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Valan Nonesuch
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« on: 17 May 2011, 15:14:32 »

The original entry here is a stub. I've taken the liberty of beginning to update it, but couldn't find a group template, so I've thrown one together.


Name: R'unorian Guild of Librarians

Overview: Along with the Imperial Court and Guard's Council, the Guild of Librarians is one third of the triumvirate that advises the R'unorian Empress. The Guild of Librarians also performs a function similar to both the Enkyklopadië Nybelmarnica or the Compendium of the Santharian Dream in that it gathers and records information in a scholarly fashion for future use.

Function: The Guild's supposedly impartial ultimate goal is to "acquire all knowledge of things physical, intellectual, and spiritual and to preserve this knowledge for the benefit of future generations". In order to accomplish this, the Guild gathers and records information from wars, to fashion to philosophy to new methods of cooking, and stores it in the Great Library of Glara.
In practice, the Guild is one-third of the R'unorian Triumvirate that advises the Empress. The various branches and organs of the Guild of Librarians act in R'unor's interest in matters of trade with foreign nations, conducting the census of the kingdom, the education of its peoples and, if rumour is to be believed, espionage.

Organization: The organization of the Guild of Librarians is much like that of the Sarvonian Compendium in some respects. At the base of the Guild is the "laity", a workforce of people who produce food, paper, ink and other things as required by the Guild.

Above these are various apprentices, who work to copy and collate the notes produced by the Guild's gatherers or various colleges. The apprentices are responsible for the legwork in keeping the Great Library organized, among other duties in order to familiarize themselves with the workings of the Guild. More senior apprentices may be assigned to synthesize notes into an acceptable summary to be included in one of many indices. Apprentices are formally approached by the various colleges of the Guild for induction into their ranks. The criteria vary between the colleges but usually involve the apprentice personally collecting and synthesizing information about something new. This process can take quite a while and not all apprentice have survived the ordeal or returned to the Great Library afterwards.

The gatherers are the eyes and ears of the Guild of Librarians. They are its agents in Nybelmar and Sarvonia, and are also a significant source of income for the Guild. Many of the gatherers are merchants of one sort or another, and send goods or monies back to the Guild with their reports. Through these and other influential connections the Guild controls a significant proportion of R'unor's trade with the outside world. The Guild possesses the best contacts, information and maps of locations outside R'unor and so has an advantage when it comes to trade. A gatherer is not necessarily a particularly learned person, merely one who knows what sort of information or articles might be of interest to the Guild. Indeed, most gatherers often have no concept the value of some of the items or information they procure.

Above these are the Librarians, who maintain the Great Library and its records. The librarians organize themselves into four broad colleges, based on specific area of expertise.

The College of Mechanists is dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge of mechanisms and their improvement, as well as advances in metallurgy, architecture, masonry and woodcraft. They count famed inventor Gregory Firelance among their number, and are partly responsible for constructing the mechanical hand used by Empress Kirvosa Flameseer.

The College of Alchemists is dedicated to the craft of alchemy and its associated schools, as well as knowledge of medical arts and techniques. The College of Alchemists operates hospitals in major R’unorian cities, and is responsible for training many R'unorian healers.

Members of the College of Magi study but do not practice magic. They are also, strangely, interested in the study of religions and spirituality. The College of Magi has been responsible for collecting the scriptures of the R'unorian deities into three books (the Books- of the Skies, of the Seas, of the Stones respective).

The College of Travellers studies living things: plants, animals, races and tribes. They also research politics, cultures and customs. They catalogue and dissect animals, study agriculture, and observe festivals and other peoples in order to construct a complete profile. The Travellers are the largest of the colleges and also spend the most time abroad.

Each college appoints from its own ranks ten Librarians Omnibus, who form the Guild's council to the Empress. These then elect from their own number a single Speaker, who leads and moderates the group. The Librarians Omnibus lead the Guild as a whole and give direction to each of the colleges. To avoid confusion, the Speaker and Librarians Omnibus are referred to as a whole as The Omnibus.

The Omnibus nominally advises the Empress, alongside the Imperial Court and Guard's Council. Since the end of the reign of Mogh, the triumvirate that advises the Empress has also had the ability to veto her decisions if two thirds of the triumvirate agree to do so. While this may seem to place the power in the hands of the advisors to the Empress, it is rare that these groups agree amongst themselves, let alone with one another. [1]

Appearance: The Guild's lay people wear no special garb, nor do the gatherers. Apprentices are given dark red robes marked with a pair of grey stripes down the back and front, which serve as a uniform. Full librarians have similar dark red robes though these lack stripes. The Librarians Omnibus are awarded a silver medallion with the Guild Seal emblazoned on it, while the Speaker wears a silver mantle over his or her robe.

Guild gatherers can be of almost any race, tribe or profession, though as a rule gatherers in foreign lands tend to be sailors or merchants of one sort or another. The ranks of apprentices and librarians are largely populated by R’mart and N'eshmor, and this filters up to the ranks of the Librarians Omnibus.

Coat of Arms: The seal of the Guild of Librarians is a stylized vashkoon head, one eye replaced with a sunburst, encircled by three curving lines that each end in a spiral. The coat of arms, or elements of it, features prominently in the architecture of the Library Towers. Each symbol is intended to represent one of the R'unorian gods. The vashkoon head represents Hel’fik, who is said to have made the clever vashkoon, while the sunburst represents Gorgamoth, the wise giver of glass. The curving lines are intended to represent the tendrils of Murlar who attempts to hide secrets.
On the reverse or about the edge, where applicable, are often written the words "All the knowledge in the world is already known" the motto of the Guild.

Location: The Guild of Librarians is housed in the Great Library on the island of Glara, a short distance southwest from the city of R'unor.

History:
The Guild of Librarians traces its history back to a minor R'mart family called Glara, and its household, which fled the isle of R'unor during the Glorious Reclamation, in which the combined forces of the R'mart and Blaar'kr subjugated the orcs of R'unor.

Their crude ship reached a small islet south of the main island, but foundered soon afterwards, beaten to scraps by the surf, leaving both the family and household stranded.

Despite the comparative adversity, the family survives and constructs what would become the basis of settlement on the island, and the beginning of the Library itself.  It is common among R'mart to keep a tome of collected knowledge, a car'ido, which preserves the wisdom of generations past. The Glaran Car'ido marked the earliest known comprehensive record of flora or fauna of R'unor, and certainly the oldest surviving example of any such attempt. Following the Unification of R'unor, the contingent that arrived on Glara was surprised to find a thriving, if minute, settlement, which was quickly incorporated into the burgeoning kingdom.

The Guild of Librarians was formally formed following the unification of the Kingdom of R'unor itself in 2997 b.S.. Construction of the Great Library had begun in 3172 b.S., but the structure was soon found to be too small to house the rapidly growing collection, and additions were needed. Construction began anew in 3003 b.S., with the formal completion of the Great Library in 962 b.S.


ca. 3251 b.S. The Glara of R'unor flee the beginnings of the Glorious Reclamation
A small R'mart family flees R'unor in a crude boat, which lands on what would become known as the island of Glara, and founders there, stranding them.

ca. 3250-3245 b.S. Settlement of Glara begins
The Glara, lacking the means to build a boat, begin to settle on the island, constructing the beginnings of a small community.

3230 b.S. R'unorian explorers arrive on Glara
A R'unorian expeditionary force arrives of Glara and is surprised to find the settlement there.

3229 b.S. Glara joins R'unor
A formal invitation to join the burgeoning Kingdom of R'unor is extended, and accepted by Glara.

3178 b.S. First gatherers dispatched to the Isle of R'unor.
The first gatherers are sent to R'unor as part of the military forces consolidating control of the Isle of R'unor.

3172 b.S. Construction begins on the First Library
Construction of the first building intended to house the records of the fledgling guild begins

3100 b.S. Construction of the First Library Completed
The First Library is completed and soon proves incapable of housing all the information intended for it.

3003 b.S. Construction of the Great Library Begins

2997 b.S. The Guild of Librarians Formed
The Guild of Librarians is formally recognized by the Empress

2962 b.S. The Great Library Completed

2036 b.S. College of Alchemists Formed

1957 b.S. College of Mechanists Formed

1402 b.S. College of Magi Formed

1005 b.S. College of Travellers Formed

938 b.S. The Omnibus Formed
The Omnibus is formed to govern and direct the assorted Colleges.

45-60 a.S. The Bloodied Empress Reigns
Vanawe Turtleblessed, the Bloodied Empress reigns over R'unor. Her campaign of cruelty against orcs eventually sparks an uprising which leads to her death. Many orcs flee to the more outlying islands, or take refuge with one of the guilds.

61 a.S. Orcish Uprising
Mogh the Half-Orcen leads a bloody uprising against the Empress, beginning with an audacious capture of the city of R'unor itself, and ending with her flayed corpse being paraded through the streets

61- 89 a.S. Reign of Mogh
Mogh implements a number of cultural reforms, including granting greater freedoms to the guilds of R'unor. Several guilds take this opportunity to expand beyond R'unor for their own safety.

88-89 a.S. Flameseer Rebellion
Kirvana the Flameseer begins a rebellion against the Emperor Mogh, culminating in the Flameseer herself storming the gates of the Imperial Palace and throwing Mogh to an angry mob.

90 a.S. The Flameseer Ascends
Kirvana is formally crowned Empress of R'unor. Her first act as Empress limits the power of future rulers through the creation of a triumvirate council to advise the Empress

90 a.S. Creation of the Triumvirate
The Librarians Omnibus, Imperial Court and Guard's Council form the Triumvirate by imperial order to advise, aid, and if necessary, limit the Empress.



[1]The compendiumist digresses that the entry must contain a cursory explanation of R'unorian politics in order to be as clear as possible to the reader. This explanation has been largely simplified to avoid becoming a treatise on R'unorian government which would surely exceed the normal and natural length of an entry of this scope.
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« Reply #1 on: 17 May 2011, 15:35:53 »

I'm currently doing a group-cum-cult and I stole Shabby's layout. An entry for a group is a people's entry more than anything else.
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« Reply #2 on: 20 May 2011, 21:37:30 »

I like what you're doing here, Valan, especially the way you've incorporated the previous entry on the Guild of Librarians into this, and your use of the term gatherers throughout the entry. The way you've linked this entry to the gods of R'unor was also very well done, in my opinion.

I look forward to seeing the entry completed. A suggestion/idea for you, which you are, of course, free to use or not as you wish. Ximax City also has a Guild of Librarians, and there is also the Compendium and the work being done on Nybelmar to gather information of this kind ... are they related? do they cooperate with each other and share information? Are they rivals? Do all of the groups pursuing knowledge send out agents? Is there some information they keep to themsleves in order to be more 'prestigious' than the other ones? Are there some forms of knowledge that they refuse to acquire? Do they make the knoweldge they acquire secret, or is it open to all? or open to some? what would happen if stuff they gathered was stolen? Would a gatherer ever go 'rogue' and work for another one of the information gathering groups?

I'm almost making this sound rather 'cloak and daggerish', aren't I?
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« Reply #3 on: 21 May 2011, 00:30:47 »

Cloak and Dagger *would* fit the R'unorians to a T. Well maybe to an R.

But yes, I would imagine that they are related. I posted this quite early in the morning and I've been busy with having holes put in my mouth and all sorts of things ever since. The Guild might begrudgingly share its information with the Encyclopaedia or the Compendium if they were asked and offered information in exchange, but they'd always try to get the better deal.
They're a little like firengi in that respect. In fact, I might have to borrow some of the rules of acquisition.
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« Reply #4 on: 16 October 2011, 02:40:45 »

Reviving this, Dek and Shaba I think I've got everything except history done, but it's been a while since I worked at it. Care to help rip it up so I can see where I've mis-stepped?
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« Reply #5 on: 25 October 2011, 07:08:57 »

Hi Valan,

I’m impressed to see the enormous scope of your R’unor project, which as an ignoramus on the subject matter I can so far only admire from a respectful distance. This entry gives me the chance to step a bit closer and begin to learn my way around. So here we go!

In my comments, I’ve not taken too much care with spelling, grammar or style just yet, but have concentrated on issues that I found unclear, and aspects that you might usefully expand on. I also pose a few questions, and make suggestions for more detail you could add here and there. One thing I’d like to say in the beginning: I’m wondering why this Guild is called the Guild of Librarians, since they are involved in so much more than looking after books. There may be a historical reason – in which case I suggest you mention it in your History.



Name: Guild of Librarians (Maybe call it “R’unorian Guild of Librarians”, so it’s clear from the title where we are? Just an idea.)

Overview: Along with the Imperial Court and Guard's Council, the Guild of Librarians is one third of the ruling triumvirate that advises the R'unorian Empress. (Now, I’ve got no knowledge on R’unorian government at all, but this sentence confuses me. I understand that there are three important institutions. But who rules - the institutions or the Empress? If the institutions rule, then they do more than merely advise the Empress. But if they only advise, then it’s the Empress who rules. Or are things more complicated than that - say, is the Empress the formal head of state, but the important decisions are really worked out by her advisers? If the last is the case, I’d request a more illuminating formulation, please.)

Also, the Overview could be longer. Maybe mention the variety of activities the librarians are involved in? You could also explain here that these ‘librarians’ are in fact, as an organization, much more than librarians. That would be a good thing to get straight from the beginning.



Function: The Guild's supposedly impartial ultimate goal is to "acquire all knowledge of things both physical, intellectual, and spiritual (Formulation. You can’t use ‘both’ and then add a list of three. ‘Both’ is only used for pairs of objects.) and to preserve this knowledge for the benefit of future generations". In order to accomplish this, the Guild gathers and records information from wars, to fashion to philosophy to new methods of cooking, (several commas missing in the foregoing list …) and stores them in the Great Library of Glara.
In practice, the Guild is one-third of the R'unorian Triumvirate that advises the Empress. The various branches and organs of the Guild of Librarians act in R'unor's interest in matters of trade with foreign nations, conducting the census of the kingdom, the education of its peoples and, if rumour is to be believed, espionage.

Organization: The organization of the Guild of Librarians is much like that of the Sarvonian compendium in some respects. At the base of the Guild is the "laity", a workforce of people who produce food, paper, ink and other things as required by the Guild. (Hmm. This aspect is not at all like the compendium, as far as I can see. Leastwise, old Shabakuk always goes to the market to buy his food himself, and would never rely on anyone but his favourite quill maker for his writing utensil needs! More seriously, I think it’s quite a special librarians’ guild that has its own food production. You describe the guild more like a religious order. Is that intended?) Above these are various apprentices, those who work to write and compile the notes produced by the Guild's gatherers. (Writing up notes – in the sense of shaping research notes into an organized text – is actually a very responsible task. Are you sure that you want to leave that to apprentices? I’d have thought apprentices should work with the members of one of the colleges, ie help the alchemists in blowing up their labs, go seafaring with the Gatherers, etc.? How else would they learn what to do? A more menial task loaded on apprentices might be to copy  books, though – since that is arduous but important, and doable once you’ve learned to write.

The gatherers (If ‘Gatherer’ is a formal position and title, consider spelling it with a capital G.) are the eyes and ears of the Guild of Librarians. They are its agents in Nybelmar and Sarvonia and are also the source of income for the Guild. Many of the gatherers are merchants of one sort or another, and send goods or monies back to the Guild with their reports. Through these and other influential connections the Guild controls a significant proportion of R'unor's trade with the outside world. The Guild possesses the best contacts, information and maps of locations outside of R'unor and so has an advantage when it comes to trade.

Above these (I know you mean ‘these’ to refer to the gatherers, but grammatically the reference is lost here.) are the Librarians, who maintain the Great Library and its records. The librarians organize themselves into four broad colleges, based on specific area of expertise.

The Guild of Mechanists (Should this be “College of Mechanists”, in concordance with the nomenclature you’ve just introduced?) is dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge of mechanisms and their improvement, as well as advances in metallurgy, architecture, masonry and woodcraft. They count famed inventor Gregory Firelance among their number, and are partly responsible for constructing the mechanical hand used by Empress Kirvosa Flameseer.

[…]

Coat of Arms: The seal of the Guild of Librarians is a stylized vashkoon head, one eye replaced with a sunburst, encircled by three curving lines that each end in a spiral. The coat of arms, or elements of it, features prominently in the architecture of the Library Towers. The vashkoon head represents Hel’fik, while the sunburst represents Gorgamoth. The curving lines are intended to represent the tendrils of Murlar who attempts to hide secrets. (Who are Hel’fik and Gorgamoth and Murlar? Explain in the text, please. Just adding: “, the R’unorian god of XXX” would be sufficient, I think. I assume they’re all gods?)
On the reverse, where applicable, are often written the words "All the knowledge in the world is already known" the motto of the guild.

Location: The Guild of Librarians is based on the island of Glara, a short distance southwest from the city of R'unor, where their Great Library is housed. (It’s unclear here whether the Great Library is in the City of R’unor or on Glara. Grammar suggests the former, but plausibility suggests the latter. Reformulate to clarify, please!)




A few questions:

How do you become a Gatherer? Do you have to work your way up through an apprenticeship, or can, say, a merchant or sea captain get herself additional income, status and influence by joining the Guild? I think the latter would be more likely, especially since the apprenticeship doesn’t seem to prepare the young ones very well for the tasks of a gatherer? Also, the guild could attract all kinds of people aiming to give their activities a veneer of respectability. Pirates? Smugglers? It all depends on what you want this guild to be!

How do the Travellers and the Gatherers relate to one another? Methinks they are both performing quite similar functions? And also, how exactly are gatherers useful for the colleges? For example, how would a seafaring merchant have time and occasion to learn much about alchemy by travelling? Isn’t it the case that you advance in alchemy by making experiments, blowing things up in your laboratory, and such? So in which sense does the College of Alchemists (or the College of Mechanists, for that matter) rely on the Gatherers?


And a few suggestions:

You could say a bit more about the beliefs and morality of the librarians. If I meet one, what kind of person am I dealing with? What moral codes does she abide by? Is she devoted to the service of her organization, or may it be the case that she’s mainly concerned with trading and making money, and merely runs the information-gathering as a sort of side-line? To some extent, you cover this information in your Function section, but it wouldn’t do harm to expand on this. Maybe you could even add a “Beliefs” section, like the Butterfly Rovers entry has it? It might help to define the Librarians more as a group.

It strikes me that for an entry on a Guild of Librarians, you haven’t actually devoted much space to describing the librarians themselves. Or are all librarians researchers at the same time - alchemist-librarians, mechanist-librarians, and so on? That might be what you intended, but it isn't quite clear to me. Anyway, a case might be made for a fifth college, consisting of actual librarians?

Does the Guild of Librarians maybe have actual links with the Santharian compendium? Maybe there is some co-operation going on? Or if not, maybe say why not?


Anyway, great start, and I look forward to seeing this develop!

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« Reply #6 on: 14 November 2011, 04:01:43 »

Sorry, so nominally, R'unor is a monarchy in which the Empress is advised by a set of three councils which serve to provide her with information to make important decisions and nothing more. Or was, by law, if a 75% majority of her councillors agree, the decisions of the Empress herself can be vetoed. Of course, this rarely happens since the various councils don't always agree internally, much less with each other.

The Guild is based (at this point) very loosely on the organization described in the Foundation novels by Asimov.

Edits progressing in Shaba-worthy green
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« Reply #7 on: 08 January 2012, 20:03:58 »

Hi Valan,

Sorry to let this languish for so long. I've had a real life enforced two-months break from the Development Board, but am now looking to gradually take up my People Moderator duties again.

Anyway, I see that you've made changes since your last post. Is this ready for a second look, or are you still making changes? In the latter case, the thread might usefully be switched to "Work in Progress" status for now?

Also, are you still planning to add the History?
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« Reply #8 on: 09 January 2012, 00:03:17 »

I haven't been terribly active myself Shaba, so no fault found.
The history section is a little tricky, so I'm making sure I've got the details down pat first.
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« Reply #9 on: 09 January 2012, 00:35:31 »

Ah, great. So do you want comments now, or are you still editing?
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« Reply #10 on: 09 January 2012, 01:52:27 »

Certainly!
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« Reply #11 on: 09 January 2012, 03:06:38 »

Certainly wanting comments or certainly still editing? Or certainly both? Or certainly enough questions from Shabakuk today?  huh
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« Reply #12 on: 09 January 2012, 03:15:26 »

Comments please Master Angfang, I believe I've covered most of, if not all, the previous batch.
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« Reply #13 on: 10 January 2012, 06:55:10 »

Splendid! Will have a look soon.  :)
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« Reply #14 on: 12 January 2012, 04:16:37 »

Hi Valan,

Good, like it! Lots of things cleared up in an elegant and concise way. There were some of my previous comments you didn’t react to. I assume you want to keep this entry short? That’s fair enough. :) I’m guessing that the purpose of the entry is to serve as a building block for the larger project you’ve got going over there on R’unor, so it might be prudent to desist from Shabakukian over-elaboration. rolleyes

My further comments are all minor, except that I really think you should make the Overview more informative. Anyway, aura for your work so far! And here go the comments:

Througout: You’ve sometimes spelled “Guild” with capital G, sometimes with small g. (Small g particularly in your limegreen additions.) I’d say it’s best to have capital G throughout, as you’re referring to the name of the institution that the entry is about, rather than to any old guild.

Overview: Needs to be longer. It would be really useful for the reader to be provided, from the beginning, with an impression of the different activities of the guild and the geographical range of these activities, possibly the different kinds of members.

Quote
Along with the Imperial Court and Guard's Council, the Guild of Librarians is one third of the ruling triumvirate that advises the R'unorian Empress.
I’d strongly advise to omit ‘ruling’ here. This would make the sentence clearer.


Quote
Function: The Guild's supposedly impartial ultimate goal is to "acquire all knowledge or things,
… of …

Quote
More senior apprentices may be assigned to synthesize notes into an acceptable summary to be included in one of many indicies.
… indices …

Quote
The Speaker and Librarians Omnibus nominally advise the Empress. Since the end of the reign of Mogh, the triumvirate that advises the Empress also has the ability to veto her decisions if two thirds of the triumvirate agrees to do so. While this may seem to place the power in the hands of the advisors to the Empress, it is rare that these groups agree amongst themselves, let alone with one another. [1]
This is great, but what you said in the overview bears repeating here: namely, who the other two councils are that together with the Guild make up the ‘triumvirate’.


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The ranks of apprentices and librarians are largely populated by R’mart and XXX, and this filters up to the ranks of the Librarians Omnibus.
Don’t forget to decide upon the identity of XXX!


Quote
[1]The compendiumist digresses that the entry must contain a cursory explanation of R'unorian politics in order to be made clear. This explanation has been simplified to avoid becoming a treatise on R'unorian government which would surely exceed the length
Footnote: This is a bit of a stub. You break off mid-sentence, I think? Also, may I make a formulation suggestion for the whole thing: “The compendiumist insists that this digression on R’unorian politics is necessary. Without it, the important role that the Guild of Librarians plays in government would remain obscure. The reader may be assured that the digression was kept as short as possible without distortion of truth.” Take or leave … :)
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Hello all! It's been a minute since I poked my nose in here. Can't remember if I ever did anything useful.
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Hi, dear Arti and other developers!

This year I am in China and cannot use any Google services including YouTube. For this reason I stopped uploading new Nepris videos. I can also not read any comments there.

It just crossed my mind that this information might be useful to you.

Cheers

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Calling all developers; come help me write the New-Santhala article ^^
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