Thursday, May 31, 2012

Inspiration: Rían of Bëor and Simbelmynë

Simbelmynë, translated as Evermind, is a beautiful white flower that grows in any season on graves and tombs. Gandalf once said about it:
"How fair are the bright eyes in the grass! Evermind they are called, simbelmynë in this land of Men, for they blossom in all the seasons of the year, and grow where dead men rest."

Gandalf, The Two Towers III 6 The King of the Golden Hall

Who knows if they are not tears of poor Rían, great-grandmother of Elrond Half-elven. She was born into House of Bëor in F.A. 450 and was known to everyone for having gentle heart. She loved neither hunting nor war, her love was given to trees and to the flowers in the wild, and she was a singer and maker of songs. When she was just 5 years old, she fled before the Battle of Sudden Flame with other women and children to safety. Six years later, her beloved father died.

When she was 20 years old, she married Huor of the House of Marach (and a brother of Húrin). Three years later, when Rían was expecting their firstborn son, poor Huor was slain by a poison arrow in the fifth battle against Morgoth, Battle of Unnumbered Tears. Rían, struck by grief, gave birth to Tuor and entrusted him to Sindar (Grey-elves) of Mithrim for fosterage. She went to Haudh-en-Nirnaeth (Hill of Tears) to seek tidings of her husband. All she found were thousands of dead bodies and weapons of soldiers who died alongside Huor, never seeing his own body. On this moment she pined away, laid down on the mound and died of grief at the age of 23.

This lore inspiration is a very sad one. It was a pure chance that I chose it - I read about simbelmynë in connection to this year's spring festival. Then I wanted to read something more about various characters of Silmarillion, seeking inspiration for my next outfit, and the first name I picked up on wiki was Rían. The strong coincidence shocked me - as well as very difficult life of Elrond's great-grandmother. In the story, she was just as old as I am now when she died, having endured so much in her short life.

I'd like this outfit to be my tribute to her, picturing her in her happy years, let's say just before marrying Huor, still being a joyful maiden and enjoying the most beautiful part of her life. The beautiful flowers she loved and wore gracefully on her dress later became symbol of remembering fallen heroes of all battles. Let us remember her as well.

Please let me know what do you think about the outfit in comments, or simply rate below the post's title.

Chest: Simbelmynë Dress, gold dye (Spring festival)
Head: Hat of Deep Lore, white dye (Moria level 60 lore-master purple set; shares appearance with minstrel's and rune-keeper's Moria pieces)
Back: Cloak of the Northern Lights, gold dye (Store)


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Guest: Keeper of the Forgotten Fortress by Thoargile


Somewhere in the cold Misty Mountains, to the north of Rivendell, stands an ancient fortress. It has been standing there for many human lifetimes, covered by ice and snow. Some say that elves built it in the time of constant wars with goblins, but after that it has been left and forgotten. The only inhabitants here are two dwarfs and an elf-scout. From fortress' tall walls he oversees surrounding icy fields, looking for any sign of Enemy's presence. And if he'll find one... he'll send a message to Rivendell with a dove, and will carry out his duty - to the end. Because he is the Keeper of the Forgotten Fortress.

Thoargile has already created two amazing lore-inspired outfits, and now I proudly present you third one. It's my fault it hasn't been published earlier, because it took me a very long time to sort out my e-mails after the big blogging break and I'm just slowly discovering precious guest submissions in my mailbox. Enjoy it, as I have! :)

Please let us know what do you think about the outfit in comments, or simly rate below the post's title :)

Chest: Golden Host Coat, white dye (T6 crafted)
Legs: Leggings of the Brazen Call, white dye (Moria level 60 captain teal set; also available as champion and guardian set parts with very small differences in looks) 
Shoulders: Vibrant Assault Pauldrons of Théodred, white dye (T7 crafted)
Hands: Tawarwaith Gloves of Power, white dye (T6 crafted)
Feet: August Vibrant Boots of the Golden Wood, white dye (T6 crafted)
Back: Cloak of the Dreamflower, white dye (Quest: Vol. II, Book 7, Chapter 9: The Worries of Lord Celeborn)

Sunday, May 27, 2012


Freyjuska, an experienced hunter of Fallohides, has never been a very feminine hobbit. She wore her jacket and pants since she'd first left her parents' hobbit hole, changing only for similar and better suited equivalents for different battle situations. However, she grew tired of fighting and decided to take a vacation for some time, to visit her favourite places in the Middle-earth and enjoy them, without piercing enemy heads this time.

She took out her most beautiful and prized pony Amarië, given to her by the Galladhrim, and rode her across all the beautiful meadows. From the Delving Fields to Heathfells, they both just breathed in the wonderful smell of flowers and trees and for a while lived for the atmosphere.

Sometimes they took a break, so that Freyjuska could pick up flowers - and of course, Frey wouldn't be a hobbit, if they didn't stop for a fine mug of ale from time to time :) Nothing could match her favourite beer from the Bird and the Baby Inn, so she got one right after they'd returned back home. "Traveling is great, and so is a bit of rest. But nothing can match seeing home and knowing I'm ready to fight some more battles very soon!" Freyjuska told her friends and had another sip.

I gotta say I adore the new spring festival cosmetics. The person who designed them should get a bonus, or at least a pie from all hobbits of Middle-earth :) When I saw the brimmed hat in Hymne's spring cosmetics preview, I immediately fell in love with it and knew I gotta use it for Freyjuska. It's so cute and unusual - although almost everyone seems to be wearing it right now :)

I saw the hat and the cloak stand out beautifully in many colours - rose and purple are perfect match, sea or Evendim blue really make the pattern stand out. However, when I tried olive dye on them, it really clicked to me - although I'm not a big fan of greens. It seemed so cheerful and gentle at the same time! This outfit became Freyjuska's historically first feminine attire ever, and think it will last her through many seasons, not just spring :)

Please let me know what do you think about the outfit in comments, or simly rate below the post's title :)

Chest: Elegant Dress, olive dye (Store)
Head: Wide-brimmed Spring Hat, olive dye (Spring festival) 
Back: Simbelmynë Cloak, olive dye (Spring festiva) 
Hand: Giant Flower (Spring festival gift boxes, now it's not bound in contrast to last years' festival)

Mount: Steed of the Galladhrim (Galladhrim reputation mount)

./spin (Grey Company vendor)
./dance_hobbit (Festival dances)
./mountrearup (Store)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Guest: Fazlee of Landroval

Do you know the feeling when you catch a glimpse of motion above your head or behind you, but when you look around, there's nothing? I'd say it was just an illusion... if I didn't know Fazlee. He is always vicious, concealed, almost stealthy. But this guy is not a burglar - he's a champion of Middle-Earth, watching over your safety and a chance to beat up some enemies. So fear not - there's always someone guarding your safe passages.

Another unique and exotic outfit by Fazlee - I'm impressed by the combinations nobody except him has tried before. He's combining very different styles into a matching and role-play fitting outfits. Well done!

Chest: Disused Robe of the Dunland Soothsayer, white dye (Dunland quest)
Legs: Lesser Secret of the West Leggings, white dye (Ost Dunhoth burglar level 65 set)
Head: Lesser Arrow of the West Helmet, umber dye (Ost Dunhoth hunter level 65 set)
Shoulders: Noriel's Folly, umber dye (Great River quest)
Hands: Vibrant Calenard Battle Gauntlets, umber dye (T7 crafted)
Feet: Rusted Boots of the Dunland Berserker, grey dye (Dunland quest)
Back: Fancy Quiver, umber dye (Trestlebridge outfitter)


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Home, sweet home

Sidgrid is still a very young elf, only a few hundred years old. As one of scarce elven youth, she is a little bit spoiled - however, she works very hard in her studies in order to please her family and satisfy her hunger for knowledge. She is the best rune-keeping apprentice dwarves of the Blue Mountain have seen in recent years and enjoys time spent in snowy land with her friends and teachers. Nevertheless, when she returns home to Duillond for holiday, her heart fills with joy.

Here we caught her setting off for a morning walk with her dear companion, rare Perlino horse named Buttercup by her dwarven gal friend in Thorin's Hall. There are just a few things more beautiful in the Middle-earth than Ered Luin in sunrise and Sidgrid, along with Buttercup, can never get enough of it. It's even worth to wake up early, and that's a lot for our spoiled little girl :)

...and when the sun goes down again, Sidgrid gets back to practice - for the runes are not only tools for her, but also company in which she can reflect upon the day she's spent roaming the flowerbeds of her homeland. Time when she has to go back to school at Thorin's Hall is still far away, so she can enjoy all the delights of Duillond and not think about anything else. What a peaceful holiday :)

A few days ago I tweeted happily that I won a Perlino Steed in @CraZyMuffinIPC's giveaway. I was excited because as an European who spend all her luck in lotteries last year, I had no hopes I could get my hands on this mount. I also promised I'd make a matching outfit, so here it comes, as the final outfit for Galloping Gala celebration. This wonderful event ends today and it was a great fun to concentrate on mount matching outfits all time long - they provide a great inspiration for any outfit fan.

Back to the Perlino Steed - I felt a little like when I had been searching for matching outfits for the Steed of the Rune-keeper (1, 2) back then - I simply couldn't find matching pieces for the lighter shade of blue on horse's blanket. I didn't want to match darker shade of blue, because the steed seems optimistic to me and dull navy wouldn't do it good justice. I also experimented with bright red the horse carries as gems, but on the outfit it was very disturbing. So I settled down with complimentary shade of Evendim blue.

I didn't want the outfit to be gloomy or monotonous, so Fine Shirt and Trousers came very handy - the shirt & pants combo is very lively decorated. It might create impression of unbalance when dyed in bright colours, but I think in blue it serves well. I chose the cloak to match white patterns on the sleeves and common light shoulders from Skirmish camp to bind with the shirt's warm-coloured hem. I'm quite happy about this outfit, considering how easily it can be assembled.

Edit: I realized Helegrod level 65 armour pieces would match the steed nicely with undyable blue parts. However, I couldn't use them because I only have the ugly hunter set and am out of basically any skirmish currency except for marks :(

Please let me know what do you think about the outfit in comments, or simly rate below the post's title :)

Chest and legs: Fine Shirt and Trousers, Evendim blue dye (Bree outfitter)
Head: White Rose Circlet, default dye (Spring festival)
Shoulders: Esquire’s Light Shoulders of Eruilan, Evendim blue dye (Skirmish light armour barter)
Back: Elf-lord’s Cloak, Evendim blue dye (Store)

Mount: Perlino Steed (PAX East 2012 giveaway, lotteries)

./dowse (Treasure Hunt event)

Monday, May 14, 2012

Captain of the Greenway Garrison

In the days of Elendil and his descendents, the North Road ran from Fornost down through Andrath until it became the South Road at Tharbad. From there it continued all the way to Minas Tirith in Gondor as the primary trade-route between the North and South Kingdoms. The wars with Angmar and Rhudaur that brought the North-kingdom to an end also caused trade between north and south to fail. 

Disused for a thousand years, particularly north of Bree, the Greenway is overgrown with grass and is little travelled except by refugees from the war-torn south. Brigands and ruffians lie in wait alongside the ancient highway waiting to prey on the weak and unguarded. Few now dare the treacherous wilds through which the Road runs.

It's been no secret that criminality has been rising over centuries along the Greenway. With recent years' increase of traffic, caused by warriors and merchants passing north-east towards Rhovanion, the situation has become even worse. The veterans of old battles, seeking to find their purpose when they no longer had strength to fight the armies of Sauron, came up with an initiative very well accepted by Bree-land and North-downs authorities.

They will guard the Greenway, riding along and searching for ruffians, thieves and murderers, protecting everyone trying to pass along the lands the Greenway runs through. It will no longer be dangerous to roam the beautiful fields, because brigands will run or hide on simple sight of the dangerously looking guards. So was the Greenway Garrison formed, with Maney as its captain, to protect the innocent and unleash their rage on all thugs causing trouble.

Since today's Update 7 release, we are able to purchase Rift cosmetic armour in the skirmish camp. After about 4 years since Rift offered the top gear, these armour sets are still some of the most beautiful items available ingame. Of course, I ran to the first skirmish camp to spend my last medallions on what I consider the best plated armour available ingame - the pieces of North Star set.

Playing around with the combinations, I realized I could make it a mount matching outfit. I wanted to make both Rift based outfit and matching outfit for the Reveller's Gilded steed, but in both cases I wanted to avoid superficial combinations of pieces which obviously go together well, but everybody would use them the same way.

So I ended up with combination of silver plate to match white parts of horse's harness, gold dye to match golden gilding and a shade of reddish pink on the cloak to match pink parts of mount's blanket. I think it lets both the horse and the armour shine in their own way.

Check also other outfits I made & guest submissions using Rift cosmetics!
Guest: Lookdyss of Snowbourn (dwarf guardian)
Guarding home (hobbit guardian)
Doom Hunter (dwarf hunter)
Guest: Vindrayeth of Snowbourn (elf hunter)
Guest: Dwalfor of Snowbourn (dwarf guardian)

Please let me know what do you think about the outfit in comments, or simly rate below the post's title :)

Chest: Carn Dûm Breastplate, gold dye (Drop from Carn Dûm)
Legs: Ceremonial Leggings of the North Star, gold/default dye (Skirmish cosmetic barter - Rift heavy)
Head: Strong Westfold War Helmet, white dye (T7 crafted)
Shoulders: Ceremonial Shoulders of the North Star, gold/default dye (Skirmish cosmetic barter - Rift heavy)
Hands: Ceremonial Gloves of the North Star, gold/default dye (Skirmish cosmetic barter - Rift heavy)
Feet: Boots of the Brazen Call, gold dye (Moria level 60 captain teal set)
Back: Pendevig-clog, red dye (Drop from Skûmfil)Mount: Reveller's Gilded Steed (Store exclusive, limited offer until May 24th)

./mountrearup (Store exclusive)

Friday, May 11, 2012

Watchman of the Brandywine Bridge

"I can't believe it!" Wasabito yelled in joy when he heard the news. He's spent many years helping the Wardens of Annúminas encamped in Tinnudir. Being the only hobbit, hence small-folk in the squad, he was gathering intelligence about the tomb robbers and Angmarim movements, intercepted some of them and thus helped saving many lives, even the Rangers' ones. For this honourable service, he was given his own Steed of the Dusk-watch by the Wardens and was officially pronounced the Watchman of the Brandywine Bridge. Can there be a bigger honour for a hobbit patriot, born in Buckland, who used to look up to the Bridge's watchmen with admiration since he was a little lad?

For you, coming from far away and not understanding the honour within this duty, let us read from the ancient parchments:
"The Bridge of Stonebows, as the Brandywine Bridge was once called, was built originally by the Men of Arnor as a causeway across the Baranduin River on the Great East Road. When the founders of the Shire were granted their land by the king of Arthedain, the price was simple: to maintain and care for the Bridge so that travel into the West would never be impeded. The hobbits of the Shire performed their duty, even long after the North-kingdom failed, and maintained the great stone bridge, denying none passage, man, elf, or dwarf. Though the river's name was changed to the Brandywine and the bridge itself became "the Brandywine Bridge", the hobbits of the Shire continue to care for and keep watch on the Bridge."

From now on, Wasabito is responsible for guarding the Bridge and overseeing the maintanance. He will only let the righteous pass. He will guide the lost children back to their mothers and lost merchants to their destinations. From time to time, he will have a good beer or two with his good friend Gundering Grubb, but he will never drop his guard. There's this weird feeling in the bones that his warding skills might be once needed even in these peaceful lands...

I'll be quite honest - I don't like the Steed of the Dusk-watch. For me, it has weird, boring colour scheme and it lacks the personality of Nuts :) However, what I really like about it are the glittering bronze-like parts of its harness, so I wanted to make those the main matching element of this outfit.

Most of outfits matching this steed work with the Wardens star, which is very fitting, as the mount was originally meant to be second reputation reward mount for Wardens of Annúminas fraction. However, I wanted to be different, so I incorporated just a little star detail on gauntlets. Otherwise I left the stars for the pony to bear :) I tried to match all the shades of blue blanket as far as I could, so it came handy that the pieces I chose dyed navy in various intensity.

Please let me know what do you think about the outfit in comments, or simly rate below the post's title :)

Chest: Ceremonial Spear-shaker's Jacket, navy dye (Skirmish cosmetic vendor - Helegrod medium)
Legs: Leggings of the Great Bow, navy dye (Moria level 60 hunter teal set; I used this because I didn't have warden's Leggings of the Hall-warden, which would fit the outfit better)
Head: Extravagant Festival Cap, navy dye (Yule festival)
Shoulders: Ceremonial Spear-shaker's Shoulders, navy dye (Skirmish cosmetic vendor - Helegrod medium)
Hands: Worn Ranger's Gauntlets, navy dye (Quest: Volume III, Book 5, Chapter 1: Separate Ways)
Back: Summer Travelling Cloak, navy dye (Summer festival)
Mount: Steed of the Dusk-watch (also called Warden's Steed; Anniversary event)

./toast (Anniversary event)
./mountrearup (Store exclusive)

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Reveller's Gilded cosmetics - my preciousss!


When I learned there were store exclusive versions of 5th Anniversary gift boxes cosmetics, I had to buy them. Right now. I missed the ones given to 4th year players, because I registered 2 weeks later than the eligibility date (you can imagine my disappointment when I found out). So now I had to make myself happy with the most beautiful LOTRO dress ever, and an account-wide steed! Yay!

Edits: After publishing this post, I've received numerous requests for previews on different races, genders and in different dyes. Unfortunately, dressing room preview of this items is broken at the moment. It took me a while but I've added all the previews to this post. Enjoy!

Note: Dyes on woman's preview are: red, white, turquoise, orange, black and pink (below). All other previews were taken in default dye (crimson).

Click the picture to enlarge.


Reveller's Gilded Party Dress

As you can see, the dress has really beautiful shiny textures in most of the dyes. I was surprised that in black, it becomes pretty dull compared to other dyed variations, but it's still very pretty.

Reveller's Gilded Tunic & Trousers

Unfortunately, the Tunic doesn't glitter the same way. Quite frankly, it's pretty boring, so I guess the dress will be much more used than the tunic.

Reveller's Gilded Cloak

And finally, the cloak - it's unusual appearance and dyability will surely make it frequently used cosmetic in the near future. It shares the matt textures of the tunic & trousers.

I also added preview in rose per request on the forums:


Elf maiden

Elf sire

Hobbit lass

Hobbit lad


I will surely make outfits matching the mount in future, as well as outfits using Reveller's Gilded cosmetics. I just need a right inspiration for nice combination, not only putting all the pieces together and calling it an outfit :) However, even such straightforward combination will surely yield a lot of admiring looks to anyone wearing the cosmetics.

A tale of acorns and nuts

When Accornia and her fellow pony Nuts set off for their journey, it seemed that despite his name, Nuts was actually the sane part of the duo. "You're totally nuts," he told to his young mistress (he could, because she had a rare gift of understanding the animals). "We can't go to Forochel! Not alone! I know I've been born there, but when your uncle brought me to Hobbiton, we had traveled with a lot of other hobbits and dwarves!"

Accornia stayed firm. "I am a guardian, I will protect you. You worry too much, Nuts!" she smiled. That almost drew Nuts totally nuts: "I'm not going anywhere! The monsters roaming all the way through Evendim and Forochel are dangerous, they would surely eat us in a bite!" But all his reasoning was useless. Accornia stood with her arms akimbo and uttered: "Ok, I'm going alone then!"

Of course, Nuts couldn't let her go. They were equally old, sixteen, but while a pony is already experienced and wise at that age, a hobbit is still just a kid. So they traveled together through Shire first, passed Oatbarton, Dwalling and dangers of Men Erain, until they finally entered Forochel. They hadn't met a single evil beast, except for one angry squirrel enraged by their presence. "What a relief," Nuts thought just before they met his family and Accornia's distant relatives. "We haven't been devoured after all!"

I don't think I have ever considered using crafted medium armour from the Lossoth before, because of the dull undyable navy parts. Exactly the same parts I now knew I gotta use to match the Steed of the Forochel! I think it's pretty difficult to build a matching outfit around, because its fur is deep black on the bottom and blueish-grey under the blanket. On top of that, the blanket itself is rust and Evendim blue... hardcore combination, for everyone besides the Lossoth themselves :)

This outfit is not aiming to be pretty, but rather promotes usability and tries to fit the environment. I'm happy I won the Forochel pony on a hobbit, because hobbit girls are the best models for fluffy Forochel cloaks, which make them look totally adorable. And when I was going through the screenshots I took and saw the topmost one, I immediately had the story of acorns and nuts in my mind :))

Please let me know what do you think about the outfit in comments, or simly rate below the post's title :)

Chest: Burnished Dunlending Chestpiece, black dye (Dunland quest)
Shoulders: Leijona Shoulder Guards, black dye (T5 crafted)
Hands: Leijona Gloves, black dye (T5 crafted)
Feet: Leijona Gloves, black dye (T5 crafted)
Back: Cloak of Mammutti, navy dye (Lossoth reputation barter)

Mount: Steed of Forochel (Anniversary event)


Note: The night/late watches screenshots were brightened and saturated to achieve the same colour palette as the daylight screenshots.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Song for the willow

For over two thousand years, a woman of noble origin has been coming to lake Nenuial every year in early summer. She has always been dressed in bright noble colours of the times long gone, bearing crown of old men nobility. As she reached Men Erain, the Way of Kings, she started a fire under an old willow and sang to it, from sunset 'till sunrise. With the first beams of sunlight in the morning she left, occasionally followed by curious treasure hunters, but always disappearing until the next year.

Passing from mother to daughter, this tradition has been kept since the fall of Arnor in T.A. 861. Annúminas was once pride of Arnor, where the noblest of the nobility resided, ruled and bore children. King Eärendur's sons divided the Kingdom, not being able to settle their arguments aside, despite weeping and pleas of their sisters. Although they stayed away from politics and wars of their father and brothers, Eärendur's daughters valued their ancestry very deeply. They managed to prevent Annúminas from being deserted and forgotten until present.

"The city has never been abandoned," Amarilwen said to a curious treasure hunter, whom she was telling this story by a fire in Tinnudir. "For more than two thousand years, my mother, grandmother and generations before them came to sing to the old city and the willows, which too never abandoned Annúminas. We have been watching thieves, grave robbers and enemies invading our long lost home, never surrendering hope that we will once return. And we will, I know that." Amarilwen finished, looking into the fire and then over the water to the Great City's ruins, and a smile settled on her face.

The Steed of the Bright Days looks like it was made to run along the shores of lake Nenuial and roam the ruins of Annúminas. Its brightly coloured blanket shines with colours typical for Annúminas armour. These sets, even after years since they were top armour available, still remain some of most beautiful clothing available in LOTRO.

In this outfit, I wanted to match both the beautiful blanket and the chocolate brown horse itself - I love rich browns and they ground and balance the bunt scheme of the blanket very nicely. I combined pieces from light and medium Annúminas sets with one of the simplest elven shirts, which shares the shade of green with Annu pieces. Bright Anniversary cloak and Circlet of Men as sign of nobility completed the outfit, and I think this is going to be Amarilwen's signature outfit from now on :)

Please let me know what do you think about the outfit in comments, or simly rate below the post's title :)

Chest: Elven Cloth Jacket, sea blue dye (Rivendell light armoursmith)
Legs: Ceremonial Nenuial’s Leggings, sea blue dye (Skirmish cosmetics barter) 
Head: Circlet of Men, default dye (Anniversary gift-box reward)
Shoulders: Ceremonial Nenuial’s Shoulders, sea blue dye (Skirmish cosmetics barter)
Hands: Ceremonial Nenuial’s Gauntlets, sea blue dye (Skirmish cosmetics barter)
Feet: Ceremonial Boots of the Seven Stars, yellow dye (Skirmish cosmetics barter)
Back: Cloak of the Shining Star, sea blue dye (Anniversary barter reward)

Mount: Steed of the Bright Days (Store exclusive)


Monday, May 7, 2012

First Mounted Fashion Contest knows the winners!


Disclaimer: LOTRO Fashion is celebrating Galloping Gala and through the whole event, we bring you news and special mounted outfits for the occasion! You can browse through LOTRO Fashion's mounted outfits here.

As I've informed recently, a part of Galloping Gala event was also the Mounted Fashion Contest. It took part yesterday on Landroval and Kiralynn of Windy Acres Ranch posted a report today! The participants were judged by the audience, so I hereby present the rightful winners!

1st place: Faraleif of Landroval

2nd place: Kaleigh of Landroval

3rd place: Irmohir of Landroval

I'd like to congratulate the winners, but also all participants of this exceptional event, because all of the outfits were distinguishable and well put together! I would also like to thank Kiralynn for organizing this event and his great effort during the event.

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