The Carja are an advanced and powerful tribe ruled by a monarch, Sun-King Avad. They call their nation the Sundom and their capital city is Meridian. They have a vast population and more advanced economically and militarily compared to the other tribes.
The Carja originated in the "Savage East". Their first Sun-King, Araman, discovered the Leaves of the Old Ones from which he brought to his tribe the knowledge of observing the Sun, its movement, and solar worship. Furthermore, the Carja gained from the Leaves the first writing. For reasons unknown, the Carja were attacked and driven from their original homeland by hostile tribes that were once their peaceful neighbors; they were either scared or envious of the Carja's knowledge. The Carja were forced to migrate westward in a harsh journey as many families, including Araman's, perished on the wayside. Their journey ended when they discovered the Spire and Araman declared the Spire's mesa lands as their new haven, naming it Meridian.
Under the reign of the 3rd Sun-King Sadahin, the Carja expanded their dominion and established the present day Sundom. Through the next several generations of Sun-Kings, the Carja continued to expand their domain and growth all the way to Daybreak until their expansion ceased after a failed expedition into the Forbidden West and was strained by their attempts to conquer the Savage East.
Following a brief peaceful interlude, the Carja under the reign of the 12th Sun-King Hivas began to re-militarize, fight with other tribes, and capture slaves. During the reign of the 13th Sun-King Jiran, the Sundom came under threat of the machines and the Derangement. Jiran believed that human sacrifices to the Sun god were necessary to stop the machines' aggression. The Carja then began a series of attacks on tribal settlements and captured tribals to be used in bloody sacrifices in what became notoriously known as the Red Raids.
Jiran's atrocities greatly alienated some of his people, including his son Avad, who eventually turned against his father and forged an alliance with the Oseram tribe. After Jiran was killed by his own son, Avad succeeded his father and became the 14th Sun-King. He proceeded to end the Red Raids and begin a series of reforms in the Sundom such as outlawing slavery. However, not all of the Carja followed the new king, especially those who remained loyal to Jiran. These dissenters and remnants of Jiran's old regime fled from Meridian and established their own kingdom in Sunfall and became known as the Shadow Carja.
Peace remained between the Carja and the other tribes, but recently there have been conflicts between the tribes.
The Carja are a patriarchal society. Women are socially excluded from joining the military and priesthood. The Carja also have a class system, with nobles, artisans, and commoners. There are two markets in Meridian, one for nobles and the other for commoners. At night in Meridian, most commoners take the elevators to their homes in the surrounding villages.
The Carja see themselves as separate from other tribes, and look down on outsiders such as the Nora as primitives. By the events of the game, Avad has been trying to reform the Carja's views and policies, such as openly accepting gender and status, abolishing slavery, and tolerating other tribes.
Known Settlements, Outposts, and Gates
- Lone Light
- Meridian Gate
- Meridian (capital)
- Meridian Village
- Royal Maizelands
- Sunstone Rock
- Dawn's Sentinel
- Day's Height
- The Carja culture seems similar to that of the Aztecs and Romans.
- Additionally, the Carja's use of Oseram Vanguard troops as royal protectors is similar to the Eastern Roman Empire, the Byzantines, use of Germanic soldiers as their Varangian Guard.
- The naming convention has male names ending in a consonant, while those of females end in a vowel sound.