Yenth is a town located in the Steadfast, within a kingdom called Malevich. It has a population of 14,000, and it’s a trade city because it sits on a unique border. Yenth is built around a Numenera complex from aeons past that houses a large extradimensional portal. Explorers and scholars reactivated the portal thirteen years ago and discovered a parallel universe on the other side—a world very different from the Ninth World, yet similar in certain ways. Weird landscapes and odd flora and fauna fill the land on the other side of the gate, but humans can survive there. In fact, it’s home to small cloisters of humans—or creatures so akin to humans that they’re mostly indistinguishable. However, their motivations and outlook are alien; even when the difficult language barriers are overcome, it’s hard for Ninth Worlders to truly understand them. Still, the people of Yenth have established trade with the ultraterrestrials and call their world "New Yenth". The ultraterrestrials desire odd things — plants, animals, and substances fairly common in the Ninth World. In trade, they offer unique devices. Most of them seem to offer little value other than as oddities.
The portal to New Yenth is difficult and complicated to use, and as far as anyone understands, it can be opened only from this side. But some people still fear that ultraterrestrials have infiltrated Yenth, posing as Ninth World humans for a mysterious purpose. Others believe that the ultraterrestrials are the descendants of long-lost travelers and explorers from Earth who now just want to come home.
Whether or not the rumors of large-scale infiltration are true, at least one person from the other side hides amid the humans of Yenth. The ultraterrestrial Nariiv secretly dwells in the city, posing as the owner of a leatherworking shop. He is a refugee from the parallel universe, hunted by his own kind for crimes committed (or, as he claims, allegedly committed) in his own world. Nariiv is a skilled warrior and a master of various weapons and combat styles, many never before seen in the Ninth World.