The Horizon Zero Dawn Blanket: The Carja Blazon Master

The HZD Blanket


Can anybody actually do a magic circle to start a project in the round or is everybody on the internet just lying to me? I’m honestly starting to think it’s that, because no matter how many times I try I can’t remember how to do it. Even when I have a tutorial in front of me, 86% of the time the yarn is like, ‘what are you even trying to do here’ and I end up with loose knots that don’t accomplish anything. Moral of the story is magic circles are the devil and I’m going to chain four to begin my projects the way God intended.

Anyway, let’s get into this square starting with some…

Conspicuous Carja

Good lord, I’m having trouble finding decent synonyms for ‘notable.’

Avad

The actual king of the Carja and actual decent guy, Avad mostly wanders around shirtless and makes helpless faces, but if anyone gets to rest on his laurels for a while, it’s the guy who killed his shitrat insane father, freed all the people his shitrat insane father enslaved and were about to have gored to death for blood sacrifice, and continues to push progressive agendas to fix the society his shitrat insane father tried to destroy.

Because he was shitrat insane.

The other notable thing about him: He’s a good guy, he’s as pretty as the shiny machine pieces and baubles he wears, and he’s jacked, and even with all that he’s the only one of all the people who hit on Aloy that Aloy completely shuts him down. And, like, it comes up in a dialogue tree. Avad hits on Aloy – and Aloy is immediately turned off – and then you, as the player, have three different responses and all of them are variations of, ‘Ew, gross.’  You can be nice about it, or you can carve his heart out with a shiv, but you can’t make Aloy reciprocate even a little.

We don’t know what Aloy’s type is, but now we know she ain’t about those pretty boys.

Talanah

Avad is trying to create a more progressive Sundom, but Talanah Khane Padish is proof that you can’t just wish shitheads into the cornfield. Talanah is the player’s guide through the Hunter’s Lodge, this universe’s version of oh, you know, any hunter’s lodge you could find anywhere in America and probably Canada, I don’t know, I’ve only been there twice. Talanah’s father used to run the place, right up until he was killed as blood sacrifice by the shitrat insane king. Now Talanah would like to follow in her father’s footsteps but there are a couple of things standing in her way: 1) Even before all the ‘blood sacrifice’ shenanigans, the Carja were a pretty strict patriarchy, and 2) fucking Ahsis.

Ahsis is the current guy in charge and an all-around dickhead. He doesn’t think ladies should be straining themselves wielding those big, heavy weapons, and also he wants everyone to forget all the people who were killed by the last king, including Talanah’s dad. He’s lovely. I’m kidding. He sucks his own micropeen morning, noon, and night. Mild spoiler: his ending is super satisfying.

Anyway, Talanah is Aloy’s best Hunting Buddy. And all of the chemistry Avad wishes he had with Aloy is across Meridien in the Hunter’s Lodge. She’s reported to be coming back for Horizon Forbidden West, and we’ve already seen Erend in the footage released, so love triangle?

All kidding aside, I really hope there isn’t a romance subplot in Forbidden West unless they can make it not feel forced. I think I’d be happy if there was another dozen NPCs hitting on Aloy and getting shot down.

Nil

Ah, Nil. Nil, Nil, Nil.

Nil is…Well, he’s a…

Nil is a lot.

To sum him up in a sentence, Nil spent the last king’s reign (you know, the shitrat insane one) committing war crimes, then once Avad took over and they started rooting out the war criminals Nil admitted all the shit he did and let himself be locked up in a Carja prison, and then after he served his sentence he decided he could definitely still spend the bulk of his time killing a whole lot of people, he just had to be more choosy about it. So, he started killing bandits.

Okay, that’s two sentences. I tried.

If Talanah is Aloy’s Hunting Buddy, Nil is Aloy’s Murder Buddy. He’s the one who teaches Aloy about local bandit camps (and informs the player that, yup, there’s bandit camps in this one, too) and he hangs around outside of a few of them, waiting for Aloy to show up so they can kill everyone together. There’s a decent amount of people who ship it, but I don’t think the plot supports it because I don’t think Nil’s brain works like that. His likes include killing people and his dislikes include any period of time he’s not actively killing people, so there isn’t much room for romance.

The funniest thing about Nil is that he sort of sucks at killing. Usually when I cleared bandit camps I would snipe bandits from hidey-grass until I couldn’t see any more, then move to another patch and keep sniping until they were all dead. Which usually left Nil sort of squatting next to me like a well-trained puppy who desperately wants to run after the ducks. A couple of times I decided to take the more direct approach, solely to let Nil have some fun. I’d run into the camp, Nil would run in front of me, raise his weapon…and immediately get knocked out. He’d lay on the ground in an unconscious, feathery heap for a few seconds. Then, once he was back up, he’d run at another bandit and immediately get knocked out.

I mean, it’s entirely possible the man is so fucked up due to chronic traumatic encephalopathy from all these sub-concussive blows to the head.

The Outfit

The Carja Blazon Master was a new outfit added to the game with The Frozen Wilds DLC. Why, you may be asking, would a DLC taking place primarily in the frozen wastelands of Wyoming and Montana need to be adding a new fire protection outfit? Two reasons:

  1. Just like the Nora Silent Hunter Master is an excuse to let Aloy dress like Sona, the Carja Blazon Master is an excuse to let Aloy dress like Talanah.
  2. FUCKING FIRE BEARS
Twinsies!

The outfit is not a copy/paste of Talanah’s with a palette swap to change it up a bit. The Blazon master combines the top from Talanah’s outfit and the bottom from the original Blazon, and the headpiece doesn’t include Talanah’s chinstrap.

Oh, maybe this is a good place to address the headpieces.

The Game Has a Setting to Turn Off Headpieces and I Exclusively Use That Setting Because I Really Dislike/Bordering on Hate 98% of the Headpieces and That’s Why I Never Talk About Them.

So. Yeah. That.

I also just realized Aloy isn’t wearing a headpiece in the gameplay trailer for Forbidden West so maybe they won’t even be in the next game. Either that or even Guerilla Games turns that shit off, too.

The Square

This pattern is called African Flower and is a very popular crochet pattern for Afghans, although usually with only six petals to create hexagons.

Because the Blazon Master is similar to the Blazon, I wanted to go with a similar design for the square.

Both outfits have the sort-of skirt pieces on the bottom consisting of a dark maroon-ish color surrounded by a yellow, but it’s not the same maroon-ish and yellow in each outfit, so while I used Hyacinth and Brass Heather in the Blazon, I’ve used Garnet and Caution here.

The outside stripes of Wonderland (light blue) and Solstice (dark blue) are meant to be the top of the outfit, with Wonderland being the undershirt and Sapphire the bandolier of machine pieces across the chest.

I initially had the center star made out of that same light blue Wonderland and bright yellow Caution, but ultimately changed my mind and went with the Dove Heather and Merlot Heather for a few reasons. I want the Carja squares to have the most colors in their designs because their outfits use the widest range of colors. I think using the plainer colors found in the little details of the outfit in the middle grounds the square and gives the brighter colors a place to jump out from. Also, the next outfit I will be doing, the Carja Silks, will probably be using a lot of the Wonderland color and I didn’t want those squares to look similar because the Silks and the Blazon Master look nothing alike.

This is another square made with only basic stitches, almost entirely singles and doubles. Triple crochet stitches are used in the first round of Wonderland to form the corners. Spike stitches are once again used to separate the petals and give them definition. As I said all the way back during the Nora squares, the thing I really like about crochet is once you have a handle on the basics you can make some really neat, intricate designs without ever having to learn anything more complicated. This square is my favorite so far. I didn’t think it would be, but I am a complete sucker for the way the Wonderland and the Solstice contrast with each other.

I am starting to get excited about how this is all going to look put together. Could be wonderful, could be a hot mess. I don’t know! This is my first blanket. Besides working on this, I’ve only made a handful of other things, mostly scarves and hats. Discovering how this is going to come out is a journey for us all.

Next up we’ll be going over the Carja Silks. After that, there’s only two more outfit patterns, three settlement patterns, a few special border squares, and stitching everything together. All in five months. You know. NBD.


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