Mass Effect Part Twelve: Quarians

The Quarians are a once-great species, brought low through the revolt of their servant robots, the Geth. They are known for their technical skill and expertise with synthetics (robotics, VIs, AIs and implants) but are also something of a pariah race since their forced exile from their worlds. Since the loss of their world the Quarians have lived aboard the Migrant Fleet, a collection of starships that stands in proxy for their home.

Three centuries ago they created the Geth, a species of networked VI that gradually formed an emergent intelligence – something that was not supposed to happen or to be able to happen. The Quarians panicked when this occured and tried to shut them down. They strove to survive and eventually drove the Quarians from their worlds.

Quarians are shorter and slighter than humans, but this may be due to three centuries of adaptation to shipboard life, selective breeding or genetic manipulation. Quarians have a human-like endoskeleton and superficially resemble humanity. They have two hands, each with a thumb and two fingers, their feet are similar but their legs bow backwards, giving them a springing gait. They have head hair, like humans and facially resemble them other than their ears which are tiny and almost atrophied in appearance.

Quarian DNA is dextro-protein in the same manner Turian DNA is, meaning that they cannot eat or drink the same organic foods as other species and can have fatal allergic reactions. They also have terrible immune systems, caused by living in the sterile ship environments. As a result they are almost always implanted with disease-resisting technology, devote a lot of their resources to medical advances and spend almost all their time within their elegantly and artistically designed pressure suits.

Quarian culture has developed into one of survival and maintenance, though they hope against hope that they can one day reclaim their homeworld. Their laws and customs are harsh and dedicated to this survival. Couples may not have more than one child, everyone is very community minded and puts the needs of others first. Loyalty, trust and cooperation are prized values that Quarians aspire to, far more than individuality.

Quarians, despite their reputation as technicians, are also a very artistic race, fond of storytelling and dancing and adorning their pressure suits with intricate patterns. Every young Quarians undertakes a rite of passage to prove their worth, a pilgrimage where they leave the Migrant Fleet to explore and to find something of value to bring back. In this way they earn their place, find a ship and thus their full name.

The Quarian religion is, or was, a sort of pragmatic ancestor worship. The dead’s personalities and knowledge were imprinted into complex VIs in order to be preserved and to act as advisors and memoriums. These were lost, almost in their entirety, when the Geth revolted.

The Migrant Fleet (Or Flotilla) – some 17 million souls us governed by the elected Conclave and the unelected Admiralty Board. Ships govern themselves internally as much as possible, via a variety of methods, but larger decisions are made at this level with the Board able to override the Conclave when necessary. Captains are the final authority on their vessels. Law and order is enforced by shipboard Quarian Marines, who also serve as the fleet’s military. Laws are fairly lenient, most involving punishment detail and the most severe of punishments is usually exile, rather than death, though in extreme cases this does happen.

The Quarians, despite their expertise, are often looked down upon as ‘space gypsies’ and bribed or threatened to move on. They are resented for ‘unleashing the Geth’, an act that cost them their Citadel embassy and official standing. They are seen as beggars and thieves and this is not always inaccurate, given their desperation and the actions of those on their pilgrimage.

The whole Quarian fleet is armed. They seek to ward of pirates and other interstellar predators and while this uses up valuable space it means they are not often messed with. Their true military force is, however, relatively small, only a few hundred ships and – justifiably paranoid – they tend to shoot first and ask questions later.

Former Quarian Worlds
Rannoch – homeworld, Haestrom, Ket’osh

nedas — nowhere
tasi — no-one
vas [ship-name] — crew of
nar [ship-name] — child of
keelah — “By the homeworld”
keelah se’lai — “By the homeworld I hope to see one day.”
bosh’tet — curse/insult, likely being relative to “son-of-a-bitch” or “bastard”.
geth — “Servant of the People”
Rannoch — “walled garden”

Quarian names are four-part: [Given name]'[Clan name] Nar (child of) or Vas (crew of) [Vessel Name]
EG: “James’Kirk Vas Enterprise”

Quarian Statistics
After calculating statistics, modify them as follows:
BLD -1, FIT +1, KNO +1
The difficulty for Quarians to resist diseases is considered two higher.
After buying skills Quarians get to add the following, for free, due to their shipboard upbringing:
Pilot +1, Electronics +1, Mechanics +1.