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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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Amadaun

Interior II

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For now. But I think she?ll be back. That one you were talking to ? that?s Trick. She?s one of the strongest. She likes to play with people. She sent Rakasha after you for a reason, and she?ll probably be punished for not getting you. Rakasha, not Trick. Trick will punish her. So she?ll try again. Both of them. I?d be careful.

 

I ? I went off the path. She said I shouldn?t. Was that?wrong?

 

Don?t be silly. You can?t go where you?re not invited. Something invited you off the path, but not her. It was dangerous, but not wrong. Smart, but not careful. Next time, I?d try to fight her first, before you go jumping of off cliffs or something. You can?t kill us, but you can fight her off. The girl shook a finger at her. You forgot to fight, didn?t you? You?ve gotta be stronger than that if you want to survive.

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Guest theinfamouskat

Reina winced. I've... never been good at fighting. I'm much better at running and... hiding. Striking when I can. She shook her head. Rakasha is strong, she would have... Reina swallowed and shuddered. I don't want to think about what she would have done...

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OOC: *wubs the cat haikus* And they are SO true.

 

 

 

Coward, the little girl said mildly. You?ll never make it at this rate. Look at you, worrying about a body that isn?t real. Unless you get eaten, nothing?ll stick. Someone could pop your head off like a gingerbread man and you?d be just fine. She considered the last bit. Though it?d be a pain if they went and carried it off before you learned how to remake it.

 

Reina didn?t look amused and the child sighed. Climbing to her feet, she walked over and touched Reina?s chest, right above her heart. This is what you have to protect. Your soul is crystallized around there. Usually. We?ve had some strange ones that gather in other places. But that?s the bit they?re trying to take to strengthen themselves. You?ll still have it, but they?um?remake the shell as theirs. Rakasha said that it reminded her a lot of some sorta stone you have back home. But different. I dunno the name.

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Guest theinfamouskat

Cveyla? Reina asked quietly. Is that what I'm doing? Carrying around my own soul in a stone?

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Usually. Hold still ? let me see if I can find it and show you. Reina jerked back a bit, and the child made a face. It?s okay. I don?t collect them like the others. That?s not my job. I guide, not collect. Anyway, it?s still going to technically be inside of you. She waved her hand at the ceiling. This is your old body, after all. C?mon ? this way you?ll know what it looks like, and where it is, so you can keep it safer.

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Reina made a face and put a hand up to her chest. I-I... I don't know. Will it... hurt?

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It shouldn?t. Remember, it isn?t really your body. It?s only a thought. The little girl placed her hand on Reina?s breastbone. The woman gasped as her little fingers sunk slightly through her flesh and back out again. See? I?ll have to poke around a bit, of course. Make sure I?ve got the right thing. Um?I will warn you, though. Some people react strange to seeing them. Because they see something of themselves they didn?t know about. Do you think you can do it? I think it?s a good idea.

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Reina swallowed hard, staring at the little girl's wrist protruding from her chest. With a shaky nod, she murmured, yes.

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Smart. The girl smiled and reached back in. She fumbled around for a while, a look of concentration on her small face. It?s where it usually is, she finally said. By the heart. But it feels a little odd?

 

Reina felt an odd tugging sensation. The little fist pulled out and was lifted to the child?s face. Reina tried to peer through her fingers as the little girl studied what she held. Odd? she said nervously.

 

Looks like a?ring? The child held out her hands. Cupped in them sat a small, battered circle of metal, with a gleaming stone set. That would be the stone, there. They don?t usually have anything added on, though. But opal ? that?s pretty! It means healing and hope, doesn?t it? Pity it?s such a fragile stone.

 

Reina didn?t seem to hear.

 

 

 

OOC: Awwww...

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Reina reached out with quivering fingers and picked up the ring. The stone hadn't been set in it for years, not since it broke-off when she was...

 

She slid it on her finger thoughtfully, examined it. She was

 

 

in a small room. Double-doors opened to a garden, letting the light of morning into the dark building with its stained glass windows and alters. Her hands were shaking, steadied as he took her hand and slid the ring onto her finger. "With this ring, I thee wed."

 

Her hands were still shaking as she held up a ring of the same metal, same stone, all in a more masculine setting. He slid his finger into the ring because her hands wouldn't stop shaking. She barely managed to echo the same sentiment. "With this ring, I thee wed."

 

The priest was saying something, but she couldn't hear a thing. Couldn't see anything other than him. In one sudden movement, he was pulling her against him, kissing her deeply. She wrapped her arms around his neck, tears running down her face and spoiling the makeup they'd painted her eyes with, unable to understand how she could be so happy and crying at the same time. But she felt a tear on her arm and knew he was crying too. She never wanted to let him go. She only wanted to hold him, to stay this way forever: pressed against him, warm and safe and...

Reina lifted a hand to her cheek. It was wet with tears and her hands were shaking.

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OOC: *gurglemelt*

 

 

 

 

You should put it back now, the child whispered. Keep it safe. She touched the ring. The stone is yours. The ring must be his. She slid a hand under Reina?s chin and tilted her head up. Are you willing to fight now?

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Reina nodded. First weakly, then almost viciously. Yes. What do I have to do?

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There are two ways to get to the vortex ? the end. One is to give up, and let Her invite you in. The other is to interest Her enough for her to invite you. If you give up?you?re gone. That?s it. I don?t want you to do that. You?re nice. But you?re not interesting enough yet. Close. But not yet. As she spoke, she carefully pulled the ring from Reina?s finger and returned it to its place. Rakasha will come back because she wants you and Trick wants you. The Hungry Ones will have your scent soon. Lust might come for you herself, since she lost Rakasha. And there?re other things too. More dangerous. Try not to run away from me again, and I?ll try to keep you safe. But you?ll have to fight, because I can?t.

 

The most important thing to remember is that you?re not limited by your body here. She patted Reina?s arm. This isn?t your body. This is your mind and your soul. Your will is your strength, not your muscles. Do you understand?

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Reina tried to process the words in her own tongue. The translation was startling and she seemed to understand. That didn't make her any less afraid. She nodded. Yes. I understand.

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Good. The little girl patted her cheek and straightened. You?ll do much better than most. She pointed one small finger. The vortex is always in the darkest. That?s where She is. But I won?t take you there yet. You want to interest Her, first. So I?ll take you to the Sages.

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Reina's whole body went tense. B-but... that's where... that's where Rakasha was taking me.

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Oh, we all know to take you there. They want to see you. Not like Lust did. The little girl hung her head. I didn?t know she?d be like that. I?m sorry. But the Sages know everything. She was the first ones. They scared Rakasha when I took her to them.

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Reina swallowed hard. Then they're... Sages. Like... my people's Sages?

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The little girl shrugged. I dunno. They wear hoods and cloaks most of the time. But they speak that language you do, sometimes. They used to be one person, you know. She’s not part of Chayka, like the rest of us are. She’s different. They’re like you. The first ones Chayka ate.

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Reina nodded. Alright... take me to see them.

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Stay close, the child cautioned before taking her hand and leading her off across the wasteland.

 

The gravel crunched beneath Reina?s feet as they walked. What?is this place?

 

Your head, silly. Where else would we be?

 

No ? I mean, why does it look like this? What is it supposed to mean?

 

Dunno. Could have always been like this. Chayka could have made it this way?or Sebs, with his spell. I don?t think Chayka would do it. She likes pretty minds. Though they all twist in the end. This place doesn?t feel twisted yet, though.

 

So Chayka?s going to?twist my mind? Fear stabbed through Reina. B-but what happens when I get out? Will it still look like this?

 

Dunno, the child said again. Some twist really easy because they?re almost there already. Some try and bounce back. But usually?um?it?s like a piece of parchment. When you crumple it up, even if you flatten it out again, you still see all the creases. It takes work to get her gone. She squeezed Reina?s hand. And really, you probably don?t want to.

 

What do you - ?

 

Shhh! The child stopped and held a finger to her lips. Very quietly, she whispered, ?Look.?

 

Something snakelike moved at the edge of the dimness, seemingly carrying its own light. It paused, circled, and raised what looked like a head to scent the air.

 

?A hungry one,?the child murmured. ?They rarely hunt alone. They aren?t particularly bright ? little more than base desires ? but dangerous minds in their own right. Don?t move or speak until it leaves.? Very slowly, the child bent and scooped up a pebble from the ground. Pulling back her arm, she threw it with all of her might into the darkness. The snakelike mind froze in its circling, curled back its lips in a soundless snarl, and sped away. The child sighed. Good. It?ll be back, but we?ll be safe for a bit longer.

So?that thing would eat me?

 

Um?not exactly. They usually aren?t strong enough to take a soul, so they end up eating Chayka?s memories instead. The emotions they give off. That sorta thing. But they always kind of hope. I think they used to be some of the strongest of us. She paused, then added thoughtfully, But they?ve been getting stronger again.

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Reina stared off in the direction of darkness the thing had taken off into as the little girl continued forward. What do you mean? Reina asked, pressing her fingers into the little girl's outstretched palm and letting her lead them. Why?

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Dunno. It?s strange how things outside change things in here. And how things in here change things outside. Chayka changes a lot. Depending on who has what souls, and who?s winning which wager, and how the little games are going?

 

And now, of course, there?s them. Soren and Magnus.

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