This has a similar purpose to the WH40k Imaginary Codex that I did some time ago. Go to my profile and check it out if you don't know what I'm talking about.

Disclaimer: This does not strictly follow ME cannon. I did it just for fun. Also, the Mass Effect franchise is the property of Bioware. I own nothing.

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WARNING: The following information is highly classified, they are not to be reproduced for viewing beyond this terminal.

The Dark Codex Section 0


Long before any of the extant species known to the present Citadel Council emerged, a civilization known as the Protheans dominated this galaxy before vanishing 50000 solar years ago, probably wiped out by the fleet of giant space-borne sentient warships called the Reapers. That is as far as can be agreed upon by the whole archaeological community. Beyond that, there are still a lot of unanswered questions. Were they really one single species, or many ? Did they create the Citadel and the Mass Relays, or were those from an even older civilization ? What happened in the 40000 solar years after their demise ? So on so forth.

As adventurous explorers occasionally venture beyond the boundaries of known space, they sometimes make interesting discoveries that may shed light on the mystery of the Protheans. Artifacts, anomalies, even encounters with aliens living outside of Citadel -controlled space. Particularly, there is increasing evidence to show that what we commonly refer to as the "Protheans" was not one single species but a loose union of many species, similar to the Citadel races of today. Most interestingly, relic populations of "Protheans" still persist to this day in the far corners of the galaxy, if the first contact reports ( Appendix 1 ) are to be trusted. There is no information regarding the hypothetical species that flourished ( and went extinct ) before the time of the Protheans themselves, other than what is already mentioned in mainstream archaeological journals. As such, they are not included in this section.

The veracity of the information used in this section is still controversial. Further updates are necessary. Also, the nature of some of the species mentioned here can be alarming to the average Citadel citizen.

Hence, the contents of this section are to be kept secret from the general public ( defined as anyone who is not authorized to view this codex ) unless otherwise specified. Information pertaining to the Reapers may be communicated on a need-to-know basis.

Entry 001

"The Elder Things"

The existence of this species is known from one living specimen, code-named as the "The Elder Thing" ( or just The Thing for short ) discovered on the ice world AA-070.

The details of how Agent Dyer first encountered and communicated with The Thing can be found in Appendix 1 article a.

The Thing apparently had the ability to share information with any organism it comes into physical contact with. This was probably done through the exchange of chemical signals across the contact surface, but further tests to investigate this are inconclusive ( The Thing has currently gone into hibernation again. All vital signs appear healthy. )

Through this contact telepathy, Agent Dyer was able to learn some of the creature's background. The Elderians ( the current name for The Things' species ) claim to be the oldest extant sentient organic race in the galaxy. They evolved on a peaceful world covered almost entirely in oceans. Predation was rare. The low frequency of armed conflict allowed the Elderians to evolve in ways not possible for species plagued by war, but it also left them with a terrible weakness. Primitive Elderians were completely incapable of dealing with physical violence.

This weakness became painfully obvious after the Elderians took to the stars and encountered other more warlike species. To make up for their own physical frailty, the Elderians developed biological weapons: the deadliest toxins known in the galaxy, delivered by microbes controlled through the Elderians' touch telepathy. For a time, this, combined with their monopoly of the Mass Relays, allowed the Elderians to rule the galaxy, until the war with the Starspawn.

The Elder Thing resembled a human-sized Portuguese Man-o-War, with an array of four eyes clustered together located under the front end of its green-brown ( photosynthetic ? ) translucent carapace. Sprouting from underneath the carapace were appendages resembling the arms of a crinoid. There were also translucent balloon like structures attached to its body by short stalks. These resembled polyps, complete with tentacled mouths. The whole creature rests suspended inside a clear spherical thin-walled shell.

Entry 002

"The Starspawn"

These creatures as described in the Elder Thing's story bear an eerie resemblance to the Reaper that attacked the Citadel two years ago. Colossal cephalopods.

Unlike the Reapers however, the Starspawn were apparently organic beings, though some of the frightening powers attributed to them ( e.g the ability to manipulate light to create illusions or mists of complete darkness, the ability to levitate without the need for wings, and most unfortunately for the Elderians, the ability to resist any form of psychic attack, even turning those attacks against the Elderians themselves ... ) casts doubt on this assessment.

We do not know where the Starspawn come from. We are not even sure if they evolved on a typical life-bearing planet at all. The Starspawn never established any permanent settlement on any world. They were one with their ships, a nomadic species. They swept across the galaxy planet by planet, raiding and slaughtering every inhabited world they came across, before moving on to the next, like cosmic poachers.

The Elder Thing did not seem to remember the reason for these attacks, only the aftermath of the war. The Starspawns' rampage was eventually halted, while what little remained of the Elderians went into hiding.

It was then that the most interesting thing happened. The Starspawn discovered the Citadel. They began searching for more inhabited worlds again, but instead of massacring other sentient species like they used to do, they just observed those species, and invited them to visit the Citadel once they had achieved space flight.

After millennia of peaceful coexistence with other species, the Starspawn disappeared. By then every Elderian, including The Elder Thing itself, had gone into self-induced hibernation to hide their bio-signatures from their former enemies, and so do not know why the Starspawn are gone.

We have intercepted some disturbing distress signals from vessels travelling towards the regions near Dark Space. They seem to have come under attack from entities with abilities similar to those of the Starspawn. Most of the vessels survived these attacks and managed to return to known space, but their crewmen have become mentally unstable. An analysis of the distress signals and the survivors' garbled accounts can be found in Appendix 1 article b.

The Starspawn and the Reapers are likely related, but our analysts agree that they are not the same. It has been suggested that the Reapers were built by the Citadel races of that time, in the image of the Starspawn , but later went rampant and turned on their creators, including the Starspawn themselves. A more recent theory suggests that the Reapers have been culling this galaxy since before the Protheans, and have simply taken on the form of the most powerful organic beings they have met.

Entry 003

"The Titans"

Why do humans have the greatest genetic diversity among all the extant Citadel races ?

Even though humans only achieved spaceflight around a hundred years ago, much later than the other Citadel races, some scientists and historians have begun to speculate that human civilization may be far older than we have believed.

In ancient human mythology, there is frequent mention of a race of Giants who were the precursors of the modern human species. In their time they built wonderful cities, possessed vast knowledge and magical power, and occasionally waged war with beings from other worlds. The specific accounts vary from one culture to the next, but most agreed that this elder civilisation was wiped out by a terrible "flood", with some traditions dating this cataclysm to a staggering 10000 solar years before present, long before the Asari themselves took to the stars. In the Hindu tradition, human civilization is said to have arisen and been destroyed countless times, in a cycle that stretches back for aeons … throughout the time of the "Protheans", and beyond.

There are records of megalithic ruins excavated on the human homeworld. Some of these sites are dated to a time period before recorded human history. At the time of their discovery, the humans were astounded by the sheer scale and engineering precision of these ruins. However, after the First Contact War, few humans paid any more attention to this mysterious period in their prehistory, safe for a small portion of archaeologists working on Earth itself.

Recently, similar ruins have begun showing up on other worlds. These are mostly abandoned Necropolises, collapsed and half buried. There are reports of tall humanoid skeletons found within the ruins. Interestingly, these skeletons not only imply a human-like physiology but upon closer examination, hint at Asari traits as well, among others.

It is highly probable that these "Titans" ( to use the common name for the antediluvian Giants in human mythology ) were the among the last species of "Protheans" to dominate the galaxy, and before their own demise, uplifted the ancestors of the current Citadel Races. Indeed, the similarity in all our body plans is difficult to explain away as convergent evolution.

If humans are their direct descendants, it may explain the humans' genetic diversity, which usually indicates the length of history of a population. If the Titans were being systematically targeted and wiped out ( by the Reapers ? or the Starspawn ? ), it may also explain why the humans took so long to achieve space flight.

As yet we have found no relic population from this species originating outside of Earth.

Entry 004

"The Terrible Serpents"

This species is first seen depicted in the ancient artwork recovered in the above mentioned pre-human ruins. They are often shown in the act of killing other creatures, even what appeared to be sentient beings, eating the latters' flesh and collecting the latters' bones.

No further information was gathered about this species, and they were presumed extinct, until now.

The details of agent Schae's encounter with the Sarpan ( the current short name for this species ) on KT-700 can be found in Appendix 1 article c.

From afar, the general outline of a Sarpan resembles one of those Xenomorphs from the old Aliens movie series. ( They even have a similar ability to inflict terror and death on their victims. )

However, closer examination reveals some important differences. A Sarpan has digitigrade, bird like feet, complete with prominent sickle-like claws. Its four-fingered hands are also armed with raptorial talons. There are what appear to be iridiscent feathers sprouting from the tip of its long tail, along the lower sides of its limbs, and the back of its long neck and head. Its eyes are big compared to humans, with a penetrating glare.

The Sarpans can be best described as "the ultimate predators". They can see farther than any species we know of, and in areas of the light spectrum that we can't perceive. They can imitate the calls of their prey, even our speech. Their movement is incredibly fast and precise, with a near perfect sense of balance. This allows them to noiselessly stalk their prey, perform death-defying acrobatic feats, and grapple with enemies several times bigger and stronger than themselves. Most importantly, we have not seen one instance of them getting tired or out of breath, even in different atmospheres. ( although that may be due to our poor observation skills )

Despite their seemingly long history, there is nothing remarkable about Sarpan technology ( although some of their weapons, like the "plasma halberd" and "force sling", can be a great asset to us if we manage to reverse engineer them. ). We can be certain that they have access to space travel technology. They have been sighted on more than one world, none of which seem to be their homeworld.

So far it seems they have not been noticed by the major galactic governments, perhaps due to the fact that they always operate in small numbers. Pack hunters.

It is likely that in Prothean society, the Sarpans served as elite warriors and assassins, much as the Krogans and some Turians do today.

As the Prothean civilization fell, the Sarpans survived due to their stealth and exceptional skills, which they now use for their own purposes. What those purposes are ( except for finding sustenance, or perhaps satisfying an innate urge to kill, like that possessed by the Krogans ) we do not yet know.