- “The Shinse seek form in all things,
- Our form must reflect our souls,
- Being light and rapid in movement,
- Beautiful like the Warrior or the hunter of Waachi.”
–intro to the Shikanse
Once a coastal people, in the time of the Two Suns, the Shinse survive on Skara’s western Steppes, where harsh winds blow and food is scarce. The memory of their former life spurs them on, preserving the knowledge of the Seven Schools and dreaming of returning to their homelands, currently occupied by the Celea.
The Shinse value respect and elegance in form and function. Their power and effectiveness on the battlefield come from these attributes. Though they are not the strongest of the inhabitants of Skara, they cut their enemies down quickly in one-to-one combat, making them greatly feared on the battlefield. Before the cataclysm, the Durno sent their youth to train in Shinse schools to learn the Way and the Signs.
The Shinse now have a tense relationship with their former allies, the Durno, who betrayed them when the Celea arrived on Skara’s shores. They have never liked the Tamvaasa, whose seafaring members were known to raid and harass the Shinse coast as long as anyone can remember. But it is the Celea for whom Shinse hatred burns bright, bringing to life the Shinse proverb: "Anger that sits burns its bearer, anger that moves burns others".
“Beware the knife that moves in the shadows. Beware also the lithe and lethal Shinse, who prefer to win a battle before the forces have even amassed.”
Timing is everything for the Shinse, whose strength is in their ability to move and adapt. Knowing their position is never easy, for the Shinse can appear and disappear, deceive and dodge, feint and strike before the enemy knows what is occurring. These skills have been handed down through the ages by the respected Gokhanse, the keepers of all knowledge, as well as the Waygoers, enlightened ones who have no boundaries except those created by the Way and the Signs.