The Wolves of Dor Maleer

The Crucible entered
Did That really just happen or are we dreaming?

They find themselves back ,back in the time they know but something eats at the back of their minds, a hazy distant echo of a memory. They have been here before or at least that is the way it seems. The Crucible , the great maze of legend. Built by drow and elven slaves for their giant overlords the final resting place of the Titan Hammer. Now it is just a ruin that exists in the holdings of an ancient dwarven kingdom. A cursed land that none have been able to tame. Not a soul has been able to fathom why it is so. This is the way to the tear in the world , the way to the Hammer ,the focus of the Quori efforts. And this is where they must go, the start of it all the location of the first betrayal of the prime plane. It is hard to walk in the footsteps of giants and even harder when the very battles they fought leave a shadow that even time seems incapable of erasing. The bones of the ancient dead rise again to stop them, and worse than that is the fact that as they proceed the past is trying to force its way back into this reality. There is no stopping the rips that seem to desperately want to be back in the now. Each tear brings the past back for a moment and they are getting stronger. As the past washes over those unfortunate enough to succumb to them they return unnaturally aged , but they are witness to events from a new perspective. Most of their time in the crucible this night is spent retracing as best as they can remember the footsteps of their “other” selves but in a maze built for giants even going down a hall takes time. It will not be easy to go through this place for the magic that lingers is so ancient none in this era know how it works, the simplest of spells are deadly and more dangerous than modern magic. Many times during the night they are beset by time disruptions involving Geru himself clad in the trappings of a druid he attacks with minions from past be them undead remnants of a battle fought 40,000 years ago or beings from that time brought into the present. Both fights are hard but most importantly both fights are won by our heroes. but even as they rest and ready themselves for the next room it happens again. That feeling of vertigo as they are unceremoniously ripped from the bodies they posses and inserted back into the bodies of the 5 Giants sent to stop Geru and retrieve the Titan Hammer. How much will they remember now that they are back in the time of Giants and will that knowledge help them or hinder them. Time will tell but as our heroes are starting to learn Time is not as set as we would like to believe and what they do in both times matters. Which timeline will emerge as dominant, what will our heroes change during this trip to the past. But the single biggest question what do the Quori gain from any of this?

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Overheard at 4am Fighter needs F&%K badly
does a good stiff mace insertion count?

Where to go is the very first decision of the new day. The only constant is the mountains, shall they go to the great city of Korunda’s Gate or to the monastic temples of Onatar’s Fist, After a spirited discussion the decision is made that the best way to the tear in the world is to head to the great city , it is hoped that from there not only gear and provisions but information as well can be gathered. Next shall they take the main road or stick to the less traveled smaller trails. Another spirited debate later they decide to head down the main road up the mountains, even on a well used trail the ascent is hard. The mountain seems determined to wear them down like the famed smiths in Korunda the mountain batters them with harsh winds and unforgiving ground that beats at their legs and feet with each step. After walking for a full day they see a small roadside lodge, It is run by a follower of the Wanderer a god not known to the group but seems not unlike Fharlanghn. The keeper politely goes about his business of maintaining the roadside inn free of charge only stopping twice to talk to Presto and then to Rabbit. While resting each member of the party has a dream more vivid than they have ever had before. The dream is strange because each of them is in the dream but they are not themselves, and they are arguing with others they know but don’t know about a man named Geru and his involvement or lack thereof in the theft of the Titan Hammer from the Lord of the Long Keep. None of this means anything to them, the following morning they discover how the old dwarf manages to keep the place provided for, the dwarves trade provisions for his work as a book binder and restorer. They continue into the mountains when they are ambushed by a group of mountain loris dirty creatures with a deadly toxic bite. The battle is fierce and many are bitten but only Venerick comes close to succumbing to the poison. After the battle they rest and heal, pushing on they continue the climb until at last another roadside inn. This one however could not be more different than the last, it is loud and boisterous and it’s services are most decidedly not free. Again the night is plagued by dreams of these people who are them but not them. One 4am wake up call later and they are on their way to Korunda’s Gate. The gate is a massive city and the party separates each seeking what they feel they will need for the journey into the tear. With the preparations in order, on the 2nd day they set off for the tear. The journey to the tear is uneventful but the door to the Ruins of Nordrunhold give dire warnings of what lie beyond. The door is locked but they get it open and proceed into the cursed area left to ruin by the dwarves of the area. Beyond the door is a room filled with undead dwarves. The battle is over quickly and as they recover from their wounds the world distorts and spins wildly before they know it the Quori finally reveal their plan, They find themselves inhabiting the bodies of a group of giants from the long forgotten kingdom of Xen’drik 40000 years in the past. The very group that went after Geru, but if the legends are true because of him the Quori were able to invade the first time. Why send them here, why send them to this time there must be a plan and whatever it is they must not let the Quori succeed. What changes will be wrought by their actions or lack there of it seems even time is not immune from the tampering of the masters of dreams. Whatever the game is the stakes have just gone way up…..what will they return to if they fail here, what indeed.

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Only the truly Brave eat the Boars apple

And we are back to the log. My apologies for missing some but time is not my friend sometimes. Ok back to it. We pick up with our new band adventuring deeper into the keep in the pocket dimension, along with several other groups. The search reveals a hall of light which reacts to anything in the hall. The group makes the decision not to go down the hall for rear of what it may do to them. Onward to the House of Sabers. Upon opening the door they find the room is filled with crates going to Dor Maleer and barrels going to the Eldeen Reaches. The crates are filled with a RNA retrovirus bio-toxin called the Yellow Death and “Rabbit” has touched it, swiftly the plague rushes into her body and she is nearly killed by it. The after effects are terrible but she will survive. Another decision, this time to leave the room and try to find a way to the Northwest tower and then come back to destroy the crates is made after much discussion. The only way out of the room is a manual lift. After climbing in they go down, but Saven notices that they seem to pass by a floor so they go back and investigate. During the investigation Presto triggers a trap and they are nearly all killed as flaming oil fills the shaft. With everyone on the brink of death they are surprised to awaken in a room with a well dressed man who is not one of the inspired waiting for them to awaken. Upon regaining consciousness He introduces himself as Baron Helian GofflesbyThe_Baron.jpg The Banners he flies are a shield with a broken anvil within, he asks a few questions and then after receiving no answers he leaves. A few moments later they follow and find themselves in a small house on a farm, the room they were in could not be part of this house and upon checking they find the door they came through does not lead back to the room. They Now Find themselves a world away from Sarlona. Now in the Mror Holds the mountainous home of the great Dwarven Clans they must discover what is happening and where do they go from here. Before they can do any of that however it appears that someone wants them out of the way as mercenaries attack. During the fight the town militia comes to their aid. Can they complete the quest to secure the portals and resist the quori and why have they not been killed outright each time they were defeated. What new perils exist on this new land and what is the tear in the earth they have heard about. Is it really a portal or something far worse. It is almost time for the last piece to fall into place and then the game moves into it’s next stage, but is it it’s FINAL stage?

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Saying Goodbye.
When darkness reaches into you, you cannot resist for long

Tonight the party is dealt a pair of blows they may not recover from for quite some time. The moral compass (Dredarious) and the soul (Minarik) of the party fall in battle never to rise. With the paladin and bard dying in battle against 3 major casters the party sits stunned it all started so well. First a battle against a ninja followed by a battle against 4 ogre mages that use symbiote magic then immediately going to battle against 3 major league casters directed by a Dream Master. Although they quickly run into new comrades a monk/psychic warrior and a sorcerer. As nice as it is to have these new people they miss their friends. During all of this they learn that Nar Trig has attacked the south tower and is even now striking deep in the prison. As the battle rages through out they must move with caution or they could be attacked by friend and foe alike. The stakes have now been raised and the dark of the Quori is reaching out to end this resistance once and for all. How long can this new band keep the Quori at bay. With Venerick merging with the Elemental within the sword will he be the same man, the fear is no for already he has turned to chaos the ones that knew him best wonder how long will it be before he changes so much that he can no longer be trusted. Meanwhile “rabbit” also dons a piece of possessed equipment perhaps in hopes of also joining with an elemental. tbc…

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When The Hunters Become the Hunted
Rectum it damn near killed em!

After spending time in the storage area to heal and get ready they leave hoping to avoid the Titan and the Seamstress. The next room they find looks to have been hastily deserted. as they search the room they notice it once housed many magic items. All that remains are what seem to be mundane skill wands and rods. Minarik finds a secret passage and when he reveals it’s location to the group he is stabbed in the back by an unknown creature it breaks the blade off in his back and hides also Venerik and Jarinth’s wolf are assaulted by a song of grief and sorrow from an unknown source. They drive off their attackers but Minarik is near death and the wolf is lethargic. The decision is made to move on and they find another room they are attacked again this time much more directly with arrows and a vicious hammer. Again they drive off the attack. Each time they are tested each time it is a different method of attack, during this running battle they encounter another creation of the fleshsmith.
tumblr_m6eodfOXNl1qmg4b2o1_500.jpg It is poisonous and deadly fast but unlike the group that pursues them , it is alone. When it is slain Min finds a hidden cache of armor of bright lavender. It has a slight enchantment when struck it hardens to offer extra protection but at the cost of movement which it thirds. Finally they encounter the other group again, the result is every member of the party is downed. They awaken in a cell with other groups that had been sent by other councils. Finally it is revealed the Inspired are using the groups to be rid of Nar Trigg who is trying to oppose the inspired by keeping the portals closed. They manage to escape the cell and free the others but now they are in a prison in a pocket dimension fighting the Quori on their semi home turf. Things look bleak but they are free and they now know the truth. With the truth finally revealed the true battle can begin.

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I didn't know they came in XXL
Inside the room with 3 portals the decision is made to attempt to re-seal the portal to Shavarath. During the ritual they are attacked by a creature known as the Fleshsmithed Beast it is being restrained by 2 large handlers also there appears to be a leader of sorts he is called Ferlein. The combat is savage with both Dred and Ven losing an arm to the beasts vorpal halberd. The Beast is wild and once one of the handlers is killed it turns and attacks it’s masters. Ferlein leaves before the creature can do anything to him. Afterwards they run into 2 workers Rul and Keff. They speak to Keff at length, the party learns of the Black door which they are told is Ferleins mirror. Which is one of 2 ways to get to “the Master” the other is Jospurr’s mirror or the Black Gate. The Black gate they are told was the first thing the master ever crafted, it is guarded by the “Twins” the first creature the Master ever made. They learn of the seamstresses. Then Min teaches Keff to sing and they part company. The Next room is the first seamstress she seems quite kind they talk with her at length and learn the following:
  • She takes care of her grandchild
  • Her husband crafted a sword for Vvaartuk the Black Dragon
  • She has been working here for a little over 1 year
  • The mate to the Scissor of Fate was kept a secret by Korth Kethend
  • The rash on Jarinth is actually a mark of Siberys
  • She Lives on Totem Beach
  • She says Nar Trig is treating her very well and sends people to her home to stock the pantry and take care of her needs.
    after a pleasant talk the next seamstress is the polar opposite and she is not alone she is accompanied by a Warforged Titantitan_1.jpg

The decision is made not to fight them at this time and they beat a hasty retreat to a store room filled with supplies. Although the time spent does not appear like they have gone far the information they have learned is invaluable if they could only figure out all the pieces perhaps they could understand what is going on because it appears that it has been going on for many years more than they have been told. Time is not their friend and they are starting to see the bigger players in this game, can they overcome them to get to Nar. Can they find this Gate to get to the “Master” and Who is the “fleshsmith” and how many twisted creatures has he made? How powerful is he or She? Will they all make it ?

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You don't look like you wear a top knot?

After the battle they enter the room beyond and find a room with a portal protected by wards put in place 19000 years ago. They are written in the druids secret language and they reference Vvaraak an ancient Black Dragon that taught the druids of Eberron so they might resist an incursion from Xoriat the Plane of Madness. The portal in this room leads to Xoriat the seals have been damaged by countless rituals perfomed in the room for the purpose of removing the seals. There is little they can do to restore the seals right now and they search the room. During the search they find a secret door that leads to a hallway, around the corner they hear someone and discover 3 robed individuals each wears a pin vor.jpg They appear to be undead and during their brief talk they ask the party if they are “of the blood” when they hear the party contains a druid they check him thoroughly {he will try not to remember how thorough they were} and decide they are not. Without another word they are gone leaving the area the party finds the portal they were studying it leads to Mabar the endless Night. it’s seals are damaged but not nearly as badly as the one to Xoriat. Beyond this area the hall continues and leads to yet another portal it seems to have all it’s seals intact, it leads to Dolurrh the Realm of the Dead. After a brief check of the area they move on and find the portal to Fernia the Sea of Fire , it is risky to even walk before the portal which is evident by the inches of ash and bits of bone and charred hearts that lay before it it’s seals have been damaged, most likely at great cost to Nar Trig and his followers if they are behind this. Also found in this hallway is a dragon shard of Siberys Jarinth uses it and is left with a strange rash on his chest. beyond the gate to Fernia lies another secret door as it is opened the party is attacked by Dolgrims dolgrim.jpg the weapons they wield are vicious devices from the realm of madness not only wounding on a hit but even on misses they can attack the mind of the defender. The Battle nearly kills Dredarious Waridon in the end they manage to kill the creatures. The next room houses their leader a Dolgaunt dolgaunt.jpg It is swift and it’s very touch leeches at the abilities of any that it touches. Another brutal fight ending with many suffering from it’s leeching ability. Inside the creature they find a crystal that contains boards Jarinth says he needs to repair the seals. Dred also notices that this creature ,the dolgrims and the horrid creatures from below that were multiple creatures fused together are all made by Fleshsmiths more importantly the same Fleshsmith made all they have encountered. Among the possesions they recover from the bodies is a war hammer bound with a bloodthirsty Air elemental, it seems to long to end the lives of anything it is used against, it is also marked as needed to break the “4th Seal” whatever that means. During a much needed rest Minarik mentions the scroll the Reforged gave them. They don’t know what it does only that it is a scroll of summoning from Shae Mordai that has 4 uses. Before they set forth they use it and it summons a Karrnathi skeleton warrior. The last room of the night contains 3 portals the first is to Shavarath the eternal Battlefield it’s seals are completely gone, the second is to Risia the Plain of Ice, it’s seals are intact , finally the portal to Thelanis the Faerie Court, it’s seals are intact as well. Also within the room are 5 Fragments 3 living spells and The Flayed. The caster and the living spells begin hitting the group hard while the battle between the melee fighters is equally savage in the end after nearly losing most of the party they kill the last of the creatures in the room. This day of exploration has led to the discovery of many portals and the knowledge that someone is trying to open them. But Who? Also who were those Undead with the pins? Why are some portals important and some not? Finally can they survive if they encounter a larger group or if they encounter any of Nar Trigs lieutenants? This will be a challenge indeed.

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So what did you say to make them this angry....

As they rest in the room of alchemical reagents Jarinth notices that the bottles have a secret code on them, Minarick using magical help translates the writing. It is in Aether the secret language of the undead. Also discovered in the room is a flat stone with the mark of Khyber the dragon below. It has latent magic on it that when activated casts a message on the far wall “Speak of the Dead to Enter Khyber’s Lair.” Not only is this cryptic message discovered but they also learn that the bottles of reagents should have 34 more bottles than are present i the room and they are all labeled in Aether, marked with either a number or a name or warning. The numbers seem to be usage labels such as use first second etc. but much is being guessed at. Having exhausted all options even hurried prayers to their respective gods they reluctantly leave and open the door directly across from them beyond is a hall filled with coin sized studs that leave no area of the floor uncovered. With his first step Dredarious Waridon trips a arc flash trap that vaporizes his right foot. With the paladin maimed Venerick Hilts takes the lead and gets 10’ farther before he triggers a similar trap that removes his left foot. 20’ of hall 2 maimed party members things are looking quite grim. The wounds are treated as best as possible and pegs are attached to allow movement and they press on. After triggering the final arc trap they find themselves confronted with a pit trap followed by a suspension bridge with bells on its underside they make it across and don’t fall prey to the trap that is the entire ceiling one missed shot against the bats that the bells call would unleash tons of water to wash them from the bridge to their deaths. beyond is a room with four chests and an armored figure with a strange symbol dreaming_dark_symbol.jpg They will learn it is an agent of the dreaming dark an agent of the Quori. He radiates evil his armor radiates not only evil but malice and hatred.th_5.jpg a brutal fight ensues but he is eventually defeated. Ven and Dred can’t even approach the armor left behind as the corpse itself becomes a dark malevolent cloud that seeps into the cracks of the ceiling. They loot the chests the final one is rigged to destroy its contents if any but its own key is used they manage to open it and get the precious restoration creams inside. Restored and renewed they continue. Beyond is a room of torture an half-living is being tortured by 3 more members of the dreaming dark. They defeat them after another brutal fight. They talk to the council and get confirmation of some questions but only after much denial. During the call however they meet a “Reforged” a flamboyant warforged devoid of it’s heavy armor but loaded with personality perhaps too much personality but he gives them valuable intel on what is going on since they have been away. The info is as follows:

  1. Lighting Rails shut down from an attack by The Huluud
  2. The Broken Children attack and capture a skyship for possible reverse engineering.
  3. large military force sent to Dor Maleer to search for a Dream Merchant in the area
    he then sends them a scroll through the link and makes a hasty retreat.
    the room beyond has 4 drum locks and only a partial floor as they solve the puzzle they are attacked by some dark cloud being in the shape of a humanoid it attempts a possession of Rabbit but fails th__1_.jpg enraged it tries for Jarinth and fails again it then attempts to kill them by triggering the floor traps but even that fails. it leaves and the party overcomes the trap to move on to the final encounter of the night. A showdown between 2 Fragments ,2 Marrow and The Flayed. the battle is the most brutal combat they have had yet nearly killing several members of the group and nearly leaving Dredarious blind. What were they guarding? What is going on with the inspired? Who are the Dreaming Dark? Who are the Lords of Dust they have learned about? Finally who is this new Reforged? Much has been uncovered but so much more remains a mystery? With the fights getting harder can they keep going without any help from the council? If they do ask for help can they trust anyone the council sends?
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He Knows you throw that right..........
The Cleric of the healer is grateful for his freedom from the torture he was enduring. Despite his pain he answers the questions that he can and offers them a blessing of healing and he does his best to restore Minarik Ironwine‘s eye. He then summons a bodyguard to help him escape and takes his leave wishing the party luck. As they leave they come to the next door beyond it Jarinth hears the sounds of torture only part of it is in a language he understands. By the time they enter the room all that is left are limbs bolted to the floor and wet crunching sounds coming from a small room just to the east of the entrance. Dredarious Waridon leads the party into the next hallway for a brief moment at the edge of his vision he sees the headsman from the dark court and upon the breeze at his ear he hears an ominous threat against Venerick Hilts and as soon as he appears he is gone. As distressing as it is they must push on as they move down the corridor they are set upon by a living spell it attacks and in a stunning move the bard charges with the 2 melee specialists only he decides to jam a xen’drik boomerang into the thing and critically hit and kill it. Beyond the next door is a room with strange tiles 2 of each tile are in the room and each tile has a different thing either in it or written on it the one directly before them is the first problem they must solve it will dismiss the Paladin. Jarinth does his best to alter it to something harmless and it appears that he succeeds for no dismissal occurs although something does happen but the party knows not what occurred. The next door is locked and as they are examining the tiles they hear someone say fuck it and a click followed by the emergence of a spell turret every 6 seconds it fires a spell across the room first rust ray followed by lightning bolt, burning hands and finally disintegrate then it resets for 6 seconds and goes through the spells again. They get by it with precise timing and spell use but waiting for them is a member of the marrow they are one of the lowest of the order known as the marrow of the fingers .corse.jpg

It is dispatched but not before it can injure many party members, the area beyond its corpse comes to a t in the hall one way leads to a sweet smell the other intense cold they go towards the heat and find a cauldron and troughs in the floor and the room radiates intense heat not wishing to deal with the area without knowing what is down the other hall they check out the intense cold. It turns out to be as bad as the heat massive coils of super freezing air are capable of drawing the very heat from their bodies and far worse is the golem that is emerging from it. First believed to be some form of stone it turns out to be raw sugar and it is capable of encasing things in molten sugar CrystalGolem.jpg

It is a costly battle that includes a rare failed song from Minarik

but once more the party triumphs. They go on to learn of how these poor creatures are made living hosts bound inside heated and heavily magicked sugar then brought to the cooling area and left to solidify for future use. The molds are massive and iron and the party doubts they can damage them but the room beyond is a small storage area filled with many liquids from all around the kingdom some beneficial some vile it is decided to stock up on potions and rest in this room which will be easy to defend should the need arise. They are now lost in this underground complex and worse the 3rd council is calling again. What could they want now it hasn’t even been a day since they last spoke.

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Judgement Day

Either the Neverman is an illusion or they are incorporeal at times either is troubling to say the least. The next room however does not contain an illusion. The room is the Court of the Eternal Judges in the middle of the room is a headsman and 2 guards. The Judge passes sentence on on the party and although Dredarious Waridon makes a valid argument the judge will not be swayed. Dred passes judgement of his own and combat ensues, the guards are brutal combatants and in a few exchanges leave 3 members of the party in pools of blood and out of the fight. “Rabbit” rallies the survivors and they kill the guards. The headsman just stands watching as the y regroup and heal to his astonishment Venerick Hilts attacks him ,a mighty blow he parries effortlessly and then he marks Venerick with some form of arcane magic upon his neck while his name becomes etched in arcane runes on the blade of his axe. Dred intercedes and allows Ven to back away the headsman just watches and smiles as they leave. With that still heavy on their minds they proceed to an area said to be the “void” it shifts locations and the group decides to take the stairs down. While adventuring on the lower level they get an answer to a question in a manner more direct than they would like. A neverman begins ambushing them and in turn all but Jarinth is brutally attacked and left near dead. The aftermath of each attack is that a brain parasite is left behind which must be removed, The only one to not have that done is the bard who loses an eye in the attack and although it is returned in the worst way possible it is not the same and anything seen through the eye is a twisted parody evoking feelings of overwhelming hate and rage. Other rooms on this level require leaping over pits, which is done with some difficulty, a forest filled with horrific hybrid creatures one of whom is charmed by the bard with a song

. The creature having the body of a bear but its fore paws have been replaced one with an anaconda the other by a hammerhead shark wanders away and the party decides to leave it be it goes north so they go south. After hiding in a water closet to avoid a patrol and encountering the forest filled with hybrids , a lab filled with Inspired being drained of the essence of Dal Quor for who knows what another lab filled with surgical equipment which they assume is used to make the hybrids. the choice is made to go back upstairs and try a new location in the void room. As they are heading back they are contacted by the inspired for an update of their progress. When they report about the draining they are linked directly to one of The Quori in person. This gives them a rare glimpse of an actual one not in a host body but they also learn that The casters choker hides her from their mind abilities because they believe her dead. on the way to the stairs they run into the patrol they avoided before. As combat begins the beast the bard has befriended hears him cry out and in a rage attacks and kills the patrol allowing the party to continue back to the stairs. They do not lead back to the void room but to a new area altogether. They surprise a torturer who is plying his trade on 4 helpless victims he is quickly dispatched and although 3 of the victims choose to die rather than go on, one is saved and upon questioning they learn much of the early life of Nar Trig. They Learn the following.

  • Nar was in the great war
  • He went to a shrine with these 4 men he was torturing during the war
  • He worships a strange “goddess” whose symbol is a faceless image with seven stars or eyes
  • He acquired a book with brass binding that had the symbol of his goddess on it
  • He has on more than one occasion let someone live because " she would not like it were he to kill them"
  • The shrine is now in the Mournlands
  • the 4 captives were taken from towns in 4 different provinces
  • Nar said that there were uses for the power of the dreamlands that The Quori could not conceive of it could be used to hold nightmarish creatures together.

It is useful information but what on eberron could it all mean? What made Nar change into the creature he has become? What happened with Venerick and the headsman? Why can’t the Quori see the Caster but the inspired can? Finally what will they find when they finally encounter Nar or his lieutenants , the future is still shrouded in mystery perhaps they are closer to answers than they think………….perhaps.

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