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lordabdul

The Alone Confederation

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Hey there Gloranthophiles,

I'm working on a clan-based campaign in the style of the excellent Red Cow books, and the focus is the Bachad tribe starting around 1611 (I hope to publish it on the Jonstown Compendium at some point, fingers crossed).

I have a few basic facts and questions I'd like checked/answered about the Far Place.

  1. Alone was founded in late 1582 for a bunch of people that were a mix of veterans from the Battle of Grizzly Hill, and a bunch of exiles/refugees from those regions affected by the war. I assume that, at the time, the area was completely unsettled? I mean, you'd have to be fairly desperate (which was the case here!) to settle in between ghouls and trolls, right? At the time, only the Torkani were living there, at a respectful distance from the troll lands, and with amicable relations to them (as they're called the "troll lovers" and many worship Argan Agrar).
  2. After 1611, when Harvar Ironfist took over Alda-Chur, it seems like the Bachad and Amad tribes actually moved to the area around Alone (i.e. like I said, Alone was... alone prior to that). Where did they come from? When I look at the tribes map, I imagine that they were living  in lands that later became Vantaros and Dinacoli territory. Based on the fact that the Dinacoli have more lands than most Sartarite tribes, I even imagine that they were actually granted former Bachad/Amad lands as a way to sweeten the deal of their move from the the Jonstown Confederation to the Alda-Chur Confederation a couple years later. Does that sound plausible?
  3. The one thing that doesn't seem to fit is that Gamla's Leap, where Harvar supposedly crushed the Alda-Churi Orlanthi priest order, is all the way out there, north of Alone, near Amadhall (which wouldn't have really existed much, or at all, at the time?). I don't know why there would be a holy place that far if all the tribes were previously closer to Aldar-Chur? My explanation so far is that Gamla's Leap was a wilderness holy place, and you would go on a pilgrimage there for yearly holy rites or something. When shit hit in the fan in Alda-Chur, the Orlanthi of the Righteous Wind tried to gather there in secret to arrange a last resort plan to take back Alda-Chur, but somehow Harvar's spies tipped him off and he rode there and crushed everybody.
  4. Assuming I'm mostly correct, I imagine that the exile particularly difficult for the Bachad and Amad -- they went from fertile, temperate lands where they might have lived mostly from farming, to harsher, higher lands where farming is impractical, and had to switch over to hunting. That might have included not only learning a bunch of new skills, but possibly looking at new central myths, a change of wyter, etc... to adopt more hunting-related cults? Although maybe not too much, I'm not sure, since the Barntar's Lodge myth happened nearby, and they probably were worshiping Barntar a lot before, being farmers.
  5. I also assume that, because they arrived from the west, they immediately adopted a hostile attitude towards trolls, because they had to make room for themselves. How did that go with their southern troll-loving neighbours? Again, when you look at the tribes map, the Bachad land extends a bit to the south, and I'm wondering if they might have stolen a few lands from the Torkani there, as it's curious to me how the Torkani wouldn't have crossed over the Creek.

Last, I'm curious about what kind of canonical and non-canonical material I can use. So far, apart from the usual suspects like Guide To Glorantha, the Sartar HQG books, the Red Cow books, etc... I know that there's relevant information in:

  • Wyrms Footnotes 15 (general information about the Far Place, along with a more detailed region map which, sadly, doesn't quite line up with the maps in GtG, or in the Red Cow books)
  • Questlines (from the old RQ Down Under Con books), whose materials are thankfully available on John Hughes' website (thanks @Bill the barbarian for the info!). They mostly focus on the Bluefoot Orlanthi clan of the nearby Tovtaros, right on the edge of Snakepipe Hollow.
  • The Zin Letters supposedly have something around Alone but I don't have access to those. There's also a map of Alone around here which, as I understand it, might actually be from the Zin Letters' authors notes.

Anything else I'm missing?

Thanks!

Edited by lordabdul
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11 minutes ago, lordabdul said:
  • The Zin Letters supposedly have something around Alone but I don't have access to those. There's also a map of Alone around here which, as I understand it, might actually be from the Zin Letters' authors notes.

 

I did try to get ahold of a copy of that book, I got as far as a contact who I did contact, but that was as far as I go. Busy today but if you have not gotten a contact from someone else by tomorrow, give me a holler and I will look up my info for ya.

11 minutes ago, lordabdul said:

Last, I'm curious about what kind of canonical and non-canonical material I can use. So far, apart from the usual suspects like Guide To Glorantha, the Sartar HQG books, the Red Cow books, etc... 

 

If the info is for you and your table go for it... No one can make you do anything and if the try, well, violence is always an option... Me, I put both in my books but make sure it is easy to cut out the non canonical if needed (for publication, quoting amongst grognards or...). That way I have a multitude of truths I can use if my munckins kindly players start throwing facts at me or are reading spoilers at BRP Central....

Edited by Bill the barbarian
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Thanks Bill! I'll probably wait to see if you get the book and consider it worth tracking down. I've setup some alerts on the usual second-hand book websites.

One last thing about the Bachad tribe: Wyrms Footnotes 15 says they're Dark Orlanthi but that looks like an obvious mistake in the tribe table -- they're most definitely originally Earth Tarsh.

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31 minutes ago, lordabdul said:

Hey there Gloranthophiles,

I'm working on a clan-based campaign in the style of the excellent Red Cow books, and the focus is the Bachad tribe starting around 1611 (I hope to publish it on the Jonstown Compendium at some point, fingers crossed).

Good luck with that!

31 minutes ago, lordabdul said:

I have a few basic facts and questions I'd like checked/answered about the Far Place.

  • Alone was founded in late 1582 for a bunch of people that were a mix of veterans from the Battle of Grizzly Hill, and a bunch of exiles/refugees from those regions affected by the war. I assume that, at the time, the area was completely unsettled? I mean, you'd have to be fairly desperate (which was the case here!) to settle in between ghouls and trolls, right? At the time, only the Torkani were living there, at a respectful distance from the troll lands, and with amicable relations to them (as they're called the "troll lovers" and many worship Argan Agrar).

There are more neighbors to take into consideration - a dragonewt nest city half a day's walk from the city, and the Chaos from the Hollow (that luckily has to cross troll country to get there). Occasional giants (keep those spiked trap houses in shape!) and other monsters (like unsupervised insect herds of the aforementioned trolls).

The presence of the "newts is probably the best argument why few of the neighboring Far Pointers sent their herds here. The 'newts might take their unscheduled tribute from the herds now and then, but that may still be preferable to the Lunars taking the herd as unscheduled tribute.

31 minutes ago, lordabdul said:
  • After 1611, when Harvar Ironfist took over Alda-Chur, it seems like the Bachad and Amad tribes actually moved to the area around Alone (i.e. like I said, Alone was... alone prior to that). Where did they come from?

As far as I remember, the Amad, Bachad and Tres were present for the founding of Alone. They may have held some land and/or clans further west of their current lands.

The land consists of forested hills, with only recently cleared valley bottoms. There may have been trollking - likely feral ones - browsing on this land before the arrival of the humans. Since the trollkin likely retreated towards the Indigo Mountains, the Redstone troll hunters don't really have cause for complaints.

31 minutes ago, lordabdul said:
  • When I look at the tribes map, I imagine that they were living  in lands that later became Vantaros and Dinacoli territory. Based on the fact that the Dinacoli have more lands than most Sartarite tribes, I even imagine that they were actually granted former Bachad/Amad lands as a way to sweeten the deal of their move from the the Jonstown Confederation to the Alda-Chur Confederation a couple years later. Does that sound plausible?

I first encountered the Dinacoli via the Jonstown project of Ingo Tschinke, even slightly before King of Sartar appeared on my radar. I did some research into them as part of my research that went into Heroes of Wisdom, and at Convulsion 94 I managed to get back feedback from Greg that they were Yelmalio rather than Elmal-worshipping Orlanthi from the north - a fact that I worked into my cattle raid/dragonewt RQ3 scenario that was published in Free INT and Tradetalk (also credited to Ingo).

I wrote that scenario under the assumption that the Dinacoli were anything but hoplites in their worship of Yelmalio. The open plains of their terrain (the Donalf flats) lend themselves to horse-back herding of cattle (and possibly other herds).

Their lands were right in the path of the Telmori migration that had ended a few years before Sartar's intercession in the Telmori wars. I assume that that arrival may have led to a couple of re-locations of clans in that area.

The Woods of the Dead might be a Dinacoli-made problem, or Brangbane may have become a Dinacoli by adoption. i am not entirely clear whether Sartar's transformation magic created that monster from a different kind of human species monster, or whether that story is just about a possession by the much older evil from the Woods of the Dead.

 

 

31 minutes ago, lordabdul said:
  • Assuming I'm mostly correct, I imagine that the exile particularly difficult for the Bachad and Amad -- they went from fertile, temperate lands where they might have lived mostly from farming, to harsher, higher lands where farming is impractical, and had to switch over to hunting. That might have included not only learning a bunch of new skills, but possibly looking at new central myths, a change of wyter, etc... to adopt more hunting-related cults? Although maybe not too much, I'm not sure, since the Barntar's Lodge myth happened nearby, and they probably were worshiping Barntar a lot before, being farmers.

The background given for the Amad and Bachad and Tres tribes in Sartar: Kingdom of Heroes (and Barbarian Adventures and  Dragon Pass: Land of Thunder before that) makes it sound like the city of Alone had no tribal support at all at the time Terasarin built it for Tarsh Exile allies. I don't quite trust those conclusions. If DP:LoD is correct, Harvar slaughtered (or sold into slavery) about half the Tarsh Exile population of Alone, and all the tribal (i.e. Amad and Bachad) Far Point inhabitants.

The concept of Alone starting out in a Hidden Valley sounds like a romantic remembrance to the start of Bagnot and Arim's Kingdom, and might be something like a quest of the inhabitants to establish themselves and their identity.

DP:LoD names a couple of inhabitants of Alone, but fails to mention Griselda's kin. Many of whom were paraded or at least reported to Olaf Dickin's Son in Pavis...

This means that Griselda speaks Tarshite as her native language, with Heortling only her second (or third/fourth language, alongside Tradetalk and Darktongue).

31 minutes ago, lordabdul said:
  • I also assume that, because they arrived from the west, they immediately adopted a hostile attitude towards trolls, because they had to make room for themselves. How did that go with their southern troll-loving neighbours? Again, when you look at the tribes map, the Bachad land extends a bit to the south, and I'm wondering if they might have stolen a few lands from the Torkani there, as it's curious to me how the Torkani wouldn't have crossed over the Creek.

The Torkani would have respected trollkin ranges, the displaced Far Pointers probably would not.

Land previously haunted by feral trollkin is likely to have patches denuded of vegetation - possibly an easy start to have some agriculture or pasture after taking it over.

31 minutes ago, lordabdul said:

Last, I'm curious about what kind of canonical and non-canonical material I can use. So far, apart from the usual suspects like Guide To Glorantha, the Sartar HQG books, the Red Cow books, etc... I know that there's relevant information in:

  • Wyrms Footnotes 15 (general information about the Far Place, along with a more detailed region map which, sadly, doesn't quite line up with the maps in GtG, or in the Red Cow books)
  • Questlines (from the old RQ Down Under Con books), whose materials are thankfully available on John Hughes' website (thanks @Bill the barbarian for the info!). They mostly focus on the Bluefoot Orlanthi clan of the nearby Tovtaros, right on the edge of Snakepipe Hollow.
  • The Zin Letters supposedly have something around Alone but I don't have access to those. There's also a map of Alone around here which, as I understand it, might actually be from the Zin Letters' authors notes.

Anything else I'm missing?

Canonical material: Troll Pak, especially the Dagori Inkarth map of the RQ2 version. The only Master Map quality map published for any part of Sartar. At least until we are going to see the RQG starter pack. The RQ3 version of that map is somewhat distorted, but that is a general problem with RQ3 era maps of Genertela that weren't reprints of RQ2 era maps. Possibly some incidental mention of the Alone tribes, and a description of the Vale of Flowers to the north.

RQ2 Companion has the obscure fragment "The Harlot of Alone", without much concrete information, but possibly a mood piece for the aftermath of Harvar's counterstrike against the Cold Wind rebellion. Previously published in one of the earliest Wyrm's Footprints.

HQ1 Dragon Pass: Land of Thunder. Canonicity depending on the source given for the entries. Repeats the tribal descriptions from Sartar Rising:Barbarian Adventures and expands on the locations. Thunder Rebels has even iless on this corner of Sartar.

Non-canonical: The Griselda stories involving her (surviving) family members.

I haven't checked the scenario hooks of Snake Pipe Hollow for Alone references. If there are any, they won't give you much info, but possibly something unmentioned in the previously listed sources.

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2 hours ago, Joerg said:

There are more neighbors to take into consideration - a dragonewt nest city half a day's walk from the city, and the Chaos from the Hollow (that luckily has to cross troll country to get there). Occasional giants (keep those spiked trap houses in shape!) and other monsters (like unsupervised insect herds of the aforementioned trolls).

Yeah Dragonewts and Giants and Chaos incursions and all that are planned in the campaign of course (that's kinda why I chose that spot, it's got lots of cool stuff!). The unsupervised insects are a good idea though, I'll steal that, thanks :D

2 hours ago, Joerg said:

As far as I remember, the Amad, Bachad and Tres were present for the founding of Alone.

Are you sure? I haven't been able to find any source mentioning what the Amad and Bachad tribes have been doing, and where, prior to 1611. I doubt that the Tres tribe even existed back when Alone was founded -- AFAICT it's pretty clear that the Tres tribe was created around 1611 as a loose collection of people uprooted by the ethnic cleansing of Harvar Ironfist against all Orlanthi worship (so most likely people leaving the Princeros/Vantaros/Tovtaros tribes). I've also seen some people say that some ducks might have joined the Tres later during the Duck Hunt.

S:KoH has the following to say about the Tres:

A new tribe, the Tres formed out in the wilderness, made up of dissidents from the other Aldachuri tribes who went into exile with the Amad and Bachad.

This is what leads me to believe that the Amad and Bachad tribes were in a different place prior to 1611. It's also consistent with the older HeroWars Dragon Pass book which specifically mentions they moved to the wilderness.

At the very least, having tribes forcibly relocate is a good thematic start point for a campaign, so I'll probably stick to that unless there's strong evidence that this isn't what happened.

2 hours ago, Joerg said:

The land consists of forested hills, with only recently cleared valley bottoms. There may have been trollking - likely feral ones - browsing on this land before the arrival of the humans. Since the trollkin likely retreated towards the Indigo Mountains, the Redstone troll hunters don't really have cause for complaints.

Ah, feral trollkin, another good idea, thanks :)

2 hours ago, Joerg said:

I did some research into them as part of my research that went into Heroes of Wisdom, and at Convulsion 94

Huh, didn't know about this book. Fairly unavailable though, I'm afraid.

2 hours ago, Joerg said:

Their lands were right in the path of the Telmori migration that had ended a few years before Sartar's intercession in the Telmori wars. I assume that that arrival may have led to a couple of re-locations of clans in that area.

Did you mean that to say that the Dinacoli always had these vast lands ever since the time of Sartar? If that's the case, it might mean that the Amad and Bachad tribes would have be relocated from somewhere else... like from the other side of the River from the Princeros and Vantaros, but I don't know if it was ever possible for Sartarite tribes to live there, there's the Dwarf Mine there...

2 hours ago, Joerg said:

The Woods of the Dead might be a Dinacoli-made problem

Thankfully, the Woods of the Dead are described at length in The Coming Storm, so that's all fine. I might just have to change a couple details here and there, especially geography-wise (TCS changed the spatial relation between Herongreen/the Woods/Alone in a way I don't like too much, and it doesn't even seem to match GtG).

2 hours ago, Joerg said:

The background given for the Amad and Bachad and Tres tribes in Sartar: Kingdom of Heroes (and Barbarian Adventures and  Dragon Pass: Land of Thunder before that) makes it sound like the city of Alone had no tribal support at all at the time Terasarin built it for Tarsh Exile allies. I don't quite trust those conclusions. If DP:LoD is correct, Harvar slaughtered (or sold into slavery) about half the Tarsh Exile population of Alone, and all the tribal (i.e. Amad and Bachad) Far Point inhabitants.

Why do you not trust those conclusions? My interpretation is that:

  • There was no tribal support around Alone because they really were just a small group of exiles/war veterans. They probably operated out of Alone itself, with some limited lands around it for hunting/herding.
  • The Amad, Bachad, and other miscellaneous people (later to form the Tres) fled the Alda-Churi area, in the hope of getting away from Harvar Ironfist. But he obviously didn't like that, and they didn't go very far anyway, so he rode over to Alone with his buddies, burned and killed half the people he found, and told the rest "you fuckers can live like hillbillies if you want, enjoy life in the asshole of the world for all I care, but by Yelmalio you ARE going to pay me your fucking tribute, otherwise I'll kill the other half or make slaves of you". I think it's in Wyrms Footnotes that it says they accepted to pay tribute in order to escape slavery.
  • I imagine the people of Alone who survived this ordeal were NOT happy that the Amad/Bachad brought their drama to their doorstep...

But yes, this is all half conjecture, since the existing texts are either confusing or contradictory or just vague. And I'm more than happy to come up with brand new backstories for these people (that's the joy of writing RPG campaigns), but I just want to make sure it's vaguely plausible and doesn't blatantly contradict canon. I can live with "a little contradictory" though :)

2 hours ago, Joerg said:

DP:LoD names a couple of inhabitants of Alone

By the way, thanks, I hadn't checked that book, it seems it has a couple extra bits of information indeed -- although I suppose I'm free to use or discard them since it's not considered canon anymore.

3 hours ago, Joerg said:

This means that Griselda speaks Tarshite as her native language, with Heortling only her second (or third/fourth language, alongside Tradetalk and Darktongue).

Yep, I'm looking at character creation right now, and besides a new "Far Place" homeland with a tweaked family history, I'm also specifying that characters would speak a Tarshite dialect with a few Sartarite (Heortling) words and phrases.

3 hours ago, Joerg said:

Land previously haunted by feral trollkin is likely to have patches denuded of vegetation - possibly an easy start to have some agriculture or pasture after taking it over.

I think it was mentioned in some books that the lands weren't super fertile, though. But I assume there's a bit of farming at least...

3 hours ago, Joerg said:

RQ2 Companion has the obscure fragment "The Harlot of Alone"..... [...]

Thanks!

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14 minutes ago, Rob Darvall said:

It's in Questlines 1996 if you can get a hold of a copy.

Yep I mentioned it already -- AFAICT all the material from the Questlines book is available on John's website, so I read it there. Thanks!

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Reading DP:AGoKF (Dragon Pass Gazetteer), it seems like it’s the only text I’ve seen so far whose wording strongly points towards the other version where Amad and Bachad tribes were indeed around Alone already before 1611. Since that’s also the oldest book of all my references, I’m inclined to think the authors changed their mind of the topic...

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3 hours ago, lordabdul said:

Reading DP:AGoKF (Dragon Pass Gazetteer), it seems like it’s the only text I’ve seen so far whose wording strongly points towards the other version where Amad and Bachad tribes were indeed around Alone already before 1611. Since that’s also the oldest book of all my references, I’m inclined to think the authors changed their mind of the topic...

How about this - both Amad and Bachad had lands / clans further west before 1611 but either lost these clans to other tribes or lost those clans' lands, being forced to accommodate them in more marginal terrain.

 

7 hours ago, lordabdul said:
10 hours ago, Joerg said:

As far as I remember, the Amad, Bachad and Tres were present for the founding of Alone.

Are you sure?

I said as far as I remember. The Far Point never felt that inviting to me, for some reason I felt attracted to Wilmskirk when I wasn't involved in doing stuff for the Jonstown project of friends.

I don't recall having seen any tribal distribution maps from before 1613. The only hints might be in "Military History of Dragon Pass", and that has the Far Point as a single entry.

7 hours ago, lordabdul said:

I haven't been able to find any source mentioning what the Amad and Bachad tribes have been doing, and where, prior to 1611. I doubt that the Tres tribe even existed back when Alone was founded -- AFAICT it's pretty clear that the Tres tribe was created around 1611 as a loose collection of people uprooted by the ethnic cleansing of Harvar Ironfist against all Orlanthi worship (so most likely people leaving the Princeros/Vantaros/Tovtaros tribes). I've also seen some people say that some ducks might have joined the Tres later during the Duck Hunt.

I doubt that the Tres would have been in a position to shelter the ducks. But then, for some ineffable reason, people want to see ducks everywhere, so they come up with excuses to have them. With Trollkin around, I don't see the narrative need.

Alone is counted among the cities of Sartar, and is not a fortified tribal town like Runegate (which has walls and towers built by the royal dynasty anyway) or Red Cow. Among other things, this suggests that the nearby tribes (i.e. at least the Amad and Bachad) were somehow involved in the city ring and the election of the mayor.

Alda-chur may be somewhat different in its participatory structure, but it has been the seat of a tribal confederation for longer than any city in Sartar. A lord of Alda-chur was a contender for the crown of Tarsh that finally went to Illaro, a generation before the arrival of Sartar.

 

7 hours ago, lordabdul said:

S:KoH has the following to say about the Tres:

A new tribe, the Tres formed out in the wilderness, made up of dissidents from the other Aldachuri tribes who went into exile with the Amad and Bachad.

I know, I checked those sources. Sartar Rising: Barbarian Adventures was the first source to state this. The Dragon Pass gazetteer more or less copy-pasted that info, and S:KoH reprised it without much editing.

The only argument I have against this is that the list of the 24 tribes of Sartar names the Maboder and the Tres in the same list. The Maboder ceased to exist in 1607.

SR:BA was a source that presented Sartar in a way that I (and others) have always been critical of. Tribes (not clans) were either rebels or collaborators, were enslaved in ways that would have sent clans migrating away (e.g. to Nochet or Pavis County), or to disband. Some of those punitive methods are alleged to Fazzur's governmental era, post-Starbrow, yet for some reason the Kheldon came out of that relatively unscathed while the Aranwyth (who aren't mentioned in the rebellion) lost their magical sheep and got goats?

The logistics of such a move are huge. They might be worth of a spoof scenario, really -- "10,000 goats Prax-wards", herding the life-stock from Garsting (or Kostaddi) across Balazar (or Vanch, Imther), Saird, Tarsh and the Far Point to the Aranwyth. Guarded by a unit of Lunar soldiery on a punishment mission for poor performance in the Sartar campaign, ideally one unsuited for a scouting and escort mission for a beast trek. The trek leaving behind a denuded swath of land only surpassed by the trollkin migration of the great trek from Ralios and the Elder Wilds to Dagori Inkarth, or the ravages of the Chaos Herd in the Nomad Gods boardgame (French edition).

 

But back to Alone.

IF the the original city would have been founded as an isolate from just Tarsh Exile refugees (including citizens of Bagnot), then they would surely have founded a tribe - much like the Runegate Triaty did. We might call this the Alone tribe, or it may have been an earlier form of the Tres. Put about a thousand or more Orlanthi from inhomogeneous origin together, and there will be a tribe.

Terasarin founded the city in 1583, so it had 28 years of history prior to the Righteous Wind rebellion against Harvar. The city lies on a cul-de-sac without any sensible trade path except Joh Mith's secret route across the Rockwoods east of Greatway. Troll trade probably goes via the Torkani (like e.g. Bee Tribe produce), or is handled by the trolls themselves via Boldhome. This leaves artisans as the main source of economy for this new city, as per the gazetteer.

The city needs a population of a few thousand farmers to feed itself. Now about 600 of these may live inside the city walls, but archaeologists suggest that a 1.5 hour walk between the city and the fields makes this economically unviable (at least that's a statement I found for the Tripolye copper age culture which had mega-settlements in a very fertile plain). Even if the immediate area around the city is that highly fertile, food production for the city demands food being grown somewhat further away. And the terrain makes transport to the city harder than a flat land like around Nochet would provide.

So, if the city of Alone was to be functional without support of the Amad or Bachad, it would have had to have a tribe of about 2000 people or more. Much of this population may have been killed or carried away into slavery by Harvar and his minions, and have been re-populated by Far Point dissidents escaping the same fate. But much of Alone's artisan population would have been carried away into slavery, toiling away in places like Tarsh or Sylila. Or possibly bought by Esrolians or Grazelanders.

Having such an enslaved expat population provides scenario hooks in itself.

 

7 hours ago, lordabdul said:

This is what leads me to believe that the Amad and Bachad tribes were in a different place prior to 1611. It's also consistent with the older HeroWars Dragon Pass book which specifically mentions they moved to the wilderness.

I would move their territory slightly further west than it is now, with eastern areas which used to be marginal pasture now are taken under the plow.

7 hours ago, lordabdul said:

At the very least, having tribes forcibly relocate is a good thematic start point for a campaign, so I'll probably stick to that unless there's strong evidence that this isn't what happened.

Having clans forcibly relocate or change allegiance gives you a very similar starting situation. As for the Tres, it is up to you whether they collected entire clans or just smaller groups of dissidents/likely targets for assassination/harrassment.

My solution would be to have the Tres as the tribal construct for the Tarshite immigrants - especially those doing agriculture a little further away from the city walls, becoming decimated in Harvar's pogromes and a welcome receptible for Far Point dissidents.

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Thanks for the suggestions! Having the Bachad only move a bit east from a previous location would probably work -- they could have been further down in the valley, in lands that became Dinacoli later. It would be weird for the Amad, though, since there's not much land to have come from (west of their current location is what the Tres occupy now, and AFAICT it's a worse location than where the Amad are now).  Maybe what the authors meant, then, was that the tribes were much more concentrated around Alone (take their existing lands, and shrink them closer to Alone), and after the troubles began, they moved further back into the wilderness?

Maybe it's time to invoke the grand priest. @Jeff, where were the Amad and Bachad lands prior to 1611? And what about the Tres tribe: did it exist in any way before that date? Was it formed by a loose collection of people fleeing oppression, or by already formed clans? Thanks!

Edited by lordabdul

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Mmmh.... in The Coming Storm's chapter on the Woods of the Dead, there's an entry on the Hidden Valley (p118) where it says: "The Bachad tribe clung to their isolation in this territory for many years, sheltering from the Tarshite Civil War." ...this is even more confusing since, AFAIK, the Tarshite Civil War happened in the mid-1450s, well before Alone was built. Unless the text was referring to the unstability in Tarsh circa 1624, with the rivalry between Pharandros and Fazzur? (it would be borderline confusing to mention this in a campaign that only goes up to 1625)

Edited by lordabdul

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On 12/8/2019 at 1:38 AM, Joerg said:

Alone is counted among the cities of Sartar, and is not a fortified tribal town like Runegate (which has walls and towers built by the royal dynasty anyway) or Red Cow. Among other things, this suggests that the nearby tribes (i.e. at least the Amad and Bachad) were somehow involved in the city ring and the election of the mayor.

A few sources mentioned that the Amad and Bachad tribes lost their tribal ring in Harvar's purge (supposedly before their "exile"). The city of Alone however was founded by Terasarin who was close to Sartar royalty at the time, so I wouldn't be surprised if the city had at least one or two sturdy stone walls or tower -- or otherwise cleverly placed based on the surrounding terrain. But I suppose the majority of it is probably just a big wood fence and a bunch of mixed, simple stone/wood buildings.

On 12/8/2019 at 1:38 AM, Joerg said:

The logistics of such a move are huge.

Yeah I started thinking about how that could ever work, and.... I'm not sure :)  Mass migrations around times of trouble don't seem to be uncommon in the Bronze Age, but you'd think a few thousand people relocating over a short period would have had more coverage in books.

Even if I'm generous with the number of kids born in the 7 years between the migration and the "classic era" of Gloranthan gameplay, I figure that's still about 5000 people in total moving to the wilderness. I'm not sure if it would have been a supervised exile (with Lunar troops to escort the refugees), as I don't know what Harvar would have had to gain, moving enslaved people up the Hidden Valley (maybe he really likes giant bee honey?). My first idea was simply a mass disorganized migration over the course of a few weeks, with families and villages basically fleeing the area while Harvar and his Yelmalio soldiers were busy riding left and right (including all the way to Gamla's Leap) to crush the Righteous Wind rebellion. At this point, I don't think there was much Lunar presence around Alda-Chur yet? As a result, the 5000 refugees hiking along a whole bunch of varied paths (possibly avoiding the Sartar/Pavis roads) might have flooded the Dinacoli lands bits at a time, over a few weeks. Any given Dinacoli village might have only seen a hundred exiles walk by in total over that period. Knowing the Dinacoli, they probably asked for a buck or two to keep their mouth shut (they were still with the Jonstown Confederation at the time, so probably cautiously friendly to the refugees' plight), but the Dinacoli tribe leaders were probably equally quick to point Harvar the way they went when he came and "asked politely".

The only reference I've found about life after the sack of Alone seems to indicate that Harvar's idea of "enslaved wilderness tribes" basically includes some Yelmalio/Lunar delegation going to Alone on a regular basis and taking 75% of whatever the local tribes declare. I'm not sure if there would be a local Yelmalio/Lunar "governor" (or whatever the title might be) living in a nearby villa, or if they would just come and go every season?

On 12/8/2019 at 1:38 AM, Joerg said:

IF the the original city would have been founded as an isolate from just Tarsh Exile refugees (including citizens of Bagnot), then they would surely have founded a tribe - much like the Runegate Triaty did. We might call this the Alone tribe, or it may have been an earlier form of the Tres. Put about a thousand or more Orlanthi from inhomogeneous origin together, and there will be a tribe.

(...)

The city needs a population of a few thousand farmers to feed itself. Now about 600 of these may live inside the city walls, but archaeologists suggest that a 1.5 hour walk between the city and the fields makes this economically unviable (at least that's a statement I found for the Tripolye copper age culture which had mega-settlements in a very fertile plain). Even if the immediate area around the city is that highly fertile, food production for the city demands food being grown somewhat further away. And the terrain makes transport to the city harder than a flat land like around Nochet would provide.

So I also started looking into this, too. Until a couple days ago, I was 100% ignorant about everything regarding Bronze Age economics and demographics.  As of today, I'm confidently 99% ignorant, so feel free to point me to good references!

From what I found in terms of data on known Bronze Age cities, and if I scale that up/down to match Alone's size (which was around 1000 people before Harvar cut that in half), I end up with a city that's about 3 hectares big (8 acres), with 200 hectares of land (500 acres) around it to support it. The land size of course varies widely based on what they do with it -- supposedly the Hidden Valley's narrow corridor is super fertile so it might be a bit smaller than that. This seems to be in the ballpark of that map of Alone that the Zin Letters people did. This also means that the farmlands wouldn't need to extend very far, and so almost everybody would be living in Alone, with even the farthest fields at 1 hour's walk at most.... unless of course I got the wrong references or there's a flaw in my logic.

 

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2 hours ago, lordabdul said:

Yeah I started thinking about how that could ever work, and.... I'm not sure :)  Mass migrations around times of trouble don't seem to be uncommon in the Bronze Age, but you'd think a few thousand people relocating over a short period would have had more coverage in books.

Last news I looked on Tollense Valley battle (XIIIth century BC, so well into bronze age), it was around 4000 warriors that were present. That means that a bronze age world can have major migration and groups of people, if only for short period of time. And of course, since it is bronze age, no written reports are found, only corpses and weapons.

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1 hour ago, Kloster said:

And of course, since it is bronze age, no written reports are found, only corpses and weapons.

Sorry, bad wording -- I meant this specific migration of Sartarite tribes not getting much mention in any Gloranthan books. Still hard to say if Joerg is correct or not. Right now I'm just continuing exploring what this whole thing would have looked liked, at least until Jeff gives the final word on the matter.

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2 hours ago, lordabdul said:

The city of Alone however was founded by Terasarin who was close to Sartar royalty at the time,

To be exact: he was the Prince from 1582 to 1600. Outlived his children by two years or so.

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so I wouldn't be surprised if the city had at least one or two sturdy stone walls or tower -- or otherwise cleverly placed based on the surrounding terrain. But I suppose the majority of it is probably just a big wood fence and a bunch of mixed, simple stone/wood buildings.

Nope. New model city of the same type as Wilmskirk (the prototype), Jonstown, Swenstown and the hardly inhabited Duck Point.

Building cities is what the dynasty excelled at.

I would expect that to extend to the initial bunch of interior buildings, too. The Princedom of Sartar had a significant population of masons, and a royal project to start a city within a year would have attracted a fair bunch to the new city, with good prospects to remain in demand as provisional housing was upgraded.

Completing the Aldachur road down into Traders Valley made the Sartar route even more attractive to traders, whether onwards past Whitewall to Karse or down the River to Nochet.

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Yeah I started thinking about how that could ever work, and.... I'm not sure :)  Mass migrations around times of trouble don't seem to be uncommon in the Bronze Age, but you'd think a few thousand people relocating over a short period would have had more coverage in books.

Refugee pressure overcomes a lot of obstacles. The loss at Grizzly Peak may have been inevitable - it was the first battle that the Sartarites fought inside an active Glowline, and while Tarkalor had the King of Dragon Pass title, it didn't prepare him for imperial magic. Or Moirades' home-grown imitation of the Imperial college.

 

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Even if I'm generous with the number of kids born in the 7 years between the migration and the "classic era" of Gloranthan gameplay, I figure that's still about 5000 people in total moving to the wilderness. I'm not sure if it would have been a supervised exile (with Lunar troops to escort the refugees), as I don't know what Harvar would have had to gain, moving enslaved people up the Hidden Valley (maybe he really likes giant bee honey?).

Enslaved people? You don't enslave entire tribes, you dissolve them (see the Maboder, the Dundealos, the Kultain). You may enslave the captives in a battle, or you may raid a place and take the survivors into slavery, but if you do so, you exterminate the clan.

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My first idea was simply a mass disorganized migration over the course of a few weeks, with families and villages basically fleeing the area while Harvar and his Yelmalio soldiers were busy riding left and right (including all the way to Gamla's Leap) to crush the Righteous Wind rebellion. At this point, I don't think there was much Lunar presence around Alda-Chur yet?

Alda-chur was an important staging area, and the Sartarite terminus of the Trader's Valley leg of the road across or around the Dragonspine. Alone would have been left alone except for a tax collecting bureaucracy - it has little strategic value (as long as it doesn't harbor rebels) compared to the other places with Sartar dynasty fortifications.

If Harvar did carry off lots of people into slavery, those would have ended up in Tarsh or Saird, probably on maize plantations. Or perhaps in the Grantlands, doing the foundational work for the earliest settlers there.

Depopulating the city would have given the refugees from displaced clans or the dissidents moving away at least housing for the winter. The grain harvest would have been lost, but the transhumant herds may have been salvaged to a good extent.

Even with the Yelmalio cult strong in Alda-chur, I don't think Harvar would have been able to manage an occupation force on his own even if the Lunars would have let him.

 

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As a result, the 5000 refugees hiking along a whole bunch of varied paths (possibly avoiding the Sartar/Pavis roads) might have flooded the Dinacoli lands bits at a time, over a few weeks.

I don't think so. Herongreen sits on the northernmost end of the Dinacoli tribal lands, with most of their clans further south. Blue Boar Fort wouldn't have seen any Far Point folk re-settling to the vicinity of Alda-chur.

 

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The only reference I've found about life after the sack of Alone seems to indicate that Harvar's idea of "enslaved wilderness tribes" basically includes some Yelmalio/Lunar delegation going to Alone on a regular basis and taking 75% of whatever the local tribes declare. I'm not sure if there would be a local Yelmalio/Lunar "governor" (or whatever the title might be) living in a nearby villa, or if they would just come and go every season?

That's a very harsh tribute, but not quite slavery.

And Harvar's followers included Yelmalians, but the majority of the Far Point folk were Orlanth worshipers. Sure, professional Yelmalio warriors would be more reliable as occupation forces than Orlanth worshipers, but do you really think that Euglyptus would have allowed a permanent presence of armed natives in his province?

 

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So I also started looking into this, too. Until a couple days ago, I was 100% ignorant about everything regarding Bronze Age economics and demographics.  As of today, I'm confidently 99% ignorant, so feel free to point me to good references!

Demographics: across Germany, Bronze Age wives traveled back and fro several times from the Heuneburg region to the region beyond the Tollense. A prestigious lady, but "traded" across distances like between Caladraland and Sylila.

Possibly across a language divide, as the Baltic Sea region would emerge as source for Germanic language migrations rather than Celtic.

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From what I found in terms of data on known Bronze Age cities, and if I scale that up/down to match Alone's size (which was around 1000 people before Harvar cut that in half), I end up with a city that's about 3 hectares big (8 acres), with 200 hectares of land (500 acres) around it to support it. The land size of course varies widely based on what they do with it -- supposedly the Hidden Valley's narrow corridor is super fertile so it might be a bit smaller than that. This seems to be in the ballpark of that map of Alone that the Zin Letters people did. This also means that the farmlands wouldn't need to extend very far, and so almost everybody would be living in Alone, with even the farthest fields at 1 hour's walk at most.... unless of course I got the wrong references or there's a flaw in my logic.

The very narrow nature of the valley may have created a distuption to travel times to the fields. Many people here on the forum will be familiar with the side valley at Bacharach (below castle Stahleck) and how long a walk through that part of the city up to the castle feels.

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47 minutes ago, Joerg said:

Nope. New model city of the same type as Wilmskirk (the prototype), Jonstown, Swenstown and the hardly inhabited Duck Point.

Mmmh so you're saying Alone would have stone fortifications all around it, with gate houses? I didn't picture it so sophisticated but that's probably for the better since it will be the main city at the beginning of the campaign, so might as well make it pretty!

47 minutes ago, Joerg said:

Refugee pressure overcomes a lot of obstacles. The loss at Grizzly Peak may have been inevitable - it was the first battle that the Sartarites fought inside an active Glowline, and while Tarkalor had the King of Dragon Pass title, it didn't prepare him for imperial magic. Or Moirades' home-grown imitation of the Imperial college.

I was actually talking about the (still theoretical) mass migration of the Amad and Bachad tribes. I was trying to figure out what it would have looked like if I went with my original theory, as opposed to the other theory that the Amad/Bachad have always been around Alone.

47 minutes ago, Joerg said:

Enslaved people? You don't enslave entire tribes, you dissolve them (see the Maboder, the Dundealos, the Kultain). You may enslave the captives in a battle, or you may raid a place and take the survivors into slavery, but if you do so, you exterminate the clan.

"Enslaved" is a term I see used sometimes in references to the Alone Confederation tribes, but indeed it's probably the wrong word. They're occupied, and pay a heavy tribute to keep existing, but are still free and rebellious AFAIK.

47 minutes ago, Joerg said:

I don't think so. Herongreen sits on the northernmost end of the Dinacoli tribal lands, with most of their clans further south. Blue Boar Fort wouldn't have seen any Far Point folk re-settling to the vicinity of Alda-chur.

Assuming we're still talking about the potential migration of Amad/Bachad from the Alda-Chur region over to the wilderness around Alone in 1611, I'm not sure I see a lot of good alternatives for hiking there: if you don't walk east through the northern part of the Dinacoli tribe, you would have to go through Vantaros/Tovtaros lands, and those might not be as friendly at that time, since they're full of Harvar supporters/apologists. Here is a crude drawing of the migration I had in mind (pink areas are former Bachad/Amad lands, not really to any thought-out scale, and the red arrow is the path of migration).

migration.jpg.f8b66d938e6ec0e700720f1e0e5cf6d0.jpg

The other 2 theories are, of course, that (1) both tribes were always around Alone, or (2) both tribes were actually neighbours to the Tovtaros, and the Tres moved into their former lands, but that last theory is probably the one that makes the less sense to me.

47 minutes ago, Joerg said:

do you really think that Euglyptus would have allowed a permanent presence of armed natives in his province?

I was talking about a permanent presence of armed people in/near Alone at the service of Harvar Ironfist, to keep an eye on the rebellious Orlanthi of the Far Point. Since Harvar had, at this point, the blessing of the Lunar Tarsh government, I figure that this military presence could either be Harvar's people, or Lunar military on loan to Harvar. Would either Harvar or Euglyptus really leave all the Alone tribes by themselves, with no oversight, except for an occasional meeting to collect taxes and tributes?

Thanks for all your answers, really appreciated!

Edited by lordabdul

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For those interested in this, I went down a rabbit hole of internet archaeology these past couple days, and I think the conclusion is that nobody really knows where the Amad and Bachad tribes were before 1611... The Tres tribe, according to John Hughes himself, was definitely rewritten as a "newly formed" tribe when it wasn't the case before. People on mailing lists got confused a bit throughout the 2000s about the increasing changes in wording where the Amad/Bachad tribes, previously considered as having always been around Alone, now seemed to have fled there from somewhere. But there was no definitive word that I could find on the topic (only stuff in fanzines or online blogs). True to himself, Ian Cooper pitched in to say that you could have it either way in your Glorantha... :) so I think I'm going to indeed Vary My Glorantha, and try to keep going with my initial theory, which I find the most narratively attractive.

There's a bunch of things I still need figuring out on my own (who took over the tribes' former lands and what that meant politically speaking, how the Bachad became "renowned troll fighters" in the span of <10 years, etc.) but there's one question bothering me: what are the magical/spiritual logistics of a clan moving to a different place? Sure, hopefully you don't lose your wyter in the transport, and whatever friendly/worshipped/bound spirits you had that were tied to a place (temple, shrine, river, etc.) are lost. But what about, say, founding myths, traditions, and such? Are those weakened because you moved away from where they possibly happened? Do you have to find a new founding myth through heroquesting? Does it matter?

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There's a bunch of things I still need figuring out on my own (who took over the tribes' former lands and what that meant politically speaking, how the Bachad became "renowned troll fighters" in the span of <10 years, etc.) but there's one question bothering me: what are the magical/spiritual logistics of a clan moving to a different place? Sure, hopefully you don't lose your wyter in the transport, and whatever friendly/worshipped/bound spirits you had that were tied to a place (temple, shrine, river, etc.) are lost. But what about, say, founding myths, traditions, and such? Are those weakened because you moved away from where they possibly happened? Do you have to find a new founding myth through heroquesting? Does it matter?

I have become quite sceptical of statements telling "tribe A has this speciality" or "tribe B is this". Tribes are made up from clans, and clans can be extremely diverse. The Varmandi are a tribute taking war clan inside the Colymar tribe, but their specialities aren't those of the tribe.

If you have played King of Dragon Pass, you will have assembled your tribe from a number of quite disparate clans with hardly anything in common between all of them. Tribal identity may be imposed by the dominant clans who usually carry kingship.

So, if you want the Bachad to be renowned troll fighters, having one or two clans with such experience may create the renown for the entire tribe.

Your clan founding myths are usually so far back in time that the location where it happened may have become completely forgotten.

The tribal founding often is more recent, although there are a few venerable tribes around. The Aramites for instance.

Those in Dragon Pass tend to be a lot younger, unless you have an ancient subtribe (e.g. a triaty) having made the move back into the pass as a group - the Runegate Triaty may have been such a case, and the sub-tribe sort of survived the destruction of one of its clans with the founding of a replacement clan picking up a significant number of survivors of the previous clan.

Elsewhere, no priestly council of Orlanthland has made tribes obsolete (and the Dragonkill only affected fairly newly re-founded tribes after 1042).

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21 hours ago, Jeff said:

I've done a load of material on Alone and the surrounding areas. I'll post some notes when I get a chance.

You, sir, are an officer & a gentleman... and a gentleman & a scholar !

...

and, of course, a terrible tease!  😁   We need to know, now, if this content is aimed at a particular upcoming release?  And (if it's on the fan-maintained list of "upcoming" material) which one?

🤗 

 

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Let's start with some details about the area. The following gives you a pretty good feel for what is near Alone, and how alone it actually is.

Woods of the Dead area.jpeg

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Amad: The smallest and poorest tribe in Sartar, the Amad are rugged frontiersmen whose settlements are in the shadows of Dagori Inkarth. A member of the Alone city ring, the Amad are remote and isolated even by the standards of the Alone tribes. They settled this area after being exiled from Tarsh following the Battle of Grizzly Peak in 1582. Like all the northern tribes, the mother tongue of the Amad is Tarshite, not Sartarite. Population 2000. Centered on Amadhall and Amad Trail area.

Bachad: The leading tribe of the Alone city ring, the Bachad are one of the smallest and poorest tribes in Sartar. They settled this area after being exiled from Tarsh following the Battle of Grizzly Peak in 1582.  They control much of the agricultural land in the Hidden Valley. Like all of the northern tribes, the mother tongue of the Bachad is Tarshite, not Sartarite.  Population 3000. Centered on Alone and Hidden Valley.

Tres: A member of the Alone city ring, the Tres are one of the smallest and poorest tribes in Sartar. They settled this area after being exiled from Tarsh following the Battle of Grizzly Peak in 1582. The Tres are mostly pastoralists, herding sheep and cattle in the hills of the Far Place. Like all of the northern tribes, the mother tongue of the Tres is Tarshite, not Sartarite. Population: 2500. Centered on Alone and Erenia's Trail area.

Alone itself has a  population of about 1000 and covers 15 hectares.

It is low density, many abandoned buildings. City was built for 2000-2500 people.
 
A few locations:
Solitude Street
Uleria Temple
Orlanth Temple (Rex)
Ernalda and Maran Gor temple
 
 
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Thanks @Jeff ! The maps are super useful. A few comments/questions:

  • So it looks like we're indeed back to the Amad and Bachad tribes having settled the Solfint valley since the mid-1580s (that's why you should always listen to @Joerg, folks!). That's fine... I'll have to figure out if I want to keep my Glorantha varying or not :)
  • I'm surprised that the Tres is retroactively being made into an original tribe though.
  • I assume the lack of little red dots demonstrates how poor the local clans are, and how wild the area is... so probably just a collection of farm steads of varying sizes? I would still imagine at least a village for the clan centres. If things like Highwall Inn and Erenia's Inn are registered on the map, surely we're missing a few more dots?
  • It's fairly uncommon that the Tres and Bachad don't have their own tribal centre, and instead share Alone for that, no? (as opposed to the Amad who supposedly are the poorest, but they still have Amadhall)
  • Are the population numbers written as of 1625?
  • Are the other numbers (under the population numbers) the number of clans in each tribe? If so, it looks like the Amad and Bachad have been downgraded since Wyrms Footnotes 15 (Amad: 2 down to 1, and Bachad: 4 down to 2)
  • Storlock appears on the west bank of the whatever river that is there... that would place it in Bachad lands. Is this a mistake? (IIRC it's supposed to be a joint Torkani/troll trading outpost)
Edited by lordabdul

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1 hour ago, lordabdul said:

that's why you should always listen to @Joerg, folks!

Listen to that individual: sure. Believe everything that lunatic writes: don't.

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