Martian (Yorhi)

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Martian humanoids, Yorhi and Aihai...

Yorhi and Aihi; the Yorhis are the ancient ancestors of the more "modern" Aihais

Origin: Aihais and Yorhis are creations of Clark Ashton Smith, appearing in the stories "The Vaults of the Yoh-Vombis (fiction)" and "Vulthoom (fiction)".


The Yorhis and Aihais are essentially the same alien; the Aihai is a slightly devolved and more savage version of the taller, more graceful, and more cultured Yorhi.

The Aihais are described as tall (six or more feet in height) and angular, with bellows-like, spongy chests, tough leathery skin, wide and flaring ears and three-lobed nostrils, double-rows of sharp teeth, four-jointed fingers, and sometimes signs of a vestigial third arm in their chests.

The more ancient Yorhis were similar, with more functional third arms, more delicate features, and even greater height (seven or more feet in height). The Yorhis may have been cleaned out by some terrible epidemic, the Yashta pestilence, which was a kind of green mould that ate all the bones of the body, starting with the teeth and nails

These beings might be thought of as loose equivalents of Red Barsoomian Martians and White Barsoomian Martians, respectively, and perhaps are the natural Daylands remnants of these races: those who have not yet fled into the Dreamlands and have not been shaped by human Dreamers.

Yorhis architecture seems to favor large, triangular, terraced, buttressed buildings of cyclopean architecture, as evidenced by the city of Yoh-Vombis; Aihais cities are apparently more modest in scope, size, and architecture, perhaps representing a fall from their ancestors' great heights. Yorhis tended to go unclothed, Aihais wear minimal clothing in the form of scarves or shrouds that they wrap about themselves to protect themselves from the bitter cold of modern Mars. The Yorhis seem to have been master stone masons and metallurgists, producing artifacts such as urns and braziers and censors in a dark, greenish material resembling some sort of alloy of metals and ceramics - the alchemy required to produce these artifacts seems to have been an art lost with the extinction of the Yorhis.

The hideously ancient city of Yoh-Vombis is perhaps one of the last known ruins of Yorhis civilization. The Aihais city of Ignarh, straddling the Yahan Canal and spanned by a great bridge, is known to its inhabitants as Ignar-Vath on the east bank, and the more modern Ignar-Luth on the west bank, where it is populated by human visitors to Mars.


The [Aihais] were friendly enough in their taciturn way: they had tolerated the intrusion of terrestrials, had permitted commerce between the worlds. Their languages had been mastered, their history studied, by terrene savants. But it seemed that there could be no real interchange of ideas. Their civilization had grown old in diverse complexity before the foundering of Lemuria; its sciences, arts, religions, were hoary with inconceivable age; and even the simplest customs were the fruit of alien forces and conditions.

The figure, nearly ten foot in height, was taller by a full yard than the average Aihai, but presented the familiar conformation of massively bulging chest and bony, many-angled limbs. The head was featured with high-flaring ears and pit-like nostrils that narrowed and expanded visibly in the twilight. The eyes were sunken in profound orbits, and were wholly invisible, save for tiny reddish sparks that appeared to burn suspended in the sockets of a skull. According to native customs, this bizarre personage was altogether nude; but a kind of circlet around the neck—a flat wire of curiously beaten silver—indicated that he was the servant of some noble lord.
Clark Ashton Smith, "Vulthoom (fiction)"

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