The Tragic Tale of Durin

The addition of the Dragonspine region brought to light the story of Durin, a dragon that once descended upon Mondstadt to cause its destruction. Now, the Shadows Amidst the Snowstorm event is revisiting it. After all, there is more to Durin’s story than being the evil dragon who wanted to destroy Mondstadt.

Before his death, Durin was someone entirely different, his story scattered throughout Genshin’s vast lore and we’ll be uncovering it all.

Who was Durin?

Durin is first mentioned in the game during the Archon quest For a Tomorrow Without Tears as Venti explains why Dvalin has turned against Mondstadt.

But of course, he was someone before the Archon quest and that story can be found in the lore of the weapon Festering Desire.

This was a story from long ago…

Unborn life, unfulfilled wishes,
Tragic dreams at the edge of the universal darkness that could never come true,
Indwell my body, and descend unto this world.

Then, my lovely children,
Like rainwater flowing into creeks, and plants growing towards the sun,
Go unto a lovely place, and display your own beauty there with pride.

This is a memory, a memory that a child named Durin had of his mother…

“Thank you, Mother, thank you.”
“You gave me wings to soar and a mighty form.”
“Mother, I wish to go to a land of lovely songs,”
“I will tell them about you, Mother, and about everyone else.”
“I shall tell them that the place where I was born is beautiful.”

With this, we get to know what Durin’s very first memory was upon creation. His ‘mother’ wanted him to see the world and show everyone his beauty. She never wanted him to cause destruction of any kind and from his reply, it’s obvious he never wanted that either. He simply wanted to sing praises of his homeland and let the world know how beautiful it was.

But of course, something somewhere changed the trajectory of his life and purpose. The answer to this lies in the identity of Durin’s mother.

The Purpose of Gold

During the event Shadows Amidst Snowstorms, Albedo reveals the identity of Durin’s creator as the alchemist infamously known as Gold or the Great Sinner.

Throughout her life, she created many beings using the art of Khemia and Durin the dragon was one of them. However, from his memories, we can see that when he was first ‘born’ he wasn’t used as a tool of war. Instead, he had been sent away from Khaenri’ah, Gold’s homeland, to explore the world without any nefarious intentions.

Somewhere along the line though, her intentions for what she considered her greatest creation, changed. Instead of letting her son be free, Gold corrupted him and thus, Durin became what he was before his death. A monster without any regard for human life and suffering. Though the reason why she chose to do this to a creature she considered her child is unknown.

Durin’s Final Wish

The entirety of the Skyward weapons hold within them the story of the fight between Durin and Dvalin.

When Durin began his attack on Mondstadt, hearing the Anemo archons song for help, Dvalin descended from the skies and the battle began. It was a long and difficult task, defeating Durin, but both Barbatos and Dvalin rallied on until the evil dragon was dead. His throat pierced by Dvalin’s fangs.

However, one weapon, the Dragonspine Spear, makes it clear that all the chaos that Durin caused, it wasn’t something he ever wanted.

He had a very, very long dream…

He dreamed that he and everyone else had gone on a long, long journey,
Into a land where green grass grew, and where soulful songs were sung.
He dreamed that he sang along with the gentle people of this land,
And danced in the skies with a dragon as beauteous as a jewel.

When he opened his eyes, he was in the sky above a mountain swept by roaring snowstorms.
The green, tranquil land had already been painted crimson by fire and blood,
And the song of that sky-blue bard’s lyre was almost drowned in the howling tumult.
And that bejeweled, lovely dragon, like a tender lover,
Had now pierced his neck through with its sharp fangs.

“Farewell, Mother! My journey is ended.”
“I shall sleep beneath this white, shining silver… and perhaps this, too, is good.”
“Farewell, O lovely bard! And farewell, O lovely dragon!”
“Would that we had met in a different time and place,”
“To meet, to song and dance together!”
So he thought most sincerely as he lay dying.

“Now then, this great blessing that pulses through my veins,”
“And lovely sight of the dark universe that gave me birth…”
“They are now yours to inherit.”

Much like his very first memory, what Durin wanted wasn’t the same as what his mother needed him to do. He dreamed of singing with the bard that wandered the streets of the city of freedom. He dreamed of dancing in the skies with the jewelled dragon, Dvalin. He dreamed of many things yet he was never able to get any of them.

Even so, during his final moments, he bore no ill will towards Dvalin nor Barbatos, instead wishing that maybe, in another world, those dreams of his would become reality.

What became of Durin?

During the battle, Barbatos and Dvalin had managed to lure Durin away from Mondstadt and towards the unnamed mountain range which was later called Dragonspine.

Over there, Durin’s body was buried, lost within the snowstorms that surround the mountains. And while his blood seeped into the ground, its corrupting power poisoning everything it touches, his heart remains in a cave. Warm and alive. As though there is more to his story than what Gold decided.

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