The Qom Qae and the Qom Jha were sentient avians native to the planet Nirauan. As adults, they averaged 60 to 100 centimeters from head to their taloned feet, and were covered in smooth, brown-gray skin. They had skin-covered wings, and bore a slight resemblance to bats. Their mouths contained two rows of small, sharp teeth. Although small, large groups of Qom Qae or Qom Jha were strong enough to lift and move starfighter-size vessels. This reflected the Qom Jha proverb, "Many vines woven together are stronger than the same number of vines separately."
The Qom Qae and Qom Jha had only minor biological and cultural differences. The smaller, brown-skinned Qom Qae nested on cliffs, and perched upright. The larger, darker Qom Jha lived in Nirauan's cave systems, and preferred to perch upside-down from stalactites. Their different habitats meant that the cave-dwelling Qom Jha had excellent vision in darkened spaces, while the Qom Qae had keen vision in bright light.
Both the Qom Qae and the Qom Jha were considered vermin by the Chiss and former Imperial troops who garrisoned the Hand of Thrawn fortress for the Empire of the Hand. They were quite intelligent, however. In fact, Qom Qae and Qom Jha were all slightly Force-sensitive, communicating partly through chirping and partly through telepathy. Aliens with sensitivity to the Force were able to understand their language.
Qom Qae and Qom Jha organized themselves in small groups called "nestings," each led by a Bargainer. While the adults were territorial, the children were free to travel across boundaries, thus acting as unofficial ambassadors between nestings and information gatherers—even between Qom Qae and Qom Jha groups, who were otherwise unfriendly towards each other. Children were not named at birth, instead being referred to as "Child of (parent's name)". Adults gained their names from their characteristics or deeds, such as "Hunter Of Winds" (head of a Qom Qae nesting), "Eater Of Fire Creepers" (head of a Qom Jha nesting), "Splitter Of Stones", "Keeper Of Promises", "Builder With Vines", "Flyer Through Spikes" and "Child Of Winds" (the son of Hunter of Winds.)
Qom Qae and Qom Jha were quite adventurous. Qom Jha enjoyed eating fire creepers, carnivorous insects that migrated through their caves in massive swarms. Both Nirauan groups were somewhat familiar with the Empire, the New Republic, and the Jedi, as some of them had eavesdropped on the Hand of Thrawn's personnel, and others had stowed away on starships. Qom Qae from Hunter of Wind's nesting, along with Qom Jha from Eater of Fire Creepers's nesting, helped Mara Jade and Luke Skywalker investigate the Hand of Thrawn.
Appearances[edit | edit source]
- Specter of the Past (First appearance)
- Vision of the Future (First identified as Qom Jha and Qom Qae)
- Survivor's Quest (Mentioned only)