Tallyorans are reptilian humanoids, looking much like traditional fantasy lizardmen. They are covered in scales about four times the size of a man’s thumbnail, and about as hard as his teeth. They are tall and tend towards thinness, rarely matching the girth of a man who stands at their average height of 6’7" (for males, females average 6’9"). Scale color varies from light, almost neon, green to a yellow-orange, and is the cause of as much prejudice as skin color is on Earth.
Tallyorans have four limbs - two arms, two legs - and each hand has four fingers, including two opposable thumbs. Tallyorans no longer have fangs or claws, nor are they poisonous, though all of these traits have been found in their ancestors.
Tallyorans live long lives, often spanning almost a full thousand years. Because of the wide-spread use of Tallis (see below), many Tallyorans bear live young, rather than lay eggs, although this is not always the case.
Tallyorans require high-protein diets, and are often considered to be a prime example of an almost completely carnivorous race.
They tend to become more and more prone to outbursts of emotion as they grow older and become more reliant on Tallis, although their young are frequently quiet and reserved.
The Tallyorans hail from the world Tallyora, in the Yaernacht System. As their world lies quite far from the more densely populated worlds of the Kriis Conglomerate, they are relative newcomers on the galactic field, having appeared only a few dozen centuries ago.
Tallyora is quite far from its star, Yaern, and boasts a remarkably cold climate. Fortunately for the Tallyorans, however, their worlds orbit and slow rotation leaves it consistently in the same position relative to a nearby gas giant, Bensura. Because of the unique composition of gases in Bensura, sunlight is able to pass through it in such a way as to be magnified, creating a Heat Zone where it hits Tallyora, where the average temperature is almost 50 degrees Celsius warmer than in the surrounding regions. Because of the Tallyorans cold-blooded nature, it is only in this Heat Zone that sentient life was able to evolve. Also as a result of this Heat Zone, however, are the strong winds which rage across the planet, and the frequent cyclones which often wreak devastation across the most habitable part of the planet.
Since the discovery of Tallis, Tallyorans have spread across the planet, which is heavily populated. The most prevalent industry is the manufacture of Tallis, and exports include ice and platinum, which is often found beneath the planets surface.
Few outsiders come to Tallyora, for it is a rather dull place, as well as being dangerously cold to most sentients. Those who do come tend to stay at the edge of the Heat Zone, for at its interior, the temperature will eventually kill an unprotected warmblood. Of course, the wild winds and vortexes do not make landing a ship a simple or pleasant experience, and this no doubt contributes to the general lack of visitors.
Tallyoran history is fairly similar to the standard there are cave-living periods, times when castles were built, and eventual discoveries of gunpowder, nuclear energy, and spaceflight.
Just before the discovery of nuclear energy, however, Tallyoran culture became somewhat sidetracked. Because Tallyorans were confined to dwelling in only one, small section of their world, they used up accessible resources faster than is common for a planet of Tallyora’s size, and it became clear that a way was needed to access those resources outside of the Heat Zone.
For almost a full century, Tallyoran scientists struggled to find some way of allowing their people to leave the Heat Zone, and in the end, one was successful. Hekander Kil-Phipchon created a drug Tallis - which, shortly after ingestion, would cause the ingester to function as a warm-blood for about thirty hours. Tallis enabled the Tallyorans to fully explore their world, and the resources they acquired in doing so enabled them to eventually discover space travel. Indeed, the drug became so vital to the planet’s economy that its few side-effects were almost completely ignored.
Tallis is the single most important substance in existence to Tallyoran society. It warms the blood sufficiently to allow an ingester to function as a warmblood for about thirty hours. If one takes the drug often, larger doses will be needed to achieve the same effect.
Unfortunately, Tallis is not side-effect free. Most noticeable to other races is that it gives frequent ingesters mammal-like characteristics, including hair, and, on females, milk-bearing breasts.
Perhaps more insidious, however, is that Tallis becomes addictive fairly rapidly, and since Tallyorans generally use it at least several times in their youth, it is rare to see a Tallyoran who is not addicted to Tallis. On their homeworld, Tallyorans are not overly affected by this, for Tallis is easily acquired there. Anywhere else in the galaxy, however, Tallis is extremely expensive, and the price, combined with the addictiveness, drives a large percentage of space-faring Tallyorans to piracy, for there are few other professions which link large shares of booty with easy access to various drugs.
In the event that a warmblood takes Tallis, he becomes unpleasantly warm, and feels as if he has a high fever. Nonetheless, it is not addictive to warmbloods, and so remains an oft-dreamed of way for children to get out of going to school, if they can get their hands on some of the expensive substance.
Manufacture of Tallis
Tallis is primarily a synthetic compound, manufactured to be similar to the chemicals found in a small reptilian species which dwells in Tallyora’s cooler regions. Nonetheless, the major manufacturers all have slight variations on the basic formula which they claim makes their Tallis the best, and these formulas are trade secrets.
Regardless, it is not overly difficult to find a basic recipe for the drug. The expensive equipment required to make it, as well as the enormous time investment, discourage offworld corporations from manufacturing their own variants of the substance, although there are some that do so. Still, there is not a large demand for Tallis off Tallyora, so most of it will end up being shipped there anyway.
Those few privately-run drug labs which try to manufacture Tallis get little patronage from actual Tallyorans - the labs often use imperfect equipment, spoiling the component of the compound which sates the addiction.
View of the Tallyorans
Offworlders tend to be cautious of Tallyorans, for their reputation as pirates is well-known. Indeed, there are worlds in the Conglomerate which do not allow Tallyoran visitors, and quickly arrest those who come anyway. Those who are arrested are generally imprisoned, and their need for Tallis often drives them to suicidal attempts to escape, even to the extent of murdering guards to do so. Needless to say, this is unlikely to make the planet more tolerant of Tallyorans in the future.
Even on those worlds where they are accepted, it is commonly thought that all Tallyorans are pirates, and so they tend to be treated with fear and perhaps a hint of loathing admiration.