For the sequel, Sons of Taldra, I wanted to go back and explore that race. And why not make them shapeshifters who attack Valchondria? The idea of a past encounter with shapeshifting beings in the past sounded like Native American mythology, and I found that reading more of it helped me flesh out the invaders.
Though the spelling varies, yee naaldlooshii is a Navajo term for skinwalkers; it means “with it, he goes on all fours.” These creatures can take any animal form. They have glowing eyes and actually enter into people’s bodies by looking into their eyes. Some aspects of yee naaldlooshii stories appear in the book, though I can’t discuss that too much without spoilers.
I decided to go with the name Naadloosh, singular or plural, with Yee Naaldlooshii as the name of their home world. I limited them to just a few specific forms, but they can usually change at will, like in the Navajo stories. I also added some new twists to them, but again, spoilers.
Shapeshifter tales aren’t limited to the Navajo, but their version became a strong influence on my aliens. Native American storytelling offers rich, important looks at how various tribes explored their universe. Some links follow.