Sep 20 2013 4:30pm

Malazan Reread of the Fallen: Stonewielder, Chapter One

Ian C Esslemont Stonewielder Malazan Book of the Fallen Welcome to the Malazan Reread of the Fallen! Every post will start off with a summary of events, followed by reaction and commentary by your hosts Bill and Amanda (with Amanda, new to the series, going first), and finally comments from readers. In this article, we’ll cover chapter one of Stonewielder.

A fair warning before we get started: We’ll be discussing both novel and whole-series themes, narrative arcs that run across the entire series, and foreshadowing. Note: The summary of events will be free of major spoilers and we’re going to try keeping the reader comments the same. A spoiler thread has been set up for outright Malazan spoiler discussion.

Just a note to say that Bill’s house is full of plague this week, so he will be catching up his commentary at a later point in the comments section. Let’s all wish him a swift recovery!



We’re introduced to Lord Protector of the Stormwall Hiam and his aide, Staff Marshal Shool as they discuss the dwindling number of Wall defenders. Hiam tells Shool to press for more provincial call-ups and when Shool asks if Hiam expects an offensive from the Malazans, Hiam says an offensive, but not from them.


As Hiam and Shool exit, Hiam thinks of how the Malazans are mere distractions from the real enemy (the Riders). Hiam meets Wall Marshall/Quartermaster Quint and performs an inspection that reveals worsened equipment. Hiam thinks how the tribute and taxes are a lot less, especially with the Malazan “emboldening” certain regions. Quint complains about how the Wall is more reliant than ever on foreign levies, informs Hiam of a bad crack in the Wall near Vor, and complains about Master Engineer Stimins’ focus on minor issues. Hiam defends Stimins, saying he’s worried about the Wall’s foundations, a concern Quint dismisses. Quint scorns most of the new “recruits” as useless and warns they won’t get more than another season out of the “Malazan” champion (the prisoner laughs whenever they call him Malazan) because he has a death wish.


Hiam finds Stimins inspecting the wall. Stimins tells him the constant assault of frost and the moisture freezing “explosively” was undermining the wall, though he says they could have one year or a hundred.


Ivanr is farming in an isolated area in deep southern Jourilan and is visited by the priestess, a “foreigner come to convert an entire land.” From narration and the Priestess, we learn Ivanr had years of dueling and training, is part Toblakai, and “defied the call to the Stormwall.” The Priestess says his concern of being not “worthy” or not certain doesn’t matter to Dessembrae, the Lord of Tragedy, who requires that minds be open. Ivanr warns her that the Lady has always ruthlessly dealt with upstart religions. She leaves him the symbol of Dessembrae’s cult—an iron nail and lace of leather that look like a miniature sword.


Ivanr recalls how years ago he’d refused the Call and refused to fight or train anymore. He’d been beaten and exiled from the city and so he’d just kept walking south until he hit this area, home to purebred and mixed Thel. Then rumors of the Dessembrae cult had arisen, preaching against the Wall, the Lady, and advocating non-violence. After that the prisoner squads of the heretics had started being marched by.


A month after the Priestess’ visit, an old mean leads a group of beggar heretics by and stops to ask Ivanr for water. He tells Ivanr he can’t hide from life.


Bakune is inspecting the corpse of a nun from the Our Lady Hospice, apparently a madwoman. Bakune is unsure though and decides to visit the Abbot at the Temple. When he informs the Watch, he is dismayed by where their lack of enthusiasm.


Bakune enters the Cloister, passing by Guardians of the Faith, a military order created to deal with the Malazan invasions and one which Bakune dislikes for its rival nature and the ways it sets itself above the law. He meets with Abbot Starvann, who tells him he’d already learned of Sister Prudence’s death, who’d had to have been restrained due to mental problems for some time. When Bakune asks about her duties, the Abbot says nothing unordinary. Before leaving, Bakune asks if Prudence had any friends and the Abbot says Sister Charity, but she left the order years ago.


Kyle, who had taken up as a hired sword for a man named Best, hasn’t done much for a year but his boss Tar Kargin gets him and others together for a money-collecting job. Kyle isn’t a fan.


Kargin tells Kyle that Greymane’s backers have foreclosed on his school, but some out-of-towner bought up his debts.


Kyle goes to the school and finds Greymane completely drunk. He tells them he thinks the Malazans have found him. Four strangers show up and Greymane knows them, identifying them as Korelri veterans of the Stormwall. Greymane tells Kyle to use his special sword, but Kyle tells him it as stolen from his room. The Korelri leader, Cullel, tells Greymane he’s been found guilty of making pacts with the enemy, and Greymane admits he talked to them. Kyle is getting it handed to him when Greymane suddenly has his own special sword with which he cuts down the Korelri. Before dying, Cullel calls Greymane “Stonewielder” and tells Kyle the sword was his reward. Greymane says the sword, which he calls useless, was given to him by the Stormriders when he spoke to them out of gratitude for talking to them, adding they found the sword deep beneath the sea and that it is very old. He says the Riders claimed they weren’t the enemy at all and that the Korelri were “denying them access to their own territory and blocking some kind of holy obligation or holy pilgrimage.” He explains how he was arrested by Malazan High Command, governor Hemel ‘Et Kelal, even though he’d been in command of the Malazan military in Korel. Greymane says he’ll get Kyle’s sword back (Best stole it) and meet him at the waterfront where they’ll find a ship heading out in the morning.


The next morning, on board a ship, Kyle sees Greymane, carrying Kyle’s sword, running toward the dock chased by a small army.


A Delanss nobleman, who’d worked with the Korelri, meets a woman (whom he considers a “fanatic”) at Greymane’s abandoned school. He apologizes for not having captured Greymane, but she says it isn’t a problem; she and her people now know Greymane is “exactly the one we want.”


Corlo, held prisoner by the Korelri Chosen, is taken from his cell and led to Iron Bars’ barracks, where he’s told to convince him of where his “best interests lie.” Corlo finds Bars wild-looking, holding a blade to his own neck (which Corlo points out won’t do anything). Corlo hopes Bars can still feel something. Iron Bars tells him he can’t go on like this, that he’s dying despite being immortal. When Corlo suggests Bars walk away, his commander tells him he refuses to leave any of the Guard behind. Corlo tells him the Chosen won’t kill any of the Guard; they need everyone, and he suggests Bars go to Stratem. Corlo scorns the idea, recalling how Skinner mocked him and how the Guard betrayed its vow, then left him and his group to rot. Though it pains him, he tells Bars he has to hang on, “for the men.” He leaves, considering himself a traitor to his friend.


Kiska is about to enter the Deadhouse on Malaz Island, when Agayla stops her and brings her to her shop. Agayla says she’s heard of how Tayschrenn was sucked into a void and has since disappeared, and tries to reassure Kiska that she’d done all she could as Tayschrenn’s bodyguard, but the Avowed are pretty high-class opponents. Kiska tells her she was going to ask the Deadhouse Guardian to help her find the mage in return for Kiska’s promise of service, and when Agayla criticizes the idea, Kiska is a bit condescending and dismissive of her aunt’s power/knowledge with regard to such deep matters/powers. Agayla reminds Kiska she’s not all that grown up yet and tells her to sleep, and dream.


Agayla communes with the Enchantress, telling her she may have a solution to a problem they’d already discussed. The Enchantress tells her to bring Kiska. Agayla sorrows over this path, but couldn’t think how else to stop Kiska.


In Banith, a group of four thugs hired by the City Watch are about to attack the new priest in his temple, when they are interrupted by a huge figure who tells them he is a thief. He knocks out two and the other two flee. The priest finds him bent over the bodies and asks what he’s doing. The two (Ipshank—the priest, Manask—the thief) know each other from before. Ipshank tells Manask he has found a new god other than Fener. Ipshank tells Manask he’ll ruin everything, and Manask assumes Ipshank is running a new scam, just like the old days. Ipshank, though, says there’s no scam; he’s retired. He leaves Manask in the alley, saying they’re no longer associates. Manask leaves, thinking this “no longer associates” is part of the scam, that this is just how they’re “playing it.”

Amanda’s Reaction

So, anyone else delighted at learning a new word? For me, thalassocracy fits totally into that. Had not a clue what it meant on first reading it.

It is a little odd reading that snippet of history and knowing that the Malazans failed to conquer Korel by sea, especially as they are now seen as invaders in the current day. How did they conquer Korel if not by sea? Or have they not conquered it?

The repetitive tactics mentioned about the Stormriders—it brought nothing to mind so much as the same tactics employed in the trenches during World War I. Throwing millions of men forwards in an effort to scrape a little more ground. It also made me think about how effective the Stormriders would be with a master strategist on their side. Having read a little more of the chapter, I then thought that maybe it’s just those who thought the attempts by the Stormriders were futile didn’t actually see their long game at all in trying to bring down the Stormwall.

Temal-Esh—the same Temal that we saw in the prologue?

I’ve got to say, it seems as though recruiting bodies for the Stormwall would be a difficult activity! It’s not exactly a fun existence, so I’m not surprised by the drop in numbers. Esslemont was at pains to make this important, so I am guessing we shall hear more about this. Also, it strikes me that “recruitment” will be on a little less than voluntary basis!

I am not clear at all what is going on in the exchange concerning the offensive not being done by the Malazans, where Shool feels the need to apologise to Lord Protector Hiam? What is going on there? Why is an apology necessary?

Hmm, falling numbers on the Wall and a drop in the quality of materials and supplies… Looks like things are going a little downhill:

“As they made their inspection tour, Hiam could not help noting troubling details even as he passed them over without comment: cracked steps in ill-repair; torn baskets that ought to be replaced; thin frayed rope past its best years; the tattered edges of Quint’s cloak and his cracked sandals.”

Hmm, so a Master Engineer is worried about the foundations of the Stormwall… Reckon that might have a bearing on later events?

The current champion must be Iron Bars!

And it seems, from what the Engineer says, that the Stormriders really have been playing a very long game when it comes to removing the Wall. I’m betting that, out of the two options he gives, the Stormwall probably doesn’t have another 100 years in it!

I’m intrigued but confused about the scene between the Priestess of Dessembrae and Ivanr, half-Toblakai and person who refused the call to fight on the Wall. It’s early days, though—I’ll be patient! Just wondering whether Traveller is Dessembrae at this point? He’s always confused me, being Dessembrae. Not sure how that works, and definitely not sure how it was affected by events at the end of Toll the Hounds.

Isn’t it odd how alternative religions are often seen as places where orgies and baby eating is conducted? We’re really not very tolerant of that which is different. “It seemed strange to him that everyone should be so ready to believe that a cult that preached nonviolence should also be murdering babies.”

And back to Bakune, where it’s made clear that there have been a number of corpses recently and he probably hasn’t even seen all of them. This particular corpse, a nun, died in a particularly grisly manner. Are we looking at a serial killer? Or death in the name of religion, this cult of Dessembrae that seems keen to bring others down?

Why does Bakune have so little influence and reputation? Because of where he comes from? Because the role of Assessor is seen as unimportant and/or futile?

Hmm, this doesn’t sound like a very healthy state of affairs:

“Here also patrolled Guardians of the Faith in their dark severe robes, armed with iron-heeled staves. The order had begun as a militant cadre of the faith in response to the Malazan invasions. It was charged with the duty to protect the pilgrims, and the faith itself, from backsliding and corruption.”

Our Lady sounds like a very jealous goddess, if she requires this much.

Heh, this struck me as odd wording: “He drew off his other glove to better appreciate the blossoms of the late-blooming winter-lace…” Why does he need his glove off to do that? Just an idle query!

I can’t help but still see Kyle as this young, green lad, with little experience of the world, so it seems strange to me that he is now a sellsword and making a living (or trying to) in Delanss. The comment about him becoming aware of needing cash for living expenses does make me think about the sheltering bubble of the armed forces, how making the transition to civilian life can be hard. Certainly I’ve known a few soldiers personally who have found it hard to adjust.

This Kyle, who examines goblets in what seems like a bored fashion while an old man has his hand beaten to a pulp, just doesn’t seem like the character we met before.

So someone has bought Orjin’s debts? Out of a kind-hearted sense of doing the right thing? I really doubt it!

Ha, Greymane really has put himself about over the course of his life, hasn’t he? Not just being involved with the Malazans, but also with the Crimson Guard and now we find out that he spoke with the Stormriders as well.

Huh. Greymane is the titular Stonewielder, and the sword was given to him by the Stormriders… A few more pieces of the puzzle have been put onto the table, but I have no idea yet about the overall picture.

What “ancient obligation” or “holy pilgrimage” is the Stormwall and therefore, I guess, the goddess preventing the Stormriders from doing?

Haha, and now Orjin is back to being Greymane! My mind is awhirl with ALL THE NAMES!

I’m wondering if the woman who encounters the Delanss nobleman in Greymane’s old school is also from the Wall, and that actually they want Greymane to become the next Champion?

Ye Gods, I didn’t stop to think how the vow of someone in the Crimson Guard would affect them on the Stormwall! No wonder Iron Bars has proved so resilient. “I’m dying but I cannot die.” What an absolute nightmare.

Hmm, Kiska might have grown up, but in the presence of her Aunt, you can still see hints of the truculent and rather horrible youngster she was in Night of Knives! I guess that we all feel that, though, on returning to our loved ones and spending time with them after living away from home and being self-sufficient. Suddenly home seems small, and we seem all-powerful! Doesn’t take much for those loved ones to put you in your place, as Agayla does here with Kiska.

Queen? Is Agayla in service to the Queen of Dreams? Or is it some other Queen?

And then an introduction to Manask and Ipshank (the Priest we saw before)—I wonder if Esslemont can write this duo to the same level of effect as those we see from Erikson.

Amanda Rutter is the editor of Strange Chemistry books, sister imprint to Angry Robot.

Chris Hawks
1. SaltManZ
It is a little odd reading that snippet of history and knowing that the Malazans failed to conquer Korel by sea, especially as they are now seen as invaders in the current day. How did they conquer Korel if not by sea? Or have they not conquered it?
Fret not, an answer is forthcoming. It's one of my favorite ah-ha! (or maybe oh-ho!) moments in this book.
Ye Gods, I didn’t stop to think how the vow of someone in the Crimson Guard would affect them on the Stormwall! No wonder Iron Bars has proved so resilient. “I’m dying but I cannot die.” What an absolute nightmare.
I know, right? ICE does some neat stuff with the Guard and the implications of their Vow.
Pirmin Schanne
2. Torvald_Nom
Regarding the Priestess: I think we have met her before, back in RotCG. The girl that was with the Tiste Edur when they fought Traveller?
Bill Capossere
3. Billcap
Hi folks,
Sorry about having to add comments--my family's been batting a virus around like a pack of cats and their pet mouse this past week. Here are my comments:

Bill’s Reaction
Mmmmm, “thalassocracy” Don’t ya love words like this?

File away that ending . . .

Did anybody else think of the Resolute desk in the White House—the one made out of the hull of the same-named British ship? Though one (the Resolute) was a icon of peace and this one—the Mare war galley—an icon of war.

I like how efficient Esslemont is here in this opening. In just a few paragraphs we get a sense of the length of this war, a warning that sometimes the Riders do the unexpected (foreshadowing?), mention of the Mare as a naval power, the connection of the Chosen to religion (holy martyrdom), and the sense (at least from the Lord Protector) that the Defenders are riding the edge.

I like the euphemism of “the usual attrition,” which I assume translates roughly as “those poor bastards that end up killed every month . . . “

Wiping the Riders “from the face of the earth” seems to go just a little beyond defending one’s shores from their attacks.

I believe what is happening with the offensive Amanda is Shool is apologizing for taking his eyes off the ball so to speak—focusing on the Malazans (whom Hiam considers a distraction) rather than the Riders. I’m guessing he knows his commander’s views on that topic pretty well.

Yes, we do get a sense of, as mentioned above, the Defenders walking the edge here. First the lack of bodies, the poor equipment, the impact of the Malazan invasion, the over-reliance on foreign troops (that worked so well for Rome), and then the concerns over the foundations of the Wall itself (and how is that for a big honking metaphor—the “foundation”)

Yes, Iron Bars as champion—easy to see why he’d bee laughing “like a lunatic” every time they call him a “Malazan.”

I like how Stimins gives us that “every generation is worse” evidence—he complains about Hiam’s generation, Hiam complains about this generation . . . Things are always going “to the abyss,” aren’t they? (But what if they really are this time?)

I wonder if Esslemont is playing with us a bit with the Priestess’ first appearance. We’ve had so much focus on the Crippled God (in the series, earlier here), and now we have her described as “almost warped”, which would seem to fit the CG’s MO. But then she starts talking about a fig tree (which calls up associations with Siddhartha) and then “the way”, which also has that Eastern feel. And she has lots of aristocrats—which hardly seems the target audience we’ve usually seen with the CG. Then we finally get the revelation—ahh, she’s a Priestess of Dessembrae. I like how this keeps us on our toes. And it also might ripple beyond the Priestess; we’ve another character who seems a priest of the Crippled God, but has yet to use that name—is this another possible surprise?

It feels likes it’s been a while since we’ve had mention of that whole “anti-certainty” theme

Don’t know if it’s intentional, but with all the weeding/crop/religion talk, when the Priestess walks through the crops with her robe dragging, I’m thinking she’s collecting seeds

The Lady is jealous of her power it seems. Perhaps something to keep in mind.

So which comes first I wonder—the baby-murdering or the lots-of-sex?

I’d say his conversation with the Jourilan officer in charge of the prisoners gives us a good hint that Ivanr is not long for his not doing/saying anything and staying on the farm

I do like Bakune—the way he doesn’t just sit on the bench but gets out into the field, his willingness to be an embarrassment, his eye for detail, his inner voice, and the way he isn’t going to just take the Abbot’s word. His question about the nun’s friends in the Cloister reminded my of Tom Cruise turning back to Jack Nicholson and saying, “We’ll get out of your hair, just need that pesky little transfer order.” Or Peter Falk (moment of silence) and his “”Just one more question . . . “

I’m not remembering this from my prior read, but if I had to hazard a guess re your question about influence Amanda, I’d say it’s probably to do with the imbalance of power in the secular vs. religious relationship

Are we being set up for something with regard to Bakune’s investigation here: “All the many services the enterprising citizens of Banith provided (to pilgrims) . . . was frankly the one and only going business. To threaten the flow would be to threaten the city’s very lifeblood.”

I always have a visceral reaction against anything such as “Guardians of the Faith.” The reference to them seeing themselves above mere “earthly laws” only adds to that sense. An abstract concept we see in concrete form when the Guardian doesn’t seem to recognize the significance of Bakune’s ring of state.

Yeah, not sure why the glove needs to be removed to enjoy the sight/scent of the flowers.

I know what you mean about the scene with Kyle being a little unnerving in how it seems so different from what we expect. I’d have to agree. I’m not quite sure if he was looking at the goblet out of boredom or so as to not see what was being done because he was so bothered by it (not being clear is a problem in its own right). But it didn’t quite set right with this character.

I confess, I’m never a big fan of the “suddenly he grew stone cold sober” bit in fiction. I’ve never been all that drunk myself (cough cough), but I hear it takes some time to actually become sober. And the more you’re drunk, the more time it takes. So I hear. I am, however, a big fan of STICKING TO ONE NAME! (sorry, sorry. But happy to see “Greymane” isn’t really dead)

Lots of religious folk piling up in this story early on, eh?

I did like the humor of “Use your fancy blade” “Um, Well, you see, I, um . . . “ And the later picture of Greymane sprinting for the ship.

I also like how Greymane’s story is getting revealed little by little, in all these intriguing snippets—the pact, the sword, etc. Lots of fodder for speculation that increases the reader’s desire to learn more.

Speaking of wanting to know more—who is that woman and what does she want with Greymane? And is it actually “Greymane” she wants, or just some kick-ass champion?

Anyone else think of Jordan’s collars when Corlo spoke of the otataral collar?

This seems a bit wisdom from Corlo: “Rather ignorant here behind their wall. But then, that’s what happens when you raise walls.” And also an intriguing bit about the “Lady no doubt stands behind their beliefs”—a sense there of her manipulating her people, keeping them purposely ignorant/misinformed?

This is a pretty wrenching scene. To see Iron Bars like this, in this condition. To feel his agony for his people, his men. And then Corlo and his self-hatred for what he has to say to keep Iron Bars alive. A painful, painful few minutes between these two.

I enjoyed the characterization of Kiska with her Aunt—her “now I’ve seen the world for a little bit of time, I’m soooooooo beyond you little provincial folk I left behind” felt so real to me. I’m glad Agayla called her on it and also that they both knew Kiska doesn’t think it quite so bluntly/simplistically. But the whole scene is very well done as a domestic moment between two real people, outside of the whole fantasy context.

And then, as with much of what has come so far, we’re left with another tease—what is the problem the Enchantress and Agayla have discussed? How might Kiska be the solution? Why does Agayla feel so bad about it? And yes Amanda, Enchantress is the Queen of Dreams, also known as T’riss. Also known as, oh wait, we haven’t read Forge of Darkness yet. Never mind (cheap, I know).

Oh Amanda, I do so envy you your first read of Manask going forward . . .
Brian R
4. Mayhem
Thalassa! Thalassa!
aka. The inadvertent benefits of a broad education ;)

Yes, Bars is one unfortunate soul. Anyone else think things are going to get better for him? I love how the indomitable nature of the Avowed is so easily twisted into the curse it really is.

Damn but I love Manask. For some reason I always get a mental picture of Brian Blessed whenever he speaks, with Ipshank more as a Ben Kingsley type. He fits every stereotype of the loud and jolly big fat bruiser archetype ... except one...
5. TobiOgre
Thalassocracy. The funny thing is, Amanda, if you reread your first reaction to chapter One of KoK, you will see you forgot to remember. ;-)

Manask. I like this character very much. I want a Heist-Movie with him as the Main character. Naaow!
karl oswald
6. Toster
i do think it's likely that kyle is not exactly pleased with what he must do to get by, but he wouldn't be unused to casual brutality. still, it does seem cold, him ignoring the beating to inspect a goblet, but his one and only connection anything in delans is grey-orjinn-mane (and yeah, really, it would be nice to stick with one name). everyone else is nobody to him.

such delicious irony, iron bars being called 'malazan' and then such a heavy conversation with him and corlo. things seem bleak indeed.

and oh manask. not even close to what i expected when i read about 'the last flight of manask' on the stratem icefields.
7. kiwifan1989
Hi all, enjoying these posts slowly catching up (reading since August 2012 - currently in RotCG). This is off topic (so I posted it in the most recent post hoping to get an answer - sorry!) has anyone read Mark Lawerence's Broken Empire triliogy? How would you rate it? Does anyone know if is planning on doing a read of it?
8. Wilbur
I never understood this sense of guilt that Corlo feels in this book about using the existence of the other Crimson Guard on the wall as a means to motivate Iron Bars to survive.

Why would he feel bad about that?
Steven Halter
9. stevenhalter
Manask is a lot of fun--looking forward.
@Bill&@Amanda:I agree on keeping one name.
Bakune continues to be very interesting.
Chris Hawks
10. SaltManZ
The thing with multiple names is one of ICE's shticks that really irritates me. I know SE does it a lot too, but there always seems to be a reason there beyond I-don't-want-the-reader-to-know-who-this-is. "Orjin" somehow is even more obnoxious because, okay, I guess it makes sense for him to be using a different name, but (IIRC) it gets discarded after the first chapter. Still to come in this book we have Jheval and Warran.
11. Jordanes
@8 Wilbur:

I think it's because he doesn't actually know whether they're still alive or not, so the way he sees it, considering the high attrition rates on the Wall and the fact that Iron Bars was the only Avowed among them, he is in all likelihood lying to Iron Bars, giving him false hope.

It is perhaps a little bit flimsy that Corlo feels so extremely guilty over this, but by no means totally unreasonable.
David Thomson
12. ZetaStriker
Re: the flower, I'm pretty sure he removed his glove so he could feel the softness of the petals along with everything else.
Rajesh Vaidya
13. Buddhacat
No Ch. 2 yesterday, will there be a post tomorrow?
Amanda Rutter
14. ALRutter
Sorry, sorry, sorry, guys! Bill and I have been suffering illness and busy weeks and unfortunately the Malazan posts have had to take second place (well, nearer fifth place actually :-o) We hope you can bear with us and posts will return as usual next Wed!
Iris Creemers
15. SamarDev
Of course we can! (which is not to say that we don't miss you...)
Take care both of you!
David Thomson
16. ZetaStriker
I like to imagine that they spent the week approaching different kinds of flowers both with and without gloves, trying to figure out Stonewielder's greatest mystery.
Pirmin Schanne
17. Torvald_Nom
@10: But in this case, Esslemont doesn't use the names to obfuscaste the identity - he uses both names in the Dramatis Personae, and he even introduces Orjin as Greymane's given name.
18. Wilbur
@11 Jordanes

Thank you - that was my reading as well.

I guess I have a hard time putting myself into the character of someone who feels this way, so I was looking for some other, deeper meaning or reason.

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