Queltl are a sentient amphibious species with a humanoid appearance. Their heads are similar to axolotl and they possess wide wing like protrusions from their underarms, connecting their arms to their torso sides. They possess webbed fingers and toes which in addition to their arm flaps assists them in being incredibly fast and agile underwater. Their eyes are covered in a thin film that protects their eyes from the air when terrestrial and the water when aquatic. This film gives them their distinctive black eyes which are wholly one colour, a striking black with no visible pupils. They are shorter than humans, averaging out to around 4ft when fully grown. They also have a shorter lifespan than humans, living to a maximum age of 80-85. They possess prehensile tails which serve as a rudder to assist In their agile movement underwater which doubles as an anchor for sleep. Whilst they sleep underwater their tail is used to grab on a sleeping post as they freely float while they sleep. The tail is not strong enough to hold heavy objects and if in rough waters a strong enough current can rip them from their resting positions.
Queltl colouration is a science unto itself. The vast majority of queltl have three colours with a smaller contingent having only two. Culturally their colours play an important role in naming queltl. They share the first initial of their first name with the first initial of their primary colour, their second name will have the same initial as the first letter of their secondary colour and their third name will share the first initial with the first initial of their tertiary colour. As such most queltl have three names and since their colours will often be different from their parents they do not share family names in the same way that humans do. In fact it is incredibly difficult for humans to tell when queltl are related to each other as members of a family may not share even a single colour or name with each other. Instead queltl can tell their family members by the precise pitch they have in their native language. All members of a family will have very similar voices in their native tongue, reaching pitches that humans cannot even perceive. As such queltl can easily tell when they are related to each other while even the humans of the concord have a hard time with it. Family relations do slightly increase the chances of a queltl sharing one or multiple colours but it is only a small factor among many.
Just like how there can be distinctive features among certain groups of humans there can also be distinctive features among groups of queltl. Usually these are indicators that these queltl are related to free survivors of certain cell blocks that were opened later than others, with the isolated communities resulting in these mutations.
These mutations are mostly minor, cosmetic or otherwise distinctive but not malign or dangerous.
Speckled eyes. The most common among all mutations found among the descendants of queltl from isolated cell blocks. Some of the inhabitants of certain cells had mutations or viruses that changed the colour of the film that covers their eyes resulting in colours other than black. Whilst fresh rescuees of cell blocks may have entirely different eye colours over time the intermingling with the wider queltl population mean that all that remains in most descendants are mere speckles of colour on their otherwise jet black eyes. As such it is sometimes possible to guess how many generations back a queltls relatives were trapped in a cell block based on how much colour is in their eyes. Speckled colours. In a similar way to their eyes sometimes queltl have smaller patterns of different colours in addition to their three main ones. Just like with Speckled eyes it is thus possible to guess which cell block these queltls relatives weer trapped in. Unlike Speckled eyes however these differences are very minute and not complete like the Speckled eyes can be. For example faint orange spots on a green primary colour or faint blue lines on a tertiary red colour. Extra digits. Similar to human extra digits but unlike humans where it can be unexpected it is always found in queltl related to a particular cell blocks survivors. Dorsal fin. In a rare example of a helpful mutation the relatives of one cell block gained the addition of a dorsal fin on their back. Whilst it can make finding clothes awkward these queltl are among the best of the best at speed and agility underwater.
These mutations cause minor to severe issues for the queltl experiencing them. They are mostly present among the freshly free members of a cell block and tend to become less pronounced with time.
Blindness. The descendants of one cell block have a mutation similar to speckled eyes. In their case the eye film became totally white, robbing them of all sight. Their hearing is enhanced due to relying on this sense in their cell block. Their descendants that inherit their white eyes do so completely, there are no speckled descendants, only fully white or black. The descendants that inherit white eyes also inheret the blindness, either complete or partial. Though with the assistance of modern technology many of them are able to mitigate most of their sight issues. Lacerations. The lingering effects of one of the predators found in a cell block with surviving queltl. The poisoned tentacles of the predator damaged the very dna of the queltl that encountered it, resulting in severe marks on their skin. These laceration like marks are raw and fragile, causing significant pain if touched or held. In the most severe cases it can even begin to cause pain when not underwater, with the various chemicals in air causing irritation to the sensitive areas.
Thessalopholans. The most severe and well known of the cell block mutations and a reminder of how cruel the imprisonment of the jailers was for the species of the concord. The Thessalopholans are a distinct group from the concord of mutual disdain and the only native inhabitants of Kardakouk not to be a part of the concord. Very low in population the Thessalopholans are queltls with two heads and distinct, glowing, bioluminescent orange eyes. Many of the group have severe mental illnesses to straight up madness. Both heads are fully functioning and in some cases they are fully independent living beings, akin to conjoined twins. At other times both heads are part of one being. On top of these debilitating issues the Thessalopholans are vulnerable to extreme changes in temperature and pressure and are particularly susceptible to illness and disease. In fact, since their release from their cell the oldest Thessalopholan died at the age of only 25. It was quickly decided once their cell was opened and speaking to some of the few cognizant Thessalopholans that they would not be required to join the concord, who's obsessive reason for being is to track down and kill the jailors. Instead their inhabited cell and the region around it has been designated protected ground. Owned by the royals directly and gifted to the Thesslopholans they are free to live in the area and govern themselves as they see fit. They are provided a stipend from the Royal coffers and are not required to work. It is seen as a small step to provide for them after the cruelty the jailors inflicted on them.
Fallen mutations: (content warning, mentions of cannibalism)
The queltl with these mutations are either completely mad to the point of being unable to be reasoned with or no longer recognisably queltl, their connection only found through dna examination.
Cannibalism. Whilst cannibalism is already a great taboo in human society it is even more so in queltl society. After centuries of battle with the Tar'et, essentially a fight between a predator species and a prey species, queltl have a great disdain for those who would partake in queltl flesh. Even in abject survival situations your average queltl would sooner die than eat queltl meat. Thus whether by choice or by madness any queltl found to have eaten queltl flesh are immediately seen as fallen.
Raptor queltl. Believed to be related to a group of queltl that began to engage in cannibalism the raptor queltl mutated in their cells to become voracious carnivores. This now extinct subspecies of queltl developed vicious fangs and pointed fingers for ripping and tearing flesh. Even sleeker bodies provided an even sleeker and quieter movement to assist In hunting prey without sacrificing speed. They are one example of the horrors that the bunker busters confront in their exploration of the ancient locked cells.
One of the founding species of The Concord of Mutual Disdain
Queltl are a very social species and quite inquisitive by nature. This serves them well in roles such as diplomats and crafters but can lead them to danger in roles like explorers and soldiers. Due to their smaller size queltl are not typically very strong and as such tend to prefer ranged weaponry over melee. In much of their combat with the Tar'et they would employ swarming tactics, overwhelming foes with sheer numbers or clever tactics rather than individual skill or battle prowess.
See [Concord of Mutual Disdain]