The 8 dwarven lords of chaos


Advice


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So, in my current game that's dwarf-centric, part of dwarven history is that the "current" dwarves escaped from some ancient evil arcanists to become what they are today (very traditional dwarves) (think Sodhom & Gommora, but with dwarves, i'll put more info if anybody's interested).

So, these evil arcanists will be classified as the "eight dwarven lords of chaos", powerfull casters (either arcanists, wizards, witches or sorcerers). And I'm trying to find ways to explain how they've survived the last 2000 years in the dank depths of the lower-dark. (think forgotten realms underdark). Based on the notion they sacrificed all their followers at the moment of their near-destruction, here are ways I think they could have survived:

1) Escapes to the nightmare realms, becomes a nightmare lord. Body still on material plane.
2) LICHDOM! But I need excuses as to why they've been inactive for 2000 years.
3) Vampirism! Same problems as lichdom.
4) Soulbound shell: manages to stay alive throughthe shell, but it's "soul focus" is loose so it can act.
5) Mummufication?

I need more ideas. Eight is an EVIL number, so I'm aiming for at least that many ideas. And that's what I'm looking for.


Graveknight

20th Level Wizard = Immortality Discovery

Worm that Walks

20th level Alchemist = Eternal Youth

20th Level Time Oracle Final Revelation


Graveknight & worm that walks cuold work. However, 2 things:

I want them to use arcane power (so no alchemist or oracles)

I want them to be about level 17th level AT MOST. Nearly a demigod.

Still looking for ideas of what has controled them over the last 2000 years. Part of the disaster was flooding, so maybe it was holy water of some kind?


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Classic deal with the devil. you said they sacrificed their people. For every lifetime they live when it's time for them to pay their due, they trade one of the souls of their followers in their place, effectively holding all the souls hostage for virtual immortality. Till they are forced into acting because they are starting to run low on souls to trade.


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A greater power was drawn to their magical outburst and used Imprisonment to banish them. Some dwarves looking to restart their cult/kingdom has finally discovered their resting place and used Freedom to bring them out of stasis.

Edit: Just thought of another idea if you don't mind adding a little science in (although I'm not sure how you'd work the flooding in either).

Make Interplanetary Teleport work like FTL travel. They used IT to travel to another planet, stayed there for a couple years, then came back. Thanks to relativity, a couple thousand years will have passed on the original planet while only three or four would have passed for them.


They created a timeless permanent demiplane that connected to only a single point deep in the underdark. The eight dark lords were gravely injured and near death, and the dark powers that granted them power in life threatened to destroy their bodies. They collectively sacrificed all their followers to create a amazing artifact that would sustain and revive their bodies and followers. But, there was a backlash of power from the sacrifice of their followers that left the demiplane completely devoid of magic except for the artifact which continued to function and keep them alive. Now they've spent millennium healing and preparing to separate themselves from the ancient artifact or have finally made contact with someone to attempt to move the massive artifact out of the demiplane.

If you've ever watched Naruto and have seen the giant tree that Madara used to keep himself alive that is my inspiration.

Scarab Sages

Wheel of time forsaken/phantom zone/event horizon. They sacrificed all their followers in order to gain supreme power, but were betrayed by the dark powers they were dealing with. They gained power, but were trapped outside of time in hell to be the slaves of the demons/old ones/whatever when they completed their ritual, and due to time weakening the seals or destroying the prison, they have managed to break free. They are now looking to retake what they have lost. This can help the PCs if they can find a way to let the powers that want the 8 chaos lords back. (Hell raiser)


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If you're setting these guys up as long-term opponents of your PCs, it would be a good idea to confound expectations. Make it seem like they're all wizards, but have one be a time oracle, one be an alchemist, one be a cleric who turned into a lich, one be an arcanist worm that walks, one be a reincarnated druid, one be a shapechanged dragon, and one be an elf magus who simply lived that long, because who knows how long elves live, really? Oh, and have the last one be a human wizard who took the immortality discovery, just because at that point your players will probably be wise to your tricks and will figure this one isn't what he seems either. Surprise! He totally is!


Honestly, this is a creative exercise. I dont know if the game will go on long enough to make these creatures relevant. However, it is nice to have a good bank of interesting enemies. I like your ideas, keep E'm coming!

@ Claxon: "Beverly injured?" whaaa....


I always thought that packing your petrified body and a trap that casts stone to flesh exactly once into a lot of bubble wrap would make a pretty effective time capsule.

That's one way to survive 2000 years. Maybe they sacrificed their legions of whatever in exchange for ultimate cosmic power, but not right away! Like, you can have ultimate cosmic power, but you have to survive for 2000 years to get it.


Maybe some high level eldritch knight? Dwarves like to hit stuff with hammers, right?


I would assume he meant 'severely'. Here's an idea -- make some of them evil outsiders. Outsiders are generally immortal (except for those with the 'native' subtype).


williamoak wrote:

Honestly, this is a creative exercise. I dont know if the game will go on long enough to make these creatures relevant. However, it is nice to have a good bank of interesting enemies. I like your ideas, keep E'm coming!

@ Claxon: "Beverly injured?" whaaa....

Paladin of Baha-who? wrote:
I would assume he meant 'severely'. Here's an idea -- make some of them evil outsiders. Outsiders are generally immortal (except for those with the 'native' subtype).

Errr....yep. I don't even know how that happened. I edited my earlier post to say gravely, but same affect.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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what about something as simple as temporal stasis? a cult or even a single ageless guardian (maybe some constructs one of them built) could have recently awoken them (or maybe they wake up once a century or whatever to decide if the time is right to bring their plans to fruition)


williamoak wrote:
Eight is an EVIL number...

Figure eight... is two times four. Figure four... is half of eight...

If you skate... you would be great... if you could skate a figure eight.

That's a circle that turns back upon itself.

Place it on its side and it's a symbol meaning... infinityyyyyyyyy...


Don't forget that 8 is the number of magic, according to Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels; one summons a demon into an Octogram, not a pentagram, and the distinctive color of magic is Octarine.


Soul bind or especially trap the soul.


Eight gods of chaos suggests there might have been some in-fighting. Trap the soul, imprisonment, flesh to stone, etc. Some could have fled to a different plane but at great personal cost---they have only now regained their power. Maybe one or two aren't the original eight but their descendants, only recently coming into their own, and taking the mantle of the original.


After the deal with the devil(s). They were promptly turned into stone, until such time as the devil(s) wanted to use them for some purpose.

Actually why not also slap some earth elemental traits onto them? :P

They could be now made of 8 different earth elements: adamantine, mithril, bronze, gold, silver, cold iron, fire forged steel, frost-forged steel, living steel, viridium or gold.


Immortality Arcane Discovery is the easiest way IMO.

Ghosts or Juju Zombies would also work, aside of Vampire or Lich.

Demonic obedience feat can turn you into a Ghoul.

Temporal Stasis also hasn't been mentioned yet.

Clone arguably could work, if build when still young.

You could Permanency Magic Jar with GM fiat to have them body hop from host to host. The same goes for posesss Object.

You can make them immune to aging by adding Mythic Tiers and the Longelivity Mythic Power.


If you make them Mythic, there's a 1st tier Universal Path Ability that prevents dying from old age (mental ability bonus still increase with aging, but physical scores don't decrease).

Longevity (Su) wrote:
Upon taking this ability, you can no longer die from old age. If you have penalties to your physical ability scores due to aging, you no longer take those penalties. You still continue to age, and you gain all the benefits to your mental ability scores.

For reasons unknown, the area they've been trapped in has some sort of anti-magic field. Unsealing the trapped area lifts this affect.

Scarab Sages

I thought this thread would be about statting up the contents of the old Citadel Miniatures box set 'Dwarf Lords of Chaos'...can't remember if there were eight of them, but they covered several different roles.

Were you planning on including the duergar, as recurring enemies?
If so, psionics would seem to be a natural power source for underdark dwellers, and would explain why it may still be rare in-game, since the only major core race that encountered it swore off it as blasphemy.


I would suggest two that passed on their power to apprentices. One, by teaching them everything they knew. The other, ala Fistandantilus, swapping bodies/souls with them and killing them.

The former might actually be redeemable as a twist.

Plus at least one should probably be dead, maybe with a crazy trap-laden lair inhabited by someone pretending to be him.


Thanks for the ideas everyone. A lot of them dont fit my basic theme for this, but they are good ideas for other situations. To reiterate basic conditions:

1) Be dwarves
2) Be arcanists (wizard/witch/sorcerer/arcanist)
3) Be "functionally" immortal
4) Have an excuse for sleeping 2000 years

So far, the best I have is:

1) Nightmare lord... the soul is trapped in the dimension of dreams. Probably sorcerer.
2) Mummy: trapped in it's tomb, that has been flooded with very potent holy water.
3) Soulbound shell (thinking wizard): the soul focus is slightly loose, preventing animation of the shell.
4) Graveknight (probably eldritch knight type): The armor is trapped under a ton of rock.
5) Worm that walks: Body scattered, different parts trapped in small isolated areas.

I think each should have a "temple" of sorts, with some sort of vague pyramid theme. Number 1 would have a ziggurat ("one" side), number 3 a triangular pyramid, number 4 a square step pyramid, etc.


They could have been sucked into Ravenloft trying to do some big magic. They couldn't escape until some kind of celestial alignment occurred. It did, and now they are back more powerful than before.


As for duergar, I'm fitting them into the traditional forgotten realms "enslaved by illithids & warped" dwarves. I'm not treating them as inherently evil, though many of them are.

Sovereign Court

* They made a deal with a demon, gaining immortality but have to pay it off with a few thousand years of service [elsewhere]. They're almost served their term of service.

* The ritual they used for immortality actually drained Chaos from the plane into their bodies, leading to an environment balanced towards Law, to such a degree that the plane has become poisonous to them. Like radioactive halftime though, eventually they're able to come back because the balance of Law/Chaos is returning to normal.

* Vampires are known to sleep for hundreds of years.

* They were banished to another plane, but soon the planets will align and they'll be able to return.

* For their plan to succeed, they want there to be no warning. They've kept hidden for thousand of years so that they can execute the perfect surprise attack.

* They've been hiding until a Guardian of Law (big dragon?) died of old age.


I like the whole draining chas idea ascalaphus.


williamoak wrote:

Thanks for the ideas everyone. A lot of them dont fit my basic theme for this, but they are good ideas for other situations. To reiterate basic conditions:

1) Be dwarves
2) Be arcanists (wizard/witch/sorcerer/arcanist)
3) Be "functionally" immortal
4) Have an excuse for sleeping 2000 years

So far, the best I have is:

1) Nightmare lord... the soul is trapped in the dimension of dreams. Probably sorcerer.
2) Mummy: trapped in it's tomb, that has been flooded with very potent holy water.
3) Soulbound shell (thinking wizard): the soul focus is slightly loose, preventing animation of the shell.
4) Graveknight (probably eldritch knight type): The armor is trapped under a ton of rock.
5) Worm that walks: Body scattered, different parts trapped in small isolated areas.

I think each should have a "temple" of sorts, with some sort of vague pyramid theme. Number 1 would have a ziggurat ("one" side), number 3 a triangular pyramid, number 4 a square step pyramid, etc.

Graveknight would be fun as a magus.

Maybe one of them could be a powerful bard lich, trapped in an area of magical silence.

Another could be an actual ghost, a la Geb. Maybe a Ghost witch?


I would give them each a unique template that represent there way to immortallity. Let them be inspired by demons, shades, undead and stuff. Let some be more succesful than others and let some be the unwilling(pehaps unknowing) servants of others. If it is 2000 years then i dont see a problem in why they havent attacked the PCs before. 2000 years is a long time, they have spend the time trying every forbidden thing known to man(or dwarf) and pehaps wage a few underground wars. But now they hunger for the blod/gold/souls of there only living kin, the dwarfs.


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Ok, so this is what I've got:

1) Monogron, the graveknight (trapped in ziggurat)
2) Duocletar, The worm that walks (dispersed in it's home fortress)
3) Trimexatroos, the dark mummy (dread mummy template) (trapped in pyramid)
4) Quadexadran, the nightmare lord (highly successful in the dream dimensions)
5) Pentagtheren, the demon prince (ascended to demonhood, currently a successful demon lord)
6) Hexagoras, the soulbound shell (inactivated, soul focus lost)
7) Septirius,
8) Octiron, the lich (trapped in personal demiplane, like that nexian artifact) (originally most powerful).

Only one I'm unsure of is the seventh, Septirius. I'm just not feeling vampire of ghost.


Ok, so I've decided Septirius should be a Devil Prince. Just for fun. Pentagtheren & Septirius both were able to ascend to stand beside their fiendish masters.

Those 2 are both MUCH more powerful now than in life. So much more, they dont care about the dwarves at all, and would rather try to corrupt humans.

Quadexadran also gained some power, but still lusts for a return to the material plane.


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Ok, so I'll start with some backstory. Here's the "myth" little dwarven children learn about the past.

"In the far past, the dwarves lived in a place of bountiful life. Living was simple and easy, food was bountiful, and metals & gems could be gently taken from the stone. However, many dwarves grew bored of this life. Some abandoned themselves to the revelry, others became consumed by lust for power, and yet other prostrated themselves before the gods to thank them for their great bounty. Those consumed by power founded great empires an warred among each-other, always lusting for more power. Eventually, they twisted the image of the gods, twisted the holy words, and became beings of dark power. They sacrificed their kin on stone altars, letting the warm blood fuel their power. From their sacrifices to their destructive wrath, these dwarves were slowly destroying their people.
But the gods, the true gods of law & truth, came to those dwarves who had stayed disciplined and wise. They warned them a great disaster was coming that would destroy the evil in this place, but that they must leave and never return again. And thus those dwarves fled, and as they reached the tunnels, the great vault of the sky cracked, and out rushed a great quantity of water. Of the millions that lived, only thousands remained & escaped their former paradise. The gods guided them forward to the great chambers where they would live forevermore."

The "place of bountiful life" is a vault (think of the vaults of Orv) found in the DEEPEST of the underdark. It was once lush and bountiful. There are 8 significant architectural sites (A ziggurat, a 2-sided garden, a triangular pyramid, a square step pyramid (think aztec), a pentagonal step pyramid, a hexagonal temple, a 7-sided tower, and an octodome). All other significant architecture has been left in ruins.

The actual event that occured was a rupturing of the vault's roof, which let in millions of liters of water. No-one is certain of the nature of this water, though it burned all the "evil" individuals that touched it. However, seeing as no non-evil beings survived, it is uncertain whether it was blessed or acidic.

The dwarves that escaped largely suppressed knowledge of the events that occured, and streamed by the thousands into the higher underdark, causing other problems not discussed here.

Next up, some backstory on the Dwarven Chaos Lords (though whether they where chaotic is in question, since many dwarven clerics conflate chaos with evil).


Note: for ease of reading to non-dwarven readers, all individuals are refered to as male. The dwarven language does not use gender-specific pronouns, and thus old documents do not allow us to determine dwarven gender.

1) Monogron, the graveknight: A warrior that gained a keen interest in scholarship, this eldritch knight had significant power. He subjugated thousands to dark rituals to empower his ever-growing army. Eventually he became obsessed with gaining imortality, and found a way to bind his soul to a set of armor. Unfortunately, mere months before he would enact his master plan, the vault flooded. The rushing water damaged his ziggurat, and tons upon tons of rocks buried him under part of the collapsing tower. He has been trapped there for 2000 years, unable to budge.


2) Duocletar, the naturalist: This sorcerer was born with an unusual connection to the nature around him. His fascination gave him great power in the natural setting of the vault. He built an immense garden complex, where he kept all his plants & natural experiments. He became reclusive & cagey as he aged. But one day he came out, covered in a heavy cloak. His body had bonded with the life of the vault, and he had become a worm that walks.

When the flood came, his body was washed away, differents parts being scattered in different parts of his garden. They are physically isolated areas, and these different pieces of his body have not been able to come together in 2000 years.

3) Trimexatroos: A sorcerer that masceraded as a representative of holy power, he wanted to steal the power of the gods. On he deathded, he was almost able to , turning himself (and many of his followers) into mummies. When the flood came, he and his follower retreated to their temple. What little water that seeped in seemed to BURN their bodies, so they decided to seal the pyramid and go to sleep until the waters retreated. Unfortunately, their pyramid was in a depression and it is still covered in water to this day.

4) Quadexadran: A dark & twisted individual, he studied blood magic deeply. He enslaved thousands, and fed on the power of their blood. His pyramid was on a summit, and him & his followers escaped to the top of the pyramid. He sacrificed them, all, in an attempt to strengthen himself & to attract some power to save him. He attracted the attention of the nightmare lords, who pulled his soul from his body and brought him to the dimension of dreams. There, he gained great power, slowly rising to the power of nightmare lord himself. But he still lusts to return to the material plane. His dessicated body rests on the summit of his pyramid, which was never flooded in the end. That body is still prepared to accept his soul, should he get any indication that there is blood to empower him.


5) Pentagtheren: a twisted demoniac, this empyreal sorcerer collected around himself a powerful cadre of warriors & sorcerers to increase his power. However, when the flood came he was drowned, and his soul was claimed by the abys. However, over a thousand years, he managed to ascend to the position of demon lord. Currently, he is not concerned with dwarves, since humans are so much more plentiful (and easy to corrupt).
6) Hexagoras: Once a close companion of octiron, this sage sorcerer was killed in battle against Monogron. Octiron, desperate to save his ally, locked his soul in a soul focus, placing it in a souldbond shell. Hexagoras ardently returned to fight against Monogoron, empowered by it’s new body. However, when the flood came, it was right over his temple, and the shell was swept up and smashed against a wall, breaking the heading and letting the soul focus get swept away.
7) Septirius: a wretched diabolist, this empyreal sorcerer bound a powerful army of devils to his service. However, when the flood killed him, his soul was claimed by hell. There he gained much power, eventually rising to the status of devil prince. Much like Pentagtheren, he is uncorcerned by the fate of these lesser creatures who call themselves dwarves these days.
8) Octiron: One of the oldest dwarves in existence, this powerful lich was the greatest power in the vault. A master enchanter, he was particularly skilled in creating magical items, weapons & construct, using souls to power them. His pride & joy was the scroll of balaradan (similar to the scroll of kakishon artifact), a secret demiplane where he worked inside his own personal world.
When the flood came, he was within his demiplane, and his servants were unable to warn him in time. The scroll was swept away, and heavily damaged, preventing anyone inside from escaping without somebody else first entering (exchanging places with them). Any spell that might normally allow escape (surch as plane shift or Gate) does not allow one to escape this demiplane. Currently, the scroll appears as a dirty & torn scap of paper. However, it cannot be destroyed by any means.

So, this is my ideas. Thanks for everyone’s help.


williamoak wrote:

So, in my current game that's dwarf-centric, part of dwarven history is that the "current" dwarves escaped from some ancient evil arcanists to become what they are today (very traditional dwarves) (think Sodhom & Gommora, but with dwarves, i'll put more info if anybody's interested).

So, these evil arcanists will be classified as the "eight dwarven lords of chaos", powerfull casters (either arcanists, wizards, witches or sorcerers). And I'm trying to find ways to explain how they've survived the last 2000 years in the dank depths of the lower-dark. (think forgotten realms underdark). Based on the notion they sacrificed all their followers at the moment of their near-destruction, here are ways I think they could have survived:

1) Escapes to the nightmare realms, becomes a nightmare lord. Body still on material plane.
2) LICHDOM! But I need excuses as to why they've been inactive for 2000 years.
3) Vampirism! Same problems as lichdom.
4) Soulbound shell: manages to stay alive throughthe shell, but it's "soul focus" is loose so it can act.
5) Mummufication?

I need more ideas. Eight is an EVIL number, so I'm aiming for at least that many ideas. And that's what I'm looking for.

The ritual hurled them (or just their consciousness) beyond the stars to wander the far realms, bargain with and learn from unhinged creatures and at last they return - not quite what they were, both less and more with allies from beyond reality to guide their 'wayward' children willing or not!


Now that these beings are demi-gods (or undead, as the case may be), time holds less meaning to them. They plot and plan now in terms of centuries, not the fragile and pathetic manner of years that was their mortal lifetime. The fact that it's taken them two millennia to finally gear up enough to enact their long-standing plans makes no difference. Perhaps they were waiting on the right configuration of stars for the correct energies to filter down into some powerful artifact that they've been building for centuries. Maybe they took some time to flex their magical might on another plane of existence before returning to wreak havoc upon this one. They might have spent their time cosmically wanking to John Denver songs... Who knows?

Or maybe they've been making bargains with lesser lords from the lower planes to get just the right materials to release Rovagug from the Dead Vault. It might have taken this long to steal Asmodeus' key, and now they must finally enact their plans before Asmodeus' agents get it back. It might make for a great game where good and evil must join together to save the world.

Dark Archive

Imprisonment and temporal stasis are both methods by which an arcanist could sleep away 2000 years, before being awakened (perhaps by a wish-enhanced contingent dispel magic or freedom effect, or just a one-charge magic item that frees the sleeper?).

Some classes or PrCs end with the character gaining another type or becoming at least partially immortal / ageless (such as a druid or monk). A custom PrC for one of the dwarves might be a fiendish variation on Dragon Disciple, with the arcanist gaining more and more devilish or demonic features as levels accrue, with a 10th level endcap of becoming a devil or demon (and therefore ageless), gaining the outsider type and devil or demon subtype.

There used to be 'feign death' spells, in previous editions. Perhaps a necromancer researched a sleep of the dead spell that allows them to slumber agelessly throughout 'boring' centuries.

Flesh to stone, yet another way to spent centuries in an ageless slumber, and much easier to counter than imprisonment!

I imagine there is some means by which magic jar might be used to while away the centuries, but I sure can't make heads or tails of it. :)


Thanks for the extra ideas people. I think I've found what I wanted (put in the previous posts) but there are a lot of good ideas.


This just became a dot. :)


For those interested, this isnt set in golarion, but on my own (current) personal setting "genericland", land of all fantasy tropes. My first attempt at more cohesive worldbuilding.


I had some crazy ideas. (Note: my own experiments in worldbuilding are only vaguely stenciled on Golarion)

As a start to this madness, in any setting I run, I will consider that all races that can breed together (elf, human, orc, dwarf, halfling) all descend from a common ancestor. (dragons & outsiders are "special", so I will have to reflect more on them)

If we treat humans as "baseline", it's easy to consider halflings as fey-touched, halfling as "pygmy" humans, orc as a "feral-ish" offshoot. Dwarves however have always confounded me however.

It isnt helped by my own perception of dwarves & theology. I'm fond of discworld dwarves: there are no apparent gender differences in appearance, they are fairly conservative, and much of their courtship involves finding out the gender of the other individual. As my own "background", I'm considering the dwarven language doesnt distinguish genders. However, considering how dimorphic humans are, why wouldnt dwarves present this if they arent an offshoot?

I'm also of the "humans created gods" line of thought. Gods may believe they created the universe, and that they created the various races, but they are a manifestations of the various intelligent race's desires (gods can be destroyed through non-belief). So much psychic energy has been invested in these creatures that some of it leaks out and takes it's own form (IE, the outer planes, the elemental planes, demon lords, devil princes, empyreal lords, outsiders, etc.).

So how could dwarves come into being? Some crazy ideas:

1) A wizard, great fan of yaoi hentai, tried to create an entire race of sexy, burly men. However, realizing such a race could never survive (since no breeding), they decided to make all the women look like men. Problem solved?

2) They could, like elves, be vaguely planetouched, but by creatures of law & the earth.

Ah well. It might no be for the best to combine an ardent love of scientific order & medieval fantasy. I am of the mindset thought that "magic" is simply a manifestation of energy that whatever land it is found in do not understand yet.


1) LOL! Yaoi hentai usually involves bishoushen, though, and dwarves are the furthest thing from.

2) What makes Elves planetouched?


Paladin of Baha-who? wrote:

1) LOL! Yaoi hentai usually involves bishoushen, though, and dwarves are the furthest thing from.

2) What makes Elves planetouched?

1) Yaoi isnt JUST bishounen... I,ve come across some stuf that defintly is not.

2) That's my own personal thing (elves being vaguely fey-touched explaining their difference with humans, and why they could still breed with them).

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