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 PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 9:24 am Reply with quote  
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  Taral-DLOS
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Dog-Poop_Walker wrote:
In terms of non SW comics I think it's important to consider the difference between canon and continuity. Like SW there are varying degrees of canon, but for most comic series continuity is not intended to follow within a series or transfer from series to series, it is generally confined to individual story arcs, if present at all.


Not in my experience. There seems to be at least some effort paid to maintaining continuity between series set in the same universe, but that over time that continuity must be adjusted, with stories dropped to maintain a larger canon.

Even back in the 60s, Marvel books would often reference what happened in other titles, from direct crossover events to simple cameos with "See what Dr. Strange is doing in Strange Tales #155!" The Avengers is proof enough of that, with interaction between multiple characters in the Avengers book itself, and also reference to Avengers membership and dialogue with their fellow heroes in the solo titles (more than once has an issue of Thor begun with him at Avengers mansion, and then going off to do his own thing).

The problems you're describing are a bit more common in modern times, with one character (e.g. Wolverine) appearing in possibly a dozen titles in a month. For example, currently, Wolverine is visiting the Savage Land with his students in Wolverine and the X-Men, but is also trapped there with Shanna in Savage Wolverine. Theoretically, it isn't hard to just arrange them, saying one happened before the other.

There's just no (or less of a) concerted effort to do that. No Leland Chee to specifically arrange the order. But it can be done.
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 PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2013 9:08 am Reply with quote  
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  Alan Skywalker V
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http://tosche-station.net/?p=4454

Has anyone read this article?

To tell the truth, the options Brian lays out here may be the only way to look at SW in the future, because I have no doubt the new movies will not follow the EU - at least not entirely. And frankly, they shouldn't. If the filmakers have to try to avoid treading on all of the EU - no matter whether the movies are set before, around, or after the NJO period - it will hamstring their efforts to pull together a solid story.

Besides, though no mention has been made of Peter Mayhew coming back, I'm convinced that Chewie will probably show up in the ST, which would mean that everything from Vector Prime on down would be but one tangent going off from the post ROTJ EU after Scourge. If the established Solo kids and Ben don't appear in the movies, then everything from TTT on down is simply one universe branching off from ROTJ.

As much as I would like for there to still be one single SW continuity, it ain't gonna happen, folks. Brian may have been a little harsh, but he is correct that both EU and movie only fans need to realize that SW is changing, whether they want it to or not.


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 PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2013 7:55 pm Reply with quote  
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  Crash Override
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I read it now that you've linked to it, lol.

Given the lifespan of Wookiees, Chewbacca seems like he, along with Artoo and Threepio, would be a connecting element across the trilogy of trilogies. I could see him following Han's son or daughter or heir in the same way that I would see Artoo with Luke's son or daughter or heir, and Threepio with Leia's son or daughter or heir, each character a companion to symbolize the passing of the torch.

Realistically speaking, and I know it's unpopular, but the Holocron continuity database is looked upon as a gazetteer and bestiary, and that's the extent to which continuity exists in the Expanded Universe. It's really a selling point more than anything else, and it's been that way since day one. Dark Empire isn't a logical progression out of The Last Command. Stories aren't written as logical progressions; they're created in a vacuum from one another, and they cherry pick what suits them from the Holocron and ignore what doesn't. I realized this with the Chak Fel minor controversy that arose out of Survivor's Quest in 2004, and a subsequent re-reading of the Bantam Spectra library of novels confirmed it for me. I've pretty much lost investment with the concept of continuity since then, especially since it seems that only the negative aspects of it are what stand out to me now.

I'm not going to be surprised if it's wiped out by the sequel trilogy. I predicted that the continuity would be reset by 2017 once the writers realized they've run out of stories to tell that they can profit off of. I don't think the current timeline of Expanded Universe is ideally set up for a sequel trilogy to take place afterward, or realistically even to perpetuate the Expanded Universe along the timeline in a way that can sustain sufficient interest. I did a bit more research into book sales on Publisher's Weekly and the sales seem to be continuing to drop.

In e-book sales, Darth Plagueis sold apparently somewhere between 29,827 - 29,969 copies in 2012 (as the list oddly lists the two adjacent books' sales but not DP's, and it's in order of sales). FOTJ: Apocalypse didn't sell enough copies to place on the list with the cutoff point being 25,000. In physical copies, Darth Plagueis sold 31,543, and FOTJ: Apocalypse sold 26,140.

Contrast this with Legacy of the Force: Invincible, which in 2008 sold 101,034 copies.

I suspect there's a reason why they've shelved the nine book series model.

If anything, I believe a reboot would save the Expanded Universe. Because those side novels involving Darth Revan or Dash Rendar or Wraith Squadron certainly aren't as selling as well as the "flagship" novels; they aren't even making the lists. Resetting the post-ROTJ timeline, at minimum, opens up the time period for even more stories about Luke, Han, and Leia in their prime.

It's a win-win IMO, but like I said I'm not caught up on continuity and my opinion is probably unpopular.

All that being said, I guess science fiction hasn't sold well as of late.


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 PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 12:33 am Reply with quote  
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  GrandMaster
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Crash Override wrote:

In e-book sales, Darth Plagueis sold apparently somewhere between 29,827 - 29,969 copies in 2012 (as the list oddly lists the two adjacent books' sales but not DP's, and it's in order of sales). FOTJ: Apocalypse didn't sell enough copies to place on the list with the cutoff point being 25,000. In physical copies, Darth Plagueis sold 31,543, and FOTJ: Apocalypse sold 26,140.

Contrast this with Legacy of the Force: Invincible, which in 2008 sold 101,034 copies.


Invincible was also released before the economic meltdown, so I'm not sure you can compare two books from 2012 and a book from early 2008 equally.
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 PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 7:40 am Reply with quote  
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  Crash Override
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The financial crisis started in 2007 and the housing bubble burst in 2006. Sales have been constantly dropping in SW books since 2000, which I've detailed earlier in this thread, and previously attributed to the absence of new movies (that attribution carries all the weight that I give it, which is I dunno, none lol). But other books in the SF genre have sold 100k in 2012 (namely Ender's Game), and Ready Player One did through combined e-book and hard copy sales, so I'm not sure what conclusion to draw, whether the market share for SF has dropped. Fantasy and young adult novels are still selling a ton.

Either way, less SW books selling isn't good regardless of cause.


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 PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 9:29 am Reply with quote  
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  Darth Skuldren
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@Crash Override: where did you find sales information on the Publisher's Weekly website?
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 PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 11:14 am Reply with quote  
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  Crash Override
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http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/bookselling/article/56408-the-e-book-explosion-facts-figures-2012.html
http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/bookselling/article/55458-big-names-dominated-bestsellers-in-2012.html

Perhaps it's a source of optimism that two SW novels placed in the top ten for genre in 2012, but it was also a down year and two classics also appeared, so it could be a consequence of lack of competition. PW normally lists all novels that sell 100,000+ and SW hasn't been on it since 2008, so the only way I've seen numbers for DP and Apocalypse is by placing on that list. I can get more links to prior years later today, but some of them are in this thread about thirty plus pages back.

Edit:
2011 E-Book Sales
http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/print/20120319/51117-e-books-boom-e-books-facts-and-figures-2012.html

2011 Hardcopy:
http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/new-titles/adult-announcements/article/51181-lower-unit-sales-fewer-titles.html

2011 children:
http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/childrens/childrens-industry-news/article/51113-facts-and-figures-2011-in-children-s-hunger-games-rule.html

Huh, I looked through this thread and noted three things:

1) I posted a lot in the thread.

2) I'm a horrible monster.

3) I never posted any links to sales figures on PW, but I quoted a post from a different thread, but I didn't post any links in that one either (that I saw).

2010:
http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/childrens/childrens-book-news/article/46543-franchises-flying-high-children-s-books-facts-figures-2010.html

2009:
http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/financial-reporting/article/42695-facts-figures-2009-revised.html

http://antickmusings.blogspot.com/2010/04/2009s-bestselling-genre-books.html

2008:
http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/print/20090323/1686-bestselling-books-2009-hardcover-old-and-new.html

http://antickmusings.blogspot.com/2009/04/genre-bestsellers-of-2008.html

2007:
http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/print/20080324/16707-they-re-back-again-and-again.html

http://antickmusings.blogspot.com/2008/03/bestelling-genre-books-of-2007.html

I guess the most apparent thing is that the children's books for Star Wars sell substantially better than adult novels. I say this completely against my own interests, but I find myself wondering if the whole Kevin J. Anderson cheery yet superficial style of novels were being published if Star Wars wouldn't capture some of that marketshare which is selling hundreds of thousands of books for Hunger Games or its predecessors. The grimdark clearly isn't capturing the Game of Thrones crowd. I suspect it's because people don't like Star Wars for grimdark.

It becomes more difficult to find the older it gets, but I was able to do some reverse engineering:

2003:
http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/print/20040322/26495-the-stakes-rise-for-chart-toppers.html

2002:
http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/print/20030324/39386-bestsellers-of-2002-the-big-didn-t-get-bigger.html

2000:
http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/print/20010319/21195-how-they-landed-on-top.html

1999:
http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/print/20000410/37047-pw-bestsellers-of-1999-hardcover-so-far-little-has-changed.html

Mostly they're hardcover only. Some of them say the year ahead what I have them listed under because they were published that year for the prior year's sales. And some older sales number from my older post:
Crash Override wrote:
Here's some numbers:

The Phantom Menace: 1,419,852
Attack of the Clones: 784,750
Vector Prime: 200,000+
Rogue Planet: 200,000+
Balance Point: 150,000+
The Approaching Storm: 125,000+
Destiny's Way: 100,000+
The Unifying Force: 107,775
The Force Unleashed: 103,232
Invincible: 101,034

There's also a lot of children's Star Wars books that sold in excess of 100,000 between 1999-2003 that I haven't listed, like the Jedi Apprentice books. Unfortunately, I haven't had success finding stuff from earlier than 1999, and I don't think the stuff I've found covered paperback. And my attempt to find 2006 and Betrayal's sales have been unsuccessful thus far.. but it would appear that Sacrifice didn't break 100,000. Nor did the first three FOTJ novels. So far I've found data for 1999-2003, 2007, 2008, and 2009.


It seems like Invincible was an outlier itself, as Sacrifice and Outcast both failed to break 100,000. Perhaps the final books of the nine book series sell the best, which seems counter-intuitive to me, as I'd expect a drop-off. Though I suppose Apocalypse didn't break 100,000 either, and we only got its sales numbers because it was a top seller in the SF genre in 2012. I dunno if the release of TFU and TCW made Star Wars more visible in 2008 and aided sales for Invincible, but it seems that apart from 2008, SW hardcover releases haven't broken 100,000 since 2003.


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 PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 6:45 pm Reply with quote  
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  1337Jedi
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^ Now that is how you cite! Lol I haven't been reading this thread lately, just keeping my fingers crossed
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 PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 6:58 pm Reply with quote  
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  Crash Override
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I realized my claim that apart from 2008, SW novels haven't broken 100,000 since 2003 is likely wrong due to Revenge of the Sith. So I managed to find 2005:

http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/print/20060327/520-truth-is-stronger-than-fiction.html

Sure enough, ROTS sold 431,426 copies.


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 PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 8:14 pm Reply with quote  
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Crash Override wrote:

I guess the most apparent thing is that the children's books for Star Wars sell substantially better than adult novels. I say this completely against my own interests, but I find myself wondering if the whole Kevin J. Anderson cheery yet superficial style of novels were being published if Star Wars wouldn't capture some of that marketshare which is selling hundreds of thousands of books for Hunger Games or its predecessors. The grimdark clearly isn't capturing the Game of Thrones crowd. I suspect it's because people don't like Star Wars for grimdark.


Hunger Games is not cheery yet superficial - it is very grimdark (post-apocalyptic, children killing each other for sport, etc.). I don't think tone is the problem, I think it's where SW books are placed in bookstores - adult sci-fi. The Hunger Games audience isn't looking there, they are looking at the teen section. Even when my Barnes and Noble had Young Jedi Knights books on the shelves, they were with the adult sci-fi, not teen.
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 PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 8:31 pm Reply with quote  
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  Crash Override
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I didn't mean to imply that Hunger Games was that, merely that Kevin J. Anderson's writing is. My point was that re-reading his supposedly adult novels like Jedi Academy trilogy, they are clearly written with a young adult audience in mind like his Young Jedi Knights series, and that might be more appealing toward the same audience that is reading Hunger Games, Twilight, Harry Potter, or whatever the latest fad is that sells boatloads of books.

I haven't read Hunger Games so I can't really make a comparison between that and Legacy of the Force and Fate of the Jedi, though it seems like there was a conscious effort made to try to connect with that audience through Ben and Vestara, but given the way that subplot concluded and the sales in general, it doesn't seem to have been particularly successful.

I have to wonder if the post-ROTJ timeline would be more financially successful if there was young adult publishing set in that time period. AFAIK, it was only centered around the Clone Wars, and I dunno how successful that was doing (though most the children books breaking 100,000 were TCW based, they weren't prose fiction). I suppose it isn't around any longer. But if there was a equivalent series to Young Jedi Knights that was set around NJO-LOTF-FOTJ, that might serve to feed the adult novels as those readers aged. It might have been prudent back in 2004-2005 to start one of those series with Ben and perhaps improved sales for LOTF-FOTJ as those readers moved on.


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 PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 2:13 am Reply with quote  
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So NJO is the problem? Wink

Actually, hate to say it, but yes. But that's another discussion.

I will say that I'm sick of loyalists saying "Get over it!" I don't have to like stuff that I don't like just because it's being sold to me with a SW label... and isn't that part of your point against the continuity fans? Who's really the one with an all or nothing mentality?

EU fans have for the most part always stood for throwing out crap stories instead of sticking to continuity above all, hello Crystal Star anyone?
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 PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 2:12 pm Reply with quote  
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Blasphemy! Waru and his holiness will strike you down, sir. Laughing

In all seriousness, I did replace my paperback copy of The Crystal Star with a hardcover. I still like that story.

Too bad Waru never gets used elsewhere.
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 PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 6:17 pm Reply with quote  
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  Crash Override
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Dog-Poop_Walker wrote:
So NJO is the problem? Wink

Actually, hate to say it, but yes. But that's another discussion.

I will say that I'm sick of loyalists saying "Get over it!" I don't have to like stuff that I don't like just because it's being sold to me with a SW label... and isn't that part of your point against the continuity fans? Who's really the one with an all or nothing mentality?

EU fans have for the most part always stood for throwing out crap stories instead of sticking to continuity above all, hello Crystal Star anyone?


By the NJO being the problem, do you mean it introduced grimdark? I think that's probably accurate; a lot of Star Wars fans I know quit the EU because of the NJO. I hated it when it was first released. I recently tried to get my friend that is indifferent to the EU at best, hostile to it at worst, to do a podcast with me to do literary analysis and critique of the novels, starting with the NJO. He was like, "don't you hate that series?"

I think when fandoms get increasingly large and diverse there become subsets of fans that are drawn to it for different reasons. For Star Wars I think the biggest draw is the continuing timeline of stories beyond Return of the Jedi featuring the core set of characters, and when I at one time had investment in continuity it was for that specifically. Unfortunately, I think starting with the NJO, the fandom has been split by those that quit over it, and each successive series has split the group that remained from the prior one.

But I suppose the topic has drifted away from continuity, except that perhaps that's one of the negative elements to continuity when they make some of the story choices that they made.

As for The Crystal Star, that actually raises an interesting question that Skuldren kind of touched on. Let's say they do announce that The Crystal Star is no longer canon or in continuity. Practically speaking, what difference does it make compared to its current status?

There's a lot of Star Wars books that could be dropped from continuity and it wouldn't make a difference, and any details referenced in future books are completely incidental to the plot. Pretty much the whole timeline between Champions of the Force and I guess Ambush at Corellia could be dropped. And only the Corellia trilogy because Thrackan was reused. Books only really become relevant to continuity if they introduce characters that become featured later. Which actually reminds me of an interesting thing about Ambush at Corellia from page 176:

"And why use the Imperial code? It certainly wasn't there to hide information. Surely the New Republic's people could read it, given a very little bit of time. Was it there to inspire Mara's Imperial sympathies? Certainly the wording of the coded message was not meant to make anyone in the New Republic happy. Could there actually be some Imperial remnant still remaining? It seemed utterly implausible."

The old EU was built on retcons. The Empire was destroyed in Empire's End, hence the title. Very few stories after Empire's End dealt with the Empire directly... pretty much the only one was KJA's Darksaber in which the Empire was reduced to two naval officers feuding with one another in the deep core with literally no territory left besides uninhabitable systems, both of whom Daala killed and subsequently wrecked the remainders of their fleets attacking the Jedi Academy. Other than that, folks like Hethrir and the Ismarens are people that were part of the Empire but have no real power or territory left, and Kueller was running a false flag operation and had no connection to the Empire, and the Yevetha and Sacorrian Triad obviously have no connection to the Empire.

The Empire was gone. There was no Imperial remnant to make a peace treaty with. The writers don't read the other novels. Zahn thought the Empire was still around when it wasn't. This is a pretty large continuity breach, but because it happened before I'd say most people here started reading novels it is unnoticed by them, or otherwise justified because Zahn did it. Or it's not really a continuity error because of X. I imagine the fact that Wookieepedia wasn't around may have something to do with it going unnoticed, as well as most readers of the EU at the time being turned off by the NJO and quitting, and most current readers coming in after Hand of Thrawn and not realizing this massive retcon because that's just what was continuity. But yeah, there was this massive continuity issue that no one really raised a fuss about.

Another thing I've noticed is that from strictly a characterization or character arc standpoint, you can pretty much take any novel set between 4 ABY and 19 ABY and rearrange their order and it wouldn't make a difference, or, a better way of putting it is that it wouldn't make less sense than it already does. In fact, in some orders it would probably make a lot more sense. New Jedi Order corrected this somewhat, although it pretty much became an issue again, especially with Jacen in LOTF, which TV Tropes really puts better than I could: "... even more jarring is Jacen's apparent schizophrenia in the middle of the series, when the writers couldn't seem to reach a consensus on whether or not he was evil yet. This resulted in him being a Knight Templar (Denning), a Well-Intentioned Extremist (Traviss) and Dastardly Whiplash (Allston) in the space of three books (Exile, Sacrafice (sic) and Inferno)." I think that still held true for Fate of the Jedi, but not to the extent of Jacen in LOTF.

I get the impression, and I guess I could be completely off-base, but a lot of people seem to be obsessed with this Baudrillardian concept of continuity best exemplified by Wookieepedia. Like, the stories themselves don't even matter, it's all about classification and categorization of facts to put in Wookieepedia. And contradicting facts are a big problem! It's like this huge Baudrillardian OCD subset of fans. I believe Randy Stradley actually made mention of this before, I don't recall his exact words but it was something along the lines of the fans caring more about a character's lightsaber color than the story, or some such.

And I'll conclude this massive post in which maybe I was a horrible monster with a provocative statement! Traitor is without a doubt the best Star Wars novel. The prior paragraph, and that type of continuity that Star Wars has become, has made Traitor an inferior book to what it otherwise could and should be. And I don't mean continuity in general, Traitor is part of a series and dependent upon continuity with that series, but the type of continuity that Star Wars fans crave that Wookieepedia really works as the best sort of metaphor possible. No room for any ambiguity. Star Wars isn't allowed to have an unreliable narrator.


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 PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 11:26 pm Reply with quote  
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  Dog-Poop_Walker
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Yeah, NJO is schismatic still and just in terms of production putting out an 18 book series was probably not a good idea in hindsight.

Totally agree though, I'll trade in 18 books by Denning, Traviss, and Alston for one Stover.

I'm confused about the idea of no Imperial remnant after Empire's End. That was established at the end of the Last Command, which predated Empire's end in real time and in universe. It wasn't contradicted by those later stories in that they only dealt with the Empire in the core, and didn't say anything about Pellaeon and the outer territories. Unless I'm missing something here?
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