Pathfinder Adventure Path #110: The Thrushmoor Terror (Strange Aeons 2 of 6) (PFRPG)

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Pathfinder Adventure Path #110: The Thrushmoor Terror (Strange Aeons 2 of 6) (PFRPG)
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Fear in the Streets

After escaping from the waking nightmare of Briarstone Asylum, the former captives venture to the dismal town of Thrushmoor to unravel the enigma of their lost memories. Upon arrival, the adventurers find that the town's leadership has either fled town or gone missing, and a rash of kidnappings and rumors of the Briarstone Witch spread terror among the townsfolk. As the adventurers investigate the unsettling mysteries, they uncover a secretive cult that plans to use Thrushmoor's ancient monuments to grow its power. Will the heroes discover the secret behind their affliction and find answers in an uninviting town, or will they fall victim to the ruthless villains who want to sacrifice the people of Thrushmoor for some terrible purpose?

This volume of Pathfinder Adventure Path continues the Strange Aeons Adventure Path and includes:

  • "The Thrushmoor Terror," a Pathfinder adventure for 4th-level characters, by Tito Leati.
  • A gazetteer of the dreary town of Thrushmoor, the setting for the events of this adventure, by Tito Leati.
  • A look at the nihilistic cult of the Great Old One Hastur, by James Jacobs.
  • Horror on the plains in the Pathfinder's Journal, by Christopher Rowe.
  • A bestiary containing a new Great Old One and other accursed monsters, by James Jacobs, Michelle Jones, and Tito Leati.

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-892-2

"The Thrushmoor Terror" is sanctioned for use in Pathfinder Society Organized Play. The rules for running this Adventure Path and Chronicle sheet are available as a free download (723 kb zip/PDF).

Note: This product is part of the Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscription.

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4/5

feels kind of directionless at times, and there's some deadends that don't feel very fun to run into, but it gets better at the end of the book


Great mystery adventure!

4/5

Overall, I really like this installment of the Strange Aeons AP. It's a very well-crafted mystery adventure.

I only gave it 4 stars instead of 5, as the flow of information needs a little adjustment. However, there are are excellent ideas on the forums, and the preparation time needed to make the proper changes is very small.


Review from a player's perspective.

2/5

I am currently playing through this module with a group of experienced players and an experienced gm. Our gm doesn't like to pull punches and likes to have the group figure things out. 6 session in and I still don't really know where we should be going. We are undergeared and under level for many of the encounters we have run in to. We have experienced several character deaths because of this which has ruined the experience for me because I can no longer take the story seriously. The gm is also pulling punches which also spoils the game for me because I feel no accomplishment.

The characters who perished were investigative types who are being replaced more combat optimized characters. Yet another blow to the mood of a lovecraftian horror game.

I hope this book is just a hiccup because the first book was really amazing.


Very solid adventure but light on Mythos athmosphere

4/5

GOOD:
The maps are all interesting enough, yet easy to draw for a GM.
Lots of Sandbox style roleplay possible, with roughly a dozen NPCs.
Very diverse enemies, some of them quite deadly, which is ok for a Cthulhu campaign.
The "Star Stelae", Muscaria drug and "Confabulation plates" wondrous item.
The Hastur article is pretty interesting (but i expect it to be built upon in the finale of AP#114).
A very good Bestiary.

BAD:
The use of Skum is both illogical and underwhelming. They are creatures of the Aboleths, which fight the Great Old Ones. It should be Deep Ones instead.
The Trushmoor gazetteer is underdeveloped, with the locations getting less than 3 pages.
The art for the Byakhee could be better.

UGLY: Either ignore the "surreptitiously cast" comment on page 37 or give the creature the "Deceitful" and "Conceal Spell" feats.

A solid follow-up to the superb "In Search of Sanity", "The Trushmoor Terror" begins like a normal Pathfinder adventure and only in the last part adds Mythos creatures to the mix. It´s a good slow buildup, but doesn´t quite achieve the horror-athmosphere of the first book.


Great 2nd Part

5/5

I find that even before Hastur was here I used his cult and this lets me round out what I already have on him and from the Lovecraft books on the subject I find that this is 110% in line with the stories. I like this book not just for the town and the story bot more for the cult of Hastur and his minions. :) best purchase


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Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
RuyanVe wrote:
I find the title misleading and am a little disappointed that we do not get to fight/mess around with the Briarstone Witch...

... how?

The title is "The Thrusmoor Terror", not "The Briarstone Witch".

What the Terror of Thrushmoor actually is is namedropped at the end of the introduction.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Is it Tammy.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
captain yesterday wrote:
Is it Tammy.

Sure.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Rysky wrote:
RuyanVe wrote:
I find the title misleading and am a little disappointed that we do not get to fight/mess around with the Briarstone Witch...

... how?

The title is "The Thrusmoor Terror", not "The Briarstone Witch".

What the Terror of Thrushmoor actually is is namedropped at the end of the introduction.

Gnaaaaaah, I swear, the last time I looked... *confused*

The tentacles!
My mistake, sorry for that. Somehow Kalindlara's post and Adam Daigles response caused a mumblejumble in my brain and... YELLOW!

That's what happens if you're skimming the AP, preparing a meal and still being half asleep.
Carry on.

Ruyan.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Generic Villain wrote:
RuyanVe wrote:


Hopefully this does not complicate things (later) where mechanisms refer to "spells having the word "symbol" in their name"...

Although, once you're able to wield 9th level spells nothing in the world seems complicated, I'd say...

Ruyan.

Considering the spell's very first sentence is "This spell functions as per symbol of death," I don't think there's much room for confusion. And symbol of yellow just doesn't sound right, naming conventions be damned.

Cool. I hadn't looked into that section of the AP as of yet.

My thanks.

Ruyan.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

...

...

... *pats dragon on the head*


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

So overall I really liked this adventure. A few points of annoyance though:

Spoiler:

First, it's important that the PCs check out Fort Hailcourse before tackling Iris Hill, primarily because the latter is much more challenging than the former. Yet when the PCs go knocking at the Fort's sole entrance, the commander('s shapeshifting murderer) herself shows up and tells them to piss off, has a really high Bluff skill, and a legit sounding story. Plus there's really no other way in except for the front door. By contrast, Iris Hill's doorman is much more sketchy and the estate is far easier to permeate. How are the PCs to know that the Fort should be their first target?

Second, I would have loved to hear Rumatri's story. A vudrani penanggalen just chilling out with the Hastur brigade for... reasons? To be fair I know a lot of minor details like "why the undead flying head is here" need to be cut for space reasons. Still, even a sentence explaining her relationship to the cult would have been illuminating.

Third, what happened to Trilliss, priestess of New Chapel? She's mentioned as missing in the adventure. The fates of Thrushmoor's other important missing citizens (Count Haserton and Magistrate Tillus) are noted, but Trilliss? Nada.


Rysky wrote:
captain yesterday wrote:
Is it Tammy.
Sure.

I knew it! Tammy is secretly a part of the cult of the Yellow King!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Another point of annoyance: it would have been nice to have a gp value attached to the Pnakotic Manuscripts. It's a spellbook sure, but not just a spellbook. The Chains of Night from the last adventure had a similar setup it got a resell value, for example.

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

If it helps, I believe it originally appears in Carrion Hill. You can probably find a value there, or on Archives of Nethys. ^_^


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Kalindlara wrote:
If it helps, I believe it originally appears in Carrion Hill. You can probably find a value there, or on Archives of Nethys. ^_^

Oh I am well aware - Carrion Hill is an amazing adventure and one of my favorites. Alas, no value given there either.


Maybe it's worth more than all the gold the PCs could reasonable get for it?


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Oh I didn't know the Pnakotic Manuscripts appeared in this adventure. I was wanting to run Carrion Hill rug before this adventure since my party consist of 6 pc's, so they can gather extra loot. From what you guys have read would that be a bad idea?


There can always be more than one copy of the Manuscripts.

Paizo Employee Developer

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Regarding the Pnakotic Manuscripts: Since we didn't provide a treasure value for them when first presented in Carrion Hill, I didn't do the same thing when I was developing this adventure. I kinda like it being left up to interpretation. As a GM, feel free to come up with a value for it if the PCs feel like selling a fabled esoteric collection (if you want to go by real rules, make it at least level-equivalent).


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Spoiler:
If I get the chance to run this, for the sake of giving my players a little bit of input on their missing backstories I plan to ask ahead of time for 'volunteers' for forgotten events using vague, Mad Libs-style descriptions. "Okay, I need someone to volunteer for a negative, mildly violent interaction." And then have that character in mind for when it comes up.

Thoughts?


Spoiler:
Base it on the campaign traits they select. The one with "bloody knuckles" is the one that administered the beating-to-death here. ;)

Liberty's Edge

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Spoiler tags please. GMs are not the only ones reading this thread :-(


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
The Raven Black wrote:
Spoiler tags please. GMs are not the only ones reading this thread :-(

Apologies, I was trying to be vague enough that it wouldn't give anything away, I'll edit tags into mine for good measure.

Edit: Ah, too late to go back and do that one, it won't let me edit, sorry.


Can someone give me class levels and brief descriptions of the humanoid enemies you encounter in this volume? I'd like to know what a Hastur cult looks like.


Axial,

They probably look like those guys that go around in tuxedos and tell you how awesome their cars are.

Shadow Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Anyone else here still waiting for their subscriptions to ship?

*sporadically f5's to check for updates*


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Axial wrote:
Can someone give me class levels and brief descriptions of the humanoid enemies you encounter in this volume? I'd like to know what a Hastur cult looks like.

Spoiler:

Mooks are Rogue 2, Cleric of Hastur 1/Rogue 3, Barbarian 4, and Fighter 3. The boss is a Cleric of Hastur 7. Other named NPC villains include a Druid 6 (into fungus), Aristocrat 2/Rogue 3, Sorcerer 6, Rogue 5/Assassin 2 (whose illustration is adorable and I don't know why I even think that), and a penanggalen Bard 6. If penanggalen doesn't exactly ring a bunch of bells, they're the weird vampire-like floating heads.

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
MythicFox wrote:
The Raven Black wrote:
Spoiler tags please. GMs are not the only ones reading this thread :-(

Apologies, I was trying to be vague enough that it wouldn't give anything away, I'll edit tags into mine for good measure.

Edit: Ah, too late to go back and do that one, it won't let me edit, sorry.

Note that you can flag posts - even your own! - with "Needs spoiler tag". Moderators will helpfully edit one in for you, in between putting out fires elsewhere on the messageboards. ^_^

Dark Archive

What do Hastur cultists look like?:

The general answer to 'what do the Hastur cultists look like' is 'they look good and have nifty, fancy clothes'. They pretty much all (excluding the Kuru Thugs they have for security) look wealthy, and if I had to guess what they were based on portraits alone, I'd probably pick 'nobles', not 'cultists'. I like this since it plays into the ability to hide their cults well, and it fits with the obedience and associated powers encouraging decadent outfits and furnishings.

Cultist kidnappers - Black coats with fancy gold patterning around their edges. Fancy rapiers. Belt-sashes with pouches.

Daelene Spence (Cultist Sorcerer) - Wearing something green that's mostly out of the picture that has a fancy collar, something white and ruffly-edged under it. Triple-pearl-necklace, pearl earrings, fancy hairdo with a lot up in the back and on curling piece on the side. Looks like she may be wearing makeup.

Kuru thugs - Lots of tattoos that give the appearance of 'scarred' and 'eyes covered in blood / bleeding'. Spiked leather rags that don't cover too much of the body. Some animal skulls on a rope-cord belt. Bandages on feet instead of shoes. Holding spiked club.

Cultists of Hastur - Fancy blue-and gold outfit. Belt with scabbard. Rapier with fancy hilt and secondary blade. Purple cloak with gold trim. Neatly-groomed beard. Boots.

Risi Nairgon (Cultist Assassin) - Long brown coat with frayed bottom edge. Chain shirt. Boots. Pants. Scarf that's big but not long. Multiple belts, lots of potions. Crossbow at waist. Holding rapier. Reasonably long blonde hair, green eyes, freckles. Doesn't look wealthy as per the standard, but still manages to be in the running for best-looking cultist.

Weiralai (Denizen of Leng) - Long, pointed nails, Several rings and bracelets. Multi-part robes that are blue and gold and have a big fancy gold-and-jewel-buckle-thing in the middle and a built in scale-pattern pauldron. Fancy, upturned-ended shoes. Headscarf with attached jewelry that matches the overall outfit. Small tattoo on forehead. Glazed-over-white eyes.

Melisenn Kororo (Cultist Cleric) - Blue and golden-brown dress with white sleeves and blue trim. Belt. Rapier. Forehead-necklace with blue jewel. Hair back in ponytail. Shoes with ribbons.

Cultist from the deity article - Golden dress, with purple belt and purple-and-gold scabbard. Rapier. Book with yellow sign. Upper part of outfit has a topaz-looking jewel on the neck and a high collar. Hair up.

Keeper of the Yellow Sign (New Monster) - Fat man with nearly-melting skin and piercing-yellow-glowing eyes. Broad black hat. Upper half of coat looks has a bunch of layers that overlap each other almost in a shell-pattern. Bottom half of coat is a black coat with buttons and a pocket. Brown pants. Brown shoes.


Details of the obedience?

Dark Archive

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Hastur Obedience:

The obedience is to meditate, either on nothingness or on the lines of The King in Yellow, either in a richly-furnished area (value scaling to character level, with character clothes counting towards the value requirement) or in the presence of a Yellow Sign.

Bonuses across the three sets of boons include:
* Perform bonus
* Various emotion/mind-affecting spells, various charismatic/disguising spells, various death/curse spells
* Control confused creatures
* Create a Yellow Sign 1/day
* Self-disguise with an unsettling, fear-based, init-increasing return-to-true-form
* Charisma-to-AC when in fine clothing but not armor
* Confusion/insanity immunity except against Hastur and greater servants of him
* Death/petrification immunity with inbuilt 1/day effect-reflection


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So first time AP subscriber and still relatively new GM so forgive me if these questions are noobish but wondering how people are GMing two particular instances

Scenarios:
The first scenario is the instance in which the PCs meet Asa Lalith and Daelene Spence in the guesthouse. They try to convince the PCs to drink the wine. My first instinct if I were a PC would be to not drink the wine until they do. Would the cultists drink the wine or would they get straight toward fighting (assuming the suggestion spell failed)? If they do drink, would they somehow get a bonus save toward the poison?

And the second is when they are in the library, where they have to pick up an important book required for the next AP. If they PCs say they look around the room, yeah it's simple enough that I mention the book, but if they don't plan to search the room extensively I'm unsure of how to handle that scenario.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
johnnyzcake wrote:

So first time AP subscriber and still relatively new GM so forgive me if these questions are noobish but wondering how people are GMing two particular instances

** spoiler omitted **

You picked a great AP to start with, I think, and your questions are by no means noobish. I actually considered each of your concerns as well. Overall, while I like this adventure, something about it feels disjointed. I brought up some of my own issues a few posts up.

But enough about me.

Spoiler:

The poison wine thing was a bit cliche. Not a bad idea necessarily, but any genre savvy player will not fall for it. Here's how I'd play it: have those cultists smear poison on the inside of certain wine glasses for the express purpose of serving unexpected guests. That way they can drink right along with the PCs, but with no danger to themselves. Maybe give observant PCs a Perception check to notice something in an empty glass before the wine is poured. (I stole this from some movie or another. Forget which one).

As for the books? I believe the only ones PCs will need are those found in the trunk in Haserton's study. Short of sticking neon post-its saying "Super Important" all over the trunk, I don't know how to convince players to grab them. Here's my idea. The next adventure starts, I believe, with the PCs grabbing a ship to Cassomir. As they are about to cast off, have one of their NPC allies (likely Cesadia Wrentz or Winter Klaczka) show up last minute with the trunk, and say something to the effect of "I've been doing some research and looking around Iris Hill, and I think these may be important for your quest."

If that's too heavy-handed, I'd have the PCs dream about the books and their true value. This would actually be a great time to have them dream once again of the old Keleshite woman mentioned in "The Observer" on page 26 of In Search of Sanity. We know this woman is actually a yithian, is trying to help the PCs, and can contact them via dreams. A good chance to have her give some concrete assistance.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Okay, question for the author of the star vampire: how much bleed damage should it inflict with its talon attack? And I don't mean its blood drain ability which activates during a grapple. Its attack routine is "3 talons +9 (1d4+4 plus bleed)," but the amount of bleed damage isn't noted.

Thanks for any clarification.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Generic Villain wrote:

Okay, question for the author of the star vampire: how much bleed damage should it inflict with its talon attack? And I don't mean its blood drain ability which activates during a grapple. Its attack routine is "3 talons +9 (1d4+4 plus bleed)," but the amount of bleed damage isn't noted.

Thanks for any clarification.

Lmao I was just coming on here to ask about this! Happy to see that I'm not the only one who asked this question.

Dark Archive

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

minor quibble with the gazetteer:
when the Briarstone witch established her little cult, the capitol of Ustalav would have been Ardis, not Caliphas.

Otherwise pretty awesome!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
doc the grey wrote:
Generic Villain wrote:

Okay, question for the author of the star vampire: how much bleed damage should it inflict with its talon attack? And I don't mean its blood drain ability which activates during a grapple. Its attack routine is "3 talons +9 (1d4+4 plus bleed)," but the amount of bleed damage isn't noted.

Thanks for any clarification.

Lmao I was just coming on here to ask about this! Happy to see that I'm not the only one who asked this question.

I was looking at other monsters of comparable CR that deal bleed damage, and 1D6 seems to be a popular number. There's the bunyip (CR 3), piscodaemon (cr 10), mosquito swarm (CR 3), and rift drake (CR 9). Giant mosquitos (CR 4) have bleed 2D4 though, while vulnudaemons (CR 4) have 2D4.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Okay, I caught something interesting.

Spoiler:

This adventure starts with the PCs being murdered in their dreams by the Tatterman. They then wake up and begin their adventure for real. However, as a GM knows, when the Tatterman marks people for death, his modus operandi is to kill them in their dreams ala Freddy Krueger. He has done exactly that to several patients and staff at Briarstone Asylum. His murder victims now wander the halls as ghouls or doppelgangers, and given the large number of these poor saps, Tatterbro is darn good at his job.

Looking at the final battle with the Tatterman itself, he seems plenty surprised that they are still alive. The only thing he says is "You're supposed to be dead. I already killed you. Why aren't you dead?!"

This leads me to believe that the PCs would have died in that first dream, except for... something. Right now the only guess I have, is that a yithian ally was somehow bolstering them. For example, the one who contacts them via dreams in this adventure, and whom they are destined to meet in person The Whisper Out of Time.

Paizo Employee Developer

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Generic Villain wrote:
doc the grey wrote:
Generic Villain wrote:

Okay, question for the author of the star vampire: how much bleed damage should it inflict with its talon attack? And I don't mean its blood drain ability which activates during a grapple. Its attack routine is "3 talons +9 (1d4+4 plus bleed)," but the amount of bleed damage isn't noted.

Thanks for any clarification.

Lmao I was just coming on here to ask about this! Happy to see that I'm not the only one who asked this question.
I was looking at other monsters of comparable CR that deal bleed damage, and 1D6 seems to be a popular number. There's the bunyip (CR 3), piscodaemon (cr 10), mosquito swarm (CR 3), and rift drake (CR 9). Giant mosquitos (CR 4) have bleed 2D4 though, while vulnudaemons (CR 4) have 2D4.

That bit slipped by in development. Go with 1d6 bleed.

Contributor

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I am VERY excited to see my little monster in action. Can't wait to see what she can do.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
In fact, Chambers and Bierce and Derleth and Petersen are much more responsible for setting up what gamers regard as the "Hastur Mythology" today. Lovecraft's actual contribution to Hastur is in fact miniscule; he mentioned the name once or twice but that's about it.

Good thing he never went to saying it three times! Or wait, is that Bloody Mary? Or the Candyman? Or Candlejack? That's ridiculous, what kind of a name is


Hi,

Has anyone put together a map of Thrushmoor without the rather spoilery location keys?

Thanks!


I'm thinking of buying this, but the reviews are giving me pause.

Are there any elements which could be easily removed from the specific town setting and used elsewhere, e.g. a thinly settled frontier? And are there any interesting creatures in this installment which are in the CR 2-4 range?

Paizo Employee Managing Developer

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While it is set in Thrushmoor and gives some lore on that location, it shouldn't be too difficult to place in another setting. Most of the creatures in the bestiary of this volume are higher CR than 2–4, but one of them—the byakhee—is CR 4. The other monsters in the bestiary are: faceless hulk (CR 9), Great Old One Mordiggian (CR 30), keeper of the Yellow Sign (CR 6), and star vampire (CR 6).

Hope that helps!


Outstandingly helpful, thank you. I appreciate the quick reply, and the byakhee is ideal for my purposes.

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