Each filtering bag Yakshas they were particularly ferocious enlightened beasts, both in appearance and martial prowess. To quell the lingering hatred for the fallen gods of the War of the Archons, which caused plagues, curses and miasmas throughout Liyue, Morax asked the Yakshas to help wage an endless war against monsters and other similar manifestations of hatred from the gods.
Over time, this task stained them with a karmic debt that drained their souls and sanity. Madness and despair overwhelmed the Yakshas: some turned against each other, others succumbed to darkness, and others disappeared. Now, only one Yaksha remains: Alatus, who currently goes by the name of Xiao.
- 1 Description
- 1.1 Appearance
- 1.2 Powers and Abilities
- 2 History
- 2.1 Legacy
«All things are impermanent and to exist is to suffer. Yakshas do not need sympathy or tears. My comrades who have passed away would see your tears as a stain on their legacy. »~ Xiao
Unlike most Mighty and Enlightened Adeptus who adopt utterly bestial appearances, the Yakshas that have been seen thus far have adopted humanoid appearances. However, they retain beast qualities through their masks and outfits, and each is associated with an animal as well.
The Yakshas don masks during battle, although it is unclear if this is a trait shared by all Yakshas or if it was used exclusively by the five main Yakshas. In particular, the symbols on their masks are more stark than the elemental symbols in The Seven, but still resemble them.
Powers and abilities
Because Xiao is the only Yaksha left in modern times, it is unclear how many of his techniques were common to all Yakshas and how many are his personal abilities. For example, Xiao's Ultimate Ability, Scourge of All Evils, is the time-honored "Nuo Dance of Conquering Evil" used to purge demons and divine karma. Since its Chinese name refers directly to Nuo (Chinese: 傩) and that the Yaksha masks are based on the Nuo masks, it is likely that the "Nuo Dance of Conquering Evil" was a technique practiced by various Yaksha, each with their own version.
Like Adeptus, Yakshas are capable of adeptus arts such as Dream Trawler, used for self-cultivation, and Deadly Persistence. Bosacius used his arts to seal his treasures in the Minlin region, although it is unclear which parts of the puzzles in Yaksha's Wish were created using his arts.
The Yakshas were enlightened beasts of "hideous appearance and warrior temperament" who "spared no brutality" to do their duty. For this reason, the Archon Geo, Morax, called them to fight the demons that arose from the remains of the defeated gods after the War of the Archons. While there were many yakshas, five were considered the top Yakshas for their strength and ability: Bosacius, Indarias, Bonanus, Menogias, and Alatus. Those five became known as "The Yakshas" (Chinese: 仙 众 夜叉 "The Yakshas of the Adeptus").
Although strong, the Yakshas were not all capable of handling the darkness they faced. It is said that "some were given over to his anger, others to a madness that provoked fear. Many turned to the slaughter of their own, others were bewitched by the shadows of the soul." In the end, all but Alatus perished or disappeared at the start of the game.
From "The Yakshas", Bonanus, Indarias and Menogias have died. While it is not yet possible to name the Yakshas shown in the Genshin Impact Plot Preview: Yakshas, the Adeptus Guardians, it appears that the Yaksha Pyro succumbed to insanity while the Yaksha Hydro was killed by the Yaksha Geo. . It is unclear whether the third deceased Yaksha, who died in defense of the Abyss during the cataclysm 500 years ago, was the Yaksha Geo or the Yaksha Electro. The one left was Bosacius, who chose to disappear and left his treasures in the Minlin region.
Among the Adeptus, the Yakshas were highly respected for their strength. Xiao has a "high level of seniority" and other adepts refer to him by his title of Demon Conqueror out of respect, and some Adeptus like Ganyu go with Xiao for training lessons. However, the task entrusted to him keeps him at a distance even from other Adeptus; Ganyu comments that "all the people he ever agreed to team up with are no longer with us," stating that he never worked closely with most of the Adeptus who were not Yakshas, even in the past. His brief interactions with her are professional at best, leading her to find him somewhat unapproachable. However, this is partly because he believes he is not a suitable mentor for her due to bloodshed and the accompanying karmic debt.
On the contrary, Xiao seems to like his fellow Yakshas. It quickly becomes evocative after the Traveler and Paimon reveal that they met Pervases, a long-dead minor Yaksha who used the Art of Adeptus: Deadly Persistence to temporarily manifest in modern Liyue. He later decides to try grilled fish, Pervases 'favorite food, despite his usual dislike for deadly foods other than almond tofu, and repeats Pervases' catchphrase before getting caught up in his memories.
The Yakshas seem to have had a special bond with Morax. Xiao was freed from his slavery to a cruel god when Morax defeated him and took him as one of his own, leading him to become fiercely defensive in matters related to the Archon. The names "Xiao" and "Pervases" were personally bestowed upon them by Morax, suggesting that this may also be the case for all Yakshas. Zhongli, Morax's current mortal vessel, regularly prepares medicine for Xiao in hopes of easing the pain incurred from his karmic debt, and seems somewhat melancholy at the diligence with which he discharges his duty.
Among mortals, the Yakshas were once highly regarded as Liyue's protectors. Large statues representing them, such as those seen at Luhua Pond, were erected across the country, and people performed rituals that included chants and food offerings to ease their pain and help them continue their mission. But as their numbers dwindled over time, the Yakshas have faded into darkness in the mortal realm.
Part of his obfuscation appears to be deliberate for the safety of mortals. Hu Tao claims that stories about miasmas and curses caused by fallen gods are considered the stuff of legends today, and if ordinary people found out that they actually existed, it would cause panic. Xiao avoids interacting with the mortal realm beyond his duties of purging demons, as his karmic debt can make the monsters in his vicinity become stronger and more vicious. Just being near him was enough to smear the Traveler and Paimon with their karmic debt, allowing Pervases to identify him. Furthermore, unleashing his full strength to deal with the remains of the fallen gods is incredibly destructive, and any mortal in the vicinity would be "lucky" to survive the encounter.
Over the centuries, the statues of the Yakshas have been damaged and their features almost completely destroyed. While there are books like Yakshas: The Guardian Adeptus and the chapter "Oda, a ghost transmitted by the wind" of "Tour of the land of Liyue" exist to preserve the knowledge about the Yakshas, they seem to be quite unpopular due largely part to the archaic and neat writing style of its authors, who are scholars at the Sumeru Academy. For unspecified reasons, the chapter "Oda, a ghost transmitted by the wind" was one of the chapters considered "mystical and magical" for Liyue's edition and was removed from his version of the book. As a result, the Yakshas have remained a subject of academic interest rather than something very popular with the general public.
That said, the Yakshas have not been completely forgotten. The Wangshu Inn in Dihua Swamp was established by the secret agents of the Seven Stars of Liyue as a front for their true mission to assist Xiao in his duty. Chongyun and Hu Tao, due to their bloodlines, have a greater knowledge of Liyue's history than most and have interacted with Xiao. The Star Thief's grandfather, a folklorist, investigated the Yakshas in the past and taught tales about them to his grandson, which led him to take an interest in them.