Biology & appearanceEdit
Dezba were reptilian, stood around two meters tall, and possessed a forked tongue, pale red skin for males, and pale yellow skin for females. They were cold-blooded, though they gave live birth with a gestation period of fourteen months. They would breathe the acidic-vapor atmosphere of their homeworld, Coralus, something that was only possible due to the millions of years of evolution they had went through. Due to Coralus' atmosphere, the planet supported little life. The dezba saw most colors save for blue, purple, and pink which were seen as black to them.
The history of the dezban race, though it has now completely vanished from the records of galactic civilization, was organized into three eras. The first was the Golden Era, in which the dezban people evolved from a primitive civilization to a spacefaring society that actively preferred not to be pulled into galactic politics by expanding beyond Coralus. The second was the Great War, during which the civilization, that had been developing for generations, utterly collapsed as a result of a conflict between the two ruling dynasties. The final era was the Wandering Period, the time of their species' last generations before their complete extinction. Not much is known about the early history of the dezba before the Great War. Nearly, if not all, historical records and literature was lost after the Great War. Any buildings that contained scripts and survived the war were soon raided and used for shelters, with the scripts being burned for campfires, or the building itself being destroyed to prevent other groups of survivors from taking the resources available. What is known of pre-Great war dezba includes that they were a spacefaring race, but had chosen not to utilize the Mass Effect relays or colonize other worlds. They were governed by two dominant dynasties, the Feroto and Din-Yu Empires.
A massive event known as the Great War began at some point in their history, which originated from a petty conflict over the princess of the Din-Yu Empire being impregnated by the prince of the Feroto Empire. This conflict erupted into a full-scale war after the Din-Yu princess was murdered by the Feroto prince to appease his family. Eventually, the war led to the launching of several nuclear missiles on Coralus, which left 60 percent of the landmass as desolate and irradiated. Having once been a fine example of social progress in the galaxy, Coralus was reduced to a nuclear wasteland inhabited by warring, nomadic clans.
In a last-ditch effort to bring their enemies and entire race down with them after their empire had collapsed due to the missile attacks, the remnants of the Feroto dynasty activated the Leviathan. This unleashed a biological superweapon whose design would later be reflected by the genophage. It successfully cleansed 80% of the surviving population from the world, including the remaining Feroto, by "infecting" the populace with a rapidly-progressing genetic mutation that wore down their respiratory system, preventing them from properly breathing Coralus' atmosphere, leading to suffocation in a matter of weeks or months.
The remaining population had each individual cell within their bodies infected with a more long-term form of the virus, that caused their respiratory system to deteriorate over the course of three decades. The disorder that the virus caused became an essential part on each dezba's DNA strand and thus was passed on to all offspring; it was eventually designated as Terolk's Syndrome.
The era that followed the Great War, the nuclear attacks and the activation of the Leviathan, was called the Wandering Period; it was both the bloodiest era in the dezba's history as well as their last. All of the intellectual qualities of their society were forgotten, and the culture became devoid of any meaning. It was a time of clan warfare over women and food. Females were rare in dezba culture and were only 15% of the entire population; food was scarce due to the already acidic atmosphere and nuclear fallout. Thus clans conducted wars going after another clan's females and its males. Due to food shortages, male dezba were often cannabalized by stronger dezba. This cannabilism was not only for captured members of other clans, but to weak members of the same clan, as a weak male was considered a burden. Fellow clan members were, out of respect, killed in their sleep and eaten, while prisoners and criminals were often tortured and sometimes roasted alive before being eaten. This cannibalism eventually became interwoven with the dezba's new culture that formed after the Great War.
Women were another cultural matter that completely changed following the Great War. In battle, women were protected by some of the strongest warriors, as without women there would be no one to birth more people for the clan. It was standard procedure in clan on clan battles to hit whereever the women were with brute force. Women who were captured were raped in hopes of bestowing a pregnancy unto them. Attempts to record dezban history by other races, these records having been demolished by the Council, show warriors raping women on the battlefield in the case they perished in battle. Once captured, the women were used as sex slaves for the rest of their lives with them sleeping with men daily to increase pregnancies. The same applied for women of the same clan who were laid with by clan members as soon as they were physically capable of pregnancy. In order to mate, men needed to prove themselves worthy and strong in battle; that way any pregnancies would not result in a weak child.
In 80 CE the dezba were hired by the council to fight the rachni. In exchange for their services, they were given technology that would put them ahead of rival clans. As well, they all had suits which included a large oxygen tank on their backs filled with acidic vapor to simulate Coralus' atmosphere. On the battlefield, they were feared by all Citadel units, even krogan were terrified by their savagery on the battelfield. Acts like the consumption of cowards and wounded dezba, the eating of rachni and dead citadel soldiers, their haunting war chants, and their uses of blood as war paint gave them a frightening reputation.
Below this line are major spoilers for TCE. DO NOT READ BELOW THIS LINE.
Though they fought well in the Rachni Wars, political chaos erupted during the Siege of Ragnora when Foran Lieph, son of the salarian advisor to the council, Tyrin Lieph, was killed by dezba high chieftan, Takavor Derishama, in what was widely considered to be a vicious war crime. Takavor was put on trial by the Council, at Tyrin's behest, and during said trial he was executed. However, in his last moments, Takavor successfully wounded Tyrin and the Council, while killing several guards as well.
Takavor's death was considered an utter outrage by the dezban people that lived on the Citadel as well as the dezban soldiers that continued to fight the rachni. The execution incited massive riots and uprisings, which mainly targeted salarians and asari, the two current council races. Over a thousand civilians on the Citadel, and more than 6,000 soldiers, were massacred amidts the chaos. As the ultimate retaliation for these atrocities, the Council, Overlord Kurvok, and Tyrin, unanimously agreed that it was necessary to utterly eliminate the dezban race. Lieph was the only individual that proved to be willing to actually give the Extinction Order.
Over the course of merely several days, the entire dezban population was brutally exterminated. Soldiers were shot to death by their comrades in the battlefields and barracks; civilian homes were raided by C-Sec squadrons, which proceeded to murder their inhabitants. Lastly, the remains of the planet Coralus were obliterated in an immense bombing by the Citadel Fleet. These days became known in the pages of galactic history as the Dezban Massacre.
The dezban society that preceded the Great War were on par with the contemporary ambassador species; they were a highly intelligent spacefaring race that were on par with the other ambassador races in terms of significance, although they had never attempted to expand beyond Coralus and colonize. All traces of the dezban advanced society evaporated after the Great War. However, Tyrin Lieph may be able to revert the mental states of the clones he made from Sevalaus Morkaneto's DNA back to pre-Great War if the surgeries are successful.
The dezban culture after the Great War completely changed to revolve around strength and courage, for it was believed that only through those two traits could one's clan succeed. And the clan was considered the base of one's life for without the clan then there would be nothing. No food, no place to live, no battles to wage, and no women to court, just exile, forced to wander the wastes of Coralus for one's entire life. This exile was a punishment considered worse than death by many. Exiles were branded on their faces with a universally accepted "W" for weak, and were cast off by all clans and forbidden to carry weaponry so that they must live the remainder of their days and not cut them short. This punishment of exile was given only to the most severe of criminals in the dezba's culture, those who betrayed their clan.
The dezba of the Golden era believed in multiple gods. There were a god of war, of fire, of judgment, of water, of wind, of earth, and of creation, with all gods reigning over lesser beings. However, after the Leviathan, the dezba, believing they had been abandoned by the seven gods, abandoned all religious beliefs in turn. The dezba started using a new language, only speaking in the limited old language that they understood for important matters. They now believed the gods, before they disappeared from existence, had given the dezba Terolk's Syndrome so that they could never rise to the power they once had. This belief became widespread due to the incredibly-limited understanding of technology that the dezba developed in the generations after the Leviathan's activation. The dezba also believed that they were now the inherent rulers of Coralus. "Damn the gods, for we have become them," or "Toras Raiet" in the old language, were words spoken by a warrior in his last breaths to signify that he had come to terms with his people's fall from grace.