Mass Effect: From the Ashes
The Milky Way is populated with dozens of races. Some are valued members of Citadel space, working to build a better galactic community; others are lawless, caring nothing for the Citadel Council’s edicts; a few are outcasts, but all are unique.
The Citadel Council is the governing body of the Citadel. Convening in the impressive Citadel Tower, the Council is the ultimate authority in Citadel space, passing judgement for violations of Council law, settling disputes between governments, and maintaining law and order, often through the use of its own covert intelligence service, the Spectres.
The Council is an executive committee composed of one representative each from the member species. Though they have no official power over the independent governments of other species, the Council’s decisions carry great weight throughout the galaxy. No single Council race is strong enough to defy the others, and all have a vested interest in compromise and cooperation.
Each of the Council species has general characteristics associated with the various aspects of governing the galaxy. The asari are typically seen as diplomats and mediators. The salarians gather intelligence and information. The turians provide the bulk of the military and peacekeeping forces. Humanity was granted a seat on the Council after Commander Shepherd saved them from Sovereign’s attack on the Citadel a few years before the full Reaper Invasion.
Any species granted an embassy on the Citadel is considered an associate member, bound by the accords of the Citadel Conventions. Associate members may bring issues to the attention of the Council, though they have no impact on their final decision.
In the aftermath of the Reaper War several species have petitioned to join the Citadel Council as full members. The Volus and Elcor contributed quite a bit to the war effort and feel they deserve a seat on the galaxy’s ruling body. In addition several independent species have laid claim to a council seat particularly the Krogan whose military efforts saved the Turian homeworld from complete destruction at the hands of the Reapers. The Salarians, who were the least damaged of the Council species, adamantly oppose the Krogan’s bid for a seat on the council.
The Independent Species have remained apart from the Citadel Council for a variety of reasons. In the Aftermath of the Reaper War many of these Independents are now reconsidering their positions and several, like the Batarians, Krogan, Quarians and Geth have all petitioned to join the Citadel.