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The adepti (singular adeptus) (Chinese: Xiān) are a group of both magical beings and gods alike, found within Liyue. Most of them are bound by a contract to protect Liyue from demons and evil gods[1] and are led by the Prime of the Adepti, the Geo Archon Rex Lapis (Morax) himself.

Terminology

The English translation treats the terms xiān, 仙人 xiānrén, 仙兽 xiānshòu, and 仙家 xiānjiā interchangeably, translating all of them as "adepti" or "illuminated beast," whereas the original Chinese text uses the terms more specifically.

xiān, "illuminated immortal", refers to the concept of Daoist xian, who are people or entities with either extreme longevity or immortality, typically as a result of spiritual enlightenment. The word can take on a variety of meanings depending on the context, but in the context of the adepti, it typically refers to beings who have reached enlightenment and spiritual immortality. In-game, this term is used to broadly refer to all types of adepti.

仙人 xiānrén, "illuminated immortal person", is comprised of the characters "illuminated immortal" + "person, people, mortal(s)". In-game, this term is typically used for all xian who follow Morax, whether they take beastlike or humanlike forms. It is an abbreviation of "the Mighty and Illuminated Adepti" (Chinese: 三眼五显仙人 "Three Eyes, Five Manifestations Illuminated Immortal [Person]").[2]

仙兽 xiānshòu, "illuminated immortal beast", refers to animals and beasts who have or are capable of reaching enlightenment, such as the qilin. Those who are illuminated beasts and follow Morax can be referred to as both xianren and xianshou.
In the original Chinese text, humans with illuminated beast blood in their veins typically refer to their xianshou lineage, and not a xianren lineage. There are a few exceptions; for example, when Ganyu talks about adeptus blood in Solitary Fragrance, she uses xianren instead of xianshou. Her character stories always use xianshou, though the English version inconsistently translates it as both "adeptus" and "illuminated beast."

仙家 xiānjiā, "illuminated immortal clan", is used in terms that do not pertain to the adepti as individuals, such as adeptal techniques or possessions, or refers to all of the adepti as a whole. For example, the term for adeptal energy is 仙家气运 xiānjiā qìyùn, "aura of the illuminated immortal clan". In the Chinese description for Eye of Perception says that the weapon belonged to the xianjia, rather than to a specific xianren. It is also used in Chinese as a respectful term for xianren.

Overview

Most adepti are illuminated beasts — beings beyond the ken of normal mortals and are often worshipped like deities by the people of Liyue — or have illuminated beast blood in their veins. Humans have a "higher purpose" than adepti in the world of Teyvat, and so only those of non-human status can be referred to as adepti.[3] However, half-humans with illuminated beast blood can qualify as adepti,[4][5] and legends exist of humans joining the ranks of the adepti.[6]

Very little is known about the origins of adepti and illuminated beasts; some believe that they descended from Celestia and return there once they die.[7][8] According to legend, humans could ascend to Celestia and join the ranks of the adepti,[6] and those who sought the path of the adepti had to pass the "trials of heaven and earth." The trial of "earth" was taken inside of the Taishan Mansion,[9] while the location for the trial of "heavens" is unknown.

Appearance

The adepti have a large range in terms of appearance, but most of them take on their illuminated beast forms when appearing before mortals.[10] However, some like Madame Ping and the Yakshas have humanlike forms, which suggests that they may be capable of either shapeshifting or changing vessels.[Note 1]

Culture

Many cultural aspects revolving around the adepti are derived from real-world Daoism and Buddhism, though within the world of Teyvat, such concepts are seen as the path of the adepti.

One aspect of adeptal culture is the use of sacred names. In the Chinese version, most sacred names contain four characters that serve as a name, followed by the honorific title 真君 "perfected lord". The English translation typically renders the first two characters and leaves out the honorific title. For example, 削月築阳真君 "The Perfected Lord who Carves the Moon and Builds the Sun" is rendered as Moon Carver, translating only the 削月 part of the title.[Note 2]

There are cases of sacred names that use different naming schemes, typically used by those with a special place among the adepti. The Chinese version of "Rex Lapis" is 岩王帝君 Yánwáng Dìjūn, "The Sovereign Lord Rock King", which uses the higher-ranking honorific 帝君 "sovereign lord" compared to most adepti's 真君 "perfected lord". In a similar vein, the Chinese version of Xiao's title, Conqueror of Demons, is 降魔大圣 "Great Sage who Subdues Demons", which forgoes the "lord" honorific system entirely. In both cases, their sacred names (excluding the honorific) are also only two characters long instead of the conventional four.

While sacred names are associated with the adepti, they have been applied to non-adepti as well. The adepti-created teapot spirits like Tubby and Chubby have sacred names despite not being considered adepti. Qiqi is heavily suggested to bear the sacred name Fortune Preserver (Chinese: 救苦度厄真君) following her resurrection at the hands of the adepti,[11] but she has no formal contract with Morax and does not work to protect Liyue, so she is not recognized as an adeptus. There is also nothing stopping from ordinary humans from giving themselves sacred names to pose as adepti, as seen with Archaic Lord of Lightning and Blitz (Chinese: 霹雳闪雷真君) and Starsnatcher (Chinese: 掇星攫辰天君).

On top of that, not all adepti use sacred names, as seen with Madame Ping and Ganyu. It is unclear if they have sacred names but use ordinary names to blend in with humans, or if they never had one to begin with. While Xiao has a sacred name, it is typically used by other adepti or by humans knowledgeable about the adepti; when Xiao gives his name to the Traveler, he tells them to call him "Adeptus Xiao."[12]

Powers and Abilities

All adepti possess the ability to manipulate elemental energy,[2] which mortals equate to having a Vision,[3] but it is unclear whether the adepti's ability to manipulate elemental energy follows the same rules as humans'. For example, beastlike adepti do not have Visions located externally on their bodies, leading humans to conclude that they possess "inner eyes" located within their bodies and are not visible on their bodies. Xiao wears a Vision because he appears in a humanlike form and thus follows human convention.[3]

Adepti possess adeptal energy (Chinese: 仙家气运 xiānjiā qìyùn) that has a unique effect based on the individual. When the Traveler was infused with three adepti's energies, Madame Ping's created intermittent shockwaves upon attacking, Ganyu's granted passive healing, and Xiao's increased movement speed.[13] It is unclear whether adeptal energy is linked to their "third eye," or if it is an independent power.

For normal humans, prolonged interaction with adepti will become dangerous, as their souls are not as robust and adeptal energy will overwhelm them with enough time.[14] When a dying Qiqi was infused with several adepti's energies, it was powerful enough to resurrect her from death — but, because it was too much for a mortal to bear, sent her on a rampage that was only stopped by trapping her in amber for hundreds of years.[15] Even after hundreds of years, she is still capable of manipulating that adeptal energy as a zombie.

According to Liyue beliefs, adepti formed the landscape; for example, rivers are adepti saliva, while grass is adepti hair. Mountain Shaper denies those claims as "nonsense," and explains that the amber found on Mt. Hulao is in fact created by a plant called the karst crawler. However, he is capable of controlling the plant to a certain degree, and has to make sure the plant will not trap innocent beings before he leaves the area.[16]

Adepti are capable of creating domains — known as abodes[17] — for their personal use, even granting them different forms such as teapots.[18]

There are several esoteric techniques used by the adepti. One of them is the "gifting of dreams and visions," used by Zhongli to inform the other adepti and the Liyue Qixing that Morax had not actually died, but had chosen to retire from his role.[19] Another is Dream Trawler, which is primarily used to separate the soul from the body for self-cultivation but can also be used to summon another's spirit; Xiao and the Traveler use it to summon Starsnatcher's spirit.[20] Pervases uses Mortal Lingering to temporarily regain a physical vessel.[21]

Story

Before and During the Archon War

It is unclear how long the adepti have existed as a formally recognized group, but they were said to have fought for Guizhong and Morax during the Archon War to defend Guili Plains,[22][23] and Cloud Retainer was friends with them before the fall of Guili Plains.[24]

Some time after the destruction of Guili Plains, Morax led his adepti and his people south of Mt. Tianheng, where he established Liyue Harbor. There, the adepti signed a contract with Morax to protect Liyue.[13][22] At some point during the war, Morax gathered the yakshas, particularly belligerent illuminated beasts, to assist him in the task of subduing the remnants of other gods defeated during the war.

During a battle between adepti and demons, Qiqi trespassed the realm of adepti by mistake while picking herbs and was mortally wounded in the crossfire. The adepti came together to resurrect her as a zombie by imbuing her with their powers.[15]

Present

Since the end of the Archon War two thousand years ago, with their immense strength no longer needed to fight the gods that opposed Morax,[13] most adepti have gone into seclusion in Jueyun Karst, cut off from the rest of the world and watching over Liyue from afar.[25][26] This land is considered sacred and mortals are not to set foot in it — those that do enter are considered either brave or desperate. Allegedly, only mortals with a Sigil of Permission in their possession are granted access to enter without offending the adepti. However, several NPCs can be found in the adepti's lands without having come to any harm, though they have not been granted audience with the adepti in return.

According to legend, some adepti decided that they did not want to wait around for their lives to come to a natural end and asked Morax to transform them into stone statues. It is said that these stone statues are capable of moving around even in this state.[27]

Although it has become simplified over time and is beginning to fade into obscurity, it is a Liyue tradition to mark the passing of every adeptus with a memorial service called the Rite of Parting. This service is handled by the Wangsheng Funeral Parlor, though they have only had to host this service a handful of times throughout the past three thousand years.[28]

Known Adepti

Adepti that have been mentioned over the course of the game:

Name Chinese Name Status
Rex Lapis 岩王帝君 Yánwáng Dìjūn, "The Sovereign Lord Rock King" Alive
The Mighty and Illuminated Adepti (Chinese: 三眼五显仙人)
Cloud Retainer 留雲借風真君 Liúyún Jièfēng Zhēnjūn, "The Perfected Lord who Retains the Clouds by Borrowing the Wind" Alive
Moon Carver 削月築阳真君 Xuēyuè Zhúyáng Zhēnjūn, "The Perfected Lord who Carves the Moon and Builds the Sun" Alive
Mountain Shaper 理水叠山真君 Lǐshuǐ Diéshān Zhēnjūn, "The Perfected Lord who Guides the Waters and Shapes the Mountains" Alive
Skybracer 移霄导天真君 Yíxiāo Dǎotiān Zhēnjūn, "The Perfected Lord who Moves the Heavens by Guiding the Sky" Deceased
Ganyu 甘雨 Gānyǔ, "Sweet Rain" Alive
Others
Guhua[8] 古华 Gǔhuá Ascended
Kunwu[29] 昆吾 Kūnwú Ascended
Madame Ping 萍姥姥 Píng Lǎolao, "Grandma Ping" Alive

Guardian Yakshas

The Guardian Yakshas were elite adepti summoned by the Geo Archon, Rex Lapis, to fight the demons that spawned from the remains of defeated gods after the Archon War. There were many Yakshas, however five of them were recognized as the strongest: Bosacius, Indarias, Bonanus, Menogias, and Alatus.[1]

Yakshas, though strong, were not all able to handle the darkness they faced. It's said that "some were given unto their rage, others unto a madness which fear mongered. Many turned to the slaughter of their own, others were bewitched by shadows of the soul." In the end, all but Alatus either perished or disappeared by the time of the game's start.[1][30]

Name Chinese Name Titles Element Status
"The Yakshas"
(Chinese: 仙众夜叉 "The Yakshas of the Adepti")[1]
Alatus (Xiao)
(Male)
金鹏 Jīnpéng
("Gold Peng")
Golden-Winged King
Conqueror of Demons
Vigilant Yaksha
Anemo Alive
Bosacius 浮舍 Fú Shě
("Abandoning Excess")
? Missing in action[26]
Indarias 应达 Yìng Dá
("One Who Arrived at the Answer")
? Deceased
Bonanus 伐难 Fá Nàn
("Suppressing Danger")
? Deceased
Menogias 弥怒 Mí Nù
("Overflowing Spirit")
? Deceased
Other Yakshas
Pervases
(Male)
铜雀 Tóngquè
("Copper Bird")
? Deceased

Others

The following characters are not formally considered adepti, but have some kind of connection to them.

Name Chinese Name Notes
Qiqi
(Fortune Preserver)[11]
七七 Qīqī, "Seven-Seven"
救苦度厄真君 Jiùkǔ Dù'è Zhēnjūn, "The Perfected Lord who Aids the Anguished by Averting Misfortune"
Was imbued with several adepti's energy to save her life and was bestowed with a sacred name, but otherwise has little connection to them in the present.
Streetward Rambler[31] 歌尘浪市真君 The Chinese version heavily implies that this is Venti.
Yanfei 烟绯 Yānfēi, "Smoky Scarlet" Her father is an illuminated beast and an adeptus. While Yanfei does not have a contract with Morax, her work on Liyue's behalf make her considered something of an honorary adeptus.
Teapot Spirits (Chinese: 壶灵)
Tubby
(Rain Calmer)
阿圆 Ā Yuán
(销虹霁雨真君 Xiāohóng Jìyǔ Zhēnjūn, "The Perfected Lord who Erases the Rainbows and Dissipates the Rain")
Chubby
(Jade Seeker)
阿嘟 Ā Dū
寻瑰纳琦真君 Xúnguī Nàqí Zhēnjūn, "The Perfected Lord who Seeks Gems and Receives Jade"

Trivia

  • The concept for the adepti came from the Chinese novel Journey to the West, in which it is stated that "All beings in the upper worlds that have nine apertures can become Immortals." This statement is used to justify treating the main character, the monkey Sun Wukong, equal to a human in his ability to cultivate the way of immortality, and is tied to the reason why most of the adepti have animal-like forms.[3]
  • It is currently unclear whether Guizhong was an adeptus or not. During the Archon Quest "Guizhong," Zhongli says the adepti built the Guizhong Ballista,[Note 3] with Cloud Retainer among its creators.[13] According to Stone Tablet Compilations - Vol. I, Guizhong created the Ballista, suggesting she may have been both an adeptus and a god like Morax. However, this has not been explicitly confirmed.
  • The Archaic Lord of Lightning and Blitz claims to be an adeptus, although this is probably a lie to convince people to buy into a scam.
  • The weapon Eye of Perception is said to be of adepti origin, which was passed onto the Yun Family who proceeded to create the Prototype weapons.
  • The Chinese name for seelie, 仙灵 xiānlíng, "fairy spirit", uses the same xiān in their name for adepti. However, it likely uses the "fairy" definition for the term rather than the "illuminated immortal" definition, and there has currently been no direct connection made between seelie and adepti.

Etymology

  • The adepti are synonymous with the Xian (Taoist Immortals), and are referred to as such (仙人) in the Chinese and Japanese versions of the game.
    • In English, those who dedicate their lives to practicing Taoism are often called "Taoist adepts,"[32][33] which is where the term "adeptus/adepti" in the English localization derives from.
  • In Chinese, and in some translations other than English, their titles include the honorific title 真君 zhēnjūn, "perfected lord", typically given to Taoist immortals.[34]
    • Zhēnjūn is a lower-ranking title than the 帝君 (dìjūn; sovereign) honorific used by Rex Lapis.

Notes

  1. Xiao's Developer Insight states that the tattoo on his arm depicts an illuminated beast and is related to his "true form," indicating he did not always have a human form.
  2. During one of the Closed Beta Tests, some sacred names were translated in full; Moon Carver, for example, was "Perfected Lord of Descending Sun and Ascending Moon." It appears the translation team later decided that direct translations too clunky and wordy, and truncated them for readability.
  3. In the official English translation, Zhongli's use of "an adeptus" indicates only one individual built the Ballista, lending to confusion as to who exactly Zhongli was referring to. However, the Chinese term 仙人 Xiānrén does not distinguish between singular or plural without additional context, making the English version a possible misinterpretation of the original statement's intent.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Yakshas: The Vigilant Adepti
  2. 2.0 2.1 Xiao, Vision story
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Official Blog Post: Developer Insight #4: Character Stories (I) - "Vigilant Yaksha" Xiao
  4. Archon Quest Chapter I, Act III, Part 3: Solitary Fragrance
  5. World Quest: A Teapot to Call Home: Part I
  6. 6.0 6.1 Qingzhou's dialogue
  7. Musheng's dialogue
  8. 8.0 8.1 Weapon: Rainslasher
  9. Taishan Mansion description
  10. Zhongli's dialogue in Stone Harbor Treasure Journal, Chinese version: [三眼五显仙人]们大多都以兽形示人 "A majority of the Mighty and Illuminated Adepti take the forms of beasts when appearing before mortals."
  11. 11.0 11.1 Qiqi's Elemental Burst, Adeptus Art: Preserver of Fortune description and voicelines
  12. Xiao's Voice-Over: Hello
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 Archon Quest Chapter I, Act 3, Part 5: Turning Point
  14. Xiao's dialogue in "Wangshu"
  15. 15.0 15.1 Qiqi, Character Story 4
  16. Mountain Shaper's dialogue during "Moulder of Mountains"
  17. Loading Screen
  18. Archon Quest Chapter I, Act 2, Part 4: The Realm Within
  19. Archon Quest Chapter I, Act 3, Part 6: The Fond Farewell
  20. Alatus Chapter Act I, Part 3: The Purging of Evil
  21. Alatus Chapter Act I, Part 4: Insights of Drifting Dreams
  22. 22.0 22.1 Stone Tablet Compilations: Vol. I
  23. World Quest: Treasure Lost, Treasure Found
  24. Cloud Retainer's dialogue during "Custodian of Clouds," along with the table with nameplates for Guizhong, "Rex" (Morax/Rex Lapis), and "Retainer," indicates the three were friends before the war began.
  25. Verses of Equilibrium
  26. 26.0 26.1 World Quest: The Yaksha's Wish
  27. Records of Jueyun: Stone Beasts
  28. Zhongli, Character Details
  29. Kunwu's Iron Rift description, only available during the third Closed Beta Test
  30. Story Teaser - Yakshas- The Guardian Adepti - Genshin Impact
  31. miHoYo official HoyoLab post: On His Majesty's Sacred Service: The Conqueror of Demons
  32. Cultivating Perfection, mentions of "adept"
  33. Stamford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Religious Daoism
  34. Cultivating Perfection, mentions of 真君

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