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Dnyarri
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Dnyarri

The Dnyarri are a fictional race of beings featured in the sci-fi Star Control computer game series.

This evil race consists of small, grayish-orange creatures resembling a cross between a toad and an unhealthy mushroom about the size of a dog. They are squatty with small front legs and larger back legs. Although they are presently non-sentient, the Dnyarri's unassuming aspect belies its true nature as one of the most hostile and dangerous species in the galaxy, because each Dnyarri possesses psychic compulsion mental powers. With these powers a single Dnyarri can hold an entire planet enthralled. A Dnyarri mental command is so strong that only one race, the extinct Taalo, had been able to resist its power.

The non-technological Dnyarri were discovered over 20,000 years ago by the Ur-Quan, then a peaceful member of the Sentient Milieu. The Ur-Quan brain was particularly susceptible to the Dnyarri's psychic compulsion, and the Dnyarri used this weakness to force the Ur-Quan to transport them off their planet and distribute them throughout Milieu space. The ensuing slave war lasted only a few months as race after race was quickly enslaved by the Dnyarris' powers. Only the Taalo could resist, and they were destroyed by the other, now enslaved races.

The reign of the Dnyarri lasted several thousand years. During this time, they ruled the ex-milieu races with uniquely perverse cruelty, even causing two of their enslaved species to be utterly destroyed. This period of time was a living nightmare for the races who survived.

Like all slave masters, the Dnyarri were eventually defeated. The hatred of their freed slaves was so extreme that the Dnyarri were not eliminated. Instead, their genetic structures were modified so that their offspring were born non-sentient -- dumb animals, who the Ur-Quan took as pets. The immense telepathic powers remained in the Dnyarri, but without intelligence they could use these abilities only for interspecies translation at the command of their masters. Over the following millennia the Dnyarri became known as the "Talking Pets".

A sentient Dnyarri and a Taalo device that shielded against its powers were both involved in the destruction of the Ur-Quan Kzer-Za's Precursor battle platform, the Sa-Matra. Ironically, the Dnyarri's masters, the Kzer-Za and the Kohr-Ah, are the best known legacy of the defunct Dnyarri empire as it was the Dnyarri who genetically split the original Ur-Quan species into two races. With the exception of the single sentient Dnyarri mentioned above, all of the surviving members of the race were believed to be in the service of the Kzer-Za and the Kohr-Ah until they were defeated by the New Alliance of Free Stars. After the war and creation of League of Sentient Races, the Ur-Quan stopped using the Dnyarri for inter-racial communication. The original Dnyarri homeworld, Glilandy, is believed to have been all but destroyed when the Dnyarri empire was overthrown, but the location of that world is not known to the Alliance, so its present condition cannot be confirmed.