The most widespread of the xenoform species humanity has encountered, N'yazeans are tall, blue-hued amphibians native to the humid swamps of Faralguese II (Asz-Szarnalorm to the N'yazeans). Originally a willing client race to the Imperium, centuries of brutal oppression by humanity against xenoforms has led to numerous attempts to re-assert their independence.
Physically, N'yazeans are taller and leaner than humans, moving with grace both in and out of water. As an amphibious race, they have the ability to breath both in water and in a typical oxygen-nitrogen atmosphere; a complex gill system located on the neck inhales oxygen whilst on land and filters oxygen from water whilst underwater. With gills performing all respiratory functions, N'yazeans lack noses and, indeed, have no sense of smell. A heightened sense of taste compensates only marginally for this.
Aside from the variety of blue skin tones which immediately identify the N'yazeans it is perhaps the tentacles descending from their elongated heads which are their most defining and prominent feature. Every N'yazean has eight of these tendrils, four on either side of the head, descending downwards. Longer tentacles are a source of pride for many N'yazeans. A mixture of skin and cartilege, these tentacles mostly serve a communication purpose, emitting a bioluminescence which allows for rapid underwater communication. Different colours, flashes and patterns can convey a complex amount of data and information quickly and efficently. While not as vibrant on land, they serve the same function, allowing N'yazeans to communicate on two levels. Some groups have developed their own codes and patters of communicating via bioluminescence, effectively enabling them to talk secretly even when others are nearby.
Strong, triple jointed hind legs allow for speedy underwater movement as well as giving N'yazeans a very distinctive gait whilst walking on land. Webbed hands and feet provide a further advantage underwater but can make operating some human-designed and constructed items difficult. Able to survive in most oxygen-nitrogen atmospheres, N'yazeans are most comfortable in hot, humid conditions similar to that found on their homeworld. Most N'yazean starships are significantly warmer than the average human ship, and many contain a series of water-submerged sub-levels.
N'yazean culture was historically peaceful; the populace had no concept warfare or violence until they made contact with humanity. Great emphasis was placed on art, music and literature; disputes were resolved through these mediums. Individuals would compete with each other artistically, with impartial third parties awarding victory to the artist who had most successfully expressed themselves through their chosen medium. As such, the N'yazeans had no armies or defences when they began to explore the galaxy. First contact with humanity was peaceful but after the first few years of cultural exchanges the N'yazeans realized that the violent, expansionist Imperium would inevitably seek to incorporate them into their interstellar Empire. Two opposing factions began to assert themselves; the first promoted extreme isolation, closing their borders and seeking to insulate themselves from the rest of the galaxy. The second instead favoured voluntary incorporation into the Imperium, thus avoiding bloodshed, preserving N'yazean culture and heritage and ensuring a continued presence on the galactic stage. Members of both factions promoted their views through every artistic medium known to the N'yazeans; eventually the pro-Imperium faction emerged victorious and the N'yazeans were soon incoporated into the Imperium.