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You are here: Home --> Forum Home --> Recent posts by Reralae
Topic: The Corruption Hidden Beneath the Surface...
Subject: To feel the call of the void

“Forgive,” Ch'dau rumbled, not quite softly, “I spoke where I should not have and out of a place best left far from here.” His eyes lifted, again, and found Davena and Garn; “I am grateful for all you have done…”

Aranwen gave a gentle smile in return to the Kazari, giving a slight nod and inwardly breathing a sigh of relief. It was not wrong of Ch'dau to have his suspicions, nor voice them even, but the situation called for them to be allies in the here and now. It was past the time to voice suspicions, better to hold them ready for that situation were they to pass. She dearly prayed such a situation didn't come. She knew Davena, at least so she thought, based off of what she managed to glimpse of the woman. Yet, in the worst scenario where it did, there was one other reason why the bladesinger had opted to place Ch'dau behind Davena.

Turning to the door, Aranwen looked at her hands. Did she truly have the resilience Davena spoke of? Aranwen was fairly sure, between the stories she had heard, and her recent experiences, but this would be a far greater test, one taken where the results would be readily visible, and without battle waged around them. Steeling herself, she reached forward.

Aranwen gasped at the sudden chilling pain in her hands, but breathed deeply, gritting her teeth to endure. Even as she opened the doors, she could feel the doors trying to hold her in return. A cold, dark grasp. Without the distraction of an attacker to keep her from thinking of it, she remembered that feeling from some where, some time completely different.

I will not submit. I didn't before, and I won't do so now. 

Holding her blade of will close to her heart, Aranwen forced herself to keep moving, until the doors were wide open. Withdrawing her hands, she inspected them. No visible harm, but that was not unexpected with foul magic. Rubbing the feeling back into her fingers, she surveyed what she could see in the room beyond. 

"Empty," Aranwen whispered, "Better than the alternative, but by how much?" she mused to Kithran beside her, who certainly had more experience entering places uninvited than she did.

Posted on 2019-10-10 at 11:57:09.
Edited on 2019-10-10 at 16:11:10 by Reralae

Topic: Hidden Corruption Q&A

No secret 2e Sylvari resistance to that sort of damage  

Posted on 2019-10-10 at 11:32:53.

Topic: The Adventures of Kith, the Cat, and the Khatun
Subject: Placement

26th Day, Ternoth Ore, 452 E.R., Davnor, Sendria.

Aranwen looked up at the Obsidian Gate of the capital as she approached, her golden eyes making out a few city guards on the ramparts. She knew the capital was reputed to be 'the city of temptation', but had never ventured this far into Sendria before. Now that she was here, she felt herself a little uncertain. A place of trade and commerce was not a place that approved of claims, let alone a place such as this where even loyalty could be purchased with sufficient coin. How many of the city guard were paid to look the other way on certain things? How did she expect to find the head of the snake she wished to kill? How did she expect to find out who it was?

Reaching the gate, a guard hailed her, "State your business, Syl!" 

"My business is not your business!" she retorted, a gambit on her part, as she anticipated a certain personality would find less troubles in this city. 

Fortunately, she was right. "Ah. Aye, go on through then," the guard returned, leaving Aranwen to pass.

The sight of the bustling marketplace was a bit of a shock, as well as how normal the people seemed. She had been anticipating something less than civil, if she were honest. Aranwen was certain, however, that probing questions would find their way to ears she did not want to have her words. So, instead, she travelled further into the city, keeping attentive of the conversations going on around her. 

She'd strive not to let her purpose reach the ears of others, but she'd certainly take the opportunity to let the words on the streets reach hers.

Posted on 2019-10-10 at 11:28:09.

Topic: The Corruption Hidden Beneath the Surface...
Subject: A short reply but an important one

"The priests led us to believe that the undead would be present here, along with others of their order," the blonde woman replied, ”They gave no details of defenses, nor did they mention passwords or keys." Her tone shifted ever so slightly towards ice as she continued. "Had they done so, we certainly would not have failed to mention it."

“You failed to mention any of it when first we met,” Ch’dau chuffed flatly from his place at the back of the line, “Forgive us for verifying before we blindly trust.”

"We are quite close to Sendria, dear friend," Aranwen pointed out, unable to keep the bitterness from her voice at speaking the name of that cursed land, "Just as our experiences have led to us at times being wary of what we share openly, I know that the same is true of them," she observed, looking directly at Davena with softness about her eyes, "We are not enemies here."

If we were, what reason would they have to lend their aid? At least, that's what I hope at this point.

* * *

With no clear spot to place the amulet, Aranwen nodded dutifully and stepped forward, "Don't worry," She smiled, attempting to reassure Ch'dau, "and we've no visible alternatives anyway."

With that she moved forward and attempted to open the door.

Posted on 2019-10-10 at 00:34:56.
Edited on 2019-10-10 at 00:36:04 by Reralae

Topic: Kith, the Cat, and the Khatun Q&A
Subject: Well that's embarrassing

I had my mental compass inverted and kept referring to east and west opposite what they should have been. Very minor detail but now fixed

Also, creating undead in a more or less literal pool of blood is a bit chilling o_o

Posted on 2019-10-09 at 22:56:18.

Topic: Hidden Corruption Q&A
Subject: It was bothering me for weeks

My mind just would not let go of a possible link between the two, and my imagination kept considering different possibilities as to what may have transpired as a result. So I finally had to ask. I did anticipate it was just a coincidence I was just going crazy with

Posted on 2019-10-09 at 16:08:28.

Topic: Hidden Corruption Q&A

According to the map, as well as the first on-the-road post, we're somewhere in the wilderness not too far from Daviena Castle.

I couldn't help but make a connection

Posted on 2019-10-09 at 15:58:04.

Topic: Hidden Corruption Q&A
Subject: On a complete tangent

Has it ever been asked if Davena is of any relation to Daviena?

Posted on 2019-10-09 at 15:46:25.

Topic: Hidden Corruption Q&A
Subject: *giggles*

Ch'dau reclassed as a squishy?! What is the world coming to?

Silliness aside, I think it's safe to post. There's only so many reactions a player can have to a mysterious door after all. I think giving them the opportunity to react to what's inside the door is good

Posted on 2019-10-09 at 14:28:45.

Topic: Hidden Corruption Q&A
Subject: In addition...

Given Kith was the one carrying it, we can potentially rule out a matter of proximity with the door, since if proximity was all that mattered, the door would've opend on Kith's approach

Posted on 2019-10-09 at 14:17:10.

Topic: The Corruption Hidden Beneath the Surface...
Subject: Sparks in chilly weather

Aranwen watched, her breath slow as she looked over Kithran and Midge's examination of the door, listening intently. Then she heard it. Kithran's breath caught in her throat. Moving quickly as she could, Aranwen reached forward, grasping the neckline of Kithran's garb to pull her back from the door. Kithran reacted swiftly, drawing her blades, and for that fleeting moment Aranwen was unconcerned with being attacked, only relieved to see that, despite the terror she saw in Kithran's face, she was still alert and with them. She breathed a sigh of relief, and smiled, "No harm done," She replied to Kithran's apology.

* * *

"Davena, Garn, in your torturings of those D’hurgen priests, when they mentioned this cave, did you happen to ask them of any obstacles we might face once we entered? Did any of them offer up a password or mention some sort of key?”

Davena's reply is as as calm and measured as if discussing the weather. If she cares - or even notices - the reference to torture, her tone does not belie it.

"The priests led us to believe that the undead would be present here, along with others of their order," she replies. "They gave no details of defenses, nor did they mention passwords or keys." The blonde woman's tone shifts ever so slightly towards ice. "Had they done so, we certainly would not have failed to mention it."

Aranwen frowned inwardly. By rights, her companions were not wrong in having their suspicions. She held some of her own as well. But it didn't do any of them good to let things grow more hostile at this point. Not here.

"I've no doubt of that," Aranwen spoke, adding her warm voice to Davena's cold one, and looking towards her with a gentle smile, "Sometimes context is necessary for piecing together things we learn before, putting things in new light."

I may not know your motives, Davena, nor your goal. But for what I saw you've endured, you need not keep yourself distant from us, Aranwen thought.

"In any case, if this door gives the same touch as those creatures, that means we do have one visible solution right now," Aranwen observed, "That being if I were to open it," She offered.

Posted on 2019-10-09 at 12:37:17.
Edited on 2019-10-09 at 12:41:41 by Reralae

Topic: Kith, the Cat, and the Khatun Q&A
Subject: In the mind of the butterfly

I'm glad you both enjoyed   

When I was considering Aranwen's background and personality, I saw that the entry for her age was about 170, approaching two hundred years. That is a long time to cover, and for a Syl that's long enough to potentially outlive old companions. I realized she had felt loss, something that in the Sylvari kingdoms is something of an unusual concept for them. One of those things that is mentioned as a possibility, especially in more military establishments, but never really thought through fully. This informed her personality, kind and needing to surround herself with allies whom she could share in their determination and smiles (and perhaps passion). Her personal code as a bladesinger informed her determination and desire to do good. 

Originally, I came to the conclusion that it might have been an old adventuring party Aranwen simply outlived. When approached with the idea of this prequel, however, I could see her with a much deeper connection, and resentment, for Sendria than I expected. I went deeper, to her more distant past. 

In my mind, I saw Aranwen didn't excel in her training. She was determined to succeed in spite of her failures though, and met Saeriel much the same way. As she was originally a seer and more artistic, Saeriel likewise didn't excel, and so they were often paired with and noticed each other. Through each other, they were able to get through their training and succeed.

Saeriel's death in Sendria is ultimately the largest factor in Aranwen's personality and motives. At the start of the prequel, she still feels as though she is in mourning. The song she was singing alone being  a funeral song

Incidentally, there's a different song that feels appropriate to her initial state in this prequel...

Posted on 2019-10-09 at 10:18:21.
Edited on 2019-10-09 at 10:24:32 by Reralae

Topic: Hidden Corruption Q&A
Subject: By the way

Aranwen will basically grab Kithran to pull her back as soon as she sees Kithran in visible pain. Doesn't really make a difference in this scenario because Kithran did save but thought I'd mention it before I post later  

Posted on 2019-10-09 at 09:34:16.

Topic: Kith, the Cat, and the Khatun Q&A
Subject: There

Finished that memory to where I wanted. Chronologically speaking, the next one is rough. I've 'rewritten' it in my head several times and it's difficult to convey the right things.

Just saying, that particular memory might take a while for me to get it written out.  

Posted on 2019-10-09 at 09:00:09.

Topic: Kith, the Cat, and the Khatun Q&A
Subject: Whaaaat

I thought that was done on purpose to be honest

Posted on 2019-10-08 at 20:37:24.

Topic: Hidden Corruption Q&A

Will probably expand my post with additional flavour and backposting later. I can only work with a mobile keyboard for so long

Posted on 2019-10-08 at 17:16:50.

Topic: The Corruption Hidden Beneath the Surface...
Subject: The function of a door

As the group made their way forward through the underground tunnel, Aranwen could feel herself inwardly wince at every footstep. Every echo. She shook her head and forced herself to breathe. Calm. If echoes were so easy for them to make, the reverse would also be true. 

Then they reached the door. For a brief moment, the skull was obscured by their shadows, and Aranwen thought she saw it as black. Her breath caught in her throat, but as they moved and brought the light closer she relaxed. She watched and waited patiently as Kithran and Midge gave the door their full attention.

She nodded slowly, listening to both of their findings, "Were I in charge of some hidden keep," she reasoned, "It'd be in my interest to devise a way to keep others out, while letting my people access..."

Aranwen paused as she gave it some thought, "How might they have made certain this door would respond to them?" she asked in an open question to the rest of the group

Posted on 2019-10-08 at 16:43:53.

Topic: Name generator help!
Subject: Would that I could

Unfortunately, names are far from my specialty  The name field on my character sheets tend to be the last thing entered  for lack of a feeling for names. 

I might be able to play a wide variety of personalities and characters, with innumerable personae in the depths of my imagination  but don't ask me to put a name to each one

Posted on 2019-10-08 at 16:11:48.

Topic: The Adventures of Kith, the Cat, and the Khatun
Subject: The beginning of the hunt

452 E.R, Wilderness, Northeast of Dravnor

As she traveled, Aranwen cursed. She cursed the land she travelled. But as she stumbled on a misplaced rock, she took stock of herself. Her hand was clenched tightly around the hilt of her blade, knuckles white. She took the hilt in her other hand as she unlocked her joints, wincing as she restored the blood flow and muscle movement to her hand. 

With a sigh, Aranwen examined her blade. She could see the cracks along its length, though she had no way to measure the extent of the damage. Somehow the edge still seemed good. The ruby heart in the pommel was dull, unpolished. The wooden handle was cracked and worn. Yet, the silver gem in the guard still shined in her mind's eye. She took comfort in that, a faint smile playing at her lips. 

With a shake of her head, she quietly cursed her wandering mind. Yet, even as she could see the sprawling buildings of Dravnor in the distance, she could not help but remember.

422 E.R, Northern Syvari Forest

They were making their path through the northern Sylvari kingdom, patrolling westward near the southern border, when Saeriel suddenly stopped.

"I see smoke," Saeriel spoke, her violet eyes distant

"You see smoke through the canopy?" Aranwen asked

"No, I see it," Saeriel protested, "Caravan. Town. Fire. Blades. Blood. Chains. Smoke," she rubbed her forehead in a daze, "We need to help!"

Aranwen took Saeriel's hand, her voice gentle as she spoke, "Remember, you are here. Lead us there," Aranwen's eyes showed no hesitation.

Saeriel turned and rushed through the forest, Aranwen barely keeping pace with her despite having longer legs. When they reached Lomelindel, they both saw the smoke Saeriel had seen. For a mercy, it looked as though the fire was held at bay under the organized efforts of the townsfolk. Saeriel still trembled, however, pointing to the bodies that lay just outside the town. Both bladesingers moved to investigate.

"An attack?" Saeriel breathed in shock.

"A raid," Aranwen grit her teeth, "These are no soldiers," she observed as she examined the foreign bodies. They bore no sign of an insignia nor rank, "Mercenaries."

"If I had only seen sooner, maybe we could have-" Saeriel bit her lip

Aranwen quickly wrapped an arm around Saeriel's shoulder, bringing her into an embrace, "You can't control it. You never could," she offered, her voice gentle and soothing, "You are here, not in the past, nor the future. Only think about what you want to do now."

"Pursue..." Saeriel's violet eyes narrowed in anger as she looked to the tracks through the broken foliage

"Think we'll catch them?" Aranwen asked

"The forest will hinder a wagon," Saeriel observed, "We just might."

Aranwen and Saeriel moved through the forest with haste, a test of endurance that pushed the limits of their physical training. As they crossed the border into Sendrian land, familiar forest was left behind for unfamiliar, and soon the sky turned red above.

Breathing deeply and recovering her breath, Aranwen looked up to the evening sky, "Nightfall," she muttered, "We may lose them."

Saeriel's breathing was more erratic than Aranwen's, having pushed herself beyond her limits. She shook her head stubbornly, "We haven't yet," she replied.

Aranwen gave a gentle smile, "We should rest a bit. It'd do no good to catch up with them unfit for battle," she suggested.

Saeriel gave a nod, letting out a sigh as she leaned back against a tree. Aranwen moved beside her.

"This is a long way for them to go," Aranwen mused, "To get to their target and back. Why would they go through such efforts? Lomelindel didn't look like it had taken much damage."

"They weren't after homes, or even gold," Saeriel muttered, her violet eyes narrowed in thought, "But people."

Aranwen frowned, "Why though? Why risk so much on an ill fated attack and risk retaliation across borders?"

Saeriel winced as she held her head, "Black?"

"Black?" Aranwen leaned over, taking Saeriel's hand, "What do you see?"

"I can't see anything," Saeriel replied, "It's just... Black," she sighed, looking back to Aranwen, "I'm sorry. Seems like I keep getting us into the thick of things."

Aranwen smirked, "Who's complaining?" she asked, giving Saeriel a kiss, "I wouldn't have it any other way."

The two bladesingers rested for a bit longer, before Saeriel climbed a nearby tree and spotted the smoke of a campfire in the distance. They made their approach slower, quieter. There was the possibility it wasn't their quarry, but seeing the cage on the back of the wagon left no doubt.

"Ara, do you see her?" Saeriel whispered, her hand going to her blade.

Aranwen nodded, mirroring the same motion, "I'm glad we've caught up."

There was no need to plan; they both knew what they needed to do. Before the remnants of the raiding party could react or detect their presence, both bladesingers had pushed into their campsite, blades drawn and their voices harmonized in duet. They fought side by side, then back to back, giving no opportunity for the enemy to flank them.

Listening to the other's song gave both Saeriel and Aranwen an uncanny edge in the battle, as their songs shared both the movements of each other and their adversaries. They often traded sides, together weaving their blades around in deadly arcs that disorientated their foes.

The remnants of the raiders still had the advantage of numbers, but Saeriel and Aranwen endured, until they together struck down the captain and broke the remainder's morale.

Bringing both their blades together in unison, they cut the lock from the cage. Looking at each other with a smile, Aranwen turned, blade ready to make sure they weren't set upon by any remaining slavers while Saeriel opened the door, pulling the Syl free and untying her. Though unsteady on her feet, the girl quickly moved to arm herself, grabbing a blade off of one of the slaver bodies, and stabbing their captain's corpse again for good measure.

"Feeling better?" Aranwen chuckled.

The Syl nodded as she withdrew the blade, before giving a wide smile, "Would have liked to do that when he was alive," she replied, before her face fell and she sighed, "Are- are my parents okay?"

Aranwen looked to Saeriel, and Saeriel bit her lip, "We don't know," Saeriel finally replied, "What is your name?"

"Mithwen," the girl replied.

Saeriel smiled, "Come on, Mithwen. Let's head home."

"Do I still have one?" Mithwen asked, "It was on fire, last I saw."

Aranwen shrugged her shoulders, "Let's get back, at least," she offered, "We'll figure out what to do then."

"It's not safe here," Saeriel agreed, "If worst comes to worst, and you've nowhere to go..." she looked at Aranwen.

Aranwen smiled, "We'll figure something out for you, Mithwen."

Mithwen nodded, relief visible in her eyes. But as the three of them turned to start making their way back to Sylvari land, a voice stopped them in their tracks.

Well, this won't do. Won't do at all.

Posted on 2019-10-08 at 16:02:08.
Edited on 2019-10-09 at 22:54:25 by Reralae

Topic: Kith, the Cat, and the Khatun Q&A
Subject: Whoo

There's a reason they say predators are even more dangerous when cornered.  glad he's on our side

I like that idea for the name. Keep the hard k sound theme going

Incidentally, been writing another flashback on and off a bit. Will see where I get to with it if it will be more post ready  

Posted on 2019-10-08 at 14:52:59.
Edited on 2019-10-08 at 14:55:24 by Reralae

Topic: Hidden Corruption Q&A
Subject: Hmm

For flavour, what colour is the skull? Just boney?  

Posted on 2019-10-08 at 14:47:09.

Topic: Hidden Corruption Q&A
Subject: On some level I do wonder...

What kind of experience my original character for this game might have had. What strength might she have lent, and what hits she might have taken. She certainly would have not been able to weather the hits to her psyche as well as Aranwen. That was by design though. At the time I wanted a character susceptible to the horror that was hinted at.

That said, she still would have been motivated by a sense of duty, a desire to see the land reclaimed by nature, to remove the source of the unnatural miasma and fog. 

In the end, I am enjoying Aranwen far more.

In my opinion, this story is one you've made. The idea may have come elsewhere, but that's generally the case with all ideas. You're the one that gave it a life of its own  

Posted on 2019-10-08 at 09:50:53.
Edited on 2019-10-08 at 10:12:58 by Reralae

Topic: Hidden Corruption Q&A
Subject: Hmms

Reminds me how I made a flashlight in 5e with light by putting the lit object into a cup  

If the light is a special power, then it does make sense to use it. Especially without needing to worry about potentially dropping fire on anyone's toes if the torch were dropped

Also, I had to wonder if the wording might result in that kind of teasing

Posted on 2019-10-08 at 03:38:15.

Topic: Kith, the Cat, and the Khatun Q&A
Subject: It's rather fulfilling

I finally get to put Morgana in writing somewhere. I've had vague ideas for her for a long time, but no opportunity to include her. And now she's here. Someone who you just know is going to be trouble down the road

I'm glad she comes across creepy as intended

After setting up these forces in play, I will probably take a bit of a break (though who knows how long that will last). Let the ideas for scenes past and present simmer until I have another to share. And so I don't constantly break your posts with a 'meanwhile somewhere completely different possibly in a different time'

I'm rather looking forward to seeing Ch'dau and Kithran's next actions in their fight or flight response to everything going on at Adedra's keep

Posted on 2019-10-07 at 15:12:56.

Topic: The Adventures of Kith, the Cat, and the Khatun
Subject: The Mark

452 E.R, Baron Ascinar's keep, Dravnor, Sendria

Ascinar Driol tapped his foot impatiently as he sat on his high chair overlooking his hall. His face was passive but his annoyance was betrayed by a slight twitch of the eyebrow and tightening of the muscle under his eye.

His guests dined, oblivious to the annoyance of their host. Their chatter and the music served a good distraction at least to the self declared Baron. His slaves, however, weren't so oblivious, as they took great efforts to keep any food or wine from spilling on his noble robes or lingering in his beard.

Occasionally a guest would look to the place of honour, before quickly averting their gaze from the mask that had been placed there. Blacker than pitch, save for the red lips it wore, and the deep red gem embedded in the forehead, the mask was uncomfortable to look at.

For a brief moment he was distracted by a rowdy pair of men that had clearly had too much to drink. Before they could disturb any of the other guests, he had them escorted from his halls. He also smirked with bemusement at a Sylvari mother with a daughter. The mother had too much to drink as well, and the child complained of the smell on her lips after a kiss. After being brushed off and told to leave with her guard, the woman seemed to give in to the alcohol and pass out at the table.

Ascinar chuckled in amusement, until his eyes drifted once again to the mask. Not one person had come forward to claim it. The port man scowled inwardly. He knew it was genuine, for it had taken the lives of a couple, rebellious slaves that had greatly displeased him. He didnt watch personally, but the look of horror on the overseeing guard's face told him quite enough. It had cost Ascinar a good sum in gold to acquire, and he was told that he need only extend an invitation to the mask to receive a powerful assassin. That they couldn't be bothered to make an appearance at this banquet was nothing short of an insult.

The hours passed, and eventually the evening came to an end. All of the guests had made their departure. All but one. Ascinar held his chin in thought as he looked over the body of the still passed-out, drunk Sylvari woman. He stood and made his way to approach her and inspect his prize. Perhaps the evening wasn't such a loss after all.

But as he approached, he noticed something. The woman's cup was untouched.

Before he could think to be alarmed, a black blur flew past him and landed upon the woman's face. Within seconds the body was obscured by black smoke.

"Bloody hells!" Ascinar swore, stepping back quickly.

Oh, don't be so alarmed. You did invite me after all. If you were my target, you'd already be dead.

A female voice came from the red lips of the mask, faint but unmistakeably present and echoing hollowly. The wooden bones of the body it wore creaked as it rose, standing upright in ftont of Ascinar.

Whatever snide remarks he might have made about her lateness stuck in Ascinar's throat.

"I er, I expected you sooner"

I don't make public appearances. I've been told that's best for all involved, is it not? Now then, to business.

Ascinar nodded. Now that the initial shock had worn off, he returned to his element. Making deals.

"Yes, you see, there's a competitor of mine that-"

Have you the means to pay for my services?

Ascinar huffed, "Of course. Money is no object to one of my standing."

Gold? The being gave a bemused chuckle, You made such efforts to acquire one of my masks, and you didn't even bother to learn my price? Do you even know my name?

Ascinar frowned, "Mordred, I thought I heard."

The creature gave another chuckle, Three letters. Better than none. Gold has no value to me. The only thing that does is life.

Unexpected, but Ascinar was sure he could adjust accordingly, "I've many slaves in my-"

Life, the figure cut him off, Necromancers may be satisfied by a deal in bodies alone, but not I. Those slaves of yours are devoid of soul. Unsuitable payment. I require bodies with vigor, and souls with certain flavour to them. Will. So you mean to say that you have no payment?

Ascinar grunted. This was not what he had expected at all. Any night blade would be satisfied with gold. Just who was this person?

Then you have wasted my time. Fortunately for you, I am not in a poor mood. And for what it is worth, I am amused at the banquet held for me. Don't call me again unless you have payment, or know you can procure it.

Ascinar nodded. So much for this evening. With a sigh, he asked, "Then, what is your name?"

My name, is Morgana.

With that, the wooden puppet collapsed on itself, crumpling to the floor where the black mask still stared at Ascinar.

Posted on 2019-10-07 at 13:20:07.
Edited on 2019-10-07 at 14:06:26 by Reralae


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