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"The lesson will be taught in due time, Aloy. Until then, we wait."
This article contains heavy spoilers, and may reveal plot or quest information.



Olin Delverson is a character in Horizon Zero Dawn. An Oseram tribesman, he is a skilled scout and delver, experienced in exploration of ancient ruins. The Shadow Carja cult known as the Eclipse coerced him into working for them as a spy against the Carja Sun-King Avad. His unwilling service to them made him directly responsible for precipitating the attack on the Nora tribe known as the Proving Massacre.

History

Working for Avad

Most of Olin’s delves were at ruins located in the Oseram tribal land, The Claim. His skills earned him gainful employment as a scout for Avad’s court. He therefore based himself in the Carja capital Meridian. Here he presumably met and eventually married his wife, a Carja woman named Enasha, who bore him a son. He also became friends with Erend, a member, and later the captain, of Avad’s Vanguard. Though he and Erend were friends and drinking partners, he never told Erend much about his life and background, and Erend never asked him about it. For his service to Avad he received adequate reward, which included comfortable living quarters in Meridian.

Recruitment by the Eclipse

The Eclipse leader Helis, hearing of Olin’s position and skills, decided to forcibly recruit him, using his wife and son as leverage. While Olin was on a delve near the ruin known as Maker's End, Helis had them abducted. He recorded a holographic message to Olin on a datapoint, in which he warned Olin of a grisly death for them if he did not cooperate.[1] When Olin emerged from the ruin, he found Eclipse cultists waiting for him. At first he laughed when they told him of their intent for him. But his laughter morphed into terrified acquiescence when he saw Helis’ message. From that day, he became the Eclipse’s unwilling agent.

However, as the Eclipse had learned pertinent information about him, so he learned information about them. He learned that they were a cult, and that Helis was their leader. He also learned that Helis was not the one they ultimately answered to. Instead, their supreme leader was an entity that he could only describe as a malevolent spirit; a demon, named HADES.

Eclipse Spy

The Eclipse gave Olin a Focus and had him return to Meridian, watching his every move and listening to his every conversation. They also used him on several delves to assist in exhuming fearsome ancient war machines. He thought they wanted them for scrap, but he would later see their true purpose. To organize and keep track of his work for the Eclipse, he converted his basement into a secret room, sealing it with a heavy door in the floor that he hid under a rug. Here he kept the datapoint containing Helis’ coercion, a map showing the locations of delves he undertook for the cult, and a journal of the entire ordeal, addressed to his wife. In it, he spoke of his guilt and fear for their lives and over possibly being discovered, and about his part in the Proving Massacre.[2]

Aloy

Nearly two months after Olin’s recruitment, Sun-King Avad commissioned a series of diplomatic missions in which he sent delegates with messages of apology to the tribes his father Jiran had terrorized during his despotic reign. One of these missions was to the Nora tribe. The delegation consisted of a priest named Irid, accompanied by Erend, with Olin going along as a scout. Thus Olin was present as Irid read the missive from Avad to a gathered crowd of Nora, wearing his Focus as always. Its signal was detected by another Focus user: a young female aspirant in the Proving named Aloy. Intrigued, as Olin was the only other Focus user she had ever encountered, Aloy approached him and attempted to converse with him about it.

Olin, as usual, was vague on the subject, knowing that the Eclipse were watching and listening. But then, for the first and only time, he heard HADES’ voice, as it loudly exclaimed in his ear: “SYSTEM THREAT DETECTED!” This was in direct response to it seeing Aloy. The shout was so painfully loud that he grimaced. He immediately excused himself and withdrew from her, claiming that his Focus had malfunctioned. In a subsequent meeting with her, he repeated this lie. That night he slept fitfully, knowing that what he had heard was HADES ordering this young woman’s death, though he could not guess the reason.[2]

The Proving Massacre

The next day, at the conclusion of the Proving, the Eclipse attacked. The cultists killed many aspirants, but Aloy saved many others by engaging and killing the cultists. Helis personally attacked Aloy and almost killed her. However, she survived and, by scanning a Focus from a dead Eclipse commander, learned that she was the target of the attack, and that the killers had seen her through Olin’s Focus. She was determined to track Olin down, interrogate him for the identity of the killers, and deliver lethal justice to him for his part in the massacre. She was made a Seeker by two of the Nora High Matriarchs in order to do this. Meanwhile, the delegation, including Olin, was immediately escorted out of Nora territory, and returned to Meridian.

Machine Demons

Not long after, the Eclipse called Olin to what he thought to be another delve at a location in the Carja Sundom known as the Rockwreath. There, he helped exhume ancient war machines, as usual. In this case, they were two machines that had come to be known as Corruptors. But what happened next horrified him: this time, the cultists attached a device that allowed HADES to activate them. To his mind, the Devil that the Eclipse served was raising an army of ancient machine demons from under the earth to do its bidding. He knew then that HADES and the Eclipse had very dark intentions for the world, and that he had helped further these plans.

It was at this point that Aloy caught up with him. She had gone to Meridian, searched his apartment, found his secret basement, learned about his forced recruitment via the threat to his family, and confirmed via his journal that the Proving Massacre was in fact an attempt on her life. She arrived at the Rockwreath in time to see the Corruptors being reactivated, and listened to Olin’s horrified reaction. She killed the cultists and the Corruptors, then turned her attention to Olin. Olin made no move against her, answering her questions without hesitation, telling her all he knew about the Eclipse, Helis and HADES. He did not beg for mercy; indeed, he told Aloy he knew he deserved death, and advised her not to hesitate. He only asked that she rescued his family after killing him.

Reckoning

There are two possible divergences at this point. Whichever one is seen depends on if Aloy spares Olin’s life or kills him.

Aloy spares Olin’s life

By the end of the interrogation, Aloy knew with certainty that Olin was not an evil man; instead he was merely a helpless man forced into evil to preserve the lives of his family. Thus she spared him, telling him that saving the lives of his family would be the first part of his redemption. Olin was stunned, and profoundly grateful for her mercy.

His family’s place of captivity was in the Spurflints, far south of Meridian. After Aloy and Olin rescued them, Olin confessed to Enasha of the blood he had taken onto his hands. She did not judge him, instead exhorting him to return with her and their son to The Claim. Olin was hesitant, feeling honor-bound to help Aloy against the Eclipse, but Aloy declared that he owed her no debt; his duty now was to rebuild his life with his family. Olin again gratefully accepted her mercy and she left.

Aloy kills Olin

Regardless of the extreme leverage Helis had on him by holding his family hostage, the fact remained that he had a direct part in the deaths of dozens of innocents. Dozens of families were destroyed because of him, including her own. For this, Aloy determined he had to die. He honorably submitted to her judgment, asking her not tell his family what he had done. Afterward, Aloy went to where they were being held in the Spurflints and rescued his family, telling Enasha only that he died an honorable death, and that his only concern had been their safety.

Personality

Like most Oseram, Olin is a carouser but also a hard worker, not afraid of dirty hands. He is a humble man, devoted to his family. This is what gave Helis such strong leverage over him that, despite his conscience, he worked for the Eclipse as their spy, betraying the trust of his friend Erend and Sun-King Avad. He also has a strong sense of honor, demonstrated by being prepared to die by Aloy’s hand as rightly deserved justice for his part in the atrocity that was the Proving Massacre.

Associated Quests

Trivia

  • Olin's marriage to Enasha, a Carja woman, is the only inter-tribal marriage seen in the game.
  • Like Nil, Olin's survival is left to the player's decision at a certain point of progress in the game.

Gallery

References

  1. A Message for Olin
  2. 2.0 2.1 Olin's Journal
Oseram Characters
Tribe Members Bajund - Beladga - Brageld - BurgrendFW - Dervahl - Dorgeld - Elkend - Erend - Ersa - Fernund - Garnund - Gera - GildunFW - Hakurt - Jorgriz - Kaeluf - Kendert - Korduf - Lorund - Menuf - Mystery Boxes Merchant - Odund - OhlgrudFW - OhturFW - Olin - Petra - Ralert - Rasgrund - VargaFW - Vilgund
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