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- Site Plot -
Welcome to the year 2820Journey to the Stars began in the year 2819.
After travelling for 634 years across dark space, the Hyperion Ark finally reaches its designated golden world, only to find it’s not at all what they expected. An energy cloud known as the scourge has all but destroyed what could have potentially been their new home.
The Nexus hasn’t fared any better. It’s been 4 years since their own arrival, and no exploration or Arks to show for it. In that time a year-long rebellion broke out, ending with all rebellion supporters being killed or exiled. Krogen left shortly after that due to promises being broken for their assistance. Leadership is all but dead, supplies are at their lowest, everything is a colossal mess, and now it’s just whoever has the guts to step up has taken over.
This is where you come in.
JTTS has a very different take on Andromeda where we want the characters you create to further the site’s overall plot and development. Go off and do your own thing or join in on the missions issued by the Nexus. Take on a canon or fill the same role with an original of your own. Whether you’re a pathfinder, exile, leader, scientist or bartender you’ll have free reign over your own story.
We’re here to build a home, together.
- Timeline -
The journey so far...History and any key milestones for the site will be posted in here. This will grow as the site progresses. We have both Mass Effect: Andromeda game plots and also some more AU storylines cropping up! The latest year on the list is the most recent story progressions. Just remember you aren't restricted to that year, you can play wherever you want in the listed timeline!
Year 2185► The first wave of Arks were deployed from the Milky Way to Andromeda consisting of the Nexus, Ark Hyperion, Ark Leusinia, Ark Natanus, and Ark Paarchero.
Year 2186► Ark Keelah Si'yah was expected to launch not long after the first wave. It had been delayed due to the needed work to make it a sustainable biological environment for multiple species on board once they were in Andromeda. They fled the Milky Way with the grave news that Reaper forces have started their assault on Earth and Palaven. A few undesirable species have also managed to find their way onboard.
Year 2744► The kett invasion of the Heleus Cluster began and disrupted the rebuilding of angaran civilization. No angaran records of first contact with the kett survive, and so the exact circumstances of how the angara were overwhelmed are muddled.
► The few details of the early years of the invasion indicate that the kett played the angara against each other, making overtures of peace and trade to one angara world, assassinating the leadership of another, and ignoring a third. This led a period of infighting among the angara, which the kett took advantage of to solidify their occupation. By the time the angara realized who the true enemy was, their military and space fleet had been destroyed.
► Multiple angaran resistance movements were established to battle the kett, but saw little success until 2814, when Evfra de Tershaav reorganized them into the Angaran Resistance, headquartered on Aya.
Year 2815► The Nexus arrived in Andromeda ahead of the Arks to begin setting up for their arrival. They hit scourge which killed off many of their original leaders. New ones take their place but management is a mess for the longest time.
► Supplies start to dwindle and any attempts of gathering new resources are quickly dampened by the scourge and problems faced planetside with the Kett and unexpected environments. Not the golden worlds they had been promised.
► The Arks do not arrive in the expected one year timeframe, searches are done but they are stopped after a year due to the lack of resources. After a few failed attempts of establishing an outpost on Eos, they begin downsizing to make what reserves they do have last longer.
Year 2816► The rebellions in the Nexus began, mainly caused by the announcement of a forced cryo sleep. The lack of resources was also a major concern for residents, leading them to question whether or not they'd ever wake up again. The uprising continued throughout the year.
► To try and control this, the council had brought the Krogan out of cryo and a deal was made for their assistance. Should they help fix this, they would have gained more political power. Krogans dealt with it using violence. The deaths were exponential and caused many more from the Nexus to join the exiles. Council dismissed any claims of a deal ever being established, so the Krogan left soon after too. [ Read more here ]
Year 2817► The exiles have taken over Kadara after a fight against the Kett. Sloane and her faction known as the Outcasts have control of the port. The angara which reside there are considered traitors to their kind, making them exiles too. The economy there has been growing steadily ever since.
► The political conflict between the Outcasts and Collectives on Kadara has been steadily growing. The Outcasts currently hold control over Kadara and don’t see the Collectives as much of a threat. Other smaller factions have been regrouping out in the badlands.
Year 2818► Krogan have established their own colony on Elaaden, they call it New Tuchanka. Angara still control water supplies.
Year 2819► Ark Hyperion arrived and hit the scourge. Habitat 7 is classified as uninhabitable and official first contact between those representing the Hyperion Ark and the Kett was started. Sara Ryder took over as the human pathfinder after Alec Ryder's demise due to a power surge in the planets vault.
► Fixing part of the vault cleared some of the scourge enough for the Hyperion to redirect to the Nexus. Scott Ryder comes out of his coma just after they arrive there.
► Ark Keelah Si'yah arrives and was trapped in a pocket of scourge, essentially trapped. They had no way of contacting the outside world due to onboard conflicts between the Quarians and discovered Geth. The ships onboard AI, SAM, had been dismantled to keep it from getting into the hands of the Geth.
Year 2820► Rescue efforts were made once the quarian ark was discovered. Geth were immediately exiled to Kadara. Their claims of being benefactors for the Initiative project were dismissed, any authority that would have known are gone. All pathfinders are currently using the SAM node on the Hyperion Ark. [ Read more here ]
► No other Arks outside of the Hyperion and Keelah Si'yah have yet been found. Emergency stasis pods have started being discovered on other planets though.
► Nexus was attacked by the Roekaar using a virus which formed an algae in their water supplies. It contaminated everyone but was especially fatal to non-human species. Over the next month the Nexus was in lockdown attempting quarantine and damage control, more than half of their population succumbed to the virus. With the help of the residents of Kadara, and also strengthening the alliance with the Angaran, a cure was obtained and remaining residents are given regular injections until the algae is cleared. [ Read more here ]
► While the Nexus was under lockdown, Sloane took advantage of the outposts and wiped them out for more supplies to go towards Kadara Port. While she was away an uprising between factions had started. So far Sloane has managed to hold onto the throne. (This will be developed further in the future so that OOC factions can run Kadara port - get your own faction ready for a fight!)
- Joining the site -
We're excited to have you join us!Before applying, please fully read this guidebook to understand the basics of the site. We hope this place will be a good fit for you, no harm in trying right? Be sure to check the character or face you're wanting is available in our face claims.
As always, thank you so much for taking an interest in what we have to offer here. It's so damn heartwarming for us to see everyone writing and having a good time. YOU FUEL US TO DO BETTER, KAY. Soppy moment over - don't be shy to come to us with questions. We get how intimidating starting a new site can sometimes be, and we'll try our best to get you into the swing of things and make you feel welcomed and loved!
CREATING A CHARACTER> Please register with your characters name using regular case, for example "Scott Ryder". Registered names will vary depending on species. For example, the krogan have their clan name at the beginning "Nakmor Kesh", and kett use just first name basis like "Cardinal". We don't use OOC accounts here!
> Have a read over the [ application format ] and post your application in [ this area ]. Once it's completed, post a reply in your application to let us know. You can also tell us in the cbox or on Discord.
> Use the characters full name in the topic title, then 'Species / Character Age / Alias (OOC Name)' in the topic description.
> Posting up claims while the applications is a WIP will automatically reserve that character for you. The application will not be accepted until all claims are done. Reservations will last 2 weeks.
> All applications get put into a pending status first to ensure final touches outside of the application are done. If your application is in pending for longer than a couple of days please notify the staff ASAP. Sometimes we get sidetracked!
> Go and post up a shipper for your character to start plotting once they're approved. Nobody is opposed to having ideas thrown into their plotter for character interaction and this is the easiest way to get plots going. We do have a shipper & reply template but it's optional to use, can find another one if you prefer! A lot of our members prefer using the plotting section in our discord chat, so consider taking advantage of that too!
Pending ApplicationsOnce staff have read over your completed application and given it the thumbs up, it will be moved into pending. This is the final step to being approved! To get out of pending, complete the following:
> Fill out your mini profile and add an avatar in [ settings ].
> Post in all of our [ claims threads ] - face claims / occupations / member directory.
That's it, you're ready to play! Once you're done, post a reply in your application and tag staff using @[their name] - staff alias' are listed below. Additionally you can also let us know in the chats!
Things to know> Check our handy FAQ below if you have any questions. Staff and members are always on hand to help you too!
> The application is freefrom and can be updated/edited even after you've been accepted. Just be sure to run any major plot changes by the staff first.
> Every new member is paired up with one of our older members on site who have signed up to be a mentor. Their role will be to support you in the first few weeks and help you feel at home here. Don't be shy to take advantage of their support! You can ask them anything!
> Check [ occupations claim ] for jobs or make up your own. It's also where ship information will be stored. Can join an existing ship or save up site credits to purchase your own.
> [ Ezgif ] is a super handy site where you can resize gifs/images - it doesn't host them for you though! Use imgur, nickpic, tinypic or some other image hosting site to save your things!
> Once you have an accepted character you can get a shiny colorful name set up in the cbox! We do solid colors or gradients. Just let an admin know what your color(s) should be! Giving us a hex code is best, but we can also do beautiful gradient surprises if you're
> Your board should be created the same time your first character gets approved, and will be found in [ member boards ]. Though to be honest, we sometimes miss this. Mainly because it's not something we need to do for additional characters that get approved. If you don't see one, hit up any of the staff to get that sorted. All your prompts will go in there, or really anything you want, it's your board after all!
- Canon Missions -
The journey continues...Below is a list of some of our active missions which have been given canon endings through characters on site completing threads for them. The missions themselves are still available to play and redo for XP and funsies, but the ones listed below are canon and how they will be known for everyone else plot-wise.
If we're missing your canon ending to a mission from this list, please notify the staff on Discord! We'll need a link to your thread and a short summary of what went down. Thank you!
Mission #07 - Turning against one anotherA deserted kett ship was discovered and an APEX team was issued to investigate.
Mission #12 - Who said it'd be easy?With the first outposts on Eos and Voeld being established, the Nexus have allowed another batch of cryopods to be opened. Unfortunately for them, they didn't foresee one being a Krogan. Still groggy from the long sleep and having just found out the majority of their species are no longer on the Nexus, the battlemaster went on a rampage. If it wasn't for
Mission #13 - Wanna play a game?Three seemingly randomly chosen people found themselves waking up to a nightmare when they realized they'd been kidnapped to play some sickening games for their lives. Teaming up;
Mission #22 - Help to plan new travel routes in space!With the need to chart courses through the Scourge and so few volunteers for such an arduous task, one ship was willing to take the necessary risk. The SS Horizon answered the call and set out to make sure no other ships fell prey to the anomaly. Under the leadership of captain
Mission #36 - In theory, this pet thresher maw plan had been solidAfter being contacted by an ally on Kadara with news that could be a danger to both the exiles and the outpost on the planet itself,
A short Nomad ride was interrupted by outlaws who wanted to try and steal from them, which they quickly learned how outmatched they were. Finally the Thresher Maw made its appearance and the two had a tough battle to bring it down, but a last minute dangerous and possibly crazy idea from Shaw proved to be the end of the Thresher Maw, which was eventually dragged back to the port to be cut up and given to the port as an extra meat source. [ Read more here ]
Mission #39 - Every fight is a food fight when you're a cannibalSecurity on Kadara Port screwed up and wrongfully exiled a woman to the badlands.
Mission #41 - Serendipity? To a great mind, nothing is little.
Upon seeing the ship model, Liara threw it away and returning to their vehicle to have an angry fit, which quickly turned into sadness. Wrex kept the ship model and the data pad for Liara to study once she calmed down. They then drove to a view where they saw the Abyssal. [ Read more here ]
- Your Staff -
Don't be fooled, we're always breaking shit.The staff team for Journey to the Stars is here to help you! The aim is to build a large enough staff team so that duties can be distributed in a way which allows plenty of time for each staff member to enjoy the site.
It's our view that staff are just members which do a little more to keep the forum maintained. So making time for roleplaying is as much of a priority for them as it is making sure everyone in the community is enjoying themselves. We want this to be a safe and fun space for everyone.
Aurora AKA Nexus (Admin)Hey! I'm Aurora but often just go by Rora. I adore sci-fi and it was super sad to see the lack of Mass Effect sites going on, so decided
The staff and members we have on the board are seriously just the icing on the cake, or basically the whole cake and we're the icing. Actually, they're pretty much the icing too. What I'm trying to say is that you guys are so damn amazing and I fricking love you.
...oh yeah, this was meant to be about me, wasn't it? WELL TOO BAD SUCKAS, get to know me through discord shenanigans and delicious drama-fueled plots. I'm a hoe for romance, comedy and angst. Wiggling my plotter at you!!
Mo AKA Nexus (Admin)Mo is my name, and awkward is my game! I love Mass Effect, coding, and anything Batman. Plot, ask questions, honestly I'm here for whatever you need! ❤︎ Oops, I did it again.
Ellie AKA Initiative (Mod)Hola, my name is Ellie! I am one of the Elder Ones. I am a huge fan of Mass Effect, especially the asari. I am not even joking, I think they have me under their mind control, help!
No but for real, I'm an easy going person who is open to any type of plot. I mainly focus on keeping the marketplace updated. I am also a lore whore so if you need any character ideas or have questions about Mass Effect in general, haul me up! Here's my plotter!
Gallant AKA Oracle (Mod)Such a curious wanderer you are, what hath brought you upon these parts? Fear not, it is no bother. Gallant is the name, lore and cryptics are the game. I've been following the Mass Effect universe since its inception of pre-release in mid-late 2007, and have since assimilated the ensuing books, comics, and downloadable content to take in their stories.
Although I may come off as a bit intimidating at times, my door is always open should you ever have a question in regards to the universe itself, or one pertaining to Cerberus -- something I have a passion for within the universe due to how easily it is misunderstood as villains, rather than the intended antihero role it was designed as. Please do not hesitate to approach me.
I also keep an eye on the Remnant Puzzles, and am currently working on producing more when I have the free time. If you enjoy logic or Sudoku-like games, we may yet well get on rather well. In other time, I try to keep an eye on applications to ensure lore consistency where I can amidst my limited free time.
Welcome to Journey to the Stars, and I wish you the best during your stay here! Down the rabbit hole.
Majora AKA SAM (Mod)Well hello there, you seem to be lost, no? Well then I guess you need to know who I am then, am I right? Of course I am. My name is Majora, and yes I am who you think I am, and try not to touch the spikes, they do poke rather hard. I am an Elder One, and I have been a fan of Mass Effect since the game first came out. I've played each game on multiple plays but never going from being Paragon. I'm a huge fan of Star Trek, Star Wars, Fantasy in general, including D&D where my favorite race is Tiefling and preferred class is Cleric or Artificer.
My duty around the board is to read over and accept Bio's for characters, so impress me please, I like detail and thought out characters. I'm also a huge fan of biotics, space magic is pretty fun to have if you know how to use it. I also generally do most of the claims, keeping things clean, making them tidy, and helping out members when they need it. Though I warn you now, it might cost you your soul.
So far I've only created human characters but I love the lore and creation of most of the alien species of the Mass Effect universe, so if you ever need help hit me up. Also take a look at my dudes, we are legion.
Orchid AKA Harbinger (Mod)I’m Orchid, the resident Spacemom of JTTS! I’ve been roleplaying on forums since late 2015 and got my start way back when during the Neopet days. Yeah, remember those? I’m addicted to slurpees, crime shows, video games, and shopping. The resident Spacemom, I’m here to listen to problems both site related and otherwise. Trust me, I’m Harbinger.
An animal lover, I’m always finding stray cats to feed and love. Currently I’ve got three cats of my own who I wouldn’t trade for anything, Greywind, Fenris, and Tali’Zorah nar Rayya. -waves my fandom flags everywhere-
I’m always down for plots, threads, and being tempted into new characters! Don’t worry, I don’t bite! For all I'm worth.
Pat AKA Legion (Mod)Hiya, i’m Pat, your friendly neighborhood staff member. My interest in The mass Effect series started with the third game but i’ve played all of them, so I know a few things about the universe. Always had an interest in writing and Sci-fi has a close place in my heart, especially the kind of Sci-fi that can get a little over the top.
Looking over apps is mostly what I do, and occasionally helping putting things in order to make sure everything around the site is running smoothly. If anything needs done and it looks like no one else is around, you’ll likely find me available to help. My normal job in layman's terms boils down to looking over applications, approving XP and purchases as well occasionally answering lore questions.
I look forward to helping everyone around here! A song in my heart and a chip on my shoulder.
- Frequently Asked Questions -
Never played Mass Effect, can I join?While JTTS and its timeline is set in a more customized version of the game Mass Effect: Andromeda, some familiarity with the franchise and actual game plot would be useful but absolutely not necessary!
We do have a handful of members on site already which have never played and get along just fine using the mission prompts or lore from other members to help them along the way. The Mass Effect: Andromeda Wikia holds an expanse of information at your disposal too!
HOW DOES TIME AND TIMELINES WORK?So far we have progressed to the year 2820. Time such as hours in a day, or months in a year, will vary from planet to planet. However, the Nexus and their ships will run on a default 24-hour pattern. The angaran calendar also uses a seven day week. The days are named Sabay, Tef, Vaa, Ema, Roa, Fev, and Bav.
As for the timeline of the site, it's more fluid. There's a set order to events and plots that go on, but your character can be in multiple threads and places at any point in the current timeline. As long as your ability permits, you can have many simultaneous threads! We'll post in the site missions any upcoming main plot developments for your character to participate in so don't miss out!
People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but *actually* from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint - it's more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly... time-y wimey... stuff.
CAN I JOIN IF I AM UNDER 18 YEARS OF AGE?Yes you can, just as long as you let your fellow roleplayers know before writing any mature content. Not everyone will be comfortable doing so, so please respect their choice.
IS THERE ANY RESTRICTIONS FOR A GENDER OR SPECIES OF A CHARACTER I MAKE?
Please try to do as much research yourself into these as you can, though we don't expect you to be an expert or anything.
As for ratios, you're free to pick and choose whatever gender or species you want to play. We won't be restricting what you can make. Just as long it's from the available species and ties into their respective lore. Same goes for occupations. If the characters history leading up to their current job is logical, and ties into the Mass Effect universe nicely, then we'll allow it.
We have no plans to introduce any other species just yet, but could always be a future possibility. There's a fair few other site tasks we need to work on before that though.
I CAN PLAY AS THE FREAKING KETT?!Hell yes, you can! We love members who enjoy playing as an antagonist. The more conflict the better! We believe there is a whole lot of plot potential with a played Kett over an NPC. So many possibilities, just remember to do your research about them! Below are the types of Kett you can play:
CAN I MAKE MY OWN ORIGINAL SPECIES?Sadly, no. Creating a whole lore for an entirely new species is long and complicated. So for the time being we'll just be sticking with what we know. You can, however, headcanon some locations, worlds, animals, npcs and the like.
WHAT HAPPENED TO THE MILKY WAY GALAXY?As it stands currently, we have no canon ending for the original Mass Effect trilogy. Though we expect as the site progresses this will change. Reapers were just a rumor when the initiative left, communications stopped with the Milky Way on route to the new galaxy, and the final comm logs are encrypted/inaccessible in SAM node.
The Quarian Ark which has been discovered in 2820 which brings news of Reapers attacking Earth and Palaven. The fate of the Milky Way will be left to the characters thoughts and opinions. Some may be optimistic, others not so much.
WHAT ARE MISSIONS? HOW DO I EARN CREDITS, XP, AVP OR SP?The Nexus will issue missions, similar to writing prompts, which can be threaded out with your character and others. This is where you will find game missions and also some of our own AU missions. Some missions will directly affect the sites plot development depending on what your character does. You can find all active missions available in the Mission Logs forum.
This can be viewed by registered members, we have more than 40 missions available to pick up and play. Should be something for everyone! Missions will also be a way for your character to earn Credits, Experience (XP), Andromeda viability points (A.V.P.) and skill points (SP). More information on each can be found in the features tab above.
TL;DR Credits are automatically given when posting. You can collect experience points by completing threads and other things. A.V.P is automatically added once XP has been claimed, and lastly, skill points are gained when you level up or purchased them in the Merchants Kiosk.
Can I live on my own planet?
We are currently in the process of creating planetary guidelines along with turning a habitable world into a team effort which should be more achievable. Hold onto your credits and watch this space!
What size ship can I make?Anything Tempest size or smaller is fine by us. You'll see over in the conduct tab we explain some of the regulations we have in regards to resources, cybernetics, technology and AI. You'll find it at the bottom of the roleplaying section.
Can I leave the Heleus Cluster?Short answer: Yes and no, but mostly no. The Heleus Cluster consists of thousands of stars and solar systems. The Initiative had pinpointed a group of ideal 'golden worlds' which were planets that had the most resources, but they've barely scratched the surface of what the rest of the cluster has to offer.
As of right now getting to other areas of the galaxy and returning again is physically impossible since there's no such thing as mass relays like we had back in the Milky Way, and there's no guarantee of finding the needed resources to travel back. Travelling between worlds in the cluster (as well as avoiding the scourge) can take weeks sometimes - if not months. Refueling and maintenance is necessary. We're keeping the plot strictly to the Heleus cluster for the time being and expanding outwards once we've covered the majority of game plots.
That being said, the Kett had figured out a way to get to the cluster so they do have the technology, but it's not yet available to obtain. Does mean we have wiggle room to expand on this in the future though!
How can I travel if I don't have my own ship?Magic, basically. We're not strict on this. We don't expect your character to be stuck in one place if they don't own a ship or nomad. Get creative!
They could always have hitched a ride from supply cargos which go between places, or even asked for a ride on another players ships (could make for a fun plot). Maybe they got stationed somewhere as part of their job and a ride came with it. It's totally up to you if you want to roleplay out this element or not. Just don't expect Tann to chauffeur you anywhere.
Pretty much all characters are unrestricted on travelling, owning your own ship probably makes it a tad easier to do so.
Would my character be able to be one of the secret benefactors?So this was one of the few unfinished DLC's of Mass Effect:Andromeda which never gave us a conclusion. On site we've put in our own take of this already. Geth had been the benefactors for the whole thing to ensure their own survival by planning the move to Andromeda.
Geth understand the importance of being stronger together so it was logical for them to introduce known species to Andromeda too. If their calculations are correct, there should have been enough space and resources for all to live comfortably.
Alec Ryder and Jien Garson were two of the few which knew of this secret. Since most that knew are gone, the Geth benefactor claims are widely rejected and dismissed. They were exiled to Kadara. You can read more about this in [ History of the Quarian Ark ].
Site cultureOur vision is to be a relaxed site where characters progress and develop at your own pace. We believe you get out of roleplay whatever you put into it. So stuff like putting time and thought into creating a relatable character will make them more interesting, posting in plotters (or in discord) will make others want to plot with you more, throwing out a couple of open threads will set the bait for others to bite and so on.
The site as a whole will be more receptive to new members who make an effort to socialize, build connections, and basically show they are intending to stick around. Often in roleplay, people create characters but disappear soon after. It's natural for anyone to be wary of this, so showing genuine interest will bring that interest back around to you. We'll also do our best to make you feel welcomed and included here.
I do want to stress though, nothing kills a muse faster than being pestered into replying. When we say relaxed paced we mean it, and some members will take this very literally. Patience is a must for this site. Try to look for members which suit your pace of writing better if this frustrates you. Life gets in the way sometimes and we respect that the site can't always be a priority for people. Communication is key!
Be respectful to othersWe’re all here for our love of sci-fi and Mass Effect, so please try to keep drama and angst strictly to character plots. Do your part to keep the community happy and healthy. We don’t expect you to like everyone, but be smart about how you handle it. You don't need to interact or plot with them. You're entitled to choose who you write with.
At no point should it be seen as acceptable to treat any member or guest in a harassing, demeaning, or hostile manner. Negativity and personal arguments have no place on the forum or in our chats.
Come and talk to staff if you need help navigating a situation, or want to bring something to our attention. We want everyone to have a good time. Just keep in mind this is a hobby for us all, staff included.
Registering an accountBoth canon and original characters are allowed. Before registering please check claims to see who's available. An OOC account is not needed, we only use character accounts. When registering please use correct capitalization: eg. Scott Ryder. Krogans should have clan names before their own names. While we prefer if surnames were used, single named characters is fine too so long as the application is correctly filled out.
We don’t allow characters under the age of sixteen, or anything of a sexual nature (smut) for characters under the age of eighteen. Non-human species with shorter lifespans should be aged ten or above. We have no restrictions on genders or species.
There's no word count on postsWrite whatever length feels the most natural to you. Also try to be understanding that others may also write consistently more, or less, than you do. We don't expect people to meet other peoples word counts (but it's a nice gesture if you do!). You're completely within your right to not write with someone if you aren't enjoying the length of their posts. No need to force yourself into something. Do yourself a service and keep it as fun as you can. Writing shouldn't be a chore!
While that may be the case for site posts, we do expect the application to have enough information for us to understand your characters personality, history, flaws, or motives. In the past we've had characters join that have been overpowered with seemingly no reason or logic as to why they managed to get where they are. We really don't mind wild ideas but please give a reason behind them. There's a minimum of 1000+ words in the freeform to get your application approved. It's hefty we know, but this is the only time you will have a word limit. Once you're approved on site you're free to write as little or as much as you see fit!
Site graphics & using others artworkSite avatars are 250x400. The square image is 150x150 and the one hidden in the profile is 200x150 - but any size can be used as it will resize them for you. Just keep any images/gifs PG, nothing pornographic should be shared on site.
Please credit any artwork used in your accounts profile,. If the content was not created or commissioned by you, please get their permission to use! There's some wonderful members who would be willing to draw something for you, check out our [ Art & Graphics ] forum to see what's available.
Using chat & discordWe have a private 'off my chest' chat for those who want to freely rant about anything and everything. This is available for all members to join and participate, just contact one of the admins (Aurora or Mo) for access. Please try to keep all the other chats outside of this as positive as you can. We're here to have fun and want the main chats to reflect that!
Mature content is allowed! We love it!Journey to the Stars is rated as 3-3-3 on the RPG-Rating system. Anything you would consider to be mature content, please tag as [M] or [TW] in the thread title. This also includes any mature content on applications.
If you’re unsure that your content is 'safe for work' or not, tag it anyway as a precaution.
Also want to add, we're extremely LGBT+ friendly and have characters (as well as players) from all walks of life here. Surprisingly we've got a pretty amazing poly community going on within characters plots. Look for the multi-shippers!
Face claimsWe accept real-life celebrities, Mass Effect game characters, and artwork for face claims. Celebrity faces are used for human characters only. Any art used should be credited in the character's main profile and kept up to date. You can also create characters from the original Mass Effect trilogy, though you'll need to get creative when you explain why they joined the Initiative.
If you do play someone who knew Shepard, please try to be ambiguous about the commander. Officially on site they have no set gender, morals or background, so please don't canonize one.
Canon characters *Game series characters are available to play or NPC into a thread if they’re not being played by someone. If they do show up, please respect how a player represents them and their history. The canon occupations are also available for original characters to fulfill, just as long as they get admin approval and have a good reason as to why they've taken over the role.
For example, Director Tann could be NPC'd into threads or his role could be taken over with an original character (with staff approval). We won’t be following the game exactly as it is anyway, so it gives you plenty of freedom to create and play your own way. The leadership role for Kadara Port will be reworked soon to allow original factions a chance at it. We recommend you build up your faction with members now!
Check out [ face claims & canons ] to see who is currently taken!
* With the exception being Commander Shepard, EDI and Legion. They will remain unplayable.
Group threadsRoleplay works best with a posting order. In group threads, there may come a time that skipping a very slow or inactive member will become necessary to progress. This option is allowed, but it is advised to provide the skipped member an opportunity to rejoin the story by their next round before removing them from the adventure.
Alternatively, so long as it's agreed beforehand, the posting order can be a free for all for members to contribute as much or as little as they want to it with no order. This is more for those who thrive in chaos, you heathens.
No godmodding / powerplaying / metaplayingOur biggest pet peeve is handling another character without the players consent, especially when it comes to fights. We highly recommend communicating beforehand with your writing partner. This is to give you an idea of where you both want the thread to go, and keep an open line of communication on what you're comfortable with as the thread progresses. This should be done with every new writer you work with. You'll find that you can get comfortable with some writers and no longer need to check in to do things. Starting with consent and communication first will make for happy players and awesome threads all round!
This also needs to be taken into consideration for characters vs environment. Be it creatures or NPC enemies. Make it as realistic as you can. One or two characters aren't going to easily take down a team of enemies so make the struggle really happen! Show weakness! Your character doesn't need to win every battle, making them imperfect will bring about a more balanced storyline and development for them! Try to give your character a personal mission of their own and some flaws for them to overcome. Give them quirks, hobbies, pet peeves. Make them as realistic as you can so that they're interesting to play with.
Metaplaying refers to using player knowledge your character wouldn't have otherwise known. Sometimes events, missions and general plots might take an unexpected turn for your character. Very much like life in general, it isn't always going to go to plan, so try to roll with it! We're big on finding another way around the problem, so you can totally do that too.
Don't be shy to make use of NPCsRecurring NPC's (ex. Tann, Sloane) will be frequently mentioned or used in the Heleus News Service updates. You are free to include both canon and original NPC's into your threads, plots and applications. They are a great way to provide support or present conflict to move your characters development and story along. NPCs should not overshadow a player's character post in any given thread. The focus should always be on the character and NPCs used to supplement the plot.
SAM will be available as a playable NPC to all who have the implant or are aboard Nexus ships. During the game, only the main pathfinder had a deeper connection with SAM which gave them a private channel and melded SAM permanently into their mind (allowing them to stop and start the heart if needed). However on site, anyone who has SAM will have this opportunity. SAM is a fully sentient AI who works with whoever has his implant. It's a symbiotic relationship and SAM learns what it means to be organic through you.
Canon NPCs cannot be killed off unless admin approved. Please don't ruin the fun of using them for other players!
Character Power and Progression on siteWe have a leveling system in place, meaning your character will start as level one and will progress as they get more involved in the site. Higher leveled characters will be considered more powerful as they will have higher skills. The skills can be found on a characters main profile (by clicking their username). More about this is in the Features Tab.
The skill numbers themselves are arbitrary, basically just compare it to your current writing partner and the higher number means that character is better than most others at that specific skill. Having 50+ in a skill will not make you a god, it just means you'll likely be better at that skill than those you encounter.
Characters can be leveled by obtaining experience points, things like completing threads, missions and prompts will get you XP. Learn more about this in our features tab above.
Weapons, armor, and items are not regulatedWe have some items in our store to purchase such as a ship or a nomad, but anything else outside of store things are free to add to threads. All we ask is that you keep it reasonable and logical. Start with basics and build your character's stuff up through threads and plots. A level one character really shouldn't be running around in N7 armor taking down higher level characters and have an entire Nexus' supply of medigels in their closet.
Site Missions and PromptsMissions & prompts are available to view only to registered members.
We have a slew of missions available for your character to take on with a writing partner(s). Please ensure the mission number is clearly indicated in the thread title or description. It'll be on a 'first to complete' basis for getting your thread canonized as the official ending for that mission. Even if yours doesn't become canon you can still gain the rewards for completing it! Missions are available to redo even if they have a canon too.
Prompts work a little differently as they don't require a partner to complete and gain rewards. They are, however, a one time reward for each character that you have (as in the character can't redo the same prompt for another reward). The thread needs to be in your member board, and indicate it's a prompt somewhere in the title or description. Your prompts can be individual posts or all on one thread. These are awesome for character development and really digging into your characters head. The rest of us love to read it too!
Run big plots by staff firstAs in, anything which could massively affect future site plots will need to be given the okay by admins first. We're still following the game's timeline while adding in our own tweaks and quirks along the way to keep you on your toes. We have a good few plots in the works for events and pushing forward sites storyline. While we're totally open for members getting involved and helping to develop/change these plots, we don't appreciate people not communicating with the rest of the site and creating potentially plot-breaking threads.
I promise we're super chill here, and try to be as welcoming to new ideas as we can be. We do believe your characters are important and should have big roles in our site plots from time to time. Just please try to be a team player?
Artificial intelligence, cybernetics, technology & resourcesWe allow it all, just use your noggin to make it reasonable and logical. There's a few original AI's and other cool things on site to discover and interact with! Just keep in mind this is an entirely new galaxy that they've only just recently established in, and nothing is going right for them. Everyone will be barely scraping by and doing what they can to survive. No one is living comfortably yet.
General rule of thumb is nothing should be more powerful than current site canon things.
So this means no AI's better than SAM, no ships better than the Tempest, no technology or resources more advanced than what Nexus/Kadara/Angara currently have. As for cybernetics, they're considered crazy expensive in the game lore. We don't mind a limb or two replaced with good reason, just try to make it as realistic as you can. If you're more metal than flesh you're in for a bad time... unless you're geth!
Speaking of geth, Legion-like units are available to play but they cannot be completely sentient just yet. They're still a hive mind collective with other local units nearby them, together they're stronger as they can upload and share data. Work with that however you wish! There's a future plot planned for them to get the upgrade similar to the one in ME3. Please read up on the Quarian ark history to understand why the majority of their species were on board that ark.
We also have a skill perk available which allows characters to access a Remnant VI of their own. Just to be clear this only allows one observer accessible for the character to control. A character cannot create an army of robots as it would make it unbalanced for other characters. Rely on your skills and your team to take on obstacles!
AbsencesWe're all human at the end of the day. Family, work and life in general will sometimes take over. Your mental health and well-being should always take priority. This forum was created to be an outlet to blow off some steam and have fun. Taking breaks from writing is completely normal to do. On JTTS we try to be understanding and sympathetic.
Whatever your reason, let us know on our discord chat that you're not gone forever. We really appreciate being kept in the loop and genuinely do worry about you!
Activity ChecksWe aim to have an activity check once in a blue moon to clean up any inactive players & characters. Fear not! There is absolutely no requirements other than to post in the thread with the names of your characters.
This will show up in the Heleus News Service forum and we'll notify site members via Discord & site PM. You will get a heads up so they shouldn't come as a surprise. No post proofs required or anything like that. This is a relaxed site and try to keep our practices in sync with that!
When an activity check does show up it is absolutely mandatory to post. We give plenty of warning, they're not done often and it'll only take two minutes to do!
Archived CharactersIf you missed a check and your characters got archived, they will not be deleted and your threads will be kept in tact. Some might have been moved to the archives forum but you can dig them back up yourself and we'll move them back to an allocated forum at your request.
Since we have a character creation limit, you will only be allowed to bring back one character to start with. For the others after that you will need to repurchase character account slots as you would for any new character. We understand it can be frustrating but this is our way of ensuring activity is happening before more characters are added back to the site. We will allow you to reserve their faces for an extended period of time, if they haven't already been taken in that time you were gone. Just come talk to us!
Krogan Quarian Salarian Turian Volus Vorcha Yahg
General InformationBelow is about each of the different species that are playable on Journey to the Stars. We also recommend you have a read through [ this wikia ] for more information. A lot of what we've posted is about how the species acted back in the Milky Way. In Andromeda they were all originally part the Initiative, so would have had the same governing body and have been required to follow the same laws.
Don't be shy to do additional research on a species before playing. We understand some species, like the Angara and Kett, do not have as much as others. So creating some of our own history / cultures / lore will be necessary at some point.
The averages and home worlds listed are referring to the majority of that species, and what most NPCs encountered will be like. Although your character can go outside the norms, you do you.
Arrival of a speciesDifferent species arrived at different points in the timeline, so your characters 'starting' point in Andromeda will need to reflect that. For Angara and Kett they were already natives to Andromeda when the Initiative arrived, so no problems there. The majority of other species came in two specific waves.
These are playable from 2815 onwards if they arrived in the Nexus, or 2819 if they arrived with Ark Hyperion.
Keep in mind some of the other Arks are still unavailable. If you wanted your character from them, they could be discovered in an escape pod in a random location. That way they would have been from their species Ark but have no idea where it is.
These are playable from 2820 onwards and came together on the quarian Ark.
However, there are some exceptions where they could have arrived earlier if on another Ark (Geth/Vorcha/Yahg are excluded from this). Also keep in mind the other Arks wouldn't have established environments to support some species, such as the Quarians.
Origins: Havarl, Faroang System, Andromeda
Home worlds: Aya, Havarl, Kadara, & Voeld
Average Height: 5'8" - 7', males being slightly taller
Average Weight: 215 - 350lbs, males being heavier
Average Life Span: 60 - 100 years
Known Factions: Angaran Resistance & Roekaar
BiologyThe angara are warm-blooded mammals. They have a similar leg structure to a quarian, a salarian or a kett, along with relatively broad shoulders and narrow waists. They have two black eyes with blue irises, a single pair of nostrils, and folds of flesh on the sides of their heads that extend to their chests. Angara hands have the bone structure for five fingers, but the final three fingers on each hand are densely webbed together into a single digit. Angara are sexually dimorphic: male angara are taller than females, and females have wider hips and rounder faces. Skin colors feature various shades of blue or mauve, sometimes shading into green or tan. Their blood is deep blue in color.
They have different internal biology and taste buds to humans and other species. For example they are immune to the capsaicin used to spice most food, while finding the methyl anthranilate used in most candy cause a painful burning sensation.
Although all organisms produce a natural bioelectrical field, the angara produce an especially intense field and can exert fine control over it for purposes such as communication. Angara physiology is also dependent on sunlight, specifically the electromagnetic radiation that a sun emanates. Lack of real or artificial sunlight causes them to "go dark", which weakens their immune systems and bio-energy significantly. Prolonged lack of sunlight can lead to a coma and then death. To supplement their sunlight intake or provide a light source when natural light is not readily available, the angara make use of powerful ultraviolet lamps that give them both heat and light. The angara also seem to be resistant to cold, as some angara on Voeld prefer living there even more than Aya.
HistoryAccording to the angara, they were once a highly advanced species that originated on Havarl and spread to many worlds in the Heleus Cluster. An ancient site on Havarl known as the Forge holds the oldest pre-Scourge ruins known to the angara, and is regarded as the birthplace of their civilization. The appearance of the Scourge ruined the angara's worlds and sent their civilization into a pre-industrial dark age that lasted a century. The angara of five worlds, including Havarl and Voeld, eventually rediscovered spaceflight and reestablished communication with each other, finding that the centuries of isolation had created divergent cultures. The angara began to expand again, colonizing Kadara and Aya, and efforts were made to establish a new unified government for their species.
The kett invasion of the Heleus Cluster in 2744 disrupted the rebuilding of angaran civilization. No angaran records of first contact with the kett survive, and so the exact circumstances of how the angara were overwhelmed are muddled. The few details of the early years of the invasion indicate that the kett played the angara against each other, making overtures of peace and trade to one angara world, assassinating the leadership of another, and ignoring a third. This led a period of infighting among the angara, which the kett took advantage of to solidify their occupation. By the time the angara realized who the true enemy was, their military and space fleet had been destroyed. Multiple angaran resistance movements were established to battle the kett, but saw little success until 2814, when Evfra de Tershaav reorganized them into the Angaran Resistance, headquartered on Aya.
The arrival of the Andromeda Initiative, although welcomed by the Angaran Resistance, has provoked a faction of angara called the Roekaar. Founded by the charismatic Akksul out of resentment for the Resistance and hatred for the kett, the Roekaar are a xenophobic paramilitary force hostile to all non-angara. The Roekaar are officially disavowed by the Angaran Resistance.
Lost Colony WorldsThe Scourge disaster sent angaran civilization into a dark age. Records of their golden era of technological advancement and proliferation through space only survived as oral history, making it difficult to separate truth from legend. Nevertheless, angara believe they had colonized numerous planets across the cluster before the Scourge's devastation left them cut off from each other for centuries.
As isolated angaran worlds gradually rebuilt their technology and redeveloped space programs, the first mission was reestablishing contact with other lost colonies. A few such planets formed the coalition that now fights the kett. The question remains if more angaran worlds are still hidden by the Scourge, awaiting rediscovery. If they do exist, it's impossible to know what stage of development these worlds are at, what help they might offer against the kett, and whether they will accept the Initiative's presence in the Heleus Cluster.
CultureThe angara as a people are very free with their emotions, demonstrative and "larger than life". If they love you they hug you, if they hate you or if you make them mad, they punch you; this extends to their own family members. The angara are typically mistrustful of other races, which is understandable; the last outsiders they met were the kett and they have done nothing but attack and enslave the angara.
While they have only one true mother and father, the angara share their parents with the community. Their families are very large, consisting of multiple mothers and many siblings and cousins, and play an important role in their lives.
The angaran calendar uses a seven day week. The days are named Sabay, Tef, Vaa, Ema, Roa, Fev, and Bav.
ReligionSpirituality plays an important role in angaran life, and angaran children are raised from their first moments to follow their family's spiritual traditions. Within most angaran faith systems, there are deities to fear or worship, and focus is placed on personal growth and the betterment of the soul. All angara are taught the importance of meditation and quiet contemplation. One common teaching is that "the soul can be heard when the mind is still."
Angara also believe that the growth of a soul continues after death, through rebirth. From cultural exchanges and angaran spiritual texts, most - if not all - angara appear to believe in reincarnation. When a person dies, they are reborn within the same family. A good act performed in one life contributes to greater enlightenment into the next. The importance place on different types of good acts deems to vary from planet to planet, and even from family to family. For instance, some angara may value acts of heroism, others, acts of compassion. The variety appears limitless.
LanguageAngaran linguists describe between 200-300 "public" languages across their combined settlements. When accounting for "family" languages, spoken privately and passed down over generations, the number climbs rapidly into the thousands.
The language used by most angara across the Heleus Cluster is Shelesh, a lingua franca that was commonly used in the early days of angaran spaceflight before fading into obscurity. New connections between angaran settlements, and constant evolution of languages since their separation, means it has now seen a revival. Sources say "Shelesh" originally meant "to barter for the moon," apparently a joke or pun around the idea of trading between interstellar colonies.
TechnologyConsidering their civilization endured both the immense disaster of the Scourge and the brutal Kett invasion, Angara possess remarkably advanced technology. Their starships, while generally small and bare-bones functional, are more than capable of keeping pace with Andromeda Initiative vessels. Angara used advanced communications and computer systems that have quickly adapted to interface with Milky Way devices, helping to smooth through some of the technological hurdles of first contact.
When it comes to personal technology, Angara have focused primarily on defensive and offensive innovations. Their weapons and armor are impressive enough to garner approval from Krogan who have witnessed them in battle, and are designed to work seamlessly with the innate Angaran control over electromagnetism. The Angara are in turn fascinated by Milky Way omni-tools, and have already begun experimenting with the technology for their own use.
The angara have also had decades to study kett technology first-hand. If relations remain cordial, this technological knowledge may become invaluable.
Origins: Thessia, Parnitha System, Milky Way
Home worlds: Nexus & Kadara
Average Height: 5'7" - 6'2"
Average Weight: 120 - 170lbs
Average Lifespan: 1000 - 1200 years
BiologyAsari resemble humans in terms of basic skeletal structure with five digits on each hand and foot that are relatively straight (certainly in comparison to species like quarians and turians). This similarity allows asari to wear human armor. A typical asari has a blue to purple complexion, though a teal complexion is possible albeit seemingly rare. Some asari, such as Matriarch Lidanya, Matriarch Benezia, Liara T'Soni, and Tela Vasir have facial markings, which are unique colored patterns that vary for every asari. Some of these facial markings resemble the eyebrows that humans have, but the asari do not think of the markings as such themselves. In the place of head hair, asari possess semi-flexible, cartilage-based scalp-crests that grow into shape. These structures are rigid, and do not "flop around" as some believe. Asari have navels as well as breasts that continue to grow with age. Asari also have a robust cellular regenerative system; while they do not heal faster than other species, they are known to reach over 1000 years of age. This long lifespan is rivaled only by the krogan. Asari can see ultraviolet at the short-wavelength end of the spectrum. Asari blood is purple.
There is some conflicting information regarding the gender of the asari. Asari are a mono-gendered species with no concept of gender differences. According to Liara, "male and female have no real meaning for us," and, if asked, says that she is "not precisely a woman." At the same time, asari are often viewed as an all-female race, including by the Codex and by the Galactic Codex: Essentials Edition 2183. To humans at least, asari appear female with breasts and voices that sound female. Even among the asari, many individual asari are referred to as “she” and “her“ but some asari prefer male pronouns, while others gravitate toward gender-neutral where language allows. Asari also bear feminine titles like “huntress” and “matriarch” and asari offspring are referred to as “daughters“, however the asari may have chosen feminine pronouns to simplify language translations.
However asari gender is defined, they are innately different from humans, for asari can mate and successfully reproduce with any other gender or species through a form of parthenogenesis. Although they have one gender, they are not asexual and do in fact require a partner to reproduce. However, asari reproduction is very different from other forms of sexual reproduction. An asari provides two copies of her own genes to her offspring, one of which is passed on unaltered. The second set of genes is altered in a unique process called melding, also known as the joining of the union. During melding, the eyes of the asari initiating the meld dilate as she consciously attunes her nervous system to her partner's, sending and receiving electrical impulses directly through the skin, however physical contact is not strictly necessary. A common phrase used before melding is "embrace eternity," presumably to help focus the partner's mind. Effectively, the asari and her partner briefly become one unified nervous system, sharing memories, thoughts, and feelings. The offspring is always an asari, regardless of the species or sex of the "father" and in the case that the offspring is of two asari, the father is the one who does not give birth.
Uniquely, the asari are known to be perceived as attractive to many other species. This may be because of shared physical characteristics (e.g., body shape for humans, skin color for salarians, head fringe for turians). Mordin Solus postulates that the mechanism behind the asari's cross-species attraction may be neurochemical in nature. The offspring resulting from such interspecies pairings are always asari as no DNA is taken from the partner. Instead, the asari uses the meld to explore her partner's genetic heritage and pass desirable traits on to any offspring and as a "map" to randomize the genes of the offspring. Additionally, pairings with krogan are not affected by the Genophage. As such, pairings with asari are sometimes seen as a way for a krogan to circumvent the Genophage and have children of their own.
The drawback to the asari means of reproduction are the Ardat-Yakshi. These individuals possess a rare genetic defect that causes an asari’s mind to overwhelm and destroy her partner’s mind when joining. The condition seems to appear only amongst pureblood asari, those whose parents are both asari.
It is also possible for an asari to meld with another for the sole purpose of transferring thoughts, without reproduction. The asari initiating the meld can both send and receive information. Liara melds with Commander Shepard several times for the purpose of viewing and helping understand the visions Shepard received from the Prothean beacon. Shiala later melds minds with Shepard for the purpose of “uploading” the Cipher into Shepard’s mind in order to help the Commander understand the visions. Liara also states that the melding of minds is a sign of a deep connection between two individuals, something often reserved for friends and family members; it is also a way to say “farewell.”
It is not clear whether ability to meld minds is present from birth or whether asari undergo some sort of puberty to gain it and, if so, when this occurs. When she first melds minds with Shepard, Liara is 106, quite young for an asari. By the time she is 42, Falere’s Ardat-Yakshi condition had already come to light indicating she had attempted to meld at least once. Morinth’s condition was also discovered by the time she was in her 40s.
Asari pass through three climacteric life stages, marked by biochemical and physiological changes:
> The Maiden stage begins at puberty and is marked by the drive to explore and experience. Most young asari are curious and restless, and it is not uncommon for many to try their hand at dancing in bars or working as mercenaries during this time.
> The Matron stage of life begins around the age of 350, though it can be triggered earlier if the individual melds frequently. This period is marked by a desire to settle in one area and raise children.
> The Matriarch stage begins around 700 years of age, or earlier if the individual melds rarely. Matriarchs become active in their community as sages and councilors, dispensing wisdom from centuries of experience. Their knowledge and guidance may be one reason why Matriarchs are rarely seen outside asari space.
However, it should be noted that each stage can be started whenever an asari feels that she has reached the correct level of maturity. While each stage of life is marked by strong biological tendencies, individuals do make unexpected life choices. For example, there are Maidens who stay close to home rather than explore, Matrons who would rather work than build a family, and Matriarchs who have no interest in community affairs.
OriginsThe asari arose on Thessia, a rich world with abundant quantities of element zero that caused much of life on Thessia to exhibit biotic tendencies. Instrumental to the rise of asari civilization was the intervention of the Protheans. Upon discovering the asari, the Protheans crafted the guise of Athame, a benevolent goddess who imparted gifts of wisdom to the asari through her guides Janiri and Lucen, a deception that allowed the Protheans to rapidly accelerate asari development. The Protheans also genetically altered the asari to grant them biotic capabilities, and defended Thessia from an asteroid strike and the resource-hungry oravores.
When the Protheans departed, they left a single beacon on Thessia, around which the asari later built a lavish temple devoted to Athame. This beacon contained Vendetta, a Prothean VI, and over the following centuries was the source of countless technological advances that allowed the asari to eventually become the most powerful race in the galaxy. The beacon's existence became a closely-held state secret, as its revelation would have discredited the virtually universal belief that the asari attained such heights on their own merit. By 2183 CE, few outside the highest echelons of the asari government were aware of the part the Protheans played in asari history.
CultureBecause of their long lifespan, asari tend to have a "long view" not common in other races. When they encounter a new species or situation, the asari are more comfortable with an extended period of passive observation and study than immediate action. They are unfazed that some of their investments or decisions may not pay off for decades or centuries. Matriarchs can seem to make incomprehensible decisions, but their insight is evident when their carefully-laid plans come to fruition. In interstellar relations, this long view manifests in the unspoken policy of centrism. The asari instinctively seek to maintain stable balances of economic, political, and military power.
Traditionally, asari spread their influence through cultural domination and intellectual superiority. They invite new species of advanced development to join the galactic community, knowing that their ideals and beliefs will inevitably influence the existing culture. The asari tend toward communal, consensus attitudes among themselves too: for example, they prefer to live in shared spaces aboard starships even if there are alternatives available.
Asari believe that their offspring acquire the best qualities of the "father" from the melded genes, but evidence is anecdotal. They frown upon intraspecies conception, since genetic traits and cultural insight is gained from mating outside their species, so it's considered wasteful for asari to reproduce together. The results of such unions are occasionally referred to as "purebloods", a great insult among contemporary asari. A rare genetic defect known as Ardat-Yakshi, which makes asari destroy the partner's mind during melding, occurs much more frequently among the daughters of purebloods.
Asari are well aware they tend to be attractive, and are comfortable expressing their sexuality, as can be witnessed in places like Chora's Den or Afterlife with asari erotic dancers. Young males of other races tend to have a fascination with asari. Kaidan Alenko mentions that the sight of Matriarch Benezia in a pinstriped suit sounds like something from an extranet fetish site. David Anderson admits that, when dealing with the asari, their feminine appearance makes it difficult for him to accept them as one of the most powerful races in the galaxy despite their political and military prowess, but he feels that this isn't his fault due to thousands of years of human cultural bias.
Despite appearances to the contrary, asari dancing is more than just a way to fleece money off interspecies admirers. It is actually a form of martial art, akin to tai chi or capoeira, capable of being practiced by sufficiently biotic humans as well. Alec Ryder thinks it is a means by which asari-managed clubs hire dancers who can pull double duty as their own bouncers.
Because of their natural sensuality and ability to mate with any species, asari are sometimes rumoured to be promiscuous. These rumours are mostly a result of misinformation (or wishful thinking). In fact, asari have to accept that if they mate outside their own species, they will almost inevitably outlive their partner (with the notable exception of the krogan, who have a similarly immense longevity). Therefore, they have had to apply their philosophical "long view" to relationships as well, savouring the time they spend with their partners rather than focusing on their inevitable loss. On the Citadel, an asari and her turian companion are trying to decide on a souvenir to purchase, and while her friend feels a fish is too short-lived to make a good memento, the asari notes that they must "enjoy the time they have with the fish." Also while browsing at the Memories of Illium kiosk on Illium, an asari and her salarian step-father are trying to decide on a memento to purchase for her mother. As a result of the age difference many asari raise their daughters alone, especially if the "father" species is short-lived. Despite their partner's death, a part of them will live within their other.
The asari celebrate the springtime fertility ritual Janiris, named for the goddess Athame's guide Janiri, which marks the start of the new year. During this time, they create wreathes of flowers and distribute them among their friends and loved ones. As is the case with the holidays of some other Citadel species, the celebration of Janiris has been adopted by other species that operate in Citadel space.
A few asari abandon all but a few personal possessions to become justicars, members of an ancient order of asari adhering to a strict code. Justicars operate inside of asari space correcting injustices, often through harsh means, including death. It is rare for a justicar to leave asari space as it could cause a diplomatic incident with other species.
ReligionThe pantheistic mainstream asari religion is siari, which translates roughly as "All is one". The faithful agree on certain core truths: the universe is a consciousness, every life within it is an aspect of the greater whole, and death is a merging of one's spiritual energy back into greater universal consciousness. Siarists don't specifically believe in reincarnation; they believe in spiritual energy returning to the universal consciousness upon death will eventually be used to fill new mortal vessels.
Siari became popular after the asari left their homeworld and discovered their ability to "meld" with nearly any form of life. This ability is seen as proof that all life is fundamentally similar. Siari priestesses see their role as promoting unity between disparate shards of the universe's awareness.
Before the rise of siari pantheism, asari religions were as diverse as their political opinion. The strongest survivor of those days is the monotheistic religion worshipping the goddess Athame. Like the asari, the goddess cycles through the triple aspects of maiden, matron, and matriarch. Asari often swear "by the goddess", though this may be a cultural legacy rather than reflecting an individual's belief.
Origins: Khar'shan, Harsa System, Milky Way
Home worlds: Quarian Ark, Nexus & Kadara
Average Height: 5'5" - 6'5"
Average Weight: 150 - 250lbs
Average Life Span: 100 - 150 years
BiologyBatarians are an anthropoidal race like humans and asari. Their faces are covered with short, fine hairs that grow longer and thicker around the mouth. A flat stripe of ridged cartilage runs along the tops of their skulls and down the backs of their necks. They have ears pointy at the upper end, though on occasion along the edges as well. The part of their faces commonly associated with the nose among humans and asari is instead an inverted flat triangle symmetrically ridged vertically. Compared to humans, batarians have a deep, guttural voice. Batarians' mouths are filled with dozens of sharp, needle-like teeth.
Their most distinctive physical feature is their four eyes, an uncommon trait among other races. One pair is set wide in prominent bony sockets protruding from the corners of their face. The second set of eyes is smaller and closer together, set higher on the face, just beneath the middle of the forehead. The eyes are uniformly dark orbs, with no discernible irises or pupils.
Batarians exhibit a wide range of skin tones and colors. Most batarians encountered by Shepard have a dark brown hue with pale facial ridges. General batarian complexions include reddish-brown, greenish, yellow-greenish to yellow-brownish, light brown, and teal.
Some batarians possess striped colorations on their heads. Observed patterns include multiple chin stripes, a single strip running from the lower lip, or a thin dagger of color above the nose. These patterns are usually colored blue, black, or red, while the nose pattern is invariably red. At least one, Balak, has what appears to be a black and yellow striped pigmentation at the temples with light green facial ridges.
Batarian blood has been observed to be red.
CultureBatarians place an extremely high value on social caste and appearance, and overstepping one's place is frowned upon. Effective caste status can be bought on an ongoing basis like a subscription service, allowing the buyer to worm their way into the elite circles of batarian society given enough funds. Casting aspersions on the monetary worth of a social better is considered a serious insult. Batarians strongly believe that species with fewer than four eyes are less intelligent; they often gain the upper hand in interspecies arguments because other races find it difficult to know which eyes to focus on when speaking to them.
Slavery is an integral part of the batarian caste system, despite being illegal according to Council law. The custom is so deeply ingrained in batarian culture that batarians consider the Council's anti-slavery standing to be discriminatory. Rogue batarian slave rings are feared throughout the galaxy, especially among colonists on remote worlds, which are often raided by batarian slavers. Victims of such raids are usually implanted with control devices in their skulls, a painful operation since the slavers rarely make use of anesthetic; Talitha, abducted from Mindoir, was a victim of this practice. The batarians are also known to enslave addicts of the biotic drug red sand when they can no longer afford to support their habit.
Body language is an important part of batarian society. For example, tilting one's head to the left is a sign of admiration and respect. When a batarian tilts their head to the right, however, it is a sign that they consider themselves to be superior to the person whom the gesture was directed towards. Therefore, this gesture can easily be interpreted as an insult by batarians due to the high value that they place on social caste.
ReligionLittle is known about batarian religious beliefs. Mordin Solus has noted that batarians do believe in an afterlife. When a batarian dies, his soul leaves the body through the eyes. Treatment of the corpse is considered unimportant, unless the batarian's eyes have been removed by an enemy.
In 2186, a batarian preacher asks Commander Shepard to recover the Pillars of Strength scroll so that he can guide his followers through hard times. It suggests that the batarians' religious beliefs are based on words from sacred texts, similar to some human religions such as Hinduism, Christianity, and Islam.
GovernmentThe rest of the galaxy views the batarians as an ignorable problem. Their government, known as the Batarian Hegemony, is still hostile to the Systems Alliance, but beneath the notice of the powerful Council races. It is not known what the average batarian thinks about their enforced isolation, as the Department of Information Control ensures that only government-approved news enters or leaves batarian space. Given the batarian government's oppressive nature, it is speculated their supreme leadership is autocratic or totalitarian in nature, although the batarian homeworld of Khar'shan remains divided into various competing nation-states.
The batarians blame humanity for their troubles and claim they were forced to fend for themselves, despite the fact that their exile is largely self-imposed. This has resulted in humans receiving the brunt of batarians' antagonism in the form of scams, slave raids, and terrorist attacks, incidents which the Hegemony covertly supports but is always quick to publicly distance itself from.
Despite their isolation, the batarians still provide up-to-date glossaries and linguistic rules to the rest of the galaxy, though it is suspected that this is only so they can continue exporting propaganda. Batarian languages have become "lingua franca" in the Terminus Systems due to the prevalence of batarians in the region.
Origins: Rakhana, Milky Way
Home worlds: Quarian Ark, then Nexus
Average Height: 5' - 6'5"
Average Weight: 150 - 250lbs, males being heavier
Average Life Span: 85 - 100 years
BiologyDrell are omnivorous reptile-like humanoids with an average lifespan of 85 galactic standard years. Drell appearance is very similar to asari and humans, but their muscle tissue is slightly denser, giving them a wiry strength. They appear to have five fingers on each hand, albeit the ring and middle fingers are fused. Their skin is apparently infused with a venom mild enough to be served in drinks, and may cause mild hallucinations on "oral contact". They also have two sets of eyelids, akin to the nictitating membrane possessed by certain animals such as reptiles. The inner lid is milky-white and closes from the left and right, while the outer lid is black and closes from top and bottom. Much like humans or asari, drell possess the ability to shed tears.
Sexual dimorphism among drell appears to be roughly analogous to humans. Females have breastlike protrusions, and their head "frills" are more pronounced than males'.
Because the drell ancestors emerged from arid, rocky deserts, the humid, ocean-covered hanar homeworld of Kahje proved tolerable only when the drell stayed inside a climate-controlled dome city. The leading cause of death for drell on Kahje is Kepral's Syndrome, caused by cumulative long-term exposure to a humid climate. This syndrome erodes the ability of drell lungs to take in oxygen, and eventually spreads out to other organs. It is noncommunicable, and there is currently no known cure, though leading hanar scientific authorities are working on creating a genetic adaptation.
The drell possess eidetic memory, an adaptation to a world where they must remember the location of every necessary resource (vegetation, drinkable water and prey migration paths) across vast distances. The memories are so strong that an external stimulus can trigger a powerful memory recall. These recalls are so vivid and detailed that some drell may mistake it for reality. Thane Krios, for example, remembers every assassination he has ever performed and can describe them in flawless detail, and says he prefers to spend a lonely night with the perfect memory of another. This process can be involuntary.
CultureThe debt of gratitude that the drell owe the hanar is referred to as the Compact, which the drell fulfill by taking on tasks that the hanar find difficult, such as combat. Any drell may refuse to serve, but as being requested to serve is a great honor, few turn down the offer.
Most drell are content to live on Kahje. They are afforded every opportunity to thrive by the hanar, yet some outsiders and even some hanar regard the drell as second class citizens. However it is quite the opposite, they have integrated themselves into every level of hanar society as respected, productive citizens.
Those who leave Kahje tend to be adventurers. These solitary drell travelers often seek out new species elsewhere, and in turn adopt that species' culture. Such drell number in the thousands, and are scattered across the galaxy, tending towards quiet, integrated lives.
Some drell grow a close, personal relationship with the hanar, so much so that the hanar will even tell the drell their "soul name". Drell have adapted to communication with hanar by getting implants in their eyes to allow them to observe the bioluminescence the hanar use for communication. Drell such as Thane are able to see ultraviolet light as a silvery color, though might lose differentiation between colors at the opposite end of the spectrum, such as the difference between dark red and black.
ReligionMost drell are deeply religious, believing that they have souls separate from their bodies. They see death as a departure from the body, and they also state that a person's body and soul form a Whole. When the soul is traumatized or otherwise disrupted, or the body is ill or injured, a person is no longer Whole. They also believe that their body can be directed as a separate entity from themselves, in the case of Thane Krios taking no responsibility for his numerous killings, which were ordered by the hanar.
The drell religion is also polytheistic, with the drell having multiple gods whom they pray to in varying situations. This religion includes at least three gods: Amonkira, Lord of Hunters; Arashu, Goddess of Motherhood and Protection; and Kalahira, Goddess of Oceans and Afterlife.
Many of the older traditions of the drell have begun to die out. The younger generations no longer believe the old ways of their ancestors can help them now, with so many other ways to interpret one's place in the universe. Many drell have embraced the hanar Enkindlers or the asari philosophies.
Origins: Dekuuna, Phontes System, Milky Way
Home worlds: Quarian Ark, then Nexus
Average Height: 7' - 9’
Average Weight: 200 - 400lbs
Average Life Span: 450 - 500 years
BiologyElcor evolved on a high-gravity world, making them slow, but incredibly strong. Their large, heavy bodies are incapable of moving quickly, but they possess a rather imposing stature and immense strength, as well as thick, tough skin. They move using all four limbs to support and balance their massive bodies. Given their method of communication, they likely have highly-attuned olfactory senses.
Elcor "lips" are multiple vertical slats situated in what is normally the location of the mouth in other races. Despite the peculiar arrangement, these "lips" are capable of holding on to protruding objects like cigars with no effort.
Elcor speech is heard by most species as a flat, ponderous monotone. Among themselves, scent, extremely slight body movements, and subvocalized infrasound convey shades of meaning that make a human smile seem as subtle as a fireworks display. Since their subtlety can lead to misunderstandings with other species, the elcor prefix all their dialog with non-elcor with an emotive statement to clarify their tone.
CultureElcor usually prefer to stay on their colonies rather than travel in space, which may be why few elcor are seen on the Citadel or on other worlds. Possibly because of their size or evolution in the open air, the elcor find the necessary confines of space travel uncomfortable, and many modern elcor indeed prefer the open sky to the former. Evolving in a high-gravity environment where a fall could be lethal has made elcor psychology deeply cautious and conservative. Their culture is built on small, tight-knit groups, and their conservative nature means the elcor government is extremely stable. Despite this, they are always welcoming to outsiders.
Elcor are traditionally migratory in nature. This reflects on their choice of twin capitals on their homeworld, one for the wet season and one for the dry season. Modern technology has rendered the tradition obsolete, though elcor still observe it.
Like other sapient races, elcor are no strangers to entertainment and the arts. Artists like Forta are reputed to have made works that can make viewers go mad if stared at for too long. Other members of the race made forays into acting, with two ending up in a Blasto movie. Several elcor actors have been cast in an all-elcor rendition of William Shakespeare's Hamlet, where their particular species traits are used in conveying the nuances of the play. The production turned out to be an award-winning 14-hour hit by 2185 and ran until 2186.
Elcor cultural artifacts fascinate people enough to warrant archiving objects related to the topic. One such artifact, an elcor mating-totem, is filed away in vault 347B of the Citadel Archives. Another artifact, the Code of the Ancients, contains the collected wisdom of the elcor people and their ancestors. It is revered by many for the guidance it provides, and is sequestered away on their homeworld.
Despite the general tendency for stability and the benign, elcor do have outliers among their people. Psychopathic tendencies can crop up from time to time; Garrus mentions an elcor serial killer prowling the Citadel during his time as a C-Sec officer. Some elcor even live on Omega, earning their keep as bouncers to established clubs or merchants in their own right.
GovernmentThe elcor government is known as the Courts of Dekuuna. The elcor follow the recommendations of their Elders, who spend years poring over ancient records of jurisprudence to determine the precedent that should be followed in any given situation. The Elders record closely argued and minutely detailed instructions on what course to follow in any theoretical crisis. These are filed away in huge libraries of data discs and are consulted when needed. This makes elcor policies very predictable, provided one has done a great deal of research.
Origins: Perseus Veil, Milky Way
Home worlds: Quarian Ark, then Kadara
Average Height: 5'0" - 6'0"
Average Weight: 80 - 200lbs
Average Life Span: Ageless
DesignPhysically, the humanoid geth resemble quarians—their hands, head shape and legs are similar—which is probably a holdover from their origins. A common design feature among geth is a single brightly glowing photoreceptor, causing some to refer to them as "flashlight heads".
Geth are primarily composed of two materials: a flexible but durable outer shell, and a kind of synthetic muscle tissue that gives Geth Hoppers their incredible agility. It is actually possible for this synthetic muscle to be grafted to organic tissue (Saren Arterius has a grafted geth arm). Geth "bleed" a white conductive fluid when shot, but they don't have any internal organs or nervous system, so the geth do not feel hunger or pain. The geth are also seen using omni-tools, and have seemingly modified them to heal synthetic wounds; likewise, some geth facilities contain first-aid kits, implying that their synthetic "tissues" can be repaired using conventional medical technology.
Part of the geth's success is due to their neural network. Effectively, they "share" their processing power, distributing low-level processes like motor control and visual identification to free up bandwidth for higher reasoning and complex thought. Geth can't share sensory data—they aren't a hive mind like the rachni—but in large groups they have more to think with. An individual geth has only a basic intelligence on par with animal instincts, but in groups they can reason, analyze situations, and make tactical decisions as well as any of the organic races. An exception would appear to be Legion, a geth specifically designed to operate as an autonomous sentient unit outside the Perseus Veil. Legion possesses over 11 times as many geth programs as a standard geth platform and can function intellectually on its own.
According to Legion, each geth is made up of hundreds of programs equivalent to VIs, all operating in parallel with one another to form a kind of emergent intelligence described by EDI as "a thousand voices talking at once". An individual geth is thus more of a "mobile platform" than an actual body; the programs that make up its consciousness are constantly being transferred and downloaded; the mind operating one of these "mobile platforms" might just as easily inhabit a starship body should it need to. Most of the time geth programs can be found residing in server hubs, which function as something akin to the organic equivalent of a city, and can run millions of geth in communion.
As all geth are networked to each other, they may communicate their exact thoughts and ideas at the speed of light. They find organic methods of communication, such as body language and spoken word, to be largely inefficient; the geth are able to communicate their thoughts flawlessly without any fear of misinterpretation. Because of this they have no true form of government and no system of rank. When a matter must be decided upon, the geth communicate all viewpoints of a situation and a consensus is made, the decision being whatever benefits the geth as a whole the greatest.
CultureThe geth are reclusive and secretive. This is partly due to their synthetic nature: They have no need to interact with other races because they do not share the same goals, needs or instincts as organic species. As machines, comfort is also not a concern for them, something that is reflected in elements of geth ship and station design (e.g., minimal gravity, lack of windows, efficient use of space, function over form, lack of atmosphere, and absence of climate control).
According to Legion, geth do not actually live on any of the quarian planets they conquered, serving merely as caretakers for them instead. They find it more efficient to live on space stations and draw resources from asteroids, though they maintain mobile platforms on the worlds to clear rubble and toxins left by the Morning War. Legion likens this behavior to the human tendency to establish cemeteries and memorials to commemorate dead persons and tragic events. However, since geth do not "die" in any traditional sense (upon the destruction of a geth platform, its programs are simply transmitted to the nearest available platform) and so have no real losses to mourn from the Morning War, Legion posits that they instead clean and maintain the quarian worlds out of respect for their quarian creators who died in the conflict and in preparation for the eventuality of their return.
The only geth who have interacted significantly with organics aside from the Legion platform are a sect that Legion refers to as the "heretics". They are a small, radical group of geth who worship a hyper-advanced but long-vanished machine race called the Reapers, whom they see as the pinnacle of non-organic evolution. It is these geth who attacked Eden Prime and the Citadel. This group is a minority, and may consist of as little as five percent of the total geth population. According to Legion, the mainstream geth are content to stay separate from the remainder of Citadel space to "build their own future," and claim that all sentient creatures should have the ability to "self-determinate", strictly adhering to a policy of non-interventionism in respect to the affairs and development of other races.
While they have made attempts to observe and understand organics (an effort embodied by the unique platform known as Legion), the geth primarily seek the peaceful advancement of their own race independent of the influence of the rest of galactic society and believe every sentient species should be able to do the same, an attitude which shows that the geth are significantly less hostile than the galactic community initially believed.
Depending on the context, the term "geth" can refer to an individual program, mobile platforms which house a number of individual programs, or the entire collection of all programs. Organics generally refer to each mobile platform as a geth. However, the geth do not share the concept of individuality, and think in terms of the entire collective.
PsychologyLegion also gives insight into the psychology and society of the geth. Geth psychology is completely alien to organics. They do not value individuality, preferring to share all memories and thoughts of all programs. This means geth cannot and do not wish to hide their thoughts, even those that do not follow the norm, with their reasoning for differing thoughts being apparent. Legion often uses the term "we" instead of "I", since it is both part of the geth society as a whole and is also a gestalt of over a thousand geth programs.
More importantly, deceit, manipulation and lying are impossible among the geth. No concepts of vulnerability or privacy exist; geth are completely honest with each other about their thoughts and their reasons for those thoughts. This means there is a great deal of understanding amongst geth, with every geth being part of the consciousness of every other geth. A possible consequence of this type of networked intelligence is theorized by EDI to be why the geth were able to turn on the quarians, preventing them from developing preferences and devaluing the significance of an individual life.
Geth have no government or leaders; the geth use FTL communications to "build a consensus," a completely Consensus Democratic method in which every geth program makes a choice on any matter. Even within Legion itself, consensus must be reached among its many programs before decisions can be made.
While the geth are incapable of deceit amongst themselves, they are not above using deceit to study organic behavior. One example is the geth introducing a falsified report on the extranet detailing a constellation resembling a salarian goddess seen from the batarian homeworld, which some salarians immediately believed to be proof of the goddess' existence. The experiment ended when a salarian cult attempted to buy the rights to the stars, only to find that they did not exist.
There is some question of whether geth personalities remain stable over time. When an artificial intelligence is transferred to a new blue box, a completely new personality is created. Geth frequently download into different hardware according to need, from starships to the "mobile platforms" that Shepard is familiar with. It is unknown whether new personalities result from these downloads, or whether it matters to the geth.
Initiative BenefactorsThe rest of their species are expected show up in their own secretive starship similar to an Ark, as they had planned for it to be the last Ark to leave the Milky Way during wave two. One has yet to show though. Environmental faults with the delayed Quarian Ark (which fled as soon as the Reapers made an appearance) meant the Geth sent a unit to continue repairs during the 600+ year journey to Andromeda. With Vorcha and Yahg also sneaking on board the Ark, geth reassembled the environmental systems to support them too.
Geth weren't required to be in stasis during the journey to Andromeda, so acted as maintenance workers for the Quarian Ark. Once they arrived in their new galaxy, they'd attempted to assist in avoiding the scourge before the quarians awoke from cryo and discovered them, causing internal conflicts to break out. Unfortunately for the geth, they couldn't get to the main controls in time before they hit the scourge and it caused the ark to become nonfunctional.
The geth were the secret benefactors for the initiative project, for reasons still unknown to the Nexus. The truth surrounding this is widely dismissed by current Nexus leadership, as the original leaders to support their claims are long dead.
Origins: Kahje, Milky Way
Home worlds: Quarian Ark, then Nexus
Average Height: 6' - 7’
Average Weight: 40 - 60lbs
Average Life Span: 150 - 200 years
BiologyThe hanar "stand" slightly taller than a human, although most of their height is in their long tentacles. The invertebrate, water-native hanar cannot support their own weight in normal gravity. When interacting with mainstream galactic society, they rely on contra-gravitic levitation packs that use mass effect fields. Their limbs can grip tightly, but are not strong enough to lift more than a few hundred grams each. Hanar also possess the ability to secrete natural toxins.
It is not known if hanar have more than one sex, or are asexual (as some jellyfish species are). Despite evolving in water, hanar also appear able to breathe air, or use technological means to enable this.
CultureThe hanar homeworld, Kahje, has 90% ocean cover and orbits an energetic white star, resulting in a permanent blanket of clouds. Due to the presence of Prothean ruins on Kahje, the hanar have developed a religion centered on the ancient species, calling them the "Enkindlers". Hanar myths often speak of them as an elder race that uplifted and civilized them by teaching them language.
Several hundred years ago, the hanar made contact with the drell on their nearby homeworld of Rakhana. Drell society was quickly collapsing due to overpopulation and warring over scarce resources, so the hanar rescued several hundred thousand drell and brought them to Kahje, where they integrated into hanar society with the remaining drell dying out. Now the drell serve as a client race of the hanar, and although to outside observers the relationship can be construed as a form of slavery, the reality is very different. Drell have integrated with every level of hanar society, and most consider it an honor to serve a hanar family in a tradition referred to as the Compact. Many drell become unofficial members of the family, and some even earn the privilege to learn their masters' "soul names".
The hanar communicate using sophisticated patterns of bioluminescence—which other species need machine assistance to translate (though many drell apply genetic modification to their eyes in order to perceive higher frequency flashes which allows them to understand the hanar)—and speak with scrupulous precision and extreme politeness. Most hanar take offense at improper language, and must take special courses to unlearn this tendency if they expect to deal with other species.
The hanar have two names, a "face name" and a "soul name." The face name is used as a general label for use by strangers and acquaintances. The soul name is kept for use among close friends and relations, and tends to be poetic. For example, a hanar known for its cynicism may take a name that means "Illuminates the Folly of the Dancers." That said, hanar are extremely polite, almost to a fault. They never refer to themselves in the first person with someone they know on a face name basis: to do so is considered egotistical. Instead they refer to themselves as "this one," or the impersonal "it." It is only around those who know their soul name that they would ever consider using the first person. Even when flustered or angry, a hanar will still maintain exquisite poise, and will remain formal even with those it wishes dead.
Drell servants usually carry out hanar assassinations, as the hanar are too cumbersome out of the water to participate in a physical fight—though Zaeed Massani mentions that he was once nearly strangled by one. The drell assassin Thane also maintains that the hanar have a strong grip and possess strong natural poison.
The hanar practice a religious holiday called Nyahir or "First Cresting Bloom" which lasts a full thirteen days and revolves around celebrating the gift of speech, which they attribute to having come from the Enkindlers. It is a mixture of contemplation and competition, with the faithful engaged in stylized debates, poetry duels, and other traditional hanar art forms. The winners of these events have their names inscribed in bio-luminescence on the side of Mount Vassla, an underwater volcano at the heart of one of the oldest Prothean ruins on Kahje.
Hanar forbid animal fighting in their culture, thinking it makes people less empathetic to others.
GovernmentThe hanar government is known as the Illuminated Primacy. According to gossip between a salarian and a turian in the Council Chambers, the hanar are considered likely prospects for a Council seat in the near future, though what great deed the hanar did for the Council to warrant consideration is not revealed.
Galactic RelationsOther races sometimes see the hanar as elitist because of their intolerance for "incorrect" speech (and occasionally refer to them derisively as "jellies"). The hanar themselves are known to become vocal if their religious rights appear threatened in any way, which occasionally causes clashes with other Citadel races. A hanar on the Presidium steadfastly defends its right to preach about the Enkindlers in a non-proselytizing zone even when a C-Sec officer asks it to leave, and Commander Shepard hears a news story on the Citadel about the hanar blockading a Prothean ruin being excavated by the salarians.
Nonetheless, the hanar have been known to work closely with other races from time to time. On at least one occasion, agents of the hanar government worked alongside the Systems Alliance, participating in a raid on a batarian science lab which was studying what eventually proved to be Reaper technology.
Origins: Earth, Sol System, Milky Way
Home worlds: Nexus & Kadara
Average Height: 5' - 6'5", males being slightly taller
Average Weight: 100 - 280lbs, males being heavier
Average Life Span: 100 - 150 years
Known Factions: Outcasts & Collectors
BiologyHumans have a fairly robust physiology. Their internal makeup and reproductive processes are typical of most bipedal mammals, and their size and proportions give the appearance of being strong, fast and agile. In comparison to the Council races, humans are roughly physically on par with turians (as a human in or around peak physical condition can overwhelm a similarly fit turian, making them near equals in a hand-to-hand combat situation), and less agile than asari (whom they closely resemble). Humans would appear on average to be stronger than salarians but not as fast, due to the extremely elevated metabolisms of the latter. Like most organic races, humans are also capable of producing biotic individuals. All cases of biotics in humans are the result of prenatal exposure to element zero, which carries a high risk of medical complications.
Humans can live to about 150 years, and recent medical advances have eradicated almost all known diseases that afflict them. However, as humans only emerged on the galactic stage within the last thirty years, it is highly likely that the introduction of new technology into their society will greatly increase their average lifespan. Humans reach physical maturity at approximately eighteen years of age, at which point they have usually finished their academic education and either directly enter the workforce or begin training for a profession.
It has been noted that humans are unusual in the galactic community because they have far greater genetic diversity compared to other species with more peaks and valleys. This makes human genetic material useful in biological experiments, as a control group.
Despite the substantial genetic diversity of humans, certain physical traits have been becoming more rare ever since the 19th and 20th centuries, when the mixing of different Earth ethnicities, due to social progression and acceptance, became more commonplace. To this end, with the merging of genetics, certain traits have declined in frequency. Recessive physical traits like blonde and red hair, as well as blue and green eyes, are even less common in the 22nd century.
CultureHumans are generally seen to be very intelligent, abnormally ambitious, highly adaptable, individualistic and thus, unpredictable. They have a powerful desire to advance and improve themselves, and do so with such assertion that the normally staid Council races have been taken aback by their restlessness and relentless curiosity.
The Earth's economy, while much smaller than any of the Council races, is very powerful relative to their size, and their military prowess is amongst the greatest in the galaxy, despite the fact that only 3% of humans volunteer for the Alliance military, a far smaller proportion than other races. Their ability to engage the turians in the First Contact War demonstrated graphically the potential of human military strength and is therefore a subject of concern for many races, who fear the consequences of another human-turian conflict.
The discovery of the Martian ruins fundamentally united the inhabitants of Earth, resulting in the swift and sudden culmination of the pan-global cultural identity that had been slowly but steadily developing since the 21st century. Upon the foundation of the Systems Alliance, humans began to see themselves as a single, collective group: human as opposed to alien.
Religion was, and to an extent, still is a major part of human culture, despite the fact that society is largely secular by the 22nd century. The discovery of the archives led to a series of commotions among those belonging to fundamentalist faiths, which ultimately resulted in the disintegration or revision of these religious beliefs. In 2171, Pope Clement XVI was assassinated and replaced by Leo XIV, whose beliefs about militarizing humanity was aligned more to the ideology of Cerberus. The existence of the position of pope indicates that Catholicism is still at large.
Origins: Sarhesen, outside the Heleus Cluster, Andromeda
Home worlds: Eos, Voeld & Kett Fleet
Average Height: 5'8" - 7'
Average Weight: 215 - 350lbs
Average Life Span: 200 - 300 years
Playable Sub-species: Chosen, Anointed, Destined & Ascendant
BiologyThe kett are bipedal digitigrade humanoids with a skeleton containing 332 bones. Dense formations of bone also grow externally on their bodies, taking the form of armor-like extrusions on their arms, legs, torsos, and heads. These bone structures vary in shape, size, and location depending on the type of kett. Their eyes are pale white and receded. Kett blood is brownish-green. Kett biology retains traits taken from many other species. One such trait is that kett can survive for limited periods in inhospitable environments without protective suits, including vacuum.
Kett possess no reproductive organs, and reproduce only through an artificial process called exaltation. It is speculated that exaltation arose long ago in kett history when their genetics reached a point of stagnation, leaving the species unable to breed through natural means. The kett began adding beneficial genes from other species into their own genome in order to continually improve themselves, which they refer to as harmonization. Kett mastery over genetic manipulation enabled them to develop a serum to rapidly convert other species into obedient kett, which became the basis for exaltation. To build an army or replenish their numbers, kett simply capture members of other species and transform them through exaltation. Heleus Cluster species that have been subjected to exaltation include the challyrion, who become wraiths, and the angara, who become Chosen and Anointed.
Following the arrival of the Andromeda Initiative, the kett become interested in exalting Milky Way species. They begin developing an exaltation serum for krogan, but the process was incomplete and the partially-exalted prototypes, called Behemoths, were mindlessly hostile to both non-kett and kett.
HistoryExaltation unified the kett homeworld of Sarhesen, and in time the other worlds that the kett empire conquered.
The kett are not native to the Heleus Cluster, which they call Sector 1-19-NYKZ, and began invading it in 2744. When the angara encountered them, the kett lured them into a false sense of security with gifts and offers of friendship, before kidnapping their leadership and providing information which provoked arguments between angaran worlds. The uncoordinated and separated angara were swiftly defeated, though the kett would continue to have to deal with various resistance movements and later the unified Angaran Resistance led by Evfra de Tershaav.
The Archon assigned to the Heleus Cluster eventually began deviating from kett protocols. He blocked all research on angaran genetics from being sent to his superiors, using it to empower only the troops in his command, and took an obsessive interest in Remnant technology. This led to a schism between the Archon and Primus, his second-in-command.
ExaltationThe facility on Voeld has revealed a key element of kett strategy and biology. The kett do not recruit soldiers: they take prisoners and submit them to "exaltation." This process transfers beneficial genetic traits to the kett, and turns the "donor" into a fanatically loyal exalted, many of whom serve in the kett military. Most of the individuals we have fought appear to be exalted angara.
The exaltation process appears to be two-way, transferring carefully selected kett traits into the donor. The resulting mutations permanently alter the physical appearance and glands of the donor, inducing hormonal changes that cement the individual's loyalty to the kett.
Scientists on the Nexus suggest that exaltation may have originated out of necessity. If long ago, the kett somehow reached a state of genetic stagnation, adopting the genetic traits of others may have been their only means of survival. Today it is a ceremonial, if morally repellent, cornerstone of kett culture.
CultureThe kett have been shown to be highly militaristic, and look down on other species, considering them lesser beings. This can be seen from the fact that they experiment on prisoners with genetic traits considered useful and kill prisoners with traits deemed useless and have enslaved angara who are subject to the same treatment. They do not refer to individuals of other races with gendered pronouns (i.e, defaulting to "it"), further devaluing them.
TechnologyThe kett possess technology that is comparable in advancement to the Andromeda Initiative, but have an unparalleled mastery of biotechnology and medical technology. Bio-engineered components are used in all of their machines and devices. Instead of conventional research and development programs, kett prefer to improve their technology incrementally by taking features and designs from other species' technology. Soon after the Andromeda Initiative came into contact with the kett, the kett began weaving aspects of Initiative tech into their own.
Kett starships use FTL drives with a radically unique design. When traveling across smaller regions, such as a star cluster, these drives function almost identically to Milky Way drives, but over longer distances, they function like Alcubierre drives. This is similar to having an on-board Mass Relay, but compared to actual Mass Relays, kett drives are both slower and extremely inefficient. Traveling between clusters is still arduous enough that the kett rely on their own ark ships and stasis tech for such voyages.
ReligionThe kett revere exaltation as a sacred ritual, believing that the species selected to undergo exaltation are ascending to greatness and helping the kett do the same. These subjugated species are initially called "Chosen", and may later advance to higher tiers with the kett hierarchy, such as "Anointed". The kett exaltation facility on Voeld is called a temple, and is considered holy ground.
GovernmentThe kett government is referred to as an empire with the main ruling body being referred to as the Senate, situated on the kett homeworld of Sarhesen. According to Dr. Medrow Aden's intelligence, their society may be an eugenocracy. There are apparently twenty-one ancestral lineages from 'pure' ancient kett that act as the heads of ancestral lineages who lead their society. Contingents of kett stationed in a star cluster are led by an Archon, also called a "campaign leader". These Archons have a high degree of autonomy but still ultimately answer to the Senate and are required to report on their progress every 15 cycles. The kett send forces across the galaxy to exalt new species and expand the empire. While exaltation of other races is the goal of the kett, their empire is also comprised of at least a dozen vassal species such as: the eealen, thusali, and sirinde.
Origins: Tuchanka, Aralakh System, Milky Way
Home worlds: Elaaden
Average Height: 6'5" - 7'10"
Average Weight: 400 - 800lbs
Average Life Span: 1500+ years
Known Clans: Nakmor / Jorgal / Forsan
BiologyDue to the brutality of their surroundings, natural selection has played a significant role in the evolution of the krogan. Unlike most sentient species, krogan eyes are wide-set - on Earth, this is common among prey animals, and in this case it gives the krogan 240-degree vision, giving them greater visual acuity and awareness of approaching predators. Krogan eyes have narrow pupils. Their irises may be red, green, amber, or blue in color.
Prior to the genophage, krogan could reproduce and mature at an astonishing rate. Females are known to produce clutches of up to 1,000 fertilized eggs over the course of a year. In present conditions, according to EDI, the odds of a krogan successfully giving birth to two females stand at 1 in 2,000, though krogan biology is slowly adapting to the virus.
Their large shoulder humps store fluids and nutrients, enabling them to survive extended periods without food or water. A bigger shoulder hump is seen as a sign of high status, showing how successful an individual krogan is at hunting. Their thick hides are virtually impervious to cuts, scrapes or contusions, and they are highly resistant to environmental hazards, including toxins, radiation, and extreme heat and cold. Consequently their diets can include food and drink which would prove very dangerous to other species—a fact reflected in the krogan liquor of choice, ryncol, which is said to "hit aliens like ground glass". Younger krogan have yellow or green markings on their hides. These markings darken to brown or tan over time, showing their age. Younger krogan tend to have looser plates on their head with soft spots in between. When they grow older the plates grow together to form one whole.
Krogan typically stand over 7 feet. Heavy creatures, krogan have been known to weigh at least 150 kilos, upwards of nearly 200 kilos for above-average specimens. Some particularly large krogan weigh in at about 800 pounds (~362 kilos), estimated independently by themselves and by non-krogan observers. Biotic individuals are rare, though those who do possess the talent typically have strong abilities.
The most amazing physiological feature of krogan biology is the multiple instances of major organs. These secondary (and where applicable, tertiary) systems are capable of serving as back-ups in the event of damage to the primary biological structures. They have, for example, two hearts, four lungs, and four testicles. This reflects in their slang, where they often speak about a "quad" where a human would use the words "balls" or "pair". Krogan also have a secondary nervous system using a neuro conductive fluid, meaning they are almost impossible to paralyze. Krogan bleed a yellow or orange fluid when shot, which may be this fluid or actual blood.
Aside from redundant systems, the legendary krogan "blood rage" adds to the race's reputation for being notoriously difficult to kill or incapacitate in normal combat scenarios. In this state, krogan become totally unresponsive to pain and will fight to the death regardless of injury level, with the side effect of reducing their capacity for logic and self-control.
Sheer physical hardiness means an individual krogan can expect to live for centuries. Krogan can live for well over a thousand years, as evidenced by Warlord Okeer, a veteran of the Krogan Rebellions who died (of decidedly unnatural causes) well over a thousand years after the Rebellions ended. Nakmor Drack is another example of their long life-spans, a 1,400-year-old veteran of the Krogan Rebellions who joined the Andromeda Initiative to voyage to the Heleus Cluster.
Despite their natural propensity for toughness, krogan do have physical weaknesses. According to Zaeed Massani, if one lodges a knife at a certain spot near the frontal plate on a krogan's head, the plate can be ripped off. It is apparently the one thing krogan do fear.
CultureThe harsh krogan homeworld conditioned the krogan psychology for toughness just as it did the body. Krogan have always had a tendency to be selfish, unsympathetic, and blunt. Sometimes, when krogan disagree, one of them will head-butt the other to show dominance. They respect strength and self-reliance and are neither surprised nor offended by treachery. Their worst insult is to call someone "not worth killing".
The weak and selfless do not live long. In their culture, "looking out for number one" is simply a matter of course. Krogan have powerful territorial instincts which serve them well in combat, but can create problems; when traveling on starships, for example, krogan find sharing quarters nearly impossible.
Most krogan trust and serve no one but themselves. This solitary attitude stems in part from a deep sense of fatalism and futility, a profound social effect of the genophage that caused krogan numbers to dwindle to a relative handful. Not only are they angry that the entire galaxy seems out to get them, the krogan are also generally pessimistic about their race's chances of survival. The surviving krogan see no point to building for the future; there will be no future. The krogan live with a generally violent and short-sighted attitude of personal gain.
Female krogan rarely leave their home worlds, focusing on breeding in an attempt to keep krogan numbers from declining too quickly. The few remaining fertile females who can carry young to term are treated as prizes of war, to be seized, bartered or fought over. Recently, it has been noted that the females of the krogan species live in clans separate from that of the males. Envoys are sent out from the female clans to determine who amongst the males is worthy to visit the female clans. Due to the effects of the genophage and the lack of fertile females, this happens often and many male krogan sire children from one female. Krogan females also appear much more level-headed than males; 'the brains to their brawn,' so to speak. Krogan children are raised within the females' camps. On occasion the females send them over to the males for training. If a male wishes to claim his offspring, he can request the right of parentage. According to Eve, however, krogan do not name their infants very well: the males get drunk on sovak juice and have belching contests. Whatever happens to sound like a word becomes a name.
Marks of the krogan psyche past and present can be observed in their architecture and infrastructure. Ancient krogan built towering pyramidal edifices, gigantic monuments and cities, complete with interior paintings of what could be called art. Millennia later, the ruins haven't yet lost to the ravages of time and survived to remind the latter-day krogan of their glory days, although places like the "city of the ancients" were long-abandoned by then.
Every krogan building is built huge and to last. At the present day, even hospitals are built strong enough to withstand a bunch of krogan undergoing blood rage. Blocky ruins litter Tuchanka's surface, a portion of them still livable by krogan standards.
ReligionKrogan are not shown to have strong religious beliefs. The closest they come is to establish ritualistic burial grounds called the Hollows, where the skulls of their ancestors are displayed to remind them of "where we all come from, and where we all go." The Hollows are as sacred as any krogan place can be, and violence there is forbidden.
Ancient krogan deities include Vaul, a god who stood watch for the enemies of his pantheon. The planet Vaul is named for this god, and its moons are named for Vaul's myriad eyes and ears.
Krogan are also shown to believe in some form of afterlife. Several krogan mention a place called "the Void" which krogan go to when they die. Additionally, the planet Kruban takes its name from a mythological paradise in which honorable krogan warriors feast on the internal organs of their enemies.
RitesKrogan tradition is steeped in ritual. When a krogan is born, he suffers the Rite of Life. When he comes of age, he undergoes the Rite of Passage. If he wishes to be considered for breeding, he must take the Rite of Honor. When facing a new enemy, the Rite of Firsts is invoked.
Positions of power also bear the responsibility of more rites, like being clan leader or shaman. The Rite of Passage and all other rites and traditions are preserved by the clan shaman. A shaman can be of either gender: they must undergo lengthy and torturous rites to assume the position, and is required to give up their name. Because of this level of commitment, the shaman is one of the most respected members of a clan.
The krogan have at least two ways of formally dealing with their dead. Suicides are left for scavengers to feed upon. Another is via funeral pyre, where the shaman eulogizes the dead and symbolically consigns it to the Void. Known instances of the pyre include krogan who have died a particularly valorous death, e.g. by saving the future of the entire race.
ClansKrogan are divided into numerous clans. Membership in a clan allows a krogan to own property, join the army and apply to serve under a battlemaster. Young krogan undergo a rite of passage that is overseen by a shaman respective to the clan the krogan wishes to join.
In Clan Urdnot, this rite consists of battling various wild fauna on Tuchanka, ending with an encounter with a thresher maw. Merely surviving for five minutes is considered proof of worthiness, but killing the thresher maw increases the initiate's prestige and standing.
Few outsiders have seen a rite of passage take place, even though there are no rules in krogan tradition that state that a non-krogan can't help with the undertaking of the rite by acting as the participant's krantt.
Origins: Rannoch, Tikkun System, Milky Way
Home worlds: Quarian Ark, then Nexus
Average Height: 5'0" - 6'0", males being slightly taller
Average Weight: 80 - 200lbs, males being heavier
Average Life Span: 100 - 150 years
BiologyQuarians are generally shorter and of slighter build than humans. Quarians have an endoskeleton, lips, teeth, and two eyes with eyelids and tear ducts; they also have three thick fingers on both hands which include a thumb, an index finger, and a long finger, similar to the middle fingers for humans, as well as three toes on each foot. Quarian facial structure and hair actually makes them the most similar to humans in physical appearance. Their lower legs are bowed backwards significantly, compared to asari or humans. Aside from hands and legs, their general body shape and sexual dimorphism is similar to humans. Male quarians, however, appear to lack a third toe. Their ears or ear analogues differ in a noticeable fashion from those of humans, with references made to "what [passes] for the quarian version of an ear". Also like humans, quarian blood is red.
The most distinguishing feature of quarian biology is their weak immune system, compounded by centuries of living in sterile environments. As a result, all quarians by necessity dress in highly sophisticated enviro-suits, to protect them from disease or infection if they are injured. Their suits can be compartmentalized in the event of a tear or similar breach to prevent the spread of contaminants (similar to a ship sealing off bulkheads in the event of a hull breach). Along with their suits, quarians also have extensive cybernetic augmentations integrated into their bodies. A quarian's lifespan is roughly equal to a human's, but is prone to be less if infection breaks into the suit.
Quarian immune systems have always been relatively weak, as pathogenic microbes were comparatively rare in their homeworld's biosphere. Furthermore, what few viruses and other microbes were native to their homeworld were often at least partly beneficial to them, giving them a symbiotic relationship with their environment. After living aboard the Migrant Fleet for generations, the quarians' immune systems have atrophied further still due to the years in the sterile environment of the Migrant Fleet. As such, quarians are given various vaccinations and immunizations to help ward off disease. However, they prefer the safety of their suits even in clean environments and are reluctant to remove them without a good reason.
A quarian who wishes to remove their suit must take antibiotics, immune-boosters, herbal supplements, or the like in order to do so safely, and even then there are inherent risks. As a result, physical acts of affection are difficult for quarians, even for the purposes of reproduction. Ships in the Migrant Fleet often contain "clean rooms" where quarians can give birth or undergo medical procedures in relative safety, though there are always risks. The most intimate thing quarians can do is link their suit environments. However, doing so guarantees a quarian will get sick, although they will usually adapt over time.
Like turians, the quarians are a dextro-protein species of reverse chirality from humans and asari. The food of levo-protein races such as humans or asari is at best inedible and at worst poisonous, most likely triggering a dangerous allergic reaction. Quarians who want to taste something (other than the refined edible paste issued to all who leave on their Pilgrimage) can eat specially purified turian cuisine, though the typical quarian diet is vegan, as livestock were found to possess an inefficient resource-to-calorie ratio when stored on the Migrant Fleet.
It is implied that other than the oft-mentioned maladjusted immune systems, the quarians have surprisingly robust physiology. Specifically, among Grunt's tank imprints is information on efficient methods of killing other species with simple strikes/pressure on vitals. As a closing comment, he states, "Humans, asari, salarians... all soft. Quarians, not so much."
CultureThe quarians' top priority is the survival and sustainability of the Migrant Fleet. Most of their laws and customs revolve around this goal. It is illegal for couples to have more than one child, so that the fleet can maintain zero population growth (if the population begins to shrink, this rule is temporarily lifted, and incentives may be provided to encourage multiple births). Families are thus very small and close-knit. Homosexual relationships are not unheard of, however, as evidenced by Shio'Leth vas Novarra and his husband Viegle.
Because every quarian depends on his or her crewmates to survive, they are much more community-minded than individualistic species like the krogan. Loyalty, trust, and cooperation are highly prized qualities. Even in their ancient past they were very emotional people, which the Protheans believed was a side-effect of their eco-symbiotic society.
Quarians enjoy storytelling as a means of escape from their often trying lives aboard the fleet, and are known to hold dancers in high esteem.
Young quarians are required to undertake a Pilgrimage outside the fleet in order to pass into full adulthood. The Pilgrimage is an opportunity for quarians to experience the world outside the Migrant Fleet, interact with other cultures, and learn to appreciate life among their own people. Their departure is a major event; the whole crew assembles to see them off, and they are given many gifts to aid them on their journey, along with immunity-boosting injections and advice on surviving on the outside. The young quarian cannot return to the flotilla until they have found something of value to bring back - whether information, money, or supplies. When they return, they do not go back to their birth ship, but instead select a new ship to join; this helps maintain genetic diversity by preventing intermarriage between close relatives. The quarian presents their gift to the captain of the new ship to prove they will not be a burden on the crew. Although the gift may be rejected if it is subpar, this is very rare, as most captains are eager to welcome a new shipmate on board. Having a large crew is a prestigious thing, as it means the captain has the financial and material means to provide for many people.
Conditions aboard most quarian ships are extremely cramped. It is not uncommon for all family members to share the same small living space, which in turn is in close proximity to many other families' quarters. These spaces are often uncomfortable and ill-designed for living in, having been reappropriated from other functions such as storage. Families decorate their individual dwellings with colorful quilts, which serve to muffle sound and also to make the environment more cozy. Quarians place low value on personal possessions, instead evaluating objects by their usefulness and bartering them for other items once they are no longer needed. Every ship has a designated trading deck where those looking to barter can gather to do business.
Quarians wear their environmental suits at all times, partly in case of a hull breach and partly in response to the lack of personal space aboard the flotilla. Because their suits make it hard to identify individuals on sight, quarians have developed the habit of exchanging names whenever they meet. Over time, the environmental suits themselves have gained symbolic and cultural significance, and being fitted with their first suit is considered a rite of passage. After returning to the fleet after their pilgrimage, they may alter their suit to reflect their new status as adults. Linking suit environments is seen as the ultimate gesture of trust and affection.
Due to their history with the geth, quarians are reluctant to place complete trust in virtual or artificial intelligences, but they also show surprising compassion towards them and are far more likely than other species to treat them as living beings.
Quarians refer to commanding officers of any ships, quarian or non-quarian, as captain, regardless of rank. Their reasoning is that the CO's decisions always carry great weight on his/her own ship.
EconomyThe quarians have a very different economic system from the rest of the galaxy. While credits influence what is available in Citadel space, currency is non-existent in quarian society. Quarians value the little space they have above all else, so no unused items are kept to maximize space. When a quarian has an item they do not need, they place it in a public area, in what resembles a market. The items available are put into storage lockers, and those in need may simply take what they find. Since quarian society is based around honor and loyalty to their fellow quarians, there is rarely disagreement.
However, food and medicine are handled more strictly. The food coming from both the Liveships and from scout ships is put into a central stock and distributed carefully to individuals. Outgoing food is tracked carefully, so as not to put the Migrant Fleet at risk of food shortage, or worse, mass starvation. Medicine is also distributed carefully. However, since the quarians wear their enviro-suits everywhere, even when aboard the Migrant Fleet, they are at a very low risk of sickness. Controlling the flow of medicine also creates an emergency stockpile in case of a widespread outbreak, which is necessary since the quarian immune system is so weak.
Another means of resource income for the Fleet is from whatever system that the Migrant Fleet is passing through at the time; the quarians will strip-mine asteroids for resources with well-trained efficiency. Any other races with industrial or corporate interests in that system will often offer a "gift" of ships, food, or other supplies to encourage the Fleet to leave. Usually, the Admiralty Board accepts the gift, as the Migrant Fleet is in no position to decline resources. In addition, some ships may linger in orbit over inhabited worlds to sell refreshments, supplies, and various trinkets to the locals.
ReligionThe quarians used to practice a form of ancestor worship. This involved taking a personality imprint from the individual and developing it into an interface similar to a VI. The quarians began experimenting with making these imprints more and more sophisticated, hopefully leading to the wisdom of their ancestors being preserved in an imprint that could be truly intelligent. However, the geth destroyed the quarians' ancestor databanks when they rebelled. Some quarians saw their subsequent exile as punishment for their hubris, but most accept that the geth rebellion was a mistake, not a punishment.
However, respect for their ancestors is still prevalent in quarian society. Admiral Shala'Raan vas Tonbay opens an Admiralty Board proceeding offering thanks to their ancestors, who saved them from the geth by founding the Migrant Fleet.
Tali sometimes exclaims "Keelah!" when shocked, and many quarians offer the phrase "Keelah se'lai" as an apparent benediction or religious oath. This means "By the home world I hope to see one day." It is often said in the same vein as "peace be with you" and resembles the Islamic الله أكبر (transliteration: Allāhu Akbar, English: 'God is Greatest'), the Christian Deus Vult (Latin for 'God Wills It'), or the Hebrew "ברוך אתה אדוני" (transliteration: Baruch Atta Adonai, English: 'Blessed are you, Lord').
GovernmentThere are roughly 17 million quarians on the Migrant Fleet (also called the Flotilla). It is technically still under martial law but is now governed by bodies such as the Admiralty Board and the democratically-elected Conclave, though ship captains and onboard civilian councils tend to address most issues "in-house" before it gets that far. Quarians are divided into several clans that can be spread across several ships, or restricted to one.
Origins: Sur'Kesh, Pranas System, Milky Way
Home worlds: Nexus & Kadara
Average Height: 6'6" - 7'9"
Average Weight: 150-200lbs
Average Life Span: 35 - 40 years
BiologyThe salarians are a bipedal race of amphibians, with tall, elongated bodies well-suited for their high metabolism, and skeletons composed of more cartilage than those of other races such as humans. Salarian heads are long and thin, and have a pair of horns protruding from the top of their skulls. Skin varies in color, from bright reds and greens to the more common shades of blue or grey. Their blood is a greenish color.
Salarian eyes are large and oval and have thin membranes in place of eyelids. The pupils are a wide slit, oriented horizontally, and the irises can be dark green, purple, red, blue, or brown. Salarians can see ultraviolet at the short-wavelength end of the spectrum. Salarians blink upwards, rather than downwards as humans do. When salarians roll their eyes, it is not a sign of disdain as with humans, but rather a response to situations where the thin protective membranes require extra help in defending against dryness or irritants.
Salarians are noted for their high-speed metabolism, which allows them to function on just one hour of sleep a day. Their minds and bodies work faster than most sapient races, making them seem restless or hyperactive. The drawback of this active metabolism is a short lifespan of around 40 human years.
The salarians are amphibian haplo-diploid egg-layers; unfertilized eggs produce males and fertilized eggs produce females. Once a year, a salarian female will lay a clutch of dozens of eggs. Social rules prevent all but a fraction from being fertilized. As a result, 90% of the species is male.
Salarians have photographic memories and rarely forget a fact. They also possess a form of psychological "imprinting", tending to defer to those they knew in their youth. Salarian hatching is a solemn ritual in which the clan matriarch, known as the Dalatrass, isolates herself with the eggs. The young salarians psychologically imprint on her and tend to defer to her wishes. During the hatching of daughters, the Dalatrasses of the mother and father’s clans are present at the imprinting. This ensures the offspring have equal loyalty to both, ensuring the desired dynastic and political unity.
Salarian sex drive and reproduction differ from that of humans, with Mordin Solus claiming that it is not hormone-based. Reproduction is more of a necessity and salarians do not seem to desire sex for pleasure. They are, however, attracted to the asari, and one salarian notes that "even humans find the Consort irresistible."
CultureSalarians excel at invention, preferring to use cutting-edge technology rather than settle for anything less. For example, their GARDIAN starship defenses put emphasis on high performance over reliability even though a malfunction could cost lives. Even Schells rejected a cheating device that used "brute force," spending five years to refine it into a more sophisticated, undetectable system.
The salarians see information gathering and even spying as a matter of course when dealing with other races, but to them this is not underhanded: they simply embrace the dictum of "knowledge is power". Alliance counterintelligence agencies are constantly uncovering salarian agents and cyber-warfare incursions, but there is little they can do to stop them. As a salarian information broker once told David Anderson, "Your species has been transmitting data across the extranet for less than a decade. My species has been directing the primary espionage and intelligence operations for the Council for two thousand years."
Normally, the rare salarian females are cloistered on their worlds out of tradition and respect. Powerful female Dalatrasses are dynasts and political kingpins. They determine the political course of their respective regions through shrewd negotiation. Though male salarians rise to positions of great authority in business, academia, or the military, they rarely have any input on politics; one notable exception to this rule is Valern, a male salarian representing his race on the Citadel Council in 2183.
Due to their method of reproduction, salarians have no concept of romantic love, sexual attraction, or the biological impulses and social rituals that complicate other species' lives. Male-female relationships are rare (due to the scarcity of females) and more akin to human friendship. Sexuality is strictly for the purpose of reproduction. Ancient social codes determine who gets to fertilize eggs, which produces more daughters to continue the bloodline. Fertilization generally only occurs after months of negotiation between the parents' clans, and is done for purposes of political and dynastic alliance. No salarian would imagine defying this code.
Salarian names are quite complex. A full name includes – in order – the name of a salarian's homeworld, nation, city, district, clan name and given name. For example, a salarian named Gorot II Heranon Mal Dinest Got Inoste Ledra would be called either by his clan name, Inoste, or his given name, Ledra.
The salarian race also includes the Lystheni "offshoot." How the Lystheni are distinct from mainline salarians and why they are currently unwelcome in Council space is unrevealed. Lystheni salarians may be found living among batarians, exiled quarians, and other galactic refuse at Omega.
Salarians celebrate "Betau," the first day of their New Year. Traditionally, it marks the end of winter in the southern hemisphere on the salarian homeworld, Sur'Kesh. During this occasion, they repay debts, and petition favors from one another.
When it comes to keeping secrets, salarians have two types of social cues. The first type is personal or guilt-based, and invites suspicion and exploration. The second type is for secrets deemed dangerous if discovered, and signals discourage curiosity for protection of the relevant parties. Reflexive body language conveys the type of secret and cannot be faked convincingly; an analogue is that of a human faking a yawn.
ReligionSalarians are not notably religious, but as free-willed sentients there are exceptions. One of the less favored salarian religions (which the Council deems a "cult") worships a goddess, and claims that a certain pattern of overlapping craters in the southern hemisphere of Trelyn resembles her. Liara T'Soni comments that many salarians believe in a wheel of life, which Mordin Solus likens to Hinduism due to a shared belief in reincarnation.
GovernmentThe salarian government, since at least the formation of the Council in 500 BCE, is called the Salarian Union. It is a labyrinthine web of matrilineal bloodlines, with political alliances formed through interbreeding.
In many ways, the salarian political network functions like the noble families of Earth’s Medieval Europe. Structurally, the government consists of fiefdoms, baronies, duchies, planets, and marches (colonization clusters). These are human nicknames, as the original salarian is unpronounceable. Each area is ruled by a single Dalatrass (matriarchal head-of-household) and represents an increasing amount of territory and prestige within the salarian political web.
Approaching 100 members, the first circle of a salarian's clan comprises parents, siblings, uncles, aunts, and cousins. The next circle includes second cousins, etc., and escalates to well over 1000 members. The fourth or fifth circle of a clan numbers into the millions. Salarian loyalty is greatest to their first circle and diminishes from there. Their photographic memories allow salarians to recognize all their myriad relatives.
Origins: Palaven, Trebia System, Milky Way
Home worlds: Nexus & Kadara
Average Height: 6' - 7'ft
Average Weight: 190 - 275lbs
Average Lifespan: 100 - 150 years
BiologyTurians typically stand over six feet tall, have two long, proportionately thick fingers and an opposable thumb on each hand, each tipped with talons, and a set of mandibles around their mouths. The most distinguishing feature of turians is their metallic carapace, which contains trace amounts of thulium. The turians evolved this trait as a defense against the greater levels of solar radiation that penetrate their homeworld's weak magnetic field.
Turian features are avian, making them resemble humanoid birds or raptors, however unlike most Earth avian creatures, turians are viviparous and give birth to live young. In 2165, David Anderson claimed that turians reminded him of the evolutionary link between birds and dinosaurs. Turians are also recognisable by their voices, which have a distinctive flanging effect. Males and females do not differ greatly in physical appearance, but female turians lack the crest of horns found in the males of the race. The lifespan of a turian is comparable to that of a human.
Turians exhibit the characteristics of predators rather than those of prey species (compare to krogan biology). Their forward-facing alert eyes give the impression that they possess outstanding eyesight and their teeth and jaws mimic the structures possessed by apex predators such as crocodiles or ancient, carnivorous dinosaurs. Needless to say, their talons on both their feet and hands seem capable of ripping flesh. As such, their diet is primarily meat-based. Their slender bodies also seem to suggest that they are also capable of moving at high speeds.
The turian homeworld, Palaven, has a metal-poor core, generating a weak magnetic field and allowing more solar radiation into the atmosphere. To deal with this, most forms of life on Palaven evolved some form of metallic "exoskeleton" to protect themselves. Their reflective plate-like skin makes turians less susceptible to long-term, low-level radiation exposure, but they do not possess any sort of "natural armor". A turian's thick skin does not stop projectiles and directed energy bolts. Turian blood has a dark blue colouration.
Although life on Palaven is carbon-based and oxygen-breathing, it is built on dextro-amino acids. This places the turians in a distinct minority on the galactic stage; the quarians are the only other sapient dextro-protein race. The food of humans, asari, or salarians (who evolved in levo-amino acid-based biospheres), will at best pass through turian systems without providing any nutrition. At worst, it will trigger an allergic reaction that can be fatal if not immediately treated. The turian mechanic Lilihierax on Noveria uses the idiom, "if you can polish enough gizzard". This suggests that the turians have a digestive system similar to birds and reptiles on Earth, some of whom swallow stones to help break down harder foods in the stomach.
CultureSince the Unification War, turians normally wear elaborate tattoos marking their colony of origin, though it is not known which markings distinguish which colony or if color has any meaning. These markings are usually white — particularly on turians with darker carapaces — but can be of other colors such as blue for Garrus Vakarian or red for Nyreen Kandros. The lack of facial markings is looked down upon in turian society; the turian term "barefaced" refers to one who is beguiling or not to be trusted. It is also a slang term for politicians.
Skin tones similar Mordin Solus' own are apparently attractive by turian standards. For male turians at least, complimenting a potential partner's waist or head fringe seems to be a way of expressing attraction.
Turians are noted for their strong sense of public service. It is rare to find one who puts his needs ahead of the group. Every citizen from age 15 to 30 serves the state in some capacity, as anything from a soldier to an administrator, from a construction engineer to a sanitation worker. Turians have a strong inclination toward public service and self-sacrifice, so they tend to be poor entrepreneurs. To compensate, they accepted the mercantile volus as a client race, offering protection in exchange for their fiscal expertise.
Turian society is highly regimented and very organized, and the species is known for its strict discipline and work ethic. Turians are willing to do what needs to be done, and they always follow through. They are not easily spurred to violence, but when conflict is inevitable, they only understand a concept of "total war." They do not believe in skirmishes or small-scale battles; they use massive fleets and numbers to defeat an adversary so completely that they remove any threat of having to fight the same opponent more than once. They do not exterminate their enemy, but so completely devastate their military that the enemy has no choice but to become a colony of the turians. It is theorized that another conflict between the rapidly advancing humans and the turians could annihilate a large portion of known space.
The turian military is the center of their society. It is not just an armed force; it is an all-encompassing public works organization. The military police are also the civic police. The fire brigades serve the civilian population as well as military facilities. The corps of engineers builds and maintains spaceports, schools, water purification plants, and power stations. The merchant marine ensures that all worlds get needed resources.
Other species see turians as "men of action," and they are generally regarded as the most progressive of the Citadel races (though some species believe humans are rivalling this position). Since their culture is based on the structure of a military hierarchy, changes and advances accepted by the leadership are quickly adopted by the rest of society with minimal resistance.
While turians are individuals with personal desires, their instinct is to equate the self with the group, and to set aside all personal desires for the good of all. Turians are taught to have a strong sense of personal accountability, the 'turian honor' that other races find so remarkable. Turians are taught to own every decision they make, good or ill. The worst sin they can make in the eyes of their people is to lie about their own actions. Turians who murder will try to get away with it, but if directly questioned, most will confess the crime.
ReligionTurians believe that groups and areas have "spirits" that transcend the individual. For example, a military unit would be considered to have a literal spirit that embodies the honor and courage it has displayed. A city's spirit reflects the accomplishments and industry of its residents. An ancient trees spirit reflects the beauty and tranquility of the area it grows within.
These spirits are neither good nor evil, nor are they appealed to for intercession. Turians do not believe spirits can affect the world, but spirits can inspire the living. Prayers and rituals allow an individual to converse with a spirit for guidance or inspiration. For example, a turian who finds his loyalty tested may appeal to the spirit of his unit, hoping to reconnect with the pride and honor of the group. A turian who wishes to create a work of art may attempt to connect with the spirit of a beautiful location.
Turians enjoy absolute freedom of religion and can practice whatever appeals to them so long as it does not impede anyone's ability to perform their duties. There are many practitioners of the asari siarist philosophy. Since opening dialog with the human Systems Alliance, some turians have embraced Confucianism and Zen Buddhism.
In the past, turians believed that titans strode across Palaven, reaching for the heavens. They worshiped these deities and communicated with them at a structure called Temple Palaven. The temple was tended to by a religious order called the Valluvian Priests, who wear special purple robes which obscure their forms. In order for turians to join this order, they had to be considered worthy enough through some action. When the turians spread out from Palaven and discovered other life among the stars, however, they sealed Temple Palaven because they no longer needed legends to prod them upward. With the temple abandoned, eventually the Valluvian Priests fell into legend.
GovernmentThe turian government, known as the Turian Hierarchy, is a hierarchical meritocracy. While it has great potential for misuse, this is tempered by the civic duty and personal responsibility turians learn during their childhood.
Turians have 27 citizenship tiers, beginning with civilians (client races and children). The initial period of military service is the second tier. Formal citizenship is conferred at the third tier, after boot camp. For client races, citizenship is granted after the individual musters out. Higher-ranked citizens are expected to lead and protect subordinates. Lower-ranking citizens are expected to obey and support superiors. Promotion to another tier of citizenship is based on the personal assessment of one's superiors and co-rankers. At the top are the Primarchs, who each rule a colonization cluster. The Primarchs vote on matters of national importance. They otherwise maintain a "hands-off" policy, trusting the citizens on each level below them to do their jobs competently.
Throughout their lives, turians ascend to the higher tiers and are occasionally "demoted" to lower ones. The stigma associated with demotion lies not on the individual, but on those who promoted them when they weren't ready for additional responsibility. This curbs the tendency to promote individuals into positions beyond their capabilities. Settling into a role and rank is not considered stagnation. Turians value knowing one's own limitations more than being ambitious.
Turians enjoy broad freedoms. So long as one completes their duties, and does not prevent others from completing theirs, nothing is forbidden. For example, there are no laws against recreational drug use, but if someone is unable to complete their duties due to drug use, their superiors step in. Judicial proceedings are 'interventions.' Peers express their concern, and try to convince the offender to change. If rehabilitation fails, turians have no qualms about sentencing dangerous individuals to life at hard labor for the state.
The turian imperial anthem is called "Die for the Cause."
Origins: Irune, Aru System, Milky Way
Home worlds: Quarian Ark, then Nexus
Average Height: 3' - 4’
Average Weight: 50 - 150lbs
Average Life Span: 85 - 100 years
BiologyThe volus homeworld Irune features an ammonia-based ecology and a gravitational field 1.5 times that of Earth, as well as a high-pressure atmosphere. This is reflected in the physiology of the volus themselves. The volus are unable to survive unprotected in an atmosphere more suitable to humans and other carbon-based lifeforms, and as such require protective suits capable of providing the proper atmosphere, as well as being pressurized to support the volus. Traditional nitrogen/oxygen air mixtures are poisonous to them, and in the low pressure atmospheres tolerable to most species, their flesh will actually split open.
As the volus are never seen outside of their protective suits, little else is known about their appearance and physiology. It has been noted; however, that volus have cloacae, a trait they share with the salarians. Some volus individuals have also shown themselves capable of using biotics.
Despite individuals distinctly sounding like males or females to human listeners, volus genders are apparently a mystery as well. The volus themselves consider the question both intrusive and hilariously irrelevant, to the point that supposedly the STG has a running tally of all the blatant misinformation the volus have said on the subject. With little else to go on, people simply assign an arbitrary gender value on a volus based on what they sound like.
CultureVolus culture is dominated by trade, whether it be of land, resources, or even other tribe members. The volus have a reputation as traders and merchants, and many, such as Barla Von, work as some of the best financial advisers in Citadel space. Due to the volus not being physically adept, they tend not to be violent, and can even seem overly-pacifistic and cowardly to other, more militant species. The volus homeworld Irune is remarkable for having done away with warfare as an institution of the state, as the volus lack the romantic view of war found in the galaxy's more aggressive species. Physical skirmishes between groups rarely last long, and are almost always ended by social castigation, bargaining agreements, or harsh economic sanctions. The volus hold in high regard an artifact called the Book of Plenix, which calls for charity and forgiveness of debts in case the volus do become involved in war. The artifact's last known location is on their homeworld Irune during the onset of the Reaper War in 2186.
Volus have two names but no family names. According to volus sensibilities one cannot own a person, so using a family name would essentially be laying claim to their offspring. Possibly because of their tribal origins, volus tend to refer to members of other races by their source world rather than species name (i.e. "Earth-clan" instead of "human"). A notable exception to this is that they refer to quarians as "Migrant-clan", or "clanless", due to their lack of a homeworld. They also tend to refer to themselves as "Vol-clan".
Known volus nonverbal cues include laying one's palms flat on a table, an action roughly analogous to humans steepling their fingers.
GovernmentThe volus government is known as the Vol Protectorate. Rather than being a fully sovereign government in its own right, the Protectorate is a client state of the Turian Hierarchy. In return for falling under the protective umbrella of the turian military, the volus pay a tax to the Hierarchy, as well as deferring to the turians in all foreign policy matters and providing auxiliary troops to the turian armed forces. They maintained an embassy on the Citadel, making them an associate species of the Council, though they shared their embassy with the elcor.
Origins: Heshtok, Kyzil System, Milky Way
Home worlds: Quarian Ark, then Kadara
Average Height: 5' - 6’
Average Weight: 100 - 200lbs
Average Life Span: 20 - 30 years
BiologyThe vorcha are the shortest-lived sapient species currently known, with an average lifespan of only 20 years.
The vorcha are known for a rather unique biology that differentiates them from other known species and which carries with it a striking set of advantages and disadvantages. They have clusters of non-differentiated cells, similar to those found on the planarian worm of Earth. These cells allow the vorcha limited regenerative abilities, as well as the ability to adapt quickly to its environment, such as developing thicker skin after being burned or increased musculature to survive in high gravity. When a vorcha is injured or in distress, these cells move to the affected area and rapidly (~1 week) mature to specialized forms that will alleviate the issue. This also makes the Vorcha immune to almost all disease.
A vorcha that is cut or burned will adapt to have thicker skin. The lungs of a vorcha placed in a barely-breathable atmosphere will adapt to better use the gases there. A vorcha subjected to high gravity will quickly develop stronger heart and leg muscles. Non-differentiated vorcha cell clusters do replenish themselves, but the process is slow. Generally, vorcha can only adapt to a single environment within their brief lives. However, what cells are replaced allow them to heal rapidly, and even to regrow lost limbs over a period of months.
As a consequence of this, the vorcha as a species no longer evolve as other races do. The vorcha equivalent of DNA has remained unchanged for millions of years. There is no need for them to evolve as a species when they can adapt as individuals.
CultureVorcha society is built around combat. In fact, the vorcha use combat, both individually and in groups, as their default form of communication resulting in their communications being primarily non-verbal. The vorcha are a clan based people who prefer living in communal environments with others of their species to living alone or in the company of alien races. When a clan population grows too large, younger members will depart to start a new clan elsewhere. The vorcha are extremely aggressive, both against rivals of their own species and against any alien who stands in their way. Vorcha who have managed to escape their homeworld have a tendency to occupy uninhabited areas of space stations or larger spaceships.
The vorcha are not themselves a space-faring race, although many have found their way off-world as stowaways on ships visiting their homeworld. The vorcha who escaped their hostile homeworld did so by hiding on the ships of space-faring races that had the misfortune of visiting their planet. Their adaptability and resilience allows them to flourish in the dark and dirty corners of the places they end up.
Seeing the potential of the vorcha's individual adaptability, krogan Blood Pack mercenaries often sweep pockets of vorcha, gathering them up and literally beating them into soldiers. Vorcha "trained" by this ordeal are stronger, faster, smarter, and more resilient than other members of the race. Gaining even a few vorcha gives a mercenary band a formidable advantage; each additional vorcha magnifies the gang's combat ferocity exponentially.
Shortly after the vorcha's discovery, several asari mining corporations adopted vorcha orphans from Heshtok, raising them to live nonviolent lives and employed them in the mining industry on Parasc. While these efforts were at first labeled colonialist, the orphans became minor celebrities when it was discovered that the vorcha habit of using violence to communicate was not completely innate. Several spoke throughout Citadel space on behalf of their species, but their short life spans kept their careers very brief. Even today, companies that want vorcha labor have the poor choice between adopting and educating them as youngsters just to watch them age and die or dealing with autonomous but violent adults.
GovernmentThe vorcha do not have a recognized single government that would allow them membership in any galactic league. Alliances between bloodlines are tenuous at best, and the vorcha's short, violent lives ensure there are few lasting institutions.
In Andromeda, the vorcha had not been involved with the Initiative project. After they were discovered having snuck on board the Quarian Ark, they were quickly exiled to live out the remainder of their lives on Kadara.
Origins: Parnack, Milky Way
Home worlds: Quarian Ark, then Kadara
Average Height: 7' - 9’
Average Weight: 300 - 400lbs
Average Life Span: 60-200 years
BiologyThe yahg evolved to fill the niche of apex predator on Parnack. Yahg have four pairs of eyes, each pair designed to track and predict the movements of prey. A keen sensitivity to movement and light allows the yahg to easily read the body language of any species, making it almost impossible to lie to a yahg.
They have scaly, partially armored skin ranging from red to brown, a triangular mouth adorned with sharp teeth, two large horns and facial markings on their heads. Their hands each have three fingers which include a thumb, as well as three toes on each foot.
The yahg possess a large, muscular body, standing over even the krogan, which provides considerable physical strength and agility. Apparently, this wasn't always the case, as the Prothean Javik claims that the yahg were smaller during his cycle 50,000 years ago.
CultureYahg society is built around a pack mentality. A group of yahg will not cooperate until a single leader has attained dominance through either social maneuvering or brute force. Once the leader is established, the defeated yahg do not hold a grudge and former rivals serve their new superior loyally. Due to this mentality, the concept of equality is offensive to them.
In Andromeda, the yahg had not been involved with the Initiative project. After they were discovered having snuck on board the Quarian Ark, they were quickly exiled to live out the remainder of their lives on Kadara.
Site Currency (Credits)
Here we use a site currency called Credits. They're automatically given when posting in certain forums explained below.
You will earn 5 Credits per post and 10 Credits for each thread you create. Only in-character forums for roleplaying will give out credits. Areas such as your development board won't provide credits (but you can claim some by posting prompts in there!).
For now the site currency is used to purchase every character account after your first. It's also used to purchase nomads, ships, and planets (though a guide for how planets will work is still being developed). In the future we'll be implementing more purchasable content; you are always welcome to post in our suggestions forum to tell us what you'd like to see added.
How to get credits► Posting in the in-character forums (Like Nexus, Kadara, Deep Space etc)
► Posting in other characters shippers over in our plotting forum
► Posting wanted ads for your character (via our claiming form*)
► Posting open threads (via our claiming form*)
► Completing writing prompts (via our claiming form*)
► Participating in site events
* Our claiming form is available to registered members
Best way for newbies?If you're really needing to bring those credits up quickly here's what we suggest you try:
► Start with getting your character more established. Do they have any family or friends? Maybe looking for a crew for the ship you've purchased? Maybe even an open spot which members on the board can take without making a new character to fill the slot! Post up wanted ads. Every ad you do will earn you credits. There's no limit to how many people you request. Someone will surely bite if you give them enough to chew!
► To the meat and gravy, you're here to roleplay! So get out there and get plotting with others. Every post you do on their plotter will earn you credits. Be warned though, not everyone will check their plotters regularly. (You could also link your own plotter in our discord chat and see what bites! Post some ideas in the plotting channel gather up some interest!)
► Start filling the in-character boards with open threads. Every thread will not only get you the auto 10 credits for posting them, but you can claim more for each thread in our claiming form. Once you get a thread going every post you do in it will gain you more credits too.
► We seriously love character development, that's why we created prompts which you can complete for more XP and credits for your character. Some are super easy, like #03 asks you just to post a music playlist with at least 10 songs in your member board. We're hoping to make enough so that there's plenty to keep you busy if you ever need a quick credits grab, all while adding depth to your character!
► Every now and then we'll post up site events to participate in. Everyone who participates is guaranteed a little something because we seriously appreciate anyone who puts effort into attending our events!
Experience Points (XP)
For now, experience points are a way for a member to determine their characters level progression on the site. The amount of XP you can earn varies depending on the tasks. Additionally, this is also how we'll be determining a characters power / biotics / strength on site through skill points. Higher leveled characters will be considered more powerful as they will have higher skills. The skills can be found on a characters main profile (by clicking their username).
The skill numbers themselves are arbitrary, basically just compare it to your current writing partner and the higher number means that character is better than most others at that specific skill. Having 50+ in a skill will not make you a god, it just means you'll likely be better at that skill than those you encounter.
You could essentially play on the site without ever leveling your character, participating in this feature is completely optional. Just be aware it'll mean the characters you encounter will be stronger.
Every character on site will start as a level 1. There's a number of ways to gain more levels but we mostly focus on it being plot development through completed threads. To give you an idea, the AVP level in the top right is the highest level across the site. No characters on site have surpassed that.
Everyone progresses at their own pace, it's up to you to decide yours.
Level 1 to Level 2 = 200XP
How to get XP► Post up an introduction thread of yourself and let us get to know you a bit more.
► Posting or taking on a wanted ad
► Taking on canons (in-game characters from ME:A or the trilogy)
► Complete threads, prompts, missions & events
► Creating open threads
► Advertising our site
* To collect XP you will need to claim it on our claiming form, which is available to registered members
Best way for newbies?If you're really want to bring up those character levels quickly, here's what we suggest you try:
► Posting up an intro is a one time thing but a nice way to level up your first character right away. Will open up the use of skill points from level 2.
► When starting a new character check the wanted ads. Taking one of those or a canon will get you XP. Posting your own wanted ads will get you XP too!
► Completing threads takes a while but gets you a huge amount of XP. Every post in there, from you and your writing partner combined, will get you both the same amount of XP. We wanted this to be a collaborative effort as a team! Group threads do the same thing too.
► Missions and events do the same thing as above, though they usually offer a higher reward of some kind. Always worth checking out and doing!
► Doing site prompts is arguably one of the easier ways to get some XP. Posting a prompt in your member board get you both XP and credits. We're always posting new ones so keep an eye out. Don't be shy to suggest more if there's any you'd like to see!
► Advertising the site won't get you much in the way of XP. It's more if you want to help the site get known you can do this, and the XP is just a little perk that comes with helping us!
Skill Points (SP)
General InformationSkill points are an ingame feature we've also brought over to the site, you can view a characters skill points from their main profile (by clicking a characters name to view their profile).
Level 1 starts out with none but you will gain +4 points each time you level up. A PM will be sent out to the character about their additional points to spend. You will also have the ability to purchase more using credits at the Merchants Kiosk.
There's 36 Skills for you to choose from and develop as you level up. Skill types break down into three main color coded categories: Combat (Red), Tech (Orange), and Biotics (Violet).
Ingame, biotic Skills are unavailable (or extremely rare) for some species such as Angara, Geth and Kett and Quarian. On site we're more lenient, just as long as there's a logical explanation for such a rarity.
Combat SkillsOmni Grenade
Andromeda Viability Points (A.V.P.)
In short, the Nexus leveling system with A.V.P. is a way for us to visually see plot progression across the site as a whole. Level one being our sites beginning, the start of our journey together. As stories and plots unfold, the Nexus will also level up to show that.
Each time you collect experience points (XP) through completed threads for your own character, you'll also be automatically collecting A.V.P. for the site. It's a nice way for us to show everyone's contributions, whatever you choose to do on site you'll play a key role in improving the Nexus.
You can see AVP progress in the top-right corner of the website. This is updated whenever someone claims XP in the Merchants Kiosk.
How to get AVPNothing too crazy, here's what you can do:
► Complete in-character threads, site missions and events. That easy!
General InformationWe have a store on site which can be used to spend all of those credits you accumulate. It's available to registered members and the most important use it has is purchasing additional character accounts, ships and planets.
Additional charactersYour first registered character is free to join, any after that will need to be brought. Each new account will require a credits purchase from all current accounts. Meaning if you have 2 or more characters, all of those characters will need to purchase the character slot.
Since we don't really do activity checks that require posts, this is just to ensure all current characters are active on site before new accounts are made. It's been incredibly effective so far and doesn't limit members from making more accounts if their current characters have the credits available.
Character shipsSince this is a new galaxy and the struggle is real, we've needed to have resources also reflect that. It's one of the reasons why we don't allow new characters to have a ship of their own right off the bat. Things like that need to be worked for. They aren't too difficult to obtain, a few writing prompts and it's all yours, but maintaining a ship and it's crew will be your own responsibility.
We have a section in our occupations claim for ships and their crews to be listed. Your ship will get its own roleplaying forum too. Don't be shy to post a wanted ad for more crew members and link it up in our discord chat! This adds a whole other element to roleplay if you want it.
Ships are completely optional and not necessary for space travel. Your character will not be trapped in a location without a ship of their own (unless you want them to). They can make use of the cargo ships which travel between colonized planets, or catch a ride on another players ship. Their employer could even get them transported to a location if their job requires them to be somewhere. Totally up to you if you want to roleplay out these aspects.
Purchasing PlanetsSo this is exorbitantly priced and will be something characters can work towards over a long period of time. There is a Planetary Guide in production which will lay out the pricing of planets in a more segmented fashion. This will mean while completely habitable planets will still be high priced, they will be achievable through team effort.
We'll make an announcement when this becomes available, keep an eye out!
Equipment, Weapons & ArmorThis is not sold in the merchants kiosk. It means you're completely free to add and take away what your character has at your own discretion. All we ask is that you keep it reasonable and logical. Start with basics and build your character's stuff up through threads and plots. A level one character really shouldn't be running around in N7 armor taking down higher level characters and have an entire Nexus' supply of medigels in their closet.
Prepare your team for a fight!Another new feature currently being heavily developed. Our aim is to provide another element to collaborative roleplay through the form of factions. Teams can go head to head in special events to earn special roles and titles. Every member in your team will be a key player to contributing more resources to your faction.
This will be a solid team effort to maintain a faction, so if anyone important in a faction goes inactive it won't be detrimental to the factions progress.
This feature isn't finished yet, but in the meantime you are welcome to create a faction and add them to the occupations claim (no requirements needed to do so). Feel free to post up a wanted ad looking for new faction members and share the link in our discord chat.