Genshin Impact developer Hoyoverse released a teaser trailer that gave fans a look at one of the game’s most dastardly group of villains: the Fatui Harbingers. The supervillains are as evil as they are hot, and the teaser introduced a veritable feast of new characters for fans to obsess over. The months leading up to the game’s 3.0 Sumeru update have been packed with leak after leak, and this reveal came as a welcome surprise to fans — finally putting faces to some of the game’s most infamous characters.
So far in Genshin Impact we’ve only met three Harbingers: Signora, Scaramouche, and Childe. There are 11 total, meaning that Hoyoverse revealed eight new characters in a matter of minutes. While it may seem like a lot to drop at once, the game has been steadily building up to their reveal through its lore. Here’s everything we know so far about the Fatui Harbingers to help refresh you on these characters as we head into the 3.0 update.
[Ed note: The article contains spoilers for events that take place in the Inazuma archon quest line. You might not want to read if you’re not up to date on the story through the game’s 2.7 update.]
What’s going on in the trailer?
The trailer appears to take place sometime after the events of the current mainline quest. At this point, the Traveler has ventured in the Chasm after helping resolve the internal conflict in the region of Inazuma, and the Sakoku Decree has been lifted. We know this because the trailer depicts the Harbingers gathering to mourn the loss of their comrade, Signora. A powerful fighter, Signora was beaten in battle by the Traveler and then killed by the Inazuma leader, the Raiden Shogun. The Traveler and the Shogun had previously uncovered a Fatui plot that turned the Shogun against her own people.
The trailer debuts bits and pieces of each character, with some squabbling between the group, as tensions are high in the wake of Signora’s death. However, their leader, Pierro, interjects, “Let every worthy sacrifice be carved in ice, and with this nation endure for all time. In the name of Her Majesty, the Tsaritsa, we will seize authority from the gods.”
What is the Fatui?
In the world of the game, the Fatui is a delegation of diplomats from the northern land of Snezhnaya, which is ruled by the ice-elemental Cryo archon, the Tsaritsa. (The land appears to be inspired by Russia, but we don’t know the details since it isn’t part of the game yet.) The Fatui represents the Tsaritsa’s interests overseas, and while the organization is formally known as a diplomatic delegation, it often undermines the internal workings of other nations.
At this point, the Fatui is working toward some sort of dark objective that involves using the power of the gods. So far, the Fatui Harbingers have acquired (or stolen) the Gnosis, a special item exclusively held by an elemental god for the Anemo, Geo, and Electro archons (archons are elemental gods). Beyond that, the Fatui has sown turmoil in various regions. For example, they exacerbated a conflict in Inazuma by feeding its leader false information. Generic Fatui agents also frequently appear in the game as enemies that you can fight.
Who are the Fatui Harbingers?
The Fatui Harbingers are a high council of 11 fighters who have worked their way to higher echelons of leadership under the Tsaritsa. They are known for harnessing their elemental powers through an object called a Delusion, an artificially produced means to harness elemental powers. (In the world of Teyvat, the gods typically bestow elemental powers to players in the form of talismans called Visions, but the Harbingers have artificially created these powers through dubious methods.) In previous boss fights for Harbingers like Childe or Signora, players can see them wielding extraordinary power and morphing into monstrous new forms of themselves.
We’ve heard about some of the Harbingers during our adventures in Teyvat through stories and quests. Fans have also pointed out that their names correspond to characters and archetypes from a form of early Italian theater called “commedia dell’arte,” which hints at the role each will play as the rest of the game’s story plays out. Additionally, the playable character Childe serves as our main connection to the Harbingers, since he has played a large role in certain mainline quests.
Here’s what we know about each of them:
- Childe (Tartaglia): The most well-known of the Harbingers, Childe is the youngest member. We meet him for the first time in Liyue and find out he’s behind a plan to awaken a sea monster that threatens the safety of Liyue Harbor. Despite everything that happens, he’s a friend of both the Geo Archon and the Traveler and deeply cares about his family.
- Pierro (The Jester): Pierro was the first Harbinger and is the leader of the group. In the trailer, he sits at the head of the table. He’s a mysterious figure and is the one to stop the other members’ squabbling.
- Scaramouche (Balladeer): Scaramouche doesn’t appear in the recent trailer, but he met the Traveler in the Electro Archon quest. In the events of the game, Yae Miko trades him the Gnosis of the Electro archon in exchange for the Traveler’s life. He’s also rumored to be a playable character.
- Signora (Rosalyne-Kruzchka Lohefalter): A particularly ambitious member, Signora dies in the events of the political falling-out in Inazuma. She was responsible for collecting the Gnosis from the Anemo and Geo Archon.
- Arlecchino (The Knave): In the teaser, Arlecchino appears to be the most upset over Signora’s death and calls some of them “heartless businessmen.” She’s an orphan but little is known about her.
- Pulcinella (Rooster): In the teaser we see a small-figured and long-nosed character named Pulcinella announce the gathering for the funeral. We don’t know a lot about him, but he appears to maintain a good relationship with Childe and takes care of Childe’s family as he works abroad.
- Pantalone (Regrator): In his remarks, Childe describes Pantalone as a man with “grandiose plans fueled by raw ambition.” He also appears to manage the finances for the Fatui.
- Il Dottore (The Doctor): Dottore falls into the “mad scientist” archetype. He appears in the manga, and from that we know he performed unsavory experiments on unsuspecting citizens in Mondstadt. He has also been described as having an interest in researching the Ruin Guards that speckle Teyvat’s landscape.
- Capitano: While all of the Harbingers are powerful, Childe notes Capitano’s prowess on the battlefield and aspires to prove his worth to him.
- Sandrone (Marionette): We don’t know much about her, but she appears to be a puppeteer.
- Columbina (Damselette): We see Damselette laying on Signora’s grave in the teaser. Again we don’t know much, but Childe appears to be wary of her power.
If you want just look at the designs, here is an image of all of the reveals with their stills labeled:
The Harbingers#原神 #Genshin pic.twitter.com/RwpUjvZXlv— Genshin Mains - Your Guide to Teyvat (@genshinmains) July 11, 2022
Why is everyone so excited?
So far, the Fatui Harbingers have been an ominous and fairly unknown group in the world of the game. They’ve played a huge role but have been largely working from the shadows.
This teaser trailer, which arrived seemingly out of nowhere, showed off all of them at once. It’s a huge reveal with a lot of new characters, and this is a community known for hyping up almost every new release of a single character. People are already making fan art and memes related to the announcement. (Oh, and a lot of the Fatui Harbingers are hot, so that doesn’t hurt either.)