The Eubians (also called Traders) refers to the fictional people of the Eubian Concord in the Saga of the Skolian empire by Catherine Asaro. They are often portrayed as antagonists in those novels, enemy to the rivaling Skolian Empire.
Eubian Concord is an interstellar civilization consisting of several thousand planets, with economy based on slavery. Named after its founder Eube Qox, the Concord is governed by an emperor, who acts as an absolute ruler. So far all five emperors have been from the House of Qox, direct descendants of Eube Qox, with Eube being the first emperor, followed by Jaibriol I, Ur, Jaibriol II and Jaibriol III.
The appearance of Aristos is marked by their characteristic red eyes and black shimmering hair. His or her looks is very important for an Aristo, as it may be useful for gaining influential position. It belongs to good manners to look good, young and well shaped. If an Aristo is old, fat or ugly, it is recommended to visit a body sculptor, who can get people in top form with the help of modern plastic surgery.
Aristos form the top-most echelon of Eubian society and comprise three main categories:
As a race, Aristos are an unfortunate result of the Rhon project. Lead by a geneticist named Hezahr Rhon, this project was originally started to produce a psion who would possess strong empathic and telepathic abilities but wouldn't suffer when experiencing the unpleasant emotions of others, like pain or fear.
The outcome was however a race of people who not only lack empathic or telepathic abilities, but are also utterly devoid of compassion. Their brains interpret pain of others (especially of psions) as pleasure, which makes them the ultimate sadists. The stronger pain a psion feels, the more pleasure it means for an Aristo.
The elevated sense of ecstasy experienced by Aristos when causing pain to psions is called transcendence. This transcendence is considered normal and appropriate among Aristos, who are raised to believe that the pleasure obtained from torturing telepaths is their inherent right. There are however a few exceptions who decided to have their Kyle Afferent Body or KAB (the microscopic organ in their brain that is responsible for their need for transcendence) removed. Those must keep their decision secret, as knowledge of this would make them to outcasts in the Aristo society.
Though others may contradict, Aristos see themselves as kind, good-hearted, moral, noble and merciful. They take care of their slaves, who in their opinion wouldn't survive a single minute without the guidance of their masters. Their psionic pleasure slaves are supposed to feel "honored" by being allowed to help their owners reaching transcendence. From an Aristo point of view every non-Aristo is less than a human, thus incapable of independent thinking and actions and should be subject to Aristos. That inhabitants of the Skolian Empire and the Allied worlds survive without having an owner is an abomination according to Aristo standards.
All children from an Aristo – provider union are considered slaves, rated as taskmakers. Many Aristos take pride in giving their taskmaker offspring good education, wealth and profitable and influential jobs. Rare attempts to pass off such child as a member of an Aristo caste are major crimes according to Eubian law. It is an Aristo tradition to give their taskmaker children names that reflect their Aristo genitor – so Xirson is a son of an Aristo called Xir, Qoxdaughter is daughter of Qox, etc.
Ģ===Taskmakers=== In general, taskmakers are all Eubian slaves who are not psions. In fact, the population of Eubian Concord consists mainly of taskmakers, who complete all necessary tasks in the society. Every taskmaker has an occupation to which he/she has been trained for. The many various jobs taskmakers can execute comprise of (for example) all possible trades, jobs of technicians, engineers, agriculturists, medical staff including specialized doctors, military personnel and officers etc.
Many taskmakers, especially those who occupy influential jobs in state administration or army, are of mixed Aristo-provider blood. In general, the more significant Aristo ancestry a taskmaker has, the more prestigious position is he/she likely to gain. High status taskmakers may actually become factory directors, starship captains or administrators of entire planets, are allowed to keep property, even have slaves on their own.
Lots of taskmakers live ordinary, comfortable lives and have a higher standard of living than their counterparts in the Skolian Empire. Nevertheless, they remain slaves and their entire life could be forfeit at the decision of an Aristo.
A special sort of taskmakers are Razers, who act as bodyguards and thus receive bioenhancements including cybernetic implants. Razers are the only slaves who are not supposed to kneel in front of an Aristo because this may influence their ability to protect their owner.
Providers are rare and very expensive, especially the ones with strongest empathic abilities. Their main task is to look extremely good, suffer without complaining and please their master in any possible way. To achieve perfection in their duties, providers are raised in special pavilions where they get "proper" education. Different lines of providers are bred for their specific physical and mental attributes like beauty or heightened sensual response. An early attempt to create a line of extremely strong empathic providers lead unintentionally to the rise of the Skolian ruling family, the Ruby Dynasty.
Breeding psions is however an insufficient source for providers and other means are needed to satisfy the still increasing demands of Eubian market. As a solution, Eubian pirate ships make illegal raids on Skolian and Allied ships, kidnapping psions with high KAB rating and selling them into slavery.
ESComm has many military bases scattered across the whole Concord, particularly in the strategic Platinum sector. A highly defended ESComm post is also Sphinx Sector Rim Base (SSRB), which is the current residence of the Skolian ancient device Third Lock, captured by ESComm during the Radiance War. The best defended place in Eubian Concord is the central world Eube's Glory.
Although the Eubian army is larger and has more resources, attempts to conquer enemy Skolian Empire always failed due to the Skolian psiberweb, which enables Skolians faster-than-light communication, giving them a big advantage.
Crimes of slaves are not handled with such benevolence. Punishment for any slave who comits a crime or doesn't obey orders can be death or torture, eventually brain-washing. Longing for freedom is not allowed for slaves. Occasional taskmaker uprisings are suppressed very strictly, their Aristo owners even don't recoil from wiping out the entire population of a rebelling planet. The only chance for a slave to live in freedom is therefore an escape in Skolian or Allied territory.
Eube's Glory, often called just Glory, is the Eubian homeworld, seat of the government. The planet was designed according to the wishes of Eube Qox, after whom it was named. Glory has a radius three times Earth's and gravity of 92 % in comparison to Earth. There are fourteen moons in the star system of Glory, most of which have no names, only numbers. They get their names after wives of Eubian emperors, that's why most of them are unnamed yet (there haven't been so many emperors and empresses). For the present, only five moons with names exist – Mirella, Zara, Viquara, Prizma and Tarquine.