Aria T'Loak is the de facto ruler of Omega, the nominal capital of the Terminus Systems. Also known as the "Pirate Queen" of Omega, Aria is fiercely possessive of the space station and will do anything to protect it and maintain her dominance.
Aria had a colourful past prior to her arrival on Omega. When she did arrive on the station, she worked as an exotic dancer at the Afterlife Club. However, this was merely a clever cover for Aria. Eventually, she overthrew the owner of the Afterlife Club and claimed ownership. She continued to form alliances and consolidate power before finally overthrowing the 'ruler' of Omega: the krogan she deposed, whom she derisively named The Patriarch, was spared as an example of her power to others.
Aria is very authoritarian in her reign over Omega, ruling the station with an iron fist. Her organization is quite strong and her men extremely loyal. Almost nothing that happens on Omega escapes her notice, causing mercenary groups to think twice before crossing her. No matter who she deals with, she makes sure she has the upper hand in the bargaining. She has centuries of experience dealing with people who thought themselves being in better positions. Simply by observing a person, she can easily read a lot about them and usually immediately knows when they are lying. She is determined to always get the last word in a conversation, reinforcing her position and authority as Omega's ruler.
Aria has commando training and is a very powerful biotic. She has survived for over a thousand years not by needlessly exposing herself to risk; she has the patience and cautiousness to see long-term plans through.
Mass Effect: Incursion
Aria interrupts a meeting between the Collectors and Blue Suns, who are bartering over a group of humans. After killing everyone involved, Aria learns that the Collectors have sinister plans for humanity.
Mass Effect: Redemption
Sometime after the destruction of the SSV Normandy, Aria is approached by Liara T'Soni and Feron while looking for Commander Shepard's body. Feron tells Liara to let him do the talking, which leads to Aria teasing her for being unable to speak. Aria says that she would divulge where the Blue Suns were taking the body if they tell her why the Shadow Broker is so interested. Liara then blurts out that the Shadow Broker is selling the body to the Collectors, catching Aria off guard. Refusing to show weakness, she tells Liara and Feron to leave, but not before disclosing the trade off location.
Mass Effect: Discovery
Aria biotically strangles Tiran Kandros upon getting her hands on him, thinking he's the saboteur she has been chasing. Her girlfriend at the time, Nyreen Kandros, persuades her to let go as she confirms Tiran is her cousin. Aria sarcastically quips that Nyreen's "bleeding heart" tendencies must be genetic when Nyreen calls herself the "bad apple" of the family compared to Tiran.
Aria then demands to know Tiran's business on Omega. He claims he's working for the Andromeda Initiative and looking for a quarian scientist of theirs. Aria thinks it's a con job, but ultimately is dismissive of the turian and warns him never to show his face again after doing what he came on Omega to do. She then berates Nyreen for wasting her time with "strays".
Mass Effect 2
When Shepard approaches her in Afterlife, Aria's guards accost Shepard with a stern warning not to step any closer, then begin scanning to determine whether Shepard is who the Commander is presumed to be. Shepard asks Aria for any general information she may have, but she only tells the Commander not to waste her time and try some other news source elsewhere. She makes it clear to the Commander not to cause trouble; her batarian bodyguard is willing to toss any offender out of the airlock.
Shepard can question her about Archangel and Mordin Solus. After recruiting the former, Shepard can give Aria a datapad, detailing a plan by the Blood Pack, Blue Suns, and Eclipse to overthrow her after defeating Archangel. Sometime later, Aria, through her bodyguard, Grizz, asks Shepard to protect Patriarch, a krogan who was the former ruler of Omega before Aria deposed him. Patriarch is being targeted by Blood Pack mercenaries. The Commander can persuade Grizz to reveal the reason for hiring them and not using Aria's own mercenaries. It is revealed that Aria's interest in protecting Patriarch could be seen as a weakness by her rivals. If Shepard pursues this assignment, the Commander can choose either to kill the Blood Pack assassins, or convince Patriarch to attack them and reclaim his former glory. The latter choice results in his death. After the mission, Aria allows Shepard to ask questions about her past, though she remains vague about the details.
During Samara's loyalty mission, Shepard asks Aria about Morinth and she gives details of the Ardat-Yakshi's latest victim. If Samara asks Aria why she hasn't taken any action against Morinth, Aria states that Morinth has not attempted to seduce her so she hasn't seen a need to.
Mass Effect: Retribution
Aria T'Loak is still "Pirate Queen of Omega" three years after Paul Grayson went on the run from Cerberus. Grayson is employed by Aria as a mercenary, taking care of operations such as stealing red sand from a rival gang, the Talons. Aria originally planned to have Grayson killed but changes her mind when her daughter, Liselle, pleads with her to spare his life, as he could be an asset to her. Aria becomes angry when she found her daughter killed and Grayson missing, which leads her to believe he is the potential cause of Liselle's death. However, Liselle is actually killed by Kai Leng when he and six other Cerberus operatives came to capture Grayson. When Cerberus facilities are attacked by a turian-led raid, Grayson escapes The Illusive Man's captivity. The Illusive Man, ever the master manipulator, uses Aria's suspicions of Grayson's involvement in her daughter's death to persuade Aria to work with Cerberus.
Mass Effect: Deception
Note: This section features material from the first edition of Mass Effect: Deception, which BioWare has acknowledged contains discrepancies with other Mass Effect lore. Once revised editions of the book are released, this section will be updated.
Following the disastrous incident with Paul Grayson, Aria T'Loak leaves for Thessia to bury her daughter Liselle. Upon her return to Omega from the asari homeworld, she finds that one of her banks had been robbed by a joint coalition of the Grim Skulls, a local merc group, and the Biotic Underground, a biotic supremacist organization. One of the Grim Skull mercs, Shella, has been captured in the heist. In a plea for her life, Shella claims to have knowledge of Liselle's death. Prior to joining the Grim Skulls, Shella freelanced; one of the jobs she participated in was with a Cerberus operative named "Manning" (one of Kai Leng's aliases). Shella then relates the actual events of Liselle's death (as depicted in Mass Effect: Retribution). Aria believes Shella's story enough to let her go rather than executing her.
Later, in a meeting with Kahlee Sanders and David Anderson, Aria learns that Paul Grayson had forwarded all of his files to Sanders' terminal at the Citadel before wiping his own terminal the night he was killed. Aria strikes a deal with Sanders and Anderson to assist them in exchange for Grayson's files. Untrue to her word, Aria employs her hackers and obtains the information from Sanders' terminal. It enables Aria to discover the identity of operative Manning, and with further information obtained from the Beggar King, she locates Kai Leng at a local human restaurant, the Blue Marble, on Omega. She dispatches the Blue Suns to eliminate him, but they fail.
When Kai Leng is captured by the Biotic Underground, Aria strikes a deal with the Illusive Man to rescue Leng, planning a betrayal and to kill Kai Leng rather than free him to Cerberus. Aria organizes a small army, in conjunction with Sanders, Anderson, and Hendel Mitra, to take the base of the Biotic Underground. The force arrived minutes too late, as Kai Leng is already transported away from the base to a ransom meeting between the Biotic Underground and the Illusive Man. Kai Leng ultimately escapes the meeting, thus Aria T'Loak is denied the possibility of avenging her daughter's death.
Mass Effect: Invasion
Aria T'Loak continues to associate with Cerberus, and has allowed Cerberus to use Omega as a supply hub for its research bases beyond the Omega 4 Relay. When a seemingly routine Cerberus convoy ship docks on Omega, strange creatures emerge from the ship and begin attacking everyone in sight. Aria helps her henchmen to push back the creatures after they advanced on Afterlife. Coincidentally, a Cerberus ship called the Elbrus, captained by General Oleg Petrovsky, arrives to help fend off the invaders. Aria becomes suspicious as to how the Elbrus arrived so quickly. She soon gets a call from the Illusive Man, who informs her that a new type of husk called Adjutants had broken out of captivity at a Cerberus base beyond the Omega 4 Relay. Aria blames the Illusive Man for foolishly messing around with Reaper tech, but the human defends that they are trying to understand their enemy. He promises that more Adjutants are on the way and they need to work together to fend them off.
Aria soon comes upon Petrovsky and Colonel Raymond Ashe decapitating corpses. The reason becomes apparent as a salarian transforms into an Adjutant, forcing them to kill it. Ashe soon begins ordering Aria's men around, enraging her to the point where she biotically pushes him and has him locked up until the crisis was over.
Aria and Petrovsky amass a fleet to defend Omega as a new fleet of Adjutant-controlled ship arrives. Though Petrovsky believes that the Adjutants wouldn't fire on them so as not to lose potential victims, he is proven wrong. Aria suggests that they mine the Omega 4 Relay but Petrovsky believes that it would take too long. Thus, he orders the Elbrus to travel through the relay to the galactic core to stop the invasion at its source, against Aria's protests. After rescuing a Cerberus ground team on Avernus Station, Aria accompanies Petrovsky and his team into the heart of the base. Aria unintentionally exhausts herself from overuse of her biotics defending her allies from more Adjutants. When she wakes up, Petrovsky has already fitted her hands with biotic dampeners. He then plays her a message sent from the Illusive Man, revealing that in her absence, Ashe had broken out of custody and slaughtered everyone in Omega Control, just as Cerberus reinforcements had arrived, to claim the station in a quick and decisive coup.
As she is being held captive onboard the Elbrus, Aria theorizes that the Adjutant outbreak may not have been an accident but part of the Illusive Man's plan to conquer Omega, which she relays to Petrovsky. As soon as Petrovsky leaves the room to attend a conference with the Illusive Man, Aria breaks free and single-handedly takes over the Elbrus. She holds Petrovsky hostage, forcing him to return to Omega by threatening to flush his crew out the airlock. Upon arrival, Ashe was expecting her from a code Petrovsky gave. Aria flees to rally Omega to repel the Cerberus invasion.
The battle over Omega begins in earnest. Aria unites Omega's gangs under her control and launches a series of guerrilla-style attacks from the station's endless slums, knowing that Petrovsky would never be able to dig her out. The General comes up with a new plan: he evacuates the majority of Cerberus forces from the station and stays behind with a small squad dressed in mercenary armor. Aria easily recognizes the trap and springs one of her own, sending in a group of mercs who claimed they have been infected with plague to get close enough to the Cerberus operatives to catch them by surprise. In the confusion, Aria slips into Afterlife to contact the Illusive Man, but is unprepared when an Adjutant that Colonel Ashe had smuggled into the building attacked and kills Anto. She knocks the Adjutant outside, where it infects Ashe before she eliminates it. Petrovsky explains that all he wanted was an opportunity to talk with Aria and reveals that a Cerberus fleet is ready to open fire on Omega and destroy it level by level if she does not give up. Unwilling to let the station, the one thing she cared about more than any other, be destroyed, Aria concedes and leaves, warning Petrovsky that she would return one day.
Mass Effect 3
After losing Omega to Cerberus, Aria flees to the Citadel, which is flooding with refugees from the Reaper assault. It took C-Sec three weeks to realize that she has not submitted to immigration processing, and she did indeed know methods to board the Citadel undetected. However, Aria simply calls the asari councilor to have her cleared when an immigration officer shows up at her lair demanding her compliance. She spends her time lounging in the Purgatory Bar.
When asked about her current situation, she snaps at Shepard for finding it funny. She angrily states that her confinement to the Citadel with a poor excuse for a nightclub, the constant watch of C-Sec, the lack of Noverian Rum, etc is making life hell for her. She swears revenge against Cerberus for stealing Omega from her.
Though planning on retaking Omega from the Illusive Man, Aria knows that it wouldn't matter if the Reapers wipe out all life. She summoned Shepard to Purgatory with a proposition for the Commander to unite the Blue Suns, Eclipse, and Blood Pack in exchange for their assistance in retaking Earth. She claims to have laid the groundwork with all three groups, though she offers little information to Shepard on the specifics of getting the mercenaries to cooperate.
If Shepard does manage to unite the disparate groups under her banner, Aria gives her opinion on what the Commander has acquired: an army that's willing to fight dirty, to do the things "respectable militaries" won't do.
With the Blue Suns, Aria states that she expected Darner Vosque's demands to be unreasonable, but it turns out he's the biggest pushover of them all. He needed to see who he's dealing with, though with the incessant sexual harassment Aria's getting from him she needed a proxy else he'd end up dead. If General Oraka was killed during the proceedings, though, she expresses regret at having to kill him, as many of his people died as well, eliciting a reaction from Shepard. Aria reminds the Commander never to presume they know her, as she had turian friends in her own organization.
With the Blood Pack, Aria remarks she couldn't have asked for a better puppet with Gryll in charge. She knew the previous leader, Kreete, couldn't resist getting his hands on Shepard, so the Commander tells her to warn them next time if they're bait. Aria offhandedly considers it.
Aria leaned on the Citadel Council to secure Jona Sederis' release, but Commander Bailey is in direct defiance of their order. Shepard brokers the deal, and Aria is pleased with two distinct outcomes depending on what happened: Sederis gets released but won't dare defy Aria, or her second-in-command Sayn usurps the leadership at Shepard's goading, surprising even Aria and causing her to remark that her control over Eclipse ran deeper than expected.
Mass Effect 3: Omega
Ready to begin her campaign to retake Omega from Cerberus, Aria enlists Commander Shepard to spearhead the ground attack on the station. She meets Shepard not in the Purgatory Bar but in Docking Bay 42, needing discretion as she explains to the Commander. She has already amassed an assortment of ships to directly attack the Cerberus blockade and punch through to Omega's surface.
In return for Shepard's cooperation Aria promises to give everything for the ongoing Reaper war: ships, mercs, and eezo. The catch, however, is that she claims to have objections to some of the company Shepard keeps and won't allow the Normandy crew to participate. Shepard protests, but Aria wants the Commander, in her own words, "all to [her]self." Aria tells Shepard to meet her at a set of coordinates given to them by her bodyguard Bray, for whenever the Commander feels ready to retake Omega.
Aria plans to use a captured Cerberus cruiser to infiltrate the blockade and get close enough to Omega to attempt a landing. Her fleet will follow through the relay when she gives the signal. Using the Cerberus authorization codes from the previous captain of the ship, the cruiser is able to make it past the blockade without drawing suspicion. When the ship is close enough to the station, Aria orders the ship to fire on the Cerberus command ship and at the same time signals her fleet through the relay.
As the space battle commences, General Oleg Petrovsky hails Aria through the vidcomm. He is dismissive of Aria's attempt to unnerve him with Shepard's presence and warns Aria of Omega's upgraded defense cannons which could easily cut through her cruiser's Silaris armor and advises her to turn back. Undeterred, Aria leads her ship on to ram the station, but Petrovsky proves true to his word and the defense cannons severely cripple the ship, forcing Aria and her men to evacuate in the escape pods. Aria's pod, with Shepard on board, is able to make past the defense cannons and crash-land on the station.
Shepard and Aria then fight their way through the Cerberus forces, trying to regroup with more of Aria's men landing in escape pods. However, most of them are either shot down by the defense cannons or are overwhelmed by Cerberus ground forces. Soon enough, Shepard and Aria are finally able to shut down the Omega defenses and Aria's remaining ships start landing troops. Aria orders Bray to get to her bunker and bring the bunker defense cannons online.
On their way to the bunker using secret tunnels only Aria knows about, Shepard and Aria encounter Nyreen Kandros, a turian biotic with whom Aria had a relationship that ended on bad terms. Aria is surprised to see Nyreen and is mistrustful about her intentions but allows her to join the team. They eventually fight their way through more Cerberus lines and reach Aria's bunker. With the help of some of Aria's men, Shepard is able to activate the ground cannons which tear apart the Cerberus forces and enables Aria's people to make a safe retreat into her bunker. Aria then assumes command of the bunker and orders Bray to keep an eye on Nyreen.
With most of her forces decimated by the unsatisfactory landing and running battles with Cerberus forces, Aria decides to recruit the Talons mercenary gang to bolster her army's numbers, intending to use the Talons as cannon fodder since they are currently the strongest resistance group on the station. She and Shepard then head to find the Talons to negotiate an alliance. Before they head out, Nyreen escapes Aria's bunker. Aria is furious but not surprised at Nyreen's ability to disappear.
On the way, one of Aria's tech experts, Ahz, is able to hack through Cerberus comms and determine that Cerberus is about to attack the Talons' leader. Aria notes that this leader, Derius, took advantage of the power vacuum left by the Collector plague in the slums and the gang war instigated by Shepard in 2185, carving out a bigger piece of the local drug trade for himself. That said, and witnessing a trio of shuttles streak overhead, she and Shepard pick up the pace and go after the Cerberus forces attacking the Talons.
As Cerberus forces are at the point of overwhelming a group of Talon defenders, Nyreen shows up and dispatches the Cerberus troops. She then reveals herself to be the actual leader of the Talons, to which Aria admits that she is very surprised. Nyreen is reluctant to work with Aria but is convinced by Shepard to cooperate.
The three of them then head to one of Nyreen's outposts housing civilians but under attack from Cerberus. After repelling the attackers, Aria and Nyreen get into an argument regarding the people of Omega, with Aria determined to take back her throne at any cost and Nyreen determined to protect the civilians. Shepard intervenes and reminds them that to defeat Cerberus, they must all fight together. With a wink at Nyreen, Aria tells her to watch and learn as the Pirate Queen contacts Ahz, who has connected the entire station's comm systems to her.
Aria then announces her return to the people of Omega. She broadcasts a speech encouraging Omega's denizens to rise against their oppressors, hoping to use them for distracting the Cerberus forces while she plans to strike at the heart of the Cerberus's Omega command. Out of Nyreen's earshot, Aria reveals her plan for manipulating Nyreen to Shepard, saying that the civilians' attack will force Nyreen to try and protect them, thus gaining her support.
Aria and Shepard then fend off several Cerberus side attacks on the outpost while Nyreen commands her men on main defense. In the aftermath Nyreen agrees to the alliance with Aria, true to Aria's predictions.
After getting back to her bunker, Aria plans to strike at a Cerberus-controlled reactor in the Element Zero mines and shut it off to bring down all the force fields across Omega. Obtaining a passageway to the mines via an eezo processing facility, Aria, along with Nyreen and Shepard, realize why everything was shut down and sealed: adjutants are prowling about, and it also explains the lot of Cerberus corpses strewn around.
They fight their way through the adjutants after bringing the area online. Aria chastises Nyreen on the way after noticing her fear towards the creatures. Eventually, the elevator to the mines becomes available and they proceed inside, sealing the way behind them. They reach the mines and once again fight through a gauntlet of Cerberus forces to reach the back door to the reactor.
However, upon reaching the reactor, they are trapped by force fields: General Petrovsky has anticipated Aria's move. Aria, unwilling to go down that easily, furiously tries to breach the barriers using her biotics and is able to able to provide a small opening for Shepard to escape with some help from Nyreen. Shepard reaches the reactor console, only to find that the reactor also powers the life support systems in several sections of Omega. Aria yells at Shepard to shut it off anyway as she is being overwhelmed by Rampart Mechs. Nyreen advises against it, reminding Shepard not to sacrifice innocents. Regardless of whether Shepard shuts off the reactor or reroutes the power to maintain life support, the force fields are deactivated and Aria and Nyreen are freed.
Once the force fields are released, the civilians start attacking their oppressors, resulting in chaos. Aria and Shepard then counter Cerberus saboteurs trying to demolish the support structures leading to Afterlife, while Nyreen rallies the Talons for a direct attack on the club via the Gozu District while protecting the civilians. When Aria and Shepard catch up to Nyreen, they are too late to stop her from sacrificing her life to destroy a group of Adjutants.
Enraged at Nyreen's loss, Aria charges the Cerberus troops guarding Afterlife, unleashing powerful blasts of biotic energy like never before, but runs right into a stasis trap set by Petrovsky. Shepard, however, destroys the generators powering the trap and frees Aria. Together, Aria and Shepard wipe out all the remaining Cerberus troops and Adjutants in Afterlife.
Defeated, Petrovsky surrenders, but Aria punches and then chokes him, wanting her enemy to feel how close he is to death. Petrovsky points out that he can provide the Alliance information on the Illusive Man and insists that Aria owes him mercy for letting her escape Omega, but Aria dismisses it as an attempt to save his own skin. Depending on whether or not Shepard supported Aria's actions during the campaign, Aria will either kill Petrovsky or spare his life and hand him over to Shepard to deal with. If Shepard was thoroughly accommodating towards Aria's behavior, the asari rewards the Commander with a kiss, remarking she never thought she'd enjoy having a partner.
Aria then announces to the people of Omega that she is back in control, and vows never to lose the station again. She orders Omega's citizens to round up the remaining Cerberus forces and either kill them or cast them out of the station. Depending on how Shepard's morality influenced her, she'll utter just one of two things: "Don't fuck with Omega!" , or "We are Omega!"
Before Shepard leaves, Aria reiterates her promise, saying she honors her debts: her eezo supplies and a fleet are committed to the galactic war. Later, Aria returns to Purgatory on the Citadel, finding it easier to coordinate Omega's reconstruction from there.
Mass Effect 3: Citadel
Aria T'Loak is clearly an avid gamer and fierce competitor, as shown by her holding the high scores in the Armax Arsenal Arena and Shattered Eezo at Castle Arcade on the Silversun Strip prior to Commander Shepard's visit. Aria is also mentioned in a prerecorded story by Mordin Solus, who includes it on a datapad he may leave for Shepard. Recounting the tale in the style of a film noir movie, Mordin mentions having previously been employed by Aria to deal with a krogan rival, a job which eventually ended with an explosive sexual encounter before narrowly escaping an attempt by Aria to kill him.