- See also: Ardat-Yakshi Codex Entry
|This article is about about Ardat-Yakshi in general. For information on Morinth's class power, see Ardat-Yakshi (power).|
Ardat-Yakshi (meaning 'Demon of the Night Winds' in an old asari dialect) is a rare genetic condition in asari, specifically affecting their nervous systems. Although the condition does not harm the asari, during mating the Ardat-Yakshi's nervous system completely overpowers and dominates that of her mate's, causing hemorrhaging in the victim's brain, and ultimately death in extreme cases. As a result, the Ardat-Yakshi becomes smarter, stronger, and deadlier after each encounter. Ardat-Yakshi also have the innate ability to dominate the minds of others. Falere, Rila and Morinth, all daughters of Samara, have the lethal version of this condition. Morinth chose to embrace her condition, while Falere and Rila opted for a life of peaceful seclusion. According to Samara, these are the only three living Ardat-Yakshi. However, less severe cases are supposedly more common, including up to 1% of the population.
The condition is impossible to identify until the asari reaches maturity, by which time it is too late to correct. When diagnosed, afflicted asari are given a choice: live in isolation or be executed. The asari do this to the Ardat-Yakshi because it is an addictive condition; they feel compelled to mate, and the compulsion grows stronger each time they succeed. While it is not known how much the Ardat-Yakshi's strength increases after each mating, or whether the victim makes any difference, Morinth's continuous use of her condition over centuries allowed her to match Samara's power and experience, despite the 500 year difference between them.
Ardat-Yakshi are a disgrace to the asari culture. It is suspected that this condition is what lies at the root of the asari prejudice against purebloods. Samara, a pureblood herself, states that the condition is as old as the asari species, and that it appears only among purebloods.
Morinth claims that the Ardat-Yakshi are the genetic destiny of the asari; a claim contradicted by the fact that all Ardat-Yakshi are sterile.
If Shepard mates with Morinth, the Commander is struck dead almost immediately, becoming another victim of the condition.
Mass Effect 3Edit
During a side mission, Shepard visits a monastery on Lesuss that is under attack by Reapers. Shepard will meet Samara, if she survived the prior events on 2185, and the two daughters of hers who were cloistered there. The Reapers collect Ardat-Yakshi in order to turn them into Banshees.
- The turian shopkeep at the Zakera Cafe sells asari honey marinades. He says the marinades are created by sufferers of Ardat-Yakshi at a monastery.
- According to the Patriarch, the asari honey mead sold at the Afterlife is Aria's most expensive wine and is brewed at an Ardat-Yakshi monastery by "crazy blue women."
- According to information learned at Lesuss Monastery, under strict guidelines, Ardat-Yakshi are permitted to visit Thessia with supervision, because the asari believe they should know their homeworld. However, if an Ardat-Yakshi is judged unsuitable to leave the monastery, this offer is not extended.
- 'Ardat' may be a reference from the Akkadian word Ardat-Lili, in turn associated with the Middle Eastern storm demon Lilith. 'Yakshi' may be a reference to Yaksha, benevolent nature spirits found in Hindu, Jain and Buddhist Mythologies. Specifically, 'Yakshi' (from the broader classification of nature spirits known as Yaksha) was an ancient Indian deity portrayed as a female earth spirit, symbolizing fertility in Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain faiths. Yakshi are portrayed more as deadly seducers in South Indian tradition, particularly around Kerala.
- Ardat-Yakshi may be based off the medieval legends of a succubus, a female demon who takes the form of a human woman in order to seduce men, usually through sexual intercourse, resulting in the deterioration of health or death.