Forces of Evil

In a similar way to how the Celestians split into two aspects, one its virtues taken to the extreme, the other its vices, the Dwarfs are divided between the Imperial or Free Dwarfs and the Abyssal Dwarfs. When Domivar split the world, forming the Abyss and sealing away the twenty-seven Wicked Ones, some Dwarfen holds dwelt in the area. In their greedy pursuit of wealth, these Dwarfs dug too deep, their mines brushing up against that twisted prison. The tainted magic of the Wicked Ones warped these dwarfs, emphasising their worst vices. Where once 
they had been a loyal and honest people, they became deceitful, stabbing each other in the back in their pursuit of power and wealth. Where once the dwarfs had pursued gold out of a desire to create beauty, they now seek it purely out of greed.
The Abyssal Dwarfs still dwell in the lands that first corrupted their people, now known as Tragar. While there are many holds scattered within this blighted land, most rise and fall quickly as their rulers’ fortunes change. Only Deiw and Zarak remain as the other holds pass, their names the dwarfen words for power and pain. They stand at either end of the Abyss, pillars of internal politicking and traitorous plots.
Lazy, corpulent creatures, the Abyssal Dwarfs rely on slaves to preform menial tasks in their holds. The Ratkin hordes came from Bharzak the Grim’s laboratory in Zarak, the race’s prodigious breeding rate intended to keep the Abyssal Dwarfs supplied with slaves. That experiment ended with half the Zarak dead and one crazed iron-caster sharing the body of a golem. The Abyssal Dwarfs have since returned to their usual slaves of orcs and goblins, at least till another mad sorcerer decides to “fix” the 

supply problem.
Despite their corruption, the Abyssal Dwarfs have lost none of their southern kin’s ingenuity or need to invent. Infernal warmachines, capable of terrifying devastation are often fielded against their foes. Since they are either slow to reproduce or do not reproduce at all (scholarship is divided on the subject) their armies field magical abominations to supplement their few numbers. Mad Iron-Casters have given life to obsidian golems that tower over even the tallest Ogre. Black sorcery mixed with less than enthusiastic test subjects gave birth to Abyssal Halfbreeds, creatures with the 

body of a dwarf, but lower half of a quadrupedal abomination.
Creatures of hatred and greed, the Abyssal Dwarfs match their Abercarri cousins with a desire to conquer all. This similarity is not lost on the Freehold Dwarfs who dwell in the Halpi Mountains between the Abyss and Abercarr. Thankfully, their constant infighting, backstabbing, and complete and total lack of trust of each other prevents them from ever focusing their attention outward. Should a leader ever arise that can unite the Abyssal Dwarfs as a people, the world will tremble under the march of black iron boots and arcane abominations.

Abyssal Dwarves

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Abyssal Dwarf
Review

Long ago before the arrival of the Celestians on Mantica, an ancient human civilization existed far to the south of the Infant Sea. These people were known as the Ahmunites. Their lands were suffering the effects of desertification, prompting them to migrate to the northeast, settling east of the Twilight Glades and west of modern Ophidia. These people soon resettled and rebuilt into a grand trade empire.
The Ahmunites had a religion focused on the death and the afterlife. This led to an obsession with both among the elite, prompting their sorcerers and scientists to begin to dabble in ways of reconnecting with the dead. Necromancy was thus born. At first the Ahmunite aristocracy used this art to reanimate their elite soldiers and bodyguards, but as time wore on they began to use it to raise large slave work forces.
Soon enough the demand for undead soldiers and slaves expanded. The ancient tombs and burial grounds were raided for more sources of corpses. The major cities soon were overflowing with undead, turned into necropolises where the living cowered in fear. The princes of the various noble houses waged war on one another with their large hosts, ravaging the land and devastating agriculture sources. Madness, it seemed, had consumed the country.
The princes of the northernmost cities realized that things were out of control. Fearing for what remained of their people, these princes led any among the living who would follow them to the east. These fleeing princes and their people would soon become known as the Ophidians, but at first they were simply hailed as the God-Kings who saved their people. The other princes, for their part, were too consumed raising their undead armies and warring upon one another to take much notice.
The newly formed Ophidia numbered in only the tens of thousands and lacked resources. Realizing that their former masters could come calling, the God-Kings decreed that the use of undead soldiers would resume, but under the strict and watchful eye of their most trusted Magi. These forces would be used to protect the new realm from their fellow 

Ahmunites. This was not enough however, so the God-Kings instructed their Magi to summon the most powerful spells and fell creatures they could.
Soon plagues of insects descended upon the Ahmunite realms. Spiteful djinn struck at the undead hordes. Raging sandstorms beat upon the necropolis cities. Flesh was stripped from the bones of those still living among the Ahmunites. Sand buried their cities, driving the now skeleton princes and their undead slaves further south. The Ahmunites were no more, either killed outright or reduced to the same undead existence as their soldiers and slaves. These decadent nobles and their forces were no longer a prosperous trade empire, but merely a shattered testament to their former glory; an empire of dust.


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Empire of Dust
Review

More than just a rent in the earth, the Abyss is a jagged wound in the skin of reality itself. At the height of the God War, the Wicked One Oskan, the Father of Lies, was the most powerful of his kind. He battled Domivar the Unyielding, son of a mortal and Mescator, God of Justice, for the fate of the world. Besting the Father of Lies, Domivar lifted the Wicked One’s Black Axe, forged in the unending cold dark between the stars, and struck the earth. With all his divine spark behind the blow, Domivar ripped a hole in the fabric of Mantica. Into this hellscape, he imprisoned the surviving twenty-seven Wicked Ones, for he lacked the strength to kill them all. This heroic act cost Domivar his life, 
for no being even partly mortal could survive such an outpouring of energy.
Unfortunately, the Wicked Ones survived Domivar’s strike, imprisoned to this day within its seventh circle. Even a prison forged by such a great man as Domivar, however, cannot hold their foul powers completely. Though their physical forms remain locked in the depths, their corrupting energies pour through the rest of the Abyss. They have warped earth and flame to form demonic creatures within their domain, giving birth to the Abyssals.

 Though one would think these creatures barbaric and wild, like the Orcs, the Abyssals exist in a highly regimented and organized society. The proximity which they dwell to their dark masters determines not only their status in their society, but also their inherent power.. f or Abyssals feed off the foul energies that spill from their masters’ imprisoned forms. The strongest, the Archfiends, reside in the sixth circle of the Abyss and command Abyssal legions on their masters’ behalf. In the fifth, the Abyssal Champions construct mighty fortresses and try to attract the attention of their masters. Above, in the fourth circle, fiery Efreets, the children of Ariagful, forge terrible weapons to blight the surface world. Succubi walk the third circle, working their horrid machinations upon the slaves and souls captured in war. Once mortal horsemen patrol the second 
circle and endless armies seethe within the first circle, waiting for the Archfiends to send them forth to wreak havoc on the world.
The world dies where these armies step, for they carry the corruption of their home with them. The earth turns black, crops die, and water becomes foul, unfit to drink. Thus far, the Brotherhood and Basileans have managed to keep the hordes at bay, protecting the rest of the world with their lives, but that feeble line of castles can hold no longer. Whispers in the dark speak of the Wicked Ones, claiming their prison has weakened, and that Oskan himself prepares to flex his weakened bonds. What will happen when he does, none can say, but the Abyss stirs, hungry to spread its foul touch until all of Mantica lie within its hellish embrace.

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Forces of the Abyss
 Review

Though no one knows quite where the Goblins came from, it is believed to be from Garkan the Black not knowing what to do with the scraps left over from creating the Orcs. Their appearance as slaves in Orc armies and skill at crafting deadly weapons out of scraps seem to support this theory. Whatever their origin, Goblins are tenacious little creatures with snot green skin and snickering smiles as if the whole world were a practical joke.
By and large, the Goblin races are found in slave pits. The Orcs drive them before their armies as cannon fodder. The Abyssal Dwarfs use them to grease the wheels of their 

terrible forges. Humans mostly round them up and chop of their heads, “cleansing the country side” as they call it. Some Goblins, however, manage to escape the fate of their brethren. Many tunnel beneath the earth, building whole kingdoms and societies within the dark places of the world. As long as they are careful not to dig too close to Tragar or the Dwarfen mountains, they can survive mostly undiscovered.
In these Goblin bastions, the truth strength of this vile race comes to the fore, their insidious engineering skill. Goblins do not craft pristine well-oiled machines like the Dwarfs. They lack the focus to truly turn their ideas into reality and have no patience for prototyping or safety regulations. Instead, an idea will seize hold of a Goblin tinkerer. They will grab at whatever is nearby, shoving pieces together in strange and unnatural ways in a mad creative burst. The end result is either the would be inventor’s untimely death or a weapon that makes armies flee in terror.
 
When driven to war as an army of their own, not as slaves in another, Goblins march as a single seething horde with little order to it. This horde is 
the only way they can overcome their inbred cowardice. As long as each Goblin has two dozen of his kin around him, he has a statistically better chance of surviving while they all die. Unfortunately, as they die, his chance of death rises as well and if the enemy does not die quickly, he will run.
If a goblin army does not have overwhelming numbers, nine times out of ten it will retreat. The only time they will actually fight in such a situation is if they have both an incredibly charismatic commander and nice lots of pointy armoured bits. The extra amour, shields, and preferably ranged weapons or terrifying pets can trick the Goblins into thinking they are invulnerable, though it takes little to disabuse them of this notion.
For whether in a horde or armed to the teeth, Goblins die quickly. Their only saving grace is that they breed faster than ​

rabbits. Hordes will teem out of their caverns and villages. No one knows quite how many Goblins plague the world, but some sages believe that if the population is left unchecked the world could face another great flood. This time, however, it will be a flood of shrieking green Goblins.

While Oskan sought to lure the Noble Races from the Shining Ones side in the God War, Garkan the Black decided on a more direct approach. With flame, iron, and black magic, Garkan reforged souls into new, terrifying shapes. Nine-hundred days after beginning his task, Garkan released his creation into the world. He created the Orcs for one purpose, to make war on all of Mantica, and they have never faltered in this task.
War consumes every instant of an Orcs life. Garkan ensured it would be so for he made peace physically painful to an Orc. If an Orc goes too long without conflict, the curse will take its toll. Their insides will burn, their thoughts become 
confused with one word pounding in the backs of their skull, repeated with each fall of Garkan’s hammer onto the Orc’s soul, “Destroy.” An Orc can never truly know peace.
Driven by this curse, the Orcs have spread far and wide since the God War. Their tenacity means they can survive in the most hostile of environments found all across the edges of Mantica. Hating order as they do, Orcs cannot form permanent settlements, instead 

roaming across these hostile wastes in bands of varying size with the strongest and most cunning of Orcs in command. The warlord will pit his band against others of his kind, subsuming the survivors of these battles into his own force. Once the band attains suitable strength, the warlord will turn them on the civilised lands. The Orcs will raid, pillage, and burn, all to stave off the torment Garkan will inflict should they remain at peace.
 
Far from the disorganised mess one would expect, an Orc army marches in lockstep, regimented and orderly, if brutish and foul. Few races know as much about war as the Orcs for it consumes every moment of their lives. In fact, some scholars theorize that the wild behaviour of orcs within the army serves to distract the enemy 
from the complex web of tactical manoeuvres they employ. These same sages argue that were it not for Garkan’s curse, the Orcs might even outstrip the Elves in wondrous achievements, bringing about a new golden age.
For all their intelligence, however, the Orcs have a major weakness. All this organisation relies on their destructive tempers being focused completely on the enemy. If the Warlord dies, however, all his work will fall apart in an instant as the Orcs fight for control. Perhaps, Garkan planned this fault, for otherwise the Orcs would have long since conquered Mantica. As it stands, the Orcs are a perpetual blight upon the world, an open wound seething with hatred, much like the Abyss where their creator still resides, ensuring his children can never know peace.

Like so much of magic, the origins of necromancy predate existing records. Mages debate whether it existed during the time of Celestians or an unnamed Wicked One created the foul art during the God War. Some even whisper that necromancy may predate the Celestians, but such talk is quickly silenced with sharp looks. Wherever it originated, necromancy has plagued Mantica for far too long. Ambitious men use its power to summon vast armies of the fallen and those who fear death turn butcher their souls to prolong their lives.
At a base level, necromancy pulls souls from the aether, brutally shoving them into empty vessels to give them some 
semblance of life. The soul is forced to watch the horrors its body commits in pursuit of the necromancer’s black designs. Even after some desperate mortal manages to destroy the undead, the soul frequently cannot return to the aether, and it remains trapped in Mantica, captured forever in a tormented purgatory. In facts, many questing paladins have taken it upon themselves to put these wandering souls to rest.
 
Only one civilised society in Mantica allows the free practice of necromancy, Ophidia. This mysterious desert kingdom arose from refugees fleeing the depredations of the Ahmunite Empire. A fledgling kingdom, Ophidia turned to necromancy in order to ward off the Ahmunites and other evil forces. They claim to practice it only on the willing and only out of necessity. Nevertheless, God-like Kings rule over the land and foul sorcerers have worked many horrors on the world. Some sages claim that both vampirism and ghouls originated as an Ophidian experiments in pursuit of everlasting life.

​Vampires have spread far from their origin, if they did indeed originate in Ophidia. They can now be found among all races 
in all lands. Their powers are as varied as the lands they inhabit. Paladins find some easy to destroy, simply burning the body will suffice. Others survive the destruction of their body, taking up residence in a nearby corpse. Some cannot cross running water, while others flee the sight of the sun. All possess an unquenchable thirst for blood that drives them mad more often them not over the long centuries. Their long lives mean they almost always become powerful necromancers in their own right, should they retain their sanity.
 
No necromancer, however, can match the dread power of Mhgorth the Faceless. Trained by the elves in the Twilight Glade, no one is quite sure who taught this human aspirant necromancy. When his masters discovered his crime, they 

chased him across the world. About to be executed, Mhgorth revealed his true power, draining the world of all life within a mile. His face melted off, he fled into seclusion in parts unknown. Now, two hundred years later, Mhgorth has returned to Mantica. His fell power courses through the world and armies of tortured souls rise at his command. If not stopped, the dead will soon outnumber the living and all will fall to the necromancer’s dark touch.
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Undead Review

Varangur

The Varangur are a tribe of humans living near the generically named Ice Mountains of northern Mantica. Way back before Calisor Fenulian fucked everything up, most humans living in this area moved south and became part of Primovantor. Meanwhile these assholes decided to stay way up north in the cold instead of moving on up to the east side to a deluxe apartment in the sky. This hard-headed behavior awakened the interest of an ancient god.
When the Celestians first arrived on Mantica they set about defeating the terrible things that wrecked havoc across the land. One of these things was an ancient god named 
Korgaan. Korgaan was worshiped by an ancient race known as the Var'Kyr. The Celestians wiped this race out and sealed Korgaan away, leaving him to slowly perish as his power diminished from lack of worshipers.
Although Korgaan was fading from existence by the time he began influencing the Varangur, he was able to stem this tide and began to recover his former power. When the Fenulian Mirror was shattered, Korgaan was able to move more rapidly without worry since every other god was busy trying to win the God War. Korgaan began to appear to the Varangur in the shape of three divine beings: the Deceiver, the Reaper, and the Warrior.

Korgaan began to reshape their culture in the image of the Var'Kyr, turning them into Vikings and shit. The rest of the world didn't seem to notice this as they were embroiled in their own conflicts and Korgaan only seemed interested in having the Varangur run small scale raids into the south. All of this changed when the Winter War broke out.
While the Northern Kindred and Brotherhood were busy fighting Winter's minions, the Varangur began launching full scale assaults into their territory and towards the Golden Horn. Realizing that this was a force unaligned with Winter, the High Consul of Primovantor sent a great fleet north to destroy this nuisance once and for all. Unfortunately for them, this fleet was en route when Winter was killed, leading to it being swallowed by the newly formed Infant Sea and, in many ways, ensuring that Primovantor would fall in the chaos that followed.
The Varangur were caught in the seismic 
upheaval.  themselves, forcing Korgaan to expend most of his power just to prevent their main settlements from being destroyed. His people now fearful and uncertain for the first time in centuries, Korgaan appeared to the clans and ordered them into Tragar. Pushing past the Abyssal Dwarfs, the Varangur invaded the first circle of the Abyss, shocking both the Shining Ones and the Wicked Ones alike.
In what would become known as "The Reckoning," the Varangur ravaged the outer circle of the Abyss, slaughtering the followers of the Wicked Ones and seizing whatever they could take. It was a defeat worthy of Abaddon and invigorated the Varangur. Content that his power and influence over the Varangur was no longer in danger, Korgaan declared victory over the Abyss and promptly left back to the 
north.
In the current time of Kings of War the Varangur have gone back to running smaller raids into the lands south of them. Their current major foe is the Northern Alliance, but their forces are often seen even in places like the Forest of Galahir and the Golloch Empire.
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Varangur Review

Ratkin

Bharzak the Grim needed more slaves for his dark work, all that was left of his former failures was a heap of bodies soon swarmed by rats, giving Bharzak an idea. He realized if he couldn't capture a good slave race, he could just make one like Garkhan the Black did. Bharzak, now obsessed with the idea, locked himself away in his laboratory for 13 years.  
Bharzak emerged from his lab with an army of humanoid rats at his beck and call. Calling this race the Gnorr, Bhazrak reveled in creating a race that was short-lived and cruel, but would breed out of control, meaning he could work the Gnorr to death, but always have a steady supply of new slaves thanks to how fast they multiplied.. Soon his creation 
was the most popular form of slave labor in Tragar.
As one would expect, things went not as planned for the Abyssal Dwarfs. Seems they made the Gnorr too much like goblins, so they realized they could be running things and driving machines that go haywire and explode instead of just making them. Over many years they learned the engineering and magical secrets of their masters. At the same time, they diverted many rats to dig tunnels out of Tragar. Once everything was in place, they launched a simultaneous revolt across the country.
Thousands of Abyssal Dwarfs were killed in the opening acts of the rebellion. After humiliating the forces of the Abyss worse than the Varangur did the ratkin escaped down their tunnels to the east and were gone before the Abyssal Dwarfs could reform and catch up. Seemingly gone, no one heard from the Gnorr for over a century.
In recent times a strange race of humanoid rats have been seen all over Mantica. There haven't been any publicly confirmed encounters, but the stories give them a host of names from the Scourge, to the Swarm, to the Skitterfangs. Rejecting their slave name of Gnorr, they seem to call themselves the Ratkin, but given that they seek no formal contact with other races, it is understandable that no one else knows this.


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Ratkin Review

Nightstalkers

Before the smashing of the mirror  there was a secretive elven cabal called the Conclave of Heaven. They were doing research into their conscience leaving their bodies and entering a spirit world with the help of the Celestial named Oskan, whose dark personality would become the Father of Lies.
When Elinathora smashes the Fenulian Mirror the Conclave was in the spirit realm, and of course the breaking caused cosmic upheaval everywhere. This in turn caused a massive arcane explosion at the Conclave of Heaven. Every elf in the city had their souls torn from their bodies and scattered across the planes of existence. This helped to fuel Oskan's rebirth as king of the wicked Gods.
These souls coalesced from across time and space over many centuries. When Domivar defeated Oskan and sealed him in the newly created Abyss, he did so by tapping into the energies that power the 

fabric of reality. The souls of all those scientific minded elves had somehow amassed in this fabric, meaning that their souls not only form the Abyss but also leak out into reality. With a link to Mantica through the Abyss, these souls can become manifest in the world.
Nightstalkers can take physical form in places where extreme emotions like fear, hatred, and pride are present. They no longer have any sense of their past lives, nor do they seem to be capable of independent thought per se. They are capable of organizing into war bands and fighting with some sense of tactics, although they are far more aggressive and unconcerned with personal safety than most races.
Interestingly when they take physical form, it can shift and change based on what other races are present. Nightstalkers take the form of the nightmares and fears held by those they are leeching emotional existence from. When facing humans, they may take the form of scarecrows or Eldrazi.
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Nightstaker Review

Twilight Kin

Much of the Twilight Kin is being reworked, any former ties to Abyssals have been removed and this is just a guideline for how the TK could be for players thinking of getting a jump start on this army.

It was only with the shattering of Fenulian’s mirror that the Twilight Kin gained real influence. As the world fell from perfect balance into violence, certain magically
gifted members of secretive elven cults sought out the attentions of powerful beings from the spirit realms. Always looking for ways to influence the material world these beings, known in parts of the world as the Nightstalkers, provided the mages of the Twilight Kin what they desired – quick and easy roads to power.
With their new found might, these mage-lords corrupted their kin, appealing to the arrogance of the Elves. They were the first people, they said, they were the true
masters of the earth. Too long had they bowed their knees to the Celestians and given too much to the lesser creatures of the world. At such a time, when the world was in uproar, their words found a ready audience. And such Elves who could not be turned by their reason were tortured by nightmarish dreams, which would eventually plant seeds of darkness in their mind and twist their morals. The Eastern and Southern Kindreds in particular lost many of their brothers and sisters to the darkness, a secret that is never acknowledged today.

As the Elves fought against the new dark gods they were suddenly assailed by a fifth column of black-clad Elves. For the first time in history Elf killed Elf, and the streets
ran with blood. In desperation, Calisor Fenulian called upon the Shining Ones. In their callow vigour, the new gods’ response was terrible. Calisor watched in horror as the Shining Ones smote the lands of the Eastern and Southern kindreds with a dire curse. A sandstorm blew up from the deeps of the desert that lasted for one hundred days.  thousands of elves on both sides perished, and much that was good was destroyed. The curse continues today. The desert advances still upon the east and remaining scraps of the south. Just punishment, some Elves say. Both these kindreds are somewhat distrusted even now, no matter that they slew their dark kin far more readily than the others, such was their shame.

A handful of Twilight Kin fought their way through the desert’s wrath. They died by the score until only one hundred remained. Almost blinded by the scouring of the sand, the mage Kandanareth fell to his knees and beseeched their benevolent benefactors to save them. In response, the sand shifted. Kandanareth staggered back as a hole opened in the ground. A cave appeared before them, leading down into Leith.  Ever since, this has been the home of the Twilight Kin.  
Dwelling in the bowels of the earth has wrought changes upon the fair Elven form. These Elves are unusually pale or even blue-skinned. They dislike sunlight, and are morbid of humour, cruel and wicked. No torment is too great to be inflicted on others for their amusement. Slaves from all over the world labour in their fields, the stinging whips of Elven overseers eager to draw blood from those who displease them. To enter the Mouth of Leith is to enter a world of unending suffering, as many creatures have been unfortunate to discover.
The Twilight Kin are not a numerous race. Lacking the ability to field large armies, they have become masters of poison, subterfuge and magic. Assassins walk the
cities of others in the guises of less reviled kindreds, murdering those their seers foresee will cause problems for the Twilight kin in the future. Their sorcerers are terrifyingly powerful, and can bring dark spirits to serve them. Thus when they do take to the field the forces of the Twilight Kin are bolstered by all manner of diabolical evil summoned from the Nightstalker's realm. 
The Elves are in a state of constant war with the Twilight Kin, and will ordinarily kill them on sight, except in one place. In Ileuthar, any Elf is welcome, and the ambassadors
of the dark ones visit court there openly. The Elves treat with the Twilight Kin, praying for reconciliation, hoping to turn back their cousins from darkness. As for theTwilight Kin, they delight in spreading doubt, showing up the lessened nature of the other Elves with displays of riches and magical power.

Vanguard Alpha Playtest Rules

Recent Additions

Lists of Infamy

Jeff Oneal- Goblins
David Lundy- Dwarves
Bryan Tucker- Abyssals
Cyle Pool- Goblins
Aaron Chapman- Abyssal Dwarves
Dustin Howard- Orcs
Kevin VonFeldt- Dwarves
Nick Williams- Abyssals
Josh Rosado- Forces of Nature
Alex Cha- Dwarves
Matthew Schaeffer- Ratkin
Christopher James- Goblins
Shannon Shoemaker- Mongols
Erich Trowbridge- Goblins
Allen Buehner - Elves
Mike Szedlmayer - Elves


The Army Showcase

Robby King- Goblins
Austin Carrigan- Nightstalkers
Charlie Ryan- Ogres
Geroge O'Connel- Elves
Bryan Tucker- Abyssals
Mike Szedlmayer - Elves

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Club- Glancing 6 - TN

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