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Episodes and Epilogues

Episodes and Epilogues


Low-obligation writing group for episodic prompt-based short stories.

1,126 readers have visited Episodes and Epilogues since druidquest created it.


This is not a typical roleplay; instead, this thread is intended to house a writing group centered around writing original, episodic short stories based upon brief one-word prompts. Each member has their own setting and cast of characters, with the focus being on between one and 3 "main" characters, who essentially serve as the point of view throughout each story.

The system is pretty simple, and goes as follows: One person, beginning with myself and rotating through each member of the group every two weeks, states their prompt in the "prompt" thread of the OOC. It should look something like this:

Prompt- person who submitted the prompt- Date of submission- Final day of submission

The idea is that, after the submission of the prompt, each member of the writing group would have two weeks to produce some kind of story concerning their characters, in their setting, which ties into the prompt in some way. The writer could use the prompt literally, metaphorically, or, if they're having a particularly tough time, simply include the word at some point in their writing. By the end of the two week period, we all submit what we have written - be it a short 10-line blurb or a full length chapter, and then the next person in the rotation would submit a prompt.

There are no limits on what you could choose to write (aside from roleplaygateway's own guidelines on the matter), and no obligation to keep up should you be unable or unwilling. There is no interaction with the characters of other members, unless the involved members agree to it; the focus here is on giving members of the group a place to practice their own writing ability, under their own direction.

The group is always open, should you choose to join later; if so, you can decide whether you want to submit something using the prompt for the current period, or wait until the next one. This group is not intended to be difficult or stressful; if you find yourself struggling, feel free to reach out to your fellow members, or pull back to take a breather. You can always hop back in later.

The current rotation is as follows.

SugarNspikeS//Tyler "Ghost" Bates//Cedar Valley
arctickchild//Noah Riley//ATAVerse

Here is the character skeleton. Feel free to add more as you like, so long as this stuff is there somewhere.

Code: Select all
Character Name:

Character Appearance:

Character Stats: Age, birthday, etc.

Character Bio: History, personality, etc. You can just put a couple lines now, if you want to leave room to expand on it later.


Toggle Rules

-If you can't submit for 4 prompts in a row, please leave us a notice in the OOC! You're character won't get deleted, but it would be nice to know if you're still around.
-When you submit a prompt, you may extend the deadline by up to 3 days.
-Please don't harass other members. If you have a problem, sort it out civilly between yourselves.
-Please keep to original content.
-You can post as soon as you're done! You don't need to wait for the end of the two-week period.
-Please mention your favorite genre in the ooc to show you read the rules before submitting a character!

The Story So Far... Write a Post » as written by 3 authors


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Carys
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Keniht liked to walk along the riverbank in the early evening, after his chores were done and it was cooling down. He had learned to step carefully, as the ground could be unstable sometimes and a 4 foot drop into the water was liable to get his mother angry at him for catching cold. He liked to watch the fishes and frogs, and sometimes he would step off the bank into the little stretch of white sand when such stretches appeared, digging for small crabs or shiny river rocks.

On one breezy summer evening he made quite a different discovery. He spotted it first from a distance, coming around the bend by an old scots pine with lopsided branches. At first he’d taken it for a tree branch that had washed downstream and gotten stuck on some stones, but as he got closer the shape had resolved itself into a leg. He paused, scratching his cheek as he contemplated whether to run back and tell his mother there was a corpse in the river, before deciding that, if he were to go back, he may as well make sure it actually was a corpse, and not some unusually fleshy bit of driftwood.

He lowered himself down from the bank, shivering as the water chilled his legs up to the knee. It wasn’t deep, but the lack of a sandbed to step on first left him without a chance to grow accustomed to the cold water gradually. He ran a hand through his soft brown hair as he waded over to where the figure floated passively, startling some fish that had been nibbling on rapunzellian red hair. As he approached, what he assumed had once been clothing did little to disguise decidedly female characteristics, nor the labyrinthine network of scars running over her body.

“Hey,” he called out, moving to nudge her side with his leg but starting back when he spotted her eyes staring at him. They were light hazel things, set solidly as his father’s yet somehow gentle.

She hauled herself into a sitting position, feet finding the river bottom so that she was no longer simply floating upon the surface. Her long hair clung to her body and hung in her face like a cloak. She yawned, a wide, bone-cracking thing, showing off a set of large apelike teeth. Keniht stared in awe as the woman stood up to her full height, easily dwarfing even the tallest in his village, both in height and in width. Keniht’s first thought was of the southern giants his father told him about, though his stories had all made a point of mentioning their prodigious beards,which this figure rather notably seemed to lack.

The woman turned to look at him, leaning down to get a closer look and causing Keniht’s legs to give out underneath him in surprise. His head dipped under the surface of the river for only a moment before a plate-sized hand on his shoulder was lifting him effortlessly and carrying him over to the raised riverbank. He scrambled back a bit as she set him down, but stopped when he realized she wasn’t moving to pursue. After a moment of the two staring at each other, he slowly moved back to sit on the edge, legs dangling over the side.

“Th- thank you?” he said, not really sure if she spoke the same language. He’d never seen anyone with red hair before, and her unusual stature made her even more foreign. The woman placed her hands on the riverbank, moving to lift herself up, but stopped when Keniht gasped and moved backwards. She looked at him quizzically for a moment, then stepped back from dry land, seeming to understand Keniht’s apprehension. He cautiously moved back to where he’d been sitting, and realized that from here he was only a head under the strange river-woman.

She simply stood there for a moment, looking him over, so Keniht took the chance to do the same. He already knew she was strong, but now he saw that her body was covered in more than just scars. He saw a generous dusting of freckles on her face and shoulders, and now that he could see her more fully he realized that the strips of cloth doing very little to hide ought but her modesty were of a similar material to the old military uniform his mother kept at the back of the storage shed. He looked back to her face to find she was no longer watching him, but instead at the fish gathering around her feet to nibble at the tips of her hair.

He made a humming sound, placing his hands on the grass between his legs and leaning forward. “The fish like you a lot,” he said, pulling up a small clump of grass and sprinkling it into the water. “Do they think you’re food?” The woman shrugged, and Keniht sighed.

“You don’t talk much,” he stated, drawing another shrug. “My name’s Keniht. Do you have a name? ...Could you even tell me that?” The woman scratched the back of her neck, still watching the fish. “I bet you are a corpse,” Keniht muttered. She shrugged again.

Keniht groaned in exasperation, dropping onto his back and staring up at the slowly fading sky. It would be dark soon, and his mother would tan his hide if he turned up after dark. His eyes flicked downward to where the woman stood in the river, feet no doubt pruning as she marveled at the little fish preying on her unreasonably long hair. Did she have anywhere to go? If she was just lying in the river, did that mean she was all alone?

“Hey,” he began, pulling out clumps of grass. No verbal response from the woman, which he expected. “Hey, if you don’t have anywhere to go for the night-” he stopped mid-word. The woman wasn’t watching the fish anymore.

He sat bolt upright and moved to stand, startled by what he saw before him. The woman was hunched over, staring downstream with her arms half bent and her fingers curled like claws. She was baring her teeth, and a deep guttural growl was emanating from somewhere deep within her breast. Keniht looked to see what had managed to elicit an emotional response from her, but saw nothing. “What is i-”

He was cut off as the woman bolted downstream, causing river water to splash violently up onto the bank, soaking him. He watched in amazement as she tore down the river, then rose out of it, running along the vertical side of the bank before leaping off in an explosion of dirt and grass into the woods on the opposite side. Keniht ran after her, jumping across to the opposite bank when the river was narrow enough. He ran past broken tree branches and crushed undergrowth, finding her in a copse of willow trees. He stopped, eyes going wide at what he saw.

In one of the woman’s hands was the head of a strange equine creature with needle sharp teeth, half-crushed and connected to a slender fish-scaled body by a neck so flimsy that Keniht doubted he had any more bones that hadn’t snapped. Make sure you’re home before it gets dark, his mother had said. It can be dangerous near the woods.

The woman straightened from her almost feral posture, dropping the kelpie to the ground. She took a step toward him, and Keniht took a step back. The woman withdrew her foot. “Sorry,” she spoke for the first time. Her voice was quiet, so, so quiet, and hoarse. It sounded like leaf litter, Keniht thought. This time it was the woman who took a step away, and Keniht found himself regretting his own fear for a moment. The moment was long enough.

“Wait!” he called out. Then he hesitated, unsure of what he was going to say next. The woman hadn’t given him reason to fear earlier, and even when she had it was to deal with something he may have easily wandered into had she not been laying in the river. She didn’t seem like a bad person, not to an eleven year old boy.

“D- Do you have anywhere to go, for the night?” he asked, scratching at his cheek. “My father should be making dinner… about now… and- and you haven’t told me your name! My mother says it’s rude to leave before giving someone your name, after they gave you theirs.”

Keniht felt awkward, standing there in the woods as the sun went down, shouting at a woman five times his size to come to dinner after she had just killed a monster with her bare hands. It went away immediately when she turned back to face him, a small smile playing at her lips and the last few rays of the setting sun reflecting off the metal tags hanging from her neck.

“You can…” she hesitated for a moment, as if looking for what to say next. “You can call me Carys.” Keniht grinned, wide and full of teeth.

“It’s nice to meet you Carys.”

The setting changes from Clockwork to Cedar Valley


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Tyler "Ghost" Bates
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It was the last week before summer vacation ended and Mr. Sharky had given him the week off to enjoy summer before the school year started. Tyler went down to Cedar Lake and it was incredibly crowded. It looked like every family in town was there as well as a ton of tourists. Luckily for Tyler, he knew a spot where nobody ever went away from the beach and park area where all the people were. He started weaving his way through the thick forest that surrounded the lake until he reached a clearing by the water that he would visit every year. He laid out an old blanket and set down the cooler. The sun was beaming down making it really hot. He grabbed the bottom of his tank top and pulled it up over and off and threw it onto the blanket.

“Oh, hello. I didn’t know anyone knew about this place.” A voice came from behind a tree as young guy who looked to be the same age as Tyler walked into the clearing.

“Um, it’s okay. I only really come here at the end of summer.” He said as he looked the guy over. He was a little bit taller, sandy brown hair in a spiky style, a light dusting of freckles on the top of his cheeks and bright blue eyes.

“Name’s Tyler.” He said as he extended his hand for the stranger to shake.

“Ken.” He answered grabbing Tyler’s hand and giving it a strong shake.

“So are you new to the area, or just one of the tourists?” Tyler asked. He didn’t recognize the guy and this was a small town
“I’m new here, my family just the place on Stevens street.”

“No way! That’s the place across the street from me. Nice to meet ya neighbor.”

Tyler ran into the water and dove down to get used to the freezing water quickly. He rose up a few seconds later and looked over to the shore.

“So you coming in or what?” He called out to Ken. He looked nervous and out of place somehow. He gave a half smile as he set out his own blanket and cooler next to Tyler’s.

“Uh, yeah I’ll be out there in just a second.”

Tyler swam out a little farther to where he couldn’t touch the bottom of the lake then relaxed and floated on his back. He turned his head toward the shore and saw Ken take off his shirt and throw it next to Tyler’s. He was in really good shape and had nice body.

“Damn!” Tyler whispered, barely audible.Ken walked out into the water and swam out to Tyler.

“So, anything special I should know about this town?” Ken asked as he caught a glimpse of Tyler’s green eyes.

“Yeah, it’s a really open-minded place, even though it’s a small town. Oh and we’re really big dodge ball fans around here.” Tyler smiled, suddenly finding himself nervous. Ken smiled back.

“Dodge ball? That’s different. So are you gonna be a junior this year? You look like you’re about my age.”

“Yeah, I’ll finally get to be on the varsity team this year. I can’t wait, coach Janis says I’m the best dodger on the team and if it hadn’t been for my age I would have been varsity last year.”

“Cool, I wish I was good at some kind of sport, but my younger brother got all the physical talent. How’s your library?”

“Well the town library is huge, but the school library is average I guess. You an avid reader?”

“Yeah, I’m a bit of a bookworm.”

“I like to read too, I just wish I had more time to read more often, but practice takes up so much of my time. I only get to read right before bed usually.”

“It’s kinda weird how we have so much in common.” Ken said as a sly grin crept across his face. “Would you mind showing me around town sometime?”

Tyler was a bit shocked by the tone of his question. “Sure, practice doesn’t start ‘til next week. You busy tonight? We could go to the Burger Barn.”

“Burger Barn?”

“Yeah weird name, but it’s this awesome burger place and the onion rings are to die for.”

“Okay, it’s a date.”

“Careful what you say around here, like I said this town is very open-minded. Someone might take you up on an offer like that, I know I would.” Tyler chuckled nervously.

“Then I’ll see you at seven.” Ken smiled devilishly as he walked out of the water and grabbed his towel. Tyler was stunned. He just stayed there speechless and barely treading water. Did this guy just ask him out? Was he gonna pass up an opportunity like this? He came to his senses and got out of the water too.

“Wait, are you really asking me out?” Tyler asked.

“Yeah. Is that so bad? You said the town was open-minded.” He paused and looked shocked. “Oh my god are you already seeing someone?”


“Oh no, are you straight? Did my gaydar mess up again?”

“No, you got it right, but it might have been a good idea to ask first. I’m just a little shocked is all. I’d love to take you to dinner tonight.”

“Sweet. You had me scared, I don’t think I could handle another mix-up. I gotta go take care of a few things and get ready, it’s already 5:30. You know where to find me.” He smiled as he grabbed his stuff and headed back into the woods.

The setting changes from Cedar Valley to ATAVerse


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Noah Riley
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The rain pools at their feet.

Noah turns their face into it, breathing. It feels different here; the last rainstorm they were in was a few 'verses back, a torrential downpour that had the locals dancing and singing in the streets. It had been a holy day for them; a day to celebrate the renewal of life and mourn for the lost opportunities of the past seasons. Noah had laughed as children pulled them into a carefree spin, had sat with them and listened to their stories for hours; it had been a good end to a good month, the longest they'd ever spent in one place. It had been rejuvenating; a rebirth of the spirit, the priest had called it, with a kind smile and gentle touch.

Now they just feel exhausted. The rain pools at their feet, sluggish and dull. Their claws twist in the soggy paper of the aged notebook, mangling it. It's ruined, again; they'll have to restore it, again. It gets harder each time, the clarity of the earlier words lost in the mud seeping through their boots. They're all so small, ink and curved letters and the stench of decaying cellulose, sharp and sweet, but they mean so much.

Don't they?

They could drop it. They could let the entirety of their written history dissolve away in the rain and the fog, be eaten by the dirt and bugs that pool I the rainwater around their feet. It would be easy. They wouldn't even remember the notebook in a few jumps.
Their claws tighten around the pages. A few jumps, and nothing would be left of Noah Riley or the thief wearing her name, nothing left of the twenty worlds of pain in their past.

There is a pull in their gut, and Noah steps forward into a new skin instead.

The setting changes from ATAVerse to Clockwork


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Carys
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Eildi rested a rifle lazily on one shoulder, unsure of what to make of the creature slung over the larger woman’s shoulder as they marched back to the village. She’d been hesitant of her son’s story of the monster his new… acquaintance had slain in the woods on the opposite side of the river, but she knew when Keniht was lying, and this hadn’t been one of those times. Nonetheless she’d needed proof, so she’d grabbed her old rifle with the slightly rusted sights and the shard pack that always gave a bit more resistance when she reloaded, placed the giant red-headed woman in front of her, and set off into the forest.

That sure was a monster, all right. It could be difficult to recognize at first glance due to the way the skull was caved in and little bits of teeth dropped out every time it bounced against Carys’s solid back, but after a walking around it for a bit to see from different angles Eildi felt confident it was a kelpie. One half-smashed eye stared at her, and she wished she’d brought a sack to put over its head. Instead, she quicked her pace so she was a step ahead of the stranger.

Carys was another thing which set her anxiety humming. Eildi had no idea what to make of the woman; she’d seen homunculi during the war - large, fleshform golems that could decimate entire squads, but she’d never known them to have names. Never known them to speak. Never known them to still exist, not following their purge near the end. And yet here Carys was, as if she’d always belonged to the world. As if she were more than a military construct.

The two walked in silence for a time, stepping across the river and climbing up the opposite bank to reach the dirt path which led back to the village. The triplet moons shone high in the sky, Macha at the peak and Nemain at the lowest. Eildi heard crickets chirping in the grass to the sides of the path, and somewhere in the distance a fox called. She quickened her pace, and motioned for Carys to do the same; she had little doubt the two of them could handle themselves, but she’d rather not risk it, especially when Kajaa’s cooking was growing cold.

Eildi’s home was constructed in the typical style of northern Colry; from the outside, it appeared as if a thatch roof had been constructed on the ground, as if one had intended to have it moved onto a proper building but forgot. The entrance was low, and one was forced to bow their head in order to enter, wherein they would see that most of the home had been constructed below ground, allowing it to retain heat in the winter and keeping it cool in the summer.

The thatching was purely decorative; inside, one could see the true roof was constructed entirely of rood, and the walls of the home were tiled to prevent subterranean life from inadvertently digging through the walls. The floor had simple wood paneling, and rugs had been laid out in places as decoration. Smoke from a fireplace escaped through a small hole at the back of it, so that no chimney would rise up from the roof. The uniform thatching thus allowed the building to disappear into the surrounding hills if viewed from a distance.

A low table sat at the center of the main room, and the smell coming from a room off to the side revealed the location of the kitchen. Two other door ways on the opposite side presumably led to bedrooms, and a bit of searching would have revealed a bathroom leading off from one of these.

Kajaa came through the kitchen doorway as Eildi stepped toward the table, Carys struggling to fit her larger size through without banging her head against the top of the front entrance. He looked at the massive stranger for a second, then at his wife with a flicker of trepidation. Eildi smiled at him, and after a brief moment where Kajaa returned the smile, he returned to the kitchen.

“I assume you’re both hungry, now that you’ve finished your little woodland hike,” he called from this other room. “I tried keepin’ the food warm for you, but I wasn’t sure how long you’d be, and Keniht needed to sleep, so I’m afraid there might not be enough for both of you.” He came back into the main room carrying a large pot between two oven mitts, a ladle tucked haphazardly into the rear pocket of his trousers.

“And to be honest, I really wasn’t expectin’ to receive a guest,” he added as he set the pot down in the center of the table. “Not that we aren’t pleased to have you, I just prefer to have a bit of forewarnin’ before I start to cook.”

Kajaa pulled the ladle from his pants and set it on top of the pot, moving to join the women in sitting down before jumping back to his feet when he realized he’d forgotten to grab tableware. A moment later he was setting bowls and spoons before each of them. He collected himself a small helping of the stew, filling his bowl mainly with root vegetables and leaving the mutton for the other two. Eildi was rather less controlled in how much meat she left, though after a raised eyebrow from her husband she moved some of the meat from her bowl into Carys’s, filling the void with potatoes and onions. Kajaa cleared his throat, and she reluctantly added a couple of carrots.

Carys sat in silence as the other two ate, occasionally picking at the meat Eildi had given her with a finger. Eildi watched her out of the corner of her eye, occasionally flitting back to the contents she was currently shoveling into her face to make sure she didn’t accidentally choke. She’d more or less expected this reaction; she’d never seen a homunculus eat during the war, and didn’t see why they would need to if they were created artificially. It was Kajaa who actually spoke up on the matter; he’d also served alongside homunculi in the war, but a guest was a guest, and he wouldn’t leave a guest unfed.

“Is it not what you’re used to?” he asked, lowering his spoon.

“Kajaa.” Eildi gave her husband a look.

“What?” he protested. “Just because you never saw one eat doesn’t mean she can’t. Maybe she was on a special diet. Were you?” he asked Carys.

Eildi set her own spoon down. “She doesn’t need to eat it, Kajaa,” she said quietly. “Don’t force the issue.”

Carys pulled a bit of the mutton away with her fingers and put it in her mouth, chewing slowly. They both looked at her for a minute, then Eildi picked her spoon up again.

“Is it good?” Kajaa asked, a grin playing at his lips. Carys nodded, continuing to pull off small bits of meat. Eildi side-eyed them both, but said nothing on the matter. Kajaa returned to his own dinner after informing Carys that she was free to have more if she wanted.

They continued on in silence until the last of the stew had been scraped away from inside the pot, and Kajaa gathered up their dishes and brought them into the kitchen. Carys gazed around the room awkwardly, not quite sure what to do now. Her eyes touched briefly on the service medal above the fireplace before lowering to where her hands rested on the table.

“I’ll bring you to the tailor tomorrow,” Eidli spoke up, more to fill the silence than anything. “In return for helping my boy. Besides, it would do you some good to get out of those rags and into something which actually…” She made a vague gesture to Carys’s body, her modesty protected by the strips of cloth in only the most strained interpretation of ways. “Covered.”

The setting changes from Clockwork to ATAVerse


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Noah Riley
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Noah Riley has a list in their notebook. It's short, a smattering of names from various lives, a few small lines; a name, something they loved about that person, a scrap of fabric, a description of a scene, anything, anything, anything to impress the memories into the slowly widening sieve of their mind.

Idrix: made up songs about everything. soft snow piles and shivering beneath a hot shower. sunshine? warmth, bright yellows, gentle orange, a laugh against your neck
Maria: cooked shellfish in heavy cream. fluffy blankets and prayers in the candlelight. jasmine, lavender, shirtless summer nights,
“Santa María, Madre de Dios, ruega por nosotros pecadores - “
Xalix: freedom, gunpowder and starlight, blood in your mouth, and a scrap of a battered army uniform

They force themself to remember; they draw the slowly dimming faces on the back of every page, trying to fill the holes with pale reflections of the emotions captured between the lines.

mi familia: they scrawl the title across the top of the page, hasty and desperate. They had a different family once, they think; a normal family, siblings and parents in the same home, the same universe, but they can't remember. All they have left is this -- the slowly growing list of names that loses more meaning the more they read it, the confused fear of forgetting something important.


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Noah Riley
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How do you keep everything straight?

Xallix' cheek is soft and warm; the coarse fur scrapes against Noah's thumb, and they smile despite themself. The soldier is half-asleep against them, languid and relaxed the way she only ever is when it's just the two of them. It's a strange feeling; Noah leans over, pressing a gentle kiss between their ears. This feels so familiar; the world steady beneath their feet, the universe silenced around them. This must have been what it was like before, Noah thinks; warm and steady, no fear of losing everything again -

The army is falling back, shouting for a retreat that is already in full swing. Noah can taste blood in their mouth, panting desperately as they abandon their shattered blade and strike out with their claws instead. A dull burn pulses at the base of their skull. They've overstretched themself; the familiar numbness tingles through their arms, crawling into their bones, and they throw the attacker of themself, looking, desperate, Xal, Xal, where are you, where -

"I love you." The admission is breathed into her neck, curled around each other in a tiny tent on what would become the deadliest battlefield of the war. Noah is warm and safe; a participant, playing with the universe's rules, scratching the hard to reach space behind Xallix' ears. It's not a role they're used to, not one they're entirely comfortable with, but this has always been the price of stability. Xallix purrs gently, claws trailing gently across Noah's spine,

Xallix bleeds out in their arms, choking and terrified; Xallix laughs and traces the scars across Noah's back; Xallix' eyes are cold and mistrusting as they collapse to their knees in a world they know nothing off; Xal, Xal, Xal, Xal.

I try not to.

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Worlds by druidquest



Clockwork by druidquest

druidquest's setting

Cedar Valley

Cedar Valley by druidquest

SugarNspikeS's setting


ATAVerse by druidquest

arctickchild's setting

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Character Portrait: Tyler "Ghost" Bates
Character Portrait: Noah Riley
Character Portrait: Carys


Character Portrait: Noah Riley
Noah Riley

"I am not Noah Riley."

Character Portrait: Tyler "Ghost" Bates
Tyler "Ghost" Bates

"Some things can't be dodged."

Character Portrait: Carys

shaped like a friend


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