Asari background info

All information presented herein is taken from Myetel’s Spirit of Redemption fanfiction. Canonical information can be found on Mass Effect Wiki, http://masseffect.wikia.com.

Biology

Asari had their origins as a semi-aquatic species on Thessia. They are not as amphibious as salarians, but retain several adaptations to cold-water conditions, including scalp tentacles (see below), elevated blood temperatures, webbing between their fingers, and others.

Their eyes possess chromatophores, which endarken the entire frontal surface, including the schlera. It is both a reproductive signal as well as an indicator of readiness to do battle; both require the use of much biotic energy to produce this 'flush' effect.


History

Early asari history and culture, on Thessia, at least from their Stone Age and into their Bronze age, was tribal, and peculiarly lion-like in many regards. Males were outnumbered by females from birth in at least a 80-20 ratio, and their numbers declined, over the course of their lives, because males fought for mating rights. Male exogamy was practiced, with males being cast out of their home tribe on reaching adolescence, in order to ensure the inner peace of the tribe, and to propagate genes outwards, while preventing too much inbreeding within a tribe.

Males thus, had no social network when they left the tribe, unless they had a brother who went with them, at the same time. They had to have the strongest biotics possible, in order to survive, which is when SRY-cluster abilities like Reave began to evolve, around one-hundred thousand years ago. Females, because they remained in the home villages, tended to prefer communally-minded biotics, ones that allowed them to integrate with the tribe. Sex became important as a social currency, and the exchange of memories and emotions through sharing became an early and integral part of their society.

Everyone, in the earliest years, wanted one strong male, one strong ardat, around. Much as a lion's pride has one male around to fend off hyenas, other males, and deliver the killing blow on large prey, asari tribes had one ardat that they called their very own, and they were very loyal to him, and him to his tribe. He obviously saw the benefit of protecting the females that were bearing his or each-others' children, and who helped keep him from a life of meaningless, painful wandering. The older an ardat became, the stronger he became, just as with asari females. An entrenched older male was a difficult opponent, and younger males looking to move in on a territory thus had several options:

  • Find a tribe with a younger, weaker ardat, and face in single combat.
  • Band together with other ardat to take out a single, older ardat. (Whoever got the killing blow, was typically the one who absorbed genetic information from the older male.
  • If they had the recently-evolved domination trait, they could pull younger females out of the tribe, coax them away, and start a tribe of their own.

Each of these strategies was problematic for the tribes, and potentially disruptive.

If a young male replaced a young male, he would, very likely, like an adult lion, not favor the children of the previous ardat. He might not kill them, as a lion will, but his own offspring would receive more favor, and the older children might wind up facing the domination end of an angry ardat, and be told to leave the tribe, and go into the wilderness, where the dangerous males roamed. Constant turmoil and strife would afflict the tribe if they had a weak ardat, because they would constantly be targeted by other ardat, until an older/stronger one came along. This was no good for continuity.

If they banded together with other ardat, well, if they weren't genetically brothers, there was a fairly good chance that they'd just turn on each other once they killed the old ardat. This again represented disruption for the tribe. Potential for disintegration, as the warring ardati pulled smaller groups of females apart, or in their strife, became targets for another ardat.

Domination, and losing young females to the formation of new, competing tribes, was also no good for continuity.

Other affiliated traits began to evolve, again for the survival of the lone male. Empathy, for example, allowed a male to know when he was being hunted, and, when he crept up on a village, what the general mood of it was. If they had an ardat. If they liked him—an important distinction, because the females had to accept a new ardat. They could band together and drive him away, unless he was very powerful… and even then, he'd have to sleep sometime. Killing a well-beloved ardat might not be the healthiest way to start a new life. Empathy let a village-bound ardat know when there were males circling the camp, in the darkness.

Now, bear in mind, the females of the time were no slouches. They were lionesses. They might not have the powerful saber teeth of the male, if you'll pardon the analogy… they might not have Reave … but they could work together. The oldest were still matriarchs. They either accepted their ardat, or they could try to cast him out. But they weren't likely to do that, if it would cause more harm to the tribe, than good.

But after a thousand years of watching a tribe grow, and then decline whenever a new male happened to come in and lure the young females away, grow, and then a bloody brawl between two ardat wound up splitting the tribe, grow, and then having their existing ardat killed… one matriarch had a blinding revelation: Every ardat carried in him the seeds of the ardat-yakshi. They were all the causes of strife under the sun. Females could have children with other females. The only reason the males existed was that the Goddess had decided that males should fight each other.

So that tribe started weeding out the ardat. Children born male were exposed in the wilderness. They killed their ardat themselves. Any incoming ardat, they killed, themselves. What they didn't realize was that their strongest females, the ones they used to hunt the ardat, the ones who'd developed Reave, in fact… carried the genes for maleness. For being ardat. For being ardat-yakshi. But they sent these huntresses out into the darkness, and had them hunt the males, the patrons and the patriarchs. They went from tribe to tribe, weeding out the stable males. Hunted the ones in the wilderness, too.

And when they'd exterminated all the males, it troubled them that males were, still, occasionally, born. And that some females seemed to have the traits of the demon. So they kept on hunting. They hunted within the tribe, now.

And these were the first Justicars. Created to protect the people from the threat from outside the village… and then from within themselves. And probably 90% of these females were SRY-positive, themselves. Not that they knew it.


Culture

Dictionary


Government


Military


Notable People

Ylara
Siara
Melaani
Samiel


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