Atral grew up in the Carja tribe, and was a childhood friend of a noble's daughter named Elida. As children, he and Elida would play on an island in the lake near Elida's home, and he would dump worms down Elida's back while he was in her garden (much to her chagrin).
Atral became a soldier for the Carja, and sided with the Shadow Carja after the Red Raids; he was stationed at an outpost by the Citadel. However, some time after the cease-fire, Atral and Elida found each other on the island, and began meeting in secret whenever they could. Atral would signal Elida with fire whenever it was safe for them to meet. Their meetings blossomed into romance, one that would be considered treason in both tribes.
One night, Atral signaled Elida, hoping to run away with her in the outlands where they could be together without fear of persecution. Unfortunately, he was caught by his fellow soldiers, who immediately suspected treason. The soldiers tortured him in an unsuccessful attempt to make him confess, even chopping off one of his fingers.
By the request of a concerned Elida, the Nora Seeker Aloy fought her way through the Shadow Carja at the outpost to find Atral. Knowing that his wounds were fatal, Atral gave Aloy the key to a lock that he had given Elida, asking with his final words to tell Elida that it was worth it.