If he rode as fast and as hard as his horse would let him, without stopping for sleep nor food nor fight, Arthur would not reach his beloved Rome but rather the sharp edges of Britain, where ragged cliffs fell into the ocean.

The air here at the end of the world had nothing of Rome's gentle warmth or its delicate cool; the wind blew bitter and unforgiving, blistering the skin and stinging the eyes, tugging at Arthur's tenuous hold on this place, on his duty, on himself. It carried something heavy and thick, weighing him down; the heels of his boots dug into the soft earth when he walked the brink to face the squalls. The gulped lungfuls tasted like salt, grass and the smoke of the distant fort's cooking fires that clung to his tongue.

Riding back with the gale at his back, the edges of the land might have felt more like the sheltering cradle of one's home than the stone walls of an empire. Arthur rode out to remind himself, and to tell the others of this truth.