Tales From Darkmoon Vale

The Walled City of Olfden

Liliandil, Brantus and Abraham ride hard through the stretch of forest before reaching the open farmland an hour before Olfden. This leg of the journey, through the forest, still took several hours. They rode strong with only a few stops to water and rest the horses. Leon ran along side, in and out of the treeline. It was a test to the health and endurance of the animals, but they proved worthy.

It was late afternoon as the trio strolled down the road finishing the last dozen miles through farmland and tiny villages that surrounds the city. Several farmers recognized Liliandil and offered greetings and a cheerful wave, while most of the poor peasants toiled away in the fields.

An hour before dusk, the pathfinders saw their destination in the near distance. The city of Olfden perches on a low cliff at the edge of the rise, where the gradual decline of the rocky shelf gives way to a sudden drop. (see image attached)

A massive sign carved onto stained darkwood is set into a stone wall several hundred yards away from the main gates of the city. Brantus and Liliandil familiar with it ride past, but Abraham, new to the city, stops his horse for a moment to read it.

All manner of wondrous and frightening creatures live in Darkmoon Vale, but visitors need not fear such foul beasts while within sight of city walls. Between the brave Eagle Knights of the Diamond Regiment and the dedicated woodsmen of the Fangwatch, there is enough security throughout the vale to keep its most dangerous denizens at bay. Except on nights of the full moon, that is. Those nights, even the Diamond Regiment acquiesces control to the werewolves. Those nights, no one and nothing can keep you safe.

Luna Aldred, First Citizen of Olfden.

Liliandil looks back to Abraham and sees the look of uneasiness. “It is okay Abraham. That sign has been there since before my birth. It is more of a landmark… a monument to those who fought and fell during the Night of the Silver Blood.” (Knowledge Local check or you can ask Brantus or Liliandil more about it)

The gates are open and the watchmen wave and sound the welcomer’s tune loud from their trumpets. The entire city is alerted that persons of importance have entered the city.

It is not long before a crowd has formed around the three, cheering the arrival of the heroes. Leon gets a few concerning looks, but then is accepted by the townfolk. Not far into the city, they reach the surrounding walls of an inner keep (see map). Here the the nobility and government officials of the city reside. Including the Aldred mansion.

(to speed things along)

Within the hour, Liliandil, Abraham and Brantus sit before a welcoming fire in a large estate room within the Aldred keep. They are accompanied by Luna Aldred (Liliandil’s mother) and Hilde and Rojan, Brantus’ wife and son, who arrive shortly. Brantus shares the gifts that he had made for them in Falcon’s Hallow. Leon is given a honorary spot in the room next to the fire. Over the next hour, the Oracle tells her mother and several other members of court, about the success of their last several weeks. The rescue of the children and the defeat of Merlokrep, the Kobold King. The girl also shares her discovery of an expansive slave trade being perpertrated within the Vale. She advises of Eutropia, the Grand Duchess of Taldor, being rescued, and the success their group has had in thwarting her sale. Along with Ren, Deetish and others.

Liliandil also shares information about Nyllbryn, Jaeshar, Fortunado and Azure. The other officials show empathy towards Azure, a fellow political figure in Olfden, and his possible demise.

Luna and the other officials are shocked at the news of a slave trade operating within Andoran, a nation that has band slaves during the birth of the nation. Freedom and Justice is promoted within the nation. They vow to protect Eutropia and send word to her father of her rescue and well being.

Next, Liliandil tells her mother about Pippa, and her arrest. A messenger is dispatched to Judge Emberth, inquiring about the rogue. It has not been confirmed that she is being held in the courthouse.

Luna and the other officials tell about the unrest in the north end. The towns people are near rioting. The Beast of Lepidstat has been captured and is currently being held in the courthouse dungeons. It will be tried for multiple counts of murder. The people want the creature executed and have already begun the construction of “A Punishing Man” (Knowledge Local check).

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Night March to Olfden

Captain Alaric holds up his hand halting the column. He squints at the sight of many of the circus freaks, then quickly composes himself. Leaning forward in his saddle and hails the barbarian.

“Good sir! Are you in need of assistance? Your caravan is camped in a peculiar place.” He waits for a reply, then continues.

“We march to Olfden tonight, and the lot of you are welcome to join us under our escort.”

(Joel’s reply)

Farther down the column, Margo rides next to Eutropia, surrounded by three rows of soldiers under her command. When the duchess looks her way, the female knight offers a nod and a forced smile. Sergeant Drassler appears very focused on her orders to protect the girl. The soldiers under her command act in a similar way.

Flicker tucks himself within the forearm of the girl, allowing her to steer her horse with her other. After an hour, Sergeant Drassler offers to help. “Would you like me to take your cat MiLady?”

Eutropia shakes her head at the offer. “It’s not my cat. Um… I mean… no thank you. He’s fine.”

“He’s a stray then?” Drassler followed up, trying to make conversation.

At this point, Nyllbryn rides back to the girl and his presence foils their conversation.

Within the next hour, the column is reunited with Jaeshar and the Crooked Kin.

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Back at the Harlot's Barrel

GameMaster

Before leaving the carnie camp, the group notices S’jeer sitting alone on her traveling parlor, mourning the loss of Aleece. She is grateful for the attempt to save the girl, but had foreseen the girl’s tragic fate. Abraham visits the “Seer’s” wagon asking for reading. The two enter her wagon and are gone for about 10 minutes. The druid still searches for his lost mother and attempts to leave no stone unturned. (Phil, I’ll post you in private if you wish)

Nyll accepts the magical longsword from Kaleb, and promises to put it to good use. The idea of naming the sword after Aleece is well received by Ettie and Poppy, the girl’s surviving sisters.

The group has decided to travel with Kaleb and his troupe to Olfden, and will rejoin the performers in the morning. The last leg of the journey, the road through the Artfell forest, should only take a day. The road is highly traveled and the threat of danger is low. At least during the day.

Upon arrival back at the Harlot’s Barrel, Fortunado, Eutropia and Pippa are please to see their friends return safely. They tell the others about the fate of Aleece and the battle with the giant spider.

Pippa and Eutropia have made friends with 6 soldiers of the Diamond Regiment who weren’t able to share too much information about the area, other than adding a few more details about the “Creature of Lipidstadt Castle.” The ladies have learned that the creature had plagued the area for over 20 years. Pippa, Brantus and Nyll, having lived in and around Olfden for much of their lives, have also heard about the creature. It was thought more to be a bedtime story than real. Something to scare children back into bed. But over the last few years, the creature had been sighted across the countryside, murdering innocent people, including children. Now… the city of Olfden claims to have captured the creature.

Everything the soldiers tell the group is common knowledge to anyone living in the area. For example, the monster is over 7 feet tall and has the strength of 10 men. The only information that is newly discovered, is that the creature is disfigured somehow. The soldiers didnt know any details and had all planned on traveling to Olfden to see the monster for themselves. In fact, hundreds of people across the countryside are flocking to Olfden to see the beast.

Nyll and the others move to private quarters to discuss the items found. Within a few minutes, there is a knock on the door. The barkeep and one of the stable boys enter your room. The young boy nervously stands next to the man.

“This is Oak. He’s one of two stable boys that work for me.” The barkeep explains. “Tell them what you told me.” He commands the young lad.

Oak looks towards the group. “I was approached by a tiny elf earlier today. Hours before you all arrived here. She wore a black patch over one eye.” The boy looked towards the barkeep for approval. Then he continued. “She asked me ato tell her when you arrive, and any information I could find out about. When you arrived… if you came from Falcon’s Hallow… Who was all in the group. I didnt know much, other than how nice everyone was to me. The tiny elf paid me 5 gold, and said she’d give me 2 more if I could find out where you were headed.” Oak bowed his head in shame and held out his hand. Inside was seven gold pieces. “I told her you were heading to Olfden tomorrow morning. That’s what she told me.” He motioned to Liliandil. “Im sorry and want to give the money back, but I haven’t see the elf since.”

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Pippa, Eutropia- Harlot's Barrel

GameMaster:

Pippa and Eutropia sit with several off duty soldiers of the Diamond Regiment. They laugh and enjoy each others company. The rogue learns that there has been an unusual amount of travelers headed towards Olfden. Rumors that the Creature of Castle Lepidstadt has finally been captured and awaits trial in Olfden. A few of the soldiers have requested reassignment to Olfden, for a chance to see the infamous creature. But they’re commanders denied their requests. They are needed to patrol the foothills after rumors of increased werewolf activity had been reported in the area. In fact, they had recently captured a werewolf posing as a traveling merchant several days ago. (you assume they are referencing the man hanging in the cage from the tree)

Fortunado returns back to the tavern within the hour and tells the two women and updates them on the search. The handsome cleric traveler joins the festivities hoping his comrades return safely.

The female elf watcher had not been seen since she was discovered

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Tracking of Aleece

GameMaster:

(a bit of a review first)

“This is Heinrick. Better known as the Trollman.” Kaleb introduces. “And over there is S’jeer, the Gypsy’s traveling parlor.” He points out an exotically decorated covered wagon. Several other carnival hired hands emerge from their tents to greet the newcomers.

The group arrives at the tent of the three acrobat sisters and are greeted by Littie, a girl in her late teens, and Poppy a tiny girl of about 10. Despite their age difference, both sisters possess a striking resemblance. The little one had been crying and wipes her tears as the pathfinders approach.

“This is where Aleece was last seen.” Kaleb tells the group.

The group stands towards the back edge of the cluster of tents and wagons. Beyond the camp, the night’s darkness hides the grassy foothills of the Darkmoon planes. In the vast distance, the Arthfell Forest.

(new post)

Abraham asks for a personal item from Aleece for Leon to obtain the girl’s sent. Littie offers a soft rag doll that her sister had had for years. “Aleece slept with this doll every night. We found it in her bed.” The girl hands the doll to Brantus.

It didnt take long for Leon to gather the girl’s sent. Almost as long as it took Flicker to discover one set of fresh tracks leading away from the tent.

Nyllbryn and Abraham study their animal’s find. They are definitely Aleece’s tracks. It appears the girl simply walked away from the camp alone. The tracks move down a slight hill into the darkness.

Abraham and Nyll both ask to meet S’jeer, the fortune teller. Kaleb nods and hurries off to fing the woman. In the mean time, Pippa (unless Mel decided to keep Pip back at the tavern… let me know) speaks with the two sisters. Littie claims that Aleece was acting normal that night before bed and that she couldnt think of anyone who would want to harm her. The three sisters have been performing with this troop for 5 years. Their mother was part of the act until she passed 2 years ago. They were never told who their father was. The Crooked Kin are now their family.

Nyllbryn quickly casts Detect Magic on the area (it was a good suggestion by Ivor), but nothing seems to harbor any magical aura. Their tent… inside and out… nothing magical. He does notice a faint magical glow coming from inside the windows of S’jeer’s wagon.

Brantus move to Heinrick, the slender giant. “If I may ask, where did you do your last few performances ? Did you have any trouble at any of them ? Maybe someone showed great interest in the girls ? Was there a rival troupe in the area who may be jealous or bear some sort of grudge ? Anything like that ?” The man looks around for Kaleb first, then leans down and quietly speaks with the dwarf. “We used to travel with Quinn’s Carnival, but Kaleb and Quinn… well, they had a falling out. Now we perform on our own and struggle to make a living.” He looks around again and sees Kaleb walking back to the group with S’jeer, the seer. “We have traveled across Adoran, having last performed with Quinn’s Carnival in Almas. Then we struck out on our own and went to Riverford, then Oregent, and plan on stopping at Olfden.” He says.

Kaleb brings S’jeer with him to meet the group. She is a human woman with long dark hair. She wears long silken clothes that gather at her wrists and ankles. She is darker complected and is probably a native of the lands south of the Inner Seas. (Mediterranean looking)

“Hello.” She greets all of you. “I am S’jeer, the Vudrani Princess. Thank you for coming to help us. How might I be of service?”

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The Crooked Kin

The group of carnival characters are put at ease after Abraham settles their concerns with Leon.

“We are quite distraught good sir.” The albino ringleader says to the druid. “One of our own has gone missing today and most people shun us, so asking for help usually falls upon deaf ears.”

The bearded woman slowly sits back down. “Aleece, one of our more popular performers went missing early this morning. Her two sisters, Littie and Poppy, woke only to find her missing from her cot. We are mere performers, not skilled in the arts of weaponry and need help looking for her. The lands around here are dangerous.” She tells the druid.

The tiny disfigured gnome speaks up next. “We dont have much money, but if you could help us, we’d be ever in your debt.”

“Hap!” The albino man snaps opening his eyes wide at the gnome.

“Im sorry Kaleb, but it’s Aleece we’re talking about. We need their help.” The gnome said refusing to be quiet.

The breaded woman, the gnome and the cloaked man sit quietly looking towards their leader hoping he would agree and ask the newcomers for help.

The albino takes a deep breath and looks back towards the druid’s friends, then sighs in frustration. Nodding to his friends, he motions for Abraham to follow him as he gathers his red top hat and walks back to the tables were everyone else sits.

The albino nervously fumbles with the brim of his had as he approaches the group.

“Excuse me. My name is Kaleb Hesse… and I apologize for disturbing everyone tonight, but… " He looks back at his three friends for support. The woman and the gnome quickly rush to his side as the cloaked man hesitates, then drops to the floor only to slither past Leon joining his friends. Kaleb clears his throat and continues. “As I was saying… I am Kaleb Hesse… ringleader to a traveling sideshow. We are humble performers in need of help. May we join you?”

(assuming the group says yes and to save a few days of posting)

Liliandil motions them to sit. “Of course you may, we are all friends here.”

The three smile hearing this and pull chairs up. The gnome motions to Lexi to have their drinks delivered to their new seats.

The albino sets his top hat on his knee and continues by introducing his friends. “This is Lidia Gerod (bearded woman), Hap Tarvin (disfigured gnome) and Prince Zar (the cloaked man who is actually a limbless lizardman). We are traveling performers. A sideshow attraction traveling with Quinn’s Carnival. Recently, we’ve taken to the road ourselves and have fallen on hard times.” He wipes his forehead nervously as his eyes begin to water. Lidia holds his hand for support. “We are missing one of our troop. Aleece… an acrobat. Her sisters discovered the girl missing this morning. It appears she had wondered away from our camp and we fear for her safety. She is just a child.”

“We dont have much money, but are in desperate need of help. Several of us want to mount a search party, but we are only performers, not swordsmen, and most have physical deformities making it difficult for these types of things… could you please help us?” Kaleb asks.

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The Harlot's Barrel

The group rides up to the small encampment. Brantus takes the horses into the stable and tips the stable boys. Liliandil, Nyll and Eutropia enter the Harlot’s Barrel. Two men, a bit tipsy, exit the tavern and give both ladies a long lustful glance. They move on harmlessly as Fortunado and the others approach.

(Jaeshar, Abraham and Pippa going inside?)

The tavern is packed with dozens of merchants and other unusual travelers. A few soldiers sit at the bar laughing and drinking. They appear off duty and are in Diamond Regiment uniforms, but out of armor.

The ladies find a large table and sit. Fortunado and Nyll join them. Seconds after, a barmaid stops by to take their orders.

“Hello, I’m Lexi. Welcome to the Harlot’s Barrel. We have all sorts of Ale brewed right here. Wheat, Oat, and Honey Ale. We also stock a variety of meats and meat stews. You name it, we probably have it.” She smiles.

(orders? questions? comments?

Across the room, several musicians play for the group. They sit on a small stage a foot off the ground.

An older man, possibly in his 60’s, works behind the bar, while several young serving girls work the room. Lexi appeared to be in her early 30’s.

Several of you notice a few patrons of interest. Seated several tables away is an albino man with red eyes. He is tall and thin with long white hair that hangs down his back. A tall red top hat rests on the floor next to his chair. His long red coat and striped trousers are well worn and in need of cleaning. He almost appears to be a ringleader to a carnival. Seated with him are two other men and a woman. The one man is thought to be a gnome, but after closer inspection, a disfigured human of miniature size. The second man appears very muscular and hides under a long hooded cloak. The woman is almost mistaken for a man due to her long beard. She wears men’s clothing to encourage this. The four are minding their own business, but are obviously upset and quietly argue among themselves.

The atmosphere inside the tavern is warm and everyone seems to be enjoying themselves.

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A Warnng to All

Brantus remains back with Liliandil and Eutropia, as the elf and barbarian move off the road and towards the large tree, Abraham steers his horse to follow them. Leo, who had been scouting the foothills around the group, runs in to join his druid companion.

From the road, everyone can see the giant tree. It’s leaves have almost all been lost from the nightly winds that blow across this open plain. Hanging about 5 feet off the group are two large steel cages. Each is secured individually by a long thick chain that is wrapped around one of the tree’s branches. They dangle less than ten feet apart.

Locked in one cage is the remains of a dead hobgoblin. Its arm has been torn from its body, and his lifeless form lays slumped against the cage. On the ground below the body, the dirt and leaves are stained with blood and fragments of flesh. Upon closer inspection, long slices of flesh have been neatly carved away from its legs.

The other cage has an emaciated human male who clings to life. He is mostly naked only wearing shredded rags. Dried blood coats his mouth, hands and chest. A wooden sign has been hammered into the ground a few feet away. It reads (in common):

A Warning to All

Hobgoblins and their lupin allies still pose a threat to Andoran.

Never forget The Night of the Silver Blood

The insignia of the Diamond Regiment is branded at the bottom.

The man struggles to open his eyes as you approach. He is dehydrated, dirty and on deaths door.

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The Morning Meeting with Kreed

GameMaster:

The group prepares to leave the ship and smiles as they hear the dire rats finding the remaining Kobolds within the walls. Their muffled screams conclude the long process of clearing the ship. (that still needs a name)

The three goblins hands are bound with rope, and when Brantus and Pippa check they notice that they are loose and the creatures can easily remove them. The Kobolds must have loosened them. They are quickly re-secured and locked back away.

Nia and Norvil decide to stay on the ship with Jaeshar, Pippa, Eutropia, Kibbo, Deet and the two mermaids.

The rest of the group leaves the ship across the gang plank, heads down the dock and into town. It is early morning and the sounds of the lower market have been heard for over an hour now. Several well wishers greet the group as they leave the docks.

The Lower Market is active this late autumn morning, as the town seems to have a renewed lease on life. The town square overflows with townsfolk shopping at the numerous stalls. The ground is thick with mud and several men can be seen waking from their night of drunkenness, but otherwise, the town is a buzz.

As the group enters the market area, the crowd begins to turn and applaud, along with some cheering and whistling. Hidden within the crowd, Nyllbryn notices a dark haired beauty wearing Varisian scarves. She is dressed in a white cotton blouse and a leather vest. Her purple scarf covers her head, while another decorates her waist over her belt. She stands deep within the crowd accompanied by a human male with similar features. A larger male half orc soon joins them both. He hands his friend a skewered critter freshly cooked that morning. The woman smirks at Nyll when the group walks past. “That’s a nice ship you found there.” She tells him. “You strolled out the north gate two weeks ago, only to return with a ship. Interesting.” She concludes with a look of exaggerated confusion, then gives a friendly smile. (perception knowledge local check, for more information)

The group walks past towards the town’s courthouse amid the cheers and applause of the crowd. Before entering the building, the group notices the gallows have been converted to a stage with ribbon and streamers. It appears ready for someone to make a speech.

Just then, Mykra and Kimmi rush out from the crowd and help cheer the group on. Kimmi looks for Jaeshar, but settles for Liliandil, and hugs her. Then, hugs the others in the group. A man, assumabley Mykra’s father, shakes everyone’s hand thanking them for the return of his son. He is one of the town’s butchers and offers free meat for as long as the group stays in the Hallow.

Kimmi says her mother, a seamstress in town, was also been invited to join the group for breakfast. The girl tells Liliandil that Thuldrin Kreed himself has commissioned her mother to make garments for all of them.

Magistrate Vamros Harg steps out of the Courthouse to greet the group. “Velcome my friends!” He boasts, only to be interrupted by the sounds of trumpets.

The crowd turns towards the noise and quiets. A group of men wearing the colors of the Lumbar Consortium walk into the square. They lead a man in his mid 50’s dressed in finner clothes into the Lower Market. It is Thuldrin Kreed himself.

Next to Thuldrin is a middle aged woman, wearing a blue dress and several pieces of jewelry. This must be his wife. Behind Thuldrin and his wife is Boss Payden. But the creature gaining the most attention is a huge 10 foot giant that walk behind the group of men. (Knowledge nature check) The creature rests a giant club with rusty spikes over his shoulder with one hand, while his other hand carries a giant burlap sack filled with something. The adventurers hear murmurs from the crowd that the creature is Edmor, one of Thuldrin’s bodyguards.

Kreed steps up onto the stage and raises his hands. The crowd remains silent, obviously fearful of the man. “Good morning friends! I am so happy to be here with you all this fine morning to celebrate the return of our children to Falcon’s Hallow. Not only was Jurin returned safe to me, but Kimmi Eavewalker, Mykra Jabbs, and Hollin Hebbradan were also brought home safely. And who do we have to thank for this? The daughter of Luna Aldred herself.” He opens his hands to Liliandil who smiles and gives a thankful wave to the crowd. The people begin to cheer and applaud again, only to be quieted a few seconds later when he continues. “We all have much to celebrate today. Not only have they returned out children, but they recovered the necessary ingredients to help those inflicted with the Black Scour Disease.” The crowd cheers again, then quiets. “We have suffered greatly over the past year. And the hardships that many of you have endured has not gone unnoticed. Therefore, in an effort to show our gratitude, the Lumbar Consortium will sponsor a Winter Carnival!” The crowd lets out a cheer of appreciation as Thuldrin exits the stage waving to the crowd. He, and his men, join the adventurers at the Courthouse.

“Come my friends… lets break bread together and discuss your adventure in private.” Thuldrin orders, failing to introduce his wife or even acknowledge Vamros Harg.

Inside, the hall has been fitted with several long tables made out of Darkwood. They are filled with freshly baked pastries, fruit and pitchers of wine. Several other guests are seated along one table. One of which is Kitani Eavewalker, Kimmi’s mother. She stands offering a smile as the guests enter.

Edmon, the giant, remains outside along with the other swordsmen, while Boss Payden, Thuldrin and his wife enter with the adventurers.

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The Dawn of a New Day

GameMaster:

Liliandil and Brantus wake early that morning to a renewed hope. The sick are awake and sitting up. Their fevers have broken and it appears they are recovering quickly. The antidote was a success! Liliandil invites Laurel and Abraham back to the ship for breakfast.

Returning to the ship, the group sees several townspeople leaving gifts on the dock by the ship. Everything from crafts, trinkets, flowers, and food. Word has obviously spread to the countryside that the town is no longer infected. Rows of fresh baked bread, baked meats and bottles of wine are being left for the adventurers.

A male halfling dressed in fine clothing approaches the dock. He carries a scroll case in his hand, and raises it in greeting to the cleric and her friends from the field hospital.

“Goot Morgin!” He calls to them. (lame German accent) “I am Vamros Harg, za town Magistrate. I vish to velcome you back to Falcon’s Hollow. I am afraid I missed za celebration last night, but I bring an invitation for all of you to join me later zis morgin for breakfast. Za town und za Lumbar Consortium, unza Thuldrin Creed vishes to reward you for your bravery und courage for bringing back za children und za cure for za zickness.”

He hands the scroll to Liliandil and gives a partial bow. “Za town hall is just beyond za gallows in za Lower Market. Shall we zay in von hour?”

She looks at the scroll. It is from Thuldrin Creed himself and reads as a formal thank you for returning Jurin, is son, home safely. It continues by extending an invitation for breakfast at the city hall. It also explains that the finest Tanner, Blacksmith, Seamstress, and Woodcarver had been summoned to join in the meal, and that their services would be complementary of the Lumbar Consortium. A gift.

Liliandil smiles and accepts the invite. “We’d be honored guests.” She tells him.


The group gathers on board the ship. Liliandil introduces everyone to Abraham. Laurel greets everyone again, having met them two weeks ago. Brigette had fixed hot coffee on the main deck and gathered much of the food left by the townspeople. The group begins discussing plans for the day.

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