The first race to discover the Citadel, the Raloi are a race of warm-blooded avian bipeds known for their stunning diplomacy and language skills. Native to Turvess, the ancient Raloi are said to have once contacted the Predecessors, but a massive cataclysm forced the Raloi back to Turvess. Numerous plagues have decimated the Raloi before, resulting in almost obsessive-compulsive hygiene.
Because the Raloi have been through countless wars and plagues, they are a very resilient race. Their skills in technology and economics are unrivaled. Many of the galaxy's best scientists, lawyers, and politicans hail from Turvess. The Raloi are ruled by one government; the Raloi Republic, a representative democracy based on Turvess with two representatives from each colonized world having a say in the government.
Raloi are descended from birds on Turvess. Almost their entire body is covered in feathers, save for the beak and claws. While Raloi are not the toughest creature in the galaxy, they make up for it in swiftness and stealthiness. Their hollow bones allow them to be lighter and easier on their feet, though it also results in Raloi suffering from broken bones in hand-to-hand combat. An injury that would bruise or chip another species' bones could break or even shatter the bones of a Raloi.
Raloi are naturally flightless. Some consider the avian creatures to have the natural capability of flight, though this is generally due to some never having seen or encountered a Raloi. Raloi are omnivorous; their diet can consist of nuts, meat, plants, and fish. Male and Female Raloi have feather fringes on their heads, though these are usually trimmed based on class. A Raloi Noble's head fringe will be longer and more prominent than a commoner's.
Raloi lay eggs rather than give live birth. Eggs are generally kept in incubators. During the incubation period, the Raloi parents and their friends throw parties to celebrate the egg and wish the offspring luck in life. When the egg hatches, the parents watch over the young like most other races do.
In 2185, the Council races welcomed the Raloi to the spacefaring community. Relations with the Raloi were established and some Raloi were even able to travel to the Citadel for diplomatic missions. Unfortunately, the First Great Plague was sweeping through the Raloi at the time and, thus, resulted in many regulations making Raloi visiting other species and vice-versa largely unrealistic wishes.
When an unknown cataclysm occured, the Raloi retreated back to Turvess, resulting in the plague that was sweeping through the species' numbers propogating. The resulting epidemic forced the Raloi numbers to prehistoric levels. Cities were abandoned. In short the civilization was wiped out to start again.
Establishing a Republic
It wasn't for another 21,000 years that the Raloi were able to recover from this cataclysm. Civilization restarted and technology was rediscovered. Within 25,000 years of their fall, the Raloi were able to leave Turvess once again to achieve the status of spacefaring race. The Raloi Republic was established, expanding its influence over its own home system before expanding into adjacent systems via sleeper ships. The Raloi finally discovered a Mass Relay in their home system and used it to reach across the galaxy.
The Citadel was rediscovered shortly thereafter. As the Raloi Republic expanded, hubris and pride in the nation causes a Golden Age among the Raloi Republic. Birth rates increase as cites on Turvess expand outwards and upwards. Within 4,000 years of discovering the Citadel, the Raloi Republic has claimed jurisdiction over ~5% of the galaxy.
Trouble With the Yahg
The Yahg Empire had expanded on the other side of the galaxy, claiming much of it as it went. While the Raloi acted as more of a benevolent force, establishing infrastructure and making sure a claimed planet was sustainable, the Yahg mercilessly swept across its portion of the galaxy, claiming what it wanted, regardless of the opinions of any original inhabitants.
Within 12,000 years of the discovery of the Citadel, the Yahg and Raloi territories began to touch borders, sparking tensions. For the first time, the Yahg faced a legitimate threat to their expansion whereas the Raloi hadn't faced an organized benevolence before, threatening their Republic and way of life. The tensions between these empires grew before a coordinated assault on the Raloi border by the Yahg sparked the Raloi-Yahg war.
The Yahg moved into the Raloi Republic easily, decimating defenses and slaughtering civilians. Just as it seemed as if the Yahg would trample the Raloi, the Ursan state rebelled, cutting off Yahg reinforcements. With the Yahg war effort trapped, both the Raloi and the Ursan reclaimed Raloi territory before the Ursan began to attack the Yahg from the Ursan borders, pushing the Yahg back as a fourth race, the Matsu, revolted. The Yahg fell back and peace was declared.
The Ursan, hardened from previous wars, offered to protect the Raloi while the Raloi shared technological advances. Thus, the Ursan/Raloi Alliance was signed and the Pan-Galactic League was drafted. Over time, other races, the Matsu and the Talorai, discovered the Citadel and joined the league.
Over the span of the Great Galactic Wars, the Raloi provided technology and hosted numerous summits. When the Pan-Galactic League fell apart, the Raloi were information brokers, keeping the galaxy from going back to war for a time. They helped form the United Races council and now sit proudly as one of the founders of the United Races.
The Raloi celebrate intelligence and personality over strength and combat skills. While the Raloi military is formidable, it is not what the Ursan military is. Bright colors can be found on noble clothes to emulate ancient gods, which has become the latest interest. Raloi scientists are among the brightest. A Raloi economist can be the best in the galaxy. When a lawyer is needed, everybody wants a Raloi.
Raloi are known for their belief in a kind of karma, that is, the belief that good things happen to good people and bad things happen to bad people. Thus, the Raloi are more polite than most other races, though there are some Raloi, mainly economists, that can be rude, stingy, and miserly.
The Raloi are all citizens of the Raloi Republic, a Representative Democracy based on Turvess. The species and government are used interchangeably. There are two representatives from each colonized planet with a certain population serving on a council. In essence, each significantly colonized planet has a say in Raloi matters. The Raloi Republic is governed by this legislative body, though a strong, capable person is given more authority during times of war. Generally known as a Krichit (pronounced much like 'cricket'). The Krichit generally had massive amounts of experience in war and politics.
Should a politician overstep his or her boundaries, he or she is replaced. Since bribery is considered dishonorable by the Raloi, this is rare. However, scandals have existed in the Raloi Republic. Scandals recieve so much attention that bribery and corruption is not even considered by even the most miserly politician.
The latest technological advances are brought to a fight. High-tech guns, armor, and vehicles are a trademark of the Raloi military. The most noteable Raloi division of the military is the Sky Soldiers. Sky Soldiers have suits allowing an individual to fly. Other races are unable to fly using these, but the bone structure of a Raloi allows for sustained flight in these suits.
During battle, Sky Soldiers are used as foot soldiers as well as air force and reconnaissance missions. The Sky Soldiers fly without making noise and are able to cease flying if need be. Flight in closed spaces can occur, but it is very difficult to learn this skill.
The Raloi, while largely atheistic, do have some religions. The most prominent one, Balish, focuses on the worship of a single god, Bali, that guides organic life. There are two sect of Balish; Orthodox and Modern. Orthodox Balish has existed for thousands of years. The followers of this sect are generally devout, quiet, and reject advanced technology. Modern Balish are more lenient; they'd prefer to use biomechanical forms of technology, but they do not reject technology. For this reason, they are very determined biologists. Some of the best doctors and biologists are Balish.
Hatsun is the other major religion. The followers of the Hatsun religion, Hatsunans, are polytheistic. There are gods of each Seven Divine Virtues; Grace, Knowledge, Happiness, Loyalty, Responsibility, Courage, and Wisdom. Shrines to each god are built and the followers of the Hatsun religion are very devoted. There were three sects of Hatsun; Hatsuni, Hatson, and Hatsu. While the names sound similar, each is very different. The Hatsuni, for example, are monk-like, taking a vow of poverty. Hatson was a very violent sect of Hatsun, waging religious wars over the years. Both Hatsuni and Hatson are practically abandoned religions. Hatsun is following the same path.
Behind the Scenes
- The Raloi are a canon race in Mass Effect, though they are never depicted.
- The Raloi can be analogous to a mix between the Salarians and Asari.
- Due to a lack of lips, the Raloi language is unlike that of the language of races with lips. It cannot be replicated or spoken by any other race without a translator. Translators also help Raloi speak to others and be understood.