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Dar al-Islam, Part Thirteen: The Dynasty Marches On…

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Another Kalmen Emir passes on.
So. How’s it goin’ Is’mail?
Hold on, BRB!

What?

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Oh. Well sure. You do that then.

I will!

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Is’mail and Zaia, BFF’s?

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Oh dear!

I’m fine!

You sure?

Never felt better!

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Piety is more important than life anyway.

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I’m surprised you managed to do it at all! I mean, after being stuck on a deserted island with little food, then being forced to travel the desert on foot, I’d probably just give up.

Allah gives me strength!

Clearly!

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You’re lucky there wasn’t a succession dispute while you were gone! Those seem to happen with upsetting regularity.

Nah, it’s all good. I got this.

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Ayup. That is unsurprising.

So, uh… Haroun! How are you?

Pretty good!

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That’s pretty awesome, actually! So is your ambition:

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It’s about time we had another Kalmen leader with the right ambition!

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That is decidedly not awesome! In fact, I do not like these implications at all! Hang in there, buddy! You’re young, you’re spry, you’re –

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Dead.

Well shitting dick nipples!

Let’s do this again. Hi Ra’uf!

Hi!

You have an issue to deal with.

That’s unfortunate!

It is!

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Curse those infidels!

Yes, well. You’d best get your Court Imam into the proselytism business.

No, wait. You can’t do that. BECAUSE YOU ARE DEAD.

NEXT TIME: I have another Haroun

 
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Posted by on August 25, 2013 in CK II, Snarkangel Plays (The Tags)

 

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Dar al-Islam, Part Eight: Passing the Mantle

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Farewell, buddy. I miss you already.

Koriaur dies hating his son. Yahya immediately moves the Kalmen court out of Alexandria and into Makuria. Both Milad and Nassib grumble and complain, wanting rule of the Kalmen dynasty to themselves. A brief conflict arises among the Tulunids, as Prince Kemaladdin pushes for the throne. I suppose I ought to start haunting Yahya instead…

*Ahem*

I do not have time right now, spirit!

I’m sorry?

My insane half-brother Milad is marching out of Tobruk. Nassib has joined him. I must crush them.

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Isn’t your seventh grandfather also his seventh grandfather? Whatever. Isn’t this just dandy? The body of your father is hardly cold and already the family is squabbling over the scraps of his Emirate.

I will be King of Nubia, one day. A petulant half-brother of mine will not get in my way.

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That was fast!

I am not fucking around.

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Clearly! What are you going to do with his land?

He is a traitor and deserves none of it. I will give it to my own family.

Speaking of family, let’s take a look at yours!

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As you can see, you have quite a few sisters. Both your remaining brothers are ‘imprisoned’, but the game only displays it like that because they died in your dungeons. Both Nassid and Milad have been executed on your orders.

You also have a great many children. Let’s look your heir, Sheikh Nuraddin.

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Nuraddin is a Mastermind Theologian and has some children of his own. His siblings are your children. Otherwise, he is nothing special.

However, lets take another look at you, Yahya. What’s your Ambition?

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Well that’s cool, I guess. But there is one small snag in this plan. Namely, the creation requirements for the Kingdom of Nubia.

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Are you planning to convert?

What I do is not subject to your review.

Like, um… declaring war on Sultan Murshid?

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Precisely.

Uhm… Why?

He insulted me. He insulted my son. And he tried to retract my vassal. I will not be interfered with.

That’s a risky move, Yayha! But exactly the sort of thing I like to see. Good work,yo!

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I’m not a fool. I know the risks. I cannot win against the Sultan’s armies, but I can call in Abbasidian allies. My wife is the daughter of the Abbasid Caliph. They will fight in the north while I muster in the south. In Nubia.

Good thinking! Sultan Murshid won’t last long against-

You talk too much.

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Damn you’re fast! Murshid is forced to abdicate in favour of his young son Latif, who wants to make you Grand Vizier of Egypt!

… Cool.

However, not everything is going so well. Your sons, who are now Sheikhs and Emirs of Alexandria, are all fighting one another over your fathers former direct holdings.

Competition makes them strong.

So just let them fight?

Yes.

Well… okay then. I suppose more children would only add to the fracas, wouldn’t it?

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Sadiya, your second wife, just had a child. This brings your total up to ten, and you’re only forty years old! You certainly get around, don’t you?

What are you saying?

Uh, nothing Yahya. Just that you have a lot of children. One of whom is married to a woman that wants to kill you.

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Awkward.

Especially because Samira is married to Nuraddin, your first son and heir. You may want to tread lightly, Yahya. If he gets upset, he might rebel, and then you’ve got troubles!

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I’m not sure what I’ll do with her yet. We’ll see how I feel later.

Please don’t execute her! That would be bad.

Know what’s not bad? More children! Your first wife, Thuriya, has given you a daughter, Nura.

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Also:

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Egypt is at war. The Mezwarid Sultanate is pretty far west, meaning Sultan Latif Tulunid will be marching very far away. I see you’ve gained a claim on Cyrenaica, so let’s go ahead and use that. We can take advantage of the war to gain some land of our own. The Salamid Dynasty controls Cyrenaica, but they are vastly outnumbered by our own armies.

And once again, Yahya commands a swift and total destruction of his enemies. Cyrenaica belongs to the Kalmen family now. Bitchin’ work, Yahya!

Thank you.

Meanwhile, the Mezwarids, through crafty marriage, have gained a bit of Umayyad land. The Tulunid war in the west is going poorly. Perhaps you have the opportunity to take some more neighbourly land?

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Taking a slice of the rich Egyptian centre will be a huge boon to Kalmen power. The Biktorids currently own the most populous provinces of Egypt, but you own far more land. You’re about even in numbers. Note that the troops of the Alexandrian Emirate are not green, but blue. You gave Alexandria to Nuraddin, and he has formed his own branch of the Kalmen dynasty. He remains your heir, however.

Excellent. And he has the good sense to join his father in his wars.

I seem to recall you and your father taking opposite sides in the Clusterfuckian War of Succession.

Yet in the end, I came out on top by deposing Murshid. I like Latif much more! He is so easily manipulated.

He’s a child!

That’s what I said.

NEXT TIME: Invading central Egypt

 
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Posted by on August 16, 2013 in CK II, Snarkangel Plays (The Tags)

 

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Dar al-Islam, Part Four: The Family Tree

Your family is getting rather large, Koriaur. Let’s take a moment to review it, shall we?
Let’s do this!

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Let us begin with your children. The eldest is Andali bint Koriaur, daughter of Samira.

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She is betrothed to Prince al-Mu’tamid of the Abbasid dynasty. You can see her three traits; Quick-witted, Charitable, and Cynical; and her Diplomacy skill of 9 and Intrigue of 10, both above-average for a girl of her age.

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Asenath, your little swordswoman. Born to the late Huma, she has only one trait: Brave. With a proper education, she could easily become a martial genius, or a pwerful and unyeilding member of your court. She is also not betrothed to anyone.

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Zahra is Ambitious, but unfortunately a bit Slow in the head. She is betrothed to the young Sheikh of Fars, a small and independent Sheikhdom in Persia.

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And your first son, your heir; Sheikh Yahya bin Koriaur Kalmen, Sheikh of Quattara. That was a good idea, giving your son a small piece of land to rule – he has the opportunity to learn under the guidance of Milad of Siwa, a competent man without undue ambition. Yahya has only one trait: Quick. He is intelligent and witty, taking to his education like a fish to water.

The remaining children have not yet even reached their first year. They have no traits and no skills, so we’ll be skipping over those.

Well, there is one trait of note. Your youngest daughter, Amunet, has some kind of lung disease that will likely leave her crippled her entire life.

:(

Sadface indeed, Kor. Don’t let that get in the way of your ambitions, though! You have yet to become Sultan of Egypt. This is a depressing lack of awesome.

I should fix that, shouldn’t I?

Yes you should! First, you need to weaken the Tulunid dynasty. Ahmad has only one son. Kill him, and the lands of Egypt will fall into the hands of another family on Ahmad’s death.

Sneaky! I like it!

Then let’s do it! Already you have on backer.

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But you are going to need more! Start spreading coin around. Make some friends, make some promises! Sheikh Latif of Manupura seems interested.

He seems like a shady character.

Shady characters are exactly what you need right now, Kor.

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While we wait for this plot to stew and gain traction in the courts of Egypt, your daughter Asenath has started to grow.

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She is angry, brave, and good with a sword. She would have made a great soldier, but alas she was born a woman.

Sadly, Sultan Ahmad has heard the whisperings and dealings being made in his halls, and he demands the immediate end of our plot.

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Well that’s the end of it then!

Hold on there, buddy! I don’t think so. We can push this!

Nope.

Damn it, man! Don’t back out now!

It will mean war! A war I cannot win.

Dude, we got this, you and me!

You are nothing but a voice in my head. What are you going to do?

I’ll… Frown. Really hard.

You do that. I’m not pushing this.

Fine. You have a few heresies to deal with, by the way. Your Court Imam is proselytizing the Yakhri faith.

Jail him. I’ll not have blasphemies spoken in my presence!

Yes, well, his replacement is also stressing the Yakhri teachings over mainline Sunni Islam.

Jail him too!

There’s more…

Don’t tell me HIS replacement is Yakhri as well?

There is no replacement. There is no one else to take the place of Court Imam.

So the post is empty?

Correct. I have sent out invitations to holy men across Egypt, and even included a little coin to entice a mastermind theologian to take up the post. Matta Mattid has taken up the call.

Very well.

Yahya has been hard at work ruling in Quattara, and aims for greater things in life.

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Good lad!

Maybe he’ll become Sultan of Egypt.

Are you still bitter about that?

NO.

NEXT TIME: Murder, Intrigue and Ambition!

 
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Posted by on August 12, 2013 in CK II, Snarkangel Plays (The Tags)

 

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Islam Is Not A Race

I came across this in my facebook feed this morning. There are not enough faces, nor palms to place against them, for this kind of poor thinking.

Opinion- -try replacing 'Muslim' with 'Black' in... - Al Jazeera English

What kind of nonsense is this? How can people still be getting this so wrong, especially news journalists? Don’t they have a duty to maintain at least a modicum of integrity?

Islam. Is. Not. A. Race. To claim it is, is insulting to the millions of Punjab and Pashtun people of Pakistan – an incredibly Islamic state. Very few are Arabic. Nor are they Berber.

Indonesia is the most populous Muslim nation on Earth.

Is this question trying to say that Punjabs, Pashtuns, Arabs, Egyptians Berbers, Turks and Javanese are all the same race? This is lunacy akin to saying Canada and Mongolia are the same country.

The article is here, and the author doesn’t seem to have read Harris’ work. Murtaza Hussain also seems to miss one rather important distinction when he says “It’s worth remembering why making sweeping statements about “the Jews” and “the Blacks” became considered unconscionable behaviour in the first place. Both groups were once spoken of by racists and anti-Semites as though they were a homogenous mass of people, undifferentiated in any meaningful way and all sharing the same (largely negative) characteristics.”

The distinction missed is this: racism targets people based on who their parents were. Criticism of religion is not criticizing people for things they have no control over in this way. Harris and Dawkins are criticizing ideas. Ideas are not people, though they are held by people. Ideas really do affect the way people act, unlike their skin colour.

Religion does not come down to the melanin receptor distribution in your skin, Mr. Hussain. Thanks for trying though.

 
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Posted by on August 12, 2013 in Politics, Religion

 

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Dar al-Islam, Part Three: MORE WIVES

Rafiq, your Grand Vizier, has died.
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I thought Glitterhoof was my Grand Vizier!?

Oh, you were… you were serious about that?

I am always serious!

Right. Well, I took it upon myself to reinstate Rafiq about three years ago.

Whatevs, politics bore me anyway.

He was forty years old, Koriaur. You are forty-seven.

So?

So you are past your prime, and with this plague of Slow Fever still sweeping Egypt, claiming the elderly and infirm, it may be wise to consider your health.. Or at least your dynasty! Your only son, Yahya Kalmen, has contracted the Slow Fever himself!

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D:

And with only one son, this puts your family in a precarious spot.

More wives will solve this problem!

Oh dear. Is this you mid-life crisis answer for everything? More wives?

I don’t know, but I aim to find out! MORE WIVES

That may actually be wise, since Samira just gave you another daughter.

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Excellent? But these are not sons!

I guess God just wants you to have daughters. This does leave you in a touchy place. To make up for this lack, though, God has given your second daughter a skill normally reserved for men; the art of swordfighting.

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I should encourage her. She may be my bloods only hope of survival.

It seems that way. Yahya has lasted almost a year with the Fevers, but while it has not claimed his life, his body has not yet thrown off the disease that wracks it. And your second daughter is quite the charitable philanthropist!

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My children are pretty awesome.

You’re a good father, Kor!

D’aww, thanks bro! You’re a good voice in my head.

We make a pretty sweet team! Your son, despite his illness, has reached the age where most boys begin their education. I suggest you take him in your own hand; his education will guide him in his life, and he will take over your dynasty upon you death, should he survive.

He’ll survive.

I’m sure he will, Kor. However, there are two things you should be aware of. First, the Abbasid Caliph has reunited much of his fractured land, and is offering his daughter to Yahya in search of an alliance. This is great news! A marriage between the two dynasties would increase your power immensely!

Let’s do it!

Good choice, Koriaur.

What was the second thing?

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Sultan Ahmad Tulunid has imprisoned his wife as a spy, and launched an invasion into lands held by the Islid, to our west.

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He has asked that you raise your levies and join him in this war.

Honour demands I acquiesce.

Koriaur marches out with a thousand men to join his Sultan in war. Quick progress is made, right up until meeting the Islid Sultan directly in battle.

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My everything hurts!

That is a perfectly natural response to being stabbed, clubbed, smashed and trampled. You should avoid that in the future.

I agree. But I must press on! I am no weakling child, mewling at a few cuts and bruises! I am of the blood of Kalmen!

Just don’t get killed out there!

No danger of that. The Islid have surrendered, and Ahmad Tulunid has expanded his holdings to the west.

This could be problematic. Ahmad is gaining power and prestige while you wait for your moment to strike. The longer you wait, the more difficult it will be to fight him.

It also means more power for me when I defeat him and take his lands!

There is that, yes. Good thinking, Kor!

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Good work, Samira!

Good work indeed! The Dynasty can breathe much easier now that you have a second son. Not to be outdone, Sacira, your youngest and newest wife, has also given you a son!

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Dynasty secure! Good work, Koriaur!

NEXT TIME: The Family Tree

 
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Posted by on August 10, 2013 in CK II, Snarkangel Plays (The Tags)

 

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Dar al-Islam, Part One: The House of Islam

So let’s see who we’re playing as.

Where's all his family?

Yo!

Yes, hi. You would be Koriaur Kalmen, Emir of Alexandria. I’m Snarkangel, nice to meet you.

Yes indeed.

I can’t help but notice you aren’t married. That needs to be changed.

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I do?

Yes.

Sure, why not?

Really? No argumentation? Not insane ‘I DO WHAT I WANT BITCH’ proclamations?

Why would I say something so horrible?

Sorry, I’m just paranoid. Been playing too much Game of Thrones lately. You’re certainly no Joffrey.

Who?

It’s best you don’t ask. Let’s look at the world and our place in it. We need to know what surrounds us before we try to conquer it.

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Here’s the eastern Mediterranean. The Abbasid Dynasty controls the Levantine Coast and Mesopotamia. The Byzantine Empire is quite possibly the première empire in the world right now, but they are in the middle of a long, slow decline. The Tulunid Dynasty controls Egypt – and since we are Alexandria, that makes them our lords.

But this will change.

That sounds suspiciously sinister…

What are you talking about? Ambition is a good thing! But first, find a wife!

Well, there is this one woman…

Go on.

She likes poetry.

Is… Is that it?

She’s a Grey Eminence and Regent for the Emirate neighbouring ours.

Why haven’t you already married her?

Uh…

Well?

Well… I never asked? I’m nervous, okay?

Seriously? You’re Emir of Alexandria, and asking a woman’s hand in marriage stops you cold.

Lady bits scare me.

You’re afraid of vagina? Get over yourself. Ask that woman out! What’s her name?

Badiat

Well, go get her, tiger!

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There, was that so hard?

YES

Oh, come off it. You did great! And look, Ahmad Tulunid, your Sultan, wants to make you Grand Vizier of Egypt!

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See what happens when you assert yourself? The whole world falls into place!

Thanks, creepy voice in my head!

No problem, Koriaur. We’ll make a good team. Together, we’ll take over America!

Ameriwhat?

Never mind. Besides, you won’t even be alive by then. That’s not for another seven hundred years. In the meantime, don’t let your ambition falter just because you’re Grand Vizier! You’re going to need more than a fancy title and some minor responsibilities if your going to fulfil my plans! I suggest having children, and gaining more power here in Egypt. The Tulunid’s are decadent, weak like overripe fruit, rotting from within. It’s your job to become Sultan!

I like the sound of that!

I knew you would! It seems others like the idea too. Sheikh Yahya of Benghazi has formed a coalition of independence-seekers, and has since been joined by the Sheikh Milad of Cyrenaica . As of now, they are not hostile, but their peaceful negotiations with Sultan Ahmad may fall apart. If you were to join this faction, it would be a huge boon to the movement, and a huge detriment to Ahmad’s legitimacy. However, I doubt we are strong enough to challenge the Sultan so soon. It may be best to let this faction fester in Ahmad’s side, and see what happens.

I thought you wanted more proactivity?

Well, yes. But there is a time and a place.

So I guess making Glitterhoof into my Grand Vizier was a bad idea?

I’m sorry, what?

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Um. WHAT.

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I sure know how to pick ’em… Still, he’s no Joffrey.

Seriously, who is Joffrey?

Don’t worry about it. The Benghazian Independence has been crushed. Good thing we weren’t on their side!

I didn’t even notice they’d risen!

Me neither. In other news, the Shia schismatics are gaining traction in the eastern deserts of Arabia.

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I can see this causing strife for many centuries to come.

BURN THE HERETICS!

That’s a little harsh, don’t you think?

You wanted me to be a go-getter. So I’m going to go get some wood to burn the Shia with.

Hoo-boy!

NEXT TIME: More Wives, Some Kids, Some War

 
 

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You Should Also Read This

Are we ‘getting’ Islam?

 
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Posted by on May 7, 2013 in Politics, Religion

 

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