Asari (Mass Effect)
Asari are an alien species that feature in Mass Effect.
The Asari were a race of blue-skinned humanoids that were native to the planet Thessia that was a world rich in element zero thus making life develop biotic tendencies. Much of their early history featured heavy involvement by the Protheans who had cultivated a number of races that showed potential. During this period, the acts made by the Protheans were mythologized by the Asari who worshipped them as the goddess Athame who protected their people. These acts included deflecting a meteor that was destroyed by the Protheans and stopping the Oravores from conquering Thessias as that alien race desired the world's rich resources. These interventions were not limited to protecting the planet as the Protheans also directly manipulated Asari society as a whole. Such acts included Athame's guide Lucen who was actually a Prothean that passed their teachings to the Asari. In addition, another Janiri taught enlightenment to the Asari with the basics of mathematics and agriculture being taught to their kind after the Protheans felt pity for the race. One of the last acts of the Protheans was leaving a Virtual Intelligence behind that contained the truth about the Reapers and information on defeating them. This beacon was left behind on Thessia where it was kept in secret by the Asari in the Temple of Athame. Unknown to many, some of the Asari learnt of the Protheans and began mining the computer systems for knowledge thus developing much of their advanced technical base. Archaeological evidence pointed out that the abundant presence of resources on Thessia and the Asari's natural ability to cooperate led to them developing city-building, writing, and agriculture fairly early in their history with this being a point of pride among their scholars..
After studying a number of Prothean ruins, the species began to develop a space program leading to their astronauts exploring space. By 580 BCE, the Asari race achieved FTL technology allowing them interstellar flight through their study of Prothean technology. It was through exploration of the Mass Relay network leading to their eventual discovery of the Citadel as the hub of the system. Years later, they came to encounter another species that discovered the Relay's and the Citadel with them encountering the Salarians who in 520 BCE opening diplomatic ties with the Asari. This culminated in the founding of the Citadel Council in 500 BCE leading to the two species making the Citadel as the capital of galactic community.
In appearance, their species were humanoids notable for their blue skin and their feminine form. Asari were a mono-gendered species where they appeared to be an entirely female race. They reproduced through a form of parthenogenesis whereby they attuned their nervous system to another individual of any gender or even species that was used to produce offspring. They had robust cellular regenerative systems that whilst it did not allow them to heal faster than other races it did give them a long lifespan allowing them to reach 1,000 years of age. Across their lifespan, Asari went through three main stages during their life cycle. The first was referred to as the Maiden stage whereby they wandered restlessly and sought both knowledge along with experience. This was followed by the Matron stage whereby they 'melded' with interesting partners in order to produce an offspring. The cycle ended once they reached the Matriarch stage whereby they assumed roles of leadership and counsel. As a result of their long life span, Asari recognised the fact that they would outlive their partners among other races. As such, they developed a philosophy of celebrating the life they had with then rather then their death by old age.
They were a mono-gender species and were not divided between male or female but a single sex though did require a mate in order to reproduce. A unique trait of the race was that they were able to successfully reproduce with any other gender or even species. The resultant offspring of such a union even if with an alien race was always an asari and had two copies of their asari parents genes. This mating process as unique to their people and was referred to as melding or joining. The alien parent never served as the birthing mother in this role though their genetic material was added into the offspring. Asari believed in diversity of their genetic material and in their space travelling years they encouraged their kind with mating with other races as it added something new into their make-up. Some asari did mate with others of their kind creating children referred to as Purebloods though it was considered an insult to call another asari that term. This was because they believed that the addition of new genetic material from other races enhanced their people and mating with another asari did not contribute anything to their gene pool.
Ardat-Yakshi was genetic condition among their kind that created an imbalance in their neural system. This became problematic when an Asari bonded with another as their mate's neural system became disrupted and ultimately killed. The process had an addictive effect on the afflicted Asari as they gained traits such as intelligence and strength from each person they killed during the bonding process. As a result, such Ardat-Yakshi were considered a dangerous threat in Asari society and considered a great shame to other members of their kind.
A venerated term among their kind was Tiamna that meant 'guardian of the temples' who served as a champion that was faithful and charged with protecting another.
Though a refined sophisticated culture, criminality still remained in their society with the Asari responding to combating the most vicious criminals with the formation of the Justicar Order. Justicars were untouchable extrajudicial executioners that operated almost exclusively within Asari space. Their methods ranged from subtle to the most brutal depending on whichever approach was necessary to achieve their task. Justicars were trained for extreme-strength, biotic capacity, resourcefulness, asceticism and ruthlessness. Typically, they operated alone but their effectiveness arose from the huge body of knowledge they were able to access. Any Asari that joined this order had spent centuries in criminal investigation, military intelligence and combat experience with it said that their collective knowledge exceeding that of Councol Spectres. These Asari followed the tenets of the Justicars Code where they wandered across space to right any wrongs. The tenets of the code and its duties were compared to the knights-errant of Medieval Christendom or the Japanese Samurai. In Asari society, the fanatical Justicars were romanticised and fear among their kind.
The concept of a world government was something the Asari adopted late in their civilization. Their homeworld was instead filled with a number of loose confederacies of great republican states. Their culture had valued consensus and accommodation with this giving little need to form larger principalities. Thus instead of hoarding resources, they began to barter freely and instead of attacking one another over different philosophies they instead sought to understand one another. By the advent of the information age, the city-states then began to grow closer to one another leading to a kind of electronic democracy through communication over the internet with there not being any politicians or elections but rather free-wheeling, all-inclusive legislatures with citizens being able to participate at any point. Debates over policy occurred in all hours of the day with official chat rooms and forums being moderated by specifically-programmed virtual intelligences with these being open to the public at all times. Asari tended to favour the opinion of any Matriarchs present at the time and almost always deferred to their millennia-old experiences. This was typically the norm but in types of crisis public debates in achieving consensus too long to decide on a course of action which was why prompt decisions were made whereby Asari deferred to the wisdom of local Matriarchs.
Their military resembled a collection of tribal warrior bands with no national structure to it. This saw each community organise their own unit and elect a leader to command them. Thus, units from populous cities were larger and well equipped whilst those from smaller farming villages only had a few women armed with small firearms. There was no single uniform with every warrior wearing whatever they liked thus giving the appearance of an irregular militia though in reality they were all full-time professional combatants. These Asari huntresses were typically in the maiden stage of their lifespan with them having devoted 20-30 years in the study of martial arts with them choosing to be warriors from a young age. At that point, their education was dedicated in sharpening their talents for the mind and body for the purposes of combat. By the time of their retirement, the Asari had possessed a great proficiency towards killing people. Typically, they fought individually or in pairs with this depending on the tactics preferred by their home town. Individually, Asari huntresses were practicably unbeatable as they had profound tactical insight, an eye of a skilled hunter and a grace of a dancer. As biotics were common, a huntress had a requirement to be capable in their use and meant that a lack of biotic talent meant that the person was excluded from military service. Though a mobile and fluid combat force, the Asari military could not match the sheer strength of other races as their focus on small units meant that they often lacked heavy armor and support weapons that made them incapable of fighting in a conventional war or in defensive engagements. This resulted in their military often being used in special operations as they were adept in ambush, infiltration, assassination, demoralization and guerrilla atactics. It was for this reason that the Turians had a saying about the Asari that said, "The asari are the finest warriors in the galaxy. Fortunately, there are not many of them."
These Commandos trained from an early age to control both their minds and bodies where they were taught to fire each shot and make each decision without any hesitation. Training methods tended to vary among their teams though ultimately they tended to be professionals. Asari Commandos could perform ambushes, quick strikes, and used clever tactics that had bested larger enemy units with these being recorded in thousands of conflicts. One elite team was the Armali Sniper Unit who favoured long-range engagements with some even augmenting themselves with strength-boosting cybernetic implants allowing them to make use of heavier weapons with incredible precision.
Asari scientists tended to use their long life spans to become leading experts in their respective fields. This allowed their scholars to gain a perspective on cultural shifts affecting societies along with seeing the contextual forces behind new proposals that served to fuel hypotheses years ahead of time.
In times past, they once believed in deities that were separate from their world. Among them included the goddess Athame who had a number of guides such as Janiri and Lucen and left a lasting impact on their society. However, by latter years, there were few followers of this doctrine though she retained a temple on Thessia that was well maintained. In reality, Athame and many of the feats attributed to her were the result of Prothean interventions in their past with these acts being turned into myth by the Asari.
Asari came late to the concept of a world government with these developing slowly over centuries creating a loose confederacy of great republican cities. This was because their culture valued consensus and accommodation with little need for larger principalities. As a result, they did not hoard resources and instead bartered freely. Asari did not attack one another over different philosophies and instead sought to understand one another.
One organization within their society were the Atamna Politeia that consisted of siarist high priestesses from across the Asari Republics.
- Liara T'Soni :
- Benezia :
- Nassana Dantius :
- Samara :
- Morinth :
- Tela Vasir :
- Ishara :
- Sarissa Theris :
- Vederia Damali :
- Lexi T'Perro :
- Pelessaria B'Sayle :
- Kalinda T'Reve :
- Leynomi Aridana :
- Mass Effect:
- Mass Effect 2:
- Mass Effect 3:
- Mass Effect: Andromeda: