The Ekose are a Fringe-world race of freight-haulers from the planet Eko that have sailed their reliable star freighters to Nexus aiming to do business. Ekose will pick up and haul cargo of any kind, navigating the often treacherous space around Nexus with a shrewd eye and a steady hand. Having thrived for centuries in the wildest, most dangerous parts of the fringe, the Ekose are prepared to deal with roving marauder crews of the Halon Ring, but they are always on the lookout for brave spacehands to help out in their freight runs. The hard-working and resourceful Ekose can be found hanging around most spaceports on Nexus. They prefer to work with both major factions without getting directly involved in their growing conflict between the Exiles and the Dominion.
Ekose are bipeds with both feline and humanoid features, with opposable digits, long necks, and heavy tails. Females are physically smaller than males, and elders demonstrate a more hunched posture. Both sexes range in color from deep blue to sky blue.
Young Ekose females have not yet been encountered on Nexus due to the fact that they remain on their home world, where they are charged with maintaining legislation, economics, and other bureaucratic elements of their society. Elderly Ekose females, who often rise to positions of power as bureaucrats or trade representatives, often have the freedom to travel and maintain business abroad.
Spacefaring and Freight-Hauling
Most Ekose encountered beyond the Fringe - especially in remote wildstar systems like Nexus - are freight haulers. They'll carry anything legal that fits in the holds of their ships, and anything illegal they can get away with. Most Ekose encountered on their homeworld Eko are also freight haulers, but either retired or in charge of their own freight companies with independent pilots and shiphands to do most of the work. Ekose who aren't freight haulers at all don't generally leave Ekose, and even other Ekose consider them quite boring people.
The competition between freight companies can occasionally get heated, with no dirty trick or piece of nonlethal sabotage out of bounds. Between Ekose, this almost never leads to violence. Murder is bad for the shipping business. If potential customers don't think Ekose can be trusted to haul their freight, all will suffer. That's why many Ekose freight haulers on Nexus hire offworld help whenever things might be getting bloody.
As experienced spacers, the Ekose are all too familiar with starship combat. As the Fringe is home to vicious gangs of Marauders and Darkspur thugs, the Ekose have (by necessity) developed and adapted shipboard weapon systems to protect themselves. These weapons are rarely used in an offensive capacity, and it is an exceptionally rare Ekose captain who takes up the mantle of "pirate" or (more likely) "privateer."
To Ekose captains, a ship is a long-term home. Ekose captains live aboard their ships, and if they aren’t working they’re probably catching up on some long overdue sleep. Ekose males who don’t work on ships form small enclaves on space stations or in towns and cities, usually in proximity to a spaceport. The true measure of success for any male Ekose is having a tall ship and a star to steer her by.
The Ekose tend to be shrewd businessmen who work diligently to make a profit. How they accomplish this – either through fair play or foul – depends in large part on the Ekose in question. Because they are cheerful, easygoing, and hard-working, Ekose are rarely without some modicum of moral fiber. Additionally, due to their superstitious nature and belief that “what goes around, comes around,” Ekose tend to play nicely with others unless there is a substantial profit to be made.
This isn’t to say that there aren’t examples of Ekose criminals and ne’er-do-wells, but such specimens are a rarity in a society that respects business acumen and hard work. Though dirty tricks are sometimes used by the Ekose to get ahead, competition between captains rarely gets violent. Additionally, Ekose don’t always see a difference between transporting materials and smuggling them, and they rarely inquire as to the legality of their cargo, especially in the far-flung reaches of the galaxy.
The Ekose believe in a pantheon of saint-like deities or spirits. These deities are often invoked prior to important ventures, with such rituals often involving sacrifices of money, luxury goods (wines, spirits, and fine cigars), and rocket fuel. Though there is no established priesthood among the Ekose, gifted females with latent psionic abilities often take up the roles of religious leaders on Eko.
One of the most prominent Ekose deities, at least among ship captains, is the Great Navigator. It is believed the Great Navigator plots a course for each Ekose at the time of their conception. Regardless of the hardships and boons they face, each Ekose is expected to honor the course set for them by the Great Navigator. It’s believed that those who refuse to do so risk being lost or set adrift, bringing disaster to themselves and their associates.
As far as Ekose curses go, “Shipwrecks!” is perhaps one that reflects the most despair and hopelessness an Ekose can feel without actually losing his ship. After all, to an Ekose captain, the worst possible outcome he can imagine is a starship accident that leaves him homeless, destitute, and adrift in an unpredictable and often hostile galaxy.
Course locked, we're outward bound
The ship between the shores
She carries hopes, and cares and dreams
Locked safely in her stores.
Course set, we're on our way
No need to hop in cryo
We're on the planet Nexus run
Just like itw as yesterday.
Pirates off the portward bow
Do we dare to take a stand?
Better to keep the ship on course
Leave the fighting to shiphands.
-Freight Hauler Shanty
- Loremageddon FAQ, as preserved on the Internet Archive.