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Eir Stegalkin (Guild Wars 2)

Eir Stegalkin


Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game

Context

Guild Wars is a series of heroic-fantasy Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games that started in 2005. It comes with an expansive game world, including some transmedia work. For instance this profile chiefly drawn from the Edge of Destiny novel.

Eir is one of the canon characters who play an important role just before the events of Guild Wars 2 start. This profile presents her at that point. The role of most of these early canon characters rapidly diminishes as the storyline advances, though.


Background

  • Real Name: Eir Stegalkin
  • Former Aliases: Presumably Eir Einarsdottir
  • Marital Status: Widowed
  • Known Relatives: Einar Cliffstrider (father, deceased), Braham Eirsson (son), Borje the Sun Chaser (husband, deceased)
  • Group Affiliation: Former leader of Edge of Destiny
  • Base Of Operations: Hoelbrak (specifically Stonewright’s Steading), formerly Mobile
  • Height: 8’6” Weight: About 380 lbs
  • Eyes: Blue Hair: Bright red


The Norns ; the Dragons

The Norns are a very-near-Human species of giants, with males often reaching 9 feet in height. They are also more powerfully built than an equivalent Human.

The Norns come from the frigid mountains. They are Guild War’s version of the usual heroic-fantasy pseudo-Norse barbarian culture. They’re similar to the Barbarians (aka Northmen) in Everquest, with various Icelandic and Celtic bits inevitably thrown in.

The Norns have a range of skin tones though, from very pale (like Eir) to subsaharan African (like her late husband Borje). Most Norns have European skin tones, though the differences seem unimportant in their culture.

Norn culture

As pseudo-Vikings they are partial to glory in battle, heroic tales, loud revelling soaked in potent alcohol, wearing furs and wielding axes.

Their faith is based on the major animal spirits such as Bear, Wolf, Raven and Snow Leopard. The Norns can communicate with animal spirits, and many of them can morph into a giant animal form based on this mystical rapport.

They have an egalitarian, highly individualistic culture. Yet some persons of great renown de facto wield authority.

Eir Stegalkin and her wolf Garm

Prestige is critical. For instance Eir and Borje could consider the Norn equivalent of marriage because they had a roughly equivalent renown as heroes. It would not have been possible had they been on different “levels”.

Likewise, Eir’s son received the birth last name of Eirsson since at that point his mother was more famous. Had it been his father he would have been Braham Borjesson. Once young Braham has carried out exploits sufficient to get out of the shadow of his parents, he will claim a new last name based on the best-known such exploit.

The Norns traditionally lived in the Far Shiverpeaks , away from much of Tyria’s population. The return of the Elder Dragons changed that.

Dragons of Tyria

The Elder Dragons are colossal, immensely powerful, primal creatures feeding off magic. Every 11,000 years or so they awaken to consume everything, then return to sated sleep.

As Guild Wars 2 starts, the Elder Dragons have been awakening for 250 years. Three are awake and identified, one is awake and unidentified. Two are thought to still be sleeping, since the existing historical documents list six.

The mighty Norns entered the known history of Tyria when they joined the fight against Primordus , the first Elder Dragon to awaken. The magmatic armies of Primordus, and particularly his general the Great Destroyer, were narrowly beaten.

But this necessitated the sacrifice of the Dwarves. Multiple other underground civilizations were lost to Primordus’ hordes.

A century later the Elder Dragon of ice, Jormag , awoke in the Far Shiverpeaks. His icebrood and his evil mind-altering influence devastated the Norns and forced them to flee pell-mell.

Four great animal spirits came to guide them southward to the Shiverpeaks, to the lands that had been previously occupied by the Dwarves. The Norns reestablished their communities there, the largest being the city of Hoelbrak.

Evil ice

However, Jormag’s influence gradually spread South. Creatures made of evil ice as well as frozen undead, the icebrood, harassed the Norns. The monsters gradually chipped away at their defences.

Furthermore another dragon champion, a sort of living blizzard called the Dragonspawn, established its fortress not too far from Hoelbrak. This facilitated the recruitment of many Norn men into the Sons of Svanir, a cult worshipping Jormag rather than the totem animals.

Norns thirsting for glory would occasionally launch expeditions against the Dragonspawn, dreaming of destroying it. All they did was add their number to the champion’s frigid undead armies.


Powers & Abilities

As a Norn, Eir Stegalkin is a powerfully-built giantess. She can lift and carry more than 500 pounds with her bare hands. Her bow shots have immense range.

She can also turn into a grizzly or a red-furred werewolf to gain greater strength and ferocity. However, this isn’t something she regularly does. The animalistic form makes it harder to speak and reason.

Eir Stegalkin is an experienced fighter and adventurer, and has an excellent head for tactics. She’ll always know what to do on the battlefield, either by studying the opposition ahead of time or by sheer instinct in the thick of it. She’s nearly impossible to intimidate.

She presumably has various field and wilderness skills (tracking, first aid, hunting, stealth, handling dolyak beasts of burden, etc.) but none were demonstrated, so the game stats do not include these.

Statuesque

Stegalkin is a renowned sculptor of wood and stone, usually doing lifelike statues of people or animals. Such statues are important in Norn culture to immortalise the glory of warriors. This means she’s an important person in Hoelbrak.

Eir Stegalkin and a Kodan warrior

Eir works guided by Bear’s spirit, making her sculpt with superhuman speed and precision. A whole-body wooden statue will be finished before the subject can tire from posing.

As she works on finer and finer details she’ll sculpt wood with a large pair of axes, then with paired hatchets, then with knives, then with chisels, then with morphed-in  bear claws.

Equipment

Eir Stegalkin usually fights wearing a bronze breastplate, a thick woollen cape and large leather boots. She will start an engagement with her longbow – she’s a powerful and precise archer. Eir can routinely fire 2 arrows at once at different targets – or a volley of 3 at the same large target.

At shorter ranges she will use a pair of throwing axes. If forced in melee she fights with reinforced gloves upon which she has set knives and chisels, striking as if these were claws. The point of this curious weapon becomes clear if she morphes into bear or wolf form, as these make her claws larger.

If expecting melee combat rather than open sky battle she’ll be wearing steel plate armour. She’ll wield paired axes – or a two-handed mallet if that is tactically more appropriate. She’ll also have her “clawed” gauntlets on.

Garm

Garm is a 5’ tall, black-furred dire wolf weighing about 20 stones (125 kg). This is roughly 3 times the body mass of a modern grey wolf. It considers Eir the alpha of their 2-persons pack, and is indefectibly loyal toward her – even against magical influence.

Garm fights pretty much like a combination of wolf and attack dog. He has a superior rapport with his alpha. For instance, he can understand orders such as “get to cover”.


Video

Here is some quick, 1080p footage of Hoelbrak, Eir’s house, Garm, Eir’s statues and Ms. Stegalkin. This was captured from the point of view of Elegant Fox Spirit who is about 5’5″, so of course the Norns all look gigantic and she’s but slightly taller than Garm.

Note how the two Norn tweens in front of the wooden gate to Stonewright Steading  are about Fox’s height.


History

Eir (pronounced much like “air”) is the daughter of Einar Cliffstrider, who died fighting icebrood at the Battle of the Ice Crest. Presumably her birth name was Eir Einarsdottir.

She is the widow of Borje the Sun Chaser, a Norn hero whose exploits have not been described. She is also the mother of the young hero Braham Eirsson, who was raised by Borje.

She earned the name Stegalkin after unrevealed exploits in her youth. But she is now best known for her leadership in the destruction of several mighty champions of the Elder Dragons.

Assault on the Dragonspawn

In 1319AE, Eir was contacted by two Asura, Master Snaff and his assistant Zojja. These wanted stone sculptures of their heads at 5:1 scale to complete their latest golemancy projects. The Norn took the lucrative job.

Stegalkin carried the heavy stone heads to the Asuras’ Rata Sum lab through the Asura Gate. There, she grew interested in the two unique fighting golems under construction – Big Snaff and Big Zojja.

The Norn convinced the two Asura to join her in battle. She considered that the extraordinary power of the Bigs could destroy the Dragonspawn. By this point, its undead hordes were routinely attacking Hoelbrak, the Norn capital.

Their assault destroyed the forces of the Dragonspawn. Yet they were forced to flee after the ice powers of the creature destroyed the Bigs. The region was drowned in a gigantic snowstorm, resulting in significant casualties in Hoelbrak. As a consequence Eir was ostracised from her city.

Meet the Edge of Steel

Determined to avenge her defeat she went to the pirate metropolis of Lion’s Gate. She sought to contact a famous Norn ex-adventurer, Captain Magnus the Bloody-Handed . Though Magnus’ loyalties were now with Lion’s Gate, he agreed to a bet of sort.

A trio of prisoners/gladiators dubbed the Edge of Steel had had an unprecedented streak of wins in the arena. The Captain agreed to transfer these gladiator’s billet to Eir if she and her allies could beat them.

Eir, Snaff, Zojja and Garm entered the arena as the Dragonspawn’s Destiny gladiatorial team. They narrowly beat Edge of Steel. The merged team was occasionally called Destiny’s Edge.

Destiny’s Edge

Well-prepared and heavily-armed, Eir’s team was successful and destroyed the Dragonspawn. They again lost both their golems – a rebuilt Big Zojja using parts from the long-since destroyed Big Snaff, and a revolutionary Snaff design called Sandy the sand golem.

After this triumph, Eir and Garm were allowed back in Hoelbrak as were their companions. A huge Norn feast was given in their honour.

Eir Stegalkin model sheet and render

Model sheet by YeeWu from his DeviantArt gallery .

Flush with victory, Eir tried her hand at damaging the tooth of Jormag kept at Hoelbrak. The tooth had been taken by a great Norn hero of the past, and attempting to dent it to prove that one could wound Jormag himself was a popular test of strength. However, Stegalkin failed like everybody before her.

Morgus Lethe

As Eir was retreating in a funk over this failure, the heroes were approached by Captain Magnus the Bloody-Handed. They still owed him a favour to finish repaying the billet.

Magnus wanted to sail with them to destroy another dragon champion. This time it was the undead ship captain Morgus Lethe, whose zombie sailors relentlessly preyed on Lion’s Gate maritime traffic.

As a dragon champion Lethe had so far been invincible. But after extensive preparation Destiny’s Edge and Magnus destroyed Lethe and hundreds of his zombies. This removed a huge thorn from Lion’s Gate commercial routes.

At the behest of the Asura in Rata Sum, the team then took out a champion of Primordus called the Destroyer of Life, and froze the magical caldera from whence it could conjure endless Destroyers.

Kralkatorrik

Destiny’s Edge then tried to stop the Elder Crystal Dragon, Kralkatorrik, who had just woken up in Charr  territory. They allied with the dragoness Glint, a former champion of Kralkatorrik. Glint had turned her back on her erstwhile master millennia before.

However the team’s best defender Logan Thackeray chose to leave at the last minute to defend his Queen. This critical defection resulted in the death of Snaff as he was paralyzing the mind of the Elder Dragon. Thus, the death blow couldn’t be struck against Kralkatorrik. Glint was also killed in the battle.

In the wake of this failure and these losses, Destiny’s Edge acrimoniously disintegrated, blaming each other. Eir remained with Garm on the desert battlefield to mourn Glint and Snaff, then slowly returned to Hoelbrak.

A few weeks after her return, the Guild Wars 2 storyline starts.


Description

Eir has a huge mane of bright red hair, and very pale skin adorned with blue Norn war tattoos.

She’s usually wearing a leather dress that doubles as light armour, with the left side almost completely open.

Stegalkin hasn’t been a young woman in quite a while. Howbeit it’s hard to tell with Norns, since by Human standards she looks maybe 34.

In warmer climates, Eir’s pale skin goes quite red and sweaty. She’s really not used to heat.

Here’s a short video presenting Edge of Destiny before the split (though it’s visibly an early version of the game engine and character models) :


Personality

Eir is determined to the point of fearlessness – some would say more stubborn than a mule. However, far from the image of the boisterous, drunk Norn she is a quiet, almost melancholic woman affected by the great menaces threatening the very existence of the peoples of Tyria.

She’s unusually smart, but her intelligence isn’t an intuitive one outside of the heat of battle. She will find superior and reliable solutions, but she has to think long and hard.

She will occasionally act the part of the Norn hero, showboating and ambitious. But this is usually theatre to meet societal expectations. Eir is a concerned protector, not a gloryhound.

Likewise, she’s not as ruggedly individualistic as most Norns out there. She likes working in a team (provided that she lead it, of course – she’s still Norn) and nurturing its unity and coordination.

Other traits

She has a slight mother bear aspect to her management, perhaps because she never got to raise her son for unrevealed reasons.

Stegalkin doesn’t handle failure well. This is because :

  • she’s not immune to pride
  • she seldom fails
  • she’s not generally an upbeat person
  • she often seems to bear the weight of the world on her shoulders

After Edge of Destiny disintegrated, she sunk into a depression and found herself unable to sculpt anymore. She just stayed home. She has been called a sentimental old woman, and when she’s crestfallen this is an accurate description.


Quotes

“Bear, guide my hand.”

“There is a certain sick calm before battle. The panic of the heart that something has been left undone, that we are not ready for this. But we are ready.”

Rytlock: “You’re fighting the battle already, aren’t you ?”
Eir: “Every day, I fight it over and over until one day I find that I’ve won. That day, I know the strategy I’ll use.”


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Eir Stegalkin

Dex: 05 Str: 05 Bod: 04 Motivation: Responsibility
Int: 06 Wil: 06 Min: 06 Occupation: Sculptor
Inf: 06 Aur: 05 Spi: 07 Resources {or Wealth}: 005
Init: 017 HP: 035

Powers:
Growth: 02, Power Reserve (Physical Attributes, movement speed): 01, Superspeed: 03

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Growth is Always On, Already Factored in and Form Function
  • Power Reserve also morphes Eir into an animalistic form based on a spirit animal (usually Wolf or Bear) in which she cannot clearly talk or think
  • Superspeed can only be used for Artist (Sculpting) Tasks
  • Superspeed is Powered and Mystic-Linked, as well as Contingent Upon her Connection with the Bear Spirit

Skills:
Artist (Artist): 03, Artist (Sculptor): 07, Military science (Field command): 04, Weaponry (Missile, Melee): 07

Bonuses and Limitations:
Weaponry (Missile) has Multi-Attack 1

Advantages
Area Knowledge (Shiverpeaks area), Expertise (Tactical analysis), Familiarity (Mountain survival, Sailing), Iron Nerves, Pet (Garm), Schtick (Flashing blades (Axes, Mallet, Gauntlets in animal claws form – all are Melee only))

Connections:
Edge of Destiny (Formerly High, now defunct)

Drawbacks:
Public ID, MPR (Eir’s huge size can occasionally be problematic). Formerly had Exile.

Equipment:

  • NORN LONGBOW [BODY 05, Projectile weapon: 04, Ammo: 01, Rec. STR: 04, R#02, Bow Advantage (effective EV is 05, effective Range is 8), Limitation : Low Penetration] and quiver with 40 arrows.
  • Throwing Axe (x2) [BODY 02, EV 03 (05 w/STR), Grenade Drawback]
  • War Axe (x2) [BODY 05, EV 04 (06 w/STR)] or Mallet [BODY 06, EV 05 (06 w/STR)]
  • GAUNTLETS W/KNIVES AND CHISELS [BODY 06, EV 03 (06 w/STR – possibly more in animal form)]
  • Either a BRONZE BREASTPLATE [BODY 04, Invulnerability: 04, Skin armor: 01, Limitation : Skin armor only vs slashing and piercing weapons ; Real Armour ; Partial Coverage (Vest)] or a STEEL PLATE ARMOUR [BODY 05, Invulnerability: 04, Skin armor: 01, Limitation : Skin armor only vs slashing and piercing weapons ; Real Armour]
  • Whilst working with Snaff and Zojja, Eir often had mission-specific trick arrows. One set of 3 released magnetised metallic nets with Accuracy (Metallic targets, such as people wearing armour): 08 and Snare (Area of effect: special): 05. If a net hits it will both attempt to Snare the person, and do a Take Away on their held weapons.
    Another quiverfull had explosive heads that started as flares (Flash (Only for Illumination): 04) then detonated as firebombs (Flame Project: 06 with a 2 APs Area of Effect). Snaff and Zojja prepared more explosive arrows later on – Eir could go through a lot of these in battles against dragon champions.

Garm

Dex: 04 Str: 04 Bod: 04
Int: 02 Wil: 01 Min: 04
Inf: 03 Aur: 00 Spi: 04
Init: 011

Powers:
Analytical Smell/Tracking Scent: 07, Claws: 05, Cold Immunity: 01, Directional Hearing: 04, Extended Hearing: 03, Iron will: 03, Running: 05, Super Hearing: 3, Ultra Vision: 03

Bonuses and Limitations:
Shrinking always on, already figured.

Skills:
Thief (Stealth): 04

Advantages:
Lightning Reflexes


Technical notes

The Guild Wars setting as described in the pages of the Edge of Destiny is a strongly combat-hierarchical setting. That is, it has a hierarchy that goes :

  • faceless soldiers/monsters
  • named characters/big monsters
  • heroes
  • very big monsters such as dragon champions
  • Elder Dragons

A person in one category can reliably defeat those in lower categories, even when markedly outnumbered, with little trouble. But heroes might prevail against creatures in higher categories given sufficient allies, assets and planning.

In DC Heroes terms, this is partially handled by giving the fighters in Edge of Destiny the Flashing Blades Schtick against melee attacks, giving very poor odds for opponents with low AV to hit them. However, the range of Physical Attributes (DEX, STR, BOD) is kept relatively narrow since few creatures cannot be killed in one good axe blow.

To complement this, a DC Heroes game would have to use a variant Action Table, where :

  1. the Lines and Columns all only include one AP and
  2. the odds of connecting are significantly degraded when a given AV targets an OV higher than itself.

This way, nameless zombies and soldiers are very unlikely to get past the guard of a hero, enforcing the hierarchy that’s present in the novel. Team Attacks should be proscribed under nearly every circumstances.


Game Stats — DC Adventures RPG Print Friendly

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Eir Stegalkin (Guild Wars) — Averaged PL 8.6

STR STA AGL DEX FGT INT AWE PRE
03 (04) 01 (02) 02 02 04 02 02 02

Powers

Spirits-guided sculptress ● 3 points ● Descriptor: Spirit totem affinity
– Enhanced Expertise (Sculptress) 4
– Quickness 3 (Limited 2 to Sculpting)

Really tall ● 4 points (Permanent) ● Descriptor: Norn
Growth 1 (Already Factored In – hence the increased STR and STA above)

Animalistic forms ● 5 points (Sustained) ● Descriptor: Spirit totem affinity
Array with the Quirk (animal forms make it hard to think or speak clearly), Quirk (animal forms makes fine manipulation and holding items very difficult if not impossible) and Noticeable

  • Speed 4
  • Enhanced Strength 01
  • Enhanced Fighting 01
  • Enhanced Stamina 01
  • Enhanced Agility 01

Devices

Eir used trick arrows on several occasions, but these were specifically built by Snaff and Zojja. She doesn’t have access to anything like that on her own. The two examples are:

  • Magnetised metallic net arrows — Accurate (Limited 1 to metallic targets, such as people in plate armour), Improved Disarm (Limited 1 to metallic weapons), Snare 4
  • Explosive flare arrows — Environment 2 (Light Rank 2 over 30ft, Light Rank 1 over 60ft) Combined with fire Damage 5 (Burst Area 1)

Combat Advantages

All-Out Attack, Close attack 3, Defensive Attack, Defensive Roll 2, Rapid Fire (bows) 4, Power Attack, Ranged Attack 2, Takedown, Throwing Mastery (bows) 1

Other Advantages

Assessment, Benefit 1 (Glorious among the Norn), Equipment 4, Fearless, Sidekick 11 (Garm)

Skills

Athletics 2 (+6), Close Combat (Norn weapons) 4 (+11), Deception 2 (+4), Expertise (Artist) 3 (+5), Expertise (Sculptress) 7 (+13), Expertise (Tactician and commander) 10 (+12), Expertise (Shiverpeaks area lore) 6 (+8), Insight 4 (+6), Perception 5 (+7), Persuasion 2 (+4), Ranged Combat (Norn weapons) 7 (+11)

Equipment

Here are weapons that frequently end up in her Equipment pool
Longbow Ranged Damage 3 ● 6 points
Throwing axes Ranged Damage 4 (Limited 2 – only 2 axes) ● 2 points
War axes Strength-based Damage 3, Feature 1 (one extra axe) ● 4 points
Mallet Strength-based Damage 3 ● 3 points
Gauntlets with knives and chisels Strength-based Damage 2, Feature 1 (still usable in animalistic form) ● 3 points
Plate mail Protection 5 ● 5 points
Full plate Protection 6 ● 6 points

Offense

Initiative +2
Unarmed +7, Close, Damage 4
Longbow +11, Ranged, Damage 4
Throwing axes +11, Ranged, Damage 4
War axes +11, Close, Damage 7
Mallet +11, Close, Damage 7
Gauntlets +11, Close, Damage 6

Defence

Dodge 07 Fortitude 07
Parry 08 Toughness 02*/04**
Will 09

* Without Defensive Roll
** Will likely wear armour

Complications

  • Fame Eir is famous among Norns and beyond
  • Norn Eir is huge, looks distinctive outside of a Norn area, and is ill-suited to warm climates
  • Exile For a while, Ms. Stegalkin was banished from her city
  • Melancholy Eir has mild depressive tendencies

Powers Levels

  • Trade-off areas. Attack/Effect PL 9, Dodge/Toughness PL 8, Parry/Toughness PL 9, Fort/Will PL 8
  • Points total 122 Abilities 40, Defences 19, Skills 26, Powers 8, Devices 0, Advantages 29. Equiv. PL 9.

Notes

Throwing Mastery (bows) simply applies to archery rather than thrown weapons. It also means that her Strength is considered the applicable Rank when calculating Range.

I have been pretty lax with her PL computations (for instance considering that the animalistic form was self-balancing), so feel free to consider her Averaged PL 9.


Sidekick: Garm

STR STA AGL DEX FGT INT AWE PRE
03 02 01 00 05 -2 02 00

Advantages: Defensive Roll 2, Improved Trip
Powers: Damage (Strength-based) 1, Enhanced Will Defense 6 (Limited 2 to Effects forcing him to disobey Eir), Immunity 1 (Environmental cold), Senses 6 (Accurate hearing, Extended hearing, Low-light Vision, Scent, Track, Ultra-hearing), Speed 4
Skills: Athletics 2 (+5), Insight 1 (+3), Perception 4 (+6), Stealth 4 (+5)
Offence: Init +1, Unarmed +5 (Damage 4)
Defence: Dodge 05, Parry 05, Fortitude 6, Toughness 02/04, Will 4

Points total 55 Abilities 18, Defences 10, Skills 6, Powers 18, Devices 0, Advantages 3.


Emulation notes

The Guild Wars setting as described in the pages of the Edge of Destiny is a strongly combat-hierarchical setting. That is, it has a hierarchy that goes :

  • faceless soldiers/monsters
  • named characters/big monsters
  • heroes
  • very big monsters such as dragon champions
  • Elder Dragons

A person in one category can reliably defeat those in lower categories, even when markedly outnumbered, with little trouble. But heroes might prevail against creatures in higher categories given sufficient allies, assets and planning.

This doesn’t align well with M&M rules, where the d20 is volatile and can produce large values compared to common modifiers. To keep things simple and predictable, we suggest something basic – if you attempt to affect somebody in a higher tier in the list above, their Defense or equivalent receives a +3 for the first tier on the table, and +2 for each additional tier.

So a faceless soldier attempting to strike Eir in melee would treat her as having a Parry score of 8+3+2= 13.

This way, nameless zombies and soldiers are very unlikely to get past the guard of a hero, enforcing the hierarchy that’s present in the novel.

People going through extraordinary training, planning, technology, etc. can cancel these penalties point by point as they prepare. This is the sort of action in play during the novel, as Eir and her team work on removing the 5 points of penalty penalizing them from hitting dragon champions, 1 by 1. The Bigs golems are a typical example of an extraordinary measure that’s remarkable enough to erase one point of hierarchy penalty.

By Sébastien Andrivet

Source of Character: Guild Wars 2, and specifically the Edge of Destiny novel. In the game, Eir is voiced by Jocelyn Blue.

Helper(s): Darci

Writeup completed on the 29th of January, 2014.

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