The Lissit are a tall, physically imposing, reptilian race with a strong resemblance to bipedal komodo dragons. (In many populations, male Lissit have been known to grow frills around their heads, used in courtship displays with Lissit females.)
Like most reptiles, Lissit are ectotherms, reliant on their surroundings to regulate their body temperature. As such, they stick almost exclusively to warm or temperate climes with lots of direct sunlight; they universally avoid the frigid southern isles of the Dundar Archipelago. Their lack of internal temperature regulation makes the Lissit particularly vulnerable to heat- and cold-based attacks.
Lissit are natural predators; they regularly hunt wild pigs and deer for food. Although Lissit can run at a top speed of 20 miles per hour, they generally prefer to hunt through stealth. Lissit eat by tearing flesh with their teeth; their loosely hinged jaws allow them to swallow smaller prey whole as well, though this is frowned upon, as it prevents the hunter from sharing the meat with the rest of the clan.
Despite some of their more brutal tendencies, the Lissit are actually highly intelligent and organized, and speak their own language* (referred to by humans as "lizardtongue.") They are generally wary of humans due to past conflicts over land and resources. The Lissit refer to humans somewhat derisively as "hesh" (which translates literally to "hair" or "fur," and has a connotation roughly equivalent to "walking mound of hair").
Lissit live in "zarisesh" (clans) of varying sizes throughout the isles. Lissit society is built around a kind of spiritual warrior culture with an oral storytelling tradition. Humility, truthfulness and calmness are prized as the qualities of one who is truly pure of heart, and are--at least in theory--valued above strength. In practice, however, honor is often heaped on those who are skilled at bringing food to the clan and defending it from threats, and the competition between these two social imperatives has fomented more than a few conflicts between males within any given zaris.
Lissit society is rigidly stratified by sex. There are roughly three male Lissit for every one female; the relative rarity of Lissit females has led to a society in which females are simultaneously honored highly, courted vigorously, and guarded jealously by males. Females are capable of parthenogenesis, but the process exclusively produces male offspring, and is therefore not accorded the same respect as reproduction through mating.
The Lissit eventually take in the young Emma and Sabrina Strider after their harrowing escape from the vibra mines. After a period of difficult adjustment, the Lissit eventually come to accept Emma and Sabrina as members of the clan, and train them in the ways of war so that the Strider sisters may have their revenge against the shadowlings who enslaved them.