- "I know my duty to them - and to you. I'm here. And wherever you go... I will follow."
- ―Rost, to Aloy on the day of her naming
Rost is a character from Horizon Zero Dawn. He was once a member of the Nora tribe, but now, like Aloy, is an outcast. He took care of her by order of the tribe and came to love her dearly. He is the only parent she's ever known, and the lone influential figure in her life.
Rost is a heavily-built man with a barrel-like chest and powerful arms and legs. His beard and hair are braided and slightly grayed with age.
Like other Nora, his clothes are very reminiscent of Native American attire: leather, furs, a boar's skin on his left shoulder, and blue/red fabrics with metal and machine parts woven onto his right shoulder, braces, waist and boots. His face has blue markings.
He carries a bow across his back and a quiver of arrows on his right hip.
Rost is incredibly wise and an excellent teacher. However, he will often not answer questions right away, rather guiding Aloy to learn the answer herself, much to her frustration. He is extremely adherent to Nora tradition and honor.
Aloy is the most important figure in Rost's life. He would do anything for her. Despite the general Nora view that old technology is evil, he allowed her to keep the Focus she found as a child. When she goes to take part in the Proving, he tries to cut all ties with her so that she could adhere to her duty to the tribe. He ultimately gave his life to protect her.
In a time before Aloy's birth, the Red Raids, and the Derangement, Rost lived in Mother's Vigil, now known as Forsaken Village, with a wife and a six-year-old daughter called Alana. However, twelve outlanders suddenly struck without warning, killing his wife and taking Alana and several tribe members hostage.
Heading for Devil's Thirst, they camped there for two days. The Nora tribe was unable to attack the outlanders, as every time a Brave came close to them, a hostage was killed. For unknown reasons, the outlanders suddenly retreated back to the border and disappeared, prompting Rost and several other Braves to track them. At the time, there were six hostages still alive, including Alana. Rather than releasing the hostages, the outlanders slit their throats and left their corpses just a little across the border as a mockery, knowing that the Nora would not leave the Sacred Land to either collect the bodies or pursue them.
Despite being wracked by grief, Rost still would not break the taboo of leaving the Sacred Land. Instead, he begged to be made a Death-Seeker, one who dies to go seeking, and in seeking, brings death to others. Becoming a Death-Seeker was the most terrible and secret rite of the Nora tribe; it involved dragging the spirit from one's body, therefore "dying", and releasing it into All-Mother's care, allowing one to pave a path of death without any moral inhibitions. Rost, now a Death-Seeker and no longer part of the tribe, set out in pursuit of vengeance, tracking all twelve outlanders to the ends of the Earth and killing them off one by one.
- "And then he set out in pursuit, not as an exile, but a weapon of vengeance. A barbed arrow, shot from a bow, never to return."
- ―High Matriarch Teersa
He returned a year later with grievous wounds sustained from the final outlander. Delirious and in agony, Rost collapsed at the border of the Sacred Land, intending to die as close to his homeland as possible, where a hunting party chanced upon him. By tribal law, he was supposed to be killed where he lay. However, one of the Braves broke taboo and dragged him back, as she had lost her mate and two sons to the very outlanders that Rost was chasing. This left the Matriarchs in a difficult position, as in becoming a Death-Seeker, he was no longer part of the tribe. By law, Rost should have been driven out. However, the Matriarchs could not bring themselves to do it, and thus proposed a compromise: make him an outcast on the condition he never told anyone that he was made an exception. Rost was overjoyed to be allowed to live in the Embrace, the land that he loved. He wholeheartedly agreed to spend the rest of his days in solitude.
- "It is one thing to hunt a beast. It is another to hunt a machine."
- ―Rost's first lesson to a Aloy as a child
One day, a baby girl was mysteriously discovered within the heart of All-Mother. The Matriarchs were torn on what to do with her. While Teersa wanted to accept the child into the tribe, the other two Matriarchs, Lansra and Jezza, thought of the child as cursed since she was seemingly born out of nowhere. As much as she despised this child, even addressing her as "it", Lansra could not bring herself to kill the baby, putting the council at an impasse. The child was put under the care of Rost as an outcast. He happily took her in and named her Aloy.
From that day on, Rost loved Aloy as if she were his own daughter, raising her to be strong and wise, teaching her to hunt and defend herself, and even ignoring certain traditions for her sake, despite his otherwise unwavering adherence to Nora tradition and superstitions.
Preparing for the Proving
One day, Aloy came to Rost, begging to know who her parents were, or where she had come from. Although unable to tell her, he told her that if she won the Proving ceremony, she would not only become an accepted Nora Brave but be granted one wish that she could use to learn about her birth. Initially, he discouraged this but, seeing Aloy's determination, he trained her for years until she was ready. The day before the Proving, he led her to hunt and kill a Sawtooth, to teach her an important lesson about her duty to protect the tribe as a Brave.
Before Aloy enters Mother's Heart to participate in The Proving, Rost says his last goodbyes to Aloy as he decided to stay out of her life if she is accepted back into the tribe. As a farewell gift he gives Aloy a necklace that once belonged to his own daughter and is the same he had given to her during her naming ritual.
- "This... attachment to me will only hold you back.
It's my wish that you embrace the tribe."
- ―Rost to Aloy before parting
Although Rost stated that he would stay out of Aloy's life, he secretly watched over her during The Proving until the Eclipse began their attack. Rost intervened and saved Aloy from almost being killed by Helis. He bravely attacked the formidable Eclipse warrior and fought well, almost gaining the upper hand during the fight. Sadly, for all his bravery and skill Rost was fatally stabbed by his opponent. Using his remaining strength, Rost spoke his final words to Aloy and pushed her off a cliff to safety before explosives set by the cultists killed him.
What little remained of Rost after the explosion was given a proper burial at his home. Aloy would later learn from Teersa about Rost's story of how he became an outsider.
- Both the names Aloy and Rost may well be references to common phrases like "alloy and rust", seeing as metal is an important theme in the game.
- Rost also is the German word for rust.
- Rost also is the Swedish word for rust.
- At various points during the game, Aloy can return to Rost's grave and "speak to him", telling him of the various people she's met and the things she's done throughout her journeys.
|Nora Tribe||Aloy - Rost - Karst - Sona - Varl - Vala - Bast - Teersa - Lansra - Resh - Teb - Brom - Olara - Dral - Dran - Marea - Cren - Fia|
|The Old Ones||Elisabet Sobeck - Ted Faro - Aaron Herres - Ron Felder - Patrick Brochard-Klein - Samina Ebadji - Travis Tate - Margo Shĕn - Bashar Mati - Charles Ronson|
|Carja Tribe||Avad - Jiran - Balahn - Ahsis - Janeva - Talanah Khane Padish - Nil (formerly) - Namman - Janeva|
|Oseram Tribe||Erend - Ersa - Dervahl - Olin Delverson - Brageld - Vilgund|
|Banuk Tribe||Aluki - Kimik - Kikuk - Siluk - Tikuk|
|Eclipse||HADES - Helis - Sylens (formerly) - Olin Delverson (under duress)|
|Artificial Intelligences||GAIA - HADES|
|Hunters Lodge||Ahsis - Talanah Khane Padish - Aloy|