One of the major nations in the galaxy, with a seat on the Citadel Council.
Turian society is highly regimented and very organized, and the species is known for its strict discipline and work ethic. Citizens are arranged into tiers of influence based on merit and service. Most of all, the Turian Hierarchy is known for its military, particularly its contribution of soldiers and starships to the Citadel Fleet.
- Palaven: Homeworld. Generally speaking, Palaven enjoys the same reputation among other turians that the species at large finds attributed to itself in the wider galaxy. Palavenian turians are supposedly second helpings of all the quintessential turian virtues (discipline, courage, honour, unflappability) and shortcomings (general lack of imagination, sticks up the bum, no minds of their own, enjoy pissing on peoples’ fireworks, etc.)
- Bostra: Infamous for their highly parochial and close-knit society; stereotyped as criminals.
- Gothis: Largely rustic and agricultural, with all the baggage that goes with it (xemna-shagging jokes are a matter of course with Gothians in the army.) Notable for its inhabitants being utterly incomprehensible in speech and expression. A major separatist bastion during the War, a badge which they wear with pride. As befitting any people from rural parts, turians from Gothis are famed for their gregariousness and hospitality, love of music and down-to-earth wisdom.
- Macedyn: Natives are usually staunch loyalists, traditionally depicted in the popular imagination with a bottle of Macedyn Silver Run and a bucket of Macedyn Fried Louza (which they maintain is superior to the Epyrus version). The colony resorted to bombing itself with nukes to destroy the occupying Reapers and deny them resources.
The Vol Protectorate
- Zada Ban
Other Client States
Several, most notably the volus. In return for falling under the protective umbrella of the turian military, the volus pay a tax to the Hierarchy, as well as deferring to the turians in all foreign policy matters, and providing auxiliary troops to the turian armed forces. They still maintain an embassy on the Citadel, making them an associate species of the Council, though they currently share their embassy with the elcor.
Humans in the Hierarchy
The first human to officially join the Hierarchy was Tong Mei-Chu who signed up in 2172, some 13 years after first contact. The highest tier to be possessed by a human client has been 11, by Saul Lizarraga who served as deputy administrator on a Hierarchy deep-space station. The most popular year to sign up as a client prior to the Reaper War was 2180 when up to 164 humans chose to don the dark blue.
Most conventional turians parent their children in a similar manner to how they’re supervised by the Hierarchy. From a young age, turians are taught ‘rules of fair play’, teamwork, and a healthy amount of deference to authority figures like teachers, military police, and Primarchs. Children are encouraged to perform to the best of their abilities, but outright competition with their peers is discouraged. As long as these core precepts are met, turian parents tend to be watchful but laissez-faire in the affairs of their children, trusting that if a child does begin to get on the wrong track, either they or someone else in the community will notice. Mainstream turian culture typically depicts raising a child as one of the highest and most beautiful expressions of loyalty to the Hierarchy -- they enrich the population, and, when properly raised, can contribute an immeasurable amount of good to society. The ideal love of a turian parent isn’t based on blood or a strong sense of personal pride in a child’s accomplishments. Instead, it is based on the satisfaction of molding a child into a model, self-sacrificing instrument of the Hierarchy. It’s a slightly more personal version of the same sort of philia that any supervising turian is expected to give their subordinates. This isn’t to say that turians don’t feel more traditionally Western Terran-emphasized forms of love; they simply take a background role to the officially-sanctioned form.
Turians generally attend state-run schools and academies which supply a basic foundation of mathematics, science, language, history, and physical education. However, there are also formalized, mandatory classes on ‘turian culture’, which help to strengthen teamwork and implicit trust in superiors and subordinates. This is further reinforced by classroom pedagogy in the other subjects: collaboration and group work are encouraged. Students are introduced to a watered-down version of the citizenship tier system early: they are screened for aptitude and placed in advanced, academic, or remedial sections upon entrance into school. A student’s performance is later used to personalize his or her recommended career path once they reach boot.
Parents are also free to home-school or send their children to a pan-species school or private institution, but the Hierarchy sets minimum core standards that must be met before a child can progress to boot, including ‘turian culture’ classes and mandatory standardized tests so that officials can keep abreast of an individual’s progress.
On induction into boot camp, turians are subdivided into cadres based on their estimated aptitude and measured performance in school. The initial year (“boot”) consists of demanding weapons training, drills, and further team-building exercises. There’s also a classroom component - as legal adults who are no longer under the supervision of their parents, boot inductees are goven adult life classes -- household budgeting, cooking, and sex education. Recruits are routinely monitored throughout the initial training year in order to further evaluate what role they’d best play in the Hierarchy military. Individuals are generally presented with a list of recommended roles that their supervisors feel would suit them best upon graduating from boot -- recruits aren’t under any legal obligation to select a recommended role, but strong turian cultural emphasis on self-sacrifice ensures that most will accept one of their recommended posts.
At 30, turians have one of two options: remain in the military or retire from active duty and attempt to build a career. Most turians who take the latter option use their peer connections and recommendations from their officers to secure jobs in the vast Hierarchy military-industrial complex. A crack marksman, for example, might secure a job as a consultant on sniper rifles at Armax Arsenal. When a turian is promoted within a corporation, they typically send a commendation to the Hierarchy which raises the turian’s citizenship tier accordingly. Others opt for graduate school, especially those who are interested in politics, education, medicine, or research positions. Hierarchy citizens normally qualify for a substantial tier promotion once completing an advanced degree. The exact promotion usually varies slightly based on their performance in school, but most gain around 5 tiers for the successful completion of a master’s level program and 10 tiers for a doctorate. Although turian university programs in the arts and most of the social sciences excepting history are the stuff of punchlines (and in some cases they lack such programs entirely), they consistently rank at or near the top in the applied sciences, especially in engineering, military science, surgical and emergency medicine, and other “hands-on” subjects. The media in Council space also praise turian universities for the enthusiasm of the research mentors, and their commitment to developing the ‘whole person’; all students, turian or not, need to pass core classes in survival skills, turian morality, and physical education. Students of turian universities graduate fit, well-connected individuals, and with little tolerance for (or, more cynically, understanding of) the academic backroom politics common in the other species.
Regardless of their exact career path, most turians remain registered in the reserves after retiring from active duty, as society generally expects most adults in this age bracket to serve in some capacity. If a turian is severely injured on the front lines during active duty, he is still typically able (and willing) to adapt to a support role in the reserves. Their experience is generally like most present-day Americans in the reserve - most undergo one weekend of training per month when not on active duty.
On the relationship front, most turians begin to look for a mate in earnest once they reach the age of 30. A turian normally selects their mate from a handful of sexually-active “warm” relationships that they cultivated during their active-duty stint. The process for finding a turian’s ideal mate can take several years, with the peers, superiors, and family members of both individuals offering their own input and attempting to reach a consensus as to who the individual’s partner should be. Once a decision is reached, however, courtship follows quickly. Because mates are usually quite familiar with each other by the time they’re officially declared a couple, they normally start a family quite rapidly. Fertile heterosexual mates normally conceive their own children, while infertile and homosexual couples either create designer babies or adopt. All options are viewed positively; live births increase the Hierarchy’s population, while adoptions allow the state to offload the responsibility and cost of raising a child to private citizens.
A Primarch’s executive building is the Signis, while a parliamentary building is known as a Radiatum.
The ministry of citizenship rankings is known as the Laudatix.
A Carifinum is an emergency management agency.
The oserun is a ceremony that recognizes the promotion of turians to a new citizenship tier.
The Hierarchy economy can be characterized as progressive corporatism, with the vast amount of wealth controlled by the government and large, government-sponsored collectives like Armax Arsenal and Haliat Armory. Volus conglomerates like the Elkoss Combine aren’t bound by regulations as strictly as purely turian interests, but are generally subject to the same or similarly high levels of taxation. The Hierarchy uses government revenue to sustain its military and an all-encompassing welfare system, including universal health care, public education, infrastructure, and a variety of state-run orphanages, subsidized housing for homeless and low-tier citizens, and nursing homes. Official unemployment is nearly zero, owing to the size and stability of most turian corporations, and in the rare case of layoffs, most turians can easily transfer back to active duty within the military.
Base salary is determined by citizenship tier, not industry; income is largely flat across a tier. Tax burden is both high and progressive. It, like base salary, is determined by the C.T. The lowest tiers pay approximately 25% of their base salary, while Primarchs and other high-tier citizens often pay in excess of 80%. Dissatisfaction with the system is relatively low as taxation is in line with the popular notion of more talent equalling more responsibility, and the government, rather than the individual, being the best arbiter of responsibility.
Entrepreneurship is rare for a variety of reasons: lack of cultural interest, the necessity of hiring a large compliance team to ensure governmental regulations are satisfied, the probable necessity of hiring a team of non-turian accountants to ensure financial solvency, and the tendency for large interests to buy up turian inventors with lucrative offers of employment and citizenship tier increases in exchange for their patents and ideas. Like entrepreneurship, individual investment is almost non-existent outside of low-risk options like savings accounts and governmental bonds, which turians usually resort to only when saving for major purchases; regardless of social class, turians normally live paycheck-to-paycheck.
See: Gladus Industries.
Dreadnought: Audacer (from audax, “fearless/bold/daring”). Coincidentally, the turian name for dreadnought ended up being somewhat close in meaning to the human one, but for entirely different reasons - unlike other species, turian spacefaring draws less from a maritime tradition than it does aviation, and flight in general. Hence, turian ship types tend to be based on either 1) aircraft, or 2) the names or activities of birds and other flying creatures, with some overlap between the two. Dreadnoughts are named after the audax, a large, majestic (now unfortunately extinct) bird of prey with a gigantic wingspan, which was popularly ascribed such noble qualities as strength, fortitude and courage.
Cruiser: Cursor (from curso, literally “runner”, but in this context “strike at/collide with/fall upon”), named for the swooping action of predatory birds, much like how cruisers are traditionally supposed to attack merchantmen. Cursor is also the turian word for “divebomber”.
Frigate: Lusorian (Re. lusoria, “playful/spirited/dancing”). This is one of the few with aquatic connotations, and even then it most accurately to describe the behaviour of seabirds. The lusorian is a kind of light, nimble ship similar to a yacht that was often armed in days of yore and used for patrol, anti-piracy, or cutter duties.
See: Temerarus Program
The turians first allied with the Citadel during the Rebellions, offering their military services in defence of the beleaguered asari and salarians.
The Battle of Syphax was a meeting engagement between roving krogan warbands and the turian taskforce en route to Krogan-occupied Lusia that prematurely escalated into the largest space battle of the middle-phase Rebellions. While a massive Allied victory (one of the few since the Spectre raids on Arlakh and Nith), Syphax was retroactively considered strategically inconclusive at best and a setback at worst, as it caused a huge delay in the invasion schedule of krogan-held asari space; time that was used by the krogan to entrench themselves in those systems. Had the Turian Expeditionary Force been allowed to continue unimpeded, doubtless they would have dealt a more decisive blow to the unprepared defenders that might have brought a swifter end to the war.
Being on the far side of krogan space from the Council, the turians advanced rapidly into the lightly-defended krogan rear. The krogan responded by dropping space stations and asteroids on turian colonies. Three worlds were rendered completely uninhabitable. This was precisely the wrong approach to take with the turians; each Hierarchy citizen is first and foremost a public servant, willing to risk his life to protect his comrades. Rather than increasing weariness for war, krogan tactics stiffened turian resolve.
Clan Vynchar were responsible for a number of high-profile massacres of turian civilians including the Quarasi Massacre and the sack of Dorea. Such actions earned them the ire of the Hierarchy military who pursued the Vynchar with particular zeal, eventually laying siege Battlemaster Vynchar Sorval’s fortress on the Terminus planet of Laena and orbitally bombarding the site for several days until the fortress and its subterranean bunkers were reduced to dust.
Information on Palus obtained by Clan Cruack spies led battlemaster Cruack Grenk to believe the colony was a relatively-undefended sanctuary for the families of a number of high-ranking turian military leaders. Hoping to crush the turian spirit by assassinating the families of their leaders, Grenk lead the majority of his clan on a raid on the planet, only to discover that it was a trap laid by the turians. The entire colony was abandoned and empty, and as the invading Cruack forces attempted to flee, a turian cruiser hidden behind the planet’s moon annihilated the colony with a redirected asteroid.
The world of Cannis was seen by the krogan as a potential launching point for any assault on Palaven, and was subsequently conquered by Clan Dinroth in the First Battle of Cannis. Given its strategic value, Cannis was fortified heavily by the Dinroth, the clan moving almost all of their forces from Tuchanka to reinforce it.
The eventual turian counterattack, the Second Battle of Cannis, became one of the bloodiest of the entire Rebellion. Initially, both sides hoped to preserve the world’s infrastructure and environment for their own use. As such, traditional engagements were fought across the world’s surface with very little use of artillery or orbital weaponry. The Dinroth’s numerous fortified positions and hidden bunkers resulted in what has been compared unfavorably to Earth’s ‘trench warfare’, with hundreds of thousands of turian soldiers landing on the moon to face smaller but heavily-fortified krogan units. After several weeks of grinding assault, and with krogan reinforcements on the way, the turian General Trebonian ordered a withdrawal and bombarded the colony from orbit.
See: Borunian Massacre
Deployment of the Genophage
The genophage's modus operandi wasn't to reduce the fertility of krogan females, but rather the probability of viable pregnancies: many krogan would die in stillbirth, with most fetuses never even reaching this stage of development. Moreover, every cell in each krogan was infected, to prevent the use of gene therapy to counteract it. The genophage was originally developed by the salarians as a deterrent to continued aggression. They believed that, as the consequences would be so devastating, no one would ever deploy the genophage, and its simple existence as a threat would cause the krogan to stand down. However, the salarians and the turians had different military attitudes, the turians only appreciating an approach of massive retaliation. They deployed the bioweapon on all krogan worlds and occupied territories.
The Third Battle of Uresium is widely held to be the turning point of the Rebellions, and was the first Citadel offensive since the deployment of the genophage. Uresium, which by that time had been contested for nearly a decade, inflicted the most severe defeat upon the krogan up to that point; a devastating loss from which they never recovered. Psychological operations were key to the victory - large numbers of krogan simply gave themselves up when promised a cure to the strange affliction that had been sweeping through the ranks. Of course there was none, and what followed next is a matter of controversy - the prisoners were rounded up, left in large open spaces, and bombarded from orbit. This method of disposal of surplus krogan military personnel was used on a few of the liberated asari and salarian colonies, where there were often too many prisoners to process, until the push began into krogan space proper and the practice was discontinued.
A female krogan warlord, Shiagur, used her rare fertility to draw the strongest males to her band, but even she couldn't hold out against turian peacekeeping forces, who finally killed her at the Battle of Canrum. In retaliation, many of the turians responsible were hunted down and killed by vengeful krogan males. Canrum was the last krogan push before the Rebellions ended.
Finally, besieged on all sides and knowing the survival of their species was at stake, the krogan surrendered. That was not the end of hostilities, as many rogue warlords and insurgents refused to surrender, and had to be wiped out by turian task forces.
The preparedness level was lowered from Defense Level Auros to Defense Level Bastion. It was already the case that active duty members of the military weren't allowed to leave service except in exceptional circumstances while Levels Auros or Bastion were in effect. The Alternative Path to Tier 3 Program was suspended indefinitely -- all Hierarchy subjects were now required to report for basic training if they wished to advance to formal citizenship. Subjects with physical or mental disabilities would be accommodated into safer rear-echelon positions, while those with profound disabilities would still be cared for by the Ministry of Welfare. Until the military had recovered to total or near-total strength, C.O.s were to reinstruct front-line troops in defensive tactics. It was considered likely that some Legion Historians would be reassigned as advisors and drill instructors to ensure that all troops met this new standard.
The Reaper War caused considerable population declines, therefore Hierarchy citizens between 25 and 40 years of age serving in an active duty capacity could apply to have their implant contraceptives deactivated. Couples who conceived or created a viable in vitro infant would be awarded with bonus pay and a 2-month maternity/paternity leave after the birth of the child. To prevent possible custody squabbles, children resulting from couples that didn't have an official mateship certificate would be raised as wards of the state; if a couple were mates, they would maintain custody of the child. This directive didn't apply ex post facto; single parents who currently had custody of already-born children would not lose it.
See also: Client Race Grumbles.
Threads of Interest
Heat Sinks As Money?: An exploration of the whole "no pay" issue, post-war.
New Head of Staff: The appointment of a new leader highlights the difference between a Hierarchy viewpoint and a more standard galactic one.