Ourea is a major supporting character in Horizon Zero Dawn: The Frozen Wilds. She was the shaman of a werak based in the Banuk region known as The Cut, in the settlement Song's Edge. Her brother Aratak is the werak’s chieftain. She formed a strong bond of friendship with the 21st century artificial intelligence CYAN, which she believed to be a spirit. This bond led her to go to all possible lengths to aid it when it was captured and imprisoned by the A.I. HEPHAESTUS.
Ourea appears to be a middle-aged woman with a dark skin complexion. Her eyes are a dark brown. She is short and has a small frame. Ourea wears a sleeveless outfit that consists of a top made from blue fabric and light gray pants. Ourea also has accessories across her body such as a belt and neck piece that look to be made of animal bones or machine parts. Ourea also wears a headdress that is blue. She appears to either shave her head or have very short hair.
Aratak and Ourea both grew up in Song’s Edge as members of The Cut’s strongest werak. As an adult, she came to serve as shaman of the werak under the chieftaincy of her brother Aratak.
Ourea’s shamanistic skill eventually earned membership in the Conclave, a conglomerate of the shamans of the most respected weraks. When a young, mysterious purported shaman named Sylens appeared, she and the other shamans were distrustful. However, his purported werak verified his identity, or so they were led to believe. Despite their distrust of him, they were supremely impressed by his unparalleled knowledge of the machines. Ourea, in particular, greatly desired to learn from him. Eventually they made him a member and he attended one of their yearly meetings at their most secret and sacred meeting place.
The next year, on their arrival at the site, they found that the caves housing all of their accumulated machine components had been looted. Sylens was obviously responsible; they immediately sent hunters after him. None were ever seen again, nor were those in his purported werak who had vouched for him. All the shamans, including Ourea, swore an oath of silence about him. Years later, Aloy temporarily became chieftain of Ourea’s werak, and asked her about Sylens. Due to Aloy’s own evident skill and knowledge of machines, as well as Aloy’s position as her chieftain, Ourea made an exception to her oath. She finished the tale with a warning that he was dangerous and unscrupulous, and never to let her guard down with him.
During the Red Raids, Ourea like all Banuk became a target for capture and transshipment to the Carja capital Meridian for human sacrifice. During one raid, she was separated from her werak. Alone with Carja raiders hot on her heels, she unsuccessfully sought to escape them in the mists of the Rimedrifts. When that failed, she took refuge in an ancient ruin. The ruin was in fact the remains of CYAN’s auxiliary control center. The raiders followed her and entered the ruin, searching for her. Hiding in the center’s control room, she heard CYAN’s disembodied voice; this was their first encounter. The benevolent A.I. sealed the door that gave access to the control room. With absolutely no ability to breach the door, the frustrated Carja raiders departed.
In need of repairs, CYAN asked her to go to its main control center in the ruins of a complex on a mountain known as Thunder’s Drum. The complex was the Old Ones facility known as Firebreak. Ourea complied, performing the repairs under CYAN’s guidance. Like all known humans of the known world except Aloy and Sylens, she had absolutely no knowledge of ancient technology; indeed, she believed CYAN to be a spirit sundered from the mystical all-encompassing life energy in the Banuk religion known as the Blue Light. Nevertheless, the two formed a very strong friendship based on CYAN’s need for company and Ourea’s need for a confidant. However CYAN, knowing of Ourea’s total ignorance of ancient technology and strong spiritual beliefs, never revealed its true nature to her.
Years after their first meeting, CYAN was captured and imprisoned by HEPHAESTUS. Ruthless and cruel, the former GAIA Subordinate Function harbored a hostility to humans due to their hunting of the machines it had created for Zero Dawn. It seized CYAN in order to implement a plan to use Firebreak for its own ends. CYAN desperately informed Ourea of its plight. Due to CYAN’s reference of her captor as a daemon, Ourea believed that a powerful, evil spirit called the Daemon, akin to a demon, had captured her friend. She was able to inform CYAN that she would ask Aratak for help to free it, before HEPHAESTUS terminated the communication. However, en route to Song’s Edge, she was waylaid by another Carja raiding party, and this time she was captured. Taken to Meridian, she avoided being sacrificed when the Carja decided instead to utilize her shamanistic skill to capture machines to loose upon sacrificial victims in the Sun-Ring. She thus remained enslaved in Meridian for years, until Avad’s Liberation.
The First Expedition
Upon her return to Song’s Edge, Ourea entreated Aratak with her tale of the spirit captured by the Daemon. Aratak gathered a cohort of the werak’s best hunters and, led by Ourea, mounted an expedition to Thunder’s Drum to free CYAN. The expedition failed disastrously. In the years spanning Ourea’s absence, HEPHAESTUS had executed its plan for Firebreak: the construction of a large cauldron, known as EPSILON. Here it conducted research and development of newer, more dangerous machines to dissuade humans from machine-hunting, and then began developing hunter-killer machines to cull the human population as a sure-fire method of doing so. It kept CYAN imprisoned deep within EPSILON, the cauldron’s door was completely beyond any hunter’s ability to breach, and the path through Firebreak to the door was guarded by by heavily augmented forms of HEPHAESTUS’ most dangerous machines, which came to be known as Daemonic Machines. Most of the party was killed. Ourea, Aratak and the survivors were forced to withdraw, and returned to Song’s Edge. Aratak was bent on another expedition, this time with the primary purpose of destroying HEPHAESTUS, whose Daemonic Machines had over time made life in The Cut much more dangerous than normal. However, he refused to allow Ourea to go due to his resolve to protect her, something which he had harbored considerable guilt at being unable to do when she was captured by the Carja. This over-protectiveness had led to friction between them, which came to a head when he excluded her. She was outraged, but could not get him to reconsider. Instead she secluded herself at her retreat, the ruin where she first encountered CYAN. Here she desperately and fruitlessly tried to contact CYAN using shamanistic prayers and rituals.
The arrival of Aloy resolved the situation. The huntress was aware of HEPHAESTUS’ existence, and had come to The Cut to investigate reports of the region’s augmented, more aggressive machines, suspecting that HEPHAESTUS was responsible. Getting no answers from Aratak, she tracked down Ourea’s apprentice Naltuk. She convinced him to divulge Ourea’s whereabouts by neutralizing one of HEPHAESTUS’ Control Towers in front of him. Aloy traversed the caverns leading to the ruin, overcoming its dangers, arrived at the ruin and entered it. Using her understanding of Zero Dawn technology and her ability to override it, she unsealed the door to the control room, much to Ourea’s shock. Ourea then watched with further amazement as Aloy reestablished communication with CYAN for a very short period before HEPHAESTUS terminated it again.
Believing Aloy to be the answer she sought, Ourea told her about CYAN, her relationship with it and its capture by HEPHAESTUS. On learning of Aloy’s interest in going to Thunder’s Drum herself to investigate the Daemon, she quickly hatched an audacious plan that would allow both of them to go: Aloy would formally challenge Aratak for his chieftaincy and then defeat him at the ensuing trials. Aloy was very reticent, but Ourea convinced her that it was the only way. Aloy challenged and bested him. Aratak’s honor, integrity and firm belief in Banuk meritocracy meant that he relinquished his chieftaincy to Aloy without hesitation once she did so. Upon Aloy becoming chieftain, Ourea restricted the expedition to Aloy and herself. Aratak asked Aloy to accompany them, and Aloy acquiesced.
Ourea went to Firebreak’s enormous perimeter wall, where she and Naltuk made final preparations. Upon Aloy’s arrival, Ourea thanked her for making her wish to go on the expedition a reality. She also told Aloy about Sylens. Upon Aratak’s arrival, Ourea and Naltuk performed a ritual that led to the entrance door opening. She, Aloy and Aratak ventured into the ruin. They first passed through the still-operational Battery Facility. Passing further through and either overcoming or sneaking past Daemonic Machines, they finally made it to EPSILON’s door. Here they encountered HEPHAESTUS’ first attempt to stop them: a Daemonic Thunderjaw deployed in response to Aloy’s attempt to override the door.
Upon defeating the Daemonic Thunderjaw, Aloy completed the override. When the door opened, the three got their first look inside EPSILON, beholding HEPHAESTUS’ complete control of the facility before venturing in. They periodically stopped to hear audible messages that CYAN was able to make when it temporarily slipped free of HEPHAESTUS’ coding bonds. Unlike the recordings that only Aloy heard via her Focus, these messages were audible to all. They outlined a method of defeating HEPHAESTUS and freeing CYAN: go to the core and override it. Due to their ignorance of ancient technology, many of the details were lost on Ourea and Aratak, but Aloy explained them in simple terms in the context of their culture.
Arriving at the core, they also found the main control center, where CYAN was imprisoned. Ourea watched as Aloy temporarily established communication with the A.I., and begged it for directions on how to aid it. Before the contact was terminated by HEPHAESTUS, CYAN informed them of new anti-human hunter-killer units that HEPHAESTUS had developed and was planning to deploy. Warned by Aloy that an all-out machine attack from HEPHAESTUS was certain once she accessed the cord, Aratak had one final conversation with Ourea, telling her that he would have wanted her to wait there in safety while Aloy and he went on to the core and did what was necessary, but he knew what her response would be. In this conversation, the rift between them was healed, and their sibling love became apparent. At the core, they and Aloy successfully prevailed against HEPHAESTUS’ primary response to Aloy’s attempt to access the core: a unit of its new hunter-killer machine, the Fireclaw.
However HEPHAESTUS was not done. When Aloy tried to override the core, HEPHAESTUS sent a powerful electric discharge through it. The discharge knocked Ourea and Aratak off their feet and knocked Aloy insensible. But Ourea was determined to free her friend, no matter the cost. Rising to her feet, she picked up Aloy’s spear and, ignoring Aratak’s exhortation not to do so, performed the override herself, copying what she had seen Aloy do. The electrical discharge hit her in full, but she held on, ignoring the pain until the override was completed. The override freed CYAN, which informed them that it was going to initiate a chain reaction that would destroy EPSILON. However the internal injuries Ourea sustained from the electrical discharge were fatal. She collapsed and died, but not before hearing CYAN inform her that it was free. Unable to carry her body, the grief-stricken Aloy and Aratak escaped EPSILON before it exploded, but not before Aratak took Ourea’s Bluegleam pendant in memoriam.
Upon their escape from EPSILON, Aratak went to Ourea’s Retreat; CYAN had transferred itself there since the ruin was its auxiliary control center. CYAN had recorded its conversations with Ourea and replayed the one in which she informed CYAN that she would enlist Aratak to help free it. Her love and admiration for him was evident in the message. Aratak listened with heavy, sobbing breaths, tears in his eyes. Upon Aloy’s arrival, he composed himself and went outside. In a subsequent conversation with Aloy, he told her that he finally understood why freeing CYAN was so important to Ourea. As for CYAN, it told Aloy that it felt profound grief at Ourea’s death, and hoped that subsequent conversations with Aratak about her would lead to catharsis for them both. Ourea's apprentice Naltuk succeeded her as the werak’s shaman.
At first glance, Ourea was somewhat of a recluse; she admitted to preferring the company of machines and spirits over people. However, beneath that exterior was a compassionate woman who would protect her loved ones at any cost. She seemed to have an inclination towards the marginalized: she took the aspiring shaman Naltuk under her wing and protected the Banuk painter Sekuli from being exiled.
- Banuk Shamanism: As a shaman, Ourea was adept in machine tracking, anatomy, rock painting, and the spiritual lore of the Banuk tribe.
- In Ancient Greek myth, Ourea is the name of a group of 9 primordial deities that ultimately form the mountains.
|Chieftains||AratakFW - KopilaiFW - White Teeth ChieftainFW|
|Shamans||AujakFW - Brin - EnjukFW - KamutFW - Kutani - NaltukFW - OureaFW - Siluk - Sylens - Tikuk|
|Tribe Members||Aluki - AnutaiFW - Ardik - IkrieFW - InatutFW - Kikuk - Kimik - LaulaiFW - LauvukFW - MailenFW - NaunukFW - Nulat - OpiliFW - Opitak - RuatukFW - RukulFW - SekuliFW - SignutaiFW - TataiFW - TulemakFW - Ukan - UmnakFW - UrkaiFW - YarikiFW|
|Lore||Arnak - Banukai - Tektuk|