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[WIR] Beckett's Jyhad Diary - The Big book of Metaplot

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  • Ya forgot about that...still wish they had gone with the above version to explain the contradictions in canon between the two salouts hehe

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    • Originally posted by Undead rabbit View Post
      The Master of Ravens is a canon character from Lair of the Hidden,and he is not Saulot, but a member of the council of twelve.







      You are the first person to say you've noticed that!


      Matthew Dawkins
      In-House Developer for Onyx Path Publishing


      Website: http://www.matthewdawkins.com
      Patreon: http://https://www.patreon.com/matthewdawkins

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      • Originally posted by SuperSabbatST View Post
        Ya forgot about that...still wish they had gone with the above version to explain the contradictions in canon between the two salouts hehe
        Well then there'd be 3 Saulots.

        * Saulot Worm
        * Saulot Inconnu
        * Saulot Master of Ravens

        Potentially four with Saulot Tremere.


        Author of Cthulhu Armageddon, I was a Teenage Weredeer, Straight Outta Fangton, Lucifer's Star, and the Supervillainy Saga.

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        • It’d be funny if Saulot really has been dead for centuries, and monsters of every kind have been using his name as a cover identity ever since.

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          • Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post

            Well then there'd be 3 Saulots.

            * Saulot Worm
            * Saulot Inconnu
            * Saulot Master of Ravens

            Potentially four with Saulot Tremere.
            And don't forget....

            * The Gentleman Gamer Saulot
            * CTPhipps Saulot
            * Undead rabbit Saulot
            ​* HardestadtTheEvenYounger Saulot

            Originally posted by Undead rabbit View Post
            The Master of Ravens is a canon character from Lair of the Hidden,and he is not Saulot, but a member of the council of twelve.
            This is a good catch - it has been some time since I read LotH. But this does not explain how the Master of Ravens / Demetrius could physically appear outside of Castle H.

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            • Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
              Chapter Twenty One: The Way of Three Eyes

              One thing that I am interested in is the possibility that the Master of Ravens is the guy responsible for Adonai joining the Sabbat. Given Adonai is a Warrior Salubri from 1000 A.D. this is probably not true but could easily have a connection somewhere. But yes if you like SAINT SAULOT (like me) then a lot of the stories about Saulot being an evil bastard could be entirely fabricated as libel and slander by the Master of Ravens. It would be an excellent excuse for all of it and explain the craziness of them.
              Personally, I like the idea that Adonai and his crew joined the Sabbat because some of their old allies had. Whenever people talk about the Salubri Purge people mention "What about their allies/friends?". To me it makes senses that a portion of the first Anarchs rebelled partly because of the betrayal of the Salubri/Cappocdians (as well as the probably more common reason of "the blood bond broke, kill the elders!"). So when Adonai woke up it wasn't some random Sabbat pack but an old kindred buddy from the dark ages. Whom he may have arranged to unearth them via astral projection.

              And yeah having the Master of Ravens being one of the guys purposely spreading the rumors for centuries is a pretty cool idea. Partly of course because it's one dude with a petty grudge pushing it forever because vampire assholes can live forever!

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              • https://whitewolf.fandom.com/wiki/Demetrius

                Well in this respect, that shows why Demetrius may now hate Saulot. If he's discovered he hasn't achieved Golconda then it would explain why he's gone from a Humanity 8 guy to whatever his current Humanity is. I was right he's a Malkavian and it seems his ONE TRUE WAY pamphlet is a thing he's been doing for a long time. As for how he's broken the pact with the demon, that is a very good question.


                Author of Cthulhu Armageddon, I was a Teenage Weredeer, Straight Outta Fangton, Lucifer's Star, and the Supervillainy Saga.

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                • The Giallo Chronicles, Vol. 5

                  I mentioned above that much of this chapter reminded me of a giallo film. Giallo – Italian for yellow – is a genre of Italian movies that grew out of Italian pulp mystery stories. The early film were mysteries, though horror later came to dominate the genre.

                  Some elements common across the genre include baroque titles, elaborate camera work, strong audio work, a focus on art and architecture, relatively gory and bloody special effects, intense use of colour and lighting, and protagonists who witness something horrible but are not believed.

                  Many of these match elements of this chapter. Black Monastery is a baroque title, Beckett’s stay at the monastery explicitly describes strange and ominous sounds, the monastery is a thing of strange architecture, and the Peggy Guggenheim Collection is an art gallery in Venice. Also, Beckett is totally an ingénue who learns something horrible (the endless night) and no one believes him.

                  It is not a perfect fit – giallo is ultimately a film genre, not a genre of games or literature. But there are a reasonable amount of giallo themes here.

                  Placing this chapter in terms of the timeline will be interesting – it cannot fall before the Milwaukee, Chicago, and Washington D.C. chapters that open the Jyhad Diary, but it might come before the Haiti chapter. I will need to work on the time-line later. I will also attempt to roughly place Stavlachia, because that is the kind of guy I am. Notably, the confrontation between Beckett and Ambrogino in the Guggenheim occur months after the events in the Black Monastery.

                  I am sticking to my idea that none of the schemers in the World of Darkness get what they want – the plans go wrong. These plans have for Cappadocius, Augustus, Ambrogino (I doubt he manipulates the Harbingers as thoroughly as he believes), and so on. For all of that, what ever the Cappadocius-thing is at the Black Monastery is, I suspect it is largely just playing with Beckett, his friends and even Ambrogino.

                  And though the figure is not mentioned here, I still say Dis Pater was the Shadow of Cappadocius.

                  As with most of the chapters in BJD, this one doesn’t really resolve any of the plot hooks or situations. Which is fine, given this is not actually a novel but is a supplement for a role-playing game. Resolving issues means the issues cannot involve any PC. Leaving issues unresolved means the PC can get involved in the issues…

                  ...and usually resolve them my setting fire to things, shooting people, and the like. Anyway, there are a lot of potentially stories involving the Giovanni, and the Endless Night, which may involve the PC.

                  Most giallo film, particularly the horror giallo, had Grand-Guignol ending – they are full of blood and thunder. It is up to the PCs to deliver and ending full of blood and thunder. The fate of the endless night should be in the hands of the PCs.

                  Last edited by Grumpy RPG Reviews; 08-12-2019, 11:15 PM. Reason: Dis Pater made me do it.

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                  • This is a bit of a digression but I actually did have the PCs caught up in a scary secret Giovanni plot where they were meant to be part of the sacrifices for bringing about the Endless Night. The Giovanni were performing a ceremony around Augustus Giovanni's coffin in New York City with all manner of robed ceremonies, blood letting, and so on.

                    The split party thwarted the other part of the ritual in Chinatown.

                    The second part of the ritual?

                    Well, the Giovanni succeeded....only for an enormous flesh tentacle to rise up and devour Augustus Giovanni whole, diablerizing him.

                    The Endless Night did not suit the Tzimisce Antediluvian's needs.



                    Author of Cthulhu Armageddon, I was a Teenage Weredeer, Straight Outta Fangton, Lucifer's Star, and the Supervillainy Saga.

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                    • Originally posted by Grumpy RPG Reviews View Post



                      This is a good catch - it has been some time since I read LotH. But this does not explain how the Master of Ravens / Demetrius could physically appear outside of Castle H.
                      Actually it is explained through Demetrius unique power Psychic Double.

                      Notes: Like Eshmunamash, Demetrius is short on
                      Traits going strictly by the Children of the Night
                      system. Up to 26 Ability dots and 7 Discipline dots
                      could be added before he would be considered “overpowered”
                      under that system.
                      See the Appendix for a description of Enigmatic Text
                      and Psychic Double, Demetrius’ special powers.



                      PSYCHIC DOUBLE
                      (AUSPEX •••••, OBFUSCATE •••)


                      Astral projection has the annoying limit that the
                      vampire’s disembodied mind cannot affect the material
                      world, and even the faintest visible manifestation requires
                      great effort. Through this combination power, a
                      vampire still cannot affect material objects — but she can
                      make other people imagine that they see and speak to her.
                      Demetrius the Malkavian uses this power to project his
                      consciousness around the world.

                      Demetrius’ Psychic Double looks real and solid. His
                      astral form can converse with other people. He even feels
                      solid to anyone who touches him, though he cannot
                      affect physical objects in any way and his Psychic Image
                      does not appear in mirrors, photographs or video images.
                      Mahtiel also knows this power, but her dream-walking
                      spirit usually looks transparent and ghostly.


                      System: Projecting a Psychic Double costs one Willpower
                      point. As with Astral Projection, Demetrius picks
                      a target somewhere in the world and hopes he projects to
                      the right place. Arriving at the desired location depends
                      on a Perception + Occult roll, with the difficulty set by
                      how well Demetrius knows the target location. A familiar
                      location not too far away is difficulty 7; a place on the
                      other side of the world that the Malkavian merely read
                      about is difficulty 10. A botch on this roll indicates
                      getting lost, and maybe even breaking the silver cord
                      back to the Methuselah’s body. Evoking a psychic image
                      with his own appearance automatically succeeds. Appearing
                      as someone else calls for a Manipulation +
                      Performance roll (difficulty 7), just as for Mask of a
                      Thousand Faces.
                      A character with Psychic Double does not have to
                      project a visible image. Demetrius can make his image
                      appear and disappear at will, with no further expenditure
                      of Willpower. Each time he manifests a disguised appearance,
                      however, the Storyteller must re-roll Demetrius’
                      Manipulation + Performance.
                      Although Psychic Doubles cannot exert any physical
                      force, a vampire with this power can project certain
                      other Disciplines through his astral form. Since Animalism,
                      other Auspex powers, Dementation, Dominate,
                      other Obfuscate powers and Presence have entirely mental
                      effects, a vampire can use them freely while astral.
                      Obtenebration works, since the dark force evoked by the
                      Discipline is not actually physical either. An astral vampire
                      can thus affect physical objects indirectly using Arms
                      of the Abyss. A Psychic Double can also employ the nonphysical
                      powers of Valeren or Obeah.
                      The Storyteller should brush up on both Astral
                      Projection and Mask of a Thousand Faces before introducing
                      the astral Demetrius to the chronicle, as the
                      systems for both powers apply to the combination.
                      Psychic Double costs 24 experience points to learn.

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                      • Originally posted by Reasor View Post
                        It’d be funny if Saulot really has been dead for centuries, and monsters of every kind have been using his name as a cover identity ever since.
                        This is actually a great idea. I think I'm going to use it for my own chronicles canon. It actually "solves" a lot of "problems".

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                        • Becket Visits Castle Hunky-doryia.

                          I am one of the people who will argue that RPGs may qualify as an art form. There are several qualifiers to it as an art form, and these include its aggregate-synthesis quality, and its cumulative quality along certain avenues. This latter cumulative quality means it may execute “course corrections” during its ongoing development.

                          This is good because the first material on both Hunedoara Castle and the Salubri (and by extension Saulot) is just rubbish.

                          The Hunedoara entry in the original World of Darkness supplement is badly researched (the castle stands not on a remote mountain but in a middle-sized industrial city), and it is full of idiot demon-worshippers. This meant no player character had any plausible reasons for going to it – it was full of stupid assholes and way the hell out of the way.



                          The Salubri as first written were dull to the point of being useless. This came from an apparent poor understanding of the concept of good on the part of the writers who first created them. That “good vampire” is an oxymoron exacerbated the issue. That Salubri have a third eye is interesting. However, the kind of awareness that should come with having a third eye should directly go against being a vampire.



                          Here is a related analysis; Stephen King eventually heavily revised The Gunslinger. King presents the character Jake Chambers as an almost passive creature in the original text and this is implicitly linked to the characters supposed moral goodness. However, it also makes the character lamb-like. Lambs are possibly “innocent,” but they are not morally “good” creatures. They lack any form of agency. They are none-sentient and bred for slaughter. Being good requires the ability to make a choice and act on that choice. Jake Chamber is only good, and becomes more interesting, when King gives the character agency. Scenes with a Jake with agency become more dynamic, and thus more interesting, than scenes were Jake is passive.

                          Likewise, passive Salubri were initially not very interesting, or useful, in an RPG. The writers and developers seemed to conflate the “passive” with the “good.” This meant that at creation the Salubri were usually going to be dull.

                          By comparison, consider that even if Rebekah has fallen from Golconda she is probably the closest to “good” of any character in BJD. She also curses, threatens to slap Beckett, and tries to make the Master of Ravens taste boot leather. Passivity and timidity are not the same thing as good.

                          It is useful to extend this principal to “healer” characters. Dr Greg House is a Broken Ace, a Dr. Jerk, Brilliant but Lazy, and the Corruptor, but these aspects are part of what make him compelling. Dr. Perry Cox is a similar case.

                          Across the years Salubri, and eventually Hunedoara, writers revised them until they became more interesting and more useful. This includes Salubri as they appeared in the Dark Ages book, the Salubri anti-tribue, and the ones that appear in this chapter.

                          So, it is a good chapter – it makes interesting and playable to bits of the WoD that had mostly been useless and dull. It is also another chapter with time gaps in it. The sections dealing with the Baali in Johannesburg probably falls close to Beckett’s encounter with the African vampires in “Transvaal Nights.” Transvaal itself is in the northern portion of the nation of South Africa that is home to Jo’sberg. Where the second half of the chapter falls is more difficult to place but it occurs no sooner than “The Fall of the House.”

                          The bit where the characters are talking about Beckett, and his encounter with the insect-Baali, made me think of “with friends like these…”

                          I had thought The Master of Raven’s to be a servant of Hun Saulot until I read the posts from Undead rabbit . MoR might still be getting a boost from Hun Saulot but he is not entirely the creation of that monster.


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                          • Grumpy RPG Reviews

                            Salubri, Golconda, Inconnu

                            My own views on the Salubri are they are perfectly fine characters with the Healers being very interesting but they're also characters that should be used very carefully. I have the same view of them that I do about Thin Bloods. Salubri should be generally used as characters the PCs should try to protect at great personal risk to themselves. You might argue that the Salubri don't have a place in a game of personal horror since they're goody-goodies and remove the horror of vampirism but I have the general view that having a little light in the center of the darkness makes the actual evil all the creepier. Basically, the reverse of the usual.

                            The big appeal for me in this chapter is actually Rebekah's statement about Golconda as a 12-step program and sobriety. I mentioned I really like this but if they could reverse Golconda to being almost a religion or lifestyle of "Do No Harm" that doesn't necessarily come with mystical perfection then I think it becomes a lot more useful in game. You could even have it be like the Path of Harmony or High Humanity in general as a way to roleplay. There's a presently hilarious video series on going on at the SF Debris site where the protagonist of the Sith Warrior playthrough of STA WARS: THE OLD REPUBLIC is doing their best to do a 12 step program to not let the Dark Side control them. Except being a Sith Lord is a lot like being vampire in the Camarilla--even when you're trying to do good, you're probably doing evil.

                            I've always liked the Warrior Salubri but I don't think they particularly fit into the Sabbat. Really, I think they fit more like what the Children of Osiris in THE HUNTERS HUNTED were implied to be but didn't really fit. If you had a Salubri of the Warrior caste show up, they were probably there to murder you and burn you at the stake as a monster. Basically, I have occasionally used the Warrior Salubri as the VII organization from Vampire: The Requiem. They're vampires who kill other vampires to protect mortals--something I think the Web of Knives have kind of moved away from.

                            I don't think vampires of a normal bent can be "good" but I also don't think you need to make every campaign as dark and monstrous as possible either. There's varieties of gamestyles after all with LA BY NIGHT by Jason Carl being one of the lighter and softer FOREVER KNIGHT or ANGEL-esque games while others go full NEAR DARK. I think its perfectly permissible to have vampires who are anti-heroes and attempt to use their powers for "good" even if it's largely doomed and/or pointless. The tortured vampire is the most interesting vampire. It's why I approve of Touchstones because they do give the Gamemaster something good in their lives to care about even if the vampire's relationship with them is unhealthy.

                            I admit that Rebekah is probably the most interesting character in this book and I kind of wish she'd shown up more in the book. I'd love to have learned how, exactly, she fell from Golconda and what she was doing when it was done. I also like Beckett and her interaction's that play off well against one another even if she is 2000 years old. She's almost certainly someone who was Beckoned but maybe being a (former) Golcondan will allow her to resist.

                            I wonder if Golconda will be addressed in any of the Cult of the Blood Gods chapters.

                            The bit where the characters are talking about Beckett, and his encounter with the insect-Baali, made me think of “with friends like these…”
                            I'm reminded of Good Omens, "They were enemies but after 5000 years, that was almost as good as a friend."
                            Last edited by CTPhipps; 08-14-2019, 05:19 AM.


                            Author of Cthulhu Armageddon, I was a Teenage Weredeer, Straight Outta Fangton, Lucifer's Star, and the Supervillainy Saga.

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                            • Chapter Twenty-Two: Azhi Dahaka

                              Beckett once more does his, "Your dad on the internet" (or at least how it was before they were ubiquitous). The joke about there being 90 other Becketts is especially amusing as oldgator tries to direct him to have a face-to-face meeting. It also has the great moment where Beckett turns off the computer by turning off the monitor.

                              Beckett proceeds to meet Calebros and explains how unique the Nosferatu is for the fact he gave up the Praxis of New York City, something that almost no Kindred of the Camarilla would voluntarily do. Beckett doesn't get under Calebros' skin the way he does other people as the latter has bigger things to worry about. Instead, Calebros talks to Beckett about the Nictuku he used to believe was under the city.

                              We also find out Hellene Panhard is the Prince of New York City. I'm ambivalent about that since NYC by Night remains a book that I consider one of the lesser By Night books. Not because the writing was bad but no one really leapt off the page except Calebros himself, IMHO. Calebros directs Beckett to Lambach Ruthven, a character who has a fascinating history that amounts to being an incredibly powerful Cainite that is, nevertheless, the whipped dog of the Tzimisce Antediluvian. He's also the sire of Dracula, albeit under duress.

                              We get some of his insane ramblings in this book and they're quite entertaining as he talks about he gave the Antediluvian a bus full of retirement community folk (apparently, they disappear all the time) as well as his mantra, "I am not a slave." I'm kind of surprised the Eldest would bother telling Ruthven to lie to himself that way and I kind of think that's his expression of kindness.



                              I will comment that Ruthven's picture looks like he's died and gone to a Queen concert in the 80s. Lebarge has better taste in clothing.
                              We get our first meeting with Prospero this chapter and he'll become more important later in the book as the Prince (King?) of the Cayman Islands. Ruthven is apparently enjoying some fun and...well, moonlight, in paradise down there since the Eldest has apparently finished with him (for now).

                              I have to credit this chapter for when it subverts the usual headgames, they're very memorable. Karl Schrekt is open and honest with Beckett and it bites him in the ass. Lambach Ruthven is equally candid, causing what is almost certainly one of the most horrifying and terrifying experiences of Beckett's life.

                              "Yeah, there's an Antediluvian underneath New York. No, we can't do anything about it. Wanna play pool?"

                              There's also a newspaper clipping about when this chapter takes place and it (rather than the chapter itself) is apparently from before the Washington D.C. chapter as Theo Bell insists that Marcus Vitel is dead.

                              Beckett being his usual idiot self goes down through a tuberculosis sanitarium with an appropriately creepy edge, only to be horrifying twisted and brutalized. He's then rescued by Ilias a.k.a the one Tzimisce who isn't a psychotic monster as well as Myca Vykos' former lover. Ilias makes Beckett his guest and puts him back together in a literal sense. He repeats guest many times and I'm left with the impression he's not saying it to Beckett but the surrounding Tzimisce, who might not remember their own names but probably would respect hospitality.

                              Beckett does NOT meet an Antediluvian but this, the Black Monastery, the next chapter about Jerusalem (that he references here) will eliminate any and all doubt in our anti-hero that they are real.

                              Adventure Hooks

                              As mentioned, I'm not a fan of New York City in the World of Darkness. It's an incredible place in real life and while (like Tokyo) I question how much a vampire could get away with in terms of movement, I have to say that it is a wonderful setting. However, I don't think that it has many of the iconic characters that I think a city of its caliber deserves.

                              When the book landed, I feel it was almost totally overwhelmed by the presence of the Tzimisce Antediluvian in its Shoggoth King form and had maybe two Signature Characters that were worth pursuing. Calebros and Ailsing Sturbridge for that matter. I literally remember nothing about the book except maybe a Boss Tweed-esque Brujah, a Scourge who was actually a Neonate stuck with a shit job that was eroding his humanity, and the fact the Prince to be was the childe of the previous one. I'm not insulting the writing, just saying it wasn't my bag. I also felt the small size of the book (demanded by the low selling nature of the city books) prevented it from properly paying NYC credit.

                              The Adventure Hooks mostly deal with the political situation of the city, which is odd since none of the chapter cared about any of that.

                              Thoughts

                              The Tzimisce Antediluvian being the goop from Ghostbusters 2 in the New York City sewer system has always been a plot hook I've been kind of iffy on. Basically, Revised did an awful lot to increase the personal horror element of the game and go back to the idea that vampires were bad people and Humanity was an important stat. However, then it had one of its central ideas that a giant shoggoth was awake under New York City eating Kindred and preparing to absorb the world and become the new Gaia.



                              I think one of the most memorable moments about Revised for me was the Gehenna Scenario where you just flat out have an anime brawl with the Tzimisce Antediluvian (except it's his mindless Cathedral of Flesh body from the sewers) in the middle of fucking Times Square, are expected to kill the thing in a gloriously Final Fantasy: Advent Children fight and then realize that you have broken the Masquerade permanently. Because it's on national TV and people have been introduced to vampires as fucking literal superheroes -- a premise that ONLY works if you have specced your heroes like Dante from Devil May Cry and ENOUGH PLAYERS DID that it was one of the most used scenarios.



                              And I'm going to be honest...

                              ...

                              It was fucking awesome.

                              No, seriously, like Ur-Shulgi, I confess to the fact that as much as I hate the concept of fighting the ooze monster/Godzilla from a Resident Evil game, I've used the Tzimisce Antediluvian "on camera" more than any other of the Antes. I'm a huge hypocrite and proudly fond of my big epic cinematic momments. One of my most interesting scenarios to me was when one of the player characters actually communicated with the Flesh-Shoggoth and learned some valuable truths about the universe before having its mind-wiped. It's not personal horror vampire but it doesn't have to be. It's alien and it's weird and that's not always a bad thing.

                              The book here takes that silly concept and makes it pretty dang good with the idea of the player characters encountering something a bit more manageable than an Antediluvian with a warren of old as shit Tzmisce pondering the stuff left behind.



                              The above is how I imagine Sascha Vykos' bathroom to look.
                              For me, this chapter doesn't really do much other than wrap up the fact that you could down to the sewers and die or have your brain picked (literally) by Tzimisce--which you can't now since it's probably now an enormous amoeba at the bottom of the ocean or merged with the state of Wyoming. However, it is a very creepy use of an out-of-genre guy who I maintain an unreasonable fondness for.


                              Author of Cthulhu Armageddon, I was a Teenage Weredeer, Straight Outta Fangton, Lucifer's Star, and the Supervillainy Saga.

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                              • Only eight more chapters to go. I may slow down a little to try to stretch this out until THE CHICAGO FOLIO and LET THE STREETS RUN RED.


                                Author of Cthulhu Armageddon, I was a Teenage Weredeer, Straight Outta Fangton, Lucifer's Star, and the Supervillainy Saga.

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