Aha! I see from your curious expression that you know not of my people. I take no offense. I am Guinecean, of course! You have heard of us, yes?

No? How is this so?

The merchant families of Guinecea were the first to establish trade between worlds. Our artists, the inventors of sculpture and stagecraft. Our duelists, the finest masters to wield a blade. Our engineers, the only to unlock the secret of munitions.

From your face, I see you doubt me. Surely, you jest!

No? Fine, I shall tell you of my people. Perhaps then you will understand.

In the Time before Time, my kind could not speak. We were a simple people. Honest, yes. Hard-working, yes, but dim like the beasts in the field.

One day, our eldest came upon a woman in the woods, her back against a tree. Her skin was pale as snow, her clothing matted with red and brown. He could see that she was dying. He brought her food, but she would not eat. He brought her water, but she would not drink. So, instead, he sat beside her and offered her comfort in her last moments. This, she accepted.

She died with her hand upon his head. In that moment, she gave him the Gift: knowledge, intelligence, speech. Not him alone. All of my people.

It is the Gift that you also possess. This Gift which was hers, and hers alone, to give.

Do you doubt my courage, friend? My sincerity? My loyalty? My prowess as a warrior? Stand back, then, my friend. Stand back, watch and learn.

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Guineceans are a diminutive, gregarious people known to be forthright and honorable. They excel at exploration and scholarly research and revel in meeting other cultures. A highly-civilized people, they favor diplomacy and free trade over conquest and aggression. In spite of this, fighters among this race are regarded as fierce combatants and their engineers as clever inventors. They remain the only society to master the alchemical mystery of gunpowder, and while other societies have struggled in the last few centuries, Guineceans have experienced a cultural renaissance in the areas of art, music, science and literature.

By legend, the Guineceans were transformed from their animal forefathers into sentient creatures by Gaea, the Earth Mother, at her moment death. This blessing – the power of logical thought and speech – is known as ‘the Gift’ and is central to the Guinecean philosophy: they embrace each day with hope and wonder, are quick to make friends and do not offend easily.

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