Fiction Song of Deirdre

The Song of Deirdre – Chap. 31


Dragon Bridge


Once more I was riding on the back of a great dragon. A dream, I told myself. This has to be a dream. The dragon was Alduin, I was sure. We sailed over ice-clad peaks, the World Eater’s vast wings stretched out on either side of me, beating now and then, giving a rolling motion to our flight. Once, he turned his head to the side – to look back at me, I thought. If a dragon could grin, he was grinning.

I did not recognize the land below us. The peaks over which we flew could have been anywhere in Skyrim. On my right, I thought I saw the valleys of the Rift. On my left, a great, lone mountain stood out, smoke billowing from the gaping crater in its side. Then Alduin began to descend, and I saw a large Nordic ruin below us, cradled in steep mountains. How the Nords had managed to build it up here, I couldn’t imagine. We circled the ruin once. It was a network of blocky walls and arches climbing the cliffs, and everywhere columns with those stylized dragon heads at the top.

We landed on a wide terrace. Somehow I knew to climb down from the dragon’s back. But what would we do now? Fight? I backed away from him, and he turned his great body around to face me. We were just feet apart. Alduin’s orange eyes narrowed to slits as he regarded me.

“Dovahkiin, at last we meet,” he said in his gravelly, guttural voice. He even tipped his head slightly.

“This is not real,” I said. “It is only a dream.”

“Only a dream? You have much to learn of our Mundus, little child. There are many planes of existence and this place you call Nirn is but one of them. This dreaming is as real as what you call waking.”

“And what if I slay you in this dream?” I asked, readying a firebolt spell.

“That you could not, in any case, but here in this dream, as you call it, we can only talk, we cannot fight.”

I relaxed and let the fire die down. “Very well, what would you say to me, since I have nothing to say to you?”

“Only this: When I saw you at Helgen, I recognized something in you, though I did not know what it was. Perhaps that was my mistake, or perhaps you had not yet been revealed as Dragonborn. When you resisted my fire breath, I should have known. Then I made a second mistake when I underestimated you and sent Sahloknir against you, newly reborn as he was. And I have sent more of my dragon kin to fight you, yet you grow stronger.”

“So that I may one day defeat you,” I said. “And that day cannot come soon enough. You will not destroy the world while I live.”

He gave a low, rumbling chuckle. “Ah, you truly have the soul of a dragon, you boast so well,” he said. “But no one can defeat Alduin. The ancient Tongues could not defeat me, so they resorted to a trick. Now I am here and they are in Sovngarde. And neither can you defeat me.”

“Those Tongues were not Dragonborn, were they?” I asked. “But it is my fate to meet you in battle, if only you will show yourself to me in the waking world.”

“Yes, perhaps one day we will meet in battle. But I wonder, why must we fight? We are kindred after all, you and I. When I bring about the turning of the world, I can bring you with me. You have proven yourself worthy. You can be part of the new world’s creation, perhaps a queen of its new peoples.”

“And what will happen to the peoples of this world?” I asked.

“Ah, I see you have this thing humans call, compassion. But fear not. For them, the world will merely end, and they will know nothing more.”

“Yet I like this world as it is, with all its flaws.”

“And so you would seek to stop change. As well, try to stop the blowing of the wind or the rising of the moons.” He looked around at the temple in which we stood, at the weathered stone columns and fading carvings. “You would call this place ancient, crumbling and decrepit as it is. Yet the years from its building until now are just a blink of an eye compared to the ages of Mundus.”

He paused then, surveying the ruin, as if remembering all that had happened in this place over the eons. Then he turned back to me.

“Our Mundus is nothing but change, Dovahkiin, nothing but a great wheel constantly spinning. Birth and death, summer and winter, creation and destruction, it is all a cycle. You would call me evil for turning the wheel. I call you evil for seeking to stop it.”

“Enough philosophy. Akatosh, your father, sent me here to stop you, and I will play my role.”

He smiled. “Akatosh, yes. It is interesting that you call the Master of Time my father.”

“Forget Akatosh then. I would avenge two little children whom you orphaned. You somehow made me watch that, and I will not rest until you are gone from this world.” I could feel my anger rising, and took a deep breath to control it.

“Ah, yes, you were there! That farmer died a good death. I look forward to finding his soul in Sovngarde.” He swiped his long tail back and forth, relishing the memory. “But you were more than a witness. You were in me! And I felt your joy in their deaths, you urged me on!”

“No, it is not true, that was not me!” I began pacing back and forth before the World Eater, fists clenched at my sides.

“Yes, I remember now. I felt your bloodlust burning in me. You would avenge the murder of your parents, and these Nords were as good as any. And you used me as your instrument. Had you not been inside me, those Nords would yet live.”

This could not be. I could not let this foul beast spout such lies. Any thought of controlling my anger was forgotten. “Krii-Lun-Aus!” I shouted at him.

He only laughed, a deep, guttural laugh. “Yes, you would have me suffer and die, as you wanted those Nords to do, as you want every Nord to do. We are more alike than I first thought, Dovahkiin. You truly have the soul of a dragon, and a hunger to swallow the world!” He slapped his tail on the stone paving for emphasis.

“I will kill you, if it’s the last thing I do!” I screamed at him. I was out of my head now, with anger and with fear – fear that he was right.

“Seek instead to kill your own dragon soul, for with every soul you absorb, that part of you which is dovah becomes stronger. Soon it will overwhelm you, and there will be nothing left of the one you call Deirdre Morningsong. Then you will wreak your revenge across Skyrim.”

I stared at him dumbly then. Could this be the danger that Master Arngeir had warned me of? That I would be overwhelmed if my power increased too rapidly? Yet I had striven to master my dragon soul, to balance it with meditation and practice. I had shouted only for true needs, until now. I had mastered my dragon soul when tested by the Greybeards.

But I had shouted at Nerien. Had that been for a true need? And what about that raper I had killed? Who was that who drew the blade across his throat without a second thought? Who was it who exulted in his suffering and death?

Alduin could see the indecision on my face. “So you know it’s true! But you have taught me compassion. I will save the world some misery before I end it for good – by putting an end to you now.”

His massive head thrust toward me, and his jaws opened wide, revealing rows of sharp fangs.

“No, wait, you said…”




“It is time to rise, my thane,” I heard Lydia say. She sounded far off. “It will be light within the hour, and we must be away before then.”

I opened my eyes to see her leaning over me, shaking my shoulder. “You must have been dreaming,” she said.

I tried to shake the dream from my mind. “Yes, a dream,” I said. “That’s all it was, just a dream.” I almost had myself convinced.

“I risked a fire,” she pointed out. “Would you like some tea?”

I nodded gratefully and felt the warmth spread through my hands as she handed me the mug, then through my body as I drank it down. The temperature had dropped in the night, and yesterday’s cloud cover was gone. Now a bitter wind blew out of the north, guttering the little fire and rustling through the grasses and heather. The ground, though frozen, was bare of snow, the winds were so constant on this upland heath. We were camped behind a little outcrop that blocked the worst of the wind, as well as the view of our camp from the road.

We had arrived here in the afternoon of the day before, after fleeing Markarth with the Forsworn. A short distance north of the city, Madanach had called a halt. “Here we must part,” he said. “We will take to the hills and travel by rocky ways where your horses cannot follow.” He pointed up a steep slope, and I knew he was right. “Have no fear of traveling in the Reach,” he continued. “I will send word to all the Forsworn that you and your companion are friends of our rebellion. And whoever you are – Fiona Pure-Spring, Deirdre Morningsong, the Dragonborn – you are always welcome at Druadach Redoubt. Meanwhile, I will consider everything you said about the hagravens.”

We watched them scramble up the slope, then considered what to do next. Our horses would leave no hoofprints on these cobbled roads. Our best hope was that any pursuers would follow the Forsworn into the rugged Druadach Mountains. And if the Thalmor looked for us, we guessed it would be on the direct road east, for they would expect us to make straight for the safety of Stormcloak territory. So we continued on the north road as it passed Karthwasten then bent east, reaching this hidden spot north of Rorikstead in mid-afternoon. From here, we would continue eastward, traveling cross-country over the Whiterun Plain, hoping to stay out of sight in its dales and hollows.

The day’s journey had been filled with awkwardness. I found it difficult to chat in our usual bantering way, though Lydia tried to keep up her end. Something of my embarrassment about the Temple of Dibella remained. While she didn’t seem to have any opinion about the temple, I couldn’t help feeling she would judge me harshly if she knew more about the place. And there was still the mystery of what had delayed her return to the temple.

Finally she asked, “Is everything all right, my thane? You seem awfully quiet.”

I didn’t know what to say. I certainly didn’t want to bring up the temple again. So I reached for something that would sound plausible. “In the mine … there was a gang of men … beasts, really. They tried to…” Why couldn’t I say the word? It was as if saying it would make what nearly happened more real. “They tried to have their way with me,” I finished. I wondered what had happened to that boasting, fearless girl who had faced down those louts. Now I felt that somewhere deep-down, I was still just the frightened, small child watching her house burn to the ground with her parents in it. It wasn’t this child who had survived three years on her own, escaped Helgen, and now fought dragons. Did I owe all of my bravery to my dragon soul? Or was there another part of me, the grown-up Deirdre who faced challenges with courage? Where did my dragon soul end and the real me begin? How many Deirdre Morningsongs were there?

Lydia interrupted my thoughts, smashing the pommel of her saddle with her gloved fist. “By the gods, if they touched you, I’ll…”

“No, no, my friend,” I said, “I stopped them before they could lay a hand on me. And Madanach left the worst one behind in Cidhna Mine.”

“Still, had I only been there, they would have tasted my axe!” She glowered for a moment longer, then looked at me. “Really, my thane, you should have waited at the temple for me.”

“And you should have arrived within the hour, as promised,” I reminded her. “I still don’t understand what kept you. And when I saw you on the steps of the inn, you had changed your clothes, and your hair looked damp.”

She looked down at a rock outcrop we happened to be passing as if it was the most interesting thing in the world. “I was taking a bath,” she said at last.

“A bath.”

“Yes. I thought I had the time. But you know how it is when the water is nice and hot and you don’t want to get out. The time got away from me is all. And I was about to come get you when I heard the commotion outside. I don’t blame you being cross, but you must believe me, I can hardly forgive myself for my lack of diligence.”

This was unlike Lydia, always so conscientious in her duties. Still, she did have her girlish side, as I had discovered in these weeks of traveling with her. I was the one who had lived in the forest for three years, growing used to bathing even less often than soldiers. I could not feel angry with her. We rode on in silence.

Now, breaking camp before dawn, I had more to trouble me. If what Alduin said was true, if my dragon soul was becoming stronger, maybe Deirdre was becoming weaker. But I couldn’t let my dragon soul overwhelm me, even if it was the only way to save the world. I was glad we were heading back to High Hrothgar. Master Arngeir would have advice for me, I was sure. At the least, Master Borri could teach me the deep meanings of the remaining words of power so I would avoid absorbing more dragon souls.

We descended from our camp and struck the road once more. A short while later we reined up at the junction with the road coming north from Rorikstead. Below us, the east fork of the Karth River plunged through its gorge, just growing visible in the light of dawn. We had only to cross it, then follow another tributary eastward onto the Whiterun Plain. “Tonight, we’ll sleep in our own beds, in my house,” I said. “Maybe we’ll even raise a pint in the Bannered Mare.”

“I look forward to it, my thane,” Lydia said, smiling. Then her face darkened, and I knew she was remembering the less-than-cordial reception we had received on our last visit.

We were about to leave the junction and look for a ford across the stream when we heard the sound of hooves clattering on the road north of us. Before we could find a hiding place, a single rider came into view, riding hard up the steep slope. He slowed when he saw us, and I recognized a courier’s livery.

“What’s the hurry, friend?” Lydia asked. The rider stopped. His horse glistened with sweat and looked nearly done in.

“Dragons!” he exclaimed. “Near Solitude, and moving toward the city, burning and killing as they go. Jarl Elisif sends for aid to Markarth.”

Dragons, you say?” I asked. “How many?”

“Two, and they’ve already defeated a small war-band the jarl sent against them. She fears that even the Imperial garrison won’t be able to hold them at bay.” He looked at Lydia, still in her battle gear. “She says any able fighter who comes to the aid of Solitude will be well rewarded. Now I must be on my way.” With that he turned onto the road west toward Markarth.

Lydia looked wistfully to the east. “I suppose we won’t see Whiterun this day,” she said. “Yet Solitude is far, my thane, at least a day’s ride. The dragons may not even be there when we arrive. And do I need to remind you the Imperial Legion is headquartered there? General Tullius will be there, and many Thalmor, no doubt.”

Everything she said was true. It was risky. “But Lydia,” I said. “Two dragons! One of them could be Alduin. It is a chance I cannot pass up, no matter the risk.”

With a sigh, she turned her horse northward, and I followed.

The truth was, I was equally loath to visit Solitude, and for an additional reason: the only route to the capital city led through Dragon Bridge. Even the thought of the place got my heart beating faster and I found myself clenching my teeth. Who knew? Maybe I would see Osmer’s father, or Osmer himself, or one of the others I suspected of killing my parents.

And what then? Would I confront them? Strike them down? Faced with my newfound powers, they would tremble before me. None of them could stand against me – not even the whole town. It was but a dozen houses, an inn, and the headquarters of the Penitus Oculatus, who would surely have responded to Jarl Elisif’s call for aid. The village guard might be preoccupied as well. This seemed the perfect opportunity to exact revenge on my parents’ killers.

I thought of my return to Skyrim. That was three, nearly four, months ago now. I had been primed for my revenge then. What had happened to that anger I nursed all those years in Cyrodiil? Helgen happened. I had seen so much death that day that it unnerved me, sickened me against killing. Then Gerdur pled compassion, luring me with soft words of empathy and understanding. But what was compassion? It was for the puny, the weak, for mere … mortals, I was going to say. And why shouldn’t I? I was the Dragonborn! Nothing would come between the Dovahkiin and her revenge!

Then I thought of Lydia. Would she aid me in wreaking vengeance on Dragon Bridge? Dutiful housecarl though she was, I thought not. But would she try to stop me? And what if she did? Wasn’t she a Nord as well? Hadn’t I returned to Skyrim proclaiming death to all Nords?

I gasped and clutched at the pommel of my saddle. I had nearly fallen off at a steep bend in the road, so lost was I in my dark thoughts.

Lydia, riding ahead, turned her horse to look back at me. “Are you well, my thane?” she asked. “You are as pale as a wight!”

“Lydia, we cannot pass through Dragon Bridge,” I said. My breath was coming fast and I tried to slow it, to breathe deeply. The cold air hurt my chest as it went in.

“Why? What is it?” she asked.

“My dragon soul – it grows stronger the closer we get to my home town. It feeds off my anger. I do not trust myself to come near the place.”

“Yet we cannot avoid it if we hope to reach Solitude this day,” Lydia replied. “If we go around by those mountain paths to the west, it will add a day or more. And we cannot ford the Karth River west of the town – it is too wide, and filled with ice at this time of year. No, if you hope to come to Solitude today, we must pass through Dragon Bridge.”

“Then bind me,” I said.

“What?” She looked shocked.

“I will pose as your prisoner,” I said. “Bind my hands behind my back, so I can do no magic. Blindfold me so I will see no one who might raise my anger.”

“Must I gag you as well, so you cannot shout?” she asked, her voice bitter.

“That might be best,” I said. “If I heard a voice I recognized, I don’t know that I could restrain myself from shouting blindly.”

Her face darkened. “As you will, my thane, though I disgrace myself to do it. No housecarl should ever do such a thing!” She jogged her horse ahead, as if it pained her even to look at me.

The road led north along the east fork of the Karth River, crossing to its east bank at Robber’s Gorge. We saw that the jarl of Hjaalmarch had been busy keeping the roads safe – the severed heads of bandits adorned the walls of their own hideout, impaled on spikes. I shuddered, but Lydia seemed pleased. “It will be many a year before another group of bandits thinks of opening shop here,” she said.

Around mid-day, the scenery began to look familiar. Pines and cedars appeared in the distance ahead. They were a welcome sight, but also a sign that we were drawing near Dragon Bridge. The day remained clear and the snow glinted off the surrounding peaks in the bright sunshine. A hawk soared overhead, using the sharp daylight to hunt for prey. It seemed a shame to go blindfolded on such a lovely winter’s day – Talos knew we saw the sun seldom enough in Skyrim in the darkest part of the year.

But there was no help for it. I reined up and dismounted. “Let us stop here,” I said. “There could be woodcutters I might recognize in those woods ahead.”

Our horses needed a rest after six hours of hard riding, and so did we. We ate a cold noonday meal in strained silence while our horses ate their fill of the grasses all around.

Finally, we could delay no longer. “It is time, Lydia,” I said. “You must bind me.”

Lydia groaned, but got up and rummaged through her saddlebags, withdrawing two kerchiefs and a cord.

“Close your eyes,” she said, walking up to me. It felt strange to submit willingly to being bound, but I did as she said. Her hands were gentle as she brushed a strand of hair from my face before putting the blindfold on me. “Turn around,” she said, then tied the blindfold in place. “Is that too tight?” I shook my head.

“Before I gag you, what story shall I tell about your capture, should anyone ask?”

“Tell them you’re taking me to the Imperial garrison at Castle Dour in Solitude,” I said. “I’m a spy you’re taking to General Tullius.”

“Very well. Now open your mouth.” In went the kerchief. “Is that too tight?” I shook my head again.

Then she led me back to my horse, guiding my hands to the saddle and my boot into the stirrup. When I was seated, she said, “Hands behind your back, my thane.” I did as she requested and felt the cord loop twice around my wrists. She tied the binds too loosely, then asked for a third time, “Is that too tight?”

I knew I would wriggle free of her loose knot, if it came to it. I shook my head vigorously. “Ooo ooof!” I exclaimed, trying to say, “Too loose!”

“You want it tighter?” I nodded and felt the cords tighten around my wrists as she re-knotted them.

“Is that all right?” she asked, and I nodded. “Is there anything else I can do for you before we start?” I had never had such an attentive captor.

Finally we were moving northward again, with Lydia leading my horse by the reins. Perforce, we traveled more slowly now, as it was difficult to keep my balance with hands tied behind my back.

It is often said that the four other senses become sharper in those who cannot see, and I now found this to be true – or perhaps I just paid them more attention. The clip-clop of the horses’ hooves seemed louder. My sense of smell told me we had arrived in the pine forest. Even in winter the sap was running enough to give a hint of its tangy aroma. There weren’t many bird sounds at this time of year, but I heard the screech of a jay and the rapid tapping of a woodpecker. Then the sound of running water grew louder and passed beneath us. We had crossed back over the east fork of the Karth and were now on the long peninsula between the mighty river’s two branches.

Some while later, I heard Lydia gasp. That and the sound of a larger river told me that we had come to the bridge for which my home town was named. Lydia must have spotted the two large-as-life stone dragon heads that greeted travelers in both directions on the bridge.

Then we had crossed the span and I realized we were finally back at the scene of my life’s greatest tragedy, where my long journey had begun. Suddenly, this idea of being blindfolded didn’t seem such a good one. Why shouldn’t I look again on the place where my parents had been murdered? I tried to breathe deeply and put such thoughts aside, but the gag made it difficult to get a good breath. Then I thought, what if someone recognized me, defenseless as I was? But that didn’t seem likely, between my blindfold, dyed hair, and gag. I almost wished I hadn’t re-applied the paste to my tattoo in camp the day before.

A guard hailed us. “Hold there! Where are you taking this prisoner, and why?” I thought I recognized his voice. No, it couldn’t be, could it? Maybe I should have had Lydia stop my ears as well.

“Castle Dour,” Lydia said. “And she’s a deserter from the Imperial Army at Fort Sungard. I’m taking her straight to General Tullius.”

“Yet you wear no uniform,” he challenged.

“My captain’s idea, that,” Lydia replied. “The better to avoid Stormcloak ambush, it being just the two of us. I was the only fighter he would spare, with the Stormcloaks so nearby at Falkreath.”

“All right,” said the guard. “Must be a mouthy one, eh?”

“Never knows when to keep her mouth shut,” Lydia agreed. “Thought she could still boss me, since she used to outrank me. I finally had enough of it.”

“But, what’s wrong with her?”

“What?” Lydia said in surprise. Then there was silence for a moment. No doubt they were watching me as I sat on my horse, trembling. I tried not to cry, but the tears still flowed into my blindfold and down my cheeks. I mumbled incoherently through my gag.

“She gets these shaking fits occasionally,” I heard Lydia say. “It will pass. We’d best keep moving, but first, tell me what you know of these dragon rumors.”

“They are no rumors,” said the guard. “I hoped never to see even one of the beasts, but then two passed over town early yesterday, flying wingtip to wingtip, just like pelicans over the bay. And huge! It’s hard to see how they stay in the air. Luckily for us they passed us over, but worse luck for Solitude, they headed that way. Then last night the Penitus and the rest of the guard were called out. Worst luck of all for me! My brother is off killing dragons and I’m stuck here on guard duty. Too green, they said I was, though I’m eighteen and a man grown.”

“Thank you for the news,” Lydia said and I felt my horse move forward.

“They’ve probably got those dragons sorted by now,” the guard called after us, “but I’d take care approaching the city if I were you.”

We rode for a time in silence, and I began to calm down. Then my horse stopped and Lydia was beside me. “Are you well, my thane? May I unbind you now?”

I nodded and soon felt the cords about my wrists go slack. I shook the feeling back into my hands, then took the gag from my mouth and the wet kerchief from my eyes. A familiar scene surrounded us – the forests of home. On our right the great Karth River widened as it approached the Bay of Solitude. On our left the mountain slope rose steeply to the high ridge that formed most of Haafingar Hold. Solitude sat on the east end of that ridge, jutting out on a great arch of rock over the bay. It was now but a two-hour ride distant.

Lydia stood beside my horse, her hand on my knee. “My thane, Deirdre, what’s wrong? What happened to you back there?”

I looked at the trees for a long moment, trying to compose myself. “The guard,” I said finally. “He … his voice sounded just like Osmer’s.”

“Well, what did Osmer look like?”

“He had red hair, very like Ralof’s.”

Lydia’s eyes widened. “That one had red hair too.”

“And he said he was eighteen. It had to be Osmer.” I made to turn my horse back toward Dragon Bridge, but the reins dangled from the front of the bridle, out of my reach.

Now Lydia grabbed them and held my horse still. “Deirdre, no! You cannot go back there!”

I looked at her and I knew she would not let me return to the village. For one mad moment I thought of shouting her away from me, as I had done to Osmer long ago. Then I would return and find him, and … But I looked at her and knew I couldn’t do it. And what would I do once I returned? The truth was I didn’t know, I felt such a bundle of sadness, frustration, and impotent rage. I thought I had left all my tears back in Dragon Bridge, but now I sobbed once more.

“My thane,” said Lydia, consoling me with a hand on my arm, “the people of Solitude are depending on you. And remember Huldi and Harry – they depend on you as well. Would you have them go unavenged? Would you see more children orphaned? You cannot let yourself be waylaid by the past, you have work to do now, and you must gather all your strength for it. You cannot fight dragons in such a state.”

I took a deep breath and looked around at the forest, as if the trees themselves could help me. I knew she was right. I thought not just of Huldi and Harry then, but of all the refugees we had met in our travels – orphans, widows and widowers, parents made childless by the dragons, hundreds whose lives and homes had been destroyed. Mine was not the only tale of woe in Skyrim, and not even the worst one at that. How could I be so selfish?

Then I remembered Alduin foretelling the vengeance I would wreak on Skyrim. And to think, I had been about to fulfill his prophecy! But no, I told myself, my dragon soul would not control me. Though I needed its power for what was ahead, I would master it.

I looked back at Lydia, who still gazed at me, her eyes full of concern. “You are right, as always,” I said. “We must go on to Solitude and face whatever we find there.”

“If I give you back the reins, do you promise not to go back to Dragon Bridge?” she asked.

I nodded. “I’m feeling better, now,” I said, “but that was a close thing.”

“Wait, I have something for you,” she said, going over to her saddlebags and withdrawing a flask. “I got this at the Silver-Blood Inn. It’s a tonic made from the juniper berries that grow around there, only slightly fermented.”

I took it and drank. It was bitter, but bracing. My head cleared and I felt revived, as if I had just awakened from some dark dream.

“Thank you, Lydia,” I said. “I feel I can go on now. And thank Talos I had you to guide me.”

“That’s what a housecarl is for,” she said, grinning. But then she grew more serious, taking me by the hand. “My thane,” she said, holding my eye with great solemnity. “I promise, when this is over, we will return to Dragon Bridge, and you will have justice.”

Then she mounted her own horse and we headed toward Solitude, uncertain of what we would find there. Strangely, I was content for once to let come what may, Alduin or no Alduin, one dragon, two dragons or none. For now I was certain that Alduin and I would meet – today, tomorrow, or who knew when. He would play his role and I would play mine, and we would see which way the wheel of Mundus turned.

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