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The Archon War was an era of various power struggles between gods that began several thousand years ago for unknown reasons, although scholars in Teyvat believe it began over seven divine seats in Celestia.[1] While different regions settled their power struggles at different times, the era drew to a close 2,000 years ago after the final seat was claimed.

With the end of an era came the establishment of a new order under the Seven Archons. They determined the seven elements in Teyvat[2] and established the seven nations, determining their method of governance through their ideals and shaping their nations using their elemental powers.

Overview

How or why the Archon War began are currently a mystery. Gods were able to coexist relatively peacefully before the War began, so the circumstances that triggered the Archon War are currently left to speculation. The logistics of the war are also unknown, such as how the nations were divided or how the victors were determined.

According to Soraya, the war began as a struggle over the seven divine seats in Celestia,[1] both for supremacy and to see their plans for a prosperous humanity to come to fruition.[3] However, not all gods participated in the war with the intent of taking a divine seat; some wanted to defend their territory, while others didn't even want to fight and tried to save as many people as possible from the destruction of the war.

An alternate explanation is that the death of gods removed divine seats that previously existed in Celestia, and The Seven were either gods who kept their seats by prevailing over the others, or were beings who ascended to godhood after defeating gods of old. Decarabian's death resulted in the "crumbling of an ancient seat of divinity," while Barbatos ascended to godhood and became the Anemo Archon.[4]

After The Seven were established, most defeated gods fled Teyvat and took refuge in the Dark Sea — lands outside of Teyvat where The Seven have no dominion, where they became known as "evil gods." Some gods, however, chose to cooperate with The Seven and even became important figures, such as Andrius.

Mondstadt

2600 years ago, in the midst of the Archon War, the city of Mondstadt was located northwest of the current location, what is now known as Stormterror's Lair. Back then, there were two warring gods: Decarabian, the God of Storms, and Andrius, the King of the North Wind. The entity who would become Barbatos was but a wisp of the wind, an elf with little to no power.[5]

At that time, Mondstadt was a wasteland of ice, snow, and endless icy blizzards, almost impossible for humans to live in.[6][7] This was all caused by Andrius, who gained his powers from an ancient — and likely deceased — god.[8] In order to protect his people from the cold, Decarabian enclosed the city into a wall of storms, letting nothing go in or out of it; Andrius declared war on Decarabian, but was incapable of landing even a scratch on his tower. For his part, Decarabian seemed either uninterested in, or incapable of, defeating Andrius, and was content with keeping his people safe. Unbeknownst to Decarabian, however, his people felt trapped and worshipped him out of fear, which he mistook for genuine devotion.[Note 1]

During his time as a wisp of the wind, Barbatos befriended a young bard who dreamt of freedom. He also saved the Gunnhildr Clan, who had left Decarabian's city to live in the frozen wasteland, and their resulting faith empowered him.[7] Eventually, Barbatos and the Nameless Bard, alongside Decarabian's disillusioned lover Amos and an unnamed knight, raised an army against the God of Storms.[9] They eventually emerged victorious, taking down the archon and freeing the people from his stormy cage. Unfortunately, both Amos and the bard were among the casualties, causing deep regret for Barbatos.

After Decarabian's demise, Barbatos claimed a divine seat in Celestia, becoming the first — and only — Anemo Archon among The Seven. Andrius, despite holding tremendous power, was aware that he was ill-fit for the role of a loving archon who could nurture humanity, as he found human society to be a disappointment and only accepted abandoned infants and outcasts as his kin.[10][11] Believing himself unfit for the position of Anemo Archon, Andrius chose to disappear.[12] In his final days, he realized that his icy blizzards could only destroy life and decided to let his power flow into the land of Mondstadt instead, putting an end to the icy storm.[13]

Barbatos' first use of his powers was to take the form of the young bard as a way to honor him. After that, he used his wind powers to shape the land to make it prosperous for his people, teaching them the values of freedom. He then left the people to themselves, refusing to rule them directly and risk becoming a tyrant himself. Instead, he journeyed throughout Teyvat, often paying visits to the Geo Archon, Morax, of the neighboring nation of Liyue.

Liyue

During the Archon War, Morax, the God of Geo, and Guizhong, the God of Dust, lived with the adepti and their people in the region now known as the Guili Plains. When the war began, they stood by each other and fought other gods; but Guizhong died, and Morax took the people south of Mt. Tianheng and established Liyue Harbor.

From there, Morax defended his people from other gods and monsters. Notably, he impaled various gods and sea monsters at Guyun Stone Forest with stone lances, among them Osial and the Chi of Yore. Although they were defeated, the stone pillars became divine, but with hatred and curses within as well. This caused demons to come out, to which Morax tasked many yakshas to defeat them. After eons of battle, all but one of the yakshas became corrupted by rage, madness, and "shadows of the soul," and either perished or disappeared. As of a thousand years ago, only one remains: Alatus (Xiao), who is still alive and active.

Meanwhile, the Salt Goddess Havria, known for both her gentleness and relative weakness compared to other gods, tried to avoid the chaos of the Archon War and yearned for the peaceful days of old. However, in that brutal era, she found herself making more and more concessions until all she had left for her and her people was the land now known as Sal Terrae. In the end, she perished at the hands of her own people: realizing that her love and kindness was incapable of protecting them, the king of her people decided to slay her both as a demonstration of their decision to take a more militaristic stance,[14] and to spare her the agony of defeat and destruction at the hands of another god. On her death, however, the surge of power that emerged from her body salinified all those in the area. Those who survived were scattered throughout Liyue, most eventually settling in Liyue Harbor and forming Yinyuan Hall.[15]

Inazuma

Very little information exists about the Archon War in Inazuma. The Inazuma archipelagos were united under the rule of the Electro Archon, the Raiden Shogun — which was Raiden Makoto (Baal), with her twin sister Raiden Ei (Beelzebul) serving as her kagemusha. While the people of Watatsumi Island worshipped another god, Orobashi, they cooperated with the Electro Archon up until Orobashi's rebellion against the Shogun.[16][Note 2]

Conclusion

As the Archon War drew to a close 2,000 years ago,[17] only the Seven remained, making Teyvat into the seven nations we know of. The many defeated gods who refused to live under the new order of the Seven fled to remote islands outside of their rule, and became evil gods.

Only Barbatos and Morax remain as active Archons who are original victors of the Archon War, while the other four have been replaced over the past 2,000 years. Baal died 500 years ago in the catalysm and has been replaced by her twin sister, named Beelzebul, under the name "Baal."

Notes

  1. While the idea that Decarabian trapped his people within the city is often stated in Mondstadt's history books, this is contradicted by Biography of Gunnhildr, which claims that the Gunnhildr Clan took refuge in the city, then left after growing disillusioned by Decarabian's rule. It is possible that the people's dissatisfaction with his rule originated from his apparent inaction against Andrius, who turned the rest of Mondstadt into a frozen tundra. Over time this discontentment morphed into the belief that Decarabian was a tyrant who locked them within his city without cause.
  2. Sangonomiya Chronicles states that Orobashi peacefully lived under the Electro Archon's rule. In the Version 2.1 Special Program, however, there is a line that states Orobashi died during the Archon War. Assuming both statements are true, Makoto may have became Electro Archon before the Archon War officially ended 2000 years ago, and then Orobashi attacked Yashiori Island at some point between their victory and the Archon War's official end. However, there is currently too little information to determine the exact order of events.

References

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