The Yàngbǎn are made up of various parahumans, most Chinese, but some from other countries who were trafficked or kidnapped directly. They have been formed through brainwashing often unwilling parahumans into their cult-like group. Prospective members are forced through a series of questions on Yàngbǎn doctrine and tortured when they fail. Individual members were identified only by their numbers, not names. Mistakes such as mispronunciations or using English would be subtly punished with shunning and less food. Acceptable statements would be repeated by the group, signaling social acceptance, while unacceptable ones were met with crushing silence. Their punishing schedule renders them especially pliable. This effect was subtly augmented using One's power.
The Yàngbǎn are taught, not entirely incorrectly, that non-Yàngbǎn parahumans are dangerous and violent. They believe that the PRT and Protectorate are fundamentally corrupt and the source of many problems in the world, and generally refused to cooperate with them. They believed that their methods were the answer that would eventually defeat the Endbringers. They were noted for respecting the Endbringer Truce less than most cape organizations.
The Yàngbǎn are trained in tinkertech combat simulations where individual members shout out instructions and they all use a practiced maneuver e.g. opening fire with lasers, or using forcefields. They are all expected to be able to use every power they have available. The drills last six hours a day, their lectures last twelve hours, leaving only 45 minutes for food and five hours for sleep.
Other abilities demonstrated by Yàngbǎn members include invincibility at the cost of immobility, blurry illusions, invisibility, slow-moving projectiles, energy blades instant teleportation and heat generation.
In addition to their normal members, there were several allied individuals who had not been made a part of the whole.
All Yàngbǎn wore gem-like masks that covered their faces and ears. Their costumes were colour-coded and varied depending on their task.
The Yàngbǎn who showed up to the New Delhi Endbringer battle wore flowing costumes with loose sleeves and pants, somewhere between a martial arts uniform and a military uniform, crimson with a black design of horizontal and vertical lines at edges of the sleeves and pants. They had red masks.
The ones that interrogated Lung wore red masks, jackets and pants, each with their number embroidered on the shoulder.
The infiltration team that attacked Earth Tav wore black costumes with bodysuits beneath, and dark blue masks.
Three teams defended the Imperial palace during Gold Morning, wearing masks of white, purple, and yellow respectively. A fourth squad with jade green masks guarded the Imperial family inside the palace, and a small group with red masks were hidden by holograms.
They are formed around the abilities of Null and Two. Null's power splits each individual's powers amongst the group, while Two's power boosts the powers around them. When the two are used in concert, the Yàngbǎn are able to share a sizable fraction of powers among a group.
They tried to recruit Lung, however the Man-Dragon did not agree with the organisation's "truths" and defected as soon as possible.
They showed up in New Delhi, one of their first appearances outside of China in a decade, at Accord's request.
However a traitor in their midst defected and attacked the Protectorate leadership that was coordinating the defence.They were later convinced to help by Weaver in a decisive move against Behemoth.
They refused Cauldron's offer to join the meeting of all the major powers to oppose Khonsu.
A group of Yàngbǎn attended the meeting of all the major powers, but contributed nothing of note.
The group was used by the C.U.I. to take over neighbouring portals and seize territory for their citizens, including Earth Tav Punitive measures were taken against the group, later justified as them breaking the Truce.
↑The C.U.I. had bought a parahuman. Not so unusual. Higher rates, as of late, but then, the C.U.I. faced a slight chance of an Endbringer attack in coming weeks. They would want to bolster their forces, add parahumans to their peculiar team. - Interlude 21.x
↑Murder was out, but there were other options. He’d sent capes to the Yàngbǎn before. It was more constructive than killing. Cleaner. It also built relationships with the C.U.I.. Excerpt form Interlude 20.y
↑ 4.04.14.24.3Their destination was a flattened building, with a group of dead, maimed and dying Indian capes lying in the debris. [...] Three reached down, and others around him joined in, making contact with one of the dying. It took nearly a minute, to attune everything the right way. But the effect took hold, and the injured hero disappeared. Five looked to Cody and pointed at the next one. [...] But he could feel the tickle of new powers taking hold. The three they’d collected from the shattered building were joining them, like it or not. - Excerpt form Interlude 23
↑"The Yàngbǎn is the solution," the taller of the two said. "You agree this is truth?" "No," Lung said. "That is a shame." "I want out of here," Lung told them. "That is all. If I must kneel, I will." "We need to hear the right answers before we can go any further. We will come again in two weeks time and we will ask you again. If you give us the answer we require, we can move on to the next step." And, Lung thought, carry down the chain of questions, steps, and procedures until I fail. You will break me and brainwash me until I am one of you. - Interlude 22.y
↑ 7.07.17.2They appeared, descending from above, floating. Two of them this time. They made no mention of his lack of clothes or his shaggy hair. Both wore identical uniforms, red jackets and pants, their red masks turning their faces into overlarge, featureless gemstones with coverings over their ears. At each of their shoulders, there was a number. One-six and two-seven. - Interlude 22.y
↑His teammates, he knew, were raising their hands in anticipation of a fight. They were distrustful. They'd been taught that foreign heroes were dangerous, unpredictable.
Thing was, they were right. As a rule, capes were fucked up. People were fucked up. The Yàngbǎn, Cody mused, resolved the situation by stripping capes of their humanity. - Interlude 23
↑ 10.010.110.210.3They were lined up like musketeers, rank and file, each a set distance apart from the others. The ones in front were kneeling, the ones behind standing. Each wore a mask that covered their faces, flowing costumes with loose sleeves and pants, somewhere between a martial arts uniform and a military uniform, each crimson with a black design of horizontal and vertical lines at edges of the sleeves and pants. There were nearly thirty of them.
All together, they directed lasers at him, aiming for his one red eye. He blocked the concentrated laser-fire with one claw, and the flesh at the base of the obsidian claw began peeling away. [...] "Excepting diplomatic functions, this is the first time in over a decade that any of the Yàngbǎn have set foot outside of China," Defiant said. "We've tried to arrange for their aid in the past, but relations between our side and theirs are sour. For years, they've alleged that the PRT and the Protectorate are fundamentally corrupt, the source of the problems currently plaguing the world." - Drone 23.5
↑"Your support is welcome, and that's why we couldn't ever ask you to make this leap of faith," Chevalier said. "I understand your motives are pure, but if some accident transpired, and a good cape didn't make it back, it would mean war." - Interlude 23
↑"The Yàngbǎn were doing more harm than good," I said.
"They were limiting their strikes to civilians. Not something I agree with, but with Earth, with every Earth on the line, I'd forego two or three thousand lives for the help of over two hundred of the C.U.I.'s trained parahumans." - Cockroaches 28.5
↑But two hundred parahumans and a set of elite capes focused on defense and counterattacks was ominous. - Speck 30.3
↑ 14.014.114.2Not the same Yàngbǎn I’d encountered before. These ones wore similar outfits, but there were bodysuits beneath, no bare skin. The multifaceted gem designs that covered their faces were dark blue, their costumes black. Infiltrators. A sub-set. One of five sub-groups, apparently. Excerpt form Cockroaches 28.4
↑ 15.015.1The Yàngbǎn were dealt with. There were two major raiding parties, if we judged solely by the colors of their masks, and three or four other sub-groups tasked with different functions. - Cockroaches 28.5
↑Just below the dais were three more Yàngbǎn members. Null, One and Two. The key components in their power structure, the ones who divided the powers, controlled the squads and gave them the strength to be effective, respectively. - Speck 30.3
↑Fourth path. Shallow flight. [...] Their flight depended on proximity to a solid surface. It involved hovering five to ten feet off the ground while moving at fifty or sixty miles an hour. They had another means of flight, but less controlled, one that risked putting them above the skyline, obvious targets for a lightning strike. - Interlude 23
↑Ninth path. Short range electromagnetism. They skated off of the little exposed metal that was available around them, car hoods and pipes, gaining speed to augment their flight.- Interlude 23
↑Thirty-second path. Nullification waves.
The effect was short ranged, and he could see the shifting in the air as it extended, passed through the gaps in the forcefield where the magma and heated air were only just beginning to leak through miniscule gaps.
The waves generated by thirty-two served to stabilize. It stalled things in motion, warmed up cold things, cooled warm things. It silenced, stilled.
The magma cooled with surprising rapidity, but then, the power was affecting the inside at the same time it affected the outside, rather than trying to cool the outside to a degree that would extend inward. - Interlude 23
↑Reluctantly, still stewing with anger, he obeyed, kneeling by the body.
The forty-second path. Teleportation. He could see the destination in his mind's eye, like an annoying spot of light in the center of his vision, gradually getting more detailed and focused. Each person that joined his side to assist sped the process along.
The wounded hero flickered and disappeared.
The process took a minute at the best of times, with help. His destination couldn't be a distant one, and he couldn't hope to behead the Yàngbǎn on his own, not with the members they'd kept in reserve, the precious ones, with powers they couldn't afford to lose, like Two's.
He nearly lost his concentration as a massive crash knocked him off his feet. The fight's only beginning, Cody thought.
The teleportation took hold, and he found himself back at the building the Yàngbǎn had just left, three stories down.
- Interlude 23
↑He felt a rush, just being part of the unit. Being a part of a maneuver that let them cut through a burning ruin of a building with the ease they had.
Some of that rush, he knew, was the second path. Magnification of powers. Two wasn't present, she was too valuable to risk losing, but they still shared her power between them. Each of them had a sliver of her ability to enhance the powers of those nearby. It was the reason their powers worked to the degree that they did, a feedback loop in power augmentation across their whole unit.-Interlude 23
↑Flight BA178, November 25th, 2011 // Simurgh Notes: Loss? Plane destroyed, Eidolon/Pretender drive off Endbringer. Marks start of guerilla tactics from Simurgh and Leviathan. Target/Consequence: Incognito Chinese Union-Imperial heir. See files: America/CUI conflict 2012 A UK/CUI Conflict 2012 A America/CUI conflict 2012 B Yàngbǎn - Excerpt from Scarab 25.6
↑ 33.033.1"Yàngbǎn," Tattletale said. "Refused to let Faultline or Cauldron open up any portals in the C.U.I. territories, and then the moment things got ugly, they invaded the portals others made instead. Striking American settlements. Including ours, potentially. Part of the reason for Bitch's patrolling right now. Wouldn't mind you doing a double-check of the area with your bugs, when you're up for it." - Cockroaches 28.1
↑“They broke the truce,” I echoed Tattletale. “The code has been there since the beginning. If a bigger threat shows up, we band together. We don’t distract each other with attacks or murder attempts, we don’t take advantage of the situation to fuck with civilians. The truce is there for a reason, and it has weight because everyone knows that they can’t handle the trouble that gets express-delivered to their doorsteps when they’ve defied it.”Excerpt form Cockroaches 28.5