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Thread: The Grail Works Mission Dossier (Discussion & Ideas)

  1. #6541
    Kamen Rider fan-writer Xamusel's Avatar
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    I vote to let Ilya be a true member of the work setting.
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    For those that don't necessarily care if my fics aren't all Type-Moon related.




    Hmm... this is a bit of a surprise these days.

    An archive of my works on the forum that's pretty accurate.




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  2. #6542
    吸血鬼 Vampire
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    I really like the role Ilya has in the setting already, actually. Her role as mission coordinator and overseer really feels like it ties the setting together for me. I would be okay with her being able to temporarily incarnate (i.e. FGO Sieg being a terminal for his actual body). This is already described in the setting as something she's looking into, of course. She also may have access to cloned homunculus bodies, given Erik. Or Zelretch could gift her one, he reportedly... has a... spare... Oh ew.

    My understanding of the metaphysics is that Justeaze is basically the core and will of the Greater Grail. When Ilya describes "the Grail" having a will (and it's not corrupted via Angra Mainyu) that's Justeaze. Presumably, if you extracted Ilya's will from the Grail that's powering Avalon, you'd be left with Justeaze in control. Agreed that she doesn't have much of a defined personality, of course. I'd think of her as being even more mechanical than Irisviel.

    It might be fun to have a story where Ilya discovers some method of incarnation, leaving Justeaze in control, but it feels like the plot of such a story would first want to be about the unexpected consequences of having an impartial, unbiased will that they were otherwise unaware of in control of Avalon, the Doors, and the Grail (everyone gets thrown into missions all over the place, and the struggle is trying to get Ilya back into control). Presumably after doing that once, they might be better able to detach Ilya while leaving some aspects of her will and personality in control, so she could go on field missions or similar. Or you could just skip that and incarnate her, but it really feels like there should be some fun consequences the first time. That might also be a good opportunity to throw Kurai on his time-travel journey to the Servant-verse.

    I'd still prefer Ilya to be the primary facilitator of contact between people on field missions and Avalon though, unless she's explicitly doing something else. She adds a lot of heart to those interactions.

  3. #6543
    Jester of the Moon Cell's Sovereign Kieran's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arbitrarity View Post
    I really like the role Ilya has in the setting already, actually. Her role as mission coordinator and overseer really feels like it ties the setting together for me.
    Which is why it was given to her in the first place.


    I would be okay with her being able to temporarily incarnate (i.e. FGO Sieg being a terminal for his actual body). This is already described in the setting as something she's looking into, of course. She also may have access to cloned homunculus bodies, given Erik.
    . . . Either that, or she learns about the Prisma Illya universe and goes hunting for Class Cards - after all, if it can work for Kuro . . .


    Or Zelretch could gift her one, he reportedly... has a... spare... Oh ew.
    *Chuckles* True - though not impossible, since what was actually done with it is murky, at best.


    My understanding of the metaphysics is that Justeaze is basically the core and will of the Greater Grail. When Ilya describes "the Grail" having a will (and it's not corrupted via Angra Mainyu) that's Justeaze. Presumably, if you extracted Ilya's will from the Grail that's powering Avalon, you'd be left with Justeaze in control.
    That's largely my understanding, yes - I just wasn't sure if having a manifested Greater Grail would have any different effects from a manifested Lesser Grail, in this case.


    Agreed that she doesn't have much of a defined personality, of course. I'd think of her as being even more mechanical than Irisviel.
    Almost certainly, since she's a model that's two hundred years out of date . . .


    It might be fun to have a story where Ilya discovers some method of incarnation, leaving Justeaze in control, but it feels like the plot of such a story would first want to be about the unexpected consequences of having an impartial, unbiased will that they were otherwise unaware of in control of Avalon, the Doors, and the Grail (everyone gets thrown into missions all over the place, and the struggle is trying to get Ilya back into control).
    True - complicated to do properly, but true . . .


    Presumably after doing that once, they might be better able to detach Ilya while leaving some aspects of her will and personality in control, so she could go on field missions or similar. Or you could just skip that and incarnate her, but it really feels like there should be some fun consequences the first time. That might also be a good opportunity to throw Kurai on his time-travel journey to the Servant-verse.
    Ah, yes . . . Hm . . .


    I'd still prefer Ilya to be the primary facilitator of contact between people on field missions and Avalon though, unless she's explicitly doing something else. She adds a lot of heart to those interactions.
    Thank you - it's nice to know I got that right.
    “Love will be cruel to who it entices — love will have its sacrifices.”

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    "Evil isn't the real threat to the world. Stupid is just as destructive as Evil, maybe more so, and it's a hell of a lot more common. What we really need is a crusade against Stupid. That might actually make a difference."

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  4. #6544
    吸血鬼 Vampire
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    My understanding is that if I set this in computer terms, the Lesser Grail is like a power supply (well, closer to a capacitor, but I'm ignoring that for now), while the Greater Grail is like a processor. The Lesser Grail collects energy and, when full, feeds it to the Greater Grail as fuel for actually granting the wish, while the system of the Greater Grail is responsible for transforming that energy, connecting to the Root, and interpreting/realizing the wish. Thus, I would think that Ilya as she is in the Works is already closer to a manifestation of the Greater Grail, or something connected to it, albeit one with the personality of the container of a Lesser Grail, which might limit her ability to fully integrate with the system (as there are usually limitations on what a human-analogue mind is capable of processing consciously). The major difference in this case is that the Anarchy Grail lacks Ilya's personality, and likely has a lot more power at the moment, rather than being significantly different in nature.

    I should also note that there's apparently a Q&A that claims that the Greater Grail lacks any will (Complete Material III) though I would suspect that it still has some way it interprets things, and has a personality overlay available for interacting with people (Sieg talks to what appears to be Justeaze in Apocrypha). If you did something like hook up the Greater Grail from Anarchy to the Works as an alternate power source/auxiliary processing, that could definitely have consequences, especially if you did so by asking it to implement a wish (which might be the only option to actually get it to discharge its power). While it might not have an independent "will", it definitely implements wishes with some interpretation, and that interpretation could be said to be like a will. Since a major goal of the Works is to store up power for wishes when needed, I can definitely see draining the Anarchy Grail as something likely to happen.

  5. #6545
    Jester of the Moon Cell's Sovereign Kieran's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arbitrarity View Post
    My understanding is that if I set this in computer terms, the Lesser Grail is like a power supply (well, closer to a capacitor, but I'm ignoring that for now), while the Greater Grail is like a processor. The Lesser Grail collects energy and, when full, feeds it to the Greater Grail as fuel for actually granting the wish, while the system of the Greater Grail is responsible for transforming that energy, connecting to the Root, and interpreting/realizing the wish.
    That jibes with my understanding, as well.


    Thus, I would think that Ilya as she is in the Works is already closer to a manifestation of the Greater Grail, or something connected to it, albeit one with the personality of the container of a Lesser Grail, which might limit her ability to fully integrate with the system (as there are usually limitations on what a human-analogue mind is capable of processing consciously).
    Which also matches my interpretation, and I've tried to portray that, thus far.


    The major difference in this case is that the Anarchy Grail lacks Ilya's personality, and likely has a lot more power at the moment, rather than being significantly different in nature.
    Heck, the fact that it (theoretically) has fourteen Servants to draw on - plus whatever it stored from the last War that it didn't use - almost guarantees that.


    I should also note that there's apparently a Q&A that claims that the Greater Grail lacks any will (Complete Material III) though I would suspect that it still has some way it interprets things, and has a personality overlay available for interacting with people (Sieg talks to what appears to be Justeaze in Apocrypha).
    My thinking, as well - if it was totally mindless, why would she exist?


    If you did something like hook up the Greater Grail from Anarchy to the Works as an alternate power source/auxiliary processing, that could definitely have consequences, especially if you did so by asking it to implement a wish (which might be the only option to actually get it to discharge its power). While it might not have an independent "will", it definitely implements wishes with some interpretation, and that interpretation could be said to be like a will. Since a major goal of the Works is to store up power for wishes when needed, I can definitely see draining the Anarchy Grail as something likely to happen.
    Well, since the idea is that the Anarchy/Apocrypha Grail is what was actually used for the Fifth Holy Grail War, it definitely granted Shirou's wish (with creative meddling by Ilya, of course) - and the fact that it has the capacity for "extra" (in the meaning of sheer numbers) Servants means that keeping it in a constant state of "low charge" in order to facilitate wishes as necessary also makes sense. Which is all to the good.

    . . . It sounds like, however, that if Ilya were to be removed on a long-term basis, we'd need something to take the place of the interface - simply relying on Justeaze, or whatever's left of her, just won't cut it. Hm - aside from circa-Halo 4's Cortana, are there any tragically-doomed AIs that might be workable . . .?

    (Either that, or the really radical notion of trying to resurrect Irisviel using whatever fragments of the last Grail they can remove from Sakura . . . Huh. And there's an idea - is it possible that Sakura might have lingering maternal feelings where Ilya's concerned?)
    “Love will be cruel to who it entices — love will have its sacrifices.”

    — Carmilla Theme




    "Evil isn't the real threat to the world. Stupid is just as destructive as Evil, maybe more so, and it's a hell of a lot more common. What we really need is a crusade against Stupid. That might actually make a difference."

    ―Jim Butcher, Vignette

  6. #6546
    Jester of the Moon Cell's Sovereign Kieran's Avatar
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    A Polarising Problem

    Grail Works, Ltd. Headquarters
    Avalon Castle, Phantasmagoria Isle








    It was the dress that clued me in.

    I was just getting to the point that I could tell she was Japanese, as opposed to “Asian” in general—blame my lack of exposure to the various phenotypes outside of a 2-D format; I was trying . . . In any case, the girl who came to a complete halt when she passed through the Door was in a very pretty sort of blue evening gown that in a more European style that made her look lovely—or would have, if she’d been about ten years older, as opposed to on par with Ilya’s (physical) age.

    That dress, with that hairstyle and those eyes? Yeah, I knew who she was. I could even make a reasonably-informed guess as to when she was, in her own personal history . . .

    “Welcome to Grail Works, Limited!” Ilya said pleasantly. “How may we help you?”

    Half-a-dozen ideas sprang immediately to mind at the question, but no answers were forthcoming from her. Whether it was shock, shyness, or some other reason, I couldn’t be sure—it wasn’t like there was a dearth of possibilities, and she leaned towards the “mysterious, reticent type” by design . . .

    Hello sweetheart,” said a voice—that I was startled to realise was mine—in the quiet, high-pitched tone a lot of adults used when talking to animals and small children. “Don’t worry; you’re safe here . . . Are you hurt? Hungry . . .?”

    I hesitated, before deciding to go all in with, “. . . Would you like a hug?”

    Judging by the widening eyes of the still-mute girl, she felt as bewildered as Ilya looked.

    “. . . Would you mind explaining, please?” the albino girl said in a cheerful tone (with an undertone promising my incipient murder upon failure to comply).

    “This is Miyu,” I explained. “Judging by what she’s wearing, I’m guessing that she was just sent away for her own safety—and lost her brother in the process.” She flinched at that, and something in my chest echoed the movement. “Sorry, sweetie—I don’t mean to pry, but sometimes I just know things . . .

    I turned back to Ilya. “And on that note, she’s being hunted; erase her trail if you can, and scatter it as far and wide as possible if you can’t—we do not want them finding her, and especially not here.”

    A squeak escaped our newest client, and the accompanying look on her face was one of absolute terror, so I felt no guilt over staring at Ilya and willing her to get it done. Just to give her an incentive, however . . .

    “I’m aware of how hard this place is to find, never mind break into—but if anybody could, it would be this bunch. They’re capable of locating and using breaches in the Kaleidoscope to cross worlds; maybe not opening them, but if they find one . . .”

    “Alright, alright, already!” the white girl to Miyu’s black protested, pouting. “One erased trail and scattershot traces, plus every defensive measure I can think of turned on or up, done and done—they’re not getting in!”

    Thank you, Ilya,” I breathed.

    A knot of tension eased in my chest. Granted, I didn’t think the Ainsworths or their pawns getting in here was likely. It took them three months to track Miyu in canon, and they’d basically followed Gilgamesh’s trail to do it—plus, whatever entrance the Door she’d used to get here had been anchored to, it used entirely different methods and was utterly temporary . . . But on the other hand, Ea had broken out of the Mirror World, and the Ainsworths had replicated a feat that, so far as I knew, had taken the Holy Grail itself to accomplish, in following Miyu in the first place—better safe than sorry.

    “Back to my original questions, Miyu-chan,” I said, making sure to use the derivative, this time; it was what she was probably used to, at least when dealing with Shirou. “Are you hurt? Are you hungry, thirsty—tired? It’s probably been a long day for you; I expect . . . The hug’s still available if you want it, too.”

    Seriously—why does Nasu hate little girls so much, that every one of them that he creates needs all the hugs . . .?

    (OK, Reines at seven needed a spanking, but she’s the exception that proves the rule.)

    She shook her head minimally, and began in that soft voice I remembered so well, “I’m—”

    The sudden growl of her stomach silenced her probable “I’m fine” response; it also caused her to go an adorable strawberry colour even as it answered several questions at once. I’d always wondered how long Miyu had been wandering around Fuyuki before Sapphire found her. Certainly, she’d gotten off the mountain by herself; without magic and at her size, it had to be at least a few hours . . .

    Fortunately, the sound of a sudden step behind me gave me an excuse to turn away from the painfully cute vision of a thoroughly-embarrassed Miyu and address the newcomer.

    “Hisui-san, would you please be so kind as to take our newest guest, and tell whoever’s manning the kitchen that she could do with some soup and rice—or whatever’s to hand that’s quick, filling, and easily digestible?”

    I certainly wasn’t going to volunteer—with the exception of brownies, my cooking skills were limited to sandwiches, pancakes, scrambled eggs, and whatever I could get away with microwaving. Therefore, my authority over the kitchen was limited to the coffeemaker, since it was mostly Rider and I who used it (and occasionally Akiha and Rin, when in desperate straits). Even that was under threat of glass being mixed in with the coffee grounds if I tried to meddle with anything else in that sacred space—and I was taking no chances on that score.

    After all, Shirou might have been kidding, but Kohaku sure as hell wasn’t.

    “Of course,” the maid said, and I blessed her professionalism; the certainty in her voice, so similar to Miyu’s own usual tone, would hopefully relax her. “Please, come this way, Miss—?”

    She still hesitated to introduce herself, so I did, instead. “This is Miyu—oh, pardon me. I’m sorry; done in the Japanese fashion, she’s Emiya Miyu.”

    I definitely didn’t give Hisui enough credit; she only raised an eyebrow, whereas I could almost hear the jaws of the other two girls dropping.

    After she’d left with Miyu in tow, however, I just turned to Ilya and said lightly, “Don’t tell me you didn’t recognise those eyes . . .?”








    As you might expect, it took a while to summarise four seasons and a movie’s worth of anime into something resembling a coherent narrative. Especially since I’d missed out on the “3rei” season (thank you, Funimation, for your digital-only release), and had had the movie on order when I got pulled into the Works. Having read the relevant wiki articles helped, but only so much. On top of that, t took me nearly an hour and six attempts (as more and more people appeared) to convince them that no, Miyu was not Shirou’s future daughter.

    . . . OK, so I might have brought on some of that myself by remarking “no, that’s Ritsuka Fujimura” in response—but can you blame me?

    In any case, after Rin got done pulling her hair out over the expected “But it doesn’t WORK that way!” rant (I’d helpfully shared the writer’s answer to all such complaints—to wit, “This is different; deal with it!”—but it didn’t seem to satisfy her), she sighed.

    “. . . So, what do you recommend we do?”

    I blinked, honestly surprised. I hadn’t thought she had that much faith in my opinions—I sure as hell didn’t.

    “. . . As far as I saw, the series is generally pleasant, if not always happy,” I thought out loud. “Certainly, Miyu is good for Luvia, and vice versa; equally certainly, Illya is good for Miyu, even if the series tries too hard to rip off—sorry, I meant pay homage—to the Nanoha series where Miyu’s concerned.”

    Honestly, giving Miyu university-level math skills at her age, despite supposedly being cloistered her entire life (and worse, when it had nothing to do with the Nasuverse magical system) just to make the parallel to Fate Testarossa more obvious? Talk about lazy writing . . .

    “Unfortunately, to meet Luvia, she has to meet Sapphire and gather Class Cards,” I continued, “and that means she’s at risk of being abducted. Ideally, we need those Cards collected and moved out of Fuyuki, ASAP—Gilgamesh’s card, absolutely. I don’t know exactly how the Ainsworths tracked Miyu, but given that they didn’t manage to until he activated the Greater Grail remnant, I have to assume a correlation. And that means not leaving him to soak up power from a major ley line convergence for three months, until he can break out of the ‘Mirror World’ space into reality.

    “We need to do something about these ‘Ainsworths,’ too,” Shirou muttered.

    “Keeping in mind that as far as I know, they’ve already killed you once,” I said sharply, “maybe we should concentrate on keeping them out of Miyu’s life, for now, rather than diving into yet another Holy Grail War altogether.”

    It wasn’t that I disagreed with the idea. I thought no more of Julian Ainsworth’s ambition than I had of Darnic Prestone Yggdmillennia’s; honestly, with the exception of the magi in this room, I was often contemplating lately how much better off humanity was in general without magi altogether. They didn’t contribute anything—not to society at large, or to the species, or even to themselves—and their conflicts and petty power plays largely caused ruin and despair for all and sundry . . . And for what? They didn’t even know, not really; until the Root was actually reached, how could anyone confirm that it actually existed, or what that meant . . .?

    Short of being a potential deterrent against Dead Apostles and similar threats (because I’d seen decidedly mixed results in such attempts), my opinion was that magi were largely parasites on the overarching organism of humanity. And people like that just reinforced that impression. At least Shirou was trying to do something worthwhile with his abilities--perhaps not anything sensible, but admirable, just the same.

    “. . . In any case,” I concluded, “while Miyu is liable to be safer here, for the time being, it’s not just for her sake that we need to deal with those Cards. Even leaving aside the actual threat they pose, I’ve no idea who Sapphire might choose as a ‘replacement mistress’ with Miyu unavailable—if anyone—and your native counterpart can’t handle them on her own.”

    She’d come too close to dying, and too often, even with Miyu’s help for me to think otherwise. The personality that would become Kuro might help, for a while—if she wasn’t wiped out before she had a chance to actually realise the threat—but Illyasviel von Einzbern, normal schoolgirl, was not enough for this. Shirou had been better-prepared, for God’s sake—and Rin had been more helpful there, too . . . !

    (Why, no—I wasn’t bitter over Prisma Rin’s throwing a totally untrained ten-year-old into combat against a Servant within hours of being acquired by Ruby, with absolutely no instruction whatsoever. Why ever would you think otherwise . . .?)

    “The problem,” I continued, still thinking aloud, “Is that everyone we have who’s best-equipped to deal with the problem has a counterpart there—and we don’t need the confusion. Shiki or Arcueid, on the other hand, could fight a Servant, but I wouldn’t want to send him alone, and she would attract too much attention; and I’m not sure either of them could even get to them without Sapphire. Unfortunately, while she is more sensible than Ruby, I’m not sure how flexible she is about the whole ‘magical girl’ concept—and Miyako Arima is the only one I can think who might fit the criteria as it’s given to us . . .”

    (It was the most diplomatic way I could think of saying, “They might consider you too old for the role” without actually saying it—plus, mixing demonic blood and impulses with the “UNLIMITED POWER . . . !” of a Kaleidostick didn’t sound like a good idea, either.)

    “We need to do something, though—and preferably quickly enough that Miyu has a chance to make friends with Illya, even if she might lose out on her role as Luvia’s little sister. I hate that part, but keeping her away from the Cards is the only way to keep her safe; and that means away from Luvia, as a result. But if we can at least wrap this up quickly, she’ll have some chance at a normal life, with friends her own age . . . But who do we send to deal with the Cards . . .?








    Fuyuki City, Prisma Illya’s Earth
    May 21, 2011









    I stared at the fire exit door for a beat, and then sighed.

    “In hindsight, I suppose I should have seen that coming . . .”
    “Love will be cruel to who it entices — love will have its sacrifices.”

    — Carmilla Theme




    "Evil isn't the real threat to the world. Stupid is just as destructive as Evil, maybe more so, and it's a hell of a lot more common. What we really need is a crusade against Stupid. That might actually make a difference."

    ―Jim Butcher, Vignette

  7. #6547
    吸血鬼 Vampire
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    I have a sudden feeling like if you give Kurai/Godafrid a Kaleidostick, we're going to either get Galen, or something even more terrifying. Unless... he's undercover. That could also be spooky. I can see him managing to cover the role though, given how Miyu usually acts. I would think that you could get also away with Magical Girl Amber as far as those criteria go, even if she's a bit old for the role, but she doesn't really have the requisite knowledge.

    Shiki or Arcueid, on the other hand, could fight a Servant, but I wouldn’t want to send him alone, and she would attract too much attention; and I’m not sure either of them could even get to them without Sapphire. Unfortunately, while she is more sensible than Ruby, I’m not sure how flexible she is about the whole ‘magical girl’ concept—and Miyako Arima is the only one I can think who might fit the criteria as it’s given to us . . .”

    (It was the most diplomatic way I could think of saying, “They might consider you too old for the role” without actually saying it—plus, mixing demonic blood and impulses with the “UNLIMITED POWER . . . !” of a Kaleidostick didn’t sound like a good idea, either.)
    Wait, is Akiha involved in this conversation? I didn't see her anywhere, just Shirou/Rin, but you did say
    On top of that, t took me nearly an hour and six attempts (as more and more people appeared) to convince them that no, Miyu was not Shirou’s future daughter.
    I think it would be clearer if you gave her an explicit line, or whoever you're talking about being "too old for the role", since it can't be Rin or Ilya, presumably.

    Also, I picked up Kaguya-sama and now appreciate Godafrid's apprehension much more. He is not prepared for that, unless he has some mind-reading available. That O Kawaii Koto seems like it would also be traumatic for him.

  8. #6548
    Jester of the Moon Cell's Sovereign Kieran's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arbitrarity View Post
    I have a sudden feeling like if you give Kurai/Godafrid a Kaleidostick, we're going to either get Galen, or something even more terrifying.
    Yeah, I don't see that ending well.


    Unless... he's undercover. That could also be spooky.
    In a manner of speaking, no matter what he's doing here, he'll be "undercover," so I'm not sure wh -


    I can see him managing to cover the role though, given how Miyu usually acts.
    Oh. You meant that . . .

    *Shakes head* Wouldn't work. A bit of Miyu's blood would let him take her form for an hour, but anything more long-term would require him to undergo the Ritual of the Hunt and consume her heart's blood - which I am still not sure doesn't mean devouring her heart outright (as I've noted before, it's the major drawback of the Lunar Exalt template).


    I would think that you could get also away with Magical Girl Amber as far as those criteria go, even if she's a bit old for the role, but she doesn't really have the requisite knowledge.
    That was my immediate thought, but then I have to deal with the fact that Kohaku freaking terrifies me - which, admittedly, may be enough reason to do it (either because of Ilya's sadism, or my masochism - take your pick). Otherwise, if (again) she wouldn't attract far too much attention, he would've recommended sending Arcueid, because Phantas-Moon does fit the genre.


    Wait, is Akiha involved in this conversation? I didn't see her anywhere, just Shirou/Rin, but you did say

    I think it would be clearer if you gave her an explicit line, or whoever you're talking about being "too old for the role", since it can't be Rin or Ilya, presumably.
    You may assume the room's makeup contains some quantity of Tsukihime characters; which specific ones, I leave to you. In this case, I admit I was unclear; since he has no way to determine how Synchronisers might interface with Kaleidosticks (or whatever True Ancestors use for power), he actually meant the Tsukihime girls as a whole - they are all the same age, roughly.

    . . . Although, now that I think about it, if Satsuki had enough potential to become a Dead Apostle right off the bat, how might that apply to being a Magical Girl . . .?


    Also, I picked up Kaguya-sama and now appreciate Godafrid's apprehension much more.
    I thought you might. I keep trying to, but the anime is a website exclusive that will cost me over $100 + shipping (thank you, exchange rates), and the first volume of the manga is the only one unavailable through my local bookstore . . .

    . . . At this rate, My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to DOOM is more likely, if I want to go the full-comedy route.


    He is not prepared for that, unless he has some mind-reading available.
    No, no he is not. He might have some capacity to offset that, via experience (read: age) and supernaturally-keen senses (if he's in a position to apply them), but he is otherwise totally outclassed . . . Which, again, is arguably the best reason to do it - but as noted, my inability to lay hands on a significant amount of the source material is frustrating.


    That O Kawaii Koto seems like it would also be traumatic for him.
    Oh, absolutely - and not at all helped by the fact that she looks so adorable when she says it.
    “Love will be cruel to who it entices — love will have its sacrifices.”

    — Carmilla Theme




    "Evil isn't the real threat to the world. Stupid is just as destructive as Evil, maybe more so, and it's a hell of a lot more common. What we really need is a crusade against Stupid. That might actually make a difference."

    ―Jim Butcher, Vignette

  9. #6549
    Vigilant. Relied Upon. Vigilantia's Avatar
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    So, as a person not keeping up with your latest work, is he Kurai or Godafrid now?

  10. #6550
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    I would describe the current state as "complicated". Kurai, as in the druid, was changed into a Lunar Exalted who in Fate/Anarchy is pretending to be Godafrid (who is technically a different person). I don't think we have a specific name for the Lunar Exalted (though he's the same underlying person), so I refer to them as Kurai or Godafrid, somewhat interchangeably. I could just always refer to them as Godafrid, but outside of the context of Fate/Anarchy, it feels like not necessarily an accurate name.

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    Jester of the Moon Cell's Sovereign Kieran's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vigilantia View Post
    So, as a person not keeping up with your latest work, is he Kurai or Godafrid now?
    Godafrid is the name of the individual whose identity he's assumed in his current assignment, so it's the one he's presently using. As he's also not capable of passing for Asian (as elven features are at least close) any longer, "Kurai" isn't a name he feels comfortable using. Phrases like "cultural appropriation" keep ringing in the back of his mind . . . Even if it would be easier for most of his coworkers to use.
    “Love will be cruel to who it entices — love will have its sacrifices.”

    — Carmilla Theme




    "Evil isn't the real threat to the world. Stupid is just as destructive as Evil, maybe more so, and it's a hell of a lot more common. What we really need is a crusade against Stupid. That might actually make a difference."

    ―Jim Butcher, Vignette

  12. #6552
    Kamen Rider fan-writer Xamusel's Avatar
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    Hey, guys, I'm gonna be the first one to say this about this subject... I'm working on an original piece of fiction right now. Of course, for those who wonder when my first actual Grail Works fic will be released, be patient... I want to get this worked on ASAP.
    Xamusel's Fanfiction Profile

    For those that don't necessarily care if my fics aren't all Type-Moon related.




    Hmm... this is a bit of a surprise these days.

    An archive of my works on the forum that's pretty accurate.




    Note that I don't wish to be seen as an idiot any longer. I can't always promise better works than before, but I can sure as hell try, alright?

  13. #6553
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    Understandable, and good luck.
    “Love will be cruel to who it entices — love will have its sacrifices.”

    — Carmilla Theme




    "Evil isn't the real threat to the world. Stupid is just as destructive as Evil, maybe more so, and it's a hell of a lot more common. What we really need is a crusade against Stupid. That might actually make a difference."

    ―Jim Butcher, Vignette

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    Wish Upon a Star

    Or, "(S)I, Exalt"








    I started working for the Works as a D&D-style druid; later, that identity was stripped from me, and I wound up as an Exalt—a mortal who has a fragment of a deity grafted to their soul. Originally, I’d believed I was a Lunar Exalt; the truth, as it turned out, was a lot more complicated.

    In the world of Exalted, there are four major types—a lot more subcategories than that, but those are rooted in one of the four. The lowest Exalt type are the Terrestrials, or Dragon-Blooded, created by Gaia from the world’s five Elemental Dragons. On the other end of the scale, at the pinnacle of the Celestial Exalted, are the Solar Exalts; champions of the Unconquered Sun, and natural god-kings of Creation. The Lunar Exalts, Luna’s Chosen (duh) are their stewards and other halves, quixotic and adaptable where the Solars are absolute. Given my affinity for (read: "obsession with") werewolves—particularly those created by the company responsible for Exalted’s game world—my initial state as a Lunar had made sense.

    Not perfectly, however; the Lunars were primal barbarians, and that part of their nature didn’t agree with me. Nor did the need to expand their library of shape-shifting forms by ritually hunting and devouring the heart’s blood of the target . . . However, there was the third type of Celestial Exalt: the Seers and Viziers of the Solars, their advisors, and meddlers in general—the Sidereals.

    As the name implies, the Sidereals were the Chosen of gods representing heavenly bodies; not stars per se, but they did a lot of work in running the supernatural bureaucracy and working the Loom of Fate—destiny being an actual force, with predetermined patterns and plans, in-universe. They were the “secret masters” of the world . . . And as such, so well-hidden from it that the world itself usually didn’t remember that they existed.

    In a lot of ways, I represent the ideal Grail Works agent. I can, with a little bit of effort, be just about anyone—or more importantly, no one. Adopting specific identities (like, say, Shirou Emiya or Shiki Tohno) is out, but assuming the mantle of some no-name magus, or priest, or other such generic identities? That’s easy as pie. More importantly, I fade from memory when not in direct view, to the point where even records of me (like video, or written pages) disappear—and the effect can, with some effort or luck, extend to supernatural beings like elementals, or even gods. Sounds perfect if you need some covert work done in another universe, and don’t want to leave any trail that hints at otherworldly intervention, eh?

    It is, kind of—but then, there are the downsides. The many, many (oh God, why are there so many?!) downsides . . .

    For starters, there’s the anima banner: any Exalt, if they burn through enough power at once, can ignite an aura that’s visible for miles; it’s not exactly subtle. More specific to Sidereal Exalts, the Information Erasure effect applies constantly; that makes keeping any kind of legal identity a lot of work—and while certain “enlightened mortals” and beings can become accustomed to me, it takes time. Being attacked by Saber, Rider, Shiki or Arcueid (or some combination thereof) under the belief I was an intruder was an hourly event for a while.

    (Let’s hear it for Dodge Charms, and particularly Duck Fate; if not for its reverse Gae Bolg effect—to wit, “No, that attack didn’t land, because I was never actually here”—I’d have died SO many times . . .)

    Also, a lot of Sidereal powers and tricks rely on things that don’t exist in most universes; like the Loom of Fate, specific constellations . . . I am learning to fudge things a little; in addition to having access to a sourcebook that includes “how to play Sidereals in settings where those things don’t exist,” giving me a metaphysical lifeline. Also, TYPE-MOON has its equivalent of predestination, and it’s not the only setting to do so—but it’s also not quite the same. As a result, half the things I could even learn to do are non-starters right out of the gate, and the rest . . .

    Well, it’s like saying I’m totally capable of programming a computer because I know one programming language: technically correct, and it’s not impossible that I could work out another based on what I know, but far from wholly accurate.

    Lastly, while Terrestrial Exalts are elementally-powered, and Solars and Lunars rely on the Sun and Moon (which are pretty much constants across all realities, in one form or another), the Five Maidens who are the Sidereals’ patrons are the incarnate spirits of other planets—and where they don’t exist, my innate power (and corresponding authority) drops dramatically.

    Fortunately for me, while the Maiden of Secrets is a very different idea for the deity’s incarnation, Jupiter is extant in most Earth-based universes, thus, I’m not completely crippled all the time.

    Not even in Fuyuki, actually—as I said, a lot of the general concepts overlap between TYPE-MOON and Exalted, and my “Arcane Fate” means the World is perfectly happy to ignore the fact that I exist, in general. And to the extent that it has noticed . . .

    In my more arrogant moments, I wonder if Gaia is treating me as something like a True Ancestor; that is, something built by Jupiter’s power in imitation of humans, which might work to corral them. In some ways, the Viziers’ mandate does parallel with that. Otherwise, despite the Reverse Side of the World being the primary destination of divinely-empowered things, this world does have magi, True Ancestors, etcetera—I might not be native, but I’m hardly unstoppable. Crushing me might take an effort, but not an impossible one.

    So, for the moment, I have at least a chance to do some good (and a theoretical five millennia to learn how to do it better), and the opportunity to accomplish some pretty amazing things. Moreover, I can pursue the Chosen of Secrets’ purpose (learning secrets, learning when to keep them secret, and when they need to be released) from all over the omniverse. Life, as they say, is good—if only I didn’t need to set my own place at meals half the time. Or have the lights get turned off when I’m still in the room. Or needing to introduce myself to Taiga every. Single. TIME . . .

    . . . Actually, that last one’s probably just Taiga, isn’t it?








    Writer's Notes: Just wondered if a Sidereal SI actually might be a workable (and good?) idea, given some of the issues with the Lunar.
    “Love will be cruel to who it entices — love will have its sacrifices.”

    — Carmilla Theme




    "Evil isn't the real threat to the world. Stupid is just as destructive as Evil, maybe more so, and it's a hell of a lot more common. What we really need is a crusade against Stupid. That might actually make a difference."

    ―Jim Butcher, Vignette

  15. #6555
    吸血鬼 Vampire
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    I'd think many Servants count as Essence 3 or better, actually. Especially if they have Magic Resistance or Divinity. Generally, those downsides to Arcane Fate are intended to apply to the Sidereal's interactions in the mortal world, not "at home". Avalon may not be the Celestial Bureaucracy, but it's the closest analogue available. Or he could have 2-3 dots in Acquaintances to mitigate that effect, if you feel like really making it hard. 2 dots seems reasonable enough to be remembered if he's in the same building most of the time. If he's out on mission though, things might get weirder.

    Chosen of Secrets would 100% explain that "melts things that try to read his mind" though, and Resplendent Destinies seem like they cover false identities perfectly. Extending Arcane Fate to cover "gods" in the Scion or Nasuverse senses seems... interesting. I would definitely say that any Nasuverse character with any reasonable amount of divinity counts as Essence 3 or better, as does any Scion Demigod, for the purposes of Arcane Fate. That does still leave them not remembering him well, unless they have amazing Wits+Integrity or equivalent for some reason. The flavor works well, in my opinion.

  16. #6556
    Jester of the Moon Cell's Sovereign Kieran's Avatar
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    Apologies for the delay in response - my current work hours leave my off hours a bit weird . . .



    Quote Originally Posted by Arbitrarity View Post
    I'd think many Servants count as Essence 3 or better, actually. Especially if they have Magic Resistance or Divinity. Generally, those downsides to Arcane Fate are intended to apply to the Sidereal's interactions in the mortal world, not "at home". Avalon may not be the Celestial Bureaucracy, but it's the closest analogue available. Or he could have 2-3 dots in Acquaintances to mitigate that effect, if you feel like really making it hard. 2 dots seems reasonable enough to be remembered if he's in the same building most of the time. If he's out on mission though, things might get weirder.
    You are probably correct; I admit, I was exaggerating a bit for comedic effect - probably. Though Taiga forgetting him just because it's her still makes far too much sense . . . In actual terms, it probably wouldn't come up much in Avalon - though now that I think about it, I can absolutely see Kohaku "innocently" playing with this, as well.


    Chosen of Secrets would 100% explain that "melts things that try to read his mind" though, and Resplendent Destinies seem like they cover false identities perfectly.
    I can even (sort of) provide story-related reasons for it: his initial change was done by the Seldarine, who are elven gods. Well, there's another elven(-ish) deity in another world who is associated with green, has a connection to secrets, and probably comes from Earth's future . . .

    . . . Not to mention that there's a few things she might want the Works' intervention for - for example, a certain flood, or perhaps an entire timeline, for example.


    Extending Arcane Fate to cover "gods" in the Scion or Nasuverse senses seems... interesting.
    Amusingly, Scion Second Edition has a number of tricks associated with certain paths which basically pull off the same effect; so it's not impossible. Whether he'd have enough Essence to counter Erik and Tamamo's Legend score, however, is a different story.


    I would definitely say that any Nasuverse character with any reasonable amount of divinity counts as Essence 3 or better, as does any Scion Demigod, for the purposes of Arcane Fate. That does still leave them not remembering him well, unless they have amazing Wits+Integrity or equivalent for some reason. The flavor works well, in my opinion.
    So it could work . . . Hm.
    “Love will be cruel to who it entices — love will have its sacrifices.”

    — Carmilla Theme




    "Evil isn't the real threat to the world. Stupid is just as destructive as Evil, maybe more so, and it's a hell of a lot more common. What we really need is a crusade against Stupid. That might actually make a difference."

    ―Jim Butcher, Vignette

  17. #6557
    吸血鬼 Vampire
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    It does feel to me that the essential concept of the Sidereals maps very well into the role the Works plays, though some specifics differ heavily because of the setting change. The role of Sidereals, being hidden from the world to guide and protect, map pretty much exactly onto what the Works wants to do. You're going to encounter a challenge explaining how we ended up with a Sidereal rather than Lunar exaltation, since the Lunar one was the result of the Seldarine having some purview over Kurai, but your story-related reasons specified could work?

    The utter lack of the Bureau of Destiny, Loom of Fate, and Pattern Spiders poses some flavor challenges, of course. There are many political and social things associated with being a Sidereal, so being "alone" is unusual, but that mostly stops audits and censure from needing to happen, I guess. No Sifu background can easily be justified, which is somewhat weird, so I might consider allowing some equivalent there, or just freely allowing learning appropriate martial arts. Some charms are still mostly useless though, like Of Secrets Yet Untold. Sidereal Shell Games is pretty much always funny, though.

    Sidereal Astrology is actually a very important part of the Sidereal powers, and relies on Pattern Spiders/the Loom normally. You might just allow doing these things normally, as though Pattern Spiders existed, perhaps with penalties associated with "locations outside fate", though petitions would be... somewhat strange to justify. Paradox is a sufficient punishment, though.

    The weirder part is of course that you already acted as a Lunar Exalted, and Resplendent Destinies REALLY aren't enough to explain that usually. You could maybe justify it as a remapping from paradox (and/or outside interference, given your description of cause) upon entering the Works again, since Godafrid's paradox shielding is likely going to be minimal for that trip.

  18. #6558
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arbitrarity View Post
    It does feel to me that the essential concept of the Sidereals maps very well into the role the Works plays, though some specifics differ heavily because of the setting change. The role of Sidereals, being hidden from the world to guide and protect, map pretty much exactly onto what the Works wants to do. You're going to encounter a challenge explaining how we ended up with a Sidereal rather than Lunar exaltation, since the Lunar one was the result of the Seldarine having some purview over Kurai, but your story-related reasons specified could work?
    That's my hope, at least. Failing that . . .

    . . . Well, I always intended the events of his interaction with MHX's portion of her timeline to be a noodle incident (something mentioned, but never actually expanded on, if you're unfamiliar with the term) - but maybe something from that . . .? I was joking with RB earlier that if anything could wake up Space Ishtar early, it'd be Erik. And Ishtar - or rather, Astarte, as in "Ashtoret" - is a moon goddess . . .



    The utter lack of the Bureau of Destiny, Loom of Fate, and Pattern Spiders poses some flavor challenges, of course.
    Oh, yes - simultaneously simplifying and complicating many, many things.


    There are many political and social things associated with being a Sidereal, so being "alone" is unusual, but that mostly stops audits and censure from needing to happen, I guess.
    Ronin Sidereals are an option; it's what I'm using for the basis, anyway.


    No Sifu background can easily be justified, which is somewhat weird, so I might consider allowing some equivalent there, or just freely allowing learning appropriate martial arts.
    Really, in this case, I'd argue Heroic Spirits could qualify, at least.

    Failing that, there is one fighting style - "Quicksilver Hand of Dreams?" It's taught through dreams, from sources unknown.


    Some charms are still mostly useless though, like Of Secrets Yet Untold. Sidereal Shell Games is pretty much always funny, though.
    I did note that, yes. Haven't looked at the second Charm, though; I'll have to take a peek.

    . . . I will admit that I'm annoyed it's back to being skill-based, again - I don't really like having a character be hypercompetent.


    Sidereal Astrology is actually a very important part of the Sidereal powers, and relies on Pattern Spiders/the Loom normally. You might just allow doing these things normally, as though Pattern Spiders existed, perhaps with penalties associated with "locations outside fate", though petitions would be... somewhat strange to justify. Paradox is a sufficient punishment, though.
    Yeah, I know. *Sighs* It had to be based on Mage . . . I read that rulebook twice, and still never understood it . . .


    The weirder part is of course that you already acted as a Lunar Exalted, and Resplendent Destinies REALLY aren't enough to explain that usually. You could maybe justify it as a remapping from paradox (and/or outside interference, given your description of cause) upon entering the Works again, since Godafrid's paradox shielding is likely going to be minimal for that trip.
    True . . . I might also argue that the guise of a Resplendent Destiny can be strengthened by how well the wearer understands it (the Sidereal Manual did imply there are levels of depth to them), since it's easier to fake something if you already have some knowledge of it. For someone who's actually read the game books . . .?

    . . . Still, that is arguably the biggest sticking point. I have some justification on my side: a lot of the Chosen of Secrets' associations (winter, new moon, etc.) line up with those of the Lunar Exaltation I'm using, so it's not quite as big a leap as, say, going from a shamanistic No Moon Caste to an Abyssal Dusk Caste. It's more fulfilling a lot of the same role under a new patron - and the fact that the Lunar Exaltation is an ersatz one, effectively, gives me a little leeway . . . But it's still going to be complicated, if I do it.

    Honestly, converting to Scion Second Edition would be easier - if I didn't actively loathe the actual mechanics of the system. As broken as First Edition was, it at least made more sense . . .
    “Love will be cruel to who it entices — love will have its sacrifices.”

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    "Evil isn't the real threat to the world. Stupid is just as destructive as Evil, maybe more so, and it's a hell of a lot more common. What we really need is a crusade against Stupid. That might actually make a difference."

    ―Jim Butcher, Vignette

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    Small-Town Scenarios

    (Ab)normality




    Avalon Castle, Phantasmagoria Island








    The form that tumbled through the door was a startling one, even with Ilya’s experiences.

    No taller than herself and waifish in build, with an androgynous appearance that the near-shaved scalp could not help but emphasise, and that their garb did nothing to dissuade from. The newcomer was dressed in what looked like a parody of an old-fashioned diving suit: a plastic bubble atop the head, and a strange, strap-on vest made of plastic. To make matters worse, they were soaked to the skin, and trembling; whether from terror or simply being wet, Ilya wasn’t sure—but the rapid pebbling of flesh implied that the latter was gaining precedence.

    Still, the brown eyes she locked onto were wide and terrified, even as she began her spiel.

    “Welcome to Grail Works, Limited—how may we hel—?” Seeing utter incomprehension, she trailed off with a frown.

    “. . . Oh, to heck with it,” she muttered at last. “Hey, Onii-chan, bring some towels, would you? And you—do you recognise this one . . .?”








    Hawkins, Indiana
    November 6, 1983









    “I should’ve lied,” he sighed. “Not that it would’ve helped . . .”

    The Works would’ve gone in anyway, obviously—and a bunch of (mostly) Asian teenagers suddenly appearing in a small town, in Midwest America, during the early 1980s . . .? It would not have been pretty, he expected; particularly given the CIA angle to the whole mess. Stupid Cold War politics and paranoia . . .

    Handling the dimensional breach and associated escaped eldritch abominations would likely be child’s play by comparison. Not that that was going to be easy, either. Rin and Ilya between them probably could close the breach, and the Demogorgon was just an attack dog—but the Mind Flayer’s evident intelligence and powers were such that it could cause genuine problems, if it got it into its metaphorical head to interfere . . .

    Still, the initial threat was the Demogorgon; hopefully, he’d be able to hunt and kill the damned thing before it got that one girl. After that, locate the missing boy—preferably before the CIA tried to fake his death. And, oh yeah—he’d have to avoid both the CIA and the sheriff, too. Fortunately, his bag of tricks was such that it should be relatively easy to do.

    There were, he supposed, worse places he could be dropped into for a mission—but what to do with Elle, when it was all over . . .?








    Caught in (a) Quagmire



    Unknown place, unknown time
    In a not-so-distant future










    . . .Ow,” Frid groaned. It was inadequate to the situation, much less how much pain he was in, but it was all he was actually capable of, at the moment.

    Please, please tell me that the damned predestination loop is closed, now—I DO NOT want to go back.

    Seriously—and he’d thought dealing with Erik was bad in the Fate/apocrypha universe; the Servant Universe was a whole new level of overblown insanity . . .

    “Ilya . . .?” he croaked to the empty air.

    Frid was disappointed but unsurprised when there was no response—historically the Grail spirit had trouble locating him when he was forcibly ejected from a universe, and that had been even more brutal than the aftermath of the Great Holy Grail War. So, he was presently stuck here—wherever “here” happened to be—until he could at least try summoning a Servant, as that had proven a reliable method of sending up a metaphorical flare for Ilya’s attention . . . Assuming, of course, that magic actually worked here in a manner sufficiently similar to allow such a thing—or existed at all.

    Don’t think like that. If you’re going to worry, worry about what Servant you’re liable to try and conjure up this time . . .

    Not Mysterious Heroine X or her older counterpart, pretty please; in fact, nobody from the Servant Universe—otherwise, he knew who probably would be showing up.

    Because, let’s face it: she’d answer just for the opportunity to castrate me . . .

    After several minutes, Frid realised that A), he was still lying on the ground, and B), that no one had come to investigate. This was unusual, in his experience, and potentially reassuring—it meant that he was in an isolated enough area to be peaceful. Somewhere he could recover, and not worry about his imminent demise due to magic, mythology, mecha, monsters, or sheer madness . . .

    And then Frid opened his eyes, read the sign above him, and knew that was a delusion.




    You Are Now Entering

    QUAGMIRE

    City Limits

    Pop. 9, 289







    A whimper escaped his throat involuntarily.

    Can I go back to the Servant Universe . . .? PLEASE?!









    Writer's Notes: A day late, I'm sorry to say - wrestling the muse into being cooperative has been a chore, lately. But I hate not leaving you guys with something each week, even so.

    The crossovers are "Stranger Things" and "Ninja High School," respectively.
    “Love will be cruel to who it entices — love will have its sacrifices.”

    — Carmilla Theme




    "Evil isn't the real threat to the world. Stupid is just as destructive as Evil, maybe more so, and it's a hell of a lot more common. What we really need is a crusade against Stupid. That might actually make a difference."

    ―Jim Butcher, Vignette

  20. #6560
    吸血鬼 Vampire
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    I recognized the former fairly easily (I also like Ilya just referring to Godafrid as "you"). I had never heard of the latter. That is one trope-overdosed story, but considering it's both parody and from the 80s, I can... understand it, even if I can't actually stand reading it much. Godafrid's apprehension is warranted.

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