Mass Effect: Stardust
“Stand amongst the ashes of a trillion dead souls and ask the ghosts if honor matters.” – Javik, Prothean Avatar of Vengeance
Image found on Ilos: the albino princess Vahana Flaruniss Dis Graileann,
Prothean Exemplar of Protection
: It is extraordinarily unlikely that any members of the Prothean Empire would be found in-universe in stasis, but anything is possible; the stasis pods on Ilos were an example of a near-survival situation, and recent discoveries of more Prothean archives in Batarian and Omega Space has opened the possibility of functional stasis pods containing living Protheans. It would be assumed that some incredible event has lead to the PC Prothean’s survival, discovery, and revival from stasis.
The Protheans are an ancient alien race which mysteriously vanished over 50,000 years ago. The Protheans arose from a single planet and developed an immense galaxy-wide empire encompassing many other spacefaring species. Not much is known about them, but many of their artifacts, ruins and technology have apparently survived the ages.
The Protheans have been credited with creating the Citadel and the mass relays, feats of engineering that have never been equaled and whose core mass effect field technology forms the basis of contemporary civilization. Prothean artifacts, therefore, have immense scientific value and are seen to belong to the whole galactic community.
When archaeologists restored power to the archives on Ilos, they discovered information which greatly expanded galactic knowledge of the Protheans and their culture. The above image of the albino princess was found within a so-called “Echo Shard”, a device within which it is believed the Protheans would record personal thoughts. The Echo Shard referred to other repositories of Prothean knowledge via previously-unknown mass relay coordinates, and in early 2185 Citadel scientists eagerly unearthed several mostly-destroyed ancient ruins in the systems found at the coordinates they received. The aforementioned princess and the legend of her battles was one such piece of information apparently referenced at both locations, though the figure within these legends is simply named “the Obsidian Goddess of All-Seeing and Protection”. Regardless of identity, it is still unknown what foe she fought (or even if she truly existed), though it is noted that her battles were long, costly, and ultimately futile; possibly a metaphor for the times themselves or the approaching doom of the Protheans and their empire instead of an actual physical foe.
Whether or not this princess existed, it is now known that the Prothean Empire covered most (if not all) of the galaxy, and the Flarunium Realm, that ruled by the princess, would have covered a portion of the right half of the current galaxy, with its capitol located in the so-called “Flaruniss Empyrean”, currently known as Caleston Rift. The princess’s travels and battles apparently brought her fleet (or at least, her legend) to the sites mentioned on Ilos, as well: the “Lyndel Empyrean” (located somewhere between what’s currently known as the Omega Nebula and the Eagle Nebula), and “Ancora Empyrean” (what is currently known as the Exodus Cluster).
(there is almost no common knowledge about Protheans, but many cultural beliefs surround their legacy. As such, PCs could be expected to regard them with anything from reverence to curiosity, and study of them is a university-level pursuit. It should be considered akin to archaeology; a pursuit of scholars and academics.
Characters will make Lore Knowledge skill checks regarding Protheans in the absence of living Protheans or active information sources to learn directly from)
“War is our sculptor. And we are prisoners to its design.”