by Max Barry

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Southern Thelarai
"Hǝláje axǝic ther."

A federation of multiple states, as well as subnational monarchies and republics, on the continent of Thelarai and its surrounding islands on the nearby planet of Thalassa, Southern Thelarai is a salad bowl of highly diverse cultures. It consists of three main sapient races, two of which are native Thalassan.

The Vrakhoiethioaians, the dominant native race at 98% of the population of Southern Thelarai, are an intelligent, diverse, greenish-skinned, quasi-humanoid genus of 9 species and subspecies, the largest of which is the Ka-Weitakhoshiese subspecies, making up more than half of the total Vrakhoiethioaian population of Southern Thelarai. The Tsethethioaians, the second native sapient group, are a highly-intelligent grayish-skinned humanoid species who, as a result of their devastating loss after centuries of conflict and enmity with the Vrakhoietioaians, make up less than 2% of the population. They are also highly marginalized and discriminated against in Southern Thelaraian society, being granted only limited legal and political rights. The third sapient group, which is not of native Thalassan origin, consists of human immigrants from a formerly war-torn Earth as well as their Thalassan-born descendants. Due to humanity's status in general Thalassan, especially Vrakhoiethioaian, religion as the "chosen race," they are highly revered by the native Thalassan races. Thus, despite their minute size at an estimated 11,436 members, they are highly influential, a status cemented as well by the fact that most of them are generally affluent due to people of lower backgrounds being unable to afford space travel during the Great War.

  • LinkAliens Speaking English: Justified, as English is taught to native Thalassan students in secondary and tertiary educational institutions who are interested in learning it and communicating with the local human community and/or humans from Earth. This is largely due to the human community's enormous amount of influence over Southern Thelaraian society, which was also a factor in the adoption of English as an official language.

  • LinkFantastic (as in "fantasy," not "awesome") Racism: Unfortunately so, and it threatens the federation's stability, with its politics being dominated by a mix of racial and cross-cutting factions alike. Tensions between the two native sapient groups, namely the dominant Vrakhoiethioaians and the much fewer Tsethethioaians, going millennia back, are still pervasive, to the point that Tsethethioaian citizens possess only limited legal and political rights. It does not end there, however. Antagonism between the constituent species and subspecies of the Vrakhoiethioaian genus, especially between the Ka-Weitakhoshiese subspecies and their former oppressors, while slowly declining, persists. The influential human community, though highly respected due to their near-sacred status in Vrakhoiethioaian and Tsethethioaian religions, struggles to reconcile these groups and ease tensions due to their far smaller numbers in comparison to them and the deeply-rooted nature of racism and speciesism in general Thalassan society.

  • LinkHumanoid Aliens: The Vrakhoiethioaians. They possess a humanoid body structure, but with major differences such as greenish skin, a different head structure, and the presence of two vestigial hind legs on their lower back, a holdover resulting from evolutionary change.

    • LinkRubber-Forehead Aliens: The Tsethethioaians. Though grayish-skinned, they are mammalian, with bodily features that are very similar to humans. They straddle the line between this trope and Humanoid Aliens, however, as their body structure is more similar to Neanderthals, though their heads are largely human-like.

  • LinkMultiple Government Polity: Though consisting mostly of relatively autonomous states under a federal government, Southern Thelarai also consists of 6 subnational monarchies and republics with a greater degree of autonomy as well as population and influence.

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