The Drell are a reptile-like race that was rescued from their dying homeworld of Rakhana by the Hanar following the first contact between the two races. Since then, the Drell remained loyal to the Hanar for their efforts and have fit themselves comfortably into galactic civilization and the Hanar planet of Kahje.
Drell are omnivorous reptile-like humanoids with an average life expectancy of 85 galactic standard years. The Drells' appearance is very similar to the Asari and Human races. Howvever, their muscle tissue is slightly denser, which gives them a distorted strength. Many of their reptile-like features are hidden, but one of their more unique characteristics is the hyoid bone in their throats. This hyoid bone allows the Drell to exapnd their throats and produce vocal sounds outside of the Human range of hearing. They also have two sets of eyelids, similar to crocodiles, in which allow the Drell to be able to shed tears.
Drell ancestors came from arid, rocky deserts. Because of this the humid, ocean-covered Hanar homeworld of Kahje become tolerable only when the Drell stayed inside a climate-controlled dome city. The leading cause of death for Drell on Kahje is Kepral's Syndrome. It is a syndrome caused by long-term exposure to a humid climate. It erodes the Drells' lungs and affects their ability to take in oxygen, and it eventually spreads out to other organs. It is noncommunicable, and there is currently no known cure. Leading Hanar scientific authorities are working on creating a genetic adaptation.
The Drell possess photographic memory, an adaptation to a world where they must remember the location of every necessary resource (vegetation, drinkable water and prey migration paths) across vast distances. Their memories are so strong that an external stimulus can trigger a powerful memory recall. These recalls are so vivid and detailed that some Drell mistake it for reality. Because of this characteristic, Thane Krios remembers every assassination he has ever performed and can describe them in flawless detail, and says he prefers to spend a lonely night with the perfect memory of another. This process can also sometimes be involuntary.
The Drell ancestors came from dry, rocky deserts on the barren world of Rakhana. Eight centuries ago, the already-arid Drell homeworld began a swift descent into lifelessness due to rapid and disastrous industrial expansion. At the time, the Drell lacked interstellar flight capacity, and with their population bursting at 11 billion they faced certain doom. It was around this time that the Hanar made first contact with the Drell race. In the following ten years, the Hanar transported thousands upon thousands of Drell to the Hanar world of Kahje. The remaining Drell that were left on Rakhana would perish on their dying planet. They began fighting each other for diminishing resources. The Drell now co-exist with the Hanar and have been a part of their galactic civilization for roughly two centuries. The debt of gratitude that the Drell owe the Hanar is referred to as the Compact, which the Drell fulfill by taking on tasks that the Hanar find difficult, which includecombat. Some Drell refuse to serve, but being asked to serve is a great honor to them, so very few turn down the offer.
Most Drell are content to live on Kahje, home to the Hanar. They have afforded every opportunity to survive by the Hanar, yet some outsiders and even some Hanar regard the Drell as 'second class citizens'. It is actually quite the opposite, they have integrated themselves into every level of Hanar society as respected, productive citizens.
Those who leave Kahje tend to be adventurers. These solitary Drell travelers often seek out new species elsewhere, and in turn adopt that species' culture. These Drell number in the thousands, and are scattered across the galaxy, tending towards quiet, integrated lives.
Some Drell grow a close, personal relationship with the Hanar. So much so that the Hanar will even tell the Drell their "Soul Name", which is very rare to the Hanar, since that name is more commonly shared among other Hanar which they have close relations with. Drell have adapted to communication with Hanar by getting implants in their eyes to allow them to observe the bioluminescense the Hanar use for communication. Drell such as Thane Krios are able to see ultraviolet light as a silver-like color, though some might lose the ability to differentiate between colors at the opposite end of the spectrum.