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Sharindlar (pronounced: /ʃɑːˈrɪndlɑːrsha-RIHN-dlar[2]) was the dwarven deity primarily known as the goddess of healing and mercy.[1][9] Although dwarves did not hide their worship of her,[2] they called her the Lady of Mercy among non-dwarves[1][9] to hide another aspect of her identity.[2] Much more important to modern dwarves than her healing role was the Lady of Life's status as their patron of romantic love, courtship, and most of all, fertility.[1][9]

Description[]

Sharindlar's avatar appeared as a slim and spirited dwarven maiden, either 6 feet (1.8 meters) or 13 feet (4 meters) tall. She was flame-haired and normally full-bearded, but to observers of races whose females did not normally grow beards (such as humans) her own might seem to vanish, or appear and disappear like a flickering flame. The eyes of the Lady of Life were striking, and seemed to change color to the point that observers from across the centuries had reported them as being of differing hues.[1][9]

Sharindlar was usually clothed in diaphanous gowns, and never wore armor. Normally she was barefoot, but during her occasional appearances at parties, she appeared wildly garbed in boots and high-heeled shoes, as well as rich gowns and fancy accoutrements. If attacked, flames would rise around her body, which always caused her clothes to vanish before coming back undamaged by the dying flames.[1][9]

Personality[]

Sharindlar was an invariably warm and caring goddess; she was naturally humble and unassuming, and always had a kind word for everyone, whether mortal or divine. She was known to look favorable upon both dwarves and non-dwarves, including pack animals and even monsters. The Shining Dancer was also spontaneously exuberant, given to shouts of joy, bursts of wild laughter, and impromptu dancing. [1]

Although she played a diplomatic peacekeeping role, she generally found politics dull and stuffy, preferring instead to speculate on the future love lives of both mortals and gods.[9] The Lady of Life was a true romantic and habitual matchmaker who did her best to bring together star-crossed lovers no matter how astronomically low the odds.[1]

Powers[]

The touch of Sharindlar's avatar could enact a powerful version of charm person, forget, or friends, each seven times per day, or, purportedly, neutralize poison, which could be used thrice per day. Sharindlar herself was said to be immune to all known poisons, and could not be charmed or deceived through sensory or mental magics.[1][9]

Sharindlar could only be harmed by weapons with a +2 or higher magical enchantment. Like other dwarven gods, she could make physical attacks, use magic, and automatically regenerated as if she was using a vampiric ring of regeneration, differing from the item in that they were restored in equal accordance to the damage they dealt in melee rather than only recovering half. In addition however, she could cloak her entire body in flames, which flowed seamlessly with her other actions. The flames affected living creatures and flammable materials as one would expect, made Sharindlar more difficult to harm, and helped her recover through regeneration just as a melee attack would.[1][9][11]

Like some other dwarven gods, Sharindlar's avatar, when slain, would enter a ghost-like anima form. In this form they could not be turned, could become invisible at will, used magic normally, and used a ghost's methods of attack, but were only half as durable.[1][9][11]

Manifestations[]

Sharindlar was known to manifest to dwarves in need as a rosy or amber aura of radiance and warmth. The radiance was bright enough to read by and warm enough to allow for comfort in extremely cold areas.[1][9][10]

Sharindlar was also known to manifest her favor through the discovery of emeralds, moonstones, or round, silver coins, and indicated her displeasure by the appearance of curdled milk, shattered egg shells, and worn, single boots (as opposed to a pair).[1]

Possessions[]

Sharindlar fought with a +6, chaotic good-aligned whip studded with adamantine barbs. She also wielded a +2 mace that always struck silently, and which forced ethereal and invisible creatures into full and clear view on the Prime Material Plane for at least two minutes on contact.[1][9]

Realm[]

Sharindlar's realm was located in Nidavellir (the third layer of Ysgard) in the Great Wheel cosmology[1] and on a foothill near the primary mountain of Dwarfhome in the World Tree cosmology. The Merciful Court, as it was known, was a circle of standing stones from which Sharindlar served as an intermediary between Moradin and the evil dwarven gods, including Abbathor, Laduguer, and Deep Duerra. It also served as the site of nightly dances in her honor.[3]

Activities[]

Despite her known party visits,[1][9] Sharindlar rarely appeared as an avatar, instead often helping dwarves in her radiant manifestation. A sick dwarf might be guided to shelter or water, while a dwarf searching for healing herbs or plant antidotes that they needed and that existed nearby would be marked by the radiance, guiding the searcher to it. The radiance might appear to dwarves that were cold and without shelter, keeping them comfortable even as they rested on glaciers or in rock ledges during blizzards.[1][9]

During dances, moots, and any over gatherings where a dwarven relationship might start, Sharindlar often tried to sway the thoughts and deeds of dwarves through her radiance. It was debated among dwarven scholars if those in her presence were simply following what they believed to be a hint and a sign of approval, or if the radiance could manifest a subtle aphrodisiac power.[1][9] In any case, more than one dwarven maiden or bachelor favored by the Lady of Life had been swept into a series of dalliances as a result of her ceaseless attempts to find them the perfect mate.[1]

Relationships[]

Sharindlar was one of the older dwarven gods, and had always been in good standing within the Morndinsamman.[12] She had established excellent relations with her peers over the millenia, as she had little tolerance for disputes or rivalries that interfered with her bringing of healing to the wounded and mercy to the distressed.[2][1]

Although she abhorred their principles and they weren't exactly allies, she had managed to forge working relationships with even Abbathor and the duergar gods, ranging from toleration to strained friendship.[2][1][13] She was also one of the few dwarven gods to interact with the estranged Thard Harr on a somewhat frequent basis, in her case due to her interest in the rampant fertility of the jungle.[14][15] As a result of this, Sharindlar served Moradin on several occasions as his ambassador, an intermediary between him and those he had cast away (such as Laduguer) in the rare cases when they were forced to communicate, such as if a disaster forced usually antagonistic dwarves to cooperate.[2][1][3]

A closer relationship could be seen between Sharindlar and Berronar, Moradin's wife and the dwarf goddess of love and marriage.[16] The two worked hand-in-hand in inspiring acts of love among dwarves, fulfilling notably different but complimentary roles. While Sharindlar oversaw courtship and romance, bringing dwarves together into relationships, Berronar guided dwarves into the lasting bonds of marriage and ensured that the relationship stayed healthy and strong.[17][18] As her own doctrine would put it, Sharindlar restored the seed of dwarven life while Berronar protected the fruit.[1]

Sharindlar had various other allies outside of her own pantheon. From the Seldarine, she was close with Hanali Celanil, elven goddess of love, and the triune goddess Angharradh, the combined aspects of Hanali, Aerdrie, and Sehanine. From the halfling pantheon, she had good relations with its matriarch Yondalla, as well as Sheela Peryroyl, goddess of dance, romance and agriculture, and Cyrrollalee, goddess of friendship and hospitality. Other allies included the Faerunian gods Chauntea (goddess of life and bounty), Eldath (goddess of peace and calm waters), Hathor, (Mulhorandian goddess of love and dance) and Ilmater (god of martyrdom and perseverance). Aside from gods, she had good relations with some of the animal lords of the Beastlands.[1]

The Shining Dancer also shared a great kinship with Shiallia, the Dancer in the Glades and goddess of agriculture and new couples. It was believed by many that Shiallia was actually Sharindlar's daughter, the product of one of the Lady of Life's brief dalliances with a fey deity said in some myths to be Tapann, god of the korreds.[2][1]

There was only one being that could be truly called Sharindlar's enemy: Urdlen, the gnome god of greed and hate.[1] The Crawler Below was an enemy of all dwarven gods,[19] and harbored a deep hatred for everyone and everything.[20]

Worshipers[]

Sharindlar's holy symbol.

Sharindlar held a position of universal goodwill among dwarves and high esteem amongst other races that shared her beliefs, her benevolence and devotion to the downtrodden managing to impress even the most deeply prejudiced among hubristic humans and xenophobic elves.[1] Her followers came from all walks of life, and dwarves of any alignment, especially those that were courting or who were tasked with sentencing others in the name of justice, paid homage to the Lady of Mercy. The sick and wounded in combat often uttered prayers to her, as did the dwarven priests of all faiths that cared for the sick and were seeking or using healing magic. Physicians, midwives, and lovers alike gave prayer to the Lady of Life,[2][1][9][21] and those that gave their lives for those they loved were known to hear the soft crackling of flames before death.[22]

Dwarves were normally loathed to admit, even to their companions, the very personal and private aspect of dwarven life Sharindlar represented.[2] When dwarves left aside their normally stern demeanors to dance for an evening, they prayed to the Shining Dancer, said to be the best the dwarves had ever known, to guide their feet.[2][1] Likewise, when a hardened dwarven warrior softened to accept his childhood sweetheart's vows of marriage, it was the Lady of Life that was invoked.[2]

Sharindlar's clerics, especially her specialty priests, were known as thalornor, a dwarvish word loosely translated to mean "those who are merciful".[2][1] The clergy was originally entirely female, and even after the Time of Troubles they were still almost completely so (being 99% female). Novice members were known as the Chaste, while full members were known as Merciful Maidens/Youths. In ascending order of rank, priests were known by the titles of Dancing Tresses, Golden Allure, Healing Touch, Merciful Smile, Loving Heart, and Fruitful Mother/Father, with High Old Ones of the church having individual titles and being collectively known as the Sons/Daughters (or Dauls) of Sharindlar.[1]

Sharindlar's clergy was fairly evenly split between hill dwarves (49%), and mountain dwarves (48%), although around 2% were jungle dwarves and even duergar made up 1%. It was also nearly evenly split between specialty priests (58%) and clerics (42%), the former of which were mostly either hill or mountain dwarves, but which included among their numbers members of nearly every dwarven subrace. Becoming a specialty priest of Sharindlar required a chaotic good outlook, adequate endurance and wisdom, and skills in herbalism.[1] Specialty priests received special powers to heal and detect dwarves, mask pain, and shape stone.[1][15] Clerics of Sharindlar frequently trained as bards.

Sharindlar had no known martial orders dedicated to her, but around on in five priests served in small communities as midwives that acted independent of the more organized temple hierarchy. These were known collectively as the Maidens of Midwifery, and members of the informal sorority extended their roles to include those of physicians, matchmakers, and brewers of substances (including aphrodisiacs and elixirs) that boosted fertility.[1] In later times, Sharindlar's dominion over fertility extended into agriculture and animal husbandry, particularly in societies like the surface-level High Shanatar and Besilmer, granting the thalonor influence over the development of new crop strains, such as wheat, barley, mushrooms, and lichen, and hardier breeds of beasts, such as donkeys and sheep.[2][1]

Dogma[]

Sharindlar's followers were called to be merciful in both speech and deed, bringing healing and relief to those in need. Their traditional duties, which they spent most of their time on, were ministering to the sick or frail members of dwarf communities, although they dispensed their aid to other individuals that required it. To act in this capacity, they worked both in hospices within dwarven strongholds, and traveled to remote holds throughout the wilderness, whether on the surface or subterranean. They were to use constructive efforts of charity to to allay aggression and hostility, and provided words of encouragement to the unwell with gentle bedside manner. [2][1]

When not engaged in their primary responsibility, the devoted of Sharindlar instead worked to instruct dwarven youths on proper courting rituals[2][1] (a process involving the exchange of gifts and later the sharing of a living space to determine affinity).[23] The traditional rites of courting and marriage were to be maintained, encouraged, and taught by the faithful, and these included traditional dances, ritual forms of address, and similar customs. They strove to bring young dwarves together, especially those outside of traditional clans in the hopes of an increase in prolific unions, and in some cases went as far as playing matchmaker between two youths they deemed "compatible".[2][1]

According to Sharindlar's doctrine, it was necessary for the dwarves to live in safety so that they could propagate, and the church overall sought to increase the health and numbers of the dwarven population throughout all of the Realms.[2][1][9] The slow decline of dwarven birthrates, particularly among the shield dwarves of the North, saw them spending most of their time working in concert with Berronar's clergy (as they were encouraged to do) to reverse the trend.[1] Given their concern with birth, both literal and metaphorical, most treated the Thunder Blessing with even greater reverence than ordinary dwarves, often going out of their way to encourage thunder twins to join the faith.[2]

In regards to their personal lives, Sharindlar's followers were to treat life as an endless gift and dance, to be embraced and celebrated with joyful exuberance by living it to the fullest.[2][1]

Rituals[]

Sharindlar's clerics normally prayed for their spells in the morning.[2] Conversely, Sharindlar was often associated with the moon,[4] and her holy days (aside from being on Greengrass and Midsummer Night) took place the night after the new moon and the night of the full moon. It was at this time when most of the more secret rituals of Sharindlar were enacted, commonly involving secret congregations performing them in hidden caverns with natural pools of water.[1][9][2]

During these rituals, the faithful cast golden items into a sanctified cauldron, which was heated until the gold was molten. This was mixed together with blood let by the worshipers from their forearms. Throughout the ritual, Sharindlar's name was chanted and the followers prayed for her mercy and guidance, dancing in a frenzy while keeping armor and weapons near at hand but not worn or carried. The contents of the cauldron were then poured into the pool of water, which In the Deep Kingdom of the gold dwarves was the Lake of Gold, the rocky bottom of which was streaked with gleaming gold veins and covered with sparkling gold dust from the ages of worship.[1][9][2]

Such rituals were mostly attempts to raise the low fertility rate of the dwarves, and the faithful were forbidden from removing gold from the lake. Couples (married or not) were also known to ask for Sharindlar's blessing in a similar way, entwining their arms and letting their blood flow together over melting, golden braziers. All rituals of Sharindlar's fertility aspect celebrated in the Deep Realm always ended in great feasts and underway courting chases.[1][9]

Rituals invoking the healing power of Sharindlar performed by two or more of her priests or priestesses had them gathering over the sick or injured. They would sprinkle the ill with a drop of their own freshly-let blood, usually drops from their palms, and a vial of water from the Lake of Gold while whispering secret names and descriptions of the goddess. Even Sharindlar's name, when whispered or silently repeated in the minds of those who had faith in her (even if they were members of a different faith) had a calming effect on upset dwarves and allowed those wracked with pain to sleep.[1][9]

The healing ritual succeeded 20% of the time per each priest taking part, another 20% if the injured was favored, and 10% if Lake of Gold water was used. It amplified the healing process by making restorative spells take the maximal possible effect, doubling the rate at which rest helped the body, stopped the progress of poisons, diseases, and parasites (including rot grubs) for 2-5 days, and could have other beneficial effects depending on the circumstances.[1][9]

Temples[]

Temples to Sharindlar were most often great halls free of pillars or other pieces of architecture, providing ample space for dancing and celebration. They were well-lit, often above ground or partially open to the sky, typically had fountains, pools, and formal gardens, and served as both chancels and grand ballrooms. Most had many small and intimate guest rooms for visiting revelers.[2][1] They also normally had a small runestone library, which housed inscribed dwarven genealogies, clan records, courting rituals, formal dance descriptions, astronomy charts, medicinal practices, herbal brews, agricultural and animal husbandry records, and other similar documentation.[1]

One of the most notable temples was located in the Sumber Hills, hidden in the Vale of Dancing Waters. This temple was known as the Shrine of the Tender Oath, and it was one of the few immaculate constructions remaining of the dwarven kingdom of Besilmer.[1][24] In around 1491 DR, during the Elemental Evil crisis, the temple was invaded by treasure hunters who hoped to dig into the ruins of Torhild Flametongue's summer palace.[24] The treasure hunters were defeated by adventurers, after which the shrine was closed to visitors for the foreseeable future.[25]

Clothing[]

Sharindlar's followers wore red robes with blue girdles for ceremony, leaving the head bare except for a robin's egg blue scarf. A blue scarf was also tied around the brow, upper arm, wrist, or ankle as adornment. Although they avoided violence when possible, they were willing to protect both themselves and their charges from violent and clearly hostile opposition, girding themselves with armor when needed even if they preferred their normal clothing.[1][9]

Though rarely made apparent, followers of the Lady of Mercy normally carried small knives with which to end the suffering creatures about to die whose pain could not otherwise be alleviated. The holy symbol of the faith, a silver disk embossed on both sides with Sharindlar's sign, was often hung from a silvery chain around the neck.[1][9]

History[]

Sharindlar was the patron deity of the Adamant Kingdom of Xothaerin, a subkingdom of Deep Shanatar founded by one of the eight sons of Taark Shanat. It was once home to some of the greatest scholars of the dwarves and had strong ties to the Elemental Plane of Fire, including a portal to the kingdom of the azer, resulting in some level of interbreeding between them and the shield dwarves.[26][27] The Xothaerin scepter, marked by Shainrldar's flaming needle symbol, laid in a lonely mountain cavern high within the Storm Horns. The mouth of the cave overlooked the Farsea Marshes, yet no wind or predators would enter the cold cave, and the scepter was clutched close to the chest of a dwarf skeleton.[28]

Gallery[]

Appendix[]

Further Reading[]

Sourcebooks

References[]

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 1.22 1.23 1.24 1.25 1.26 1.27 1.28 1.29 1.30 1.31 1.32 1.33 1.34 1.35 1.36 1.37 1.38 1.39 1.40 1.41 1.42 1.43 1.44 1.45 1.46 1.47 1.48 1.49 1.50 1.51 1.52 1.53 1.54 1.55 1.56 Eric L. Boyd (1998). Demihuman Deities. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 82–84. ISBN 0-7869-1239-1.
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17 2.18 2.19 2.20 2.21 2.22 2.23 2.24 2.25 Eric L. Boyd, Erik Mona (May 2002). Faiths and Pantheons. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 122. ISBN 0-7869-2759-3.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Richard Baker, James Wyatt (March 2004). Player's Guide to Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 150–151. ISBN 0-7869-3134-5.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Steve Kenson, et al. (November 2015). Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide. Edited by Kim Mohan. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 22, 104–105. ISBN 978-0-7869-6580-9.
  5. Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford (2014). Player's Handbook 5th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 60. ISBN 978-0-7869-6560-1.
  6. Rob Heinsoo, Richard Baker, Logan Bonner, Robert J. Schwalb (July 2009). Divine Power. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 138. ISBN 978-0-7869-4982-3.
  7. Hal Maclean (September 2004). “Seven Deadly Domains”. In Matthew Sernett ed. Dragon #323 (Paizo Publishing, LLC), p. 65.
  8. Hal Maclean (May 2007). “Seven Saintly Domains”. In Erik Mona ed. Dragon #355 (Paizo Publishing, LLC), p. 26.
  9. 9.00 9.01 9.02 9.03 9.04 9.05 9.06 9.07 9.08 9.09 9.10 9.11 9.12 9.13 9.14 9.15 9.16 9.17 9.18 9.19 9.20 9.21 9.22 9.23 Ed Greenwood (October 1990). Dwarves Deep. (TSR, Inc.), pp. 17–18, 27, 29–30. ISBN 0-88038-880-3.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Sean K. Reynolds (2002-05-04). Deity Do's and Don'ts (Zipped PDF). Wizards of the Coast. p. 14. Archived from the original on 2016-11-01. Retrieved on 2018-09-08.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Ed Greenwood (October 1990). Dwarves Deep. (TSR, Inc.), p. 15. ISBN 0-88038-880-3.
  12. Eric L. Boyd (1998). Demihuman Deities. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 41. ISBN 0-7869-1239-1.
  13. Eric L. Boyd, Erik Mona (May 2002). Faiths and Pantheons. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 120. ISBN 0-7869-2759-3.
  14. Eric L. Boyd, Erik Mona (May 2002). Faiths and Pantheons. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 123. ISBN 0-7869-2759-3.
  15. 15.0 15.1 Eric L. Boyd (1998). Demihuman Deities. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 85. ISBN 0-7869-1239-1.
  16. {{Cite book/Dwarves Deep|21}
  17. Eric L. Boyd, Erik Mona (May 2002). Faiths and Pantheons. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 116. ISBN 0-7869-2759-3.
  18. Eric L. Boyd (1998). Demihuman Deities. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 46. ISBN 0-7869-1239-1.
  19. Eric L. Boyd (1998). Demihuman Deities. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 158. ISBN 0-7869-1239-1.
  20. Eric L. Boyd (1998). Demihuman Deities. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 57. ISBN 0-7869-1239-1.
  21. Ed Greenwood, Julia Martin, Jeff Grubb (1993). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 2nd edition (revised), Running the Realms. (TSR, Inc), p. 62. ISBN 1-5607-6617-4.
  22. Ed Greenwood (March 2005). Crown of Fire. (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 978-0-7869-3619-9.
  23. Ed Greenwood (October 1990). Dwarves Deep. (TSR, Inc.), p. 6. ISBN 0-88038-880-3.
  24. 24.0 24.1 Michele Carter, Stacy Janssen eds. (2015). Princes of the Apocalypse. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 172. ISBN 978-0786965786.
  25. Michele Carter, Stacy Janssen eds. (2015). Princes of the Apocalypse. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 175. ISBN 978-0786965786.
  26. Reynolds, Forbeck, Jacobs, Boyd (March 2003). Races of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 161. ISBN 0-7869-2875-1.
  27. Eric L. Boyd (1999). Drizzt Do'Urden's Guide to the Underdark. (TSR, Inc), pp. 121–122. ISBN 0-7869-1509-9.
  28. Steven E. Schend, Thomas M. Reid (1999). Wyrmskull Throne. (TSR, Inc), p. 59. ISBN 0-7869-1405-X.

Connections[]


Deities of the Post–Second Sundering Era
Ao the Overgod
Faerûnian Pantheon
Akadi | Amaunator | Asmodeus | Auril | Azuth | Bane | Beshaba | Bhaal | Chauntea | Cyric | Deneir | Eldath | Gond | Grumbar | Gwaeron | Helm | Hoar | Ilmater | Istishia | Jergal | Kelemvor | Kossuth | Lathander | Leira | Lliira | Loviatar | Malar | Mask | Mielikki | Milil | Myrkul | Mystra | Oghma | Red Knight | Savras | Selûne | Shar | Silvanus | Sune | Talona | Talos | Tempus | Torm | Tymora | Tyr | Umberlee | Valkur | Waukeen
The Morndinsamman
Abbathor | Berronar Truesilver | Clangeddin Silverbeard | Deep Duerra | Dugmaren Brightmantle | Dumathoin | Gorm Gulthyn | Haela Brightaxe | Laduguer | Marthammor Duin | Moradin | Sharindlar | Vergadain
The Seldarine
Aerdrie Faenya | Angharradh | Corellon | Deep Sashelas | Erevan | Fenmarel Mestarine | Hanali Celanil | Labelas Enoreth | Rillifane Rallathil | Sehanine Moonbow | Shevarash | Solonor Thelandira
The Dark Seldarine
Eilistraee | Kiaransalee | Lolth | Selvetarm | Vhaeraun
Yondalla's Children
Arvoreen | Brandobaris | Cyrrollalee | Sheela Peryroyl | Urogalan | Yondalla
Lords of the Golden Hills
Baervan Wildwanderer | Baravar Cloakshadow | Callarduran Smoothhands | Flandal Steelskin | Gaerdal Ironhand | Garl Glittergold | Nebelun | Segojan Earthcaller | Urdlen
Orc Pantheon
Bahgtru | Gruumsh | Ilneval | Luthic | Shargaas | Yurtrus
Mulhorandi pantheon
Anhur | Bast | Geb | Hathor | Horus | Isis | Nephthys | Osiris | Re | Sebek | Set | Thoth
Other gods of Faerûn
Bahamut | Enlil | Finder Wyvernspur | Ghaunadaur | Gilgeam | Lurue | Moander | Nobanion | Raven Queen | Tiamat



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