Biological information
Type Aberration
Size Large
Intelligence -
Life span -
Sociological information
Planet of origin -
Achieved warp -
First contact -

Yithians, or the Great Race of Yith, are highly intelligent alien consciousnesses. They are refugees from a distant planet whose mastery of metaphysics enables them to trade minds with any subject across space and time employing astral projection and mental possession.


In their current bodies, yithians are rubbery, plantlike, iridescent, cone-shaped beings, weighing thousands of pounds with four tentacles at their apex. These appendages can be retracted into the body or extended up to ten feet. The topmost one ends in the head, a spheroid with three equidistant eyes and a twitching, wriggling 'beard' consisting of small tentacles capable of fine manipulation. The other three appendages extend from three sides of the body: one ends in hornlike growths that serve as the yithian's mouth; the others end in hand-like pincers that also make the various sounds of their language.


The Great Race's fundamental nature is no longer tied to their physical bodies, but to their disembodied minds, which inhabit hosts from other species. By interacting with a thought-focusing device, a yithian can send its mind across space and time to search for intelligent beings, select those individuals with knowledge and experience that might be of use to the Great Race, contact them via telepathy, and then forcibly exchange bodies with them.

When the yithian explores the society in which they dwelt with their body, the mind-swapped host (now inside a yithian body) is allowed freedom of movement inside the yithians' city as long as they follow the rules and spend time sharing their knowledge. When the yithian returns to its original body, all knowledge of the Great Race is removed from the host's memory, but this process is imperfect, and former hosts often dream of their time with the Great Race. Sometimes these dreams can be so vivid, leading to insanity.

The cone-shaped beings whose bodies the yithians now inhabit reproduce asexually by budding, and care for their juveniles in shallow vats. Yithians rarely do this, since these offspring will grow to be a member of the original cone-shaped species instead of a yithian; indeed, yithians can no longer increase the population of their own species. Yithians only bud new spawn when one of their own approaches its body's natural lifespan of 5,000 years; before the dying yithian passes, it swaps minds with the infant cone-shaped being, leaving it to die in the old body, too young and immature to understand the nature of its existence. Through numerous mind swaps, a yithian can live forever if not killed. The death of a yithian is seen as a horrible tragedy, and they go to great lengths to preserve themselves.


The Great Race arose on the planet Yith, and was already advanced during Golarion's Age of Serpents. They knew that their planet was doomed, so they transferred their minds into the bodies of a race of cone-shaped beings who lived in the distant past on the planet Earth, in thrall to the flying polyps, leaving them to die on Yith. To the yithians, this act was necessary to preserve the Great Race and the knowledge it had accumulated.

The flying polyps were completely unaware of the mind transfer, while their yithian "slaves" took the time to study their new home and build weapons. When the rebellion broke out, the flying polyps were caught off guard and forced to flee into the tunnels beneath their titanic black towers. The yithians sealed the entrances with stone and magic, and assigned guards to keep the flying polyps from returning.

With the flying polyps dealt with, the yithians built new cities on their new home and resumed their research and exploration. Eventually, they learnt that they would have to face the flying polyps again in the future. Geological changes would open the way for the flying polyps, which would have multiplied over time, and the yithians knew they would not be able to defeat them this time, so they transferred their minds again into swarms of intelligent beetles that lived in the far future, leaving the beetles to die in their cone-shaped bodies. Their survival assured, the yithians never spoke of the flying polyps again.

In addition, the yithians also discovered groups of flying polyps that fled Earth near the end of the uprising and began to serve Hastur. Many veterans of the uprising wanted to seek them out and destroy them, and the yithian government accepted, believing that such an act would hasten the demise of the flying polyps and secure the development of the beetles into which they had eventually transferred their minds.

On Golarion

After the discovery of the escape of some flying polyps from Earth, a cabal of yithians led by yithian elders bent space and time to transport the city of Kothrekis to a world where the flying polyps were cultivating the Great Old One Xhamen-Dor, breaking the minds of some yithians and several of the city's structures. However, the yithians could not win the war, so they engineered the destruction of the world, but before that, they foresaw that Xhamen-Dor would survive and land on Golarion, so they again transported Kothrekis to Golarion just before the world died. The yithian elders were driven insane, and Kothrekis' energies collapsed after this second travel.

Kothrekis arrived in Orv, deep below the deserts of southwestern Casmaron. The insane elders were executed or exiled, while the soil of the nearby area, formerly verdant, withered due to the city's invasion. As their resources dwindled, violence erupted, and the yithians were eventually convinced to transfer their minds again, except for a group of 15 to 20 who stayed behind to watch for Xhamen-Dor. Their sanity was eventually eroded by strange red winds that also gnawed the buildings.

Yithians operate a secret network of agents throughout the Inner Sea region and Tian Xia, especially Numeria and Zi Ha, where they seek to harvest the technology of the Silver Mount and understand the samsarans' ability to reincarnate. When a yithian needs to leave Golarion, it contacts a fellow operative who, after the mind swap, destroys the focal device when the host is still unconscious to prevent others from learning its function.

By the early days of Golarion’s Age of Serpents, the
Great Race of Yith was already an advanced civilization
on its world. The yithians knew their planet was doomed,
but their technology and metaphysical powers enabled
them to contact beings in another time on the planet
Earth. In Yith’s final days, the Great Race projected all
its minds into the bodies of this other species, replacing
the creatures’ minds and dooming them to annihilation
on Yith. To the Great Race, this was not an act inspired
by evil—truly, the species holds to no morality that
mirrors anything found on Golarion—but was instead
out of necessity, to preserve itself and the knowledge it
had accumulated.
The new forms adopted by the yithians were very
unusual (see Ecology on page 70). After acclimating
themselves to their new bodies, they set to work restoring
their civilization. The first obstacle they encountered
was the flying polyps. These horrific entities of aberrant
air had subjugated the creatures whose bodies the Great
Race usurped, using them as workers and playthings to
fulfill their sadistic, genocidal urges. In their hubris,
however, the polyps failed to notice the sudden increase
in their slaves’ intelligence.
Although the flying polyps proved to be formidable
foes, the yithians had taken the time to carefully study
their new home and their enemy, and secretly built
weapons. The yithian uprising caught the polyps wholly
off guard. The battles were brutal, but short. Yithians
exterminated as many polyps as they could, but had
to settle for driving most of them into subterranean
tunnels beneath the polyps’ titanic, unsettling black
towers. They sealed the tunnels with stone and magic,
and then set guards to ensure that none of their enemies
returned to the surface unnoticed.
Once they had dealt with the flying polyps, the
yithians built new cities. They fended off the predations
of the other creatures that populated this unfamiliar
world and restored their society bit by bit. Then they
returned to exploring the past, present, and future
of their new planet and others. While they gathered
knowledge on science, philosophy, and metaphysics,
the yithians also focused great energy on learning
about their own future to avoid another calamity like
that which claimed their original homeworld. In time,
they discovered they would once again have to face their
old enemies.
The danger they foresaw presented itself on two
fronts. First, the yithians learned that geological changes
would open portals through which the flying polyps
could escape their imprisonment. Over the course of
millennia, the seething polyps had multiplied. When
the polyps would at last break through to the surface,
the yithians foresaw that they would not be able to stand
against them, and so again searched the future for a new
species of beings to inhabit. When the flying polyps
inevitably emerge from their prison, the aberrations
will destroy the yithians’ bodies, but the minds within
them will be those of a confused and terrified species
of beetle-like creatures. Content in the knowledge that
they would survive, most yithians refused to speak of the
flying polyps again.
However, the yithians also discovered that some of
flying polyps had already escaped their imprisonment.
In the final days of their uprising, groups of polyps
used their wind powers to gather massive bubbles of
air, flying into space to invade and terrorize new worlds.
Some of them began to serve the forces of Carcosa,
making themselves even more dangerous as they were
empowered by beings of unspeakable nature.
One faction of yithians wanted to seek out these
fugitives and destroy them before they could cause
further destruction throughout the multiverse. While
the yithian governors knew that such a mission would do
nothing to stop the return of their enemies from below,
they at least believed that opposing the flying polyps on
other worlds would hasten that species’ eradication and
secure the development of the beetle-like creatures into
which the yithians planned to eventually escape.
The yithians who chose to fight the flying polyps
were mostly veterans of the first uprising. Several
warrior factions used their technology and magic to
pursue their foes to different worlds. One group, led by
a conclave of yithian elders, used newly developed and
dangerous magic to perform an audacious act—they
moved the Yithian city of Kothrekis to a world where
polyps had cultivated the entity known as Xhamen-Dor. There, they waged war against the polyps, only to
discover that they could not win against their ancient
foes. Instead, they engineered the destruction of that
world, hoping to destroy Xhamen-Dor and its polyp
worshipers. Unfortunately, this desperate plan didn’t
quite work out as the yithians hoped—see Yithians on
Golarion on page 72 for further details.

WEIGHT 10 lbs.
These strange books are fashioned from a metallic alloy,
the crafting of which is known only to yithians and a very
few others. Supposedly taken from the same collection as
the fabled Pnakotic Manuscripts and traded throughout the
multiverse, these books are collections of notes recorded
by visitors to the yithians’ cities. Each book is written in
multiple languages and provides a vast array of information
on a specific topic, but the information it contains is often
oddly specific and lacks context. A single Pnakotic record
focuses on a single subject within the confines of a single
Knowledge skill, such as a presentation on the nature of deep
one religious practices in worshiping Cthulhu (Knowledge
[religion]), the mechanics of a shoggoth’s biology
(Knowledge [dungeoneering]), or the methods of creating
portals between worlds (Knowledge [arcana]). By studying
a Pnakotic record for 8 hours, a reader can attempt a
single Knowledge check of the appropriate type when
researching the book’s corresponding subject to gain
a +10 circumstance bonus on the check.

3,000 GP
SLOT none CL 3rd WEIGHT 1 lb.
AURA faint divination [mind-affecting]
This device looks like a clear, fist-sized crystal
with an internal lattice made up of nearly
invisible strands of silver-white metal.
By holding the crystal in both hands
and concentrating, the user can
record its own memories, storing
the information in the crystal so
that it can be retrieved later with
perfect clarity. The crystal can
store a nearly limitless amount
of information, but the user must
concentrate for 1 minute to record
an amount of information that would
require 10 minutes to communicate in
other ways.
The information in a mnemonic repository can be recalled
in a similar fashion, requiring 1 minute of concentration for
each 10 minutes’ worth of information gained, but the user
must know the repository’s mental keyword, which is set
by the creature that recorded the memories. A mnemonic
repository can be used to remove the effects of spells such
as modify memory or repress memoryOA, as long as the
user recorded its true memories prior to being affected by
those spells, but the device cannot remove negative levels
imposed by a mindwipeOA spell, nor can it restore previously
cast spells.

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