The Villein are one of the four species in Obduction, along with the Mofang, Arai, and Humans. They are a space-faring species who colonized many worlds. Their cell, Maray, was swapped away from its host planet as they were preparing to colonize another world. Of the four species in Obduction, they met the Arai first and were the last to be contacted by humans.
Villein are humanoid, stand about nine feet tall, and have six limbs: two large arms, two large legs, and two smaller arms. Their skin has a reptilian appearance, and they can breathe both above and below water—extracting oxygen from the water through pores in their skin.
Villein communicate using bi-tonal sounds that originate in structures in the head and resonate from the skull. Because of the low frequency of these sounds, humans are unable to perceive most of them, and Villein conversely are unable to perceive most human sounds. They control all of their technology via vocalization, though they have adapted control panels for physical input from other species.
The Villein are a technologically advanced species. Besides their mastery of interstellar travel, they utilize a form of cryostasis, and they can extrude objects and buildings of enormous complexity. They also understand Mofang technology enough to develop tools to disable it, such as the Mofang disabler.