A good villain is the best part of any story. Their motivations, their tricks, and their fall are usually the most climactic parts. In Genshin Impact there are a lot of villains. From run of the mill Treasure Hoarders to the more dangerous Abyss Order, the Traveler has a lot to deal with. Today we’re diving into the story behind one of the Traveler’s more notorious enemies. Let’s talk about Fatui lore in Genshin Impact.
This is everything we know up through Version 4.0 and there are lots of spoilers, so be warned!
Diplomats from Snezhnaya
Officially, most of the Fatui are diplomats from Snezhnaya. They manage foreign affairs for their Archon and involve themselves in the political stages of other nations. In general though, their methods are less than savory. Which means they’re mostly viewed with distrust and hostility everywhere they go.
While the Fatui themselves claim to be enacting the goodwill of their benevolent Archon, the people of Teyvat have been given little reason to believe in them. Especially since members of the Fatui often find themselves in the middle of political conspiracies and regional conflicts.
The Fatui have been behind many major incidents throughout Teyvat that have caused great pain to many people. The best examples of which are the Vision Hunt Decree and Tatarasuna Mystery in Inazuma.
Military & Economic Powerhouse
While most players know about the broad strokes of Fatui lore in Genshin Impact, it can be easy to gloss over just how influential they are. Despite being antagonists and generally deemed untrustworthy across Teyvat, the Fatui are also the strongest military power in the seven nations.
The Fatui also have access to the most powerful technology and enjoy unparalleled economic influence. Many Snezhnaya merchants with ties to the Fatui work in the seven nations of Teyvat, expanding their influence into local economies.
That influence even extends to other organizations that seemingly don’t have any connection to the Fatui. The Adventurer’s Guild for example, originated in Snezhnaya. That in itself may not mean much, but we do know though that an integral part of the Guilde, the Katherynes, are confirmed to be “bionic Snezhnayan puppet[s]” by Nahida. This may be how the Fatui have been keeping a close eye on the Traveler’s movements and exploits, as nearly everything we do goes through Katheryne.
The Fatui also seem to be the most dedicated to researching new and old technology alike. Having built multiple factories for various purposes from Delusion creation to Ruin Grader analysis, the Fatui are leagues ahead of the other nations when it comes to weaponry and technology.
While that already brings the Fatui a lot of power, those are just the connections and influences we know about on a largely surface level. The sheer reach of the Fatui’s plans continues to elude us, but we have caught glimpses of it throughout our travels.
From infiltration of the Sacred Sakura shrine in Inazuma to attempting to assassinate the Tianshu of the Liyue Qixing, subterfuge is just another standard procedure in the Fatui playbook. While their bolder more open-handed moves have been largely thwarted by the Traveler, we’ve only caught and stopped their more subtle plans thanks to counter-intelligence from allies.
It wouldn’t be much of a stretch to say that for every Fatui scheme we stop, another ten go off without a hitch. After all, the Fatui are being led by some of the most powerful and calculating individuals in Teyvat.
The Fatui Harbingers
Arguably the best part of Fatui lore in Genshin Impact are the parts about the Harbingers. They’re the top dogs of the Fatui and are feared across pretty much all of Teyvat.
Originally, there were 11 Harbingers who led the military part of the Fatui. They generally act as executive officers for the entire organization. They also work most closely with the Cryo Archon (aka the Tsaritsa) and are among the few who have any direct contact with her. As of Version 4.0 though, there are only 9 active Harbingers.
Each Harbinger carries a Delusion that grants them serious power beyond even that of Vision Bearers and some of the Archons themselves. Of course, Delusions cannot be used without a cost, but they still grant immense power to already enormously powerful individuals.
While the Harbingers act as executives of the Fatui and each lead their own division of it, they are not all equal. There is a hierarchy which seems to be based on their relative strength. The higher the Harbinger’s seat, the more powerful they seem to be. Tartaglia even mentions at one point that he is too “low ranked” for the Harbinger Capitano to notice him, despite being one of the Harbingers himself.
Fatui Harbinger Ranks
As of Version 4.0, the hierarchy of the Fatui Harbingers is as follows:
- Director: Pierro aka “The Jester”
- 2nd Seat: Il Dottore aka “The Doctor”
- 3rd Seat: Columbina aka “Damselette”
- 4th Seat: – Unconfirmed (though we suspect it to be Il Capitano aka “The Captain”)
- 5th Seat: Pulcinella aka “The Rooster”
- 6th Seat: Scaramouche aka “The Balladeer” (technically never joined)
- 7th Seat: Sandrone aka “Marionette”
- 8th Seat: La Signora aka “The Fair Lady” (deceased)
- 9th Seat: Pantalone aka “Regrator”
- 10th Seat: – Unconfirmed (though we suspect it to be Arlecchino aka “The Knave”)
- 11th Seat: Tartaglia aka “Childe”
As of Version 4.0, we do not officially know which ranks Arlecchino and Il Capitano hold. They seem to be active in Fontaine (the Traveler’s current region) and Natlan (the Traveler’s next destination) respectively. This makes them likely to be the next Harbingers to be involved in the main storyline excluding Childe.
It is implied that Capitano is in the 4th Seat due to Tartaglia’s words – which would put Arlecchino in the 10th Seat, but there has not yet been canon confirmation of this.
The main power behind the Fatui is the Cryo Archon. We don’t know much about her as of yet, other than that she was not the original Cryo Archon and came to power sometime before the fall of Khaenri’ah.
Even the Tsaritsa’s ideal, the driving force behind an Archon, has been left unknown. From clues scattered throughout dialogue and item descriptions it is theorized her ideal is “Love”. Which seems ironic given that the Fatui, her main forces, are known for being cruel and ruthless.
From what Zhongli has said about her, it seems that the disaster which befell Khaenri’ah deeply changed her and was the catalyst for creating the Fatui in the first place.
The Fatui’s first Harbinger, Pierro, joined her shortly after the cataclysm in any case and helped her to establish the organization. Pierro in turn personally recruited many of the other Harbingers including Il Dottore, Scaramouche, and La Signora.
Interestingly, we also know from data-mining of the game’s files in its beta stages that her Goetic name (like Barbatos for Venti or Morax for Zhongli) actually deviates from the usual pattern of being named after a demon from Ars Goetia. Instead, it appears that the Tsaritsa has the name of Barnabas, the name of a Christian saint that espoused doing the right thing.
Whether or not this is finalized down the road remains to be seen, but the deviation is worth noting for speculation purposes. After all, if the theory that Teyvat is in fact an “upside-down” world and an allegory for Hell is correct, then what it would it mean for one of its rulers to be a saint?
What Exactly Do the Fatui Want?
While the Fatui have their fingers in a lot of metaphorical pies, their primary goal is to enact the Tsaritsa’s will. She is one of the few Archons to look past her own nation’s borders into the wider world of Teyvat and is determined to “burn away the old world.” What that means exactly is up to interpretation.
The leading theory is that the Tsaritsa intends to rebel against Celestia.
While her and the Fatui’s exact end goal is shrouded in mystery, we do know what their current goal is. Since the beginning of the storyline in Genshin Impact, the Fatui have been focused on collecting Gnoses from the other Archons of Teyvat under the Tsaritsa’s orders.
As of Version 4.0, they have collected four of the seven Archon’s Gnosis. This includes: Venti’s Anemo Gnosis, Zhongli’s Geo Gnosis, Raiden Shogun’s Electro Gnosis, as well as Nahida’s Dendro Gnosis. It seems safe to assume they also have the Tsaritsa’s Cryo Gnosis as well, meaning they already have five of the total seven.
From what’s happened so far, we can assume that they will inevitably obtain Focalors’ Hydro Gnosis next. We already know that Arlecchino wishes to use the Gnosis in order to save Fontaine, and it seems likely that she will succeed before turning it over to the Tsaritsa.
It is also interesting to note that aside from Venti’s Gnosis, all other Gnoses have been obtained through bargaining rather than force.
Personal Goals & Loyalty
All of that being said, the above is in regards to the Fatui’s overarching goal. Each of the Fatui Harbringers ultimately have their own reasons for joining the Tsaritsa.
Should the moment come where their personal goal is in reach or an opportunity presents itself… well, as demonstrated by Scaramouche running off with the Electro Gnosis, not all the Fatui Harbringers are completely loyal and dedicated to the Tsaritsa’s cause.
If there were any to go rogue in pursuit of their own goals, we’d bet our Mora on one of them being Il Dottore. As we witnessed in Sumeru (and from digging into lore notes and the official manga), the man is obsessed with surpassing the human limits and reaching godhood. Given how casually Il Dottore betrayed his other selves, we wouldn’t be surprised if he even betrayed his own Archon if it meant he could seize her strength.
Of course, whether or not the other Harbringers would tolerate and permit such a traitor to live is another matter entirely. As Tartaglia has outright told us, he truly believes in the Tsaritsa and plans to carry out her will, but he arguably has the simplest motivations amongst the Harbringers.
For now, so long as the Tsaritsa’s plans continue to align with their own, the Harbringers will remain faithful.
What Comes Next
There are too many factors at play to make predictions too far into the future. The Abyss Order is a bit of a dark horse, especially when it comes to the Fatui and the Tsaritsa’s plans. Not to mention, other powerful individuals like Dainsleif and the Archons have yet to make any real moves against the Fatui as a whole.
What we can say is that it seems likely that the Tsaritsa will at least achieve some of her goals. It may be just speculation, but it does seem very probable that the Tsaritsa will obtain all of the Gnoses. When she does, we can safely assume the Traveler will be there attempting to stop her, whatever the next phase of her plan is.
However, some speculate that the Tsaritsa’s goal may in fact justify the ruthless means she’s undertaking. We still know painfully little about Celestia, and dialogue from the Archons in regards to it has been rather sparse and indirect. What little we do know has not painted a particularly rosy picture.
Additionally, given that none of the Archons have been particularly concerned about reclaiming their Gnosis (which is also their direct link to Celestia), it may be them giving tacit approval to the Tsaritsa’s plan – at least, to a certain degree.
By the end of our journey, we may in fact find ourselves allying with the Fatui and supporting the Tsaritsa’ plan to rebel against Celestia.
Join the High Ground!
That’s everything we know about Fatui lore in Genshin Impact! Did we miss something important? Drop it in the comments below! For more Genshin Impact lore articles you can also check out our theories on Paimon. Don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter to keep up to date with all the latest too!
Until next time, ad astra absyssosque and happy gaming!