Many years ago, Yan Lo committed a terrible sin and was cursed to walk the Paths between life and death for eternity. The endless torment left his mind fragmented and adrift, unable to truly die but incapable of finding his way back to the physical world. He has wandered the Paths like this for so long that the reason for his curse is lost to history.
It was Chiaki’s unique gifts that finally showed Yan Lo the way back to the physical world. As the pieces of his broken spirit drew close to the beacon Chiaki provided, Yan Lo’s mind was brought back together for the first time in decades. He could finally remember who he was and what he sought, and for short moments even return his form to the physical world. He could not gather the strength to return for long, but that brief encounter was a turning point for them both.
When Chiaki crossed into Malifaux, Yan Lo followed his little niece. There, he found the abundant aether flowing through that world enabled him to control his physical form easier. Not only could he return to the physical world more easily and often, but the aether also made the Paths clear to see at last. With some effort, Yan Lo was able to cross from one Path to the others, even managing to briefly stand upon two Paths at once before the aether rejected this affront. When he is not needed by his descendants, Yan Lo continually tests the boundaries of the Paths, seeking a combination that will twist his curse into a source of great power.
Yan Lo’s box comes with six models, including Yan Lo himself. The Soul Porter totem follows in its master’s wake, guiding his ancestors to their proper places on the battlefield. The Ashigaru serve as Yan Lo’s front line warriors, and their armored, skeletal bodies make them difficult to destroy. His niece Chiaki floats behind them, as incorporeal as a ghost, playing soothing music that gradually knits their battered forms and calms their tormented souls.
Yan Lo belongs to both the Ten Thunders and the Resurrectionist Factions. He is a support Master that gets better as the game progresses allowing him to shoulder more of the Crew’s burdens. Yan Lo prefers working with Ancestor models as he can potentially heal them or bring them back to life.
Over the course of the game, Yan Lo will gain the Chi Condition. This Condition increases Yan Lo’s Casting abilities and is also used to fuel some of his actions. Its main uses are for Transcendence, which provides Armor to a friendly model, and Ascendance, which attached Upgrades to Yan Lo. These Ascendant Upgrades make Yan Lo stronger and stronger as the game progresses. As long as Yan Lo is gaining Chi, he becomes little worried about attrition. His action Instill Youth allows him to heal other models, adding to his support style. Perhaps his most game changing action is Lightning Dance, which allows him to teleport an enemy model to a friendly model and himself to the enemy model. This control of battlefield locations can easily swing a game in his favor.
Yan Lo has a long list of Upgrades. Many of them are Ascendant Upgrades that he can only gain during the course of the gain as his Chi Condition increases. That said, he has a few Upgrades that can alter his playstyle. Reliquary is the most popular, as it allows him to summon an Ancestor model that has been killed once during the game. Conversely, Brutal Khakkhara gives him a potent melee attack to try to take care of things himself.