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- Posted: Fri, 11 May 2012 07:38:28 +0000
Nero listened with interest as Jhandel outlined the barest sketch of the journey they would soon undertake. The danger was of...little concern. Nero was not reckless- usually- but he was confident that he could deal with any threat presented to him. Alright, so that might make him a bit reckless. Maybe. Nero smiled to himself. Oh well. More important was the fact that these individuals would be so interested in stopping this whatever it was. And that made them enemies of the empire. Nero didn't like enemies of the empire. He wondered at the scope of what he was signing up for. Ann was right. He was needed here.
He peered interestedly at the map that Jhandel rolled out. He had never used maps himself, but liked to familiarize himself with them whenever he had the opportunity. More importantly, Nero knew the land better than almost anyone. As soon as Jhandel named a location, Nero found he was able to recognize other landmarks by their relative locations. However, as Jhandel traced their predicted route further, Nero's eyes widened. The border. Nero had only once been beyond the reach of the empire. He had never felt the need to repeat the experience.
His eyes drew together. Peering closer at the path dictated by the lines on the map, Nero smiled slightly. At least he knew this much. He understood completely why Jhandel would have chosen this route. To say Nero had been everywhere in the Tourmaline Empire would be an exaggeration, but not by much. Nero had gone to the heavy forest just two years back, and the swamp three more before then. He remembered how he had hated the swamp. Damn. Ignoring this for the time being, he pointed to the line happily as the knight inquired whether Nero could be trusted to find the way.
He traced it further with his large finger.
Nero looked up from his inspection of the route.
"I know the way."
He straightened fully, stretching his back to its full six feet and eight inches. As he reached up, his arms brushed the rafters, and dislodged a bird, earning him an offended squawk and a gash on his arm. Nero stared at the bird irritably. Wretched thing; why didn't it just fly free? A sharp movement and another flurry of feathers caught his wilds-trained attention. A small (relatively; everyone seemed small to Nero) woman had shooed away a bird who was pestering her. Nero wondered why someone who looked so small and weak was in an inn like the Eagle. On second glance, however, he could see the features of the mountain in her face. Respect grew to replace his confusion. He resolved that he would inquire as to her well-being, if nothing else, once he was finished with the knight. Nero shook his head and focused on his task. Shaking blood from his arm absently, he looked Jhandel in the eye and stuck out his hand.
"I am Nero... I will guide you."