If you've been playing Genshin Impact for long enough, then you should know and love the Seelies.
We’ve followed them around to their Seelie Courts to get treasure chests, going through obstacles and enemies as they gently float along their own paths.
But while they are a source of joy (and Primogems) for Travelers right now, the Seelies actually have a hidden tragic past.
Before they became floating little spirits, the Seelies were actually a powerful race of beautiful creatures who guided mankind with their immense wisdom, living in palaces beyond Celestia.
During the Aranyaka questline, the lovable Aranara Arama revealed to us that the Seelie lost their forms because they fell in love with humans.
It isn’t exactly known when these magnificent beings became the little will-o-wisps they are today, but an ancient calamity that once befell Teyvat (even before the existence of the Archons) alludes to their destruction, which can be read in in-game lore found in Enkanomiya.
This means that their story predates the Archon War, modern civilisation, and even Celestia.
Before the ancient calamity, the Moon Sisters dwelled in the Lunar Palace as one of the oldest beings of Teyvat.
They were in charge of the night sky, switching sovereignty at regular intervals. Along with the ancient Seelie race, they served as beacons of guidance for mankind.
The ancestor of the Seelies once met and fell in love with a mortal outlander, and were married in the presence of the Moon Sisters. 30 days after their union however, a great calamity that upturned heaven and earth descended.
It is unknown why the calamity happened, but it is hinted that this calamity was actually a punishment.
Perhaps that forbidden love between the Seelie ancestor and a mortal is what brought about their doom? It's a trope we're all very familiar with.
But to continue with the story, the lovers attempted to flee this disaster by exiling themselves. The destruction caught up to them however, separating them from each other and erasing their memories.
The disaster also affected the Moon Sisters, who were all killed after they turned on each other.
According to the Liyue book 'Moonlit Bamboo Forest', the moon of Teyvat is said to be the corpse of one of the Moon Sisters.
The Seelie ancestor was heartbroken by this event, and in grief wasted away shedding their magnificent forms into what we know they look like today.
Arama, on the other hand, said that Seelie were cursed from the beginning to lose their intelligence and form when they fall in love with humans.
He further said that there was one survivor who ended up settling in the desert with the Crimson King and Queen Aranyaki (or Greater Lord Rukkhadevata), hinting that the Goddess of Flowers was actually from the Seelie race.
There are many sad stories in Genshin Impact, but the tragedy of the Seelies is especially poignant.
The Seelies themselves were based in Scottish folklore, being a kind of fairy that would seek help from humans and return their kindness with favours.
The fact that the Seelies of Genshin Impact lead Travelers to treasure mirrors their real-life origins, but the game's developers just had to add a tragic backstory to it.
A race of ethereal fairy beings falling from grace after falling in love with human beings is sad enough. But the fact that they still loved humans even after that to the point they'd lead them towards treasure is a definite tearjerker.
I know I'm still gonna be happy whenever a Seelie leads me to treasure and Primogems in the game, but there'll always be that twinge of sadness within after knowing how they ended up like this.
Yan Ku is a full-time dog parent, part-time (gacha) gamer, and part-time writer.
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