The Zyan are an ancient interstellar-capable race. The Zyan home world is Zeta Bootis 7, but this planet has long been a radioactive ruin. By 2044, the Zyan Empire consisted of at least twenty planets and four Habitables. There are at least two independent Zyan worlds, both at war with the Empire.In 2638, the fate of the Zyan Empire is unknown and one independent Zyan world (Mu Leonis B 3) is part of The Hundred Suns. This world is widely called, "Zyan."
The Zyan are hexapods with two rear hoofs, two clawed forepaws, and two arms, each with four with prehensile clawed fingers. Zyan torsos are flexible and sinuous. The Zyan head is somewhat smaller than human and is feline shaped. Zyan are mammals and are covered in short fur. Zyan fur exhibits a wide variety in patterns and colors. Zyan males and females are very similar in appearance. Zyan weigh somewhat less than humans, but are considerably faster and stronger.They have trouble swimming and are uncomfortable flying or in zero gravity.Vision, hearing, and sense of smell are all similar to human. Zyan evolved as carnivores, but civilized Zyan are comfortable eating a variety of plant-based savories and seasonings. They are particularly fond of eggs. Zyan probably live about 200 years, but access to high technology allows this to be greatly extended. Thousand year old Zyan are common.
Zyan are intelligent, competitive, and capable of extreme loyalty -- or extreme vindictiveness. Mainstream Zyan culture is dominated by "The Prize" -- a complex, generations-long game. The Prize is computer-moderated and every Zyan carries a "Prize Counter" that keeps track of one's individual and clan score. The Counter offers missions and wagers that allow a Zyan to increase (or decrease) his or hers score. There are many intricacies that tax Zyan comprehension and are beyond human understanding. There are also rumors of "secret games" or conspiracies, some involving possible participation by alien races. To ignore the Prize is a sign of insanity in mainstream Zyan culture. Rebel Zyan either promote an alternative game or in one rare but significant case abandon the Prize altogether
Zyan technology is advanced, much more so than human. At the time they encountered humans, the Zyan had gravity polarizers, faster than light drive, medical and manufacturing nanotechnology, and machine-based telepathy.The Zyan never normally use magic, psionics, epification or genetic engineering, or robotics. There are legends of super-powered Zyan Uniques but no evidence these are anything but legends. Zyan mathematics confounds humans. For instance, Zyan calculus simultaneously integrates past, present, and future factors. The Zyan have accepted an infinite probability approach to reality for millennia. Some claim that Zyan created the Strange Worlds, but there is absolutely no objective evidence to support this. Mankind and Zyan rediscovered the Strange Worlds at about the same time.
Mankind first encountered the Zyan in 2021, when the arrival of a lone refugee ship sparked the SpacePort Wars. Several thousand "insane" Zyan rebels who wanted to abandon the Prize transformed human science, economics, and politics. The introduction of Zyan technology was directly responsible for the formation of the Confederacy of Urban Regions and the Tech Cops. Within twenty years, the mainstream Zyan had located the rebels and mankind's first Interstellar war was on. Peace came in 2052 with the Treaty of Iapetus.
By 2638, Zyan and mankind peacefully coexist as equal partners.