Farscape Encyclopedia Project

Sheyangs are spacefaring reptiles known throughout the Uncharted Territories as opportunistic scavengers.


Sheyangs are heavyset reptilians, usually weighing between 80 and 150 kilograms. This gives them a rather ungainly appearance, amplified by their stout limbs and waddle-like walk. Their skin has a thick, amphibious quality and is usually a shade of green or brown, which darkens with age. Sheyangs have no body hair. Their large mouths are full of sharp teeth, giving them a predatory, shark-like appearance. Adults vary between 1.8 and 2.6 meters tall and continue to grow throughout their life span.


Yanglin, a tropical world near a Black Hole.


Unlike many reptilian life forms, Sheyangs are warm-blooded. Their kalack gland, located just above the stomach, collect special enzymes and chemicals from the body and mixes them into a thick bile that ignites into an intense flame when exposed to oxygen. Through a process similar to regurgitation, Sheyangs can spit this bile in a streak of intense flame. While stored in the kalack gland, the bile is very hot and helps regulate a Sheyang's body temperature. If a Sheyang grows too hot, he will often spit a small amount of the bile out; most Sheyangs keep a small armored bucket of some sort around for just such occasions. If a Sheyang does not regulate his temperature, or if wounded while preparing to breathe fire, the kalack gland can rupture, causing a very messy explosion, as in the case of Teurac.

Sheyang Fireball

The kalack gland requires a lot of energy, and Sheyangs must eat a great deal to maintain it. Sheyangs are omnivorous, but they strongly prefer the flesh of animals to vegetables. Meat also provides more of the minerals needed by the kalack gland than vegetables. Most Sheyangs see the consumption of vegetables as a sign of weakness or poverty. Sheyangs grow intoxicated shortly after eating large meals because of the excess heat created by the kalack gland.

As Sheyangs age, their kalack glands become less and less efficient, which makes producing fire more difficult. The inability to create flame is seen as the greatest weakness among Sheyangs, and those unable to breathe fire sometimes become suicidal in the hope of ending their suffering.

Sheyangs are powerfully built, both in terms of raw strength and endurance. However they lack speed and agility, and have poor eyesight. Most Sheyangs cannot see clearly for more than five meters, although this doubles in dim lighting conditions.

Sheyangs for the most part are a greedy, violent race, who have progressed little from their savage tribal days. Most Sheyangs are constantly spoiling for a fight, but they will almost always avoid confrontation with a superior foe. Instead, they seek covert ways to weaken their enemy and then strike from a position of strength. While they are very cutthroat and untrustworthy, they do have some redeeming traits. The beginnings of a warrior culture have appeared among them, including a rudimentary code of honor. In particular, a Sheyang will always finish a task he sets out to complete, regardless of the cost. This mindset, along with the ability to breathe fire, makes the Sheyangs valued mercenaries.


Sheyangs possess few social graces and have trouble making small talk or lying to other races. This ineptitude also makes them rather easy to fool when presented with a convincing ruse. They are a very blunt and direct people, and their culture reflects this.

When the first offworld ship landed on Yanglin, Sheyangs were just beginning to form nation-states. The sudden addition of high technology to their environment accelerated their knowledge of science, but cultural developments ground to a halt. Instead of worrying about art or a better political system, Sheyangs became obsessed with exploiting new technology before their neighbors. An arms race of sorts developed between different tribes, each battling the other to control each ship that came to the planet.

Through all this, Sheyangs managed to master space travel and other advanced sciences without the work and suffering other races went through. This gave them something of a superiority complex - they believe that, since they advanced so much faster than other races, they must be superior. Also, their rapid advancement in technology at the expense of cultural advancement has left Sheyangs in their tribal groups, even out among the stars.