|Date of birth:||2260|
|Status:||Alive and well.|
A prominent horse rancher outside of Mercedes, Texas. Raised on the Krauss family ranch, Eric would go on to make a name for himself trading cattle, doing business in the towns of Mercedes and Nuevo Progreso, and becoming the current head of the Falfurrias Brahmin Rancher's Association.
Eric was born on April 14, 2260, at the Krauss Family ranch on the windswept plains of South Texas outside of Mercedes to Martha and Frank Krauss. Eric's parents spent much of his childhood teaching him the family trade of horse rearing and raising Brahmin, through which the Krauss family's ancestors had made their fortune with after the Great War. Alongside being a rancher, Frank worked as a dentist in the nearby town of Mercedes and would often take Eric into town with him, setting up shop in the town Mercado and having his son act as his assistant. Eric would spend much of his youth working alongside his father, ripping decayed teeth and molars out of the mouths of vaqueros, developing a great distaste for dentistry in the process. When not accompanying his father, Eric would help his mother, who was a trained veterinarian, in caring for the livestock and became rather adept at rangling and corralling cattle. He would become rather skilled at horseback riding and lassoing cattle that he would eventually go on to compete in the annual Mercedes rodeo, winning first prize his third year.It was at the rodeo that he would meet a young Mexican girl named Angelica, Eric immediately became enamored with her and when not helping out at the ranch, would spend his time with her at her family's cantina in Mercedes. Eventually, Eric stoked up enough courage to ask Angelica out, and much to his elation she accepted, choosing to dine at a nearby diner. The two dated for several years, and when Eric was eighteen and Angelica nineteen, Eric asked for her hand in marriage, an offer she gladly accepted, and her shotgun totting father begrudgingly agreed to. They were married not two weeks later, and four weeks later Angelica gave birth to their first child, Austin. The young couple lived on the Krauss family ranch for a few years, with Eric and Frank constructing a cabin at the back of the property for the two, and eventually moved into the family home when Frank and Martha retired to Mercedes.Taking up the ranching operation, Eric quickly found himself overwhelmed by his work, and despite help from Frank and Angelica's father, Ramon, he soon found himself in need of some extra hands. He hired three experienced ranch hands and promptly put them to work moving the cattle and horses to their buyers as well as corralling them on the ranch itself.
However, Eric's woes were to continue, as the local market was flooded by a Longhorns from the town of Matamoros, driving down the price of Brahmin causing Eric to lose thousands in lost profits. To compensate for his losses, Eric began selling cattle up North in Falfurrias and further west in Nuevo Leon, more than making up his losses as his cattle quickly came to dominate the local markets. Yet moving cattle out west incurred a great number of extra costs and Eric yearned to have the nearby markets of Mercedes back. Thus Eric turned to the only people he could in this situation, the Falfurrias Brahmin Rancher's Association.
Eric's family had joined the Falfurrias Brahmin Ranchers Association since the organizations inception. Frank Krauss, Eric's father, had fought in the Brahmin Rancher-Cattleman Range war back in 2259, serving alongside the infamous Bad Tom Baxter. However Frank had come back from the war scarred by his experiences and spent the rest of his days decrying the Falfurrian ranchers and especially condemning his former leader, Bad Tom Baxter. Yet it was only through the Brahmin Ranchers Association that Eric could've gotten the help he needed to retake the lost markets. During the weekly meeting of the Falfurrias Association in the town courthouse, Eric brought forth his plea, calling on his fellow ranchers to flood the town of Mercedes and Nuevo Progreso with cheap Brahmin, sold at half the usual price. The idea being, they would sell the cheaper Brahmin and thus drive down the price of Longhorns and either drive the local ranchers out of business or force them to cut their prices even lower.
The Association's members agreed, and the next day several herds of Brahmin set off towards the town of Mercedes, arriving the next day in the town's market. They told the foreman that their asking price was 50 pesos or 100 caps per head. For weeks the Brahmin ranchers flooded the town's market, selling off cattle by the dozen, and yet the Longhorns remained, the local ranchers could afford to cut their prices, as their operating expenses were lower and their product being of a superior quality naturally attracted enough customers to cover their costs. Meanwhile the Brahmin Ranchers had to face a net loss as time went on, with many having to take out loans from the Association to cover their costs. Eventually a few of the Brahmin Ranchers, many of them old timers who fought the Mexicans in 2259, decided enough was enough, they were going to run the cattlemen off rather than out bidding them. They hired bands of comancheros and mercenaries as they had back in 2259, and sent them after the cattlemen.
The weeks drew long, and each night as the sun was setting the ranchers on the outskirts of Mercedes watch the horizon wearily, waiting for the inevitable appearance of another band of raiders. The attacks on the town's ranchers quickly sparked controversey in Mercedes, as the Mercedes Sheriff's department organized posses to hunt down the men who had attacked the town. This started what would become to be known as the Mercedes Range War, as the Brahmin rancher's hired guns and Mercedes' lawmen fought over the town's cattle herds. Eventually, after several months of killings of cattlemen, the remaining Longhorn ranchers, fearing for their lives, evacuated the Mercedes, fleeing across the river to the area around Nuevo Progreso.
Falfurrias Brahmin Rancher's Association
Due to his role in the Mercedes Range War, and the resulting recapturing of the Mercedes market, Eric became a recognized member of the Falfurrias Brahmin Rancher's Association. Thus at the age of twenty-two, with the support of the Mercedes area brahmin ranchers, he ascended to a position on the Association's executive council. From there he helped guide the Association in moving herds down to Nuevo Progreso, in direct violation of the Matamoros accord, signed at the end of the Brahmin Rancher-Cattlemen War between the Mexican cattlemen and Texan brahmin rancher. However, most sales of brahmin were to Comancheros, who usually used the beeves for sustenance, with no real plans to raise herds, and most lawmen south of Rio Grande assumed the comancheros had simply rustled the brahmin off of Texan ranchers, rather than there actually being any legitimate transactions. Eventually word made it back to the Valle Hermoso Cattlemen's Association, who immediately sent a posse of Rangers to run the brahmin dealers and their men out of Mexico, not wanting the cheap brahmin to under cut the price of Longhorns. By the time the brahmin dealers were run off, Eric had been voted as the new chairman of the Falfurrias Association.
As of present, Eric is the head of the Falfurrias Brahmin Rancher's Association. Despite their historic dislike for one another, Eric is interested in cooperating with the Mexican cattlemen, mainly in enforcing the Matamoros Accord's provision of preventing Mexican cattlemen from moving their herds to the markets of The Corpse Coast. He has brought the Krauss family to the forefront of the Falfurrias Association, and they currently sit alongside the other powerful brahmin families: The Armstrongs, Castros and McBeths, at the head of the Corpse's cattle market.
Appearance & Personality
Eric is not a very imposing person, his stature and weight put at a severe disadvantage if he were ever to find himself in a game of fisticuffs. However what he lacks in sheer muscle he makes up for with the .38 Dama he packs in his back pocket, and the knife in his boot. Typically he will wear a pair of jeans and a workshirt, typical for his rancher lifestyle, this he will usually wear under a hefty leather coat, which he uses to disguise his slim physique from any would be assailants. He sports a pair of black Lucchese western work boots, and will typically keep a stetson of varying color upon his head.
Eric isn't too concerned about his slim stature, he really has no need for fighting as he is quite capable of talking his way out of problems. From a young age, Eric was a very charismatic young man, always able to win people over through his silver tongue, and handsome features, often able to win people over with a witty comment and a flash of his grin. However the years have begun to wear on Eric and his face is now lined and creased, with dark splotches being very apparent beneath his eyes. He has also grown a rather rough beard.
- "The town of Mercedes is my turf, stay off it."
- ―Eric to a Mexican vaquero.