The Y'shai are the embodiment of the brute strength, muscle, and raw magical power of the Moon Mage guild, acting as guardians, warriors and enforcers that live to protect and promote the will of the guild and its highest ranking members. They are easily recognizable on sight by their full suits of cambrinth armor and the permanent moonblades they carry with them.
Any Moon Mage of sufficient talent and skill may apply to become a Y'shai; note that this path is not available to PCs, however. The application and review process takes approximately a year, during which the mage is subjected to a battery of physical, mental, magical, and psychic tests. Most mages do not pass these tests and many even die. Applicants are informed of the risks beforehand.
Those that do pass must undergo extensive preparation, including intense psychic probing and "cauterization" to ensure the loyalty of the mage to the guild. The mage is then magically fused to their own suit of cambrinth armor (complete with "distinctive" face mask) and within it is created a self-replenishing system that regenerates and nourishes the mage within. Physical contact is impossible after this ritual, as a mage can never take off their armor once it has been fused to their bodies. Unnecessary flesh and organs eventually atrophy away and die, and the bones calcify due to the intense amounts of Lunar mana being channeled through their bodies constantly. What is left is the "necessary mortal core," with the trade off that they are nigh unto indestructible, have no need for food or sleep, and have their psychic and magical power multiplied by a hundredfold.
The first recorded mention of a Y'shai was the Old Crossing investigation in approximately AV 288.
At least part of the process for creating Y'shai was derived from the Arte of the Black Cockatrice, a book of sorcery currently in possession of the Progeny of Tezirah. A byproduct of this process is that the mage's soul is horrifically damaged, as the fate of Stavro testifies to.
The Y'shai were prominent during the Mirror Wraith Prophecy and some of the Tethia events. They are also convenient plot devices and deus ex machinae that are used whenever the Moon Mage guild or Taramaine need to flex some muscle. A Y'shai has also been placed by order of the Guild at the site of the Dor'na'torna Grazhir shard, the threat of Lyras seizing control being the stated reason.
It is unknown how many mages have become Y'Shai, but it has been remarked that each Council member had at least two Y'shai guardians assigned to them, and there are numerous Y'shai that patrol Throne City to keep the peace and help combat angiswaerd infestations.
A partial listing of known named Y'shai to date is available.
Eyes unnaturally clear, a Y'Shai Guardian moves with a heavy grace, shifting position and stance with subtle movements now and again. Black cambrinth armor covers him from head to toe, its seams oddly invisible, as if it was more a part of him than anything else. At his side, he carries a permanent crimson and onyx moonblade.
- Uttering a foul sounding whisper, a Y'Shai Guardian bows his head.