Ah, I see. You assume I am a hired mercenary, yes? That I fight for coin, my skills available to the highest bidder?
Please let me disavow you of that notion.
Among my people, dueling is more than a way to solve disputes. It is a ritual, a practice which we use to remind ourselves that WE is greater than I.
We all must bow to the truth. Without truth, there can be no justice. Without justice, there can be no society, for if we ever allow I to become greater than We, then We will cease to be. And if We do not exist, then I – and You – shall surely perish.
To become a Duelist, one does not study blade and pistol. First, one studies law and truth. A Duelist will only take up a cause if he believes it to be just. Once taken, he must fight for that cause with every fiber of his being: in court, in the opinion of the people… and, of course, in trial by combat, if required.
If he prevails, then surely Justice is done. If he learns his cause to be unjust, then he loses honorably and justice is done.
Now you see, yes? Duelists are not champions, soldiers or mercenaries. They are the judges of truth, the protectors of We.
Now, tell me of your cause. We shall see if it is worthy.
His bow is deep and gracious. Small eyes peer out from beneath his low-brimmed, feathered hat. His wrinkled nose and wry smile gives no indication of what is coming. With a flourish of his blade, he winks and smiles – then draws his pistol and fires.
In a small eruption of earth and grass, a brown-furred Guinecean appears. He wipes the dirt from his face and eyes with one paw, then pulls from the ground a wrapped leather scroll. With a grin, he unfurls his treasure: a map of the enemy locations, laid out in exquisite detail by his diminutive hand.
Duelists are a rare breed, a peculiar blend of soldier made possible through the unique combination of blade skill, unnerving reflexes and the mastery of both engineering and alchemy. This unlikely intersection of skillsets made this small race the sole creators (and users) of the alchemical material known as ‘gunpowder’. As Crows as in life, Duelists tend to be loyal and trustworthy, with a calm, friendly demeanor that seems impervious to pessimism in even the darkest of situations.