“The constant infighting between Yalkai Great Houses will make any long term non-aggression pact impossible. The Empress assures me they will be dealt with but I doubt her sincerity…” -Human Consulate on Shaula, Decrypted Communique
The Yalkai are a society ruled by a set of Great Houses on the small world of Shaula. Using complex pheromones and infrasonic signals they can alter the state and control other sentients, even through subspace communications, granting them expanded knowledge of galactic events. Due to their small homeward the Great Houses of Shaula remain in a perpetual state of war for limited lands and resources.
The Yalkai fall under the “space siren” archetype of Star Trek’s Orions, Star Wars’ Twi’leks, and the Asari in Mass Effect. But the reality of their biology is quite a bit different: The Yalkai are a monosex species who use a combination of complex pheromones and infrasonic signals for communication and crypsis. As these combined abilities can directly alter the mental states of other sentients remotely, even through subspace communications, they have been collectively termed “telepathy.” Early in the Yalkai’s evolutionary ancestry they developed the ability to alter the perceptions of potential predators. Their natural abilities have resulted in a “glamour” that make them appear to be members of the species they are communicating with. To the Aranids, Yalkai are unnerving as they appear to be pale, sickly, sentient males. To humans, the Yalkai appear as pale gray or blue females. To a Tharrn, they would appear similarly as a sickly pale gray large Tharrn clutch matron. Despite the familiar appearance of the living members of the species, autopsies have revealed that the Yalkai are quite alien. They are radially symmetric and can be best described as large, gray, leathery starfish with eye stalks on the top of their central bodies. The Yalkai as a feudal society are also in a state of perpetual war. This makes them also highly vulnerable to fracturing and civil wars.