LP's Note: As with the other Broker reports, everything in this document will be entirely in-universe and usually with edits only to stylistic and linguistic elements and not to content. I've been able to give Xabiar a free hand to create because frankly in canon the Terminus is an illogical mess that has zero detailing.

One problem I had with the entire concept of the Terminus (and by extension , Omega) in canon is the entire region was a pointless mess, with no reason why the Citadel wouldn't send a task force to just clear it out. We don't see any indications of there being a reason for this aside from the Council doing jack shit nothing as usual. I originally wanted the Terminus to be a Power, but basing it all off Omega skewed it so heavily to Aria's many problems that it would have resulted in basically Tortuga in Space!

That's not a good look for a number of reasons, mostly being that PV governments don't fuck around and will take you out if you look at them funny... unless there's a big enough fish to make that a mess of its own. Hence, the below.

- Henry

Xabiar's Note: This was a fun one. The Terminus Clan was one of those things that I put down as a 'major faction' more out of obligation than a definitive plan for them at the time. There was a vague idea of what to do, but only once I actually worked and outlined it did I know what direction to take it, which is a bit different from what they originally were.

I'm much happier with this current incarnation of the Terminus Clan, and am definitely looking forward to expanding more on how they are organized today. I'll warn you that there isn't really going to be a big secret around them (as of the writing of this A/N). It's just a good old-fashioned deep dive into one of the many factions in the PV, which I hope will be an interesting read all the same.





The Terminus Clan holds a unique place within the galactic consciousness. The brief one-time challengers to unquestioned Citadel galactic dominance, their ambitions were quickly and violently put down. The consequences of these actions have plunged the region into conflicts for centuries, and made way for powers like Aria to take advantage.

Yet rarely is their story understood or portrayed in such a manner; that of consequence and effect.

The fate of the Terminus Clan is what ultimately doomed the Terminus Systems to, if not irrelevance, impotency. It matters little that the Terminus Clan survived the violence of the Assassination – what matters is that their original promise was forever broken. They represented the singular chance of unity, or something close to it, for the Terminus, or those opposed to the hegemony of the Citadel Council. A chance that is lost forever.

No one, and certainly not the Terminus Clan themselves, can avoid this truth.

However, in a twist of fate, the Terminus Clan is perceived rather positively by the galaxy, including in Citadel space. As the largest democratic power in the Terminus Systems, their society is one that, if not thriving, is surviving as well as they can without resorting to warlordism or pirating so many aspiring powers have fallen to. It is a bright light in a region surrounded by chaos, violence, crime, and strife.

Such is the perception, such is what no shortage of holovids or shows have perpetrated, as well as romanticized by authors and propagandists. Yet as with most things, the truth is more complicated than the simplified portrayal given to the public.

Most people are familiar with the contemporary Terminus Clan that only truly came into force following the Krogan Rebellions, and even then, their knowledge extends to the surface level. Yes, the Terminus Clan is a democracy. Yes, the Terminus Clan has a functioning society and government. Yes, the Terminus Clan is the closest thing to a normal state in a problematic region. Yet all of this is relatively speaking.

The reality has proven to be more complicated to anyone who has bothered to look deeper.

What people think the Terminus Clan is, and the reality, are often two different things. People ascribe attributes, values, and institutions of the Terminus Clan to Citadel institutions, norms, and values. I cannot stress enough that this analysis is fatally flawed.

The Terminus Clan is a distinct, alien entity that has more in common with the Turian Hierarchy than the Asari Republics. It holds views closer to the Justicars or Alliance Commissariat than Citadel legal institutions. Its society is permeated by religion with only the veneer of secularism, and militarism is a cultural cornerstone so strong that even the turians would find themselves at home.

Professional commentary and analysis on the Terminus Clan is, to my surprise, more comprehensive and accurate than the public consciousness and is notably willing to take note of the significant military influence on the civilian government, the legacy of the Regime and the Solar Matriarch.

Additionally, more attention is being paid to the fact that the tenants of Solar Athamism are embedded throughout their government, military, and legal institutions. It is notable because this is a religious sect that has little to no mainstream attention.

Yet with all of the above, the story of the Terminus Clan is that of a tragedy.

It is a society, a people, that has shorn itself of many of the ideals of Terena Terminus, and instead embraced the ways of the galaxy around them. This is not a peaceful, normal, or accepting society. The Terminus Clan is a hardened, militant, and organized power that is primed to backslide from their restoration of democracy, and return to the times of the Regime.

The time where the Solar Matriarch ruled, and set the Terminus alight in flame, and awash in blood.

The times where, if briefly, the Terminus Clan was the undisputed power of the Terminus Systems – and with the power of Omega beginning to wane, there are a few who wonder if they can be so again.


A NOTE ON SECTION NAMES: The Terminus Clan chronicles their history through the use of 'Ages', which we believe is taken from the historical chronology asari used up through the War of Queens, which is before the rise of the Thirty. We are not sure why the Terminus Clan adopted this convention, outside of a means of further differentiation with the Republics.

Nonetheless, this is the convention this document will follow as it pertains to the history of the Terminus Clan. The lengths of these ages are varied and arbitrary, as it is the Clan which determines when an Age is officially over, and a new one begins.

The naming of each Age is an insulated and complex process, which we have limited insight into (as it is a very rare event and multiple changes of government), but it should be easy to ascertain the period of history from the details - especially since the Clan had minor roles in many major galactic events.


SUMMARY: The history of the Terminus Clan begins with optimism morphed into tragedy. While the downfall of such states, should they occur, is usually after a period of creation, expansion, and rule, the Terminus Clan was denied even a brief period of existence before all was brought down.

The Terminus Clan was effectively murdered before it could ever really develop. The state that emerged afterwards was never the original intention of Terena Terminus, but survivors pulling together what remained. The Terminus Clan sees the beginning of their history as no great birth or triumph - but an era where the dream was smothered before it had a chance to grow.

AFTERMATH OF THE REFUSAL: To precede what happened, and to understand both why Terena acted, and the Citadel's own violent reaction - it needs to be placed in the context of the Refusal. Much has been said on the military failure, and the arrogance of the Citadel Council concerning the Hanar – but what is usually overlooked is the ramifications concerning asari society.

It cannot be overstated just how devastating the Refusal was to the asari as a whole. Be they the Thirty or clanless, there was no part of asari society that was not touched. A defeat on such a scale was inconceivable; the entire asari population had been propagandized into believing they were an indestructible force, and undertaking a divine mission at the direction of Athame herself.

Although it is uncertain it can even be truly propaganda, as there were scores of asari who genuinely believed that they were indestructible. They were on top of the galaxy, the Church insisted on their divine protection, and the Thirty had led them to these heights. It is difficult to blame the asari for being so confident, and subsequently, their overcommitment to the war effort is not surprising.

The oldest, wisest, and most respected matriarchs took part in the campaign, within the military, the Church, and the Republics. The entire Republic had been mobilized for this, with numbers and fleets never before fielded. The whiplash experienced by a defeat of such swiftness, and in such scale, sent asari society into a state of shock that the Thirty (and Council as a whole) were forced to immediately address.

The scale of the Refusal must be emphasized. Practically every asari knew someone who had died in the Refusal, and the cultural impact of losing so many respected figures had its own ripple effects. It took months for the funerals to finish, remains to be recovered, and memorials to end. This was to say nothing of the institutional devastation as the asari military was decimated, the Church of Athame delegitimized, and the government weakened.

It would take the asari decades to recover this institutional experience and knowledge, and in the meantime they were facing accusations and demands from asari widows and families to know how the Thirty could have gotten it so wrong. Historical analysis varies on how much of a threat the Thirty faced from this domestic resistance, with some claiming that they were on the verge of losing their power. As exaggerated as this is, even conservative estimates note that it was likely the Thirty were forced to take a lighter hand than they might have done otherwise.

The Refusal is also correctly viewed as the end of the Church of Athame's influence in the asari as a people, somewhat due to the subtle scapegoating by the Thirty, the Church providing no satisfactory explanation, which led to the inevitable rejection of divinity. With that said, this is only part of the story. The Church's influence faded, but this is conflated with Athamism as a whole.

This assessment is not completely inaccurate – at least in Citadel space. You would be hard-pressed to find many true believers today, even on Thessia - but the collapse of the Church's legitimacy gave rise to a number of previously suppressed or minor sects of Athamism. There remained many devout Athamists who believed in an explanation – and that the Church simply did not have it.

Most of these movements, theologies, and sects died out in the decades afterwards – except the formerly fringe Solar Athamism, which began spreading rapidly among minor clans, clanless, the asari military, and even some of the Thirty - including priestesses leaving the Church in protest.

As Orthodox Athamism faded, Solar Athamism remains rather alive and well – and it found its home in what would eventually be known as the Terminus Systems.

THE RISE OF TERENA VIRON: Before she was known by the Clan name Terminus, she was Terena Viron, a figure of minor importance. She was a mid-ranking priestess of the Church, and like most asari, was content with the Republics and the Thirty. There was little that truly differentiated her from many other asari – that was, until the Refusal.

She was not immune to the consequences of the Refusal, and in her own journals and writings, she admitted that she had gotten swept up in the fury against the hanar - but that as the day had drawn closer, she felt that this was a test by Athame that they were going to fail.

While only a priestess, she was part of the Stellar Priesthood, the branch of the Church that was very involved with the community, the soldiers, and served as equivalents of chaplains – which provided her with numerous connections across the military and Republics. Needless to say, the Refusal claimed many of her friends, including her mother and only sibling.

She, like the rest of the asari, underwent a period of mourning, and as some others did, resolved that something had to be done. There needed to be accountability. While other asari had their faith shaken, Terena remained notably devout – and hostile to the refusal of the Church, the military, and the Thirty to take responsibility for the disaster.

With the Church leadership decimated due to the Solarch and Lunarch perishing in the war, the surviving high Priesthood were more focused on trying to stabilize their ranks than address their failings. Terena was not the only one to take issue with what seemed to be those in power focusing on maintaining it rather than being accountable – but she was the first to begin taking true action.

As far as she was concerned, the Church had lost their mandate to speak and interpret on Athame's behalf – and the Thirty had lost their mandate of rule. Therefore, an alternative needed to be provided.

THE COLONIAL NETWORK: While officially still an ambassador of the Church, Terena utilized her multitude of connections to both gauge reactions, and contact those who were similarly disaffected by Citadel rule. The colonies, especially those far from Thessia, were being actively neglected, and did not take much work to convince them to break from the Citadel.

The majority of dead from the Refusal had come from the clanless and minor clans – which is not to say that the Thirty did not suffer their own share of losses, but the numbers were disproportionate. The clanless were highly receptive to the proposal, and many of the minor clans had sympathizers in their ranks, if not outright allies.

The grip of the Thirty was dangerously loose, and Terena was able to find sympathizers among the civilians who had lost loved ones – and found a groundswell of support throughout the military forces, particularly clanless soldiers in the far outer colonies, who had lost faith in their institutions.

This was not a development she had truly expected, and Terena admitted that she felt somewhat uncertain of how many soldiers were committed to her cause. She was concerned about the intentions of many soldiers, as the sentiment she'd seen was that the Thirty should be outright deposed, not opposed – which was something she was worried about.

However, there were other reasons than just the war that schisms were developing in the military. The asari military was very decentralized during this period, with colonies and clans maintaining primary control over their respective detachments, instead of a central power. This authority was nominally held by the Church, but they often ceded operational authority to the respective clan or colony, leading to little internal coordination, politicization of the armed forces, and often fights over rank.

Military reformists had been trying to force a centralization, and break the hold the Thirty and colonies had over their forces, while the Thirty-backed bloc wished to maintain the status quo. It was a debate that consumed the upper echelons, and after the Refusal, broke into schisms in the chaos. The Reformists directly attributed the failures of the military to the lack of central authority and command, and this time were not going to back down.

The conservative bloc was holding their own, but even they were wavering as rumblings of mutiny and insubordination began spreading, particularly among lesser-ranked reform-minded officers. The largely ceremonial and powerless upper ranks were united in pursuit of centralization - which both the Church and Thirty refused to back.

This was a dangerous miscalculation, especially with the T'Armal clan in a succession crisis. The Refusal had solidified in the minds of Reformists that the Thirty, nor their allies, knew even the basics of what they were talking about, and to follow them would be suicide. However, the Thirty might have judged the risk as acceptable, as the idea of insubordination at scale was unprecedented.

Yet these were unprecedented times.

This decision may have been the correct one, at least as it pertained to the majority of soldiers in the ranks, the majority of whom would remain loyal. However, this had the effect of turning the Reformists against them, and receptive to Terena's counteroffer – one that only snowballed once Grand Marshal Yuliana T'Armal committed to supporting Terena. This turned the military crisis from a contentious internal debate, into one that forced the Thirty to make some concessions to the Reformists to stymie the bleeding of some of their best soldiers.

However, for most it was too little, too late. Between the military, the clanless, and the colonies, people were slowly and quietly moved to the allied territory, in preparation for the day where they would break from the Citadel.

And when it did, the balance of power was further shaken.

THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE: The infamous Declaration of Independence is one of the most played and known pieces of media in the galaxy. It is viewed as one of the most historically important moments, and something that has been emulated many times since. It is also not the original script Terena intended to read.

The Declaration is simple in its execution. It declared that the formation of the Terminus Systems – named after a clanless soldier who had perished in the Refusal - that it would act as an independent power from the Citadel, and promised that all who desired a place where the common people would be respected, where leaders were held accountable, and where rule came from the people, not dynasties, were welcome.

Terena famously renounced her own clan, formed the all-encompassing Terminus Clan (more intended as a political body than a traditional family-based clan), and made an explicit call to the clanless and minor clans to abandon the Thirty and join her, where they would be given opportunity and respect denied to them.

In the Declaration, she painted an ideal image of what this new government would look like, protected by the thousands of soldiers who had also joined her, and the many colonies who had elected to throw off the shackles of the Citadel.

It is a good speech, one that will be remembered for all time, and which is played annually across the Terminus Systems. Terena had a gift of oration and diplomacy, developed from her centuries as a Stellar Priestess. She knew what to say, how to say it, and when. Permeating all of this, however, as an authenticity that the people responded to, which the Thirty and Citadel couldn't truly match.

The remarkable thing is that the Declaration was toned down from what Terena originally wanted to say. The original draft of the speech was scathing compared to the more banal accusations of elitism and incompetence.

In it she would have directly accused the Thirty of bearing responsibility for the war and losses, and that their failure to hold themselves accountable indicates that they have lost the right to lead the asari – or more bluntly, she would have pressed on the fissures that existed in the Republics and potentially triggered significant unrest.

She was even more ruthless to the Church, directly accusing them of leading the asari astray and declaring their institution illegitimate – which would have been a serious escalation, and given voice to the opinions of many asari, even among the Thirty. She removed these parts after advisors suggested that the declaration could be taken for one of war not independence, and there were already risks with what they were doing now.

In the end, she agreed to the final version. While it is unlikely that it would have changed much if she'd spoken the original draft, it is likely that this was the right decision, and the more general nature of the speech, as opposed to fixating directly on the Thirty, ensured that it remained relevant long after its airing.

FORMALIZATION OF THE TERMINUS CLAN: With the Declaration made, work began in earnest to rapidly formalize the entire structure of what would encompass the Terminus Clan, and the wider Terminus Systems. While some work had been done behind the scenes, the heavy lifting could not have been done without the Citadel learning of it – hence why it only began after Terena had established the Clan.

There were a number of initiatives undertaken immediately, which revolved around solidifying the governmental hierarchy, establishing a Clan-wide legislature, preparing for an influx of immigrants, solidifying the military and intelligence apparatus, and finding people to fill roles in all of these.

This was a massive undertaking where only the preliminary work had been done, but Terena had quite a few experienced allies and subordinates who soon turned the Terminus Systems from a promise into something that was tangible. The existing colonial apparatus was leveraged to great effect, and buoyed by optimism, Tenera's leadership, and concern about retaliation, defenses, housing, and infrastructure was built to accommodate the rapidly expanding clan and Systems.

Preliminary logistics were determined and implemented after several weeks, and the needs of each commune determined. Immigrants were pouring into the Terminus – and they were trying to find places for all of them. The military was similarly organizing themselves, the Reformists now given the opportunity to develop a centralized military apparatus, and drawing up plans to be able to resist a Citadel invasion.

The pieces were quickly moving into place, while a paralyzed Citadel simply condemned the illegal seizure of territory – but notable did not make moves to mobilize the existing forces, likely fearing that ordering the majority-asari military to fire on other asari might trigger a mutiny or wave of defections, resulting in the collapse of the armed forces.

Things were only primed to get worse for the Citadel, as Terena's declaration had started a domino effect that would not be easily stopped.

ALLIANCES AND EXPANSIONS: The Terminus Clan soon received an unexpected message from several nearby salarian colonies – ones which wanted to join the Terminus Systems and formally break from the Salarian Union and the SIX. While the Terminus Systems were viewed as primarily an asari project, Terena – against the recommendations of some military officers – welcomed them into the fold.

With this, the Terminus Clan was no longer simply something that was in defiance against the Thirty and tangentially the Citadel – it was a direct challenge to the established hegemony of power. Other fringe groups and small independent colonies that had occupied the Terminus long before Terena, primarily pirate, private, corporate, and criminal groups began approaching to offer their services.

The faster the Terminus Clan grew, the more concerned the Terminus Clan military became about its viability. They were very concerned that many of the groups were not honest actors, and were looking to use the Clan and Terminus Systems for their own ends. Terena pushed back hard on these suspicions, stating that if they were willing to assimilate and follow the rule of law, they should be allowed.

The ranks of the Terminus fleet swelled, immigrants kept arriving, and it seemed like each day brought a new colony, dissident group, or ally into the fold of what was shaping up to be a legitimate rival to the Citadel. It was hardly an efficient and organized state – but the path to such was becoming clearer.

With asari leadership, salarian ingenuity, and military efficiency, the Terminus Systems were entrenching itself deeper and deeper into an institution that would not collapse easily. There were some tensions in the Clan, especially between pirate and military, asari and salarian, and even clanless and clan asari. All of these Terena believed could be resolved with mediation and time – and even those with doubts believed in her.

The Citadel's lack of a reaction was seen as the proof that they could actually do this. That there was another way. As many fissures existed in the Citadel during this time, they were nothing compared to what existed in the Terminus Systems at this time. This net of alliances, assimilations, and agreements was simply something that should not have worked.

The Terminus military didn't want it, some of the Clan didn't want it, and there were certainly those who only wanted to take advantage of them – but that didn't stop Terena from engaging everyone, because she did truly believe that something could be built to accommodate everyone.

There was no one else who could have created something like the Terminus Systems. Terena was the only one who could have led them into this future – and that was when she was terminated.

THE ASSASSINATION OF TERENA TERMINUS: Despite appearances to the contrary, the Citadel had not been idle while all of this was happening, and had in fact been working on a plan which would not only eliminate Terena Terminus – but destroy the Terminus Clan as a political rival forever.

The Terminus Clan military had been raising the concern about this influx of salarians, pirates, and even immigrants, saying that it was impossible to vet all of them, and that the risk of the Council sending their own people in under false pretenses was very real. This risk was justified, as that was exactly how the newly created Citadel Special Tasks Group operated.

They did not strike right away, but spent the weeks gathering information on the myriad of groups, factions, and interests that were being assimilated into the Terminus Clan – and the fault lines that could be exploited. This did not take long, and after their days of preparation were complete – they struck.

Terena Terminus was assassinated by a sniper, and the blame was expertly pinned on a dissident salarian group. The Terminus Clan lacked proper forensic equipment, and were unable to determine that the myriad of evidence was either circumstantial or outright fabricated. Some of this threatened to be derailed when the Clan demanded melds to ascertain proof, but the salarians refused to comply, viewing it as a disrespectful affront.

This was not the only strike against the Terminus Systems, as pirates, private groups, dissidents, and others were wounded, assassinated, bribed, or tricked into acting as Citadel operatives. Within a matter of days the entire Terminus Clan was thrown into chaos with multiple groups outraged and accusing the other of assassination, sabotage, and treason.

The CSTG group was exceptionally clever in that around half of the groups they manipulated into doing their work were legitimate, just pushed to act through bribery or trickery, and half were outright fabricated and instead relied on fury and mob mentality to finish the rest. The Assassination of Terena Terminus is the event that everyone remembers – but it was not the only act which destroyed the Terminus Systems as a political entity.

It is unlikely that the Terminus Systems could have recovered even if the attack had been limited to just Terena – but it is almost certain that the aftermath would not have been as chaotic, violent, and bloody.

Alas, such are the questions of what could have been, not what was. The Terminus Systems were shattered, and what would follow would be one of the bloodiest periods in galactic history.


SUMMARY: The Age of Chaos as it is referred to in the contemporary era is, like the Age of Sorrow, a short, but consequential chapter in the saga of the Terminus Clan, and the wider Terminus Systems.

It primarily focuses on the aftermath of the Assassination and the disorder that followed. The Terminus Systems were shattered, the Terminus Clan paralyzed, and war was on the horizon – one that would proceed as the Citadel retreated to their space, leaving the region to destroy itself.

AFTERMATH OF THE ASSASSINATION: Imagine what might happen if the Citadel Council was assassinated. Or Thana or Uressa. Or the SIX. Or the Lords of Sol. Pick any such figures, and then imagine the reactions to follow. Entire societies would be in shock. There would be calls for war. Order would break down, and factions move to assert themselves, each one demanding allegiance from the other, and threatening perceived enemies responsible for the tragedy.

To say that tensions were high in the Terminus Systems at this point would be an understatement. Much of the Terminus Clan itself, those who had been Terena's most ardent followers, were in shock. The military was outraged, furious, and consumed by immediate infighting. The new immigrants that had come in hopes of a better life were caught in a situation they had no escape from.

Those colonies, leaders, pirates, criminals, all of the individuals, groups, and organizations that Terena had managed to bring together found that they had very little in common. With Terena dead, there was no reason to pretend to tolerate or get along. What brief trust and unity that had existed was gone, and shock was slowly turning to calls for action.

There would be retribution for this, and all of the actors that had once made up the Terminus Systems were promising that it was going to come – no matter the cost.

THE TERMINUS FRENZY: The first formal splintering came in waves. It was small at first, with pirates, private organizations, corporations, and blocs of Clan militants seizing territory, resources, and equipment. This set off a chain reaction as every single group and interest began covertly (or openly) working to secure as many resources as possible before the last veneer of order collapsed completely.

The Terminus Frenzy saw vast numbers of soldiers and units being moved into position, as strongholds and capitals were identified and secured, and large sums of resources, money, and equipment smuggled, brought, or shipped to support them. Everyone knew what was going on, and each was intending to get as much on their side as possible before there was no other chance.

This didn't just extend to getting people and equipment in - there were concerted efforts to get people out. The Terminus Clan military conducted a number of organized evacuations from areas that were viewed as compromised or lost, and similarly those in danger of running afoul of the Terminus Clan retreated to safer pastures.

City by city, region by region, planet by planet, there was not a single part of the settled Terminus that was not undergoing the Frenzy, and now it was drawing in other parties. Specifically, those who had not joined Terena's short-lived alliance, but who now saw opportunity for power and profit.

The dam was close to breaking, and if one is curious as to how the Citadel viewed this – they were staying far, far away from it.

One analysis of the situation is as follows: "The Terminus Systems appear on the brink of total collapse. The war that is almost certain will be uncontrollable, unpredictable, and violent. We estimate that tens of thousands will die. The Terminus Clan is solidifying itself around the military apparatus, organized by former military officers of the Reformist Bloc of the Asari Military, and commanded by former Grand Marshal Yuliana O'Zerova.

Further interference is not recommended. This war will devastate the Terminus Systems, and ensure that the region will remain divided for no less than the next half-century or longer."

The Citadel, out of wisdom, or simply having no practical way to tangibly intervene, heeded the warnings, and bore witness to this prediction coming to life.

THE SHATTERING OF THE TERMINUS SYSTEMS: Throughout the Frenzy, the nominal ideal of the Terminus Systems as a cohesive political entity was maintained. It was a lie, an illusion, and a failure – but those leading the factions saw worth in trying to maintain it as long as possible, until they could no longer.

That time had come.

It was a single declaration, one by a small, irrelevant mercenary company which announced their secession from the Terminus Systems, and that their territory was sovereign. This opened the deluge of warlords, colonies, city-states, republics, and criminal syndicates which all declared their independence, and that their sovereignty was not to be challenged.

New organizations rose to manage these new states, or administer these new territories. Soldiers were mobilized or conscripted, industries kicked into full gear, leaders braced themselves, made speeches, and did everything possible to make themselves as unassailable as possible. Was there ever a hope that this would be resolved peacefully, and these new territories live in a tense, but relatively stable peace?

No. No one expected that. No one wanted it. Warlords had visions of controlling entire systems. Corporations saw opportunities for vast wealth that they could exploit. Criminals saw an opportunity to carry out their sadism and make profit at the same time. Political leaders saw themselves as the torchbearers of new movements of ideological and national nature, and believed they would find their way into the history books.

The Citadel once compared the Terminus to a pot about to boil over. This is an incorrect analogy. The Terminus systems were not a boiling pot. It was a bomb. Boiling pots can simmer down with time, they can reach the edge and not spill over. Bombs have one end, and one end only. They explode, and bring down everything with them.

There was only one group that had not formally declared their intentions – and that was the Terminus Clan itself.

PRELUDE TO THE TERMINUS WARS: The Terminus Clan had been undergoing their own transformation which will be detailed in the following section – suffice to say they had not been idle either. By this point, the military had completely taken over the Terminus Clan, and were subsumed under the authority of Grand Marshal Yuliana O'Zerova – or she who is better remembered as the Solar Matriarch.

The Terminus Clan was of a single mind of what would come next, which was cultivated by Yuliana and the Marshals, and was reclamation and revenge. Reclamation of the Terminus Systems from the traitors who had betrayed Terena's vision for a united region – and revenge against those who had murdered her, as well as sabotaged the Clan and Terminus.

There was an expectation that the Terminus Clan intended to, at minimum, claim the system they resided in – but they vastly underestimated the intentions of the Solar Matriarch, as well as the capability and skill she brought to bear. One by one, as the factions declared their intentions, and the drums of war beat, the Terminus Clan was mobilizing to march across the Terminus.

The Terminus Wars were preceded by the massive build-up following the Frenzy – but also by a single transmission sent out by the Solar Matriarch, who demanded the total and immediate surrender of those who resided within the territory of the Terminus Clan – which was to mean all of the Terminus Systems.

No one took the bait, nor surrendered because of the threat. They could not afford to do so, nor did many believe the Terminus Clan would be able to succeed.

A second transmission was sent throughout the Terminus only days after the silent refusal. A single, short transmission by the Solar Matriarch which should truthfully be as consequential as Terena's Declaration, as it would define the Terminus for the centuries to come.

"The choice has been made. Make peace with the Goddess, for the Terminus will burn by Athame's divine flame."

So ended the Age of Chaos, and ushered in the Age of Fire.


SUMMARY: The Age of Fire, better known to the galaxy as the Terminus Wars, was one of the most violent periods the Terminus Systems experienced, matched only by a few others, such as Aria's Marches. However, there is dispute if the Marches matched the sheer bloody carnage wrought by the Terminus Wars.

There were, frankly, no sides that most people would categorize as 'right.' Each side believed war was a matter of survival, as they were surrounded on all sides by enemies. Making matters worse was that they were also facing down the fanatically-driven Terminus Clan, with a leader whose favored method of execution was immolation.

This combination of circumstances drives one to undertake desperate measures.

This Age covers the period from which Yuliana O'Zerova and the Terminus Marshals rose and secured control over the Terminus Clan through the military, and subsequently went to war with the rest of the Terminus – intending to establish control over it by any means necessary. The Terminus Wars are sometimes portrayed as a free-for-all, with every side fighting for themselves, but this isn't especially accurate.

Perhaps it started out that way, but it quickly became clear that it was the Terminus Clan under the Solar Matriarch which would triumph if opposition did not rise - and rise fast.

RISE OF GRAND MARSHAL YULIANA O'ZEROVA, THE SOLAR MATRIARCH: The news that Grand Marshal and War Priestess Yuliana O'Zerova had joined Terena Terminus was the klaxon that forced the Thirty and the Church to act, and take the demands of the Reformists seriously.

Formerly Yuliana T'Armal, she held several important positions within the military and Church. In addition to being Grand Marshal, she had also been next in line to be the Solarch. As one of the few survivors of the Refusal, it was expected she would soon assume the position.

The Church and military were far more intertwined in that period. Or rather, the Church was the military. All military forces were subordinate to, and integrated into the Church hierarchy. War Priestesses were the equivalent of generals, where today they are a distinct military entity. The Solarch was the nominal head of the military, and the Lunarch her second-in-command, each of whom were subordinate to the existing leadership of the Church.

The damage to the military was as equally damaging to the Church - though in practice, the Church held far less command and influence over the wider military than believed. The Grand Marshal, and other Church-military positions, were more ceremonial in function, as authority was often decentralized and delineated to clan and colony.

Very often, the military side of the Church and the political side were opposed to each other, and a majority of high-ranking military officials fell into the Reformist camp, who deeply opposed the policies of decentralization. However, time and again, they were overruled by the Priesthood, driven by the influence of the Thirty.

House T'Armal was also undergoing a succession crisis, as the head matriarch had died in the Refusal. There was no clear successor - or rather, not one that the majority of house concurred on. It was expected that Yuliana would also participate, but instead of returning to stabilize her House, she threw it into deeper chaos.

She defied her house, rejecting the potential successors as unfit, and condemned it as she shorn herself of the House name.

(It is worth noting that the name 'O'Zerova' is a curious construct in High Asaric, as Zeri is roughly translated as 'pride', often with foolish overtones, and Ovaa as 'negation' or 'rejection' - the O'i modifier is basically little more than a noble's affected way of saying "I am" or, in some cases, "I believe". Thus, she changed her name from T'Armal - 'blessed of the Mountains of Light' to O'Zerova - 'I am the rejection of foolish pride'. A very strong slap in the face to the Thirty, as a member who renounces their name is no longer considered one of them.)

Yuliana was always one of the more outspoken Reformists within the armed forces - and while Terena had made some measure to moderate her stances to not provoke the Citadel more than she already was, Yuliana had little fear of harsh condemnations against the Church and Clan as she drew frustrated and angry soldiers and asari to the cause.

It is often argued that Yuliana was more of the reason for a lack of action by the Citadel than Terena. Yuliana's defiance of her house paralyzed the T'Armal's, and effectively left the Thirty leaderless for a time. The Church had lost control over her, and there was a genuine fear that if the Reformists were not immediately taken seriously, there would be a mutiny in the military.

She was a problem for the asari establishment, and a problem that never went away, be it a quiet supporter of Solar Athamism in the Church, a looming presence on Thessia, an outspoken and forceful Reformist in the armed forces, or as a force in the new Terminus Systems. She was a fierce, stern, and encompassing presence that even many of the Thirty were wary of. When positioned behind Terena, she provided legitimacy and weight to her words that otherwise would not exist.

She was the one who helped organize the flight of soldiers from the outlying colonies to Terena's project, as well as convinced numerous Reformists to abandon the Republics. While it was not as devastating as it could have been, nearly half of the senior officers, and a third of the officer corps departed with Yuliana and Terena, decimating the officer corps which the asari were not able to properly rebuild for years.

Notably however, the officers and commanders were a relatively small number, and the majority of soldiers who joined were clanless on the colonies, or lesser clans from the core territories. The majority of the asari soldiers remained with the asari, though the leadership was hit hard. Yuliana limited what equipment was taken as well.

While small arms, equipment, and armor were moved as the soldiers quietly joined Terena, only a small number of ships were also taken, and most of those were transports. Yuliana correctly assumed that attempting to seize warships would provoke a response from the Thirty, and trigger a civil conflict she had no desire to fight, nor one she believed could be won.

She had other plans for building a fleet, which she was later able to put into practice.

The Thirty, and most scholars, largely agree that without Yuliana's support, the Terminus project would have been unlikely to succeed, or at least to the degree it did. Yuliana brought experience, connections, and an insight that only came from a complete collapse of faith in the existing system.

This was not to say that Yuliana was a secret power behind the throne – she had no true desire to run more than the new Terminus military, not to mention she and Terena clashed multiple times over various topics. Yuliana nonetheless respected Terena, a genuine respect which she only reserved for a very few, and seemed to truly think that her suggestions were steps that needed to be taken to see her vision fulfilled.

She was the pragmatic, grounded voice in comparison to Terena's more idealistic vision. Yuliana noted a few times that Terena's idealism was going to get her killed one day, because she refused to accept that there were those who did not care about visions, ideals, or building better societies. Power, she surmised, was what these people cared about – and they could not be underestimated.

While this was never made public, nor shared by Yuliana, she did blame herself for Terena's death, and it was a burden she carried as long as she lived. This is despite the fact that if Terena had listened closer to Yuliana, there is a fair chance that she would have lived longer. However, Yuliana never blamed her, and she responded very poorly to any suggestion that her death was because of her decisions.

However, in the chaos following the Assassination, where the Terminus Clan was scattered and disorganized, there was a very real chance of it splintering into smaller clans, with thousands trying to flee back to the Republics. Before this breaking point came – Yuliana and her Marshals stepped in, and put an end to the chaos.

SEIZURE OF THE TERMINUS CLAN: There have been a multitude of books and literature concerning everything related to the Solar Matriarch. Two prevailing, but conflicting views are often presented.

The first is that Yuliana had planned to always seize control of the Terminus Clan militarily. This is primarily argued due to her actions as Solar Matriarch, the operations she undertook, and the violence she sanctioned after taking power.

Someone who did not deeply care about acquiring and maintaining power, they say, would not take such actions to ensure their position remains so entrenched, let alone violently expands it. No mistake can be made – Yuliana was a cold, pragmatic, and ruthless woman more than capable of acting in such a manner.

The second theory is that Yuliana and the Marshals did not plan to seize control, but did so with the intention to stabilize the situation after what institutions that had been established failed. This is supported by eyewitnesses, documents, and other evidence by Yuliana and others discussing what to do, and if they should intervene.

Based on the evidence, the second answer seems most likely, but the truth is almost certainly something in between the two. While it can be safely agreed that Yuliana did not originally join Terena with the intention of eventually couping her – she did not exactly wait long before mobilizing the military to restore order.

She did not take any other steps such as appointing civilian administrators, reestablishing chains of command, or using the military to reorganize and restore the Terminus Clan. It would be one thing if she did this, it failed, and so she took the next logical step – this was never attempted whatsoever. When she acted, she never intended to restore anything resembling Terena's vision of a liberated, free, democratic society.

Yuliana was a harsh, ruthless authoritarian and was unapologetic about that fact as long as she ruled. When discussing her intentions, this should not be something ignored, eager as some are to paint the Solar Matriarch as acting because she had no choice. No, this was what she planned to do. She may have hesitated before crossing the Rubicon, to borrow a useful human phrase, but once she did she did not hesitate to take it to its logical conclusion.

At the same time, it would be a mistake to say that she did so because she desired only power. That does not reflect her rule, nor the actual woman. For better or worse, Yuliana's brief faith in Terena's ideals were dead, and she firmly believed direct military administration was the only plausible path for the Terminus Clan. The chaos that followed Terena's death only served to elevate her fears.

Yuliana was a complicated figure, which is why her legacy is mixed. However, it cannot be denied that the seizure of the Terminus Clan was a harbinger of what was to come. The military, all of whom had complete support in Yuliana, were mobilized and at her orders, moved to secure the Clan – and deal with those who had thrown it into chaos.

CONSOLIDATION OF THE SOLAR MATRIARCH: Yuliana did not act initially for several reasons – the first was that she wanted to see if the situation would stabilize. When it did not, she moved to planning and preparation. Her Marshals were tasked with identifying the locations to secure, the primary institutions – and any traitors in their midst.

The actions undertaken by CSTG had validated the worst fears of Yuliana, and she was not going to waste more time on minor questions of guilt or innocence. As various asari tried to claim the mantle of leader of the Terminus Clan, all they were doing was causing confusion. What allies they had had were taking sides – those who hadn't departed or broken away to claim their own territory.

Yuliana gave no warning, or offered no opportunity to surrender. She gave the orders, and the Terminus Clan military marched into the cities, towns, and communes that were still under their control and seized the critical infrastructure, detained their targets, and decisively – and in some cases violently - put an end to the chaos.

Martial law was declared across all holdings of the Terminus Clan – which at the time only consisted of their capital world, Orianar, where offenders would be arrested and resistance met with gunfire.

All existing law enforcement was suspended, and placed under review. All administrators and ministers were required to report to the Orianar Military Command. Any pirates, mercenaries, or criminals who had remained were either absorbed into the military, or executed.

Yuliana had no intention of maintaining "agreements" with groups she inherently despised. They would either serve the state properly, or they would be executed for treason. It is unknown how many were killed in the initial consolidation, but many of the asari who were detained were never seen again, any ships possessed were folded into the Clan navy, and an entire salarian family foolish enough to remain was also liquidated.

However, Yuliana did bring an end to the chaos, and what territory the Terminus Clan held was now under a military state – though one that was currently poorly developed – something that Yuliana intended to quickly change. She was not going to be content with only restoring order – all of the Terminus had shown their true colors, and there was only one force capable of bringing it again under a single banner.

But it would not be under Terena's ideal vision – it would be under the command of the Solar Matriarch.

FORMALIZATION OF THE CLAN-MILITANT SYSTEM: How Yuliana's Terminus Clan was organized is not the focus of this document, but it is worth understanding some critical parts of how she remade the Clan in her image. The militarization of an entire society is one that takes decades, and she understood that, which is why she started small.

She did not institute mandatory conscription right away – but instead worked to make the military as capable and intelligent as possible with what she had. Soldiers were placed on every corner, and became administrators, workers, and foremen. Whenever you needed something, you asked a soldier and they would get you what you needed.

Yuliana made it very clear to her officers that the military was not going to become a ruling class – rather that the society would become molded around militarization as an ideal. Discipline was heavily enforced, but soldiers were treated well – and they provided for the citizen population as much as possible. If there were positions that did not have military equivalents, Yuliana found interested soldiers and created special detachments.

Very quickly the military had science, architecture, agriculture, and labor divisions, each tasked with optimizing their missions. Yuliana also didn't fully dismantle civilian institutions – but she did subordinate them to military bodies commanded by the Marshals, who were charged with maintaining quality, while building trust with the public, and taking their needs into account.

In the early days Yuliana established a 'Citizen Advisory Council' which only answered to her, and consisted solely of civilians in various positions, with the intention of trust-building, and ensuring that she wasn't being fed rosy lies by subordinates. This was maintained until her death, and one reason why resistance was not as strong as it could have been. It wasn't propaganda – Yuliana did listen to the Advisory Council - sometimes.

The military eventually established itself over all relevant sectors, and there was some semblance of normalcy now. The Clan had largely accepted Yuliana's takeover, especially because she had undertaken a massive propaganda campaign that placed the blame on traitors, dissidents, criminals, and painted the rest of the Terminus as traitors to Terena's legacy.

Once full control had been established, she took the second step of mass militarization, by mandating arms training for all citizens, which would rotate civilians in batches and teach them basics of weapons handling, from firearms, to artillery, to anti-armor, and so on – not mobilization, but the groundwork was being laid.

She also popularized weapon ownership by allowing those who 'graduated' to keep their weapons for self-defense, while organizing weekly shooting practices for interested citizens.

These became more and more popular as time passed, rhetoric increased, and the militarization of the Clan continued – until she judged they were ready to advance and reclaim the Terminus.

THE FIRST CONQUEST: When Yuliana sent her message to the rest of the Terminus demanding their subordination, she did not expect them to surrender - but she did expect them to pause. She had very specific plans – the Terminus was one step in a multi-phase plan to regain control, and that first step would come with the capture of their immediate system.

The military had been working to develop plans to identify, secure, and destroy all enemies in the system, then reclaim the colonies that had either declared independence, or were under the control of hostile parties. While many were outside the system, there remained quite a few within the Orianar System (Named for the capital world), as it was one of the most developed regions, a source of mineral wealth, and frankly no one expected it to remain dangerous.

The problematic assumption that all of these mercenaries, warlords, and pirates made was that the Terminus Military was composed of civilians-turned-soldiers drawn from Terena's faithful. The fact that the majority of soldiers were originally from the Asari Republics was something a shocking number just…ignored.

All of the Terminus received a brutal wake-up call on the day of the First Conquest.

Terminus Clan soldiers marched on poorly-defended outposts, stormed cities, boarded and seized ships, and leveled outposts with copious amounts of artillery. These were not battles so much as slaughters, as within days the Terminus Clan reasserted control over the vast majority of the system. Yuliana herself took to the front, moving from battlefront to battlefront, inspiring her soldiers, and terrifying their enemies as they witnessed an armored war priestess in action.

Thousands of asari were returned to the Terminus Clan, and hundreds were arrested, particularly dissident ringleaders and political figures who had survived. Only a few were wise enough to surrender, and for them, this bought their lives. Within several weeks the last gun fell silent as the rest of the Terminus looked on in dumbfounded amazement as the Terminus Clan, which had been dismissed as collapsing, had resurged under the orange, white, and black flag of the war priestess.

This lull was only to last a short time, for Yuliana intended to send a message.

THE JUDGMENT DAY: The days after the end of the First Conquest, Yuliana put on a show. Multiple speeches were given, and a number of things were solidified in policy that had not been before, mostly related to administration, law, and internal organization. However, the content of the speeches is notable for a number of reasons.

If someone wants to understand the Solar Matriarch, they are required to listen to, or read, the Judgment Day scripts. Technically this is something of a misnomer, as 'Judgment Day' was much closer to 'Judgment Week', but that doesn't sound as dramatic in the history books, so it was shortened.

The Judgement Day scripts are a combination of manifesto, propaganda, sermon, and rally. She spoke to them before packed crowds, with a line of uniformed officers behind her. The contents of the speeches were detailed and varied – everything from governance to religion to imperialism was discussed.

Yuliana outlined the foundations of her own state during these speeches, and condemned those that betrayed Terena. She declared her contempt for the criminal, the pirate, the mercenary, those who would divide the Terminus Systems. She spoke on the need for a singular, unified power to resist the influence of the Citadel, the Thirty, and the SIX.

Religion was covered very extensively, with Yuliana going into great detail on the Church of Athame, how it had failed the asari - but also Athame herself. Yuliana had been suspected of having Solar Athamist sympathies, but no one knew how extensive until she practically enshrined the tenants of Solar Athamism into the Terminus Clan, promising to cleanse the evil and rotten from the galaxy.

There is always a charged emotion in the crowds when she spoke, one that she fed off of. She was an engrossing, intense speaker who spoke with conviction and fury. She was no Terena, but no one doubted that she believed every single word she was speaking, and as she detailing the failings of democratic rule, and the need for order, leadership, and authority, you would be hard-pressed to say that it did not sound appealing.

Of course, the speeches are not what people remember – it is the executions. Ones where Yuliana would bring out the prisoners, list their crimes – and execute them via immolation. The pyres where asari and salarian burned have become a staple of this era, ones where Yuliana and a line of soldiers stand stoically as the victims are burned alive before a cheering crowd.

On the final Judgment Day, when the last of these enemies had been destroyed, Yuliana declared that the first remnants of the traitors had been destroyed, and order to the system restored. She declared the foundation of the Regime of the Radiant Sun, and announced a campaign against the Terminus Systems to expunge the evil that had taken root, and execute the Goddesses' will.

This woman would soon no longer be remembered as Yuliana. From this moment on, she was the Solar Matriarch, and she marched to war under the gold-white-black tricolor.

THE TERMINUS WARS: One would think that the rapid resurgence of the Terminus Clan would call for some kind of response – namely that such groups, especially when faced with a clear threat, would put aside their differences and stand against this new Regime of the Radiant Sun (a name that was not as mocked as it could have been – it seems burning your enemies alive makes it a bit less melodramatic).

This happened. Somewhat.

The problem with an alliance of criminals, mercenaries, and warlords was that, at the end of the day, all of these are self-interested groups who are more concerned with themselves than any grander cause. There are questions of authority, payment, spoils, and so on – and this caused friction between every single group and colony that was nervously awaiting the onslaught.

This is not to say the rest of the Terminus did not put up a fight as the Solar Matriarch swept across the Terminus – it was a brutal, bloody fight the way wars wouldn't be for a very long time. The Terminus Clan did not have infinite manpower reserves, and fully adopted an artillery/long range doctrine which prioritized firepower over everything else.

The forces they fought often didn't have a unified doctrine or grand strategy, but they were more unpredictable and fewer in number. They quickly learned that having static positions just resulted in your position being pulverized, and subsequently overrun, and that engaging in guerilla warfare was better.

Urban fighting became a horrific affair, as cities were turned into warzones as Terminus soldiers swept street to street, dying to traps and IEDs or ambushes by defenders. The Terminus Clan adapted to this by soon expanding their tactics. Cities were no longer invaded, they were shelled, gassed, or leveled.

Warnings were given to anyone living inside to turn in any defenders or they would face this fate – which often resulted in said forces then having to fight their way out, though not in time before being captured and executed.

It was said that even the hardened criminals were unsettled by how ruthless Yuliana was in the Terminus Wars. Chemical weapons were employed regularly, the Terminus Flame Brigades were known terrorizers which burned cities alive, and Yuliana did not hold back employing her own biotics.

World by world, system by system, fleet by fleet, they fell before the Solar Matriarch. The Terminus Wars from beginning to end lasted two decades, as the Terminus Clan methodically invaded, subdued, and assimilated each world they encountered. Yuliana was in no rush, and preferred a total victory to a swift, shallow conquest.

This was another element that is attributed to why the Terminus Clan experienced little internal resistance for much of its rule – Yuliana was thorough in her capture. She did not tolerate insurgency, and would not continue until any insurgency was not just defeated, but extinguished. Propaganda was essential in assimilation, morale, and momentum, and the Terminus Clan as a whole never really wavered in their support for the war.

It helped that the enemies they faced were unable to maintain even a façade of unity, and by the halfway point such had quickly dissipated. It was every group for themselves, and some outright disbanded and fled back to Citadel space or into the Unknown Regions rather than risk fighting the Terminus Clan.

None of the organizations, warlords, or gangs that existed in the early Terminus period survived. Not even spiritual successors. If they are not lost to history, their legacy is nothing but bitter defeat. So thorough was the Solar Matriarch's triumph, and finally, after now-decades of fighting, it was over.

The Terminus Systems belonged to the Terminus Clan, and the Regime of the Radiant Sun began its rule in full.


SUMMARY: The era of the Solar Matriarch's reign was defined by the trials and tribulations experienced. It was a time of stability, sacrifice, prosperity, oppression, and war – not all at the same time. This Age lasted for decades, encompassing the moment from Yuliana's triumph over the Terminus holdouts, to her death at the hands of the Krogan Emperor.

It was during this time that she solidified the character of the Regime, experienced the first stirrings of resistance, and saw a gradual loss of control as time went on, and wars that ravaged the galaxy also appeared at their doorstep. The Terminus Clan in this era is not the same as the modern age – but what Yuliana was able to shape the Clan into endures, and has influenced them in the centuries since her death.

RULE OF THE SOLAR MATRIACH: Whatever one can say about the Solar Matriarch, no one can accuse her of being stupid or shortsighted. The Terminus Clan, especially after absorbing and assimilating many asari during their conquests, was the largest single power in the region – but it was not enough.

The Terminus Systems, even then, were large, and the sheer amount of distance and territory controlled was simply unmanageable without stretching the Regime thin. Yuliana did not want to jeopardize the stability of the Regime, and there remained a large number of asari and salarians who were effectively subjects.

On mid-to-far regions of the Terminus, Yuliana and the Regime identified and established smaller autonomous governments in existing colonies, with said leaders charged with leading and providing for their people. The logic was that there was less chance of resistance if they were provided for, and led by one of their own.

The Regime maintained control over these through military attaches who were granted authorities and powers to ensure the regions were acting in accordance with the Regime's directives. Intelligence units were also deployed and established covert surveillance networks across these regions too – Yuliana believed that if given opportunity, resistance would foment naturally, and the Division of Counter-Intelligence was created to cut it out by the root.

The Regime's agents were the most feared element of the Solar Matriarch's government. If anyone was discovered trying to organize or foment resistance against the Regime, they were immolated, and a garrison deployed on the colony until there was assurance that the resistance threat was gone.

Yuliana took care not to have the reprisals target anyone adjacent – only those who could be proven to be insurgents were executed. Friends, family, and colleagues of the guilty were never even questioned – which spoke to how deep the Regime's networks went. The government itself was usually never touched either – though in some instances where multiple insurgencies were found, that was a line too far for the Regime, and they were retired.

She believed strongly in deterrence, and that if the consequences were shown to the public, they would be dissuaded from following that path. It wasn't a completely incorrect mindset, and the mixture of brutal punishments with relative autonomy (with extensive surveillance and oversight) were effective in suppressing much of the dissent. That the Regime was very transparent in their trials further lowered resistance, and while feared by the non-Clan citizens, most of them did believe that she was fair in her application of justice.

Yuliana was just as uncompromising with her Marshals and the Terminus Clan as the autonomous colonies. Corruption was punishable by death. So was abuse of power (usually defined as using authority or force to coerce compliance out of individuals), fraud, and…a significant number of crimes.

Yuliana had very unorthodox ideas concerning incarceration rooted in religion, and largely believed it to be a waste of time. She believed that committing a crime at all was a significant failing, and said individuals could no longer be relied upon under any circumstances.

Part of this was driven by the limited manpower of the Terminus Clan, and the fragility which she saw in the Regime. She compared it multiple times to a glass machine with her Marshals. When working, the machine would protect them, but the components were delicate. If even one broke, then the machine would fail and their protection would be gone.

To the end of her life she feared the Citadel would turn their attention to the Terminus, and if not prepared, they would succeed in shattering the region again. As a result, her already hardline views were turned into something near fanatical. Immolations were the common form of execution, and unlike the autonomous colonies, Yuliana was less merciful to her own Clan. If someone knew a crime was committed, and did not report it, they would not be exempt from punishment.

Trust, it was stressed, was critical, and to break that trust was unforgivable. The Clan was already significantly more militarized, and every citizen was trained to be able to serve if called upon, even if not all of them were in the military proper. Yuliana intended for her society to be one where each citizen would be ready and prepared to die for one another – and if society did not trust each other implicitly, then that could not happen.

In many respects, she succeeded in this, though at a very high cost. As decades progressed, she had to contend with new concerns – particularly dissent from the Clan itself, and the Solar Athamean Scholars. There were talks that the military leadership had served its purpose, and some of the Clan wanted to experiment with civilian administrators as the autonomous regions did.

Yuliana, to her credit, knew better than to outright shut this down – as well as knew the difference between legitimate inquiries, and fomenting resistance. She knew that this was not an insurrection, nor one being pledged, but an evolution that she foresaw as inevitable. She made several concessions and created some civilian positions – however, each of them had military oversight, and were limited in power – and were hand-picked.

Yuliana was opposed to democracy to the very end. That was one thing she never once budged on. She considered democracy a fool's errand, and unthinkable for the Regime to even consider implementing. A greater civilian role was one thing – but democracy was something never brought up in front of the Solar Matriarch, not if one did not want to find themselves visited by an agent of Counter-Intelligence.

During this era, Solar Athamism also became the primary religion of the Terminus Clan, and even became popular in the colonies. This may have been the result of cultural osmosis, as while the Regime was technically a secular state, much of the laws and regulations, especially as they related to services, law, justice, and such were very much inspired by Solar Athamean doctrine.

Interestingly, the Terminus Clan became something of a haven for religious exiles or dissidents. With the Church of Athame cracking down on dissident sects and cults, almost certainly a response to the appearance of Solar Athamism, many fled to the Terminus Clan. This was not to say that cults had any easier a time – while easy to forget, Yuliana was in line to be the Solarch at one point, and was extremely well-versed in theology.

She effectively revived, popularized, and refined Solar Athamism from a minor sect into one that serves as a rival to the Church of Athame – despite no official church. She empowered the Solar Athamean Scholars, which further formalized and spread the religion – though ironically became a thorn in her side later.

Yuliana's view on religion is worth noting, as she believed it essential for defining policy, providing guidance in life, and offering certainty where it often is lacking – but grew to view organized religion as antithetical to all of these things (a hallmark of Solar Athamism).

It led to the strange religious secularism that persists today, where there is no state religion, but there is a majority one. There are no explicit religious laws, but everything is clearly derived from religious text. Everyone is religious, but trying to impose it is viewed as taboo as it is supposed to influence the individual, not be forced on them. There are certain contradictions in the entire Clan view on religion, but that will be elaborated on later.

What is relevant here is that Yuliana is almost single-handedly responsible for Solar Athamism existing in the modern day, and even today the Terminus Clan is home to not only sects like this, but also religious dissidents from the Church and alien religions. And through all of this, religion was something that bound the Clan together – something that the Solar Matriarch would rely upon as the galaxy fell to calamity.

THE RACHNI WARS: The Terminus Clan and the Regime were not spared the Rachni Wars – and in fact it represents the first case of the Terminus Systems and the Citadel experiencing warmer relations. Yuliana despised the Citadel – but with the encroaching rachni, she was pragmatic enough to hold covert meetings with Citadel officials and came to some official – and unofficial – agreements.

The Citadel would be able to move their forces through the Terminus when necessary, and when properly communicated without question, but were to leave as soon as permitted. All military operations in the Terminus Systems were given primacy to the Regime for handling – though in practice Yuliana made it clear that if the Citadel came to support, it would not be turned down.

In general, it was understood that the Terminus Clan would handle their own fronts, while the Citadel would manage the rest. And so for the first time in a very, very long time, the Terminus Clan mobilized for war, and the autonomous colonies were called into action. Conscription was implemented, and the ranks of the Regime swelled as they braced themselves for the encroaching rachni.

The Terminus Front was one that is covered far less than the Citadel front for several reasons. The first is that it was smaller than the vast Citadel front, and second is that the Terminus Systems have been, and continue to be less important in Citadel history. Nonetheless, anyone who looks at the war in serious detail will admit that without the Terminus Clan holding down the front, the Citadel forces could have been overrun much faster.

Would the Citadel have lost if the Terminus Clan had fallen? Perhaps. It would have been a far more difficult victory for certain.

The war was a brutal affair, one that was focused on entrenchment and survival more than advancing. The vast stockpiles of chemical weapons, and the Regime's affinity for flame came in handy. The Flame Brigades became almost a standard unit as worlds were turned into ashes as rachni came, were incinerated, yet came again.

The Rachni Wars for the Terminus Clan were ones of attrition. Yuliana knew that they would not win, and that if victory was to come, it would be from the Citadel. The best they could do was hold out as long as possible – and hold out they did. For every planet conceded, they made sure to poison and burn it beyond recognition.

Garden worlds were permanently ruined, and large swathes of land were turned into scorched or radioactive wastelands as the Regime unloaded their entire arsenal against the rachni. However, they were retreating and dying, slowly but surely. Their numbers were being depleted, their factories were not able to keep up with the output, and the Citadel was fully occupied with their own front, and the rachni were close to reaching core Terminus territory.

It is believed that the Terminus would have fallen, were it not for what is considered one of the greatest operations in the entire Rachni Wars. Yuliana, together with the Marshals, devised a last-ditch plan to disrupt the rachni lines – and that was by directly going after their queens. Their territory that had fallen had been converted to hold queens, which were rapidly producing more rachni.

The nests were considered hazardous, lethal, and extremely difficult to penetrate – yet that was what needed to happen. They had been able to locate the nests in the Terminus – and three dozen squads were assembled of the Regime's best, Yuliana among them. Armed with incendiary equipment, full-plate armor, and nuclear weapons, each squad had one goal – destroy the queen and the nests by any means necessary.

The soldiers deployed, and while many of the operations failed – enough of them succeeded and more worlds experienced regions of nuclear fallout. The Solar Matriarch completed her own mission, and the moment she returned, ordered the one thing that had never been attempted in the war before – a counterattack.

With the rachni reinforcements disrupted, there was a limited opportunity to strike, and strike the Regime did. Terminus soldiers marched towards the rachni, assaulting their soldiers and burning their nests and hives, the counteroffensive did not last long, but it was enough for the lines to be pushed back, and by this time the krogan had entered the picture.

As the rachni front in Citadel space began to collapse, so did their Terminus front, and the Regime took the opportunity to advance, and were almost able to push out the fleeing rachni on their own. The Citadel eventually came to support, and what the Terminus Clan had managed to do immediately earned the respect of the krogan, who worked with the Regime to destroy the rest of the rachni.

True to their word, the Citadel did depart the region as agreed, and peace came to a ravaged Terminus – and left the Regime with a number of difficult choices to make.

BETWEEN THE WARS: The Rachni Wars had been won, at least in the sense that the Regime was still standing, but the cost that had been extracted had immediate consequences. The Regime had suffered losses from the core Clan as well as the colonies that had been conscripted into service, with the slight majority for the Clan.

The entire population was in a period of recovery and mourning. There were many funerals, meetings, and memorials in the aftermath. Awards and commendations were given to the heroes of the war, and Yuliana directed the Regime to focus on reconstruction of what had been lost, and transition away from a state of war.

While this was going on, the Solar Matriarch and the Marshals were taking a hard look at the numbers, and one thing was very clear – the Regime at this size was unsustainable. They no longer had the manpower to reliably maintain control, and if the colonies began organizing, they had few options to mitigate it.

The home front wasn't much better. After suffering through a war, the people were on edge, and wanting change, and some saw this as their time to push for it. Yuliana faced two options – attempt to maintain control over the entire Regime, and do what was necessary to keep order. Or make concessions and consolidate the Regime into a smaller, more manageable package.

She decided on the latter.

She made a point to finish the reconstruction of the colonies before formally ceding control to them. It is widely believed that Yuliana never really saw the other Terminus colonies as truly independent, but a different shade of autonomous. Assisting in reconstruction was as much of an investment as it was necessary – it served no one to give independence while stranding them with little way to provide for themselves.

Over the course of several years, the territory of the Regime reduced by almost two thirds as colonies and vast swathes of the Terminus Systems were ceded as the Regime consolidated. Control over certain mining operations was maintained across the Terminus, but such was a minority of the wider region.

This came with some strings – the Regime would maintain full authority to move military forces and personnel through the Terminus without incident, and the Regime would be the primary trading partner of any new independent states. For the independent, this price was easily accepted.

The end of strict Regime control did lead to a previous status quo reestablishing itself – that of the Terminus becoming a haven for criminals and pirates. It was not immediate, but without the regular patrols and reach of the Regime, these groups became more confident and eventually reestablished themselves.

New colonies by prospectors, settlers, and corporations popped up, and while the Terminus Clan approached many of them, they did not threaten to invade or otherwise subjugate them. It was a new era for the Terminus Clan – the Regime still held influence, and was still seen as the predominant power in the region, but it certainly was not what it once was.

Within the Clan itself, there were additional concessions granted to civilian movements, more authorities were given to civilian positions, and Yuliana dialed back some of her wartime military measures, such as mass conscription. However she remained firm on her anti-democratic stance, which was beginning to increase tensions in the Clan and from the Athamean Scholars – as well as in the military.

The military was growing concerned that a refusal to grant any concessions was providing ammunition to the movement, which could destabilize the Regime. This was countered by Yuliana who claimed that the movement did not simply want democracy - they eventually wanted to undo critical policies that she'd put in place. She was convinced that ceding power to the democrats would result in inevitable stagnation and infighting.

It should be noted that this movement was a minority, and Yuliana relied on that fact. She was a very revered figure after the war for what she'd done, and did not hesitate to use that fact repeatedly. Nonetheless, her actions targeting the democratic movement tarnished that image for some of the Clan, who saw the Solar Matriarch's own stance as unreasonable, and turned more Scholars against her.

It is uncertain how this would have all eventually played out, however there was a new crisis brewing – one which would drag the Terminus Clan into a new war.

ENCROACHMENT OF THE KROGAN: Throughout this period, the krogan had been settling across the Traverse, and of course, in the Terminus Systems (which in practical terms were encompassing more space than they ever had before). With the Regime ceding much of the territory they'd claimed, this meant that some krogan colonies were being established relatively near the Terminus Clan.

They did not mind this, though even Yuliana noted that at the rate they were reproducing, they would become a formidable force in mere decades. Unlike the Citadel, she did not necessarily think war was inevitable, and held a certain admiration for the krogan due to their actions in ending the Rachni Wars.

However, diplomacy was not the strong suit of the krogan, and sooner or later tensions flared between krogan and Terminus colonies. The Regime, still seeing itself as the ultimate peacekeeper of the region attempted to mediate, only for their efforts to be ignored by the krogan who attempted to invade.

This was beaten back, and only when Yuliana threatened to send her forces to protect the colonies did the krogan back down. However from that point on, everyone believed that war was inevitable, and Yuliana began quietly preparing the Regime for war, as concerns mounted at the state of the Terminus Clan.

Yuliana did not think the Regime would be able to endure another war so soon after the last. The Citadel could, but the Clan could not. She had seen and fought alongside the krogan, and assessed them more dangerous than the rachni – and with a far easier ability to replenish their numbers.

Together with her officers, she began preparing a contingency for war – one that she was uncertain would succeed, and even if it did, it would be costly – but her own life was secondary to the survival of the Terminus Clan. Very soon, the krogan began assaulting Citadel forces, who responded with equal force.

The Krogan Rebellions had begun.

THE KROGAN REBELLIONS: The krogan did not expand into the Terminus right away – their main focus was on the Citadel who they believed were preparing to exterminate them. However, it wasn't long before the Terminus colonies mobilized, and began expanding deeper into the Terminus.

The Regime mobilized for war, and once more the Terminus Clan marched. Unlike the rachni wars, however, they were effectively on their own. While the other Terminus colonies had their own forces, they were no longer subordinate to the Regime, nor as well-trained or supplied. They worked to delay the krogan as the Terminus Clan arrived.

Something that is interesting is that the Terminus Clan performed far higher when compared to Citadel forces of similar compositions. I believe this can be attributed to the fact that the krogan fought in a seemingly random, unpredictable style that belied conventional doctrine – and for the Terminus Clan, it was reminiscent of how war was fought in the Terminus Wars.

Intimate. Brutal. Bloody.

The krogan were apparently surprised at how the Terminus Clan was able to fight them effectively. Tactics that were being used against the Citadel were proving to be less effective against the Regime – not ineffective, just less. It was clear that the Clan had experience in this kind of war, and the offensives stalled.

However, it could not hold out forever, and soon an outer region of colonies were lost to the krogan. Core Terminus Clan territory was in the crosshairs, and more krogan were entering the Terminus, sensing weakness. Yuliana knew that their single-ditch effort to hold strong against the krogan had failed.

It was time to take the largest risk she ever had in her life.

SACRIFICE ON TUCHANKA: The krogan respected strength, and Yuliana saw herself as the most powerful and valuable individual in the Terminus Clan – a view that was echoed by most of the population, as well as the Marshals. If there was anyone who could gain the attention of the Krogan Emperor – it would be her.

As the Krogan began assaulting the second wave of colonies, the Solar Matriarch sent an official challenge to the Krogan Emperor, demanding a duel where the fate of the Terminus Systems would be decided. The Krogan Emperor reportedly found this very amusing, and sent two of his sons with the command "Bring me the head of the Sun-Matriarch."

Publicly, he replied that he would only consider her challenge when she proved herself by bringing back the crests of some of his greatest warriors. So that, to sum up a long strong short, is exactly what Yuliana did. The inability of the krogan to manage any kind of OPSEC allowed the Terminus Clan to quickly find out where the Emperor's sons were.

Yuliana with a small team conducted strikes against them, and fought each of them in a direct duel, slaying them while another soldier captured the entire fight. These were intense, violent battles that were closer than one might expect. The krogan were very good, but Yuliana was better.

Each head of the krogan was severed, and knowing what needed to happen next, she departed directly for Tuchanka with the crests in hand. The image of the Solar Matriarch entering the fighting pits of Tuchanka to a roaring crowd of krogan, and tossing the crests before the seated Krogan Emperor remains one of the most iconic images of the Rebellions, to the point where even the Citadel often includes it in their history books.

This is why, for all of Yuliana's faults, the controversies of her rule, her brutality and ruthlessness, she is still viewed by many of the Clan fondly, if not as a hero. They remember her facing down the Krogan Emperor and thousands of krogan, for the purpose of ensuring their protection.

This commanded the Emperor's attention, and he demanded to know her terms. Yuliana laid them out plainly – if she lost, then the krogan would continue their march, and they would succeed. But if she was to win, then the krogan would cease any offensive into the Terminus, until after the Citadel was dealt with.

Yuliana was heavily relying on the Citadel succeeding against the krogan – and the krogan abiding by any agreement. The Emperor agreed to the terms, and took a blood oath to make it binding. To the thunderous roars of the crowd, the Krogan Emperor leapt from his throne and entered the fighting pits.

With his warhammer in hand, he lifted it with a roar, which was answered by a flourish from the Solar Matriarch's warp sword.

The battle between them is widely believed to be one of the greatest and most consequential battles of all time. Every moment of it was captured and broadcast throughout krogan space – with everyone else quickly tuning in to watch. It is studied in military academies, biotic schools, and in history classes to examine the tactics, technology, and skill on display.

Both combatants were as evenly matched as one could expect. Both were embodiments of skill and raw power, and each strike and blow was one that if connected, would usually mean the battle would soon be over. This did not apply here, as both Emperor and Matriarch exchanged blows.

The duel lasted for over an hour, and the pit did not emerge unscathed either, as parts of it were destroyed, used as weapons, or otherwise pulverized as two titans fought with the only goal to kill each other. By the end of the battle, the Emperor's armor was a scorched wreck, much of which he'd discarded, he'd lost an eye, and was bleeding heavily across his body.

Yuliana fared little better, as her own armor was cracked and broken, she was missing several fingers, one arm was broken, and her legs were fractured. A couple of her crests were missing, either the tips or fully, and numerous cuts covered her body, bleeding indigo droplets. Both were moving slower, but still lethal against nearly anyone but each other.

However, the fact was that krogan regeneration was superior to all other life, and the end was inevitable. Valiantly the Solar Matriarch fought, but in the end, it was not enough to bring down the Krogan Emperor. The warhammer fell upon her head, smashing it into pulp, and the Emperor raised the bloodied weapon in triumph, to the roars of the krogan watching – and the crushing defeat that swept through the rest of the galaxy, and specifically the Terminus Clan.

The military believed that this was going to be the end. Yuliana's gambit had failed, and the krogan offensive would renew. Except, that did not happen. The Krogan Emperor halted Terminus operations, and pulled multiple teams for the Citadel front. There are several possible reasons for this.

One that is accepted by most is that the turians had just entered the fray, and the Emperor knew he needed as many forces as possible to combat them – trying to take the Terminus at the same time was foolish. However, there are rumors that the Krogan Emperor was impressed by how the Solar Matriarch was able to fight that he decided to honor her request regardless.

It is debatable if this is true, as the Emperor was not really one to show such regard for his enemies, though at the same time, there were few he truly respected. However, as interesting as it would be if this was true, it is much more likely that the turians posed a far greater threat to him, and in comparison, the Terminus Clan wasn't worth the trouble.

Regardless of the reason, with the turians in the fray, we know how it eventually ended. The Genophage was created, the krogan were crushed, and the Regime moved to reclaim the territory that had fallen to the krogan – something they succeeded in, as the Genophage took hold.

The Krogan Rebellions had come to an end, and with it, this era of the Terminus Clan.


SUMMARY: With the end of the Krogan Rebellions and the death of the Solar Matriarch, the Terminus Clan was in a significantly changed position militarily, socially, and politically. At the end of the day, every asari within the Clan – even the military – only wanted peace to allow themselves to rebuild, heal, and mourn.

This is the period where the Terminus Clan underwent a number of significant changes, ones which transformed it into the Terminus Clan of today. Yuliana had been the only one who had been able to keep everything together as it was.

With her gone, changes would need to be made – and made fast.

AFTER THE SOLAR MATRIARCH: No matter what one could say about the Solar Matriarch, none could deny that she was the only one who could have controlled the Terminus Clan in the way she did, for as long as she did. She did not do so alone, of course, but she was a driven, larger than life presence, whose loss – and sacrifice – simply could not be replicated.

The most immediate concern of the surviving Marshals following the end of the Rebellions was what would come next. There was significant concern that without the influence and authority Yuliana had possessed, the rest of the Clan would push for changes that had stagnated under the Solar Matriarch. None of the Marshals had her ability to maintain the status quo – at least not without significant difficulty.

That demands for reform, and democratic movements, already known and established, portended an extended period of strife if unaddressed. Making matters worse were the Athamean Scholars were moving to fully back reforms. The death of Yuliana had removed the one woman who might have stayed their tongue.

With these factors together, the Marshals knew that their soldiers would be unwilling to suppress sustained movements after the war. Mismanaging the rank and file was a major risk, and the Marshals feared that resisting reforms might result in soldiers openly supporting reform movements.

There was significant debate over what Yuliana would have approved of, given the situation. In the end, they judged that the Clan could not continue to be divided by internal strife, as they were already significantly weakened after the Rebellions, and their influence on the Terminus slipping further.

The choice was ultimately made to work with prominent civilian leaders, some of whom were already bureaucrats, Athamean Scholars, and others who were figureheads of the reform movements.

Over the years, and especially later on, there is continued debate as to why the military ultimately decided to do this, as they have made little secret that many are, at best, apathetic to the democratic project.

In this case, it seems like a case of grasping at a conspiracy for the sake of it. The situation was very simple, as was the solution. The ultimately military made a pragmatic decision to support reforms, as they considered the alternatives too risky, or dangerous. The Clan comes before the sympathies of the Marshals.

It isn't more or less complicated than that. They did not support the transition to democracy, but believed that not doing so would have destroyed the Terminus Clan, and that was something they would never do.

THE CONSTITUTIONAL COMPROMISE: This event is often referenced as the Constitutional Conventions, at least in the Clan history books. It was an effort lasting multiple years, which was negotiated between civilian and military leaders, while a number of public referendums were organized afterwards. All of which shaped the Constitution of the Terminus Clan.

However, most people refer to it as a Constitutional Compromise, because that is ultimately what it was.

This was a notable case where the compromise was on both sides. While the military had the institutional advantage on paper, the democrats and reformists knew that the fact that the military was talking to them at all meant that they had leverage. The Athamean Scholars were also firmly in the reform camp, and the Marshals were wary of poking that nest. Fortunately, the reformists were wise enough to not abuse their own advantages, or push for things they knew would anger the military.

Many, many long internal discussions behind closed doors were held, most of which related to what institutions would be turned over to civilian control, how democracy would be instituted, and what role the military would play. There were six public referendums, each of which was a different article that had been jointly written by civilian and military representatives.

These concerned the Rights of Citizens, the Rights of Foreigners, the Responsibilities of State, the Standards of Representation, the Standards of Law, and the Protocols of War and Stability. The last one was the most important, as it was what largely determined the powers and role of the military in the new Clan system.

Prior to the actual referendums, the articles were placed before a number of randomly chosen groups and focus tests to gain feedback on if the end result would be widely accepted. Neither the reformists nor the military wanted to suffer an embarrassing failure, and put forward a constitution that wouldn't be accepted. Each article went through several drafts before it was put to the public vote.

Their caution paid off, and every referendum passed with comfortable margins. The Constitution was formally ratified days after the final referendum was held.

It was an impressive display of negotiation, diplomacy, and restraint by all sides involved. The results were ones that almost everyone was satisfied with. The Terminus Clan now had a legitimate civilian government, with the vast majority of institutions now under civilian control, and who could now be democratically chosen.

However, the military retained a significant amount of power, and effective control on all matters related to security and defense – and most importantly, they retained the ability to legally dissolve the civilian government and take control should certain conditions be met.

The reformists and democrats were unhappy with this provision – but knew that if they did not include some similar measure, it risked the military hardening their stances on other matters, and risking the entire process. The compromise was to take measures to make sure the path to dissolution was as narrow as possible – which most concede was a partial success.

However, when it was all done, the new state was established, the first elections held, and the Terminus Clan set about on truly recovering from the Krogan Rebellions.

RESTRUCTURING, REORGANIZING, AND REBUILDING: Going from a military administration to a civilian one does not happen overnight, and the Terminus Clan was no exception. It took a number of years before the government fell into a regular rhythm, and was able to properly meet the needs of the people without fully relying on military-era mechanisms.

A number of policies were reviewed by the legislature, and some of the Regime-era norms were suspended or declared unconstitutional. Surprisingly, this was less than what readers might expect, but this is likely more to do with the fact that most of the revolutionary changes had come through the constitutional process, and minimal work on the legal and legislative fronts needed to be done.

Infrastructure was repaired, normalcy settled back in, the dead were honored, and new generations emerged in a new Terminus Clan. It was several decades before the Clan was in what could be considered a healthy and stable state – enough where they were rebuilding to their previous power, at least on the civilian side.

With this, the Terminus Clan decided to take an unusual step, to show that the Regime was well and truly gone.

RECONCILIATION WITH THE TERMINUS SYSTEMS: The memories of the Regime's conquest and brutality during the Terminus Wars – which is to say nothing about the actual rule by Yuliana - were something still remembered across the Terminus.

Even with the Regime having released many of their previous subjects, there remained deep connections and agreements. The Terminus Clan made the decision to begin reconciliation with a number of worlds and parties that had been, in their words, "affected by certain policies of the Regime."

This was a very interesting initiative, as the government walked a very fine line between apologizing for certain actions and…not doing that. It is curious to read their statements while this was taking place, and the memorandums signed, where they never really apologize for it happening, but express a desire to reset relations, and emphasize peace and mutual respect.

The obvious culprits are the military, and they certainly would not have stood by any statement that apologized for the actions taken during the Terminus Wars, or any subsequent conflict. In their view the entities in the Terminus were groups which threatened the stability and interests of the Clan. Notably, this view was one also largely shared by the civilian government, and in truth, that wasn't really what they were trying to apologize for.

The audience this was intended to reach was primarily specific groups, asari and alien alike, who had been mistreated by the Regime. In particular the salarian minorities of the Clan and wider Terminus were officially apologized to for the policies of the Regime era, which disproportionately affected salarians.

It is one of the only times where the military did not oppose the clear denunciation of a policy of the Solar Matriarch. Salarian individuals and families were given reparations along with this, along with other minority groups in and outside the Clan who had also suffered.

This success of this reconciliation attempt varies depending on your view. Most consider it a mixed success, with some parties rejecting attempts of reconciliation, and accused the Clan of not being genuine.

Others were willing to start over diplomatically speaking. To the Clan, the Reconciliation accomplished exactly what they wanted it to – namely secure an extended peace in the system, and mitigate the chances of any former enemies taking advantage of their reduced state.

This is not to say that the Reconciliation was a solely pragmatic move, as there were Clan members who did genuinely want to achieve a diplomatic reset and were troubled by the legacy of the Regime – however, they mostly wanted to lay the groundwork to make any aggression against them optically unpalatable, and reconcile with the alien minorities in the Clan.

Both of these goals were achieved to the satisfaction of the Clan.

DISCOVERY AND BURNING OF AETHEON: The Terminus Clan attracted some controversy when word reached the Citadel that the Clan had destroyed the garden world of Aetheon, a known habitable planet with a unique ecosystem and animal life resting in the Terminus Systems.

This caused a significant amount of confusion on the diplomatic level, and a lot of outrage everywhere else. Unlike many civil and environmental groups, the official reaction of the Citadel was significantly restrained, because the actions made no sense. The Terminus Clan had always colonized such worlds, and to destroy one was highly unusual.

What made it more confusing was that there was seemingly no reason to do so either. There were no other rival or enemy groups who had settled on the planet, and to completely destroy it (to the best of their ability) was overkill in the extreme. The Council sent an official inquiry asking why.

As it turns out, the explanation was sufficient for the Council to immediately retract their complaints, and only say that the Terminus Clan had provided "sufficient reasoning for their actions" and never spoke of it again. This was not very satisfying to everyone else, but what we learned indicates that the Terminus Clan was in the right.

Aetheon had been a world that the Clan had been looking to colonize for a significant amount of time – since the Regime Era. The Krogan Rebellions, and subsequent reconstruction, put a stop to that. Now with the Clan rebuilding, colonizing Aetheon was viewed as an excellent next step. The world was relatively close, it had no other groups who laid claim, and surveys showed it had many resource deports they wanted to exploit.

With the effort decided upon, they began sending dedicated survey and scouting teams to the world, and soon found out why no one had ever tried to colonize it. Their scouts came back, infected with spores, and hijacked by some kind of alien mind. Yes, Aetheon was home to a tho'ian - one which ostensibly wanted to work with the Clan. It offered knowledge and technology unknown to them as a greeting.

In what can only be described as a rare instance of a government showcasing actual intelligence and not going wide-eyed at the possibility of artifacts and technology – the Terminus Clan immediately executed all of the infected personnel, instituted a Clan-wide quarantine where the entirety of the population was scanned, sprayed, and mind-linked to confirm they weren't under the influence of the alien.

At the same time, they sent their fleet, armed with a significant number of munitions and nuclear warheads, and fired them at the world. It isn't known if they actually killed the tho'ian during the bombardment, but they caused irreversible damage, culminating in throwing several asteroids at the world.

Today Aetheon looks like a dead, barren rock with only slight patches of green remaining. Every year the Terminus Clan harnesses another asteroid and throws it into the world. No matter if the tho'ian lives or not, at the very least no one sane will ever set foot on the world again.

This is a rare instance where I would recommend they receive a commendation. The less tho'ians in the galaxy, the better.

THE TERMINUS COMMISSION: It is only fitting that the event which closes out the Age of Reflection is one that ties back to where it all started. The Clan had wanted answers for a long time as to the events that actually resulted in Terena Terminus' death, and at long last, the government agreed to the Terminus Commission.

It was a very long and involved process that took years, as commission members went across the Terminus, to find anyone still alive or connected to that era (they had little success in this), along with reviewing what documents and evidence they had on-hand. Some even ventured to the Citadel, and purchased certain information from the Broker Network.

It was, of course, the Broker Network which gave them the incriminating evidence. The release of the Terminus Commission – which placed the blame for the assassination firmly on the Citadel, and that other parties had only taken advantage of the chaos, was one which shocked everyone. The military especially was unnerved by the fact that nearly everything that had happened since then was the result of a false narrative.

The Commission, more than anything else, is why the military has over time become less willing to defend the actions of the Solar Matriarch. Even if they hold her as a necessary figure, they no longer say her actions were fully justified, knowing that they were manipulated by the Citadel. The Commission understandably has turned the Clan firmly against the Citadel, and made them significantly more suspicious of any outreach and negotiation.

For their part, the Citadel has never publicly acknowledged the commission, and it is very unlikely that this is going to change.


SUMMARY: If there was to be a definitive shake-up to the status quo, the rise of Aria was certainly enough to satisfy such requirements. While the Terminus Clan had since lost their place as the principle power of the Terminus Systems, they were nonetheless entrenched within the Terminus – if now a faction that was primarily ignored, rather than engaged by the majority of pirate and criminal parties.

Aria did not take the same approach to the Terminus Clan. As the Clan watched with growing trepidation, it was clear that there was a new hegemon over the Terminus – one that they were going to have to engage with.

FALL OF OMEGA STATION: The fall of Omega Station was something that the Terminus Clan became aware of early as it was happening – mostly from reports by traders about how the station was locked down, and that the Omegan Protectorate had made moves to claim the station.

The Terminus Clan took very close note of this, awaiting the outcome of the takeover – one that was definitively answered by Aria's own address to the Terminus which heralded the coming Marches against the Terminus. The reaction to Aria's address was…mixed within the Clan. Aria was a figure they had heard of, due to her association with the Gorgon, but outside of her associations, they knew little else about her.

That she was clearly invoking Terena Terminus, both outwardly, and in her style, was controversial among the Clan. However the majority were more lenient towards Aria due to the fact that she worked for the Protectorate – which they had their issues with, but didn't consider them in the same vein of slavers and pirates.

Aria lacked the criminal persona she soon gained, and so while they disliked her styling as a savior of the Terminus, most of the Clan – even the military – were willing to listen to her with an open mind.

THE MARCHES AND AGREEMENT WITH THE PIRATE QUEEN: Initial negotiations between Aria and the Terminus Clan were positive, at least in the sense that both sides were relatively open to what the other had to say. The Terminus Clan was willing to come to an agreement with her, and Aria knew enough about the Clan to know how to best negotiate.

New agreements were forged early on in the Marches, with Aria ensuring "protection," though recognized the Clan autonomy to manage their own affairs, in exchange for a fair tribute to the new hegemon of the Terminus Systems. This agreement was somewhat controversial among the Clan, but the military had privately advised that going to war against Aria would be a dangerous prospect, due to how she had systematically removed the four greatest threats from the region.

Peace, even if at a cost, was preferable to a lost war.

So the deal was made, with more reluctance in some than others. However by the end of the Marches, where Aria's more obvious compromises, especially with the slavers, were in full force, the sentiment grew more negative. Public outrage over conceding to a criminal grew quickly, though there was little that could be done, and the concerns of the military remained the same. As a result, nothing more was done.

But it should be said that this was the start of a growing friction between the Terminus Clan and Aria, something which has never been resolved, and only intensified as the years progressed.

THE LONG PEACE: The old status quo was shattered, but following the Marches where Aria secured herself as the undisputed power, a new one was quickly established – one which saw many years in relative peace for the Clan. Aria expected her tribute – but she did keep to her word, and largely left them to their own affairs.

The Clan took this opportunity to pursue a number of objectives on their own, as well as fully dealing with the ramifications of their new system, the aftermath of the Solar Matriarch, and the revelations of the Terminus Commission. Much of these revolved around modernization – in both civilian and military sectors.

The military wanted this for obvious reasons – officially it was because the Terminus Systems were a dangerous place, but the reality was that if the agreement with Aria was ever terminated, they were determined to make the reprisal as costly as possible, if not able to repel it entirely. Training was overhauled, domestic industries were developed, resources were extracted, and the territory was planned out to its fullest potential.

This did not, and still has not fully manifested, but these steps were instrumental in ensuring the self-sufficiency of the Clan. On the civilian side, the bureaucracy grew, became refined, expanded, contracted, and was subjected to a number of experiments with the military no longer having an iron grip on everything.

One thing the government wished to do was develop a domestic academic base. They had schools of course, but they wanted ones of specialty and higher education. The military agreed with this priority, and together they developed a method where they would select the most promising members of the Clan, and send them to Citadel universities. Prestigious ones at that.

These were very expensive for the Terminus Clan, but they considered them a necessary investment, as the intention was for them to learn a specialized subject, return, develop curriculum for it, and establish such academic institutions within the Clan. After a few generations, they believed that they could develop a robust academia.

This effort was successful, and if anyone wonders why the Terminus Clan has so many accredited universities, it's due to some wise foresight by the Clan leaders at the time. This may be the singular achievement of the Long Peace – one which was effectively ended at the onset of the Second Krogan Rebellions.

THE SECOND KROGAN REBELLIONS: The Terminus Clan initially remained neutral as Wrang and the Blood Pack crashed into Aria like a red flood, seeing the incident as something which did not involve them – and among certain factions of the Clan, a desire to see Aria fall, and a more competitive and open Terminus emerge.

However, this was but one perspective – there were others, particularly in the military who were alarmed at the expansion and brutality of Wrang and his krogan. Their views on Aria aside, they viewed her as a familiar element, and one which had allowed them to exist with minimal interference. Many did not believe that Wrang would be so lenient, and memories of the Krogan Rebellions were strong.

It wasn't until Aria came to them for help that they were forced to give an answer – and the Clan used it to renegotiate their original deal, which would effectively enshrine their territory as a fully independent state, one that would maintain only token tributes to Omega. The military judged that there was leverage to utilize against Aria with minimal reprisal – and they were correct.

A new agreement was struck, and the Terminus Clan officially joined Aria against Ganar Wrang. Admittedly, another reason that the military was interested in involving themselves with the conflict was to test out a number of strategies, methods, and technologies in a live environment – and they did so frequently.

The Terminus Clan performed well in the Rebellions, applying all the lessons learned from previous wars into this new one. While they refused to work with some groups, they did perform joint operations with the Omegan Legions, and were in constant coordination with Omega as the war progressed. It was when Wrang ordered an attempted siege on Clan Territory when they were put to the test.

Contingencies were activated, defenses initialized, and within the span of days almost all of the Terminus Clan was mobilized to fight and defend their homes to the last survivor. With centuries to prepare for an invasion, and with previous experience against krogan-heavy forces, Wrang's forces found themselves in a very poor position from the start.

What parts of the fleet weren't destroyed by defenses were disabled by ground-to-space cannons. Invading forces were met by military veterans with legions of conscripted and well-trained soldiers. Wrang's forces were only able to conduct a few successful landings which were easily repelled, before the entire operation was called off, and they retreated from Clan space.

To say this gave the entire Clan a massive confidence boost would be an understatement. It should be emphasized that Wrang was no small threat – he had raised a force capable of challenging Aria, and filled with some of the most dangerous soldiers in the galaxy. It was not exactly on the scale of the Rebellions or Rachni Wars – but it was nonetheless a feat to be proud of.

When Aria killed Wrang on Omega, and the so-called Second Krogan Rebellions came to an end, Aria surprised the Clan by working to supply them with what had been lost or destroyed, as well as giving a personal (though private) thanks for their support. Perhaps a political gesture on Aria's part, but it was something well-received by the Clan, and is almost certainly what solidified the military's views on Omega.

Primarily as necessary evil that they could work with.

THE SECOND REFUSAL WAR: I suppose there should be a mention here of what, if anything, the Terminus Clan did during the Second Refusal War. The answer is the same as the First Refusal War.


Given the legacy of the Refusal, and it leading directly to the foundation of the Terminus Clan, it should come as no surprise that they have no interest in fighting the hanar under any circumstance. They were neutral in both Refusal Wars, and it should be noted, unabashedly smug as the Hanar humiliated the Citadel not once, but twice.

There is even some conspiratorial talk, though mostly unserious, about if there was another reason the Council made such an obviously bad decision. Was it political? Was it because of blackmail? Was it internal sabotage? Many potential answers, but ultimately most citizens don't care too much.

The same does not hold true for the military. The Refusal Wars utterly confuse them, particularly the Second, as there seems to be no rational basis for their activities. However they have resolved to never fight the hanar, and in fact have considered reaching out to form an alliance, as there is a pervasive belief that the enkindlers the Hanar worship are none other than the Asari Pantheon.

This is a very controversial belief that only a few Athamean Scholars have suggested – but one that is somehow widely accepted among senior military leaders. We are unsure how they could have possibly come to this conclusion – but they seem to legitimately believe that the hanar possess the blessing of Athame, and to stand in the way of the Goddess is to invite Armageddon.

The Refusal Wars did little to dispel this belief, and there is evidence that more Scholars are quietly coming around to this view as well. Keep this in the back of your mind, and consider that the analysis of the Clan military may not always be the most understandable.


SUMMARY: Technically, the modern age the Terminus Clan has been living in has not been named by Clan historians – but unofficially there is a universal consensus that the status quo that has existed for the past few centuries is unsustainable.

Everyone, be they civilian, government, political, or military, believes that there are significant changes in the future, and the established status quo that has been enjoyed will come to an end.

This is a view they extend not just to the Clan, but the wider Terminus Systems. They see Aria's power waning, and while they don't know the possibility of war on the horizon, they predict significant upheaval which will touch all of the Systems, the Clan included. What comes after this? There are no predictions.

Only that little will be the same.

EXPANSION OF THE CLAN: One thing that can be considered positive in the metrics of the Clan is that they have continued to – slowly – expand within and even outside their territory. Much of it is related to mining and resource extraction, but this also includes multiple colonies across several systems that are being carefully nurtured.

The Clan is also the largest it has ever been numerically, with a steady population of immigrants to the Clan, particularly humans in recent decades, and turians in the centuries before. They have enjoyed sustained economic deals which have helped their expansion, and provided there are no major changes, it can be expected that the Clan will continue to methodically expand.

Though given the trajectory of the Clan, this may be easier said than done.

STAGNATION AND CORRUPTION: This is one area which runs the risk of conflicting definitions. Most governments and societies classify corruption as a criminal action – and in the Terminus Clan that is not really accurate. Genuine corruption is treated very harshly, so when the Clan references corruption, they are specifically referring to ideological corruption - which they purport results in intentional sabotage, delays, and inefficiencies in various government and political institutions due to ideological disagreements.

To disagree with a colleague is one thing, but to actually take action is criminal – on certain actions. There is little regulation as to simply refusing to do work, or doing such work very slowly, ultimately degrading institutions and roles. This has become more common in recent years, to the concern of both military and civilian leaders.

On the other hand, stagnation is a concept that is universal, and the fact is that as time has passed, the Congresses and Councils that have managed the Terminus Clan have become more divided, polarized, and subsequently inefficient as time has gone on. This used to only be considered a problem at the highest levels, with local politicians and government organs managing to cooperate and solve issues with little problem.

However, as fundamental questions concerning the future of the Terminus Clan have come into sharper focus, more and more of the Clan are unwilling to compromise on what they see as red lines. This problem has only worsened, and it has contributed to the steady slowdown of the civil state – and fears that it has also impacted the military as well.

A QUESTION OF VISIONS: It is not that the Clan does not see the issues on the horizon or actively impacting their constitutes – they just strongly differ on the means by which to solve them. The political class of the Terminus Clan is genuinely one of the most ideologically diverse, and politics breeds little room for compromise.

Or rather, it may be more accurate to say that compromise has fallen out of fashion over time. If there was to be another Constitutional Convention today, it would almost certainly fail.

Parties and coalitions, as they exist, often go through cycles of creation, growth, electoral surgency, infighting, and collapse into smaller sub-parties, some of which endure, and some ultimately are absorbed by other interests. The political landscape is a fluid one – but one that has, slowly but surely, been breeding more extreme and uncompromising factions that are hardening to outside pressure.

These matters were once confined to major, monumental decisions that could affect the entire Clan. Now the scope of argument has continued to shrink, to where even seemingly basic problems are incapable of being solved due to ideological differences – and personal and political rivalries and hatreds.

An unfortunate fact of this is that the political class has become more and more divorced from their constituents, more concerned with political victory over providing and delivering for the people they are elected to serve. So long as these questions persist, the Clan will become more and more inefficient as a governing body.

DISILLUSIONMENT OF THE CLAN: All of this has contributed to a rising feeling of disillusionment within the Clan as it pertains to their government. These feelings are growing exponentially among the population – both for those working civilian jobs, and those working within a government and feeling more and more constrained by what they can do.

There is no underground movement or government officials willing to break the laws for the benefit of their people due to how the Clan deals with criminals – instead there is an epidemic of resignations at all levels of government, which is the clearest signal, and a ringing alarm bell, to the political class that the way is unsustainable – and everyone it taking notice.

Including the military.

To say that the military is growing more and more irritated with the political gridlock would be an understatement. While there have been no public declarations, the military has been moving to shore up support to the Clan in light of the resignation epidemic, which has provided a temporary stopgap to complete collapse – but one that cannot be sustained forever.

Faith in democratic institutions is at an all-time low, and when the Regime is being regularly invoked in a positive light, it signals that there is the possibility of rapid change coming, and with overwhelming popular support. There is the question of what could be an alternative besides military rule – and an answer has been born in the halls of the Clan Intelligentsia.

RISE OF THE VANIRATH MOVEMENT: There has been a concerted effort over the past few decades to explore alternatives to democratic government, and this has consolidated into what is now recognized as the Vanirath Movement – originally a group of professors and political scientists which has now grown to include vast swathes of the civilian population – and to the concern of many – several military sympathizers.

More details as to what their ideology actually is will be covered in Section 3, but suffice to say that it has significant similarities to the turian Meritocracy, human fascist movements, and Athamean theocracy. Notably, the ideologues of the Vanirath Movement do not want a return to the military rule of the Regime, but believe that democracy has failed the Clan, and an alternative must be considered.

Once a fringe group, and the pet project of a few intellectuals, the political gridlock and worsening relations between the political class and the rest of the Clan have given it new life. More individuals running in elections are openly identifying as Vanirath supporters, who thus far have had mixed electoral results.

The good news for the establishment is that right now, the Vanirath Movement is not large enough to force change on the level of their ambitions. The bad news is that it is growing more popular in the military, and the more time passes, the more likely official endorsement will come. If that happens, it is likely to signal the end of the military's patience for the government.

If the Clan can resolve their issues remains to be seen, but they are entering a critical period of their history, and if they fail, then it is likely that the Terminus Clan as we know it will change forever.

Or perhaps, revert to something more familiar.


LEGACY OF TERENA TERMINUS: The asari who founded the Terminus Clan holds an irreplaceable position within their mythos. There are few fitting analogies, however the closest one I can find is the human concept of sainthood – which is the effective deification of individuals after their death, who hold religious or spiritual importance.

I say this is not the best analogy because Terena Terminus is not a religious figure, nor would any of the Clan view her as one. However, her legacy is one of such overwhelming significance that reducing her to a mere historical figure is a disservice to her continued impact on not just the Terminus Clan, but the Terminus Systems themselves.

Terena is viewed as the ideal to strive towards by the many of the public; a charismatic leader with few equals, who was able to unite disparate, contradictory groups in service of a greater good, who was kind, effective, and defiant against the tyrannies which sought to oppress and contain.

One might note that much of this is reliant upon her success. If Terena had lived, we do not know if she would have ultimately succeeded or failed – but this is not especially relevant to the mythos. The fact that the potential exists, and that while she was alive, she did succeed and embody such things is enough.

She is a symbol of a future that has been long-since lost to the Terminus, and has primarily morphed into a figure of defiance; one that has been adopted by far more groups and individuals than just the Terminus Clan. Her imprint on the Clan similarly is woven throughout all facets, from statues, pictures, memorabilia, and holidays.

Terena is honored on all Terminus Clan holidays, but in particular the Day of Independence and the Day of the Sorrow are ones where special attention is paid to her. The Day of Independence is where the Terminus Clan re-broadcasts her declaration to the wider Terminus, which has been unofficially adopted by the entire region in remembrance, including Omega Station.

The Day of Sorrow is a day of mourning and remembrance of the day of her assassination, where vigils are held in her honor – events which are often held by groups outside the Clan. It is a rare instance where the Clan will allow foreigners into their territory, who often come to pay their respects personally.

One thing that the Clan does not, and likely will ever do is claim to be her successor or replacement. To imply such a thing is highly taboo. It is one thing to take inspiration from Terena – it is another to actively claim to be more than that. The Clan becomes rather miffed when others do this – and were less than amused when Aria not-so-subtle made a point to invoke Terena's name, and position herself as a pseudo-successor.

Notably, the only group which has a more moderate view of Terena within the Clan is the military, who consider her a critical foundational figure – however they view her as more misguided than infallible. The military is not filled with idealists, which they openly agree that Terena was, and subsequently do not hold Terena with the same reverence as many citizens.

However, this is often kept to themselves. As far as the Clan is concerned, Terena was and remains the ideal to strive for – though there is debate over what this ideal actually is in practice.

LEGACY OF THE ASSASSINATION: It is difficult to overstate how thoroughly the assassination of Terena Terminus destroyed the ability of the entire region to successfully create and maintain a united front against the Citadel. Terena was likely the only one who had the willingness and ability to forge such an alliance based on mutual goals and respect. When she was gone, that dream was effectively dead.

That resulted in a domino effect that led to the rise and takeover of Yuliana, and she and Marshals believed right until the dissolution that they had been betrayed by Salarians and criminals, with the Citadel a more distant threat.

It is likely that little would have changed as far as the military assuming control after Terena's death – though it is almost certain that the Solar Matriarch would have been focused on the Citadel and not pacifying the Terminus region if she'd known the truth.

The results of the Terminus Commission had a monumental effect on the Clan – and significantly shifted the opinion of the Clan concerning the Citadel from warming, to outright hostile. It had been a theory even before the Commission that the Citadel had a hand in Terena's death – but the results of the report was the first time it had been acknowledged.

It had an effect beyond the Clan as well – the Terminus Commission created a near-irreconcilable rift between the Terminus and Citadel, confirming the worst fears they had. Terena's Assassination has effectively ensured that there can be no peaceful rapprochement with the Terminus Systems. It has not helped that the Citadel is unwilling to acknowledge the operation, let alone apologize for it.

It is exceptionally ironic that the policies and views of both the Clan and the Citadel have developed in the inverse ways, with the Citadel taking a more moderate and pragmatic approach to the Terminus (primarily to mitigate Aria) while the Terminus Clan has become more hardline in their opposition to any kind of relationship with the Citadel.

This is not to say that reconciliation between the Citadel and the Clan is impossible – but it would require steps that the Citadel is wholly unwilling to take, and right now sees no reason to entertain.

LEGACY OF THE SOLAR MATRIARCH: The Terminus Clan would not exist without Terena Terminus, but as heretical as this is to say to some, the individual who forged the Clan into what it is today was not Terena, but Yuliana. Truthfully, even the Clan would likely – if privately – acknowledge that the Solar Matriarch was a far more consequential figure than Terena, but are reluctant to do so out of fear of overshadowing their founder.

This report doesn't need to work in such constraints.

Nearly every single aspect of the Terminus Clan can, in one form or another, be traced directly to the vision of the Solar Matriarch. While she certainly took certain cues from Terena, it was she who ultimately turned words and ideas into action. It was Yuliana who established the Regime, it was she who stabilized and saved the Clan from irrecoverable splintering, she who led the Clan to victory in the Terminus Wars, and ruled all the way through the Krogan Rebellions.

The military views Yuliana in the same way the public views Terena – as a near-divine figure whose rule is remembered fondly. You will not find a single soldier or officer who has anything but reverence for the Solar Matriarch, and her writings, teachings, and doctrines remain in force to this very day.

Every single Grand Executor of the Military is bestowed the title of Heir to the Solar Matriarch, and if Terena is the civilian to aspire to – the military's idol is Yuliana, and not without reason. There has been no single leader who has been able to match her power, presence, and leadership.

It is almost certain that the primary reason for why the military agreed to dissolve the Regime was because they knew that Yuliana was the only one who could keep rule without eventual rebellion. She alone possessed the willpower and conviction to govern in the manner she did, which military leaders since then have hesitated at.

Her legacy outside the military is more mixed.

A majority of asari civilians tend to view her rule positively, believing that a leader like her was necessary following the Assassination, though she is not held in reverence, due to many of her harsh and uncompromising policies.

A minority of asari hold more negative sentiments, believing that while her initial rule was justified, the Regime should have been dissolved after the Terminus War and returned to civilian control. They consider her as ultimately a tyrant, whose rule and ideology was in direct opposition to Terena's ideals.

Aliens, particularly salarians, consider her at best as a harsh leader, and at worst a monster. Most consider her rule a dark period for the Clan. They rarely express their opinions on the Solar Matriarch, but when they do they are very rarely positive. Usually they will say that the best thing she did was sacrifice herself for the good of the Clan on Tuchanka.

Outside the Terminus Clan, well, the surrounding region bears the scars of the Clan's expansion and rule by the Solar Matriarch. The stories endure, and while it has been a long time, the reputation she forged was one that subsequently made others wary of the Clan, though the Reconciliation did much to remedy that.

Those unaffected by her actions view her as one of the greatest military leaders in the galaxy – and she is studied to this day by various Terminus groups, and while it is rarer to find her referenced in modern military classes in Citadel space, there is always a section devoted to Yuliana in the most advanced classes.

It isn't just military academies who study her – She effectively forged a stable and successful military state that held for several centuries, while molding the culture of an entire populace, the influence of which is still strong today. While the subject is somewhat taboo – especially among democratic institutions, she is often a case study in leadership, political science, and population compliance.

Terena may have kickstarted the entire project, but I do not think it can be argued that Yuliana has not had a more lasting and impactful legacy not just upon the Terminus Systems, but the galaxy itself.

LEGACY OF THE REGIME: While the separation of the Regime and the Solar Matriarch may be difficult due to how one directly created the other, Yuliana is dead, but the impact the Regime still has on the Terminus Clan is something that persists today.

Many commentators believe for reasons that are unclear that the dissolution of the Regime and adoption of democracy resulted in significant changes, and turned the Clan into a thriving democracy with the military taking on a secondary role. This is, at best, extremely misleading.

The truth is that there remain vast swathes of Regime law and culture that were maintained or internalized in the centuries they were in control. The Clan now could choose their representatives, and several institutions were modified, renamed, or abolished – but the Regime had resulted in a successful alteration of the core mindset and values of the Clan.

As will be detailed below, a permanent culture of militarism has been instilled, the military remains a political faction with significant influence, and many of the Regime's policies have either been ratified by civilian legislatures, or have remained too popular to have any major reform even considered, particularly as it relates to criminal justice and economic policy.

The Clan is not a democracy as is traditionally understood, and the rather abrupt transition to democratic systems has experienced problems because of the simple fact, one that nonetheless is ignored, that for centuries the Clan has nothing like this. The issues present stemmed not necessarily from a lack of democratic choice, but specific policies the Regime introduced that had little recourse.

For aliens, the Regime was a very dark time for them, though it became better as the years passed, and the Regime became more relaxed in their suspicion of non-asari. However they are certainly not sad to see the Regime gone. Asari are more mixed, with many reformists viewing the Regime similarly to the aliens, as a darker chapter in their history which should not be repeated. Then there are those who believe that, no matter how imperfect, the Regime was a better time for the Clan where leadership was effective, decisive, and united.

Curiously, opinions within the military are split on the Regime. One group holds the Regime in high regard, is disdainful, if begrudgingly supportive of the current system, but believes it constrained and inefficient compared to the machine that was the Regime. Another group believes that the dissolution of the Regime was the correct solution, as maintaining it would likely have led to eventual insurrection and crackdowns – but are skeptical that the correct solution was instituting a democratic system.

Very few in the military are supportive of democracy, and support has continued to decline internally as the High Council and High Congress remain deadlocked and divided as visions clash and policies conflict. It is why the Vanirath Movement has spread so rapidly – a number of people in the military are strongly considering it as an alternative to democracy that they could support.

If a critical mass begins openly voicing their support, it is almost certain that the days of Clan democracy are numbered. The Regime may have been dissolved, but there was no true effort in the Clan to move beyond it. One might even say the Regime still has its grip over the Clan – it is merely the trappings that have changed.


Despite the dissolution of the Regime, their centuries of control instilled in the Terminus Clan numerous militant tendencies which have yet to be repealed, or truthfully, even begin to be considered for repeal. The fact is that militarism is, and remains, a cornerstone of Clan culture in overt and subtle ways.

This is first reflected in the fact that the military retains significant influence within the government, and many Regime-era laws and punishments remain in place – and not because they are forcing them to remain in place either. The Clan retains near-uniform views as they relate to defense, immigration, crime, and foreign policy – as well as retaining significant respect for the military and military service.

Association in the military is easily the strongest cultural position; respect for soldiers and law enforcement is ingrained within the Clan – the fact that the Regime dissolved itself and returned power to civilian institutions further solidified in the minds of the Clan that the military was a reasonable, and apolitical body.

Every Clan citizen is required to undergo a mandatory period of military service – though not necessarily in combat positions. They can fulfill support roles, manage bureaucratic positions, or conduct outreach operations, usually working with civilian officials to fulfill various civilian duties.

The military is acutely sensitive of the potential unpopularity of conscription, especially among non-asari citizens, and instituted a number of exceptions, lowered the length of service, and expanded the opportunities. All moves that were received positively, though it almost certainly resulted in conscription remaining in place, which was the ultimate goal of the military – and there is no momentum for that to change.

Military influence also is heavily retained at the institutional level. The military, contrary to what might be expected, actively encourages enlisted soldiers and officers to leave to hold civilian positions after their period of service. As a result, a significant number of local bureaucratic roles from construction workers to teachers are staffed by veterans, who carry with them the views and mindset imposed upon them by the military, which subsequently influences those around them.

In some more pragmatic terms, these policies have created a society that, if called upon, could mobilize in its entirety. Every single Clan member has some degree of weapons training, and every family has at least one firearm in their homes. Marksmanship and physical sports are popular and common among children, and shooting at ranges is a popular evening activity.

Only the turians have similar capabilities, and the fact that a majority-asari society has done this should raise a few eyebrows. Asari are not militaristic by nature, but the Terminus Clan appears to demonstrate that this is shaped by environment and culture – not something inherent.

Other subtle elements are also present. The Clan has a very advanced PTSD research program, and treats that very seriously, and has care that would be rated highly by Citadel standards. Their veteran programs are extensive and the idea of not taking care of soldiers is near-criminal for any Clan member to consider.

It's just part of how things work in the Terminus Clan. Taken together, it paints a specific picture, one that may be difficult to reconcile with what is assumed about them.

A democracy the Terminus Clan may be now, but militarism is so deeply ingrained in the Clan that it is difficult to imagine a scenario where it would change. Due to the Regime willingly stepping down, there was no reason for militarism throughout the Clan to be addressed at the societal level.

And right now, it appears the Clan has no desire to do so – if it truly wanted that at all.

ISANDARAS: The above leads into a concept referred to within the Clan civilian administration as Isandaras, which is best translated to the 'Contingency State' or the 'Military State.' This is a pseudo-conspiracy with some popularity among civilian officials which purports that the military never really gave up power when they dissolved the Regime, but instead established inherently compromised institutions that the military, or those sympathetic to them, control.

The purported objective to this is to ensure that the civilian administration is controlled, and if necessary, can be replaced. Based on what we know about the military, the history of the Regime, and the inherent militarism of the Clan, this is a very understandable conspiracy – which is simultaneously very well-founded, and also rather implausible.

The reason we put little stock in the Isandaras conspiracy is because that implies that the military lacks the capability to do any of what they are claimed to be preparing. We judge that the military has a vested interest in maintaining significant influence over the Terminus Clan, but there is little reason for them to go to such elaborate lengths when it is written in the Clan Constitution that if certain criteria are met, the Grand Executor of the Military can dissolve the government and reinstitute military law.

This is already in place. We are not unconvinced that Isandaras as a concept was engineered and spread by the Department of Propaganda and Psychological Operations or more likely, the Department of Counter-Intelligence with the intent to identify, minimize, and undermine civilian officials concerned about military influence.

There is little proof for this, as it is ultimately not very important – however we judge that the military is far more interested in ensuring that militarism remains deeply ingrained in the Clan, and the military is perceived positively, and as an apolitical actor. Thus far, if this is their objective, they are succeeding.


THE THIRTY: The descendants of the Thirty in the equal society of the Clan have adhered to the ideals of Terena Terminus in a notably impressive manner. There would have been a justified expectation that the Regime would have resulted in significant backsliding as it pertained to the primacy of the Thirty – however, this was not the case.

Yuliana made a very clear point of the equality of all asari under Athame, and in the early years of the Regime, there were several periods where laws were instituted that limited the influence of Thirty-born asari, in favor of minor clans and clanless alternatives. This forced integration could likely not have been done without the Solar Matriarch's express will, but it did achieve the result where the descendants of the Thirty have almost entirely abandoned their names, and intermarried with minor clans and clanless.

While they still stand out physically from other asari, they notably lack the inherent gravatas the Thirty possess – and they are more hostile than even clanless are to their distant brethren. While there are Thirty immigrants to the Clan, they are initially treated with a degree of suspicion – they must earn their place in the Clan, no more, no less.

If they do that, then such suspicion will fade quickly.

CLANS AND CLANLESS: It is no exaggeration to say that the Terminus Clan is the most equal society in the galaxy as it pertains to intra-asari equality. Thirty, Clan, or Clanless, it makes effectively no difference in how one is treated. There are no stigmas or castes in the Terminus Clan. You can find all groups represented at the highest levels of government and the military.

This was not a result that came about in a way that could be considered natural, considering Yuliana's aggressive integration policies, but it has successfully held for centuries now. The idea that one's clan or bloodline would be a determination of status is an alien thought to all Clan asari, and they view existing asari society with disdain, amusement, and pity.

This is not an exaggeration – they see the Republics as a regressive and intolerant society managed by a permanent ruling class, with their entire society engineered to keep them in power at the expense of the people. It is for this reason that the clanless are the most likely to emigrate. The Republics employ a significant battery of obstacles to limit this as much as possible as a response, and heavily propagandize their people on the nature of the Clan.

It would not be accurate to say that traditionally underprivileged and underrepresented asari hate the Republics – but on the whole, they absolutely consider themselves intellectually and morally superior to the Thirty, and take pride in their continued defiance of the Republics, and the wider Citadel.

PUREBLOODS: While it should not be surprising, the stigma concerning purebloods that exists in Citadel Space is nonexistent within the Terminus Clan. This was partially because it was clear early on that population expansion would be significantly limited if they held to new spreading sexual norms, but also because Terena – and Yuliana – despised the very idea of shaming others for their preference of partner.

In particular Yuliana considered the discouragement of asari pairings degenerative, heretical, and appalling. She conducted public relations campaigns several times during her reign, promising homes for stigmatized purebloods in the Regime. Asari-asari relationships are the most common pairing within the Clan, due to the overwhelming asari majority.

While asari-alien relationships are obviously allowed, there is no cultural encouragement to mate with aliens instead of asari, nor is it discouraged. The Clan has taken a firm stance that the romantic partner chosen is not something which should be societally or administratively influenced, and in fact there are laws expressly forbidding so-called 'anti-romantic propaganda.'

INTEGRATION AND ASSIMILATION OF ALIENS: While it is primarily asari who are immigrants to the Clan as a result of concentrated outreach, they have attracted all manner of alien immigrants to the Clan, either for safety, the lifestyle, the culture, or because they wanted a new home. This was done in reflection of Terena's vision, as she envisioned a place where all species could call home, and stand as an alternative to Citadel domination.

This view was not shared by the Solar Matriarch, or the Regime, which viewed the Clan primarily as an asari project. It was one that held a place for alien residents and immigrants – but it was an asari project first and foremost – and it is this view which has permeated in some important ways. Aliens were and are expected to assimilate, and the Clan is actively hostile to alien influences of any kind.

Upon entry into the Terminus Clan, aliens are required to undergo immersion and assimilation courses, which include learning asari customs, the language, and even dress and culinary arts. All immigrants, upon completion of this, are conscripted for a short term into the military managed by special handlers, less for the military experience, and more to drive home the cultural indoctrination begun in the courses.

It is not easy to immigrate to the Terminus Clan if you are an alien – but aliens, like the rest of the Clan, are treated exactly the same, and trusted as much as any asari. Aliens are a minority in the Clan, but they can be found with fairly strong representation in the government and military.

The Clan may be paranoid of spies, but since all aliens must undergo links prior to arrival, they have little reservation with accepting those who fully assimilate as the law demands.

GENERAL VIEWS ON ALIENS: The Terminus Clan, the asari specifically, have varied views on aliens, and rather than separate them explicitly by species (with some exceptions), they separate them by affiliation. They are usually distrustful of Citadel aliens, viewing them as high risks, spies, or those with a vested interest in their downfall – regardless of if such fears are justified or not.

At the same time, they are fiercely supportive of aliens within the Clan, and it is no exaggeration to say that they would defend and protect an alien as easily as if they were asari, such is the strength of that trust. In short, those within the Clan can be trusted – those outside of it usually cannot be.

Salarians comprise the largest alien minority, dating from the initial declaration by Terena and the subsequent alliance of several colonies, to being conquered in the Terminus Wars by the Regime. The result has been that salarians have been part of the Clan almost since the beginning, in one form or another, and as such are ironically a species that the Clan considers almost a founding part of it.

Turians and humans comprise smaller minorities, but they've been welcomed into the Clan after their assimilation, and the Clan has seen no reason to restrict their entry. There are isolated cases of drell stragglers, most of which are from Rakhana, and a few quarian exiles, but neither are common enough to qualify as a relevant minority.

There have been no hanar or elcor who have attempted to join the Terminus Clan, and after the Second Refusal War, it is unlikely that hanar would be allowed to formally assimilate. Volus are banned from immigration through explicit military policy, who view the volus as exceptionally dangerous and incompatible with Clan society – particularly because of their knowledge, views, and skill with economics.

It should go without saying that batarians and vorcha are outright banned, and in fact it is standing policy that all batarians are to be immolated upon capture, if they are not killed outright. Policies regarding batarians in particular are quite brutal – though unsurprising considering the Terminus Clan and batarians have clashed multiple times before, and consider each other mortal enemies.


This is an interesting one.

Education – proper education – around the Terminus Clan is rare, and the majority of common public knowledge suffers from a level of incompleteness. You're lucky if people know about the Solar Matriarch, the military influence on the Clan, let alone the fact that the entire Terminus Clan can be considered very religious, if not one of the strongest religious communities active.

Officially, there is no state religion practiced by the Terminus Clan. All faiths (or lack thereof) are permitted, with little regulation. Unofficially, the overwhelming majority of the Clan can be classified as Solar Athamists. It is critical to remember that the Terminus Clan was formed just after the Refusal, where Athamism was the dominant religion of the asari.

Many people mistakenly believe that this led to a universal decline in Athamism – and in most cases, this is true. Orthodox Athamism is so minimal it is to be more of a historical artifact than a practiced belief – however there was one place where an offshoot of Athamism has thrived, and it is primarily thanks to the policies of Yuliana.

The Solar Matriarch is not often referenced as a theologian – but the fact that she was in line to be the Solarch, and thus very well-versed in theology, is often overlooked when considering her rule over the Regime of the Radiant Sun. However, it becomes very obvious how she ensured that Solar Athamism was infused into everything.

What is exceptionally curious is that no one – not even the Church of Athame – considers the Solar Athamists a cult. In fact there is a suspicious lack of attention on them at all, which should raise a number of alarm bells, as one would think that the Church would be firing on all cylinders to use Solar Athamism as a means of scapegoating the Clan.

That they don't is…curious, especially considering the actual tenants of Solar Athamism, which deserve their own section.

SOLAR ATHAMISM: The theological basis concerning Solar Athamism is fascinating from a historical standpoint, as it is based on old theological documents from the era of the Silent Queen, which at best is a confusing and obscured part of asari history. Even a cursory look into the theology will note some very notable deviations from Orthodox Athamism.

It starts with Athame herself, and the asari as a people. Athame is nominally portrayed as a maternal, aloof, and matriarchal figure who created the asari in her image, and instilled in them virtues. She is displayed as all powerful, having three aspects, the sun, moon, and stars. Or solar, lunar, and stellar. The Church today maintains these branches, though these are more symbolic compared to the Silent Queen era where they were significantly larger, and more specialized.

Let's compare the Solar interpretation. Athame in the Solar doctrine is closer to a judge or architect. The asari are her creation, but they are not created in her image. In fact, Athame is never portrayed as an asari, but a different form entirely. The asari, in the Solar doctrine, are one of Athame's mortal instruments, who were tasked to bring paradise to the material plane.

Athame's power is undefined in Solar doctrine, and this is a source of much debate – save for the fact that they agree that she is not all-powerful. Rather, that she is divine, but a goddess who possesses limits, thus requiring mortals to act in her stead. Solar doctrine is highly inclusive, and believes that there are species who are charged by Athame herself with the Divine Mandate – the authority to act and change the world according to her vision – but the asari are not special.

In fact, many Solar Athamists believe that there are others who were also created by Athame, who were also charged with this task. The asari are but one instrument, and the universe is so vast as to be incomprehensible. The Divine Mandate is understood less as something to be claimed, and more as a shorthand for Athame's verses which charge the asari to go forth and better themselves and the worlds around them.

Solar Athamism also places a heavy emphasis on actions over everything else. Athamean Scholars point to the fact that Athame never mandated the creation of a Church, organized religion, or the priesthood – but primarily wrote about how to live, the values to instill in oneself and others, and that through example, many would be brought to the light of the goddess.

This is an important note, as Solar Athamism is strangely permissive towards non-believers. It is believed that Athame judges each by their own worth, not by belief. In fact, proselytization is taboo by most Solar Athamists, as they believe that an individual cannot be forced into belief, but must seek it themselves for it to be genuine.

Then we move to the Solar Athamean view on organized religion.

In short, they despise it, and consider it an inherently corruptive practice. There are no Solar Athamean churches, at least not traditional ones. There is not even a unified priesthood, or truly any priesthood at all. Religion is a personal thing, and they view the gathering of religious people to reinforce things they already believe to be a waste of time.

They ironically view the theology as being extraordinarily simple, so much so that to believe that people need to be reminded of it as insulting to the intelligence of the believer. Much of the values and beliefs core to Solar Athamism are viewed as common-sense and obvious. Treat others fairly, be kind to your neighbor, provide for the less fortunate, don't steal, protect your family and people, punish the guilty, and so on.

In short, 'Be a good person.' Not especially complicated

This is not to say that there are no gatherings of believers – but they're significantly less structured, and certainly don't need a Scholar to lead them. They're almost never about just discussing theology either – sometimes they will do that, but they'll also usually do something tangible as well. Cook food for a community, volunteer at a hospital, repair the home of a neighbor, look after some local children for a bit so the parents can go out – you get the idea.

Community service, that's the proper term for it.

They don't pray either.

I will share a writing by Yuliana concerning this.

"Prayer is the greatest act of Corilath; the deception which has poisoned the faith of asari more than any heresy or challenge ever could. It is the act of surrender, of giving up one's power to a seemingly silent deity."

"Athame does not answer prayers. She does not require our words. She does not demand our praise. She does not condone our worship. Whose mind has been changed by the recitation of scripture? Whose lives have been saved by the songs of the Church choirs? What change has come in asking the air itself for salvation and protection?"

"Why, they ask me, why did Athame not hear our prayers? Why did she not protect my bondmate when the hanar demons slaughtered her? They ask me this, and I have nothing I can offer them but the truth. Prayer is but air to the Goddess. She does not intervene, if she listens at all. She never promised this. It was a lie, and always was."

"It is for this that the Church cannot be forgiven. They have instilled in the minds of millions that all one needs is to believe and pray. This deception, this lie, has shattered faith in Athame more than any others, for they were told that they were special, that the Goddess would bring them prosperity. That she would gift us all we desired if we only believed."

"She did not promise this. She charged us with bringing paradise to this fallen reality. She tasked us to serve as her instruments in her absence. If Athame wished praise and exaltation, she would only have made us as mouths and throats. Yet look at who we are, look at how we are created."

"We have hands that hold. Tongues that speak. Eyes that see. Ears that hear. Minds that comprehend. And we bemoan that the Goddess did not heed our prayers to act, while we did nothing? She has given us all that is needed to thrive, to fulfill the task set to us. If we fail, it is the fault of ourselves. If we succeed, it is also because of ourselves."

"With these bodies, why should we limit ourselves to prayer? Why pretend that Athame cares for such things? She cares for the suffering and injustice in this wider galaxy – not if a believer states her belief for the self-aggrandizing approval of crowds. They do so because they believe it necessary, because this vile priesthood instilled in them this expectation."

"And now, when this lie is exposed, is it any wonder that they turn away? That they embrace this secular bastardization of Athame's teachings in Siari? It should not be, and I cannot blame those who have fallen for this. I did not see the danger in this propagation before the war. Now I do, and I will be part of it no longer."

"May the priesthood of the Church be consumed in Athame's holy flame. They have failed our people, and they have failed our Goddess."

Corilath is a figure that also appears in Solar doctrine, who is similar to an…antagonist of sorts of Athame. Not a fully evil figure, but one who is tied to Athame, and is her darker counterpart. There is debate among the Scholars on if Corilath is an entity, or a more nebulous force that embodies entropy.

The point being that the Solar Athamists take a dim view on acts like prayer, which they view as vapid and hollow when expressing your values through helping, protecting, or bettering others can be done. Yuliana has a number of texts on religion, and they are among her most interesting material, and best capture the mindset of the Solar Athamean.

It is not enough for them to merely believe, belief is only one step on the path. They must continually reflect this faith through their actions as it is hollow. As a result it is impossible for there to be any true "secular" government under adherents of Solar Athamism. There is no separation of religion and state for them, as to do so would be anathema to their beliefs.

Trust, community, treating others well, these are not idle values, but ones that followers of Athame are expected to follow. The Clan economy isn't just centered around mutual aid, development, and social programs because it was deemed more efficient – a traditional currency or market economy is borderline heretical to Solar Athamists.

It isn't the easiest thing to square with how the Terminus Clan operates, as it remains something understated. They'll never invoke Athame's name when writing their policies, or making their decisions, because they assume that this should be obvious. Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn't, but this is something that remains important for any observers to keep in mind.

THE ATHAMEAN SCHOLARS: It was mentioned that Solar Athamism lacks a priesthood, but they do have those who dedicate themselves to the theological aspects of Athamism. However, these are not priestesses, but instead Scholars. They are those who are among the most knowledgeable on Athame, and for all intents and purposes function as priestesses – but you won't see them leading services or conducting rituals.

They, like all adherents, lead very active lives and embody their religion as best as possible. Almost all of them will have other jobs they do on a day-to-day basis, with Scholar work done on other time. You will find Scholars who are scientists, teachers, workers, and even soldiers. This remains true for the few Scholars who live outside the Terminus Clan.

The obvious question is what use they have, if religion is a personal affair and often left to the judgment of the adherent. Well, because sometimes things aren't clear, and there are questions. Athame did not cover every single scenario, and complexity can lead to confusion. That is when the Scholars issue their Guidance.

Upon solicitation, or on their own, Scholars may issue Guidance pertaining to questions or situations that they have seen, or which have emerged. They give what they view as the Athamean view on it, and let the reader make of it what they will. As there is no organized body, that makes each Scholar a primary source.

Scholars may provide dissenting interpretations, or endorse those of other Scholars. However there are always multiple answers or interpretations, and it is up to the adherent to determine which is most in line with the doctrine. This puts what amounts to the only Solar Athamean religious body as very personalistic.

Scholars build up reputations over time, and tend to have certain leanings that can be verified from their previously issued Guidance. Obviously, this leads some to have more influence than others, though as they have no institutional authority, it is blunted from what it could be. None of them can claim to have the only answer, but they do work to present the best theological argument for it.

Becoming a Scholar can happen in a couple of ways. In theory, anyone can get more into Athamean theology and declare themselves one – absolutely no one will stop you unless you start spouting clearly heterodox stuff. In practice, those who wish to begin that path will find an existing Scholar, and apprentice themselves for a period of time.

It is a path rarely taken, but it is alive and well in the Terminus Clan. Nearly all Scholars reside in the Clan, and those who exist outside it also regularly visit. While the Scholars are not as powerful as a political entity, they do have the ability to apply pressure and disrupt in certain instances.

They are a factor to be aware of, and it may be worth investigating several in more detail in the future.


For anyone who visits the Terminus Clan, or has encountered one of their members, one thing that will be very noticeable is that each of them wear colored and numerous facial markings, often more detailed and elaborate the higher their position within the Clan.

Facial markings are hardly something new – Citadel asari have worn markings of various kinds for millennia. However, it is relatively uncommon, and in the majority of cases, the markings are minimal, understated, and permanent. It is the aesthetic that is the point, rather than any deeper meaning.

One thing that will immediately stand out is that Clan asari markings are colorful. The Clan rarely employs permanent markings, instead utilizing a custom mixture that is resistant to scuffing or heat, but only requires showering with a certain ointment to wash off. There is some debate over who started this trend, and why, but the argument is largely semantics.

Most credit the original inspiration to Terena Terminus, who was known to be more elaborate with her facial markings, though it was more in line with the limited aesthetic of Citadel asari. However, over time it became a way to honor her. Yuliana did something similar, and often styled her war paint in a similar, though still relatively simple, style, which was sometimes copied by her subordinates.

Those who wished to honor Terena also sometimes wore replications of her facial markings, especially during holidays. However, it was only when the Solar Matriarch died, and the Regime returned the Clan to democracy, did the modern culture of facial markings really start. It is unclear if it was the end of the Regime that prompted this, or an effort to honor the legacies of both Terena and Yuliana.

Like all trends, it started small with some members of the legislature adoring facial markings, and was adopted by other individuals within their homes. Soon, other matrons spread it around, and before everyone knew it, multiple colors were being mixed in and it became a part of graduation rituals and military ceremonies.

Unlike how facial markings are often treated by Citadel asari, markings here are not purely for aesthetics. They are seen as a reflection of the inner soul of the asari. The complexity, colors, insignias, and symbols are all very deliberately chosen and woven together in a way that can allow strangers to immediately gain insight into who they are speaking to. It is part of the culture of trust and acceptance, and for those who can interpret the markings, they can gain genuine insight into the individual.

They cannot lie about themselves, not when putting emotion and personality to paint.

Markings often become more complex the higher one is in the Clan. Children and matrons have the simplest markings, but legislature, ranking military officials, and administrators will have the most complex. This includes complexity in design as well as colors, and colors are just as important as symbols when it comes to markings.

Each color has an underlying meaning attached to it. White is most often used to represent purity, clarity, and hope – it was the color Terena used, and is often used when honoring her. All asari on days of remembrance only wear white markings instead of their normal colors.

Reds often imply loss, regret, and anger. It is often adopted by widows, or those who've experienced tragedy of some kind. It is a common color among soldiers and Counterintelligence agents.

Blues reflect resilience, resolve, and curiosity. Purples and indigos reflect duty, responsibility, and justice. Greens once indicated, nature, rebirth, and solidarity – though of late it has become the color adopted by supporters of the Vanirath Movement, and the color has since become synonymous with it. It is worth nothing that there are plenty of Clan members who bears the color who are not associated with the movement.

Yellows and oranges reflect righteousness, cleansing, glory, and triumph – they are the colors of Athame, and also the colors used to honor the Solar Matriarch. Nearly every soldier will employ these colors to some degree, and subsequently has become the color associated with both the military and Athamism.

Grey is a color that is rarely used, and usually only as an accent. It is not viewed with any real meaning, only as a supplement. The only color which is never employed under any circumstances is black, which is viewed as a color of deception, concealment, and evil. It is only applied to criminals, and is the only instance of the asari employing permanent tattoos, which are intended to not be removed. It is the equivalent of a brand, one which cannot ever be hidden until their sentence has ended.

The Clan will usually mix colors with each other, and it is rather impressive how they are able to do this, especially with colors that you would not think mix well. They take this tradition very seriously, and strive to make themselves look both aesthetically pleasing while conveying the message of their markings.

Due to the complexity of markings, it is also seen as a bonding exercise. Bonded clanmates have more complex markings than unbonded ones, because their partners usually assist in the marking process, which can be more involved without the limitations of a single person. It is also why children's markings are usually simple, and can be easily applied by them, with exceptions for major events like graduations or ceremonies.

For adults, major ceremonies, promotions, or events in their lives are also accompanied by elaborate markings, not just applied to the face, but parts of the body as well, particularly the arm, chest, back, and hands. Bonding ceremonies are the most common place this occurs, as well as graduations for students and soldiers.

One final element to this is an extension of the markings – war paint. It is something that has been exclusively adopted by the military, where their markings evolve from self-expression to turning themselves as fierce and intimidating as possible.

This was something that the Solar Matriarch employed, and it is difficult to deny that it had an effect against those she fought, which the military feels is worth adapting.

It shouldn't be mistaken as an employment of camouflage (though some war paint does explicitly act as such), but a visual representation of the military mobilizing to fight and kill an enemy. It is often dismissed as being impractical or actually useful, but the psychological aspect should not be dismissed – not necessarily for the enemy, but for the Clan. It is them against the galaxy, and no one will ever mistake them for something they are not.

While most of this has been in direct reference to Clan asari, it should be noted that this is practiced by every member of the Terminus Clan, alien or not. Human, salarian, and turian alike. The few quarians who are part of it have taken to using their suits as the canvas, which has produced some very interesting interpretations. And yes, aliens have just as involved and complex markings as any asari. They're part of the Clan, after all.

One question that may arise with all of this is why the markings of the Terminus Clan have not become popular outside the Clan. That can be placed directly at the feet of the Thirty, who have taken efforts to make sure that styles of the Clan are not replicated.

It also helps that the complexity and commitment of the Clan markings is usually more than anyone really wants to put into themselves, just to look a bit more interesting.

Nonetheless, there has been some renewed interest by some humans who have begun to emulate some Clan styles – though if this is the start of a trend or not remains to be seen. If it is, it is ultimately unlikely to be a widespread one.


TREATMENT OF GUESTS AND CUSTOMERS: Those who have interacted with the Terminus Clan, even if it relates to something simple like business, have reported very few, if any complaints about the experience. In fact they generally cite that their counterparts in the Terminus Clan were very accommodating and performed their jobs to the letter.

While the trust that the Clan extends to their economic and diplomatic partners and associates is nowhere near as strong as intra-clan dynamics – there is an expectation that any who engage with the Clan do so in good faith. In return, the Clan believes it essential to treat their guests well, and completely fulfill their ends of the deal.

The Clan never breaks deals, and if they cannot do one, they will simply not commit to it in the first place. If something goes wrong, they will rectify it. So long as the customer is clear about their requests and expectations – the Clan will meet every single one of them. As a result, the Clan is considered a reliable partner because of this policy, and serves as a deterrent to those who would take advantage, as the Clan response to being cheated or tricked is usually an unpleasant one.

Guests, tourists, and visitors to the Clan are relatively rare – mostly because of strict tourist controls, but those who can be considered guests of the Clan can expect to have everything provided for them. Lodging, food, even souvenirs and goods will all be provided without charge. If you are trusted enough to be a guest, then you are a de-facto citizen with all that entails.

With that said – this is not an easy thing to achieve, due to their inherent suspicion of outsiders.

MELDING, BONDS, AND RELATIONSHIPS: It should probably not come as a surprise that the Terminus Clan is very permissive as it relates to romantic relationships. There are no stigmas as they relate to clanless, purebloods, interspecies marriage or bonding. In that respect there is little to comment on.

However, there are some notable and interesting divergences from traditional asari culture. Clan asari are regarded as more sexually conservative than their Citadel brethren, and the degree and casualness of melding and sex is significantly reduced in comparison. Terminus asari are viewed as unorthodox in a number of ways, and this is one of them. This conservatism doesn't just relate to their approach to sex, but also in their dress and sexual institutions.

The Clan bans prostitution and strip clubs. Pragmatically, because they consider such roles as useless to the good of the Clan, when they can be placed into actually beneficial jobs. Emotively because they consider such 'jobs' as inherently degrading and degenerative, and a consequence of a failure of government to provide for their people, and thus forcing them to sell their bodies.

At the same time – these are still asari. Casual sex is still a thing; they aren't human or turian levels of conservative. At the same time, they are much less likely to do so with strangers, or to use sex to achieve political and social ends.

How this developed at all is likely because of policies Yuliana implemented at the onset of the Regime. It is known that she saw the way sex was used in the Republics as repulsive, and linked it to promiscuity, which resulted in active measures to curb commercialized and casual sex. The modern Terminus Clan isn't restrictive to this degree any longer – but their attitudes towards it has absolutely been shaped by the Regime.

Bonding is still treated as a very serious matter, and there are few differences when compared to mainstream asari culture. Casual melding similarly has few cultural differences – with the possible exception that 'official' melds – as they relate to state business – are dramatically expanded.

It is custom within the Clan before and after meetings to perform light, minimally-invasive melds for the sake of transparency and to prevent intra-clan emotional siloing or hostility. No one wants to be in a meeting where two or more parties hate each other, and if so, such needs to be rectified.

This has had mixed results, especially as it relates to politics. However the military and Department of Counter-Intelligence heavily rely upon melds to ensure operational security, as well as protect the Clan from spies and infiltrators.


COMMUNAL TRUST: If there is one universal virtue that all members of the Clan hold above all else, it is trust. Comparatively speaking, they are but one faction in the Terminus; one which is surrounded by entities which are hostile to them. They still believe that the Citadel seeks their dissolution, and Aria is at best a dagger near their back.

As far as the Clan is concerned, they can only rely on each other, as everyone else will have an exterior agenda. Your neighbor cannot under any circumstances be anything but trustworthy. One thing that is clear after spending any time in the Clan is how friendly and open they are to each other. They have no hesitation in providing for, or sharing with each other, and even allowing complete strangers into their home if asked if they are part of the Clan.

They do this because they know that if the situation were reversed, they can count on their Clan to assist them. It's just part of what they expect from each other, a result of one of Yuliana's first initiatives that has held strong long after the Regime has faded.

The technological disassociation and separation which has affected many cultures has bypassed the Terminus Clan entirely. There is a sense of genuine community, one intentionally and carefully cultivated, then reinforced over centuries. Children are raised from a young age to believe that you are to help and protect your neighbor, and adults understand that if necessary, they are to die for each other.

This is not hyperbole either. There are numerous instances of Clan members intervening and saving each other from serious injury or worse. This is particularly acute in the military, where Terminus soldiers are seen as unnerving in their willingness to sacrifice themselves for the survival of their comrades.

None of the Clan wish to die of course, but I have not seen any society outside the turians whose men and women would be willing to protect and die for someone they do not know, but that they are part of the Clan. There is an ingrained courage that is rather admirable.

Trust is a subject treated with the utmost seriousness, and there is no greater insult in the Clan than to question the reliability or trustworthiness of each other. If most groups place a premium on loyalty, the Terminus Clan exalts trust above all else. There is no greater virtue than being known as a trustworthy individual – and no greater sin than to break the trust.

It says something that despite the continued polarization and growing political troubles, the Clan has compartmentalized this question. They do not view disagreement, even strong disagreement, as reason to distrust. Strong emotions ranging from dislike to even hatred are not enough to override the innate instinct that even your political enemy genuinely believes they are doing what they think is best.

It is why the idea of violence or a civil war in the Terminus Clan is near-impossible to consider. It is one thing to protest and object to political developments, but the idea that the military would ever be able or willing to use force, or that citizens will take up arms against each other, is negligible.

Strange as it is to imagine, the risk of political violence within the Terminus Clan is ludicrously low. Clan members will argue with each other for hours on political differences, but if you expect them to ever reach the point where they'd try and harm the other? You'll be waiting a very long time.

This raises the obvious question of what happens when said trust is broken. The short answer is that the Clan tends to react poorly.

Very poorly.

CRIMINAL TREATMENT: Initially, most people are surprised to hear that the Terminus Clan does not maintain prisons, or have any kind of incarceration system. This has given the mistaken impression among certain groups in Citadel space that the Terminus Clan takes a far-seeing, progressive approach to crime and criminal punishment.

The short refutation to that is no.

The Clan doesn't invest in prisons for two reasons. The first is that it doesn't have enough crime to justify such buildings. The second is that the concept of prisons runs anathema to its state culture of trust. To build prisons is a tacit admission that trust between individuals is expected to be broken, and the Clan sees little point in acquiescing to a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Of course, this doesn't change the fact that even the Terminus Clan deals with crime and breaches of trust – and it has very, very little tolerance for anything like that. Every single criminal in the Clan carries with them a stigma for the rest of their lives, many of whom never live it down.

For petty crime – namely theft, embezzlement, smuggling, and other minor corruption, these usually result in review by a military court, where the perpetrator is subjected to several years of supervised labor – with any accolades, privileges, or authorities stripped from them. This is done through a special kind of conscription, where they are given the most unpleasant tasks, placed into the most dangerous roles, and treated as disposable cannon fodder.

Not an exaggeration either. The Terminus Clan has utilized conscripted criminals as suicide bombers or living shields. When they are described as disposable, they are used as such. It is not uncommon for such criminals to commit suicide, which the Clan takes no precautions to really stop.

They sincerely do not care if a criminal kills themselves. That is one less thing they need to worry about. The most that will happen is the military might grumble about a lost resource, but they ultimately don't care. None of them do.

If they survive that sentence? They're implanted with a tracking chip and returned to the Clan, with the expectation that the experience will deter them from committing said crime again. That is their one, and singular chance for something resembling redemption. There is no real rehabilitation, and they will often leave the can afterwards as living in a society that is conditioned to hate you on sight is poor for one's mental health.

It is also the safest thing to do, as another mistake is merely fatal. There are no second chances. A second offense results in immediate execution by firing squad.

It is important to re-emphasize that this is for petty and non-violent crime, mind you. These are also the revised sentences. Half of these crimes would have resulted in execution during the Regime, though it is a fair question on if the 'lesser' punishment is an improvement or not.

For anything resembling organized crime, major corruption, violent assault, rape, murder, and so on, each of those is punished by public immolation – a holdover from the Regime which none of the Clan have shown a desire to remove. The immolations still draw respectable crowds, and usually to cheers as the criminal is burned alive.

For the crimes of high treason, slavery, along with spying for foreign powers, the punishment is more involved, as the perpetrator is stripped, chained in a public (but secured) area, infected with a wasting disease and left to die. They are given no food or water, they are instead left to wither away, suffocating and perishing in their own fluids and filth.

The Terminus Clan are a punitive state, who've not really seen fit to significantly reform their criminal codes from the Regime – although there is very little public will to do so. Being a neighbor with the closest thing to a criminal state in Omega has instilled a hatred of criminals among the Clan deeper than anything Yuliana could have done herself.

You will find few who are more hostile and uncompromising to criminals than the Terminus Clan – they may live in a lawless region of space – but in their own territory?

Their law reigns supreme, and the criminal had best pray their punishment is short.

VIEWS ON OMEGA: With the above, it raises an interesting question on relations between the Terminus Clan and Omega Station. Dealing with Aria is ultimately a necessary evil that the Clan has been forced to deal with since the Marches. That does not mean they like it. Not at all.

Views on Omega diverge depending on if you're speaking to a citizen, a civilian government official, or a military official. Citizens despise Omega, and there is high support for breaking from Omega completely and effectively daring Aria to do something about it. Considering what Omega harbors, and who Aria associates with, things such as 'pragmatic Omegan policy' remain unpopular.

As a result, Omega is a topic that most Clan officials avoid as much as possible.

Civilian officials have the most divergent views of the groups – there are some who echo public sentiments and push for a complete break with Omega, and look to smaller Terminus factions instead for trade, or just focus on pure self-sufficiency.

Then there are others who have a more moderate outlook, who dislike Omega, but view it in the best interests of the Clan to maintain cordial relations with Omega. Within this group rages debates over what constitutes 'cordial' relations, as no one wants to look like they support a deepened alliance.

Then there is the military, which is surprisingly unified on the topic, in that they view a mollified or satisfied Aria as in the best security interests of the Terminus Clan – despite the vices that come with it. The military holds the most pragmatic views as it comes to Omega – though it comes with their own expectations.

The moment Aria makes any moves against the Clan that they perceive as undermining or threatening them, then expect the military to dramatically shift their position. Right now, Aria is useful for economic development and as a security guarantor – and that is all she is good for, at least until the military judges they are in a self-sustaining position.

They have not reached this assessment yet.

It was the military which pushed for the Clan to have a presence in the Omegan Congress – something that had previously been heavily opposed by the civilian government. The compromise was a tangentially-affiliated party, and one that was technically unaffiliated – but the military knew Aria would see it for what it was. As such, relations between Omega and the Clan have been maintained to the satisfaction of both parties.

However, Aria should not expect the Clan as an ally – it would take a lot for the military to support her beyond cordial diplomacy. It is unknown if Aria is willing to make the concessions needed in the event of a Collapse – or if the Clan is prepared to accept them. There are too many unknowns on that point.

While the military, and the more pragmatic civilian officials may be willing to more directly support Aria in a worst-case scenario, it is very unlikely that the public would agree. And when faced between worsening the schisms in the Clan, or supporting a historic criminal?

It does not take much thinking to deduce what the Clan would do. Stability is critical, and the Clan comes before the individual. That is merely the way things are, and the way things will likely continue to be.

The Shadow Broker stared at the report screen for several seconds before cutting it off. "Thoughts", his voice rumbled, and the two figures seated in front of his massive desk glanced at each other before the leftmost one gave an asari shrug and a lazy sign of siari agreement.

"For the most part it's accurate, and whoever wrote it gets a lot more of the nuance and reasons why the clanless ran off like they did than most of your slime-crest bluetower thinky types on Thessia." Dahlia Dantius gave a thin smile. "There's some... liberties taken with how they describe that crazy Sun Athame crap, but then again I am rather biased and my take wouldn't be any better."

Tetrimus Rakora merely sat back further in his chair, the red-glow of his optics barely illuminating his features inside his night-black hooded robes. "I wish this didn't read like a sirefucking anthropology report. Details on face paint?"

The Broker's hand tapped several controls on his desk. "Understanding all aspects of a situation and the framework those in it live by is the best method to eliminate risk and prevent needless misunderstandings. Neutralizing Aria permanently without open battle will require decoupling her from both the Circle of the Fallen and the... regard of the Terminus Clans." He tapped the padd the report was on. "And this is the key. Dahlia, Have two teams assigned to follow up on this, highest security. Tetrimus, see if Midnight's Kiss has any unattached assets for a deep penetration of the Clan's economic structures. We need someone vulnerable we can bend to our purposes."

The turian flicked his good mandible. "And what is the purpose here, then?"

The yahg leaned back in his chair, maw fluttering as the glittering black eyes stared back at Tetrimus. "Positioning. We cannot afford anyone to sniff around the Rim Project, and distractions to draw the eye will serve us well. But the opportunity this group presents is more interesting than I originally thought. With enough effort..."

The Broker's short bellow of laughter made the other two shudder.

"...we can burn Omega down and yet make it look like we played no role in it whatsoever."