- "I am a righteous man. Chosen of the Sun. But in times of need, the powers of shadow can accomplish what the Sun alone cannot."
- ―Lucent Bahavas, Buried Shadow
High Priest Bahavas, also known as Lucent Bahavas, was a leader of the Carja in Shadow, along with Helis, champion of the erstwhile Carja Sun-King Jiran in Horizon Zero Dawn. He and Helis also founded the Eclipse cult, dedicated to retaking control of the Carja Sundom. Bahavas was eventually killed by Uthid, a Shadow Carja captain whom he tried to have killed on trumped up charges of conspiracy to assassinate their figurehead Sun-King Itamen.
Prior to the Liberation of Meridian, Bahavas was a high ranking Sun-Priest. Believing that Jiran was the chosen speaker of the Sun, Bahavas saw his Sun-King's will as infallible and absolute, justifying the infamous Red Raids.
Overthrow of Jiran
When Jiran was overthrown by his middle son Avad during the Liberation, Bahavas and Helis fled the Carja capital of Meridian to the royal summer palace at Sunfall on Jiran's order, taking Jiran's wife Nasadi and son Itamen with them, along with Jiran's elite soldiers, called Kestrels, the Carja who were loyal to Jiran, and their servants. He and Helis formed a splinter tribe from these people, calling themselves the Carja in Shadow (although the other tribes would refer to them as the Shadow Carja). The two men set up Itamen as their figurehead monarch, though they held de facto power. Bahavas continually promised the Carja tribespeople who came with them the eventual retaking of Meridian and the Sundom, However he the other Sun-Priests and nobles lived comfortably in Jiran's Citadel, guarded by the Kestrels, while most of the people, who comprised the Shadow Carja underclass, languished in squalor in the tent city of Shadowside, around the Citadel.
Possessing neither the military strength nor the resources to retake the Sundom, Bahavas and Helis remained at Sunfall until they were contacted by a man named Sylens, who wanted them to meet someone whom he promised would give them the power to retake Meridian and the homeland. He and Helis went to the arranged location with a squad of Kestrels. There, they were introduced to what they were led to believe was the Buried Shadow, the Devil of the Carja religion. The "Shadow" was in fact HADES, a rogue artificial intelligence from the 21st century who was seeking a means of exterminating all life on Earth. At Sylens' suggestion, it posed as the Buried Shadow to manipulate the two men via their religious beliefs into forming a cult that served it, promising Meridian and the Sundom as a reward. Bahavas readily accepted the offer, convincing the apprehensive Helis that serving the Buried Shadow would restore the cycle of nature broken by Jiran's murder. Therefore, as HADES and Sylens intended, the two men were indeed duped and formed the cult known as the Eclipse.
While Helis managed the Eclipse, Bahavas concerned himself with governing the Shadow Carja. As remorseless as Helis or his former liege Jiran, Bahavas decided that the elderly and infirm (and in some cases, the young) among the Shadow Carja were unable to fight for the cause, and had to be culled for the sake of the tribe. To this end, he secretly hired an assassin to quietly poison such tribespeople in Shadowside during the night. However, the murders came to the attention of Uthid, a respected and honorable Shadow Carja Captain. Uthid investigated the murders and apprehended the killer. He and his men brought him before Bahavas, who publicly thanked them for their service before privately having the killer released. Knowing that this would identify him as having given the order for the culling, Bahavas turned the Kestrels on Uthid and his men. All of Uthid's men fell, but Uthid escaped to a remote location known as the Greenclimb in hopes of a reaping a more honorable death. In response, Bahavas accused Uthid of conspiring to murder Itamen, and called an assembly of bounty hunters at the Sunfall palace and promised them a bounty of 500 Shards for hunting Uthid down and killing him.
Vanasha, a Carja agent at Sunfall, knew that Uthid was innocent. Spotting the Nora huntress Aloy, who was at Sunfall on a quest, she convinced her of Uthid's innocence and asked her to go to the Greenclimb and assist him against the bounty hunters. Aloy agreed and did so. Together, she and Uthid fought and killed all of the bounty hunters who appeared. However, Bahavas then appeared with his personal guard as a backup plan to ensure Uthid's death. He watched as they attacked Aloy and Uthid, but they too fell before the duo. Bereft of protection, Bahavas tried to justify his order of the culling to Uthid. Uthid contemptuously stabbed him to death, getting justice for his fallen men.
Bahavas' death threw the Priesthood into disarray as other Sun-Priests fought for Bahavas' position. In the resulting panic, Vanasha smuggled Itamen and Nasadi to Meridian, robbing the Shadow Carja of their last claim of legitimacy .
Bahavas believed himself to be righteous, chosen by the Sun to do its bidding. In truth, however, he was corrupt and dishonorable, and his belief in his righteousness was the means he used to justify his crimes.
- Bahavas is mistakenly listed twice in the credits for Horizon Zero Dawn: once as "Bahavas", and once as "Lucent Bahavas".