Fruit, fish, and insects
The Valteen were a sentient species of tall, semi-arboreal reptilians from the planet Tiratu in the Scintari system of the Outer Rim Territories.
Typically regarded as greedy, scheming and manipulative by offworlders due to many of them being bankers and merchants, the Valteen saw themselves as a cultured and intelligent race.
Biology and appearanceEdit
Physically speaking, Valteen were hunchbacked creatures with a craned neck, long pointed ears, a pair of slitted eyes, and a pronounced jaw bearing dozens of spiny teeth. Their bluish-grey skin was, despite its appearance (and popular urban legend), not slimy in the slightest- instead having a smooth, almost leathery texture.
The Valteen evolved from flying arboreal reptiles resembling pterosaurs, and still looked much the same, the most notable aspect of this evolution being their loss of flight: due to the diminishing of the bat-like skin flaps between their arms and their sides, very few Valteen could fly in later millennia, managing only a weak glide in the best of cases.
Valteen typically wore tunics or coats covered by, traditionally, conservative cloaks of black, gray, or silver thread, depending on social status, and had little affection for jewelry or decorum.
Society and cultureEdit
Valteen society was comprised of a free aristocracy, in which any member could rise to prominence through his or her own efforts and successes. Due to their enslavement of the local Renz and Ifli species, Valteen individuals were neither required nor expected to engage in manual labor, and in fact were looked down upon by others of their species if they found themselves in the unlucky situation of having to seek it.
Common Valtese, the native language of the Valteen, was performed in a series of hissing, and involved subtle ear movement.
Old Valtese was a more archaic version of this, spoken in formal settings. The two dialects were mutually intelligible.
Most Valteen understood and could speak Basic and Huttese without much difficulty, although their accent when speaking these languages was easily distinguishable: both the changing of "s" into a long, sibilant "z" sound and an inability to properly pronounce the vowel "u" were present.
The Valteen evolved into an approximation of their current appearance on their homeworld Tiratu roughly 36 million years before the foundation of the Old Galactic Republic. They remained as a race largely solitary, choosing to build wealth and power on their own world instead of exploring the Galaxy at a time when other species had already begun to colonize distant systems. Their first government, the Kingdom of Tiratu, was founded in circa 33,000 BBY, and lasted until 27,452 BBY, around two thousand years before the foundation of the Republic. The Kingdom collapsed due to a question of lineage leading to an unprecedented civil war. During this time, the Kingdom was divided into two separate Kingdoms sharing the planet. One of the Kingdoms discovered extremely rare illuvium deposits in numerous mountainous regions of its territory, and offworlders began to come from nearby systems and planets to trade. With the massive increase in wealth, the one Kingdom conquered the other, once again uniting the world, this time into a planetwide Tiratu Union.
It was, then, that the Valteen joined the emergent Galactic Republic in 24,612 BBY, having discovered the nearby planets of Scinta and Ciradel only decades previously. On Scinta, they unearthed further deposits of illuvium, and skyrocketed into a comfortable world.
The Valteen lived in this manner for thousands of years, with little conflict, onworld or offworld.
Galactic Civil WarEdit
It wasn't until the Galactic Empire turned to them following the Clone Wars, however, that they rose to a galaxy-wide level of prominence.
Selling large stocks of illuvium and rhydonium, used in high-grade munitions, to the Empire made them not merely wealth, but a plutocratic giant. Their Scintari Reserve Guild, which had once been petty competition to the InterGalactic Banking Clan, gained real headway seemingly overnight. In return for the Empire's purchases, the Valteen turned and loaned to the Rebellion, backing much of its exploits and bringing about the Empire's fall from grace. As a species, they were generally loathed and hated following their rise into the galactic eye, as they bore little allegiance to any government. The Reserve Guild, continuing to snowball at a rate of millions of credits a year, ballooned, backing random planetary conflicts across the galaxy and, as a result, swallowing governments at a catastrophic rate.
By 160 ABY, the Valteen arguably controlled much of the known Galaxy behind the scenes, although they had little real military force to back them up. Valteen could be shot on sight in some radical areas, mainly due to their reputation as repulsive, credit-hungry leeches. They regarded insult and injury as meaningless, however, and continued to build their invisible empire.
According to public Reserve records, Ril Ziivi, the Minister of Exchequer for the Reserve Guild, owned four planets in 250 ABY, used as getaway retreats and depositories for his personal wealth, and the Galactic Alliance owed the Reserve Guild over 91,000,000 in overdue.