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I just want to tell you before I go... I'm sorry 'bout me — Spectral Woods 
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Played by Flywolf who has 340 posts.
Lone Wolf No Rank
Archer Valle
Takes place right at the base of the mountain. @Nori let's get ten posts so you can get RE life points :)
RE: An unusually vibrant and widespread display of the Northern Lights illuminates the night sky over Relic Lore.

Archer


Breathing was hard. Walking was hard. Hell, everything was hard and he couldn't stand it anymore... but he forced himself to stumble on. Here they were, finally at the great roots of the mountain, and the path up seemed insurmountable. Archer knew couldn't be {I}that[/I> hard since Fools Gold Chasm had brought young pups up, but... each step was a challenge already.

He'd barely spoken the last three days. The burning in his leg had faded, and now that the skin had turned black and flakey the pain was barely there. He knew that was a bad thing. Archer drooled constantly, he could barely eat without throwing up... he was getting sicker.

Nori had been a rock, of course. She'd stayed with him, talked to him in his silence. They both knew the same thing, but neither had said it.

Well, now he was going to say it.

As night fell, Archer stumbled one last time and turned the motion to a controlled sink to his belly. He sighed. "I can't make it," he said softly, voice cracking. Whether from misuse, or grief, or the toll of the venom on his body he did not know.

Archer looked up at Nori. "Stay with me?"

Played by Van who has 109 posts.
Sanguine Cove VIII. Subordinate
Noriaki Eastfall-Koizumi
She hadn’t expected him to live this long. They’d spent the last three days heading toward the mountain, at what felt like a snail’s pace, trying to get there before the inevitable. Archer didn’t talk a lot, but she understood why, so Nori talked for the both of them - encouraged, joked, tried to make the ordeal a little bearable. She thought she must’ve lied more in the last three days than she had in her entire life, both to him and to herself, but with the venom’s progression it was getting more and more difficult to do so.

Her legs ached and her head throbbed, but she wasn’t about to complain aloud. It had been a long journey, and though they hadn’t reached their destination, tonight felt like an ending of sorts. Nori knew before Archer even laid down that they were likely approaching his last moments on earth.

Still, to hear it said aloud… the pain in her chest made the ache in her head seem so mild in comparison.

Nori hadn’t ever been around a dying wolf before, let alone a dying friend. Offering comfort wasn’t her strongest suit - there were so many other people who would’ve made for a better companion for someone suffering like Archer was. But she was there, and she wasn’t going anywhere, and she needed him to know that.

She wanted to argue - tell him that of course you can make it, it’s just a little ways away, but the words stuck to her tongue like sap on fur. She couldn’t lie anymore.

Instead, she decided not to address that part. She’d offer a smile instead of more empty words, and shove whatever she was feeling deep down inside to deal with later.

“Of course I will. You think I’d leave you alone now?” she asked, tentatively laying down beside him and pressing her side to his. She couldn’t offer much, but this was something she was able to give. Night was creeping in around them, plunging the forest into darkness, and it was getting colder. She wouldn’t let Archer get cold on top of everything else that was happening.
Played by Flywolf who has 340 posts.
Lone Wolf No Rank
Archer Valle

Archer


He'd almost expected more empty words of encouragement, trying to get him up the mountain. They were less than a day away, now, but Archer didn't think he could stand even if he wanted to now. His muscles trembled and spasmed, his paws twitching of their own accord, and Archer no longer had the will to force them to obey.

He'd given up.

Nori laid beside him and he leaned into her warmth, glad that he was not alone.

Colors lit the sky, drawing a surprised breath from the man. His eyes watered as he looked up. It was almost like the night was bidding him farewell - or perhaps welcome? Archer didn't know what he believed about the afterlife, or if there was one. He hoped he could see Sephrina again, and grandma Katna. That someday he would see Ally, and Eros, and his da-

His breath caught. "Nori," he murmured. "I need to ask you for something important." he looked at her.


Archer is very haggard and thin; it is obvious he is not doing well.
Played by Van who has 109 posts.
Sanguine Cove VIII. Subordinate
Noriaki Eastfall-Koizumi
Archer pressed against her and Nori used her larger frame to half-curl around the man, selfishly drawing some comfort from the contact as well. She had been so focused on him that she hadn’t even looked at the sky until she noticed the colors dancing across his darker fur. Was it just her imagination, or did the lights look even brighter than usual?

Her name drew her back to the present. Brown eyes flicked back to silver, and her heart thudded in her chest, anxiety and fear and grief and worry blending into one ugly emotion that clawed behind her ribs.

“Anything,” she said, and meant it with every fibre of her being. In that moment, she was willing to do whatever he asked of her.
Played by Flywolf who has 340 posts.
Lone Wolf No Rank
Archer Valle

Archer


Nori was quick to offer him anything and Archer grimaced. There was still that tinge of panic in the back of his mind, growing louder as he felt the burning cold creeping up on him, but he was just so tired. Everything ached and he.... he was ready for a nap.

But not quite yet.

"You have to find her," he said. "Her and my brother - Ally and Eros. Eros and my dad lead Dead Empress Backwater... please get Ally to them. I want..." he didn't want to insult her, now Knowing she was an Eastfall, but... "They're going to need her," he added quietly.

His mouth suddenly felt dry, even though the could feel drool dripping from his chin. "They can't be left wondering," he said, even quieter now, almost talking to his paws. He remembered what it was like, not knowing what happened to his mom for all that time - not knowing what happened to Kateri. "I know it's a lot to ask, but... please. They have to know."


Archer is very haggard and thin; it is obvious he is not doing well.
Played by Van who has 109 posts.
Sanguine Cove VIII. Subordinate
Noriaki Eastfall-Koizumi
This was a lot, and logically Nori knew that. It would be a lot of travel on terrain that caused her heart rate to speed up every time she even thought about it. It would be a heavy emotional toll. It would be painful, and she’d witness his family mourn for him. Witness his daughter mourn for him. But Nori couldn’t imagine not agreeing.

“Yeah,” she said, offering him a small smile. Her voice warbled a little, but she hoped he’d ignore it. “Yeah, I can do that. Don’t worry.” She wouldn’t complain or even let herself think about it too hard. It was just something that had to happen, and part of her even felt honored that he’d ask it of her.

He looked so sick, and so tired, and Nori wasn’t good at these emotional kinds of things, but… she didn’t want him to go disappointed in himself. He deserved at least this much.

“You did real good, you know?” she asked, throat a little tight. “You worked so hard. Ally’s a lucky kid, with a parent like you.” She pressed a little closer to him. “I’ll make sure she knows how hard you tried. How much you love her.”
(This post was last modified: May 17, 2024, 11:48 PM by Nori.)
Played by Flywolf who has 340 posts.
Lone Wolf No Rank
Archer Valle

Archer


Archer sighed with relief when she agreed. He knew it would be hard for her; he could see her own grief even as she tried to hide it, and now she would have to tell his family... he wondered who would take it the hardest. Ally would miss him of course, but Eros... Archer had only just gotten his brother back.

He couldn't help letting out a dry laugh. "I haven't done anything good since my sister died," he said. "I've failed everyone I love over and over again, even now, I can't go home to them like I promised." he let out a heavy breath. It was getting harder and harder to inhale, his heart thumping irregularly in his chest. He felt woozy.

"Tell my da it wasn't anybody's fault. Nobody's fault but my own. And tell Eros I said he better take care of my kid. I know he'll do a great job." His brother was good, unlike him. A better role-model, a better provider. Eros could take care of Ally. He should have been the one taking care of Ally from the beginning.

Thinking of his daughter he managed a small smile. "I love her so much," he hummed, looking back up to the bright lights and wondering if she was watching them too. "I'm only sorry I won't get to see her again."


Archer is very haggard and thin; it is obvious he is not doing well.
Played by Van who has 109 posts.
Sanguine Cove VIII. Subordinate
Noriaki Eastfall-Koizumi
I haven’t done anything good since my sister died.

“Well, that can’t be true. I’ve only known you for a little while and I’ve only seen you do good things,” Nori pointed out, her words gentle but confident. She nudged him a little, feeling her eyes burn a bit. “You helped me, at least. Got me going again, gave me a friend and a purpose. I’m… glad we met.” She would’ve preferred they stay friends for a lot longer, but her words were true. It was stupid, but she’d already started to let herself tentatively imagine maybe staying with him and his pack in the future. She’d made a place for herself, in her mind, but that little dream had fizzled just as suddenly as the snake had struck.

She made a face, something in her chest wrenching at how negatively he was speaking about himself. “I’ll tell them that you wanted to see them so badly you kept yourself going for three days with snake venom in your veins,” she asserted, blinking back tears. “Be proud of yourself, Archer. You’ve done enough.”

“I’ll tell her you love her,” she said softly. “But I’m sure she already knows.”
Played by Flywolf who has 340 posts.
Lone Wolf No Rank
Archer Valle
Wow, I'm crying harder than I thought I'd be.


Archer


Her words were thick in his ears and he tried to smile, tried to make her believe that she had convinced him. What she said helped a little anyway, reminding him that he had done a few things worth remembering. He hoped Nori remembered him... "I'm glad we met too," he said, and the words were harder to make come.

She kept talking, but her voice slowly faded into the fog of his ears. His limbs twitched worse than ever, his heart throbbed with no discernable rhythm. A sudden panic overtook him and for a moment he tried to surge to his feet, tried to push himself further up the mountain, closer to his daughter, I have to get there, I have to make it, I have to get to her, Ally, my beloved girl, I have to get there, I have to do it, I have to, I have...

But his legs were too weak and he could barely do more than a pathetic lurch on the ground.

The panic left him just as quickly as it had arrived, his gaze landing once again on the dancing lights even as his chin sank to his paws. I'm not ready, he thought desperately, as if that last plea might save him. He knew it wouldn't.

"Thank you," he said thickly, wondering if Nori could even understand him now, "for staying with me." He blinked up at the sky. "The night is so beautiful."

His eyes drifted closed, the lights flickering through his eyelids, and then with a final spasm Archer slumped and went to join his forebears.


Archer is very haggard and thin; it is obvious he is not doing well.
Played by Van who has 109 posts.
Sanguine Cove VIII. Subordinate
Noriaki Eastfall-Koizumi
my therapist will know your name

I’m glad we met too.

His voice didn’t sound quite right anymore, and it was getting more difficult to understand him, but that was okay. Everything was okay. She just had to keep telling herself that, over and over, to make it true.

Archer had a sudden burst of energy, tried to struggle to his feet, and collapsed to the ground.

Everything was okay.

His body was twitching and seizing, overcome by venom.

Everything was okay.

He was thanking her, his voice destroyed and hard to decipher. She shook her head and tried to smile. She couldn’t force herself to say anything else.

Everything was okay.

Archer suddenly stopped moving, stopped breathing. Laid on the forest floor, still in a way that no living being could be.

Everything was okay…

…wasn’t it?

For whatever reason, though she’d been fighting tears for what felt like ages now, she couldn’t cry. It wasn’t necessarily that she wanted to, exactly, but it felt like she should. All that she felt now was a strange nothingness - a numbness and heaviness that wiped all emotion from her. It wasn’t like anything she’d ever felt before, and she wasn’t sure how to handle it.

In the morning, she would drag herself to her feet and dig a grave for Archer and bury him. But for now, she would lay still beside him for the rest of the night, watching the colors dance across the sky until dawn wiped them away.
(This post was last modified: May 18, 2024, 01:57 AM by Nori.)