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Friday, October 1, 2010
The people of Yian are considered a mysterious and alien presence in the City, and the New World in general. Much of this prejudice and fear is borne of misunderstanding. Still, the stereotypes are accurate in one respect--the Yianese are an ancient people with ancient secrets.
The misunderstanding of Yian begins with its name. This empire of the ancient East is not actually called Yian in its own tongue. Yian is actually the name of the mystical and secluded city only sometimes accessible on this plane, where the dread (and perhaps inhuman) rulers of the country dwell. These are the Ku’en-Yuinn, “the Deathless,” undying sorcerers thought to be lich lords surviving from prehistoric Lemuria. Most feared of all is the August Personage of the Black Jade Mask, the one whom Westerners call the Emperor of Yian.
The common folk of Yian began immigrating to the New World in the last century, looking for economic opportunity and freedom from the yolk of the often oppressive rule of the Deathless lords and the high folk. They have unfortunately met with distrust and oppression from the Ealderdish majority in the New World, too. Despite this, large and thriving “Yiantowns” have grown up in the City, and the metropolises of Hesperia.
The high folk of Yian seldom immigrate. When they are found outside of their native land, it is almost always a single individual encountered. Yianese criminal societies and occult groups are often run by such expatriates, though of course seldom publicly. There is some truth to the pulp novel image of the sinister and secretive Yianese crime lord, but its regrettable that all Yianese suffer for the actions of an ancient and often wicked few.