Mont Under

Stange Alliances
Eight strangers form a loose and uneasy alliance against an unknown foe.

The party first met in Mont Under at a local inn. A member of the party was presented with a map by the owner, which lead the group to a subterrainian tunnel system filled with giant bugs, most seemingly magically enhanced.

After several visits and nearly dying, Kale stumbled upon an unknown group congregating in a nearby wood. Further investigation by Yiqinne suggests that there is some group congregating at an old complex in the woods.

A unknown group is active at a nearby complex. Yiqinne investigates and finds it is some sort of abandoned complex, perhaps religious.

The complex has a special pool and pyramid which has incense stix that can cause some sort of spirit / spell to activate by burning it in a recess in the pool rim. Pool is very cold water which allows no light in. Water cannot be removed from the pyramid and pyramid gap at top closes after activation.

Some sort of magical seals on floors in several places which summon “constructs” to defend lower areas of the complex, but not kill. Seems to be an endless source of these things on some other plane.

Three amulets now in our possession, Dagger, Pegasus, Spider. Seem to be trapped souls or something of that nature, as those who hold amulets feel presence and emotions of individuals in each one.

Visit Cormac’s farm, as amulets seem to know him. Find history of Cendadric and Comac’s fascination with complex, both lost there, Cormac a few months ago. Dweli never knew Cormac was in trouble, tended to go to complex early in the morning, feels some of his friends may have been killed. Just before missing, seemed to be looking for something specific. Crops have not been doing well.

Cousinhood is a local sect that disappeared 50 years ago after the Great Fire. Known for philanthropy. Clerics wore full length white robes like Void’s and a white veil covering their face. Paladin’s wear all white, shave head bald, paint face white with blue tear coming from each eye.

Upon return to complex, came across group of 7 finely dressed riders with what looked like silver weapons, on very well breed horses wearing a stylized “A” as their insignia.

Have 10 prisoners in tow in a silver cage, men, women, children. Woman attacks and scratches Kara, seems glad she did. Horsemen expect Void to know who they are due to wearing white robe.

Move on and determine that the Pyramid Spirit will only answer one question. Find six disemboweled bodies in Carriage House tied to ceiling with three circular cuts around their wrist. Ritual death, cut open alive based on best guess. Recent due to trap being set at entrance, also found old tools.

Items, including 2nd Cendadric diary, located in barracks.

Going down to the complex, attacked by orcs w/ strange leader who demonstrates three concentric scars around wrist…result of successful ritual?

The room with three statues includes two stone ones and one metal, no activity noted in the room in some time, uniform dust and debris distribution.

Both Tique and Jinx controlled by red gem amulet from Orcs, likely magic. Solid red precious stone with snake in the middle in a figure eight eating it’s own tail

Jinx injured Yiqinne, so she cut off his right thumb. He mentioned he may have been drugged by a “manly” looking woman at the pub.

Shortly after resting, we were trapped by orcs. They insisted we surrender and turn “it” over. We threatened to destroy “it” as a bluff, and were attacked. We destroyed all but 2, including a leader with the three strange scars again.

Statue glowed as we tracked one of the wounded orcs, Yiqinne suspects it “resets” every night at midnight, allowing those who were healed the day before to be healed again.

Found room with two crypts and a hidden compartment, went on to find a room with two giant spiders, killed them both and looted the room, natural stairs leading down from there.

Returned to same room we fought orcs in to heal and overcome poison bites. Waiting to see if my statue “reset” theory is correct. It is correct.

12-6-08

Theory is correct, the statue “recharges” every 24 hours, likely at midnight. Party proceeded down stairs past dead spider, a plack, and an animated statue that asked for the name of an abbot (one of the crypts in the other room) to turn it off. Ended up in a room with 5 pools of water, shallow enough to stand in, and with two mandallas blocking the entrance into a round room with a glowing blue light.

Kara entered the blue light, became “frozen in time” along with a number of goblins and some sort of priest standing over a bracer of some kind.

1-2-09

Attempts to cross mandallas lead to several battles, but we finally crossed. Blue light has strong pull of things into the first ring, and everything seems to freeze there. Several arrows aimed at potential threats that are frozen by Yiqinne, backstab, critical.

Moved on down the corridor and came to a room with 4 statues. Pilfered the gems from three, and could not remove a large black stone on the 4th (first one where we entered).

Proceeded downstairs to a large room aligning with the rooms above, and a large mandalla in the center of the room. Door to one side busted open, and the room was ruined. Rubble located against one wall and a bubbling puddle of red liquid. A 5’ hole has been burrowed in the far wall.

1-30-09

The party defeated ants in a room in the basement. The red bubbling liquid in the corner seemed to attract the ants, and when they put their faces in it, it made them grow larger.

The party adopted an approach of expanding our options by searching paths that offered little resistance (mandallas or locked doors). Ultimately we came to a room that had a large statue of the Goddess of the Cousinhood (GotC). There was also a font which had holy water which could heal and be replenished to continue to heal.

When Yiqinne touched the statue, she felt uneasy. When Tyk did, he ended up passing out. Upon waking up, he informed the party of what he saw:

He was in the ocean naked, and storm clouds were gathering. In the distance something was moving towards him. It turned out to be GotC on a giant snake. She told him that the party had the ability to free our friend. Suddenly both she and Tyk were clothed, and GotC pulled two scrolls out of her robe and held them out to Tyk. The snake held a third, but pulled it back away from him.

The party went back up to place where Kara was frozen. The hourglass Yiqinne had did nothing. A dispell magic scroll was cast and ended up dissipating the outer ring of light. Kale grabbed Kara and pulled her back, and the party engaged in combat with the two large trolls, defeating them but only after they almost killed Tyk.

In the main room the party opened the doors all around the room. One door, which had the sound of running water lead to a fountain and small altar. The room opposite it opened and spilled dirt into the main room and started to displace one of the columns in the center room. The last room make Yiqinne uneasy when she entered, and Zeblek was not even able to enter.

The party retreated to heal up Tyk and Kara at the statue room, them moved on to unlock the long room with all the statues. There was a slime which the party ended up defeating. Yiqinne proceeded to pick 50 gems out of the statue valued at about 5 gp each.

The party returned to the large statue room to rest so our sorcerers could regain their spells.

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February 6th, 2009 - Dispelling the time freeze

The party departed from the large statue sanctuary and attempted to get into a side door right outside. It turned out a key we had worked, and it lead into a room with another door that could not be opened unless the other was closed.

In this room was a chest that we attempted to open. We were unsuccessful in an attempt to pick the lock, and the doors shut and the floor began to fall. The room eventually filled with water, but we waited out the mechanism and it retuned to its normal state.

Yiqinne then succeeded in picking the lock and among treasure were gems that allow the party to pass by the new mandallas. The party now uses the gems and robes in conjunction to get past all mandallas.

The door locked opposite this room leads back to the room with five pools, but could not be unlocked.

The party then headed up to cross another mandalla where there was running water. It ultimately lead us to a room where some form of ritual had been performed and someone was clearly incinerated. A burnt copy of a journal was found, and the text is being evaluated.

The party then moved down to a room with a small fountain and alter, which asked “to leave offerings to the Goddess” Attempts to pass failed, and all were transported to the center of the large Mandalla in the main chamber. Ultimately Yiqinne knelt before the alter and offered a prayer, and was allowed to pass. This lead to a large statue animating and attacking the party, and it was ultimately destroyed.

The party finally moved back to the large room where magic had frozen time. Enemies were fired upon before successful deactivation of the zone, and all were instantly killed. Finally the third layer was dispelled, and the individual over the altar was incapacitated by Zeblek. Kale took a single bracer from the altar, put it on, and now cannot take it off.

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March 6th, 2009 - A long wait ends

3-6-09

The party started by binding the incapacitated individual and searching him. He had a few coins, a magic gem, and a white robe. After we failed to wake him up with several different attempts, it was decided to carry him into the room with the five pools to use water.

After using the robe and stone trick, we got to the next room and immediately were confronted by some kind of orc shaman. Following a loud sound (likely a thunderstone) we were assaulted by about 12 orcs, while the shaman held back and launched magic attacks.

The shaman was quickly neutralized by Kaaylear. We came out of combat a bit beat up, but alive. Some basic healing was done.

Early in the combat, our captive managed to escape his ropes and took off back deeper into the complex. Not long after combat was finished, he came running back in a panic. He was yelling about giant ants on the rampage in a room with statues on the same level. The door which had been knocked off its hinges was put back up and spiked into place by three of Kale’s spikes.

Yiqinne insisted that the individual turn over his robe and magic gem so he did not run off again. He resisted, but after some back and forth, Raedeguned was able to gain his trust and get them from him. Further conversation established the following:

- His name is Amos

- He entered this complex on a regular basis looking for stuff shortly after the fall of The Cousinhood, which coincided with The Great Fire, 50 years ago.

- The he believes it to be May in the Year of the Three Moons, about one year after the coronation of the new king. This means he thinks it is May of 1262. It is actually October of 1312. He has been frozen in time within the complex for over 50 years.

- The only way out he knows is the same one we do

This means that our two choices are to attempt to retreat the way we came in several days ago or to face the ants behind the door.

There also seems to be a settling of the walls occurring in a corner, suggesting the dirt collapse below may be having negative impact on the structural integrity. This lead the party to decide exiting the way we came is the best approach. We were able to convince him that is best chance for survival was to remain with the party, and we used the dead orcs that scattered the rooms as an example of what we were talking about. He seems to be having a hard time adjusting to the idea that he was frozen in time for 50 years, and still does not seem to believe us. This is not surprising.

We equipped Amos with a dagger, which is all he requested for weapons, and a suit of studded leather armor for protection. Our best guess is that he might have ranger tendencies, but it is difficult to tell at this time.

The party then proceeded to head up to the room with the small statue of the Goddess of the Cousinhood. Upon entering all wounded members of the party stepped to the statue to touch it heal.

As the party prepared to continue a loud voice, seeming to come from the direction we were heading, told us we were surrounded and called on us to surrender and turn “it” over. A quick survey of the surrounding access points showed that we were indeed surrounded.

As the enemies started to fill the room, the party resisted and fought back. Their leader wielded some kind of great ax which was much more impressive than anything we had seen the orcs hauling to date, and he had the three concentric rings on his wrist.

In the course of the battle, Kale seemed to have some sort of epiphany with the magic bracer he had on and “used it”, although no one is sure how, even Kale. The result of this was that 5 archers and a sergeant were pinned at the entering points of the room by some sort of force field.

The battle was extensive, and aside from Tyk and Amos being knocked unconscious, Caaden went to the brink of death, but was stabilized at the last possible moment. All told the party defeated 23 of the 30 attacking enemies, and several are still pinned by the force field. There is concern that two who were in front of us have retreated and may attempt a flanking move, so we are keeping an eye on the opposite access point.

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March 27th, 2009 - A Hint of Daylight

After fending off the most recent attack, the party regrouped, healed and prepeared to attempt to make it to the surface.

To the party’s surpise, the path that had been blocked was now open, and the party moved forward and approached the center staircase out.

Upon entering the collapsed hall, they found that it was now night time. Shortly after emerging, the hall quickly filled with orcs, who entered from both ends of the complex, surrounding the party. Also, from above an orc shaman attacked with spells.

During the battle the party was pushed to the brink, but managed to keep everyone alive. The western ceiling of the complex collapsed mysteriously on top of several of the orcs, helping the party survive. After an extended battle, the few remaining orcs retreated, and the party was left in the dead of night, but unsure of what lied outside the complex walls, escape, or another battle.

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April 3, 2009 - A long overdue homecoming

The party managed to gather and post watches over the night while the injured were taken care of. An inventory of the enemies goods was done, and a number of useful items were gathered.

After resting the party headed out of the complex at approximately 10 AM. The long awaited return to Mont Under occured at about noon.

Amos, who had still not adjusted to the reality that he had been frozen in time for 50 years, insisted on going home. It turns out he is the grandfather of the family that took in Kale sometime after his disappearance.

The party unloaded the goods that they had gathered and proceeded to purchase replacement equipment and upgrades. Jinx went back to the inn for some of the “activities” he has been missing.

Upon offering to give back his Bag Of Holding and thanking him for his contributions, Tyq indicated it was never his, and if we intended to use if fairly and with good intentions, we could keep it. He also said he would like to continue to travel with the party, and this offer was gladly accepted.

At this point, several members of the party decided they wanted to seek their fortune elsewere. Void, Zeblek, and Kayleer all decided to leave the party, and went on their way. A new elven ranger ended up joining the party, Craven. Given his elven heritage and just setting out into the world, Kale has stepped up to take him under his wing. Unlike Kale, he is more focused with a ranged weapon than a melee weapon.

To allow Amos to return home but not get in too much trouble or go into shock, Kara agreed to follow him home and make sure he was OK, which he was OK with. Upon returning Kara noted the house, which Kale had grown up with, had been attacked and a note with a magic rune on it had been left. It was from an unknown individual known as The King. The note “invited” us to come to him and retrieve the rest of Kale’s family. Against the wishes of some, we headed out almost immediately.

We traveled south, wrapping around the southern end of Sapphire Lake. Ultimately the tool that guided us lead us to a tree in the middle of a field that looked like two trees growing together. Despite there being no wind, the tree swayed.

After several attempts to gain access beneath the tree, which the guiding stars we gathered indicated we should go, Yiqinne yelled to The King to indicate we were there and to let us come through. The tree opened shortly there after and the party proceeded down a gradually sloping natural tunnel.

The tunnel then opened into a room with several features, including three obvious possible exit points. Upon opening one of these paths, there was a column of undead waiting for us. These zombies were easily dispatched, and the party is now contemplating their next move…which path to follow.

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April 17th, 2009 - The roots of the tree

After defeating the enemies, the party decided to move forward through the door to northeast. This required using one of our star shaped “keys”, which ended up stuck in the lock. This lead to a corridor that wound around west then south again, coming to an area where some debris had settled that blocked out path. A 5’ opening was cleared, and the party proceeded to a larger room. After a battle with additional undead, the party searched and found a secret panel containing a large sum of gold coins and some additional “keys”.

The party proceeded south, through another door requiring keys. This lead to a small corridor, then into a larger room, where the party was attacked by numerous skeletons. Tyk proceeded to turn them, destroying over half of our attackers. After defeating them all, we noted the room had a pile of bones in the middle of it. Another path to the south was noted, but the earth had collapsed in that area. An attempt to rest was thwarted by a voice which seemed to speak to all of us, telling us we would see no rest here and to proceed on.

We did continue exploring, coming to a small room several steps down that seemed to be filled with an unnatural fog. We also noted a new door to the south requiring several keys, including ones we had not yet seen.

The party returned to the main entrance room with the skull relief and decided to open the door to the south and attempt another approach. This lead to a corridor that came to another entrance into the “fog” room and a path leading to the east. We used a Gust of Wind scroll to try to clear out the fog, which retreated for a short time, exposing several holes in the floor. Another large room was found in the other direction, and had a large area of “dark earth” near the west wall, which seemed to be caused by blood saturating the soil.

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May 1st, 2009 - The vacancy

With several in the party still injured, we decided to leave the area and return to the surface. Once above ground we headed to the small village nearby, and found it oddly empty. We rested in a small inn, and met up with a dwarf adventurer, and he join us for the time being.

During our time in town, we were attacked by a host of undead, a mix of animals, humanoids, and fey creatures who have been transformed to this state. We retreated to what seemed to be a guard tower for tactical advantage as the enemies attacked from both the ground and the air.

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May 24th, 2009 - A flash in the distance

The party continued to attempt to fight off the enemies. An undead troll seemed to be leading the ground charge. Several other creatures charged in with it, and our melee combatants formed a block at the stairs to prevent them from getting to those in the party who had poor defenses.

Unexpectedly, the creatures all seemed to turn at once and retreat towards the tree we had come up from. A rumbling and large green flash of light in that area was noted at that time. Despite the party continuing to launch ranged attacks, the enemies seemed to be focused only on heeding this “call”.

The party decided to rest and do a quick exploration of the area after. Again, most structures visited were found to be empty, but several dead bodies were noted in some areas. It was quickly decided to return to the tree and see what might be happening that caused them to head in this direction.

Our rangers noted footprints other than our own leading to and from the tree entrance. We decided to proceed down into the tree again.

Upon getting to the main room, the wall with the skull relief opened and several large skeletal serpents attacked. After dispatching with them, we headed again to the room with the “dark earth”. To our surprise, this area was now covered with corpses, most quite fresh. We did not think these were any of the creatures that attacked us the evening before.

Moving forward, we followed a path that went generally north. We entered a room with a large crypt in the middle of the room. As we attempted to investigate the crypt, specifically our attempt to open it, it slid back and allowed about 10 undead lizard creatures to come out and attack us. Despite taking some substantial damage, all members of the party managed to survive, although Caaden was rendered unconscious. A search of the area yielded approximately 1,300 gp under the crypt area and a large room to the north.

As the party looked for a place to hold up and get Caaden back on his feet, the voice again came to most of us, telling us to leave him behind, and that his kind (we suspect by this, me means magic users) will only slow us down. The party is now considering its next move, but has agreed that this must include getting Caaden on his feet again.

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June 12, 2009 - Into the Mists

So members of the party could recover after our conflict with the lizards, we decided to retreat to a room that was large and easily defendable. During the first 8 hours of resting, there were several strange noises. There were several “clangs”, and the sounds of movement and voices. There was also some laughter.

Yiqinne and Cruven decided to go and check it out. Upon moving into the corridor connecting to the main entrance, a very large figure was seen exiting to the outside, and the door shut behind it. A large footprint, about 2’ long, left in the dirt along with a lot of other footprints. We returned to the main group.

After 8 hours, several of our spell casters still needed extra rest to regain some stamina, so a small scout team decided to head out into the complex and do some recon.

The first place our travels took us was to the room where bodies were being piled. Yiqinne noticed that the number of bodies had increased, as new ones were added to the pile. Some were human, but there were also some exotic and rare creatures.

The team then moved into the room where we fought the lizard creatures, and as we moved across the grate in the floor, laid the dead bodies of the lizards in an attempt to block whatever might come out of there.

Over the grate we found a large, open, and otherwise unremarkable room. Following through a door on the opposite side, we followed a corridor around to a door with several keys that we did not possess. The voice we had heard, closer than it has been any time before, mocked the group coming to a “dead end”. We decided to return to the main party and get ready to move forward.

As we returned, a green gas started to pour out of the grate in the floor. This left a burning sensation for all who entered the cloud and did substantial damage. Use of the Ioun Stone that eliminates the need to breathe did not help stop this. After several rounds, the gas dissipated, and we could hear the same voice laughing.

After returning to the main party, we decided to move forward through the “blue mist” room. Carefully proceeding, Yiqinne and our new dwarf companion were first. Yiqinne ended up moving faster, and crossed a grate in the blue mist, around a corner, and up some stairs out of the mist on the other side. Our dwarf companion tied off some rope on the grate to give others a path to follow around potential pits in the mist.

As he was tying off the rope, the green gas began to flow out of the grate and mix with the blue mist. This had the same effect as in the other room. Over the next few rounds, the green gas spread, and the party fragmented into three different rooms:

- Yiqinne, the dwarf, Kale, and Tyk ended up in a room with a number of recesses in the walls and a small stone table with four “keys” on it, a triangle and three stars. The blocked access of crumbled dirt on the far end clearly connected to the “bone room”.

- Cruven and Caaden ended up in the “bone room”, attempting to dig out the collapsed earth.

- Kara, and Raedegunde ended up in the corridor on the other side of the mist.

The following sequence of events then occurred:

- Yiqinned removed one of the stars from the table, and two recesses opened, revealing undead creatures that moved in to attack.

- The green gas continued to spread.

- Having excellent Fortitude, Raedegunde decided to charge through the gas and help out those in the main room.

- Kara, now separated from the two in the “bone room”, decided to run around the corridors to get there and help them dig as fast as possible.

As the initial combat sequence finished, the gas continued to spread into the main room. Raedeguned had made it in, but was still inside the gas cloud, as was Tyq. In an ill-advised attempt to stop the gas, Yiqinne went and removed the triangle from the table. This opened four more recesses and four new undead combatants. The triangle was replaced, but the openings did not shut. With the party sustaining heavy damage from the gas and earlier combat, the odds of survival for everyone looked grim.

Very quickly Kale, Raedegunde, and Tyq were knocked unconscious, pushing close to death, particularly Raedegunde. Shortly after Raedegunde and Tyq went down, the gas dissipated. Yiqinne stabilized Raedegunde, and the dwarf stabilized Kale.

As combat progressed, the dwarf dealt with a large undead bull, as three large undead turned their attention to Yiqinne.

For some unknown reason, the digging that was being done by Cruven and Caaden was accelerated as the dirt blocking the access “blew out” as if some form of pressure had pushed it out into the “bone room”. A dead body was noted buried in the dirt, but little attention was paid to it at this time.

Cruven raced to the other side of the main room and stabilized Tyq. Caaden unloaded some of his stronger spells and helped bring down the bull. The dwarf kept the three other undead at bay by becoming a focal point for their attacks, while Yiqinne then cast mage armor on herself and attempted to keep their focus on her. Cruven and Caaden then used these opportunities to unload ranged attacks.

Unfortunately, Caaded ended up in a position where he was exposed to an attack, and was knocked unconscious. The dwarf also went unconscious.

Kara arrived and began to attack from one end of the room while Cruven attacked from the other, and Yiqinne continued to move around the enemies and keep the focus on her. The enemies were finally taken down. Caaden was stabilized.

All members of the party were dragged into the large room we had rested in before. The party was able to rest for an extended period of time, and although not up to full strength, everyone is now on the positive side of HP.

During the extended rest, Yiqinne and Kara decided to scout the main entrance and see if the thing which entered before returned. The things were indeed returning, and it was noted that the “skull” relief was now closed again. Many creatures entered the main room, with the large ones seeming to haul in stuff.

There were a number of low level guards, and a higher ranking “leader”. This creature looked somewhat orcish, but had green/black scaly skin. One of the large creatures seemed to interact with the leader, and seemed smarter than the other large creatures.

Once they left, a search showed that more bodies had been added to the pile and that a red gem pendant with the snake eating itself was found on the floor, displaying “weak” magic. Yiqinne and Kara rejoined the party and informed them of what was seen.

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June 27th - An Introduction

After resting, the party found the exit open, and decided it might be a good idea to exit and started to do so. Before leaving, the party was addressed by a booming voice that did not seem to be coming from anywhere, but we could all hear it.

The voice informed us that something was waiting for us above ground. Yiqinne, looking for patterns in the activity of the acid gas, had mistakenly assumed the entity, whatever it is, was interested in her survival. It turned out that it was actually interested in Kale’s survival, and knew of Kale’s “family”.

Boasting about its importance, Yiqinne insulted it, stating is was a pawn in a more influential being’s plans.

Upon proceeding up, the party was attacked but easily dispatched the attackers. The decision was made to proceed back to the Crossroads to restock.

During our time in the Crossroads we learned that the small town to the south east (about a half day’s journey) has shown a substantial drop in activity. There have been no travelers coming from the town over the past few days.

We rested at the local inn, and during the evening, there was a loud noise and flash at the tree again. Upon leaving our rooms, we found a note stuck to a door inviting us to return to the tree. This handwriting did not match that found on the original note that accompanied the star found at the farm of Kale’s family.

As the citizens got concerned, small groups started to organize to go investigate. Confident that if anything hostile was present it would easily kill the locals, we convinced them to allow us to investigate.

Upon travel to the tree, nothing major looked wrong, but as a member of the party approached the tree, it attacked. We sustained some damage from the battle, but were able to burn it down and destroy it, leaving the opening to the complex accessible.

We went back to town to assure the people there was nothing wrong and rest. Upon returning to the complex, the decision was made to proceed to the room with the table with the “keys” on it and open the remainder of the recesses in a controlled manner. We were successful in doing this.

We proceeded to go south through door into a chamber where several party members were trapped and engaged in battle with some sort of phase shifting creature. Among its weaknesses was silver.

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