- "The strong take from the weak, and in the taking, are made stronger."
The Tenakth are a human tribe in Horizon Zero Dawn. They control territory located south of the Sundom, but they are also known to be the ruling power of the Forbidden West. Not much is known about them, and contact with the Tenakth is rare. The Tenakth are described as raiders and reavers by the Carja, and they have a reputation for being bloodthirsty and aggressive.
Very little is known about the Tenakth tribe, even by in-game scholars. The Tenakth once attacked the Sundom during the reign of the 9th Sun-King Ranan, who personally led his armies against them. The Carja were successful in defeating the Tenakth horde, although the Tenakth managed to horribly and permanently disfigure Ranan.
Culture and Society
Tenakth society is evidently divided into clans, with their territory collectively being known as clan-lands. This region is locked in perpetual war between Tenakth factions.
The Tenakth (according to Ullia) believe that the strong take from the weak, and in the taking, are made stronger. Thus, they seem to favor strength above all else, though they demonstrate this through violent means. They are known for being brutal and aggressive, often taking what they need or want by conquest rather than trading for it. Their methods of acquiring food and resources is unknown, though raiding is presumably a common practice. Based on the conversation with Ullia, the Tenakth are implied to kidnap children to add to their tribe.
Rumors also circulate amongst other tribes that the Tenakth are cannibals (though this trait was incorrectly attributed to the Nora at some point). However, the rumors are not entirely unfounded; the Tenakth believe that their stories and achievements in life will live on after death if their blood is drunk by another.
Concept art shows their clothing – notably skirts made of strips of dyed cloth, large collars, and armbands made of feathers, along with armor made of machine parts. Men have completely shaved heads, while women have one single long braid. Tenakth are notable for painting most of their upper body and head in blue paint with red and white accents.
- A couple of Tenakth can be found in Sunfall. However, like the settlement's Utaru visitors, they cannot be interacted with.
- The Tenakth are the only tribe who were not explicitly stated to have been plundered by the Carja during the Red Raids: given their ferocious nature, it is possible that they were avoided altogether.
- The Tenakth are the only tribe whose homeland is not explicitly named.