Kingmaker

Starting Out
The adventure begins

In early Pharast 4710, the explorers travelled to Oleg’s Trading Post in the Northern Greenbelt. They were approached by Oleg, who had trouble with some local bandits. The bandits were subdued in a quick blitz of an ambush, and the explorers set out to find the bandit camp.
The bandit camp was found at a crossing point across the Thorn River, and razed quickly. A few bandits were captured, but the leader later made her escape.
Beginning their exploration and mapping of the surrounding plains, they encountered local bandits and giant spiders, as well as the hermit Bokken.

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Cleaning out evil Fey and hungry Lizardmen

Month of Lamashan, first year after the founding of Greenbelt.
The brave rulers of the Greenbelt travelled to the ruined Elven outpost, clearing out rats and fey. One inhabitant got away in the night, leaving only an empty chest behind in a room overgrown with assassin vine.
Back in Tuskwater, the elven scribe stayed behind as the rulers set a trap for a werewolf, catching and curing a cursed man with two unfortunate kills behind him. A deal was renegotiated with Kesten Garess, and the realm was expanded.
As the young boy Tig disappeared, the sometimes heroic band set off towards the South, along the shores of Lake Candlemere. At the mouth of the Murque River there lay a wooden palisade upon a muddy island. Hearing screams, the casters called wind and fire, broke down the palisades, and the band carved their way through the lizardmen, their pets, and Vesket their king. Tig was found tied up above the pit in which the pets had dwelt, and a transparent, luminescent lizard skull zapped the Marshal and disappeared.
Returning, they found the population on the edge of rebellion, an enchanted orator speaking thunder and fire of the performance of the ruling class. In full public view of all the irate citizens the General walked up on stage and clobbered the man, dragging him towards the Castle as the crowd started throwing rocks. Trying and failing to calms the populace, the King got out unscathed mostly due to his small stature. By negotiation and truth-magic, the orator Grigori admitted to being hired in Pitax by an agent claiming to represent Fort Drelev. Offered a better deal in the Greenbelt, Grigori decided to take the job as Councilor.

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Trollpurge
Hargulka's Fall, the founding of Tatzlford, and further expansion

With winter blanketing the realm in snow, the regent decreed that exploration would have to wait. With the early thaw, the adventurers headed to the Southern shore of Candlemere. Exploring westward, they sought the point where they had finally caught up with the fleeing troll following the encounter with the disbanded troop of Hargulka’s forces near Melianse‘s grove.
In their search, the heavy wingbeat of a forest drake forced them to interrupt the exploration. The group mobilized their ranged capacity, and wounded the beast enough to drive it off. Healing their acid-burned comrades, they tracked the drake’s lair, enraging the beast enough to bring it charging in. The drake was slain and skinned, it’s severed head brought along for decoration.
The lair of Hargulka was located in an old Dwarven fortification, and the group charged in, slaying numerous trolls in the ancient halls. The loot collected from the trolls, along with the reward granted by Restov for clearing out the trolls, allowed the kingdom to finish the Erastil temple in Tuskwater on time.

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Journal

Iathiel, Bintak, Zanzuket & Korhac set out to find the Hodag described by Stas the lumberjack. They sailed all the way to where Murque River begins without incident and visited the elven fort.
After some exploration the group was ambushed by a wyvern and only by the grace of Torag was Iathiel Spymaster kept in our world. However it was by King Zanzukets hot fire and Marshal Korhacs cold steel that the wyvern was exiled from the world of the living.
The royal Worg then sped off and carried the King to see the Hodag. The Hodag was a menace to light armored opponents (royal worg and celestrial crocodile) but after the Marshal stepped forward the party suffered no more damage. The party found a magical spear and a suit of armor in the lair of the Hodag.
On the return journey the group encountered six boggarts feasting on the flesh of a dead lumberjack. They slew the boggarts and burried the man.

At home the counsil discussed wether to build a camp or a winery in the fangberry forest, but it was decided to save up resources and to build the promised noble villa. Treasurer Bintaks strategy of being leniet with the people paid off this month as the people generously donated extra taxes (9BP).

Iathiel learned about a group of witches of Gyronnah and after a few nights of shadowing the group located the covenant. One fireball later the kingdom was rid of Gyronnahs influence.
That month the people buried the charred remains of one of their honored citizens and the strong economy came through again (9BP).

In order to gain information on how to defeat the wisps the party decided to find rattlecaps for the Belldame (the hag). The government ordered the construction of a keelboat and while waiting for its completion they expanded the kingdom towards the Narlmarches and set up a logging camp. The content people of Greenbelt paid a good sum of taxes (9BP).

The party then set out in the keelboat and following their noses they found the rattlecap mud pit. A tendriculos assaulted the King, and nearly swallowed our Liege whole but it was felled before it could finish the deed. The elf then found 15 rattlecaps and once delivered the Belldame explained that there is a tower on the island that attracts the wisps. Rumour said there used to be a temple on the island and something about a goat. Now there are only screams and something that eats the screamers. On that happy note the party then explored the southern shore of the Gudrin river. On the second night they were attacked by a wisp. The group then got first hand experience on the electricity attacks and elusiveness of the wisps. Korhac threw water on it to make it visible and King Zanzuket (bravely) zapped the zapper with missiles of magic.

The group also encountered a laucrotta, a mind-affecting badgerlike predator. King Zanzuket set an illusion trap for the monster and the group quickly finished the monsters life. There they found some blue dragonhide armor, an ivory comb and a tree feather token. Before returning to the kingdom they met a small feydragon called Ravash (for its ravashing looks) that told the group that a lot of fey live up at lake Silverstep. Korhac courtiously invited Raavash to come visit the kingdom for a honey snack. The group then traveled home humming the tune of “Soren Bandjomus”.

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Journal II

Iathiel, Bintak, Zanzuket, Korhac and Zaltec made their preperations and then sailed for Candlemere. It took some diplomatic effort on the King’s part to make the sailors sail all the way to the island.

Cutting through poison nettles they came to the tower of Candlemere. At night the tower became haunted and the group was ambushed by a wisp that was attracted by the fear shadow of the tower.
The group then entered the tower and killed a gibbering mouth in the tower basement and Bintak conversed with his ancestors to learn the dark secrets of the tower.
The next day, at night, Bintak followed his ancestors advice and destroyed the haunts that were embedded in the tower. The tower then collapsed and 8 wisps tried to take their revenge on the group. Only the handy preperations of the group made sure that the group survived.
The group then returned home for some well earned downtime.

After relaxing and training (level 7) they ordered the construction of a moon radish camp and the taxes were moderate that month (7BP).

Next month they built an inn in Tuskwater called “Zanzukanian waters” and the taxes were excellent (10BP).

Soon they erected a building to house an exsotic craftsman and expanded the Kingdom to include Tatzlfort. Taxes generated good income that month (10BP).

The Kingdom then expanded up the Thornriver and the Silverrock smithy was founded. Taxes were collected (9BP) and an important person went on a shopping spree in the Greenbelt (14BP).

The next month was spent saving up wealth (11BP) and in the last month of the winter a library was erected and the Kingdom was expanded further into the Narlmarches. The taxes almost paid for the library (12BP) and the weather was excellent sending almost all people in the Greenbelt into a cheerful mood.

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Adventures of the Great All Mighty Sorcerer King Zanzuket

The 11 of November.

I the Great All Mighty Sorcerer King Zanzuket record these stories so future generations can know of me heroic deeds and great adventures as I founded the city of Tuskwater and claimed the lands about it in my glorious name.

After a long and hard journey where I had to save my followers the priest dwarfs Bontek, the warrior dwarf – Khornhak and elf women – Iatsomethingsomething countless of time from dangers like worgs, kobolds and giants. Which now all serve me because of my all mighty powers and my great mercy. Leaving the Human barbarian Konan or was it Ronal to guard the Great city of Tuskwater. We arrived at the cave of the giant Owlbears!

In this terrible cave even I the great king was wounded! The act of great insult could of course only be done by unthinking evil creatures using cunning stealth and power poisons. But never the less I conquered even this challenge. Even when wounded and poisoned the evil plant creatures was slain and the dwarf priest Bontek healed mine and my other followers wounds.

The evil plants was not the only dangers of the cave, spiders and spidermen infected the cave like rats but these where easily cleaned out like the vermin they were.
But greats threat of the owlbear cave was of course the huge frenzied owlbear. Whom evil men had driven mad by killing most of its pack. This mad and mindless beast attack us and killed the elf Iatsomethingsomething after khornhak, the warrior dwarf, suffered a minor injured and ran off to hide! But the beast was slain by my magic and with the help of Konan or Ronal when he by pure luck and helped by my great magic powers appeared in the cave to attack the monster at its back as it was facing me. But by this deed we killed the monster and save the frightened and hiding Khornhak.

Konan or Ronal the barbarian had failed to protected the city of Tuskwater and only by my great and wise leadership did I get the city repaired and running again.

Nor did I leave the elf Iatsomethingsomething to her fate in endless knowledge and goodly mercy. I had her resurrected with the help of my high cleric. So she could have the grand joy and privilege serve me again. My grandeur and mercy have no limit when helping my followers and servants. I even gave them a few magic objects too keep them alive in the future!

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The Varnhold Woes
A Shadow in the East

In the early winter of 4713, it was reported my multiple sources that all contact with the town of Varnhold had been lost. Unable to interfere directly, Restov requested that the Greenbelt strive to investigate the matter. Suspicion was immediately aimed at the Nomen centaurs, who have long been in conflict with the forces of humanity. Restov also requested that this matter be settled – the means were unimportant.
The king and his entourage felt a cleric’s assistance was needed, but faithful Bintak had been unnerved by the death of the group chronicler to the point where he had to be sequestered in his chambers. An Osirian half-orc, new to the kingdom, stepped up and offered his abilities as a healer and caster to the impending mission. Looking at the tusked, dark-clad figure and his skull-patterned scythe, the king wisely decided that Reoc would surely be a good man to have behind him on such dark paths as the coming journey might lead to.
The keelboat “Royal Magnanimity” sailed them to Lake Silverstep, where the group dismounted and ventured to circle North along the Tors, towards a pass they had heard of that should cut short their journey through the mountains by several days. They briefly encountered some spriggans, but these retreated into a burrow and would not be persuaded to exit and prostrate themselves before the king in undying service.
Journeying towards Varnhold Pass, the group spotted a black roc, and recalled the request for a roc egg that had been put forth by the half-mad cook of the city inn. They noticed that the creature appeared to nest around Talon Peak, a mountain top holding an old Elven ruin. Approaching, they found the approach too steep for an easy climb, but between an airwalking half-orc and a spider climbing elf, the group quickly made the top. Here, however, they discovered that the vast mass of the eggs made it impossible to steal one right away, so they chose to retreat before the roc returned.
In Varnhold pass, the cleric helped the group to walk across the river to the path leading to Varnhold. Arriving at the top of the pass, they found the guard tower empty, and chose to camp in it for the night. Riding for Varnhold proper, they arrived North of the city, seeing no sign of current habitation. Spotting the hill-top fort in the Southern part of the city, they decided to make it their first priority. Leaving Reoc’s presumably-man-servant Igor with the mounts, they headed into town, weapons drawn. At the river ford connecting the two sides of the city, they spotted a figure in the water, and faced it weapons drawn as they crossed, provoking no reaction. Intensely focused on the mysterious shape, several of their number walked into a pit trap, suffering grievous injuries in the process. Extracting the cleric from the spikes, the group healed up, and carefully tracked their route as they proceeded south on the town road. Coming across a well, they spotted a humanoid creature drowned upon the bottom, and decided they would look for drink elsewhere.
Arriving at the town stockade, the group found the door barred, and rocks were thrown at them. The doors were undone, and the group engaged the fortified spriggans in an extended battle, dodging anvils, barrels, another pit trap, and the wolves kept as pets by the creatures. The spriggans were woefully outmatched by the well-equipped royal escort, and even their chief Agai was quickly dispatched. Two captured spriggans escaped their bonds and escaped through the well on the ground floor of the blockhouse, pursuit was dismissed as a bad idea. The adventurer’s rummaged through the holdings of the keep, and Agai’s pockets, and proceeded into the town. Fending off angry crows, they recovered odds and ends from the houses, before finding the Inn. They found the word “Nomen” scrawled in the door-frame. In the common hall stood a dead spriggan, held upright by a strange, glowing spell, connected to an open book upon a table. Leaving it alone, they ascended. Within the Waterhorse, they uncovered the property of Maestro Pendrod. Amongst the scholar’s notes, they also found a copied passage from a textbook, naming a “Vordakai’s Island”, and a “dread guardian”. They moved from the Inn to the house of the Ranger Willas Gundarson, who had been listed by Pendrod as the one to recover an odd jade bracelet, apparently the cause of Pendrod’s visit to the area. His house had been sacked, but using Detect Magic, they located a wooden box holding what appeared to be a folded handkerchief. An astute scholar of the arcane, Iathiel could inform the group that they held a folding boat.
Approaching the river, they decided that the creature in the water could not be left to prey on those who might come by later, so they starter shooting into the water to provoke a reaction. The odd crustacean-looking creature turned and fled for the upstream lake, but quaffing some potions of waterbreathing quickly enabled Korhak to descend and block the creature’s way. Not satisfied with this, Iathiel decided to aim for the sky, and so she dove beneath the creature with a feather token in hand. As the tree grew rapidly beneath it, the creature struggled to get out of the way, but was carried far aloft instead. Reoc walked the air up to it, and was knocked out by a powerful claw, then paralyzed by the tentacles ringing the mouth of the aberration. The rest of the group cooked the crustacean where it was, and recovered the cleric.

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A Winter Walk, Centaurs, and an Island in a Mountain Lake
Stalking Shadows

The adventurers crossed to the North of the river, and set to examining the last unexplored buildings of Varnhold. The tanner had numerous skins laid about, including some stretched out horse hides still on their frames. The cut of the skins was such that the group concluded that they had come across another aspect of the conflict between Varnhold and the Nomen centaurs. They found the village brewery, where they discovered several barrels of stout laid by, undiscovered by the water-shy spriggans. Some of the unfinished product had fermented beyond recovery, but the cold of the season had preserved most in a palatable state. There was a pigsty furthest to the North of the village, where the group came upon a large starved boar. They fought and defeated the creature with little effort, reminiscing fondly about Tuskgutter, so long ago now. The mirth was not embraced as diligently by Korhak as the rest of the group, oddly enough.
As the winter snow started falling heavily, the party decided it was time to depart Varnhold. They left Zaltek behind with rations and stout in the fort, to look for survivors and stragglers. Wisely deciding that a beeline across the mountains would be faster than taking the road around them, the king led his retinue into the Tors of Levenies and the snowstorm. Following the frozen river into the mountains, the prudent adventurers walked into an avalanche. The more perceptive of their number prepared for the oncoming wall of snow as best they could, and the snow hit the group like a hammer. Those still above the snow started digging for their companions, freeing Iathiels mount and their friends from the drifts. It would be much later when they discovered they’d forgotten Igor.
Making it across the mountains with almost sufficient supplies, the group stopped for warmth at the steaming mud flats, where they picked a fight with the mudmen dwelling there. Making it back to the Greenbelt, the group rested. They were later joined by Zaltek, who abandoned the fortress when food ran low.
Passing the winter in Tuskwater, they witnessed an attack by angry Redscale kobolds, leaving houses and the city’s magic shop in ruins, followed yet again by lamentation over the lack of city walls.
Come break of spring, the group set upon the task of visiting the Nomen centaurs, to ask them what they knew of the fate of Varnhold. First, though, they took down the eggs of the black roc of Talon Peak, and returned them to town for a grand feast amidst the smoldering ruins, making of the roc another trophy. Finishing up their vast omelet, they went through the Tors, and crossed the plains until they met with a hostile group of centaur scouts. Keeping their cool in the face of the charge, they witnessed the centaurs breaking off the charge. Convincing the centaurs to lead them to whatever chiefs might be found, they met with priestess of the Nomen in the main camp. Initially wroth with the intruders, [Aecora Silverfire] was quick to temper her ire when the centaur bow held by the spriggan chief was presented to them. The Skybolt turned out to be holy to the centaurs, and the Culcheck spriggans had been enemies of the centaurs long before the founding of Varnhold. As the talk turned to Varnhold, Aecora was less than sympathetic, though quite unnerved at the thorough disappearance of the villagers. Looking again to the bow, she asked that the royal entourage try to find her daughter, who had ridden past the warning totems and into the Valley of the Dead not too long ago.
Roaming in the direction of the Valley, the group happened upon a herd of mastodons in the shadow of a gargantuan linnorm skeleton. The bull attacked, but was quickly dispatched. The mouth of the Valley was marked with centaur totems, warning off any who might dare to intrude. The adventurers intruded, and made their way South, across a vast field of huge, weathered gravestones. The sense of evil was palpable in the air. Along the sheer cliffs in the Western side of the Valley, they spotted a narrow gap, guarded by what appeared to be a giant. Upon approaching, they found tracks of unshod hooves aimed at the stair behind the guardian, a vast cyclopean zombie. Dispatching the creature, they went to sleep upon the stair rather than daring the unknown path with all spells spent and no light to see by. Whilst Iathiel stood guard, a silent creature of clawed flying darkness set upon the sleeping king, leaving him less sensible than usual before it was finally dispatched. The morning saw yet another encounter, as a small pack of cockatrice made to attack the party further up the path. The aberrations were done away with, and after yet more travelling, the group found themselves looking upon a smoking rock in the middle of a mountain lake, the island crypt they had read about in the lost sage’s notes. As they approached the water, they were set upon by wyverns, which saw Iathiel grabbed and carried off by yet another reptilian flyer. The group set about defeating these creatures as well. The island lay before them now.

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Valley of the Dead and the death of the cyclops lich

I, the Great All Mighty Sorcerer King Zanzuket record these stories so future generations can know of my heroic deeds and great adventures as I founded the city of Tuskwater and claimed the lands around it in my glorious name.

My underlings and I had just entered the foul fortress of the Cyclops Lich Vordakai. Vordakai was responsible for the attack and kidnapping of Varnholds population. The foul fortress was full of evil daemonic minions, monstrous Cyclops zombies, traps, secret doors and hidden rooms.
It was clear from the start that Vordakai feared me and did not dare face me. This was clear to me after his first assassination attempt where he send a daemon of shadows and smoke to slay me in my sleep.

The foul fortress was a maze of corridors and room where the Cyclops of old worshiped their foul daemon gods and the now dread zombie of the Cyclops consumed captured human brains. That was also how we founded the population of Varhold! All dead with their brains removed and consumed!

I the great and mighty king of Tuskwater fought my way through legions of these giant foul zombies and a host of daemonic assassin that tried to take your soul! Nevertheless, in the ended they were no match for me and my underlings.

However, Vordakai had one last trick to try before he was forced to take me on himself. Hidden in a foundation was his second assassin! A giant water elemental which leaped at me and the impact shattered the tiles of the stone floor around me and nearly crushed me. However, with my fast thinking and vast magical powers I threw up a forcewall in front of me. Shielding my underlings and myself from the beast’s wrath. They would surely not have survived an attack from a so powerful foe.

While the powerful water elemental attacked the forcewall and my underlings panicked trying to hide, my fast thinking and great powers made it possible to defeat the monster without sacrificing any underlings. I made a forcewall over a boiling tar pit we found in the dungeon of the fortress and placed a magical servant on the wall over the pit. I magical hasted all my underlings so they could lure the elemental to the magical summoned servant. The great elemental attacked the servant on the forcewall I dispelled the wall and the servant and drowned the elemental in boiling tar.

Cyclops Lich Vordakai last minion was now defeated and he had no choice other than attacking me. We battled long and hard exchanging deathly magic’s. I think he was lost in fear and despair because he offered me the great and powerful Zanzuket mercy if I surrendered! After this pathetic offer, I put an end to his unlife.

After the epic battle between magic the fortress was looted and many magical objects and hoards of gold was founded. However, between the magical objects one stood out. The magical eye of Vordakai himself, a powerful item from the one the hellish planes. The Item is very powerful and would be a nice addition to my powers. But as with any powers from the hells, it comes with a price. Dark deeds are required before and during the use of it. Now the question is do I sacrifice a powerful artifact and destroy it or gain more power?

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Daemon's Defeat (or "The Landshark Lullaby)

Standing before the vast temple doors in the quiet halls of Vordakai’s tomb, the intrepid adventurers were joined by general Zaltek, who informed them that the treasurer had finally fallen asleep in the chamber below. Trying to decipher the arrangement of altars in the temple, the sharp Iathiel believed she had the key to passing un-assailed, and the blood of Zaltek was added to the stained bowls upon the altars, leaving the lamps unlit. Whether too much or too little had been done will likely remain unknown, but upon testing the door, the group found the room full of cold, black fire. Minds and bodies ravaged by the flames, the group persevered, pushing into the rooms beyond. They first came upon a small room adorned a priest’s quarter, but seeming strangely unfinished. A dark hallway led to a pillared chamber just beyond the edge of the lights brought by the group. Another set of doors led from the room to a dead-end stair, seeming even more roughly cut than the former room. Finding no sign of secret passages onward, the group dared the pillared room, and found themselves greeted by a grotesque creature, asking them to state their errand in a telepathic voice that left them with a vague feeling of mental moistness. Failing to satisfy the fiend, a brief combat ensued, and for the first time the group found themselves faced with failing magics, as their onslaught of majestic fire failed before touching the shiny carapace of the creature. Brought down by spell-wrought blades, the fiend returned to Abaddon. In the room behind the pillared hall, the paralyzed form of a young centaur was found, and restored to mobility and a semblance of health. She was indeed the daughter of the Nomen priestess, and the group decided to escort her home.
On the way, they decided to try capturing a mastodon for the king to ride upon, in spite of the king definitely being conscious of his height, like, at all. The general figuring that his skills as ranger would make him the best person for calming the herd, and as a discussion between the naturalists of the group concluded that the herd would follow the elder female in the absence of a protective bull, he chose to use his magic charms on that beast. Aided by invisibility, he made it close enough to cast his spell on the mighty animal. It tensed briefly at his spellcasting, but calmed under the influence of the spell. The herd, initially near panic, quickly calmed as they saw the elder tolerate the small hunter. This was the point when Zaltec realized he had neither the skills nor a plan for how to handle the animal, so he made a beeline back for the group, and they all left before the spell could wear off.
Back at the centaur camp, the Nomen centaurs rejoiced to see the young warrior returned, and at the tale of the defeat of the dread Vordakai, they threw a brutal party that lasted into the early morning of the new day. The group awoke to find themselves honorary centaurs, allies of the Nomen tribe, and covered in painted patterns that did not seem in a hurry to be washed away. They were given the sacred bow Skyfire to keep as a sign of their alliance.
Departing from the Nomen camp, the group decided to scout some land on their way back to Varnhold. A mostly uneventful trip, they did run across the territory of the landshark the Nomen had named Kankerata, but against adventurers such as these, even this mighty creature was quickly done away with. They quickly skinned the beast, to the best of their ability, and returned to Varnhold, where they released the villagers. The king quickly executed the skinner for his actions against centaurs, bringing the population of the village down to 41. Realizing that maestro Pendrod was amongst the survivors, the group decided to bring him along with them, and they headed North to Nivakta’s Crossing, setting the number to 40. Realizing they had little and less defense against future horrors, the villagers offered to declare their city for the Greenbelt, if the territories could only be connected.
Another landshark was discovered on the way, and done away with just as decisively as its larger cousin. A small village of 140 souls, the mighty King Zanzuket, may he be eternal, nonetheless in his infinite magnificent wisdom decided to advertise the glories of his kingdom in the market square, hoping to motivate some villagers to move. The group decided to brave the river on the return trip, but quickly realized that none of them knew how to steer a boat, even if it was a magical folding boat. Knowing of the waterfalls and rocks common to the Shrike River, they elected to hire a fisherman from Nivakta’s Crossing, and left for home.
As maestro Pendrod was handed off to his happy colleague, the rulers of the kingdom set to work arranging for roads to connect the kingdom to Varnhold’s holdings, starting the roadwork, but otherwise saving their resources to some much needed repairs.

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