Baal, also known as the God of Eternity or the Raiden Shogun (Japanese: 雷電将軍 Raiden Shougun), is the current Electro Archon and member of The Seven who presides over Inazuma. She is the Almighty Shogun of the Inazuma Bakufu which rules over the country. She is seen wielding a sword.[Note 1]
The Shogun is a suppressive ruler that drove away the spirits of Inazuma into the forests.
This body is the noblest and most eminent of all in this world.
It should hold absolute control over this world.
It once promised its people a dream: the never-changing "eternity."Baal, in the description for Vajrada Amethyst Gemstone
Seven ideals for seven gods, and of these, Eternity is nearest unto Heaven.Baal, as quoted by Zhongli
Based on various descriptions of her, Baal is portrayed as rather self-centered and boastful: she claims that her ideal is "nearest unto Heaven," calls her body the "noblest and most eminent of all in this world", and sees her reign as eternal despite being younger than at least two of The Seven, having ascended somewhere between 500 and 2,000 years ago.
Recently, Baal has come to see Visions as divine blessings, believing that they should be under the sole dominion of divinity and that those not controlled by her are a threat to her "eternal" rule. For this purpose, she initiated the Vision Hunt Decree to seize most, if not all Visions in her domain and give them to a statue of the Thousand-Armed, Hundred-Eyed God. It is implied that she has a high level of trust with her retainer Kujou Sara, as she tolerates her Electro Vision and has her lead the Vision Hunters to seize her people's Visions.
As of the current events of the game, it has been a full year since she granted an Electro Vision. It is currently unclear what caused a change of opinion in Baal regarding Visions, considering some young characters hold Electro Visions. While Kazuha does not agree with her reasoning and actions, he acknowledges that she is a proficient and honorable fighter.
Baal's modern appearance is of a woman with dark purple hair tied into a long braid. She has bright purple eyes much like the Electro element, and has a beauty mark under her right eye. She wears red eyeliner as well.
During the Chapter II Prologue, she is depicted as a katana-wielding woman with long violet-colored hair that was worn down. She wore a kimono which is similar to the one she wears in the present day.
Little is known about Baal's history, but she is not one of the original Seven who emerged victorious from the Archon War. It is not yet known how the original Electro Archon passed or how she came into power.
A year before the current events of the game, something drastic happened in Inazuma, prompting Baal to enact both the Vision Hunt and Sakoku Decree, shuttering her nation from the rest of Teyvat. According to Zhongli, the mortal vessel of Morax and Baal's senior, she has ordered the Inazuma Bakufu to collect the Visions of all in the country, where they are laid into the statue of a thousand-armed, hundred-eyed god for reasons unknown. Baal also shuttered everyone, including her own people, from getting an Electro Vision. When the decree was enacted, Kazuha's friend challenged Baal, who allowed her bodyguard and aide, Kujou Sara, to challenge him on her behalf. Before the duel started, Baal stated that the loser would face divine punishment, while the victor would get a second chance. Sara bested Kazuha's friend in the duel, and she punished him by performing the Musou no Hitotachi, said to be the pinnacle of her skill and used as divine punishment.
At that time, Kazuha had come in just too late, having intended to stop his friend from such a reckless challenge. Before Baal or Sara could claim the Electro Vision, Kazuha snatched it. As Kazuha was also a Vision bearer, Baal immediately ordered her subordinates to capture him, but Kazuha was able to elude them with the help of the Sangonomiya Resistance, which had formed to oppose her decree, along with Beidou getting him off the nation.
During the Rite of Descension, Zhongli staged a fake death to see if Liyue could survive without him. Zhongli guesses that Baal would learn of his "death", which would cause her to accelerate her plans.
- The pinnacle of Baal's swordsmanship is the Musou no Hitotachi (Japanese: 無想の一太刀 Musou no Hito-tachi, "One Slash of No Conception"), the symbol of ultimate power. The sword skill is said to be only witnessed during "divine punishment."
- Musou is short for Munen-Musou (Japanese: 無念無想 "No Design, No Conception"). According to Victor Harris, a former Keeper of Japanese Antiquities at the British Museum in London, munen-musou in Japanese swordsmanship means "the ability to act calmly and naturally even in the face of danger. It is the highest accord with existence, when a man's word and his actions are spontaneously the same." (some spelling changes from the original text of Harris)
- According to the in-game archive description for Shibas, Baal was once allegedly quite fond of the dog breed.
- In Shinto mythology, Raiden (Japanese: 雷電 Raiden) is another name for Raijin, a god of lightning, thunder, and storms. Raiden also means "thunder and lightning" in both Japanese and Chinese.
- In the demonology grimoire The Lesser Key of Solomon, "Baal" (also spelled Bael) is the first King of Hell.
- Raiden's name is similar to Raiden Mei's name, a character from Honkai Impact 3rd, another game created by miHoYo. Both characters are strikingly similar to each other:
- Both Raiden Mei and Baal have purple eyes and long purple hair.
- Both characters harness the power of lightning (Electro).
- Raiden Mei is the 3rd Herrscher (the Herrscher of Thunder) while Baal is the third among the Seven Archons to appear.
- Honkai Impact 3rd also has an official manga titled "Escape from Nagazora". It has a chapter called "The Wrath of Baal", which showcases Mei's first appearance as the Herrscher of Thunder.
- Both are voiced by the same voice actress in Japanese, Miyuki Sawashiro (沢城みゆき).
- Her ultimate sword skill Musou no Hitotachi is mostly likely a reference to the Munen-Musou no Uchi (Japanese: 無念無想の打 "Strike of No Design, No Conception"), created by the swordsman Miyamoto Musashi, who is often called a "sword saint."
- According to Musashi's The Book of Five Rings (translated by Victor Harris), "In this method, when the enemy attacks and you decide to attack, hit with your body, and hit with your spirit, and hit from the Void with your hands, accelerating strongly. This is the "No Design, No Conception" cut. This is the most important method of hitting. It is often used. You must train hard to understand it."
- Baal's (alleged) past fondness for Shiba dogs is most likely a reference to Tokugawa Tsunayoshi, the fifth shogun of the Edo Bakufu (Tokugawa Shogunate). He was nicknamed as the Dog Shogun (Japanese: 犬公方 Inu-Kubou) because of his eagerness to enact animal protection laws.
- (JP) Twitter - VA Announcement
- Summer Night's Mask of Retracing Bolide
- As stated by Zhongli in The Fond Farewell
- As explained by Alrani in Endless Research
- Kaedehara Kazuha's voice-overs "About The Raiden Shogun"
- Follow the Wind - Cutschene.
- Miyamoto Musashi. Book of Five Rings - The Water Book (translated by Victor Harris)