All Hannri are empathic (able to directly sense and even experience the emotions of others.) None are telepathic (able to "read" minds, pick up the content of thoughts.) This attribute is believed to be the fountainhead of their remarkably peaceful and cooperative society. The pain or unhappiness of one Hannri effects all the Hannri around him, and their natural impulse is to soothe the troubled one and, thus, themselves. Kind words, patient listening, therapeutic touch and massage, and sexual play are all accepted methods of comfort.
Hannri shrink from inflicting suffering, both on their own kind and on members of other species. Therefore, physical violence is practically unknown among them, and they have never experienced war (of their own making). Differences between individuals and groups are settled by "slaiani," contests of musical oratory held before elected councils of elders called "chloslaia." Chloslaia exist on the local level, the city level, the province level, and so on, up to the Avlachoslaia, which amounts to a planetary government.
The basic social unit is the clan, which consists of anywhere from a couple dozen to a couple hundred members related by blood and chosen alliance. Hannri do not marry or take permanent mates. During her long life (Hannri can live in excess of five hundred years), a female may have a dozen or more children by a dozen or more different males. Female offspring become members of the mother's clan, while male offspring become members of the father's clan, after they've reached the age of twenty-five (first majority).
Almost all Hannri are bisexual, with the occasional hetero- or homosexual being viewed as odd but acceptable. What some species would label promiscuity is their normal mode of behavior. Temporary mates - that is, partners in reproduction - are chosen with great deliberation, however. For millennia, the Hannri have practiced a form of eugenics designed to perfect the characteristics of the various racial types. Before any reproductive mating can take place, the proposed couple will consult with genealogists and geneticists about the probable results of the match; it is extremely rare for a couple to ignore the advice of such professionals. One might say that the Hannri view reproduction as the highest of their arts.
Mechanical technology is not the Hannri forte. Although their civilization is older than that of Vulcan, they were not yet spacefaring when the Romulans arrived several hundred years ago. Their planet is a rich and fertile one, readily providing for their needs, and they have always excelled in agriculture, low-impact mining, animal husbandry, medicine, and the fine arts.
The Romulans were the first outside sapients to contact the Hannri, who met them with great trepidation, for they found the fiercely aggressive mindset of the newcomers to be utterly alien and repellent. Indeed, they still do find it so, but they have learned to accept the difference as a matter of necessity. For Star Empire immediately claimed Hannrileth as a subject world and imposed a military government on it. Hannri who protested in their traditional manner, through slaiani, were killed or imprisoned and tortured. When the Romulans realized the efficacy of torture in swaying not only the actual victim but all the Hannri around him, they began systematic programs of duress all over the planet. Those persecuted broadcast their pain, and soon the Avlachoslaia called on the suffering populace to accept Romulan rule.
To this day, each Hannri clan must surrender a tithe or tenth of its members as slaves. The children who will be given into Romulan hands are chosen for the "honor" by yearly lotteries. Upon reaching the age often, which is when final weaning occurs, the future slaves or tithlings are sent to special schools co-run by Hannri and Romulans. Here they learn all the skills of whichever profession they seem best suited to: child nurse, sicknurse or medical assistant, upper level domestic, horticulturalist, administrative aide, entertainer, etc. They are also indoctrinated in Romulan culture and law and develop the mental discipline to endure proximity to Romulan emotions and Romulan aggression.
Physical / Physiological Characteristics
The Hannri have developed a large number of races and subraces. There are also "hybrid" Hannri who, if they show themselves to be a worthy stock, eventually develop into a new subrace. It should be noted that there is no social hierarchy based on race - no one race or subrace considered to be superior to the others.
Prominent races are the Ebon (blue-black skin, black or gold or silver hair & nails, black or gold or silver eyes); the Cyan (light blue skin, black or silver hair & nails, black or silver or midnight blue eyes); the Copper (copper skin, copper or black hair & nails, copper or black or emerald eyes); the Silver (silvery skin, black or silver hair & nails, black or silver or aqua eyes); and the Ivory (creamy white skin, gold or black or copper hair & nails, midnight blue or aqua or black or emerald eyes).
There is no great difference in size between the male and the female. Most Hannri range from 5'0" to 6'0" in height, with shorter or taller individuals extremely rare. They are generally slender, with arms and legs slightly longer in proportion to their bodies than the Terran norm. This gives the species an elegant elongation. Though lightweight, their bones are tough and their muscles strong and limber - their fragile appearance is deceptive. If a Hannri could be induced to fight, he could hold his own against a similarly sized human, but would be overmatched by a Romulan or Klingon.
Hannri blood is copper-based, like that of the Vulcanoids, but with a more bluish tint. One of the most fascinating aspects of their physiology is the female's ability to produce several "grades" of milk. Hannri children breastfeed until the age of ten. Their first milk is rich with fats and proteins; as they age, the nursing mother produces thinner and thinner milks, as these are increasingly supplemented by other foods. It is believed that the long period of breastfeeding has profound psychological benefits, in addition to the nutritive and immunological ones.
The sexually mature but nonlactating female generates another mammary product called zilaia or sweetsap. This is a clear or pale gold liquid of syrupy consistency with a delicious aroma and taste that has been compared to that of an extremely "flowery" honey. The expression of zilaia is triggered by sexual stimulation, and the substance is offered to the female's sexual partner. It is believed to be a true aphrodisiac and to affect Romulans and other species as well as Hannri. Thus there is a great interest in zilaia among the Orions, who have been known to raid Romulan ships near the border of the Neutral Zone just in hopes of capturing Hannri slaves. Occasionally "zilaia" is offered for sale in the outlying sectors of the Federation - this is almost without exception a fake, a sugar-based syrup laced with synthetic stimulants.