The 1.2 version of Honkai: Star Rail finally brought the first actual story update to the Xianzhou Luofu arc. While it wasn’t as long as people may have expected, it held no punches with some of its revelations and twists, ending in a huge-scaling battle against an Eminator of the Destruction. But one of the most shocking revelations might be *that* one regarding Dan Heng.
It was known for a while that the boy would get a 5-star form, we didn’t know the exact details of why it would happen. A few story quests later and here we are with more questions than answers! But we can pinpoint some of the reasons why it all happened, and it all starts with Dan Feng.
This article will contain tons of story spoilers up until 1.3, so be warned.
Who Is Dan Feng?
Dan Feng was a Vidyadhara, the same race as Bailu. He was the previous incarnation of Dan Heng, and was the previous inheritor of the title Imbibitor Lunae, a hero known in the Luofu for his magnificent feat of containing the Ambrosial Arbor in the past. Dan Feng was once a High Elder, but his days on the Xianzhou were over once he committed an atrocious sin which resulted in his exile.
Vidyadharas never truly die of age, and instead turn back into an egg state where they’ll be reborn as a child. They become basically another person, with their memories from the previous life wiped out in the process. Bailu is a prime example as she has just recently hatched.
High Elders are an exception, as they go through a process that allows them to retain some of their past experiences after they’re reborn. They are known for their special ability to transform into a real dragon, a boon that can be passed upon their next incarnation by completing a special but relentless ritual.
The Dan Heng we know from the Astral Express is no longer the same person as Dan Feng. We never saw Dan Feng in person, but it’s stated that he and Dan Heng looked very similar. The current incarnation is aware of the past incidents, which led him to hide his true Vidyahara form and flee from the Xianzhou Luofu, traveling through the galaxy until he stumbled across the Astral Express, becoming its guard at Himiko’s request.
Dan Feng was part of the High-Cloud Quintet, a group consisting of him, Jing Yuan, Jingliu, Yingxing (now known as Blade) and Baiheng (a Foxian bowmaster whom we know very little about). Jing Yuan was eager to see his successor back at the Xianzhou during the recent missions. But Dan Heng repeatedly stated that he was not him, even while possessing some of his ancestor’s abilities (although to a lesser degree).
Which Was Dan Feng’s Sin?
Dan Heng isn’t very eager to speak about what happened, and we could infer from Jing Yuan that Dan Feng failed in his rituals to pass his dragon-transforming powers to his sucessor. The general mentions that the current High Elder hasn’t inherited the same level of power and that its appearance is more of a child than an Elder.
Later in Patch 1.3, we got the rest of the story revealed in the Imbibitor Lunae’s Companion Mission. Dan Feng tried to break free from the Vidyadhara’s inability to reproduce, and made his own changes to the High Elder succession ritual, which ended up backfiring and launching a huge catastrophe upon the Luofu.
His changes created an abomination that caused great destruction to the Scalegorge Waterscape, but they also ended up creating a new Vidyadhara life, which would be known as Bailu. She’s the current High Elder, who inherited Dan Feng’s healing powers. His sheer destructive powers are still sealed within Dan Heng, who only truly unleashes them in his Imbibitor Lunae form.
We don’t know the exact details of how his ritual went, but it seems that he also brought Yingxing with him, turning him immortal at the cost of strucking him with Mara. The swordsman eventually lost his sanity and became Blade as we know today.
But it’s also mentioned that a few Vidyadhara actually defended Dan Feng, even though he committed a big crime. They decided to apply an exuviation charm at him against his will, but thanks to an intentional flaw contained in it, it brought forth the existence of the Dan Heng we know today with some of the memories of his past self.
He was still considered a criminal, even though he was supposed to be a whole new person. Dan Heng was imprisoned and later exiled, eventually joining the Astral Express.
Jing Yuan has decided to forgive Dan Feng’s crimes after his acts during the Stellaron Crisis, and Dan Heng is no longer considered an exile in the Xianzhou. We’re bound to learn more about his story in future updates, as there’s a lot we don’t know yet about the High-Cloud Quintet.