The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed
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  1. - Top - End - #241
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    Default Re: [Godbound] Ten Buried Blades IC

    Rem laughs softly in turn. "Why not? Faerie, huh... I've never thought of myself that way. I hope I don't ever become that capricious." And to that end, she gets ready for Starislav and Budyony to prepare, and when they're ready... they're off! She's not expecting to win, but she admits she finds the idea somewhat charming -- why not have a little fun while you're learning about your new body?

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    Both Starislav and Rem take off, each taking their own path to catch up with Magistrate Li's men. The bogatyr stays stays down below on the ground, relying on his trusty steed and the tirelessness with which he can drive the animal as he breaks through the brush and tangling vines of the Dulimbaian forest. A quick flick of his wrist occasionally erases an obstacle that would otherwise have slowed him down, further easing his journey.

    Meanwhile, the healer soars far above the earth, her powerful wings unfurling high in the sky and sending her blasting forward. The wind blasts her face and body, yet she stays miraculously unfazed by them. Now that she is racing, the strength of her new limbs is slowly beginning to reveal itself to her. Up here, not even the birds are able to keep pace with her. If she did not have to look for her target and follow the road like Starislav, it would be no contest. As is, the more complicated path strains her inexperienced flying skills a little, but she still handily keeps up.

    In the end, it is close, but the warrior just barely beats his opponent by a few seconds. You find the small company of constables near the outskirts of the Gongfang farmlands, carrying away their treasures on two large carts, covered with thick blankets. As they hear the hellish ruckus of Budyony's hooves smashing against the dirt road, they turn in fear, some giving panicked screeches and fumbling for their weapons. Their spirits are not lifted when they see not only some kind of heavily armed warrior, but also a terrible angelic monstrosity diving down at them, some already turning to run.

    Then, however, Starislav skids to a halt before them, with Rem following suit just moments after. Under your expectant gazes, the constables' screams slowly die down as they realize who you are. Sheepishly, they lower their weapons as an awkward silence descends upon the group. Eventually, one of the men is pushed forward by two others, dressed in slightly heavier armor than the others. Clearly, he must be the group's leader.

    "G-Greetings, Lady R-Rem." He is shaking heavily, and his face is very pale indeed. "What, uh, b-brings you and y-your warrior h-here?"
    Last edited by Theoboldi; 2019-11-14 at 11:56 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ezekielraiden View Post
    You don't win people over by beating them with facts until they surrender; at best all you've got is a conversion under duress, and at worst you've actively made an enemy of your position.

    You don't convince by proving someone wrong. You convince by showing them a better way to be right. The difference may seem subtle or semantic, but I assure you it matters a lot.

  3. - Top - End - #243
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    Wrong question, nakhal." Starislav growl.
    "The right question is, do I k'have reason not smash your skull?'
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  4. - Top - End - #244
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    Rem has flown several times now, but -- the added task and challenge of keeping up with Starislav and his steed, as well as finding her route to where they need to go is another level altogether. She discovers she rather enjoys it, laughing to herself and finding the very idea of strength and haleness intoxicating.

    She wants to share that joy with so many people. Before illness can rob them of their life.

    She sets down, however, once they arrive; she looks to the constables, folding her arms as she expresses, "It is strange. I could have believed from what I see that you are engaged in looting. That would not happen to be spoils from Big Foot Zu's manor under that tarp?"

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    More shrieks go up from the constables at Starislav's threat, the men obviously terrified as they attempt to hide behind their leader's back. Raising his hands defensively in front of his chest, he blurts out a quick answer.

    "W-Wait, you have this a-all wrong! W-We are c-c-confiscating these g-goods! On....on the magistrate's o-orders!"

    As he gives his excuse, the men cowering behind him give murmurs of agreement, though none are willing to actually speak up and draw attention to themselves.

    "W-We're not k-keeping them! They'll be u-used for matters o-of the st-state!"
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    Quote Originally Posted by ezekielraiden View Post
    You don't win people over by beating them with facts until they surrender; at best all you've got is a conversion under duress, and at worst you've actively made an enemy of your position.

    You don't convince by proving someone wrong. You convince by showing them a better way to be right. The difference may seem subtle or semantic, but I assure you it matters a lot.

  6. - Top - End - #246
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    Default Re: [Godbound] Ten Buried Blades IC

    There's a soft sigh from Rem as she peers towards the men murmuring behind, putting her hands to her waist. "I know I give off the impression that I am naive, but please try to lie a little more convincingly. And I have caught wind of your grumbling earlier today, when you were scouring the manor."

    She bobs her head. "I would just like to know one thing. Did Li send you, or do you do this on your own volition?" She nudges her head to Starislav. "I might remind you there is no gain in you protecting the Magistrate's name."

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    The constable begins to mumble senselessly, unable to come up with a decent answer after being called out by you so openly. Finally, he puts on a crooked, awkward smile, in a rather failed attempt to look affable. "W-Well, you can't b-blame us for wanting to, uh, pocket a bit for ourselves. Us officials really don't get paid well for our work, you see, and...uh...." His words die in his throat as he realizes that this will probably not convince you to leave him alone.

    "Look, we're supposed to bring this stuff back to Gongfang and then from there to Yizhao. The governor is supposed to get it, that's all I know!" The men behind him furiously nod their heads and voice their affirmations.

    After staying in Gongfang for several days and having built up your network, you know that Yizhao is the closest of Dulimbai's great cities, further east up the Dahuang River. Governor Jiang resides over it and the surrounding lands, and is Magistrate Li's direct superior. While it would certainly be within his authority to order Li to deliver these confiscated goods to him, it seems unlikely that he would have heard about these treasures. Most likely, that means this is happening on the magistrate's initiative.

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    You can actually find Yizhao on the map of Dulimbai in the core rulebook. It's on page 85, if you are curious.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ezekielraiden View Post
    You don't win people over by beating them with facts until they surrender; at best all you've got is a conversion under duress, and at worst you've actively made an enemy of your position.

    You don't convince by proving someone wrong. You convince by showing them a better way to be right. The difference may seem subtle or semantic, but I assure you it matters a lot.

  8. - Top - End - #248
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    "This is kh'ow it going to work, tavarish. We show where to put it, and you get to keep your skull in piece. K'how does it sound?' Starislav grin, as if showing, he wish Lu to resisit,
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    Default Re: [Godbound] Ten Buried Blades IC

    "Unfortunately... I have a difficult time believing that the word of such a local bust reaching the governor in such a swift amount of time," Rem points out. "Besides..."

    She narrows her eyes. "You say it yourselves. You are not well-paid for risking your neck while the Magistrate fattens his coffers and benefits from the lawless thievery and slavery he has failed to stop. Why continue risking yourselves for him? For your families? We can find a better way."

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    The guards cower in fear as you make your demands, some holding up their cudgels in your general direction in a manner more remniscient of folk wards rather than weapons. It doesn't seem to you like they are going to attack, though, more like they're just trying to keep up a token amount of resistance. Resistance which lacks dignity, but resistance nonetheless.

    "Gah! Mercy, please!" their leader yells at Starislav, covering his head. "If we don't bring this to Yizhao, the magistrate will have our heads! We're really telling you all we know! You can ask the other constables, this isn't the first tribute he's sent directly to the governor! Most of what he squeezes out of the xiaoren goes there!"

    Given how fearful these men are, you don't get the feeling that they are lying to you. Of course, what this man calls tribute you have both heard called by many other names. Birthday gifts, compensation for expenses, even incense money. What they all share in common is that they are ways for money to be passed along without greater scrutiny. In other words, they are bribes.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ezekielraiden View Post
    You don't win people over by beating them with facts until they surrender; at best all you've got is a conversion under duress, and at worst you've actively made an enemy of your position.

    You don't convince by proving someone wrong. You convince by showing them a better way to be right. The difference may seem subtle or semantic, but I assure you it matters a lot.

  11. - Top - End - #251
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    "Then don't go to Yizaho. Escape. You can ask for our protection. Up to you. '
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    Default Re: [Godbound] Ten Buried Blades IC

    "What Starislav says is true," Rem expresses with firmness, holding her hand out gently in a peaceful manner, to indicate that she isn't interested in fighting them. "You already know there is a chain of corruption happening here - not just ending at the Magistrate's level, but going even higher up. I ask you again: Would you truly wish to risk yourselves for little, while others benefit from your blood?"

    She presses her hand to her chest. "You have seen some of the work we have done in town. We can work together to free yourselves from this malicious system."

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    The men look at each other fearfully, internally debating the merits of what you are offering. They still haven't stopped shaking, and in fact more and more of them are carefully holding up their weapons.

    "M-Maybe they're corrupt, b-but we've got family in G-Gongfang!" The leader finally says after taking a big gulp of air. His words come haltingly. "Y-You're going to g-get us all killed when the Regent sends in his s-sorcerers and th-th-theurges to kill the rebels! A-at least the magistrate keeps the p-peace and l-lets us have a little p-power."

    In a desperate show of defiance, he prepares his club, swaying it about as if to attack. It's about as convincing as a childrens' play, and you doubt that he and his men would actually stay and fight if Starislav shows any further aggression.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ezekielraiden View Post
    You don't win people over by beating them with facts until they surrender; at best all you've got is a conversion under duress, and at worst you've actively made an enemy of your position.

    You don't convince by proving someone wrong. You convince by showing them a better way to be right. The difference may seem subtle or semantic, but I assure you it matters a lot.

  14. - Top - End - #254
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    Default Re: [Godbound] Ten Buried Blades IC

    "The peace you speak of is a peace borne of looking the other way - the power you speak of is gifted upon letting others suffer when you have your lot," Rem quietly advises. "Yet I understand your fear. I understand you fear for your family's safety."

    She looks to the club. She does not make a motion to defend herself, standing steadfast. "Tell me more of the Regent, and his sorcerers and theurges. You have seen our power. What would you say if I said we can resist against them?"

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    'So get your families out of there. It's your problem.'
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    There are some things that you yourselves know about the regent and those who serve him. After all, much of it is common knowledge, especially for traveling adventurers such as yourself. For one, his name is Yan Shun of the Yan dynasty, though referring to him by his full name rather than his title would be a social faux pas that would mark you as ignorant foreigners to any Dulimbaian. When it comes to the man himself, it's difficult to seperate truth from fiction, as you have never seen him and there are some rather exaggerated stories about his diplomatic prowess and overall prowess going around. For what it's worth. the royal family claims to have the direct favor of an ancient made god called 'The True King' and rightful authority over all that is under heaven. Many Dulimbaians enthusiastically agree with this claim, and take immense cultural pride in their loyalty to a long disappeared god. Of course, just as many Dulimbaians would also argue that the current regency has been less than truly loyal, and that they no longer have the True King's favor. Either way, his position guarantees him command of not just vast armies, but the very elite of Dulimbai's warriors and countless powerful relics made by the True King himself.

    As far as sorcery goes, you know that magicians are not to be trifled with. Certainly, most common practitioners are only as tough as your average person, and know only a couple of simple tricks, but those who truly master their craft can be at dangerous enough to keep an entire village in line on their own. Combine that with the cunning and capacity to learn that is required to excel at sorcery (unless you are divinely gifted, such as Rem) and you have a foe that can be frightful, despite their mortal status. And there's enough for them that the Regency should not have trouble throwing at least one or two at you on a few days' notice.

    All that is without going into theurgy. Though the ancient art has degenerated much due to the damage to heaven's engines, those who manage to bring together enough scraps of knowledge and possess the magical power to work these sorceries often become something more than simple mortals. You've never encountered one yourself, but you've heard the stories of the god-like powers these scholars can command. Not all of them do, of course, but even one could provide a considerable challenge for you two.

    Meanwhile, the constables do their best to answer your questions, though they themselves are not exactly members of Dulimbai's esteemed scholarly elite. One in the back is even dumb enough to ask "What's so bad about looking the other way?" before another smacks him on the head, shutting him up.

    "Well-" their leader begins. "-I'd say it's impossible. The emperor has Arcem's best generals and wizards working for him. Wizard generals, too." Now that it seems his life is not in direct danger, his tone seems a tiny bit more calm, though he still sounds on edge. "There's people like Zhuge Shun, who can turn a mob of commoners into an unstoppable army. Or Quian Chuo, from the falling oak monastery. They say he's the single greatest warrior the world knows, and that he's mastered the cultivation of his own chi. Though, I guess if you actually fought the regency, you'd first face the Yizhao Six."

    Upon realizing that you have no idea whom he speaks of, he explains. "They're a group of incredibly skilled heroes under the governor's employ. They lead his patrols, are actually the people who have been protecting us from the worst of the monsters that come roaming in from Raktia. One of them's even a master curse eater." If what he is saying is true, that would make these heroes quite powerful, though not necessarily above mortal status. Something along the line of those monks you fought earlier.

    "The worst of them is Red Typhoon, they say. He's some kind of demigod, and completely mad. My cousin from Yizhao used to say 'Red Typhoon kills like other men spit'. Most days he's locked up in his own little shrine where they hold rites to keep him calm. The only time they let him out is when there's a monster that none of the other heroes can kill, and the last time that happened, he apparently tore its head off in one blow with his bare hands. I dunno how true all that is, though.

    L-Look. There's no need to make enemies with the regency. Y-You've taken down Big Feet Zu's men, b-but you can't mess with a whole army. That's way too much!"
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    Quote Originally Posted by ezekielraiden View Post
    You don't win people over by beating them with facts until they surrender; at best all you've got is a conversion under duress, and at worst you've actively made an enemy of your position.

    You don't convince by proving someone wrong. You convince by showing them a better way to be right. The difference may seem subtle or semantic, but I assure you it matters a lot.

  17. - Top - End - #257
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    Default Re: [Godbound] Ten Buried Blades IC

    It is, at face value, frightening. How could a common person hope to face up against armies, headed by powerful heroes and strong magicians? Even with her own experience with minor magics as a member of the Merciful Hand, she knows firsthand the kind of dedication one must have in order to truly learn sorcery -- even mortal sorcery.

    What to do, then?

    "Perhaps not as we are now," Rem expresses. "But even from our first stages of awakening, our powers have already grown. Change is not something that comes in the span of a single day -- we will not topple each of these foes all at once."

    She looks to Starislav, then back towards the men with a firmer expression on her face.

    "But if you are so cowed by them that you will not listen, then you leave us with little choice. You can surrender to us and spare yourselves some pain, or you can discover the divine wrath that toppled Big Foot Zu's slave ring."
    Last edited by Merilan; 2019-11-22 at 09:46 PM.

  18. - Top - End - #258
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    Starislav grin.
    'Then we'll beat you up. Some of you will survive. You won't be punished, for losing. Right?'
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    The men look at each other nervously, weighing their choices. No words pass between them, but the situation is clear to all of them. Either obey you and get probably executed later, or disobey you and get definitely reduced to tiny piles of ash right here and now. If they were loyal men, perhaps they would chose the latter, but these constables do not serve any sort of ideals.

    When no objection is raised, their leader turns back to you with a sigh, lowering his cudgel in defeat. "Yes, Lady Rem and Lord Starislav. We'll listen to your orders. What do you want us to do with the treasure, and where do you want us to go?" he asks, dropping onto his knees to bow before you as he does. The other men rush to imitate him, and as they do you feel the familiar, energizing sensation of being worshiped.

    It would seem that this counts as well.
    Last edited by Theoboldi; 2019-11-24 at 12:30 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ezekielraiden View Post
    You don't win people over by beating them with facts until they surrender; at best all you've got is a conversion under duress, and at worst you've actively made an enemy of your position.

    You don't convince by proving someone wrong. You convince by showing them a better way to be right. The difference may seem subtle or semantic, but I assure you it matters a lot.

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    Default Re: [Godbound] Ten Buried Blades IC

    Rem takes a moment to consider, before expressing, "We will move the treasure back to Gongfang to be distributed. If you come with us, I have no doubt you would be summarily executed for treachery, however."

    She taps her finger to her chin. "We have need of a camp outside of town, so we will find a suitable place and have you stay there -- I will send for some supplies to keep you fed for the time being." A pause, considering their motivations to distribute the treasure anyway: "And you will have a cut of the treasure's pay, much like everyone else." Perhaps, Rem thinks pragmatically, these men must be motivated with money for the time being.

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    Indeed, some of the constables perk up slightly at the promise of treasure, perhaps imagining heaps of silver that they'll receive as a prize. Whether the results will ultimately live up to their imaginations seems unlikely. Still, it is good boost of morale to these men of questionable loyalty, and the swiftly get back up to follow our orders.

    "Very well! I, uh, assume your followers will look out for our families?" their leader asks sheepishly as the others start pulling the cart. "Uh, don't mind me! Let's just get set up! Do you have any place in mind? Me and the boys know a few spots, but the other guards might know them too, and we're not, uh, gods...gotta watch out for bandits, too...."

    Obviously, being locals, the constables have a better understanding of the surrounding lands than you do currently. But even so, they do not have the benefits of divine powers on their side, nor do they yet know about Starislav's enchantments on the land. Perhaps your magic could unveil an as of yet hidden location, or serve to obfuscate or protect a known one.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ezekielraiden View Post
    You don't win people over by beating them with facts until they surrender; at best all you've got is a conversion under duress, and at worst you've actively made an enemy of your position.

    You don't convince by proving someone wrong. You convince by showing them a better way to be right. The difference may seem subtle or semantic, but I assure you it matters a lot.

  22. - Top - End - #262
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    ",Fine. Let's get you to our camp then"
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    Default Re: [Godbound] Ten Buried Blades IC

    "Yes. I will not leave anyone behind," Rem affirms when the constable asks of their families. "Tell me of the locations you know -- I'll fly overhead and scout us a location. Starislav, do you have any ideas yourself?"

    After gathering some of the potential spots, Rem rises to the air on her large wings; for a moment, she relaxes as she casts her gaze abroad. She's taking the lay of the land in mind - locations such as Gongfang, the ways in and out of the region, other people such as the Golden Lord's camp.

  24. - Top - End - #264
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    "Eh, not really. Lets see what this land k'has to offer.'
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    It takes you some time, the sun already setting by the time that you are finished, but between Rem's bird's-eye view of the area, and the constables pointing out paths and locations, you eventually discover a small clearing between two hills some distance from town that's reasonably well hidden. Though the men grumble and groan as you take them off the beaten path, through the brush and along some narrow crevices the wagon just barely fits through, you manage to lead them there with little issue yourself. The worst that happens is a short encounter with a hungry tiger, a beast that is swiftly scared away by a mighty roar from Starislav.

    The location's not perfectly hidden, somebody doing a full sweep of the area with capable men could certainly find it, but the magistrate does not have the forces to do so as far as you know. The main thing to worry about are animal attacks and bad weather, and bandit groups in the area have dealt with those for ages, only occasionally losing a man or two.

    As the constables start setting up a haphazard camp, eager to get a fire going before the night covers everything in darkness, their leader approaches you. His expression is tense, as he still seems nervous to approach you directly. "We'll, uh, try to get set up. Please make sure to send us supplies soon, though. None of us brought any food or gear. And, uh, none of the men had dinner." He looks over his shoulder at the others, who cast him several annoyed glances.

    Either way, unless you've got any further ways to help with setting up the camp, it seems you've done what you can with the treasure and the constables. It may be a good idea to return to town before it is too late at night. You could conceivably stay in the wilderness for now, given that you will have to meet the Golden Lord anyways tomorrow, but the magistrate may notice if you go missing for that long.
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    That's how you do it! Have a cookie!
    Quote Originally Posted by ezekielraiden View Post
    You don't win people over by beating them with facts until they surrender; at best all you've got is a conversion under duress, and at worst you've actively made an enemy of your position.

    You don't convince by proving someone wrong. You convince by showing them a better way to be right. The difference may seem subtle or semantic, but I assure you it matters a lot.

  26. - Top - End - #266
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Merilan's Avatar

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    Aug 2007
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    Planeptune, Gamindustri
    Gender
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    Default Re: [Godbound] Ten Buried Blades IC

    Rem does try her best to lend to the efforts, even if it is as simple as shining a light on that which needs illumination as the sun begins to set; she nods when the constable leader approaches, however. "Thank you. I will make sure to send you supplies post-haste." She ponders a moment if her powers could eventually grow to offer people succor through the form of food and drink... but she isn't confident right now.

    She looks to Starislav. "Let us return and arrange that, unless you've other powers that could help them?"

  27. - Top - End - #267
    Titan in the Playground
     
    igordragonian's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jul 2014

    Default Re: [Godbound] Ten Buried Blades IC

    "Fine. I'll k'help them' Starislav groaned.
    Using his power he planned on slicing trees, so they could make themselves a shelter and hunt few animals
    Bazzilion legions of thanks to his highness Emperor Ing for the awesome avatar!

    Who want to join some freeform Naruto Rp?
    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showt...ound-ITP-OOC-1

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