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Thread: To earn a Kingdom: A Northern Dúnedain Narrative - Divide and Conquer V2.1 [UPDATE - 08/07/2019]

  1. #81
    Turkafinwë's Avatar The Soulforged
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    Default Re: To earn a Kingdom: A Northern Dúnedain Narrative - Divide and Conquer V2.1 [UPDATE - 25/06/2018]

    Book I, Chapter XXIII: The Blizzard of Araphor


    Late Autumn 3002 TA: Witchrealm, Carn Dûm


    Spring had come to the north but not to the Witchrealm. Still Araphor marched. Not long after they had departed the safety of the fort, a blizzard hit them. The snowfall was so thick, you could barely see two meters in front of you. Their advance was slow and Melion hoped they wouldn't lose any of the troops in this freak storm. The blizzard lasted for a week before it calmed down a bit. On the eight day of the storm a scout came riding back from the north. He had seen an Angmarim host camping on a hill not far from them. Araphor, instead of waiting for his enemy to make a move, took the offensive. He asked the scout where he thought the force was roughly. They were stationed on a hill a kilometer or two to the north, just a couple of kilometers south of Carn Dûm. He ordered the cavalry to move up the hill to the enemies' left flank. He ordered the whole infantry squadron to move on the enemies' right flank. The archers would field in the center and fire up the hill drawing the enemy in. Once the enemy was in the optimal position the infantry and cavalry would charge forward and attack the enemy lines from the flank and the rear. Still the storm persisted and Araphor's forces reached their positions without being detected. The snow was still falling heavily when the first arrows were shot. The shrieks of the dying Orcs could be heard on the wind. They had struck gold.

    “Keep firing men.” Araphor cried as the sky started to clear.

    The Orcs were confounded to see the enemy on all sides as the Dúnedain infantry charged their right flank. The heavy Dúnedain infantry and Blademasters charged deep into the enemy lines when the cavalry charged from the left and rear. It was a complete slaughter. Swords and spears on the right, hooves and lances on the left and rear and arrows from the front. It was too much to bear for the Orcs and they fled yet there was no way out. The snowy grounds were covererd in their dark blood as the Dúnedain slaughtered them. Araphor decided to march further now the weather had cleared. The battle had been short and the men were still eager enough to march the couple of kilometers to their final destination. Carn Dûm.

    This they besieged and started making preparations to assault it. They made their main camp on a hill a kilometer south of Carn Dûm. The fortress was almost impossible to attack. Its steep walls unmountable, the landscape harbored no trees to make any siege equipment, the perpetual ice made the men miserable as they suffered heavily from the numbing cold that always followed them.




    In the rest of Eriador summer had come but not here. Melion cursed the weather as he thought of the green trees and temperate climate further south while he shivered. Melion had been born in the fertile lands between the Bruinen and the Mitheithel, known to the Dúnedain as the Angle. There the summers were cool and the winters temperate. In the spring white flowers would blossom and the children would run through the fields playing some game. Oh how he longed to see his home again where the two rivers met and formed the Gwathló. It seemed so long ago that he had been there. Where he had said farewell to his parents to fight in the north. Melion did not have a wife for he had enlisted for the army before he had had the chance. He did however have a childhood sweetheart as did everyone. He vowed that if he ever returned from this damned adventure he would go and look for her. How young he had been, full of foolish dreams of grandeur that only youth possessed. He had now seen countless battles and had learned one thing. Battle was not something honourable, not something clean. It was filled with dirt, blood, vomit, men soiling themselves and all manners of unpleasantries. It was terrible yet exciting, it was exhausting yet invigorating. In all of his short 21 years, he had never found something so frightening yet exciting at the same time. Seeing your enemies flee before you gave you such a surge in energy that it almost consumed a man and it consumed some. Afterwards weariness would descend as your body realised you had survived another battle. Some drank themselves to a stupor, some just cried themselves to sleep and some stared blankly in the distance reliving all the horrors they had seen. A couple of days later everything would turn back to normal and the cycle could start again. Would he ever see his home again, Melion wondered while his fingers felt like freezing. He sure hoped so. He sure hoped so.





    Autumn came to the rest of Eriador but still the winter persisted here. Araphor was walking around his camp and saw that morale was low among the men. What a difference it was when they had wintered in Athilin almost two years ago. Then again the winter here had lasted for almost a year now and the supplies were running low. All this time had gone by and Araphor still had not found a good way to assault Carn Dûm. He had ordered the empty supply wagons to be converted into siege equipment. Thusfar he had one measly battering ram and four hastely constructed ladders. It was not enough he knew yet he could not think of anything else as well as the men needed some distractions from their terrible conditions. The fortress was unassailable it seemed. It was a huge construction made of some strange red iron. He wondered how the armies of Lindon and Gondor had overcome this structure so many centuries ago. He could not assault the fortress nor could he retreat from it. Both scenarios would result in the death of them all. He would have to find a way to defeat his foe or die with the burden of knowing he had led all his comrades to their deaths. These thoughts had worried him since he had layed his eyes on the ancient citadel. Suddenly doubt beset him. What if Agandaûr wasn't here. They had no confirmation that the dread lord was in Carn Dûm. If that was the case he had led his men to their deaths for nothing. No he had to be here, he just had to. If Araphor thought otherwise he would go insane and his men needed him to lead them out of this mess. He strengthened his resolve.


    If I can't find a way, I'll make a way! he thought reassuring himself.


    Countless days he broke his head trying to find a way to overcome the enemies fortifications but without result. He was starting to get anxious as time was running out. The men knew something was awry but didn't say anything as they saw that Araphor was doing all he could to find a solution. They were confident that their leader would come up with something. They had to, otherwise they would've lost all hope by now. Araphor found their confidence in him charming yet ungrounded for he knew he had no solution to give them. He would have to tell them that he had failed.


    Not now. He always said to himself, thinking a better time would come to tell them.


    One morning he had decided he would speak to the men and come clean. He gathered all his forces around him as he stood on a stool trying to adress them all at once. He saw all their faces looking at him, dirty and full of hope, hoping their commander would save them from this nightmare. Araphor just stood silently upon his stool not knowing how to begin. He took a deep breath and decided to just begin by admitting his failure. He was just about to open his mouth when he heard the sound of Orc horns on the wind. He turned around and looked down the hill towards Carn Dûm. The Orcs were sallying out and they were bearing the personal banner of Agandaûr, a special version of the Iron Crown. They had recieved reinforcments from the west and thought they could crush the Dúnedain. Araphor leaped in the air out of joy which made him almost fall from his stool. He regained his footing and adressed his men.


    “Brave men of the Northern Dúnedain, the day is here at last when we get our final test.” he cried.

    “The snake Agandaûr has finally dared to show his face.”

    “I see before me skilled Dúnedain from the north and brave Cardolani from the south of Eriador who have given their all in the defence of their homes and the homes of their brothers.”

    “Through victory and joy, through sadness and grief and through failure and loss, you have marched with me.”

    “You have made me proud in your hardiness and your resolve to never give up.”

    “After this battle it will be over and we can return back to the green lands of our youth and spend the rest of our days in peace.”

    “I am most proud to call myself your commander and would find no better place to fight or die than with you.” Araphor said while wiping a tear from his cheek.

    “Now brave men of Arnor, one last battle I ask of you.” he shouted.

    “Let even the Valar know of your sacrifice. Let history remember all of you, that you were one of the men at Carn Dûm when the North was saved.”

    “FOR THE NORTHERN DÚNEDAIN!”

    “FOR ARNOR!” Araphor cried as if in a frenzy, hoisting his sword in the air.


    His men drew their swords with fire in their eyes and hearts. They had been inspired by Araphor's speech as if by a magic spell. The cold felt much warmer and the wind not so strong and the enemy seemed not so many as they took their positions. Their fear and weariness was washed away as they saw the Orcish ranks march towards them. Melion looked with amazement at his friend and commander when he took his position next to him on the left flank.


    They had been saved by the arrogance and stupidity of their foe and Araphor knew it.


    The Battle for Eriador had begun.



    Last edited by Turkafinwë; July 21, 2018 at 03:15 AM. Reason: Added picture

  2. #82
    Darkan's Avatar Senator
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    Default Re: To earn a Kingdom: A Northern Dúnedain Narrative - Divide and Conquer V2.1 [UPDATE - 07/07/2018]

    Nicely written. I especially liked Melion reminiscing about home. I like the way you describe the characters' inner struggles and thoughts. Well done!
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  3. #83

    Default Re: To earn a Kingdom: A Northern Dúnedain Narrative - Divide and Conquer V2.1 [UPDATE - 07/07/2018]

    Nice update! I'm finally caught up. I especially liked the battle for rhudaur. Interesting to see the tactical mindsets of Aragon vis a vis Halbarad. Good thing clearer heads prevailed in the end. That's how I prefer to attack in sieges too, unloading as many arrows as possible before finally mopping them up to minimize casualties. Looking forward to another great battle in the next update!

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    Alwyn's Avatar Frothy Goodness
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    Default Re: To earn a Kingdom: A Northern Dúnedain Narrative - Divide and Conquer V2.1 [UPDATE - 07/07/2018]

    Carn Dûm sounds like a formidable stronghold. I hope that the enemy's confidence because of their reinforcements is misplaced and that Araphor will prevail.

  5. #85

    Default Re: To earn a Kingdom: A Northern Dúnedain Narrative - Divide and Conquer V2.1 [UPDATE - 07/07/2018]

    I like the way you built up the tension towards the battle. Good updates and good work, keep writing.
    To anyone concerned. I am leaving twc. Bye and best of luck.
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  6. #86
    Turkafinwë's Avatar The Soulforged
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    Default Re: To earn a Kingdom: A Northern Dúnedain Narrative - Divide and Conquer V2.1 [UPDATE - 07/07/2018]

    Quote Originally Posted by Darkan View Post
    Nicely written. I especially liked Melion reminiscing about home. I like the way you describe the characters' inner struggles and thoughts. Well done!
    Thanks Darkan! Hundreds, like Melion, would probably be thinking of their home after such a long campaign in a horrible frozen wasteland.

    Quote Originally Posted by Swaeft View Post
    Nice update! I'm finally caught up. I especially liked the battle for rhudaur. Interesting to see the tactical mindsets of Aragon vis a vis Halbarad. Good thing clearer heads prevailed in the end. That's how I prefer to attack in sieges too, unloading as many arrows as possible before finally mopping them up to minimize casualties. Looking forward to another great battle in the next update!
    Thanks very much Swaeft! Game wise, and lore-wise, it is the way to win with the Northern Dúnedain, which focuses heavily on archers. It's a good thing Halbarad is above all else a very loyal man and recognises sound strategies when presented. As for your lust for battles buckle up because I will present you with not one but two great battles that will decide the future of the Dúnedain realm.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alwyn View Post
    Carn Dûm sounds like a formidable stronghold. I hope that the enemy's confidence because of their reinforcements is misplaced and that Araphor will prevail.
    Many thanks Alwyn! It is indeed a formidable fortress built no less by the Witch-King himself. Eru knows Araphor could use all the luck he can get.

    Quote Originally Posted by mad orc View Post
    I like the way you built up the tension towards the battle. Good updates and good work, keep writing.
    Thank you mad orc! I do try my best to present some sort of quality in my work (though it isn't always that great in my opinion ) I shall certainly keep writing you can count on that.


    Other than that I would like to thank all of you for showing interest throughout this entire series. It wouldn't be same without you, so many thanks!

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    Turkafinwë's Avatar The Soulforged
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    Default Re: To earn a Kingdom: A Northern Dúnedain Narrative - Divide and Conquer V2.1 [UPDATE - 14/07/2018]

    Book I, Chapter XXIV: The Prince's Vengeance


    Early 3002 TA: Nîn-in-Eilph, Royal Tharbad

    Not long after celebrating the birthday of his little girl did Eldarion tell his wife his plan. He was soon going south again. This time to cripple the Dunlendings for years to come.

    His plan, to raze Dun Larach to the ground.


    So it's finally happening. Elenien thought.


    Eldarion could no longer contain himself and needed to deal a decisive blow against his enemy. The strange thing was, though she loathed it, Elenien somewhat agreed with him after hearing his reasoning. He told her he was not only driven by hatred but also by necessity. The Wildmen would continue to throw their armies at Tharbad till the end of time if they had to. Their families would never be safe if something wasn't done. He explained that the Dúnedain, though strong and brave, were not numerous and could not contend with the vast hordes of Dunland in the long run. Thus they needed to take a bold strategy and walk a dark road. It was inhumane but effective, she condemnded it but could not say it was a bad idea. In the end she could not stop him even if she tried so she didn't and simply said he be careful and come back home as soon as possible before kissing him goodbye. What he didn't know was that Elenien was pregnant again. If he had known he would never have gone away. But Elenien thought better of it and would not burden her husband any further.

    Before leaving he had one more thing left to do. Visit Gandalf.

    He entered the wizard's chambers where the old man was sitting in his chair. While smoking his pipe he was looking into the hearthfire lost in thought.


    “Gandalf, I've come to tell you I'm leaving.” Eldarion said his heart thumping in his throat.

    Gandalf turned around in his chair and looked at his former pupil. Eldarion thought he would be angry with him but was surprised to see his old mentor smile.

    “I know, but still thank you for coming here to tell me.” the old man said

    “I know you are just doing what you think is right and you are old enough to make your own decisions.” Gandalf said.

    Gandalf let out a sigh.

    “I know you don't like the Wildmen and perhaps with good reason, yet I would urge you to look inside your heart. The path you're on is very dark and once committed, there is no going back.” he said ominously.

    He rose from his chair and towered over the young Dúnadan, looking into his grey eyes.

    “Are you prepared to murder innocent women and children for that is where your mission will lead you.” he told Eldarion.

    Eldarion just stood there.

    “I have to do this.” Eldarion just said.


    “There are always other ways whether we see them or not.” the wizard replied.


    Silence.


    “Then I'm sure we have nothing else to talk about.” Gandalf said eventually.

    “Safe travels, and may you return unscathed back to us.” he said.

    He embraced his former pupil and said.

    “Farewell my boy, and remember what I told you today when the time comes.”

    “Farewell, ancient one. May we meet again at happier times.” Eldarion said.

    He left Gandalf's house and began his march south towards the Dunlending capital. This time they would not escape his wrath.




    Late Autumn 3002 TA: Northern Dunland, Dun Larach


    Dun Larach was a Wildman stronghold in all aspects. It was located on a hill surrounded by a wooden wall. A strong place to defend with multiple choke points where the attacker's numbers mattered little. Eldarion had placed his camp on the northern side of the Dunlending capital. A tiny force was garrisonned in the city and Eldarion gathered his advisors around him to construct a plan to take the city. He, unlike Araphor, had the time and supplies to perform a protracted siege and this was what all his advisors suggested he should do. Just wait. But Eldarion was not someone to sit idly by while waiting. Thus he employed the same tactic Hirvegil was using in his siege of Bar-i-Donyonach. Companies of rangers were to skirmish with the forces on the wall and pick them off. This would demoralise the enemy and perhaps prompt them to leave their fortifications. The siege lasted for almost 8 months while siege equipment was being built. Then in the late autumn of 3002 TA, almost at the same time when the Orcs sallied from Carn Dûm, did the Dúnedain see banners of the black crow on the horizon. Reinforcements from the southern clans had come to relieve their faction heir who was trapped in their capital. The current Huntmaster Séalbeach, a young noble who had seen his chance to take over Dunland after the demise of Yagthak's clan, saw his folk coming to his aid and he decided to join them.

    The fate of Dun Larach was to be decided in the hills surrounding it.





    The Dunlending force outnumbered the Dúnedain almost 2 to 1. This however did not affect Eldarion's confidence. He thought his foe had made a mistake by sallying out of the city. He had better tried to get his reinforcements inside the city, was what Eldarion thought to be the better strategy. Eldarion stationed his troops on a hill nearby. He placed his infantry in an L formation at the base of the hill. His rangers and archers he ordered to stand in loose formation on the slope of the hill. His cavalry he put on his right flank. The longer side of the L was facing the bulk of the Dunleding force coming from the southeast while the shorter side was facing the direction where reinforcements from Dun Larach were coming from.


    The Dunlending force consisted mostly of clansmen rabble but were supported by some elite javelinmen, archers and strong Dunlendings in Isengard armour. They inspired the rabble to go forward and fight with a fierceness only known to the Wildmen.




    Eldarions force consisted of mostly troops from Cardolan supported by some elite Dúnedain rangers, scouts and wardens. Most of the troops he commanded had come from Tharbad itself and the surrounding lands. They all knew why they were here and they would not run away. They had all had bad experiences with the Dunlendings and wanted to repay them in kind. An eye for an eye.


    The Wildmen forces marched in decent order towards their Dúnedain counterparts and Eldarion was surprised to see this. Then again, he thought, this was the first time he fought them in an open battle. All the other times he had laid ambushes or surprised them while still in camp. This battle would be the true test of his abillities. The enemy were almost in range of his archers and he ordered them to prepare as well as himself. Once in range the Dunlendings broke into a run, speeding towards the Dúnedain ranks. Somewhere behind, their archers the famed Beast Slayers, started nocking their first arrows. They aimed and loosed their first volley of arrows into the Dúnedain rangers. Many of Eldarions cloacked friends fell down with arrows sticking out of their limbs. The young Ranger-Captain ordered his archers to focus down these troublemakers. When the first arrows had reached the Dúnedain archer line, the infantry had clashed. Spears, swords and shields of the Dunedain met with the axes, shields and javelins of the Dunlendings. A bloody mess was what ensued. Neither side gave in and tried to push through the other side while arrows and javelins flew over their heads. For the infantry only the clash mattered and they had no account of what was happening on the rest of the battlefield. Meanwhile the Dúnedain cavalry was busy chasing away the Wildmen skirmishers and couldn't support the infantry in their bitter struggle. The Dúnedain line was suffering heavy losses where the berserkers had charged with their dubbleheaded axes. Their initial charge had almost broken their ranks but luckily they had held. Eldarion had comitted all his troops in this battle. It was all or nothing. If the left flank had fallen the battle would have been over. The right flank was not faring any better as the heavily armoured spearmen were stationed there, pushing the clansmen ever forward. Chanting from the back lines could be heard to boost their morale.


    Why won't they break. Break dammit.
    Eldarion thought while biting his lip.


    He had fired all his arrows already with the bow of Aranarth. A horn could be heard coming from the south. Séalbheah had finally arrived and the Dunlendings took heart from this. They pushed ever harder to break the Dúnedain. Unfortunately for them the cavalry had dealt with the skirmishers and were preparing to charge into their infantry's rear. The force of the charge made several clansmen fly through the air. Even while crushed between the swords and horses they still did not break. It was only after the third charge that panic started to spread. One moment Eldarion was sure his line would break, the other a ripple of fear spread among his foes and they started to flee. Now to deal with the Huntmaster. The Dúnedain infantry was spent, either dead, wounded or too tired to fight on. He would have to go in melee himself. He ordered his archers to fire their remaining arrows at the approaching fresh force while he prepared his last contingents of infantry to fight for one last time. He took the battleaxe that Halbarad had given him for his wedding, and awaited the arrival of Séalbheach.


    Séalbheach saw his men run and knew the battle was lost. Running away would make no difference he knew thus he pressed on to die an honourable death. He knew his city would be at the mercy of the tall darkhaired Dúnadan. He already saw it before him, the countless rapings that would happen, the slaughtering of innocent civilians, man, woman and child alike. He could already smell the scent of burnt wood and blood in the air as they sacked his beautiful city. He cursed the Dúnedain and cursed them again as he neared their lines. Arrows flew all around him and he saw his comrades fall. The last thing he saw was a great battleaxe speeding towards him. He wondered, as he saw his death approaching, had they made the right decision siding with Saruman. Could all of this been prevented by not taking sides. He would never know as the axe imbedded itself in his head.


    Séalcheach was dead.




    Eldarion ripped his axe from the Huntmaster's head, covered in blood and brains. It was over, he had won but at a great cost. 555 men of the 1800 he had brought were dead. Half of his infantry line was gone. However the entire Dunlending force was destroyed and noone opposed him as he marched back to Dun Larach. There at the front gate, still in a battlefrenzy, he uttered the dreadful words.


    “Steal their riches, kill anyone who opposes you but capture the strong men, they will serve well as slaves to rebuilt our city! Burn this hovel to the ground!” he shouted.


    His men did not need any more encouragement and they obliged. They lusted their revenge and anger on the poor townspeople of Dun Larach as they first stripped every place of their valuables and subsequentially burned the structure to the ground. The sacking lasted almost for a week and an innumerable amount of civilians were killed trying to protect their homes. Eldarion himself had also partaken in the looting but thusfar only by going to the Hall of Wulf and robbing it of its riches. Noone was there so he torched the place. As he was walking through the raging city he came across a mother lying dead with her baby son in her arms. They had been killed by the looting Dúnedain. Eldarion vomitted when he saw the baby's corspe, feeling sick with himself. He would have been more appalled by this had he known his own son, Cuven, had just been born. Nonetheless he hated himself that moment knowing he had brought this destruction upon them. Suddenly he remembered what Gandalf had told him


    There is always another way, even if we do not see it.


    Only Eldarion had not seen another way blinded with battlefury and hatred. He would always have nightmares about the mother and her baby he knew. He knew he had done an evil thing and only now did he understand the true horror of his decision.




    The column of smoke could be seen from the broken ramparts of Tharbad and Gandalf knew his former pupil had done the terrible thing he had said he would do. He was not angry with him but only felt pity for the boy. He knew Eldarion was a good man and would regret this decision for the rest of his life.


    After that terrible week, Dun Larach was a dark shadow of itself. The once crowded streets empty and the once colourful buildings now black. It would take years if not even generations to regain the position they had been in mere days ago. Eldarion's plan had been effective but at a terrible cost. His wagons now laden with gold and plunder marched back to Tharbad. The army was followed by a long line of chained men. The Wildmen who would rebuild the city of Tharbad. Some of them were crying and some just had blank eyes having cried all the tears they had to shed. Their spirit had been broken. They had just lost everything to live for, their homes, their wives and their children.


    Thus Eldarion marched victoriously into Tharbad and was welcomed by his people as a hero. He did not think himself a hero. Maybe for his victory in the field but not for his actions done in Dun Larach. When he came home he saw his baby boy and could only think of the dead baby cradled in his mother's dead arms. There in front of his wife and son did he collapse and cry. He cried all the tears until there weren't any left to shed. Though he would never stop hating the Wildmen, he would never again strive for the complete destruction of their people. Thus, Gandalf and Elenien thought, something good had come from this evil deed.


    And now the healing process could begin.
    Battle results


    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 




    Last edited by Turkafinwë; July 15, 2018 at 04:27 AM. Reason: Pictures re-uploaded! Please give feedback!

  8. #88

    Default Re: To earn a Kingdom: A Northern Dúnedain Narrative - Divide and Conquer V2.1 [UPDATE - 07/07/2018]

    Nice update! I really like how the characters interact with each other, it adds a very human touch to the otherwise mundane generals in the game. Good to see the Dunlendings fall before the Dunedain, but just one thing though, I can't seem to see any pictures. Just wondering if this is a problem on my end?

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  9. #89
    Turkafinwë's Avatar The Soulforged
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    Default Re: To earn a Kingdom: A Northern Dúnedain Narrative - Divide and Conquer V2.1 [UPDATE - 07/07/2018]

    Quote Originally Posted by Swaeft View Post
    Nice update! I really like how the characters interact with each other, it adds a very human touch to the otherwise mundane generals in the game. Good to see the Dunlendings fall before the Dunedain, but just one thing though, I can't seem to see any pictures. Just wondering if this is a problem on my end?
    I have heard multiple reports of this and I don't think its a problem on the reader's end (I think). Maybe a problem with the album feature of TWC. I'll upload them again maybe see if that fixes it.

    Thanks for your kind comment! Glad you like my quote on quote "character building" of the people inside the story. I used to do that myself in my campaigns to give the game a little bit more flavour, to keep it interesting.

  10. #90

    Default

    I see. Well you're not the only one having problems with this forum, I can't add links to my signature and the site keeps signing me out halfway through posts, which is very annoying. Have you considered using an image hosting site?

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  11. #91
    Alwyn's Avatar Frothy Goodness
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    Default Re: To earn a Kingdom: A Northern Dúnedain Narrative - Divide and Conquer V2.1 [UPDATE - 14/07/2018]

    I agree with Swaeft, I particularly enjoyed the interaction between Gandalf and Eldarion and Eldarion's reaction to the aftermath of the battle.

    (I can see the pictures. I had a similar problem with another AAR, being unable to see the pictures for a few days before they re-appeared. In that case, the AAR writer was using an image hosting site, so it seems that there is no guarantee of avoiding this problem, whether we're using albums on TWC or an image hosting site. If the problem persists, then I suggest reporting it in Questions & Suggestions.)

  12. #92
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    Default Re: To earn a Kingdom: A Northern Dúnedain Narrative - Divide and Conquer V2.1 [UPDATE - 14/07/2018]

    Good update. Sad to read that Eldarion "had" to massacre all those innocents, though war can be that way. Waiting to see where this experience leads him. The pics are a nice addition and showcase the wonderful units in this mod. A small recommendation, you can use paint to crop out the dark parts in pics and other things like the large arrows, this gives them a cleaner look. I know it's a bit more work, but hey...Keep up the good writing!
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  13. #93
    Turkafinwë's Avatar The Soulforged
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    Default Re: To earn a Kingdom: A Northern Dúnedain Narrative - Divide and Conquer V2.1 [UPDATE - 14/07/2018]

    Quote Originally Posted by Alwyn View Post
    I agree with Swaeft, I particularly enjoyed the interaction between Gandalf and Eldarion and Eldarion's reaction to the aftermath of the battle.

    (I can see the pictures. I had a similar problem with another AAR, being unable to see the pictures for a few days before they re-appeared. In that case, the AAR writer was using an image hosting site, so it seems that there is no guarantee of avoiding this problem, whether we're using albums on TWC or an image hosting site. If the problem persists, then I suggest reporting it in Questions & Suggestions.)
    Thank you Alwyn! Eldarion is not a bad man, just a man who has done something bad and he fully well knows it. We'll have to see how this will affect the future.

    Quote Originally Posted by Darkan View Post
    Good update. Sad to read that Eldarion "had" to massacre all those innocents, though war can be that way. Waiting to see where this experience leads him. The pics are a nice addition and showcase the wonderful units in this mod. A small recommendation, you can use paint to crop out the dark parts in pics and other things like the large arrows, this gives them a cleaner look. I know it's a bit more work, but hey...Keep up the good writing!
    Thanks Darkan! Yes Eldarion did not have to do this, yet he would suggest he needed to do it. And yes this probably won't be the last we'll hear of it. As for the pictures I have followed your advice and it isn't that much work, I was just lazy it seems. A little effort to bring more quality to the AAR is always a great trade. Thanks for reminding me .

    Quote Originally Posted by Swaeft View Post
    I see. Well you're not the only one having problems with this forum, I can't add links to my signature and the site keeps signing me out halfway through posts, which is very annoying. Have you considered using an image hosting site?
    I'll probably just keep using the album feature and hope the pictures will reach the audience. Some do get them so I don't think it's a problem on my end. Anyway hope you can see them eventually.

  14. #94
    Turkafinwë's Avatar The Soulforged
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    Default Re: To earn a Kingdom: A Northern Dúnedain Narrative - Divide and Conquer V2.1 [UPDATE - 14/07/2018]

    Chapter XXV: Araphor's Stand


    Late Autumn 3002 TA: In the hills south of Carn Dûm

    Araphor felt a calm descend over him as the snow whirled around him. This was it, the final showdown. His tormentor and that of the entire north was here. It was time to end this here and now. All these years had passed and now because of the arrogance of his adversary Araphor had the chance to finally end it. It mattered not if he died in the process of killing Agandaûr. It was a sacrifice he was glad to make. He could see him at the back of his vast army. Clad in red with a helmet that spiked up- and downwards, which covererd parts of his face. Armed with two swords, he was surrounded by tall men in grey armour wielding two handed swords.


    These must be the men from Mordor, Araphor thought.


    The enemy advanced from two sides, assaulting the hill from the northeastern and the northwestern side. The hill was steep and could not be assailed from the direct north. Araphor split his forces in two. Most of the Cardolani troops would fight the garrison from Carn Dûm coming from the northeast. He and the most elite of his forces would fight Agandaûr coming from the northwest. Araphor wanted to kill this 'sorceror' personally. Melion saw the determination written on Araphor's face and vowed to watch over his commander and more importantly, his friend. He knew Araphor would stop at nothing until he had achieved his goal even if it meant the end of his own life. The Dúnedain archers were divided equally among the two forces.


    Let them come Araphor thought.




    And come they did. Shield beat shield as the Orcs of Carn Dûm ran up the slope to the Dúnedain position. It was a small path and the Dúnedain held the vast horde of Orcs with ease. As the fighting had already started on the right flank, the left was still waiting for Agandaûr's forces to join the fray. They marched in a more orderly fashion having the more disciplined Orcish and Hillmen troops. They also moved a bit round the hill instead of just climbing it head on. Araphor and Melion both fired their arrows into the battalion of Black Númenóreans. Araphor tried to aim for Agandaûr but each time he had him in view someone would jump in front of him. As he was stringing another arrow to his bow, he felt something warm and heavy whirl over his head. It exploded with a bang as it hit the ground. Araphor was a bit dazed when he heard Melion shout for cover.


    “CATAPULT!” he yelled ducking down.



    Araphor regained himself and beckoned one of the messenger boys to him. This boy was to deliver a message to the cavalry contingents that were still in reserve. The message was to silence that bloody catapult at all cost. The messenger boy chased away as more firey boulders flew over their heads. Most of them missed but sometimes they would deal catastrophic damage wiping out a quarter of a regiment in mere seconds. They also brought a indirect cause of death. Because the men were worried by flaming boulders falling from the sky, they paid little attention to the enemy in front of them. This diminishing attention caused them to be stabbed and killed by the Angmarim. It was also very stressful to fight under a barrage of flaming rocks. Luckily the enemy did not have a catapult on the other side of the battlefield or their chokepoint would have turned into a bloodbath. Araphor hoped the cavalry could successfully silence them or the battle could go either way.






    Morfinthur was watching the battle unfold from atop of his horse when a messenger arrived. The young lad was panting with excitement.


    “Captain, Captain, I have a message for you.” the boy screamed.


    “Yes that shouldn't be a surprise since you are a messenger.” Morfinthur said sarcastically, turning to laugh with his friends.


    “Araphor requests your assistance. There is a catapult at the base of the hill that needs to be silenced.” the boy said ignoring Morfinthur's comment.


    “It's a top priority and Araphor says the catapult needs to be silenced at all cost.”


    “Why didn't you say so earlier.” he yelled at the boy, suddenly tense.


    Now he turned to his troops. Three companies of horsemen.


    “Brave fellow Cardolani, we are tasked with an important mission. There is a catapult at the base of the hill harassing our comrades in arms. We are ordered to silence it.” he cried.


    “Now Companies MOVE! OUT!.”


    Morfinthur led his horsemen around the enemy forces down to the bottom of the hill. He spread his companies out so that they could attack the catapult crew from 3 sides at once. Morfinthur's company was the first to charge but they were intercepted by Orc spearmen. Many of his men died and he retreated. Another company was also caught by spearmen but the last one had broken through and had charged the catapult crew sending them flying. They had to retreat fast because they were getting closed in. They were however not fast enough. Morfinthur watched in horror as a third of his force was massacred in front of his eyes. At least the catapult was silenced, for now.






    The barrage had stopped and Araphor was glad for it. Most of his infantry was engaged with the enemy but he still kept some troops in reserve. He was looking down the hill trying to find the bastard clad in red when a messenger boy reached him.


    “Sir, the Orcs are breaking through on the right flank. They're pushing us back. Captain Arvelion requests more troops.” the boy cried in Araphors ear.


    Araphor's mind was racing. He could use some of the reserves to plug the gap. But then he would weaken his own flank. None of these worries were written on Araphor's stoney face. If the right flank fell the battle would be over. He made a decision.


    “Go inform Arvelion I will send one of the blademaster units and a regiment of wardens to bolster his flank.” Araphor replied, after which he directly turned to another boy to convey the message to the reinforcing units.


    The boys sped away each bearing their own imporant message.







    Arvelion was fighting in the front line trying to hold back the tide of Orcs and humans. They had pushed forward their pikemen to open up a gap in their defences. And it was very effective. He saw the young lad he had send to Araphor racing back towards him. Because of his distraction he was pierced by a pike from the Rhudaurian units in the stomach. When he fell down he wondered if Araphor would sent reinforcements. He wondered, as his lifeblood was pouring out of him, if they would win this battle. He hoped so, he hoped they would remember him as a brave man who died at the Battle for Eriador. With the death of Arvelion command fell on Cuion. He signalled the boy to come to him.


    “What is the news? Are we getting relieve or not?” he barked, a bit more harsh than he had intended. He was just so nervous.


    “Yes.” the boy answered panting.


    “Araphor will send a unit of Blademasters and a regiment of wardens come to our aid at all haste.” he said.


    Cuion was overjoyed to hear this and embraced the lad.


    “You are a blessing of the Valar. We desperately need them.”


    “ARCHERS, FIRE AT THOSE BLOODY PIKEMEN! DRIVE THEM BACK!” Cuion roared turning away from the boy.


    Thanks to an opening in the Dúnedain formation the archers could fire their arrows at point blank range into the regiment of pikemen. Lightly armoured as they were, the pikemen fell quickly by this flurry of arrows. This enlargened the gap and the enemy took advantage of this, trying to encircle the Dúnedain position. As the Orcs surged forward into the gap they were however met with the sharp blades of the Blademasters. The reinforcements had arrived. Their charge was magnificent to behold as Cuion watched with open mouth at the grace these men wielded their two handed swords. Once the momemtum was gone the wardens pushed through and let the blademasters fall back. The gap had closed and the Orcs were trapped again on the slope of the hill. The battle continued.







    On the left flank things seemed to go rather well. The enemy was locked in place and now it was just a massive grind. Araphor knew he had the superior quality in troops and the fight would eventually turn in his favor, though many of his comrades would die in the process. He wanted to prevent that as much as possible. Thus he gathered all the rest of his reserves and prepared to flank Agandaûr's position. The man himself had committed himself to the far left of his flank. Araphor was about to move there but was halted by another barrage of fiery death.



    “WILL SOMEONE SILENCE THOSE BUGGERS ONCE AND FOR ALL!” he cried in his frustration.


    What he didn't know was that Morfinthur was tirelessly trying to destroy those catapults. Morfinthur charged the last of his horsemen in a suicidal charge at the catapult crews. He knew it would mean the end for him as he saw the spearmen closing in. He had however played his part and had finally silenced the hated catapult. Morfinthur died with a weary smile as he was unhorsed. Another sacrifice to save the North.


    While Morfinthur's corpse was being mutilated, Araphor made ready to charge the Black Númenórean bodyguard of Agandaûr. As he grabbed his sword he whispered.


    “This is for you Malvegil.”


    He turned to his men and saw Melion was there as well. He looked at his comrades and simply said.


    “For the North and for our freedom.”


    “CHARGE!”


    The Black Númenóreans were totally caught offguard, the great axes of the Dúnedain slashing through their plate armour. Agandaûr had turned around when he had heard a roar of charging troops. His eyes were drawn to a tall man with a dark purple cloak. The hatred that shone from this man's eyes sent shivers down his spine and for a minute he was afraid. Then hate took its place and he decided to meet this man on the battlefield. It would be a pleasure killing someone you knew hated every fiber of your existence. Their eyes locked and they made their way to each other, killing everyone in their path. They did not speak just looked at each other as the duel began. Araphor began the attack with a series of wild blows. He slashed and stabbed from all directions and Agandaûr was pushed back. All the rage in Araphor was guided through his sword towards his adversary. It was raw strength that led the Dúnadan, there was no finesse in it. When Araphor made a downward slash, Agandaûr caught them with his two swords and began his counterattack. The red sorceror his blades moved as if in a blur, so fast they were going. Araphor received a cut in his lower left arm and recoiled. Agandaûr grinned showing his blackened teeth. The Dúnadan resumed his attacks stabbing left, right and center but to no avail. Agandaûr seemed to flow around his blade, very close yet so far away. Araphor was also tiring. The sleepless nights were taken its toll on him. His attacks became slower and less accurate and he received blow after blow from the sorceror. Agandaûr would give him multiple small cuts when he broke through his defences, deep enough to let blood out but not deep enough to do great harm. Agandaûr was toying with him, all the while laughing mockingly at his opponent. It was clear who would be the victor and Agandaûr tired of this game. In a foul swoop he punched Araphor in the face and dragged him to his knees. The Dúnadan was completely covered in his own blood. Agandaur put his swords on both sides of his head. As Araphor looked up into his enemies' eyes, he saw a sadistic pleasure in them. He had lost and now he would die, were his thoughts. Sauron's puppet was laughing as he had his adversary on his knees.


    Melion had watched in horror how his friend had been defeated by the sorceror from Angmar. He had tried to reach him but had been preoccupied by some Black Númenorean who had had, for some reason, taken a special interest in him. The evil man had had all the advantages. That of reach, with his two handed sword versus Melion's longsword. That of armour, his strong plate armour versus Melion's chainmail hauberk and leather armour. But most importantly that of experience. Melion was only a young man, especially for Dúnedain standards, while the Black Númenorean was probably thrice his age. Thus this battle of unequals was fought. The fight was over before it began. Melion began with a frontal assault and the man had just simply waved him away and had smacked him in the face. He had kicked Melion's feet from under him and had been ready to slice him to pieces. Melion was sure he would die that very moment, yet sometimes luck prevents the inevitable. The last of the cavalry regiments had charged into the brawl and had swept the Black Númenorean off his feet. This gave Melion the chance to regain his footing and kill the evil man.



    It was then, while still in shock of coming so close to death, that he saw Araphor on his knees. Agandaûr had his back to him and Melion knew what he had to do. He intensified his grip on his now bloody sword and charged towards the Angmarim leader. Towards his friend.




    Agandaûr was still laughing when Melion came charging at him. How foolish had this Dúnadan been to think he could defeat the mighty Agandaûr, Lord of Eriador. What a grand and intoxicating innocence.* He was still contemplating if he would kill the man here and now or take him prisoner and torture him. Then seemingly out of nowhere he was hit on the head with the pommel of a sword. A moment he was disoriented and it was then when Araphor struck. With all his remaining strenght he rose to his feet and drove his sword into the sorcerors abdomen. Araphors head was next to that of his long time enemy and he whispered in his ear.




    “Malvegil's death has been avenged.”


    Agandaûr's eyes widened as he felt the cold steel amid his guts. He was so startled by the sudden turn of events that he could not utter a word. He let out a small groan as he felt his life pouring out of him. For the first time in his life, he truly felt fear. It seemed that Sauron had lied to him about immortality. As he lost consciousness he cursed his master for this betrayal. The dread lord was dead.


    Araphor twisted his sword and drew it back from his adversaries' body. Agandaûr fell with a heavy thump on the frozen ground, instantly reddening the landscape. His army saw their leader's demise and promtly ceased fighting. The Orcs fled in all directions while the humans mostly surrendered. The only ones who kept fighting were the Black Númenóreans who had been the bodyguard of Agandaûr. They knew the Dúnedain would know no mercy for them, their mortal enemies. They were killed to the last, taking with them more Dúnedain lives. Araphor stood a bit unstable when he reached for one of his men's axes. He returned to Agandaûr's body and took a mighty swing. The sorceror's head was cleanly severed from his body. The head Araphor treated with a herbal combination to make sure it would stay intact for a long time. Then he looked towards his forces and was gladdend by what he saw. The Dúnedain force was overjoyed to see their enemies run and some were crying out of relief. They had survived and would now return home as heroes. Araphor smiled his very first genuine smile in a long time as he adressed his soldiers.





    “Brave men, we have fought and died well today. Let us bury our dead here and raise a huge cairn in their memory. Let the fallen heroes rest in a mound befitting of their status.” he said.


    The men were silenced.


    “Let us raise us stone atop of this mound with the names of our fallen comrades so that their sacrifice might never be forgotten.” Araphor said passionately.


    The men roared in agreement.


    Thus, after a few days of rest, a mound was dug and the fallen souls laid to rest within. A cairn the likes that could be found in the Barrow-Downs was raised and a stone placed atop it with all the 263 names of the fallen engraved in it. The stone would have to be replaced by a indomitable one treated by Númenórean craftmanship so it would endure for eternity and never be weather-beaten.


    After another couple of days, Araphor marched into Carn Dûm unapposed. There he sacked the place of all valuables and most importantly food for the journey back home. He also freed most of the prisoners that were being held in its many caverns.


    Another few days gone and Araphor saw banners of the Dwarves flying in the distance and he was glad for it. He hated this place and wanted nothing more than leave as soon as possible. The meeting with Clanherald Grain was a short one. The Dwarf had been surprised to see friendly banners flying from the evil fortress. He had come here with the intention to fight not to be given Carn Dûm for free. He would however not complain and thanked the Dúnedain thricefold and gave them enough provisions for the journey back home.


    Angmar's might had been broken and now Araphor and his comrades prepared to leave this horrid place. Back to their homes.


    The War for Eriador was over.


    Battle results
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 




    *Quote from the Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind by Dagoth Ur
    Last edited by Turkafinwë; July 22, 2018 at 03:43 AM.

  15. #95

    Default Re: To earn a Kingdom: A Northern Dúnedain Narrative - Divide and Conquer V2.1 [UPDATE - 14/07/2018]

    Nice update, looks like the Dunedain are going strong at the moment. If I may offer some critique, I really can't seem to see the photos at all, and it is to a certain extent reducing my enjoyment of this otherwise excellent AAR. But that is partly my fault too. I'm not sure which regions lie where in this universe, so I'm a bit confused as to where your armies are going sometimes. Though that is no fault of yours, to be sure. Keep up the good work, the writing alone is enough for me to go on, but I'm just saying pictures would really help

    Swaeft's Scribblings (Library)| Swaeft's Snaps (Gallery)| My Blog (The Lensation)

  16. #96
    Alwyn's Avatar Frothy Goodness
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    Default Re: To earn a Kingdom: A Northern Dúnedain Narrative - Divide and Conquer V2.1 [UPDATE - 21/07/2018]

    An exciting battle and a suitable grand finale of the War for Eriador. The desperate attempts to silence the enemy catapults, the sacrifices the Dúnedain made and the confrontation with the Lord of Eriador are all well done (with great screenshots, it's a shame that Swaeft can't see them - I wonder what's happening).

  17. #97
    Turkafinwë's Avatar The Soulforged
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    Default Re: To earn a Kingdom: A Northern Dúnedain Narrative - Divide and Conquer V2.1 [UPDATE - 21/07/2018]

    Quote Originally Posted by Swaeft View Post
    Nice update, looks like the Dunedain are going strong at the moment. If I may offer some critique, I really can't seem to see the photos at all, and it is to a certain extent reducing my enjoyment of this otherwise excellent AAR. But that is partly my fault too. I'm not sure which regions lie where in this universe, so I'm a bit confused as to where your armies are going sometimes. Though that is no fault of yours, to be sure. Keep up the good work, the writing alone is enough for me to go on, but I'm just saying pictures would really help
    Thanks Swaeft! The Dúnedain, protecters of Mankind, ride to meet your fate, your destiny awaits ! In regard of the pictures, I don't think I can do much to help you with seeing them in the chapters. What I can do is open up an album where I put all the pictures used, in order, so you can hopefully see them there. That way you would be able to follow the story with pictures without having them in the chapters. It's the best I can do at the moment, with the information that I have right now.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alwyn View Post
    An exciting battle and a suitable grand finale of the War for Eriador. The desperate attempts to silence the enemy catapults, the sacrifices the Dúnedain made and the confrontation with the Lord of Eriador are all well done (with great screenshots, it's a shame that Swaeft can't see them - I wonder what's happening).
    Thanks very much Alwyn! In truth it was a really easy battle, yet I could not have the final showdown be such a doddle of a battle. However I did almost lose all my cavalry trying to silence that bloody catapult, a stroke of genius performance from the AI for once . The dread "Lord of Eriador" is finally vanquished and the Dúnedain can be content in what they have achieved. As for the screenshots I worked meticulously to get the pictures of Araphor and Agandaûr's duel. The lovely stab of Araphor's sword into Agandaûr body was what inspired me to end the duel in the way I did. All screenshots were also taken from the real battle and not from a custom generated battle. I like to do it that way to make it as authentic as possible, although it doesn't always work.

  18. #98
    NorseThing's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: To earn a Kingdom: A Northern Dúnedain Narrative - Divide and Conquer V2.1 [UPDATE - 21/07/2018]

    I had the same probel viewing with my default MS browser so pulled up the thread in the Google browser and everything worked well though it seemed to run a bit slow.

    A good update for my summer reading! Thanks!

  19. #99

    Default Re: To earn a Kingdom: A Northern Dúnedain Narrative - Divide and Conquer V2.1 [UPDATE - 21/07/2018]

    Ah a very heavy and long battle for Araphor, it was more difficult then what he must have exploded, i liked the use of capital letters for screaming and how the archers and their commander reacted to the sudden shower of catapult missiles.

    Good chapter as always Turkanfinwe. I dedicate my this 2002th post to your chapter
    Keep writing.

    The screenshots are good as always but a little bit dazy ??? But not anything of a problem to me atleast.
    To anyone concerned. I am leaving twc. Bye and best of luck.
    And Pike, thanks for supporting me always.

    Sadly, I felt that despite making contributions, I did not get recognition of Citizenship. Hence I left. You might call me crybaby, but I was shocked to see that most people whom I had considered to be well wishers, voted against me. Yes, I needed that Citizenship.
    Nowadays, I don't know if it was the site or if I have improved, but I do find it easier to do better on other sites.
    I also help run a very successful wild west server on Discord.

  20. #100
    Turkafinwë's Avatar The Soulforged
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    Default Re: To earn a Kingdom: A Northern Dúnedain Narrative - Divide and Conquer V2.1 [UPDATE - 21/07/2018]

    Quote Originally Posted by NorseThing View Post
    I had the same probel viewing with my default MS browser so pulled up the thread in the Google browser and everything worked well though it seemed to run a bit slow.

    A good update for my summer reading! Thanks!
    Thank you Norsething! Hopefully it's a enjoyable part of your summer reading.

    Quote Originally Posted by mad orc View Post
    Ah a very heavy and long battle for Araphor, it was more difficult then what he must have exploded, i liked the use of capital letters for screaming and how the archers and their commander reacted to the sudden shower of catapult missiles.

    Good chapter as always Turkanfinwe. I dedicate my this 2002th post to your chapter
    Keep writing.

    The screenshots are good as always but a little bit dazy ??? But not anything of a problem to me atleast.
    Thanks very much mad orc! A tough battle for a tough man. I thought it would be nice to add a little bit of detail to emphasise the shouting. Especially for a usually calm man, like Araphor to scream in frustration and terror is something that needs some extra attention, in my humble opinion that is. Yeah the catapult was a great annoyance and certainly made the battle more interesting to play.

    I'm honoured by your 2002th post dedicated to this thread .

    The daziness of the screenshots are probably because of the Reshader program I use added to the hazy conditions of the battlefield.

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