Lost Dungeons of Tonisborg - Considering Investment
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Post Posted: Tue Oct 18, 2022 12:13 am 
 

aia wrote in Lost Dungeons of Tonisborg - Considering Investment:I knew about this book when the first print was going out of print. I didnt buy it, don't ask me why... despite the fact this book has been thought and crafted as a high collectible item, it has never convinced me... i feel that my concerns are not related to the quality of the product but to the contents: i don't see this mega dungeon as a piece of rpg history...


Il significato e che questo dungeon era creato da uno degli piu importanti giocatori nel gruppo di Arneson.

Prima di questo punto cerano solo, Arneson, Gygax, a Rob Kunts che erano capacili di essere Dungeon Masters. Deve essere tra i primi dungeon che erano fatti con regole che esistevano prima che il gioco e stato publicato.

I dungeon masters di questo dungeon errano Greg Svenson ed anche David Megarry.

Per me sembra molto importante. Pero, se tu pensi che non vale la pena non mi rompe le palle. ;)

  


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Post Posted: Tue Oct 18, 2022 12:54 am 
 

aia wrote in Lost Dungeons of Tonisborg - Considering Investment:
Hello, your post confirmed me that i took the right decision in not buying the book for collecting purposes. I have never trusted people selling their books with a value proposition of a future collectible. A collectible item is defined by the market and not by the publisher: you took the example of PatW for instance. Well, Jon wrote and sold that book without mentioning it will be a collectible. Now, after few years it has already that status and this is reflected in the price. The other way round doesn't  work to my eyes. You should not produce a book for a purpose it is not the hands of the publisher.
That is the only concern that i have for this item, nothing against contents (despite it would be interesting to have more details as this story is not known).
Thanks in any case for jumping in the conversation.
No offense intended, ciao


I really do understand your trepidation in regard to whether or not this is worth the cover price for what it is.

I am not setting the value on these books. People who buy them off Ebay are. Go search for the book and someone is selling a copy on Ebay right now. I do not live in Canada, so it isn't me. I wish I could warn people that we have them for less on KS.

In a free market the seller sets the price at their own risk based on costs to produce as well as market demand. Our hard bound books are hand made. We responded to people asking for a less expensive edition. So we aren't only making collector books. The soft cover we are currently selling is a high end soft cover of the same book. It has the same paper with a less expensive to produce cover. We may go with an even more low cost version in the future if that is what people want.

We've got a lot of books sold now. People who already have them respond that they are very pleased with their books.

It is an odd product. An old set of dungeon maps reproduced in color with some background from the person who created them in 1973. David Megarry was involved in deciphering these complex maps and hand drew a new set with more detail so our cartographer could make the production maps. The art is a mix of old and new. There is a section which talks in detail about how to run an RPG using traditional methods. There is a set of rules that was created by D.H. Boggs based on his research into early drafts of D&D he had access to. I would add that D.H. Boggs is one of the few D&D historians who actually has a degree in a scientific field that is research based.

Over all, it is a pretty weird game book.

We'll probably sell a few more and then turn our attention to making other books with some of the other unpublished games we unearthed when we shot our movie.

If you do not feel the book is for you, I am not going to twist your arm by any means.

  

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Post Posted: Tue Oct 18, 2022 1:09 am 
 

I looked at this and though I understand it will be  a snapshot into early times as well as an appreciating asset my decision to not buy it was based on my thinking that collecting and shopping are not the same thing.


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Post Posted: Tue Oct 18, 2022 2:12 am 
 

Secrets of Blackmoor wrote in Lost Dungeons of Tonisborg - Considering Investment:Il significato e che questo dungeon era creato da uno degli piu importanti giocatori nel gruppo di Arneson.
Prima di questo punto cerano solo, Arneson, Gygax, a Rob Kunts che erano capacili di essere Dungeon Masters. Deve essere tra i primi dungeon che erano fatti con regole che esistevano prima che il gioco e stato publicato.
I dungeon masters di questo dungeon errano Greg Svenson ed anche David Megarry.
Per me sembra molto importante. Pero, se tu pensi che non vale la pena non mi rompe le palle. ;)


All men of honor, the real mustache petes of the gaming world. I ask you. If some big fat scungilli-head spits in your eye, you hit 'em hard before you get whacked, capische? So I must take an interest. Let's have a sit-down to smooth things over & take care of our thing before the bulls get involved & some rat starts singing like Caruso over here. What's right is right.

a-post a-scriptum: Extra points for identifying the De La Soul reference.

  

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Post Posted: Tue Oct 18, 2022 8:59 am 
 

My understanding is that the book reproduces twelve scans from the dungeon, with ten dungeon levels and two separate pages of keying material. I don't know if I'd really call a 10-level dungeon a "megadungeon," it seems to be the same number of levels Blackmoor had, but a bit fewer than Greyhawk. It's in keeping with dungeons of the early period, in other words.

In terms of the backstory, it checks out. I certainly wouldn't say Greg Svenson was a nobody. Svenon was one of the key players in Blackmoor - see the Svenson’s Freehold write-up in the First Fantasy Campaign. That description mentions a Vestfold Dungeon, and elsewhere the FFC indicates that Tonisberg is a town controlled by the Earl of Vestfold (google Tønsberg for its real-life relationship to Vestfold). There is ample contemporary evidence that a Tonisberg (a name sometimes given as Tønisberg or Tonisbørg or what have you) dungeon created by Svenson was in circulation in the mid to late 1970s, and that it passed through Dave Megarry’s hands circa 1975. Arneson would also tell you that Svenson was the first person to DM for him.

So why should we think these twelve scans are Svenson’s Tonisberg from back in the day? If I had blundered over these pages in an old filing cabinet with no further context, my assessment would have been that it was keyed from a 1974 production copy of D&D, but by someone who had apparently played in or had access to the draft 1973 material. There aren’t a lot of documents like that, which would make this very intriguing to me. The highly diagonal architecture of the dungeon, yes, very reminiscent of Blackmoor, would get me searching for a culprit who moved in the early Twin Cities circles rather than Lake Geneva. And the hand that wrote the key to the dungeon levels looks like Svenson’s to me. So again, to me, it checks out, even ignoring provenance. I can’t really think of any good-faith hypothesis that would work other than that this is Svenson’s mid-1970s Tonisberg.

I view this kind of like Bottle City, of which a comparable amount of material survives (a four-panel map and nine pages of key, if I recall). It's not like we have a lot of Bottle Cities. These are objects well worthy of preservation and study.

sauromatian wrote in Lost Dungeons of Tonisborg - Considering Investment:a-post a-scriptum: Extra points for identifying the De La Soul reference.

I would say it's better than my mom's lasanga.

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Post Posted: Tue Oct 18, 2022 9:56 am 
 

So, there are ten keyed maps, all of which appear to be small, not Greyhawk size mapwork, and it has been stretched into a 156 page book. On top of that there is also the 5e material which is not within the book but a downloadable PDF. Not a particularily useable product then. More a coffee table book for people to flick through?


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Post Posted: Tue Oct 18, 2022 2:24 pm 
 

increment wrote in Lost Dungeons of Tonisborg - Considering Investment:My understanding is that the book reproduces twelve scans from the dungeon, with ten dungeon levels and two separate pages of keying material. I don't know if I'd really call a 10-level dungeon a "megadungeon," it seems to be the same number of levels Blackmoor had, but a bit fewer than Greyhawk. It's in keeping with dungeons of the early period, in other words.

In terms of the backstory, it checks out. I certainly wouldn't say Greg Svenson was a nobody. Svenon was one of the key players in Blackmoor - see the Svenson’s Freehold write-up in the First Fantasy Campaign. That description mentions a Vestfold Dungeon, and elsewhere the FFC indicates that Tonisberg is a town controlled by the Earl of Vestfold (google Tønsberg for its real-life relationship to Vestfold). There is ample contemporary evidence that a Tonisberg (a name sometimes given as Tønisberg or Tonisbørg or what have you) dungeon created by Svenson was in circulation in the mid to late 1970s, and that it passed through Dave Megarry’s hands circa 1975. Arneson would also tell you that Svenson was the first person to DM for him.

So why should we think these twelve scans are Svenson’s Tonisberg from back in the day? If I had blundered over these pages in an old filing cabinet with no further context, my assessment would have been that it was keyed from a 1974 production copy of D&D, but by someone who had apparently played in or had access to the draft 1973 material. There aren’t a lot of documents like that, which would make this very intriguing to me. The highly diagonal architecture of the dungeon, yes, very reminiscent of Blackmoor, would get me searching for a culprit who moved in the early Twin Cities circles rather than Lake Geneva. And the hand that wrote the key to the dungeon levels looks like Svenson’s to me. So again, to me, it checks out, even ignoring provenance. I can’t really think of any good-faith hypothesis that would work other than that this is Svenson’s mid-1970s Tonisberg.

I view this kind of like Bottle City, of which a comparable amount of material survives (a four-panel map and nine pages of key, if I recall). It's not like we have a lot of Bottle Cities. These are objects well worthy of preservation and study.


I would say it's better than my mom's lasanga.


Hey Jon,

The provenance is Megarry's filing cabinet. I was in his dining room when he brought it upstairs and we examined it. My first reaction was that it was some lost Arneson dungeon because it looks like Blackmoor dungeon with all the angled and weird shapes. Wesely and Ross noted that it had gnolls, thus had to be post D&D. Megarry suggested it could be a scan of Tonisborg which had been thought lost. Me, I was still trying to gain speed as an RPG historian and I truly was perplexed aside from my previous observation.

Then Boggs mailed the scans to Svenson who said it was his handwriting and that it was indeed his dungeon he made with a D&D draft in the summer of 1973.

Let me know if you want a copy of the book. Glad to send you one.

Griff

  

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Post Posted: Tue Oct 18, 2022 8:33 pm 
 

I appreciate all of the views and opinions I am reading so far on this, from the effusive to the even-handed to the reductive. I have learned to listen when in this sagacious group, and I learn as much from the opinions that differ from what I am thinking as the ones that more reflect it. Thank you all.

increment wrote in Lost Dungeons of Tonisborg - Considering Investment:I would say it's better than my mom's lasanga.

Speaking as someone who might do terrible things for the chance to eat his mom's lasagna one more time, I am personally taking that as pretty good praise. lol

Seriously though, I think this sum up is reflecting what I am seeing and sensing around this work as I continue to research it.

increment wrote in Lost Dungeons of Tonisborg - Considering Investment:I view this kind of like Bottle City, of which a comparable amount of material survives (a four-panel map and nine pages of key, if I recall). It's not like we have a lot of Bottle Cities. These are objects well worthy of preservation and study.

Thank you, Increment.

I think I know how am going to approach the opportunity as it wears on. Thank you gents, and I will be monitoring this thread for follow ups over the next few weeks for sure.


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Post Posted: Wed Oct 19, 2022 3:52 am 
 

I'd be interested in reading reviews of people who actually use the book.
At the moment in my mind I'm seeing this as peruasal work, like the History of Judges Guild was, or Art and Arcana maybe. Something to be browsed.
The question in my mind is, is this a dungeon people can play? Like one of Gillespies dungeons?
The half-and-half thing doesnt work for me.
Now I gotta go and find my History of JG book and reaquaint myself with that book.


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Post Posted: Wed Oct 19, 2022 6:02 pm 
 

I know you don't mean me when you ask who is playing it. I've been playing it for a while now. No idea if anyone else is.

It's a good dungeon to expand on. My home version has lots of secret special areas

It is more like what we all used to have as kids where everyone took turns being DM and everyone had their own 9 level dungeon to play people in.

Both Svenson and Megarry ran it BITD.

Works great with OD&D. I use OD&D to run it at Gary Con.

  

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Post Posted: Thu Oct 20, 2022 8:25 pm 
 

As far as collectibility, I'd compare it to a '70 hemi Barracuda restored with half the parts being "updated" with 2022 versions. Were I still collecting, I wouldn't put it on the shelf next to the brown box sets............


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Post Posted: Thu Oct 20, 2022 8:30 pm 
 

mbassoc2003 wrote in Lost Dungeons of Tonisborg - Considering Investment:I'd be interested in reading reviews of people who actually use the book.
At the moment in my mind I'm seeing this as peruasal work, like the History of Judges Guild was, or Art and Arcana maybe. Something to be browsed.
The question in my mind is, is this a dungeon people can play? Like one of Gillespies dungeons?
The half-and-half thing doesnt work for me.
Now I gotta go and find my History of JG book and reaquaint myself with that book.


It is the sense I am getting mbassoc2003 that this is a completely playable dungeon + a fully playable set of light, 'pre-1974-style" game rules complete with mechanics, classes, monsters and spells + a pretty good section of DM advice from a number of the old masters. Mostly if someone has DM'd a lot, the advice section is going to seem old hat to most, but to any new school players who would like to gain an understanding of how the old school did it, they would gain a lot in that part. I expect that even I, DMing since '81/'82, will still find a few jewels of wisdom that I had not heard before, though.

I am very interested in the rules system especially. I want to get a feel for what it is Boggs put together based on his knowledge of what the creators were working with during game development according to his research. I am planning on running a game in that dungeon with those rules as an educational experience. I don't know for how long but that is going to inform some play that I am planning on.

I think basically though in answer to your question, you should likely be able to drop this book in a remote place with people who can read English, and who have never heard of D&D or Roleplaying games before, and they should be able to reasonably play a game based on the dungeon and the lite rule set. That is what I am getting from everything that I am seeing.

hehe I am sure it would serve very well on a coffee table too though, if one decided to put it to that service. :D


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Post Posted: Thu Oct 20, 2022 8:31 pm 
 

Deadlord wrote in Lost Dungeons of Tonisborg - Considering Investment:As far as collectibility, I'd compare it to a '70 hemi Barracuda restored with half the parts being "updated" with 2022 versions. Were I still collecting, I wouldn't put it on the shelf next to the brown box sets............


Oh interesting take. What are the ""updated" with 2022 versions" parts as you are perceiving them?


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Post Posted: Thu Oct 20, 2022 9:19 pm 
 

There seems to be a good deal of confusion about what the content and purpose of Tonisborg actually is. Here is a pretty good interview with Greg Svenson and archaeologist D.H. Boggs about the books content in terms of what the dungeon is and what the rules set is.

I would give it a watch if you have questions about that, or thoughts of this being some kind of 5E product.

Greg Svenson & D.H. Boggs | Lost Dungeons of Tonisborg | Wandering DMs S04 E06 - YouTube

Cheers!


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Post Posted: Thu Oct 20, 2022 11:19 pm 
 

Cerulean Rex wrote in Lost Dungeons of Tonisborg - Considering Investment:There seems to be a good deal of confusion about what the content and purpose of Tonisborg actually is. Here is a pretty good interview with Greg Svenson and archaeologist D.H. Boggs about the books content in terms of what the dungeon is and what the rules set is.

I would give it a watch if you have questions about that, or thoughts of this being some kind of 5E product.

Greg Svenson & D.H. Boggs | Lost Dungeons of Tonisborg | Wandering DMs S04 E06 - YouTube

Cheers!


Could you please clarify you position on this topic? Excuse me but i feel you are somehow related to it and you are posting here more for marketing/advertising rather than your willingness to know about this book. You started the thread asking us an opinion and you are informing us about the kickstarter, the quality of the books, the documentary about the book...
Well since i don't  like to be mocked, my warm reccomendation is in case you want to leave an ad, there is a classified on the boards. I find it honest from you side to stop here any discussion and post an ad over there in case you are here on behalf of the author/editor.
Thanks


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Post Posted: Thu Oct 20, 2022 11:53 pm 
 

aia wrote in Lost Dungeons of Tonisborg - Considering Investment:i don't  like to be mocked


Someone's going to have to explain this to us non-insiders. There seemed to be instant hostility on this thread for unknown reasons. Are the creators of the product thieves, maybe even assassins? I'm not saying you're wrong, but please explain. Lashing out at others for no apparent reason deserves to be mocked.

  

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Post Posted: Fri Oct 21, 2022 4:10 am 
 

aia,

I will be more than happy to be perfectly clear with you and any and everyone else about my position on this topic.

- I am in no way connected to, or part of the team responsible for the production of "The Lost Dungeons of Tonisborg"
- I am in no way connected to, or part of the team responsible for the production of "The Secrets of Blackmoor"
- I am in no way connected to, or part of "The Fellowship of the Thing" who are the producers of these works.
- I am in no way in their employ for any sort of marketing. Not through monetary payment or goods or favors.
- I am not them. They are not me.

What I AM is a person who learns a great deal about a topic that he is interested in as deeply and quickly as he can. I get pretty enthusiastic about things when I am learning about exciting things.

I DID come here seeking opinions about valuation. I believe that if you are going to have an intelligent conversation about valuation it needs to be one based on information about quality. So yes! I started off giving information and talking about quality. How are we going to have an intelligent discussion without a common frame of reference on the topical information?! Turns out that this body seemed fairly ignorant of the topic overall as well, so apparently it was necessary in order to have a valuable discussion.

I got some good opinions based on knowledge. I learned things based on the curiosity of others and saw them also gain from the discussion. I also got some opinions that were more of the type: "I don't know and I don't want to know." I learned things from those opinions as well. I still am.

Because this discussion is only a small part of the research into this topic that I have been doing over the last several days/weeks, I also had something to offer when someone else was looking for more information.
mbassoc2003 wrote in Lost Dungeons of Tonisborg - Considering Investment:I'd be interested in reading reviews of people who actually use the book.
At the moment in my mind I'm seeing this as peruasal work, like the History of Judges Guild was, or Art and Arcana maybe. Something to be browsed.
The question in my mind is, is this a dungeon people can play? Like one of Gillespies dungeons?


I thought that the interview with Svenson and Boggs in the YouTube link would be helpful in answering the question that mbassoc2003 was asking. I still do. Because it is, sir.

Now, personally speaking, I FEEL that the guys at Fellowship of the Thing are doing some great work here and that it is valuable to me, and frankly to the hobby overall. But that is them. They are big boys. If they want to come place and advertisement in the classified board, I would hope that they are welcome to do so. Either way that would not be my place.

Now, aia, excuse me, but I get the sense that you don't want people talking about this topic for some kind of reason that might not have anything to do with SPAM or controlling advertising placement.  I am getting that sense from the way you are trying to chill the conversation and the mood of the room rather than allow this to be a place that welcomes a free exchange of ideas. I am getting that sense from the way you have been extremely negative to the topic from the very start ...

*** "i don't see this mega dungeon as a piece of rpg history...Because it is not by anyone involved in the d&d foundation... it is by an  unknown guy who had fun at drawing lines on a paper trying to emulate the founders of this game" --- which was completely wrong!

*** "Hello, your post confirmed me that i took the right decision in not buying the book for collecting purposes. I have never trusted people selling their books with a value proposition of a future collectible." --- the guy was answering my original question about future collectibility, so THATs not really fair is it?

*** You also called on Jon Peterson for opinion which I thought was fantastic! Even then I was getting the sense that you were hoping he was going to trash it ... but then he didn't. You just stayed quiet and didn't even thank him for coming into it at your suggestion. Not that I could see anyway.

I guess all of that is fine. I don't know what the source is here of you wanting to 'feel some kinda way'. More power to you, though, man. You do you.  

But now, I am going to make one more thing crystal clear here about my position ...

Very respectfully, aia, no one here is trying to mock you. I don't know you. You are a senior member here and you might have the power to ban me. I don't know. At the end of the day, though, that is not what matters.

Also very respectfully, sir, I am going to kindly suggest that you not try to bully me, silence me or make me feel 'less than'. On this point, no matter what happens, it is YOU ... who shall not ... pass.

Dignity first and last.

Your move, sir.  :|


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Last edited by Cerulean Rex on Fri Oct 21, 2022 4:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
  

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Post Posted: Fri Oct 21, 2022 4:22 am 
 

Cerulean Rex wrote in Lost Dungeons of Tonisborg - Considering Investment:aia,

I will be more than happy to be perfectly clear with you and any and everyone else about my position on this topic.

- I am in no way connected to, or part of the team responsible for the production of "The Lost Dungeons of Tonisborg"
- I am in no way connected to, or part of the team responsible for the production of "The Secrets of Blackmoor"
- I am in no way connected to, or part of "The Fellowship of the Thing" who are the producers of these works.
- I am in no way in their employ for any sort of marketing. Not through monetary payment or goods or favors.
- I am not them. They are not me.

What I AM is a person who learns a great deal about a topic that he is interested in as deeply and quickly as he can. I get pretty enthusiastic about things when I am learning about exciting things.

I DID come here seeking opinions about valuation. I believe that if you are going to have an intelligent conversation about valuation it needs to be one based on information about quality. So yes! I started off giving information and talking about quality. How are we going to have an intelligent discussion without a common frame of reference on the topical information?! Turns out that this body seemed fairly ignorant of the topic overall as well, so apparently it was necessary in order to have a valuable discussion.

I got some good opinions based on knowledge. I learned things based on the curiosity of others and saw them also gain from the discussion. I also got some opinions that were more of the type: "I don't know and I don't want to know." I learned things from those opinions as well. I still am.

Because this discussion is only a small part of the research into this topic that I have been doing over the last several days/weeks, I also had something to offer when someone else was looking for more information.


I thought that the interview with Svenson and Boggs in the YouTube link would be helpful in answering the question that mbassoc2003 was asking. I still do. Because it is, sir.

Now, personally speaking, I FEEL that the guys at Fellowship of the Thing are doing some great work here and that it is valuable to me, and frankly to the hobby overall. But that is them. They are big boys. If they want to come place and advertisement in the classified board, I would hope that they are welcome to do so. Either way that would not be my place.

Now, aia, excuse me, but I get the sense that you don't want people talking about this topic for some kind of reason that might not have anything to do with SPAM or controlling advertising placement.  I am getting that sense from the way you are trying to chill the conversation and the mood of the room rather than allow this to be a place that welcomes a free exchange of ideas. I am getting that sense from the way you have been extremely negative to the topic from the very start ...

*** "i don't see this mega dungeon as a piece of rpg history...Because it is not by anyone involved in the d&d foundation... it is by an  unknown guy who had fun at drawing lines on a paper trying to emulate the founders of this game" --- which was completely wrong!

*** "Hello, your post confirmed me that i took the right decision in not buying the book for collecting purposes. I have never trusted people selling their books with a value proposition of a future collectible." --- the guy was answering my original question about future collectibility, so THATs not really fair is it?

*** You also called on Jon Peterson for opinion which I thought was fantastic! Even then I was getting the sense that you were hoping he was going to trash it ... but then he didn't. You just stayed quiet and didn't even thank him for coming into it at your suggestion.

I guess all of that is fine. I don't know what the source is here of you wanting to 'feel some kinda way'. More power to you, though, man. You do you.  

But now, I am going to make one more thing crystal clear here about my position ...

Very respectfully, aia, no one here is trying to mock you. I don't know you. You are a senior member here and you might have the power to ban me. I don't know. At the end of the day, though, that is not what matters.

Also very respectfully, sir, I am going to kindly suggest that you not try to bully me, silence me or make me feel 'less than'. On this point, no matter what happens, it is YOU ... who shall not ... pass.

Dignity first and last.

Your move, sir.  :|


Thanks for your explanation on your position. I misunderstood it.
My sincere apologies if i thought so.


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