This article is part of the Echani Project, an effort to create a realistic if unofficial reference to the culture, history, and traditions of the Echani species as a resource for roleplayers and storytellers alike.
The Echani were a Near-Human subspecies of the world Eshan bearing few notable differences from Humans. The first being that Echani had silver-white hair and silver eyes, and had better natural reflexes than stock Humans. They were also considered a more willful race, though this aspect of their species came more from studious training rather than any inherent racial quality.
- Main Article: Echani/timeline
The Echani were a culture of warriors from the world of Eshan who gave rise to the Sun Guard of Thyrsus. They held a long-standing rivalry with the Mandalorians, with whom they shared many similarities. Important differences, though, are that the Echani focused on light weaponry and armor, relying more on agility rather than heavier weapons and brute force. Sources indicate that females played a large role in their society. Though the details behind the conflict are unknown, it is said the Echani fought against Revan at least once, but were defeated. Like the Mandalorians, who were also defeated by Revan, they respected the combat skill of their enemy. 
Due to the all-encompassing use of combat in all levels of their culture, Echani Generals were seen by others as having a 'special ability' to predict their opponents next move. This, however was simply a tactical skill arising from living in a culture where combat was seen as something akin to a form of communication.
Society and culture
Echani culture was very Combat and Family oriented. All Echani children, regardless of profession, or family, were taught the art of combat at a young age. And all Echani, save those exiled, belonged to a Family or Clan. Though the term Family or Clan could be used in either regard, tradition dictated that a Clan, was comprised of two or more allied Families, with the dominant family at formation taking the name of the Clan. As such, family politics was very feudal in nature.
Honorary Echani, was an individual considered by an Echani or an Echani clan, to be honorable and worthy enough to become an honorary member of a clan. An honorary Echani was quite rare, despite the requirements not being to high, this is because few people had the initiative to learn Echani Martial Arts or actually know Echani.
Family history and lineage are greatly valued, with each family having their own unique "Family Writ" detailing the deeds and actions of its members over its history. Echani warriors form very close knitted relationships, referring to their comrades as "brothers" and remaining intensely loyal to them. This loyalty is shown in the custom of grieving after the death of a fallen comrade, a ritual which includes prayer for the dead warrior. When an Echani Warrior dies in battle, his 'brothers' release a cry towards the heavens, warning the dead, that an Echani Warrior is coming. The Echani also greatly respected opponents who bested them, as represented by the Echani's great respect for Revan.
Beliefs and Spirituality
- Main Article: Echani Pantheon
- Look a shooting star!
- That was no shooting star my child, that was the tear of a warrior, a warrior who somewhere has finished their final battle. A warrior who has gone to the place where all warriors go, when they are done with their battles.
- ―An Echani Elder and Child
The Echani, as a people, were very Spiritual, with much of that spirituality revolving around Saara, the Divine Mother and creator of the Echani. In their unique ways the Echani worshiped Saara through her divine children, primarily Talla, Trul, Echan, and Thyrsus. When an Echani died they belived their spirit went to a large, vast home Saara had crafted for all falling Echani known as The Ivory Hall.
Each Echani Family, had an individual called an Elder. An Elder was the member of the family who had devoted their lives to studying and memorizing the tenets and writs of Echani Spirituality. Together, all the elders of the Families that made up a Clan formed the Elder Council, who convened on recording the Spiritual history of the clan.
Traditionally, only Elders could marry an Echani Couple, for it to be recognized by the Family or Clan. In recent centuries, this tradition has gone lax, though most couples do still chose to be married by an Elder. A traditional Echani marriage was actually a simple affair involving the couple, the elder, and the parents of the couple. The couple would exchange vows, which could be anything from a deceleration of love and protection, to a poem of how their love for each other was what drove them as warriors. Traditionally, be it a traditional marriage or not, an Echani couple would take a week away from all duties, work, education, anything, and spend time just the two of them.
Communication through combat
Echani culture held the belief that to know one fully, you must fight them. Echani fighting was not only self-defense, but a form of self-expression, a means of communication similar to art. For the Echani, it was not at all unusual for children of the same parents to be born so as to be completely indistinguishable from one another to outsiders. Thus, being able to distinguish between like individuals through reading of body movement became an essential requirement.
The Echani were also known to be able to read feelings and emotion through combat. To an Echani, a combat between two people said more than hours of talking. They saw a certain purity in the way techniques were used in battle. The Maktites learned this to their own sorrow circa 3,951 BBY, when their stores of thermal weaponry were rendered ineffectual by relatively simple adjustments in the traditional Echani light armor.
The Echani were known to focus primarily on melee weapons, such as vibroswords. Echani-made double-bladed vibroblades were used by Palpatine's Royal Guard, yet again influencing their look. Though their personal energy shields were popular during the period surrounding the Jedi Exile's travel through the galaxy, they eventually fell out of general use.
With rare exception (such as the Sun Guard), the Echani eschewed the use of armor, preferring to fight in minimal clothing. Their fighting style focused more on agility and movement, and so anything that hampered their freedom of movement would be avoided.
Ergeron, a Mandalorian mercenary, was disgusted at the Echani and their relatively "light" weapons. Echani believed, that if you drew a weapon, you were committing yourself to use that weapon, as a drawn weapon demanded itself to be used.
- "All weapons are important to an Echani. A hand built weapon is part of the Echani. I built her by hand, crafting the hilt over weeks of trial and error. She is very much a part of me, like a child, or a spouse. With out the weapon, you cannot defend your life, if you cannot defend your life you have no life. So we treat our weapons with respect. We honor them, as they honor us by being our defenders, our tools, an extension of ourselves. A weapon is an extension of ones soul."
- —Vincent Mikaru I
The Echani art was an unarmed combat discipline developed by the Echani. Tradition had it no armor, weapon or Force technique could be employed, as the art was focused on mastering the body itself as a weapon. Echani culture held the belief that combat was the only means to truly know someone, a pure form of expression where words were swept away, allowing for action to reveal the true nature of the people involved. Their duels were rituals, and it was important to follow etiquette, for that would allow them to read each others' stance and fight accordingly. In this manner, battle was seen as a form of communication similar to art. Exposing emotions in combat, however, made the duel a personal thing; engaging in repeated sessions was a courtship of sorts, in which one's favors were won through superior fighting prowess.
The Echani art had three tiers, each relying on foundations, and featuring higher forms than the previous one. Echani children began by learning the foundations, progressing over time from one tier to the next as the instructor saw fit.
The Telc'ta which stood for Warrior's Right was a day long ceremony that took place on an Echani Child's 14th birthday. The Ceremony was in itself broke down into 4 smaller ceremonies, the Telc'ta Tea Ceremony, Meditation of Chal, Right of Ascension, and the Feast of the Warrior.
Telc'ta Tea Ceremony
The morning of an Echani's 14th birthday, they are woken early, upon the dawn of the world they are on. They are then clothed in a long flowing robe that contains the seal of their clan upon their back. The young Echani is then lead into the common room of their family home where their family resides around a small table. Here, the Echani would begin to brew a pot of tea, normally Red Tea. As the tea brewed the Echani sat with their legs underneath them and their hands on their knees. An uncomfortable position that they had to hold till the tea was finished brewing.
Once the tea was finished brewing, the 14 year old stood, and took the hot pot of tea in their hands, not by the handle, but by the sides of the hot pot. This was to show their family their endurance, as they slowly filled each cup in a clockwise fashion. After serving the tea to the others they then served themselves two cups, a representation of more responsibility. After this they would place the pot back on the warming pad, sit, and with their family sip tea, while their family reminisced on their childhood.
Meditation of Chal
The Meditation of Chal took place after after the Tea Ceremony. The young Echani would meditate alone, in the family common room for 4 hours. The significance of this was for the child to reflect on their life before this day, and their destiny afterwards. Often it was during the Meditation of Chal that an Echani would weigh their options for a future. What they would be, soldier, scholar, priest, merchant. All these things and more would be focused upon.
Right of Ascension
The Right of Ascension was the most prepared for aspect of the Telc'ta. The Right of Ascension was a choreographed fight between the Echani and their Father. Should their father be unavailable, by death or other circumstances, then the child normally participated in the Right with their paternal or maternal uncle. The Right of Ascension normally lasted for several hours, anywhere from two to eight hours. The fight was merely for show, though it allowed the child to display their abilities as a warrior.
Feast of the Warrior
After the Right of Ascension, the final ceremony began, in the dining hall of the family or clan. A massive feast, in which the now Adult Echani's whole family participated. A table as long as the hall could handle would be covered in foods, both Echani and exotic in nature. Pots of teas, Echani Wine, and other beverages would be passed along the family as they celebrated the past and future of the now fully recognized Echani.
Echani cuisine is very spicy and hardy compared to normal dishes throughout the galaxy. Traditionally cooked slowly for hours with large variety of spices, hardy vegetables such as potatoes and onions, with plenty of meat, commonly chicken. Dishes contained, normally, lots of Rice, or rice based noodles and when served, were served in large pots in the center of the table with each eater taking their share into smaller bowls. Traditionally served with Echani dishes was a spicy Echani Tea.
Known Echani Dishes
An Aeta Ignias was an Echani Honor duel. An Honor Duel was preformed between two individuals, one of which was generally Echani, but one party could be of any culture. The duel was initiated by someone giving a challenge, either for honor, or glory. An Aeta Ignias could be either till the death of one of the individuals or till one was incapacitated in another manner. An Aeta Ignias was preformed with a strict code of honor, if any participant violated any of the preset rules of the duel or any of the traditional rules, such as attacking an opponent while they were down, or striking in zones considered off limits (such as strikes 'below the belt') and won via these methods, a relative of the one lost, could claim an Aeta Ignias-kai, known as a Vengeance Strike. An Aeta Ignias-kai claimed the offenders life forfeit and could, at any point in time, attempt to take the life of the offender, or claim the right to their own Aeta Ignias.
Known Aeta Ignias
- 100 ABY - Vincent Mikaru I & Darth Insipid - Darth Insipid, while his 'task force' was in Remsian space, Insipid challenged Vincent to an Aeta Ignias. Vincent refused but proclaimed he would "Gladly kick his ass in the name of the Republic."
- 135 ABY - Vincent Mikaru I & Darth Insipid - Darth Insipid, in new form, again challenged Vincent Mikaru to a duel. Vincent accepted. Though Vincent fought valiantly, Insipid used, as assumed, traditional Sith underhanded tactics to win, resulting in the Vincent's Death. Vincent Mikaru II soon after claimed Insipid's life forfeit.
- Brianna - The half-Echani youngest handmaiden in the service of Atris. She also was a possible companion to the Jedi Exile.
- Raskta Fenni - The most skilled Echani duelist of her time.
- Handmaiden Sisters - The five elder sisters of Brianna and daughters of Yusanis.
- Raskta Lsu - So named for the legendary Raskta Fenni, Jedi Weapon Master also the most skilled lightsaber duelist of her time.
- Yusanis - Echani General, and later senator, who was father of the six Handmaiden Sisters.
- Morganus Mikaru - Patriarch of the Mikaru Clan and first Sovereign of the clan.
- Vincent Mikaru I - Very first Mikaru to join the Templars of Twilight.
- Vincent Mikaru II - Descendant of Vincent I, and a highly influential member of the Templars.