Serving as both a Resurrectionist and a member of the Ten Thunders, Yan Lo is a powerful sorcerer who has forgotten much of his former life. Each time he activates, however, Yan Lo attaches an Ascendant Upgrade, allowing him to recover a portion of his former strength. His thematic crew is split between Ancestors and Retainers. Ancestors turn into Reliquary Upgrades when they are killed, which can then be attached to Retainers to buff them. Furthermore, Yan Lo can call out to the spirit within a Reliquary, allowing the Ancestor to return to life, replacing of Reliquary’s current owner.
In many forms across many paths in as many years, Yan Lo has existed. While harnessing and summoning the spirits of his ancestors is a strength unique to himself, he is a broken man, wandering aimlessly while trying to piece together his shattered past. There are only glimpses, brief windows of clarity, that remind him of his wrongdoings and of the great and terrible oni that cursed him to this fate, tearing his spirit from the mortal plane in the process. Yan Lo’s fractured spirit was forced to wander, unable to truly die but incapable of finding his way back to the physical world. His memory was in tatters, and it was only through the devotion and focus of his descendant, Chiaki Katanaka, that he was finally shown the way back to the physical world.
As the pieces of Yan Lo’s broken spirit drew close to the beacon, his mind was brought back together for the first time in centuries. He could finally remember who he was and what he sought, and for short moments, he could even manifest his spirit in the physical realm. He could not gather such strength for long, but that brief encounter was a turning point for them both.
When Chiaki crossed into Malifaux, Yan Lo followed his niece. There he found abundant magical energy, which he harnessed to allow a more lasting transition into the physical world. The clouded paths that he had once walked were now clear to his eyes, and with some effort, his spirit was able to cross from one path to the other.
When he was not needed by his descendants, he tested the boundaries of these paths, twisting their routes in an effort to fully regain his humanity. While traveling, he found the spirits of his most powerful descendants – Izamu, Toshiro, Yin – and brought them back to Malifaux to serve in the modern age.
Finally, after harvesting the souls of hundreds of his descendants, Yan Lo was able to craft a mortal form that was less fleeting, though just as fragile, as his need to walk the paths means that his physical body is only as permanent as his mortality allows. While he appears to be nothing more than a frail old man, Yan Lo’s spirit is ancient and powerful, and he is capable of drawing upon the power of multiple paths to become truly terrifying.
His service to Baojun Katanaka was rewarded with information about his past, and now, Yan Lo knows who is responsible for the centuries of torment that his spirit was forced to endure. He has turned his efforts toward learning more about the fearsome Lingxuzi and, eventually, subjecting the treacherous oni to the same soul-shatter curse.
Keyword - Ancestor & Retainer
Toshiro, the Daimyo
Manos, the Risen
Yin, the Penagalan
Izamu, the Armor
Chiaki, the Beacon