Yan Character in Rolara | World Anvil


King Yanluo Wang (a.k.a. Death, Yama, Yanma, Yanluo, Thanatos, the Reaper, the Shadow)

King Yanluo Wang, or just King Yan, was the thunderous ruler of Hell Realm and one of the oldest deities. Considered the first king, and the source of all Authority (even divine authority stems from him). Yan was not only the ruler but also the judge of the underworld and passes judgment on all the dead. He would always appears in a terrifying male form, and his minions include a judge who holds in his hands a brush and a book listing every soul and the allotted death date for every life. Men or women with merit will be rewarded good future lives or even revival in their previous life. Men or women who committed misdeeds will be sentenced to suffering or miserable future lives.   Due to the vast size of the universe, King Yan split Diyu into several realms, or courts, so that the massive work could be streamlined. Each court would have its own "Yan King". These Kings would be responsible for deciding where souls go after they die, and they empowered myriad beings to bring them the appropriate souls. It was incredibly important work, and King Yan and his underlings kept meticulous records for Yu Huang. These "Yan Kings" were most commonly referred to as Judges. Portals to their court rooms were in the Hall of Judgement. Altogether they were responsible for the judging souls and administering Afterlife and Death.   Immortal Extraplanar entities who need an impartial judge seek a hearing before King Yan.  

Death and his Avatars

Death has many jobs to fulfill often simultaneously. To do so, he is in multiple places, and often multiple places in time, all at once. This is done with his ability to create Avatars. Unlike other deities, who create a single avatar at a time to represent themselves in the Prime Material Plane, Death can create infinite avatars that can move invisibly through all planes. To balance this, his avatars require a truly neutral mortal soul to accept the offer to become his avatar. The soul retains its personality but gain's a limited portion of Death's true power without weakening King Yan himself.   An example of this is Gary. Gary died of dysentery and led an unremarkable life as a commoner. His Karma was largely neutral, and his alignment was also neutral. While his soul made the Journey to the Afterlife, he was noticed and offered a job at the lowest level (reaper of souls). Eventually, he accepted. Once he did, he took on the statistics and appearance of an avatar of death from the Dungeon Master's Guide. He then began guiding souls on their Journey soon after, including a chance encounter with Balasar.

Divine Domains



生死书 (shēngsǐ shū /ʂəŋ˥ si˥˥ ʂu˥/)

The book that King Yan carries is no ordinary tome. It's an artifact of immense cosmic significance, often referred to as the "Book of Life and Death" This ledger contains the names of all living and deceased beings, their actions and deeds, as well as the dates of their death. It's a living chronicle that is constantly updated with every birth, every deed, every death.   Envision a book that transcends the limitations of time and space. It may appear as an ancient, weathered tome, bound in ethereal leather that feels both warm and cold to the touch. Its pages, though seeming old and delicate, are impervious to damage. The book is constantly shifting and reshaping itself, with pages appearing and disappearing, turning by themselves as if guided by an unseen hand.   Upon opening the book, one would find a seemingly infinite number of pages filled with complex characters that glimmer with an otherworldly light. Each page tells the story of a soul, inscribed in a language that only King Yan and his chosen few can read. This language is universal, transcending all mortal and divine languages, as it needs to record the lives of all beings, regardless of where or what they are.   Every individual's life is chronicled in meticulous detail, from the most mundane actions to the most momentous decisions. Merits and misdeeds are carefully noted, forming the basis for King Yan's judgment when the individual's life comes to an end. It's a testament to the cosmic balance between good and evil, a guide to justice in the afterlife.   The death dates listed in the book are not fixed but fluctuate based on the individual's actions and the state of the universe. King Yan, as the administrator of Death, can see these shifting dates and make preparations accordingly. This further highlights the notion of free will and the influence one's choices can have on their destiny.   However, the book does not merely chronicle the past and the present, nor alone the potential futures, laid out in branching paths, indicating how every decision can lead to a different outcome. More precisely, the nature of the omniscience of the book underlines the concept of reincarnation and future lives, hinting at the cyclical nature of existence.   In essence, King Yan's book balances as a symbol of his authority and responsibility, a divine tool that allows him to maintain the duality of life and death, rewarding the virtuous and punishing the wicked. It's a testament to the endless cycle of existence, the intricate Weave of destinies, and the profound interconnectedness of all life.

Mental characteristics

Personal history

Death, as he was known before the universe became ordered and everything was in chaos, was one of the primordial forces.   Originally considered the most powerful deity, until Kano achieved enlightenment and began to teach his disciples how to defeat Death. King Yan, thankfully, doesn't have the flaw of pride; few things are as eternal and pervasive as death, and King Yan is the ultimate in patience.
He has many avatars, assisstants, and officials at his disposal. Most commonly, his avatars wander the border ethereal and reap souls that are seeking the afterlife. These avatars are often recruited from the souls of the pious dead, or those who dies innocently or accidentally.

Gender Identity

Death belongs to no gender, race, species or even world. However, King Yan almost always takes a male form when fulfilling his duties in the Court Room of Hell.

Accomplishments & Achievements

King Yan is not just a manifestation of Death; he is a talented holy warrior. He needs to be; even gods and devils die, on occasion. If powerful and rowdy souls give him any trouble, he just puts them in his trademarked "King Yan's Thunderous Angry Half-Nelson - 雷鸣般的 愤怒的擒抱" until they give up.


Do not make King Yan angry. Allow this author to rephrase; do NOT make Death mad at you.



twin (Trivial)

Towards Asmodeus




twin (Trivial)

Towards Yan




Neither knows of their relation to the other; this secret is kept well by Kano and the Jade God. No other beings or entities know of this connection.
Though both have heard rumors that the other takes a form similar to themself, neither has ever met the other. They've never had need or occasion to meet. Yan has been busy with important work since the dawn of time and Asmodeus is rather preoccupied with tempting mortals to commit evil.
Asmodeus assumes that King Yan looks like him to seem scarier to mortal souls; and it is true that mortals tend to find Yan very scary. King Yan, on the other hand, believes that nothing is scarier than dying, especially to evil creatures and immortal creatures; so of course the embodiment of pure evil would want to look like Death himself.

Commonalities & Shared Interests

Both share an affinity for collecting sports memorabilia, being the loudest voice in the room, and lording their position of power over others.

Shared Acquaintances

Through coincidence, the minor deity Taiyi Zhenren is owed a favor from each of them for different reasons.

Divine Classification
Neutral Evil
Currently Held Titles
Asmodeus (twin)
Related Myths
Ruled Locations


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