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Thanks for your efforts!

It looks to me like the issue is not with the actual failure of the
allocation (since the retry succeeds), but the fact that we're doing a
garbage collection at that precise point, which is leaving something
corrupted in a way that breaks later.

Yes, this is my opinion as well. When I compared memory dumps before and after the full GC triggered, I only saw differences in the marked bits, a gclist pointer in a proto that was wild (?pointed to a Lua routine?) became null, and pointers in state changed. The best tools for fixing this are likely rr (working on getting a host that can run it up) and superhuman Lua GC internals knowledge (which I lack).

Best regards,