Can we fix it?

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  • GM: Miles Jackson
  • Time: Summer 809 WK
  • Day: Wednesdays
  • Level: Low - Medium
The Party
  1. Dirk - a very strong goblin warrior, military scientist (and his wolf Shadow)
  2. Dwork - Bodyguard, male prostitute and wielder of a massive flaming glaive. Over-powered, over-sexed and over-here. For hire - in soo many ways
  3. Theodonna - a Namer and looks like a female human, but isn’t quite
  4. Melco - pretty boy human, celestial herbalist
  5. Anook - now what does he look like again? Oh, small and frigid
  6. Cyan - a human Mind Mage
  7. Zanak - A young human male Pirate who likes to acquire pretty dresses. He engages in Healing and being a Mind Mage
  8. Astrid - The inhabitant of Golem guild/healer 6'3' scandanavian beauty (NPC)

1st of Heat - Aunty Karakas and the Anti-Ants

The Mission

Well, back a year or so a bunch of Seagate Adventures were not quite able to finish saving a universe Living on the Edge. Now Kaladan (an 'enlightened' Kalimar binder) wants the job finished. Dirk was 'geas'ed at the end of that mission, so he's a starter! Kaladan has sent Astrid (a gorgeous 6 foot 3 inch golem - inhabited by the spirit of an ancient not so enlightened Kalimar) to the guild to organise things.

  • First stop is to find Flint-moss - an ancient shaper friend of Kaladan the party employer. He has a temper and is 15,000 years old.
  • Dirk is elected party leader, with Melco as military scientist and Dwork as scribe (assisted by Zanak as needed)
  • What's our reward? (I hear you say). If we succeed Kaladan will shape a custom item for each of us. If we fail we will die.
Karakas the Witch

In the evening we fly to Karakas' place, 30 miles from town - to get potions and enchantments to aid our quest. We find that her cottage has been infested with 'space ants'. There are about 50 dead ants around the house and a number of chopped up golems. Karakas is wounded and Elenna (her assistant) is damaged. Most importantly, the witches' cauldron has been taken.

We follow the ant trail to a small mound guarded by 8 (soon to be dead) ants. Down the tunnels we track until we come across a barrier that seems to stop all magic. The orc fireball's anyway and backfires (but good). A female Kalimar disappears up a side passage, but gets burnt (but good).

The cauldron laden Queen Ant is completing a ritual behind the barrier, but we attack and slice the straps holding on the cauldron. Dwork and Theodonna disrupt the barrier by messing up the sticks and runes on the ground around the queen.

The Queen Ant is really upset with the female Kalimar. She teleports off and kills her only transport off of this plane. We get to loot the body (choice!)

Cyan casts mind speech on the ant queen and finds out that the ants are now trapped on this plane. The dead Kalimar who provided the plane travel here was Khal-Grief other wise know as Grief. Grief's boss was a minor godling by the name of Starrock

The elf Klunna von straun employed the ant queen to recover the cauldron.

Karacas Discussions

The witch knows quite a bit about the people and places we are going to. Flintmoss originally made her cauldron – and it was ‘acquired’ by Karakas from Grafspire. The caldron was created to be able to find things. The witch also knew Astrid back when she was an evil Kalimar.

Zanak spends some time making the witch happy - and we all benefit.

2nd of Heat – We Depart

After Anook (who is he again?) gets 6 ice cubes itemised (20x20x20) and we get a source of emergency air (7 people 3 hours)

Astrid ports us to the ship. Kinross the gnomish captain tends to be distracted when faced by mechanisms (or even ideas for mechanisms), but seems skilled at his job.

3rd of Heat – We Travel

We travel – and set the ship to scan for dark matter as we go (worth money that!)

4th of Heat – We Fight

Ahoy – there’s dark matter in that-thar asteroid!

We suit-up (Anook in an ice-cube) and head over to the holey rock. The tunnels have an aura of disintegration (smooth sided) and soon we make it to a large chamber – yes, inhabited by a large worm.

Its' skin is embedded with dark matter and it spits a pretty good web, grabbing Dirk and Dwork and dragging them in. Dwork gets annoyed when a lick of the tongue disintegrates his shiny new armour and he hits it with his electric glaive, setting of a chain dark matter explosion (somebody warned us about that, but the orc does not have a good memory). Fries the adventurers badly and fries the worm much worse.

By the time we have finished it off, Theodonna is also naked (who hoo!), Dirk, Dwork and the naked namer have been swallowed and cut their way out – and we collect more dark matter (as well as some other salvage). An ice cube floats around the chamber making itself useful.

5th of Heat – Grafspire

Avoiding the trap of a small black dark matter rich ship (mummy was just around the corner), we sight Grafspire - 25 mile long spire of rock with one large city (Grafspire) a smaller fortified city (Dalegadrian) and some sort of dockyard building/wrecking site

Well, we got in and we got out.

In the process we met people, gave bribes, gathered information, witnessed combat, got attacked, escaped and departed – all of us covered in doodoo and some of us naked

Flinders
  • a talkative gnome Namer at the docks who identifies mind mages ‘All mind mages must wear collars’ (Cyan refuses and stays in the ship)
  • The Trolls Heart: a tavern in the ‘The Pits’ (full of tarts) where we might get a guide to the Tangles (where the Troll Mart and Flintmoss may be). Look for Gadget or The Ferret
  • The Sailors Delight: another tavern in the Pits.
  • Willemina: the chief Bitch of the Pits (a place of dubious business practice)
  • Rock Ape kidnappers: people have gone missing (over the last 2 months), snatched from the streets
Amelia
  • Once the wife of one of the members of the Free Traders that ran the rock, but since he died 6 months ago, she has taken control of the city. Turns out to be an evil mind mage (is there any other sort?)
  • Mind Mage collars: enforced by Amelia. They let Amelia read mind mage minds (she’s already got everybody else covered) and prevents the use of “intrusive” mind spells.
The Lady Black
  • a ½ elf Kalimar arrives soon after us (with guards) and is met by Amelia (with Rock Apes). Combat ensues. We approach in a jolly boat.
  • Dwork thinks ‘Hmm, I’m in fireball range’. Amelia immediately dispatches a fireball in our direction. How did that happen? And how could you possibly blame the orc?
  • The Lady Black is losing the combat – and disappears. Amelia talks to us ‘We wouldn’t lie to you! I don’t think I can lie to you. (so true)
  • We find out later that The Lady Black’s trading establishment was destroyed 3 months ago (by Amelia)
The Pits
  • Anook talks to Gadget (the goggled one likes small boys)
  • Theodonna gets offered a job by Willemina (Namers are in demand)
  • We flee the Trolls heart as recommend by Pondscum (Willemina’s gopher) to Willemina. Now, Willow is a BIG woman (40 stone) and she takes a great liking of the orc (why not!)
  • Trollmart is now controlled by Amelia too, but Willow will help us if we rescue someone from Trollmart for her
  • The orc scores! (nearly) but D&W are interrupted by Amelia’s gas grenado bearing rock apes. As the Lady Amelia arrives we retreat through the service tunnels (yes the sewers)
Escape
  • Willemina comes along as a slender woman (she wouldn't otherwise fit)
  • Gadget comes along too
  • Dirk faces down an ice hound. Dirk gets turned into an ice cube. The orc sets fire to the methane (again) and Anook finishes the dog off and sets up a wall of ice behind us.
  • We make it off the rock – ice cube in tow.

We make it back to our ship and depart for the Trollmart (2 days away). Cyan takes a quick look/smell of us, mutters in disgust and tells us to shower before he will talk to us. We shower. Theodonna brings Dirk back from being a frigid statue. It takes her 3 hours and the odd backfire but there doesn’t seem to be any permanent damage. Dwork and Willemina take up where they left off (fornicating) and Dwork seems mightily impressed by Willows new skin tight leather outfit that covers her full 40 stone. Gadget, despite his propensity for little boys, is impressed by Dworks eagerness to please his mistress, and makes a new set of armour for him.

6th of Heat – What Willemina wants

When Dwork and Willemina finally return to our group she tells us about Corundum. He has been captured by Amelias forces and is held in an enchanted cell somewhere. He is a powerful shaper and is a descendant of Flintmoss. She wants us to locate and rescue him. We agree since Willemina will reward us and he seems to be the only clue we have to Flintmoss. With only a ½ day to go we come across an elf mining an asteroid. He is riding a space worm. Dirk, Dwork and Theodonna remind us of the outcome of our last space worm encounter and strongly suggest we don’t repeat it. We leave him alone.

7th of Heat – Trollmart

Willemina gives us disguises and aura alterations. She also gives us a note for Corundum asking him to cooperate with us. We stay in the Spit Roast Goat Inn then visit the House of Corundum. There we meet an old truthsayer called Furnace who also asks us to help Corundum. Meanwhile Cyan has been mentally tracking an individual with too much interest in us till he disappears behind a magic field a few buildings away.

The Trap is Sprung

We follow Cyan to a passageway leading to some stairs and a locked door. A little boy who Dirk and Anook befriended says the people in the room stole Corundum. We leap into action. After a short but furious battle most of us regain consciousness. Dirk seems to have shredded his body into 99 pieces. Needless to say he is dead. Seems he got turned into a gas form and sucked into a glass bottle. In his attempt to transform into an ape or some such large animal he failed to notice the glass bottle was made from bound glass. He made quite a mess! We also notice we have only survived because Furnace and his fellow trolls came and kicked some rock ape arse. It seems Helena and Portia (the 2 elves who work for Amelia and control her kidnapping gang) were here but managed to teleport away. They left behind a gnome called Pigsty. He is a namer/binder who caused most of the damage to our party from lots of complicated traps.

He pleads for his life and says Corundum is being held in Grafspire.

Rescuing Corundum

While Furnace fashions a golem body for Dirks spirit Theodonna divinates the items found in the space worm from several days ago. Why she didn’t do it on the 2 day trip we don’t know. There is a main gauche which she takes an instant liking to (actually she won’t give it up to any of us – probably a bad sign), a ring with some Strength of Stone charges, and the scroll tube (minor god cursed) which seems to be trapped with a time effect bomb. We wisely leave it alone. Dirk is pleased with his new temporary body of a Dwarf Troll Golem as it is 6 foot 6 tall. Dwork is happy too, but for a different reason. Furnace gives us 6 Dwarf Trolls (in a berserker rage) to come through and help in rescuing Corundum. Zanak follows the portal back to Grafspire from which Helena and Portia arrived through. Furnace offers one other bit of information. It appears Corundum has the racial memories of Flintmoss (or could he be Flintmoss?!?).

We set the order as Dirk, Anook and Cyan, then Dwork, Theodonna (in rat form) and an ally, Melco and an ally, then finally Zanak and the rest of the Dwarf Trolls.

A Javelin to the Belly

The party leaps through the portal and finds themselves in a single hex cell with razor sharp bars. There are 4 golems thrusting their Javelins into us and trying to pull us into the bars for a very messy death. Anook freezes a side of the cell and shatters it. Eventually the group gets out of the cell relatively unharmed.

What do you mean Relatively Unharmed?
  • Dirk gets skewered but being a golem it doesn’t really bother him.
  • Theodonna scurries out of the cell in rat form but is pursued by Dworks panther. She turns back into a human just in time. (That could have been a best death award!)
  • The panther is picked up by a golem and is used to assault Dirk.
  • Melco is seriously wounded and has a gusher from his right arm. Zanak tries to stabilise him but the room seems to be preventing the healing process. He is eventually stabilized by getting him into the hallway.

Cyan saves the day by windwalking the golems and they disappear for a few minutes.

The Room of Statues

Once out of the room we find an intersection. The corridor opposite us leads to an open room with 6 statues. They are in unusual positions. The corridor to the left is darkened. The corridor on the right is filled with 6 orks. The dwarf trolls repulse them and they turn to flee. Anook and Dirk cast spells to block the corridor so they can’t raise the alarm.

The statue room has a magical effect on the floor and a hidden rear door. We know about that because one of the dwarf trolls is trying to locate Corundum and can feel him 50 feet away. The floor turns sentients into stone statues. Anook covers the floor in a foot thick pad of ice and it seems to protect us. Theodonna proves her usefulness once again (she has saved our bacon many times already) and untraps the door. She seems to have a counter spell for everything… From behind the door we hear “Gorak Come”. There are some very loud footsteps coming.

Gorak Comes

2 black shadowy insubstantial figures come through the door (black skinned goblins) and attack Theodonna and Dirk. Dwork strikes Dirks one and the 2 figures disappear. Through the door strides Gorak. Behind him we can see 2 prison cells and some torture chambers.

All spells thrown at Gorak fizzle out before they reach him. It seems he has an anti-magic field around him. We quickly devise a plan to lure him back to the portal room so Cyan can sneak past him from a side corridor. Cyan would then free Corundum and all we need to do is escape through a Zanak portal. Simple enough really. Of course this assumes everyone did as they were told. Melco mutters to himself “what if I step into this unnaturally dark corridor?” and is promptly sucked into the darkness. His screams are cut short. We carry on with the plan while commenting on that “silly Melco”. Gorak is huge and slow but shapechanges to be smaller and faster. All bar one of the remaining Dwarf Trolls attack Gorak. They do a surprising amount of damage before being killed. We manage to kill Gorak with an assortment of arrows and grenados.

A Trap in Time

There are 4 beings chained to the walls in the cells. 2 are humans (a namer and a mind mage) but they are totally insane. The third is a gnome binder called Keystone who built this place and it turns out Amelia thought of him as a loose end so gave him to Gorak to “play with”. He is quite keen to help us get out. The last person is Flintmoss (from 15,000 years ago !!!) who has been swapped in time with Corundum. He was in the process of building the Heart of Darkness when he was so rudely displaced in time. He warns us to stay away from him as Amelias trap is to send us all back in time if we touch Flintmoss.

Meanwhile Melco has been petrified and broken into 86 pieces. We can see 2 spheres down his corridor. One is a time trap and the other has a TK Rage spell. With Keystones help we capture the time trap sphere and rescue Melcos pieces. We take the dead trolls and the unconscious mages back to Grafspire. Dirk is the last to step through the portal and gives a rude gesture to Amelia as she portals into Goraks building.

Back on Grafspire

We divinate Flintmoss. Starrock (the godling who sent the ant queen to trouble us on the first day) has been working with Amelia to stop Flintmoss from completing the Heart of Darkness. It is his power that has caused the time traps and time displacements. The concept of all this time trapping is too much for Dwork so he has a sleep. With the help of Furnace and his friends we get Melco and Dirk back into their own bodies. Dirk divinates Theodonna (she is also asleep) and we can now see the main gauche has been cursed by Starrock (he gets around). Whilst it gives her some benefits in battle is stops others near her casting and healing doesn’t work as well. To remove the curse takes more than we can muster. Anook fixes the problem by turning it to ice and it melts away. Theodonna is not pleased when she awakes but what can she do about it now?!?

Furnace looks at Zanaks pitiful cutlass and offers to make a new improved one for him. He says to come back in 3 days.

With most of the day gone we decide to portal to our ship and take control again. Keystone offers to help but has second thoughts once he realizes how mad we really are. Just as we are preparing to leave a warning signal reverberates through Grafspire. A huge asteroid is on a collision course and we need to get out now. The whole living quarters portion of Grafspire detaches and moves away from the main body of Grafspire.

Taking our Ship Back – Part One

Once we are clear we open a portal to the ship and step through. There are several trolls and a female human on board. She claims to own the ship and the previous captain and Astrid are long gone. After some clever negotiating on dirks part we agree to swap the ship for the galleon Portia and Helena have. Of course we need to commandeer it first. She says it will take 3 weeks to get back to the trollmart. We all look around puzzled till Zanak mentions his lizard says there is something warping the portal it opened. On closer inspection we identify Starrocks aura on the portal. Damn it we have moved 3 weeks into the future. Dwork rolls his eyes as it is all too much for him.

We step back through the portal and then divinate the lizard. It has certainly been affected by Starrock. The upgrade Karakas did to it gave Starrock an opening. The dwarf Troll shaman does a true sensing ritual and Melcos shadow splits off from him. Starrocks Avatar attempts to flee into space but Zanak, upset his poor lizard had been misused, mental attacks him into submission. The shaman puts it into a soul jar. Flintmoss commandeers it to use in completing the Heart of Darkness ritual. Actually this is a good thing as he can sacrifice the god essence instead of his own. Melco takes a small beating for being so silly in the first place.

Taking our Ship Back – Part Two

Sick of being toyed with we try to rescue our ship again. In the process we kill Helena but Portia teleports away. The ship warns us there is something strange in the rear room. We tell the ship to return to Mollys where the captain and Astrid were dropped off while we investigate the rear room.

Of course the room is trapped with an alarm signal once the door is opened. It will alert someone called Melena. The thing in the room is a living pulsing crystal which Flintmoss recognizes as a Time Creature. It is very rare and dangerous, and thus valuable, so we come up with a plan to capture it. In the meantime Anook drops off Helenas body for a resurrection and to have her items divinated (Chain Mail, ring and rapier). The creature is probably a trap to ensnare us so we decide to try capturing Melena instead. She is likely to be a Time Mage and bound to be in the employ of Starrock. The plan is simple. Have the ship eject the time creature and the surrounding “bubble of force” then trigger the alert to Melena, lay down a time special counter (Theodonna just learned it) and take her by surprise. Cyan is a bit concerned she could be too much for us but Dwork and Zanak are only interested in the possible booty she would have. Dirk reluctantly agrees with the Ork and the crazy pirate.

  • scribe note – Dirk seems to agree with the pirate quite a bit for the next few hours, almost as if he wasn’t really in control of himself.
Taking on a Time Mage

The plan is enacted. The time creature is safely deposited on an asteroid and the door to the room is opened. Instead of Melena 4 goblins appear. We dispatch them in a matter of seconds but Theodonna and Dwork seem to have taken some massive damage. The damage appears to be time effected as it hasn’t really happened yet. – it could have been worse…

Anook does something unintentionally clever and puts a coating of snow down on the floor. Instantly we see some foot prints which lead to the control room. Melena has been very clever and waltzed right through us, interrogated the ship, replayed the last few minutes and listened to our plans and escaped. The time creature is no longer on the asteroid. Damn she is good.

What to do next? Follow her of course. Zanak follows her portal and we step through. There are 2 rooms. The first has Portia, naked and chained to a torture device, an undead male human (also chained to the wall) and Melena. The second room has the time creature and Portias belongings (blue robes, a rapier, an amulet and 2 rings). We can also see Amelias head on a pike in the corner.

Anook hits the undead male and does some good damage. Of course then he is drained and the creature is whole again. Dirk tries to hit Melena but she keeps teleporting to other spots in the room. When Dwork comes through the portal he finds himself right next to Melena. He swings and misses. She touches him with her little finger and his right arm nearly drops off. He swings with his left arm but misses again.

Dirk, Anook and Melco keep the undead male busy till he falls unconscious while Zanak, Dwork, Theodonna try to hit Melena. Cyan, using telepathy, locates her mind several stories above us, and casts phantasm to hinder her. Melena teleports into the second room and unleashes the time creature. In the heartbeat it takes her to do this Dirk, Anook, Melco and Dwork engage her. Dwork gets in the final blow that kills her. She cries out “I am coming my Lord!” and sags to the ground.

We all run for the portal as the time creature ages the ship around us at a rate of 10,000 years per pulse. Cyan, Zanak and Dwork make it through unharmed. Theodonna, Melco and Dirk make it back but are cursed to age 10,000 years and appear to be dead. Melco had Melenas body. Anook takes a bit longer to come through. The ship disintegrated around him. Fortunately he encased himself in ice and managed to gather some treasure before going into the portal. He has some gold and silver, some dark matter and a great axe.

The Interrogation

Flintmoss uses the god essence to try and remove the aging curse. Dirk fails and needs to be resurrected. Dirk doesn’t appear to have suffered any endurance loss from the resurrection.

We send the rest of the night healing the party and divinating the loot. We get Helena and Portia resurrected (Portia died when the ship disintegrated) and question them. There jobs were to take out any Mind Mages or Namers that came near Flintmoss. Amelias job was to stop any powerful binders for getting in Melenas way. Given that her head was on a stake (which Anook brought back) we think she didn’t do a very good job. We think we will sell Amelias head to Lady Black.

Portia heard Melena talking to an insubstantial figure several times. We think this was Starrock. Melena talked about “wiping the slate clean and reforming the plane”, although Portia didn’t realize the ramifications of this.

Melena also organised a group of assassins to kill Kaladan. We send an emissary to his court (courtesy of Zanaks lizard) and inform Kaladan. He returns through the portal to see Flintmoss.

Helena, Portia and Amelia originated in Alusia. Helena and Portia were pacted to a demon, while Amelia was pacted to Starrock.

Kaladan and Flintmoss agree that the Heart of Darkness needs to be fixed in this time to stop any time paradoxes. We all just agree because the time ramifications are just too confusing.

Technically we have completed the assigned mission but as we didn’t have any fixed plans for the next few weeks we decide to stay and help. Also Flintmoss says he won’t have time to make our special items till he returns from saving the universe…

It has been a long day. We all rest and recuperate.

8th of Heat – Off to Mollies

It is 8am and we discuss the plan for today. It seems the gnomes know how to get into the black hole. They routinely slip in and acquire (steal) black matter. Gadget and Pondscum are known to be involved. Gadget is in the Sailor Delight back on Grafspire. Pondscum is in Mollies. Flintmoss tells us Starrock can’t take physical form. He seems to exist in all times, by which he means he can travel through time. Because of this he can keep skipping through time to see what we plan to do and come up with devious plans to stop us. We decide to forgo any more planning till we get into the Heart of Darkness, where time doesn’t exist in the same way.

We think when we fix the Heart of Darkness the Universe Barrier will disappear and we will be able to leave this plane.

Zanaks lizard has remembered the Trollmart Habitation and can now open a portal back to it anytime.

Kaladan reminds us the Assassins will not stop till the contract is completed, or they die. We scoff at them. After all how tough can they be?

At Mollies

Zanaks lizard reports that it feels like it has been interfered with again. Anook saves the day by slipping his god protection ring onto the lizard and the portal to our ship opens with out incident. It takes us 3 hours to get to Mollies but we do the last 30 minutes in stealth mode. Flintmoss and Kaladan spent the trip making Flintmoss safe to be near.

There are a couple of small but very fast Space Manta ships docked, a few gnomish vessels and a large Galleon. Dirk has a bad feeling about the galleon.

We wisely use a crystal ball to checkout the people in Mollies Bar. The ship locates her captain in a back room. He is injured but Astrid is healing him.

Asides from Molly and some serving wenches, there are:

  • Gnomes – 2 male, 2 female. They look like miners so could be useful if we can’t find Pondscum.
  • 8 armoured humans. There are some assassins in the group.
  • A large bearish looking rotund guy. He has a staff and 3 floozies hanging around him.
  • An old grey haired guy with a Minotaur and Ork for guards. The Ork is an assassin.
  • Another human with very gaudy clothing, lots of bling and an impressive bow. He has 6 gorgeous girls around him, like groupies.
  • Sailors. Between 40 and 50.

Something has given us away. The 3 floozies walk out of the inn and head in our direction. The large rotund guy gets up and assaults the 4 gnomes. Only one of them manages to get out before all hell breaks loose.

The 3 floozies turn into Time Vampires and fly towards us at tremendous speed. The gaudy guy and the old guy disappear. The other patrons scatter. Astrid, Shadow, the ships captain and Willemina race towards the docks.

The time vampires are reflecting our magics back at us. We lead them on a quick trip around the asteroid and get back to the docks in time to save our friends and the gnome. There is an angry guy in green plate armour on the galleon who recognizes Dirk and swears bloody murder at him. Apparently his name is Jasper and he is an abomination. Dirk met him last time he tried to save the Heart of Darkness.

Just before we get on the ship and make our escape the time vampires catch up and strike. They knock Melco over (he stuck his head up to see where they were (doh!). Anook manages to hit one. While they turn around (still flying at speed) we jump on the ship and it easily outpaces them.

Taking on the Assassins

The gnome (Matty) confirms he knows how to get into the Heart of Darkness. Pondscum knew too but was abducted by Melena a few days ago. Willimena identifies the 3 assassins as:

  • Boris – the bear shaped guy
  • Weasel – the old guy
  • Frederick – the gaudy one

We quickly decide to take on the assassins while we have the element of surprise. They are based at Amelias torture place (where we found Flintmoss). The plan is simple. Using the gnome we captured earlier, in exchange for his freedom, we will storm the place using our lizards ability to follow portals. We rescue the other gnomes, maybe loot Amelias private quarters and dispatch the unsuspecting assassins, making Kaladan even happier with us.

Cyan tells us we are idiots but we pay him no attention. We buff up and storm through. Within seconds 5 of us are dead (thanks goodness for Trollskin) and only Cyan and Theodonna are alive. We have killed one assassin called Frederick the Flash. Well actually Flintmoss did the killing by placing a razor wire trap on his side of the portal (Cyan warned him Frederick was coming through) and sliced and diced him. Boris sends a rat through the portal just before it closes offering to exchange Frederick and his belongings for Melco. As a side note Frederick managed to kill the Weasel with his fireballs, which toasted a few of us too.

We get healed (Astrid rocks!) and Theodonna checks out Fredericks gear. He has some red leather armour (fire protection), a ring (stops the Golems from attacking) and a main gauche (Mind Mage Killer). The rat turns out to be a Sonic Bat with some impressive telepathic abilities. We decide Melco isn’t worth all this loot so we renegotiate. The final tally is Melco (and Fredericks gold cloak and medallion, as well as 2 gnomes) will be exchanged for the main gauche. We can keep Fredericks body (he wasn’t a good enough assassin if we managed to kill him) and his gear. Boris also agrees to give us a 24 hour head start before chasing Kaladan again. This seems quite convenient as it will take us 24 hours to get to the Heart of Darkness.

Melco and the two gnomes are healed. They are called Penelope and Matty and they have a ship which can do the trip in 12 hours. They use a “bubble of force” to protect themselves and their ship in the Heart of Darkness. In fact there is a whole mini community in the Heart of Darkness where traders and miners search out more black matter.

9th of Heat – The Heart of Darkness

We resurrect the binder who was helping us storm Amelias place and drop him off at Mollies. We portal to Kaladans Palace to get rank 20 witchsight. Kaladan reminds us he can do Quickness. If he had reminded us a bit earlier maybe we wouldn’t all have died!!!

We reach the Heart of Darkness with 8 hours to spare of our 24 before Boris commences his attacks on Kaladan. Zanaks lizard has remembered the Small Ship so we can escape from the bad place quickly when all hell breaks loose.

Flintmoss offers two suggestions:

  • We proceed to the center of the Heart of Darkness and give Flintmoss 30 minutes uninterrupted so he can stabilize it. There is a mini plane/sphere about 10 miles across. Dirk remembers part of it well.
  • We extract a large enough cargo of Dark Matter so that when the Heart of Darkness implodes it doesn’t do enough to destroy the whole universe.

The second option seems really dangerous as we would need to use our spaceship to get the dark matter away and every man and his dog will be shooting at us. We can all see the huge explosion that volume of dark matter would cause, with us sitting right at the center…

We encourage some other gnomes to pretend to be doing the second plan while we attempt the first one.

We purchase a wagon and tunnel on through to the center. Theodonna can recognize a Dark Matter Dragon in close proximity but nothing untoward happens. The trip takes us 4 hours.

Into the Castle

The terrain is quite hilly. The land is rocky but quite plain. There aren’t that many distinguishing features. Off to our right we see the citadel Dirk so fondly remembers. Off to our left is a small castle. It looks a bit like a French Chateau and is about 4 miles away. We leave the wagon secured behind a hill and buff up. As we head off we see 2 creatures break away from the citadel. Flintmoss says they are Dark Matter Shadows and have an immunity to attacks. Dirk shudders again. Our magic casting is likely to have attracted their attention. Best not to be here when they arrive.

Cyan puts most of us into his magic carpet (another dimension) and windwalks himself, Dirk and Theodonna to the rear castle walls. Kaladan makes his own way. It seems a tad unusual but there was nothing we could do to stop him anyway.

Cyan notices a large black armoured troll on the rooftop. It jumps down near the front of the castle. On his telepathy he can sense 2 beings inside. One is a troll (12 foot tall, heavy black plate armour) and the other is bored human thinking “when will they arrive?”. Turns out she is a grey haired female who is quite strong in TH Rage and has a staff of anti-magic.

Flintmoss needs to get to the basement for 30 minutes. There is a secret passage below the stairs.

By now it is about midday. The troll from the rooftop enters but it isn’t on Telepathy. He says the citadel is “disturbed” and that they should be on guard. Melco casts unseen on us all and the females mind disappears (mind shield most likely). Anook rashly casts an ice construction so we can climb in through a first level window ( the guards are on the 4th floor) and the trolls suddenly become more alert. It appears that casting magic is triggering some alarms. Telepathy reassures us that the trolls think it is the female as she is no longer in their room.

We are in a bedroom. The building is made of bound space whale bone and silk boards. We want to get to the ground floor but the door to the hallway is trapped and any counter spell we use will alert the guards. We peek through the floor boards and see a dining room but it is likely to used regularly so we decide to slip through the side wall into the next room. It is a ladies bedroom (the grey haired lady?). there is a trophy room below this room and we reason it isn’t used much. We lower Dwork through the floor on a rope, making sure he avoids the obviously trapped rugs on the floor. He gets about half way down and suddenly goes stiff (not in the way he wants). The Trolls are now very alert. CRAP!!!

We pull him back up and Kaladan says he is “suspended in time”. We look to Flintmoss for guidance but he says the Chateau was built on top of his workshop and he doesn’t remember much about it.

Cyan can hear the last troll saying “Who should investigate this?”. The last troll powers up and disappears of Telepathy.

We all jump into Cyans magic carpet and powerup (safe from the alarm magic detecting us). Cyan remains on guard in the room but no one is likely to notice him. The door downstairs rattles and Cyan can hear the trolls. Meanwhile the table and bear rug have both come alive (animated) and are forcing there way up through the floorboards.

In the carpet Dwork takes a swing at Dirk and catches him by surprise. Zanak tries to subdue him with mental attack but backfires and knocks himself out. Kaladan steps up to the mark and casts Sleep on Dwork. Theodonna senses that a soul jar spell has been used on Dwork. We wonder if this soul is better than Dworks.

Battle on the Stairwell

The table and the bear make it into our room. Cyan skulks in a corner and they don’t see him. The bear opens the door to the hallway and the TK Rage blasts the room. Fortunately Cyan resists it. The bear and table head out of the room making a fair chunk of noise. The female Kalimar comes down the stairs and the table and bear stop being animated. Cyan can see the female and a troll at the base of the stairs getting ready to enter our room. The woman has a staff which generates a sphere of anti-magic.

The rest of us are all powered up and ready for a fight. We burst forth from the carpet. The troll though gets the drop on us and fires 3 spinning disks of force at us. The first disk slices Melcos left arm off and cripples Flintmoss in one arm. The second hits Kaladan in the arm and he is surprised by the blood pumping forth. The third hits Astrid in the neck and her head falls off. Thankfully she is a golem so she isn’t really dead. Dirk and Anooks Ice Monster race forward to engage the troll. The ice monster gets in a few whacks but ultimately is pummeled to ice crystals. Dirk tries to slip a greek fire grenade between the plates of armour but does a poor job. Cyan manages to take control of the situation, and the troll, and forces him to step into the hole in the floor for the soul trap below. Instantly he loses control of the troll but a new mind comes onto mind Speech for him. It is a female mind saying “I can be free at last!”.

The second troll appears at the top of the stairs where the female Kalimar has retreated to. Flintmoss uses the invulnerable body of Dwork as a shield while Melco falls to the floor unconscious. Anook blocks the passage with an ice construction.

Kaladan Has Been Here Before

Flintmoss mends Astrid and Zanak finally wakes up. Some healing occurs.

Cyan discusses the new minds predicament and offers to help it escape in exchange for Dworks soul (this is uncharacteristic of Cyan and some of the party suspect he is not in his right mind). She was trapped by Kaladan and imprisoned as a head on the wall in the trophy room. She wants three bodies for her and her friends. They were handmaidens for Starrock, who we now discover was female too. It seems like Kaladan is responsible for every female attacking us. He gives a knowing smirk but shrugs off our recriminations. Cyan promises to bring some bodies back for them but he needs Dwork back now to help. She agrees.

Kaladan, who now looks like a male Ork, wakes Dwork up from the sleep spell. He admits he built the chateau to defend Flintmoss’s workshop in the basement but Starrock managed to get through and imprisoned Kaladan in the Citadel, where Dirk first encountered him a year ago.

With the troll and other female Kalimar trapped one level up (no doubt Kaladan slept with her too) we venture down to the ground level. We need to be behind the stairway to get into the secret entrance to the basement but confronting us is the female Kalimar (Keren) and a small dapper man with a lovely top hat. Dirk engages them in conversation about why they want to stop us. Keren, feeling quite safe in her anti-magic bubble, freely tells us Starrock will remake the universe as a “paradise for women”. Dwork sniggers and suggests Kaladan will either not exist or will be a slave to their every need. Kaladan doesn’t appreciate the humour.

Zanaks First “Gold Brick”

Dwork attempts to engage to the dapper young man in conversation but starts of very poorly when he insults the mans dress sense. The man, who it turns out is a demon called the Prince of Fates, pulls out a black deck of cards and offers Dwork one. Dwork pauses and asks what the card is. The man replies “It is a Card of Fate”. Dwork ,being bold, takes one. Nothing happens. Once he retreats out of the anti-magic field though his disappears and his likeness can be seen on the card. Dirk picks the card up.

Dirk weighs up our chances of taking them on in a physical battle. He observes that Keren’s staff is made of Black Oak, she has smoky blue robes, a small silver dagger and a small pouch. She looks like an easy beat. The Prince of Fates is an unknown quantity. Cyan is adamant we should leave them alone but the party feels adventurous. Kaladan casts quickness on us before we leap into action.

At the moment Kaladans spell goes off the 2 disappear. Zanak hears the last words of the Prince of Fates “Fate must be balanced” as a Gold card drops to the floor. Zanak picks it up and finds he can avoid one death. Yippee!!!

Passageway to the Basement

The secret door Flintmoss identifies is trapped and warded by a god, Starrock we presume. Flintmoss tells us about the passageway and the many binder traps he laid. He can allow us to pass them unharmed but his memory is a bit hazy. Now is not the time to leave vital bits of information out so Kaladan, with Flintmoss’s agreement, uses Hypnotism to refresh his memory. We play it safe though as Starrock is bound to have put additional traps on the passageway. We tunnel downwards and enter the passageway about 60 feet from the basement door. The corridor is covered in dust. The door is white with metal spikes.

Theodonna considers using a wish (Chaos Tainted) to bring Dwork back from the card of fate. Zanak offers to give her the golden card of fate if she does but she realizes this is his first useful item and uses the wish pro bono – scribe note – WHEW!!! Dwork reappears but is effected by the chaos nature of the wish.

Dirk seems a bit worried that Kaladan may have missed a few vital pieces of information out about his involvement in this whole affair. With a little threatening he agrees to come clean. Kaladan “borrowed” a skill from Starrock called Time Phase and used it to put the Heart of Darkness out of phase. This was 15,000 years ago. He also confirms that Flintmoss has been affected by a mind spell which has messed with his memory. This occurred in the last few days.

We begin to step forward but we all feel like some bad fates have afflicted us. Zanak feels really clumsy, like he was effected twice. Anook falls over and we hear a click. Theodonna leaps over him but stumbles and sinks into the ground a bit. Another click is heard and the door at the end of the tunnel opens. We can see Starrock bound in place between two pillars near the back of the room. Keren stands beside her and gives her brother (Kaladan) an evil look. There are 12 goblins just in the doorway. The Heart of Darkness, with it barrier, pulses away in the centre of the room. Jasper stands just behind it. When he sees Dirk he roars a challenge. Dirk responds with a string of insults which illicites some useful information from both Keren and Jasper.

Jasper is an Abomination (he is basically a demon) with Mind and Illusion skills. He is the master Melena referred to when she died. We assumed it was Starrock but a master is a male. Keren hired Jasper to kill Kaladan. She is the one who actually wants the gods destroyed. She will use Starrock to destroy the barrier on the Heart of Darkness and then sacrifice the god to escape the destruction of the universe. Her and her cronies will stay out of phase while the universe reforms and they hope to influence the new pattern.

Jasper gives out a laugh as he points out the disintegration field between himself and us, and the huge boulder racing down the corridor from behind us. Dirk has some snappy retort but it has little effect on Jasper.

Kaladan disappears. The group gets ready to race through the disintegration field. Flintmoss casts a counter spell and we all race through except Zanak. While Dirk and Jasper were engaged in a bit of one-up-manship he had been sucking up to Keren, mainly because of the pretty dress she is wearing. Keren has offered to teleport him to safety, by her side, if he switches sides. Zanak still feels encumbered by some bad fates and agrees, just to get passed the disintegration field.

He group gets into the room by the smallest margin and are engaged by the necromantic goblins. Melco has a spot of good luck and gets clipped by the boulder and propelled further into the room, in fact right next to Jasper. Jasper ignores him and manages to teleport Dirk and Dwork away. Cyan and Keren trade TK Rages. The goblins are falling quickly but there were 12 to start with. Anook manages to slip past them and moves to the open space in the right. Melco tries to bash Keren, to disrupt her casting, but her small silver dagger touches him and he rolls on the ground in agony. Flintmoss races to Starrocks side and tries to free her. Keren escapes down the rear passageway.

Jasper has remained motionless since we entered the room. He vanishes and a side corridor opens (right next to Anook) and the real Jasper strides into the room. He attempts to charm Anook but Anook resists and surrounds himself with an ice construction.

Theodonna has been surrounded by the remaining goblins and a concerted effort sees her decapitated. Astrid wades in and deals to them.

Gold Card Heaven

Zanak appears in a room. He is surprised to be out of contact with Cyans mind speech. He sees a large plate armoured troll by the door (18 feet away). The troll says “sit down and be quiet”. Zanak casts a quick mental attack and the troll falls over. Eyeing up the room he can see 6 Gold Cards of Fate. He quickly grabs them. There is a small silver chest, no doubt trapped, so he searches the troll body. He finds 3 javelin darts and a huge giant axe.

Dirk appears and looks surprised that this pretty little pirate youth had so quickly taken out a giant troll. Dwork appears next. Zanak suggests following Dworks teleportation portal back to the battle but a gold card triggers a new thought “to win this battle you need to locate Kaladan. Only he can give Starrock her powers back”. A quick check reveals another gold card can open a portal to his hearts desire. It opens and we see Kaladan in another room, rifling through a chest. Keren and the Prince of Fates have just entered the room. There is also a small green goblin by them. He looks a bit insane.

The Prince of Fate, recognizing the remaining cards in Zanaks pack, offers him 12 Gold Cards to kill Kaladan. Zanak quickly refuses and tries to mental attack Keren. Dwork fireballs her while Dirk engages Keren and the goblin. The Prince of Fate throws a card at Dirk. It has no obvious effect, always a bad sign.

Zanak negotiates with the Prince of Fate for a Gold Card to get us back into the main room but his obsessive need to balance the Fates means one of our group needs to accept a Black Card. Zanak suggests Theodonna and the Prince of Fates accepts. Dirk protests as he had Keren on the ropes but it is too late. Dirk and Dwork appear next to Jasper, Zanak and Kaladan by Flintmoss and Starrock.

5 Minutes Left

Jasper has changed shape and now has a snake like head. Zanak uses another Gold Card and Jasper loses his immunity to all magics. Dwork throws a Water Death grenade at Jasper but misses and coats Anooks ice construction with it. Anook is not happy!

Zanak tries to cast a spell and back fires. Another Gold Card disappears to protect him from the results. Kaladan has started “merging” with Starrock to return her stolen powers. And you know what we mean by merging…

Jasper and Dirk trade blows for a few moments till Dirk finally falls over.

Zanak calls out to the Prince of Fates (they seem to be getting on well) and agrees to take a Black Card if a Gold Card to remove Jasper is forthcoming. Jasper disappears to the 666th layer of hell.

Starrock is struggling to get free of Kaladan, not realizing what he is trying to achieve (giving her powers back) and is causing him some severe damage. He calls out for help and Zanak uses another Gold Card to reconcile Kaladan and Starrock. Zanaks last Gold Card is used to resurrect Theodonna.

Anook stalks after Keren and the green Goblin but they run off down the corridor.

Dwork fireballs the remaining Goblins by Astrid. Flintmoss petrifies Melco and Cyan puts him in his magic carpet. It appeared that Melco was affecting the barrier around the Heart of Darkness so we had to remove him. Flintmoss then fixes Astrids damage before checking on the Heart of Darkness.

After a moments investigation he calls out that he can’t stop it exploding. There are only 3 minutes left before the whole universe is destroyed. Kaladan and Starrock, holding hands like reunited lovers, tell us to leave and their sacrifice will ensure the Universes survival. Flintmoss will stay too as the explosion will send him back to his own time.

We need only defend the room for the last few minutes to ensure Keren doesn’t enact another plan. The Prince of Fates appears again and says he will stop Keren from succeeding if someone will take another Black Card. Dirk steps up to the plate this time.

We quickly portal directly to the Trollmart and meet up with Furnace and our other friends. Corundum has reappeared with the return of Flintmoss to the past. He has a message from Flintmoss with the location of the treasure he promised us. “The secret location is hidden in the racial memories of the shaman. Only true heroes will be able to find the buried treasure.”

The Heart of Darkness is now a small sun. It is a shame about the gnomes and the female Kalimar trapped in the Chateau above Flintmoss’s workshop but the important thing is we survived !!! Dirk doesn’t miss the Citadel one little bit.

Kaladan and Starrock have left us an Amulet each as a reward for our saving the universe and reuniting them.

We all get healed a bit and then we go to the temple in search of the shaman. It doesn’t take long to find a story about Flintmoss and 7 Demon Heroes. The treasure is buried in the Ancestral Home and only a true clan member will be allowed access. Dirk offers to undergo the ritual when he hears about the drinking all night part. He glosses over the Steel ring through the testicles part though.

He returns the next morning and we head off.

10th of Heat – Treasure Hunting

It takes most of the day to get to the ancestral home asteroid so we Divinate all the loot we have acquired. There is certainly some good booty there!!! Theodonna and Dwork even get some armour to wear.

We land on the asteroid and look dubiously at the large 40 foot high and 20 foot wide passageway heading directly to the center, about 10 miles in. Zanaks lizard is very afraid of a huge dark portal in the very center. Zanak reassures it that he will keep it safe. The Prince of Fates stands by silently, observing us. After a little prompting (begging) by Zanak he says is always around on fateful days. He refuses to help us.

Cyan windwalks us all down 9 miles down the 10 mile long passageway. He only stops when he slams into an invisible barrier. The rest of us didn’t notice it and have gone to the other side. At this point we notice the bones and rusted weapons and armour. We try to reach Cyan but the barrier stops us. Seems like there is only one way forward. Cyan debates the foolhardiness of continuing but is eventually lured forwards by the promise of treasure. The bones belonged to other dwarf trolls who had hoped to gain our treasures but were never seen again. The shaman who accompanied us say small prayers over their remains.

We enter the main cavern. It is about 80 foot deep. There are 2 pillars just in the entrance and a large pulsating darkness near the far end. Dirk uses his special dwarf troll clan powers to speak to the spirits swirling around the pillars, or so he says. His story is so outlandish that it can only be the truth.

Flintmoss’s mausoleum is in the dark area near the back of the cavern. Flintmoss died 2 years after returning to his time. He was assassinated by the brotherhood we encountered a few days ago. A short time after his internment a “nice looking” human male and Keren (so this rules out Jasper) came to the cavern and left the pulsating darkness, then left. The darkness is a living being and can turn into a creature with sharp black claws. It also has a pack of mini creatures in the form of stone statues. They could be imps. Once the darkness transforms it activates the imps (originally 70 but now only 50) and they attack the trespassers. The statues are currently buried about 8 inches below the surface of the gravel flooring just outside the darkness.

Being an adventurous group we decide to dig up the remaining 50 imps and trap them in the alcoves on the outer walls of the cavern. It doesn’t take long.

Dirk then bravely walks forward into the darkness.

The Claws of Darkness

As soon as Dirk touches the darkness it transforms into a batlike creature and flies to the top of the mausoleum. Dirk starts climbing the wall while we cast spells at it. Zanaks lizard warns the creature is strengthening the dark portal inside the mauloleum and something evil is coming through.

Only Anooks iceball has any effect on the creature. It quickly launches itself at him. Zanak gets off a luck mental attack and it drops to the ground. Melco races towards it and kills it. He is tempted to pick up the black sword and the black pouch from the creature but good sense prevails and he DAs it first. Just as well because each item will instantly kill any other creature that touches them. He leaves them behind.

Dirk opens the mausoleum doors and we all stride in.

Hanging from the ceiling are 4 censures with black flames. In the middle of the room is Flintmoss’s crypt. On top is a font with black water. Rising above this is a darkness portal. There are 7 disembodied claws coming through the portal. Each of us recognizes our true name engraved into the darkness. They are clearly aimed at destroying a specific member of the party. On the plus side we can see our individual treasures hanging on the walls.

We DA the area before the claws get too close to us and figure out we each have to defeat our own claw to close the portal.

Theodonna lays down a counterspell. We all engage our individual claw. Dwork manages to dispatch his first time with an impressive fireball. The rest of us need to hack away with whatever light enhanced magical weapons we have at hand. The battle is over surprisingly quickly. We were all fortunate enough to resist their attacks, which of course would have meant instant death.

We grab our treasure and run. At the barrier Zanak uses his lizard, who feels a bit happier now, to open a portal back to the ship. We escape, gather our loot and portal back to Trollhome.

Zanak gets his new cutlass from Furnace while Theodonna finally divinates the scroll tube we found in the ant lair right at the start of the adventure. It appears the tube is meant for Dirk. He tentatively opens it. Inside is a note from Starrock thanking us for freeing her and a warning that “light is the key” when attempting to gain our rewards.

Now she tells us !!!

We stay on this plane for a little longer and then we return to Alusia.

Administration

Equipment

Guild purchases
  • 12 healing potions (+10) : 2 each except Dirk
  • 5 Waters of Strength (Rank 14): Theodoona 1, Melco 1, Anook 2, Dwork 1: 70 minutes each.
  • 6 Waters of Healing (Rank 10): all to Dirk
  • All are 500sp each
Expenses
  • 1000sp for wings for the group

Loot and Boons

Ant Lair
  • Beautiful crafted rapier
  • Bag with small chunks of dark matter and gems
  • Scroll tube – trapped with a god curse
Karakas
  • Zanaks lizard is upgraded to remember 7 locations to which it can open a portal.
  • Dwork – Greater Rank 12 on all 4
  • Zanak – Rank 16 on all 4
  • Dirk – Rank 12 on all 4
  • Theodonna – Rank 15 on all 4
  • Melco – Rank 12 on all 4
  • Anook – 1 week +10 Endurance
  • Cyan – either WP+2 or MA+4 – not decided yet
  • 2 x 500sp potions of true seeing/locate
Asteroid Worm
  • Dark Matter 4 x 2,000 sp
  • Ring (4 x RK12 strength of stone)
  • Beetle exoskeleton (could be made into great armour)
  • Main Gauche (of screaming berserker) -> Theodonna – destroyed by Anook
Helenas Possessions
  • Chain Mail – 8 points of protection, able to cast magic
  • Ring – improved lightning strike on each attack
  • Rapier – extra damage to humans
Portias Possessions
  • Blue Robes – 10 points of protection
  • Rapier – the higher the strike chance of the opponent the better the defense bonus
  • Amulet – increases portaling ability but is dangerous to the untrained
  • Ring – Strength of Stone – Rank 20
  • Ring – Enhance Enchantment – Rank 15 twice per day 5 mins on person
Melenas Possessions
  • 10,000 SP
  • Dark Matter 5 x 2,000 SP
  • Great Axe – Dwarf Killer
Frederick the Flash
  • Red Leather - fire protection
  • Ring – Identifies bearer to the Golems in Amelia’s deathtrap
  • Main Gauche – Mind Mage Killer. +30% mind magic resistance - Traded for Melco
  • Gold Cloak – Charming
  • Squid Head Medallion – Protection from Kalimar Magic
Kerens Room
  • 3 Javelin Darts
  • Troll axe – huge
Furnace
  • New Cutlass – For Zanak
Flintmoss’s Mausoleum
  • a uniquely crafted magical item for each party Member

Keeping up Standards

Standard Buffs - Party
  • Lesser enchantment
  • Purification
  • Fire Armour (Dwork - 32 points)
  • Mind Speech
  •  ?
Standard Buffs - Self
  • Cyan - Mind Cloak and Telepathy
  • Zanak - A pretty dress. Not much else to offer :)
  • Theodonna - Counterspells as required
Standard Marching Order
  • Dirk, Dwork
  • Theodonna, Zanak
  • Cyan, Melco
  • Anook, Astrid
Standard Watches
  • First:
  • Second:
  • Third:
  • Forth:

Nominations and SGT Snippets

Possible Award Nominations

Smartest
Bravest
Stupidest
  • Dirk – Day 7 - Changing shape inside a bound glass bottle
Best Death
  • Dirk – Day 7 - Changing shape inside a bound glass bottle

Quotes

Day Seven
  • Dirk says to Dwork “these javelins tickle, you should try one.”

Hot and Not

Hot
Not

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