail to pick up light weapons, one-handed weapons, wands, bucklers, light shields, potions, scrolls, holy symbols, torches, most alchemical devices, and pretty much anything else that you could comfortably pick up with one hand. I wouldn't set in stone specific weights and the like, but would make those decisions as the need came up on a case by case basis. Since you can't use the tail to attack or activate items or defend yourself, it really doesn't matter if the category of what you can pick up is vague.

Precisely.

The feat wasn't written with a weight limit in place, which I'd leave more to DM adjudication than not, as it's less about weight than it is about fine control which the tail lacks in comparison to a full hand. Hold, pick up, and stow objects but not wield weapons, shields, use spell components, etc (though in my home campaign I could personally be persuaded to allow the tail to perform somatic components of spells).

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1 person marked this as a favorite.
James Jacobs wrote:
I've been playing a tiefling with this trait and the associated feat in a Way of the Wicked campaign for about a year.

You have no idea how flattered I feel right now that you're playing a character using that trait and that feat. :D

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As the one who wrote the feat, no. My answer isn't gospel since I'm not a Paizo employee, but the intent did not include it being used for shields.

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Il'setsya Wyrmtouched

Protean-blooded tiefling sorcerer, aka 'Crazy-Hooves'

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Shapeshifting.

Hands down my first choice of superpower.

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GreyWolfLord wrote:

Well, I believe over a decade ago they DID create human blood via pigs. There was a major uproar over it, despite that the blood was clean, the best type useable by everyone, and could be made plentiful.

So, I think they stopped doing that. Not sure, maybe they still make it somewhere, but from what I recall, the uproar and unhappiness with it stopped it from being continued?

I'm not specifically familiar with this having been accomplished already, but it's conceptually feasible to insert human bone marrow into immunocompromised pigs of some variety and then harvest the resulting blood with appropriate filtration. It seems an engineering problem than anything else.

The problem I would raise on a safety level would be the presence of porcine endogenous retrovirus, which makes any level of xenotransplantation involving porcine origin cells problematic, even if in the case of harvesting RBCs that lack a nucleus.

But beyond that, I suspect that most of the outrage over you know, helping people, was from the 'It isn't natural' anti-biotech fringe minority of the extreme left. Similar outrage from that camp in recent years over human/animal chimeras in research and creating human embryos using genetic material from a third person to cure various diseases caused by mitochondrial dysfunction in the potential child's two primary parents. Sigh. But I'm going on a rant. I'll stop.

Contributor

Westphalian_Musketeer wrote:
I don't think Proteans come from mortal souls.

Not exclusively so, but mortal souls can become proteans. They can breed and they can also spontaneously generate from the raw stuff of the Maelstrom.

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1 person marked this as a favorite.
Nicos wrote:
Raymond Lambert wrote:

Pathfinder Chronicles: The Great Beyond—A Guide to the Multiverse (OGL) PDF

Might be what you are looking for.

Yes. It seems a little old but I will give it a chance.

I hope that you enjoy it :)

It was intentionally written with as many hooks as possible that don't rely on any particular set of rules to be useful. The monsters that it does have in the back have since all been updated to Pathfinder rules (in Bestiary 2). And if it helps, it was very much inspired by what came before in terms of the planes from AD&D/Planescape, though obviously it's a different IP. Much respect and appreciation for that though.

Ideally IMO an expanded planar source book (hardcover even?) written formally in the Pathfinder rule-set would be great. Would be great to see at some point, but I have no insight into if that's on the horizon or not.

Contributor

Bellona wrote:


By the way, was the Tegresin mention a nod to the RL setting?

Hmm? Tegresin is just Tegresin. I'm not aware of the name being the same as anything from RL (Ravenloft I assume?). Other than perhaps making him in attitude about as much of a yugoloth as you can find in Pathfinder which has no yugoloths, there wasn't anything more on him as a nod to anything else (more details on him and his demiplane appear in 'Classic Treasures Revisited' in the Well of Many Worlds section.

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Bellona wrote:
Todd Stewart wrote:

Try the 'Book of Serpents, Ash, and Acorns', which is one of the only in-game sources on the Plane of Time. Presumably enough tinkering there could create or shunt you into alternate timelines, for good or for ill.

In which sourcebook can that tome be found?

Just a few lines in 'The Great Beyond'.

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1 person marked this as a favorite.

Try the 'Book of Serpents, Ash, and Acorns', which is one of the only in-game sources on the Plane of Time. Presumably enough tinkering there could create or shunt you into alternate timelines, for good or for ill.

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2 people marked this as a favorite.
James Jacobs wrote:
Major_Blackhart wrote:

Ahh yeah. Not a bad look either, pretty nuts.

Interesting tho that the Urdefhan are referred to as vampiric, when I don't really see too much evidence either way of them specifically drinking blood or souls.

They're referred to as vampiric partially as an easter egg for myself.

In my homebrew, the urdefhans were also known as "Orvian vampires." They were, essentially, undead creatures (vampires) who underwent a vile ritual that actually resurrected them... but at the same time let them keep all their vampiric powers. In a way, they were essentially a high-powered race of dhampirs. They could have children and had to feed (on blood), but were immortal and only died via violence or accident. They had a toxic touch that injected paralytic venom with their claws, and drained blood with their bites.

When I transposed them to Golarion in "Into the Darklands," I made them into native outsiders and refocused them mostly away from undead and demons to daemons, but retained a lot of their death and undeath powers and themes. They still drink blood, and they're still healed by negative energy and harmed by positive energy, so while they're not actually undead or vampires... they're pretty close.

(And yes, they actually do drink blood—check out their special attacks!)

That's... really really cool. :D

Also this is one of the reasons why Paizo is awesome. Because the Creative Director will show up on the forum and post behind the scenes details about what inspired material that showed up in the game.

I really wish that I could have played in that home campaign of yours James. I also wish that I lived in Washington so I could run for some of you folks (yes, I made my home group cry out of character, I need to spread that kind of DM love around). ;)

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2 people marked this as a favorite.
The Doomkitten wrote:


Like I said, I'm about 75% sure I'm some sort of trans, and I would like to either confirm that yes, I'm trans, or no, I'm not, at the very least. But, every time I gather enough courage to try to at least write a speech, I get scared and walk away.

It isn't always easy to come to firm grips with that sort of self-realization either one way or the other. I know that I struggled with it for a long time and completely suppressed it for many years.

Not everyone has the same experience here with this. For some people it's easy to answer that question, for others, not so much. I'm not sure if I would have been able to eventually come to terms with my own self-identity if not for my partner talking it out with me and making me realize what I'd been suppressing for so long out of social norms being what they are.

Learn about things, listen to other folks and talk to them and piece it out for yourself. The self-discovery is worthwhile, regardless of the answer that you ultimately give for yourself. Many folks have been down this road before, and know that you're not alone in that. :)

Contributor

Major_Blackhart wrote:


James, you gotta tell us, what sort of magical nastiness can we expect from these guys? Also, I noticed we've seen only the males so far. Or at least I think they're the males. Any females or are they all just sequestered away, focused on making kids?

IIRC, there's a female urdefhan illustrated in one of the last sections of Book of the Damned 3, where it briefly discusses urdefhans and other creations of the 4 Horsemen.

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Welcome to Paizo, Joe. Maybe you have in the past 9 months, or will at some point in the future be subjected some something of mine to edit. ;)

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James Jacobs wrote:

Nope; not Todd's.

The urdefhans and Doga-Delloth are 100% from me. From my homebrew campaign, in fact. A significant portion of the Darklands, in fact, are from that source.

In my homebrew, the urdefhans are one of the primary bad guy factions/races/nations. Been building up their mythology for decades, in fact, so there's only a portion of what I've done for them in print so far. I do have plans to expand on them at some point in the future when the time is right.

They're not any more technologically advanced than the drow, though, or any other similar group. They have VERY powerful magic, particularly as a result of their close associations with daemons and Abaddon. (In my homebrew, they were actually more tied in to demons and the ancient wizards of the Imperium, who got translated into Thassilon and the runelords for Golarion).

And they're awesome. :D

So awesome that I've referenced them in at least two products that I worked on. :)

Now I'm going to go feel really cool because someone thought that I came up with one of your concepts.

Contributor

So here's the thing. I have a story idea for a fiction piece, but can I finish it prior to Dec 31st? Not sure.

I just had shoulder surgery, so typing is awkward and one handed for the present moment, and once I'm able, I've got paid stuff that needs to be finished. We shall see. :)

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Jonathon Vining wrote:


Also, I'm pretty sure there's something else if you can get to the other side of the Abyss.

There's that allusion as well - that what we know of as the Abyss is potentially just a tangent zone to another reality that's even worse than the Abyss. The Abyss and the Maelstrom are both the only truly infinite of the Outer Sphere planes.

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I have very long hair. In fact I have the longest hair at my company. I don't think that having long (well kept) hair has been an issue at interviews, but I do suspect that it -would- be an issue if I didn't have the resume and prior work experience and publications that I have.

Having long hair, piercings, tattoos I suspect is less of an issue once you're already -in- a professional field, but I don't doubt for a second that for entry level jobs yes, it would impact things negatively.

Contributor

Common cosmology yes. Pharasma judges all souls.

Of course there are suggestions that the infinite depths of the Maelstrom touch upon other realities altogether (with the other planes of the Great Beyond being just one local island of stability, one bubble of foam, one shallow point in the Cerulean Void).

Contributor

I would expect a majority decision in favor of equality for gay marriage. Probably 7-2 given the court membership at the moment.

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Congrats! Welcome to the club! :D

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