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  • Hand-of-Omega
    replied
    Originally posted by Iceblade44 View Post
    Likes are uncommon, even for homebrew stuff. That is what I have observed for myself anyway. When likes do appear it kinda takes a while.

    Yeah, maybe I'm just overthinking this. And I did get some Likes! Thanks to those who took the time and effort to leave them, I don't mean to sound ungrateful! I dunno, maybe I should just get more sleep...

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  • Hand-of-Omega
    replied
    THE PROCESSION OF BLASPHEMIES

    Of all things constant in Malfeas, these are paramount: The Law of Cecelyne, the use of sound to keep away the Silent Wind, and the hatred of their jailers. But Calibration is a topsy-turvy time, even amongst Demons. It starts with a change in the unending din; not a lull, as no one dares risk Adorjan visiting them, but the music-making shifts to a minor key and a lower pitch and slower tempo as it turns into a communal song of remembrance, of a time of freedom long past, and grief on behalf of the Yozis they spring from.

    But this somber mood does not last long, for something in the Demonic nature rejects it. At about the third day of Calibration, their music grows quicker, louder and more frenzied, Demons leave off of whatever tasks they were about, and join impromptu marches up and down all of Malfeas' roads and causeways, singing and chanting songs of hatred...not for Creations' champions, but for their own masters. This is the one time the social order of Hell is overturned, as the weak band together to take down the strong, and the serfs curse and assault their betters.

    High in the sky, noble Ligier turns his face in disgust from the Demon City below; this is the one time when Ululala, the Red Moon, draws closer to the Green Sun, waltzing with him across the skies, shielding his sight from the rebellious chaos below. This hellish eclipse lasts only as long as the virtual revolt below plays out, and both lovers leave each other, sated, until another year.

    Under the pall of this once-a-year twilight, the demon masses swarm and cavort, ganging up on more powerful demons, and even driving away the Priests of Cecelyne. Of course, even in their ecstasy none are foolish enough to challenge the Unquestionable, but those mighty powers are withdrawn to attend to their Yozi masters, anyway; most of the aristocrats of the Second Circle are powerful enough to take on many serfs, but not hundreds at once. So most of them team up into groups dangerous enough to defend themselves and quickly find shelter in their Sanctums. First Circle Citizens and Strangers have few such opportunities and must fend for themselves at this dangerous time.

    One of the most spectacular sights to be seen in Malfeas' Calibration are Demons who coat themselves wholly with narcotic paints of shining gold, silver or the hues of the Elemental Dragons, taking on the mantles of the Chosen, and shouting their slogans while defacing and pulling down buildings and roads and assaulting their fellow Demons all in the name of the Gods. This all culminates when the Demons find the weakest, most pathetic being they can locate (normally a serf, occasionally a mortal), painfully crown him "King of Hell", chain him to a wheeled platform, then whip and parade him through the streets of the Brass City, heaping trash and mocking insults upon their "King", who is always messily devoured by the end of his travails.

    This sacrilege ends when the Tomescu scream for the fifth and final time, signaling an end to yet another Calibration. The surviving Demons seem to wake as from a trance, go back to their homes and jobs, keeping the Silent Wind at bay with work songs as they noisily repair and rebuild all the damage they caused. None speak of their rampages, and none question where the Demons who perished during them have gone. Some Savants speculate that the Solars of the First Age started this tradition, while others wonder if it is an expression of the Yozis' disgust at their own loss filtering down to act itself out through their lowest souls. Only Malfeas can say for sure, and no one's asking him...

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  • Iceblade44
    replied
    Likes are uncommon, even for homebrew stuff. That is what I have observed for myself anyway. When likes do appear it kinda takes a while.

    Leave a comment:


  • Hand-of-Omega
    replied
    Huh, nothing?...Don't know how to feel about that. Kinda hard to know how I'm doing in a vacuum. I'm seeing lots of views, but no Likes, which are really easy to leave. Maybe I actually suck at this, but no one has the heart to tell me? Now I'm just depressing myself again.

    Well, shuffling onward...

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  • Hand-of-Omega
    replied
    Well, I'm done with Erembour (unless you guys want to see what the original version of her Messenger Soul was like!); but before moving on, I'm curious to know what you guys thought, so I'm requesting feedback, as that will help me both as a creator of content in general and Exalted in particular. Who was your favorite here, and which did you like the least, and why? Were they too weird, just the right amount of weird or not weird enough? Any particular ideas or images leap out at you, or ones you'd prefer deleted?

    Oh, and while I'm pretty sure I've got enough material to last the month, new inspiration is always nice, so if you have any requests or ideas you'd like me to expand on, let me know...

    Your help is appreciated!

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  • Hand-of-Omega
    replied
    VARVARA, THE THIEF-IN-THE-NIGHT



    Since the Solars fell, there has been no one to summon Erembour to Creation after the First Age; however, her doleful music still drifts between worlds when the wall between them is thin enough, and it was during one such Calibration that her sorrowful strains swept out across the moon-drenched dunes of the South, where it was heard by a small tribe of Dune People, who were quickly touched and transformed by her song...all save one. A young girl, who had not even killed her first outsider yet, was enraptured with the ethereal music and yet not affected by it...instead, she matched it with a tune of her own, played artfully on a thighbone flute that she had whittled during the hateful days. Erembour heard this response, and began a duet with her, the two singing their nocturnal sorrows and joys across the worlds until the sun rose, quieting them both. So moved by the experience was That Which Calls To The Shadows, that her Messenger Soul was instantly remade on the spot into its current identity. As to the Dune Girl, assuming she survived, who knows...

    Varvara, the Messenger Soul of Erembour, appears as a young, pretty albino girl of quiet and dour demeanor, with hair of the same length and style as her mother-souls', only white where Erembours' is black, with a few streaks of black running through it. Her large red eyes' soulful innocence is belied by the sharp-filed teeth filling her mouth and her voice is soft and quiet, yet always clearly is heard from just over the shoulder behind the person she is addressing. She wears a formal black dress and hat crafted by the Weaver of Voices from the hushed whispers of those trying to avoid notice; in a realm where shadows don't exist, it aids her by creating shadows to hide in. The green sunlight of Ligier sears her as much as the sun of Creation, so when she must be about in daylight she normally wears a long, dark veil that descends at will from her hats' wide brim. She sometimes accompanies Erembour as she trails behind after the Ebon Dragon, clutching onto her oversouls' rat tail, but often she just follows as insubstantial music itself, a living coda to Erembour's dirge.

    The Thief-in-the-Night lives up to her title, being one of the most accomplished thieves in Hell or Creation. She has stolen jewelry and statues, daiklaves and manses, hidden scrolls and hearthstones; however, her true joy is in taking intangible targets, such as hearts and minds. In any gathering that she visits, Varvara will always take something from someone present, whether it is the capacity to feel a certain emotion, the memory of their first kiss or kill, the ability to walk (meaning the target must run or crawl everywhere) or even a single Charm. If no one is present, then she may steal some quality of the area, such as all the air from a room, or the gravity from a building, or the scents from a garden. Her favorite trick is stealing light, either the sight from someones' eyes, or directly, by taking the very light given off by burning flames; candles and bonfires so affected still burn, but with a shining darkness that mortals find difficult to describe...

    Varvara is most often summoned for her skills at infiltration and theft; there have been known instances where sorcerers summoned her to steal back items she stole from them in the first place, back and forth, multiple times! She is equally competent at stealing people, and so is sometimes used as a kidnapper; she is quite capable of taking the ultimate treasure, life itself, although she is rarely called upon as an assassin in the Demon City, just as she is rarely called upon to perform her enchanting music in Creation. The Thief in the Night can escape into Creation when a thief is caught in the act of stealing while a moonbow is in the sky.

    Notes: Varvara has an Essence of 6, Larceny, Performance and Stealth Excellencies and Specialities, a Defining Principle of "There is nothing that I cannot steal", Major Principle of "I celebrate the night through my music", and a Minor Tie to the Dune People. One of the most exceptional performers of music of her Circle, Varvara specializes in wind instruments (especially her favorite, the shiny black metal flute gifted to her by (or stolen from) her sister), and has mastered many Efficacious Songs that have various magical effects in Malfeas and Creation. She has never bothered learning Sorcery, as she has stolen a number of spells that she can use at will, as if she had; she also once stole Night Breeze Style from an assassin, one Charm at a time, until he was finally killed by pursuers that he could no longer escape from.

    Varvara has a special ability to steal both objects and the qualities that belong to something. The things she steals she keeps in her Sanctum, which she accesses via a musical tune that serves as its abstract door. She can also summon these stolen things at will, usually by playing her tune in reverse. She may also steal traits from other beings, but this only lasts for one scene, unless they are extras or they die, in which case she can keep them permanently, so long as she goes into experience debt.

    This one went through some evolution in about a day...Originally, she was going to be MUCH more music-oriented, but rereading Erembour's write-up, I noticed that I hadn't touched on her affinities for the Dune People and things done in the dark, such as theft and murder, so I wanted to incorporate that, and she drifted away from the music angle. I dunno, maybe I'll fine-tune (pun intended) this one later...Abstract Doors are detailed in CoCD: Malfeas, pg. 124.
    Last edited by Hand-of-Omega; 10-05-2018, 03:30 AM.

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  • Baaldam
    replied
    Maybe it's a weird segue of sorts from my mind, but that priest that secretly marries Romeo & Juliet and comes up with the false death scheme for them to escape their troubles would fit Erembour's thematic flairs to a T.

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  • Hand-of-Omega
    replied
    RHADAMANTHUS, CARETAKER OF THE GARDENS OF REMINISCENCE

    Some still tell the tale of how Erembour's Warden Soul fell in love with a mortal, who inadvertently brought about its destruction. In penance, that mortal volunteered to take its' place, and, using means best forgotten, she invested him with her own nature, turning him into a demon and elevating him into a state wherein she could incorporate him into her soul family, whereupon he erected a massive monument to his predecessor, around which many more were to follow. If this story is true, he speaks of it not, perhaps having laid to rest the memory of the man he once was along with his demon lover.

    Rhadamanthus, the Warden Soul of That Which Calls To The Shadows, is the tallest of his siblings, yet his imposing frame is still hunched over, and draped in heavy hooded black robes. He is a silver skeleton, with a long tail extending out behind him, ending in a silver scythe. A dimly-glowing censer swings on a chain within his rib-cage, knocking against his bones like the tolling of a heavy bell with every step; it gives off a thick, sweet-smelling incense that drifts out of his skull and billows out of his robes like fog. These mists often briefly spell out Old Realm words that give some hint as to his thoughts, and those who inhale it can understand his soundless speech even though none can hear him otherwise.

    The Garden of Reminiscence is separate from most of hell, being located on one of the 33 hidden Elsewhere domains of Malfeas; Ligier never shines here, but the Red Moon Ululaya almost always does, casting a somehow-soothing scarlet glow through the racing clouds of the eternal night. The grounds are a seemingly endless topiary garden of fragrant blooms, full of courtyards, statues, fountains, and monumental tombs of varying sizes and complexity. Few demons are interred here, as the denizens of hell have other uses for those who leave remains, but many are memorialized by those allies who wished their memory to endure. Mainly, this is a place for demons to remember their most treasured mortal slaves who they cared for enough not to want to dispose of their remains in some more practical fashion, and for those Strangers who reached the end of their lives having kept the good regard of the Demon City by providing some valuable service to them.

    Attendance to the Garden is scant; few demons want to be reminded of their own possible mortality, but there are those who come to remember lost lovers, or to gloat over fallen enemies. Many infected with the languorous disease of Lypothymie languish here, and the Angyalkae find their music fits the place perfectly. Of course, even this isolated place is not safe from the Silent Wind, or it would be much more populous. Even here, care must be taken, so the Garden is always awash with the constant sound of wind chimes, chirping insects, and the low dirges of musical demons such as choirs of Demjen.

    Mortals who do find their way there prefer its calm tranquility to the relentless hostility of the Demon City, and most elect to stay. The Caretaker puts them to work, tending the metallic plants and graves, even as the funereal atmosphere effects them much like Shadowlands in Creation; most of them leave behind ghosts when they die, in which form Rhadamanthus simply puts them to other work. As lord of this fiefdom, Rhadamanthus brooks no disrespect to the dead, and will certainly react poorly to anyone looting tombs for relics or reanimating the dead without his permission. He is not above bargaining, however, and may be willing to allow this in trade for the internment of a notable personage, such as a powerful Exalt...

    The Caretaker of the Garden of Reminiscence is one of the few demons to be attuned to the deathly Essence of the Underworld and can be summoned for instruction in the ways of the Dead, Necromancy, or even as a guide in the Underworld; few today remember his facility at laying the dead to rest. He may slip free of Malfeas when the scarlet moonlight of Ululaya shines through to the Deadlands, but he never appears in Creation, only in the Underworld.

    Notes: Rhadamanthus has an Essence of 7, a Defining Principle of "Dead among the Damned rest safe within my care", Major Ties to the Garden and the oldest tomb within it, and Minor Ties to the Underworld and his ghosts. He functions as a Creature of Death, respiring the Essence of the Underworld naturally, and is initiated into the first two levels of Necromancy. He has mastered Hungry Ghost and Ivory Pestle Martial Arts, with which he can use his tail-scythe as a Form Weapon (it has the stats of a Grand Grimscythe).

    Hungry Ghosts arise when the dead are improperly buried, as often happens when their cultural burial rites may not be known. Rhadamanthus has an intuitive sense for such things, and can perform a rite that will successfully result in the dead moving on, no matter the condition of their bodies or the lack of native rites. His incense-mists can temporarily reanimate the dead, but he is loath to do so unless necessary to move them elsewhere.

    Ugh, late night...So, this guy is clearly a "Charon"/psychopomp figure, but not as spooky as most. Hm, maybe a little TOO friendly? I do have a 1st Circle Demon for him, but it's getting late, so I'll probably just edit that in later. The 33 hidden domains of Malfeas can be found briefly mentioned on pg.118 of CoCD: Malfeas, btw.

    Incidently, never let it be said that I am set in my ways! I did have a particular character in mind for the last entry, but the comments in the Demon's Souls thread have changed my mind on that, and I've come up with someone I like better. I'm still not sold on Makarios as the Warden Soul, but I'm going to have him be the Reflective Soul instead, and we'll be seeing my Messenger Soul tomorrow night! See you then...
    Last edited by Hand-of-Omega; 10-05-2018, 03:26 AM.

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  • BrilliantRain
    replied
    Originally posted by Amayad View Post

    Do they have a Limit track? Demons don't usually have those,
    Summoned ones did under 2e rules.

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  • Amayad
    replied
    Originally posted by Hand-of-Omega View Post
    Once full, the swollen slugs make their way back to their maker, to disgorge their stolen ailments as a kind of vomit for his perusal. Sorcerers summon Regleth to cure themselves and their allies, but also to obtain samples of illnesses and poisons otherwise too dangerous to be around. They are not very bright, and are barely sentient; they gain Limit if they sense illness but are not allowed to seek it out.
    Do they have a Limit track? Demons don't usually have those,

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  • Hand-of-Omega
    replied
    MEHEN, THE WHISPERING COILS

    The Wisdom Soul of That Which Calls to the Shadows, Mehen is a massive, ten-yard long albino snake/centipede creature with shifting black markings on his scale-segments that spell out arcane texts as he slithers. One of the most intelligent and well-learned demons in Malfeas, he has gained great renown as one of the foremost scholars and doctors in hell (so much so that many demons marvel that he has not yet felt the touch of Orabilis), and his services are constantly in demand for demons suffering from a variety of Essence-based spiritual maladies. It Is the hopelessly incurable cases that he treasures most, however, endlessly experimenting on them with an obsessed fascination that some might mistake for love.

    Mehen is the current head of the Ministry of Malady, the office in hell responsible for suffering through illness. As with the other ministries, demons flock to petition ailments be lifted from them (requests which are rarely granted) or to ask that others be afflicted (which are much more likely to be acted upon). Some illnesses and poisonings, however, are not inflicted by the Ministry, arising from Strangers, gained in Creation, or even a whim of the Yozis themselves. All demons know that if they come down with one of these unregistered illnesses, they are to report to the Ministry of Malady immediately for quarantine and possible treatment. Thus, it is part bureaucratic office and the closest thing Hell knows to a hospital.

    The Whispering Coils lets his subordinates deal with the serfs' issues, and he is curt and brusque with the hale and healthy, mainly busying himself with those inflicted with diseases and conditions unknown to Hell. He is especially fascinated with his "Star-Crossed Ward", where demons suffering from Spiritual Diseases inflicted upon them by Citrine Poxes of Creation (and other sources, including the Wyld) linger on. Most of these ailments resist even his special powers of healing (see below), so he dotes on them, lovingly prolonging their suffering by tending to their diseases, in some cases even cultivating them like a gardener keeping hot house flowers...

    Mehen is usually summoned for his exceptional knowledge, discerning wisdom, and healing abilities, although some sorcerers prefer to use his skills to poison or sicken their enemies instead. He may slither into Creation unbidden when someone is inflicted with multiple maladies that somehow cancel each other out, miraculously curing them.

    Notes: Mehen has Essence & Lore, Medicine and Occult of 7, a Defining Principle of "I am the greatest doctor in Hell!", Major Ties to the Ministry of Malady and his Library, Minor Ties to his patients and their diseases. He has a large amount of Followers, representing his subordinates at the Ministry (Aalu, Naneke and other bureaucratic demons mostly), one of the largest collections of Occult and Medicinal lore in Hell (Library 5), and a small number of mortals across Creation who worship him, some even mistaking him for a God of the Celestial Bureaucracy (Cult 1). As a giant snake, he can also use any Special Attacks available to such animals, such as Crushing Embrace, although he is considerably stronger than any mortal animal, and possesses the 5 dot Poisoned Body Merit.

    By "sampling" any diseased creature with his long, forked tongue, Mehen can infect himself with any illness, drug or poison; he can then rid himself of it by shedding his skin, and the infection along with it, after which he is forever immune to being affected by it again. His bite can do the same for others, causing them to fall into fevered dreams during which their sickness or poison rises painfully to their outer skin, which they then shed, bursting free from the viscous cocoon of their former flesh, completely cured (unlike their healer, however, they are not immune to further infection or poisoning). Lastly, Mehen's bite can infect a victim with any disease, drug or poison which he has ever sampled, which are many, several of which have not been seen in Creation for millenia. Surprisingly, only the Great Contagion is not in his repertoire, and he would do much to gain it...although he is uncertain if even he could survive it.

    REGLETH, THE CRAWLING COLLECTORS
    Mehen can't be everywhere at once, so he created the Regleth to do much of his...legwork for him. They are small, slug-like creatures, whose antennae flawlessly detect any sickened creature. Once they sense their targets, they ooze towards them, squirm upon them, and enter their bodies through any orifice nearest the largest concentration of the disorder.

    Once inside, they greedily consume the disease or poison, before squeezing their boneless bodies out once more. Needless to say, the target of their treatment is beset with many sensations, from the agonizing to sometimes just indescribably weird, but they are normally completely cured...although some go mad from the experience. Sadly for them, the Regleth care not for mental illness, and happily go on their way.

    Once full, the swollen slugs make their way back to their maker, to disgorge their stolen ailments as a kind of vomit for his perusal. Sorcerers summon Regleth to cure themselves and their allies, but also to obtain samples of illnesses and poisons otherwise too dangerous to be around. They are not very bright, and are barely sentient; they gain Limit if they sense illness but are not allowed to seek it out.
    The Ministries of Hell are described on pages 48-49 of CoCD: Malfeas, although the Ministry of Malady is my own contribution. Apparently, they can inflict the conditions they regulate onto other demons through some mystical means not really detailed; I have some house rules on the Ministries I may share by-and-by. For those who think a Malfean hospital is a weird idea, the write-up for Lypothymie, a Third Circle Demon who is also an infectious disease (pg. 322), talks about the methods "Infernal physicians" use to cure demons of her. Although Exalted demons can be Evil, many are more just "Alien" rather than evil. Just because they are demons doesn't mean that they can't care for each other, even ones they don't personally know! Or that's my take on them, anyway...



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  • Hand-of-Omega
    replied
    Originally posted by BrilliantRain View Post
    Also, all three of Erembour’s souls treat humans as resources to be used, so that theme might be extended across all of her souls. Mara uses souls directly, Alveua uses the entire person, and Makarios uses their dreams, to make the stuff they make.

    That said, I’ll admit that my version of her messenger soul is basically an incarnation of Erembour’s music, a dancer that calls people to them and exalts their passions of the night, which is pretty direct. I might need to consider making the connection a bit more metaphorical.
    Weeell, as I was trying to get across in the "Ask a Question" thread, I think there are enough examples of both concrete and abstract thematic connections (as well as apparently NO connections at all!) to say that there's no one way to get it *right*. If you're happy with your demon as it, then don't fix what ain't broken!

    (For ex, while Mara and Alveua have strong associations with darkness, like their "mother", Makarios not only doesn't, but has a strong association with *rainbows* of all things! And while he and Mara have a strong connection with dreams, Alveua and Erembour herself do not (except in the most indirect sense of her association with the night, that being the time most people sleep and dream, but that's stretching it...))

    This issue popping up in two separate threads of this is enough to warrant a new thread, I think. Race you there!

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  • BrilliantRain
    replied
    Well, sort of. She’s also based on the ones that sat on sleeping people’s chests and sucked out their breath.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mare_(folklore)
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mara_(demon)

    Also, all three of Erembour’s souls treat humans as resources to be used, so that theme might be extended across all of her souls. Mara uses souls directly, Alveua uses the entire person, and Makarios uses their dreams, to make the stuff they make.

    That said, I’ll admit that my version of her messenger soul is basically an incarnation of Erembour’s music, a dancer that calls people to them and exalts their passions of the night, which is pretty direct. I might need to consider making the connection a bit more metaphorical.

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  • Amayad
    replied

    Halloween Tax:

    Corpse-lanterns (Resources 1-3)

    Perhaps the third most common form of talisman against the dead, corpse-lanterns are gourds harvested in the last week of Descending Earth, hollowed out, carved in the shapes of monstrous skulls, and lit with corpse-fat candles or glowing fungus that grows in Shadowlands. The preparation of the gourd is a feat of thaumaturgy.

    A corpse-lantern is a Talisman against the dead (Exalted core, 580) but its protection applies out to Short range. Absent deliberate sabotage, corpse-lanterns will burn for 77 hours, no more and no less, though the flame can be doused and re-lit as needed. When a lantern's time elapses, the gourd will unceremoniously rot from the bottom, starting beneath the candle.

    They are a semi-common sight around Threshold villages as the five nights of Calibration approach, but seldom at any other time of the year, because they are perishable by nature.

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  • Hand-of-Omega
    replied
    Originally posted by Amayad View Post
    Actually, depending on the exact draculosity of your interpretation? Creation's version of Dracula may well be Mara - a predatory, suave seducer that enjoys fostering dark obsessions, corrupting and sucking the lives out of people, and sometimes inducting them into dark power? Checks all boxes. Remember that she 's a shapeshifter - there's no reason she can't appear to be a hot aristocratic guy (with deer hooves) if she wants.

    Which isn't to say that Vrykolaka isn't a thing, just that Creation has room for several Draculas,
    Well, "technically", Mara is a Succubus, which is where I think all the "dream" imagery from her came from, so she's more Morrigan, if anything. Succubi and vampires are close cousins, of course, which is where the "romantic conquest rivalry" angle came from!

    Of course, you're also right in that there are many possible ways to throw Drac in the setting...he'd also be right at home as a Fair Folk, for example!

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