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Author Topic: [Monthly Contest] Occult October  (Read 3022 times)
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« on: October 01, 2012, 03:57:31 PM »

Occult October



Listen to them - children of the night. What music they make.
- Bram Stoker's Dracula

The Contest:
In the spirit of the approaching All Hallows' Eve I figured we could have a little Halloween spirited fun. So this month's contest is about the occult and the creepy, the strange and the eerie. I want you to craft for us an occult being of some kind. Let your imagination run wild. Witches, ghouls, demons, haunted objects, and even stranger are the possibilities for this contest. Any being that you feel is Halloween appropriate is fair game. Tell us about this creature, the legends behind it, how it came to be, how it acts, what it does that gives it a claim to the super or unnatural, or anything else that you feel will better craft for us a vision of your ideas.

The Rules:
Entries should max out at about 500 words in order to keep them easily readable. Additionally these contests are focused on creative writing and imagination and so your entry should be rules system free. All entries should be one hundred percent fluff. You can add crunch if you want but the core of your entry should not be made up of it and it won't actually be considered part of the entry. All entries should be written inside of a CBG setting of your choice. As the entrant you are not required to follow the setting absolutely, merely to theme your entry such that you feel it would feel at home inside it.

Note that any entries made within this contest automatically give full rights of use to the author of the setting that the entry used (to be fair though I'd say it's a bit of an honor for a setting creator to like your entry enough to want it in their stuff). You of course still retain the rights associated with being the original creator of the entry.

Finally this contest is about giving you a chance to practice thinking on your feet and spontaneous creation in an unfamiliar situation. As such the core purpose of the contest is that you pick a setting that is not your own. I won't force you to do this but I highly encourage it as the practice is a big part of why we run these contests. Best of luck to all entrants, the contest runs until the end of the month and all entries should be posted in this thread. Remember to post which setting you're using at the top of your entry.
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« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2012, 06:34:05 PM »

The Tragical History of Marten Shadowen

You think you know, but you are never quite sure.
Your soul is ill, but you will not find a cure.
Your world was made for you by someone above,
But you choose evil ways instead of love.
You made me master of the world where you exist;
The soul I took from you was not even missed.
-Black Sabbath, “Lord of this World”

The mad wizard who terrorized Known Terra as Marten Shadowen was once known as Marten the Wise.  In those days, the Plane of Shadows was unknown to the wizardly inhabitants of Terra, and none of them knew the spells that draw on its power, like the Shadow Magic and Shadow Monsters spells.

Marten, upon learning the relatively simple spell of Continual Light and its converse, Continual Darkness, was fascinated by its the conjured darkness:  Where did it come from?  Is there more to be found there?  What else can this source of darkness be made to do?

Pursuing this line of questioning led Marten to the Plane of Shadows.  While wandering the dim and mostly barren Plane of Shadows, Marten met a mysterious being calling itself the Lord of Shadows.  Marten struck a bargain with this shadowy Lord; the exact terms are unknown, but upon his return to Terra, Marten was quite mad; he was also the first specialist Shadow Wizard on Terra and had in his possession the book and staff that bear his name.

Now calling himself Marten Shadowen, Marten began a campaign of terror across Terra, killing peasants simply to learn the strengths of his new spells, then reanimating the corpses as zombies and skeletons and turning a select few victims into undead shadows.

While rampaging across the Barbarian Lands, Marten Shadowen met his death at the claymore of Liam of the Tribe of the Ram.  Liam attempted to destroy Shadowen's artifacts but failed.  The current whereabouts of Shadowen's Book and the Staff of Shadowen are unknown.

It is believed that Shadowen's Book and the Staff of Shadowen confer powers that would be thought of as largely defensive in nature with a small number of very powerful offensive spells.  They are also expected to exert a corrupting effect on the owner.

Shadowen's Book is first and foremost a spellbook containing all the known spells of the School of Shadow, as well as around 80% of known Necromancy spells and about half of the most popular Illusions and Conjurations.  An evil owner of Shadowen's Book will gain the benefits of a Libram of Ineffable Damnation (advance one level as a Wizard) and of a Tome of Clear Thought (gain a point of Intelligence).  If someone not of evil alignment comes to possess Marten's book, there is a 10% cumulative chance per week of the possessor's alignment shifting towards evil.  Upon becoming evil, the possessor will gain the level and Intelligence point as detailed previously.
Shadowen's Book also confers the following spell-like abilities:
I Minor Benign Power:  Animate Dead (1 body) by touch up to seven times a week.
I Minor Benign Power:  Darkness 15' Radius up to three times a day.
II Major Benign Power:  Phantasmal Killer once a day.
II Major Benign Power:  Passwall up to twice a day.
IV Major Malevolent Effect:  Cumulative 1% chance per use of Prime Power of summoning the Lord of Shadows, who will destroy the owner's soul, possess his body, and then slay his henchmen and associates.
V Prime Power:  Double strength (for purposes of number of Hit Dice affected) Death spell, once a day.

The Staff of Shadowen is a blackened quarterstaff of stout oak.  The Staff will function as a Staff of Striking for any Wizard, although its to hit and damage bonus improves to +5.  Expending extra charges doubles or triples the damage bonus as is standard for a Staff of Striking.  The Staff has a pool of 30 Charges to power this and the Withering function; these charges regenerate to full at the stroke of midnight.  In the hands of a Shadow Wizard, the Staff also functions as a Staff of Withering and a Staff of the Serpent (may function as an adder or python at the owner's option).  A Wizard of any specialty other than Shadow Wizard, as well as generalist Mages, in possession of the Staff of Shadowen have a cumulative 15% chance per week of becoming a Shadow Wizard of their current level.  A Shadow Wizard will also gain the following spell-like abilities from the Staff:
I Minor Benign Power:  Speak With Dead once a day.
I Minor Benign Power:  Improved Invisibility 3 times a day
II Major Benign Power:  Slow once a day
II Major Benign Power:  Fear by gaze
IV Major Malevolent Effect:  After Prime Power is used, user goes insane 1D4 days.
V Prime Power:  Plane Shift once a day.

An evil Shadow Wizard with both the Book and the Staff also gains:
I Minor Benign Power:  Obscurement once a day
I Minor Benign Power:  Immune to fear
I Minor Benign Power:  Web once a day
II Major Benign Power:  Paralyzation by touch.
II Major Benign Power:  Dimension Door twice a day.

Because the Book and Staff want to be owned and used in order to spread their corruption, they are somewhat more gentle than other artifacts:  The Major and Minor Benign Powers may be used without ill effect, only the Prime Powers will trigger the Malevolent effects.
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What's a Minmei and what are its ballistic capabilities?

According to the Unitarian Jihad I'm Brother Nail Gun of Quiet Reflection


My campaign is Terra
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« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2012, 02:52:07 PM »

Out of Character

This is sort of a follow-up/expansion/prequel/sequel to the above entry.  Somehow I've become inspired.
The Rise of the Lord of Shadows
I will give you those things you thought unreal.
The Sun, the Moon, the stars all bear my seal.
-Black Sabbath, “N.I.B.”

Before the fall of the Rebel Angels/Spirits/Gods, the being who came to be known as Abraxas was already powerful and important.  He was created by the One to be the Tutelary Spirit of Magic.  As such, he was entrusted with great knowledge of spells.

When he heard of Lucifer and Satan's plan to rebel, Abraxas signed on with their cause, seeing it as a chance to increase his personal power.  Of all the rebels cast down after the failed rebellion, Abraxas was the least disappointed.  Instead, he saw it as his opportunity to explore the newly created multiverse and carve out his own niche.  Abraxas was the first sentient being to find the transitive plane known as the Plane of Shadows.

While he rose to greatness among the Daemons of True Evil under his own name, Abraxas, he also created an identity for himself on the Plane of Shadows as the Lord of Shadows.  In this guise, he created the Book of Shadows and the Staff of Shadows, which later became Shadowen's Book and the Staff of Shadowen.  Using these artifacts and his own power, The Lord of Shadows corrupted Marten the Wise into Marten Shadowen.

Since then, he has tried to spread knowledge of the School of Shadow upon the Prime Material and struck the occasional bargain.  He especially likes to offer power to Wizards in exchange for their corruption.

As a Daemon Lord of Primordial Age and the Tutelary Daemon of Magic, Abraxas is a being of immense power.  Adding the control of a Transitive Plane to that makes him even more dangerous, when he is acting as Lord of Shadows.

If your Player Characters insist on fighting him, they will almost certainly lose, but if you want a set of stats to prove it:

Abraxas (Tutelary Daemon of Magical Knowledge) [Lord of Shadows]
[Bracketed items refer to his Lord of Shadows persona on the Plane of Shadow]
Frequency:  Unique (Very Rare)
No. Appearing:  1
Armor Class:  -5, [-7]
Move:  12” [FL 18” (MC A)]
Hit Dice:  160 Hit Points [180 Hit Points]
%In Lair:  25% [35%]
Treasure Type N (*11), R, S, T, U
THAC0:  1
No. of Attacks:  1
Damage/Attack:  2d6 +5
Special Attacks:  Spell-like abilities and psionics
Special Defenses:  Daemon Immunities, +2 [+3] or better weapon to hit
Magic Resistance:  110% to 1st level spells [120%  to 1st level spells]
Intelligence:  God-like
Alignment:  Neutral Evil
Size:  M (6' Tall} [L (8' Tall)]
Psionic Ability:  310
Attack/Defense Modes:  All/All
Level/ X.P. Value:  X/Quite a lot

Abraxas has great illusory and shape-changing power, so it is uncertain what his true form is.  One of his favorites is a man-like torso with a rooster's head and a snake tail instead of feet.  He also will sometimes appear as a handsome man with wings, either bat-like or feathered.  As the Lord of Shadows, he is a looming humanoid figure composed of shadow.

If he deigns to enter physical combat, Abraxas wields a very stout quarterstaff that can at his option function as a Staff of Withering in addition to regular hit point damage.

As with all Daemons, Abraxas takes only half damage from acid, cold, and fire, as well as total immunity to poison, paralysis, Charm, Suggestion, and normal weapons.

He has the following spell-like abilities usable at will:  Detect Invisible, Read Magic, Comprehend Languages, Invisibility, telepathy with any being of low Intelligence or higher, Chill Touch, Ray of Enfeeblement, Change Self, Alter self, Polymorph Self, Shape Change, Spectral Force, Shadow Magic, Shadow Monsters, Continual Darkness, Evard's Black Tentacles, Wraithforrm, and Teleport Without Error

Once per day Abraxas may pronounce an Unholy Word;employ a Symbol of Hopelessness; Word of Recall back to either Gehenna or the Plane of Shadows; Gate in 1d8 Ebon Tigers, 1 Arcanadaemon, 2 Ultrodaemons, 3 Kelubar, or 2d6 undead Shadows; and fulfill another's Wish.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2012, 04:03:51 PM by khyron1144 » Logged

What's a Minmei and what are its ballistic capabilities?

According to the Unitarian Jihad I'm Brother Nail Gun of Quiet Reflection


My campaign is Terra
Please post in the discussion thread.

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« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2012, 07:48:42 PM »

The Watcher on the Waves (a.k.a Black Jandie)
For Mare Eternus

"The gales whipped up, the ship was dashed
Its noble prow was rent.
Upon that jagged rock ‘twas spent
Where Jandie’s eyes had flashed.

Her eyes be red as ember coals
Her hide as dark as night;
Oh keep my bonny sailor right
From Jandie's hateful shoals."
—Maeri Sea Shanty

Legends from an old Maeri tribe in the Deszollian Maze tells of a creature who lived on a patch of sharp rock who could command the wind and the waves, to wreck ships.  This figure, the Watcher on the Waves, was given the nickname of “Black Jandie,” as the sailors who returned with stories of her all described her as so dark that you could not make out her features.  Only her two burning eyes could be seen in her silhouette. 

Black Jandie is a sort of “sea hag;” a being of great magical power and wisdom, but a powerful and malevolent spirit.  Some call her a ghost, other a demon.  Some say she is the last of an old race that populated the Expanse before the Maeri and the other Crafters did.  Whatever she is, she is unimaginably old, twisted, and evil.

There are stories of desperate men who seek her out, asking her to grant a boon, or reveal some secret.  Such tales invariably end in disaster, as Jandie holds the races of the expanse in the deepest contempt.  Though she will sometimes strike a bargain with these foolish petitioners, it always comes at a horrible price, and her gifts often bring the receiver only more pain and suffering. 

One particular tale speaks of a man who wished to marry a girl above his birth.  So he sought out Black Jandie, begging to be granted the means to woo this girl.  Jandie agreed to give him a tonic that would make him irresistible, but he would only have a year with her before she would come for him.  He was so lovesick that one year of happiness with her seemed more a blessing than a century of life without her.  He took the tonic, and the object of his desire fell madly in love with him.  The pair eloped, and ran off together, but his bride’s family pursued them wherever they went, seeking revenge on the man who stole their daughter away.  Nowhere they went could they have peace, and nowhere could they be happy in their love.  For a year they ran, until one day they took shelter with a widow who lived alone.  The bride lamented that she had brought shame to her family, and knew they would hate her forever.  She lashed out in anger at her husband who sought to clear his head by speaking to the widow.  Unbeknownst to him, the tonic he took made him irresistible, not only to his bride, but to all women he spoke to.  The widow was struck with intense need to have the man, and she tried to force herself on him.  The bride, regretting her angry words, went looking for her husband, only to find the widow straddling him.  Distraught, the bride took her own life, and the weary and grief-stricken man waded out into the water, and Jandie’s cruel embrace.
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« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2012, 09:20:14 PM »

For Superbright's Manticore Gardens http://www.thecbg.org/index.php/topic,209633.0.html

In Character

O

I am the smell of thistles and holly, the consistency of liquid quicksilver, congealing in the pipe.
And then I slither out and down the throat
of a friend
And up into the mind to stimulate, to inebriate, to feed.
I am the dark substance of the weed.


Even the vapourous narcotics are alive with clever sentience in the Manticore Gardens. Out from the burning of the pipe comes a primordial creature that has split into many portions--that forms and dissipates, but not before exploding out like the seeds of a flower gone to wither and blow on the vagaries of the wind.

The opium ingested by nobles twists the corporeal shells that the smoke inhabit, causing the pitiful creatures to see visions and act as the opium dictates. When the opium wishes, it dines on the animals' minds, a parasite on life, taking bits and portions of brainpower and memories before it bursts, outside the body, to seed the fields and blow on the wind to give new birth to the little opiate plants, transferring racial memory of the memories of its victims for hundreds of cycles.

The opiates are separate, yet they are also one, the O on the wind, the O that travels, the O that subjugates, using living creatures to perpetuate their plantings and using living creatures to serve their whims, inventing fertilizer, and some argue, inventing the alchemical branches of magic practiced in the Realms, all the better to perpetuate themselves and to grow more opiates.

Immortal Babylon herself is addicted to the Opiates, some say, and others argue she is only immortal save by grace of synthesizing some of the opiates' longevity. Others argue that her longevity is from the dragons, or innate, but to those who Dream, the ones who daily dose themselves with the delights of the O, they know the truth is in the fragrance, in the sight, and that nothing human-or-god-made could exist were it not for the creativity that the O introduces.
[/ic]
« Last Edit: October 31, 2012, 09:22:26 PM by Light Dragon » Logged


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« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2012, 04:31:36 PM »

For Superbright's Black Chamber and/or Kindling's War on Horror.

JAILBAIT MALICE

REPORT 63: Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

CLASSIFED TOP SECRET CASE JAILBAIT MALICE, Department of Defense, October 27th, 2009

REPORT:

During a Task Force 161 reconnaissance mission along the northern Afghanistan-Uzbekistan border in the Balkh Province, Joint Task Force 2 commandoes entered the 17th Directorate base code-named NADIR-616, █ miles from Mazar-e Sharif at coordinates [DATA EXPUNGED] on the 13th of October, 2009.  The base was built on the ruin commonly known as the "City of Disbelievers," supposedly one of the pre-Islamic "thousand cities" of the Greco-Bactrian Kingdom constructed during the Macedonian conquests of Alexander the Great and itself built on the ruins of an even older city whose founding predates even the ancient city of Balkh, according to local legend.  The city outlasted the fall of the Kingdom but was reputedly sacked by the Mongols during their invasion of Central Asia and was virtually destroyed during Timur's campaign in present-day Afghanistan.  By this time the city had long been associated with heathenism, having resisted the Islamization of the region and continued in its unusual syncretic combination of Zoroastrianism, Hellenistic religion, Mauryan-imported Buddhism, and worship of [REDACTED], earning it its moniker.  After this point the now-ruinous city's history becomes unclear.  There are unconfirmed reports of a classified Ahnenerbe expedition to the city, presumably motivated by a desire to trace Aryan migration patterns, but it is unknown whether the Nazi archaeologists successfuly located the ruin or not.  The JTF 2 squad was able to confirm the presence of an abandoned 17th Directorate base built on the ancient ruins, presumably dating back to the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan.  Previous attempts by Black Chamber Operatives and associated intelligence agents to ascertain the ruins' precise whereabouts had been unsuccessful – though sightings of the city were common, its exact location proved difficult to determine, as if the city were moving around, or periodically disappearing and reappearing.

Following the confirmation of 17th Directorate infrastructure in the ruins the Canadians immediately withdrew from the area and relayed their discovery to CSIS and JSOC TF161 command in accordance with standard occult intelligence-sharing protocols of OEF-A-OCCINTEL. After withdrawing from the ruins several JTF 2 personnel reported headaches, dizziness, auditory hallucinations of "a woman screaming like she was being tortured, or giving birth," and bleeding from the nasal and aural cavities. (They would later complain of especially lurid night terrors of [DATA EXPUNGED], and several would wake after extended coma-like episodes having apparently acquired the ability to speak Avestan, Sogdian, Bactrian, or [REDACTED] while forgetting their native tongues - see attached addendum for further details.)  These reports were the first solid evidence of possible ENE presence at the site of NADIR-616.  After Canadian withdrawal, Black Chamber Field Operatives led by Cpt. ████████ entered the ruins and located NADIR-616, disarming the standard wards and booby-traps left by the Soviet thaumaturgists.  It proved necessary to cut through an emergency seal that had evidently been activated by Directorate staff.  The assumption that the base had been fully abandoned during the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan in 1989 proved false after the discovery of the cadavers of Directorate personnel in an advanced state of decomposition, many in postures suggesting suicide.  All signs pointed to a containment breach and lockdown.  Self-termination of Directorate staff under such conditions appears to be standard operating procedure based on similar incidents (see report ref. 738/703).

Black Chamber Field Operatives continued their exploration of NADIR-616, sections of which were underground in a retro-fitted tunnel-network of what appeared to be the remains of a Greek catacomb, though some engravings suggested repurposing as part of a Zoroastrian fire temple complex.  At this point several Operatives began reporting auditory hallucinations of tearful voices, "insane laughter," Avestan chants, and [DATA EXPUNGED], as well as phantosmia which one Operative described as "a smell of sex."  Two Operatives were forced to return to the surface after developing rapid-onset G43.1 classical migraine headaches with scotoma and hemiparesis.  Upon return to the surface one Operative underwent a complex partial seizure and was conveyed by a 43 AES C-130 Hercules to [REDACTED] (see attached addendum subsection vii for a full medical report).  The remaining Operatives continued deeper into NADIR-616 while noting possible spacetime curvatures consistent with Dyer-Thurston bubbles confirmed in the vicinity of [DATA EXPUNGED] (for further details note the attached paper on the subject by Dr. Benjamin Tippet, "Possible Spacetime Curvature in the South Pacific").  It was at this point that Black Chamber Field Operative █████ began aging at an accelerated rate, a process which went unnoticed by fellow-team-members until he experienced an ischemic stroke and collapsed.  Upon removal of his helmet it was discovered he was developing severe Morgagnian cataracts and pronounced achromotrichia (see attached addendum subsection viii for a full medical report).  He was evacuated to the surface but pronounced deceased before Medevac could arrive.  Other Operatives reported an intensification of auditory hallucinations, including "sexual grunts," a female voice giggling, and screams variously described as resembling a woman experiencing intense orgasm, giving birth, or being tortured.

With two Operatives incapacitated and a third deceased the remaining Black Chamber personnel instituted protocol 17B and began evacuation of NADIR-616, taking what 17th Directorate files and artifacts they had located with them.  Unfortunately this action appeared to provoke further Dyer-Thurston spacetime transformations, causing Operatives to become disoriented and lost on one of the lower levels of NADIR-616.  Presently, Lt. █████ reported symptoms of nausea, fatigue, and a strong need to urinate, as well as pains in her lower abdomen.  Such symptoms continued to intensify along with a reported craving for meat and abdominal swelling physiologically similar to pregnancy.  While the other Operatives searched for a way out of NADIR-616, Lt. █████, her breasts now leaking milk, declared that she could "feel the baby kicking!" and attacked Operative ████████ with her teeth in apparent need to feed the entity rapidly developing in her womb.  Black Chamber Cpt. ████████ ordered the rest of the team to open fire, terminating Lt. █████.  Only now did the ENE classified as JAILBAIT MALICE fully manifest, adopting a semblance visually similar to that found in CASE PUERILE RANCOR (see report ref. 54/36 and attached document "Gyllou/Obizou: Near Eastern Succubi, Ephebophilia, and The Testament of Soloman).  Cpt. ████████ reports that following its "birth" from Lt. █████ and adoption of its guise, JAILBAIT MALICE assumed a "lascivious posture" and attempted to initiate orgiastic sexual intercourse with remaining members of the team while speaking in a garbled combination of Avestan and [DATA EXPUNGED].  Several Operatives reported compulsions consistent with a Class Seven Glamer but were able to resist due to their standard conditioning, with the exception of Cpl. ████████ whose remains have not been retrieved for autopsy.  While the entity fed on Cpl. ████████, remaining Black Chamber Operatives initiated emergency protocol 23E and began rapid retreat.  They emerged from NADIR-616 several hours later having suffered no additional physical effects, though three members of the team are being treated for PTSD and one for severe sexual addiction.  The entrance to 17th Directorate base NADIR-616 was demolished using M112 Composition C4 Block Demolition Charges and subsequently exorcised.

RECOMMENDATION: Binding and incarcerating ENE classified JAILBAIT MALICE for further study a possibility.  Human Operatives discouraged unless chemically castrated and supplied with infertility treatment (both sexes).  Operatives should carry lead phylacteries, symbols of the Archangel Raphael, and should be brief on the 40 names of Antaura.  Possible connections with the ESE mythologically cognate with "Shub-Niggurath," "Lilith," and "Lamashtu" are to be investigated, as are any possible links with the 17th Directorate projects FECUND CATACLYSM and STALINIST GOTHIC.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2012, 02:52:06 PM by Steerpike » Logged


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« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2012, 04:45:00 PM »

Steerpike, your writeup sounds like a gaming session gone horribly wrong laugh or at least one with a lot of redshirt NPCs.

I am also interested in the project "stalinist gothic"...
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« Reply #7 on: November 01, 2012, 04:50:29 PM »

STALINIST GOTHIC is Superbright's invention - I think it has to do with the Soviets creating "artificial gods" or something.
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« Reply #8 on: November 01, 2012, 08:15:43 PM »

Ah, thank you- I see it's mentioned in the most recent post for the Black Chamber. I hadn't realized the 17th Directorate was being written up. I'll have to catch up with the new material.  Thank you for the pointer!
« Last Edit: October 16, 2014, 10:37:23 PM by Light Dragon » Logged


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« Reply #9 on: November 02, 2012, 03:35:29 PM »

Many thanks to all who entered smile

Voting will be up shortly
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