Whether you’re a new or seasoned player of Genshin Impact, there’s one thing that is clear to everyone – the lore runs deep. Even characters who died centuries before the disaster of Khaenri’ah and that you’ll never meet can have a deep influence on the story in unexpected ways. Today, we’re doing a deep dive into one of the more obscure figures from Liyue. It’s time to learn all about what happened to Guizhong in Genshin Impact!
WARNING: There are some minor spoilers ahead. Proceed at your own risk.
Who is Guizhong in Genshin Impact?
Before we answer what happened to Guizhong in Genshin Impact, let’s establish exactly who she is. Depending on where you are in your Archon quests, the name may or may not sound familiar.
The first time Guizhong’s name pops up is when the Traveler learns about the Guizhong Ballista in Liyue. However, the name behind the weapon didn’t get a lot of focus for quite some time. But eagle-eyed players could learn a little more by finding traces of Guizhong in descriptions of certain quests and book. That being said, a lot of those instances are a “blink and you miss it” situation.
Despite the scarce references to Guizhong, she was a very influential figure in Liyue during her time. Not only was she a God, she was also one of Zhongli’s closest companions. Her influence and wisdom allowed the humans of Liyue to greatly expand their influence through agriculture.
The God of Dust
As the God of Dust, Guizhong was by no means weak. However, she wasn’t particularly strong either, which led to an early demise. As a God though, she still did her best for her people and allied herself with Zhongli in order to make the most of both of their best traits – Guizhong’s intellect and Zhongli’s raw power.
However, Guizhong wasn’t interested in power or dominance. She simply wanted to create a peaceful place for her people. One of the few quotes we have from her in the game shows her desire pretty clearly.
“With your brawn and my brains, this city would surely become a great one.”
In general, Guizhong was known for her kindness, wisdom, and interest in technology. To this day, her gifts to Liyue continually aid in protecting its people and fending off potential threats to the city she wanted to create.
Co-Founder of the Guili Assembly
The biggest accomplishment Guizhong made in her lifetime was establishing the Guili Assembly.
With the help of the Geo Archon Morax (aka Zhongli) and the Stove God Marchosius (who would eventually become Guoba), Guizhong founded one of the first known civilizations in Liyue. It was essentially a precursor to the Liyue we now know through the Traveler.
The three gods co-ruled the Guili Assembly together, using their various strengths to help their people prosper. Guizhong and Marchosius arguably provided the most for their people with Guizhong innovating agricultural techniques and Marchosius enriching the land in order to provide the most bountiful gains from those techniques.
Guizhong was also influential enough over the Assembly to also establish some ruling commandments. Remnants of these commandments can be found scattered throughout the game. If you know where to look.
“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.”
Unfortunately, the Guili Assembly did not outlive its late founder by much. The devastation of the Archon War which sealed Guizhong’s fate was too much for the Assembly to bear.
So now you know just how important the God of Dust was in early Liyue’s history. But what actually happened to Guizhong in Genshin Impact?
The God of Dust’s end was not a particularly happy one. She was felled during the Archon War somewhere near the Guili Plains, trying to protect Liyue from evil gods and monsters that threatened to invade. It was an intense battle but one she did not fight alone. During her last moments she at least had her friend Morax by her side.
Although, there are some darker theories that Morax may have been forced kill Guizhong himself for some unknown reason. The cutscene that depicted the end of Guizhong has had a few different interpretations, and one quest in particular suggests that the two had fought one another after Guizhong was possibly corrupted. Of course, this is all speculation for now.
Regardless of what happened, Guizhong drew her last breath amidst a field of Glaze Lilies roughly 3,700 years before the main events of the game.
While the people of Liyue more or less survived, their original home in the Guili Assembly was no more. They were forced to trek for ten days to establish a new home which would eventually become the Liyue Harbor that the Traveler finds a millennia later.
Disappearance of the Glaze Lilies
While there may not be an explicit connection between Glaze Lilies and Guizhong, they were a very important symbol for the God of Dust. Her first and final meetings with Morax took place in a field of them. Her appearance seemed to take inspiration from them as well, with her color palette mirroring the flowers. It has also been hinted that her death signaled the beginning of their extinction in the wild.
We learned from Zhongli during the Rite of Parting that wild Glaze Lilies have become incredibly rare and are basically extinct. In bygone eras though, they were an abundant sight throughout Liyue. No one seems to know exactly why they began to decline, only that they did after Guizhong’s death.
If the extinction of Glaze Lilies is indeed linked to Guizhong’s passing, it wouldn’t be the only instance of Hoyoverse linking a flower’s disappearance to a god’s death. In Sumeru, it is much more explicitly stated that “true” Padisarah flowers ceased to exist once the Goddess of Flowers died. The current Padisarah’s are just an imitation created by the Dendro Archon to honor her late friend.
While Guizhong did face a tragic fate on the battlefield, she is by no means forgotten. Zhongli and the adepti of Liyue still remember her fondly and seem to honor her from time to time as we’ve seen in quests and special events.
Remnants of the God of Dust can still be seen throughout Liyue too. From the Guizhong Ballista to the many Ruin Guards scattered around the region, which were apparently gathered by Guizhong in order to study Khaenri’ah’s technology. There’s even a quest named after the fallen god in Archon Quest Chapter I. Though the quest focuses more on her ballistas rather than the goddess’ history.
Either way, Guizhong left behind many traces after her death for both her people and her cherished friends. There are even theories that Zhongli’s refined personality and vast knowledge is due to Guizhong’s influence.
The speculation stems from quotes and a description of Zhongli being a “brutish blundering buffoon” and Guizhong referring to her as the “brains” to his “brawn”. This is all just speculation of course, but it does hint at just how profoundly Guizhong may have affected one of Teyvat’s most influential beings. Even after her death.
Inventions, Music, and the Cleansing Bell
As you may have gathered already, Guizhong was an avid inventor during her life. She would often compete with her fellow adepti in contests of ingenuity, with Cloud Retainer being a particular rival.
It was a common sight to see social gatherings held amongst the adept as a guise to receive judgment on their inventions from Morax. Though Cloud Retainer was an excellent inventor, Guizhong ultimately was seen as the better of the two – something that was acknowledged by Cloud Retainer centuries later.
On top of mechanical inventions, Guizhong was an avid purveyor of music. However, she also believed that mechanical devices could adequately recreate the harmonious sounds in music. This led to a conflict with Streetward Rambler (now known as Madame Ping), who believed that music was solely an expression of the soul.
The two ceaselessly bickered over this topic, with Guizhong even creating the Cleansing Bell to demonstrate her point, before Morax decided to put a cease to the argument by confiscating and designating the bell solely for ceremonial purposes.
Ultimately, this argument would result in a life-long friendship between Ping and Guizhong. The two would frequently play music together and share good times until Guizhong’s untimely end. Afterwards, Ping requested to keep the Cleansing Bell as a memento of her cherished friend, until the Traveler requested it for the Rite of Parting during the Liyue Archon Quest.
Memory of Dust
The final, and perhaps most lore heavy, token Guizhong left behind is actually an obtainable weapon in the game. The 5-Star catalyst Memory of Dust holds not only the story of how Guizhong and Zhongli met, but also acts as her last gift to the world. It was given to Zhongli while she was still alive and is presumably still in his possession (as far as the canon of the game is concerned).
According to her own words, the Memory of Dust catalyst holds all of Guizhong’s wisdom. If it can be unlocked that is. While many years have passed since her death, it seems as if the God of Dust’s wisdom remains a mystery.
If Zhongli has mastered the device’s secrets he seems to have kept them a secret. Perhaps as part of his test to push mortals into being independent from the protection of the Gods.
Join the High Ground!
That’s everything we know about what happened to Guizhong in Genshin Impact! Do you know something about her that we don’t? Let us know in the comments below!
Until next time, ad astra abyssosque and happy gaming!