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Gods (Chinese: Shén) are beings with great control over elemental energy and whose lifespans are much longer than that of mortals. They also have a link to Celestia, though how that link worked for gods who predate the Seven Archons is currently unknown.

Before the Archon War, many gods roamed the continent of Teyvat. For reasons unknown, seven divine seats opened up in Celestia,[1] causing the continent to descend into a protracted series of conflicts that ended 2000 years ago. Over the course of the war, most gods were slain or sealed until only seven victors remained; each victor became their respective element's Archon and became the rulers of one of the seven nations,[Note 1] using their powers to transform its terrain and governing the land according to their ideals.

Note: In the original Chinese text, gods who lived before the reign of The Seven typically include the term Demon God (Chinese: 魔神 Móshén) in their titles, but the English translation does not keep this distinction.[Note 2] Meanwhile, the Chinese text does not use a special term in the Seven Archons' titles, whereas the English translation originally translated the character "god", which is used in their titles, as "archon" irrespective of whether the subject was one of the Seven Archons or not, leading to confusion whether the term "archon" was synonymous with "god" or not.[Note 3]

Overview

Very little is currently known about the origins of gods. Barbatos, for example, was an insignificant wind spirit until he met and formed a bond with the Nameless Bard and, from there, eventually gained enough power through faith from the Gunnhildr Clan[2] to challenge the former ruler of the City of Mondstadt, Decarabian. After his victory, he ascended to godhood, became the Anemo Archon after Andrius withdrew from the Archon War, and used his powers to create his current vessel, Venti. Nothing is known about Morax's origins; by the time he descended on Liyue with his people, he was already considered the God of Geo.[3]

In the past, an expectation for gods was a love for humanity, using their powers as gods to guide and protect humanity; Andrius, who held a low opinion of human society, was viewed as an oddity.[4][5] However, after The Seven were established and its original members passed on, the newer archons no longer upheld the duty of guiding humanity.[6]

When a god dies, their power flows out of them and into the surrounding area. If they voluntarily pass on, they are able to control the flow of power and use it to the benefit of the land.[7] However, if they are killed, the surge of power can easily overwhelm those in the vicinity; for example, the power released upon Havria's death salinized her adherents.[8] Gods cannot be completely destroyed — even if a god's physical form is destroyed, its will and power live on. The remnants and the wrath of the defeated god will remain in the world, waiting for opportunities to cause chaos.[9]

Elemental dragons are said to rival the gods in terms of power.[10]

Archon War

The Archon War was a prolonged conflict between gods for supremacy that began several thousand years ago and ended two thousand years ago. It is unclear how long ago the War began or why it did; however, before then, gods were able to live together peacefully.[1]

The Guili Assembly, established by Guizhong and Morax in Guili Plains in the distant past, was one civilization destroyed during the chaos of the Archon War, scattering their people across Liyue. 3700 years ago, and an unknown time after the fall of the Guili Assembly, Morax gathered his people, took them south of Mt. Tianheng, and established Liyue Harbor. Some time afterwards, Havria was murdered by her own people for being weak, and the survivors of Sal Terrae were scattered across Liyue. Osial and Chi were both subdued by Morax, along with countless other gods.

2600 years ago, in the midst of the Archon War, the God of Blizzards Andrius warred against the God of Storms, Decarabian. In their bitter stalemate, Barbatos challenged Decarabian for the freedom of Decarabian's people and emerged victorious. After Decarabian's death, Barbatos became the new Anemo Archon,[11] while Andrius decided himself unfit for the position and chose to pass on instead, using his winds to nurture the new Mondstadt that Barbatos created.[5]

Around 2000 years ago, the Archon War drew to a close as the seventh and final victor claimed their seat. These victors were thereafter known as the Seven Archons. Gods who refused to live under their rule fled to islands within the Dark Sea, regions beyond the control of The Seven, where they became evil gods.[12]

Of the seven victors of the Archon War, only two remain by the start of the game's story: Barbatos and Morax.[13][14] Most of The Seven's current members replaced the original founders of Teyvat's seven nations, with the Dendro Archon as the newest of them at 500 years old.

Present Day

Among The Seven, each Archon is associated with and worshipped by one of Teyvat's seven nations. The nation's elemental environment is based on its Archon's element.

An Archon's power is directly tied to their level of control over their nation. As a result, Venti — who travels as a bard and refuses to directly control the people of Mondstadt — is extremely weak by Archon standards, while the Tsaritsa is extremely powerful.

Humans whom the gods have recognized will be given a Vision, a God's Eye, which allows them to manipulate elemental energy. Wielders of Visions are known as "allogenes" and are also privileged with the chance of rising to godhood. An Archon's role relative to Visions is currently unclear, but the lack of new Electro Visions after the Electro Archon, Baal, enacted the Vision Hunt Decree suggests that the Archons grant them personally.[15]

List of Gods

The Seven Archons

Archon Name Local Alias Current Persona Divine Ideal Element Region Ascended
(Years Ago)
Status
Barbatos Lord Barbatos Venti
(Male)
Freedom Anemo
Anemo
Mondstadt 2,600 AbsentA
(Incognito)
Morax Rex Lapis Zhongli
(Male)
Contracts Geo
Geo
Liyue 2,000+C AbsentA
(Retired)
Baal Raiden Shogun Raiden Shogun
(Female)
Eternity Electro
Electro
Inazuma UnknownB Active
Unknown Unknown Unknown
(Male)
Wisdom Dendro
Dendro
Sumeru 500 Active
Unknown Unknown Unknown
(Female)
Justice Hydro
Hydro
Fontaine UnknownB Active
Unknown Unknown
[Note 4]
Murata[16]
(Female)
War Pyro
Pyro
Natlan 1000+B Active
Unknown The Tsaritsa Unknown
(Female)
Unknown
[Note 5]
Cryo
Cryo
Snezhnaya UnknownB Active

A - No longer possesses a Gnosis, no longer serving in capacity as an Archon.
B - The "new" Seven must have ascended somewhere between 500 to 2,000 years ago; the newest Archon, the God of Wisdom, ascended after the cataclysm 500 years ago, while the last of the original Seven took their seat 2,000 years ago. Murata already ascended by the time Barbatos fell asleep the first time and awoke 1,000 years ago, but when exactly he fell asleep is unknown.
C - Despite being alive for over 6000 years, Morax was only considered the Geo Archon after claiming one of the seats among The Seven.[17] When exactly that occurred is currently unknown.

Other Archons and Gods

Other archons and gods referenced throughout stories and equipment descriptions in Teyvat:

Name Title Region Status
Andrius
(Male)
The God of Blizzards;[18] Lupus Boreas Mondstadt Deceased
(Spirit remains extant)[19]
Decarabian
(Male)
The God of Storms; Lord of the Tower; Anemo Archon (predates The Seven)[20] Mondstadt Deceased
Guizhong
(Female)
The God of Dust Liyue Deceased[3]
Havria[21]
(Female)
The God of Salt[22] Liyue Deceased[23]
Naberius[24]
(Unknown)
? ? Deceased
Osial
(Ambiguous)
Overlord of the Vortex Liyue Sealed (twice)
Orobashi
(Ambiguous)
Watatsumi Omikami; the "great serpent"[25] Inazuma Deceased
?
(Female)
Unknown God
The Sustainer of Heavenly Principles
? ?
?
(Male)
The Sea God[26] Liyue ?
?
(Unknown)
The God of Time[27] Mondstadt ?
?
(Unknown)
The God of the Woods[28]
Dendro Archon (one of The Seven)
Sumeru Deceased[14][28]
?
(Unknown)
Thousand-Armed, Hundred-Eyed God[29] Inazuma ?
?
(Unknown)
Unknown (the ancient god who gave Andrius his powers)[30] Mondstadt Deceased
?
(Unknown)
God of Thieves[31] ? ?
?
(Unknown)
God of Hot Pot[32] ? ?

Trivia

  • Each gemstone used for ascension has the words and blessings from The Seven for the user.
  • Gods can take whatever form they please; Morax has taken the form of a young man, a woman, and an elderly man,[33] with Zhongli as his most recent vessel. Venti's vessel is based on the Nameless Bard's.
    • Vessels constructed through an archon's power have different compositions from regular human bodies; for example, Venti cannot be healed normally (in story, not in gameplay), while Zhongli says that he cannot get sick. That said, Venti is somehow allergic to cats.
  • The Chinese name for Archon Quests is 魔神任务 "Demon God Quests", indicating that the Traveler's journey will involve the gods of old and not just The Seven.

Etymology

  • The term "archon" is a Greek word that refers to "A person who claims the right to rule, or to exercise power or sovereign authority over other human beings." Genshin Impact uses its Gnostic usage,[34] in which the archons are seven supernatural beings subservient to the demiurge, the creator of the material universe who is beneath the Monad, the true God. Each archon presides over one of the seven planets. By reaching gnosis, an understanding of divine knowledge, one can transcend the confines of the mortal world and escape the dominion of the archons.
      • In Manichaeism, a religion derived from Gnosticism, there are five archons who together make up the Prince of Darkness. Here, the Archons are seen as an undeniably evil force.
    • "Allogenes", also known as the "Stranger," is a Gnostic figure who is half-human, half-divine, and has the power to communicate with other realms. In some writings about Allogenes, he is said to have become fully divine.
  • The Chinese term for gods that predate The Seven, 魔神 "demon god", stems from the standard Chinese translation for the demons in the Ars Goetia — from which a deity's name is derived — is 所罗门七十二柱魔神 "Solomon's 72 Demon Gods".
    • Barbatos, Morax, Baal, Paimon, and Naberius are directly lifted from the Ars Goetia.
    • Decarabian stems from Decarabia.
    • Andrius from either Andras or Andr(omal)ius
    • Havria is a feminized form of Havres, a corruption/misinterpretation of Flauros
    • Osial is a combination of Os(e-Bel)ial
    • Guizhong may be both a corruption of Gusion, on top of being a reference to a Chinese mythical beast.
  • The Chinese and Japanese term for Allogene is "proto-god" (Chinese: 原神 Yuánshén; Japanese: 原神 Genshin, lit. "raw material god"), the same word used in the game's title.

Notes

  1. It is currently unclear whether the seven nations' territories were already determined before the start of the Archon War or not.
  2. For example, Decarabian's epithet "God of Storms" is 烈风的魔神 Lièfēng de Móshén, "Demon God of Gales", in Chinese. Guizhong's full title in Stone Tablet Compilations - Vol. I is 尘王魔神 Chén Wáng Móshén, "Dust Lord Demon God", but is simply translated as "Lord of Dust," leaving the "god" portion implied by her title and association with Rex Lapis. Havria's title, 盐之魔神 Yán zhī Móshén, "Demon God of Salt", is translated as "God of Salt."
  3. For example, 风神 Fēngshén, "Wind God", is consistently translated as "Anemo Archon," while 岩神 Yánshén, "Rock God", is "Geo Archon." However, 风之神 Fēng Zhī Shén, "God of Wind", is translated as "Anemo God" or "God of Anemo," and when 神 is used alone, it is typically translated as "god(s)."
    Before Version 1.3, Records of Jueyun: Palace Beneath the Sea translated 海神 "Sea God" as "Sea Archon," and 神之海 "God of the Sea" as "Sea God." After Version 1.3, it was changed to be "Sea God" regardless of the original Chinese term used.
  4. The title used for her in the English translation of the Manga Prologue, Lady of Fire, is God of Pyro (Chinese: 火之神 Huǒ Zhī Shén, "God of Fire") in the Chinese version, so it might not be her local alias.
  5. In the Teyvat Chapter Storyline Preview, Dainsleif suggests the Tsaritsa's ideal was originally Love. However, he refers to it in past tense while Zhongli avoids speaking about it during "Downtown," suggesting her ideal may have changed since the cataclysm.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Treasure Lost, Treasure Found
  2. Biography of Gunnhildr
  3. 3.0 3.1 Stone Tablet Compilations - Vol. I
  4. Boreal Wolf's Milk Tooth description
  5. 5.0 5.1 Boreal Wolf's Nostalgia description
  6. Zhongli, Character Story 5
  7. Spirit Locket of Boreas description
  8. Zhongli's dialogue in "Farewell, Sweet Salt"
  9. Hoyolab Article: Developer Insight #4: Character Stories (I) - "Vigilant Yaksha" Xiao (Part I)
  10. Breeze Amidst the Forest
  11. Venti's character stories
  12. Bit of Aerosiderite
  13. Version 1.1 "A New Star Approaches" Trailer description
  14. 14.0 14.1 Ganyu's dialogue in "Solitary Fragrance"
  15. Alrani's dialogue in "Endless Research"
  16. Manga Prologue, Chinese version. Murata is called the God of War (Chinese: 战争之神 Zhànzhēng Zhī Shén), which is the title of the current Pyro Archon.
  17. Zhongli, That Which Rises From the Sea: "One such type of creature caused no end of woe for the Geo Archon, long before he took that title along with his place among The Seven."
  18. Boreal Wolf's Milk Tooth
  19. Tail of Boreas
  20. Scattered Piece of Decarabian's Dream description
  21. Dialogue in Sal Flore
  22. Diary of Roald the Adventurer
  23. Customs of Liyue - Flower Ball
  24. Albedo, Character Story 4
  25. Inazuma Travel Highlights; the Chinese and Japanese versions of Serpent's Head describe Watatsumi Omikami as a demon god魔神 rather than a great serpent as the English version does.
  26. Records of Jueyun - Palace Beneath the Sea
  27. Time and Wind
  28. 28.0 28.1 Viridescent Venerer descriptions
  29. Zhongli's dialogue in "The Fond Farewell"
  30. Andrius' Boss Description
  31. Lan's dialogue in "Involuntary Sacrifice"
  32. Thoma's dialogue in "A Flower Blooms in a Prison"
  33. Rex Incognito
  34. PASH May 2021 miHoYo developer interview