Nial Burns is a journalist who works alongside his partner, Dorothy Hyatt with the Liberl News Service.
Together, they cover most of the events that happens in Liberl. In S.1202-04, Nial managed to win a Fuelitzer Prize for his special coverage of the coup d'etat during the Queen's Birthday Celebrations.
Nial is a dedicated reporter who is always on the lookout for the next big scoop. He can go days doing research on a topic, while forgoing sleep and eating at the same time.
Nial can be rough around the edges to people, but deep inside, he is a really kind person. He also deeply cares for his friends, and likes to help them out when they are in trouble.He can also tolerate Dorothy's behavior, even if her ditzy nature does get to him sometimes.
Nial is also a habitual smoker.
Meeting Estelle and Joshua
Disappearance of the Linde
Mercia Orphanage Incident
Martial Arts Tournament & Princess Klaudia's Rescue.
After the Martial Arts Tournament, Nial arranges to meet with Estelle and Joshua at the Liberl News Headquarters. There, he shows the two of them, the standard military profiles of the Intelligence Division Members, Alan Richard, Kanone Amalthea and Lorence Belgar. He then tells the two that he is going to meet an informant who can tell him more about the Intelligence Division's plans.
Queen's Birthday Celebration
He then parts with the two of them and heads off to the Erbe Royal Villa. While there, Nial is caught trying to sneak into the villa and is thrown in the same room as the other prisoners. He is then rescued when Estelle and co. break into the villa to save Princess Klaudia.
After the Coup D'etat is thwarted, Nial writes up a huge expose on the coup and it is released in a special issue of the Liberl News. During the actual celebrations, Nial is then heard (in one of the drama cds) conducting interviews about Estelle and Joshua with all of their friends. Realizing that he can't publish their identities because of the Bracer Guild, Nial instead decides to write a thank you note at the end of one of his articles.
After the Queen's speech, Nial meets up with Estelle and Joshua at the Liberl News headquarters. There, he happily declares that his special edition is flying off the shelves and tells them about his little thank you in the newspaper.
Meeting Estelle Again
In Trails in the Sky SC, Nial Burns first appears when Estelle and her partner arrive back at the Bracer Guild to report what they found out on the 'White Shadow.'
As Estelle and her partner enter the building, he greets the two of them with Dorothy Hyatt. Estelle happily runs over to them and ask what they are doing in Ruan. Nial replies that they were here covering the election, of course, but then they heard about the ghost; so they stopped over at the Bracer Guild to get some info about it. Estelle asks if its about the white shadow and Jean replies that since they were gone, they had another report about it being sighted in the city. He then tells them that the citizens are starting to get frightened and that he has no answers for them. Agate admits that this is getting to be a problem and Jean responds by telling them about the picture that Dorothy took of it.
Hearing this, Agate asks if Dorothy is into ghost-hunting now and Dorothy states that she's not and that she was really taking night shots from the hotel when she caught a picture of him. She then shows it to Estelle and Agate, and Estelle reels back in fright. Agate admits that this pretty decisive and Estelle gets nervous and tries to pass the photo off as a camera malfunction. Dorothy declares that its not because her camera is brand new and she's been taking good care of it. Estelle though stresses that it is and Dorothy gets scared of Estelle's expression. Jean then gets back to the subject and states that he has more faith in the sightings now.
Jean then suggests that working with the media might help their situation and starts a information sharing meeting between the two groups. He then asks what they got from the witnesses and as Estelle and Agate start to tell him everything, they hear a voice from outside crying for help. A man then suddenly runs in and Estelle asks him "What's wrong?" Agate asks if it is a robbery and Primo replies that its not.
He then shouts that Norman's and Portos' election followers are having a big brawl on the Langland Bridge. Hearing the sound of a potential scoop, Nial immediately runs of to the the bridge, with the others behind him. At the bridge, Nial is seen watching the two groups blaming each other for the ghost's appearance and getting ready to brawl. As the fight is about to get started, the sound of a loot suddenly rings out and a man's voice is heard. Nial turns arounf with everyone to the river and he sees that Olivier Lenheim is back and travelling to the bridge on a boat.
On his boat, Olivier tells both groups to stop and starts to perform a song. After his performance, Olivier seems overjoyed by how touched they were by his song and declares that "Love is Eternal," while making a sparking face. Sweat dropping, Nial and everyone else on the bridge decides to break up the fight and go their separate ways. Seeing everyone run off, Estelle comments that the fleeing has begun, and Agate proclaims that he can't blame them.
Olivier then turns to the four and brags about his performance and asks the reporters to write about his miracle. Dorothy says sure and takes Olivier's picture, while Olivier makes a whole series of flashy poses. Nial then turns to Estelle and Agate and asks if they still want to continue their earlier conversation and Estelle says okay. Nial, Estelle and Agate then head off to the Bracer Guild with Olivier and Dorothy chasing after them.
In the Guild Hall, Nial watches as Estelle and the others reconnect and then get back to the topic at hand. Estelle and her partner explain everything that they know. After the explanation, Jean praises the two for gathering a lot of data and Nial rules out that it is a prank against one of the mayoral campaign parties. Her partner also confirms that this shadow can fly and Dorothy dumbly declares that it is a ghost. She then starts making up a ghost story until Estelle yells at her to stop and Estelle rules out the ghost.
Olivier then points out that Estelle's report had several common points and says that the specter is bound to a place or person. Jean then realizes that they noticed the same thing and Olivier brings out his map of Liberl. He then marks out the spots where the specter was seen and the direction that it was heading according to the three witnesses reports and Estelle and the others see that the ghost was heading to Jenis Royal Academy. Estelle remarks that Olivier is pretty clever and declares that they'll be heading to the academy next.
Agate asks Jean if it is cool with him and Jean replies that he will phone the academy and let them know they're coming. He then asks if the reporters have plans and Nial suggests that Dorothy goes with them since he'll be busy covering the election. Happy, Dorothy declares that she will do her best to capture the ghost and Nial yells at her to just help solve the mystery. Not understanding clearly, Dorothy still declares that she will do her best, but Estelle buts in that they didn't agree to this.
Jean chides her and tells her to just go along with it for now, since they did help them out and Agate reluctantly agrees.Happy with the arrangements, Nial leaves the group to conduct interviews with both of the mayoral candidates. Before he leaves though, he mentions to Estelle that he heard about Joshua and that he will do his best to help her, so she must cheer up. He then exits the building and Estelle is touched by his awkward words.
Dorothy turns to Estelle and tells her how it was a big shock when Nial had heard about it from Cassius and that he's been looking for a way to help her. Estelle proclaims that he's so sweet and Dorothy declares that she will help too with gathering info on Joshua. Estelle then declares "Let's go!" and Jean reminds them that he will call ahead and wishes the group the best of luck.