Rachni culture and technology


Info to be added:

Brood-mother ships

Crystalline materials

Hive structure

Biotic computers and memory storage

Lack of any medical science

Rachni Biology

Black blood.

Rachni keratin, which comprises their carapaces, can resist vibroblades, much in the way carbon nanotubules can, but is not resistant to mass-effect propelled bullets.

Multiple eyes, which possess lenses, but not really retinas. They can see a much wider range of the spectrum than humans can, which gives them exceptional night vision.

Divided into four types: queens, the only females, rule the hives. Brood-warriors, the only males, mate with queens, protect the hive, and care for eggs and hatchlings. Soldiers and workers are neuter.

Queens and brood-warriors communicate solely through biotics and limited pheromones. Soldiers and workers have only 'low-song,' which is to say that they communicate largely with pheromones, bodily postures, etc. They can understand, and are understood by queens and brood-warriors, but biotics of other species cannot comprehend the low-song of the hive.

When queens and brood-warriors mate, they exchange their entire life-memories, to date, and the queen stores them, to give to offspring. A queen can store semen from every mate she has in her lifetime, and can use that, and even the genetic information of her ancestors, to produce offspring. A single queen can repopulate her species in short order.

A queen, at hatching, must have the songs of her mother-queen, or some other sapient mind, to help her deal with the confusion of suddenly awakening and being wholly sentient. The birth-song of a rachni queen has been described as 'mind-numbing' and 'noisy,' although it is solely mental.

Rachni who are hatched away from their queen's songs go insane. They are stunted, primal beings with no capacity to reason and cannot be checked or controlled. (Cf. the Noveria missions in ME1.)

The current queen-of-queens, Life-Singer, is the rachni queen spared by Shepard on Noveria. She was hatched in a lab far from any humans, and without any other rachni around to provide mental songs. She managed to maintain her own sanity by listening to the voices of her ancestors within, and doing something unheard of in rachni before her: exercising the little-known power of imagination, she sang to herself.


A brood-warrior is mature enough to fight at 2 years of age. Sings-to-the-Sky won his name in the Reaper Wars at exactly that age.

Brood-warriors continue to grow throughout their lifespans, which can reach up to seventy years.

Brood-warriors and soldiers have pedipalps, for spitting acid at foes, and for handling items. Brood-warriors also use these appendages to mate with their queens, expel semen, and to secrete nutrients for offspring, including royal jelly.

Brood-warriors earn their names in battle, for memorable quirks of character or feats of strength.

Queens reach a maximum length of 20 feet after about a year of life. They are born knowing their names.

Soldiers live about twenty years. They have no names, and, individually, are about as smart as a monkey or a dog, but collectively are very, very intelligent. They're about the size of a modern Akita.

Workers are about 4-5 pounds, and live 10-15 years; less, if subjected to hazardous conditions. They're light green in color, and characterized by cheerful 'voices,' curiosity, and absolute obedience to their queens. They are the van Neuman machines of the hive, the Swiss army knives. They can synthesize almost every chemical, dig, build machinery, create complex heating and cooling systems, and are the engineers and chemists and scientists of the hive.

They also like toast.

Elijah Sidonis is attempting to teach them to communicate with other species by means of writing. With… interesting side effects.



Rachni culture

Queens rule. They make decisions for the good-of-all. Once their decision is made, it is final, and unquestioned.

Brood-warriors counsel and advise, offering perspectives. They use their biotics to help build the hives.

Soldiers hunt, gather, and protect the hive.

Workers farm lichen, grains, mushrooms, fungi, and other food items. They build the hives, engineer the heating and cooling systems, help build massive space ships, eat foods and turn the food into precisely calibrated 'worker-food' 'soldier-food' 'warrior-food' and 'queen-food' as well as 'royal jelly,' for storage.

Queen foods and royal jelly contain hormones to maintain a queen's ability to lay eggs, and also are given to allow a queen to heal quickly after an injury.

Workers are intensely in tune with their queen, and know precisely what her hormone levels are on any given day, and can respond to her need, altering the levels in the foods she eats on the fly.

Rachni language

Notable and named rachni

Life-Singer, queen of queens
Bargain-Singer, Council representative
Joy-Singer, Dara's 'Daughter'
Story-Singer, Myetel's 'secret self' ;-)
Battle-Singer, queen as yet unmet in story

Notable Quotes


Chapter 143, Celebration:

Seheve looked up. "Would they then say that they were singing sneaking-songs?"

Ooooooh! Sneaking-songs! We like this song!

Sky and Fors Luka art by Ean Moody.
Rachni worker art by Sladkaya
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