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Explorer (4/16)

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  1. Cherry had listened to the pattering and thumping in the conduits over the mess hall with moderate interest, glancing overhead occasionally as she’d shoveled her portion of the salad onto her plate. When the quiet pattering and thumping suddenly turned into loud squeaking and scraping and yelping, Cherry’s full attention was diverted upwards until her machine eyes honed in on the vent grate positioned just over the mess hall table. Her eyes still locked on the grate, Cherry’s hands deftly shot out and grabbed both her own plate and the bowl of salad, pulling them out of the way just as the vent burst open and partially disgorged one ship’s mechanic and dumped a fair amount of accumulated grit onto the table as it did. ,, Throughout this unexpected development, Cherry had seemed neither particularly surprised nor upset. Mostly she just seemed quietly relieved, upon looking down again, to see that the food was still dust-free. Wasn’t everyday a body got to eat fresh (or at least “not quite stinky yet”) greens in space, after all. ,, As Lainey helped Deezy down from her predicament, Cherry wiped the table off as best she could and set her plate and the salad bowl back upon it. While Deezy ranted and Lainey chided, Cherry dug into Sam’s salad. When the ship’s very own psychic sat down and reached for her plate, Cherry wordlessly reached over herself and slid the bowl of salad in the other woman’s direction so she didn't need to reach across the table for it. ,, When Lainey asked her question, Cherry replied around a mouthful of salad with, “Dunno.” She swallowed and then, while reaching for her next bite, added by way of clarification, “’bout what Van’s called us here for, least ways.” Shoving another wad of leaves into her mouth and chomping away with gusto, she continued; “S’far as the food, Sam said this here’s the first course, so it seems there’s more comin’.” ,, Cherry eyed the young tracker as she said this and, after moment, and with the hint of a wry smile touching the corner of her pretty mouth, added, “Assumin’ he didn’t let hisself get distracted by Haddy’s girl and forget to make the rest of the meal, that is.”
  2. In case anyone's interested, I've updated the "placeholder" entry in Cherry's background. She now has a complete character profile up for viewing.
  3. When the Captain cut the music and called the meeting, Cherry was aft of the mess hall in the water and coolant storage area of the ship's stern. She'd been giving the water/waste reclamation processing unit a good twice-over (and much-needed) cleaning, changing out a couple of filters while she'd been at it. It was dirty, unpleasant work, but it qualified as "unskilled" labor, which was about the only kind of labor Cherry was qualified for when it came to spaceships. And besides, someone​ needed to do it: might as well be Cherry. That said, she was glad of the excuse to stop. She shoved the rag she'd been using into a back pocket and headed for the mess hall. ,, A short while later Cherry entered the mess. Her red ochre jumpsuit, worn by use and smeared with grease and now only identifiable as the color ‘dirty’, was unzipped and tied off at her waist, revealing the only slightly less worn and grease-smeared white tank top she’d been wearing underneath. The tank top, in turn, revealed her well-toned, strong arms and the elaborate three-quarters nanotat sleeves that, with their rich detail and exotic imagery, marked her as a member of the jianghu underworld. Cherry normally kept her tattoos at least partially covered but today they were on full display, causing the smears of grease on her left forearm to stand out boldly where they blocked the soft glow of the burning red phoenix underneath. Her hair was hanging loose in thick, black curls and was a little bit wild after a hard day of cleaning duty, and her face was smudged with one or two stray smears of grease. ,, Cherry’s eyes, glittering in the mess hall’s soft lighting with the colors of amber and pyrite, took in the sight of Sam’s and Sable’s salad and, realizing there was food to be had and, therefore, hands that needed to be cleaned (namely her own), changed her course mid-stride and headed off in the direction of the kitchen sink. She reentered the mess a moment later, pulling the wayward strands of her hair into a bun as she came, with much cleaner hands and arms this time – though one of the grease smudges remained on her face. Taking her seat at the table, Cherry waited for the Captain to begin the meeting.
  4. ((Yes, I am using screencaptures of my own custom femshep from Mass Effect. Don't hate. )) CHARACTER SHEET: Click to See Birth Name: Cherry Lu Youxia Heroic Title: Yuanli Other Sobriquets: Yedianqie, la Cereza, Red Profession/Career: Combat Spec/Youxia Legal Status: Outside the law Marital Status: single Known Relatives: deceased Concept: Wandering force of justice; knight-errant Attributes (Motivation/Morality/Traits): Helping Others/Honorable/Courageous & Precise Level: 1 STR 13 (+2) DEX 11 (+1) CON 10 (+0) INT 9 (+0) WIL 10 (+0) PER 7 (+0) Durability: 5/10/10/5 Move: sprint 24, run 16, walk 6, swim 6, easy swim 3 Action Check: 14/13/6/3 # Actions: 2 Last Resorts: 0 SKILLS: ((3*9 INT= 27) base + 5 Racial bonus + 30 + 13 from Flaws = 75 skill points total; 68 spent on Skills; 7 spent on Perks) STR: Athletics [13/6/3] -free Climb 1 [14/7/3] - 2 Jump 1 [14/7/3] - 1 Throw 1 [14/7/3] - 2 Melee Weapons [13/6/3] - 5 (Profession bonus, -1 Step base die) Blade 3 [16/8/4] - 6 Unarmed Attack [13/6/3] - 4 Power Martial Arts 1 [14/7/3] - 4 DEX: Acrobatics [11/5/2] - 7 Dodge 3 [14/7/3] - 9 Fall 1 [12/6/3] - 3 Zero-G Training 1 [12/6/3] - 1 Ranged Weapons [11/5/2] - 5 Rifle 1 [12/6/3] - 3 Vehicle Operations [11/5/2] -free CON: Stamina [10/5/2] -free Endurance 1 [11/5/2] - 3 Survival [10/5/2] - 4 INT: Knowledge [9/4/2] -free First Aid 1 [10/5/2] - 2 WIL: Awareness [10/5/2] -free Perception 1 [11/5/2] - 2 Street Smart [10/5/2] - 5 PER: Interaction [7/3/1] -free ,, PERKS/FLAWS: Perks: Ambidextrous (4): Works as described in the Player's Handbook book, simple as that. Great Looks (3): Also works as described. Infamy/Reputation (0): This is Cherry's reputation - and infamy - as a youxia. The "knights-errant" from Xiangyun are well-known, if poorly understood, throughout the Verge (and beyond it, now that the Concord has returned) but individual youxia are still mostly faceless adventurers. Certain of them, however, have built enough of a reputation (usually through heroic deeds) that their name is well-known throughout wulin society, and sometimes even beyond that. Cherry has begun to build that sort of a reputation. Hers is primarily based on her exploits during the Vergers' war with the Concord, and on her already very impressive skills with the blade (and speaking of which, the Wu Yu's reputation has washed off on hers to some extent as well). Most of the Xiangyun jianghu underworld, particularly its wulin subculture, has heard the name "Yuanli", as has much of the Verger underworld society outside of Xiangyun. Even amongst the more mainstream portions of Verge society there are some who've heard her name bandied about (usually these are people in law-enforcement, reporting, or similar professions), and of course the Galactic Concord has definitely heard of her. It's important to bear in mind, though, that Cherry's reputation is as the youxia hero known as "Yuanli" (though her other sobriquets - Yedianqie, la Cereza, and Red - are also used, if much less often) ; only those who know her, or are just "in the know", would recognize the name Cherry Lu. Flaws: Code of Honor (-3): Cherry has a very strong personal code of honor, and one that she adheres to at seemingly all times. This code is defined by five primary precepts: Chivalry, meaning that she will always stand up for those who cannot protect themselves; Gallantry, meaning that she always strives to act with courage and to treat others with courtesy and respect, even if they may not deserve it; Virtue, meaning simply moral excellence and a pattern of thought and behavior based on such; Righteousness, which is not meant in the Judeo-Christian sense, but rather in the more general sense of acting in a way that is justified, or 'right'; Loyalty, whose meaning should be obvious, though it's worth mentioning that this loyalty isn't blind - even the closest of friends should be opposed if remaining loyal to them would mean violating one of the other precepts of the youxia code. This 'Fivefold Code' might seem extreme to some, but it gives Cherry a strength of will and determination that others can only marvel at. On the other hand, it also restricts her to a narrow path from which she can never stray, even when adhering to that code puts her life on the line. Divided Loyalty (-4): Though Loyalty is the last precept of the Fivefold Code, it is still a central tenant of the youxia way of life. Loyalties and personal obligations are never shirked or treated lightly by any youxia worthy of the title. Though Cherry has certainly saved more than her fair share of lives, she's also had her own life saved more than once as well, and not always by people or groups with whom she would have chosen to associate with, had she been given the choice (i.e. pirates, mercenary thugs, and other sorts of criminals). This flaw represents the hold those people have over her - while they certainly can't demand that she murder someone for them they can request aid from her, up to and including such things as help in evading the authorities or other criminal elements that might be pursuing them. Powerful Enemy (-6): This is actually a collection of disparate criminal groups who're all out to make her life terrible. ,, WEAPONS, ARMOR & GEAR: Click to See ARMOR: Finely-crafted CF Bodysuit: d4/d4/d4+1; Hide +3; Mass (4); Customized CF Bodysuit. ,, WEAPONS: Unarmed (Power M.Arts w/Hardened Gloves: Acc (+0); LI/O; d6+3s/d6+5s/d4+3w; Actions (4); Hide (n/a); Mass (n/a) Knife: Acc (+0); LI/O; d4+1w/d4+2w/d4+3w; Actions (4); Hide (+2); Mass (0.5) M9 9mm Charge Pistol: Acc (-1); Mode (F); Range [8/16/60]; HI/O; d4+1w/d6+1w/d4m; Actions (4); Clip (15); Hide (+3); Mass (1) Wu Yu Blades (x2): Acc (-1); LI/O; d4+2w/d6+2w/d4+1m; Actions (3); Hide (+1); Mass (3 – each) Shotgun, 10 gauge (balanced): Acc (-1); Mode (F); Range [8/16/40]; HI/O; d4+1w/d6+1w/d4+1m; Actions (2); Clip (2); Hide (n/a); Mass (3.5); this is an imitation antique side-lever, side-by-side (SxS), breach-loading shotgun, it holds a single shell in each of its two barrels, rather than 3 in a pump-action loader, but it only weighs 8lbs 2oz (3.5 kg). ,, GEAR: Leather Duster (with Repellant Weave) Hat (Cowboy style, appears to be made of straw; with Repellant Weave) Gloves (Built into CF suit, hardened knuckles & finger-joints add +1 to unarmed damage) Belt (w/Hidden knife sheath) Pouch (fanny) ToolTote Harness Sunglasses Cell Phone Wallet Clothes/Underclothes Lighter Flashlight Backpack Grappling Hook Rope Survival Gear Rations Duct Tape Bioscabbard (x2; for use with Wu Yu blades) Holster (x2; for use with firearms; shotgun uses an over-the-shoulder variety) Shotgun Saddlebag (fits over the rifle’s butt, otherwise works as described) ,, CYBERWARE: Click to See Artificial Eyes (x2): SZ (2); Quality: Ordinary; Magnification x10, -1 skill bonus where visual acuity would be important, plus image enhancement; these are of military design and specification, meaning that no effort was made to conceal what they are and, as a result, they are very obviously cybernetic. Optic Screen: SZ (n/a); Quality: Ordinary; heads-up display. Gunsight Interface: SZ (n/a); Quality: Good; provides -2 skill bonus to attack checks with ranged weapons. Time & Calendar Interface: SZ (n/a); Quality: Ordinary; as the “biowatch”, only installed as an app for her Optic Screen. Comm Port: SZ (n/a); Quality: Ordinary; transceiver, transmits comm. signals, video feed, or datastream. Five Elements Armor: MS (1); SZ (2); Quality: Ordinary; Combines with Respirator Implant (below) to provide the following Environmental Tolerance ratings: gravity (n/a), radiation (R1-R2), atmosphere (A1-A3), pressure (P1-P3), heat (H1-H2). Runs off of internal, rechargeable battery good for up to 50 hours of operation at maximum charge. Gill A4 Respirator Implant: SZ (n/a); Quality: Ordinary; Combines with Five Elements Armor (above) to provide and increase atmospheric and pressure tolerances. Nanocomputer: SZ (1); Quality: Ordinary; provides 4 slots for use in controlling cyberware; -1 Step processor bonus. Systemic Reinforcement: MS (3); SZ (-2); Quality: Good; removes 2 points from her Size total. ,, Personal Information: Birth Name: Cherry Lu Youxia Heroic Title: Yuanli (Mandarin; sounds like “Yuen Lee”; typically translated as “to be far from “, but is comprised of words that can mean “distant, remote or profound” and “rare beast” or “strange and elegant creature”; contextually, it describes a mythic creature of the sort that is beautiful or wondrous to see when viewed from afar, but very dangerous up close) Other Sobriquets: Yedianqie (Mandarin; sounds like “Yeh-dien-che”; means “Deadly Nightshade” (i.e. the plant Atropa Belladonna)), la Cereza (Spanish; means “Cherry”), Red Profession/Career: Combat Spec/Youxia (Mandarin; sounds like “Yo-shah”; literally translates to “wandering force”, but refers to a “chivalrous hero” or “knight-errant”) Legal Status: Outside the law Marital Status: single Known Relatives: deceased Concept: Wandering force of justice; knight-errant Attributes (Motivation/Morality/Traits): Helping Others/Honorable/Calm & Courageous Physical Traits: Weight: 66.68kg/147lbs (with cybernetics) Height: 1.68m/5’6” Age: late twenties Gender: female Ethnic Background: mixed (50% Caucasian, 25% Black, 25% Asian) Nationality (place of origin): Fuzhounese (Xin Fuzhou) Eye Color: amber (cybernetic) Hair Color: black Handedness: both Distinguishing Marks: Her amber-colored eyes, which have distinctly mechanical-looking irises. The amber-colored mechanical elements of her cyberoptics catch and reflect light like pyrite, and the lenses reflect light differently than normal eyes do, making them very noticeable even in dim lighting unless Cherry wears sunglasses or goggles. Additionally, she has three-quarter bioart tattoo sleeves on each arm. The right sleeve is of a black tortoise and a white snake over dark waters with a lotus flower floating in it; the bioart elements give the water a rippling motion and make the lotus flower appear to be genuinely floating on its surface. The left sleeve is of a dark green dragon with iridescent scales coiling amongst the clouds in a nighttime sky with a flaming red phoenix circling underneath it; the bioart elements give the coiling dragon the illusion of motion, while the phoenix's flames glow in burning reds and oranges. Finally, a large and finely detailed tattoo of a cherry blossom tree blowing in the wind with two large white cranes under it covers most of her back; the bioart elements cause cherry blossoms to drift away lazily in the invisible wind, while the outstretched wings of one of the cranes and the tail plumage of the other can also be seen to ruffle subtly in the breeze. These tattoos are typically covered by her clothing, however. General Appearance: Cherry is an exotic, extraordinary and rare beauty. Looking more like a holo star than a rough-and-tumble youxia, she is of roughly average height with a well-formed and extremely fit body, hair as black as space, dusky skin and full, sensual lips. Her heritage is a mixed one, as is often the case in the ethnic melting pot that are the systems of the Verge, and her exotic looks bear witness to this. Skills & Personality: Abilities/Special Skills: There are a few things that Cherry is well-known for, both within the jianghu underworld of the Ghost Suns and its wulin subculture of wuxia and youxia, and in the underworld cultures beyond Xiangyun. Firstly, her deadly skill in combat, particularly when wielding the legendary Wu Yu blades; Cherry’s lethal skill has earned her many admirers and even more enemies. Secondly, her uncanny speed and agility; Cherry’s ability to dance across the battlefield is as well-known as her skill in melee. Thirdly, her extensive experience with and knowledge of the youxia underworld (and, to a lesser extent, her experience with the underworld of the Verge in general). Personality: Hard as diamonds and just as beautiful, Cherry is both honorable and upright, and as tough as they come. She is also Youxia to the core. She will always help those in need, never back down in the face of evil, or turn from the Fivefold Code of the Xiangyun Wulin. Taking her personal code of honor so seriously means that Cherry is a very serious young woman as a consequence, but she still knows how to smile and laugh when opportunities present themselves. She is pragmatic but open-minded, with an iron will, a broad perspective and a sensitive streak that she tries to hide from everyone. Something of a loner, Cherry doesn’t normally speak unless it’s necessary, and when she does her manner of speech is usually direct and straightforward, but not without a sense of humor. Because of her stoic and silent nature, people are often surprised to discover just how passionate and vibrant her personality really is. Background: The woman called Yuenli is known to many as a real-life youxia of the Xiangyun jianghu underworld. The rumors say that Yuenli hails from the infamous Ghost Suns of the Xiangyun Nebula; that she was born in the Ghost Six system, among the moons of the semi-mythical super-jovian known as Jade Heaven; that her homeworld is Xin Fuzhou, birthplace of the corrupt Celestial Empire, with its exotic culture and strange tech. They say she carries some of the Ghost-tech inside her, and that she can walk through fire unscathed, breathe water, and swim the Black itself without an e-suit, and that her glittering mechanical eyes can see things no flesh-and-blood eyes can. Those same rumors say that the two space-black swords she carries with her are the fabled Wu Yu - the Crowfeather blades, of uncertain origin and older than human presence in the Verge - and that they were taken from the corpse of her parents' killer. Some of those rumors even claim that she fought on the losing side during the falls of Karzai, Maneen, and Dulcinea to Concord forces and somehow still lives to tell the tale of it. But those rumors - whether they're all entirely true or the sort of tall tales only a Frontier dirt-farmer would believe - all speak of Yuenli the youxia, not Cherry Lu, taciturn spacehand serving on the Esperanza. And that suits Cherry Lu, taciturn spacehand serving on the Esperanza, just fine. For her own part, Cherry isn't one to go on at length about herself, but her crewmates on the Esperanza all know that there is some truth to those rumors. She is from Xiangyun space, she does have a reputation in the jianghu and it's wulin subculture, she is carrying around some unusual cybertech inside her, she also carries around two nifty-lookin' swords that do a mighty fine job of slicing up things, and she did fight with Verger rebel forces during the War against the Concord. Beyond that it's anyone's guess, but most of the crew only care that she's one of theirs, and that she's handy to have around in a fight. Cherry wound up joining the crew of the Esperanza at the same time as Sam Connell, with whom she shares some past connection of which neither of them speaks, after the two of them booked passage on the Esperanza while she was in dock in the Hughes system. Though the initial terms of their arrangement for passage included helping the Captain and her small crew with a job they'd been hired to complete in exchange for passage to a safe system, Sam and his wuxia shadow both proved to be very handy to have around when things got hairy (as they did on that job), and upon the job's completion Capt. Chase offered them both paying positions on her crew. They agreed. What happened after that? Well, that's another story for another time.... Appendix Notes: Jianghu: Pronounced “Jyung-Hoo”; literally translates as “rivers and lakes”, but is used more commonly to denote a specific environment or sub-community within a larger society. The Xiangyun jianghu refers to the entirety of its underworld culture, including criminals, wuxia, and youxia. Wulin: Pronounced “Woo-lin”; means “martial forest” and traditionally referred to a fictional and lawless underworld society filled with martial artists and criminals. On Xin Fuzhou a real-world counterpart developed, which takes its name and inspiration from this fictional setting. The jianghu is the word used for the underworld in Xiangyun space as a whole; the wulin is that part of the jianghu comprised wholly, or mostly, of wuxia and those who make a living through physical violence. Wuxia: Pronounced “Woo-shaw”; wu means “martial” or “armed”, while xia translates to “honorable” or “hero”, together the words are typically translated as “martial hero”. In the Xiangyun systems most mercenaries, body guards, martial artists, and street fighters (as well as some ex-soldiers and even criminal strongmen) have grouped together into a subculture that has come to be called “wulin”, after the fictional subcultures of the same name from which it draws inspiration, and are themselves referred to as wuxia. Xiangyun wuxia are not necessarily “heroic” or even particularly nice, and they may even be involved in criminal activity – their status as “wuxia” indicates only that they “live by the fist/sword/charge pistol” and adhere to a general code of behavior dictated by the larger wulin culture. The military forces of the Xiangyun nebula have a similar culture, but are not considered to be part of the jianghu underworld. Youxia: Pronounced “Yo-shah”; literally translates to “wandering force”, but refers to a “chivalrous hero” or “knight-errant”; in ancient Chinese literature, the youxia were the historical and semi-mythical precursors to the later wuxia. In Xiangyun society, the youxia, as a class, are considered to be a part of the world of jianghu, and to be related to the wuxia, but are ultimately viewed as a class apart. No two youxia are alike, but they all (in principal, if not in reality) hold to a set of ideals that compel them to right wrongs and protect the weak, even if it means defying the law or putting their life at risk, and that stresses justice and freedom above all else, placing personal loyalty and obligation over both loyalty to one’s family and to one’s country. In the empire of the Ghost suns youxia are, on the one hand, revered as living sword-saints and heroes and, on the other hand, feared by the general public and mistrusted by the Imperial government for their unpredictable and rebellious (and frequently violent) ways. It is generally agreed that living up to the title of youxia is much harder than living up to that of wuxia, and so the latter are accorded more respect in wulin society than any other class (aside from the nobility of Yu Tian), provided that they can live up to the title - those who can't are guaranteed a place of infamy within jianghu society. Xin Fuzhou: Pronounced “Shin Fujow”; xin means “new” and Fuzhou is a large and very ancient city in China. Capital world of the Celestial Empire. Xiangyun Nebula: Pronounced “Shung-yoon”; means “magic cloud” or “cloud of good fortune”. Contains the Ghost suns and their systems. The Celestial Empire: Official Mandarin name of “Tianchao Dedidi Yu Tian”, pronounced “Tyen-chow Deh-dee-dee Oo-Tyen” (which is quite the mouthful), meaning “The Celestial Empire of the Jade Heavens”. Usually referred to as something along the lines of “Yu Tian”, “Jade Heaven”, “the empire”, “the Ghost suns”, or “Xiangyun” instead. It’s people are usually referred to as “Xiangyunese”, “Tianese”, or “[planet name]-ese/an” (i.e. “Fuzhounese”, “Yunraman”, etc). The empire consists of the nine inhabited systems of the Xiangyun nebula, along with a handful of holdings outside of it, and is ruled from the imperial seat on Xin Fuzhou. The Ghost Suns: The systems of the Xiangyun nebula. The stars of the Xiangyun nebula were named using the ancient Chinese naming convention, where all the stars in a given constellation are assigned an asterism (“Ghost” in this case) and a number, dependant on the star’s position within the constellation. Xin Fuzhou, for example, is found within the system of the star designated “Ghost Six”. ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ ,, Wu Yu Blades (The Crow’s Feathers, or the Two Ladies): ,, The Crowfeather Blades: Pronounced “Woo Yoo”, this is the name for the two ornately patterned obsidian blades that Cherry took from the corpse of her parents’ killer. Wu Yu means “crow feathers” or “the crow’s feathers”, depending on context. The blades are very old (possibly older than the colony on Xin Fuzhou), and are famous within wuxia and youxia subcultures, to the extent that they appear in an old Fuzhounese poem with the line, “The crow’s feathers/That fall like an ill omen”. The Two Ladies: Individually, the Wu Yu are known as The Starless Queen and Black Contessa (Hui Hou and Qihei Guizu in Mandarin) respectively, and are sometimes called The Two Ladies (Shuang Nushi in Mandarin) collectively. Both blades are equally deadly; the only real difference between them is that the Queen’s handle is molded for best use in the right hand, while the Contessa’s is molded for the left. ,, The Xiangyun Jianghu: Click to See Overview: "Ten years make a scholar, but not a jianghu veteran." "Jianghu" means "rivers and lakes", and the word is meant to evoke an image of the countryside and the idea of "a world separate from that of the cities (meaning 'proper' civilization)". Even within the systems of the Ghost suns, the jianghu is often thought of as synonymous with crime and those who practice it, but this is an oversimplification of things. The best "simple" description of the jianghu is to call it the world of secret societies and bandits. It is a world filled with wanderers of slender means, vagrants with no fixed abode, pirates, thieves, priests, rebels, cultists, smugglers, the unemployed, beggars, disbanded soldiers, gangsters, and other outcasts of society. And then, of course, there are the youxia. What sets the jianghu and its denizens apart from the rest of Yu Tian society is that The Government is not the ultimate authority within its society and The Law does not define the rules. In jianghu circles, Loyalty, Honor, and Reputation are the ultimate authority and the rules are simple: your word is your bond; never betray a member of the jianghu to someone who isn't; your reputation is your only real currency - without it you have nothing to offer anyone. So while many who are most definitely a part of the jianghu do not make a regular habit of breaking the law, all of them are willing to if necessary, especially if its required to protect another member of the jianghu. (And this is the biggest reason that the youxia are considered to be somewhat outside of the jianghu - in their world "Honor" is defined by the careful maintenance of all five of their central precepts, and they hold Loyalty to be the least of the five while Reputation isn't even included in the list.) The jianghu looks out for its own. Criminal Elements of the Jianghu: "Those who deprive others of their property are either bandits or burglars. The former work in groups and use violence unreservedly; they kill and rob in broad daylight, in open defiance of the law. On the other hand, the latter work in cliques of three to five; they sneak about at night, and only resort to violence when their lives are at stake." An interesting element of Yu Tian society is the relationship between its government and its criminal elements. Firstly, so long as the crime in question was committed by one member of the jianghu against another member of the jianghu, Tianese law enforcement is very slow to get involved. Violence, thievery, and pirating are largely left to the jianghu elements involved to sort out between themselves. Outright murder - especially on a large or particularly violent scale - will be investigated and punished, but not to the extent that it would have been if non-jianghu elements were involved. In all cases, the goal of whatever law enforcement personnel are involved is simply to minimize the impact of the criminal activities in question on non-jianghu society in the Jade Heavens. To a point. The second interesting element of this relationship between law enforcement and the Xiangyun jianghu is quite simply that the government even allows it to exist in the first place. The reality is that the Celestial Empire allows the jianghu to operate because it's profitable. As an example, pirating is rampant throughout much of Xiangyun space, to the degree that they practically operate right out in the open in systems like Jiu Shan. Occasionally imperial forces show up and blast a few pirate vessels out of the sky, raid a couple of pirate enclaves, arrest some folks... that sort of thing. And then things go right back to the way they were and nothing really changes. The explanation for this is simple: the pirates pay the government for the privilege of being allowed to conduct their "business". A great deal of the pirating in Xiangyun space involves smuggling into or out of the Celestial Empire, and a careful review of incident reports (which the imperial government would strongly discourage) would show that a significant majority of the ships raided or stolen during pirate raids aren't Tianese. Many of them are actually non-Tianese criminal elements (usually smugglers) who are intruding into jianghu territory, but even when they aren't the imperial government is often inclined to turn a blind eye because their own citizens aren't being hurt (usually) and because as long as the pirates are turning a profit so are they. Similar arrangements exist between the Celestial government and the other criminal societies in Xiangyun space. Xiangyun Wulin Society: "Your kung fu is no good!" The wulin is a sub-society of the Xiangyun jianghu. The word means "martial forest" and, like the "rivers and lakes" of the larger jianghu, it's meant to evoke the idea of a separate world hidden inside of a larger one. Those who belong to wulin society are known as wuxia and are treated as a special class in jianghu culture. In one sense, the wuxia of Xiangyun are sort of like "junior youxia", in that they also live and die by the strength of their own fists and will, much like the youxia, and their own code of conduct is harsher and more precise than that of the larger jianghu. In the end, however, the wulin is the world of the outlaw. Some wuxia shun fame or glory, as do the youxia, while others seek after it avidly; some fight for justice while others sell their skills to the highest bidder. Mercenaries, ex-soldiers, rebel groups and cultists, and even the more honorable bandits and pirates, are all included in the world of the wulin. What identifies someone as a wuxia and a member of wulin society, and not merely another member of the larger jianghu underworld, is that they follow the code of the wulin. This code is similar to, but markedly different from, the Fivefold Code of the youxia. Those of the wulin live and die by four precepts, which are: Martial Virtue (i.e. "fight with honor", "the rule of one versus one", "the warrior approaches his enemy openly", "ambushes are for cowards", etc); Chivalry (which works as it does for the youxia); Gallantry (which also works as it does for the youxia); and Vengeance (wrongs must be addressed, honor defended, and so on). In theory all wuxia live and die by these four precepts; in practice they are not all so selfless or disciplined. Also, the two precepts of Martial Virtue and Vengeance are frequently held above those of Chivalry or Gallantry, and so long as a man displays honorable behavior in battle and is quick to always address any wrongs against himself or his companions in appropriate fashion, he can be assured that his title of "martial hero" is secure. In the best cases, however, the wuxia blur the line between the youxia and the rest of the jianghu. The Youxia Subculture of Yu Tian: "He treasures friendship, duty, promises, kindness, vengeance, honor, and righteousness more than his own life." The youxia culture that grew out of the Warring States period of Xin Fuzhou's history embodies the highest ideals of jianghu society. Its code is harsher, stricter, and more demanding than all others. Though it is true that not all youxia interpret the Fivefold Code in the same way, it is also true that nearly all youxia take its precepts very seriously indeed. An informal "peer review" system ensures that this continues to be the case; any pretenders who claim to be youxia but live in violation of the fivefold way are living on borrowed time, because sooner or later a real youxia will appear and demand an accounting. Such pretenders often do not survive these "peer reviews". In time this might change, but for now it is the one thing the youxia can truly take pride in: they are exactly who they claim to be. As a result, the youxia are simultanously revered and feared in Tianese society. They are the champions of justice on the one hand, and violently anachronistic vagabonds who threaten the very stability of society on the other. At their best the youxia are true heroes, selflessly putting their lives on the line for people to whom they owe nothing for the betterment of a world they might not even live to enjoy. At their worst they are cocky and arrogant thugs, sticking their self-righteous noses where they don't belong and exercising authority they don't have. The reality is that most youxia are a little bit of both. In addition to the five central precepts of youxia culture (chivalry, gallantry, virtue, righteousness, and loyalty), there are other ideals that most youxia consider very important. Firstly, there is the shunning of worldly wealth or glory. While most knights-errant stop short of swearing a "vow of poverty", those youxia who make a habit of accruing an excess of material goods or wealth can expect a chilly response from their fellows. Glory, on the other hand, is all but inevitable for any youxia who is truly living according to the fivefold way; their deeds of bravery, heroism and sacrifice (or their failures at the same) will usually result in a growing reputation of some kind. What's important is only that the youxiaisn't actively seeking that fame. Secondly, there is the matter of vengeance, which is implied in the precepts of virtue, righteousness and loyalty; the wicked must be punished and the innocent must be avenged. Youxia must always be careful in any quest for vengeance, however, as more than one of them has fallen from the fivefold way in its pursuit. What truly set the youxia apart from all others, however, is their individualism and their willingness to use force to achieve their aims. Youxia walk their own paths, seek their own destinies, live their own lives; they do not respect status, lineage, or authority, but reserve their respect only for those who have earned it. They are outsiders, and the rules of conventional society are not for them. Inside of the Xiangyun nebula, known youxia are accorded a tremendous amount of respect and are granted almost carte blanche authority to pursue their agendas - so long as they keep their distance from more "proper" areas of society. Assuming a youxia abides by this unofficial policy, he or she can expect full cooperation from the authorities in his or her pursuit of justice for innocents or punishment for those who prey upon them. Outside of Xiangyun space things are not so cut and dried, and youxia often find themselves at odds with - or even on the run from - the law enforcement agencies of one Verge system or another.
  5. I'm not sure if the 'Participants' box in Cherry's PM thread is lying to me or not, but assuming it isn't when it tells me that you haven't read it since 'Oct 23 2013 11:32 PM', please check her equipment list again when you get the chance! (Even if it is lying to me, I just took off a couple of other things that I'd forgotten were there since last year that were from the S*D: AEG, so hopefully that's everything. ) ,, You may still find stuff I'm not seeing. I promise I'm trying my best to clear out the super high-tech stuff, but I'm not quite as savvy about the whole PL6 vs. PL7 thing as I'd like to be. Please continue to bear with me.
  6. I've updated my PC's submission to the best of my abilities, however it would be cool if we could get a little more info on "the ship" and what sorts of things it'll be up to. Vivi, if you see this first before Dave (or after - whatever) and feel up to it, some more info on your PC and what sort of story "hooks" she might have that would allow the rest of us to attach our characters to her story would be much appreciated. ,, For now, since my character would probably qualify as the closest thing to a Shepherd Book in this story (despite being young, female, and non-religious), the if-nothing-else-comes-up plan is to rip off Book's intro story in Firefly and have her around because she "just happened" (in the story-driven coincidence sense) to have booked passage on Captain "Van" Chase's ship either at or shortly before game start, and winds up being sucked into the game's storyline as a result. Any other/better suggestions are welcome!
  7. Alright (Centimane here, BTW), I offered to create a fractal world map of Black Forest for Jeremy, and this is me making good on that offer. Jer didn't give me a whole lot of info as far as the star Black Forest orbits, or other details concerning its system, so I just let that stuff generate randomly and ran with it. Here are the results: Black Forest Standard (Garden) Distance: 230,830,664 km Radius: 3,850 km Gravity: 0.76G Orbit Period: 662.39 days Rotation: -33.2 hrs Climate: Cool Mean Temp: 285K/12C Atmosphere: Thin (Breathable) Atm. Pressure: 0.7768 Water / Ice Index: 87.68 Volcanic Activity: Light Tectonic Activity: Light Resources: Abundant Hospitable Population: 576,859,000 Notice that the single continent shown appears to be about twice the size of South America, even though Jer's post had indicated it was "the size of South America"; this is because, as is shown in the information summary above, Black Forest has a radius that's only slightly more than one-half that of Earth. The listed population is based off of a "starting pool" of 400,000 people, which I "aged" for about 350 years (I'm assuming the colony had been there for at least a few decades before the Long Silence began, so I added 50 years to the 300 that the Concord has been away), with an average annual growth rate of just over 2% (I didn't bother populating the rest of the planets in Black Forest's system). So don't take it as gospel, since Jer (or Rev) may have a different idea of just how many people live here. Anyway, there you go. Enjoy!
  8. I apologize for the delay in getting a post up in regards to this, but this is the first time since early Thursday that I've both had time and an internet connection, so this was the earliest I could manage this. Ouroboros: Sorry man, but I'm pulling out of your games. You have every right to run your games as you see fit, and I don't deny that, but I have every right to not play in games that are run in ways I disagree with. RE: Compelling Presence: You can use whatever oblique phrasing you like to justify your actions in this situation, but the plain and simple fact is that your "interpretation of the rules" - at least in this instance - makes no sense. And you know it, which is why your last response in regards to this issue, quite contrary to the two posts before it, made no effort to present a logical train of thought leading to your decision. Serpent's Gaze makes it very clear that using it while performing any other action imposes a penalty, and it makes it equally clear that this penalty comes from the need to maintain eye contact with the victim. Not only does Compelling Presence not require this, it would make no sense for it to require this. Compelling Presence can be used against multiple targets, and feel free to correct me if I'm wrong about this, but normal people with normal anatomies can not make eye contact with multiple people simultaneously. The one and only thing about this Knack's predecessor that made it into a Diceless Action is not present in Compelling Presence. Likewise, saying that spending a point of Legend is a Diceless Action makes no sense, because every 'raw' use of Legend (Legendary Deeds, Re-rolling an Action, Defensive Do-over) are all quite obviously Reflexive (in the case of the latter two, it wouldn't even rightly qualify as an 'action' at all). This makes it quite clear that spending Legend itself does not qualify as any sort of Action. In the same way, stating that even a brief need to make eye contact for this Knack to function, and that this therefore qualifies it as a Misc. Action makes no sense, for two reasons. Firstly, neither Knack states that the Scion herself has to make eye contact for the effects to take hold (though Serpent's Gaze does require the Scion to maintain eye contact once the victim looks her way). Secondly, any game wherein "briefly meeting someone's gaze" qualifies as an Action, Diceless or otherwise, is not a game I wish to play in, because that's just stupid. And that leaves... nothing. Not one single reason to declare this Knack as anything other than a Reflexive use of the Scion's divine power. Now, the fact that you might have missed all this in your first reading of the Knack isn't really a problem to me. We're all pretty new to this game's mechanics at this point, so I hardly think anyone expects you to get it right on the first try every single time. But the fact that you continue to behave as though there's any justification to your ruling beyond, "because I'm the ST and I say so" - that is a problem for me. And the fact that you're only (grudgingly, to all appearances) willing to change your ruling going forward (and only because it's "not worth your time to argue") is bullshit. If I, or another player, had used a Knack in a way that didn't immediately seem to be breaking the rules, but that did seem to be breaking the game, and you had ruled that going forward you were going to change how that Knack functioned so that it would be less game-breaking (and that you were willing to discuss with the players so affected how this might impact them); that I could understand. Instead, you changed/edited/scribbled all over my post, and altered it to the extent that, instead of cleverly managing to get two successful attacks off against a vastly overpowered NPC (seriously, dude, you're pitting my starting level Scion whose best attack has a base damage pool of 7d10L against a guy whose base soak - never mind DVs - is 7L? WTF?) using a perfectly legitimate and entirely logical usage of one of my paid-for Knacks, my PC has now been rather badly injured, and has been pressed up against the edge of a freaking cliff. Nicely done, sir. Nicely. Done. You remember when I put up that post challenging your judgement of my Puff, the Magic Dragon submission, stating that the way you had handled it made it seem like there was no point in me putting any effort into this game, because it didn't seem like it was effort that you wanted to reward? This is exactly what I was talking about. I wrote you a good post, with a clever usage of Cherry's abilities, in a way that was entertaining. For my troubles, all I got was 4 Bashing Health Levels of damage that my PC should never have suffered in the first place. RE: Custom Gods and Weapon Templates: Okay seriously, can you let up about this? You keep bringing it up like it was some sort of major undertaking for you, not to mention an act of almost unprecedented magnanimity on your part. It wasn't either one. I am the one who put in hours of hard work and research, carefully going over everything I could find about Durga (who, despite being relatively unknown in the West is nonetheless one of the most widely worshiped deities on the planet and is one of the central deities in Hinduism - it's not my fault White Wolf forgot about her), and diligently compiled all of that information for you to read over and simply give a "yea" or "nay" to. And that's all you did too, bud. Granted, I did send you a secondary submission after the first one, on account of my having come across more information that I felt you should know about, and granted that it did involve a change to the list of Associated Purviews, but two things: 1) I stated clearly in that submission (and afterwards) that I was only really interested in you knowing about Durga's background and history and that you could just leave the Purview stuff as-is if you wanted because I really didn't give a damn about it, and 2) under either list of Associated Purviews, the majority of Cherry's actual, purchased Knacks and Boons are - and would have remained in the future - non-associated (meaning any changes in Durga's list would only have affected, in my own mind at least, what she herself as a goddess was capable of bringing to bear - one way or the other, I always planned on having to pay the more expensive costs of non-associated boons/knacks for most of Cherry's divine powers). So stop acting like I dropped some kind of huge burden on you. At no point did I ask you to do all the work, and at no point did I ask you to grant me some huge mechanical advantage that no one else had access to. I put in all of the hard work and effort to make Durga as fully fleshed-out of a Scion goddess as I could manage, not you. And as for mechanical stuff, the only reason Cherry has as many Associated Purviews as she does is because you asked me (though, to be fair, you didn't demand) to not take as many non-associated ones as I had, and so I obliged you. And as for the weapon... wow, man. The fact that this is still such an issue for you is another reason I'm pulling out. She has a Henry repeating rifle. It's a lever-action rifle; in tests conducted shortly before the Civil War, it was found that the weapon's 15 shot magazine could be emptied in less than 11 seconds. Now, call me overly optimistic, but I'm pretty sure this makes it a weapon that fires faster than the bolt-action Remington that's statted out in the core book on pg. 203. So I gave the weapon a base Speed of 5, not 6. And that's all I did to its base template. A change of 1 tick in Speed, and for very good, historical and real-world reasons. And you keep bringing it up as though you very graciously allowed me to bring in some never-before-tested, and potentially very unbalancing game mechanic into your story, when it was in fact a very minor and utterly predictable modification to an already existing game mechanic. Neither the "custom god" or the "custom weapon" (tries not laugh as he types that) were in any way, shape, or form particularly complicated or difficult for you to review, approve or deny, or properly account for and/or manage in your game. Or at least neither of them should have been. The fact that, despite this, they both are apparently a huge deal for you does not inspire confidence in my heart. So yeah, I'm pulling out. Do what you want with my PCs (Cherry or Heavy). You're a nice enough guy in chat, jameson, but your attitude as an ST (at least in your interactions with me) has really sucked.
  9. I'm separating this out into a different post, so as not to detract from the points I've made, above. This: Originally Posted By: OuroborosSince you didn't state that you wanted to re-roll I will drop the last two dice and move forward with Tick 5. As is my standard practice people entering tick's enter at the "back" of the tick for the purposes of posting (the actions all take place at the same time).... and your subsequent post, were both uncalled for. I didn't clarify whether I wanted to re-roll or drop the last two dice because (as, I think, my last post should have made clear) I wasn't aware at the time that I needed to. I reread the rules regarding Miscellaneous Actions and interpreted them, in regards to this specific situation, as best I could and then I responded to your concerns. The fact that, in your mind, my interpretation was wrong is no reason for you disregard my rights as a player in this way, sir. I'm trying to work with you. Why aren't you trying to work with me?
  10. Because you brought it up, I took the time to look at the WW forums myself. All I see are a bunch of people disagreeing with each other because the rules as presented in Hero aren't very precise - which is, of course, the problem here (and which isn't your fault, and I do realize it presents a difficulty for you as ST). So I'm going to ignore the WW forums for the collection of (unhelpful, as far as I could see) personal opinions that they are and move on. In regards to this specific Knack (Compelling Presence), here is a direct quote from the description for Serpent's Gaze (with emphasis added by myself), taken from Scion: Hero, pg. 133: Originally Posted By: Scion:Hero pg 133When the Scion spends a point of Legend, the person whom she's trying to affect locks eyes with her and is unable to look away. For combat purposes, the victim is rendered Inactive until the Scion breaks eye contact. The Scion can still act, but she must take a second action in order to do so, maintaining eye contact as a diceless action. (As a result, she suffers a -2 penalty for any other action she takes.)Now, here is a quote taken from the description for Compelling Presence (again, with emphasis added), taken from Scion: Demigod, pg. 62: Originally Posted By: Scion: Demigog pg 62As with the prerequisite Knack, Compelling Performance [sic] draws a victim's attention to the Scion and renders him unable to look away. The victim remains Inactive for combat purposes, staring helplessly at the hideous monster or unearthly beauty before him. Unlike Serpent's Gaze, though, the Scion need not consciously maintain eye contact with her victim for the effect to endure.The reason I put both of those quotes up is simple; Neither knack states that the Scion must perform any sort of action to lock eyes with the victim - in fact it states rather clearly that the victim him- or herself does that for the Scion. Moreover, Serpent's Gaze states specifically that the -2 penalty for multiple actions comes from the Scion's need to maintain eye contact (it doesn't imply this, it states it explicitly). Compelling Presence, on the other hand, states explicitly that the Scion does not need to maintain eye contact in order for the Knack to function, and may act as she pleases. So my question is this: where is this Miscellaneous Action for activating Compelling Presence coming from? I sympathize with your situation here, Ouro - the rules are unfortunately vague on the point of Knacks-as-Actions - and I'm not trying to be argumentative for its own sake. I am trying to understand your logic here, however, as it doesn't follow the descriptions given for the specific Knack that I used.
  11. It states that Boons (not Knacks) are Miscellaneous actions - and even then only if they create their own action. If the Boon merely supplements or alters an existing action, you're supposed to use the base action's Speed, DV penalty, etc. Compelling Presence is a knack for Epic Appearance, found in Scion: Demigod (pg. 62). If I'm still missing something and am still mistaken, please let me know.
  12. As she skidded to a halt at the cliff's edge, Cherry was pleased to finally have something to shoot at that she could see. She pumped the Henry's lever-action once to chamber a round and brought the divinely favored rifle up to her shoulder as she took aim down its barrel with every intention of killing something with it. But it was not to be as she felt something large and ominous impact the ground behind her. Spinning around, Cherry was met with the sight of, she could only assume, the 'man' who was accompanying the wolves. The one who had... feasted on the miners' dead bodies. That's just as well, she thought as she sidestepped the massive cudgel he was busily trying to crush her with, he'll do fer a target, same as the wolves. Maybe more so. The motion of spinning to face her attacker, sidestepping to dodge her attacker's attack, and the air displaced by that attack all combined to knock Cherry's battered straw hat from her head, leaving it to tumble to the dirt and rocks at her feet and suddenly exposing her face and eyes to the light of the shining moon overhead. In that exact moment, as the eyes of her as-yet-nameless enemy fell upon the newly revealed perfection of her moonlit beauty, Cherry ignited a flame of the divinity that lay hidden inside her and captured her opponent's gaze, locking his eyes immovably to the unearthly radiance that seemed to well up from behind her eyes and below her skin. He'd never seen anything like her! She was stunning! Exotic! Perfect! "Hello handsome", the otherworldly vision before him said, and even her voice was lovely - and her smile as she said it! It was- It was- ... what was that pressed against his lips? "Let me know how this tastes, ya flesh-eatin' curly wolf!", Cherry growled as her sweet smile transformed into a grimace. She squeezed the Henry's trigger then, and sent a ball of hot lead straight down its barrel and right into 'curly wolf's' face. Click to reveal.. (Cherry's Rolls) Compelling Presence: Misc. Action, diceless, Speed 0. Spending a Legend point to activate Compelling presence; Curly Wolf's DV drops to zero.Shot at Curly Wolf's face (Pool: 12[2]10[2]): Attack, Dexterity + Marksmanship (12[2]10[2]), Speed 4. (21:09:56) ChatBot: (Centimane) rolls 12d10 and gets 6,3,1,5,9,9,7,10,2,4,1,10. 9 7 successes total. Damage: 8d10L + 9d10 threshold successes. (21:15:45) ChatBot: (Centimane) rolls 17d10 and gets 7,2,8,1,1,7,1,1,7,8,7,10,9,4,3,3,2. 9 Lethal Damage total, minus whatever Curly Wolf's soak is, plus whatever bonus she gets (if any) for shooting the bastard full in the face. Using the Fierce Attack rules for head shots +1 diff, +2 damage - nets a +1 damage Cherry can act again on Tick 4, and I don't know whether Curly Wolf is down from that or not, so to save some time and trouble I'll go ahead and post an either/or set of actions: If Curly Wolf is still alive and kickin': Cherry takes a single tick to Aim, and then shoots him again. Aim, Diceless, Speed 1; Attack, Dexterity + Marksmanship (12d10[2] + 2 from Aim via Trick Shot), Speed 4. (22:17:19) ChatBot: (Centimane) rolls 14d10 and gets 3,8,4,3,3,2,10,4,10,9,9,6,9,6. 10 successes total. If Curly Wolf is actually down for the count: Cherry turns and takes a single tick to Aim at a wolf, and then fires on it. Use the dice rolls above, but apply them to one of the wolves. Either way, the Aim, followed by an Attack, drops her DVs by -2 and takes a total of 5 ticks (meaning she would act again on Tick 10). Also, I haven't rolled damage because I don't know whether Curly Wolf will spend a Willpower point to negate Compelling Presence (or if he's even capable of it), nor do I know what the wolves' DVs are, and so cannot say how many total threshold successes apply (if any).
  13. Now that things had obviously gone to hell, Cherry had given up any pretense of being quiet or stealthy. In an almost conversational tone of voice she called down, "Miss Jennins', I realize ya said ya'd cover Mister Roger's retreat an' all, but if'n ya wouldn't mind bein' a bit quicker about it an' pullin' foot outta there I'd be greatly obliged." Though her voice didn't let on, Cherry was feeling a bit torn. On the one hand, if she got back to where the horses were quick enough - where the light of the moon was more than enough for her to see clearly by - then she could actually put her rifle to some good use. But on the other hand she knew that leaving Liv behind was a truly terrible idea, whether or not the scion of the Loa was the only one who could actually see in that inky mess of a canyon or not. In all likelihood, the real danger now was that the wolves (or whatever they were) had somehow managed to sneak around behind them, and that they were now in danger of being boxed into the canyon and forced back into that lightless cave that it vanished into, but if that wasn't the case and both she and Craig left Liv to hold the line... well that just wasn't something Cherry was prepared to do.
  14. Cherry cursed mentally as the darkness within the canyon increased to the point where even her nearly all-penetrating gaze was stymied and rendered all but useless. She'd said they should've waited 'til daylight and gone back for Liv's companions. Now what were they gonna do? Kneeling at the canyon's edge, she called down in a loud whisper - not that it really mattered at this point - "Hey! Y'all might wanna consider retreatin'. They know we're here, an' I don't know 'bout you two, but I cain't barely see nothin down there!"
  15. Originally Posted By: jameson (ST)I didn't meant that to be construed as being near dawn. Dawn is at least a couple of hours away yet for you guys. Anyway, I think this misunderstanding worked out for the best in the end and provided an opportunity for some pretty good, PC-relations-building dialogue in the process.
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