The High-Cloud Quintet are a key part of the history of the Xianzhou Alliance, but who are the five members and what is their history?
The High-Cloud Quintet look set to be the centrepiece of the upcoming version 1.4. We've been given scraps of information about them throughout version 1.3 of Honkai Star Rail. We've taken the time to piece it all together to create this guide to the High-Cloud Quintet and what we know about them so far. You never know, it might come in handy in the future.
Who are the High-Cloud Quintet
The High-Cloud Quintet is a group of five legendary Xianzhou heroes that existed over 700 years before the main story of Honkai Star Rail. They were assembled to defend the Xianzhou Yuque, one of the Flagships of the Hexafleet, from an attack by Abominations of Abundance. They would later drive out the invading borisin from Thalassa, rescue the Xianzhou Yuque and defeat the "living planet" Ketu Mirage.
The High-Cloud Quintet were beloved heroes of the Xianzhou people, and their legends inspired many Xianzhou poets and Foxian immersia. Their time together lasted less than a century, but their names are part of Xianzhou folklore.
"However, all their achievements were no match for the cruelty of time. The High-Cloud Quintet fell apart after less than a hundred short years."
Of the five members, only Jing Yuan remains a prominent figure in the Xianzhou Alliance, currently holding the title of Arbiter-General.
Who is in the High-Cloud Quintet?
The High-Cloud Quintet consists of:
High-Cloud Quintet in version 1.4 update
"I return to the Luofu so I can render myself to the Alliance and atone for my sins. This will be the last you see of me," says Jingliu in the trailer. "High-Cloud Quintet, it's time to say goodbye."
MiHoYo also confirmed a upcoming Companion Mission called "Clouds Leave no Trace" in the new version, using the artwork of the High-Cloud Quintet.
Jingliu - Founder of the High-Cloud Quintet
Jingliu was the founder of the High-Cloud Quintet, and recruited the other four members. Known as the Sword Champion, Jingliu wields the Shard Sword, one of four weapons crafted by fellow High-Cloud Quintet member Yingxing (now known as Blade).
After leading the High-Cloud Quintet to many victories, Jingliu later became mara-struck and was driven insane. She escaped the Starskiff Haven and made quick work of any Cloud Knights who were sent after her. She was ultimately confronted and defeated by Jing Yuan.
Following the incident, Jingliu left Xianzhou and her name was deleted from Luofu's public records, including her title of Sword Champion.
"I came with a merchant ship. The shadows of old friends have returned to my thoughts of late... I came to reunite with them and relive old times..."
Jingliu first appeared in-game in Honkai Star Rail version 1.3 as part of Yanqing's Companion Mission Frosty Blade's Trial. She was later added as a playable 5-star character in version 1.4.
"Sword Champion? If I recall correctly, that title is bestowed on one who reaches the pinnacle of swordsmanship in the Cloud Knights. But that was a long time ago..."
Jingliu will become a playable character in the next Honkai banner.
Dan Feng's role in the Quintet was that of a healer and a sorcerer. He was the previous Imbibitor Lunae, which in the original Chinese 饮月君 Yǐnyuè-jūn translates to "The Lord Who Drinks the Moon". He is the focal point of the version 1.3 update; Celestial Eyes Above Mortal Ruins.
In the Honkai Star Rail universe, the Imbibitor Lunae is a title given to the Vidyadhara High Elder, whose job is to watch over the Abrosial Arbor. The Ambrosial Arbor is an ancient artifact that shapes life and subdsues death. You will encounter it during the Trailblaze Mission: Humming Antlers, Entwined Horns.
"The black-haired man with dragon horns used his water manipulation abilities to rejuvenate his allies, and in the next moment he bound the water upon his spear and used it to run his enemies through."
In an event which would alter very fabric of the High-Cloud Quintet, Dan Feng was found guilty of "stealing" the power of Abundance by using the Transmutation Arcanum to transform him into a dragon and grant him immortality.
Dan Feng's motivation to do this was to tap into the power of the Transmutation Arcanum to solve the Vidyadhara's inability to reproduce. However, the act summoned a draconic abomination which causes destruction at the Scalegorge Waterscape and the loss of many Vidyadhara lives.
Dan Feng in the Sedition if Imbibitor Lunae
While it is unclear whether Dan Feng did so knowingly or not, he was punished in an event later known as the Sedition of Imbibitor Lunae. He was imprisoned and tortured, eventually going through a rebirth process leading to the birth of Dan Heng.
Dan Feng also named a yet-unborn Bailu to be his successor as the Imbibitor Lunae, and punished himself and his future incarnations to suffer whatever punishment would suit his crimes.
Dan Feng's reincarnation Dan Heng is a character we meet at the start of Honkai Star Rail. Dan Heng is unaware of his past when we first meet him, but he later unlocks the memories of his past life during the Xianzhou Luofu chapter of the main story.
Yingxing - High-Cloud Quintet weapon forger
As a child Yingxing's homeworld was destroyed and he escaped to Xianzhou on a merchant vessel. He soon became an apprentice at the Artisanship Commission, specialising in crafting weapons for the Cloud Knights to avenge his home and his family.
Yingxing crafted hundreds of weapons, and ultimately forged four weapons which would later become synonymous with the High-Cloud Quintet. He was inducted into the group himself by Jingliu, and became close with Baiheng from the High-Cloud Quintet, who started calling him Little Yingxing. While Yingxing did not fight on the frontlines, he was on the battlefield as a military engineer.
Yingxing was involved in the theft of the power of the Abundance, helping Dan Feng (see above) in committing what would be considered an unpardonable sin. When Dan Feng unleashed the draconic abomination onto Xianzhou, Yingxing was somehow gifted with immortality, but also became struck with mara, the "Long-Life Curse". The same curse which ultimately drove High-Cloud Quintet leader Jingliu insane.
Yingxing is Stellaron Hunter Blade
In the aftermath of the Sedition of the Imbibitor Lunae, Yingxing was banished from Xianzhou. He lost the majority of his memories, but was discovered by Jingliu, who taught him to be a master swordsman. However, to train him Jingliu would also "kill" him, knowing he would never truly die due to his immortality.
"Now, ██ had died. His first — and only — death.
However, he was still here, his youth-like brain churning and thinking - thinking for all eternity.
He thought about his hands that were no longer dexterous. The hands that could no longer forge another weapon.
— But none of this mattered to him.
From this moment on, that body will be the one and only "Blade."
Now known as Blade, and driven by hatred for Dan Feng and his reincarnation Dan Heng, Yingxing was discovered by Elio, the leader of the Stellaron Hunters. He know wants only to have his revenge and his life in the High-Cloud Quintet, is but an absent memory.
Joining the High-Cloud Quintet when he was just a boy, Jing Yuan's birthplace is still unknown. However, he closely affiliated with the Luofu. Recruited by Jingliu, he was also trained by the Sword Champion herself.
"There was also the boy who kept bickering with him. Yet the moment the youth saw the Devastator Glaive, he grabbed it and never wished to part with it."
There are only a few mentions of Jing Yuan's involvement in the High-Cloud Quintet. However, we do know he was responsible for defeating his mentor Jingliu after she succumbed to mara and went on a rampage. It was Jingliu's wish for her to be brought to justice if she did succumb herself to mara. We see her mention this in the Animated Short: A Flash.
"To become stricken with mara is to be a long-life species. If I too become stricken in times hereafter you must not hold back."
When it came to the aftermath of Dan Feng and Yingxing's crimes, it is unclear how involved Jing Yuan was. However, after Dan Feng was imprisoned and later reborn, Jing Yuan negotiated a lighter sentence for his reincarnation Dan Heng, allowing him to be exiled.
When Honkai Star Rail begins, Jing Yuan is a general in the Xianzhou Alliance, a leader of the Cloud Knights in Xianzhou Luofu. He has also taken on a disciple, Yanqing, an aspiring soldier in the Cloud Knight army. Jing Yuan is a playable 5-star character.
Baiheng - The Foxian Archer
Baiheng was the only Foxian member of the High-Cloud Quintet. Her trademark weapon was the recurve bow, and from the handful of references we have to Baiheng, she is portrayed as a charismatic and empathetic character who left a lasting impression all four members of the High-Cloud Quintet.
"The Foxian girl once loosened three arrows simultaneously with her recurve bow in a dire situation, while still continuing to navigate the starskiff and laughing with the others."
Baiheng is the most mysterious of the High-Cloud Quintet, and also the only member to have not appeared in-game. So far the only visuals we have of Baiheng are several pieces of artwork.
While many just assume Baiheng lore confirms her to be dead, that is not entirely true. It seems more likely she just inexplicably disappeared. In Inbibitor Lunae's Character Story Part III, it tells the story of the battle with Shuhu where Baiheng is alleged to have died. While it does not name Baiheng directly, the "arrow shaft" simile, makes reference to her trademark weapon.
"...Until a starskiff ran everything through like an arrow shaft. He saw that girl crawling out of the ruins with great difficulty, lifting a "sun" of absolute darkness in her hand. In that fleeting eternity, he saw her hand disappear, saw her face disappear, and saw HER disappear — That item had ground everything around it into the finest dust and dragged them into a vortex of raw power, including that girl.
A tuft of hair and a few drops of blood fell to the floor as evidence of her existence. Those were the only traces she left."
If we take this rather cryptic mention and combine it with the name of the upcoming version 1.4 companion mission Clouds Leave No Trace, it's not a huge leap to imagine we may well find out what was the fate of Baiheng, and also potentially whether she still lives in some form. While there are some theories that Bailu is Baiheng reincarnated, nothing has been confirmed.
Given four of the five High-Cloud Quintet are playable characters and the genuine interest in Baiheng from Honkai Star Rail fans, I'm ready to gamble her story isn't over and she still has a role to play in version 1.4 and beyond.