Talanah Khane Padish is a character and potential ally in Horizon Zero Dawn. She is a Hawk, and later the Sunhawk, of the Carja Hunters Lodge in the Carja capital Meridian. She is proudly descended from an illustrious line of Carja noble hunters, all Hawks of the Lodge. Her pride in her lineage and Lodge membership comes from the history that both have of doing what is right. She therefore became incensed when the Lodge’s leader, Sunhawk Ahsis, insistently suppressed all mention of the heroic deaths of many Hawks in the Sun-Ring, including her father, in opposition to the Red Raids. This, along with her opposition to Ahsis’ maintenance of a culture of bigotry against women and non-Carja as Lodge policy despite Sun-King Avad's decree forbidding these practices, drove her to seek to supplant him as Sunhawk. With the aid of the Nora huntress Aloy, she succeeded.
- 1 History
- 2 Personality
- 3 Associated Quests
- 4 Trivia
- 5 Gallery
- 6 References
Talanah's family has traditionally had members in the Carja Hunters Lodge, including her brother Brativin and father Talavad, who were both Hawks. At one point, Talavad was Sunhawk of the Lodge.
When Sun-King Jiran instituted the Red Raids and human sacrifices in the Sun-Ring, many Hawks, including Talavad and Brativin, vigorously voiced opposition. Jiran reacted by having all of these Hawks, including Talavad and Brativin, thrown into the Sun-Ring. However, they did not die easily under the feet of the machines loosed upon them. Being very experienced hunters, they survived every wave of machines, until two Behemoths were consecutively let loose, finally killing them. Even so, the Hawks managed to kill them both before they were all overcome. Moreover, they protected the spectators that had gathered to cheer their deaths, killing the Behemoths when they broke through into the crowd.
Suspecting that Jiran would also target Talanah, Talavad saved her life by telling her to go outside Meridian and wait for him, pretending that they were leaving the city. Talanah did so, waiting for hours while Talavad and Brativin fought and met their ends in the Sun Ring. Eventually a messenger arrived and gave her an urgent message from Talavad to leave Meridian immediately, which she did.
Presumably Talanah did not return to Meridian until after Avad’s Liberation. Only upon her return was she told the tale of what happened. Meanwhile, in her absence, Hawk Ahsis had become Sunhawk. Ahsis was a product of Carja culture as it was before Avad's reforms: a culture of Carja supremacism and a strong patriarchy. He ran the Lodge accordingly. When Avad ordered the Lodge to open its doors to outlanders and women, Ahsis was disgusted. Thus when Talanah herself joined the Lodge, sponsored by Hawk Tarkas, a close friend of her father, she was met with scorn and loathing from Ahsis. She viewed him with equal contempt, which became outright loathing when she discovered that he had banned all mention of the sacrifice made by her father and the other Hawks. She became resolutely determined to help her Hawk Tarkas supplant him.
By the Bylaws of the Lodge, the rank of Sunhawk is given to the Hawk who kills the deadliest machine. Ahsis had become Sunhawk by being the first Hawk to kill a Thunderjaw, the deadliest known machine at the time. To supplant Ahsis, a Hawk would need to top this achievement by killing Redmaw, a Thunderjaw notorious for its ferocity and the death of any Hawks that tried to hunt it. Ahsis was well-aware of this, and was not above using dirty tactics to ensure he took down Redmaw first. Talanah intended to help Tarkas supplant him by helping Tarkas kill Redmaw. However, due to Ahsis’ treachery, which she only found out about years after, Tarkas engaged Redmaw alone and was killed. Talanah accordingly ascended to the rank of Hawk in his place, and was determined to continue the plan and supplant Ahsis herself.
The Nora huntress Aloy, upon fulfilling the requirement of earning three Half-Suns at one of the Lodge’s five Hunting Grounds, visited the Lodge during her time in Meridian, seeking to join. Since the Nora were viewed by Carja such as Ahsis as savages, he treated her with even more contempt than he treated other outlanders, scornfully suggesting that she seek Talanah as a sponsor for membership. Talanah, sensing a kindred spirit in Aloy, gave her a series of tests in order to evaluate Aloy’s worthiness of her sponsorship. First, she had Aloy bring in trophies from three Sawtooths, two Ravagers and a Stalker and present the trophies to Ahsis. Next, Talanah had Aloy meet her to respond to a petition from a Carja villager named Ilsadi. The petition involved freeing Ilsadi’s home, the settlement Lone Light, from incessant attacks by Glinthawks. Talanah went to Lone Light with Ilsadi and, when Aloy arrived, both fought alongside the Carja guard stationed in the area to kill the Glinthawks. Talanah then had Aloy find and neutralize the source of the Glinthawk attacks.
Impressed with Aloy’s skill, Talanah instructed her to meet her back at the Lodge. Upon Aloy’s return, Talanah accompanied her before Ahsis, and formally declared her sponsorship of Aloy for membership. Much to Talanah's visible delight, the disgusted Ahsis had no choice but to accept, and Aloy was made her Thrush. The two had subsequent conversations about their lives, Ahsis, and Talanah’s reasons for wanting to supplant him. On Talanah’s advice, Aloy spoke to Ligan, a retired Hawk, for further information. It was in this conversation with Ligan that Aloy learned crucial information unknown to Talanah about the death of Tarkas.
Talanah next instructed Aloy to elevate her reputation in the Lodge by bringing in a trophy from a Stormbird and a Thunderjaw. However while Aloy was away, word came of Redmaw’s location. Unable to wait for Aloy’s return for fear of Ahsis getting to Redmaw first, she went after it, leaving word for Aloy. On her way through The Jewel to Redmaw’s reported location, Talanah was ambushed by mercenaries, sent by Ahsis to kill her. But Aloy, having hurried after her, located her and came to her aid, killing the mercenaries. Correctly deducing that Ahsis had attempted to have her murdered, she hurried to Redmaw’s location with Aloy. She lost the trail, but Aloy used her Focus-enhanced tracking skills to re-acquire it. As they followed it, Aloy informed her about what she had learned about Tarkas’ death. Talanah had believed that Tarkas had gone after Redmaw without waiting for her out of pride. The truth was that he had left word with Ahsis to give to Talanah that she would follow. However, Ahsis had deliberately neglected to do so, and thus Tarkas faced Redmaw alone and was killed. This revelation did not surprise her, but it did increase her loathing of Ahsis, and further steeled her already unshakable resolve to supplant him.
The two women finally arrived at a clearing where they found Ahsis engaging Redmaw. At first, Ahsis held his own, but then he was caught by a deadly swipe from the machine’s tail. Despite their contempt and loathing for him, they could not help but cringe as they watched. However, this was their chance. They both immediately engaged the Thunderjaw, and succeeded in killing it. They then found the mortally wounded Ahsis lying nearby. Unrepentant to the last, he delivered a few final petty insults to them before expiring.
Deeply grateful to Aloy, Talanah returned to the Lodge with the trophy from Redmaw, and became Sunhawk. Her first act was to have a memorial set up to honor the sacrifice by her father and the other Hawks. When Aloy arrived, she again conveyed her heartfelt gratitude. After Aloy took leave of her, she set about ensuring that the patriarchal, bigoted policy that had been adhered to by Ahsis was firmly relegated to history. She herself also became part of the history of both the Lodge and the Carja, as the Lodge’s first female Sunhawk.
The Battle for Meridian
When she got word of the impending attack by the Eclipse against Meridian and the alliance of tribes that Aloy had forged in defense of the city, Talanah immediately joined the effort. Meeting Aloy on the path up to the Alight, she told Aloy that she would fight alongside her not only because of her gratitude to her, but because it was her duty to do so as her Hawk. In the final engagement in the Alight’s courtyard, she indeed fought alongside Aloy and the other defenders present, in an ultimately successful battle.
After the battle against HADES, Talanah celebrated in Meridian along with the others who had defended the Sundom. She witnessed Aloy slip away from the celebration, an act which confused her at the time.
Presumably as a result of Aloy's absence, Talanah took on a new Thrush, Milu, teaching her how to hunt and survive.
In her new position as Sunhawk, Talanah had the final say over hunting contracts controlled by the Lodge. Kyran, a member of the Lodge, repeatedly demanded that Talanah award him the contract for the village of Rising Light, which she denied on the grounds that his team of hunters were inexperienced and incompetent Carja nobles.
Recognizing Talanah's wise leadership, Sun-King Avad offered her a position as Special Advisor to the Council for the Restoration of Meridian, which she accepted. However, after only two days in the council, Talanah and her fellow council member Erend were bored by the tedious and bureaucratic nature of their duties. After a machine attack at Meridian Gate afforded the two an opportunity to abandon a council meeting and repel the attack, Talanah decided to leave Meridian, taking the hunting contract for Rising Light for herself and leaving the Hunters Lodge under Ligan's leadership in her absence.
Journey to Rising Light
During her travel to Rising Light, Talanah encountered Aloy in the wilds, fighting a Sawtooth with black armor. She assisted Aloy in taking down the machine, and helped her track a second machine of the same variety that had escaped. The two came across a caravan destroyed by the machine, which Aloy explained was a "New breed". The two overheard cries for help, and rushed to aid the caravan's sole survivor, a young Carja girl, who was being chased by the Sawtooth. Aloy attacked the machine with her spear, while Talanah supported her at range, and together the two brought down the predator, exhausting all of Talanah's ammunition in the process.
While the Carja girl recovered from the traumatic experience, Aloy discussed the dangerous new variety of machines with Talanah, cautioning her that most hunters would not be able to defeat them. Aloy gave Talanah a bundle of arrows to replace her lost ammunition, and the two then parted ways.
Approximately one week later, Talanah attempted to hunt a Clawstrider alone to fulfill the hunting contract for Rising Light. However, she found herself outnumbered by the machine's pack, and took shelter in a narrow crevice to keep them from reaching her. She managed to spear one of the Clawstriders through the head, but was stabbed in the abdomen by its claws, and fell unconscious due to her wounds.
Amadis Beit Raveesh, a Carja fugitive dwelling in the nearby woods, found Talanah and carried her to his cave dwelling near the village, where he bandaged her wounds to the best of his ability. Before she could awake, he left, leaving behind a traveling pack stocked with several days' food for her journey.
Pursuing the Black Clawstrider
Upon regaining consciousness, Talanah continued on her way, wounded but still capable of traveling. Shortly afterwards, she spied Kyran and his mercenaries, the Burnished Sons, attempting to take down a Clawstrider near the village in an attempt to fulfill the contract that was rightfully hers. In their haste to catch the Clawstrider, Kyran's hunters left behind the chassis of Grazers they had killed, which Talanah recognized would attract other machines. After the hunters had left, Talanah encountered a young boy named Talvo looting these remains, and while she attempted to warn him of the dangers in the area, a black-armored Clawstrider appeared and attacked the two of them.
Just as the black Clawstrider began to charge, Amadis appeared and distracted the machine with a Smoke Bomb. He urged Talanah not to fight the machine, allowing the three of them to escape. After the group retreated to higher ground, Talvo identified Amadis as "the man in the woods", a figure of local legend. Amadis instructed the child to return home and keep their encounter a secret, before turning his attention to Talanah.
He accused her of being part of Kyran's party, and of drawing dangerous machines to Rising Light through reckless hunting practices in the pursuit of trophies. As they argued, Amadis revealed his first name to Talanah, and that he was the one who had bandaged her wound. Talanah denied Amadis' accusations, claiming that her only goal was to destroy the black Clawstrider, a dangerous new breed of machine that threatened the village's safety. When Amadis asked how she knew this, Talanah recounted her earlier experience with Aloy.
Amadis begrudgingly agreed to work together with Talanah to destroy the machine, and the two set off to follow its tracks. Along the way, Talanah requested they stop so she could rest and rebandage her wounds; by coincidence, the two stopped near the site of Amadis' childhood home, a former manor now reduced to a dilapidated ruin. Although Talanah was unaware of this fact, she sensed the building held meaning to Amadis, and inquired about it. Amadis concealed his past, saying only that the manor was once home to a Carja noble who had fought in the Red Raids and left the manor to ruin. Talanah pointed out the presence of a large insignia burned on the manor's wall, indicating that the manor was defaced by the Kho Veriv, a powerful Carja family.
Just then, the two discovered the corpse of a mercenary from the Burnished Sons. Examining tracks nearby, Talanah and Amadis deduced that the dead man was killed during a fight with a Clawstrider, which the other mercenaries ultimately defeated and dragged away as proof that they had fulfilled the hunting contract. The pair also discovered the distinct tracks of the black Clawstrider, following the hunters. Amadis pointed out that the hunters would be headed towards Sunbreak Valley to turn in their kill to a group of trappers living there, the ones responsible for issuing the hunting contract.
Battle at Sunbreak Valley
Talanah and Amadis redoubled their pace, and came to Sunbreak Valley. While searching for signs of the Clawstrider, they overheard arguing between Duvad, the leader of the trappers, and Kyran, who was demanding payment for the contract. As the duo observed the dispute, Amadis suggested ignoring the hunters and pursuing the black Clawstrider, but Talanah contended that they had an obligation to warn the others of the threat.
Before they could take any action, though, the black Clawstrider appeared in the woods nearby, preparing to attack the assembled group of mercenaries and trappers. Talanah prepared to spring into action, but Amadis refused, intending to lay traps for the machine rather than engaging. Angrily, Talanah abandoned him and jumped into the clearing, shouting a warning to the hunters. The black Clawstrider struck, and in the ensuing battle Talanah narrowly rescued Kyran from the machine's attacks, ending up disarmed herself.
The machine charged as Talanah struggled to stand, but at the last moment Amadis appeared, distracting the Clawstrider and luring it towards himself. When the machine was stunned by one of Amadis' traps, Talanah reappeared to deliver a leaping kick, knocking the machine off the edge of a nearby cliff into the river below.
Talanah nearly sailed off the cliff's edge herself, but Amadis grabbed her hand and pulled her up to safety. Before the two could celebrate their victory, though, they found themselves targeted by the bows of the Burnished Sons, as Kyran declared his intent to collect a bounty worth more than Duvad's contract. When Talanah questioned what he meant, Kyran identified Amadis as "the traitor of the Southern Spear", and revealed that he was wanted by the Kho Veriv. Before Kyran could explain further, Amadis grabbed Talanah and jumped off the cliff, pulling them both into the river below.
After being carried downriver by the current, the pair swam ashore further downriver, near the base of a waterfall. As they took refuge in a cave behind the waterfall and dried their soaked equipment, Talanah demanded an explanation from Amadis. He explained his past to her, revealing his involvement in the Red Raids, the loss of his close companion Nessa, and his inadvertent role in the death of Gediah Kho Veriv, all of which left him with feelings of intense guilt. Talanah attempted to comfort him, arguing that he had protected the village of Rising Light, and suggested he try to move forward by honoring Nessa's memory, similar to what Talanah had done after the death of her family.
Finishing the hunt
Before the two could continue their conversation, they overheard the sound of an approaching machine- the black-armored Clawstrider had survived its fall into the river, and was limping through the cave despite being heavily damaged. Talanah ambushed and destroyed the machine, completing her hunt. However, when Amadis suggested she could now return to Meridian, Talanah pointed out that the Clawstrider must have entered the cave for a reason. The two ventured further into the cave, where they discovered a Cauldron next to an underground lake.
Talanah realized the Cauldron could produce an endless supply of deadly machines, further threatening the village, and after some discussion with Amadis she devised a plan to block off the Cauldron by causing a cave-in. The two began to head for the cave's exit, where a nearby herd of Grazers could provide them with the Blaze necessary to cause an explosion, but stopped upon overhearing Kyran commanding the Burnished Sons to search the cave. Although Amadis offered to draw the mercenaries away so that Talanah could execute her plan, she refused, stating that they would find a way out together. Before they could discuss the matter further, however, a massive Shellsnapper emerged from the subterranean lake and attacked the duo.
While Talanah and Amadis took cover from this unfamiliar new variety of machine, she devised a plan to pit the Shellsnapper against the Burnished Sons, keeping them distracted while Amadis gathered the supplies necessary to seal off the Cauldron. She and Amadis attracted the Shellsnapper's attention, then passed by the Burnished Sons while the machine chased them. After the two reached the cave's exit, they separated, with Talanah staying behind to occupy their enemies and serve as a distraction.
When the Burnished Sons exited the cave, pursued by the Shellsnapper, Talanah gained Kyran's attention by using Amadis' hood as a crude decoy, convincing the mercenary that his target was hidden behind a boulder. Her ruse was eventually revealed when Kyran struck the headpiece with an arrow, prompting Talanah to emerge from cover and return fire. The two began to face off, but were interrupted by the reappearance of Amadis, who had finished gathering the supplies needed for their plan, and was now being chased by a Clawstrider. Talanah watched as Amadis began to swim across the center of the nearby lake, evidently hoping that the mercenaries would be distracted by the two machines they were now confronted with.
Amadis' gambit proved unsuccessful, as the mercenaries began to fire on him. Recognizing that he could not survive in open water, Talanah made a desperate move, firing on the Shellsnapper in the hopes of provoking an attack. At her warning, Amadis dove beneath the water, while the Shellsnapper released an energy blast that incapacitated all those in the vicinity, leaving Amadis unscathed. Amadis then ran into the cave to trigger the planned explosion, leaving Talanah to confront the still-active Shellsnapper. Realizing that conventional weapons had proved ineffective against the machine, Talanah lured it towards the cave's entrance, intending to catch it in the blast that Amadis was preparing. She succeeded in drawing it towards the entrance just as Amadis left the cave, leading him to tackle Talanah into the water and shield her from the explosion.
As the two emerged from the water, they found that Kyran and his men had recovered, and were now standing atop the motionless Shellsnapper. Kyran gloated over his plans to collect Amadis' bounty and kill Talanah, usurping her place as Sunhawk, but he was interrupted by the reawakening of the Shellsnapper, which swiftly threw him from its back and crushed him. Thinking quickly, Talanah grabbed Kyran's spear, and sliced open the Shellsnapper's belly, finally destroying it.
Returning to Meridian
A few hours later, as Talanah and Amadis journeyed back to Rising Light, they stopped near Beit Raveesh manor, where Amadis presented her with a flower of Medicinal Wild Ember. He explained that Talanah had restored his self-confidence and given him new hope, but that he now felt he had to part ways from her and return to the Forbidden West. Talanah, expecting a romantic advance, was taken aback; Amadis explained that his intent was to return to the battlefield he had once fled, and lay Nessa to rest, so that he could finally move on.
Talanah wished him well and asked that he write to her in Meridian in two months time; she revealed that she now felt the Hunters Lodge should do more than hunt for trophies, and intended to mold the organization into a protection force against the ever-increasing danger of the machines. Amadis replied that he hoped to see her again when their work was done, and the two said their goodbyes. As Amadis walked away, Talanah reflected on the unexpected outcome of her journey to Rising Light--looking upon the sunset, she smiled as she held the flower Amadis gave her.
While she is friendly to strangers, Talanah is not gregarious; rather, she has a calm, amiable personality. She maintains this calmness under pressure, an attribute necessary for a hunter. She is an experienced and skilled hunter, though not as much as Aloy. She does not outwardly show anger, instead choosing to decisively act upon a situation rather than show anger about it. Above all, she has an unshakable sense of right and wrong, and is a firm believer in skill and nothing else determining one’s level of advancement and status as a hunter. In this, she is not unlike the Banuk.
- If Redmaw is completed, Talanah will join Aloy during the final battle, taking the place of Sona.
- Talanah's outfit serves as the basis for the Carja Blazon Master outfit.
- While not confirmed, Talanah is believed to be the first female member of the Lodge.
- For a time after killing Redmaw, Talanah will remain in Aloy’s vicinity if Aloy heads in the direction of Meridian. If Aloy engages any machines on the way, Talanah will assist her.