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Guizhong (Chinese: 归终 Guīzhōng) was the God of Dust and one of the two gods who presided over Guili Plains prior to the outbreak of the Archon War, alongside the God of Geo later known as Morax.

Profile

Introduction

Guizhong is the late God of Dust who resided over Guili Plains. She was kind-hearted and wise but not particularly powerful, so she worked alongside the more powerful Morax to rule the Guili Assembly together. Guizhong had a particular interest in mechanics — she is one of the architects of the Guizhong Ballista alongside Cloud Retainer, and the Realm of Clouds was built by the adepti to house the ancient and evil relics she collected in her search to understand mechanics.

After the start of the Archon War, she ultimately lost her life in a destructive battle that laid waste to Guili Plains and transformed the area north of it into Dihua Marsh.[1]

Personality

Guizhong was a gentle-natured goddess. She sympathized with humans, understanding their fragility and yearning for intelligence out of fear.[2]

Aside from being compassionate towards humans, she empathized with them. Guizhong, lacking in strength compared to Morax, resorted to using strategy and wisdom. She was Morax's ally and best friend,[3] and complemented his brawn with her brains.

Indubitably, she was a knowledgeable and skilled goddess. At some point in her life, she researched mechanics. She designed the Guizhong Ballista, which is said to be an incredibly intricate machine. Cloud Retainer notes with pride that even Guizhong praised Cloud Retainer's engineering, holding Guizhong to high ends as a skilled engineer herself. She also taught her people agriculture.

Guizhong was benevolent towards her people. She hoped for them to be wise, strong, to stand by a moral code, and to unite themselves to protect their home — the Guili Assembly. In return, she was adored by her people.[3]

Appearance

Guizhong took the form of a young woman with billowing sleeves.[2]

Story

History

Guizhong, being one of the oldest known gods, had created four commandments. Guizhong's Four Commandments are as follows:

"Teach with wisdom, be bound by virtue, fortify the bones, unite in ambition"

Both the location and the convergence of the four commandments were established as Guili Assembly. These commandments are written across 5 stone tablets in the Guili Plains, one in the west, north, southwest, south, and east.

The four Jade plates contain the full text of the commandments themselves, as they were possibly written by Guizhong directly. The text reads as follows:

"To unite in ambition is to be steadfast and immovable for all time."
"Wisdom is like water, it nourishes all those who receive it and in it is a reflection of the truth."'
"Fortify the bones, that movement be supple when the time comes."
"Virtue grows tall like a tree, though there be shade it will flourish forever"

Morax, whose name at the time is unknown,[Note 1] met Guizhong at Dihua Marsh among the glaze lilies. There, she solemnly and joyously presented Morax with her stone dumbbell, Memory of Dust. The stone dumbbell contained her wisdom, and she thereby challenged him to unlock it. It also served as a mark of their pledge, despite there being no formal contract between them.[2]

Guizhong became a staunch ally of Zhongli, the God of Geo. She brought her people north of Mt. Tianheng and taught them agriculture. The land become a flourishing marketplace, as well as vast farmlands. Zhongli commended her work, and there the Guili Plains was established, named after her and Zhongli.

The Guizhong Ballista

The Guizhong Ballista was built at Mt. Tianheng to autonomously defend the area from intruders; it is unclear whether she personally built the device, if Cloud Retainer built it and named it in her honor, or if it was a joint project.[Note 2] It has remained in place protecting Liyue for thousands of years. Even in modern times, the people of Liyue respect its importance, stating "This machine is integral to the defense of this land against its most formidable foes."

During the Archon War, Guizhong and other adepti fought to protect the people of Guili against the many evil gods and monsters that had plagued Liyue's lands. During this war, Guizhong lost her life. It's said there was a great battle among gods in the Guili Plains, and during the battle "black dust choked the heavens and a thousand rocks splintered."[4]

Her final moments were also amongst the Glaze Lilies. There, she wore one last smile, albeit a lonely one. Her last request to Zhongli was to forget about the stone dumbbell from the first time they met, only to reannounce her challenge with her final words being cut off.[2]

After her death, the people of Guili Plains were scattered[5] and the land was left to become wilderness. 3,700 years ago, Morax regathered their people and brought them south of Mt. Tianheng to establish Liyue Harbor,[1] where he passed his wisdom onto them, teaching them how to build houses[6] and stoves.[7] The abandoned Guili Plains fell to the wilderness.

Realm of Clouds

At some point in time, Guizhong created the Realm of Clouds, located in Luhua Pool. Some unknown point later, the adepti built an abode next to it to house the evil and ancient artifacts she collected while researching mechanics.[8]

Trivia

  • It's likely that some of Zhongli's vast knowledge was taught to him by Guizhong, as she was considered the "brains" of the two, while he was the "brawn".
  • Guizhong was fond of flowers, particularly Glaze Lilies.
    • This is why Glaze Lilies are a key element of the Rite of Parting, as Guizhong was a dear friend to Zhongli.
  • Guizhong, Rex Lapis, and Cloud Retainer would often eat meals together on the top of Mt. Aocang.
    • Guizhong's chair is on the north side of the table they set up, with a bowl and a pair of chopsticks on the table.
  • Zhongli can be seen fighting in Guizhong's Realm of Clouds in his Collected Miscellany trailer.
  • The "maiden in a long indigo robe" who wandered Guili Plains, spoken about in Records of the Gallant: Dust, is suggested to have some link to Guizhong based on its references to dust and the location of her sightings.
  • It is likely that Primordial Jade Cutter, which Morax carved as a gift for "a certain someone," was intended for Guizhong before her untimely death. In its description, "when tender feelings are [...] reduced to dust on the wind" is a nod towards the way Guizhong's body dissipated into dust upon her death, and precedes the line about how Morax would proceed to use the sword to cut down his former friends.
    • The maiden in Records of the Gallant: Dust wielded a sword which, given her links to Guizhong, may further indicate that Guizhong herself wielded swords when she was alive.

Etymology

  • Guizhong (Chinese: 归终) is a legendary Chinese beast mentioned in the Yiwen Leiju. It is a type of 狌狌 xīngxīng, a legendary ape-like beast said to know all about the past but cannot know the future.[9][10]
  • Guizhong's name may also double up as a corruption of Gusion, a demon in the Ars Goetia who was a Great Duke of Hell and could tell "all past, present and future things, shows the meaning of all questions that are asked to him, reconciles friends, and gives honor and dignity."

Notes

  1. While it is known that his name at the time contained , a character also used in his alias Zhongli (Chinese: 钟离), the first character in his name is unknown.
  2. Stone Tablet Compilations - Vol. I lists Guizhong as its sole creator, whereas Cloud Retainer's dialogue during "Turning Point" indicates that Retainer built it. There is no evidence that confirms or denies that the two could have built it together.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Stone Tablet Compilations (I)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Memory of Dust weapon description
  3. 3.0 3.1 Soraya's dialogue in Treasure Lost, Treasure Found
  4. Old stone tablets found during Questline Treasure Lost, Treasure Found
  5. Guili Plains viewpoint description
  6. Historia Antiqua Chapter, Act 1: Part 1, Shadow of Yore
  7. Commission Quest: Geo Travel Diary
  8. Chinese description for Voyage to the Sanguine Sky
  9. Baike Encyclopedia, 归终
  10. CText, 艺文类聚 Vol. 95: Beasts, 狌狌, Line 7

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