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"The glory of the Carja is the Sun's glory, reflected. We Sun-Priests are but glimmers of its great light."
Reverent Irid

Sun-Priests are the religious leaders in both the Carja and Shadow Carja tribes in Horizon Zero Dawn.

Role

Sun-Priests serve as the religious leaders of the Carja. They are based out of the Temple of the Sun in the capital city of Meridian. Their duty is to serve the Sun-King and interpret his divine will. As such, they hold the second highest rank in Carja society. Believing the Sun-King to be the embodiment of the sun itself, Sun-Priests will pull down their hoods while in the Sun-King's presence, in order to shield themselves from his brilliance.

The duties of Sun-Priests appear to be officiating criminal trials (which generally consist of filling the suspect's mouth with salt and leaving him for the sun to consider over days), enacting the will of the Sun-King, and performing daily hymns of praise to the Sun: once at dawn, once at midday, and once at twilight.

Keeping in line with the historically patriarchal structure of Carja society, Sun-Priests are exclusively male. However, there does not seem to be a caste restriction, as the Reverent Irid grew up in Meridian Village, indicating humble origins.

History

The time of the Sun-Priesthood's formation is unclear. However, it is indicated in glyphs that the Sun-Priesthood was existed during the reign of Sun-King Basadid.[1]

The Red Raids

By the time of the Red Raids, the Temple had become as corrupt as the Mad Sun-King Jiran. Some Sun-Priests would abuse their authority to sexually exploit women (Furahni was lashed for refusing a Sun-Priest's advances). Others followed Jiran blindly, insisting that as the Chosen of the Sun, Jiran's word was unimpeachable. Some among the Temple objected to the Red Raids, and were put to death for it.

Following the Liberation, the majority of the Temple fled to Sunfall with the rest of Jiran's loyalists. The Sun-Priests who have replaced them seem to share Avad's progressive agenda. However, as seen with Abiding Jahamin, not all who remained in Meridian share his ideals.

Attire

Sun-Priests traditionally wear robes dyed red with cinnabar, accompanied with gold and blue accents. The Carja in Shadow wear robes similar in design, but with a color palette matching that of the Shadow Carja: colored black with maroon and gold accents.

Known Sun-Priests

Carja

Shadow Carja

Trivia

  • As part of their title, Sun-Priests are given a descriptive word in front of their names.
  • Sun-Priests appear to be based off of Bishops in the Catholic religion.
  • The lyrics to the song that the Sun-Priests sing at the temple are the names of all the Sun-Kings (excluding Jiran).

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 History of Sunfall
  2. The Liberation