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Dare Aldamu

Armour of the Naar Iilhia

Watch boy- See that man over there, with the weapons and red cape? The golden mask that shields his face? He is a Naar Iilhia. He's come to rid us of the beast.
— Mother to her son

The Dare Aldamu is the traditional armour of the Naar Iilhia. Today, the seven ray sun adorning their shield is synonymous with safety, a symbol of heroism and bravery across the Danatelian Lands- though this was not always the case, and behind the shining armours hides a dark and cruel curse.

Warriors of the Sun

The Naar Iilhia are a group of holy warriors, known and admired for their prowess in combat. They are monster hunters, mage slayers, and defendants of the Danatelian Lands. They specialise in eliminating dangerous threats that ordinary soldiers may have trouble facing.

The Naar Iilhia get their godly powers from the Ever-Burning, the Danatelian goddess of chaos and destruction. By spilling blood in her name they are blessed with her favours- though the threat of losing oneself in Dagamu is ever-present.

The Ever-Burning is a chaotic and destructive goddess, and the harmful aspect of Deïmon the Bright. It is she who gives the Naar Iilhia the powers they need to fight, asking for wars to be fought and blood to be spilled in her name in exchange.
The Faceless and the Artisan are the benefactor aspects of Deïmon. Naar Iilhia will pray to them for guidance and help, so that they may better resist the violent call of Dagamu and serve their goddess in a righteous way.

sun guard crest.png


Also known as the Call of Blood, Dagamu is a powerful curse that afflicts all Naar Iilhia. In exchange for the powers they receive, Naar Iilhia are bound to bring the Ever-Burning her due of blood, which they do by slaying monsters. However, if they fail to satisfy the goddess, they will be seized by murderous furies during which they will slay all who find themselves on their path.

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Holy Armours

Naar Iilhia Warrior by Gobert
A Dare Aldamu is the most prized possession of every Naar Iilhia. Only they may take care of it: the armour itself is a sacred item, which the profane cannot, lest they be cursed by the sun goddess herself.

I tried to touch her cape, and almost lost a hand doing so! Despite this first encounter we ended the night having a lovely chat, and I learned much about her people. Dare Aldamu are a painting of their very essence, and all are as similar as they are unique.
— Journal of Abelard Sattar

The golden masks worn by all Naar Iilhia are the most striking feature of every Dare Aldamu. Made to honour the Sun Goddess, each mask is unique to its wearer. All are made of gold, and their shapes take inspiration from traditional depictions of Deïmon.

Dare Aldamu also include a cape, crafted from vibrant textiles and usually made of cotton and wool. The colours range from raspberry red to deep crimsons, and each features a painted seven-branched sun. They are incredibly resistant, able to shield the Naar Iilhia from even the firery breath of dragons.

The many layers which make up the actual armour of the Dare Aldamu are all lined with embroidered prayers to the Saohri gods. Most are addressed to Deïmon herself, though a few also call on the favours of other gods such as Kirïal the Silent, and Argus the Protector.

Finally, a Dare Aldamu would not be complete without the weapons each Naar Iilhia carries with them at all times. Just like the rest of the Dare Aldamu, these are forged by Dawns during the Week of Forge and Fire. They are all blessed with divine magic, making them some of the most dangerous and sought-after weapons in the Danatelian Lands.

Crafting and Cultural Significance

The crafting of a Dare Aldamu is intrinsically linked to the initiation every Night must take. This initiation is divided into three steps- the Rising, the First Hunt, and the Week of Forge and Fire. Each part of the ritual will bring you closer to Deïmon the Bright. The Rising is your sacrifice to the Faceless, an oath you will carry till your dying breath. The First Hunt connects you to the Ever-Burning, as you make your first offering of blood. Finally, the Week of Forge and Fire unites you with the Artisan
— Teachings of the Dusk

Deïmon the Bright
Deïmon the Bright by Aijxjx

The Rising

The Rising is the first step in the rite of initiation of a Night. During this ceremony, Nights must ritually blind themselves by gazing at the light of the sun: this new life of darkness spritually binds them to their goddess, a representation of the intimate bond Naar Iilhia share with Deïmon the Bright.

The Night will be brought to the Temple of a Thousand Suns, on the day of the summer solstice. The walls of the room are covered in hundreds of fractal mirrors, with a single hole in one of the walls through which the rays of the sun may pass. The Night must stand in the center of the temple, alone, and await the sun to penetrate the room.

It was almost time. They had sealed Sonya inside, and she was left alone with hundreds of thousands of fragments of herself, staring back at her wherever she looked. Finally the sun aligned with the hole, the first rays slowly spilling into the room. It filled with light as they danced and jumped from mirror to mirror. She took a deep breath, trying to ready herself for what came next.

Nothing could've prepared her to when the light first hit her eyes. She felt the sudden pain, as if the sun herself had set them ablaze. The searing sensation seeped through her body as it burned with what felt like a thousand flames from the inside out. She struggled to keep her eyes open as the pain screamed through every inch of her body, knowing that if she could not stay quiet this would've all been for nothing.

There are only two requirements for a Night to pass the Rising: they must remain quiet during the entire ceremony, and they must keep their eyes open the entire time. Failing either of these tasks will result in their expulsion from the Naar Iilhia. Those who succeed emerge from the temple as a Dawn, eyes now forever burned by the divine light of Deïmon the Bright.

She Who Cannot Be Gazed Upon

No one has ever seen the eyes of a Naar Iilhia. As they emerge from the Temple of a Thousand Suns, Dawns are gifted a veil, which they will wear for the remainder of their life.

Traditional depictions of Deïmon the Bright always paint her hidden underneath a veil, a halo glowing behind her head. It is said that behind the layers of clothing that cover the goddess, is a being made of pure light, brighter than the very sun.

The ritual blinding Naar Iilhia subject themselves to is likely inspired by a famous Danatelian myth, which tells the story of how Samara the Enchantress lost her eyes by trying to gaze at the true form of Deïmon.

The First Hunt

The next step in the initiation of a Dawn is the First Hunt. Now blind, they must slay their first monster, and use its parts to start the crafting of their Dare Aldamu. First Hunts are extremely demanding, as the Dawn must face whatever beast they hunt with no weapons or armour.

It had not taken him long to get used to the darkness. Already his other sense had sharpened- he could feel the blades of grass beneath his bare feet, the fresh scent of citrus floating in the summer air, the thunder of hooves charging towards him. He readied his stance, and prepared for impact.

They are usually accompanied by an elder Naar Iilhia, who will stand by the Dawn to help them in case anything goes wrong during the hunt. When the beast is killed, they must return to the Breath of Fire. It is customary for other Naar Iilhia to gift parts of their own Dare Aldamu to the Dawn as a sign of welcome to their ranks.

Week of Forge and Fire

The last step in the initiation of a Dawn is the Week of Forge and Fire. Once they have gathered the materials they will use to craft their Dare Aldamu, the Dawn will then isolate themselves in the Breath of Fire, a sacred sanctuary of Alty'aetatna Alnaar. The Dawn must clear their heart of all ill intentions, for the Dare Aldamu is meant to protect them from bad influences, and they must not corrupt the sanctity of the sanctuary.

The Dawns will spend 10 days crafting their armour and weapons in isolation, as they fast, meditate and pray to Deïmon the Bright. As the sun rises on the 11th day, the Dawn will emerge from the forge wearing their Dare Aldamu, and present themselves to Deïmon with a final prayer.

I salute you, Deïmon the Bright, Alty'tajealuni-Dafia the Faceless, who rises in the sky and watches over us. May your light burn the shadows that may cloud my heart, may I learn from your wisdom and never stray from my path. You are the greatest among the sky, the strongest of the Gods, who stand in your light. Life, power and grace to the Burning Sun!
— Prayer to Deïmon the Bright


Author's Notes

As always, huge thank you to Rikia for the amazing feedback trade, its always a pleasure!! Please do check out his entry, give him some support!

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Eternal Sage AmélieIS
Amélie I. S. Debruyne
23 May, 2021 14:01

Great article so far :D   To answer your questions, I think you did a good job in explaining all the informations clearly compared to last time I read it where some of the stuff about the blinding ritual confused me a bit.   Regarding the content, I like that you start with a brief introduction about the armour before taking the time to present the people who wear it (a lot of articles go too quickly there and that tend to leave me a bit frustrated). Then you will have the description paragraph, and two sections that will put the armour in its cultural context, so no problem with me there. The relevance of the last section is immediate, since its about the crafting.   I think its the section about the blinding ritual that could be change slightly. I love it a lot, it's a very sticking ritual and really one thing I will remember about that article, so please don't feel the need to remove it :p Right now you already say that wearing the armour is a sign that they have passed the ritual, and I presume that the veil they are wearing because of their scorched eyes is also part of the costume. So you have the links with the rest of the article, but I think you could put a bigger emphase on those to really insist on the relevance of that section. Sometimes, it's not really on the content, but just about the way you frame it :D

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23 May, 2021 15:14

Thank you for the comment! Did some additional editing to hopefully make the whole thing clearer, lemme know what you think!

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Eternal Sage AmélieIS
Amélie I. S. Debruyne
23 May, 2021 15:38

I like the changes that you've done, it does make the relevance more immediately obvious and give a "fil conducteur" to read that whole final section :D   Completely random question, but I just noticed that your header for "warrior of the sun" and the next two about "holy armours " and "CRAFTING AND CULTURAL SIGNIFICANCE" are slightly different shades of blue despite being at the same level. Is it voluntary? It made me check to see if I had not misunderstand the structure of the article and miss a header :)

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23 May, 2021 16:22

Thank you, glad to know it works even better now!   And the colour change comes from the fact that Warrior of the Sun is actually a link to the Naar Iilhia! Maybe I should take it away and only keep the link in the sections? Food for thought

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Eternal Sage AmélieIS
Amélie I. S. Debruyne
23 May, 2021 16:40

Oooh! I wouldn't have come to my mind to even check for a link... Yes, I think keeping links into the main text may work better :D

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Eternal Sage AmélieIS
Amélie I. S. Debruyne
23 May, 2021 23:04

The final version of the article is great :D Amazing work as always!

To see what I am up to, see the list of my Summer Camp articles—my favourite is Sentient Cells.
23 May, 2021 23:16

Thank you!! Glad to hear that!!

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23 May, 2021 14:46

Great to see the progress you're making on this article! I like the "first hunt" tradition and how they build their gear from the monster they hunt. Really evocative. Can't wait to see how it ends up.

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23 May, 2021 15:14

Thank you! Glad to hear you like that part of the tradition :D

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23 May, 2021 15:05

Once again great work already TC!   I do like the new additions you provided since the previous time I read it. Everything is already explained better ^^ The way you start the article is pretty neat and I would not change that part. Of course what is still needed is a desciption of the armor itself somewhere but you are still working on that of course :)   As for things to add I would like perhaps a more clear clarification about how the aspects of Deïmon actually work. Are they seperate gods or is it more like the Egyptians did with fusing gods like Amun-Ra?

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23 May, 2021 15:23

Ayy thanks! Im waiting on the art to be finished so I can start doing the description itself ^^   As for the aspects, I haven't entirely figured out how to explain my gods.. I need to figure out a way of doing it without dumping my entire theology every time I mention one :') it might be easier once I've finished rewriting the article on Deïmon ^^   To answer the question though, its simlar to egyptians but less in a "fusion" way and more in a "divided" way? So like Re is actually only one version of the sun god, the actual sun god is Khepri / Re-Horakhty / Atoum, with khepri being the morning, re the regular sun and atoum the evening. They are all the same god but like different "aspects", like the faces of a three sided coin? This is hard to explain ;-;

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24 May, 2021 10:12

It was a joy to read, TC. :)   I love the symbolism and the detailed information on the Naar lilhia ritual. The Night part, where Sonya starts to see the first sunlight - is that from your personal experience? It's very vivid, the immersion becoming so smooth and effortless. :D   The small details make it shine and the talk about the similarities between the goddess, the night, blindness and light could go for hours, so I'll stop myself here.   Thanks for a goo read. :)

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24 May, 2021 10:26

Thank you so much for the kind words <3 !   There may have been some inspiration from these times I stayed up way too late and went "ah shit the sun is up already?" haha   And I'm so glad to hear you enjoy the symbolism and ties between the goddess and the armour! I tried to get as much meaning and symbolism packed into the traditions as I could, and I think I too could keep talking about them for ages :')

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24 May, 2021 11:11

Aaaaaah! I love it! <3 I always love stuff related to your gods. You've put so much thought into the rituals surrounding the creation of the armour and it's great. I think my favourite part is the golden mask. :)

24 May, 2021 12:55

Thank you Emy <33 ! I love that golden mask too, the artist really went off by making the mask resemble the headpiece of the actual goddess. I'm really happy to hear you enjoyed the rituals surrounding the armour too!

Author of Arda Almayed - check out my SummerCamp articles here!
24 May, 2021 19:35

Can I just say that I love the art you use! It has such character to it and I just- I can't stop looking at just the art alone. The look, the style, its all so incredible. I am in LOVE with this article. Well done.

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24 May, 2021 20:22

Thank you!! I really owe it all to the artists, they are both amazing :'D! I too am just obsessively looking at it its just amazing haha. Thank you so much for the kind words!

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26 May, 2021 01:23

This is SO COOOOOL. I really love this so much -- The Rising really stood out to me, and the story with Sonya really shows how terrifying it is. I love that the armour is made to suit those who have gone through it. The golden mask is reallllly great too! I love this.

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26 May, 2021 08:10

Thank you so much!!! I'm really glad you enjoyed it :D <33

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26 May, 2021 13:33

This was such a nice article! The outfit itself is so striking and seeing the meaning behind each little part of it is really great. The mystery behind the veil is also really interesting. I like that, even with so much detail, there are still things left to question.   On top of the detail thing I mentioned earlier, I think the use of tooltips was great! Even with so many unique concepts related to this outfit, I never felt lost in the lore thanks to the tooltips. That was very nice. A well-done article all around!

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26 May, 2021 14:07

Thank you!! Yeah the outfit does look awesome, the artist really is wonderful <3 and I'm glad you appreciated all the tooltips!

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26 May, 2021 21:29

(Costume) Design and (Article) Structure
  BBy now, I've come to expect a certain level of quality from your articles. They're all beautifully written, structured, and presented. The sections flow from one to the next seamlessly, and I'm having a good time reading it all. This one is just smooth, sleek, and crisp.   The costume is incredible! It is wonderfully detailed and fits the Arabic vibes of your world. It makes me think of those original assassins, mixed with some magi mysticism. The colors are vibrant and complement each other, the theme of red clearly on display. And the mask! I love masks! The sun rays of the mask add so much to the design.  
  Opening Quote: a descriptive quote fitting the theme of the challenge. I personally think it's a bit matter-of-fact, maybe missing some spice. It does the job, though!
  Introduction: Awesome paragraph! It creates that intrigue that I felt lacking in the previous quote, so it actually does work rather well as one unit. One issue I have is that you hint at a dark past ("though this was not always the case") and a curse, but you only expand on the curse part. Why were they once feared? How did it change to heroism and safety?
  Warriors of the Sun (& Dagamu): The explanation is simple and coherent, which I like very much. Having your goddess be split into 'aspects' is brilliant. This creates depth to your pantheon and unpredictability to their intentions. The Dagamu angle is an exciting factor to add to the Naar. It gives an edge to them, which is very welcome. I do wonder exactly how much blood does the Ever-Burning demand of them? Is it a finite amount after which they're done with their duty, or is it a monthly subscription fee? (I dunno why I chose this metaphor) In any case, it sounds like the Ever-Burning conned them hard.
  Holy Armours: Talking about the aspects of Deimon, you explained it once in the box of the previous section and now, here. It's basically the same point again but written a bit differently. This is not necessarily bad if that's the approach you're taking with the presentation of your world, reinforcing ideas. The quote here is written with the same voice as the rest of the article. I would suggest either picking a different tone for it or just not using it as a quote. Well, you know I love masks, and your golden masks are lovely! I get that the blindfold goes with the theme of their being blind and all, but I kinda want to see how the mask looks like with them as well. Fireproof capes are lit! (pun intended) It's a great idea to have them have scripts on their armor, and I'm curious to know why they would also have those of other gods. What relations do they have with them? I also want to see three (minimum!) examples of weapons, but that's just me, hehe
  Crafting & Cultural Significance (quote) Again, great quote, but I'm not sure it should be a quote. This is just a summary of the following three mini-sections.
The Rising: Probably my favorite part of the article! The description of the sunroom was EXTREMELY vivid! I was definitely uncomfortable while reading that (the quote especially). I can't imagine going through this and accidentally making a noise. Now you're blind and expelled! Blah!
  She Who Cannot Be Gazed Upon: No one has seen their eyes? WHY? This makes me think they have Cyclop laser vision or something. I hope they do. I do like how you tied that to Samara. Pretty worldbuilding of you.
  The First Hunt: Here, I would've liked to see a quote, maybe of a fight of a Dawn's first hunt. That's just me with my personal taste. I absolutely love the idea of the higher-ranking Naar giving a piece of their armor to the initiate.
  Week of Forge and Fire: I'm reading this section, and in my mind, there's a forging montage going with some epic music (I dunno if you watched The Return of the King, but the reforging of Narsil comes to mind). I wonder who knows if they harbor ill intent or not. Does the sanctuary possess enough sentience to detect that? If so, what happens in the case of a corrupt Naar? The final quote is beautifully written and ties the whole article in a nice bow.  
Final Thoughts
  Maybe it's just me, but this article gives me MAJOR WITCHER VIBES! I've always been fascinated with monster hunters, and these have a flavor of their own! It seems you took many familiar concepts and elevated them with your world's setting and history. They certainly fit the theme of your overall positive and embracing world. Even with the curse, they come off as noble and majestic. I love your names for everything! It really creates an atmosphere for your world. They are, however, sometimes hard to pronounce, and that makes me have a harder time remembering them. It does give that fantasy authenticity, though, and I see it as an artistic choice. Another thing I'll say is that this whole initiation process feels authentically army-like. It looks like you got a lot of knowledge about how army training looks like, bringing the entire concept to life. Sooo, yeah. AMAZING article!!   Another thing I'll say is that this whole initiation process feels authentically army-like. Looks like you got a lot of knowledge about how army training looks like, and that brings the whole concept to life.   Sooo, yeah. AMAZING article!!

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28 May, 2021 08:30

ach sorry for being slow on the answer side! As always, thank you so much for the lovely and awesome feedback <3 !!   For the mask part, I agree, I love masks so much! Fun fact, artist changed the mask design after I sent him the art of Deïmon and took inspiration from her headpiece which was just such a good idea and I love it :'0   Also I promise I'll try get the Naar Iilhia article ready as soon as possible, cause it'll definitely answer a lot of your questions ;)   I was thinking of adding a pronunciation guide to the words I use that might be harder to say but I'm not too sure how that could work out. Probably in the tooltip but I'm not sure how these things should be spelled -.- food for thought..

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27 May, 2021 21:18

Great article TC!!! it was a pleasure to read and the art is awesome !!. Also, i found really interesting the background or the history of this holy warriors. I found the initiation rituals really fascinating as well as the process of crafting the armor and its conection with their faith. As i said, really good job on the article!!

28 May, 2021 08:31

Thank you, I'm glad to hear you enjoyed it!! The initiation rituals are part of my fave stuff too, they are very neat if I may say so myself haha. Thanks again <3

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Grandmaster AzounIV
Luca Poddighe
29 May, 2021 16:07

A M A Z I N G!!! I loved this article, even if I felt pain in the part that describes the blinding ritual.

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30 May, 2021 17:24

An all caps amazing, with spaces between the letters?! I'm honoured :'0 this means a lot <3 sorry about the pain though, I hadn't anticipated the response while writing it lmao

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3 Jun, 2021 14:06

This is quite a lovely article. The quotes give it life. I like the rituals which are needed for the crafting of the armour.

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3 Jun, 2021 14:26

Thank you for the kind words! I'm glad to hear you enjoyed the quotes :D <3

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Sage eccbooks
E. Christopher Clark
4 Jun, 2021 20:16

Fantastic work here. I love how much backstory you've packed into this piece, how well-done and comprehensive the description of the armor is, and I especially love the art you've chosen (and the music). All told, I can see why this is getting the comments and likes it's getting. You should be very proud.

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4 Jun, 2021 21:55

:'00 Thank you so much, your words mean a lot to me! All of the art I've actually had commissioned by amazing artists! The mask of the armour is actually inspired by the drawing of the goddess- see how it uses the same motif as Deïmon's crown. And glad to hear you like the music! I always have a great time picking out soundtracks :)

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6 Jun, 2021 21:05

Oh my, this article is gorgeous! I really like the story it tells, and the way you styled it, it really draws you in!

7 Jun, 2021 06:57

Thank you for the kind words <3 !

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1 Jul, 2021 12:33

I LOVE this. The descriptions, the culture, the art, the snippets of stories littered throughout that add so much Flavour. Oh, this is amazing. Wonderful.

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1 Jul, 2021 15:12

Thank you so much!! Im really glad to hear what you liked <3 <3

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Master Alixzere
John Johnson
16 Aug, 2021 12:44

Interesting article, especially how you talk about the armor while simultaneously talking about the wearers, but without going too much into either making them anecdotic for the article or making the article about them.The fact that they still care fanatically about their armor, even if they're blind and their whole job is murder shows how much they respect the goddess. This was really inspiring, and I know what I'm going to write about next. Thanks, and good job on the article !

16 Aug, 2021 19:03

Oh my :’0 thank you for the sweet words! I’m so glad to hear my work could inspire anyone <3<3 do link me up to what you write next, curious to see what it is!!

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11 Nov, 2021 10:12

There's not much more I can add than what's already been praised in the comments here already - this article is such an inspiration and has brilliant flow, concepts, and layout. It's one i'll be bookmarking to return to again :)

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12 Nov, 2021 09:45

Oh wow thank you TJ <3 that means so much, what an honour haha! Really glad to hear you appreciate it :D

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