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The Official Halo Lore and Universe Thread

Forums - Microsoft Discussion - The Official Halo Lore and Universe Thread

             With all of the many threads floating around concerning the Halo Universe and its games I decided to put together one all encompassing thread to discuss all things Halo related.  This thread is here to serve as a resource for all the Halo fans to both discuss the Lore and the Universe and for newer fans who haven't delved into the books and such to get a better understanding of the awesome story that Bungie and Microsoft have created.  Below are some links from the Official Halo Wiki that provide some great infor on the basic members, factions, races, and events in the Halo Timeline.

The Covenant

 

"Creatures of the Covenant, the path is broad, and we shall walk it side by side." —The Prophet of Truth

The Covenant, also referred to as the Covenant Empire was a religious hegemony of multiple alien species that controlled a large portion of the Orion Arm in the Milky Way Galaxy. Originally a mutual alliance between the San 'Shyuum and the Sangheili, the Covenant expanded to include at least six other races united in the worship of the Forerunners and the Halo Array. They waged a genocidal campaign against Humanity until they were defeated due to many factors, the most crucial of which was an internal conflict. While the Covenant's leadership was either lost during the Flood infection of High Charity or during the Battle of Installation 00, the Covenant continues to exist even after the conclusion of the war. In exactly what capacity it continues to operate remains unknown.

Known Covenant Races

Sangheili (pre-Great Schism)

The second highest caste; Sangheili, or Elites as humans call them, served as the military leaders of the Covenant before the Great Schism. While San'Shyuum often had the final say, it was the Sangheili who organized military campaigns and naval engagements. The Sangheili are the only known race permitted to build and operate starships within the Covenant, though the crews are always composed of a mix of races. Sangheili are separated into ranks based on skill and experience. To advance in rank, Sangheili must honorably earn such advancements on the battlefield.

San 'Shyuum

The highest caste in the Covenant Empire, the San'Shyuum, or Prophets as humans call them, lead the Covenant and exert complete control over all religious and political affairs. Though physically weak, Prophets wield power through absolute command of the Covenant and through scavenged Forerunner technology, leaving the task of conquest to the Sangheili and the other races. The High Prophets are addressed as "Hierarchs", "Noble Hierarchs", "Holy Ones", or "Exalted" by the other races of the Covenant.

Jiralhanae

 

The Jiralhanae, or Brutes as they are known by humans, are one of the newer species to the Covenant Empire and are the only race that has obtained very close to equal status to that of one of the founding "clients" of the Covenant pact, the Sangheili. The Jiralhanae took over their role as personal bodyguards of the High Prophets prior to the Great Schism and make up most of the Covenant military during the Great Schism.

Lekgolo/Mgalekgolo

Mgalekgolo, or Hunters as they are known by humans, are thought to be giant monsters, but they are actually an assemblage of worm-like entities called "Lekgolo" that create a communal, armor plated form. They always fight and travel in pairs known as "bond brothers" which technically means that not all of the colonies of worms were able to fit within one set of armor, and are the strongest of the Covenant fighting units. Many of these creatures joined the Sangheili during the Great Schism.

Unggoy

Hailing from Balaho, the Unggoy, or Grunts as they are known by humans, are the most common and lowest-placed caste of the Covenant. They breathe methane and thus must wear a large tank on their back full of the methane to survive on other planets. Relations between the Unggoy and the Kig-Yar are strained in the best of times. Many of these creatures joined the Sangheili during the Great Schism.

Kig-Yar

The Kig-Yar, or Jackals/Skirmishers as they are known by humans, are the scouts and marksmen of the Covenant military due to their superior senses. They are the second lowest Covenant caste and are about 5'6" tall and due to their lack of physical durability, they carry a portable point defense gauntlet during combat.

Yanme'e

 

The Yanme'e, or Drones as they are known by humans, are flying, insectoid species that served almost exclusively as engineers in the Covenant Empire. They were eventually replaced by the Huragok, and were used as aerial combatants against the UNSC, who are inexperienced at fighting airborne infantry. They became the second Covenant species with the ability of flight.

Huragok

The Huragok, or Engineers as they are known by the humans, are an artificial species created by the Forerunners. They only converse with the San 'Shyuum or individuals who learn their language. The Huragok perform the physical labor of excavating, and gathering data on Forerunner artifacts. In military terms, they are generally a non-militant race. However, at times in the Human-Covenant War they have been placed on the battlefield either as repair workers or suicide bombers. Many of these creatures joined the Sangheili during the Great Schism.

 

The United Nations Space Command

The United Nations Space Command (UNSC) is the military, exploratory, and scientific agency of the Unified Earth Government. The UNSC was formed in the 22nd century, a time when remnants of old cultural ideologies clashed for supremacy in the Solar system. The UNSC served mainly as overseer of United Nations military operations in space. After initiating massive militarization propaganda throughout its off-world colonies, through the UNSC, the U.N. defeated Communist and Fascist forces in a conflict generally known as the "Interplanetary War", which consisted of several side-battles that took place on Mars, the Jovian Moons and the South American rainforests. Although the Interplanetary War brought a great deal of suffering to both the colonial population and the residents of Earth, it also united humanity's military forces into a common armed force by the end of the 22nd century.

Prior to the Covenant attack on Harvest in 2525, humanity was in chaos. Battles on multiple fronts and planets evolved from a group known as the Insurrectionists who wanted independence from the Unified Earth Government. The UNSC, more specifically, the UNSCDF, constantly battled against the Insurrectionists. In an attempt to help end the long running war against the rebels, the UEG commissioned the ORION Project and later the SPARTAN-II Program, which created elite super-soldiers to combat the separatists and the insurrections they spawned. When the Human-Covenant War began and the alien invaders began decimating the Outer Colonies, these Spartans became humanity's best hope against the technological superiority of the aliens. When the war began, the UNSC became humanity's greatest protector.

This fact allowed the UNSC to override civilian rule and establish itself as humanity's primary government. Although the Unified Earth Government was more open to step down, the Colonial Administration, the arm of the UEG ruling over the colonies, resisted the UNSC's rise to power, and was thus stripped of its power.

By 2552, Earth was the last remaining major human bastion; and fell under attack by the Covenant forces. The Human-Covenant War finally came to an end after a UNSC and Covenant Separatists force eliminated the Covenant leadership and destroyed the Flood threat.

By the time the war began, humanity, and thus the UNSC, had reached Tier 3 of the Forerunner civilization achievement rank system. Humanity's rank continued to rise due to the capture of Covenant technology and equipment, which was studied and adapted for human needs. The very best and cutting edge of UNSC equipment was supplied to the SPARTAN-II project, and later less expensive but still cutting edge technology was given to the Spartan III's. One such example of innovative human technology is the energy shielding adapted and improved for use on the MJOLNIR armor.

 

The Forerunners

"After exhausting every other strategic option, my creators activated the rings. They, and all additional sentient life within three radii of the galactic center died, as planned." —343 Guilty Spark, explaining the fate of the Forerunner. "The Forerunners were a wise, highly intelligent, noble people, and with a belief in justice, in peace, they bravely faced the adversary. They sought to sterilize it." —Cortana on the Forerunners.

The Forerunners were an ancient race of enlightened beings whose empire -- known as the ecumene -- encompassed three million fertile worlds in the Milky Way Galaxy approximately 100,000 years ago. "Forerunner" is a literal translation of the species' name for themselves; they identified themselves as such because they believed that they held an impermanent place in the universe's Living Time and that they would be succeeded by other, better races. The Forerunners were the creators and builders of many significant installations, including the Halo Array, the Ark, and the Shield Worlds, as well as numerous lesser artifacts later found on many worlds. The Forerunners were preceded by another, even more powerful race, the Precursors. The alien faction known as the Covenant worshipped the Forerunners as gods, deriving much of their technology from Forerunner artifacts found throughout the galaxy, and believing any who defaced these relics to be heretics.

 

The Flood

 

"One single Flood spore can destroy a species." —Rtas 'Vadumee "It fed on intelligent life and in doing so, became ever more intelligent itself. The Flood was unique, it used their very strength against them." —Cortana on the Forerunner-Flood War.

The Flood (Latin Inferi redivivus meaning "the dead reincarnated" and designated LF.Xx.3273 by the Forerunners), or The Parasite as they are known to the Covenant, are a species of highly virulent parasitic organisms that reproduce and grow by consuming sentient life forms of sufficient biomass and cognitive capability. The Flood was responsible for consuming most of the sentient life in the galaxy, including the Forerunners, during the 300-year-long Forerunner-Flood War. The Flood presents the most variable faction in the trilogy, as it can infect and mutate Humans and Covenant species, such as Elites, and Brutes, into Combat Forms. They are widely considered to be the greatest threat to the existence of life, or, more accurately, biodiversity, in the Milky Way Galaxy.

Originating from an unknown world outside the Milky Way Galaxy, the Flood is an extremely adaptable, prolific and dangerous parasitic life form. The species grows and spreads by infecting other organisms, hijacking their bodies and nervous systems in order to transform them into one of many specialized Flood forms. Through infecting sentient life-forms, the Flood assimilates their memories and intelligence, and the species becomes collectively more intelligent as a result. Because of their frighteningly rapid growth rate, as long as enough hosts of sufficient biomass and intelligence are available, the Flood is effectively unstoppable.

They are the cause of the "Forerunner-Flood War", which lasted approximately 300 years. They were the reason that the Halo Array was constructed, as a last final effort by the Forerunners to preserve biological diversity in the galaxy. After exhausting every other strategic option, the Halo Array was fired, resulting in the elimination of the original source of the Flood infestation and the death of almost every sentient being in the Galaxy, save for several beings placed on the Ark by the Forerunners.

The Flood exists in a fairly stable state in the absence of a Gravemind. They lack the ability to spawn spontaneously and spread by infecting sentient life forms, specifically those that are self-aware and capable of introspection. This stage of a Flood outbreak is known as the Feral Stage.

During its Feral Stage, the Flood is only capable of local coordination through use of pheromone-based communication. Research indicates that the content of said messages are of very limited complexity. Individual Combat and Carrier Forms have access to the skills and memories of their host; however, once an outbreak establishes a viable Gravemind, the Coordinated Stage begins—and it is at this point the Flood becomes truly dangerous.

A Gravemind is the guiding intelligence of the Flood, capable of controlling all Flood forms across vast distances. With the formation of a Gravemind, the assimilated intelligence and memories of consumed hosts become part of a collective consciousness, which is capable of strategic thinking and commanding individual Flood forms in an organized manner. The control it exerts over the more mobile forms it creates is accurately likened to an entity's control over its own limbs.

Although little data exists from any adequately controlled experiment, data gathered in the field suggests that if a mobile form is removed from the influence of the Gravemind coordinating its group of origin it will revert to a Feral Stage. Insufficient data exists on whether mobile forms of one Gravemind would be influenced by another Gravemind, though logic dictates this would be the case. However, because individual Graveminds are more or less identical and are all striving for the same goal, it is likely that a distinction would be impossible to detect.

The Bestiarum states that the society of the Flood closely resembles a "utopian socialist ideal as there is no wealth, no poverty, no want, no crime, and no disease; every individual works for the advancement of the Flood as a whole". It also states that it "is unfortunate that their one overriding goal is to [butcher and consume] every other life form in the galaxy".



Around the Network

The Key Characters in the Halo Games are

 

John 117 - Master Chief

"They let me pick. Did I ever tell you that? Choose whichever Spartan I wanted. You know me. I did my research. Watched as you became the soldier we needed you to be. Like the others, you were strong and swift and brave. A natural leader. But you had something they didn't. Something no one saw, but me. Can you guess...? Luck." —Cortana  

"Wake me...when you need me." —John's last words to Cortana

 

Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy John-117 is a SPARTAN-II commando of the UNSC Naval Special Warfare Command. He served as one of the most important figures of the Human-Covenant War. With nearly 30 years of active duty, he is one of the most decorated war veterans in the United Nations Space Command and has earned every known medal in the UNSC except the Prisoner of War Medallion. In 2553, John-117 went missing in action after the Battle of Installation 00, when he and the current Arbiter, Thel 'Vadam, stopped the Flood threat.

He is the protagonist and main playable character in Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo 2, and Halo 3. In the games, John is only referred to by name once, by Cortana, in the ending cutscene of Halo 3 before the credits. Among most humans, he is simply known as the "Master Chief," the "Chief," and "Sierra-117." The Covenant is aware of the power of the SPARTANs, and refer to John as "the Demon." John is referred to as "Reclaimer" by both 343 Guilty Spark and 2401 Penitent Tangent, although this seems to be a universal title given to all humans, rather than specifically John.

John's personality is explored much more deeply in the books than the games, so players can more easily project their own personalities onto the Master Chief.

As a defining character trait, John strives to win at any situation, at all costs. This seems to have been a part of his character even prior to his conscription to the Spartan program, as he used to win at any game he played, including chess, gravball or King of the Hill. He is extremely determined to complete the mission at hand, and often disregards his personal safety and relies on his abilities and alleged exceptional luck. Indeed, he has often emerged victorious from situations many would consider impossible. Still, he is not devoid of fear, but he simply acknowledges the feeling and puts it aside, never showing it.

John is generally stoic and taciturn, but not devoid of a sense of humor. He often makes dry remarks about the situation in hand; however, this seems to be more frequent when interacting with Cortana than anyone else, such as the other Spartans. He does not see himself as a superior being and fears for the lives of others before his own, putting himself in harm's way for the safety of civilians, and fellow soldiers, and does not judge others.

John is known to show an exceptional care for soldiers under his command. An example of this is during the Battle of Installation 04. When searching for the survivors of the Pillar of Autumn's crash, Fitzgerald was wounded by an Unggoy Needler. John-117 retrieved a first aid kit and "expertly" treated the wound, before asking the Marine if he was okay. This, and his reaction to Johnson's death on Installation 04B show that he does have a degree of care and sympathy for soldiers under his command, even if he does do a good job of concealing his feelings.

One thing that was noted is that John tends to keep his word when he gives it to someone. As he was forced to leave Cortana behind on High Charity, John promised to come back for her after dealing with the Prophet of Truth, but Cortana told him not to make a promise like that when he knew he could not keep it. However, John did keep his promise, pointing out that he always did to Cortana saying "You know me: when I make a promise..." causing Cortana to respond "You keep it," which seemed to give her strength as she gathered herself quickly when before she was somewhat depressed and hopeless while talking to him.

John greatly dislikes being kept in the dark. He dislikes secrets, and he dislikes ambushes, all in all, he doesn't dislike fighting, but knows when it is appropriate not to. One example is when he was cornered by three large ODST in a gym whilst working out. He did his best to try to call them off and avoid a fight, but in the end they kept pushing him to fight, and in the end, he was forced to defend himself. John knows when it is appropriate to fight, and when inappropriate, and has great control over his emotions and having a clear state of mind. Due to his augmentations, he thinks much faster than an average human, and sees things moving and happening much more slowly as a result. It is almost a clairvoyant state of mind, and as a result of this, has an acute intuitive insight and perception of any situation combat or non-combat.

 

Cortana

 

"This Galaxy is vast; its wonders and beauty are almost unfathomable. But the galaxy also hides dark secrets, some of which have lain dormant since the beginning of time itself. There is a danger in secrets, both in seeking and in knowing. Some things are meant to be hidden from view. Some mysteries defy understanding, and sometimes even the things we think we know are untrue. Some secrets should remain untouched." —Cortana

Cortana (UNSC Artificial Intelligence serial number: CTN 0452-9), is a "smart" AI construct. She was one of the most important figures in the Human-Covenant War, and served as John-117's partner in various combat missions, as well as serving as the AI for the United Nations Space Command Halcyon-class Cruiser Pillar of Autumn, the Orbital Defense Platform Cairo Station and the UNSC frigate In Amber Clad. In addition, she held vital data pertaining to the Halos, including the Activation Index from Installation 04.

Cortana has a witty and somewhat playful personality, and what has been described as a "snarky" sense of sarcastic humor. She has neither arrogance nor false modesty about her immense capabilities, and her statements about her abilities have an objective perspective that human beings typically cannot achieve. Her loyalty is first and foremost to humanity and the UNSC, but she exhibits devotion to John-117 beyond that which her programming or mission requires. After she learned of the events endured by John during the SPARTAN-II conscription process, she decided to protect him from further harm to the best of her abilities without compromising her mission.

Cortana's personal loyalty is regarded as unwavering, but as an A.I. construct she is subject to corruption. Lord Hood questioned her reliability when it became clear that she had been compromised in some way by the Gravemind's possession of High Charity, on which she was trapped. John-117, however, never questioned her integrity. Cortana did consent to answer some of the Flood's questions, as a strategy for survival and the possibility of gaining information for the UNSC. Her sanity was pushed to the brink as she eluded the Gravemind's attempts to capture and dissect her for information. Her personal loyalty to and unwavering trust in John-117 helped anchor her and allow her to hold on despite being driven to the point of rampancy. Before she reunited with John-117, she sent him a message, telling him about the Ark and warning him of the Flood-infested High Charity's approach to Earth. She was instrumental in finally putting a stop to the Flood during the events that followed.

She frequently jokes about having a relationship with the Master Chief and it is often implied that the two characters have developed some form of romantic attachment. In Halo: The Fall of Reach, she says to Dr. Halsey that the Master Chief is "attractive in a primitive animal sort of way" while examining a photo of him. In Halo 3 his mere presence and reminder of his promise to her are enough for her to pull herself together to help him.

Thel Vadam - The Arbiter

 

"It is a poor soldier who insists on seeing things not as they are, but as he wants them to be. One day reality hits, and his illusions fail him, and he dies stupidly. What honor is there in that?" —Thel 'Vadamee

 

Thel 'Vadam (formerly known as Thel 'Vadamee), or often simply referred to as the Arbiter, is the deuteragonist of the Halo series and the most prominent Sangheili shown throughout the series.

Thel, like most Sangheili, is keen to do things in an honorable manner and according to the Sangheili honor codes. His personality changed a great deal during and directly preceding the Great Schism. While once zealous and unquestioningly obedient to the Prophets' will, after learning of the true nature of the Halo rings, he became more open-minded and accepting of the humans, his former mortal enemies.

After the Battle of Installation 04, he was honestly ashamed for his failure at Halo, and only wanted to regain his honor dying for the Prophets. He begun to doubt their words after the betrayal of Tartarus and his encounter with the Gravemind, but he still remained stubbornly attached to his faith. When he heard the truth of the rings from 343 Guilty Spark, he finally accepted it and tried to offer peace to Tartarus, who refused.

After he learned and accepted the truth about the Halos, he also gained respect for the humans. He may have even felt sort of guilt for his past actions towards them, as he prevented Rtas from completely glassing Earth even though that meant risking a Flood outbreak. He respects particularly Johnson and the Chief, despite trouble the Spartan had caused him in the past,grieving over Johnson's death and the Chief's disappearance. He also developed a hatred toward the Prophet of Truth, wanting revenge for his betrayal.

His hatred of the Jiralhanae does not seem to be as strong or destructive as that of other Sangheili; one example of this is when the Arbiter tried to reason with Tartarus in Installation 05's Control Room. He is shown to be true to his title "Arbiter" as he often tries to negotiate with some of his other enemies (e.g. Drones) and will only kill wave after wave of enemies if he has to. He has deep respect for his fellow Sangheili (part of it being shown in his first meeting with Rtas 'Vadum, and the things he says when he crouches by bodies of dead Elites in Halo 3).

Avery Junior Johnson

"Dear Humanity: We regret being alien bastards. We regret coming to Earth. And we most definitely regret that the 'Corps just blew up our raggedy-ass fleet!" —SgtMaj Avery Johnson, 2552

Sergeant Major Avery Junior Johnson (SN: 48789-20114-AJ ) was a Human senior non-commissioned officer who served with the UNSC Marine Corps during the Insurrection and Human-Covenant War. Avery Johnson was a highly trained Marine, serving with various units of the Naval Special Warfare Command, including the highly classified ORION Project.

Johnson played a vital role during the course of the Great War and fought at major battles such as Harvest, Reach, Earth, and the events at Installation 04, 05, and at the Ark. He was key in forming an alliance between the Humans and Sangheili following the Great Schism and the outbreak of the Flood in November 2552. Ultimately, SgtMaj Johnson was killed in an attempt to prematurely activate a replacement Halo by 343 Guilty Spark. He was honored by Fleet Admiral Sir Terrence Hood twice, first with the Colonial Cross just prior to the invasion of Earth; then just months later, alongside his fallen comrades, at the Hillside Memorial in Voi, Kenya.

He was best known for his typical "gung-ho" attitude towards life, personal goals, and as a leader to his fellow Marines. This earned him a reputation, respect, and admiration from his subordinates and superiors alike. However, his eccentric behavior took a liking to "flip music", a style of music similar to the heavy metal from the 21st century. Avery Johnson is also noted as being one of a select few outside of the SPARTAN-II Program to befriend Master Chief Petty Officer John-117, whom he fought alongside multiple times throughout the final months of the Human-Covenant War; ultimately dying in his arms after being critically injured.

 

Prophet of Truth

"You are, all of you, vermin! Cowering in the dirt, thinking... what, I wonder? That you might escape the coming fire? No! Your world will burn until its surface is but glass! And not even your Demon will live to creep - blackened - from its hole to mar the reflection of our passage, the culmination of our Journey. For your destruction is the will of the gods. And I? I am their instrument!" —Truth making a broadcast to the humans of Earth.

"We are, all of us, gravely concerned. The release of the Parasite was unexpected, unfortunate. But, there is no need to panic. In truth, this is a time to rejoice. A moment that all the Covenant should savor. For the Sacred Icon has been found. With it, our path is clear, our entry into the Divine Beyond guaranteed! The Great Journey is nigh! And nothing, not even the Flood, can stop it." —Truth to all of High Charity

 

The High Prophet of Truth, formerly the Minister of Fortitude, was the leader of the three Prophet Hierarchs that led the Covenant High Council during the Ninth Age of Reclamation, and was one of the main instigators of the war against Humanity. In 2552, he plotted the ousting of the Sangheili from the Covenant, and replaced them with the Jiralhanae after the death of the High Prophet of Regret on Installation 05. After the demise of the High Prophet of Mercy at High Charity, he became the de facto leader of the entire Covenant, from which position he lead their forces to the Artifact in Africa and eventually to the Ark in an attempt to activate the Halo Array, where he was later killed by the Arbiter.

In public, Truth displayed a calm, stoic personality. During Thel 'Vadamee's trial he expressed little or no emotion whatsoever despite the fact that Installation 04 was destroyed. However, he was quick to become impatient and angry towards those, like his fellow Hierarch, Regret, who angered him, or did something foolish or reckless. An example of this was when Truth sent a transmission to Regret, scolding him on how rash he was to attack Earth.

However, the reason he acted harshly toward Regret may have been because he worried that Regret would end up dead or worse, according to a letter he wrote to Mercy saying that he is "perhaps worrying too much." This is probably not the real reason, however, because the Prophet has been very cold to his other allies to the point of having them killed - Tartarus, Mercy, Thel 'Vadamee, and Regret himself - likely because he wanted to gain more power over the Covenant by eliminating all possible competition. After arriving on Earth, Truth appears noticeably more aggressive and impatient, possibly having grown more annoyed by the "Demon" interfering in his plans or eager to bring about the Great Journey now that it is so close, especially with the Journey having been prevented twice previously. Ironically, contrary to his name, Truth is very deceptive, frequently lying or covering up certain events to accomplish his goals. He tells the Covenant that it was the Brutes who found the Sacred Icon instead of 'Vadamee, who truly discovered it, in an attempt to boost the Brutes' popularity among the lower races of the Covenant, while also alienating the Elites. Truth also secretly orders the killing of Thel 'Vadamee by the Brute Chieftain Tartarus after he has finished using him, as well as the assassination of the Elite council members, knowing of the Brutes' own rivalry with the Sangheili and manipulating them to follow along with his plans. Another example is the fact that he stated that the Prophet of Mercy was by his side in the level High Charity, when in fact, Mercy had died in an attack by the Flood moments earlier. Truth mercilessly denied him help, stating that "the Great Journey waits for no one". During the events of Halo: Contact Harvest, however, he had acknowledged that he would have to be deceitful in order to "maintain the Covenant" by claiming that the humans were trying to steal and destroy Forerunner relics, when, in fact, the Forerunner glyphs were mistranslated as "Reclamation" instead of "Reclaimer."

Another interesting thing to note is that throughout Halo 3 (and parts of Halo 2), Truth exhibits many psychopathic traits and even shows a slight sadistic side. It would seem that he loses his cool, calm behavior when face-to-face with a formidable enemy, such as Thel 'Vadam or the Master Chief, or that he enjoys the torture or death of his foes.

Although inspiring and charismatic, it is likely that Truth is at least partially insane, considering how fanatical and manipulative he is. He was solely responsible for the Covenant Civil War, along with Mercy's and Regret's easily preventable deaths. This however, may not be considered insanity, as he only did these things to secure his complete rule over the Covenant, as well as to ensure the Great Journey.

 

Gravemind

"Child of my enemy, why have you come?  I offer no forgiveness for a father's sins passed down to his son.  Of course you came for her!  We exist together now, two corpses in one grave." -speaking to Master Chief.

"Do I take life or give it?  Who is victim and who is foe?  I have beaten fleets of thousands! Consumed a galaxy of flesh, and mind and bone!  Resignation is my virtue, like water I ebb and flow.  Defeat is simply an addition of time to a sentence I never deserved, but you imposed."

 

The Gravemind  (Inferi Sententia, meaning "Thinking Dead"), is the final stage in the life cycle of the Flood and is the controlling consciousness of the Flood. It is a near-omniscient intelligence existing throughout all Flood forms, with a huge body composed of Flood biomass serving as its central "brain."

The Gravemind has an obscure and complex personality. When he was first seen by the Master Chief and the Arbiter, he was calm and collected, if not seemingly sad or mournful, and he spoke with a sullen tone in his voice. He was also quite logical, psychologically analyzing the duo, and trying to convince the Arbiter of the Halo Rings true purpose, to which the Arbiter reacted with stubborn pride. The Gravemind showed no irritation to this nor the bickering of 2401 Penitent Tangent and the former Prophet of Regret. Later, though, the Gravemind showed a more emotional side, basking in his victory at High Charity, and displaying a sinister air of anger when demanding answers from the newly captured Cortana.

In Halo 3, his personality undergoes a similar progression. Early on, he is shown to have a calm and collected personality, but once the activation of the Ark is prevented, the Gravemind bursts into a victorious, maniacal laugh, briefly boasting in iambic heptameter. In the following level, Cortana, a broader spectrum of his personality is asserted. He begins with his calm and collected voice, as well as a slightly confident tone. As the Chief finds his way deeper into High Charity, however, the Gravemind becomes more irritated by his progress, and begins to shout at him. Once Cortana is rescued, the Gravemind begins to emit a series of mangled, animal-like roars, and speaks in an infuriated tone. In the final level of Halo 3, Flood Dispersal Pods crash onto Installation 04B, and the Gravemind begins to speak again, this time in an angry yet confident tone.

The mostly collected and impassive tone that is frequently heard from it can be justified by his implied near omniscience; his knowledge of the present and ability to accurately predict the future means that he has little reason to worry about anything. He only becomes truly irritated or angry when an unforeseen event happens, or when there is something he doesn't know. Triggers for his anger include Cortana's secrets and the Chief's ability to rescue her. When defeated, he shows sadness, not anger; it may be that he has become used to omniscience, and is only truly angered when he is wrong. This is supported by the fact that in the level Cortana, his tone quickly changed to confidence and almost amusement when he realized parts of the Master Chief's objective (with phrases such as "Of course, you came for her! We exist together now. Two corpses in one grave").

He is also known to be quite manipulative: in Halo 2, Gravemind tricks the Chief into being a decoy to distract the High Prophets as he attempts to take over High Charity, and in Halo 3, he helps the Master Chief and the Arbiter to kill the Prophet of Truth, only to betray them when they have outlived their usefulness. It is also notable that the original Gravemind was able to convince the Forerunner AI Mendicant Bias to join his cause and turn his fleet upon the Forerunners by telling him that the Flood are the next step of evolution and that the Forerunners are denying it.

The Gravemind is not violent when it doesn't benefit him; this is what makes a Gravemind a key point in Flood evolution. Unlike the savage and bloodthirsty Combat and Pure Forms that precede and obey him, the Gravemind is able to put aside differences when it is necessary for its continued survival.

By the end of the game, the Gravemind gives a short monologue in a disheartened tone, cryptically admitting that he knows he can do nothing to stop his fate, which he believes was unjustly forced upon him. He says that the activation of Installation 04B will only add time "to a sentence [he] never deserve [d]". This seems to suggest that the Gravemind does not understand why the living races hate the Flood; indeed, he seems to think that it is only natural to absorb all life in the universe.

Throughout nearly all encounters with the Gravemind, he has shown a fondness for speaking in poetic style - specifically, iambic heptameter. When pressed about this detail by Cortana, he states that "I have the memories of many poets far beyond your limited human culture. And I have the quickness of intellect to compose all manner of poetic forms as I speak rather than labor over mere words for days."

 

Noble Team

"You know as well as I do that we wind up with some that she would have chosen - not just kids unlucky enough to survive a glassing. Orders are still being followed and those Spartans are in the field, but they are armed as SPARTANs - and they are making a difference." —LCDR Kurt Ambrose to SCPO Franklin Mendez

Noble Team was primarily composed of SPARTAN-IIIs pulled out of their main companies by Kurt-051 and Franklin Mendez before large-scale operations where the companies were mostly wiped out, Operation: PROMETHEUS in the case of Alpha Company and Operation: TORPEDO with Beta Company.

Prior to the Fall of Reach, Noble Team had managed to survive countless battles, always coming back from suicide assignments, but not without a cost: only two members of the original team, Carter and Kat, remained alive by 2552.

Noble Team also operated with non-Spartan military personnel more extensively than other Spartan teams. To grant them more operational freedom when interacting with regular military personnel, the members of Noble Team had been given higher ranks than most of the Spartans by their CO. In 2552, the team was under the command of Colonel Urban Holland of the UNSC Army

The SPARTAN-IIIs of Noble Team utilized equipment on par with the SPARTAN-IIs, such as the MJOLNIR Powered Assault Armor, which is far more advanced than the cheaper SPI armor worn by the rest of the SPARTAN-IIIs. The team was issued with the Mark V MJOLNIR armor on November 24, 2551. Unlike the mainline SPARTAN-IIs whose armor was fairly uniform in coloration, the members of Noble Team sported a variety of color schemes and field-customized armor variants.

 



Key Events, Objects, and History in the Halo Universe

 

The Halo Rings

"Halo doesn't kill Flood, it kills their food! Humans, Covenant, whatever. We're all equally edible. The only way to stop the Flood is to starve them to death. And that's exactly what Halo is designed to do: wipe the galaxy clean of all sentient life."

 

The Halo Array, individually knowns as Halos or Halo Rings, or alternatively known as the Sacred Rings by the Covenant, Fortress Worlds by their Forerunner creators, and Installations by the Monitors that run them, is a system of colossal ring-world superweapons.

The Halos were constructed by order of the Master Builder at the conclusion of the Human-Forerunner wars with the intent of being an ultimate weapon. Eventually, five were lost and the remaining seven were used by the Forerunners as a last resort when combating the parasitic Flood. When nothing else could be done, they activated the rings, killing all sentient life forms within three radii of the galactic center.

In addition to serving as weapons of last resort, the Halo installations are research facilities, mainly for the study of the Flood.

Background

The Halo Array is a network of ring-shaped artificial worlds created by the Forerunners in order to kill all sentient life within range of the array, virtually the entire galaxy. Rather than a weapon of war, these were used as a last resort against the Flood, a parasitic extra-galactic species that threatened to infest every sentient lifeform in the galaxy. By activating the rings, the Forerunners denied the Flood access to these lifeforms, effectively starving the species to virtual extinction, though it clung to life in a number of Forerunner facilities, including some Halo installations. The two well known Halo installations, Installation 04 and Installation 05, orbit gas giants, though it is not known whether this is the case of all the Halos, and Installation 04 maintained an atmospheric mining facility until it was destroyed by the Covenant. Though separated by thousands of light-years, the twelve installations are networked together and capable of remote activation at the Ark, an installation outside the galaxy. Each Halo installation has a maximum effective range of 25,000 light-years. The methods utilized by the array to conduct this "mass sterilization protocol" involve the superluminal conveyance of a burst of cross-phased super-massive neutrinos. These particles are tuned to emit a harmonic frequency that destroys the nervous system of any life form within range. Lower organisms such as plants, fungi and bacteria are unaffected, along with inanimate structures. Precursor technology, however, is extremely susceptible to damage from the Halo effect.

The Halo Array in its entirety has been fired once in known history, approximately 100,000 years ago, by the Didact in order to stop the Flood from overwhelming the galaxy. Despite being the network's builders, the Forerunners were killed in this last suicidal attempt to save the rest of the universe from a worse fate. The array has nearly been activated three times since; Installation 04 was almost activated by the Master Chief before being deactivated by Cortana, while Installation 05 was activated by Commander Miranda Keyes, forced by the Chieftain of the Jiralhanae Tartarus, and Sergeant Johnson was forced by the Prophet of Truth to activate the Ark. None of these attempts were successful. A replacement Halo for the destroyed Installation 04 was activated outside of the array's range, eliminating the freed Flood, but did not activate the rest of the array.

Each Halo Installation is given a designation number, from 01 to 07, and is overseen by a Monitor. The Monitors are given control of the Installations' Sentinels, Constructors, and Enforcers, and are responsible for containing the Flood test subjects in their research facilities and protecting the Halo from intruders.

The Array also encompasses Installation 00, also known as "the Ark", the Array's place of construction from which the array can be remotely and safely activated while out of firing range. Inhabitants on the Ark are able to survive the effects. The Forerunners also built Shield Worlds as a means to escape the effect without having to leave the galaxy.

 

Forerunner - Flood War

"A hundred thousand years ago, a great civilization existed in this Universe. Like all great civilizations, they faced a sudden and dire turn of events. A threat to their primacy from outside. Something they never expected, never prepared for, a deeply alien threat they called simply The Flood." —Cortana The Forerunner-Flood war was a galactic conflict that occurred between the Forerunners and the Flood parasite. It was started on G617 g1 some 102,000 years prior to the present day, and lasted approximately three centuries

Background

The Forerunners originally evolved in and colonized the Milky Way galaxy, organizing themselves over a large number of terrestrial planets and colonizing millions of worlds, as well as forming a structured military which included both naval elements and ground forces. The Forerunners were of sufficient technological capability to construct superluminal vessels, create sophisticated artificial intelligence and set up massive superweapon networks. They measured their advancements in Technological Achievement Tiers.

While powerful, the Forerunners were not the only major civilization in the galaxy. Other races had also developed interstellar empires, including an alliance between prehistoric spacefaring humanity and San 'Shyuum. Around 110,000 BCE, the Flood entered the galaxy from one of the Magellanic Clouds and caught the humans and San 'Shyuum by surprise, infecting their populations and taking their worlds at a steady rate. Eventually, humanity discovered a way to fight the Flood and drove them off the galaxy, but this secret was lost when the Forerunners dismantled human civilization in the aftermath of the human-Forerunner wars.

The threat of the Flood would shape Forerunner politics for millennia to come, with different rates having differing views on how to best prepare against their return. A series of devastating superweapons, known as the Halo Array, was created by the Builders while the Warrior-Servant Prometheans, led by the Didact, devised a more strategic defense solution consisting of numerous military installations known as Shield Worlds. However, the Prometheans lost to the Builders and were forced into exile, and twelve Halo installations were built.

Aware of the inevitability of the return of the Flood threat, the Lifeworkers led by the Librarian began indexing and protecting species across the galaxy, cataloging them at an extragalactic installation known as the Ark, as a method of countering the total elimination of all sentient species in the galaxy.

After over nine thousand years, the Flood returned, contesting the Forerunners for control of the entire galaxy. While the Flood sought to assimilate all sentient life, the Forerunners attempted to defend against the Flood threat using several measures to both directly combat them as well as carry out research in regards to their capabilities.

The war

Beginning

"It devoured everything it touched. At first, their technology, their courage seemed like it might prevail. But they waited too long to see the threat, to join the fight. The Flood had spread too far and too wide." —Cortana on the Forerunner-Flood war.

Lying dormant on the uncharted world designated G617 g1, the Flood initially caught the Forerunner military by surprise, using captured non-military vessels to penetrate local Forerunner naval blockades to descend and land upon Forerunner-colonized worlds, overrunning local defenses and converting billions of Forerunners per world with hundreds of millions of Flood forms within a few years. Eventually, Forerunner fleets were forced to commence orbital bombardment on Flood-infested worlds to prevent the Flood's spread to other planets.

Over a span of 300 years, the Flood took twelve bordering Forerunner systems. While the Forerunner leadership had downplayed the Flood threat prior to this, keeping it hidden from the general populace, they were now forced to act in order to survive. During this stalemate, the Flood was exponentially growing and readying for an attack.

Tipping point

Around 100,043 BCE, a powerful Contender-class artificial intelligence, Mendicant Bias, was charged with the test firing of a Halo near Charum Hakkor. This test firing had an unprecedented side effect; it liberated the Timeless One, an entity that had been caged on Charum Hakkor for millions of years. After the entity was transported to the Halo installation for study, Mendicant Bias disappeared along with the ring.

Due to an unauthorized use of a Halo ring by the Master Builder against the San 'Shyuum by around 100,000 BCE, the Forerunner Council decided that the array be returned to the Forerunner capital and decommissioned; the weapons were deemed too devastating and a violation against the Mantle. However, as the Halo rings lay in parking orbits over the capital, Mendicant Bias returned on the Halo ring that had been lost 43 years earlier. During this time, Mendicant Bias had become rampant, and turned against the Forerunners. The AI launched an assault on the capital, taking control of many of the Halo rings, while several Forerunner naval groups were recalled to defend the capital against the attack. The Halo rings not under control of Mendicant Bias saved themselves by entering the capital system's slipspace portal, returning to their place of construction, the Ark, while the Forerunner fleet assaulted the rings under the AI's control.

With the Forerunner government in disarray, the Didact, who had been reinstated as the commander of the Forerunner military, reactivated the Shield Worlds and the defense plan he had engineered thousands of years earlier.

Stalemate

Know that a thousand other plans were tried and failed. Millions of brave and honored souls died trying to avert this terrible, desperate situation.

The highest levels and tiers of the Forerunner Fleet Command began to realize that Forerunner species extinction was plausible at the Flood's discretion as so many Forerunners had fallen victim to the Flood. After Flood spreading continued, planetary self-bombardment after Flood infestation turned into complete system-wide destruction by detonating planetary system stars after a large Flood presence was detected in a Forerunner system. Forerunner military forces were ordered to don heavy armor and other personnel were ordered into protective stasis. Flood were taken into M-type Forerunner installations and studied in an effort to find yet another countermeasure.

Hundreds of other unsuccessful methods were attempted by the Forerunners to overcome the Flood, and all possibilities were exhausted as a final countermeasure came into mind for the Forerunners: activation of the Halo Array and destruction of all sentient life in the galaxy, depriving the Flood of all biomass that they could consume, thus halting them. However, the Didact, the commander-in-chief of Forerunner military, adamantly refused to activate the Halos, saying that it would overturn the Forerunners' pledge to preserve all life in the galaxy.

However, the Flood were growing in number, and were forming a centralized sentient intelligence to coordinate their efforts; Gravemind, and their raw computing power began to overrun the last Forerunner naval countermeasures, which consisted of using Keyship vessels and drawing the Flood into pricey naval engagements. However, even Forerunner commanders realized that their naval tactics were being overcome, and a new solution was necessary if the Forerunners were to pull of out this "stalemate".

While there was the Maginot Sphere where the Forerunners held the Flood at bay, the Forerunner Librarian journeyed beyond this line at great personal risk, continuing her millennial mission of indexing and documenting sentient species across the galaxy, filling every vessel possible with documented species for transit to the Ark for safety in the campaign to save all species possible from the advancing Flood.

Endgame

"Something is wrong...at night I can see it--flitting shadows--black against the stars. Thousands of ships! Not spiraling outward, but heading for the line! This is the tipping point, Didact. It's no longer feeding. It's coming for you." —Librarian to the Didact

During the stalemate, the Flood was exponentially growing and readying for an attack, and eventually they assaulted the Forerunner core systems with thousands of Flood-filled super luminary vessels. In response, three Forerunner naval groups, the Emergency Circumstance Fleet, Security Fleet, and Suppression Fleet, were recalled to defend against the Flood attack.

With naval strategies failing, the Forerunners turned to their Halo project; securing other species into the Ark while readying the Halo array for firing. Around this time, the Librarian journeyed to Earth, and buried the the Ark portal there. The Forerunners saw a unique potential in the human species, protecting them with the Ark along with others but passing their Mantle down on them.

The Didact sent a rescue party for the Librarian, in an effort to send her to the Ark before he would be forced to activate the Halos and kill all sentient beings, but Mendicant Bias destroyed the rescue party, leaving the Librarian stranded on Earth away from the Ark. The collapse of the Forerunner military forced the Didact to activate the Halos. Mendicant Bias assembled all available vessels under its control and launched an assault on the Maginot Sphere to prevent the Didact from doing as so, but was stopped by a loyal Forerunner artificial intelligence, Offensive Bias.

While the Didact began the activation sequence for the Array, the Flood fleet attacked the remnants of the Forerunner fleet as it formed a spherical defensive formation. Using feint tactics, the Forerunner fleet held off the Flood as the Halos activated, annihilating all sentient life in the Milky Way galaxy. Those saved were sheltered on the Ark. The surviving Forerunners left the galaxy, and the Flood were halted, and the centralized Gravemind form eventually died. Afterward, Keyships began escorting various alien life forms back to their homeworlds, so that life could finally return to normal, with no threat of the Flood.

 

Covenant Religion

"None will be left behind when our Great Journey begins! That is the Prophet's age-old promise, and it shall be fulfilled!"

The Covenant Empire is founded on and united by a single religion, based upon the worship of the ancient race of beings known as the Forerunners

According to Covenant religion, the Forerunners, a race of enlightened beings regarded as nearly omniscient and all-powerful, discovered a way to transcend the physical world and became divine gods by activating the Halos, or "Sacred Rings" as referred to by members of the Covenant. When this happened, the Halos uplifted the Forerunners into trans-sentience, but left all lesser, unworthy races behind. The Covenant (or at least the San 'Shyuum) believe themselves to be the chosen inheritors of the Forerunners, and seek to reclaim their lost technology and use all the "gifts" the Forerunners left behind. Their ultimate goal, however, is to locate and activate the Halo Installations. In doing so, they believe that all faithful adherents to the Covenant Religion will be uplifted as the Forerunners were, and become divine beings. All client races of the Covenant follow the Prophets in the hopes of also ascending into godhood.



First!



Sig thanks to Saber! :D 

Updated the thread now with all the key characters from the games.  Should be adding on more info on the locations and events of the games next. 

This is a hell of alot of work so hope you guys enjoy and we get some awesome Halo discussion in!  From now on if anyone feels the need to post anything Halo related just put it in here and this thing will become an awesome resource!



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dsister said:

First!

That's so sad...

 

SECOND!



Disconnect and self destruct, one bullet a time.

Don't have time to read all that right now as I have to go have a haircut then train it to London.

But did you mention the creation of the Spartan project? Also I think that Dr.Halsey should count as one of the sub/main characters too, according to the  book she has created Cortana in her copy and is responsible for the creations of Spartans.

What I find interesting is there were 6-7 teams of Spartans on Reach, so if they really wanted to milk it they could release their story either as part of DLC or as each separate installment.

Halo Reach Blue, Halo Reach Red etc

 

Also, CPT. Keyes? Apparently he was involved in the "recruitment" of children



Disconnect and self destruct, one bullet a time.

huragok..gok sounds similar to...nevermind

Did the bungie just made up these names or are they derived/inspired by some language.

@NotStan...plez no..that is a bad idea..blue halo red halo...wtf lmao

Awesome thread btw..



What an awsome thread! Must be a lot of work :p. You seem a huge halo fan (like me! :D)



fantastic thread. Love it



 

Bet with Conegamer and Doobie_wop 

http://gamrconnect.vgchartz.com/post.php?id=3879752