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Old 05-25-2011, 05:24 PM
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Default The Battle of Caemlyn, and other AMOLish things

So, there was a thread on this, but it got archived. So I'll start a new one. Presumably this battle is Demandred's Big Shindig as a general, and presumably it will be Mat's Shindig as well, and Mat will of course show Demandred how it's done. Another thing to consider is that Rand will probably die during the battle, if not in Caemlyn itself. What will go down at Merrilor? Pretty soon Rand's attention is going to be drawn to Caemlyn rather sharply (especially since Elayne is at Merrilor); while he was dreaming about Cyndane, Perrin might have been investigating the dreamspike. Rand already knows about it; he intimated as much, and that he understood one of the Forsaken was involved there. What is he going to do about it? It seems doubtful they will come to an agreement before noon, and it seems unlikely they will remain ignorant of the attack even that long.

In any case, Brandon said repeatedly that much of the Black Tower action was intended to be included in TOM but got moved to AMOL. So it seems most likely the battle will occur right off, no matter how many other things are going on at the same time. The book was also supposed to end with a reunion of 'all' the major plotlines, supposedly including Mat. If Mat makes it that far (to Merrilor), then it seems doubtful he will stay much longer than is necessary to grab the other half of the Band and run. Brandon also considered cutting much of Pevara's story and publishing it as a novella on his website, but some vocal fans nixed that idea pretty quickly.

Confirmed combatants:

Massive Shadowspawn Army √

Half of the Band of the Red Hand √

Olver √

Potential combatants:

Demandred and Mat Most likely the generals of the battle. Mat has memories of attacking Caemlyn, and no doubt they will be put to good use. Demandred has been seen spying on Caemlyn, and though he was unaware at the time of Rand's connection to Elayne, he probably thinks of Andor as Rand's homeland.

Ten thousand mercenaries!
Elayne is not worried about them, but Mat is. Who would you listen to? Sure, Mat is a little paranoid these days, but there is some foreshadowing of mercenaries taking money from the bad guys in KOD, and Roedran has gold. Others do too. The Forsaken can presumably extort gold without much effort in this Age; none of them seem to have had a problem with it. And with a huge battle already being planned, how could they pass up this opportunity? Elayne doesn't have the funds to hire them, and by now the mercenaries will have figured that out.

The Legion of the Dragon These guys are fishy, not least because they were Taim's idea. They are camped outside Caemlyn to the west (the Band is also camped on the west side of the city). They are highly trained, dangerous, and mostly an unknown element. They are the rejects from the Black Tower who fail the test - the larger number of Taim's recruits by far. Bashere has not been absent from them quite as much as Rand has been from the Black Tower, but it's pretty close. Who knows what they get up to? Also in their ranks are the Illianer soldiers who were loyal to 'Lord Brend'. But that's not fishy at all.

The Black Tower It looms large on the east side of the city, and there is craziness going down there as we speak. Taim may manage to turn as many as 2-300 channelers to the Shadow before his defenses are penetrated (including the Reds, the Asha'man, and the rebels sent by Egwene) though Min's viewing of Logain and Faolain give us some hope. The dreamspike is not only portable, but its area is adjustable. It may be that Caemlyn can be included within its affected area, which would make things difficult at best. Gateways might be the only feasible way to save the city from the Shadowspawn.

Roedran and Murandy The only ruler who didn't show up at Merrilor. Do we have to wonder why? I don't think so. The Murandians hate the Andorans, so it's completely unnecessary for them to be Darkfriends. If the Shadowspawn remain inside the city, then it will be easy enough to deploy the Murandians outside the walls to attack the Band (and whoever might join them) from behind. They might not find out they were fighting on the Shadow's side until it's all over with. That could be interesting, since the Band recruited heavily from Murandy, and the Murandians are probably still a little pissed that they marched all the way across Murandy with the Aes Sedai and practically dared the Murandians to try to do anything about it. No doubt that played some part in Roedran's plan to unite them against the Band in the first place, and no doubt 'Roedran' used their stealthy departure to incite still more rage.

Cyndane, Moghedien, and Slayer These guys are most likely to be guarding the dreamspike, since Perrin proved that Slayer wasn't enough. Perhaps Cyndane has something more important to do, but I don't think it's coincidental that of the five Forsaken left, three of them are clearly the most talented in Tel'aran'rhiod of the bunch. Graendal is useless there, so I'm expecting her to be deployed elsewhere if not quickly dead. Some think she will be the only one to survive into the Fourth Age. But perhaps she can be used in Caemlyn or in Tel'aran'rhiod. Mesaana was not known to be particularly talented in the Dream, but she was competent at least. Maybe Graendal is too. Maybe Graendal will be sent to do something special in the palace since she knows the area. But I'm thinking it more likely she will be Mindtrapped and sent to cultivate the threads she recently planted around Tuon. With the loss of Semirhage, you'd think that would be a high priority for Moridin. It would be interesting to see Tuon break Graendal's Compulsion; if she can resist Rand's ta'veren pull on strength of will alone, then surely she could manage that much. It could also have interesting implications for the damane issue, and influence how Tuon handles it. It also has the potential to put Tuon in a position where she feels the need to channel (or for that matter, she could be collared and forced to channel).

The Seanchan This is a big iffy one. Tuon plans to attack Tar Valon again, but no one is home, though she might try to steal the Horn. Notably, it's been a month since Tuon decided to attack the Tower again. Will she attack the Field of Merrilor instead? Or Caemlyn? The Camlann (and 'camlann') parallels would suggest a confusion between Caemlyn and Tar Valon, which might suggest simultaneous battles that in legend were merged into one battle. What about the Black Tower? I can see something like an Asha'man attack on the Tarasin Palace to incite Tuon to attack the Black Tower. Tuon could change her mind and decide to attack Illian; that would be a good distraction from Caemlyn and the Borderlands. Mat might face her there, though probably not till after Caemlyn. She might steal the Horn from the Tower and find that it doesn't work for them because only Mat can blow it. She seemed to indicate that the Horn is mentioned in her prophecies. In any case, it seems likely the Seanchan will be kicking around at the time of Merrilor/Caemlyn to confuse the issue, or rather to make it more interesting.

The Merrilorians and the Merrilins Or maybe Thom will marry into Damodred. That would seem to make more sense. Anyway, who knows how many of them will show up? It depends on the Seanchan, whether or not they attack, and whether or not there are distractions from other places, such as Tarwin's Gap, or other places where Shadowspawn might be massing. It seems doubtful they could have gotten another army of them through the Ways to attack somewhere else, but who knows? Maybe they have someone who could do it using a Portal Stone, more efficiently than the guy who was doing it in TOM. Then of course there's Moiraine, the big mystery, despite that everyone thinks it's so predictable; I think it more likely that she will kill Rand (with Alivia's help of course) than tell him some secret gotten from the Aelfinn. Who knows what she will do first when she finds Rand?

Rand and Moridin Egwene has a dream of Logain stepping over Rand's dead body to mount a black stone which probably represents the position of the M'Hael. This is presumably his glory. Since Logain is clearly pointed at the Black Tower, then it seems likely that Rand will die during the battle, maybe even before. He might not have to face Moridin at all for this to happen, but we can be pretty certain that the link between them will be important in some way. I think that link is why Rand's death is necessary, but I expect there to be a moment of uncertainty before his death where either Moridin gains control of Rand's body (this would be dramatic) or Rand's body is killed and Rand's soul is trapped in Moridin's body with no control.

I expect about half the book to be about these things - Caemlyn, the Black Tower, Rand's death, and the last offensive from the Seanchan, wherever it might fall. The other half I expect to be mostly about Tarwin's Gap, Rand's resurrection, Shayol Ghul and sealing the Bore, and the Seanchan truce/Aviendha and the Aiel thing. The last I expect to happen while Rand is dead, and I expect it to take the form of 1) Tuon is made Empress of all Randland, 2) Tuon agrees to end the practice of collaring channelers and hopefully da'covale too, and 3) Mat and Tuon finally get it on (not necessarily in that order).

There are other things, like Cadsuane vs Sorilea (Cadsuane at least still has something to teach Rand and the Asha'man, most likely with her death). How will Demandred die? Will Cyndane turn? If not, will she make a move on Rand's life? Will Rand try to rescue her? What's going to happen with the Callandor circle thing? Breaking the seals? The Dark Prophecy seems to indicate that Rand will try to break the seals before he dies. These, along with Fain, are the big wild cards IMO. And the issue of where the Seanchan will attack, since it's probably not going to be the Tower. The Horn is another big wild card. When will it be used? Where? Illian does seem likely, but at the same time, Illian seems like an unnecessary distraction. If it goes down that way, then most likely Illian would happen after the Great Battle (at Caemlyn) is done. The Guardians balance the Servants, the land divided by the Return, yada yada. Meanwhile Rand is being resurrected. In that case, Rand would probably be directly involved with the truce.
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Old 05-25-2011, 05:39 PM
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I don't think Rand will be involved in the battle of Caemlyn. I think the end of TOM indicates him going off half-cocked to rescue Mierin/Lanfear/Cyndane, and dying in the attempt, either because "It's a trap!" or because it goes wrong. When he doesn't turn up to the Merrilor meeting, it becomes clear what has happened - either because he takes one ally with him or because the Shadow strikes.

I think some of the plot points for AMOL are reasonably easy to extrapolate, some of them tougher. I think there will be some manner of Pyrrhic victory for the Seanchan, and some sort of accommodation between the Seanchan and the AS. I can't see the Seanchan readily accepting AS or sending their channelers off the be trained on any terms other than those of Tear. At some point the Seanchan are also going to have to work out some method of dealing with male channelers. I just don't think widespread usage of the Sad bracelets is going to cut it, given the obvious problems with them.
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Old 05-25-2011, 05:41 PM
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hen he doesn't turn up to the Merrilor meeting...
He was asleep on the Field of Merrilor when he had the dream.
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Old 05-25-2011, 05:44 PM
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The Seanchan — This is a big iffy one. Tuon plans to attack Tar Valon again, but no one is home, though she might try to steal the Horn.
T, is there evidence that Tuon or the Seanchan have any idea the Horn is there or is this just a "wow, look at what we found" kind of conjecture? I mean, odds are that Verin hid it very very well. The Seanchan had the Horn in their possession for a good 4-5 months and thought it was a mere trinket. Considering their view on "superstitions" I doubt they'd even really see the significance of the Horn. Tuon doesn't even believe in ta'veren despite being married to one.
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Old 05-25-2011, 06:20 PM
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T, is there evidence that Tuon or the Seanchan have any idea the Horn is there or is this just a "wow, look at what we found" kind of conjecture? I mean, odds are that Verin hid it very very well. The Seanchan had the Horn in their possession for a good 4-5 months and thought it was a mere trinket. Considering their view on "superstitions" I doubt they'd even really see the significance of the Horn. Tuon doesn't even believe in ta'veren despite being married to one.
She definitely is aware of the significance.

KoD Ch 8 - she's playing stones with Mat, mentions the horn, and then...

Quote:
"The Horn of Valere?" he said weakly. The Prophecies said what? "It's been found, then?"

"It must have been, mustn't it, if it was sounded?" she drawled dryly. "The reports I've seen from the place where it was blown, a place called Falme, are very disturbing. Very disturbing. Securing whoever blew the Horn, man or woman, may be as important as securing the Dragon Reborn himself. Are you going to play a stone or not, Toy?"
The alarming bit from the prophecies that added to Mat's alarm was her comment that the Seanchan prophecies included that bit about the Dragon kneeling to the Crystal Throne.

Anyway, it would appear that she doesn't know where it is, but is very aware of both its significance, and probably (considering her insistence on finding not just it, but the person who blew it) of the importance of both the sounder and the horn, not just the horn in isolation.
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Old 05-25-2011, 06:20 PM
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T, is there evidence that Tuon or the Seanchan have any idea the Horn is there or is this just a "wow, look at what we found" kind of conjecture?
Total conjecture, but it comes up a lot.

Quote:
I mean, odds are that Verin hid it very very well. The Seanchan had the Horn in their possession for a good 4-5 months and thought it was a mere trinket.
Turak never thought it a trinket, though he displayed it like one. He just didn't feel he had much use for it since blowing it would be considered a challenge to the Empress.

Quote:
Considering their view on "superstitions" I doubt they'd even really see the significance of the Horn. Tuon doesn't even believe in ta'veren despite being married to one.
We've had her thoughts on the Horn. She takes it seriously, and thinks it is all the more important that she find Rand if he was the one to blow the Horn. Hence the statement that their prophecies probably mention it.
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Old 05-25-2011, 06:21 PM
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Wait, I thought you were getting the whole "die at noon" thing from the Gawyn/Gawain link. Is there a reason it's still part of the theory even though he's not?

Dav, Tuon knows what the Horn is and that it was used at Falme. She said as much to Mat at some point in the interminable "run away with the circus part II" sequence.
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Old 05-25-2011, 06:33 PM
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He was asleep on the Field of Merrilor when he had the dream.
Yes, but the actual meeting hadn't yet taken place. The way I see it, he wakes up, runs off, and doesn't make it back.
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Old 05-25-2011, 06:42 PM
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Yes, but the actual meeting hadn't yet taken place. The way I see it, he wakes up, runs off, and doesn't make it back.
Well that would be the pinnacle of irresponsibility. If he were to do that he would be worthy of the levels of bile we regularly seen directed at Egwene.

Imagine organising an important conference, inviting everyone, then not showing up?

Of course I get what you are saying that he would go off intending to come back but he would have to be aware off the risk and to do so the night before the meeting would be pure idiocy.

Plus I thought he promised to stop doing that type of thing anymore - not that that has necessarily stopped him before - but it would kind of make a lie of the whole Rand Sedai thing.
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Old 05-25-2011, 07:18 PM
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Fair enough, T. I hadnt ever thought about the Seanchan and the Horn. Thanks.
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Old 05-25-2011, 09:19 PM
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The Seanchan This is a big iffy one. Tuon plans to attack Tar Valon again, but no one is home, though she might try to steal the Horn. Notably, it's been a month since Tuon decided to attack the Tower again. Will she attack the Field of Merrilor instead? Or Caemlyn? The Camlann (and 'camlann') parallels would suggest a confusion between Caemlyn and Tar Valon, which might suggest simultaneous battles that in legend were merged into one battle. What about the Black Tower? I can see something like an Asha'man attack on the Tarasin Palace to incite Tuon to attack the Black Tower. Tuon could change her mind and decide to attack Illian; that would be a good distraction from Caemlyn and the Borderlands. Mat might face her there, though probably not till after Caemlyn. She might steal the Horn from the Tower and find that it doesn't work for them because only Mat can blow it. She seemed to indicate that the Horn is mentioned in her prophecies. In any case, it seems likely the Seanchan will be kicking around at the time of Merrilor/Caemlyn to confuse the issue, or rather to make it more interesting.
There is of course the Egwene/Seanchan woman dream that suggests some further interaction between the Aes Sedai and the Seanchan. If not a direct attack on Tar Valon by the Seanchan, it seems that at the very least both the Amyrlin and the Seanchan will play a key role in coming to some agreement to work together for the Last Battle, though this might be after Rand dies (and in my opinion, it probably will be).
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Old 05-27-2011, 01:25 AM
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I'll throw in a thing I'm looking for. Birgitte dies during that battle.

I hope. She's funny as a character, but I'm looking for some real hurt to Light side (and to us readers too). We need some major damage to the Randland as we know it. Multiple kinswomen and Aes Sedai will not just suffice anymore. Someone we have grown emotionally attached to need to die (and not be raised again). It's about time to move from kids fantasy to adult fantasy.

Interesting thread and nice speculation. Very interesting indeed. And it would tie nicely if Dem was gholam's master that wanted Mat out of the picture more than anyone else.

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Old 05-27-2011, 01:44 AM
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If Elayne were further along with her pregnancy then what I would like to see is her rushing back to lead her armies (for which there is much foreshadowing). In the battle she then gets mortally wounded causing her to go into premature labour from which come perfectly healthy babes.

The impact this would have on Rand would be fascinating to for him to find out that he is a father, his lover and bond-mate are dead, right as he is about to break the seals and die to save the world.

Would add much deeper levels of emotion and complexity to the whole situation.

But sadly this isn't a realistic scenario as much as I would like it to take place.
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Old 05-27-2011, 01:29 PM
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There is of course the Egwene/Seanchan woman dream that suggests some further interaction between the Aes Sedai and the Seanchan. If not a direct attack on Tar Valon by the Seanchan, it seems that at the very least both the Amyrlin and the Seanchan will play a key role in coming to some agreement to work together for the Last Battle, though this might be after Rand dies (and in my opinion, it probably will be).
Yeah, the other dream about Rand confronting her and the Seanchan woman seems to suggest they will be on the same side by the time he returns from the dead. That's unlikely to happen before Merrilor. I'm thinking Merrilor has got to be a big red herring for the Dragon's Peace showdown. It will probably end up being nothing more than a hasty staging ground.

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I'll throw in a thing I'm looking for. Birgitte dies during that battle.
Min's viewings seem to speak against it.

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Interesting thread and nice speculation. Very interesting indeed. And it would tie nicely if Dem was gholam's master that wanted Mat out of the picture more than anyone else.
It's certainly possible, since it was tracking Mat, and Mat disappeared in Murandy. Good call; I might add that to the Demandred FAQ page.
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Old 05-27-2011, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Terez View Post
I'm thinking Merrilor has got to be a big red herring for the Dragon's Peace showdown. It will probably end up being nothing more than a hasty staging ground.
The more I think about it, the more this idea makes sense. Right now it seems like a convenient way to get everyone in the same place, and maybe someone will spout some platitudes, but in the end I can't see much happening there.

The lack of intervening information is frustrating, but I wonder if Rand met with Mat at some point prior. Rand is a competent general, but he's going to have to cede the reins to Mat when it comes to the armies' disposition. Somewhere Mat has to take charge and start planning, else it will be total chaos. Where better than Merrilor?
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Old 05-27-2011, 03:16 PM
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Yeah, I had this idea of Mat setting up a gateway portal on the Field, kind of like a security room with all the TVs. Set up a few cannons, adjust gateways as needed, etc. With a hefty shield for Mat, of course.
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Old 05-27-2011, 04:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Terez View Post
Yeah, I had this idea of Mat setting up a gateway portal on the Field, kind of like a security room with all the TVs. Set up a few cannons, adjust gateways as needed, etc. With a hefty shield for Mat, of course.
LOL! I think some of the fanboys just...um... Well you made them happy.

That is actually a really cool idea. You could set up flanking attacks that way with absolutely no risk. Interesting...
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Old 05-27-2011, 04:06 PM
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I'm reconsidering the Seanchan woman again; the one that confronts Rand with Egwene might be Seta or Bethamin, at Merrilor. (There might be time for some deliberating before all hell breaks loose.) Seta in particular is set up to become an Egwene-worshiper, just out of guilt. She held Egwene's collar more often than anyone other than Renna. And of course, Renna is dead; Egwene really needs to set Mat straight about that. But anyway, now Seta has channeled, so she'll likely beg Egwene to let her become a novice and to punish her for her previous cruelty to the Amyrlin.

But it could also be Egeanin, since of course there is a possibility that Egwene would not be quickly inclined to accept Seta, and Egeanin is already friends with Nynaeve and Elayne, both of whom finally came to respect and accept her (before she turned coat on the Seanchan, really). Some think she will be the Seanchan woman with the sword, too. She's probably the best possibility aside from Tuon; I like Tuon because I like the idea of her having Justice, and there's also the dream about the female hawk stretching out her wing to touch Egwene. That could be Berelain, though.
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Old 05-27-2011, 04:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Terez View Post
Rand and Moridin Egwene has a dream of Logain stepping over Rand's dead body to mount a black stone which probably represents the position of the M'Hael. This is presumably his glory. Since Logain is clearly pointed at the Black Tower, then it seems likely that Rand will die during the battle, maybe even before. He might not have to face Moridin at all for this to happen, but we can be pretty certain that the link between them will be important in some way. I think that link is why Rand's death is necessary, but I expect there to be a moment of uncertainty before his death where either Moridin gains control of Rand's body (this would be dramatic) or Rand's body is killed and Rand's soul is trapped in Moridin's body with no control.
I'm curious about Rand's thought that Cadsuane indirectly taught him that he is not supposed to be a weapon. The easy answer is that he realized he was supposed to be a sacrifice, but I wonder how that can play into the Moridin link and/or his death at Caemlyn if that's what happens.

Moreover, why does Rand have to sacrifice himself...or rather what is the mechanism by which that will re-seal the Bore? He told Egwene that both saidin and saidar would be needed. Is this why Alivia has to help him die?

<wild speculation>
There hasn't been much talk about which women will be Heroes of the Horn, just the three men. We've all speculated that either Rand will re-appear as called by the Horn of Valere, or Nynaeve will figure out how to rip him from the Dream World. What if Nynaeve is destined to be a Heroine of the Horn, and actually needs to be in Tel'aran'rhiod to help Rand seal the Bore? I'm thinking when Lan dies she'll want to die too, and Alivia will be conveniently on-hand to help out.
</wildness>
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Old 05-27-2011, 04:19 PM
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this whole thread makes me not want to read the book :P

I'm getting excited though, and it's 12+ months away :/
 


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