The Telhani are human (SURPRISE SURPRISE - Terran, Terani, Telani, Telhani). Due to years and years of interbreeding, they are drow-lookin, with darker skin and less incidence of blue and green eyes - though brown and grey are common - and tend to have grey, red, brown or black hair.
They are VERY high tech, but have an athsthetic that makes me think of 50's rockets from Tom Corbett, Space Cadet, Tintin in Destination Moon, and so on if those rockets were designed by the Robotech or Cowboy Bebop dudes. Mass Effect as well. Kinda like these...   with at least one Spherical Bulge amidship or in rear containing a micro-black hole, the source of the ship's power and massive ability to warp time and space with ADVANCED HYPERDRIVES. Think rockets, saucers, cigars and blimps.
Tho' thier hull is so packed with delicate systems that weapons fire is, how you say, "a problem -" structural integrity is not so good. Sheilding with the Telhani is very advanced, deflecting things with gravity pulses. Ranges are short. They don't tend to use matter weapons, instead:
Mass Gun: Fires a wave of gravity. Long-range.
Disrupter: As above, only it fires a thin particle beam which pretty much ignores shields, but doesn't blow up large swaths of hull. Short range.
Missile: A very long range thing, tend to be full of antimatter or collapse into a breif micro-black hole.
Torpedo: The favored mid-range weapon of these mo-fos, a torpedo warps something nasty on top of you (or if you have working shields, alongside your shield). Take a WHILE to reload (friggerfurbing tachyonic charge BS...).
VERY fond of broadsides.
- "Archangel" Air Superiority Fighter - Atmo-capable, Twin disrupters and 6 torpedoes.
- "Salamander" Interceptor - Armed only with a pair of mass guns and a disrupter, but fast and good at it's interceptor job... if you get in range...
- "Diplomat" class. With lots of long range collapsar missiles and several antimatter torpedoes, as well as some defensive disruptors? Lez negotiate.
- "Fury" class. Very fast patrol gunboat with lots of mass turrets and disruptors.
- "Arhatclass" - a destroyer. Torpedoes and mass cannons. Let's dance, Suil.
- ... the "Wheel." A ton of carried Archangels, and some torps and disruptors. That is all.