As of 7/7/16, here's all the backstory and personality I have on Yang Jian of Ultima! Warnings for family abuse, parent death, and fire.
YANG JIAN - MIQO'TE KEEPER - CONJURER
YANG JIAN - MIQO'TE KEEPER - CONJURER
Yang Jian's story begins with the story of his father. Born Yhsa'to Zanra, he was the second of three sons and lived with his family in a Keeper tribe deep in the Dark Shroud. Unlike his siblings or other tribe members, however, Yhsa'to was highly individualistic and struggled to get along with members of the tribe. His mother, Yhsa, was a cold and demanding woman, and Yhsa'to resented being so intimately connected to her by name, and was frustrated that his brothers did not share his concerns and preferred to follow tradition without question. Despite Yhsa'to's struggles with his tribemates, he maintained an uneasy peace with them, and their lives continued in the usual way.
One night, when he was out hunting, Yhsa'to discovered the corpse of an adventurer slain by the Greenwrath. Having never seen a non-Miqo'te up close before, Yhsa'to's curiosity took over, and he spent the evening rifling through the adventurer's possessions. Among the usual traveller's supplies and gear, this adventurer had carried with them two bound books, embossed with a script Yhsa'to had never seen before. Opening the book, Yhsa'to read that they contained a translated fable from the land of Doma, a country, Yhsa'to had never heard of before. Intrigued, he stashed the books in a hiding place and continued with his daily tasks.
Over the next few months, Yhsa'to would sneak off during the night and read pieces of the books. He was enchanted by the story they wove; it was far different from anything he had ever heard about or experienced before, and he couldn't get enough of it. Inspired by the stories he'd read, Yhsa'to began acting out again, and in ways he hadn't before. The tribe had little tolerance for his behaviour, and would often resort to physical violence in an attempt to discipline him. This only further deepened the rift between Yhsa'to and his tribe.
Yhsa'to's "delinquent" behaviour culminated in an incident where he faced off with his mother, demanding he be given his own name, a request which was naturally violently rejected. The resulting fight left Yhsa'to severely wounded, and after that he did not noticeably act out again--until several years later, when his first child was born: a boy, one who had the same blue hair as Yhsa'to, and not the white hair of his mother. Yhsa'to instantly felt a bond with the child. Once again, Yhsa'to caused a scene by demanding his child be given his own name, and not a name that bound him irrevocably to his mother. This was, of course, once again refused. But Yhsa'to would not be deterred: that evening, he formed a plan.
Two years passed, during which time Yhsa'to did his utmost to be on his best behaviour. In reality, he was biding his time, waiting for his tribe to relax their guard around him. When he felt he could wait no longer, he acted: during the day, while the tribe slept, he picked up his child, grabbed a small knapsack of essentials, and ran.
Once he felt he was a sufficient distance away from the tribe, Yhsa'to set up a temporary camp. He told his confused child that they were no longer with the tribe, and named the young boy Yang Jian, after a character in the Doman books that had appealed greatly to him. As for himself, Yhsa'to took the name ______.
Yang Jian and his Papa lived quietly together for fifteen years. Yang Jian was happy, but it was not an easy life. ______'s tribe had spread word of their departure, and had decreed that for such a crime both father and son would have to die. The news quickly spread to other Miqo'te tribes, so ______ and Yang Jian had to be increasingly careful of where they wandered, lest they infringe on tribal territory and risk their lives. Because of this, they slowly moved closer and closer to Gridania, where Miqo'te presence thinned; this, however, put them at risk of attack from hostile Wood Wailers (Twin Adder?) and Conjurers from the Guild who viewed them as poachers putting a strain on the forest. For all of life's faults, though, Yang Jian enjoyed living it.
Then the Calamity struck.
Awoken in the middle of the day by the sound of the world ending, Yang Jian didn't know what to do or think. His father was in a similar state of confusion, and the two scrambled to find safety. Around them, the forest was burning, and the earth shook at irregular intervals. Fleeing desperately from flames and falling debris, Yang Jian lost track of his father. When he realised what had happened, he turned around and began to look. So focused on finding his father was Yang Jian that he didn't notice that a tree nearby him, burnt through, was about to fall.
_____ did notice the tree, however, and his son in danger of being trapped beneath it. He frantically ran towards Yang Jian, and by bowling into him was able to knock him free of the burning wood. Yang Jian fell clear of it, but ______ was trapped beneath.
Horrified, Yang Jian tried to free his father from beneath the tree, ignoring the burns the flames were causing and his father's cries for him to leave him. It was only after Yang Jian realised his father's voice had stopped some time ago that he was able to tear himself away. Blinded by tears and pain, Yang Jian stumbled through the wreckage of the Shroud before passing out.
He awoke sometime later in an entirely new location, burns bandaged, a cool cloth on his forehead. Taking stock of his surroundings, Yang Jian realised he was inside a modest hut, lying on bedding that had been placed on the floor. As he was wondering how he'd ended up in this position, the owner of the hut entered it: a fair Elezen man, wearing simple robes and carrying with him a wand of the type Conjurers used. Alarmed, Yang Jian scrambled to his feet, baring his teeth.
The startled Conjurer explained to Yang Jian that he meant him no harm. He introduced himself as Galian, a former Gridanian citizen who had left the Conjurer's Guild and the city itself behind several years ago, and asked about Yang Jian. The Miqo'te told the Conjuror his story.
Galian offered Yang Jian his home until he was fully healed--and beyond that, if he so chose. It took a while for Yang Jian to adjust to Galian's presence, but he eventually settled. Not ready to be alone so soon after the death of his father, Yang Jian decided to stay with Galian, who was delighted to have him
Over the next five years, Galian taught Yang Jian the basics of conjury in his own way, and the two became quite close. It was the first time in his life Yang Jian had had a stable home and livelihood, and while he missed his father very much, Yang Jian felt a peace and contentment that he had never felt before in his life. Galian's presence all but eliminated the threat of Miqo'te tribes and Gridanian harassment, and Yang Jian was always certain of a place to sleep and a meal to fill his belly. Yang Jian took well to Galian's lessons on Conjury, which spoke of a oneness with and respect for nature. Indeed, he admired the older man as a mentor so much he grew his hair out and wore it the same way as Galian's.
Unfortunately, these peaceful times were not to last. As much as Galian was Yang Jian's mentor, he was also a steward of the Twelveswood, and did what he could to help it heal from the damage caused by the Calamity. One day he told his disciple that he had sensed an aetheric disturbance near their cottage, and was going to go and resolve it. Yang Jian thought nothing of it; it was a task Galian often undertook. This time, however, Galian did not return. Three days passed, until finally Yang Jian went searching for his master. He found him, but not alive. Whatever had been causing the aetheric disturbance had proved fatal to Galian.
Grief-stricken, Yang Jian carried Galian's body back to their cottage and buried him near the small garden there. At first he tried to maintain the lifestyle he and Galian had had together, but found himself unable to manage everything on his own. So he turned once again to the roaming way of life he and his father had shared together. But this too proved unsuccessful; changed by the Calamity, the forest could no longer satisfactorily provide for him in the way it had before. Left with no other recourse, Yang Jian decided to enter Gridania under the mantle of an adventurer. Having received prior basic instruction in conjury, he chose to join the Guild there to further his studies.
Yang Jian is a very wary person. Years of facing attacks from strangers have made him very slow to trust. He dislikes contact with all races, but it frightened of Miqo'te most of all; he fears they will either attack him on sight or attack after they hear his unusual name. He prefers to be left to his own devices most of the time and dislikes crowded places, as he hates the sensation of being looked at. He half-hopes conjury will teach him a spell that will render him invisible.
Somewhat at odds with these misanthropic tendencies is the desire to prove himself to others. Since he was a child, Yang Jian has faced countless people who told him that he was "wrong" and "bad" for simply existing the way he did. Most notably from Miqo'te, this sentiment was also repeated by Gridanians, both when he was with his father and when he studied under Galian. Yang Jian doesn't understand what he's done wrong, and wants to prove to those around him that he is not "bad" simply for /being/. A tree that grows crooked or apart from other trees is not told it is a bad tree; why has he been told he is a bad Miqo'te and a bad person for growing the way he has? His goal upon entering Gridania is to prove that he is a good and decent person, even if he has trouble believing that himself.
Yang Jian is driven and responisble. He does his best to complete assigned tasks quickly and efficiently, and will often take on multiple quests at once. Since coming to Gridania, he has found he likes helping people. He enjoys being rewarded, but moreso than that he enjoys being appreciated for his help. It makes him feel like he's being a good person and doing the right thing.