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In a Nutsehell

  1. Asari – All female race and first fully fledged space faring species since the Protheans
  2. Salrians- Amphibian race, short lived (40years) intelligent species  
  3. Turains- militarist and well disciplined species similar to US Army
  4. Human- No need to say anything
  5. Baterians – Four eyes humanoid species cross between middle east and north Korea
  6. Krogan – large reptilian species with increased aggression and unpredictability  
  7. Drell – Reptilian species, fast and acrobatic
  8. Quarian – Space gypsies very good with tech
  9. Hanar – Space Jellyfish (non playable for the moment)
  10. Volus – Space Drawfs merchants minus the strength
  11. Elcor – Space cows that can talk (non playable for the moment)
  12. Geth – Cylons created by Qaurians (non playable for the moment)
  14. Example names can be found here: 

Races of Mass Effect

Asari: The Asari are native to the planet Thessia. They are often considered the most powerful and respected sentient species in the known galaxy. This is partly due to the fact the asari were the first race after the protheans to achieve interstellar flight, and to discover and inhabit the Citadel. An all-female race (however, see below), the asari are known for their elegance, diplomacy, and biotic talent. Their millennia-long lifespan and unique physiology – allowing them to reproduce with a partner of any gender or species – give them a conservative but convivial attitude toward other races. The asari were instrumental in proposing and founding the Citadel Council, and have been at the heart of galactic society ever since. Because 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 interspecies conception, believing that, as genetic traits and cultural insight can be gained from mating outside their species, it is wasteful for asari to reproduce together. The results of such unions are occasionally referred to as 'purebloods', which is a great insult among the asari. It is unknown if this is merely a social convention, or if the added genetic diversity is truly advantageous. Clearly the asari were quite successful when they had no other species to mate with, and returning to the old way does not seem to result in 'inferior' offspring. The asari governmental structure, known as the Asari Republics, is relatively broad; the asari came late to the notion of world government. For centuries, their homeworld of Thessia was dotted with loose confederacies of great republican cities. The closest Earth equivalent would be the ancient Mediterranean city-states. Since the asari culture values consensus and accommodation, there was little impetus to form larger principalities. Rather than hoard resources, the asari bartered freely. Rather than attack one another over differing philosophies, they sought to understand one another. Only in the information age did the city-states grow close; communication over the internet evolved into an 'electronic democracy'. Personality: Asari can live to be over 1,000 years and have three stages to their life: Maiden, Matron, and Matriarch. In the Maiden stage, asari seek to go out and learn as much about the galaxy as they can. Military service is also common in this stage. In the Matron stage, asari seek to mate with interesting partners in order to have daughters of their own. The Matriarch stage grants an Asari great power and influence over other asari as they will defer to the wisdom of the Matriarchs in times of crisis. Physical Description: Typical asari individual has a blue to purple complexion; the gas giant Sharblu was named after a famous asari soprano with a distinctive skin tone that resembled the planet's atmosphere. Some Asari can also have a teal complexion, but this seems to be a rarity. Some asari have facial markings, which are unique color patterns that vary for every asari. Some of these facial markings are associated with eyebrows by humans, 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. Homeworld: Thessia Religion: Siari Biotics: Many asari are naturally biotic to some degree. Example Names: Liara T'Soni, Mallene Calis, Nassana, Benezia, Sha'ira

Salarians: The second species to join the Citadel, the salarians are warm-blooded amphibians native to the planet Sur'Kesh. Salarians possess a hyperactive metabolism; they think fast, talk fast, and move fast. To salarians, other species seem sluggish and dull-witted, especially the elcor. Unfortunately, their metabolic speed leaves them with a relatively short lifespan; salarians over the age of 40 are a rarity. Salarians are known for their observational capability and non-linear thinking. This manifests as an aptitude for research and espionage. They are constantly experimenting and inventing, and it is generally accepted that they always know more than they are letting on. 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 Dalatrass (matriarch) 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, it is not hormonebased. Reproduction is more of a necessity and salarians do not seem to desire sex for pleasure Salarians 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 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. Personality: Salarians have a faster than normal metabolism, often appearing jittery. They also possess a keen intellect, rarely forgetting any fact or figure. Physical Description: The 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, or brown. Salarians blink upwards, rather than downwards as humans do. Homeworld: Sur'Kesh Religion: Salarians are not notably religious, but as free-willed sentients there are exceptions. One of the less favored salarian religions worships a goddess, and claims that a certain pattern of overlapping craters in the southern hemisphere of Trelyn resembles her. Biotics: Salarian biotics are unusual and highly prized. Example Names: Kirrahe, Schells, Chorban, Anoleis.

Turian: Honorable and brave, the turians think of the welfare of the group before themselves. Taught from a young age to own every decision they make, only the rare exception will lie about their own actions. This does not mean they won't try to get away with criminal activity, just that they will not lie when directly questioned. Known for their militaristic and disciplined culture, the turians are the most recent of the Citadel races invited to join the Council. They gained their Council seat after defeating the hostile krogan for the Council during the 'Krogan Rebellions'. The turians deployed a salarian-created biological weapon called the genophage, which virtually sterilized the krogan and sent them into a decline. The turians then filled the peacekeeping niche left by the non-cooperative krogan, and eventually gained a Council seat in recognition of their efforts. Originally from the planet Palaven, turians are best known for their military role, particularly their contributions of soldiers and starships to the Citadel Fleet. They are respected for their 'public service' ethic – it was the turians who first proposed creating C-Sec – but are sometimes seen as imperialist or rigid by other races. There is some animosity between turians and humans, largely due to the turian role in the First Contact War. This bitterness is slowly beginning to heal – shown by the cooperation of the two races on the construction of the SSV Normandy – but many turians still hate humans, and vice versa. 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 rivaling 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. Personality: Turians are taught to have a strong sense of personal accountability, the "Turian Honor" that other races find remarkable. Physical Description: Tall and of an avian build, they evolved skin armor to protect them from the radiation of their homeworld. It is common for turians to wear the facial markings of their home colony. Homeworld: Palaven Religion: 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. Biotics: Turian biotics are uncommon, and generally viewed with suspicion by the genral turian population. Example Names: Garrus Vakarian, Nihlus Kryik, Saren, Arterias, Chellick, Septimus

Drell: are omnivorous reptile-like humanoids with an average lifespan of 85 galactic standard years. 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. The drell ancestors emerged from dry, rocky deserts on the barren world of Rakhana. Eight centuries ago, the already-arid drell homeworld began its swift descent into lifelessness due to disastrous industrial expansion. At the time, the drell lacked interstellar flight capacity, and with their population bursting at 11 billion they faced certain doom. It was around two centuries ago that the hanar made first contact with the drell race. In the following ten years, the hanar would transport a total of 375,000 drell to the hanar homeworld, Kahje. The remaining billions left on Rakhana would perish on their dying planet, warring against each other for diminishing resources. The drell now thrive co-existing with the hanar and have been a part of the galactic civilization for roughly two centuries. The 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 bioluminescense 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. Physical Appearance: Drell appearance is very similar to asari and humans, but their muscle tissue is slightly denser than that of humans, giving them a wiry strength. Many of their more reptilian features are concealed, however one unique characteristic is the hyoid bone in their throats, which allows them to inflate their throats and produce vocal sounds outside of the human range. Homeworld: Kahje (actual homeworld Rakhana) Religion: Most 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 included at least three gods: Amonkira, Lord of Hunters; Arashu, Goddess of Motherhood and Protection; and Kalahira, Goddess of Oceans and Afterlife. Biotics: It is unknown how widespread drell biotics are, but drell show a great talent for it. Example Names: Thane Krios, Feron, Ilikah, Kolyat, Quoyle

The volus:  an associate race on the Citadel with their own embassy, but are also a client race of the turians. They hail from Irune, which possesses a high-pressure greenhouse atmosphere able to support an ammonia-based biochemistry. As a result, the volus must wear pressure suits and breathers when dealing with other species. Because they are not physically adept compared to most species, Volus mostly make their influence felt through trade and commerce, and they have a long history on the Citadel. However, they have never been invited to join the Council, which is a sore point for many volus individuals. The volus home world 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 life forms, 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. Volus 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. Because the volus are not physically adept, they tend not to be very violent, and can even seem overly-pacifistic and cowardly to other, more militant species. Their inability to provide adequate soldiers for themselves and the Citadel is a primary reason for not yet being inducted into the Council. Volus have two names but no family names. According to Volus sensibilities you 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'). The 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 still maintain an embassy on the Citadel, making them an associate species of the Council, though they currently share their embassy with the rlcor. The volus are not physically cut out for combat, be it a full-scale war or even a bar room scuffle. As such, they are highly dependent on the Turians for defense, although the volus themselves do provide some auxiliary troops to the Hierarchy. The volus will support the turians in any war they might pursue, and the turians will support the volus in any war they might pursue. Possibly for this reason, volus weaponry tends to be utilitarian rather than high-grade. Some volus manufacturers specialize in cheaper, lower-grade copies of expensive turian equipment. Personality: What they lack in personal bravery, they more than make up for with their cunning and tenacity, often using their expert negotiating skills to get them out of scrapes. Physical Description: Their home planet's gravity is 1.5 times that of Earth's, with a high-pressure ammonia-based atmosphere, making their bodies short and almost spherical, and requiring them to wear protective suits in order to function in environments conducive to other species. Homeworld: Irune Religion: Good Business! Biotics: No mention of the biotic abilities. Example Names: Doran, Jahleed, Barla Von

Humans, from the planet Earth, are the newest sentient species of notable size to enter the galactic stage and are the most rapidly expanding and developing. In 2148, human explorers on Mars uncovered a long-ruined prothean observation post, with a surviving data cache that proved protheans had studied Cro-Magnon humans millennia ago. While religions tried to assimilate this discovery into their doctrine, a global rush began to decipher the petabytes of data from the outpost. Discovering information on a mass relay orbiting Pluto, explorers managed to open the Charon Relay and discovered it led to Arcturus. With the help of the fledgling Systems Alliance, humans expanded to other systems, opening any mass relays they could find. Humans 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. Their 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 defeat 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. Humans first came to the attention of the galactic community after a brief but intense conflict with the turians, known by humans as the First Contact War, begun in 2157. The conflict began when the turians attacked a human fleet attempting to activate a dormant mass relay (illegal under Council law) and then occupied the human colony of Shanxi. Led by Admiral Kastanie Drescher, the Second Fleet then launched a massive counter-attack, which caught the turians by surprise and expelled them from Shanxi. The conflict caught the attention of the Citadel Council, which wasted no time brokering a peace, thus introducing humans to the galactic community. As a consequence of the Alliance's swift and decisive action during the First Contact War, the Alliance became the representative and supranational governing body of humanity. Since then, humans have rapidly risen in prominence. In 2165, humanity was granted an embassy on the Citadel in recognition of their growing power and influence in the galactic community. The timing of this achievement, less than a decade after first contact, caused some friction with other Citadel races who had waited decades for such recognition. Humanity continued to expand to unclaimed star systems on the edge of Citadel space, which eventually led to competition with the batarians. When the batarians tried and failed to convince the Council to declare the Skyllian Verge "a zone of batarian interest", they closed their embassy and withdrew from Citadel space. Viewing humans as the cause of their fall from grace, batarians frequently came into conflict with human colonies, especially batarian slavers. Tensions between humans and batarians persist for decades. Unlike many species in Citadel space, humans have no close allies among the other races, though they are trade partners with the turians and asari. Without alliances or key political positions, humans have had to follow the edicts of the Council without having much influence on their decisions. Human ambassadors finally had their wishes answered when Shepard was admitted into the Spectres, the Council's elite operatives, and even further when they were given a seat on the Council, after either having saved them from the Battle of the Citadel, or having Humanity rebuild the Council when they were lost. However, now that Humanity has a seat on the Council, they are able to influence the Council's rulings, protect their own interests and have a say in the governing of Citadel space. Personality: Due to the diversity of human characters it is very hard to profile Humans with one definite personality. Physical Description: Humans 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. Homeworld: Earth Religion: Like the Turians, Humans are free to practice whatever religion that suits them. Biotics: After a series of starship accidents in the 2150s which dispersed element zero over populated areas, the first human biotics were born, though their abilities were not recognized right away. By the time these children were teenagers, the Alliance had made contact with the Citadel and learned of the effects of in-utero eezo exposure. A company called Conatix Industries was founded to track down exposed individuals and develop implants for humans. There are rumours that, after the link between eezo and biotics was discovered, some human colonies were deliberately exposed to dust-form element zero to create more biotic children. Example Names: John Sheppard.

The Qauarians are a nomadic species of humanoid aliens known for their skills with technology and synthetic intelligence. Since their home world was conquered, the auarians live aboard the Migrant Fleet, a huge collection of starships that travel as a single fleet. Approximately three hundred years ago the quarians created the geth, a species of rudimentary artificial intelligences, to serve as an efficient source of manual labor. However, the Geth gradually became sentient, rebelled against their quarian masters and drove them into exile. Now the quarians wander the galaxy in a flotilla of salvaged ships, secondhand vessels, and recycled technology. One of the factors of life aboard the Migrant Fleet is population control. It is illegal for quarian families to have more than two children to maintain zero population growth – unless the restriction has been lifted to keep numbers stable – so families tend to be small. Along with the fact each quarian relies on the others for survival, this means the bonds between quarians tend to be very strong, compared to a more individualistic race like the krogan. Loyalty, trust and cooperation between quarians are essential for the survival of their species. Quarians enjoy storytelling, and hold dancers in high esteem. Some ships from the Fleet linger in orbit over planets used as drive discharge sites, to sell refreshments, supplies or trinkets made by their children to passing crews. Young quarians place low value on personal possessions, evaluating objects by their usefulness, and often barter items that are not being used to the rest of the crew via their ship's trading deck. Even when at home, quarians wear their environmental suits at all times, partly out of caution and partly as a psychological reaction to the lack of personal space. Because their suits make it harder to identify individuals, quarians have developed the habit of exchanging names whenever they meet. Their technology and relations to synthetic life have had a profound effect on quarian culture. As a result, in contrast to other races, quarians are reluctant to trust virtually – or artificially – intelligent machines, but they are also far more likely to treat them as if they were living beings. Personality: Quarians are creative and inquisitive, but tend to be defensive as they are well aware of how other species view them. Physical Description: Quarians are generally shorter and of slighter build than humans. Quarian hands consist of a thumb and only two fingers, while their feet have only two large, prominent toes. They dress in a scavenged assortment of materials, hiding their faces behind visors, goggles, or breathing masks. Some believe the quarians are cybernetic, a blend of machine and biology that can survive for a time in the cold vacuum of space. Others believe the quarians are simply so used to living on their substandard, makeshift ships that they never remove their survival suits. Homeworld: Having no natural world to call home the quarians wander the galaxy in a flotilla of salvaged ships, secondhand vessels, and recycled technology. Religion: The 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. However, the geth destroyed the quarians' ancestor databanks when they rebelled. Respect for their ancestors is still prevalent in quarian society. Example Names: Tali'Zorah nar Rayya; First name + "Nar" (Child of) or "Vas" (Crew of) + name of the ship. Immature quarians are still "Nar" and are identified as a child of the colony or ship. Once a quarian has completed their rite of passage and earned their place on a home-ship they use "Vas" instead of "Nar."

The krogan are a species of large reptilian bipeds native to the planet Tuchanka, a world known for its harsh environments, scarce resources, and overabundance of vicious predators. Unfortunately, as krogan society became more technologically advanced so did their weaponry. Four thousand years ago, at the dawn of the krogan nuclear age, battles to claim the small pockets of territory capable of sustaining life escalated into full scale global war. Weapons of mass destruction were unleashed, transforming Tuchanka into a radioactive wasteland. The krogan were reduced to primitive warring clans struggling to survive a nuclear winter of their own creation, a state that continued until they were discovered by the salarians two thousand years later. With the help of the salarians, the krogan were 'uplifted' into galactic society, and lent their numbers and military prowess to bring an end to the Rachni Wars. Unfortunately, after the rachni were eradicated, the rapidly-expanding krogan became a threat to the galaxy in turn, starting the Krogan Rebellions and forcing the Turians to unleash the genophage. This genetic 'infection' all but sterilized the entire krogan species. Unless a cure is found, the krogan will likely die out within a few generations.. Their large shoulder humps store fluids and nutrients, enabling them to survive extended periods without food or water. 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 systems are capable of serving as back-ups in the event of damage to the primary biological structures. 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. Sheer physical hardiness means an individual Krogan can expect to live for centuries. Since the Genophage, the krogan can no longer afford the casualties of the old horde attacks. The Battle Masters are a match for any ten soldiers of another species. Battle Masters are not 'spit and polish,' but they do believe in being well-armed and equipped, preferably with a gun for each limb. They are callous and brutal, but methodical and disciplined. They use any means at their disposal to achieve their goals, no matter how reprehensible. Hostage-taking and genocide are acceptable means to ensure a quiet occupation with few krogan casualties. Biotics are rare among the krogan, especially since the practice of surgically creating krogan biotics has been discontinued. Those that exist are viewed with suspicion and fear. The krogan see this aura of fear as a useful quality for an officer, and often promote them. Combat drones and other hightech equipment are likewise in short supply. 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 an attitude of 'kill, pillage, and be selfish, for tomorrow we die.' 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. Personality: The 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. They respect strength and self-reliance and are neither surprised nor offended by treachery. The weak and selfless do not live long. In their culture, "looking out for number one" is a matter of course. Physical Description: Large and massive, krogan have a humanoid lizard shape. Homeworld: Tuchanka Religion: Krogan 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. Biotics: The krogan developed a surgical procedure that was able to confer biotic ability, but the operation had a high mortality rate, so it was discontinued following the release of the genophage. Example Names: Urdnot, Wrex.

Baterian: A race of four-eyed bipeds, the batarians are a disreputable species that chose to isolate itself from the rest of the galaxy. The Terminus Systems are infested with batarian pirate gangs and slaving rings, fueling the stereotype of the batarian thug. It should be noted that these criminals do not represent average citizens, who are forbidden to leave batarian space by their omnipresent and paranoid government. 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 prejudicial. 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. The batarians are also known to enslave addicts of the biotic drug red sand when they can no longer afford to support their habit. Despite several disagreements with the Citadel and simmering hostility toward humans, most batarians prefer profitable pursuits such as drug running and slave grabs to out-and-out warfare. They have a reputation for being shrewd businessmen and merchants, though in more lawless regions of the galaxy like Omega, negotiations with a Batarian are likely to be conducted at gunpoint. In the early 2160s, humans began to colonize the Skyllian Verge, a region the batarians were already actively settling. The batarians asked the Citadel Council to intervene and declare the Verge an area of "Batarian Interest." When the Council refused, the batarians closed their Citadel embassy and severed diplomatic and economic relations, becoming an inward-looking rogue state. Money and weapons funneled from the batarian government to criminal organizations led to many brutal raids on human colonies in the Verge, culminating in 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. 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 his head to the right it is a sign that he is (or considers himself to be) superior to the one that the gesture was directed at. Therefore this gesture can also be interpreted as an insult. The rest of the galaxy views the batarians as an ignorable problem. Their government 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 governmentapproved news enters or leaves batarian space. Given the batarian government's oppressive and totalitarian ideals, it is speculated their supreme leadership is one of fascism or absolute monarchy. 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. However batarians still provide up-to-date glossaries and linguistic rules to the rest of the galaxy (allegedly so they can continue distributing propaganda). Possibly due to the prevalence of batarian criminal gangs, batarian languages have become lingua franca in the Terminus Systems. Personality: Batarians place an extremely high value on social caste and appearance, and overstepping one's place is frowned upon. 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. Physical Description: Batarian faces are covered with short, fine hairs that grow longer and thicker around the mouth. Their most distinctive physical feature is their four eyes, an uncommon trait among other races. Batarians also exhibit different skin tone colors: while most encountered batarians are a dark, brown-red hue with pale facial ridges, at least one, Balak, has what appears to be a black and yellow striped pigmentation with light green facial ridges. Homeworld: Bataria Prime Religion: Little is known about batarian religious beliefs. Treatment of the corpse is considered unimportant, unless the batarian's eyes have been removed by an enemy. It suggested that the batarians' religious beliefs are based on words from sacred texts. Biotics: There are some known batarian biotics who are trained as shock troopers and sentinels. Example Names: Balak, Charn Edan Had'dah Eluam Ran'perah Groto Ib-ba Jath'Amon Jella

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. 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 often go out of their way to clarify when they are being sarcastic, amused, or angry. Elcor 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 highlyattuned olfactory senses and sophisticated scent glands. Like Earth's dinosaurs, prehistoric elcor travelled across Dekuuna in large tribal groups. These groups were likely led by the oldest and most experienced elcor. This may have later developed into the elcor culture of Elders, whose wisdom could keep the tribe safe provided they followed the correct guidance (see below). According to their ambassador, the elcor were just making their first forays into space travel when the asari made contact with them. With their help, the elcor discovered the closest mass relay and, within a single lifetime, had established a regular trade route to the Citadel. The elcor quickly became one of the more prominent species in Citadel space, though they still have to share an embassy with the volus. Elcor 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. 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. 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 consulted at need. This makes elcor policies very predictable, provided one has done a great deal of research. The elcor economy is small, only slightly larger than the Alliance's, but extremely well developed. They see no point to rushing things, and are fond of making thorough, century-long development plans. They don't need to trade for any resource – they have all they require to supply their own needs, and trade only in finished goods. Any attempt to embargo their space would be fruitless. Because their slow, conservative psyche is not suitable for making the spur-of-the-moment decisions necessary in combat situations, the elcor rely on sophisticated VI combat systems. These war machines can choose between thousands of gambits developed and polished over centuries by elcor strategists. The slow speed and immense size of the elcor makes them easy targets. Fortunately, their durable hide allows them to shrug off most incoming fire. Elcor warriors don't carry small arms; their broad shoulders serve as a stable platform for the same size of weapons typically mounted on Alliance fighting vehicles. Personality: Elcor are deliberate and conservative. Physical Description: Elcor 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 highlyattuned olfactory senses. Homeworld: Dekuuna Religion: Biotics: No mention of the biotic abilities. Example Names: Calyn, Petozi, Xeltan

The 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. They find it more efficient to live on space stations and draw resources from asteroids. 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. 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. While the geth are incapable of deceit amongst themselves, they are not above using deceit to study organic behavior. 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. Personality: Read description above. Physical Description: Physically, 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. It is actually possible for this synthetic muscle to be grafted to organic. 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. Homeworld: Beyond Perseus Veil Religion: None Biotics: No Example Names: Legion

The hanar homeworld, Kahje, has 90% ocean cover and orbits an energetic white star, resulting in a permanent blanket of clouds. 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. Few hanar are willing to deal with other species. Economic contacts are limited to a handful of trade stations on their borders. Due to this self-imposed isolation and the unique physiology of the race, their economy is small and isolated from the rest of the galaxy. Few standard technologies (designed for bipedal and fingered species) are available in their space, and they produce very few goods that are usable by others. The 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. Other 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. Personality: Hanar are known for their intense politeness when speaking, but are actually very secretive about their affairs. Physical Appearance: The hanar "stand" slightly taller than a human, although most of their height is in their long tentacles which have three fingers at the base. 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 gender, 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. Homeworld: Kahje Religion: Due to the presence of Prothean ruins on Kahje, the hanar have developed a religion centered on the ancient species, calling them the "Enkindlers". 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. Biotics: No mention of the biotic abilities. Example Names: Opold, Delanynder, Dalaynder, Zymandis





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