Yalkanni (yawl-KAHN-ee) are semi aquatic, with long arms and short legs, sometimes going around on all fours. They have rubbery scales, and sub dermal carapaces that encloses their torsos. Yalkanni have two genders, but most members of each gender are infertile “drones.” They are usually manual laborers, and don’t receive as much education as fertile yalkanni, but are not otherwise under any stigma. Fertile yalkanni have brightly colored patches along their arms.
Yalkanni must immerse themselves in water daily (they drink through their skin). If they cannot do so, yalkanni characters become aggressive and irritatble, and must roll vs. HT. A failure means a loss of 1d/2 IQ. The following dry day, roll again, with failure resulting in a 1d/2 loss to HT. This can quickly lead to death. A yalkanni can avoid this loss by entering a hibernation state. To do so, they secret a mucus that hardens into a mummy-like cocoon. They can be revived by immersing the cocoon in water for a hour, plus 1d additional hours for every lost HT or IQ point they suffered before hibernating.
Yalkanni are a very tactile people, greeting one another by nuzzling and touching. In crowds, they move from one embrace to another. Stepping out of the way to avoid contact, as humans would, is viewed as a snub. Between closer friends, this affection can be more intense, and become sexual. Yalkanni feel no taboos about sex in public, which can be shocking to humans visiting yalkanni communities.
Yalkanni live in large, subterranean dome-like structures called pods. Each pod houses an extended family, led by a breeding cadre of 1 female and 3-5 males. This cadre is chosen during the “Yamdu”. The Yamdu is the beginning of the breeding cycle, when the fertile pod members who want to breed become more aggressive and territorial. They gather outside the pod, where they engage in single combat contest much like judo, while shouting a litany of their achievements and qualifications. The drone pod members officiate, and declare winners in these contests. The Yamdu lasts a few days, less in the case of small pods. The winning female and males retire to the lower level of the pod, where they mate and fertilize hundreds of eggs. When they emerge, they are considered the heads of the pod.
Yalkanni are staid, with a love of ritual and pattern. Their world view is tied to an awareness of natural patterns of birth, maturity, decline, death, and renewal. Yalkanni art is never created for permanence. Sculpture is often carved into the trunk of living trees, so that the sculpture will be lost as the plant heals. Yalkanni theater is a kind of performance art, where traditional stories are performed, and audience members are expected to join in at appropriate moments.
Native Gravity: 1.2G
Temperature Range: 55º -110º, 80º
Taboos: excretion, cannibalism
Family Life: pod-based group marriage, recreational sex anytime,
reproductive sex following “Yamdu” (a seasonal mating
Society Notes: Coalition pod-based consensus
Major Languages: Daiyalak
Yalkanni names are rumbling and multi-syllabic. Drones use their pod name then personal name, while breeders use personal name then pod name. Both are run together. The list below is in the form that breeders would use. A hyphen is inserted between personal names and pod names, although ordinarily, this would not be the case.