Teissian Races Glossary

Wow, long time no post!

I’ve been asked to put a rundown of all the Office Alien races in one place. I understand how people can get confused, especially since there’s only a letter or two difference between some of them. So let’s get started!
Ypex
Big ravenous bugs that just run around eating and killing everything in their path. Basically the bugs from Starship Troopers:

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They breed quickly and in huge numbers, and in the larval stage they have a knack for stowing away on spaceships and spreading themselves from planet to planet however they can. They have landed on Teiss and have been destroying it ever since, necessitating the Teissian evacuation.
The Rhacahr
The Rhacahr have been waging a war of extinction against the Ypex for generations, ever since they lost their home planet to an infestation. They now live exclusively on massive spaceships, most of which are war ships, but they have also contributed half of the transporter ships which evacuate Teiss, and crew about a quarter, though they resent dedicating manpower to anything that isn’t killing Ypex. It is, however, written into their Alliance treaty with Earth.

The Rhacahr’s proper nouns are all palindromes, because if there’s one thing I love, it’s painting myself into a corner, ha… ha. So you will see “Rhacahr” is the same backwards as it is forwards, and all Rhacahr characters will have names that do this as well. They have an entirely military population. Ever since the loss of their home planet, their entire society has turned to eradicating the Ypex. Revenge, essentially. This means every adult is in active military service, or has retired.

The extinction event of the Ypex arriving on their planet, when only the soldiers already manning spaceships off-world survived, means that they had few females to carry on the species. They gathered these female survivors onto a specially designed ship which would be heavily-guarded and the location of which would be top secret. There, the females were pressured into a really crummy life of pumping out babies constantly in order to restock the species and make soldiers to hunt Ypex. This sucked, so it was negotiated that the women would do this only in exchange for complete political power. So, the ship, and the council of females who live there, became known as Conclave, who rule as the equivalent of Parliament, the Senate, whatever. They call the shots.

A few generations down the line, the population is stable, but inbreeding is the new problem they have to fix, wink wink nudge nudge.

The Rhacahr were initially conceived by me to be a parody, or an attempt at, the space barbarian no-females-of-their-own trope. Originally, they were just going to be stacked humans with tats and war bands and fur bikinis. Why not? I wanted to see if I could do it too. Thinking about the inevitable Rhacahr book I want to do, I realised I found that too boring to get myself through, and had to do some panicked rethinking. They have already been referred to as “humanoid” in previous books, so I couldn’t get too crazy, but I have since decided to base them off the Yautja, ie, the Predator alien species. But a lot handsomer without the mandibles. They will definitely have a lot more in common with humans than the Teissians do though.

Book 5 will have a Rhacahr hero. It will be about the new Rhacahr envoy to Earth and his secretary, so a falling-for-the-boss office romance.
Teissian
Any of the four Teissian races native to Teiss. Anyone from Teiss, so Balin, Balor, Volin, or Volon. They are scaley, and the males have a crest of one kind or another. Their hands have two fingers and a long thumb. They all feed on choba, an algae native to Teiss, which lives in symbiotic colonies inside their bodies, nourishing their scales and keeping them supple. That’s about it for characteristics they all share.
Volin
Examples:
Zir, Tol.

The Volin are shades of green. They live in forests made up of massive trees so high they can go their whole lives without seeing the ground. The ground is just not a factor for them. They have membranous ‘wings’ that connect wrist to hip that are patchy camouflage in colour and help them glide short distances. The wings are retractable, and also serve the purpose of hiding babies and young children while they are being carried. The Volin phrase “It’s cold” in the formal structure is an invitation to shelter under the wings, either for children or, symbolically, a mate.

The males’ crests are feathery, but the feathers are not fluffy, they appear sharp and stiff when raised. The crests come up either to attract a female or warn off a male. Volin eyes are unique in that the pupil almost separates into two. At rest, when the eye does not need to be focused, it appears as an infinity symbol or a number 8 lying on its side. This increases peripheral vision. When focusing, the pupil solidifies into one.

Volin are digitigrade, meaning they walk on their toes and have heels that extend so far up it gives the impression of having a second set of knees. Their claws are straight. They have two claws that act as toes, and their fingers and thumb become claws after the first knuckle, bordered with a soft and flexible ‘velvet’. Their claws are their finger bones, they do not grow from a nail bed.

Culturally, the Volin are the only Teissians to live individually and maintain personal territories rather than live in a clan or tribe. Females go into season every two or three years. She will raise a baby for about two years before giving it to the male to raise so she can mate again with someone else. Males linger on the edge of a female’s territory while they wait for her to come into season, fighting off other males as necessary.

To dress, they wrap themselves in fabric, tying it into a skirt, or a shawl, or whatever they prefer. The fabric itself is not shaped for any particular part of the body, and is dyed in geometric patterns.
Volon
Example:
Khy

The Volon live on the same continent as the Volin above, namely Vol. They live on the plains, and are in early stages of evolution to make them more suited to bipedal walking and no climbing. Their heels touch the ground, making their legs more human in appearance, creating almost birdlike footprints. They also have two clawed toes on each foot, two fingers and a long thumb, but their claws begin after a second knuckle, making their hands more dextrous and their claws shorter.

They are also shades of green. Their crests are also feathery, but their feathers are a bit fluffier. They have no wings or separating pupils. They are the tallest of the Teissian races, and live in nomadic tribes. They house themselves in tents, and prefer to be outside. They are the only Teissian race to have a warrior class or culture, with adolescents earning adult status through a ritual in which a shaman will peel scales from their arms for as long as they can stand, creating patterns. After this, they are allowed to carry a dagger at all times.

They have a strong oral history and honour system. When it comes to mating, the females are just as big and strong as the males, and will posture for each other. The male then takes the female somewhere, after a fight, until she submits to him. Injuries are common and applauded, and there are no consequences if the male is killed during this process.

They are struggling the most out of the different races with living on Earth as their new lifestyles are not compatible with their mating practices, and they don’t like being inside buildings and not being able to roam.
Balin
Example:
Ro, Kez

The Balin were in the worst situation on Teiss out of all of the races. They lived underground, and they were forced to work for Balor who took control of their access points and threatened them with fire, flood, darkness, and suffocation if the Balin did not farm quotas of choba for them in various colours which they used as dyes. Because most of their choba went to the Balor, they had to limit their own consumption of it, ultimately changing the colour of their scales and their standards of beauty as a result.

The Balin and Balor are the closest-related of the Teissian races and can interbreed. Their scales reflect the colours of choba their mothers ate while pregnant, and they both have patches of scales in a second colour which are known as just ‘colours’. For the Balin, this means that, in order to ensure a bright colour, pregnant females will dedicate their limited funds to one colour, because they can’t afford more than that. So the Balin have become dark-scaled, with bright ‘colours’. Their colours are also bioluminescent, and darker scales show them off to better effect, so an attractive Balin will be mostly as close to black as possible, with bright colour patches. These are all unique.

Their crests are webbed, not feathered, and are the same colour as their patches and eyes. Their claws are hooked for digging, but since coming to Earth, most of them have had to file them down in order to work. They still like to live underground in almost complete darkness, and have to wear shaded contact lenses when they go out as they cannot see in anything more than very dim light. Their feet are also digitigrade.

They go into heat when their environment is warm enough. On Teiss, this was once a year, but in California, it is every few months, and it doesn’t happen to them all at the same time anymore. Heats last three days, and it is the only time they can have sex. Females raise children until they are the equivalent of seven or eight, when they are deemed old enough to look after themselves, given that they live in clans and have no natural predators or threats.
Balor
Example:
Bia (sort of)

The Balor are bourgeois, innately materialistic, and drawn to bright colours. On Teiss, they lived in mansions, and focused on family wealth. They are the only Teissians to have marriage ceremonies and family groups that are the same as humans’. They also have heats, but they are ashamed of them, so they marry their children off as teenagers to ensure a respectable partner with a home where it can happen in private.

Their colours are also influenced by the choba their mothers eat while pregnant, but the Balor, benefitting from choba extorted from the Balin, have no shortage of colours to choose from, so mothers will usually try to make what they would consider an attractive baby, with brightly coloured scales, depending on what is fashionable at the time. This means that often babies born the same year will be the same colour, or close to it.

Their claws are curved, and they often paint them and decorate them with gems and charms. They paint their faces as well, usually expanding on their natural coloured patches. The males’ crests are webbed, and often highly decorated. They wear layers and layers of voluminous billowing robes in as many colours as possible, because their social status is entirely dependent on the trade of choba dye, so the more colours they have to wear, the richer they are. They are also the only Teissians to have money. They are a merchant society who are highly invested in an endless circle of trade.

Because colours are so important to them, they believe in a ‘colour wheel’ which they use to teach them which colours are complementary and how. These laws of colour coordination rule every aspect of Balor life, including marriage. Sons and daughters are married to people who can offer wealth and increased trade, but who also have complementary scales, though there are different kinds of complementary to allow for some wiggle room.

On Earth, most of them still believe they are superior, especially to Balin, though some of them have accepted that their old lifestyle is over and internalised the egalitarian teachings they received on the journey to Earth. Very few Balor evacuated because they were reluctant to leave their material wealth behind and believed they would be safe in their mansions. Those who did make it to Earth generally keep to themselves and maintain the same culture of materialism and dye and fabric trading, just on a much smaller scale.

Phew, that was a lot! Hope it was helpful and that I got everything! If you have any questions just ask! I also included some new information from the upcoming book 😉

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