The Thrall are a sentient species of reptilian bipedals, though whether they can be described as sapient is unclear. The avali have had very little success in understanding their culture and social structure — in part because few aval have survived to provide descriptions but mostly because the Thrall are unquestionably alien with few commonalities with other sentient species. They evolved independently and unchallenged at the top of the food chain on a continent far removed from landmasses inhabited by other sentients. They were wholly unprepared to view other species as anything other than food when they were met by the avali.
The continent the Thrall inhabited was discovered by the exploring avali some seven hundred years ago. Their first small outpost on this new continent was attacked, and utterly decimated, by a primitive and uncommunicative reptilian species. Most of the aval were eaten on the spot but some were taken captive, presumably for food. The avali mounted rescue operations to free the captives, but almost all met similar fates. Successive attempts by the avali to rescue their brethren proved the Thrall to be both vicious and effective, and led to more deaths and more captives. Finally a small army of reinforcements was dispatched, only to fail when met by a much larger and far better organized force than anticipated. Much confusion ensued, several officers were killed, and the avali forces scattered in disarray. Torn between fleeing and the horror of leaving their own kind behind, hundreds of individual groups of avali began waging guerilla warfare — some trying to find their brethren while others trying to return to the safety of their outpost. What the avali lacked in cohesion they compensated for by striking out with every power of destruction at their disposal — the likes of which had never been called upon before, not even against the orcs. While a great many avali were killed, in the final count it was the Thrall population that was decimated. The aval who survived those times speak little of it. The collective memory is one of horror and despair, and the Thrall remain the stuff of nightmares to avali.
At the time of their discovery the Thrall had a small but effective fleet of sea-going vessels for fishing and hauling cargo. This turned out to be a boon when their entire continent was rendered mostly uninhabitable by a series of massive quakes and tsunamis that shocked the entire world. The humans of the surviving eastern city of Yathecal seized the opportunity to have this fleet at their disposal: Yathecal opened its gates to the Thrall refugees, and to an uneasy alliance with a species no-one really understands and whose motives are anyone's guess. The araye'avali were not amused that their blood enemy had gained a foothold in a neighboring land. Their relations with Yathecal soured quickly, albeit the iss'avali maintain trade relations as usual.
A thrall is roughly the size of a human, averaging around 6'. Their physique is humanoid, but with a reptilian head, scales, and a powerful tail. Females and males are equal in height, though the males tend to be slightly stronger. Both genders tend to be long and leanly built, ideal for swimming and moving through tangled jungle underbrush. The coloration ranges from black to dark blue to brown to grey with pale belly. The Thrall are omnivorous and can stomach nearly anything digestible. A thrall female is fertile every two years, and can lay up to eight eggs at a time.
The Thrall are decidedly a people of the tropics. They are cold blooded and can't survive in the colder climates without substantial preparation and no small amount of discomfort. This, incidentally, creates the potential for competition with the avali who are also warm-climate people, should either species ever want new lands. For the time being, though, the Thrall are at a severe disadvantage. Unlike the avali, however, the Thrall do not restrict themselves to forests and can thrive in almost any humid tropical setting. Proximity to water is ideal as they are unparalleled swimmers.
Very little is known about the Thrall, except that passionately un-fond of the avali. Their society appears to be rigidly stratified with a small upper-caste having almost whimsical powers of life and death over the populace. An individual thrall exhibits few signs of autonomous thought, yet as a species they have proven themselves surprisingly effective and adaptable. The behaviour of the Thrall has been described as vaguely ant-like by the few who have survived to tell the story. It is for this behaviour and for the individual's apparent lack of fear of death that the avali named them the Thrall.
There is some evidence that the Thrall had a flourishing and advanced civilization on their continent many millennia ago, though very little of it remains to date.