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The adventures of Wally the Wizard

In the mystical realm of Verra, where magic thrives and mythical beings roam, the tale unfolds with Wally the Wizard's arrival through a portal gate. This enchanted world bears the scars of a cataclysmic event known as the Fall, triggered by the Ancients and the Others.
The Fall was heralded by the arrival of celestial bodies resembling comets, known as Harbingers. From within these celestial messengers, the Ancients emerged, launching their conquest of Verra. Motivated by a desire to defy the creations of the gods, known as the Seven, they twisted nature with corruption—channeling the negative essence, known simply as The Essence—to spawn abominations that defiled the land.
With divine intervention from the Goddess of Creation, a portion of the populace fled through towering gateways to Sanctus—a realm devoid of magic, fashioned by the goddess herself. Yet, not all were fortunate enough to escape in time, their fates intertwining with the harsh reality of survival upon Verra's scarred surface. This tragic narrative laid the foundation for the Ashes of Creation Apocalypse battle royale, echoing the struggles of those left behind.
As the exodus faded into memory, the once-glowing gateways dimmed, their brilliance extinguished by the passage of time and the weight of countless trials. Centuries blurred into millennia, shrouding history in a veil of myth, until even the most grandiose legends faded into oblivion.
Among the remnants of Verra's shattered tapestry, the Tulnar emerged—a fusion of the four major races: Aelan Humans, Dünzenkell Dwarves, Kaivek Orcs, and Pyrian Elves. Alongside them, myriad minor races persisted, etching their presence into the fabric of a world scarred by ancient conflict and enduring resilience.
In the wake of the apocalyptic upheaval that rent the fabric of Verra, the world bore witness to a profound transformation. Landscapes once lush and vibrant were now marred by the scars of battle, the echoes of arcane clashes reverberating through the very earth. Where once majestic cities stood proud, now lay ruins, haunted by the specters of a bygone era.
Yet, amidst the chaos and devastation, pockets of resilience emerged. Communities of survivors banded together, their bonds forged in the crucible of adversity. They built new settlements amid the ruins, each one a testament to the indomitable spirit of those who refused to yield to despair.
Wally Emberstone also known as Wally the wizard, finds himself standing by the portal looking over the landscape of Verra. He has come from a large village in Sanctus, looking to expand his understand in the arts of magic, and along the way fame and fortune wouldn’t be a bad idea too.
He is a wizard of thirty cycles around the sun, whose visage belies the depth of his arcane prowess. Clad in robes of azure, embroidered with threads of gold that shimmer with the faintest hint of enchantment, he cuts a figure that is unassuming yet undeniably intriguing.
At first glance, Wally appears to be of average countenance, with features that do not command immediate attention. His sandy brown hair, tinged with hints of copper, falls in untamed waves around his face, framing eyes the color of molten amber. Behind those eyes lies a wellspring of wisdom, honed through years of study and contemplation, hidden beneath a veil of quiet introspection.
Yet, beneath the surface, there lies a fire that burns bright and fierce—a testament to the mastery of his primary magical affinity. His command over flames is evident in the way they dance and flicker at his fingertips, a mesmerizing display of power tempered by control. With a mere thought, he can conjure infernos that consume all in their path or summon delicate flames that dance like ethereal sprites in the night.
But Wally's ambitions extend far beyond the realm of fire alone. He is a seeker of knowledge, a student of the arcane arts, ever eager to expand his repertoire and unlock the mysteries of other magical disciplines. In his quest for mastery, he delves into ancient tomes and scrolls, deciphering their cryptic runes in pursuit of enlightenment.
As the gentle rays of the sun caress his features, Wally's gaze shifts to a small outpost, its silhouette etched against the horizon to the south. With a measured inhale, he steadies himself, the weight of his belongings beside him a tangible reminder of the journey ahead. With each step, the soft earth yields beneath his feet, a testament to the path he has chosen to tread.
Embracing the unknown with a quiet resolve, Wally lifts his bags, the weight of his possessions a familiar burden that he bears with ease. There is no haste in his stride, no trace of uncertainty in his movements—only a quiet determination that propels him forward.
For Wally knows that the road ahead is fraught with challenges and trials, yet he faces them with an unwavering spirit and an unyielding resolve. With each passing moment, he draws closer to his destination, his heart ablaze with the promise of new beginnings and undiscovered horizons.
And so, with the sun as his guide and the wind at his back, Wally ventures forth, his gaze fixed upon the outpost that beckons him onward. For in the vast expanse of the world, he knows that his destiny awaits, ready to be shaped by the choices he makes and the paths he chooses to follow.
As Wally traverses the rolling landscape, the outpost draws nearer, revealing itself as a bustling hub of activity amidst the wilderness. Buildings constructed from timber and stone rise up against the backdrop of the horizon, their architecture a testament to the resourcefulness of its inhabitants. The scent of woodsmoke mingles with the tang of wildflowers, carried on the breeze that whispers secrets of distant lands.
As he approaches, Wally's keen eyes discern figures moving about, their forms silhouetted against the warm hues of the setting sun. Farmers tend to fields of golden wheat, their laughter mingling with the chirping of crickets that herald the coming night. Merchants hawk their wares in the market square, their voices rising above the din as they extol the virtues of their goods.
As Wally's gaze scans the diverse crowd, his attention settles on a quaint inn nestled amidst the bustle of the outpost. Its timeworn facade exudes a rustic charm, beckoning weary travelers with the promise of warmth and respite. With a nod of determination, Wally steers his course towards the inviting haven, his footsteps falling in sync with the rhythm of his beating heart.
As he crosses the threshold, the familiar scent of hearthfire and savory stew envelops him, cocooning him in a sense of familiarity and belonging. The innkeeper, a stout and jovial figure with a twinkle in his eye, greets him with a warm smile, welcoming him into the cozy embrace of the establishment.

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    As Wally steps through the heavy wooden door of the quaint inn, he's met with a scene straight out of a traveler's tale. The interior is a symphony of warm hues and soft candlelight, casting a gentle glow over the worn wooden beams and the mismatched but comfortable furniture. The walls are adorned with relics of adventures past – weathered maps, faded portraits of unknown heroes, and curious artifacts collected from distant lands. The atmosphere hums with the low murmur of conversation and the occasional burst of laughter, creating a backdrop that feels both lively and tranquil.

    In one corner, a group of rugged adventurers huddle around a table, their voices animated as they recount tales of daring escapades and narrow victories. Tankards of frothy ale clink together in celebration, and a deck of weathered cards lies scattered across the worn surface, forgotten in the excitement of the stories being shared.

    Near the hearth, a weary traveler sits alone, nursing a steaming mug of mulled wine as he pores over a weathered tome, his expression a mixture of curiosity and exhaustion. The flickering flames cast dancing shadows across his face, highlighting the lines of weariness etched into his features, yet there's a spark of determination in his eyes that speaks of adventures yet to come.

    At the bar, a group of locals swap gossip and news of the outside world with the innkeeper, their voices rising and falling like the ebb and flow of the tide. The innkeeper, a stout man with a hearty laugh and a quick wit, juggles tankards and plates with practiced ease, his eyes twinkling with warmth and hospitality as he tends to his guests.

    As Wally settles into a vacant seat at the bar, he feels a sense of belonging wash over him, as if he's stumbled upon a sanctuary amidst the chaos of the world outside. With a grateful smile, he accepts a mug of ale from the innkeeper, the frothy liquid warming him from the inside out. Here, in the heart of the bustling outpost, he finds a moment of peace and camaraderie, a welcome respite from the trials and tribulations of the road.

    "So, what brings you to these parts? I have not seen your face come through my doors before."

    "I am here looking for adventure, so I can though the gate to make my fortune."

    "Oh is that so, you and a few hundred others here are looking for the same thing. Give me a moment, others need my service."

    Wally eyes the innkeeper for a second, and sees he is a figure of joviality and warmth amidst the cozy chaos of the inn. His frame is stout and sturdy, a testament to years spent toiling behind the bar and lifting heavy barrels of ale. Despite the lines etched into his weathered face by countless smiles and laughter lines, his eyes gleam with a youthful twinkle, hinting at a spirit that refuses to be dimmed by the passage of time.

    His hair, once a fiery red that matched the flames of the hearth, has faded to a soft silver-grey, though it still retains a hint of its former vibrancy. Wisps of hair escape the confines of his simple linen cap, framing his face in a halo of unruly curls that dance with each movement of his head. A neatly trimmed beard adorns his chin, peppered with streaks of grey but still maintaining a rugged charm that speaks of a life lived on the edge of adventure.

    His attire is practical yet well-worn, consisting of a simple linen shirt and sturdy leather breeches that bear the stains and scuffs of years spent in service to the inn. A worn leather apron is tied securely around his waist, its pockets bulging with an assortment of tools and trinkets essential to his trade – a worn tankard brush, a tarnished coin purse, and a set of keys that jangle with each step he takes.

    But it's not just his appearance that sets the innkeeper apart; it's the warmth and hospitality that radiate from him like the flickering flames of the hearth. His booming laugh echoes through the cozy confines of the inn, drawing weary travelers and curious locals alike into the comforting embrace of his presence. With a quick wit and a ready smile, he tends to his guests with a generosity of spirit that makes them feel as if they've stumbled upon a long-lost friend rather than a mere innkeeper.

    As he pours another round of ale for the patrons at the bar, his eyes crinkle with amusement, and he regales them with tales of his own adventures – tales of distant lands and daring escapades that blur the line between truth and legend. In his presence, the inn is more than just a place to rest one's head; it's a sanctuary of camaraderie and companionship, a haven amidst the chaos of the world outside. And as Wally takes a sip from the mug the innkeeper offered him, he can't help but feel grateful for the chance encounter that led him to this welcoming haven.

    As Wally catches the eye of the innkeeper once more, a bright smile spreads across his face, mirroring the warmth and hospitality that radiates from the stout figure behind the bar. With a quick gesture, he catches the innkeeper's attention, his hand raised in a friendly wave as he returns to the bar with a sense of eager anticipation.

    The innkeeper's gaze shifts from the tankards he's polishing to meet Wally's with a knowing twinkle in his eye, recognizing the eager energy that emanates from the traveler. With a hearty laugh that fills the air around them, he sets aside his task and leans in closer to hear what Wally has to say, his expression a curious mixture of interest and amusement.

    "You looking for another round?" the innkeeper booms, his voice carrying across the bustling inn with ease. "What can I do for you this time? More ale to wet your whistle, or perhaps a bite to eat to fill your belly?"

    There's a genuine warmth in the innkeeper's words, a genuine desire to ensure that Wally feels welcomed and cared for within the cozy confines of the inn. With a sense of camaraderie that comes from shared experiences and shared laughter, he stands ready to fulfill whatever request Wally might have, his broad smile never faltering as he waits for the traveler's response.

    "No, but I was looking for a room, I have money to pay."

    "Ah, seeking shelter for the night, are we?" The innkeeper's voice booms with a hint of regret as he shakes his head apologetically. "I'm afraid the rooms are all spoken for, my friend. The outpost has been abuzz with activity lately, adventurers and merchants alike seeking refuge from the wilds beyond."

    His words carry a weight of understanding, as if he knows all too well the struggle of finding a place to rest in a world filled with uncertainty. But then, a spark of inspiration lights up his eyes, and he gestures towards the back of the inn with a hearty grin.

    "However, fear not! I may not have a room to offer, but I can provide you with a cozy alternative. How about a tent out back? They may not be as lavish as the rooms inside, but they're sturdy and snug, perfect for a weary traveler such as yourself. And don't worry, I'll make sure to throw in an extra blanket to keep you warm through the night."

    His offer is genuine, a testament to his dedication to ensuring the comfort and well-being of his guests, even in the face of limited resources. With a reassuring pat on the shoulder, he waits expectantly for Wally's response, his expression a mix of hope and hospitality.

    Wally's gaze shifts briefly towards the bustling inn, its walls brimming with stories and laughter, before returning to meet the innkeeper's understanding gaze. The realization that the rooms are fully occupied washes over him, mingling with a tinge of disappointment. Yet, the innkeeper's offer of a tent outside ignites a spark of gratitude within him.

    "A tent, you say?" Wally echoes, considering the proposition. "It may not be what I had in mind, but it sounds like a welcome alternative. A bit of rustic charm under the stars might just be the adventure I need."

    He offers the innkeeper a grateful smile, appreciating the effort extended on his behalf. "I accept your offer, good sir. A tent will do just fine for the night. And an extra blanket would indeed be much appreciated."

    The innkeeper's hearty laugh fills the air once more, accompanied by a clap of his hands. "Excellent choice, my friend! I'll have one of the stable boys fetch a tent and some extra bedding for you right away. You'll find it snug and cozy, I assure you."

    With a nod of agreement, Wally feels a sense of anticipation building within him, eager to embrace this new experience under the vast expanse of the night sky. As the innkeeper sets about making arrangements, Wally can't help but marvel at the unexpected twists and turns that life on the road can bring, each one offering its own unique opportunity for adventure and discovery.

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    Wally savored the last drops of ale in his mug before placing it gently on the worn wooden counter, the clink of coins accompanying his gesture as he paid the innkeeper for his indulgence. With a friendly smile, he also handed over the agreed-upon amount for a week's stay in one of the encampment's tents, a twinkle of anticipation lighting up his eyes.

    "Thank you kindly , you will be assigned tent number 29. It's in the back, but try not to get lost on your way."

    With his belongings in tow, Wally stepped out of the cozy inn into the bustling heart of the encampment. His keen eyes swept across the sprawling landscape, taking in the organized chaos that unfolded before him. Beyond the imposing guard house and the sturdy barracks, the encampment thrummed with life, a testament to the resilience and determination of its inhabitants.

    "Ah, quite the sight, isn't it?" remarked a passing merchant, his cart laden with exotic goods that spoke of distant lands and untold adventures.

    Wally nodded in agreement, his gaze drifting over the maze of semi-permanent structures that peppered the landscape. Each building seemed to tell a story of its own, a testament to the ingenuity and resourcefulness of those who called this place home.

    "I've seen encampments before, but this... this is something else," Wally murmured to himself, his voice barely audible above the cacophony of voices and the hustle and bustle of activity that surrounded him.

    As he meandered deeper into the heart of the encampment, Wally couldn't help but eavesdrop on the snippets of conversation that floated through the air like leaves on the wind. From discussions about the need for more timber to reinforce the smokehouse to reminders to check on the crops that sustained the community, it was clear that every member had a role to play in the encampment's thriving ecosystem.

    Lost in his musings, Wally's reverie was abruptly interrupted by the gruff voice of a seasoned soldier, his armor gleaming in the fading sunlight.

    "And who might you be?" the soldier inquired, eyeing Wally with a mix of curiosity and suspicion.

    "I am Wally Emberstone, but my friends call me Wally the Wizard," he replied with a genial smile, extending a hand in greeting. "I've come to seek my fortune and offer whatever aid I can to those in need."

    The soldier's skepticism melted away at Wally's words, replaced by a warm grin of acceptance.

    "Well, we could always use a bit of magic around here," he chuckled, clapping Wally on the shoulder. "Welcome to our encampment, Wally the Wizard."

    With a nod of thanks, Wally set off in search of the tents he had been promised for the night. However, as the sun dipped below the horizon, casting long shadows across the encampment, he found himself momentarily disoriented amidst the maze of stalls and carts.

    Undeterred, Wally pressed on, his determination unwavering as he sought out the entrance to his temporary abode, eager to settle in before nightfall descended upon the encampment.

    After moving past a few more merchant wagons, Wally finds his way to the tents far behind the inn. He sees why he had a hard time finding it, as there are larger tents from people planning to make this area their home. Navigating past a few more bustling merchant wagons, Wally finally found his way to the tents situated far behind the inn. As he approached, he realized why locating this area had proven so challenging—it wasn't just a collection of temporary shelters for transient visitors, but a burgeoning community of individuals who seemed intent on making this corner of the encampment their home. Amidst the canvas structures, larger tents stood out, their sturdy frames and intricate designs suggesting a more permanent residency for their occupants. Wally observed with fascination as families bustled about, tending to their makeshift homes with care and attention to detail. "Quite the setup they've got here," Wally mused to himself, admiring the resourcefulness of those who had carved out a place for themselves in this bustling encampment. As he continued his exploration, Wally couldn't help but feel a sense of admiration for the sense of community that permeated the air. Neighbors chatted amicably with one another, sharing stories and laughter amidst the backdrop of fluttering canvas and bustling activity. "Looks like I've stumbled upon quite the little village," Wally remarked with a smile, his eyes sparkling with intrigue as he imagined the adventures that awaited him in this vibrant corner of the world. Wally finally found tent 29, it looks cozy and inviting, its fabric gently billowing in the evening breeze. As he settled in for the night, surrounded by the comforting hum of life that surrounded him, Wally couldn't help but feel grateful for the opportunity to be a part of something greater than himself—a community bound together by resilience, camaraderie, and the promise of new beginnings. As the night rolled in, the sound of music floats across the air. A gentle tune, something a local bard was working on, as it sounds easy on the ears. It brings a smile to his face, as he now sets up the bed in the tent, and puts on the covers and pillow that came with it.
    Wally couldn't help but be drawn to the melodic strains of the bard's music drifting through the evening air. The gentle tune seemed to weave its way into the very fabric of the encampment, adding a touch of warmth and magic to the night.
    With a contented sigh, Wally settled into his cozy tent, feeling grateful for the simple comforts it provided. The soft glow of lanterns cast a warm light, creating a tranquil ambiance that eased his weary mind.
    As he nestled into his makeshift bed, Wally found himself drifting off to the soothing melody, his thoughts drifting to the adventures that lay ahead in this vibrant community. With the promise of new friendships to be forged and stories to be shared, he closed his eyes, embracing the sense of belonging that enveloped him.
    In that moment, surrounded by the comforting sounds of laughter and music, Wally felt at peace, grateful for the serendipitous journey that had led him to this welcoming corner of the world. And as sleep claimed him, he couldn't help but feel excited for the countless adventures that awaited him in the days to come.

    to be...…continued?
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    As dawn painted the sky with hues of amber and gold, the aroma of a hearty breakfast wafted through the air, rousing Wally from his slumber. With a languid stretch and a satisfying yawn, he raked his fingers through his tousled sandy brown locks, his mind slowly emerging from the depths of sleep.
    Casting a glance around his tent, marked with the number 29, Wally made a mental note to remember its location amidst the sprawling encampment. His belongings were neatly arranged within, each bag serving a distinct purpose in his adventure.
    The first bag, containing an assortment of garments, held a mere five days' worth of clothing and assorted wearables. The second, however, harbored treasures of a more arcane nature – a collection of magical artifacts and, most importantly, his prized wizard's tome. For what was a wizard without his spell book? While others might favor enchanted staves or wands, Wally found solace in the raw power coursing through his veins, the ability to weave spells with naught but the movement of his hands.
    As the tantalizing scent of breakfast beckoned once more, Wally resolved to prepare for the day ahead. But cleanliness was a necessity before indulging in the morning repast. Retrieving a towel and cleansing implements from his pack, he emerged from his tent into the bustling camp.
    mile. "Of course, I am called Wally Emberstone. My friends call me just Wally, or Wally the Wizard."
    Rorik chuckled, slapping Wally on the back with a hearty thud. "Well met, Wally. I hope you don’t mind me calling you by your first name, or do you prefer Mr. Emberstone?"
    “Wally is fine, Mr. Rorik. I don’t mind at all.”
    “Fine, Wally, but you can just call me Rorik, no need for the Mr. before my simple name. Anyway, what brings you to this part of the world?”
    Wally leaned against the wooden structure, enjoying the camaraderie. "I'm on a journey of discovery," he explained. "Seeking knowledge and honing my skills in the mystical arts. I am fresh from the gate just north of this camp, as I come from the land of Sanctus.”
    Rorik raised an eyebrow, a spark of curiosity glinting in his eyes. "Ah, a seeker of arcane mysteries from Sanctus, are you? Well, you've come to the right place. There's more magic woven into the fabric of this land than meets the eye."
    Wally's interest piqued. "Is that so? I've heard whispers of ancient relics and forgotten spells hidden within these lands. Do you think there's any truth to those tales?"
    Rorik's grin widened, revealing a row of sturdy dwarf teeth. "Truth be told, Wally, there's more than a grain of truth to those stories. But tread carefully – not all magic is meant to be wielded by mortal hands."
    As the conversation drifted to tales of enchantment and adventure, Wally couldn't help but feel a sense of excitement coursing through him. In this eclectic gathering of seekers and scholars, he knew he had found a home where his magical talents could truly flourish.
    While the line inched forward, Wally exchanged nods and brief pleasantries with other camp inhabitants. He overheard snippets of morning chatter, catching glimpses of the diverse lives and stories that intersected within the camp.
    A weathered elf with a staff adorned with intricate runes spoke of a forgotten temple deep within the nearby forest, rumored to hold the key to unlocking ancient elven magic long thought lost to the ages. His eyes gleamed with a mixture of excitement and trepidation as he recounted tales of the guardians that protected the temple's secrets. Rorik tells him he is an Empyrean Elf, and it’s best if he stays clear of him, as he is also know for getting his party into trouble on his travels in and out of camp.
    Next in line, a young human apprentice regaled his companions with stories of his master's encounters with legendary creatures – from majestic griffins soaring through the skies to elusive Kirin dancing in moonlit glades. Each tale was woven with such vivid imagery that Wally could almost imagine himself standing beside the apprentice, facing these fantastical beings.
    Further down the line, a dwarven miner grumbled about the dangers lurking in the depths of the mountains – tales of ancient tunnels haunted by vengeful spirits and caverns filled with veins of precious gems guarded by fearsome beasts. Despite the risks, his voice carried a hint of excitement as he spoke of the riches waiting to be unearthed by those brave enough to delve into the darkness.
    As the morning sun cast its golden rays over the camp, Wally found himself drawn into the rich tapestry of stories that wove through the lives of his fellow inhabitants. Each tale added another layer of intrigue to their shared existence, fueling his curiosity and igniting a sense of adventure within his soul.
    Finally reaching the front of the line, Wally exchanged a few words with the attendant before stepping into the washroom, ready to cleanse both body and mind before facing the challenges that lay ahead. The cool water washed away the morning sleep, invigorating him for the adventures that awaited beyond the camp's borders. With a renewed sense of purpose, he emerged from the washroom, his mind buzzing with excitement and anticipation for the wonders that awaited him in this land of mystery and magic.
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    granthorgranthor Member
    After indulging in a refreshing morning wash and a hearty breakfast, Wally and Rorik, the stout Dwarf, exchanged jovial pleasantries. The scent of freshly baked bread lingered in the air as they strode purposefully towards the bustling center of the camp. Wally's mind buzzed with anticipation, visions of adventure and riches dancing before his eyes.
    As they reached the central area, their gaze fell upon the task board, a weathered wooden edifice adorned with parchment manifestos detailing the challenges awaiting brave souls. Wally's keen eye scanned the postings, each parchment a testament to the needs of the local populace and the dangers lurking beyond the village gates.
    Just then, two other adventurers approached, greeting Wally and Rorik warmly. Finn Wildheart, the ranger, and Elara Morningstar, the cleric, introduced themselves with a nod. Rorik beamed at them, his voice resonating with a blend of determination and mirth.
    "Ah, what fortunes lie in wait for us today," he mused. "Shall we seek to vanquish foul beasts, or perhaps aid the beleaguered denizens of this humble hamlet?"
    Finn, with his keen eyes scanning the horizon, nodded in agreement. "Aye, let us choose wisely, for the path we tread may lead to glory or peril."
    Beside him, Elara smiled, her arcane tome crackling with latent energy. "Indeed, my friends. But fear not, for with courage and cunning, we shall triumph over whatever challenges fate may hurl our way. You can count on me to keep you healed up."
    Wally couldn't help but smile to himself, feeling a sense of déjà vu. He remembered setting off on quests back when he first trained as a wizard. Rorik appeared seasoned, but Finn and Elara seemed inexperienced, their words outmatching their abilities. Nonetheless, Wally knew they would learn quickly, and with a seasoned Dwarf like Rorik by their side, they stood a good chance of success.
    As they stood before the task board, a lively discussion ensued among the four adventurers, each offering their perspective on the potential quests before them.
    Wally, his gaze flickering between the postings, remarked, "We have options aplenty, my friends. From clearing out the nearby goblin nests to retrieving a lost artifact in the ancient ruins, the choices are varied and intriguing."
    Rorik, scratching his bushy beard thoughtfully, nodded in agreement. "Aye, but let us not be hasty in our decision. We must consider our strengths and weaknesses, as well as the rewards each task offers."
    Finn, his hand instinctively resting on the hilt of his trusty bow, scanned the horizon once more. "I say we prioritize the safety of the camp first and foremost. Those goblin nests pose a threat to the surrounding area, and clearing them out would earn us the gratitude of the locals."
    Elara, her eyes alight with determination, interjected, "But what of the lost artifact? Its retrieval could hold the key to ancient knowledge or powerful magic. It may even be the key to safeguarding the camp from future threats."
    Wally nodded thoughtfully, considering their options. "Indeed, each quest carries its own risks and rewards. Perhaps we should put it to a vote?"
    Rorik chuckled, clapping Wally on the back. "Aye, a democratic approach suits me fine. Let us weigh our choices and decide together."
    After much deliberation, the group reached a consensus and set off to the goblin nest, with a bond forged through shared purpose and mutual respect. As they ventured forth into the unknown, their journey would test not only their skills but also their camaraderie, as they faced the trials and tribulations of the world beyond the edges of the camp.
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    granthorgranthor Member
    As the party ventured deeper into the dense woods, the anticipation in the air was palpable. Each member carried their own thoughts and concerns about the impending encounter with the goblin nest.
    Wally, the human wizard, trailed behind the group, lost in contemplation. His mind wandered to the tales he had been told of the ancient lands and the people who once thrived there. His family had fled those times, seeking refuge from the chaos that ensued. Now, as he gazed upon the crumbling remnants of elven ruins, he couldn't help but feel a pang of connection to the past. "These ruins," he murmured, his voice tinged with a mixture of awe and melancholy, "they stand as silent witnesses to a time long gone. I wonder what became of those who dwelled here... Did they meet the same fate as my ancestors, or did they endure the trials of this world?"
    Rorik, the stout dwarf fighter, trudged ahead with a determined stride. His brow furrowed in thought as he cast wary glances at the surrounding forest. "Aye, these ruins be a testament to the strength of those who came before us," he grunted, his voice gruff with reverence. "But let us not tarry too long in the shadows of the past. Our path lies ahead, and we must be wary of what lurks in these woods."
    Elara, the steadfast human cleric, walked beside Rorik, her expression a mix of determination and apprehension. "Indeed, Rorik speaks true," she said, her voice steady despite the underlying tension. "But still, we cannot ignore the echoes of history that surround us. These ruins remind us of the fragility of civilization, and the resilience of those who strive to rebuild it."
    Finn, the young ranger, bounded ahead of the group with a restless energy. His keen eyes scanned the underbrush for any signs of danger, his senses sharp and alert. "I hear ya, Elara," he called back over his shoulder, his voice filled with youthful bravado. "But let's not forget why we're here. Those goblins ain't gonna wait around for us to reminisce about the good ol' days. We've got a job to do, and I aim to see it through."
    With renewed determination, the party pressed onward, their footsteps echoing against the ancient stones of the elven ruins. Though the weight of history hung heavy in the air, they knew that their journey was far from over. Ahead lay the goblin nest, and whatever trials awaited them in the depths of the forest.

    As the party trekked deeper into the wilderness, Finn led the way with a focused determination. His senses, honed by years of living in harmony with the forest, tingled with the presence of the goblin nest nearby.
    A few more miles into their journey, Finn abruptly halted, raising a hand in a silent signal for the others to stop. With a cautious glance back at his companions, he crouched low to the ground, motioning for them to follow suit. "We're close," he whispered, his voice barely audible over the rustle of leaves. "Real close. Can smell 'em."
    Elara, her brow furrowed in concentration, nodded in understanding as she mirrored Finn's movements. "Aye, the stench of goblins hangs heavy in the air," she murmured, her eyes scanning the surrounding foliage for any signs of movement. "But let us proceed with caution. We know not what defenses they may have erected around their nest."
    Wally, his hands trembling with a mixture of fear and anticipation, gripped his tome book as he hunkered down beside his companions. "Agreed," he whispered, his voice barely more than a breath. "We must remain vigilant. These creatures may be cunning, but we have surprise on our side."
    Rorik, ever the stalwart defender, grunted in agreement as he adjusted the grip on his trusty battleaxe. "Aye, let's not give 'em the chance to catch us unawares," he muttered, his eyes flicking from tree to tree as he scanned the surrounding forest for any hidden threats.
    With silent determination, the party resumed their stealthy advance, their hearts pounding with a mix of excitement and trepidation. Ahead lay the goblin nest, and whatever dangers awaited them within its shadowy depths.
    As the party crept closer to the heart of the goblin nest, the air grew thick with the stench of decay and filth. A putrid haze hung low over the clearing, obscuring their view of the nest's interior until they were mere paces away.
    Peering through the tangled undergrowth, they beheld a scene of chaos and squalor. The nest itself was little more than a crude collection of ramshackle huts, constructed from scavenged timber and scraps of metal. Skeletal remains littered the ground, picked clean by scavengers and left to bleach in the harsh light of day.
    Within the confines of the nest, the goblins scurried about like rats in a sinking ship. Their beady eyes gleamed with malice as they went about their nefarious business, squabbling over scraps of food and stolen trinkets. A rough estimate put their numbers at least a dozen strong, though it was difficult to discern exact figures amidst the chaos.
    But it was the figure at the center of the nest that commanded the most attention—a hulking hobgoblin, towering head and shoulders above its diminutive kin, with an air of undeniable authority. Clad in tattered armor adorned with the bones of fallen adventurers, its brutish form radiated an aura of savage power. A snarl twisted its grotesque features as it barked orders to its underlings, its voice a guttural rasp that sent shivers down the spines of all who heard it. His frame was broad and sinewy, forged in the crucible of ceaseless warfare, each sinew and muscle honed to perfection.
    Elara, her eyes wide with horror, turned to her companions, her voice barely a whisper. "By the gods," she breathed, her hands trembling with a mixture of fear and revulsion. "I've never seen anything like it. That hobgoblin... it's a monster."
    Wally, his face pale beneath the grime of travel, nodded grimly in agreement. "Indeed," he murmured, his voice tinged with resignation. "But we cannot allow fear to cloud our judgment. We came here with a purpose, and we must see it through to the end."
    Rorik, his grip tightening on the hilt of his battleaxe, squared his shoulders with determination. "Aye," he growled, his voice a low rumble of thunder. "Let's show these goblins what happens when they threaten the good folk of these lands. For honor. For glory. For victory!"
    With a silent nod of understanding, the party steeled themselves for the battle ahead. Though the odds were stacked against them, they knew that they fought not just for themselves, but for all who called these lands home. And with courage in their hearts and steel in their hands, they would not rest until the goblin menace was vanquished once and for all.

    As Finn motioned for Wally to join Elara, the weight of their plan settled heavily on the wizard's shoulders. He exchanged a meaningful glance with Rorik, who nodded in silent reassurance before following Finn to the opposite side of the camp. Wally swallowed hard, his palms slick with sweat, as Elara tapped his shoulder, urging him to move quickly.
    With a sense of urgency, they darted through the underbrush, guided by Finn's strategic maneuvering. The forest seemed to close in around them, the air thick with anticipation and the scent of impending battle.
    As they reached a strategic vantage point, Elara halted Wally in his tracks, her voice a hushed whisper in the stillness of the forest. "Wally," she murmured, her eyes alight with determination. "You cast your best spells, and I will keep you safe with buffs and support spells. Together, we shall unleash the full force of our magic upon our foes."
    Though they had not worked together before, Wally felt a surge of confidence in Elara's abilities. She moved with purpose, her movements fluid and precise as she positioned herself for the coming onslaught. It was clear that she had worked closely with Finn in the past, for she knew exactly where to move and what to look for in the heat of battle.
    With a nod of understanding, Wally squared his shoulders and focused his mind, channeling the raw power of his magic into a fiery inferno that crackled with intensity. Beside him, Elara murmured incantations of protection and strength, her hands glowing with an ethereal light as she prepared to unleash her own brand of magic upon their enemies.
    Together, they stood poised on the brink of chaos, ready to unleash their combined might upon the unsuspecting goblins below. With Finn leading the charge from the other side of the camp, they would hit the nest with a force that would leave their enemies reeling and confused.
    Wally stood amidst the swirling chaos of battle. His hands moved with practiced precision, tracing arcane symbols in the air as he channeled the raw power of the elements into his spells.
    Above the cacophony, a thunderous roar echoed through the trees, signaling the charge of Rorik, whose very presence struck fear into the hearts of their goblin adversaries. With his axe held high, Rorik plunged headlong into the fray, cleaving through the ranks of their foes with unmatched ferocity.
    At his rear, Finn, a skilled ranger with eyes as sharp as his arrows, lent his support, sending shaft after shaft whistling through the air to find their mark. But amidst the flurry of arrows and the clash of steel and chaos, it was Elara's voice that cut through the din like a clarion call.
    "What are you waiting for, cast your spell now!" she demanded, her eyes flashing with determination.
    With a sense of urgency, Wally focused his concentration, summoning forth a swirling vortex of flame that danced along his fingertips before erupting into a massive fireball. The inferno streaked across the battlefield like a comet, engulfing the goblins in its searing embrace and sending them fleeing in terror.
    As the flames danced and waned, Wally swiftly began weaving the intricate patterns of his next incantation. With a fervor born of necessity, he channeled the arcane energies, shaping them into a spell of unparalleled devastation, one that would turn the tide of battle in their favor.
    Meanwhile, amidst the chaos of combat, Rorik and Finn, stalwart warriors both, engaged the encroaching horde with steel and valor. Their blades flashed like lightning in the gloom of the forest, cleaving through ranks of adversaries with unwavering resolve.
    However, with each burst of Wally's magic, the attention of their adversaries turned inexorably towards him. A fresh wave of goblins, their eyes alight with malice, surged forth, drawn by the promise of swift retribution against the spellcaster who dared challenge them.
    Before Wally could react, Elara, a cleric of formidable prowess, interposed herself between him and the encroaching horde. With a defiant stance, she brandished her mace and shield, invoking the divine energies that flowed through her veins.
    With a cry that echoed through the clearing, she unleashed a torrent of holy light, a beacon of righteousness that seared through the ranks of their enemies with righteous fury. Wally could only watch in awe as goblins fell before her onslaught, their twisted forms writhing in agony as they were consumed by the purifying flames of her divine power.
    Yet amidst the triumph, tragedy loomed. A sudden, searing pain lanced through Wally's neck, his senses reeling as poison coursed through his veins. As he stumbled backward, his vision swimming, he grasped desperately for the antidote buried within the depths of his spellbook.
    With each passing moment, the venom worked its insidious magic, sapping his strength and clouding his thoughts. Even as he sought salvation within the pages of his tome, he felt the inexorable grip of darkness tightening around him.
    In his fading consciousness, Wally's gaze flickered to Elara, who valiantly defended him against the encroaching goblins. But her efforts proved futile, as the hobgoblin leader now quickly moves their way, and with a powerful blow sent her sprawling through the air, sending her form disappearing into the foliage with a sickening thud.
    As his vision dimmed and the world spun around him, Wally's thoughts turned to the cruel irony of his fate. To meet his end not in the grand battles of legend, but at the hands of mere goblins. As darkness enveloped him, he could only wonder: was this truly the end of his journey?
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    granthorgranthor Member
    As the sun dipped beneath the horizon, casting a warm, amber glow across the land, Wally's consciousness slowly emerged from the depths of slumber. His eyelids fluttered open, revealing a chamber bathed in the gentle embrace of candlelight. The room exuded an aura of tranquility, offering solace to the weary traveler that now found himself within its confines.
    Upon a bed adorned with opulent fabrics, Wally found himself nestled amidst the luxurious comfort, a haven of reprieve from the tumultuous journey he had endured. His gaze swept across the chamber, taking in the intricate details that adorned its every corner.
    At the heart of the room, a circular table crafted from the finest mahogany gleamed under the flickering candlelight. Resting upon its surface lay Wally's most cherished possession – an ancient tome bound in leather of a forgotten lineage. Nearby, empty vials stood as silent witnesses to recent alchemical endeavors, their contents a testament to the pursuit of arcane knowledge.
    The dance of the candle flames cast playful shadows upon the far wall, where the vials seemed to waltz in a spectral ballroom, their movements a silent ode to the mysteries they held. A tapestry adorned one corner of the room, its vibrant hues weaving a tale of rebirth and renewal, each thread a symbol of resilience in the face of adversity.
    A velvet armchair beckoned from another corner, its plush cushions offering respite to weary souls seeking solace. Beside it, a small wooden table displayed an array of crystal vials and alchemical ingredients, a testament to the occupant's tireless pursuit of knowledge and mastery over the arcane arts.
    Lost in contemplation, Wally's thoughts drifted to his companions – Elara, Finn, and Rorik. Where were they now, and how had he come to be in this chamber of enchantment? His gaze lingered on his belongings, neatly arranged by the bedside, stirring a flurry of memories and uncertainties.
    As if in response to his musings, a soft rap sounded upon the door, breaking the silence that enveloped the room. Summoning courage from within, Wally rose to meet the unseen visitor, bracing himself for the revelations that awaited beyond the threshold.
    The door creaked open slowly, revealing a vision of ethereal beauty. Clad in robes spun from the finest silk, adorned with ancient sigils that danced in the candlelight, stood a young lady whose very presence exuded an aura of serenity and grace.
    Before Wally could utter a word, the woman spoke, her voice a soothing balm to his weary soul. "I am glad to see you're feeling better, Mr. Emberstone. I am Lyra, and I am here to aid in your recovery," she said, her smile a beacon of hope amidst the darkness that had clouded his mind. "Your friends brought you back from death's door, and I am grateful that my potions have aided in your return to health."
    Lyra moved with a fluidity that spoke of generations of healing wisdom coursing through her veins. Her hair cascaded like strands of moonlight upon a tranquil lake, framing a face imbued with warmth and empathy, a testament to her unwavering dedication to the art of healing.
    In her delicate hands, she cradled two vials of shimmering elixirs, their contents pulsating with the promise of renewal. With a gentle command, she bid Wally to drink deeply, the subtle magic infused within the potions working its arcane wonders to restore his vitality. As her fingertips brushed against his skin, he felt a surge of energy coursing through him, banishing the lingering shadows of pain that had plagued him.
    With newfound strength coursing through his veins, Wally turned to Lyra, his gaze seeking answers amidst the uncertainty that lingered in the air. "Where am I, and where are my friends?" he inquired, his voice tinged with a mixture of curiosity and concern.
    "Why, you are in room 29 of the inn, Mr. Emberstone," Lyra replied with a gentle smile, her words carrying the assurance of one well-versed in the ways of the world. "The encampment has blossomed into a thriving town since your departure, and this room was once your rented tent. As for your companions, they await news of your recovery in the pub. Thanks to my aid, you have made a remarkable turnaround."
    Wally scratched his head in confusion, his eyes scanning the room once more. Room 29, the same number as his former tent, yet now transformed into a chamber within the inn. Before he could voice his perplexity, Lyra anticipated his question.
    "I can see the confusion on your face," she said kindly. "The town has expanded as our node level increased, allowing our encampment to evolve into a village. All the tents have been relocated to rooms within the inn, which has grown significantly."
    Wally's mind reeled at the mention of nodes and encampments blossoming into villages. How long had he been unconscious? How had the world around him transformed so drastically?
    "Excuse me, Mr. Emberstone," Lyra continued, gathering empty vials. "I must attend to other duties. It has been a pleasure aiding you. Take care of yourself in the days to come."
    "Please, just call me Wally," he interjected softly. "No need for formalities."
    "Of course, Wally. Farewell for now," she said with a slight bow before departing, leaving Wally to contemplate the events that brought him to this room. But it sounds like he needs to find his newfound friends. After all, they were the last people he was with before he blacked out.
    As Lyra's graceful figure disappeared beyond the threshold, Wally found himself enveloped once more in the hushed stillness of the chamber. The flickering candlelight cast elongated shadows across the room, imbuing the space with an air of quiet contemplation.
    Gazing out of the window, Wally watched as the last vestiges of daylight faded, giving way to the velvety embrace of night. The distant hum of activity from the bustling street below reached his ears, a reminder of the world beyond these walls, a world that had continued to spin even as he lay unconscious.
    His mind buzzed with questions, like a hive of bees stirred from slumber. How had he ended up in this room, and what had transpired during his time of unconsciousness? The mention of nodes and encampments evolving into villages gnawed at his thoughts, hinting at a reality far more complex than he had ever imagined.
    With a determined resolve, Wally pushed himself upright, feeling the strength coursing through his limbs like a current of electricity. His gaze fell upon the tome resting upon the table, its weathered pages calling out to him with promises of ancient wisdom and forgotten knowledge.
    Seizing his tome in his hands, Wally flipped through its pages, his eyes scanning the intricate runes and symbols that adorned each parchment. Though same words were unfamiliar to him, there was a sense of familiarity in their arcane script, maybe it held the key to unlocking some of the mysteries of the secrets of the world around him. This tome was given to him by his grandfather, as it not only held powerful magic spells, but also pieces of past history of this world. Maybe it will show him a few answers to what this on his mind.
    Lost in his reverie, Wally was jolted back to reality by a sudden knock at the door. With a start, he rose from his bed, the tome clutched tightly in his grasp. As the door creaked open, a familiar face greeted him, its features etched with concern and relief.
    "Wally, you're awake!" exclaimed Elara, her voice tinged with relief as she stepped into the room. Behind her, Finn and Rorik stood, their expressions a mixture of worry and anticipation.
    "Where have you guys been? What happened to me?" Wally asked, his voice tinged with confusion.
    "We brought you here after the fight with the hobgoblin. You almost meet you end if not for the actions of Rorik and I ," explained Finn, his brow furrowed with concern. "Lyra said you had been poisoned, but she managed to concoct an antidote just in time, after we finished off the hobgoblin leader. Shortly after that, the whole nest fell apart, and we attended to you."
    "It's true," added Rorik, his voice gruff but sincere. "We feared the worst when we found you, but Lyra assured us that you would recover."
    Wally's mind raced as he processed the information, his memories slowly piecing themselves back together like a jigsaw puzzle. Images flashed before his eyes – a confrontation with the hobgoblin, a poison dart from a hidden attacker, and then nothing but darkness.
    "I don't remember much," admitted Wally, his voice barely above a whisper. "But I know that I owe you all my life. Thank you."
    Elara smiled, her eyes sparkling with relief. "You would do the same for any of us, Wally. We're just glad you're safe."
    As they exchanged stories and caught up on the events that had transpired during Wally's absence, a sense of camaraderie filled the room, binding them together like threads in a tapestry. Though the road ahead was fraught with uncertainty, they knew that as long as they stood together, they could face whatever challenges lay in their path.
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    granthorgranthor Member
    After partaking in a hearty meal with his companions, Wally bids them farewell, each promising to reconvene later in the day. As they disperse, Wally's gaze lingers on the vibrant village that has sprung up around them. It's a marvel to behold, a testament to the meeting of the node conditions that triggered the transformation from encampment to the bustling village that stands before him now. However, Wally finds himself in a peculiar situation - a concussion had rendered him unconscious for three days, causing him to miss the monumental metamorphosis of their humble camp.
    His steps echo against the cobblestone streets as he meanders through the now bustling village. The once sparse clearing where they had pitched their tents not long ago now teems with life and energy. Buildings of various shapes and sizes now stand proudly, replacing the temporary shelters of their encampment.
    The central square, now a bustling nexus of activity, captivates Wally's attention. Stalls line its perimeter, each one a treasure trove of goods and wares. Fresh produce glints in the sunlight, while artisans proudly display their handcrafted jewelry and clothing. Villagers engage in spirited haggling and bartering, their voices creating a symphony of negotiation and camaraderie.
    Passing by the communal kitchen, Wally inhales deeply, savoring the rich aroma of savory dishes wafting through the air. Around long wooden tables, villagers gather, their laughter and chatter mingling with the clatter of cutlery and the crackle of the hearth. It's a scene of warmth and conviviality, a testament to the bonds forged over shared meals and stories.
    Continuing his exploration, Wally marvels at the diverse architecture that now defines the village. Sturdy cottages with thatched roofs stand side by side, each one a reflection of its occupant's personality and style. A blacksmith's forge resonates with the clang of metal on metal, while nearby, a carpenter's workshop hums with the rhythmic buzz of saws and hammers.
    In the heart of the village, a small chapel welcomes worshipers of all faiths, its wooden doors open wide in invitation. Nearby, a schoolhouse stands as a beacon of learning and growth, where children gather under the tutelage of a dedicated teacher.
    Despite the hustle and bustle, there's an undeniable sense of harmony and community that permeates the village. Neighbors greet each other with warm smiles and nods, ever ready to lend a helping hand in times of need.
    As Wally takes in the sights and sounds of the bustling village, a swell of pride washes over him. What began as a humble encampment has blossomed into a thriving community, a testament to the indomitable spirit and determination of its inhabitants.
    In the heart of the bustling marketplace, amidst the swirling sea of activity, stands a figure that commands attention. Wally's eyes lock onto him, recognizing the unmistakable aura of opulence that surrounds the man. Approaching closer, Wally confirms his suspicions - the man before him is none other than Alaric Sablecrest, a wealthy merchant whose name reverberates throughout the realm.
    Draped in silks of the deepest crimson, Alaric emanates an air of affluence and impeccable taste. A golden medallion, intricately adorned, hangs proudly from his neck, casting dazzling reflections with each subtle movement. His sharp features and piercing eyes sweep across the marketplace, missing nothing as he takes in the bustling scene before him.
    Alaric's stall stands as a testament to his discerning eye and vast network of contacts. Exotic fabrics from far-flung lands cascade gracefully from racks, their vibrant hues and luxurious textures drawing the eye of passersby. Fragrant spices, carefully curated and displayed in ornate jars, tease the senses with their tantalizing aromas. Jewels and gemstones glisten enticingly from velvet-lined cases, each one a testament to Alaric's impeccable taste and shrewd business acumen.
    Yet it is Alaric's collection of rare artifacts that truly sets him apart. Ancient scrolls, their parchment weathered with age, lie nestled alongside intricately carved statues and ornamental weapons of mysterious origin. Alaric weaves tales of adventure and intrigue, his words painting vivid images that captivate the imagination of all who listen.
    Spotting Wally, a practitioner of the magical arts, Alaric's smile widens with genuine warmth. "Ah, a fellow seeker of the arcane," he greets, his voice rich with enthusiasm. "Come, good sir, and peruse my wares. I assure you, I have treasures that will pique even your discerning interests. Allow me to show you."
    With practiced grace, Alaric unveils a few select items, each one more captivating than the last, his smile growing ever wider as he watches Wally's fascination unfold. And in that moment, amidst the hustle and bustle of the marketplace, a bond is forged between merchant and mage, bound by the timeless allure of the mystical and the promise of untold adventures yet to unfold.
    As Wally examines the treasures displayed before him, his eyes alight with curiosity and wonder. Each artifact tells a story, whispers of distant lands and forgotten legends, stirring something deep within him. Alaric watches with satisfaction, his keen eyes noting every flicker of interest, every subtle shift in Wally's demeanor.
    "This pendant," Alaric begins, lifting a delicate amulet adorned with ancient symbols, "is said to hold the power of protection, warding off malevolent spirits and dark forces. A rare find, indeed, and perfect for a practitioner of your talents."
    Wally's fingers trace the intricate patterns etched into the pendant, a sense of connection humming through him. "It's truly remarkable," he murmurs, his voice tinged with awe. "And what of this?" he gestures to a weathered tome resting on the table, its pages yellowed with age.
    Ah, the grimoire," Alaric replies, his voice hushed with reverence. "Within its pages lie secrets long forgotten, spells of untold power waiting to be unleashed. A treasure for any seeker of arcane knowledge."
    As Wally delves deeper into Alaric's collection, the hours slip away unnoticed, lost in the enchantment of ancient artifacts and whispered tales. With each new discovery, their bond deepens, forged in the shared passion for the mystical and the arcane.
    As the sun begins to set, casting a golden hue over the marketplace, Wally realizes with a start that time has flown by. With a grateful smile, he thanks Alaric for his hospitality and bids him farewell, promising to return soon to continue their exploration of the arcane.
    Alaric nods, his smile warm and genuine. "Until we meet again, my friend," he says, his voice carrying a hint of anticipation. "May your journey be filled with wonders beyond imagining."
    And with that, Wally takes his leave, his heart light with the promise of new adventures and the knowledge that in Alaric, he has found not just a merchant, but a kindred spirit bound by the timeless allure of magic and mystery.
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