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Children of the Forest (Russian: Дети Леса) are one of the factions that appear in the 2019 video game Metro Exodus. They appear as antagonists in the Taiga Arc.

The said faction is a splinter faction, which consists of two groups: Pioneers and Pirates, with the latter being more hostile to Artyom. The former, on the other hand, is player-determinant, as it will based on the player's actions throughout the level.



Children of the Forest are a group of children who were stranded at a scout camp when World War III occurred. Raised by their camp master, whom they have come to call "Teacher", they developed the skills necessary to survive any threat the wilderness may present. Be that the changing weather, fierce creatures, bandit attacks, or unwelcome guests.

They formed a tribe in post-apocalyptic Kazakhstan, created sometime after 2013. Children of the Forest wear primitive clothes made from items found in nature, similar to the nomadic tribes of the past. The faces of cult members are hidden by masks made from the skulls of mutants in order to instill fear in the hearts of their enemies. As hinted at by their name, they tend to live in woodlands and other areas that remained clear far from the urbanized centers of humanity's former glory now poisoned by radiation.

The Children of the Forest developed a justice system called the Forest Court that is mostly used to judge outsiders and trespassers to determine whether they are hostile or not. If they are not hostile, they are allowed to pass through the territory peacefully while the hostile ones are either imprisoned or executed.

As the attacks of bandits intensify overtime, resulting in the death of many members, the Children of the Forest become divided into two subgroups with conflicting views of the Teacher's lessons, the Pioneers and the Pirates. The Pioneers prefer to lead a peaceful and isolated lifestyle and only kill bandits while letting peaceful trespassers pass through. The Pirates on the other hand actively attack strangers and engage in looting as well as ignoring the Forest Court multiple times. Artyom has an opportunity to talk to some members of the Children of the Forest, earning moral points along the way according to choices made.

Metro Exodus

When Artyom and Alyosha's railcar is derailed as they are scouting the Valley, they are both rescued by the Children. While Artyom is secretly rescued by Olga, Alyosha is taken captive by the Pioneers and is set to stand trial, though he later manages to escape. Throughout the level, Artyom will be forced to pass through several camps occupied by the Children. Choosing a stealthy approach and either only knocking them out or avoiding them completely will earn positive moral points. After Artyom's fight with the bear, Olga and a few other Children will confront Artyom and Alyosha. If Artyom showed restraint in dealing with the Children, they will simply see the pair off, while Alyosha warns Olga that the dam is about to burst and to evacuate the Valley with the rest of the Children. If Artyom was merciless, however, Olga and the Childen will be much more hostile, and will banish Artyom and Alyosha from the Valley. They will also shoot at the pair as they are ziplining away, resulting in Alyosha getting shot with an arrow.

If Artyom and the Children parted ways on friendly terms, bandit radio chatter can later be heard aboard the Aurora that confirms the Children did, in fact, evacuate the Valley.


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