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With Genshin Impact version 2.6 seeing the release of the Chasm, the protagonist Traveler is once again on the trail of their missing sibling.
And while we are still far from seeing the Traveler twins reunited, we are inching closer towards the mystery of the how the missing sibling and the Abyss Order are connected to Khaenri’ah — the fallen nation destroyed during the Cataclysm 500 years ago.
Let's dive into how the search has gone so far, and what we’ve discovered along the way.
Warning! Spoilers ahead for the Archon Quest, Prologue, Act III: When The Wind Dies Down, World Quest Boughkeeper: Dainsleif, Archon Quest, Chapter I Act IV: We Will Be Reunited, and the recent Archon Quest, Chapter II Act IV: Requiem of the Echoing Depths. Read at your own risk!
During the prologue, intelligence passed from the Knights of Favonius cavalry captain Kaeya as well as a bit of background history told by the Anemo Archon Venti revealed that the Abyss Order has gained a new leader, called either Prince or Princess, depending on the gender you chose for the Traveler at the start of the game.
Canonically however, the twin that is aligned with the abyss order is the female, named Lumine.
We will also be assuming Lumine is the Abyss Twin moving forward.
The lost twin’s presence can also be felt in the world quest that also introduces us to Dainsleif, known as the Bough Keeper and the only Khaenri’ahn to survive the Cataclysm.
During this quest, we are treated with hints of Dainsleif’s relationship with the Traveler’s sibling, as well as his goal of defeating the Abyss Order.
While tracking an Abyss Herald in Stormterror’s lair, the Traveler senses their sibling’s presence on a crushed dandelion near a Ruin Guard’s footprint.
Although the Traveler doesn’t know this at the beginning, the game took the liberty of hinting that the twin is indeed the leader of the Abyss Order in the story trailer teaser We Will Be Reunited.
In the story teaser, we find out that the missing twin, depicted to be Lumine, is travelling through Mondstadt carried by a Ruin Guard.
During her narration, it was revealed that she had witnessed the devastating fall of Khaenri’ah, and must have been part of the failed mission to save this destroyed nation.
In modern Teyvat, we find out that the Abyss twin had a hand in tainting Dvalin with abyssal energy.
In the Archon Quest: We Will be Reunited, after reuniting with Dainsleif and finally tracking down the Abyss Herald, we end up discovering an upside down Statue of the Seven that is tainted with dark, abyssal energy.
Before the Abyss Herald could escape, Dainsleif uses his unknown power to trap it, only to be stopped by the Abyss Princess herself in her first canonical appearance in the game.
In this bittersweet reunion, the Abyss Princess reveals that Dainsleif is the “Twilight Sword” and leader of the royal guards of the final dynasty of Khaenri’ah, now cursed with immortality.
He failed to prevent the fall of his nation 500 years ago, and because of this, the Abyss Princess sees him as her enemy.
It is also revealed that the Abyss Order is not only related to Khaenri’ah, but actually consists of the people of Khaenri’ah themselves — now cursed with their monstrous forms.
The Abyss Princess refuses to return to the Traveler's side to look for a new “home” in another world, claiming that until “the Abyss has engulfed the thrones, my war with destiny will see no end…”
They also confide that their choice was influenced by traveling through Teyvat once and witnessing its true nature.
We are free to speculate that Celestia, home to the gods of Teyvat, had a hand in the destruction Khaenri’ah.
And because of this, the Abyss Princess is on a mission to revive the fallen nation and restore sentience to its people in a possible bid to wage war on Celestia and "engulf the thrones".
As the Abyss Princess turns to leave in a portal made by the herald, Dainsleif quickly follows pursuit, disappearing along with the twin as the Traveler is left behind.
In the new Archon quest accompanying the release of The Chasm in 2.6, we are once again beckoned to return to the tragic tale of Khaenri’ah.
The Traveler and Paimon are commissioned to look into the peculiar occurrence of hilichurls going into the Chasm but never leaving, giving us much to ask about what exactly is happening and how it will affect the story.
After investigating the underground belly of the Chasm, we find an upside down abandoned city similar to the upside down Statue of the Seven.
This gives us the idea that whatever is occurring in the Chasm that led it to shut down — the black mud, which might likely be Abyssal energy — is connected to the Abyss Order.
Dainsleif arrives through an Abyss portal much to our surprise. After a brief reunion where Dainsleif explains his experience with the Abyss portal as being interconnected (like our teleport waypoints as Paimon pointed out), we get right to the point of the matter: what happened during the We Will Meet Again archon quest.
Dainsleif confirms his identity as a Khaenri’ahn and also affirms that the Abyss Princess was once his traveling companion, saying that “we both partook in a painful journey of searching for our fate, but regrettably... we did not make it to the journey's end together”.
But before we get to know more, he warns us that because the Abyss portals are interconnected with each other, it would most likely mean that the Abyss Order has their eyes on the upside down city.
As we explore the area further on with Dainsleif in tow, he tells us that the area, whose roof oddly has water suspended in the air, seemed to soothe him of the heaviness of his curse of immortality.
And as he speaks about this temporary relief, he indulges us with what could be the grimmest secret Genshin Impact has held so far: that the hilichurls are Khaenri’ahns cursed with an immortal life, yet doomed to finally perish as their souls erode.
We also find out that the hilichurls that enter the Chasm settle in this location to wait out the end of their existence. Morbid, right?
As the quest progresses, we are also introduced to the Black Serpent Knights, once soldiers of the Royal Guard that Dainsleif headed.
These guards, though eroded to the point of losing sentience, held on to Dainsleif’s last order to protect the people of Khaenri’ah by defending the hilichurls we encounter.
Dainsleif also meets a familiar face in the Black Serpent Knights: his past subordinate Halfdan, who seemed to retain a bit of sentience to not attack them.
Halfdan guides the Traveler and the gang into a cavern where a pair of hilichurls have already passed on, and discover a flower left by the Abyss Princess.
Through what could be a link between the siblings, the Traveler, after coming into contact with the flower —called the Inteyvat, the national flower of Khaenri’ah and the same flower which can be seen adorning Lumine's hair — we find out that the Abyss Order is plotting to use the peculiar floating water’s soothing properties to “cure” the hilichurls, and in extension the Abyss Order, from their curse of immortality and erosion.
Even though she is unsure that the plan will actually work, the Abyss Princess is willing to try anything for their goal of “reviving the homeland”.
Returning to the location of the floating water, they are blinded by a white light, and we end up running into an Electro Abyss Lector who is getting ready to use the floating water, amplifying and mutating its power with some sort of device that leaves Dainsleif, the Black Serpent Knights, and the hilichurls incapacitated and in great pain.
In the midst of this chaos, Halfdan arrives and heaves himself on top of the device, stopping it by blocking its light with his body, much to Dainsleif’s sorrow.
After defeating the Abyss Lector and destroying the charging nodes of the device, the cursed ones are eased of the intense pain caused by the mutated purification.
Dainsleif holds a sad reunion with the spirit of Halfdan, who, before disappearing, says with a triumphant smile, “Khaenri'ah... didn't fall, did it? Since you're still here..."
To which Dainsleif replies, “Correct.”
Where will our search lead us next?
Throughout the available content of the game, we’ve been teased about the goal of the Abyss Princess and why they are aligned with the supposed “bad guys” of Genshin Impact.
As we finish exploring the Chasm, we are left with more questions than answers. We can only wait for the Dainsleif's return and the continuation of our search in future versions.
What is the Abyss Princess' actual connection to Khaenri’ah?
After being separated by the Unknown God at the start of the game, were we 500 years too late? Or did we simply forget what happened to Khaenri’ah as we fell asleep?
And if the end goal of the Abyss Twin seems to be revenge against the gods of Celestia, will the Traveler join with their twin or stand against them?
Who is the real enemy? Is it still the Abyss Order, or is it now Celesta?
We’ve still got a lot more in store for us in Genshin Impact, with four more nations to go before we can reach the floating home of the gods... and more reunions with the Abyss Twin.
Yan Ku is a full-time dog parent, part-time (gacha) gamer, and part-time writer.