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The Milky Way galaxy contains 200 to 400 billion stars, most with a host of planets.

Primary Codex Entries Edit

Aeia Edit

Humans detected Aeia as an Earth-type world via telemetry in 2165. After probe surveys indicated life – lush vegetation, ample fresh water and breathable air – the Alliance upgraded the planet to a garden-world colonization priority. Commanded by Captain Ronald Taylor, the crew of Alliance survey vessel Hugo Gernsback made planetfall on the jungle world in 2173. Soon after, ship transmission inexplicably stopped. While the precise fate of the Hugo Gernsback command and crew is unknown, they are presumed killed in action and their vessel destroyed.

Freedom's Progress Edit

Freedom's Progress was once a typical Alliance settlement, but following complete communications blackout and its apparent destruction is now a lightning rod for anxiety and dread in the galactic human community.

The communications blackout followed an upgrade of the colony's small military force (supplemented by mechs and security drones) with high-powered, tower-mounted GARDIAN lasers. Colonists complained about construction cost overruns, delays, noise, and damage to the local environment. They also feared the defense army could be seen as provocative to their world's neighbors. Such fears may not have been baseless. Authorities have still offered no explanation for the communications blackout, fueling rumors of plagues, natural disasters, or a cult-inspired mass suicide.

Located in strategically insignificant space, Freedom's Progress had once offered residents spectacular rainbows, lush marshlands, and stunning mountain ranges. Its potential as an agricultural settlement and tourism wonderland rivaled that of any Alliance colony.

Gellix Edit

Gellix, the second planet in the Arrae system, is a marginally habitable world of mountains and ice.

The planet was turned into a human penal colony upon its discovery in 2161, but its prisons shut in 2179 after racking up the worst safety records in the Systems Alliance. Lawsuits are still in the courts.

Shortly after the closure of the prisons, a handful of intergalactic corporations moved in to set up mines, supply depots, and other facilities on the planet.

Grissom Academy Edit

The Jon Grissom Academy, founded in 2176, is the Alliance's premier school for young human biotics. The institution is housed in a space station in orbit over the human colony of Elysium. Its main program, the Ascension Project, is designed both to train and monitor young biotics as well as help them integrate into society after graduation. Unlike the project's previous incarnation, Biotic Acclimation and Temperance Training, or BAaT, the training is not exclusively military in nature.

The academy also employs scientific personnel, including Dr. Kahlee Sanders, to develop synthetic intelligence systems and biotic amplifiers like the new L4 implants.

Haestrom Edit

Before the geth revolt 300 years ago, the quarians colonized Haestrom to study the mysterious instability of its sun, which threatened premature eruption into a red giant. As a scientific outpost of minimal military value, Haestrom was ill-equipped to repel geth forces during the insurrection and fell quickly under their control.

Captured geth planetary survey data indicates that despite sustaining damage, Haestrom's architecture remains as it was before the war, preserving a quarian architectural style that no longer exists anywhere else in the galaxy.

Because Haestrom's sun has overwhelmed the planet's protective magnetosphere, humans foolhardy enough to venture into geth-controlled Haestrom must exercise extreme caution. Minutes of radiation exposure will overload shields and hours of exposure will kill. Furthermore, solar output renders surface-to-orbit communication nearly impossible.

Horizon Edit

A typical Terminus colony possessing minimal tourist value, Horizon promises substantial economic opportunity especially in providing new products for humans and supplying the Turian Hierarchy. Surveyed 18 years ago, Horizon received pilot habitation four years later; the colony proper is now eight years old.

Blessed with verdant forests and abundant fresh water, Horizon maintains a colonial culture that thrives as a refuge from the increasing restrictions of Citadel-governed society. Horizon has attracted numerous dissidents, marginal people, and fringe-dwellers from across Alliance space.

Illium Edit

A regional hub of asari commerce awash in riches, Illium is infamous for its abusive labor practices and legalization of nearly everything except murder. As such, Illium is the preferred production site for weapons and pharmaceuticals that would be illegal nearly everywhere else, made even more lucrative by legal indentured servitude. Among the biotics-related pharmaceutical producers is the Dantius Corporation, a rising star in galactic commerce.

Despite the dangers of its products, Illium is renowned for glamor, luxury, and safety (provided by near-total surveillance), making it a favored tourist destination. Countless celebrities maintain palatial estates on Illium and in its capital, Nos Astra. The sole obstacle to business on Illium is its extreme bureaucracy, tolerated only for its provision of security.

Regardless of the character of its economy, Illium's self-congratulatory media exalts its own society with the provincial arrogance of "new money", glorifying in "sexiest CEOs" and "ten richest residents" lists.

Korlus Edit

Known as the starcraft cemetery, Korlus was the regional toxic junk yard for centuries. Ships reaching astronautical "near-death" at connecting mass relays were sent to Korlus, stripped of every useful component, then dumped planetward to clear shipping lanes.

Currently Korlus hosts numerous merc factions such as the Blue Suns, rumored to be using downed ship fossils to test advanced munitions. Massive gun batteries threaten anyone attempting planetfall, with minimal defenses against ground attack.

Because ancient volcanism greenhoused the planet, Korlus was too hot and CO2-rich to develop a biosphere, despite the abundant lakes that could have sponsored the development of life.

Now cool enough for protected habitation, but too scorching for anyone but extremophiles and mercenaries seeking secrecy, Korlus supports numerous krogan outposts. The krogan have therefore seeded Korlus with hardy varren, often kept as war hounds. Varren live primarily on a diet of geophagous vermin and each other.

Lesuss Edit

An unremarkable world located far from regularly traveled trade routes, Lesuss is inhabited only by a small asari colony. The main feature is a monastery that houses a large population of asari with active or latent Ardat-Yakshi genes, a disorder that causes the death of anyone who mates with the afflicted asari. Although some of the colonists exiled themselves voluntarily, many were sent to Lesuss by their families to protect society from their deadly potential.

The monastery emphasizes individual sacrifice for the good of the community. Latent Ardat-Yakshi, as well as active sufferers who show that they can control their condition, may be offered a chance to reintegrate into asari society after spending sufficient time on Lesuss. Active Ardat-Yakshi whose psychological profiles show capacity for neither empathy nor reeducation are confined to the monastery for life.

Menae Edit

Menae is one of two moons orbiting the turian homeworld of Palaven. The Turian Hierarchy put Menae in the hands of the military soon after their spacecraft first landed on the moon, immediately halting civilian research and exploration. Menae's geological composition and specifications have been classified ever since. These days, a few active naval bases dot the moonscape, as well as infantry installations focused on extreme survival training.

The mystery of Menae is a lasting fascination for many turian citizens. Speculation about its presumably rare and valuable resources has become a common plot point in vids, novels, and even poetry for young turians.

Omega Edit

Originally an asteroid rich in element zero, Omega was briefly mined by the Protheans, who eventually abandoned it due to its thick, impenetrable crust. Thousands of years later, nature did what even the Protheans could not: a collision with another asteroid broke Omega in half, exposing its trove of element zero for easy mining.

A rush ensued as corporations and private individuals tried to strike it rich on Omega, and thieves and outlaws followed in their wake. As space became tight, construction of processing facilities extended vertically from the asteroid, creating Omega's jellyfish-like silhouette. To prevent future collisions, the station is ringed with enormous mass effect field generators that redirect incoming debris.

Today, Omega is a major hub of narcotics, weapons, and eezo trafficking without even a pretense of civilian government or military control. Only mercenary groups have been able to instill a limited order; the most ruthless is an asari syndicate run by the notorious Aria T'Loak.

Palaven Edit

When the turians were introduced to the galactic community, an asari diplomat poetically described their homeworld, Palaven, as “a silver world of fortresses and fire.” Because Palaven's weak magnetic field is a poor shield from its sun, most of the planet's animal life developed metallic carapaces as defenses against solar radiation. Its photosynthetic life is similarly impressive, shutting down vulnerable metabolic processes during daylight hours and repairing cellular damage at night.

The visible fortifications of Turian cities reflect their martial society, but since joining the galactic community, internal conflicts have become honor-bound affairs with few casualties among noncombatants. These city fortifications have proven no match for the Reapers and their aggressive bombardment of Palaven.

Perseus Veil Edit

As vast in natural beauty as it is in threat, the purple and gold nebula called the Perseus Veil forms the natural border between geth space and the Terminus Systems.

The Veil's total opacity prevents Council intelligence from surveying geth activity. Theoretically, the geth could be preparing a devastating attack against which the Council could be defenseless, or the geth could have died out, so that the defense budget against them could be gaining the Alliance nothing but economic ruination.

Despite fears of geth, prospectors do occasionally mount salvage ventures inside the Veil; one ended in tragedy. Using technomental domination, the geth drew the team into the Veil before aiming them back as husks at the organic society that produced them.

A leaked classified Spectre report claims that the dreadnought Sovereign, commanded by ex-Spectre Saren Arterius and crewed by geth, hid near the Veil before initiating the 2183 Citadel attack.

Planets: Feros Edit

Feros is a habitable world in the Attican Beta cluster. Two-thirds of the habitable surface is covered with the ruins of crumbling Prothean megalopolis. In the millennia since the Prothean extinction, the ruins have been picked over by looters many times.

Feros was considered a poor prospect for colonization, as little open ground remains for agriculture. The only sizable fresh water sources are the poles, which are tapped by the decaying Prothean aqueduct system. The dead cities, while in good condition considering their antiquity, are of uncertain stability. Ground level is congested by a dozen meters of fallen debris, and the air is fouled by dust.

In 2178, the human ExoGeni Corporation announced its intention to place a permanent colony on Feros, to thoroughly explore the ruins. The pioneer settlement was placed on the upper levels of the several intact skyscrapers, using the surviving Prothean aqueducts and rooftop hydroponics gardens to support the population.

Planets: Ilos Edit

Like the ancient human city of Troy, Ilos is a world known only through second-hand sources. References to Ilos have been found at several other Prothean ruins, though direct study of the world is unlikely to occur.

Ilos lies in a remote area of the Terminus Systems only accessible by the legendary Mu Relay. Four thousand years ago, the Mu Relay was knocked out of position by a supernova and lost. Since then, Ilos and its cluster have been inaccessible.

Occasionally, a university will organize an expedition to chart a route to Ilos using conventional FTL drive. These never get beyond the planning stages due to the distance and danger. The journey could take years or decades, passing through the hostile Terminus Systems and dozens of unexplored systems.

Planets: Noveria Edit

Noveria is a cool, rocky world, with most of its hydrosphere locked up in massive glaciers. A privately-chartered colony world, the planet is owned by Noveria Development Corporation holding company. The NDC is funded by investment capital from two dozen high technology development firms, and administrated by an Executive Board representing their interests.

The investors built remote hot labs in isolated locations across Noveria's surface. These facilities are used for research too dangerous or controversial to be performed elsewhere, as Noveria is technically not part of Citadel space and therefore exempt from Council law.

By special arrangement, Citadel Special Tactics and Reconnaissance agents have been granted extraterritorial privileges, but it remains to be seen how committed the Executive Board is to that principle. Given its unique situation, it is understandable that Noveria is often implicated in all manner of wild conspiracy theories.

Planets: Virmire Edit

Virmire is a lush world located on the frontier of the Attican Traverse. Its vast seas and orbital position on the inner life zone have created a wide equatorial band of humid, tropical terrain. Only the political instability of the region has impeded efforts at colonization.

Many times, the Citadel has opened negotiations to settle Virmire with the various criminal gangs and petty dictatorships in the nearby Terminus Systems. All fell apart due to internal power shifts within the opposing parties. The Citadel has written off the colonization of Virmire as impossible without significant political change.

The Terminus powers themselves are unlikely to ever settle Virmire. Most lack the resources to support settlement of a virgin world, finding it more expedient to steal from their neighbors than build for themselves.

Pragia Edit

Choked by the hyper growth of non-native plant species, Pragia serves as a galactic reminder about the imperative for careful regulation during colonization.

Two centuries ago, batarian agribusiness chose uninhabited Pragia as their empire's breadbasket. Colonization authorities introduced non-native, industrially-mutated plants that flourished in the world's fertile volcanic soil. Synergizing with Pragia's natural geothermal conditions and chemotropic microbes the imported species soon became a nightmare. Mutant strains of poisonous and even carnivorous plants arose, overgrowing colonies in days instead of years and causing the batarians to abandon their holdings. Because the planet's small animal population is insufficient to check its plant growth, Alliance ecologists predict soil exhaustion in 400 years.

Due to its relative isolation and lack of population, Pragia has become a regional haven for drug-runners, weapons-smugglers, pirates, mercenaries, terrorists, and intelligence agents seeking secrecy.

Rakhana Edit

The drell homeworld of Rakhana once teemed with life, its arid plains home to spectacular insect and reptile analogues. But the drell took to industrialization early and did not realize the extent of the environmental damage they caused until it was too late. With their topsoil depleted and oceans too acidic to sustain life, the drell were situated for a massive population crash by 2025 CE.

It was then the hanar stepped in mounting a large-scale rescue operation to bring drell to the hanar homeworld of Kahje. As wars erupted over what resources remained on Rakhana and billions began to die, approximately 375,000 drell escaped in the exodus. To repay their debt, the drell entered into an agreement with the hanar. Called the Compact, it states that the drell would assist the hanar with tasks the hanar cannot physically perform. Today, high-ranking hanar are often inseparable from their drell attendants.

Rannoch Edit

The planet Rannoch, an arid planet orbiting an older star in the Tikkun system, is the former quarian homeworld. Almost three hundred years ago, the quarians were driven from Rannoch by the geth, synthetic servants who gained sapience and rebelled against their creators. Although Rannoch is now largely uninhabited, the geth have acted as caretakers, working to repair the planet's ecology, restore ancient structures, and cultivate some farmland.

Rannoch has no insect life. As a result, its pollinating plants evolved to rely on animals for propagation. This symbiosis between flora and fauna is responsible for the quarians' weakened immune systems, which made colonization of other planets extremely difficult after their exile from Rannoch. For many quarians, reclaiming their homeworld from the geth is a matter of both cultural and physiological necessity.

Region: Terminus Systems Edit

The Terminus Systems are located on the far side of the Attican Traverse, beyond the space administered by the Citadel Council or claimed by the human Systems Alliance. It is populated by a loose affiliation of minor species, united only in their refusal to acknowledge the political authority of the Council or adhere to the Citadel Conventions.

Their independence comes at a price; the Terminus is fraught with conflict. War among the various species is common, as governments and dictators constantly rise and fall. The region is a haven for illegal activities, particularly piracy and the slave trade.

At least once a year, a fleet from Terminus invades the nearby Attican Traverse. These attacks are typically small raids against poorly-defended colonies. The Council rarely retaliates, as sending patrols into the Terminus Systems could unify the disparate species against their common foe, triggering a long and costly war.

Sur'Kesh Edit

Alternating between large oceans and landmasses covered in flora, the salarian homeworld, Sur'Kesh, is known for its humid climate and lush vegetation. As with the rainforests that once covered Earth, the planet's many forests enjoy a rich biodiversity. The salarian desire for intellectual stimulation drove them long ago to explore every aspect of their environment, developing ways to thrive without consequences detrimental to their habitat.

The areas near major cities and industrial centers are meticulously maintained, with an eye towards ensuring that sunlight penetrates to the ground level and that established paths through the jungle are kept clear for travel. Burngrass, a soil-enriching and adaptable weed native to Sur'Kesh, has become a major export because of its value for terraforming.

Thessia Edit

The asari homeworld, Thessia, is the core of the largest economy in the Milky Way. The planet's reserves of element zero are so vast that they affect its price galaxy-wide. Because life on Thessia evolved in an eezo-rich environment, the world is home to a wealth of both biotically active and eezo-resistant species. Travel to the planet is strictly controlled, but smuggling remains an issue.

Thessia is host to varying republics instead of a single government and, although each maintains a formidable military, it is notable for having long been free of internal or external wars. The asari are renowned for their cultural and political dominance, and they excel in ambassadorial ventures. They have a strong presence in Citadel politics and galactic policy. However, it is the unfocused political structure of their homeworld that has left the Thessians unprepared for the current conflict.

Tuchanka Edit

Mass Effect 2 Edit

The krogan homeworld boasts extreme temperatures, virulent diseases, and vicious, predatory fauna. Around 1900 BCE, the krogan discovered atomic power and promptly instigated many intraplanetary wars, sending Tuchanka into a nuclear winter. With most of their industrial base destroyed, the krogan entered a new dark age and warring tribal bands dominated. Populations remained low for the next 2,000 years.

First contact with the salarians made resurgence possible. Krogan brought to less hostile planets bred exponentially and returned to reconquer their home. They built vast underground shelters to shield themselves from surface radiation, which proved prescient during the Krogan Rebellions when many of them isolated themselves in a vain attempt to avoid the genophage. Convinced they could outbreed the genophage, they transmitted it into more than 90 percent of the sealed bunkers. Today, Tuchanka's population is sharply limited and while individual krogan are long-lived, the genophage ensures few replacements.

Mass Effect 3 Edit

Tuchanka, the krogan homeworld, boasts extreme temperatures, virulent diseases, and predatory fauna. Around 1900 BCE, the krogan discovered atomic weapons and promptly sent their planet into a nuclear winter. The majority of the population retreated to underground bunkers, and krogan culture slipped into a dark age dominated by tribal clans.

In 80 CE, decades into the Rachni Wars, the Salarian Union made first contact with the primitive krogan and initiated a "cultural uplift" to shape them into a modern army capable of confronting the rachni. During this uplift, the salarians constructed the Shroud facility on Tuchanka to shield the planet from harmful forms of solar radiation. Later, during the Krogan Rebellions, reproductive rates were curtailed by the genophage, ensuring the krogan remained a species in decline--and Tuchanka a desolate wasteland.

Uncharted Worlds Edit

There are between two and four hundred billion stars in the galaxy, and less than 1% of them have ever been visited or had their systems properly surveyed.

Humanity's early expansion into the Attican Traverse was haphazard; a desperate race to claim habitable planets where populations can be economically settled. Ignored in the wake of this land grab were thousands of less hospitable worlds, each potentially rich with industrial resources. The wealth of entire solar systems remain untapped, waiting for corporate survey teams or independent pioneers to discover and exploit them.

This, however, is not an easy task. In addition to the environmental hazards, the fact that uncharted worlds are largely ignored makes them popular bases for criminals, revolutionaries, cults, and others who wish to remain unnoticed by galactic society.

Secondary Codex Entries Edit

Aeia Edit

Humans detected Aeia as an Earth-type world via telemetry in 2165. After probe surveys indicated life--lush vegetation, ample fresh water and breathable air--the Alliance upgraded the planet to a garden-world colonization priority. Commanded by Captain Ronald Taylor, the crew of Alliance survey vessel Hugo Gernsback made planetfall on the jungle world in 2173. Soon after, ship transmissions inexplicably stopped. While the precise fate of the Hugo Gernsback command and crew is unknown, they are presumed killed in action and their vessel destroyed.

Benning Edit

Benning was once a thriving human colony, but the Reapers have rounded up a large portion of the populace for processing. Some pockets of civilian resistance still elude the Reapers, however, and rescue attempts are underway. A "resistance radio" established during the early days of the attack continues to broadcast, exhorting survivors to band together and discussing rumors of safe havens. Unfortunately, those rumors have begun to result in ambushes, increasing the desperation of those who remain free.

Through all this, Benning's automated agricultural systems have continued to operate, leading to unprecedented stores of food in the planet's granaries and warehouses.

Cyone Edit

Cyone, a fortified world under the protection of several asari matriarchs, has begun to supply fuel to Systems Alliance forces in the hope that an asari-human partnership might prevent the Reapers from seizing the planet. Alliance forces have since established several outposts in the system.

The humans and asari have been joined by a small detachment of turians, drawn from the private militia of a corporate conglomerate that does business with Cyone. The three species are so determined to defend Cyone that integration issues have been negligible.

The task force has already thrown back several Reaper attacks, although the commanders express concern that small Reaper forces could have slipped through despite their vigilance.

Feros Edit

Feros is a habitable world in the Attican Beta cluster. Two-thirds of the habitable surface is covered with the ruins of a crumbling Prothean megatropolis. In the millennia since the Prothean extinction, the ruins have been picked over by looters many times.

Feros was considered a poor prospect for colonization, as little open ground remains for agriculture. The only sizable fresh water sources are the poles, which are tapped by the decaying Prothean aqueduct systems. The dead cities, while in good condition considering their antiquity, are of uncertain stability. Ground level is congested by a dozen meters of fallen debris, and the air is fouled by dust.

In 2178, the human ExoGeni Corporation announced its intention to place a permanent colony on Feros, to thoroughly explore the ruins. The pioneer settlement was placed on the upper levels of several intact skyscrapers, using the surviving Prothean aqueducts and rooftop hydroponic gardens to support the population.

Freedom's Progress Edit

Freedom's Progress colony was once a typical Alliance settlement, but following complete communications blackout and its apparent destruction is now a lightning rod for anxiety and dread in the galactic human community.

The communications blackout followed an upgrade of the colony's small military force (supplemented by mechs and security drones) with high-powered, tower-mounted GARDIAN lasers. Colonists complained about construction cost overruns, delays, noise, and damage to the local environment. They also feared the defense array could be seen as provocative to their world's neighbors. Such fears may not have been baseless. Authorities have still offered no explanation for the communications blackout, fueling rumors of plagues, natural disasters, or a cult-inspired mass-suicide.

Located in strategically insignificant space, Freedom's Progress colony had once offered residents spectacular rainbows, lush marshlands and stunning mountain ranges. Its potential as an agricultural settlement and tourism wonderland rivaled that of any Alliance colony.

Haestrom Edit

Before the geth revolt 300 years ago, the quarians colonized Haestrom to study the mysterious instability of its sun, which threatened premature eruption into a red giant. As a scientific outpost of minimal military value, Haestrom was ill-equipped to repel geth forces during the insurrection and fell quickly under their control.

Captured geth planetary survey data indicates that despite sustaining damage, Haestrom's architecture remains as it was before the war, preserving a quarian architectural style that no longer exists anywhere else in the galaxy.

Because Haestrom's sun has overwhelmed the planet's protective magnetosphere, humans foolhardy enough to venture into geth-controlled Haestrom must exercise extreme caution. Minutes of radiation exposure will overload shields and hours of exposure will kill. Furthermore, solar output renders surface-to-orbit communication nearly impossible.

Illium Edit

A regional hub of asari commerce awash in riches, Illium is infamous for its abusive labor practices and legalization of nearly everything except murder. As such, Illium is the preferred production site for weapons and pharmaceuticals that would be illegal nearly everywhere else, made even more lucrative by legal indentured servitude. Among the biotics-related pharmaceutical producers is the Dantius Corporation, a rising star in galactic commerce.

Despite the dangers of its products, Illium is renowned for glamour, luxury, and safety (provided by near-total surveillance), making it a favored tourist destination. Countless celebrities maintain palatial estates on Illium and in its capital, Nos Astra. The sole obstacle to business on Illium is its extensive bureaucracy, tolerated only for its provision of security.

Regardless of the character of its economy, Illium's self-congratulatory media exalts its own society with the provincial arrogance of "new money," glorifying in "sexiest CEOs" and "ten richest residents" lists.

Ilos Edit

Like the ancient human city of Troy, Ilos is a world known only through second-hand sources. References to Ilos have been found at several other Prothean ruins, though direct study of the world is unlikely to occur.

Ilos lies in a remote area of the Terminus Systems only accessible by the legendary Mu Relay. Four thousand years ago, the Mu Relay was knocked out of position by a supernova and lost. Since then, Ilos and its cluster have been inaccessible.

Occasionally, a university will organize an expedition to chart a route to Ilos using conventional FTL drive. These never get beyond the planning stages due to the distance and danger. The journey could take years or decades, passing through the hostile Terminus Systems and dozens of unexplored systems.

Korlus Edit

Known as the starcraft cemetery, Korlus was the regional toxic junk yard for centuries. Ships reaching astronautical "near-death" at connecting mass relays were sent to Korlus, stripped of every useful component, then dumped planetward to clear shipping lanes.

Currently Korlus hosts numerous merc factions such as the Blue Suns, rumored to be using downed ship fossils to test advanced munitions. Massive gun batteries threaten anyone attempting planetfall, with minimal defenses against ground attack.

Because ancient vulcanism greenhoused the planet, Korlus was too hot and CO2-rich to develop a biosphere, despite the abundant lakes that could have sponsored the development of life.

Now cool enough for protected habitation, but too scorching for anyone but extremophiles and mercenaries seeking secrecy, Korlus supports numerous krogan outposts. The krogan have therefore seeded Korlus with hardy varren, often kept as war hounds. Varren live primarily on a diet of geophagous vermin and each other.

Noveria Edit

Noveria is a cool, rocky world, with most of its hydrosphere locked up in massive glaciers. A privately chartered colony world, the planet is owned by the Noveria Development Corporation holding company. The NDC is funded by investment capital from two dozen high technology development firms, and administrated by an Executive Board representing their interests.

The investors built remote hot labs in isolated locations across Noveria’s surface. These facilities are used for research too dangerous or controversial to be performed elsewhere, as Noveria is technically not part of Citadel space and therefore exempt from Council law.

By special arrangement, Citadel Special Tactics and Reconnaissance agents have been granted extraterritorial privileges, but it remains to be seen how committed the Executive Board is to that principle. Given its unique situation, it is understandable that Noveria is often implicated in all manner of wild conspiracy theories.

Omega Edit

Originally an asteroid rich in element zero, Omega was briefly mined by the Protheans, who eventually abandoned it due to its thick, impenetrable crust. Thousands of years later, nature did what even the Protheans could not: a collision with another asteroid broke Omega in half, exposing its trove of element zero for easy mining.

A rush ensued as corporations and private individuals tried to strike it rich on Omega, and thieves and outlaws followed in their wake. As space became tight, construction of processing facilities extended vertically from the asteroid, creating Omega's jellyfish-like silhouette. To prevent future collisions, the station is ringed with enormous mass-effect field generators that redirect incoming debris.

Today, Omega is a major hub of narcotics, weapons, and eezo trafficking without even a pretense of civilian government or military control. Only mercenary groups have been able to instill a limited order; the most ruthless is an asari syndicate run by the notorious Aria T'Loak.

Ontarom Edit

Sixteen years ago, the Systems Alliance established the first dish field on Ontarom, defying the tidal disruptions and electrical storms that periodically sweep across the planet. The facility has since grown into a crucial communications hub for the Alliance.

Trade between the Alliance base and nearby human settlements sustains planetary unity. The Alliance also trains and hires colonists to maintain the quantum communicators, further strengthening the bond between locals and the military forces that use the comm stations.

Although most of the communication relays serve the military, a coalition of Ontarom's businesses has begun construction on a civilian broadcast hub. The local Alliance commander has offered the help of the military's technical experts, making Ontarom a symbol of civilian and military cooperation.

Pragia Edit

Choked by the hyper-growth of nonnative plant species, Pragia serves as a galactic reminder about the imperative for careful regulation during colonization.

Two centuries ago, batarian agribusiness chose uninhabited Pragia as their empire's breadbasket. Colonization authorities introduced nonnative, industrially mutated plants that flourished in the world's fertile volcanic soil. Synergizing with Pragia's natural geothermal conditions and chemotropic microbes, the imported species soon became a nightmare. Mutant strains of poisonous and even carnivorous plants arose, overgrowing colonies in days instead of years, and causing the batarians to abandon their holdings. Because the planet's small animal population is insufficient to check its plant growth, Alliance ecologists predict soil exhaustion in 400 years.

Due to its relative isolation and lack of population, Pragia has become a regional haven for drug-runners, weapons-smugglers, pirates, mercenaries, terrorists, and intelligence agents seeking secrecy.

Purgatory Edit

Originally an "ark ship" designed to carry agricultural animals, the Purgatory was taken by the Blue Suns mercenary company during a large-scale battle in the Skyllian Verge. In a years-long reconstruction of its interior, the Blue Suns repurposed it to hold sapient prisoners, supposedly because they captured so many in their conflicts throughout the galaxy. When media outlets started investigating claims that the ship was used for slaving operations, the Blue Suns turned a public relations nightmare into a regular income source.

Claiming to be in full accordance with Citadel law. the crew of Purgatory now regularly lands on planets or space stations claiming that they can no longer hold their prisoners because of cost overruns. To avoid keeping prisoners under inhumane conditions, they will have to release them at the nearest port, dumping the scum of the galaxy directly into the local population. Faced with such a scenario, the government usually grants Purgatory's crew massive discounts in fuel, food, and repairs as long as they go away. Some even offload their own prisoners to Purgatory for a fee, grateful to have a problem relocated somewhere other than their backyard. Such unfortunates go in the dark depths of the ship, never to be seen again by their families or contacts.

Purgatory is minimally armed with GARDIAN defenses. Though a cruiser-weight ship, it relies on the Blue Suns' fighters to prevent any attacks bent on a jailbreak or similar events.

Rakhana Edit

The drell homeworld of Rakhana once teemed with life, its arid plains home to spectacular insect and reptile analogues. But the drell took to industrialization early and did not realize the extent of the environmental damage they caused until it was too late. With their topsoil depleted and oceans too acidic to sustain life, the drell were situated for a massive population crash by 2025 CE.

It was then the hanar stepped in, mounting a large-scale rescue operation to bring drell to the hanar homeworld, Kahje. As wars erupted over what resources remained on Rakhana and billions began to die, approximately 375,000 drell escaped in the exodus. To repay their debt, the drell entered into an agreement with the hanar. Called the Compact, it states that the drell would assist the hanar with tasks the hanar cannot physically perform. Today, high-ranking hanar are often inseparable from their drell attendants.

Sanctum Edit

Sanctum is known for the freezing ice storms which sweep across its poles and temperate zones, with only a thin strip of habitable land along the equator. Because of those harsh living conditions, Sanctum attracts only the most gruff and hardy, from miners to mercenaries to company men. Mining, referred to as "ice cracking" anywhere but the equator, is the backbone of Sanctum's economy. The planet is rich in platinum and palladium deposits, as well as boron, which is locally used in semiconductor doping.

Sanctum's corporate factions have learned that Cerberus is involved in the planet's finances. Systems Alliance intelligence agents embedded within the corporate strata are quietly urging the companies to confront Cerberus directly, but so far, financial bickering has kept Sanctum's major stakeholders from acting against the lllusive Man.

Stations: Arcturus Station Edit

Arcturus Station is the gateway to Sol, a 5-kilometer diameter "Stanford Torus"-type space station at the trailing Lagrange point of the gas giant Themis. Construction on Arcturus Station began in 2151 and concluded in 2162. It was inaugurated in 2156, and has served as the military and political headquarters of the Systems Alliance from the First Contact War until the present.

When humanity activated the Charon Mass Relay in 2149, it led to Arcturus, 36 light years from Sol, Earth's sun. Arcturus is the third brightest star seen from Earth. It is an ancient red giant from the generation born before Sol. Its worlds are either gas giants or ice chunks. While some rocky debris exists, the metal content is 25% lower than normal. To build Arcturus Station, metallic asteroids were towed through the mass relays to the construction site. Many of these asteroids remain near the station, their mined out areas home to transient populations.

The expense of bringing construct materials into the system was acceptable due to its strategic value. With three primary mass relays in addition to the secondary one to Sol, Arcturus is a major communications and military chokepoint. The Alliance 1st Fleet is based in Arcturus, where it can guard the gates to Sol and react to incursions in the three connected clusters. The Station also hosts the Systems Alliance Parliament and the Systems Alliance Military general headquarters. Its permanent population is approximately 45,000.

Arcturus is actually from the galactic halo, one of a cluster of 52 stars that are "crashing through" the disc of the galaxy. In a billion years, Arcturus will be sailing through the depths of extragalactic dark space.

Stations: Gagarin Station Edit

Gagarin Station is the largest deep space station built by humanity, a "Bernal Sphere" designed with a 500-meter-diameter habitable area. It was constructed beyond Pluto, nearly 80 Astronomical Units1 (12 billion kilometers) from Sol. Moving crew and materials to this location bankrupted most of the backers.

Gagarin was placed at the inner edge of the "heliopause1" - the point at which the solar wind can no longer push back the interstellar medium1. It was built to test a number of faster-than-light drive principles that theoretically could only occur in interstellar space. The station was nicknamed "Jump Zero", as it was intended to be the jumping-off point for humanity's expansion into the galaxy. Shortly after the station was completed, the Prothean ruins were discovered on Mars, rendering the entire effort moot.

After struggling to make a profit for a decade, Gagarin was sold to the Systems Alliance in 2159 for a fraction of its construction costs. The Alliance refurbished it as a research and training center for the recently discovered biotic phenomenon.

In 2169, the Biotic Acclimation and Temperance Training program was shut down and Gagarin became a general research facility. Its remote location and intentional isolation from the extranet makes it popular for dangerous research, particularly in the field of artificial intelligence. Humanity's first stable A.I., the Alliance-sponsored "Eliza", achieved sapience at Gagarin in 2172.

Today, Gagarin Station has a permanent population of approximately 9,000. A plan has been proposed to move it to the gravitationally stable barycenter point between Pluto and the Charon Relay allowing it to serve as a gateway facility between the Sol and Arcturus systems. The high cost of safely moving its mass has delayed this indefinitely.

Terminus Systems Edit

The Terminus Systems are located on the far side of the Attican Traverse, beyond the space administered by the Citadel Council or claimed by the human Systems Alliance. It is populated by a loose affiliation of minor species, united only in their refusal to acknowledge the political authority of the Council or adhere to the Citadel Conventions.

Their independence comes at a price; the Terminus is fraught with conflict. War among the various species is common, as governments and dictators constantly rise and fall. The region is a haven for illegal activities, particularly piracy and the slave trade.

At least once a year, a fleet from Terminus invades the nearby Attican Traverse. These attacks are typically small raids against poorly defended colonies. The Council rarely retaliates, as sending patrols into the Terminus Systems could unify the disparate species against their common foe, triggering a long and costly war.

The Migrant Fleet Edit

The flotilla, or the Migrant Fleet, is a fleet of roughly 50,000 starships that houses over 17 million quarians. The largest collection of starfaring vessels in the galaxy, the Fleet is so large it may takes days for all the ships to pass through a mass relay.

The ships are constantly repaired, replaced, and upgraded to comfortably house as many quarians as possible. Typically, ships specialize in roles for the Fleet, from the enormous agricultural liveships to the shielded lab ships to the repurposed freighters known as homeships that house quarian children, young parents, and educators. Employed quarians typically live in the ship they work on, since commuting from ship to ship ties up resources with unnecessary docking procedures.

Even within the flotilla, quarians on most ships will remain encased in their protective suits, Rarely, quarians will meet on "clean ships" for specific purposes such as medical services or reproduction. When this occurs, they remove their suits, knowing full well that it is likely they will spend a few days having allergic reactions or getting over infections as their weakened immune systems compensate for each other's presence.

The Perseus Veil Edit

As vast in natural beauty as it is in threat, the purple and gold nebula called the Perseus Veil forms the natural border between geth space and the Terminus Systems.

The Veil's total opacity prevents Council intelligence from surveying geth activity. Theoretically, the geth could be preparing a devastating attack against which the Council could be defenseless, or the geth could have died out, so that the defense budget against them could be gaining the Alliance nothing but economic ruination.

Despite fears of geth, prospectors do occasionally mount salvage ventures inside the Veil; one ended in tragedy. Using technomental domination, the geth drew the team into the Veil before aiming them back as husks at the organic society that produced them.

A leaked classified Spectre report claims that the dreadnought Sovereign, commanded by ex-Spectre Saren Arterius and crewed by geth, hid near the Veil before initiating the 2183 Citadel attack.

Virmire Edit

Virmire is a lush world located on the frontier of the Attican Traverse. Its vast seas and orbital position on the inner life zone have created a wide equatorial band of humid, tropical terrain. Only the political instability of the region has impeded efforts at colonization.

Many times, the Citadel has opened negotiations to settle Virmire with the various criminal gangs and petty dictatorships in the nearby Terminus Systems. All fell apart due to internal power shifts within the opposing parties. The Citadel has written off the colonization of Virmire as impossible without significant political change.

The Terminus powers themselves are unlikely to ever settle Virmire. Most lack the resources to support settlement of a virgin world, finding it more expedient to steal from their neighbors than build for themselves.

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