Khaenri'ah was a nation without a god — not because it had a god that died or abandoned them, but because it never had a god to begin with. It was a powerful nation, built purely by humans, an unprecedented flourishing and glorious civilization — it was the pride of humankind.Dainsleif, A Herald Without Adherents
Khaenri'ah (/ˈkɑːnriɑː/), also known as the Kingdom of Khaenri'ah, is an unreleased region. It is not part of the continent of Teyvat and is not under the purview of The Seven. It is also the location that the Traveler first awoke upon entering Teyvat.
Chapter Ṿ̴̈́I̴̥͋Ḯ̵̹: The Dream Yet to Be Dreamed takes place in this region. In the Teyvat Storyline Preview, Dainsleif — a denizen of Khaenri'ah and the video's narrator — describes it as one of "the hidden corners where the gods' gaze does not fall," and says that its people "dream of dreaming."
Khaenri'ah was an underground realm, and its natural fauna were few indeed. As such, its alchemy focused more heavily on the creation of life. This art of creation was known as "The Art of Khemia."
Khaenri'ah is dark underground and mostly barren of natural life. What little is currently known about Khaenri'ah largely comes from weapon and artifact descriptions, as well as books found throughout the world. According to Dainsleif, it is the "pride of humanity", as it was not built by a God, rather by humanity until later it was destroyed by the Gods 500 years ago.
The practice of the art of Khemia led to the Kingdom of Khaenri'ah's ruin. 500 years ago, in an event now referred to as the "cataclysm" or "catastrophe," the alchemist Gold's bottomless desire to create ever more powerful creatures led to the destruction of the Eclipse Dynasty, which ruled the Kingdom of Khaenri'ah. These monsters, along with the creatures corrupted by Gold such as Durin, spewed forth from the fallen nation into the land of Teyvat.
Mondstadt's Knights of Favonius, then led by Grand Master Arundolyn, led an expedition into Khaenri'ah to quell the monsters. His best friend and rival, Rostam, fell in battle during the cataclysm, leaving Arundolyn greatly bereaved. Other notable figures who are known for fighting against the monsters include the Viridescent Venerer and the Crimson Witch of Flames. While the initial surge of monsters was eventually suppressed, hilichurls continue to spawn throughout Teyvat.
In the present, Khaenri'ah continues its struggle against the effects of the curse. Kaeya, their "last hope," was sent to Mondstadt for the sake of an "ancient plot," infiltrating the Ragnvindr Clan by being abandoned at the Dawn Winery. The ultimate reason behind Kaeya being placed as a "sleeper" in Mondstadt by forces from Khaenri'ah is unknown.
The Abyss Order originates from the destruction of Khaenri'ah by the gods; it seeks to destroy the countries under the protection of The Seven in revenge. The royalty of the dynasty turned into the monsters of the Abyss. Thus it is thought that Abyss Mages and Abyss Heralds were once people from Khaenri'ah, possibly its aristocracy.
"The universe is the dark essence of the true starry sky, and the earth is the accumulated memories of time and lives. The chalk: that is you. The earth is where alchemy gets its name, and is the basis of all life. And this... This is new birth."Rhinedottir, as she demonstrates Khemia to Albedo, Albedo's Character Story 3
Because Khaenri'ah was destroyed as a result of Khemia, Dainsleif is wary of its practitioners and the use of Khemia.
No-one can dispute Albedo's talent, but the source of the knowledge he possesses... It once brought about the destruction of a glorious nation. [...] It hails from Khaenri'ah: The Art of Khemia. Soil and chalk, the universe and earth, pure dust and the birth of human life.. There is no mistaking it. I am content to watch most crises play out from the sidelines. But if Albedo were ever to make a single wrong move.. I could not let myself ignore it."Dainsleif (narrator), Collected Miscellany - "Albedo: Kreideprinz"
Venti also recognizes Albedo's use of Khemia and calls it "an ancient power with unmistakable properties," further remarking that "Trying to harness it is dangerous indeed" and briefly mulling over the consequences should Albedo lose control of it inside the city.
Automatons such as Ruin Guards originally referred to as Field Tillers by the People of Khaenri'ah were made by Khaenri'ah as weapons of war. After the destruction of the civilisations these machines spread out over the world, masterless. Though dangerous, they now lack any planned purpose.
The people of Khaenri'ah were changed into the creatures of The Abyss in the cataclysm that destroyed the dynasty 500 years before present. Some escaped this fate - one such is Dainsleif who instead was cursed with immortality for failing to protect the royal dynasty.
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- Jean's voice-overs mention a legend of a "heroic king of Khaenri'ah," which she offers to tell the Traveler about.
- The Eclipse Dynasty was previously translated as the Blacksun Dynasty.
- In the story told in the description of Bloodstained Final Hour, the Bloodstained Knight ventures into the Abyss, which he discovers was once a kingdom, those inhabitants were turned into monsters by a curse. A direct link with Khaenri'ah is not made though it could be speculated that the two are actually the same.
- It is unclear if the term Khemia is just a synonym for Alchemy, or a more advanced art.
- A hilichurl tribe called the Eclipse tribe seems to be related to Khaenri'ah's Eclipse Dynasty.
- Also, the Traveler seems to know something about the Eclipse symbol used by the Eclipse tribe.
- Several elements of Khaenri'ah are most likely inspired by the Germanic legends, especially by the Norse mythology:
- Most characters related to Khaenri'ah are named after the Germanic myth and literature. Dainsleif - the name of a legendary sword, Alberich (surname of Kaeya) - the name of a dwarven king (English Oberon), Durin (and Dvalin) - the name of a dwarven smith, Rhinedottir - a character from Wagner's opera based on the Germanic mythology, etc.
- The battle between gods and god-like powers caused a catastrophe onto the world, and Abyss Heralds still preaches the burning and the end of the world. The concept resembles the event in the Norse mythology called Ragnarök (Fate of the Gods) or Ragnarøkkr (Twilight of the Gods). The title of Dainsleif "Twilight Sword" shares a similar wording.
- Khemia is phonetically similar to several etymological origins for the modern terms alchemy and chemistry. The origin of these terms are uncertain and multiple derivations exist.
- One possible derivation is from the Arabic kīmiyāʾ (كِيمِيَاء) which comes from Coptic term kēme (ⲕⲏⲙⲉ "Egypt"). The Coptic term ultimately derives from the ancient Egyptian word kmt (𓆎𓅓𓏏𓊖), referring to both the country Egypt and the color black.
- Other possible derivations are from the Greek χημεία khēmeía meaning "pouring" or "infusion," or the Greek metallurgical term khumeia (Greek: χυμεία) originally meaning "pouring together," "casting together," "weld," or "alloy."
- In Arabic "alchemy" translates to "خيمياء" (khemia)
- Khaenri'ah's motto "The land is [...] to be fought for with steel and blood" is likely to be a reference to "with iron and blood" (German: durch Eisen und Blut), a famous phrase used during the Blood and Iron Speech, made by the Prussian minister president Otto von Bismarck in 1862.
- While the English version uses the wording "with steel and blood", the Chinese one uses "with iron and blood" (Chinese: 用铁和血) that exactly matches the wording of the historical speech.
- We Will Be Reunited
- Collected Miscellany - "Albedo: Kreideprinz" | Genshin Impact
- Breeze Amidst the Forest - Vol. 1
- Kaeya's Character Stories
- Dainsleif in A Herald Without Adherents
- Dishonorable Trial : Dainsleif: The destruction of the nation of Khaenri'ah by the gods... is the reason why the Abyss Order now seeks to destroy the nations watched over by The Seven.
- A Soul Set Apart : Lumine : That man, Dainsleif, was the "Twilight Sword," one of the royal guards of the final dynasty of Khaenri'ah. 500 years ago, he failed to prevent the destruction of Khaenri'ah. A curse of immortality was laid upon him, to forever wander the wilderness... while he watched the people he was supposed to protect turn into monsters of the Abyss.
- Albedo, Character Story 3
- Venti's Voice-Overs, "About Albedo"
- Hilichurl Cultural Customs
- Traveler/Voicelines About the Eclipse Tribe
- Etymology of chemistry
- Archon quest: We Will Be Reunited