Last updated: 4/4/2015 — new information in italics
These cheat sheets summarise what we know so far about the world of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. Click here for a round-up of BDB-related posts on Book Thingo.
This section contains information on:
- The Omega
- The Lessening Society
- The Band of Bastards
- The glymera
Note that the cheat sheets have not been updated to include information from The King to avoid accidentally spoiling readers who have not yet had a chance to read the book.
The Omega, Lessening Society and Lash
The Omega is the Scribe Virgin’s brother and like his sister, spends most of his time in another realm. Dhundh (hell) is actually well-decorated and has candelabra everywhere. His company consists of these black, oily beasts of indeterminate gender that are constantly looking for sex. The Omega is a misogynist, so the creatures are most likely male.
Unlike his sister, he was not given the gift of creation. Out of jealousy over this gift, he takes humans (serial killers, sociopaths, etc.) and inducts them into the Lessening Society (the members are called lessers). The heart is removed and placed into a jar and the recruit gets some sort of infusion from the Omega. From then on, they don’t eat or sleep and can’t get it up, so that nothing distracts the lessers from the Omega’s mission.
Lessers are identified by their last initial—e.g. David Ormond would be Mr. O.
There is usually a leader known as the fore-lesser, who commands the troops and gets a few extra powers, such as the ability to paralyse other lessers, but in return the fore-lesser is the Omega’s special little bitch. So power in the organisation is a double-edged sword because no one wants the Omega’s attention.
The longer a lesser has been in the society, the paler he becomes. A veteran has albino-white skin, pale eyes and white-blonde hair. They all stink of baby powder.
The conventional method of killing lessers is stabbing them through the heart, which causes the essence of the Omega that kept them animated to return to the Omega; however, the Dhestroyer is able to inhale the lesser and the Omega’s essence, which theoretically would lead to the Omega being consumed, one lesser at a time.
So once he worked out that he had potentially brought about his own demise, the Omega went back 25 years in the past and impregnated a vampire female, who died delivering his spawn. The young was then adopted by an aristocrat family and raised as a vampire.
Lash seemed to have a lot of behavioural problems growing up and basically thought he was better than everyone else because his father was the Princeps Council leahdyre and the family was loaded, but any time he actually faced trouble he folded like laundry. He specifically targeted John Matthew for being mute and raised by humans, as well as his cousin Qhuinn for having mismatched eyes, and was suspended from the Brotherhood’s training program for dealing drugs.
After his transition he returned with a military-style makeover and a new attitude. To paraphrase John Matthew, his whole bearing told you he didn’t feel the need to pose anymore because he now had what it took to back himself up. Instead of being a mostly verbal pain in the arse, he became a physical threat to John, especially when his work at Havers’s clinic gave him access to John’s file and details of his rape. He threatened to spread the word (and prevent John from ever being respected by vampire society) but when he tried to rape John, Qhuinn slit his throat.
Lash was taken to Havers’s clinic immediately, but the lessers found him and took him to the Omega. The Omega suffocated Lash, removed the vampire heart and blood, which he replaced with his own fist and blood.
Instead of feeding from female vampires, Lash now feeds from lessers. He still gets to eat and have sex, but unlike vampires, he can walk in the sun. He unknowingly picked up an underage girl at a bar and used her sexually (I don’t care that it was a random bar pickup, I’m still calling it:Lash is a dud lay!) and since he left her feeling dirty and unsatisfied, she ratted him out to the cops. Lash was arrested and taken to a holding cell where he met some gangbangers who might make good recruits.
He also killed his vampire parents and had his old house looted. He also sent lessers out to other glymera households to kill the vampires and doggen (servants) and pillage the valuables, which will be very useful to the society because it’s hard to keep track of funds with so many changes in leadership.
John Matthew saw Lash as he was returning to his father, but isn’t sure that he hadn’t hallucinated, so the Brotherhood still believes Lash gave up the glymera under torture before dying.
Lash called a meeting and declared himself king of the lessers, while the fore-lesser seems relegated to right-hand man and Lash’s personal bitch.
The Lessening Society is going broke, despite the raids on the glymera as emptying those bank accounts and selling the valuables has proven difficult. To save on rent money, Lash has ordered the lessers to live together in small groups. Their usual weaponry against the Brotherhood is very basic and doesn’t require maintenance and consumables like bullets and oil.
Lash was able to buy guns off some bikers he met in jail but Wrath located them and had Butch confiscate them. He also hoped the bikers would provide great recruitment opportunities, but if he recruited one, he’d tell his friends about his new role as a lesser. If he took them all on, he risked an attack on his authority.
In addition to recruits and resources, Lash is also in the market for allies and set up a meeting with the symphath king and was surprised to not only feel creeped out but strangely attracted at the same time. He needed the symphaths onside because although he was a sleeper in the vampires’ upper echelons, he has no idea how to find those who have gone into hiding or belong to the lower classes. As symphaths can sense vampires’ locations, they would make an invaluable ally.
They made a deal: Lash will kill a male for the symphath king, who in return will find vampire targets for Lash.
Meanwhile, Lash abducted Grady, the drug dealer with the eagle jacket he met in gaol, who was the same lowlife who beat to death his girlfriend, a ZeroSum prostitute. Grady set up meetings with other dealers, where Lash had them killed and their stash confiscated. The last couple of dealers were taken for lesser-style persuasion to give details of their suppliers. It then didn’t matter that Xhex butchered Grady.
Lash came to realise that Rehvenge was most likely the big supplier in town, so he will have to be taken care of, but ZeroSum was blown up overnight, apparently with Rehvenge inside.
Only after he sees for himself how lucrative drugs are, Lash returned to the symphath colony to fulfil his obligation to the king. Rehvenge was there but called the king ‘princess’, which made Lash feel relieved that he is not gay. Taking the opportunity to rid himself of the competition, Lash fired at Rehv, but the princess pushed his arm away to protect Rehvenge.
The battle ended when the true symphath king arrived. Rehv was imprisoned, while the princess was given to Lash to use as he saw fit as a gesture of goodwill from the king and to punish the princess for her attempted treason.
He was only able to hold onto her for a month before she escaped and he followed her back to the colony, where he encountered the Brotherhood for the first time since his death. His fireballs knocked them all down except for Rhage’s beast, but the beast’s fire did nothing to him. The beast only went down when fired on at close range.
Lash took advantage of the beast’s unconscious state to find his princess. She was clearly fixated on Rehvenge, but when Xhex took her down in a hail of bullets, Lash cradled her gently until he saw that she was still reaching out to Rehv. Then he slammed her into a wall, hoping that he was the one who actually killed her.
Lash believes Xhex owes him big for killing both his drug contact and his sex slave (he blames Xhex for the princess’s death even though he hoped he was the only who actually killed the princess for rejecting him). He cast a shadow across the floor and threw it over Xhex’s head. One punch knocked her out and he escaped before the other symphaths entered Rehvenge’s cell.
Lash holds her captive behind his force field in the bedroom of a nice house in a nice neighbourhood for around four weeks. What starts out as punishment and revenge becomes addiction as Xhex fights back. (Before his transition, Lash had a rottweiler and decided to pierce its ear with a pin. The dog bit him and left holes in Lash’s arm, earning his respect and love.)
Recognising that the society needs both soldiers and salesmen, Lash recruits an up and coming dealer and realises that he needs to establish a relationship with the big supplier.
After returning from Dhundh to ask the Omega to induct the dealer, Lash felt sick like he was getting a cold and noticed a grey patch of skin bordered by black on his arm that oozed after he washed it.
During the transformation, he noticed his ooze getting worse and discovered more black sores on his body. Unwilling to interrupt his father, Lash fed from his fore-lesser. He felt stronger for having fed, but refuses to feed from males on a regular basis.
His new recruit is currently keeping the Omega occupied, so Lash rested and saw a vision of himself at the house where he was raised by the vampires. He looked down and saw that his arm was no longer solid, which horrified him.
He’d had the foresight to cancel his meeting with the major drug supplier, but couldn’t have known that decision would result in the Brothers following his fore-lesser home and decimating him. When he returned home, he saw Mr. D’s car in the driveway and immediately knew something was wrong. He drove around to the front of the house to check that Xhex was still there.
Lash still does not feel 100% and believes that since lesser blood helped, what he really needs is a female lesser. Luckily he still has Xhex.
He asked the Omega to turn a female into a lesser for him, without her needing to become part of the society. His father replied that he’d never turned a female before, but never directly refused. Lash pushed ahead and made plans for Xhex that night.
He noticed his skin becoming worse.
With Xhex gone, Lash picked up a prostitute, but when he arrived at the farmhouse only he knew about, the new recruit had left and his father hadn’t appeared. He tried to go to Dhundh, but was shut out. His cell rang and the new recruit told Lash he was his new boss and he was going to kill him. Bringing up a female to his father was a mistake.
Lash made good his escape and after hiding himself behind a force field that would keep him hidden from other lessers and hopefully the Omega, he turned the prostitute into a lesser.
The next night Lash woke, horrified to find his skin was coming off, with only oily black covering his muscles, organs and bones.
He has to use all of his powers to keep himself together and hidden, so is reduced to walking. He found a party at the farmhouse and his replacement arriving in style. Killing his replacement has become a higher priority even than being with Xhex because he wants to send a message to his fickle father.
His replacement had put the word out about the party to gather bodies for a mass induction into the society. Lash had been based in the vampire world, so didn’t have the sheer number of human connections to be able to impress his father like this.
He decides that the enemy of his enemy is his friend and calls the Brotherhood to give them details of the new induction.
He puts the prostitute lesser out of her misery and the power he’d driven into her returned to him, explaining why Butch is such a threat. He found another pro to feed from, but her blood tasted bad. He noticed that his hand had turned to black fog, but his wrist was still corporeal. This time he’s not horrified to see his transformation because he realises he’s becoming like his father.
A would-be mugger with a muscular build gave Lash the idea to create his own lesser army. He also plans to resume establishing a relationship with the drug supplier and usurp his replacement.
He also uses coke to keep himself going when his strength is low and has the power to temporarily influence humans for a second or two, like mentally giving one the suggestion to crash his car into his neighbour’s house.
He turned three more after interrupting their drug deal and forces the supplier Benloise to give him an advance. His bodyguards deliver but he quickly returns to his car to see what set off his alarm. Xhex is there and he ignores everyone else to focus on her. Benloise’s bodyguards return to shoot him and everyone but JM takes cover. He tried to kill him with an energy ball but Xhex tackles him. This is the perfect opportunity to take her and use her as a shield. He can’t throw a force field over them because he is too weakened by his slow transformation and his bullet wounds.
Tohr shoots him directly in the head, forcing him to let go of Xhex. The second shot lands him on his back, but he still gets his knife into Xhex’s stomach. As JM comes to her rescue, Lash taunts him with how he raped her and that Xhex would always be HIS filthy female. JM knocks him in the head with the hilt of his dagger before passing it to Xhex who makes the kill, sending him back to the Omega, just like any other lesser.
The little shit, who was never named, was able to increase the society’s numbers, but they were badly armed and not suited for war. Also, he developed an addiction to his own product, so the Omega promoted Mr. C (Connors, aka C-Rider). The new forelesser was disgusted by his predecessor’s decline and has lots of plans for bettering the society, starting with a mass-induction in an abandoned hangar, however he is largely stymied by a lack of resources and is under increasing pressure from the Omega. Needless to say, he does not enjoy those visits.
He sets up his new recruits at an all but forgotten former girls school and checks out other property, including a large acreage with huge potential but may have been seized by the state for nonpayment of rates. All his eggs are in the basket of a drug deal but his lessers never return. Instead he gets a phone call from an anonymous male, who proves to be the vampire Assail. Assail is interested in a business arrangement, as long as he himself is not under threat.
The Band of Bastards killed the lessers and found themselves with a narcotic booty and Mr C finds himself pressuring Assail into setting up a line of credit.
The Band of Bastards
The band of bastards are an anti-Brotherhood group of lesser-killing vampires, so named because their bloodline or birth defects made them ineligible for the Brotherhood. At this time there are six bastards, including their leader, Xcor (pronounced Cor). Second in command is Throe, with Zypher and three cousins, Syphon, Balthazar and one with no name but known as Syn for the innumerable sins he’s committed rounding out the group.
Under the Bloodletter’s leadership until his death in 1761, the bastards travelled from one end of Europe to the other, killing lessers and screwing the women that took their fancy. They kill because they enjoy it, not to defend their race and they have no interest in glory.
Xcor made them all swear allegiance to him and set down roots in the castle near the place the Bloodletter died, but did nothing to maintain it. His mission is to kill lessers and hunt the Bloodletter’s murderer, but in the absence of lessers, the bastards will keep their skills up by hunting human criminals. The bastards live simply, hunting and killing their own food, continuing to exist in an era before technology, except for Throe’s computers, which he uses to seek out human criminals, the sole reason electricity was installed in the castle.
They will resort to feeding from humans, but have no problem killing when they feed.
Throe especially enjoys hunting men who prey on women while the others have no preferred target. But after twenty years of no lessers and no sign of the female who incinerated the Bloodletter, Xcor decides the bastards must leave the Old Country.
They leave the bodies of lessers cut in half as a calling card for Wrath. The plan is for Throe to contact his old acquaintances and stir up their grievances against Wrath while letting the glymera know that they have been dispatching the enemy. Then they need to form alliances with Council members and use them to help cast doubt on Wrath before dethroning him and emerging as the new leader.
Xcor and Throe relieve their needs with a professional when Throe detects blood nearby. They discover another victim of a serial killer and all that keeps Xcor in charge is feeding Throe the blood left by the killer so he can hunt him later.
While out hunting, the bastards discover Payne fighting some lessers and Xcor takes the opportunity to capture her so he can exact revenge for the Bloodletter’s murder. Before she loses consciousness, she asks why and he is shocked to realise she doesn’t know who he is.
When she regains consciousness, he remind her that she murdered his father. She told him her brother Vishous was the Bloodletter’s only son. Her colouring, as well as her and V’s abilities to burn through chain attest to her honesty. Xcor realised that he did not have their abilities, so he was not the Bloodletter’s son. He gave up his bed for her out of respect, not for her Chosen status, but for her revenge against one who had insulted her blood. It was something he could relate to.
He told the bastards the new truth and they continued to be loyal to him, with Throe saying they had not been serving the Bloodletter’s memory all that time.
They followed Assail, with an eye to using his home as the venue for Wrath’s assassination, but after a miscommunication aggravated by Xcor’s refusal to allow mobile phones, Xcor was caught out by Assail without backup and forced to retreat. Angry (and possibly starved), he stabbed Throe in the stomach and cut himself with Throe’s dagger and left him there for the Brotherhood, with the expectation that he would spy on them and report back to Xcor.
All this plan achieved was to demonstrate that Throe was the glue holding the group together and almost resulted in mutiny from the other Bastards.
Xcor’s Council contact Elan, son of Larex called to let him know he’d received the package of bloody lesser spines and had called a meeting to which Assail has declined attendance, leading him to believe Assail may instead have a meeting with Wrath.
He was lucky that the meeting had not progressed into Assail’s secure living room or the bullets would not have penetrated the door to hit Wrath in the neck and Assail in the hand. He tried to attack the van carrying Wrath home, but was prevented by Qhuinn, who beat him almost to death and took his share of hits as well.
Throe summoned Layla to feed Xcor and swore never to see her again, since he dishonoured her by using her under false pretenses.
A fully healed Xcor finds Assail at drug dealer Benloise’s gallery so he follows until he detects Layla’s presence. He tried to follow despite Throe’s protests, since he’d sworn no oath to stay away from her.
Layla led Xhex to their lair where Xhex found two rifles buried under Xcor’s bed and gave them to Vishous for ballistics testing.
They use an older female doggen for feeding. She lets herself in and faces the wall so she wouldn’t be able to identify them. It also means she wouldn’t be able to identify Xhex as an intruder.
The Bastards went to one of Elan’s meetings. Xcor told Assail that if he wasn’t with them, he was against them. Assail left anyway, making their animosity openly known.
Throe found a glymera female willing to satisfy their sex and blood needs for a price, but after sampling her, he and Xcor abstained while the others took what they needed.
Their new lair is a disused warehouse currently on the market. They are holed up for the day while the property is being shown to prospective new owners, including Trez Latimer, who bangs the agent, unaware he has a audience. With the location having been compromised, they move on again to a rented house at the end of a cul de sac with no neighbours. Xcor is offended that it is furnished with any conveniences and also by the colours of the house.
They dispatch the lessers who have just done business with Assail and confiscate the drugs.
Elan’s associate, a lawyer without Elan’s ambition for power makes contact with Xcor and suggests they use the Old Laws against Wrath. Until he thinks to change them, the ruler must be capable of producing a full-blooded heir. Although he is the last full-blooded vampire and the laws constituting full-blood have some wiggle room, it does not go as far as reproducing with a half-breed. Also, they can back up their argument with the social fear that a partially human heir may be attracted to a human and their offspring may not even go through the transition.
Xcor likes this legal approach as it is safer for Layla. He meets her in an unplanned encounter, where he ensures that she is well looked after and unmated, despite her pregnancy. He is stunned that he could be on her mind as she is on his. He leaves her his phone number and promise that he would always help her.
Allied with lawyer Tyhm (father of Saxton) and aristo Ichan, Xcor visits the rest of the glymera and threatens them and their family to get their support in ousting Wrath.
He and the Band of Bastards attend the council meeting as added incentive for the aristocrats to sign the document and attach their colours and it goes through successfully. Wrath is technically still the king and always will be, but he has no power.
A convenient divorce sees Wrath back in charge. The Bastards’ legal attempt to dethrone him has failed. Xcor makes an agreement with Layla not to try again. Throe busts them together, but waits until Xcor leaves to interrogate Layla about their conversation. She cautions him against making another move against Wrath, but now sees him as a greater threat than Xcor, to whom she has offered her body.
Xcor has a cleft palate and a lean, angular face with black hair and dark blue eyes that repels people. His mother was rumoured to have had him taken out of the birthing room because she couldn’t stand the sight of him. He wanted someone to claim him and the Bloodletter did so because of Xcor’s usefulness as a warrior. The Bloodletter once kicked Xcor out of the warrior camp, but Xcor was determined to stay. The only way back in was to bear enough pain to satisfy and impress the sadistic Bloodletter.
He cannot read and has no interest in modern trappings. A male of little honour, Xcor enjoys wielding control over his men and takes particular pleasure in baiting Throe. His original intention in taking Throe on was to ritually humiliate and make an example of him to keep the rest in line, but Throe never broke and eventually earned Xcor’s respect.
His favourite weapon (and only female he will ever love) is his scythe and he enjoys cutting lessers in half and leaving the remains “alive”. The Brotherhood previously believed him dead, but his kills are the calling card that tips them off.
Xcor has nothing against Wrath personally, but wants to rule the race and would be even happier if Wrath was still alive to see what he’s lost.
One good thing I can say about him is that he does get his partners off, even if he is paying for the privilege.
Xcor is slowly becoming less of a machine since learning of the Bloodletter’s lie, even to the point of wishing he had a handsome face so that he wouldn’t keep repulsing whores.
He stabbed Throe and left him for the Brotherhood with the expectation that Throe would report back to him, or Xcor would desecrate the remains of Throe’s sister, which he’d kept hidden the whole time.
Afterward, he felt so guilty over betraying his loyal second who didn’t deserve it that he sent the others home and watched to ensure Throe’s safety, even firing on the lesser attacking Tohr to hasten Throe’s treatment. He returned to the lair and cut his arms up over and over as penance.
By the Bloodletter’s logic, punishing Throe and using him as a spy was the right thing to do, but as Zypher notes, he isn’t like the Bloodletter, he just wants to be. He even turned down the opportunity to follow Tohr in case his was caught and delayed Throe’s treatment.
He feels that it’s too late to change his plans to dethrone Wrath, but promises to release Throe if given the chance. He gave in to Throe’s demands for an apology, request to return and permission for mobile phones. He refuses to benefit from Throe’s sacrifice, so he never asks what Throe learned.
He ordered a hit on Wrath during a meeting at Assail’s but only succeeded in wounding the king. He waited to ambush the van carrying Wrath for treatment, but was faced with a warrior with mismatched eyes who fought ferociously. He barely escaped.
Xcor was dying from malnutrition and the beating Qhuinn gave him, so Throe summoned Layla to feed him. Xcor had never before seen anything so lovely and was amazed not to repulse her, especially while bloody and beaten. He is jealous Throe got to feed from her, despite the other male’s oath never to see her again.
Xcor is concerned for Layla’s safety and fears she may have been punished for unknowingly feeding her enemy. He understands why she felt the need to find his lair and lead the Brotherhood to the rifle that almost killed Wrath, and bears her no ill will. He has lost part of himself to her and now she has as much importance to him as taking Wrath’s throne.
A Shadow has unknowingly infiltrated his lair, so Xcor follows him until he picks up on Layla and follows her to Havers’ clinic. At first afraid she was being imprisoned for helping him, he realises that she is pregnant and bleeding and being transported for treatment. He follows Layla and reaches the mountain where the Brotherhood’s mansion must be, but the mhis keeps him from finding out anything else. He considers storming the mansion and realises that getting his hands on one of the shellans might be all he needs to win the war.
While the Bastards celebrate legally nullifying Wrath as king, Xcor is unsettled because he expects a reaction from Wrath and he is preoccupied with thoughts of Layla. He goes back to the compound and is surprised to get a phone call from Layla. They meet face to face and she offers herself to him. He is sure that they only reason she would do this is to protect the king she respects and she admits that she would not have offered herself if he had not overthrown Wrath. He tells her that there is nothing he can do to undo what has been done, but her offer stands. She believes that if he could remove Wrath, he can remove the replacement.
After Wrath regains the throne by producing his backdated divorce, Layla convinces him that Wrath gave up a love match to keep his position. Xcor realises with some awe that he has underestimated his opponent. He agrees that he and Layla will maintain their arrangement as long as he makes no further move against Wrath.
For the first time, Xcor puts thought into his appearance and buys new clothes and cologne to meet Layla.
(Formerly Throe, son of Throe)
Xcor’s second in command, he looks after the details while Xcor runs the show. Throe arranged the travel and accommodation for the bastards’ exodus to Caldwell.
With a Brother for a father and a lineage related to five out of the six founding families, as well as glymera-perfect gold hair and blue eyes, Throe was every inch an aristocrat until he was disowned by his family for fighting with Xcor.
His sister had been dishonoured, and Throe wanted the male dead, but couldn’t do it himself, so he pledged himself to Xcor if he would do the deed for him. Xcor trained him to be a fighter, and although he lost his first fights with the other bastards, they saw him immediately and innately fall into battle stance and pick up moves, learning more in that first night than many soldiers do after years in the camp. He believes he owes Xcor an eternal debt of service and also stays because he feels that he and the other bastards are committed to each other.
Xcor stabbed him and blackmailed him with his sister’s ashes into spying on the Brotherhood. The enemy finds him first and Tohr comes to his rescue, helping dispatch lessers and transporting his unconscious body to the training compound for treatment (even if he’d been carrying a GPS unit, the mhis would scramble the location).
Phury threatens a restrained Throe into good behaviour and gently escorts Layla in to feed him, protecting her from Throe’s identity and the male himself. She reminds Throe of the lovely females he used to know from his old life and wonders if his sister ever made it to the Fade since her ashes were kept the whole time.
After two feedings, he is released with little more info than he’d started. Zypher met him with his sister’s ashes and official release from Xcor. He willingly returned but demanded (and got) an apology as well as agreement to allow mobile phones.
When Xcor as dying after his run-in with Qhuinn, Throe thought strongly of his last feeding, which summoned Layla to the neutral location he’d taken Xcor. He felt bad about deceiving her into treason and swore to Xcor he would never see her again.
He finds Xcor talking to Layla and after Xcor leaves, he demands Layla tell him what they discussed. She cautioned him against royal ambition and found him more threatening than Xcor.
He is third in command after Throe and seems particularly obsessed with sex. He was the one who administered Throe’s first beating in the Old Country, expecting an easy target, but was surprised to see Throe start learning on the spot.
After Xcor betrayed Throe, Zypher is about to lead a mutiny until Xcor’s blood drips through the floor above his head. This proof of Xcor’s genuine regret for his actions prevented the mutiny but was not enough to regain their loyalty.
One of the three cousins and Zypher’s partner in crime when it comes to sex and fighting. Labelled ‘the assassin’ by Xcor.
Another of the cousins, Xcor referred to him as ‘the thief’.
Lacking the ambition for personal power that led to Elan’s death, Tyhm approached Xcor with a legal means of removing Wrath from the throne by way of a law stating that the king must produce a full-blooded heir, which cannot be achieved with his half-breed shellan.
He is emaciated, in the glymera fashion, and is embarrassed by his unnatural son Saxton, to the point of hatred over his refusal to get mated to a female and behave normally.
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