Aliens - Non-Council Races

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The Codex
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Aliens - Non-Council Races

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BATARIANS

In the early 2160s, the Alliance began aggressive colonization of worlds in the Skyllian Verge, much to the dismay of the batarians who had been developing the region for several decades. In 2171, the batarians petitioned the Council to declare the Verge a "zone of batarian interest". The Council refused, however, declaring unsettled worlds in the region open to human colonization.

In protest, the batarians closed their Citadel embassy and severed official diplomatic relations with the Council, effectively becoming a rogue state. They instigated a proxy war in the Verge by funneling money and weapons to criminal organizations, urging them to strike at human colonies.

Hostilities peaked with the Skyllian Blitz of 2176, an attack on the human capital of Elysium by batarian-funded pirates and slavers. In 2178, the Alliance retaliated with a crushing assault on the moon of Torfan, long used as a staging base by batarian-backed criminals. In the aftermath, the batarians retreated into their own systems, and are now rarely seen in Citadel space.
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COLLECTORS

Living beyond the Omega-4 mass relay in the Terminus Systems, the mysterious Collector species is glimpsed so rarely as to be taken for a myth by most in galactic society. In reality, Collectors are human-sized insectoid bipeds and can resemble massive winged beetles. They are a terrifying force in the galaxy, responsible for the murder of hundreds of thousands.

Collectors generate permanent stasis fields around themselves, creating nightmarish red-shifted energy fields. In battle, they hold position whenever possible, relying on their aggressive biotics and nearly limitless power. Several types of bipedal Collectors have been identified, including minions, defenders, zealots, assassins, and artillery-operators.

Acting together, Collectors have imprisoned entire cities in stasis. While no definitive forensic accounting exists to explain the fate of those imprisoned, leading speculation is that victims are harvested for scientific experimentation and neuro-biological repurposing.
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Re: Aliens - Non-Council Races

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DRELL

Two centuries ago, the hanar helped 375,000 members of the drell race migrate to the hanar homeworld, Kahje, to escape the environmental extermination that had claimed the remaining 11 billion drell.

Nearly all drell demonstrate tremendous loyalty to their famously reclusive saviors. The intimacy of their relationship, expressed in a formal sociopolitical alliance called the Compact, also results in extremely close personal relations in which some drell actually learn hanar Soul names. While most drell reside on Kahje, some assist hanar off-world as envoys, researchers, co-investors, wayfarers, assassins or otherwise, eager to help their saviors. For a century, galactic wisdom has held that behind any high-ranking hanar hides a resourceful and fanatically devoted drell.

The omnivorous, reptilian drell possess an average life span of 85 galactic standard years. Having evolved on an arid planet, drell face serious illness on the hanar homeworld, especially Kepral's Syndrome, a fatal bacterial lung disease.
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ELCOR

The elcor are a Citadel species native to the high-gravity world Dekuuna. They are massive creatures, standing on four muscular legs for increased stability. Elcor move slowly, an evolved response to an environment where a fall can be lethal. This has colored their psychology, making them deliberate and conservative.

Elcor speech is ponderous and monotone. Among themselves, scent, slight 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 often go out of their way to clarify when they are being sarcastic, amused, or angry.

Dekuuna's high gravity impedes mountain formation. Most of the world consists of flat, open plains which prehistoric elcor wandered across in small family bands. Modern elcor still prefer open sky, and become restless and uncomfortable on long starship journeys.
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GETH

The geth are a humanoid race of networked A.I.s. They were created by the quarians 300 years ago as tools of labor and war. When the geth showed signs of self-evolution, the quarians attempted to exterminate them. The geth won the resulting war. This example has led to legal, systematic repression of artificial intelligences in galactic society.

The geth possess a unique distributed intelligence. An individual has rudimentary animal instincts, but as their numbers and proximity increase, the apparent intelligence of each individual improves. In groups, they can reason, analyze situations, and use tactics as well as any organic race. The "Reaper upgrades" bestowed on the geth by the platform "Legion" has greatly amplified this ability, giving individual programs sentience that exists outside of the Collective.

Geth space is located at the trailing end of the Perseus Arm, beyond the lawless Terminus Systems. The Perseus Veil, an obscuring "dark nebula" of opaque gas and dust, lies between their space and the Terminus Systems.
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HANAR

The hanar are a Citadel species known for excessive politeness. They speak with scrupulous precision, and take offense at improper language. Hanar that expect to deal with other species take special courses to help them unlearn their tendency to take offense at improper speech.

All hanar have two names. The Face Name is known to the world; the Soul Name is kept for use among close friends and relations. Hanar never refer to themselves in the first person in conversation with someone they know on a Face Name basis. To do so is considered egotistical, so instead they refer to themselves as "this one", or the impersonal "it".

Their 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 the world, many hanar worship them, and hanar myths often speak of an elder race that civilized them by teaching them language.
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KEEPERS

When the asari discovered the Citadel, they also discovered the keepers, a docile multi-limbed insect race that seemingly exists only to maintain and repair the great Prothean station.

Early attempts to communicate with or study the keepers were failures, and it is now illegal to interfere with or impede keeper activity. Because they are completely non-threatening, keepers have become virtually invisible to everyone else. Similarly, they seem indifferent to other species, except for their tendency to help new arrivals integrate themselves into the Citadel.

No matter how many keepers die due to old age, violence, or accident, they maintain a constant number. No one has discovered the source of new keepers, but some hypothesize they are genetic constructs: biological androids created somewhere deep in the inaccessible core of the Citadel itself.
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KROGAN

The krogan evolved in a hostile and vicious environment. Until the invention of gunpowder weapons, "eaten by predators" was still the number one cause of krogan fatalities. Afterwards, it was "death by gunshot".

When the salarians discovered them, the krogan were a brutal, primitive species struggling to survive a self-inflicted nuclear winter. The salarians culturally uplifted them, teaching them to use and build modern technology so they could serve as soldiers in the Rachni War.

Liberated from the harsh conditions of their homeworld, the quick-breeding krogan experienced an unprecedented population explosion. They began to colonize nearby worlds, even though these worlds were already inhabited. The Krogan Rebellions lasted nearly a century, only ending when the turians unleashed the genophage, a salarian-developed bioweapon that crushed all krogan resistance.

The genophage made only one in 1,000 pregnancies viable, crushing all attempts to restore their population, and for a thousand years the krogan slowly withered from existence. Understandably, the krogan harbor a grudge against all other species, especially the turians. This grudge has been tentatively resolved with the cure of the genophage (and the ensuing Turian-Krogan-Human Alliance), but only time will tell if the krogan can keep their populations under control or if another wave of Rebellions will drive the species extinct.
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PRAETORIANS

See Also: The Reapers.

Hovering tanks resembling cross between an octopus and a giant crab, praetorians are well-armored killing machines of mysterious origin.

Praetorians employ redundant systems from the multiple humans encased within them. Armed with eye-mounted particle beams, they are capable of unleashing devastating close-range energy attacks that also regenerate their shields. Within hours after death, the organic components of praetorian corpses disintegrate into a denatured pus, while their mechanisms turn to ash. One specimen, autopsied within minutes of death, reveals a clue: nanomachines may disintegrate the praetorian's organic and mechanical components before self-destructing.

If correct, this self-rendering hypothesis could account for three documented cases of dead praetorians apparently releasing (or becoming) clouds of neurotoxic gases, causing suffocating paralysis and nearly-instant death. In one remote facility, 17 soldiers died from gas inhalation while assessing the praetorian. Any personnel in the vicinity of dead praetorians are urged to protect themselves with breathing apparatus.
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QUARIANS

Driven from their home system by the geth nearly three centuries ago, most quarians lived aboard the Migrant Fleet, a flotilla of fifty thousand vessels ranging in size from passenger shuttles to mobile space stations, until the end of the Reaper War.

Home to 17 million quarians, the flotilla understandably had scarce resources. Because of this, each quarian was required to go on a rite of passage known as the Pilgrimage when they come of age. They left the fleet, returning only once they found something of value they could bring back to their people.

The quarians now find themselves in a a major upheaval following the events of the Reaper invasion - most particularly, the Perseus Veil front now known colloquially as the Evening War. Now confronted by the homes of their ancestors and a race of their former killers interested in brokering peace, the entire military/political structure of the quarians finds itself at a precipice.

Other species tend to look down on the quarians for creating the geth and for the negative impact their fleet has when it enters a system. This has led to many myths and rumors about the quarians, including the belief that underneath their clothes and breathing masks, they are actually cybernetic creatures: a combination of organic and synthetic parts.
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VOLUS

The volus are a member species of the Citadel with their own embassy, but they are also a client race of the turians. Centuries ago, they were voluntarily absorbed into the Hierarchy, effectively trading their mercantile prowess for turian military protection.

Irune, their homeworld, lies far beyond the normal life zone of its star. However, the world has a high-pressure greenhouse atmosphere that traps enough heat to support an ammonia-based biochemistry. As a result, the volus must wear pressure suits and breathers when dealing with other species as conventional nitrogen/oxygen air mixtures are poisonous to them, and in the low pressure atmospheres tolerable to most species, their flesh will actually split open.

Volus culture is tribal, bartering lands and even people to gain status. This culture of exchange inclines them to economic pursuits. It was the volus who authored the Unified Banking Act, and they continue to monitor and balance the Citadel economy.
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VORCHA

Although they resemble a mammal-reptile cross, the vorcha have no terrestrial analogue. They are humanoid in form, but vorcha have "clusters" of non-differentiated neoblast cells, like those of Earth's planarian worms. Damaged vorcha cells mature into specialized structures to alleviate injury or stress. Transformations include thicker skin following injury, lung adaptation for barely-breathable atmospheres, and stronger cardio-skeletal muscle under high gravity. Skull capacity and brain size do not change, and vorcha rarely make more than one somatic overhaul.

Vorcha assault each other frequently, causing their young to gain strength, intelligence, and resilience. As a result, vorcha see inflicting and receiving pain as normal communication. Few vorcha study professions, in part because their average life expectancy is only 20 years. Because vorcha can eat and breathe nearly anything, they can live almost anywhere, but racism prevents them from integrating into most societies that dismiss them as vermin. They have few employment options beyond krogan mercenary bands.
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RACHNI

The rachni was a race that once threatened every species in Citadel space. Over 2,000 years ago, explorers foolishly opened a mass relay to a previously-unknown system and encountered something never seen before or since: a species of spacefaring insects guided by a hive-mind intelligence.

Unfortunately, the rachni were not peaceful, and the galaxy was plunged into a series of conflicts known as the Rachni Wars. Attempts to negotiate were futile, as it was impossible to make contact with the hive queens that guided the race from beneath the surface of their toxic homeworld.

The emergence of the krogan ended the Rachni Wars. Bred to survive the harshest environments, the krogan were able to strike at the queens in their lairs and reclaim conquered Council worlds. But when krogan fleets pressed them back to their homeworld, the rachni refused to surrender, and the krogan seemingly eradicated them from the galaxy.

During the Reaper invasion, a single queen, hatched from an egg that survived the Rachni Wars made contact with the Alliance. It offered assistance to the Crucible Project in exchange for the cessation of hostilities with Citadel races. The queen migrated to the Ninmah cluster before the Crucible fired, and disappeared from the Council's detection for several years. Their sudden re-emergence onto the galactic scene has become a cause of contention for every race threatened by their existence two millennia ago.

Enormously productive and deceptively diverse, the rachni remain poorly understood by many galactic governments. The rachni have made it clear that they stand, first and foremost, for themselves.
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