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Yoshi steps back. Raises his practice sword and gives a salute to the Ashigaru ... standing or prone. And walks to put the practice sword away. Yoshi is perhaps limping ever so slightly from all the thwacks he took. ((6/8 stamina)) “That was vigorous Koharu-San. I will be certainly be sore tomorrow. If they had armor, I am not sure that we would have prevailed against them.”

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Hekasu steps back as well, a (whatever is respectfully proper depth) bow (or nod) to Fei. Similarly to Koharu, but without the halting, he does a flourish and slides his bokken home in his obi.

Yep, wasn't keeping track of his fatigue at all. I didn't think he would be that close to being defeated or I would have done that all different. Besides, it was just fatigue, not a critical, so it's not like I HIT hit him...

Ah so maybe Hekasu's a bit of jerk, then. So uh, calming breath (3/6 fatigue) and 'sheath' my bokken in my obi... With a flourish! Performance (Water) - 0 Ranks, 3 Ring: 792424631_SuccessSmall.png.f580b7641c8c81211841275_OpportunitySmall.png.acf41343, [Blank].

Resolve opp: Do it more efficiently.

Resolve success: Well, I got one!

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Koharu turns and bows to the three ronin.

"My thanks for your assistance in the exercise, samurai-san." She says. "I fear that the gratitude of the Hiuchiishi Ganpeki Mura ashigaru may be more muted than you deserve, but important lessons are rarely welcomed on the day they are delivered, especially when accompanied by bruises."

The Ji-samurai turns to Fei and the one recruit still standing. "Fei-san, Gaku-san, well fought. Gaku-san; See that the practice weapons are returned to the stores." The peasant bows and takes her proffered bokken, before beginning gathering up the other sparring weapons and taking them to the racks next to Yoshi.

Meanwhile,  chivvied along by their nikutai, the recruits are walking, limping - and in one case hopping braced on a comrade's shoulder - back into a rough formation near the village gate.

"So...I am certain  that Fei-san will critique each soldier's performance individually at great length," She observes - as the nikutai grins menacingly from behind the block of recruits, "But had you any suggestions, warnings or advice to offer them? Why - in your eyes - were they defeated?"

 

Consider this the end of the conflict scene. If you are at more than half strife, reduce it to half your composure.  If you are at more than half fatigue, reduce it to half your endurance.

This was hardly an epic battle against terrifying foes, but nevertheless you have faced four-to-one odds and taken them down for no loss to yourself - one of you was nearly incapacitated, and Koharu briefly compromised, but that's it - so that will hardly hurt your reputation, especially amongst the crane.

I would say it's worth a Glory award - the three of you took down six recruits between you and ran off two more. On the other hand, they are hardly glory '40+ opponents', even if there were a bunch of them, and it was just a practice spar with no audience, so I'm going to go with a 'trifling' award of +1 Glory for everyone.

I'd also offer a trifling Honour award to Hekasu (for standing aside during a still-on-going sparring match to allow the recruits to leave safely) and Yoshi (for a sincere compliment to your social inferiors) for courtesy. 

Both of you receive +1 Honour - Hekasu, if you took Crane Clan - I think you did? - as your clan origin, you double the award to +2 Honour.

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Hekasu thinks about the fight, analyzing it in his mind, before giving a brief dissertation on what he felt were the reasons for their defeat.

So now the dice love me. I wanted to use Air for its Analyze aspect, along with Tactics (of which I have 0 ranks). This is my roll: 

792424631_SuccessSmall.png.f580b7641c8c81521230551_ExplosiveSuccessSmall.png.2cc1518491343_StrifeSmall.png.6434e11e967f01521230551_ExplosiveSuccessSmall.png.2cc1518491343_StrifeSmall.png.6434e11e967f0. I'll keep them all.

Resolve explosions: 1211841275_OpportunitySmall.png.acf413431211841275_OpportunitySmall.png.acf413431518491343_StrifeSmall.png.6434e11e967f0. I'll keep both.

Resolve strife: 7/8. Do I reduce before this roll or after? I was already at 4/8.

Resolve opps: Learn a detail about Koharu; one disadvantage please.

Resolve success: 3 successes for an Analyze Tactics check, which means Hekasu likely can lay down more IC knowledge than I could OOCly.

And Hekasu is from Nanashi Mura in Dragon lands, so I don't think he'd get the double Honor bonus.

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Posted (edited)

Hekasu outlines out the first - and in his view most crucial - failing of the ashigaru - three of their number breaking ranks to attack Aruzhan. Not only did that leave them pinned between Aruzhan and Yoshi-no-Kaze, he points out, it also contributed to the pivot of the formation which saw them pinned back up against the palisade and wiped out.

Koharu nods at the accuracy of the assessment, and looks across at the other ronin to see if they have anything to add, whilst the other eight recruits are pointedly staring rather irritably at their comrades who broke formation.

 

Behind the recruits, you see the village gates opening, and a gentle but heavy crunching on the gravel path.

Ozi and another of Ito Sora's servants are leading a quartet of horses our through the gate, three tacked and bridled, one with several cloth-wrapped bundles slung on its back. Ozi also carries a small bundle of parchment half-protruding from a satchel slung over one shoulder.

 

This is a new narrative scene, so you will reduce strife before this check.

Koharu no Bunya sano Asahina has the disadvantage A Lot To Prove - her position as Ito Sora's Karo being very senior for her low ranking Ji-Samurai status, especially given her lord's borderline physical incapacity.

Bushido Tenet importance is driven not so much by geographic origin as by what clan you used for your statline in question one of the twenty questions - since for a ronin that's the clan you're assumed to identify with most

Edited by Magnus Grendel

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Seeing the servants and ponies passing through the gates,  Aruzhan turns to Koharu.  "Our time here has been pleasant, but it seems it must come to an end.  I hope we will be able to visit again soon." She bows respectfully to Koharu, then approaches the ponies.  Quickly looking over the ponies, she takes the reigns of one of the riding ponies, whispers something softly into it's ear, then hoists herself up and finally takes the reigns of the pack pony.

 

((not wanting to embarrass the servants, Aruzhan attempted an air+survival role to surreptitiously  examine the horses as she approached them.  She got 1 success, but failed to get the opportunity I was hoping for to make the test less obvious. She picks the pony she thinks is best to ride.  When she's out of sight she plans on double checking to make sure the horses are properly outfitted, and also she wants to go through the parchment and pack to make sure everything is there.))

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"Ah, leaving so soon, are we?" Hekasu looks to Koharu with a charming smile. "And I had rather hoped to spend the afternoon learning more sword techniques from such a skilled samurai-ko. Perhaps we could compare philosophies by letter... if I have your leave to write, Koharu-san?"

Ah, I specifically picked the Dragon stat because of geographic location. That's how I read the question as modified by the Rise from the Dust. It's alright, his Ma's from Dragon lands, he was raised and trained in Dragon lands, it would make the most sense for him to have the Dragon bonus. Crane is a wannabe thing for him anyhow.

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Yoshi bows one last time. “Your troops won’t be the only ones who are bruised tomorrow.” The large ronin’s “on” cracks just enough to deliver a small smile. “May you succeed with all of your duties. Till next time.”

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Posted (edited)

Koharu bows in return, thanking you all for your service to Ito Sora. She likewise wishes you success in your endeavours, stating she would be more than happy to receive letters from any of you, and walks with you to thank Ozi for fetching the horses, dismissing the recruits, who bow and start to painfully make their way back inside the palisade.

The former Unicorn glances over the ponies as she and Ozi hand the bridles of the other ponies to Yoshi and Hekasu, and lashes the pack-bridle leash on the fourth pony to her own saddle. The horses themselves are hardly the Shinjo-bred steeds Aruzhan grew up with, and they are unlikely to be battle-trained, but prove to be healthy animals of serviceable stock. They are a set of four grey mares of similar disposition and breeding that she could well believe came from a single herd. Their bridles are simple but well-made, without heraldry or decoration, and have little wear on them.

Ozi passes Koharu a sheaf of parchment from the satchel, before handing the now half-empty bag up to Aruzhan, bowing, and excusing himself. Aside from two remaining scrolls, she feels the weight of a heavy parcel which would be about the right size to be the scrimshawed antler.

Koharu inspects the trio of parchments briefly, before distributing what prove to be your respective letters of passage.

"Each of you would be most welcome in Hiuchiishi Ganpeki Mura in the future," She says, "and these authorities should hopefully see you safely here should you desire to do so."

Each letter proves to be an identical copy - Ito Sora's script so precise, in fact, that you would think that aside from the differing names the three letters had been turned out by a wood-block print - stating that the named bearer is currently in service to the Ito family territory of Hiuchiishi Ganpeki Mura.

The letters grant free passage through those Asahina lands administrated by the Ito family, use of merchant and military roads, and exemption from road tolls whilst en route between Hiuchiishi Ganpeki Mura and Uimi Mura, and commanding that whilst the border garrison should register the traveller as normal, the bearer be allowed to pass the border post without tariff or inspection of goods whilst about their duty.

It also notes that at any future date, the bearer is to be permitted to enter Crane lands for the purposes of returning to Hiuchiishi Ganpeki Mura - though without the expansive permissions currently provided.

The letter is sealed with a chop showing a sunrise over a stylized Torii gate - the third mon from Ito Sora's study, in an elegant turquoise ink.

 

The three ronin mount, and, at a gentle trot, make their way onto the merchant road and turn their horses south into the warmth of the early afternoon.

 

Aruzhan, you have picked the 'best' of the horses based on a quick once-over. This will be sufficient to add

1211841275_OpportunitySmall.png.acf41343 to your next survival check for horsemanship.

I'm not going to end the narrative scene here - you'll have a chance, after a few minutes, to get beyond easy sight of the village, where you can check over the satchel and pack mare, and talk in-character. We'll be introducing our fourth character at some point in the not-too-distant during the journey to the border (hence the pack mare that someone's probably going to end up riding).

Edited by Magnus Grendel

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"Ah yes... riding." Hekasu watches Aruzhan and Yoshi mount while petting his mare and then attempts to emulate their action. It is clear to everyone, and painfully so to Aruzhan, that Hekasu has probably never ridden before.

"Well, that was quite the day!" Hekasu comments. He lets the mare have her head, seemingly not trying to do anything that could provoke or anger the horse; however, his knuckles are white from a death-grip on the reins like he's afraid of falling off. "Sweets for breakfast, combat for lunch, and trail-dust for dinner. Perhaps we may stop not too-far-distant to sup?"

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After an hour or so, the merchant road crests a small ridge as it turns slightly inland away from the river, and on the reverse slope, joins up a smaller trader's road from a more easterly direction. At the junction, the trio note a milestone which implies the border will be a gentle day's ride further south.

As they head on, they approach one of the small copses of willow trees which litter this part of the landscape. The ronin are considering using the trees as a sheltered spot where they will be able to stop, dismount and inspect their charges and rest briefly when they realise they are already occupied by someone else doing the latter.

A samurai, smartly dressed in a plain travelling tunic, is relaxing under the shade of one of the larger willow trees and reading a scroll of some kind to himself with a slightly wistful air. His mid-length hair is died platinum-white in the fashion of some Daidoji  and Kakita samurai, though the deep brown of his natural colour is beginning to show through the dye at the roots, and a light-weight silk scarf is wound loosely around his jaw and covers lower half of his face. Although several elements of his clothing are coloured in the turqoise and blue of the crane, you see no sign of any clan or family mon about his clothing, or on the well-maintained katana which rests sheathed on the grass at his side.

 

This is a new downtime scene

This - if you can't guess - is @Von3679's character, who bypassed the village since he joined the road further south (he's got travelling papers for the border from further north) - I'm assuming you'll stop and introduce yourselves.

As you do so, opening up the bundle of blades and looking for anything significant I'll call TN2 Smithing/Scrutinise (Air), whilst a similar TN2 Survival/Scrutinise (Air) would allow a more detailed assessment of the horses than Aruzhan managed back at the village and provide the horses with a bit of care. TN2 Aesthetics/Scrutinise will let you look over the artwork in the satchel. Looking over the letters doesn't require a check - they're neither hard to read, in code or sealed, but will be something 'else' to do.

 

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As the male reads his scroll, he smiles slightly at something, before he closes his scroll and eyes leaning back slightly to lean on the tree. The male then muttered something under his breath, before he opened his eyes.

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Thankful for the respite, Hekasu dismounts awkwardly before walking to the trees with a wave to the samurai there. He stops as soon as he's in the shade and rubs his legs. "Saddles man, am I right?" he winces. "I'm Hekasu of Nanashi Mura."

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Seeing a good camp site on the side of the road Yoshi dismounts boldly walks up, "Greetings honorable traveler." Yoshi bows,  "I am Yoshi no-Kaze, a Ronin of good repute. Would you be willing to share this site? I do not snore and would help with any watch schedule you care to set. If not, I am sure we will depart and not trouble you further. But if yes I can also promise to share the begins of a story I hope to someday tell..."

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Aruzhan bows from horseback as the group approaches the ronin's camp, the gold and diamonds in her lavender hair catching the light in a dazzling display as she does so.  She speaks in her thick western accent. "Well met, fellow traveler. I am called Aruzhan and I am a shugenja.  We have a long way to travel still and the day is drawing to a close.  We would be most delighted to share a camp with you."

  After introductions are made Aruzhan ties her pony to a tree and does the same with the others, then she speaks softly with them.  "Perhaps when we know each other better, this will not be necessary, but the world is large and it's best that you stay here now so that you do not get lost." With that, Aruzhan begins to unfasten the tack and bridle from the ponies. finally she unpacks the kit and looks for the grooming equipment for the ponies.

  As she does so, she questions Hekasu. "Hekasu-san, have you ever tried riding a pony without a saddle?"

  ((A bunch of air checks, huh? perhaps I could argue for a survival/earth roll as I think back on how the ponies behaved on the trail or reflect on how they compare to the many horses I have seen over my life.  If it's an air check I roll 1 success and 1 opportunity, but I could only keep the one success. If I can roll earth I would get 1 success and 1 opportunity.. the third die is blank.))

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The male smiled at the newcomers. 

Greetings. I am Kenshin Kakita. 

the male smiled.

Do feel free to camp here, though I am sorry to say I might have to leave soon.

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Yoshi stops at hearing that and turns toward Hekasu and Aruzhan, looking for guidance. "You might be leaving soon?" Yoshi double checks that the sun is indeed low in the sky. "A Samurai on ..." Yoshi reaches for the right words, "honorable business is certainly entitled to his privacy. Still if it is not an inappropriate intrusion Kakita ... -san, you have made me curious. Why would one leave such a suitable campsite?" Yoshi bows at the end. Worried, maybe a little, that this is a "sama" and not a "san" despite the lack of mons. Again the big ronin looks back at his two friends for help navigating this...

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Kenshin smiles.

I have someone I wish to meet.... and I'd rather not delay our meeting time. If I travel through the night, I can get there faster, so my friend will not have to wait.

The male smiled and explained. 

 

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Posted (edited)

The ponies settle well thanks to Aruzhan and Hekasu's attentions.

The pack mare's load proves to contain a set of grooming brushes and a well-filled bag of barley meal, so the horses won't go hungry or be left eating green rye and it won't cost you your own rice rations to feed them either. The pony responsible for the agonised state Hekasu is currently stolidly refusing to let show munches contentedly on a handful of barley offered by the ronin, tail flicking happily.

On closer inspection, the animals prove to be exactly what the former Unicorn had suspected; a quartet of horses from the same herd - indeed Aruzhan suspects that Hekasu's pony and the 'pack animal' may even be siblings as they have an identical, almost-imperceptible paler grey 'sock' around their left forehooves. They are young, well-bred mounts, and it occurs to the ronin that they represent an impressive amount of wealth for a group of - by the description they were given - near-bandit ronin to possess.

The lack of wear on the tack also proves to be more than just good care - the leather parts are not cracked at all, suggesting it is relatively new. Since it's unlikely that the heimin of Flint Quay Village include a saddler when the village had no horses prior to Kazama's arrival, that means the ronin not only acquired a troop of horses but were able to have them 'fitted out' with new tack and reins - not an insignificant expense in and of itself.

 

 

 
18 hours ago, Black_Rabbit_Inle said:

((A bunch of air checks, huh? perhaps I could argue for a survival/earth roll as I think back on how the ponies behaved on the trail or reflect on how they compare to the many horses I have seen over my life.  If it's an air check I roll 1 success and 1 opportunity, but I could only keep the one success. If I can roll earth I would get 1 success and 1 opportunity.. the third die is blank.))

if you're specifically inspecting something, that's air. Earth is fair for recalling previous occasions, but if you're doing so to compare to something that's happening now, you still need to 'be aware' of the new thing.

The success is fine, anyway. You give them a more detailed once-over.

I'll say you can keep the  1211841275_OpportunitySmall.png.acf41343  - not because you can do so in earth stance but for Hekasu's unskilled assistance - which allows you to roll 1 extra ring die and keep 1 extra die (basically identical to rolling a ring 1 rank higher).

That does limit you to Air 1211841275_OpportunitySmall.png.acf41343 spends - I might suggest establishing or determining an advantage or disadvantage - either Kenshin's or a positive one associated with the horses (which will be available to call on when making checks whilst riding them) - let me know your preference.

14 hours ago, Von3679 said:

Kenshin Kakita.

Just to flag up - Rokugani name formats are the other way around - Family Name then Personal Name, so Kakita Kenshin would be more normal. Introducing yourself with the names the other way around isn't impossible, but it would generally be met with 'eh?'

 

 

8 hours ago, Von3679 said:

If I travel through the night, I can get there faster, so my friend will not have to wait.

Remember that the border is 'a gentle day's ride away'.....but unlike the rest of you, Kenshin doesn't currently have a horse. So if he's trying to meet someone at the border, he's (currently) in more of a rush than you.

Edited by Magnus Grendel

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"Well, we certainly wouldn't want to delay you, Kakita-sama," Hekasu responds, not hesitating to refer to the samurai as a social superior. "I think we intended to rest here for at least a little while, but I can give you your privacy, certainly."

Hekasu rummages through his traveling pack and retrieves some old, clearly scraped-and-reused parchment, and a chiseled piece of charcoal. He paces, clearly disinterested in sitting, and begins brainstorming ideas for a new love poem.

Composition (Invent): wbb: [Blank], 

1211841275_OpportunitySmall.png.acf413431521230551_ExplosiveSuccessSmall.png.2cc1518491343_StrifeSmall.png.6434e11e967f0

Resolve explosion: 792424631_SuccessSmall.png.f580b7641c8c8.

Resolve strife: 5/8. (If I'm coding a secret (Koharu's disadvantage) into my composition, can that trigger my passion?)

Resolve Opp: Flashy! Probably speaking a few of the better lines aloud in an animated fashion. He's not using names in the poem; characters take aspects of nature or animals.

Resolve success: 2.

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Please, call me Kenshin.

The male smiled.

You do not have to address me so formally. I am not worthy of such honourifics.

The male smiled again. 

Thank you for your understanding. I greatly appreciate it... might I ask where all of you are headed? 

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Hekasu's impromptu set of Haiku are quite impressive, and he's rather pleased with a few of the more striking allusions he's penned. He's especially pleased to catch intrigued glances from the other samurai as he reads some of them back to himself aloud.

The tall ronin's head tilts briefly back and forth as he rolls the various mental images back and forth, trying to stitch the haiku verses into the best order, and as he does so his eyes come naturally to rest on the saddle-bags of the pack mare, and he recalls the letter inside which Ito Sora asked them "not to mention to Koharu".

6 hours ago, Hida Jitenno said:

Resolve strife: 5/8. (If I'm coding a secret (Koharu's disadvantage) into my composition, can that trigger my passion?)

Yes you can, but with a slight caveat (wordy explanation to follow):

A 'passion for secrets' gets triggered by "performing a check to acquire or preserve a secret" - for a relatively young Ji-Samurai assigned to a struggling town in a post previously held by a reasonably senior clan samurai, the idea that they have A Lot To Prove is not exactly an earthshaking discovery, is it?

Something else more sensitive would be (or will be).

Aside from your characters' respective pasts, the most likely 'secret' you've come across at the moment would either be stuff relating to Kazama (if you can put together some of the implications of what you know), although it's relevance to a love poem is questionable - or in the letters in the satchel you're carrying (well, to be specific I imagine it's on the pack mare at this point); which as yet no-one's looked at (they're not sealed, and there's no indication on the outside which one is for whom, so you're probably going to have to at least glance at them at some point if only to figure out which one is for the Daidoji Border Post Commander and which one is for Ide Arban).

(If you like I'll let you retroactively refer to the letter contents, assuming you check over the letters in between scribbling poems, so feel free to remove the strife, because I'll tell you for free now that something in there will qualify)

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"South. Into the Yasuki lands." Yoshi answers, "Hekasu-san - or Kenshin-san, if you are not leaving immediately - could I impose on you by asking your help me with a story I'm creating? A man like me who lives on the road can't have too many stories to tell!" Yoshi looks back at Aruzhan and especially Hekasu.

The big Ronin dives in. "I remember hearing once, around a campfire, that in yumi-do there was an island divided between the great tribes of the the Ants and the Cicadas. The Ants were industrious and always working on some great project...toward which they expended their considerable energy. The Cicadas were not afraid of work, but existed in truth to pour their energy into wondrous and beautiful songs. Also there were beetles that were neither Ants nor Cicadas. The beetles earned their existence working for either or both of the great tribes...but generally it was the Ants who employed the beetles. While some Cicadas hired beetles it was generally understood that they strongly preferred people of their own tribe who were gifted singers"

"A town near the border between the great tribes was ruled by the Old Cicada. The village was prosperous and imported pollen from the flowers of the mainland. Usually such commerce was carried out in the Ant lands. But the crafty Old Cicada had found a way to bring it to his village so cheaply even the common farmers were able to afford some. Such wealth brough problems to the Old Cicadas town though, and many times he had to deal with bandits attacking him. This included attacks by a dangerous villain known as the Jaw Cracker, for this particular beetle, though not very bright, was very dangerous in combat."   

"The Old Cicada hoped to profit from the defeat of the Jaw Breaker. And when several brave beetles wandered into his fine town he persuaded them to carry bandits goods into the land of the Ants and have them sold there for profit."

Yoshi paused a moment to stretch. "Here is where I need help in my story. Obviously it will be very boring if nothing happens to the emissaries of the Old Cicada. Tell what you think might be most interested. Should I have the Jaw Cracker's son around? Eager to retake his father's sword? And should the bandits  secretly be working for the Ants? Who are angry that the Old Cicada managed to get pollen on the cheap? Or is that too predictable. Perhaps the bandits could have been working for the Old Cicada but had a falling out over money.... There are many possibilities but I must find a thread that will help keep my story coherent." 

"Anyone have good advice for a poor ronin?" 

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