Meridian is a large human city in Horizon Zero Dawn, and the capital of the Carja Sundom. Founded by the first Sun-King Araman, in the shadow of the Spire (atop which perched Glinthawks, which they had followed from the 'Savage East), Meridian grew into a large city at the heart of the Carja Sundom.
Meridian was founded by the first Sun-King, Araman, after the people that became the Carja were driven out of their homeland. They wandered for an unknown amount of time, following the Sun and the Glinthawks. Along the way, many Carja died, Araman's own family among them. In spite of persecution and outright violence from other tribes, the Carja continued until Araman experienced a vision of what came to be known as the Spire. The Carja came to settle on the mesa surrounding the great tower, building the capital city of Meridian from the abundant local resources. As the city grew, the people prospered, and traders arrived from foreign lands.
The Reign of Jiran
The reign of the thirteenth Sun-King, Jiran, was a time of great turmoil for Meridian, culminating in his twenty-first year. Upon the execution of his older brother Kadaman for questioning his father's demands for sacrifices, Avad fled the city along with those soldiers loyal to him. He and his men crossed into Oseram territory, and thanks to his personal friendship with Ersa, were able to negotiate an alliance with the tribe.
Months later and with an army of Oseram warriors and mercenaries, Avad marched on the capital. He hoped that his status as rightful heir to the throne would spark an uprising among the Carja and thus avoid large-scale death and destruction. His plan worked, as many Carja warriors retreated, surrendered, or even defected. However, the defenders of Meridian stood firm, and Avad was forced to order the use of Oseram cannons to decimate the outer walls.
This was followed by a three-pronged assault; one group attacked the main gate, one scaled the walls nearest the temple, and another infiltrated the city through the irrigation tunnels. As Jiran's slave pits were opened, Itamen, Nasadi, Helis, Bahavas, and many of his loyal followers used the chaos to flee the city with whatever they could carry; they would go on to become the Shadow Carja. Avad personally confronted his father, hoping to convince him to surrender and avoid further loss of life. This time, his plan did not work, and Avad was forced to kill Jiran.
Avad and the Derangement
The Meridian Gate controls access to the city.
This large palace accessible by bridge from the city is home to ruling Sun-King.
- Another name for Meridian is "The City of the Sun".
- A "meridian" refers to a line of longitude (north to south) from the Latin word for noon, meridianum, literally middle day.