Chieri are a non-human race native to Darkover. Their lifespan is near immortal, lasting millennia. At time of Darkover Landfall they are a dying race, with a history that is unremembered even to themselves. One of the Chieri that made contact with the original settlers of Darkover by Earth mentions that they may have travelled the stars as the humans do at one time. They are mentioned in The Planet Wreckers as a once space-faring people who are now dying out, their ambition dwindling with their abilities and fertility.
They are tall and willowy, with pale skin, silvery grey or golden eyes and long silky golden or white hair. They possess six fingers on their hands and are humanoid enough to reproduce with humans. They usually appear androgynous or sexless but are actually hermaphrodites, they change orientation depending on the need. When in their natural state it is known as emmasca, usually when they find a mate one must be male or female and this will cause a shifting of the other to be the opposite so mating and procreation can occur.
Laran may also originate with the Chieri, they possess incredible psi-abilities which are passed down through interbreeding with humans. While the humans that crashed upon Darkover had a predisposition to telepathy, and laran it is thought the interbreeding augmented and amplified these abilities in the children born of the communion. Chieri must be "in season" to mate with each other but due to pairs not being on the same cycle their numbers started to decline. A similar effect also plagues their human descended children where they do not feel the sexual urge for intercourse and reproduction strongly. Some of their human descendants can also be genetic "throw backs" and be born emmasca, usually very androgynous looking and usually sterile.