Regalian Empire

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Regalian Empire
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Nations and States
Full Name The Regalian Empire
Capital Regalian Crown Isle
Official Languages Various
Regional Languages See Human Cultures
Sovereign State Regalian Empire
Government Absolute Monarchy
Current Ruler Alexander I
Population 120,000,000+
Pronunciation Reh-gah-lee-ah.

The Regalian Empire is the largest and most culturally diverse nation in the known world of Aloria. It spans numerous continents and encompasses wide trade routes, landmasses, and patrols many Oceans. The Regalian Empire is presently the largest, continuous, absolute monarchy in the world. It encompasses nearly seventy percent of all Ailor in Aloria and large quantities of various other Races within its boundaries. The Empire mostly exists as a federal collective of states under the Imperial Seat, the collection of the Regalian Emperor, the courts of Regalia and various other institutions. While the power of the Empire has fluctuated over the centuries, it has enjoyed a position of uncontested relative hegemony for nearly 300 years since its establishment in 5 AC. The Regalian Empire both embodies the pinnacle of Ailor Culture, but also many of its vices. Many scholars, even in the present day, argue whether the Regalian Empire is inherently good or evil. While the moral lines aren’t entirely clear, what is certain is the Regalian Empire has ambitions to subjugate the entire world and has made many strides to do so.

For more detail on Societal Problems and Topics in the Regalian Empire, consult the Regalian Empire Issues page for a useful analysis on ongoing societal problems in the Empire that can help frame your roleplay.

Etymology

The Regalian Empire inherits its name from the Regalian Kingdom, which preceded it before it was overthrown by a populist rebellion in 5 AC, the Five Family Rebellion. The Kingdom derived its name from the Seraph ruins of Rell-Gallis, a term used by the Seraph to identify royalty, which once covered the Crown Isle. However, the ruin was built over by various parties, most notably the Altalar and later the Ailor, each group passing the name on to the next. The name is also effectively the same in every other world language as the Empire has had such a global impact that its name transcends linguistic boundaries. Other terms, such as The Regalian Commonwealth, The Imperium, or simply “The Empire” are occasionally used to describe it. Technically, referring to the Regalian Empire as “Regalia” is incorrect, as that term specifically refers to the Crown Isle of Regalia, the Empire’s capital and one of its many states. Many still do, however, especially if they are from outside of the Empire or are of a less educated class.

History

Before the Regalian Empire, the once noble and beneficial Regalian Kingdom had helped to protect its citizens from the raiding efforts of the Allorn Empire. Corruption gradually turned these selfless acts into a protection racket which didn’t properly protect anyone save the Regalian monarchy and the Crown Isle. From this void rose the Five Families, powerful figures in their respective pieces of the Regalian Archipelago around the Crown Isle. With the collapse of Altalar dominance, the Regalian King was alone and nothing was holding back his political rivals from standing up to him. These Five Families did so, and their names would live on forever: Ivrae, Kade, van Sherburne, Vermeer, and Cadar. They all signed a deal to aid each other in overthrowing the King and, within the year, they had done so. The relatively bloodless affair meant there was little chaos in the wake of this event as Theomar I, the first Regalian Ivrae Emperor, took the throne to rule. The other Families also attained positions of power: the Kades received the Chancellory under the Emperor, while the van Sherburnes, Vermeer, and Cadar all earned new lands, grants, and Imperial titles. At this time the Regalian Empire was very small; all around them were other Ailor states, one of the greatest being the Wirtemcaller Kingdom to the east in what would later become the Calem regions. Each of these nations all had their own internal issues, leadership, and systems of government but Regalia, due to its zealous expansionist drive, sought to control them all. With the Unionism displacing the traditional Old Gods (and even in some areas Oldt Fayth) worship, the new goals and intentions of this new faith called for the Empire to push beyond its borders which it began to do almost immediately.

What followed was 150 years of warfare, education, training and aggressive diplomacy. The Regalian Empire truly became an Empire, marching in a counter-clockwise direction across nearly a dozen different kingdoms, principalities, and states on a path of conquest to unite the entirety of the Regalian Archipelago. In the beginning, it was slow going, but they soon hit their stride, some states even capitulating without a fight. The biggest ideological enemy of this period was the Skagger Horde. Technically not a unified body, it was the term used to refer to various Velheim groups which had moved into the north of the Archipelago largely in the aftermath of the Cataclysm. They settled across Gallovia and Drixagh, dominating both regions for a number of years. Unionism, which saw widespread adoption in other areas of the Regalian Archipelago, failed against the Old Faiths present here. These Velheim also raided and attacked the various Archipelago states, namely Regalia, as well as the respected Wirtemcaller Kingdom. In response to this and other factors, the Regalian Empire soon developed the powerful Imperial Navy to defend their shipping and help support their troops better in the field. The Navy soon became a key feature of the Empire and would go on to help it dominate the world, with vessels sailing out as early as 150 AC to aid in the subjugation of Ithania and other Ailor regions. At last, in 179 AC, the last of the enemy Skagger Horde left Drixagh and the Regalian Archipelago finally came under the sole control of the Empire.

The events that followed happened rapidly. For nearly a century after this event, the Regalian Empire continued to dominate the world. Region after region capitulated to their might, from Etosil and the Daendroque states to even the descendants of the Skagger Horde who had formed the Kingdom of Nordskag. Unionism spread far and wide and ultimately Regalia came to hold territorial and religious sway over the majority of Aloria’s Ailor population. But in the years following 260 AC, the Regalian Empire began to decay. The Regalian Pessimism, as it is called today, was a decay in Regalian power as religious and military momentum eventually ground to a halt and the first cracks in Unionism started showing. Various diseases plagued the bloated Empire's growing population, straining its bureaucracy and public health. The Drachenwald Crisis further crippled the Empire's government, forming the paralyzing Regalian Senate and freezing the Empire's decision-making apparatus for several decades. However, the beginning of the Chrysant War and its ensuing religious and military fervor revived the Empire. The war with the Slizzar and [Allar] was as much a religious genocide as it was a war, targeting Races the Ailor feared could one day rival them technologically. The Essa Empire was completely crushed, ending the Slizzar control over the Allar. With the expansionist fervor of Regalia restored, more military campaigns followed in the decades to come and over the past several years, have occurred alongside unprecedented or bizarre events.

In the present day, the Regalian Empire is a weakened but still-powerful state. Their only direct rival in world power, the Songaskian Masaya, has faded from view after the devastation of the First and Second Songaskian Wars, while the Altalar nations of Daen are currently at peace with Regalia. Most of these states oppose the Dread Empire of the Far West and its Kathar leadership with the “aid” of Regalia in so much as they upkeep a common barrier against the vile armies. In the north, many Regalian vassals have also left the Empire and refuse to participate in it due to continued Regalian intolerances for the Velheim culture and its religions. Thus, the current Empire relies on the grit and tenacity of its people to keep thriving in this new and fascinating world.

Government

The Empire has a variety of organizations and authorities which sometimes conflict or overlap. To outsiders, the Regalian Empire is a confusing web of political intrigue that is hard to understand without spending an enormous amount of time researching the laws. To simplify it, however, three main forms of semi-independent authority can be distinguished. The Imperial Administration governs all lands within the borders of the Empire and does so with an absolutist ideology. In practice, however, much of the day to day runnings are left to the hands of the Noble Assembly. In order to understand how the Noble Assembly functions, however, it is necessary to examine its layers of governance first.

Secular Realms

The Local Rulers

The Regalian Realm Map.

The local rulers of the Aristocratic Realms are the Knights, Aldermen, and Mayors, thus not including any clerical authority. These local rulers usually run a very small region - usually only a castle or a manor with surrounding lands - and are appointed in a feudal-loan scheme. The vast majority of their income is paid as taxes to the Barons and the Dukes, though the Local Rulers do have some means to affect the fortunes of their lands. The Local Rulers are subject to the rules of the Lords, but the Lords do not have the complete loyalty of the Local Rulers. Due to the machinations of governance, the Lords rely on the Local Rulers to summon their levy troops and also rely on the Imperial Knights to join their cause when called to war. Additionally, taxes owed to a lord can be falsified, meaning Local Rulers who are either corrupt or disloyal may choose not to deliver the required taxes each time and keep some for themselves. As such, the Local Rulers have two main functions: their primary function is tax collection and their secondary function is to summon the military forces of their Lord in a tradition called the Warmoot. A Warmoot is an official summons by a lord to gather all the Local Rulers of a realm, where the Lord proceeds to convince the Local Rulers to support their military campaign.

The Lords

The Lords of the Aristocratic Realms are the Barons and the Dukes, also disincluding any clerical authority. The Lords of the Aristocratic Realms have some sovereignty over their lands, meaning they can rule with some degree of independence. The Lords control a number of smaller regions ruled by the Local Rulers, which all owe their allegiance to a single Lord. Most Lords have numerous castles and estates in their home region, but this is not always consistent; many castles have recently been torn down because Imperial law applies harsh taxes on those who maintain castles (an act instigated under Cedromar I to emphasize fortifying the borders of the Regalian Archipelago) and, as such, only the most militant of families maintain castles. These Lords have the freedom to wage military conflicts with other lords and even realms within and outside of the Regalian Empire, but are expected to bow in loyalty to the Emperor at all times at the end of the day. As such, it is legal for the Lords to wage war on one of the Emperor’s fellow subordinates but never on the Emperor himself. The Lords pay a moderate amount of tax to the Emperor and to the Regalian State itself but keep roughly 60% for themselves. As such, the Lords are the Nobility of the Empire, wealthy families with large plots of lands and personal armies.

The Aristocratic Realms

The Aristocratic Realms are not formally entities, but legal boundaries. The Aristocratic Realms do not have any representatives per se; they refer instead to the provinces of the Regalian Archipelago to which the various Lords belong (though some Lords may own lands in multiple Aristocratic Realms). The Aristocratic Realms do not have an official function in the Empire besides dictating local law. That is to say, any of the Lords of an Aristocratic Realm may call for the Hofrat, which is a summons of all the rulers of a local Aristocratic Realm. Then, at such a Hofrat, all other Local Rulers have representation appropriate to the amount of Local Rulers present in the realm. These Hofrat conferences are usually lavish ceremonies of political intrigue, but they serve no other purpose at the end of the day than dictating laws for the Realms. While the Regalian Empire has many laws applicable across every single state within the Empire, including the lands owned by the Lords, the Hofrat can create laws applicable only to the Aristocratic Realms and the people who are a citizen within, as long as these laws do not conflict with the Empire-wide laws.

The Imperial City & Noble Assembly

The Imperial City, that is to say, Regalia, is ruled by a civilian government headed by the Noble Assembly. The Noble Assembly, furthermore, governs all the lands directly controlled by the Imperial Administration, which are usually military occupation zones outside of the Archipelago and not inside vassal states. Because the Imperial City and Noble Assembly are practically synonymous, the title can refer to both of them in most scenarios. The Noble Assembly dictates the laws for the entire Empire (though there are some exceptions where these laws cannot directly be enforced on the Aristocratic Realms) but more particularly in the Imperial City itself. They also dictate foreign relations with other nations, such as making peace or war or concluding arrangements and other agreements. The Noble Assembly does not govern the Vassal States of the Empire, which pay their homage to the Emperor directly and are immune to State Laws dictated by the Noble Assembly. That being said, the Assembly does receive some taxation from the Vassal states.

The Vassal States

The Vassal states, that is to say, countries like the Kingdom of Ithania and the Queendom of Lusits are the suzerain realms of the Regalian Empire which owe their allegiance to the Emperor of Regalia but not to the Noble Assembly. These realms usually have very loose relations with the Empire and their loyalty is also different from one state to the next. Still, they are all uniquely bound by contracts between their predecessors and the previous Emperors which clearly line out the exact stipulations of their states with the Empire. The Vassal States have no obligation to follow State Laws made by the Noble Assembly, and independently negotiate with the Noble Assembly when it comes to Empire-wide agreements.

The Imperial Seat

The Imperial Seat is the highest level of administration in the Regalian Empire. On paper, this administration is the absolute monarchy of Emperor Alexander the First, but in practice much of the Empire’s day to day administration is the responsibility of the Noble Assembly. The Imperial Administration has the means to overrule any decision made by any lower level of governance and can, in most cases, even compel an action (for example the summoning of the knights). However, failure to adhere to the decrees of the Emperor is usually treason of the highest caliber. The Imperial Seat has no actual land associated with it aside from the confines of the Imperial Palace. Regardless, members of the Imperial Seat (the Imperial Family, the extended pseudo-Royal family, the Imperial Guard and Palace servants) have freedom of movement and can usually get anywhere and into anything without any trouble because of their authority.

Ecclesiastic

The Curates

The Regalian Realm Map.

The Curates are the lowest level of the Unionist Divine’s authority. Curates are the priests who lead local congregations, such as communities surrounding abbeys and churches of Unionism. The Curates of the Unionist Divine have no authority, largely because their properties are on the lands of the Local Rulers. Their land is not truly their own; instead, they simply receive these lands as a gift from the Local Rulers to found their holy lands upon, from which they dispense their Unionist service to the local population. The Curates have a lot of local influence over the minds of the citizenry and the peasants, so when a Warmoot is called the Curates show up and weigh in as well, regardless of whether they actually have any authority to do so. The Curates can often make or break a conflict by denouncing or praising it and, as such, everyone lets them participate even when they should not.

The Congregational Councils

The Congregational Councils are semi-independent realms within the Unionist Divine that govern the ecclesiastic estates within a specific region. Congregational Councils, much like the Curates, have no actual land but in practice are loaned, gifted, or purchase lands by and from the Local Rulers for absolution or religious blessings. Congregational Councils are not actually religious rulers, but rather people chosen by the individual congregations of the Local Realms to represent them on a regional basis. More often than not, however, these are elderly individuals with enough of an education in Unionist Theory to rival the Reverends.. Congregational Councils are part of the Unionist Divine, but cannot be commanded by the Synod to act or restrain because the ruling members aren’t members of the clergy. For example, there have been cases where a Congregational Council acted against the wishes of the Synod. During the Vultarin Heresy where the Congregational Council of Vultaro sided with the Reverends of the Supremoclast against the Unionist Church in rebellion, it resulted in their excommunication. The Congregational Councils are usually passive, but to many outsiders they are considered the representation of how the local Congregations feel about the policies and politics of the Synod. When the faithful turn against the actions of the Synod, the Congregational Councils usually follow suit by dismissing Synod legislation or entering directly into rebellion. Despite the Curates being part of the Unionist Divine, they usually go along with the Congregational Councils, largely because the Regalian City is often hundreds of miles away from local politics. Additionally, the Curates are often more concerned with the wellbeing of their congregation than following the orders of the Synod in Regalia.

The Synodical Lands & The Synod

The Synodical Lands & The Synod are the administration of the Unionist Divine that governs the church structure. The Synodical Lands are individual lands comparable to the Lord Realms ruled by Reverends from Regalia. These lands (as opposed to the lands ran by the Curates) are directly controlled by the Synod and thus directly taxed. However, should conflict arise the Synod still must call a Warmoot because, despite the lands belonging to the Synod, the civilian population therein is still governed by the Local Rulers. As such, Synod lands are usually identical to the Lords Realms, except that they are ruled by a holy body and dominated by abbeys and reverend palaces as opposed to manors and castles. The Synodical Lands have no Congregational Councils and obey the commands of the Synod directly. The Synodical Lands mostly pay taxes to the Unionist Divine but also pay a stipend of taxes to the Imperial Administration. Furthermore, due to recent law amendments these realms now have to pay taxes to the Regalian State as well. The Synod itself is a council of Reverends led by the High Reverend. The Reverends derive their authority from the Synodical Lands, while the High Reverend rules the ecclesiastic lands in the Regalian City itself. This rulership covers the Abbeys, Monasteries, and Temples; however, the High Reverend is not the penultimate ruler of the Unionist Divine.

The Supreme Reverend=

The Supreme Reverend is the penultimate ruler of the Unionist Divine, representing the highest authority over the Curates, Reverends, High Reverend, as well as the brother and sister church structures. The Supreme Reverend, because of his advanced age and Dogartan sympathies, has left most of the day to day administration to the Synod while he secludes himself in prayer and monastic duties. The Supreme Reverend governs the Council of Droite which governs most of the Kade lands, some Harhold lands and independent Anglian Lords, except the regions of the Veer and Medway. The Supreme Reverend is the end-all authority on the interpretation of the Spirit in the absence of an Imperial decree, as well as the proper interpretation of the Unionist Creeds. Because of the inaction of the Supreme Reverend, however, the Synod has silently usurped this right.

List of Rulers

Even though Regalia is ruled by the head of state - the Emperor - several other figures have still been instrumental in its administration. The Chancellors have been second only to the Emperor in terms of authority and have traditionally been members of House Kade. For a list of all Chancellors, click here.

Foreign Relations

The Regalian Empire has far more complex foreign relations now than it once did a mere decade or two ago. Its old rival, the Songaskian Masaya, is now considered neutral at best by the Regalian state. After holding its current leader in their protection for two years from his usurper uncle, the Masaya has seemingly for now chosen to ignore Regalia in favor of rebuilding. The Allar, once sworn and hated enemies of the Regalian Empire, have been integrated en masse back into the state through their Digmaan rising to the rank of Regalian nobility. They live across many regions but no longer actively fear the roaring guns of Regalian warships. The only Allar who have to fear such a fate are the Void Worshiping Allar of the Sendrassian Empire on Sendras, but they are at the edge of Regalia and while officially they have poor relations, the Digmaan now serves as a buffer between Regalia proper and this hostile force. The same could be said of the Altalar nations in southern Daen. While Regalia warred with them for more than a year, this ended with a peace deal that allowed both groups to battle against the Dread Empire and their Void Worshiping Kathar. In the north, Regalia faces a stern collective of Velheim-led nations seeking to make a stand to prevent the Regalian Empire from annihilating their people. This coalition is formidable, and not just because of the Velheim fighting forces they have at their disposal but because they are united for once in common goals. Only time will tell if this situation will be resolved. On a much smaller scale, Regalia has also angered the Horned Throng, the leading body of Url in Jorrhildr, by interfering with their rituals and practices. This is not yet an active conflict, but the two groups are far icier than they have been in the past. With most other groups, Regalia keeps up positive relations. For example, the Qadir will still help the Regalians in certain situations even though they exited an alliance with the Empire.

Military

The Regalian Empire fields Aloria’s largest navy, as well as the most technologically advanced siege weapons available in modern times. This extremely high quality in naval warfare, however, has resulted in a lackluster land military. In recent years though, the Regalian Empire has made great strides in improving their soldiers, from the rise to prominence of the Tenpenny Army to a more active military, which has required more soldiers for longer periods of time. These strides were mainly made during the rule of Cedromar I, a great supporter of the armed forces. Despite this, the Regalian armed forces still rely on overwhelming numbers and superior artillery - both from massive cannons as well as naval coast bombardments - to win the day.

  • For more information on the Regalian Military, click here

Economy

Regalia has the world’s largest mercantile economy, easily making up 30% of the global international trade. As Regalian trade is so present in other nations, the Regal is a universally accepted coin in many corners of the world, not including dangerous backwater areas where civilized contact is minimal. Even the Songaskian Masaya at its height accepted the currency, but only due to economic necessity. Regalia is an aggressively Imperialistic nation, favoring colonial resource exploitation and unequal trade treaties with foreign nations which are backed by its massive armada and merchant fleet. Despite Regalia’s trade dominance, however, its main source of income is the obscene taxation system of the Empire. The Regalians, over the course of three centuries, have perfected the art of taxation to the minutest detail with a sprawling bureaucracy, archive and tax collectors present in every corner of the Empire. It is often said Regalians love numbers and love squeezing a profit out of numbers even more as every transaction is taxed one way or another. Regalia’s treasury was thus previously extremely large, fueling both the Empire’s imperialist ventures as well as the splendor and prestige excesses of its nobility and Imperial court. Unfortunately, in recent years it has been routinely plundered by Regalia’s enemies sacking or occupying its capital city; first the Songaskians, and then more supernatural foes like the Deathlings. Despite the size of Regalia’s economy, it is actually excessively fragile and heavily reliant on productive crop harvests. As such, the building blocks of its economy are agricultural produce, domestic enterprise, and international trade. These foundations allow the merchants to branch off into other sectors with minimal capital. However, if a famine were ever to strike the Empire the whole economic system would risk utter collapse, dragging the world economy with it.

Demographics

The Regalian skyline at sunset.

An accurate census of an Empire as large as Regalia is almost impossible. Below is a rough estimate made by Imperial census-takers in 305 AC.

  • 55% Human
  • 15% Nelfin
  • 10% Allar
  • 10% Varran
  • 5% Orc
  • 5% Other

The Regalian Empire maintains a distinct difference between what it considers Citizens, Supporters, and Outsiders. Citizens are those within the Empire who have rights. Supporters are those who have minimal rights conferred to them by the Judiciary. Outsiders are those who have no rights whatsoever.

Culture

The Regalian Empire cannot be identified with a single culture. Every culture in the world is in some way represented in the various corners of the Empire. Still, various cultures that exist within the Empire clearly dominate the others and are seen as the primary cultures of the state. The main culture that overpowers the other by far is the Alt-Regalian followed closely by the Imperial Culture. Even though the actual number of people who identify as Alt-Regalian is less than all other cultures, it is the main historical culture of the Empire in its roots and is only slowly being overtaken by the new century Imperial culture.

  • For more information on the Cultures that exist within Regalia, click here

Religion

As with Culture, nearly every known Religion in the world is present in the Regalian Empire but individual rights of the various religions differ radically. Regalia’s formal state religion is Unionism and technically all other forms of religion are heresy and their practitioners can be executed under law. Regardless, there are still some legal circumstances in which one can be a follower of a different religion, as long as certain promises are made based on legal contracts. Below is a proper explanation of the state’s views and the legality of every major religion.

  • Unionism - State Religion
    • Unionism is the Regalian Empire’s State Religion. Unionists have full rights to everything and enjoy special protection rights over heretics and foreigners.
  • Faith of Estel - Tolerated
    • The Regalian State tolerates the Faith of Estel only under the condition that those who worship it do so in certain approved spaces. The Faith of Estel may not be spread within the borders of the Regalian Empire.
  • Old Gods and Oldt Fayth - Tolerated
    • The Old Faiths are tolerated under the condition that those who worship them do so in certain approved spaces. The Old Faiths may not be spread within the borders of the Regalian Empire.
  • Assorted “Lesser” Faiths (Faith of Baskarr, Dwarven Dogma, Allar Philosophy, and Qadir Life Views) - Tolerated
    • The “Lesser” Faiths are all still protected religions of the Regalian Empire (at least according to the Holy Synod and their laws) but are considered to be lower due to them largely being practiced by non-Ailor or by smaller parts of the Empire’s population. All possess the same rules as the Old Faiths and the Faith of Estel, though the “religions” of the Allar and Qadir are more complicated. Strictly speaking, they are less religions and more cultural worldviews. If these viewpoints align with Regalia’s goals then they are left alone, but if they are radical or violent then those who espouse them can be punished.
  • Void Worship, Shambala and Nessrassian - Fully Illegal and Punishable by Death

Many citizens of the Empire who do not follow Unionism or any of the Protected Religions continue to live their faith in private, either through hidden temples or in underground praying rooms. The Regalian state and the Sanchella of Union, in particular, had the Inquisition, who worked tirelessly to hunt down heretics and non-believers within the Empire’s boundaries. They also investigated supporters of such heresies and passed judgment where necessary. Today, local law enforcement have their own charters and groups to deal with such things after the Inquisition collapsed during the Regalian Pessimism.

  • Read more about Unionism here
  • Read more about Old Gods here
  • Read more about the Faith of Estel here

Symbols

Regalia’s symbols are relatively simple but powerfully recognized across the world. The Regalian Purple-Yellow-Purple banner is the official flag of the Empire. Furthermore, the Imperial Purple-Blue-Purple banner is seen across the Crown City and the Imperial Seat as the old Kade family banner. Additionally, the Unionist faith is expressed through the Unionist eye; an almond shaped eye frame with a pupil in the middle which is often surrounded by solar rays to signify the Imperial Spirit. Finally, the Feathered Dragon and the Holy Stork are often seen as the animals representing the Empire, being the crest animals of the two Imperial dynasties, Ivrae and Kade.

Trivia

  • The Regalian Archipelago is the only self-sufficient area of the Regalian Empire and requires no foreign exports or imports to feed, clothe or maintain the standard of living of most of its citizens. Ithania is too dependant on foreign exotics, Daendroc needs outside funds and organizational forces to maintain a form of government, and other regions are similarly dependent on outside forces.

Accreditation
Writers MonMarty, HydraLana
Artists MonMarty
Processors HydraLana, AlphaInsomnia, Dosier
Last Editor MonMarty on 02/27/2019.

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