Art by Joe Black
The Asari are a humanoid species made up entirely of all single gender. Since Asari look and, generally, sound female, they are generally regarded as, and treated as, females by other species with the standard sexual dimorphism.
The Asari were the first Concord species to traverse the stars. They discovered the Citadel, and have initiated more first contact meetings than any other Concord member. The Asari Republic has always been the cornerstone of the Concord. Without the Asari, there likely wouldn’t be a Concord.
Physical Description/Biology: Asari are humanoids standing around six feet tall. They are hairless, save for eyelashes. Asari skin color ranges from pink to light blue to green to dark purple in color (the “father’s” genetics playing a large role into the tone) with some showing patterns or blotches on the skin and others having clear complexions. Asari tend to be lithe or athletic as most take generally good care of themselves with corpulence being a stark rarity in their society. The most distinguishing feature are the ridges that start at the top of their foreheads and sweep to the back of their skulls. These ridges are made of cartilage and cover their small ears.
As stated above, their forms are female, but that is a great oversimplification of their biology. Asari procreate via a form of parthenogenesis. They psychically attune their nervous systems to their mate’s and glean genetic material from the mate to create a child. Asari are mammalian in that they bear live young after a gestation period of about seven months and generally breastfeed their infants for up to a year of more after that. This unique form of procreation allows Asari to not only mate with each other but also with members of other species as well to produce viable offspring. The children born from these relationships are always Asari.
The Asari are an unusually long-lived species. It is not unheard of for an Asari to live to see 700 standard years. 800 is rare, but still occurs, with the oldest known Asari having lived to be 912 years old. They grow up at a rate similar to that of humans, but are not considered adults until about their 30th year, which is when most Asari hit the first major stage in life: Maidenhood.
There are three major stages in the life of an Asari. Maidenhood is one of restlessness, daring, and the testing of limits and boundaries. Asari usually hit this stage around 30 years old. This is typically the time when an Asari will make her mistakes or take her greatest risks, but also where they go out and begin to discover the world and themselves.
The Matron stage is dominated by the desire to settle down and raise a family. Asari generally hit this stage around their 350th year, though it can vary greatly.
The final stage is that of Matriarch. Matriarchs tend to get involved in their communities, and seek to share their knowledge. Most Matriarchs return to Asari dominated worlds, and are rarely found away from large populations of Asari.
Asari still largely mate within their own kind, but ever since it was first discovered that they can mate with other species, there has been an ever growing trend for Asari to find mates among other species. They see this as a way to bring in a diverse genetic plate to the Asari “table.” Most see it as only making their species stronger. There are some hardliners in Asari society that feel that only pureblood Asari are true Asari, but seeing as how no one can tell a pureblood from a mixed Asari the movement continues to stay to the farthest fringes of Asari society.
The idea of genetic diversity only got more popular when it was discovered that children of mixed parentage cannot develop the Ardat-Yakshi mutation. Asari with this mutation can overload the nervous systems of their mates, causing intense pain which nearly always leads to death. Ardat-Yakshi are greatly feared in Asari society even though the chances of developing the mutation is about 1 in 500 purebloods. Most of these Asari are discovered early in life through genetic tests done after birth, but in some the mutation does not show up until they hit puberty. Ardat-Yakshi are generally kept cloistered in various communes on Asari controlled worlds away from others. However, some do not wish to be hidden away and go on the run. Most try to lead solitary lives or do not form attachments and certainly never mate, but other revel in the power to kill with pleasure. Those Ardat-Yakshi that do are greatly feared.
Personality: Asari personalities can vary greatly depending on what stage of life they are in. Maidens tend to be carefree, brash, and prone to the wildness of youth. Matrons tend to be more reserved and cautious. Matriarchs are patient, but confident when speaking and carry themselves in a way that tends to command respect. However, these are not hard and fast rules. Some maidens are driven and focused, while some Matriarchs couldn’t give a damn about their communities.
One constant throughout most Asari is that they tend to be patient, even maidens in their “impertinent” years tend to see the big picture, where other species that do not live as long cannot fully fathom. This makes many Asari good listeners, diplomats, and consulars.
Homeworld: Asari hail from the second planet in the Parnitha system, Thessia. They have traveled the stars for over 3000 years, making them one of the most well-versed explorers in the Concord. However, they have only made a handful of other worlds their own. Merlonnia, Loquaint, and Heronna being other Asari worlds.
Religion: Most Asari are atheists, but some still believe in the idea of Siara. Siarists believe that the cosmos has a consciousness, and that when someone dies they return to this pool of consciousness that all life in the universe is drawn from.
Mutations: Other than the genetic defect that makes an Asari an Ardat-Yakshi, Asari do not suffer from mutation and therefore cannot be mutants.
Cybernetics: Like many humanoid species, Asari can be outfitted with cybernetics. There is no cultural stigma to having cybernetics installed, but they are not widely used.
Psionics: Asari are naturally psychic beings, as it is how they mate. However, while most Asari possess the ability to be trained into psions, only a slightly higher percentage do when compared to the norm across the Concord species.
Asari Species Traits
· Attractive: Asari are generally seen as desirable by a large number of species. They start play with the Attractive Edge.
· Innate Telepathy: Asari have the innate ability to share thoughts and feelings via telepathy. The target must be willing and it requires great concentration and skin-to-skin contact. There is no real inherent in-game benefit to this power.
Requirement: Asari only.
The character carries the mutation that make her one of the dreaded Ardat-Yakshi. Anytime the character uses her Innate Telepathy ability roll a test of wills between the character and her mate/victim. If the victim loses, roll a Vigor test. If that roll succeeds, then the victim is merely rendered unconscious. If the test fails, then the victim is killed. If the test of wills is won by the victim, contact is broken off between the two and combat can likely ensue.Ardat-Yakshi roaming the galaxy is a danger to everyone. Among Asari, an Asari with this hindrance suffers a -4 penalty to any Charisma checks. If the Ardat-Yakshi is dealing with other species that know what an Ardat-Yakshi is (which is possible in any system with even a handful of regular Asari residents), then they suffer a -2 penalty to Charisma. Ardat-Yakshi are hunted by special Asari operatives tasked with capturing peaceful Ardat-Yakshi and killing any who revel in their mutation.
Asari Species Traits (Rogue Space)
Archetypes: Soldier or Technician, add +1 to either Fighting, Empathy, or Science.
Innate Telepathy: Asari can all use the Telepathy Psionic Power only by touching their target and the target being willing to the joining. If those qualifiers are met, the two can share experiences and thoughts.
Ardat-Yakshi: If the player desires, the character can have this mutation. When using the Innate Telepathy power, both the Asari and the target make Empathy rolls. If the Asari's is higher, then the target must make a Fighting roll against TN 9 or die. Even then, the target still falls unconscious. If the target wins, contact is broken and then the scene continues to play out.
Psionics: Asari can become Espers. Most have the Telepathy power, but any are open to them.