A/N: As requested by more than a few people. Still outlining and revising drafts of the next TWCD chapter. For now, enjoy.
-STG – STG – STG-
STG Report on the Black Blade of the Vasir :
Senior Agent Milunis to the STG Master
As requested, I've put together an initial briefing document covering everything we currently know about Aethyta Vasir. Her recent reemergence into public view in the fallout of the Incident on Ilium caught us somewhat off guard, and a full review of her capabilities had not been performed in the past two hundred years.
By necessity, this document is not all inclusive with details, but instead provides high-order information that can be queried in depth at a later time. However, given Vasir's open publicity in her matron and early matriarchal period as well as extensive documentation on her most famous fights, most of the combat related information should be one hundred percent accurate.
This file is classified Dashan-black. This is the sixty-eighth Black Section file since the origination of the first Special Task Order given by Dalatrass Shiron herself and the seventh iteration of this file since original compilation.
All information on the Vasir is based on four sources: existing military records, eye-witness accounts, reports from direct STG observation, and accumulated scans and examinations. Given her long history, some of this is perforce anecdotal in nature, and a fifth unofficial source is, unfortunately, mostly rumors. While the file is likely to be complete, agents are cautioned to assume the worst in any battle scenario and are reminded that she is a professional assassin, soldier and a skilled saboteur. As with any figure of note worrisome enough to get their own STG file, underestimating her is likely to be an agent's final mistake.
Aethyta Vasir is widely held to be the single most dangerous and skilled warp sword bladedancer in asari history, surpassing even figures such as Solarch V'than and the current Solarch. While her biotic power is hardly weak, her focus is and always has been on war itself and the use of her warp sword, and as such the Black Blade is the closest thing the asari have ever gotten to producing a professional soldier among the Thirty. Her skills as an assassin, data broker, and clandestine operative are also highly impressive. These are, however, tempered by her depression, history and lack of concern.
Unlike most asari, Aethyta disdains pacifism and is noted for her sarcastic, cutting and vitriolic style of both conversation and living.
-STG – STG – STG-
Formal Titles: Champion of the House of Vasir, Grand Sword Mistress of the Asari Republic. Former Matriarch of House Vasir. Former High Telsharess of the Asari Republic Military.
Nicknames: The Black Blade
Race: Asari. Genetically, of the Thirty. No known cybernetics, minor bionetic upgrades.
Age and sex: One thousand ninety four years. Asari monogender. Several living and dead children.
Wealth: Once extensive, much of it has been lost over the years in various ways. Aethyta can still lay hands on millions of credits if need be, but currently has no known home – she was basically exiled from House Vasir when she broke her bonding with Benezia and spent a century tending bar on Omega.
Psychological Summary: A word of caution: the psychological projection is very low confidence.
Aethyta appears to fall in the Depraved/Selfish quadrant of narcissistic personalities. Throughout her life, much of what she has achieved ultimately failed due to her impulsive nature, brash temper, weakness for sexuality and drug use, and above all else a complete lack of loyalty or scruples. Aethyta has poor emotional control outside of battle and believes passion is more important than determination or logic in living one's life.
The resulting psychological damage from her various losses and betrayals is very severe, with multiple ramifications for her surviving children. It is possible she has slipped into the Defeated/Malevolent quadrant of apathetic personalities,but this cannot be confirmed. If she has, then she is very close to an asari psychopath - using violence and abuse to vent her frustration. There is some fragmentary evidence that suggests this is indeed the case (see subfile 492058-CV-Unsolved Omega Murders, files E and F).
Military Summary: Trained as commando and formal militia commander in her youth. Spent three centuries mastering the warp sword before undergoing additional training under the Solarch of the time. Employed for over two hundred years as the enforcer and 'clean up person' for the Houses of Storm, particularly Thana T'Armal, and a great deal of time after that point as a professional assasin, saboteur and 'deniable asset'.
Experienced battle-suit and gunship pilot. Has taken military coursework with the turians in combat engineering, sniping, and survival. Briefly considered for Spectre status two centuries ago, but declined.
Employment: Currently, none. Suspected employment by Council of Matriarchs as troubleshooter – Aria connection hinted at by certain reports is unclear.
Significant Family: Benezia T'Soni (bondmate, deceased), Unknown-Silences (hanar assassin, bondmate, deceased, public name Sings-to-Silences). DNA/XNA sampling (conducted at the conclusion of the Sisters of Vengeance Incident) confirms Tela Vasir is her daughter, not her niece. Other offspring include Liara T'Soni (offspring with Benezia T'Soni) and Thala Aehtytar (offspring with Unknown-Silences).
Several other daughters with various aliens (all deceased). Living offspring are Tela Vasir, Liara T'Soni, and Thala Aehtytar (currently Alliance citizen on Watson).
Overall Threat Rating: Black-Collapse Seven
Historical Notes: Aethyta Vasir was the eldest daughter and heir to the Vasir Matriarch. Her mother, Matriarch N'sael, was bonded to a krogan warlord known only as the Red. The two were enemies during the Krogan Rebellions and their interactions were somewhat distant. The Red was killed when Aethyta was barely thirty years of age, in a starship accident – the resulting bond-shock left her mother distant and often distracted.
The early years of her life are mostly difficult to ascertain. She did spend some time on Tuchanka with her father when she was very young before his death, and did not seem to fit in well with the House as a whole. These trips to Tuchanka caused some level of friction between her parents, and it is believed that her early exposure to battle and death contributed to her beliefs in power and militarism. Certainly her belief that social manuvering was of less value than sheer might can be traced back to this time.
She returned to Thessia upon the death of her krogan father, settling into the House. Most of her early years after that were conducted in various adventures with Benezia T'Soni. The pair were discouraged from friendship by their respective Houses, although multiple sources indicate that didn't stop them from having a very deep relationship as early as age forty-five, with the relationship becoming sexual shortly thereafter. While this occurred a very long time ago - centuries - we were able to gather from various gossip and rumors that there may have been some level of coercion involved - it was certainly not normal for very young maidens to engage in such things among the Thirty at the time.
They were almost inseparable until Aethyta was one hundred and thirty, but the two broke apart when House T'Soni arranged a bond-marriage with a younger son of the turian Palavanus. Aethyta attempted (with no success) to convince Benezia to defy her House, but Benezia instead obeyed, leaving Aethyta alone, at which time Aethyta attempted suicide. She was unsuccessful due to emergency aid provided by House retainers, and went into isolation for a year. When the House chose her younger sister to take the position of heir and chatelaine, she attempted suicide a second time, and was restrained and given over to the High Lunarch.
After a period of time in the care of the mind-healers of the Temple of Athame, Vasir was released. She was a relative unknown until some one hundred years after she completed her initial training, when she was instrumental in aiding a Justicar kill three ardat-yakshi. Using the incident as a jumping off point, she gathered a group of somewhat disgruntled former asari military officers and formed her first mercenary company. The band was destroyed in combat with turian separatists, but won wide acclaim and made Aethyta's skill with her warp sword widely known.
She spent at least thirty years as an independent contractor (read, assassin) and racked up a very impressive kill count of over three hundred, including a pair of Remembrance Dancers, a krogan war shaman, and several powerful turian separatists. Using this money and her existing fame, she started several new mercenary companies and was a key component in the creation of Eclipse, although as Jona Sederis lost sanity the two drifted apart.
Eventually her mercenary band of choice, the Black Sisterhood, developed a fell reputation and was involved in several Citadel actions against turian separatists. There is a great deal of evidence that they violated several Citadel laws regarding weapons use, brutality and use of deadly force against non-combatants, but no charges were ever filed.
Aethyta was also tapped at some point (possibly during the time she was in the Temple) as an agent provocateur and assassin for Thana T'Armal, often working in conjunction with other asari assets (possibly the Nightwind). She was instrumental in defending Uressa T'Shora from a pair of assassination attempts and in defeating the ardat-rekshi known as Silent Waters, in a highly visible battle in Armali that destroyed several starscrapers and five hundred feet of the cliffside. it was at this time she was formally made Grand Blademistress. However, for all of these visible actions, the vast bulk of her time was spent massacring clanless leaders who challenged the Thirty - by a rough count, Vasir was responsible for well over six hundred murders and 'accidents'. (It is worth noting her disdain for the clanless stems from this period - before she was merely dismissive of them).
Her connection with Sederis was utilized when T'Armal tried to have her own daughter Aleema killed. Aethyta and her mercenaries, pretending to be security forces, infiltrated a biotic training camp and killed sixty seven young asari. They then planted evidence and pinned the massacre on Sederis, although ultimately Aleema T'Armal is believed to have escaped. (See subfile 8380T-Omega, Evidence of Aria T'Loak as Aleema T'Armal) Much of this incident remains murky, and Aethyta disappeared from view for almost half a decade after it.
For reasons unknown, upon her reappearance in asari society Aethyta broke ties with the T'Armal after that incident, and turned away from assassination work in preference of focusing on her mercenary companies and House ventures. It took a good two hundred years, but eventually she was influential enough that she was put in charge of a great deal of the Republic military, which she reorganized to some degree. However, her brutal training methods and open militaristic tone were not taken well by man asari.
The training changes (the highly controversial Vasir reforms) raised the fighting efficiency of the Republican Guard and several elite city hunter/commando units by a great deal, but resulted in much higher rates of asari choosing not to relenlist. There were ugly rumors as well of Aethyta abusing her position, although they were never clarified and eventually were dropped. However, the reforms caused a great deal of tension between the city-state militias and the Guard, as well as within the Council of Matriarchs.
After a century of such command, tensions rose to a point where the perceived conflict of her military command, combined with the extensive contracts given to her private security forces, posed a threat to whatever plans the Council of Matriarchs wanted to pursue. She was removed from command and her mercenary companies fell out of favor with the government, but that just drove Aethyta to hire them out to combat pirates and other undesirables such as turian separatists and batarian assault groups.
While her mercenary groups were mostly operating in the Traverse, Aethyta herself during this time was on Thessia, negotiating and attempting to build more influence and regain her input into the military. This was mostly a failed effort, and at some point she simply stopped bothering with such, instead engaging in heavy drug use and throwing wild parties. She had a number of lovers, several of them lesser house members from Vasir. One of these relationships resulted in the birth of Tela Vasir, who was fostered into the house amid vast disapproval. Like most purebred members of the Thirty, Tela's birth was kept low key and she was sidelined. (See STG file 443920-B, Tela Vasir STG Report)
Aethtya abruptly dissolved several of her mercenary companies and bolted from asari space just after the birth of Tela, focusing on forces in the Traverse, although she returned multiple times to check up on and eventually train Tela Vasir. With increasing pressure from the Council of Matriarchs due her continued political stances on militarism, she found herself out of favor, and thus slipped back into a role of assassin, disbanding most of her remaining mercenary forces, for almost another century.
We do not have an accurate accounting of how many Vasir killed in this period, but it was mostly during this time her legend became known across the galaxy. Certainly she was more than capable of cutting up two entire STG teams in the Corongir Incident (see subfile Cor-5939c-V through Z) and killing the rogue Spectre Valthus Mantha. Again, however, the bulk of her kills were against helpless clanless political agitators and other asari the Council of Matriarchs wanted silenced. Several operations - firebombing an entire starscaper to get at a clanless leader, or deliberate sabotage of an entire passenger liner to kill a handful of targets - were as morally bankrupt as they were brilliantly successful.
(Addendum: her operational record in terms of sabotage is quite brilliant; strongly suggest review of methodologies used in case STG required to disrupt asari logistical or transport shipping).
At the conclusion of this period, she returned to Thessia, spent a few months in various discussions with the Council of Matriarchs, and was suddenly announced as Matriarch of House Vasir. It is not known exactly why she was quite suddenly elevated to House Matriarch, although rumors suggest this was due to house in-fighting and pressure from higher Houses. The use of blackmail was also a possibility - certainly she had enough dirt on the Council with all the black operations and assassinations she ran.
As Matriarch, Aethyta was widely known for pushing her militant views and improvements both to various city-state militias as well as once again training the Republican Guard. House Vasir revived the near-defunct Armali Council manufacturing line and in a handful of years turned it into one of the top weapons and combat systems manufacturers on Thessia.
House Vasir grew much stronger under her watch, although it began to enter into conflict with other, larger houses. As a result some counseled her to take a slower approach. Instead, at the height of her power, Aethyta reunited with Benezia, and the two houses joined forces to augment their positioning in Thessian politics. Benezia and Aethyta recruited heavily for both her personal mercenary force and Benezia's Triune Unity movement, gaining as many as six to seven million followers and winning a third of the seats in the e-democratic elections for matriarchal posts.
Her reuniting with Benezia and rejuvenation of the fortunes of Houses T'Soni and Vasir lasted barely twenty years, and shortly after Liara T'Soni was born Aethyta broke her bond and fled, during the scandal involving one of her mercenary companies. The fallout from the scandal put her martial philosophies into disfavor, and she was formally stripped of her titles as Matriarch and her military positions. A third suicide attempt was made at this time, but was again stopped, this time by Tela Vasir. Aethyta spent several years in isolation and meditation, before leaving asari space for good, acting as an informal observer on Aria T'Loak, serving the Council of Matriarchs.
Her activities since the Benezia Incident were erratic - much of her time was split between Omega and the holdings of House Vabo - and she was believed to be killed in the Burning of Omega. How she survived and where exactly she was during this period of time are unknown, but it is likely she was either a captive of or working with Aria.
Identifying motivations for Aethyta is remarkably difficult : by her own admission very little actually motivates her, in a conventional sense, and most of what she does is reaction rather than decision. She is well known for drug and alcohol abuse, as well as over the top sexual activity (especially for a matriarch), and there are vast portions of her life where her only ambition was violent bloodshed and wild parties - the initial belief most people have of her is she is only motivated by such things.
However, she has been more sedate in recent years. Current modeling suggests that she has very little to actually live for, and her only current motivation appears to be helping her daughters. As of this report, she has not revealed to Tela Vasir that she is her father, and it is highly unlikely she has revealed her past history in any detail to Liara. She has not interacted with her daughter Thala in centuries, but a great deal of her money went to the daughter over the years and some of Aethyta's former mercenary commandos keep a close watch on her.
(Psychological modeling indicates she believes she would do more harm than good by being involved much in her daughter's lives.)
Secondary motivations appear to be the pursuit of entertainment, parties, debauchery and drugs to help her forget her past. Such weakness can be a useful tool if she needs to be suborned or killed, but be aware that there are powerful forces who would be upset by such an act.
Organizations and Affiliations:
Technically speaking, Aethyta remains the Grand Sword Mistress of the Asari Republic, as well as Vasir House Champion. The ritual nature of these appointments is in ironic contrast to her disdain for such ritualism, and the Dancing of the Swords which would require her presence has not been called in over two hundred years.
In practice, she has no real affiliations aside from answering at times to the Council of Matriarchs. With the reappearance of Liara T'Soni and the interactions with the Butcher, her relationship to Cerberus, if any, is unknown. (Given that Trellani is almost certainly active in the group, Aethyta may or may not be allowed to associate directly with most Cerberus elements - if anyone could get to and kill Trellani, Aethyta would be high on the list.)
Aethyta is a trained professional soldier, something the Asari Republic has not focused on in over five hundred years. As such, she has much higher baseline combat skills than even most commandos, and while her command of biotics is impressive, her other skills outweigh that by a great deal. This cannot be emphasized enough - unlike other asari, she is very well prepared to engage in direct conflict rather than attritional styles like other asari. Attempting to deal with her using the standard combat routines for most asari will only get you very dead very fast.
Vasir's typical combat routines are very range dependent and she has a slight preference for direct charges. Given her fame as a blade mistress and most preconceived notions of how asari tend to fight, her abilities more often than not will surprise a foe. Aethyta has centuries of combat experience and was renowned for possessing something the asari call the vhathyai, or 'combat-death-sensing'. While the name is certainly melodramatic, Aethyta does possess an almost preternatural ability to evade enemy fire and attacks even when conducted from surprise.
Aethyta has little to no info-war training and is not known for any skills with drones or other combat engineering skills. She is usually armed only with her warp-sword and mono-molecular ribbon knives, but is skilled with shotguns, heavy rifles, and sniper rifles – do not assume she is defenseless if her biotics are nullified.
Her primary weapon is the ancient warp sword known as Bloodwaves-Upon-Flesh, the second surviving blade along with Oceans-Nightfallen-Mist that ended the life of the Silent Queen at the hands of Nathess T'Soni and Elsha Vasir. House Vasir did not reclaim the weapon from her when she was removed as matriarch, instead using a different weapon as the House Sword. Bloodwaves is, like all ancient asari weapons, anomalous in forging and construction - the steel is stronger than a modern plasma-flash forged sword made of laser steel, which should be impossible. The blade can cut through even reinforced armor (and in one famous event, a starship hull!) and should never be underestimated.
Keep in mind that several of the aspects she practices involve channeling biotic powers through the blade - including stasis. Evasive maneuvering - and preferably staying well outside of sword range - is highly recommended.
Her other armaments include an illegally modified cut-down Justicar shotgun, a single-action fully automatic turian Judgement pistol modded heavily, and a Cobra Blast Rifle (an unusual choice, but flattering). She rarely if ever uses armor, but when she does so tends for very heavy full combat suits.
It's unclear how much martial arts or close-quarters combat training she has, but she at the very least is known to practice both biotic enhanced tidal-touch and wave-breaking fist, an asari non-biotic martial arts style. She has also demonstrated passing familiarity with almost every weapon on the market as well as turian, krogan, human and batarian melee weapons.
Aethyta is also a very skilled poisoner, something she often indulges in with her hobbyist focus on drink-making and the like. While this is not a danger in most direct combat, she has been known to jury-rig poisonous or toxic traps if given enough time to prepare for an assault.
Specific Tactical Methods, Ground Combat:
Long range: Aethyta will typically employ long-range biotic attacks combined with heavy use of cover to close range. If possible she will take out forces unsuitable to engage in melee such as battle-suits with biotics before attempting to close range. If equipped to do so, however, she has no problem with sniping and uses biotics to pin targets in place for killshots.
Unlike almost all other asari, Aethyta becomes more dangerous if her biotics are suppressed at long range, since most enemies will consider asari weak at long range without biotics. Keep in mind that no amount of biotic suppression can stop a warp sword from operating and that forcing her to rely on her other skills means a team prepared specifically to fight your average asari is now at a disadvantage.
Medium range: Aethyta will increase biotic usage, often combining such to form biotic explosions, with the goal of moving targets out of hard cover and flanking them. Unlike most commando and huntress tactics, Aethyta places no value on disruption, seeking only to expose vulnerable elements. In cases where she is striking from stealth, she will tend to go for an immediate crippling or immobilizing blow and close rapidly to short range for execution.
She may or may not employ conventional weapons at this range, as she is very skilled with marksman rifles and assault rifles. Aethyta's style of combat usually does not require that she close into short range - rather, through heavy use of biotics and pinning fire, she encourages her opponent to make an ill-advised attempt to close range on her. This both allows her full opportunities for crippling or kill shots as well as allowing her to remain in cover up until the target reaches melee range.
Short range: At short range Aethyta will either engage in a crippling attack with the shotgun or proceed directly to extremely high-speed sword dancing. Be advised Aethyta knows all nine hundred sixty one aspects of asari blade dance from every known school and at least a hundred aspects she has created herself over the years. She will use biotics at this range solely to enhance her speed and striking power and to trip up or disarm opponents, along with using the sword kanquess in a pull-back and attack from above routine that goes for decapitation or disarmament (literally, cutting the sword hand off).
Trailing units have upwards of four hours of video footage of Vasir in various fights, including with the ardat-yakshi blademistress known as the Unsung. In every single encounter she has won. The only known defeats she had were against Benezia (who was augmented by Reaper technology) and against Tetrimus - and even then, she was the only person capable of dealing serious damage to either of them. (Benezia basically killed herself and Tetrimus slaughtered the rest of Shepard's teammates at the Burning with casual ease from all reports).
In most melee combat she will use direct linear attacks and go for killing or maiming blows on strong opponents and crippling non-lethal attacks to weak opponents. Aethyta fights very dirty and is not above using caustic agents, kicking sexual organs, or slipping a mono-molecular knife into an eye or exposed organ for a quick distraction and a messy kill.
Warning Advisory: More than one agent has questioned the danger an aging, depressed asari who fights with a sharpened piece of metal actually presents. The answer is somewhat nuanced. In terms of absolute lethality, Aethyta's biggest danger is her ability to blend in and her connections. She has operated in the mercenary world for centuries and is tolerated in places where any other member of the Thirty would be murdered in a heartbeat, and she is a very skilled poisoner, saboteur, and agent provocateur - letting her operate freely anywhere is very poor judgement. (The fact that the Alliance did so after her daughter married Shepard is one more indication of how sloppy the AIS is.)
The other notable fact is that Vasir operates in such a fashion that usually allows her to set the terms of engagement when combat ensues. She is very well versed in tradecraft and surveillance and is almost never unarmed. Agents are cautioned against assuming this is a tired old woman, or is a simplistic soldier.
Aethyta, by dint of her attitudes, betrayals, and selfish nature, has driven away (or gotten killed) most of her nominal allies aside from blood relatives.
At least in theory, House Vasir is an ally, currently run by her sister. Certainly Tela Vasir is an ally. Aethyta was once highly regarded by the Shadow Broker, one of the few who actually spoke to him directly rather than through Tetrimus. She was instrumental in several Broker ventures. although if the accusations made by Shepard are correct, this has likely fallen to the wayside.
Aethyta has a strong relationship with Liara T'Soni and, it is expected, to Shepard. As noted earlier, whether or not this applies to Cerberus is unknown.
Aethyta is not well liked by the Council of Matriarchs, but still has some influence there. She is a close friend of Lidanya T'Armal and Princess Nathesia T'Armal, although disliked intensely by the Queen Matriarch.
She has a very strong relationship with House Vabo and until her apparent death on Omega was a frequent visitor.
Her relationship with Aria is complex - if our intelligence is correct then Aethyta is directly responsible for Aria becoming what she has today. If Aria did have her under her power in the aftermath of the Burning, however, it is curious she did not kill Aethyta. (Investigation into this and other aspects of what happened on Omega are still in progress.)
House Devir as a whole, and many members of Houses T'Sael, Vhira and T'Koro have grudges against her. She provided (as part of her work with the Broker) assistance to Tetrimus when he was fleeing from turian space and thus is seen as a criminal by the Turian Hierarchy. During a pirate raid two centuries ago, she slew two grandsons of the Batarian Emperor at the time and sent them back with slave brands on their foreheads. Since that date she has been a hated enemy of the Batarian Hegemony.
Her brutal killings of clanless have not gone unnoticed, and she is something of an urban legend in some clanless circles. That being said at least a few clanless leaders involved in the Exodus have tried to have her killed. None of these attempts succeeded but Aethyta was apparently unable to track back to the initiator - these leaders remain outstanding today.
For a matriarch in the tenth century of life, Aethyta is in magnificent shape, with a body that would not look out of place on a Citadel Unity Games athlete.
While her physical strength is not outstanding, like all members of the Thirty it exceeds that of a normal asari by a fair amount. Even among asari of the Thirty Aethyta is tall and heavily muscled. Even so, the ravages of time and poor treatment of her body have made her less fearsome than in her youth - in particular, red sand abuse and other heavy narcotics have lessened her pain tolerance and field sensitivity, while abuse of stimulants has caused swelling in her knees that has somewhat reduced her flexibility.
Her reflexes have slowed greatly as she has aged, but her speed remains very impressive, and her knowledge of combat ensures she is almost as good as she was in her prime. The most recent Citadel scan showed some nerve damage and corrective cybernetics in her lower spine, but this is most likely temporary and related to some injury. She has also been in various rehab and revitalization clinics over the years, including a sixty day span at Grient Memorial for complete liver and sersonis organ cloning replacement (related to alcohol abuse).
Aethtya's arms and legs are laced with bionetic augmented muscle groups and her bones were given weave treatment sometime in the past two hundred years. As far as scans can determine she has no other augmentations (although it is possible that she had some level of sub-dermal sheathing implanted after the Benezia Incident when her entire chest region was rebuilt by surgeons.)
Aethtya's high-tempo combat routine requires her to augment her strength, speed, and movement rates with biotics. As she is no longer young, she has taken towards wearing heavier armor. Nullifying her biotics will not make her defenseless but will take the edge off her attacks, although as mentioned earlier, will also cause her to resort to more conventional military tactics that are just as dangerous as her biotics.
Mental and Psychological Notes:
Aethtya's IQ is 109 on the human/asari scale, strictly average. She has known impulse control issues, and has been dependent on excessive drinking, drug use, stimulant use, and sexual encounters for centuries. It is uncertain if she does this to cope with her history, or simply because she no longer cares about much of anything. Modelling her behavior suggests she is unable to actually control her various addictions as they serve as a mental prop for her fragile emotional state, and while she has engaged in a staggering amount of casual sex she has rarely if ever even induced a full meld, much less any sort of bonding, save with Benezia and Unknown-Silences.
Aethyta has attempted suicide a number of times, and those do not include various overdoses or near-suicidal attacks in combat. Her current state of mind is somewhat of a blank. All reports indicate she is extremely psychologically fragile. Rejection by the few people she clings to would almost certainly finish her sanity off. Acceptance by these figures has somewhat stabilized her in her most recent appearance, although long term is still a question. It is almost certain that given a strong enough emotional shock, any recovery would be negated and most likely she would attempt suicide again.
It is an open question if she has any faith in the Athamist religion, or in any religious concept. She has a noted distaste for siarist concepts and is quietly amused by most other religions, although she has dabbled in the Dreaming Dancer cults.
Aethyta has sexual preferences for human females, turian males, hanar and the occasional brave quarian male. (Additionally, she apparently has a 'thing' for other masters of the blade regardless of race). Most of her 'down time' is spend in partying and drinking. Aethyta has repeatedly dabbled in both red sand and in XXT, has been known for using both salarian vish-tap and human heroin, and the occasional combat stimulant. Her suppliers are unknown; agent teams trailing her did not detect any known purveyors of such - she may have large stashes of such drugs set aside.
Her current mental state is highly disorganized - she is neither a linear nor a rational thinker, acting mostly upon impulse, emotion and immediate perceptions. Most of her stated philosophies boil down to the fact that asari are superior and should act like it, embracing a strong military / imperialistic bent with certain unfortunate maternalistic overtones. How much of this she still clings to after falling from power is unknown, but it is unlikely she has changed her views much.
It is worth noting that from the time of Benezia's death onwards, she has engaged in zero drug use and zero sexual activity, which is extremely out of character.
Compared to her sword skills, her biotics, while strong enough, are far more modest in scope and power.
Aethyta uses her biotics in a military fashion not unlike certain SIU response units - to bombard and confuse, to corral and direct, and finally to weaken and distract from the true direction of the killing blow. That being said, she is a matriarch with at least a smattering of formal temple training as well as years bonded to Benezia T'soni.
Her known abilities that stand out include the Justicar Reave ability and the Athamist version of Aid, Warp, and Singularity. As with most asari, phase disruptors will only partially disable her abilities, and pulse dissipation devices must be very strong to overcome her own biotic field or they will not work at all.
Political and Social Notes:
Aethyta is not very impressed by clanless, (and likely less so after murdering hundreds of them over the years) and (like many of the Thirty) considers them to be little more than genetically inferior trash that should have been bred out millennia ago. The vast majority of her followers were disaffected clan members and lesser House members, along with fifth and sixth daughters of the Thirty unlikely to inherit - very few clanless joined.
Politically Aethyta has long championed direct government control, militaristic imperialism and colonialism and open warfare with the Salarian Union, who she despises. Her views were unpopular even before her fall from grace and it is unlikely her views have changed much in recent years. She has been a very vocal opponent of the policies of people like Uressa T'Shora, although amiable enough to her in person.
On the galactic level, Aethyta would prefer it if asari and turians, with a leavening of humans, were the dominant forces - she distrusts volus and is disdainful of the elcor (or as she puts it, if she cannot sleep with them she doesn't trust them). Her relationship to Liara T'Soni, and through her, Sara Shepard, may or may not play a role in her inclusion of humans into her perfect galactic society.
Some of her more extreme positions mirror or at least resemble arguments made by the fallen Matriarch Trellani - if Aethyta is in contact with Cerberus recommend additional tasking to determine if the two are colluding.
Socially, Aethyta tends to mix more with the criminal and outcasts among asari society; she has never held herself 'properly' among the Thirty and sees much of their social posturing and ritualism as pointless drivel, while disdaining their restricted sexuality. She has loudly supported House Vabo's more extreme political positions and has been involved on some level with several of the Dreaming Dancer cults of pleasure.
She has a tendency towards 'plain talk' and bluntness, and rarely if ever engages a filter on what she says. This does not appear to be a facade, although it's uncertain if this is because she believes strongly in what she says or if she is simply too depressed to care about ramifications.
The following advisories are considered mandatory reading.
Melee combat is strictly forbidden. Pointless waste of perfectly good agents. Your chances of defeating her in melee are roughly on par of winning the Galactic Lottery Event with last week's ticket.
Psychological combat is recommended and encouraged: Given her combat prowess, her emotional fragility is her weak point and should be utilized. Killing a flash clone of one of her daughters will likely be enough to send her into a nervous breakdown. (Suggest Thalia for the clone, as the other two are extremely hard targets).