"Meanwhile the displaced mind, thrown back to the the displacer's age and body, would be carefully guarded. It would be kept from harming the body it occupied, and would be drained of all its knowledge by trained questioners. (...) If the mind came from the body whose language the Great Race could not physically reproduce, clever machines would be made, on which the alien speech could be played as on a musical instrument."
- H. P. Lovecraft, "The Shadow out of Time"
The Great Race of Yith is a race of very advanced alien beings which colonised the Earth millions of years prior to human evolution. They are capable of projecting their minds into bodies of various creatures, essentially swapping their consciousness with their “host”. This process is not limited by time, since they can swap minds with creatures from past, present and future.
"The Great Race's members were immense rugose cones ten feet high, and with head and other organs attached to foot-thick, distensible limbs spreading from the apexes. They spoke by the clicking or scraping of huge paws or claws attached to the end of two of their four limbs, and walked by the expansion and contraction of a viscous layer attached to their vast, ten-foot bases."
- H. P. Lovecraft, "The Shadow out of Time"The Great Race originated from the planet of Yith. At some time in their history, they completely abandoned their planet and swapped minds with creatures native to Earth. They quickly adapted to their new bodies, building many advanced cities and creating a flourishing society. This “golden period” was disrupted however, when they came into contact with another race that inhabited the Earth prior to their arrival - Flying Polyps. The Polyps were militaristic and expansionist race, and thus their eventual conflict was inevitable.
The two races fought for millennia, until Yithians developed powerful energy weapons which they used to imprison the Polyps. After that, Yithians prospered and their city of Pnakotus was built. They began to show interest in other races from their surroundings, such as the Elder Things, but also creatures from the future, such as humans. Many “specimens” of various beings were swapped with Yithians. These beings would spend some time in Pnakotus and would share their knowledge with them (Pnakotic manuscripts), while a Yith, who was now in the body of his new host, would explore the new society he was in. After a few years, these specimens would be returned to their original bodies, but with an erased memory.
Still, the prisons built for the Polyps were eventually breached, and a new war begun. Yithians, either because they were losing the war or because they didn’t want to fight again, swapped their minds with the insect-like creatures in the Earth’s future, thus escaping the Polyps.
Role in the game Edit
In 1915, Jack Walters, private detective, accompanied policemen to a strange house owned by the Boston’s cult, known as the "Fellowship of Yith". After entering the house he witnessed many horrors hidden inside, but the worst one was when he accidentally activated a portal, which was somehow connected to the Yithians. His mind was then swapped, and a Yith used his body as a host. Jack would spend next six years in Pnakotus, and during those years and would learn much about alien species living on Earth at that time period (such as Cthulhi, Flying Polyps, the Elder Things and the Mi-go). He would witness first-hand the attack of the Polyps after their escape from their prisons.
Before being swapped back to his body, he was revealed by a Yith that his father was also in Pnakotus. He, however was swapped during Jack’s conception, and thus Jack had some traits of a Yith (such as seeing the future and the past or seeing through other peoples’ eyes), while still having a human appearance. This Yith was actually the one whose mind was swapped with Jack’s father, thus he is Jack’s “Yithian father”.
His “Yithian father” then erased his memories (although the process was imperfect), apologising to Jack for not being able to answer more of his questions, as there was no time left.
- In their conic bodies, they use their pincers to communicate by making clicking sounds
- Their true appearance is unknown, as their original bodies were most likely lost.