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      Orphan Attachments   07/31/2018

      I have been doing some housekeeping lately and I've noticed that I had a lot of orphaned attachments. Attachments get orphaned when the PM or post is deleted without removing the attachment first. Deleting a PM or post does not delete the attachment and the file or image remain on the server. I'd like to ask all members to go through their attachments and delete any attachments you don't need anymore or those that have been orphaned. Where can I get a list of my attachments? Click on your display name in the upper right corner of the forums and pick "My Attachments" from the drop-down list. How can I tell an attachment is orphaned? If the PM has been deleted, you'll see a message like this in your attachment list: Unfortunately there is no message if the post has been deleted, so please check your old posts. We do purge old birthday threads every once in a while. Also some hosted projects have been shut down, so you may have orphaned attachments on one of those locations. Thanks!
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Sue

The City

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As we make our way to the city, the creature and I pass by many farms. Some of the workers stop to stare – they must find us a strange duo, plus my height and smooth features will be worthy of comment. I eventually leash the creature as the road is becoming busier with carts containing produce that are travelling our way. Then the city draws near, the roads become more defined and the structure of the gnome’s abodes begins to change. I notice a subtle alteration from small cottages into larger abodes.  Just before the city wall, they peter out and we travel through an area containing shacks and tents. I sense the people here are transient, travellers like me and I look around in case there is another stranger in this world. I see only gnomes and feel slightly despondent as we reach the gates. Here, I quickly check the drawing of the sign the gnome man told me to look for and we walk through the first doorway I don’t have to duck my head for.After the gates is a wide street which leads us to the city centre where a market is situated. It is thronging with gnomes, their voices all clamouring for attention as they sell their wares. I can see various food stalls, painted clay pots, pans made from some manner of metal and jewellery. The problem is which of the three streets from the market place do I take? I feel a tug on the lead and realise the creature is pulling me towards the left exit. This street has a closed in feel due to the height of the buildings which reach 3 stories in places. A few jut forward slightly and create shadowed areas. However, most of them have a sign hanging from just below their first floor window. Again I check the drawing and in the distance, I can see a blue sign displaying in white the emblem I’m looking for.

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I open the blue door leading into the shop, just miss the frame walking through it when the creature bounds forward pulling the leash from my grasp. He races towards a small, stooped and gnarled gnome, who holds his arms out and cries,“Brutus!”A playful wrestle ensues which is broken when the gnome spots my bemused face. He smiles and his hooked lumpen nose dips even further towards his bearded chin.“Please excuse my manners!” He scurries across the tiled floor hands held out. "It’s just the hound and I are friends of old. I am Ramdansel the inventor."  I take his hands which are soft and supple, a surprising contrast to his facial features and somewhat twisted body.“I can understand you.” I’m gasping slightly and realise I’m close to tears. Ramdansel smiles beautifically.“And I you.”“But….. how? No one else can understand me, nor me them.” He does a scurrying dance exciting Brutus once more.“It works! My invention works!” He dances towards a bench filled with items made from all manner of materials. In the shaft of light that comes through the window, I can see various metals, gems and what appears to be oyster and snail shells. These are crafted into the most amazing shapes; each object has a strange beauty. Every item has a notice which is covered in a curved and flowing script. Presumably these are descriptions of what the various inventions do.“Do all of your inventions work?” I ask.“All of these do. These are tried and tested, but the invention I’m referring to. Oh I’ve waited years for the correct test to walk through my door. And you, my dear, are it! You’re also proof that the legends, folklore of our people is true, well as true as such things can be, but nonetheless, you’re living proof.”

All of this is somewhat overwhelming, but I am not my Father’s daughter for nothing, so I take a deep breath and ask the questions that have set my mind afire.“What is this invention? Does using it mean I will be able to understand everyone I meet? If so, can I have one?"Ramdansel stops dancing. He gazes at me steadily as if weighing me up. His eyes flicker towards my Moonblade and a decision is reached.“Yes, I believe so and yes, you may have one.” He replies, “But first I need you to do me a favour.” I can now see why this gnome is in business. Underneath the gnarled and twisted exterior lies a sharp and calculating mind. Ramdansel knows I need his invention, regardless of what it is. I take a deep breath.“What do you need me to do?”

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“Well…. I’ve a slight rat problem. In the cellar” Ramdansel fidgets from foot to foot refusing to meet my eyes and I know he is lying. I expect the rat problem is worse than he is suggesting as why else does he need me to take care of it.

 

“You’ve tried setting traps?” I enquire.

 

“Oh yes.” He nods vigorously, “But they did no good.”

 

“Why not?”

 

“Best you go and see for yourself.” Ramdansel states and begins nodding anew. “Yes, that’s it, off you go.” He prods me towards the rear of the shop. We pass through a low doorway into what is clearly a workshop, but there is no chance for me to examine the items orderly placed on the shelves and bench for Ramdansel continues to propel me on to a small door set in the wall of the kitchen.

 

There was a brief moment, after I crouch to get through, where I wondered quite what I was getting into when a firm push sent me tumbling down the cellar stairs. I land in an ungainly heap as the door slams firmly shut and a bolt slides home. What hits me first as I scramble to my feet is the stench. Many times have I visited the Twilight world that lies in between this one and the next. It has become not just the place where I meet my long lost love and my Father, but also a battlefield. The stench that greets me now reminds me of the foulness I have met there. The air reeks of unholy death and decay. I unsheathe my Moonblade and its blade glows bright and blue in the dimness.

 

Using the light from my blade I move forward, checking the dirt floor. It’s level but becomes littered with bones as I progress. A shard of sun means I notice a dirty skylight. Using my sleeve, I quickly rub it clean allowing additional light to spill into the cellar. Only then do I become aware of the increased ferocity of the stench. My senses alerted, I listen and can hear a slight rasping breath. Blade at the ready, I turn to see what is there and the rasp becomes a growl.

 

My back is against a wall; otherwise I’m surrounded by rats. These rats are huge, bigger than Brutus, and it’s no wonder Ramdansel’s traps were useless. I take in their talon like claws and long incisors. Both appear incredibly sharp and lethal. An almost overpowering stench of decay arises from their lithe, muscular bodies which are hairless – just like that of the Lectors. They rise up on their hind legs and, as the growl begins to rise to a crescendo, I realise that attack is imminent.

 

“If this is your part of your plan Father, you’d better make sure I survive.” I comment, but it’s really more of a prayer. Stepping forward and allowing the rats to surround me completely, I pivot into a spin my aim being to kill or incapacitate as many of the foul creatures as possible in one swing. My blade scythes home slicing through necks and limbs, but still the creatures surge forward. Spotting a gap in the melee of bodies, I slice and roll into a clear area, then begin to pivot and spin once more. Now the stench of decay is becoming overwhelmed by that of the rat’s blood. It smells caustic and when some sprays on my bare skin as I slice through the chest of one which leaps towards my face, it burns. I quickly check my boots and can see the rat’s blood is eroding the leather.

 

The wave of rats begins to ease and I’m able to fight at a steadier pace which allows me to take stock of where they are coming from. In the corner furthest away from the skylight I spot a large tunnel which appears to have burst through the stone cellar wall. I’ve no idea how long I’ve been down here, but I cannot avoid walking through bodies and blood and I must eradicate this nest before my boots fall apart. Holding that thought in mind, I prepare to enter the tunnel once more using the light from my Moonblade to guide me. 

Edited by Sue

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