Ferengi

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Ferengi
180px-Renegade Ferengi 1.jpg
Four Letter Code FNGI
Federation Status Neutral
Planet of Origin Ferenginar
Encountered First encountered by the Enterprise NX-01 (ENT: Acquisition)
Current Tech Level N-
List of Named Ferengis

Full ILI GalleryPermitted Species Gallery


Introduction

See also: Ferengi Rules of Acquisition

A humanoid race whose culture is obsessed with the accumulation of wealth, the Ferengi were re-encountered in 2364 in the Delphi Ardu system. Although several deep space incidents occurred before, this was the first face-to-face encounter.

Possessing a rigid and inflexible code requiring males to relentlessly seek profit while females are left naked and submissive, they appear as short humanoids with skin tones ranging from dull yellow to dark brown. The males have characteristically very large ears while the females have extremely small ears. Coming from a political alliance just beyond Klingon space, they have no firm alliances and prefer to maintain business with all sides. The Klingons detest the Ferengi, however, and hold a trade embargo on them. Some rogue Ferengis pursue profit as pirates.

This is legal only through a loophole in their laws. Ferengis have no telepathic abilities and cannot be scanned because of their four-lobed brains.

Home System

  • Quadrant: Alpha
  • Class: M
  • Official Name: Ferengi Commerce Authority
  • Capital: Ferenginar
  • Population: 78.2 billion
  • Points of Interest: Sacred Market Place, where the Tower of Commerce is situated. (This is also here that the Grand Nagus lives). Weevilville: A Discount Shopping Area.
  • Planets within the Alliance: Balancar, Sepia, Rog, Tarahong, Lappa, Thalos, Kholfa,, Irtok, Volchok, Clarus

Home World

Climate: Although Ferenginar is renowned for its fetid swamps and constant rain, the planet also counts several places worth visiting. Among those, are: the Gothis Mountains, The Bowog Bog and its Dam (where eelwasser was discovered), the Caverns of Sogg (site of the most ancient Ferengi writing), and Mount Tutatuband, with its Volcanic Mountain.

History

Ferengi have always been driven by profits, and even at the dawn of their civilization, communities were divided in warring commerce zones. This long distant period is known as the 'Barter Age'.

It's only about the 9th millennium B.C, that the Ferengi culture took a new, more organized disposition, with the production of the Rules of Acquisition, developed by Grin. This set of directions seemed to have given the Ferengi an even better sense for greed and trading; and from then on, they took or purchased most of the technology that they needed to conquer the stars.

According to early documents, the Ferengi boldly acquired warp technology by selling several ice moons, (which they had no use for), to the Breens. The name of the hero who performed this feat is Daimon Greko, who became incredibly wealthy after making this stupendous acquisition.

The Ferengi-Lytasian conflict is the only interstellar war fought by the Ferengi Alliance. It began when during a first contact ceremony, Grand Nagus Zek was humiliated, receiving only a meaningless gift (An empty sac). It will surprise no one to read that it ended in a fury of merchandising, so that the selling of souvenirs could bolster morale.

The Borg's designation for the Ferengi was species 180. As it is a fairly low number, it suggests an early encounter.

2151: Starfleet's first unofficial encounter, when four Ferengis boarded Enterprise NX01.

2355: Captain Jean Luc Picard, then C.O. of the USS Stargazer met the Ferengi.

2364: First official contact with the Ferengi in the Delphi Ardu system.

In 2374, under the influence of several Ferengi, including Quark and his mother Ishka, Grand Nagus Rom amended the Bill Of Opportunity (a document that defines who can seek profit, and under which conditions), allowing women to wear clothes, and to establish business of their own.

Prior to that date, woman had no rights within Ferengi society. Women brave enough to flouter the rules of their people had to disguise themselves as men to get a chance to be heard in the business world. One such woman was Pel, was able to take part in the first transaction between the Alpha and Gamma quadrants. She successfully signed a contract wit the Karemma which later led the Federation to initiate a first contact with the Founders. This in turn led to the Dominion war.

Government

Ferengi are governed by the Ferengi Alliance, an organization that's administered by the Grand Nagus.

There are several agencies within this Alliance:

The Ferengi Commerce Authority (FCA), which controls and enforces business practise among Ferengi and other species. The extent of those proceedings are often abstruse, but they are administered by relentless FCA agents, known as Liquidators.

The Board of Liquidators. This is the ruling board of the FCA. Among its numerous powers is the one to accept or reject the appointment of a Grand Nagus.

Lesser known bodies include: The Ferengi Gaming Commission, The Ferengi Health Commission and The Ferengi Trade Mission.

Description

Ferengi tend to be short. Their skin is bright orange, and they only have hairs on their ears and nostrils (those can grow to spectacular length in old age). They also have a large skull, with a four lobed brain, a protuberant wrinkled nose and sharp crooked teeth.

Their most noticeable trait is of course their very large ears. The bigger they are, the more important a Ferengi will feel. Those ears are exceptionally sensitive to the touch, and allow Ferengi to perceive sounds beyond the reach of most species.

They have thick metallic-blue (or green) nails.

Physiology

Ferengi physiology is similar to that of their distant relatives, the Dopterians.

Average life-span: 140-150 years.

They have two lungs arranged vertically and ascending ribs.

Their heart rate is faster than that of Humans and their blood is of a yellow color, but it turns dark blue-green when it oxidizes)

Because they are so sensitive to touch and sounds, Ferengi ears are also prone to developing various infections, which can lead to terrible pain.

Psychology

Ferengi are motivated by their own greed and so whatever they do, it is always done to amass more wealth or to advance their career. Due to this they have a strong dislike for people who seem quite happy with serving other people. On the other hand, greed, deceit, distrust, opportunism and exploitation are seen as enviable qualities among Ferengi.

To show how indoctrinate Ferengi are, the most shameful thing that can happen to them is to have their business license revoked.

However, being only interested in commerce, they usually don't take sides during conflicts and can even be used as intermediaries between warring groups.

Religion and Beliefs

Successful Ferengi navigate their way through the Great River of the Continuum, disseminating goods and renewable contracts throughout the galaxy.

At their death, Ferengi are admitted inside the Antechamber of the divine Treasury. This is the place where they gets their material wealth assessed by the Blessed Exchequer. Those Ferengi who can show sufficient funds are allowed to bribe their way into the Divine Treasury where they can purchase their rights to another life. This is done under the supervision of the Celestial Auctioneers.

Ferengi who haven't amassed enough wealth during their lives are locked inside the Vault of Eternal Destitution.

Society

To Ferengi, their incessant pursuit of wealth isn't a selfish behavior, as they firmly believe that the galaxy is better off with free trade, no matter the ruthless tactics they often employ. Sadly, as they are only concerned by their own profits, Ferengi are more than willing to trade weapons, slaves and drugs. If there is a market for a 'product' somewhere there will be a Ferengi nearby to provide the 'goods'.

Their obsession for commerce also means that they are prepared to do business with absolutely everyone. Due to this, there is no racism within the Ferengi Alliance. O nthe other hand, until very recently Ferengis were fiercely sexist, and made sure that their women stayed at home, where their sole role was apparently to bring up children.

The vast majority of Ferengi will become ruthless businessmen and women, but there is a minority fringe that's manage to find its fortune in an particularly violent way, where they hire their services as hit men. Those are known as eliminator and are view by he general public as eccentrics or psychopaths.

Culture and Arts

Ferengi culture abounds in tales and legends, all rooted in their distant past. One of the most prevalent one relates the war between the Gree and the Ferengi. This was a bloody and profitless conflict which, in true Ferengi tradition, ended with a sacred auction. During this event, the winners gained the Divine Right to Rule Ferenginar.

Despite their obsession for trading, Ferengi culture also went through a number of terrible financial disasters. However their propensity to market everything, no matter how inappropriate, means that they always made swift recoveries. It also explains why art in all its forms is just another thing that Ferengi people will create, and exploit. Likewise every Ferengi success story is promptly turned into plays, auditory sculptures, holosuite dramas and songs.

Strategic games are a great way to make easy money, and so it is only natural that Ferengis should be well versed in that sort of entertainment. And here are two games created on Ferenginar:

Tongo (played with a roulette wheel), where players cab evade, confront, acquire or retreat during their turn.

Dabo, (also played with a wheel), where ten players or so can use their latinum to buy, sell of convert, while being distracted by voluptuous Dabo Girls.

Attire

Every Ferengi businessman and woman, worth his/her weight in latinum likes to express their success wearing bright clothes, and any number of jewels. Some doesn't hesitate to resort to body piercing to exhibit as much precious metal as they can.

Some Ferengi wear a headdress, this especially when their trade forces them to wear a uniform.

Although other species often consider Ferengi to be quite ugly, Ferengi themselves aren't beyond a spot of vanity. This is why surgical procedures is yet another thriving business on Ferenginar, with patients asking for lobs enlargements and the sharpening of their teeth.

Language

The Ferengi alphabet comprise of some sixty symbols, and the letters are written in a hexagon, as illustrated in this picture.

Here are a few Ferengi words and expressions:

  • Lobekin: Term of endearment
  • Lobling: a child
  • To have the lobes fro something: to be good as something
  • Neep-Green: Thank You
  • Moogie: Mother
  • Hew-mons: Humans
  • Nandi: Excellent

Cuisine

Ferengi favor slugs, snails, insects and grubs. So they have delicacies such as: Tube grubs, gree worms, Slug steaks, Chiggerburgers.

On Ferenginar people are also hooked to various foodstuff sold by mega corporations, like Slug-o-Cola (the slimiest drink in the world) and Eelwasser, along with various brands of fermented wormwine.

Beetle-snuff: a fine powder of dried beetle, which some Ferengi like to snort.

Customs

Usually any custom that can be financially profitable is welcome, as it helps latinum to flow towards the most ingenious merchants.

Naming Day: Where Ferengi male (and now women) are introduced to the world. It is an amazing ceremony, as the newborn receive a free gift. (From which he/she will probably have to pay dividends for a whole long after).

Traditional families, often persist in celebrating the Attainment Ceremony: were young Ferengi get to express their limitless greed by selling their most treasured possession for profit.. But this is generally only for show, as, even if a lobling (child) fails to exhibit enough avidity, every witness will be bribed to make sure that the whole event is seen as being a complete success.

The Legacy Chest: The gift every Ferengi father leaves behind for his son. With Ferengi being renowed for exploiting their relatives, the content of that chest is often surprising,

Plea Bargaining: This allows a Ferengi to give something in exchange for an item that's been taken away (for whatever reason) from them.

Submissive posture: Slight bow, face up: a position that Ferengi use when they are at a financial disadvantage.

On Ferenginar, when visiting a house, a guess traditionally pays one slip of latinum, and the host greets their visitor by saying: “My house is my house. As are its contents.”

They rub and press their noses together as a mark of affection, especially within family circle.

A traditional gesture to close a business consists in placing the back of their hand in contact with that of their trade partner, brushing against one another. Then they bring their palm on their own shoulders. This is a display of trust (during the duration of the contract) and distrust.

Ferengi equivalent of a handshake: They hold their wrists together, hands apart, with their fingers curled inward, in a grasping gesture.

Technology

With the Ferengi's habit to steal everything they need, very few technological discoveries have been made by them. They have nonetheless thrived in certain sectors, like the creaion of holosuites, synthetol, and the well known Corporate drink: Slug-o-Cola.

It is also surmised that the Ferengi acquired some technologies from the Cardassians whose borders aren't far off Ferengi space.

Economy

Ferengi live within a ruthless capitalist society, where free enterprise has become the accepted norm, and citizens indulge is what is known as 'pious consumerism', buying, selling and reselling a wide range of products manufactured by huge corporations that advertising their goods absolutely everywhere.

There are five stage of acquisition: Infatuation, Justification, Appropriation, Obsession, and resale. Failing in any of those steps is a sure recipe for financial disaster.

The currency on Ferenginar is the Gold Pressed Latinum, (a specially treated metallic compound, said to be impossible to replicate or counterfeit). It exists in several denominations: a slip, a strip, a bar, a brick and a nugget. 20 strips make a bar.

Military

Although Ferengis aren't a warlike people, they nonetheless have a Fleet, and ranks too; bearing in mind that those are often bought, and not earned.

  • Daimon: equivalent of a Federation Captain
  • GuiMon: equivalent of a Federation Admiral
  • GuiMon-in-Chief: Supreme Commander of the Ferengi Fleet, who only answers to the Grand Nagus and the highest regulators of the FCA.

To protect and defend its business interest, the FCA uses D'Kora-class marauders. Those are as powerful as a Galaxy-class starship, but with only half as many crew.

Federation Intelligence Files

References