Mass Effect: From the Ashes
ASPECT: SLAVERS, REAVERS & ENTREPRENEURS
ASPECT: FRAGILE ALLIANCES
Functional Mass Relays: Rannoch, The Perseus Veil, Illium, and Omega
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. These systems are 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. The prevalence of batarian criminal gangs has led to the batarian language becoming a “lingua franca” in the Terminus. The near total destruction of the batarians at the hand of the Reapers has left a power vacuum in the area and many a petty warlord is occupied with staking their clame.
The Terminus Systems have no government, but the Omega station serves as a trade capital along with the surging Illium.
At least once a year, a fleet from the Terminus used to invade the nearby Attican Traverse. These attacks were typically small raids against poorly-defended colonies. The Council rarely retaliated, as sending patrols into the Terminus Systems could unify the disparate species against their common foe, triggering a long and costly war.
With the relays down the raids have become both more and less common. It is much harder to raid another system when it takes 6 months to a year to reach it. This deters many pirates. However, some have become so desperate that they have little choice but to attempt it. This has resulted in roving fleets of ships travelling from system to system pillaging them in some horrible parody of the Migrant Fleet.
Despite the dangers, Citadel races had not been deterred from traveling through and even extensively colonizing the Terminus Systems themselves. Humans, turians, salarians, elcor, asari, and volus each have a sizable colonial presence there. Providing the roving bands with plenty of targets. Since the Citadel Council’s authority is nonexistent, these colonies are often fully independent from any interplanetary government. The Terminus Systems also encompass the homeworlds of the quarians, geth and the vorcha.
The Quarians and Geth have made great strides in stabilizing the Perseus Veil and rebuilding their home planet of Rannoch. They are dedicated to repairing the mass effect relays in the region as fast as they are able. They hope that opening the relays will help prevent raids by Terminus forces and begin trade anew. However, they have met stiff resistance from pirates and sabotage which has made progress very difficult. It has been pointed out that the pirates seem to enjoy unusual funding and many wonder who might benefit from keeping the relays closed.
Reaper forces met a surprising amount of resistance at Illium. Its leaders were paranoid about keeping their fortunes, and were influential in both Terminus and Citadel space. They acquired a large defense fleet and a high number of fission weapons, and in the brief space battle, used them on the Reaper fleet’s troop transports rather than their near-impervious capital ships. As a result, the inevitable ground invasion was slowed to a crawl as the Reapers manufactured more troops.
The repairs to the mass effect relay at Illium were funded by the same corporate concerns that saved it from the Reapers. The planet has quickly become one of the most influential systems in the Terminus as they have one of the few functioning relays. Mercenary forces patrol the surrounding clusters quite extensively taking advantage of the desperation of nearby colonies by signing them to protection and trade deals. Left with few options those colonies have little choice but to capitulate to the rapacious demands of Illium. Some believe that the corporate concerns of Illium are behind the increased raids in the region that force even more systems to take advantage of their “protection”.