About 500 years before the main story in Genshin Impact, the godless nation of Khaenri’ah was struck down by Celestia. Its people commited a grave sin and angered the Heavenly Principles, earning their wrathful intervention. Its inhabitants were cast into the Abyss with little evidence of the once booming civilization being left behind.
While there are very few people alive in present-day Teyvat who know the truth of what happened during that time, there is one man who seems to have both extensive knowledge of and deep ties to the fallen nation—Dainsleif, the Twilight Sword of Khaenri’ah.
The Bough Keeper, Dainsleif
Dainsleif, also known as The Bough Keeper or Twilight Sword, was once a member of Khaenri’ah’s Royal Guard. He was charged with protecting the nation’s residents and took pride in his role, though this all changed with the destruction of Khaenri’ah. He tried his best to prevent the Cataclysm but was unsuccessful and cursed with immortality for his nation’s folly. He was forced to watch as his beloved people and kingdom were transformed into the Abyss Order.
Related: Who is Rhinedottir/Gold in Genshin Impact?
Because of these events, Dainsleif detests The Seven and any deities who align with them. He began to view them as beings who tricked humanity into servitude with false promises, and he decided to take his destiny into his own hands. Rejecting Celestia and the divine, Dainsleif wields an otherworldly and cosmic power in place of a vision. This power allows him to travel through Abyssal portals, among other things, suggesting that he may be weilding the power of the Abyss itself.
Following the fall of Khaenri’ah, he wandered the land of Teyvat for 500 years and learned about its gods, all while keeping a close eye on the Abyss Order. Before meeting the Traveler, he met their sibling and travelled with them for a time, completing a journey across Teyvat and discovering the truth of the world. The Traveler’s sibling then became the leader of the Abyss Order for unknown reasons, however, and now views Dainsleif as an enemy to their cause.
Dainsleif prefers to stay mostly behind the scenes and out of Teyvat’s crises, only appearing when the Abyss Order or his former homeland is involved. He is aware of Albedo’s ties to Gold and his use of the Art of Khemia and has expressed his disapproval of such alchemy being used due to its part in Khaenri’ah’s destruction. Despite this, Dainsleif has stated that he won’t interfere until Albedo makes a wrong move.
Not much else is known about this mysterious figure so far, as Dainsleif was last seen following the Traveler’s sibling through an Abyss portal and hasn’t been back since. He’ll certainly be making another appearance at some point in the future, though, due to his deep ties to Celestia, Khaenri’ah, and the Traveler’s sibling.
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