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A Phoenix Log is a file found in Halo Wars 2 that contains background information. Some of the logs describe leaders and units, and others contain information about historical events. They are unlocked by collecting them during campaign missions and by playing games on the multiplayer maps.

LocationsEdit

Halo Wars 2 CampaignEdit

The SignalEdit

Main article: The Signal
  • The Healing of Old Wounds I: Between the First and Second Barricades.
  • The Healing of Old Wounds II: Near the ramp where the Warthog jumps off.
  • The Healing of Old Wounds III: Near the destroyed research outposts near the light bridge.
  • A New Bridge to Cross I: Near the panel that activates the light bridge.
  • A New Bridge to Cross II: Near the crashed Pelican site
  • A New Bridge to Cross III: Near the teleport that takes the Spartan Warthog to the Henry Lamb Research Outpost

A New EnemyEdit

Main article: A New Enemy
  • Rise of Atriox I: Near the waterfall following the initial encounter at the Banished Camp at the beginning of the level.
  • The Graveyard: Front of the main Banished Base and this one is easy to find.

AscensionEdit

Main article: Ascension
  • Rise of Atriox II: Near the resources and power at the waterfall near the light bridge.
  • The Turn of the Screw: Far east side of the metal hallway neat Control Tower C.

One Three ZeroEdit

Main article: One Three Zero
  • Alice-130 Report #1: Up the hill after rescuing the Hellbringers of the captures soldiers.

The CartographerEdit

Main article: The Cartographer
  • The Blinded: Far west right at the first conduit.
  • The Telegony: Banished mini-base at the eastern back of the platform.

Lights OutEdit

Main article: Lights Out
  • A Split Heart Is Easily Conquered: Near the Banished western mini-base after being destroyed.
  • Rise of Atriox III: Near a prison camp south of the base.

From the DeepEdit

Main article: From the Deep
  • A Warning: Near the stone arch at the eastern shore.

Hold the LineEdit

Main article: Hold the Line
  • Chrysalis: Overlook at the eastern spawning point.
  • Rise of Atriox IV: Left side mini-base.

Under the DarkEdit

Main article: Under the Dark
  • A Small Sacrifice: Past the Kodiaks next to the first Brute Warload.
  • Rise of Atriox V: Killing all 3 Brute Warloads with the first one near the kodaks, the second one is to the right of the second mini-base and the third is at the second Banished base.

The FoundryEdit

Main article: The Foundry
  • Enduring Conviction Battle Reports: Debris next to the damaged Scarab repair pit.
  • The Snake That Eats the Tail: After destroying the Banished base in the south basin below.

The HaloEdit

Main article: The Halo
  • Rise of Atriox VI: Southern side of the main UNSC Base at the beginning of the level.

Last StandEdit

Main articles: Last Stand (Halo Wars 2 level) and Last Stand
  • Beyond the Edge: Kill the Brute Warload found in the southeast of the area and go right.

Operation: SpearbreakerEdit

Main article: Operation: Spearbreaker

There are a total of 4 Logs with 2 on each mission.

GatecrashersEdit

Main article: Gatecrashers

A New Commander: The center of the map near Control Tower C.

Hold Fast: Between Bases near Control Towr A and D.

Not On My WatchEdit

Main article: Not On My Watch

Floats low but Steady: To the right of the starting area.

A Tensed Bolt: After destroying a Banished base at the top of the map.

Awakening the NightmareEdit

Main article: Awakening the Nightmare

Phoenix Log TranscriptsEdit

The ArkEdit

RefugiaEdit

The Ark was originally created to build Halos, gigantic weapons that wipe out all sentient life in order to starve the parasitic Flood of life to infect. This desperate measure conflicted with the Forerunners' roles as custodians of the galaxy, and so it was decided that the Ark would also preserve examples of doomed species so they could be reseeded once the Flood had been eradicated.

The surface of the Ark was divided up into vast refugia sections, twelve on the Central Hub and twenty across the large, petal-like Spires that extend out from the center. Each refugia recreates the environments with by hugewalls monitored by Sentinels to protect one ecosystem from polluting another. The Ark monitors and controls weather, temperature and even natural food chains in order to maintain the habitat.

Halo RefugiaEdit

This Refugia is at once familiar and otherworldly. Many areas resemble the lands of Earth; lush, verdant landscapes, tranquil sandy beaces where waves lap gently at the shore and stunning waterfalls plunge endlessly over high cliffs.

There is mountainous moorland, jagged rocky slopes and outcroppings covered in a light shrub. But the immense scale of the environment imposes itself, dwarfing each of its Earthly equivalents. The chasms are deeper and darker, the mountains higher and even the sea and sky seem a richer blue than Earth's atmosphere.

As ominous reminders colossal Forerunner bridges bisect the terrain and gigantic unknown structures dominate the skyline, their purposes unknown but their very silence and mystery resonating with power.

The ArkEdit

A gigantic structure situated outside of any known star system, the Ark was constructed by the Forerunners with two guiding principles. First, to fabricate, repair and transport all components of the ringworld installations known collectively as Halo, a weapon designed to wipe out all sentient life in the galaxy in a desperate attempt to stop the parasitic Flood. Secondly, it needed to be able to provide a safe and stable habitat for a vast number of life forms collected from across the galaxy.

These two paradigms led to the unique, flower-like design, with immense arms splayed around a central foundry, where the production of the Halo installations occurs. The Ark's surface was covered by vast, world-sizes paddocks called refugia, divided by massive walls and containment barriers to preserve the life forms collected by the Librarian as part of her Conservation Measure, to be reseeded after the Flood had been starved out.

Henry Lamb Research OutpostEdit

The Henry Lamb Research Outpost was the base of a UNSC scientific research expedition to learn about the Ark, both in the interest of scientific advancement and self-preservation from future Halo threats.

The expedition was spurred on by the re-activation of the existing Halo array in 2555 by the Ark's Monitor, Tragic Solitude. A team travelled to the Ark and stopped Tragic Solitude's plan to aggressively mine the Earth for materials to rebuild the Ark, which had been damaged as a result of the battle that ended the Covenant War.

In 2557, a new team travelled through the portal near New Mombasa in their ship Eden Rising, with the goal of activating dormant Retriever Sentinels in order to start repairing the Ark. These researchers established an outpost expansion in February of 2558. In October that year, the portal to Earth closed, followed shortly thereafter by the arrival of The Banished fleet. The base and its outlying facilities were all razed by the Banished attack.

Forerunner SentinelsEdit

Sentinels were created by Forerunners as automated worker and fense drones to maintain and protect their installations from transgressors. Although designed without the independent intelligence of Monitors, or the UNSC's smart AI, they remain highly adaptable and a formidable foe to anything they recognize as a threat to the Ark.

The Foundry at the center of the Ark is populated by Retriever and Assembler Sentinels, who extract resources and minerals from the small moon held there. THe mining capabilities of the ship-size Retriever Sentinels can be highly destructive when used against trespassers, but it is the smaller Aggressor Sentinels that are primarily used for enforcement.

When deployed in great numbers, these Sentinels will swoop in and attack as one in a perfectly coordinated wave, swiftly removing any threats while leaving the Ark undamaged.

The CartographerEdit

The Cartographer is one of many identically named map facilities on the Ark, updated in real time with the latest dynamic cartographic and diagnostic information. This includes security measures activated on the Ark, any required maintenance and its artificial sun, and the status of the Halo array and any new installations being forged in the Foundry.

In the wrong hands the Cartographer is an incredibly dangerous source of information, so it is hidden deep in a remote wasteland, heavily guarded by Sentinels and protected by huge defensive barriers. The Sentinels guarding the Cartographer are much more likely to attack interlopers on sight rather than wait for provocation and only someone with the appropriate command clearance can access the Cartographer without a fight.

Amber RefugiaEdit

A stranslucent amber-like material covers much of the terrain in this unforgiving Refugia. Petrified rivers and lakes form vast, planar surfaces which are only broken by the angular, jutting rock formations that puncture the surface.

Fractures that have splintered into deep chasms reveal the complex Forerunner infrastructure below, and geometrical veins form these underlying structures can be seen striping the upper layers. In places the strong but brittle amber has sheared and degraded into sand, which is then whipped up and sculpted by the wind into dune seas where life struggles to take root.

What life can survive here is extremely alien; huge and bizarre flora spring up through cracks in the rocks, swaying in the breeze and belching spores into the atmosphere if disturbed.

Particle CannonEdit

The Particle Cannon is a long dormant but extremely powerful Forerunner weapon, build in the early stages of the Ark's construction when it was most vulnerable to a pre-emptive attack by the Flood.

Once the Ark's construction had been completed, it lay dormant until its location was discovered in the Cartographer by Professor Anders. The cannon has been designed to protect against orbital attacks and draws its power directly from the Ark itself through a series of conduits located underneath the Ark's surface. Ionized particles are charged until they reach high-density, allowing it to fire an incredibly long range and continuous particle beam at its target.

Proto-Forerunner RefugiaEdit

The Ark continues to rebuild itself after the destruction wrought by the battle that ended the Covenant War. Like icebergs, the Forerunner constructions on the surface are only a tiny part of the whole.

Partial-printing creates a terraced landscape of plateaus supported by colossal columns and the substructure of the Ark dominates the space with gigantic vertigo-inducing cavities that allow views deep into the superstructure beneath. The surface demonstrattes the building techniques and foundations of a refugia still being terraformed, with the layered strata giving a tentalizing hint of the Forerunners' unfinished design.

Even incomplete, the exposed vein-like layers have a raw beauty of their own and complement the sleek and sculptured metallic lines of finished Forerunner architecture nearby. Mineral deposits with exotic material properties scatter the surface, and new paths are created by massive shifting plates, their purpose known only to the long dead race that created them.

The FoundryEdit

The Foundry is a massive circular machine situated at the epicenter of the Ark for the purpose of constructing and repairing the ringworlds that make up the Halo Array.

Within its center it holds a mineral-rich moon in a powerful gravitational field that is mined for resources by giant Retriever Sentinels, then used by Assembler Sentinels to build components of a Halo. The Halo Array is always made of seven ringworlds and should one be destroyed the Ark starts building a replacement.

Once a Halo is stable, it is released to the same location as the destroyed Halo to replace it while Sentinels continue to work on it. Of the seven ringworlds that make up the Halo Array, six have originated on the Ark, while the seventh was constructed on an earlier version of the Ark and later reconstructed to fit the new design.

HaloEdit

A Halo is an artificial, planet-sized ringworld weapon, created by the ancient forerunner race as a weapon to combat the parasitic entity known as the Flood.

Despite milennia of scientific and philosophical advancements, the Forerunners were unable to stop the spread of the Flood as it propagated across numerous life-forms through infection. After many defeats, the only answer was to starve the Flood by denying its ability to infect anything - by destroying all sentient life.

The Ark was build to construct, maintain and activate the ringworlds that make up the Halo Array weapon, and seven ringworlds were launched at strategic points across the galaxy. The Halo Array was fired, wiping out all sentient life without damaging the inhabitant's worlds and the Flood retreated.

However, towards the end of the Human-Covenant war, the Halo Array once again became an ever present menace, the weapon to end all wars.

The Control RoomEdit

The Ark has several supraluminal communication towers with the purpose of transmitting data to and from the weapon installations that make up the Halo Array.

Each Halo has a designated Control Room which activates the Halo's weapon systems upon receiving the data, as well as emergency shutdown protocols to disable the systems and halt the Halo's activation.

Like the Cartographer, these Control Rooms are often protected by a large energy barrier and patrolled by high security Sentinels to protect from misuse. The Control Room is integral to the maintenance of the Halo's weapon systems, and the interior leads deep down to the Halo's superstructure in a maze of winding tunnels and shifting walls.

Multiplayer MapsEdit

AshesEdit

The wreckage of a Covenant freighter lies scattered across the amber wasteland.

This hostile environment, blood-red and battered by harsh winds, is rendered even crueler by the scorched and smoking remains of a Covenant freighter, blasted out of the sky by Forerunner defenses. The impact trench created by the crash leads down into a deep crater, where the force of the collision has destroyed the top layer of the refugia, revealing the proto-Forerunner substructure running underneath.

BadlandsEdit

The unforgiving desert threatens to engulf this Forerunner bastion and all who fight there.

"I was tired. I signaled to the Grunt on the other side of the door, undid the lock and stepped back, hands held up where it could see me. The Grunt got up slowly and starteed walking towards it.

I had stumbled upon the abandoned research outpost a couple of days ago after a week in the howling desert wind. My entire squad had been killed in a Banished ambush, but I was saved - then damned - by a sudden sandstorm that covered my escape. Then came a week walking through the biting wind, ears dulled by the constant whine, almost delirious with starvation. I tried to cry when I first saw the outpost, but I was so dehydrated I could only choke out a few guttural noises.

With the researchers long dead the outpost was filthy and a stale smell hung in the air, but the quiet hum of the power systems after the noise of the desert felt like home. I found fresh clothes, enough food stocks for six months and a communication system that I thought I could get working within a few days so I could contact the Spirit of Fire. I ate a large meal, found a cot and fell asleep in seconds.

A crash woke me up, and I crept into the corridor to see a Grunt inside the pantry, searching for supplies - I wasn't the only one who had gotten lost in the storm. I slammed the door and locked it, trapping the Grunt inside. He spun around, shocked to see someone else and then tried to barge through the door. But it was too heavy. He started pacing around in circles, which is when he saw my gun propped up against the refrigerator inside the pantry. We had a standoff; he was trapped, but I was unarmed and couldn't get to the food. My only hope was the communications equipment.

After three days without food, I was ravenous and having lapses in concentration. I weighed the risks and decided to let the Grunt out so I could get to the supplies. As he crossed the treshold of the door he triggered the tripwire, setting off the small explosion I had cannibalized from the communications equipment. I dragged his body to the side of the pantry and took a drink from the refrigerator. I wasn't going to be calling anyone anytime soon - but neither was the Grunt."

Report found in abandoned outpost, author unknown.

BedrockEdit

The sub-structure of an incomplete refugia stands ready to continue the Ark's work.

The Ghost skimmed the surface of the Forerunner terrain of the Ark as its pilot deftly dodged the latest salvo of enemy fire from the Hornets hounding it, effortlessly taking a sudden sharp turn to widen the gap between the pursuers. The Elite at the controls was a confident and experienced driver, a far cry from the Ghost's first owner.

This particular Ghost first saw service in 2552 on the planet Reach, but it was short-lived. The young Elite who drove it then was overeager and reckless, so sure of the Covenant's superiority that he rushed ahead of the rest of the squad and was quickly picked off by UNSC sniper fire before being able to baptize the Ghost's plasma cannons. Now driverless, the Ghost sat out the rest of the battle until beig collected and returned to a Covenant dropship.

In 2552, the Ghost and its new rider were deployed to the Ark where it fought in the climatic battle of the Human-Covennant war - this time, piloted by a veteran Jiralhanae warrior. However, despite the Ghost pilot's combat experience, he was unprepared for the Demon, who surprised the Brute from nowhere and threw his body from the vehicle.

Amazingly, this Demon demonstrated all the skill of a trained Covenant pilot in using the Ghost's tricky controls, turning the vehicle's plasma cannons against its own kind and using it as a bludgeoning tool to ram through clusters of shrieking Unggoy. This Demon, the Ghost's third driver, was the shortest owner and quickly abandoned it once it had started belching smoke from the damage inflicted upon it.

Years of respite from battle followed, as the Ghost lay dormant among the other Covenant wreckage, undisturbed. With the return of humans to the installation, the Ark started rebuilding itself and repairing the damage. Life and fauna returned to the Ark and the Ghost became home to insects and small animals, while creeping weeds grew around and into it, strangling its controls.

Then the Banished arrived and the ghost was torn free from its resting place and repaired by Huragok savant-technicians, then reshaped to fit a more brutal, battle torn Banished aesthetic and it once again had a driver and a war to fight in.

Now, the Ghost was closing in fast on its target, shades of azure flashing by in a blur as the Elite manipulated it up and down the ramps and curves of the Forerunner terrain. The power resource was now in sight, protected only by a few enemy ground troops. The Elite fired the Ghost's plasma cannons and forces them to scatter, leaving the resource for him to capture. The Elite eased off on the accelerator and the Ghost hummed to a slow crawl.

The warning whine of several Hornets came too late, and as they emerged from behind the Forerunner tower, the Elite was cut down in the crossfire of their autocannons and fell from the Ghost's cockpit. The Hornets continued onto their next target and the Ghost sat silent and awaited its next driver.

FrontierEdit

Verdant grasslands overrun a Forerunner facility suspended on the edge of the world.

A clash of familiar and alien environments characterize this battlefield; lush grassland and sandy beaches are punctuated by several monolithic Forerunner structures, creating unnatural 'islands' among the landscape. The sleek but complex designs of the Forerunner ramps and lightbridges that branch off from these islands form multiple paths over the natural chasms of the environment as factions clash to gain control over valuable Forerunner resources.

HighwayEdit

A remote transport route bisects the crystalline wilderness.

"I watched as my scattered recon team were swiftly picked off one by one by the two Elite Ranger patrols. They must have been watching all along, waiting for us to split up as we scouted the area for power nodes. The Elites had the element of surprise, the numbers and the high ground.

My only advantage was that they hadn't spotted me yet, but as soon as I took a shot, they'd be able to pinpoint my position. I checked my ammo - six bullets for four Elites. Our Pelican pick up wasn't scheduled for another hour, and I could follow the Elite's movements from the glints of light bouncing off their carbines as they reflected the crystals lining the platform. If I didn't act now, they'd have me pinned.

I reprogrammed my spotter drone to patrol three points on the map and sent it off. As soon as it broke cover, I engaged my cloaking technology and made for the opposite direction. One of the Elites bellowed something and their carbine rounds pinged off the Forerunner structures as they tried to shoot the drone. While they were distracted I made a dash for the nearest teleporter and jumped in. I was lucky, and I appeared above them at a blind spot. I aimed and fired. Even before the Elite hit the ground I had already entered the teleporter and back where I started.

By now, the Elites had figured out where my shot came from, take cover and were searching for me, but now I was behind them. I aimed and took out another of them and they yelled in surprise. I ducked back into cover and waited. My drone was now reaching the final point of its patrol and as it floated past the spooked Elites, they overreacted and blasted it out of the sky.

Taking advantage of their panic, I fired off a wild shot to richochet off some crystals and jumped back through the teleporter as they swung round in the direction of the richochet. I was back above them again. They were shouting something angrily at each other, and I saw one gesturing towards the teleporter. I took another shot and one of the Elites fell back. The last Elite finally spotted me, but it was too late. He didn't even get a chance to raise his gun.

As I collected my team's tags, I checked my rifle. One bullet left. I figure I'll save it for the next Elite."

Report PVT G. R. Scott, sniper detail

RiftEdit

The battles fought at this Forerunner array will echo through history.

A monolithic Forerunner structure dominates this environment, sitting atop a curning whirlpool that harnesses the power of subterranean rivers and waterfalls that flow into the ocean. Though one side remains unsullied by the war, the other is pitted with large breaches in the surface as the Banished tunnel downwards to plunder the Ark's valuable resources.

SentryEdit

A sleeping giant protects this ancient landscape.

"The skeletons of wrecked Covenant ships, slowly being buried by shifting sands, should have acted as a warning to us. When I warned the Jiralhanae leading our mining expedition that we should act with caution, he only snorted and called the wrecks merely 'ghosts of the old war'. The Unggoy chattered amongst themselves nervously, and I knew they too had noticed the charred terrain, pocked by heavy blast points. The Jiralhanae roared and gave the nearest Unggoy a swift kick as a warning to the others, and shot me an angry look for daring to scare his rabble.

When we reached the site, I stayed on guard while the Jiralhanae ordered his Unggoy to prepare the mining equipment. They had just breached the surface when I felt the air move. I screamed a warning and managed to dive into cover as the first salvo exploded the rocky outcropping where I once stood. I lay on the ground, dazed from the blast and smelled a sickening burning odor, followed quickly by a jolt of searing hot pain. My sword arm had been severely burnt and the light from the blast had temporarily blinded me. I heard the Jiralhanae barking orders to his panicked Unggoy, but his cries were quickly cut short by another blast. My sight had cleared enough that I could just make out a large shadow hovering over the panicking Unggoy, who scattered as I sunk into unconsciousness.

When I awoke, our attacker had disappeared and the only things left were our mining equipment - damaged beyond use - and the body of the Jiralhanae served as the iris of a newly created crater."

Report of Jato 'Ratum, only survivor of the mining expedition

VaultEdit

Lush woodlands conceal an immense Forerunner storage facility.

"The storage facility was only a couple of klicks out as we pushed through the woods, and after a long exhausting march I could feel the rest of the team relax a little. After the alien sights we had seen, the familiarity of a cool breeze and the smell of those large trees was a comfort, and for a short while we could almost forget where we were.

That was our first mistake. Something shimmered out of the corner of my eye and lifted Dimitri into the air. He lurched violently to the left as the cloaked Elite swung his sword free from his victim and Floyd shouted 'Elite!'. We fired off several rounds at the spot where Dimitri had been standing, but the Elite had already melted back into the trees. We still outnumbered him seven to one, but I wasn't about to follow the cloaked Elite into the trees so he could pick us off one by one.

We popped our grenades.

A minute later, we slowly pushed through the burning trees, picking splinters out of our uniforms. There was no sign of the Elite, but the shallow stream beyond was streaked with purple blood. I collected Dimitri's tags and blinked to get the sting of smoke out of my eyes. We wouldn't forget where we were again."

Journal of Private D. Wood

ForerunnerEdit

Forerunner Power NodeEdit

Power resource point.

The Forerunners build the Ark to be completely self-sustaining, and much of its power lies in the vast subterranean web of power structures beneath its surface. These external power nodes were designed to provide auxiliary power during repairs of emergencies, giving those in control of them a steady flow of power resources.

On this remote installtion, light years from any support, both the UNSC and the Banished have realized the strategic importance of Forerunner power nodes. Eschewing the Covenant's reverence for Forerunner artifacts, Atriox has no compunction of taking control of them for his own ends, and many a battle involves a desperate scramble to capture power nodes before the enemy can.

Agressor SentinelEdit

Forerunner Sentinels that can be called in by Anders to cause area denial.

Though their primary purpose is to maintain, repair and repair the Ark, these Forerunner Sentinels can be summoned by Professor Anders, who has found a way to deploy them in the service of the UNSC. Once called, the Sentinels swarm in to a targeted location and attack any hostiles in the area with sentinel beams, remaining and causing area denial for a duration before returning to their jobs on the Ark. Any Sentinels that are destroyed emit an EMP blast, crippling hostile vehicles temporarily.

The Sentinels are worker drones with basic AI, created by the Forerunners to safeguard their stations as well as perform repairs and maintenance. There is a large variety of Sentinels in both purpose, size and appearance. There are small Constructor drones used to maintain Forerunner structures, huge Retrievers used for mining and Agressor drones for attacking any perceived threat. They Sentinels will only attack if they perceive a present threat; otherwise they will happily ignore strangers and carry on with their work.

Forerunner Control TowerEdit

Multi-purpose control structures.

As the Ark's name suggests, it was designed to play host to an incredible variety of life collected from across the galaxy. This almost inconceivable volume of biodiversity necessitated a flexible environmental system on the Ark as the Forerunners prepared for the galactic reseeding of life after the Halo Array was activated.

On a practical level this meant that all habitable surface area on the Ark could be covered in an environment to match any life-sustaining planet in the galaxy.

Atmospheres, soil and vegetation makeups, bodies of water or other liquids, and even gravitational conditions could be custom-set in areas as large or as small as needed to sustain specimens from a particular planet.

These environmental settings are modified using a network of Control Towers. These towers generate and maintain the surrounding environment around by repurposing preassembled landscape blocks, adjust hydrological features and atmosphere composition for optimal growth conditions, and ensure that invasive species from connected Refugia are removed or eliminated. In addition, low-order life necessary to replicate a functioning biome can also be grown at each Control Tower, using the Ark's vast genomic archive.

When an environment is complete, only a small percentage of each Control Tower remains visible above ground in order to minimize interference with the new local wildlife while still allowing for data gathering on the surrounding area.

Today, these Control Towers lie mostly dormant. But with new visitors to the Ark and the possibility of new uses for the Ark's scientific and military capabilities, the towers offer literally world-building power to whoever controls this ancient installation.

Protector SentinelEdit

Forerunner defense constructs controlled by Professor Anders.

Exclusive to Professor Anders, the Protector Sentinel is a flying Forerunner drone armed with an energy-based beam that is effective against all enemies. It can be upgraed to a sentinel swarm, which adds smaller Agressor drones as an escort. Sentinels explode in an EMP blast upon death, stunning nearby enemy vehicles.

Professor Anders has shown a remarkable ability to manipulate Forerunner command codes and byspass directive locks, giving her the ability to bind the Ark's own defense constructs to her will. The full extent of her capabilities have yet to be tested, as the Professor's attention is constantly diverted to more pressing needs like finding a way home.

Retriever SentinelEdit

Extremely powerful Forerunner drone

The Ark's Retriever Sentinels are among the most powerful Forerunner drones, their primary purpose being the mining of the Foundry in the creation of Halos and Ark maintenance. However, like all Forerunner drones, they can also be used to defend the Ark by turing its sentinel beams on anyone who threatens it.

The Retriever Sentinels played an important part in repairing the Ark after the events of 2552 in the final battle between the UNSC and the Covenant. UNSC scientists at the Henry Lamb Research Outpost reactivated the dormant retrievers and watched in awe as the Ark was restored to its former glories. Sadly, war has once again come to the Ark, but the Forerunner drones build to protect it wil stand fast and push back against any and all invaders.

Controller SentinelEdit

Forerunner system offensive/defensive drones.

The Controller Sentinels’ primary function is to guard valuable Forerunner technologies on the Ark. Developed and deployed to counter the escalating threat from the UNSC and the Banished, these flying Sentinels are loosely 'tethered' within set radii of important sites and will attack anyone that comes close, or attempts to take control of the sector.

An impenetrable energy shield protects the front of each Controller Sentinel, an improvement on the already powerful shields used by the Enforcer Sentinels whose function was to suppress Flood outbreaks. Underneath it fires a continuous Sentinel Beam to prevent enemies from hiding in its blind spot, but it's primary weapon is a devastating supercharged Sentinel Pulse.

Forerunner ShipEdit

A long dormant Despair-class fighter.

Forerunner Despair-class fighters saw action during the Forerunner-Flood war against the rogue Monitor Mendicant Bias. After the firing of the Halo superweapon, some of these fighters moved to Shield Worlds and Halo installations.

The Forerunner ship found and reactivated by Colony's Huragoks was 'regrown' from a ship-seed planted by the Librarian prior to the Halo activation. Ship-seed technology provides all the building blueprints needed to built a ship upon activation using on-site materials.

LeadersEdit

CutterEdit

Captain of the Spirit of Fire.

Captain James Cutter is a leader steeped in military tradition and discipline, but who balances that tradition with a genuine compassion and interest for those who serve underneath him.

A true hero of the UNSC, Cutter's military career is long and distinguished and he has sacrificed advancement up the ranks in order to remain with his crew and ship. THe crew on the Spirit of Fire are more than soldiers to the captain, they are his extended family. Cutter's respect is reciprocated by his troops, who place a great deal of faith in the captain and his decisions.

AndersEdit

Brilliant and fearless scientist.

Professor Ellen Anders is one of the Spirit of Fire's most valuable weapons, a brilliant scientist with expertise in fields as far ranging as theoretical xeno-biopsychology and high-energy physics. She has also proven to have an expectional grasp of Forerunner technology and has displayed a command of the Ark's control systems which impresses even Isabel.

Although her official designation remains 'civilian consultant,' Professor Anders has become the de-facto right hand and advisor of Captain Cutter on the Spirit of Fire and has also earned the respect and trust of the troops she works with in the field.

Anders is able to theorize the function and determine the use of almost any alien technology. She has displayed a particular affinity for controlling Forerunner constructs, and can redirect the Ark's own drones for her own use as well as manipulate their actions with specialized instruments of her own design.

IsabelEdit

Smart artificial intelligence.

Isabel is a smart AI originally assigned to the Henry Lamb Research Outpost to guide the activation and direction of the installation's massive Retriever Sentinels used to conduct repairs on the Ark.

Before long, those Retriever Sentinels were able to work unsupervised and Isabel and the team set to the immense task of researching and cataloging the Ark. This work was tragically cut short by the unexpected closure of the portal to Earth and the Banished's assault. Now she has been given a chance to strike back at the Banished with the aid of the Spirit of Fire's factories.

Isabel's vast knowledge of technology and military science gives her an edge when using and improving vehicles as well as making use of subterfuge and disruption tactics on the battlefield.

AtrioxEdit

Vicious and cunning warmaster of the Banished.

Leader and creator of the Banished, Atriox is a fearsome warrior who rose to power through fierce tenacity and shrewd strategic planning honed during the Human-Covenant conflict.

Atriox holds an extremely pragmatic view of warfare and understands the importance of supporting infrastructures and how to build armies and structures cheaply and efficiently.

His charisma and the fervor of his followers make it possible for Atriox to deploy both savage Brutes and Elite mercenaries simultaneously, whereas other leaders would struggle to control such bitter rivals on the battlefield.

DecimusEdit

Right hand of Atriox.

Decimus is one of Atriox's most trusted chiefs, though he secretly continues to harbor belief in the divinity of the Forerunners. A prime example of Brute power and rage, Decimus' bloodlust whips troops under his command into a frenzied rampage and his chieftain's hammer can be wielded to unleash a devastating gravity vortex.

As befitting his rank, Decimus has his own personal Brute Warlord lieutenants but he also relishes the chance to make a personal appearance on the field against particularly stubborn enemies.

Shipmaster Let 'VolirEdit

Loyal captain, mercenary raider.

Let 'Volir is the head of a mercenary Sangheili clan and shipmaster of the assault carrier Enduring Conviction, the most powerful warship in the Banished fleet.

Atriox engaged the Shipmaster's forces to bolster his Banished army and provide the aerial advantage and firepower the Banished were lacking; the Enduring Conviction can be called upon to unleash orbital plasma bombardments to support Banished ground troops or to destroy or damage enemy structures.

His decision to bind his crew to the Banished has forever tarnished his name in "proper" Elite culture, but the Shipmaster knows that in the current chaotic state of the galaxy "proper" is a luxury not all can afford if they want to keep their crew and their ship intact.

Sergeant ForgeEdit

UNSC sergeant back from the dead.

Sergeant John Forge is a veteran NCO with the UNSC Marine Corps. As a battle commander, his strategy strongly favors vehicle-orientated battle and focuses on slow-building strength, entrenchment and sustained growth.

Forge was a career soldier who served during the Human-Covenant War. Although his tactical ability and combat prowess were undoubted, his tendency towards insubordination prevented him from achieving a high rank. On the Shield World 0459 he gave his life to save the Spirit of Fire when he stayed behind to detonate the ship's translight engine to destroy a Covenant armada.
His body was never recovered.

KinsanoEdit

The Inferno.

Lieutenant Colonel Morgan Kinsano was once a key insurrectionist leader in the Outer Colonies, leading a political and military campaign against the Unified Earth Government for the independence of her homeworld. Though Kinsano's world was spared in the initial Covenant invasion, the aliens took almost everything else from her: family, friends, and even old enemies. Joining the UNSC to protect her home was a bitter pill for the political firebrand, but survival trumped all ideology.

Known as "Inferno" to her comarades, Kinsano is not as disciplined as other UNSC officers, but her ruthlessness and inspirational presence makes her one of the most respected Marine leaders aboard the ship. She takes to the field in her personalized Flame Cyclops, leading the Firestorm Battle Group, a strike force of ODSTs, Marines, and Hellbringers that specialize in delivering promethean fire to the enemies of humanity.

ColonyEdit

The Untamed.

Strange and inscrutable, the Hunter pair who identifies as "Colony" is believed to be either a representative for Lekgolo allied to the Banished or a specialized command form of the alien eel-worms. Colony defers only to Atriox and is charged with directing all Banished Lekgolo activities on the Ark, including creation and expansion of Lekgolo clusters for use in vehicles and other specialised applications. Though it cooperates with the Banished. Colony appears to have its own plans for the Ark. Most of its attention is currently focused on the activities near the resting place of the Forerunner keyships; missions undertaken outside the knowledge of other Banished leaders.

When called upon to direct Banished military operations. Colony's strategy is to control the battlefield with large numbers of Lekgolo-driven constructs that it can heal and augment, buying time with Engineer Swarm and Living Barriers until it can call in reinforcements with Colony Drop and Devastating Host. It can also enhance friendly vehicles by infiltrating them with gestalts, using Vehicle Symbiotes. But time is the main ally of Colony, as its Combat Repair passive ability slowly heals all friendly units and structures.

Sergeant JohnsonEdit

That's Sergeant MAJOR Johnson to you, chucklehead!

From the halls of Installation 04 to the shores of Harvest, Sergeant Johnson represented the UNSC with distinction and honor his entire life, and is remembered as a hero in death. However, in a twist of fate [and poor records—keeping], the UNSC Marine Corps accidentally assigned the life—challenged veteran to a position on board the long-lost Spirit of Fire. Even with the small handicap of being dead, Johnson isn't one to disobey a direct order from his beloved Corps and he sprung back to life ready to kick all butts that need kicking. The subsequent story of how he arrived at his new duty station is still classified, but trust us, it's a good one.

Sergeant Johnson favors a strong defense backed by heavy bipedal killing machines: Siege Turret Drop and Bunker Drop extend his fortifications, while EMP MAC Blast and Mech Overcharge give his combat walkers an upper hand in critical battles. But that's not all, the Corps has seen fit to issue Sergeant Johnson the Digging In Deep advanced power, letting him construct all structures on existing bases [excluding turrets] for free. Oh, and he can also get up close and personal with the Banished by leading from the front lines in the Green Machine, his personalized HRUNTING/YGGDRASIL MARK I[J] Armor Defense System.

The ArbiterEdit

Ripa 'Moramee

Driven to control and dominate, with a nearly insatiable bloodlust and ambition, Ripa 'Moramee was considered a radical choice as Arbiter. Ripa came to relish the nearly unchecked power and authority he wielded as an Arbiter, and his fearsome reputation was known by all—including a young Covenant warrior known as Atriox. Unbound by traditional notions of honor and loyalty, it is possible that Atriox could have convinced Ripa to join his cause, had Ripa survived events on Shield 0459.

As a Banished warhost leader Ripa would inspire fear and awe in those in his dominion, reflected in the Conduit of Rage passive ability. Conduit of Rage is triggered on the activation of leader powers, slightly healing the Arbiter's nearby units and increasing their damage and speed for a short time. Continuing to use leader powers extends the duration.

Ripa also had unrestricted access to experimental Stasis weapons, which immobilize units in their area of effect for a short time, in his role as Arbiter. Units in stasis cannot move or deal damage, but also cannot be harmed. Ripa used these weapons to delay enemy units and—on the rare occasion he was feeling generous—shield allies from harm.

Commander JeromeEdit

UNSC Expeditionary Force Commander

With the authority granted to him as the ranking Navy and UEG official in a designated administrative region, Captain Cutter has conferred Jerome-092 the acting rank of Commander. The rank itself is a formality, but one insisted on by Isabel to better align the ship's ad-hoc command structure with the letter of UNSC regulations.

As force commander, Jerome-092 select units in his army Inspire the troops around them, increasing their resilience and damage. Once inspired they can be further buffed with abilities that trigger temporary acts of Spartan Morale-which further augments their armor, damage output, and speed. His Victory Mine and Enduring Salvo abilities also inspire nearby troops when they are activated.

As the battle reaches the peak of ferocity he can call in his trump cards: the Spartans of Omega Team and the ability to conduct a Field Promotion, which calls in an elite kill team of Spartans and upgrades all standard units to the first level of veterancy, respectively. When his troops are at low population, he can also activate Time For Heroes to Inspire his army and allow them to gain veterancy at a greatly-increased rate.

SerinaEdit

A mind of ice and fire.

Serina was activated on January 7, 2530, by Daedalia Technology, a Martian firm well-known for the seeding and development of artificial intelligences for military and corporate markets. Serina was their greatest work of that era, an omni—capable second—generation "Smart Al" that displayed both impressive intellectual capacity and remarkable computational efficiency.

Her assignment to the UNSC Spirit of Fire was fortuitous, despite a somewhat rocky period of acclimation to the ship's unorthodox crew. Under the orders of Captain James Cutter, Serina administered the deployment of forces on Harvest's surface, and successfully managed later campaigns on both Arcadia and the enigmatic Forerunner facility known as Shield 0459.

Unfortunately, the life of a smart Al is limited and their constructed minds cannot be slowed or stopped. While the Spirit of Fire drifted in the void after their victory over the Covenant at Shield 0459, Serina imagined, planned, and built for a future she would never see.

Serina had a remarkable aptitude for research and analysis, and her thoughts often turned to the work of Ellen Anders. In particular, the Professor's early work on vacuum energy extraction—and its potentially useful side effects with regard to heat siphoning—fascinated Serina.

Serina's experimentation and engineering expertise gives her access to unique cryotech—enhanced units and abilities that can slow targets, and render them inert. If the chill gets intense enough the target will freeze. Frozen targets are immobile and unable to perform any actions, but don't take damage unless they are shattered. Frozen units that take a significant amount of damage or are targeted by certain special abilities [such as Seismic Charge] will shatter and immediately take a massive amount of damage. Frozen units that are left alone will thaw out after a short time, and do not suffer the damage spike.

Yapyap THE DESTROYER Edit

Enough Talk!

Once in a thousand generations comes a Grunt with the combined wisdom of Ang'napnap the Enlightened, the charisma of Awlphhum Who Became Tolerable, and a strategic acumen unmatched since Yayep the Archdeacon of Indolence. That time has not yet come, but Yapyap THE DESTROYER (he likes to shout that last part) does embody the mythic skills of one, maybe two, of these legendary heroes. He leads his brave (if not so bright) warriors from atop his Throne of Woe, having abandoned the Banished to locate the fabled Golden Methane Hydrate Mines of Sabator hidden somewhere on the Ark (and why would that Kig-Yar fortune-teller lie?) and secure a position as the Halo Wars 2 main character.

Yapyap THE DESTROYER is more of an idea Grunt, and has better things to do than come down to the battlefield personally [his managerial expertise would be wasted on the front lines]. With style and panache he leads the Grunts to glorious victory or not—so—total defeat from his secret lair, throwing good Grunts after bad with Grunts from Above troop deployment and Shade Drop, while also playing the long game with defensive abilities such as the Surprise Party and Gruntdome deployable shield tower. And if Yapyap THE DESTROYER runs low on bodies, he can always put on a thrilling display of tactical cowardice with the Please Don't Shoot Me ability, which puts a temporary armistice in place. While the rebellious Grunts don't have much of a long-term strategy. they can avoid a loss simply by denying the enemy a win, with abilities such as Guilt Trip ensuring combat losses don't embolden the enemy and the Get Back Out There advanced ability which returns injured Grunts back to the nearest HQ. When the combat music starts late in the Blitz match he can also send out invitations for the Methane Party, which drops gas—filled explosive barrels that damage the enemy and leave behind a lingering aura that makes Grunt units more effective.

Banished buildingsEdit

OutpostEdit

Extraction and domination.

Resource-gathering Outposts are deployed by Lich dropships. Once the Outpost's structures are assembled basic vehicles and infantery can be requisitioned. Four slots are available for building Turrets. Upgrading the Outpost to a Stronghold allows basic infantry to be deployed, while the Citadel and Fortress expansions make additional units available. Each upgrade opens additional build locations for support structures.

The Banished have perfected their strip-mining and rapid assault and extraction efforts over a decade of raiding Covenant and other targets. Each outpost is an invasive engine of exploitation, controlled by rapacious overseers who seek to siphon the riches of the Ark in pursuit of Atriox's grand plans for domination and glory. Though they lack the military efficiency of their UNSC counterparts, the Banished's outposts advance plans that extend far beyond the battlefield, and even beyond the Ark itself.

MinibaseEdit

Expansion outposts.

Minibase outposts have an armory for equipping basic infantry, and slots for one, two or three additional support buildings.

Each Banished minibase is the shared command of two fallen Jiralhanae warlords who have failed Atriox in some major - but redeemable - way. Each competes to control the majority share of resources sent back to the Enduring Conviction. When their tally of contributions is totaled by the overseer, only the most competent is allowed to return to Atriox's chieftain council, while the loser is condemned to serve as Grunt supervisor.

War CouncilEdit

Requisition and tech upgrade structure.

With its construction of a War Council the Outpost overseer is authorized to unlock structure, training time, and population capacity upgrades. It also allows the requisition of Honor Guard or Warlords. The overseer is warned that inefficiency is punishable by fates worse than death, and the War Council should only be build once the Outpost's salvage and extraction operation is already in place.

The War Council is a physical symbol of ascension in the twisted meritocracy of the Banished, and overseers are constantly in competition to amass the resources needed to create this structure and lure elite warriors into their service. Successful completion of their assigned tasks is only the minimum expected of Atriox's lieutenants, and the assistance of the Banished's elite are necessary to accumulate victories and additional resources that will raise their status even further.

Raid CampEdit

Infantry staging area.

Troop and their support equipment arrive in the Outpost at the Raid Camp, where warriors can stoke their bloodlust before battle and trhalls are penned while they wait for a mission. The Raid Camp allows the requisition of infantry and unlocks their upgrade options. Multiple Raid Camps, in an Outpost reduces infantry requisition time.

Raid Camps serve as a combination of briefing room, feasting hall, and place of judgment, and only warriors are allowed full movement within. During battle each one is a riot of activity, with battle roars and the cacophony of Brutes jostling each other while they don battleplate and test the blades of their weapons on the Grunts or each other.

Power ExtractorEdit

Power accumulation.

Massive channels for power criss-cross the Ark, and carefully sited facilities can dig into these channels and safely siphon a tiny fraction of their potential, which is accumulated as Power. The Augmented Extractor upgrade significantly improves Power collection, which is of vital importance when threats to the Banished and their mission begin to multiply.

The siphoning and filtering of energy from the Ark is not subtle, but it is suprisingly efficient and causes only relatively small disturbances in the installation's ambient security grid. Nevertheless, no power extraction facility operates for long without attracting the attention of Aggressor Sentinels, which begin to escalate the outpost's threat level to the Ark and scale of the reaction.

HarvesterEdit

Supply acquisition.

Harvesters are extraction sites that delve into the Ark's interior to tap raw feedstock that is then converted into Supplies used by the Banished. To meet ever-increasing production quotas, the Augmented Harvester upgrade is needed, which accelerates Supply generation.

The Ark belongs to Atriox, all others in the Banished are entitled only to the scraps he deems fit for their hands. THe Harvesters are but one link in a chain that ultimately extends from the Ark to the Banished forces carrying out other phases of his plan in the Orion Arm of the galaxy. Though important, ultimately every outpost is expendable, and talented overseers can parlay even seeming defeat into praise and promotion if they exceed Atriox's estimates for harvested profit when they come under attack.

ApexEdit

Strikecraft support.

Apex structures allow the requisition of Banshee, Shroud, and Blisterback flyers and unlocks their upgrade options. Multiple Apexes in an Outpost reduces flying vehicle requisition time.

The Banished are masters of taking control of the skies and seizing the initiative to conduct their missions. These eyes and talons of the Banished protect Atriox's extraction and control operations on the Ark from thte installation's aggressive Sentinels and the Spirit of Fire's UNSC forces. Most of the Apex personnel are in the employ of the mercenary Shipmaster, though they are utterly reliant on parts, vehicles, and armaments provided by their Brute patrons.

FoundryEdit

Vehicle fabrication.

The Garage and its kit assembly line allows the requisition of Ghost, Wraith, and Locust vehicles and unlocks their upgrade options. The Foundry is critical to the creation of combat and support vehicles that the Outpost overseer can use to better exploit his surroundings and eliminate UNSC opposition to the Banished's plans.

The Banished were raiders and reavers for years, until the breaking of the Covenant allowed them to consolidate and build themselves into a true power in their own right. Atriox's brilliant strategies are unconventional when necessary and imitative when efficient - for he will adopt whatever techniques and technologies he has to in order to guarantee victory. His use of Engineers and compact forges in forward bases would have been considered unorthodox - even heretical - under the Covenant's traditional war creed, but those days are past.

Shield GeneratorEdit

Heavy energy shield.

The Shield Generator creates a heavy dissipative energy shield around the Outpost. Though expensive, the shield will automatically regenerate over time if it is damaged. Each Shield Generator occupies a Turret slot.

The shield generator systems used by the Banished are far more powerful than their crude appearance would suggest, for they are based on Forerunner technologies that had been locked behind walls of tradition and taboo in the Covenant's distant past. The Banished reject the idea of taboo and have been busy combining the black markets of Venezia and other outlaw rimworlds looking for further secrets of the ancients that can be exploited in the modern era.

Sensor TowerEdit

Atriox's observation platforms.

The Sensor Tower is the physical embodiment of Atriox's watchful presence in every Outpost. It is through the Sensor Tower that the Banished assess the local battlefield and detect nearby cloaked units. Additional Sensor Towers extends the cloak detection range and view of the Outpost's surrounding area. Sensor towers occupy a Turret slot.

Atriox's agents are ever-alert for schism and disloyalty, and his chosen keep watch on the Banished battlenet for discordant voices, but it is through the sensor tower network that the Banished maintain hyper-awareness of the battlefield.

Cloak GeneratorEdit

Stealth and deception field.

Used by the Banished to hide from wrathful Covenant eyes in their early days, the Cloaking Generator is a reverse-engineered version of the stealth pylons used by the Covenant. When build, the Cloaking Generator disguises the presence of the Outpost with a combination of active camouflage and distortion jammers. Even if the Outpost is detected it cannot be directly targeted without the aid of nearby scout units with hyperscanners.

The Banished are never subtle, but they appreciate the power of stealth and ambush. Long years of evading the Covenant's enforcers has made Atriox an adept master of stealth warfare when it serves his needs. Further improvements in Banished multi-modal stealth and jamming technology come from their use of the Engineers, who have been coerced into making modifications that suit the rather blunt ministrations of their Brute operators.

TurretEdit

Defense emplacements.

Weapon towers around the Outpost deter attack from the UNSC, Sentinels, and rival overseers who hope to capatalize on momentary weaknesses. Most Outposts can fit up to four Turrets. Each Turret can be upgraded to be more effective against aircraft, vehicles, and infantry. Unlike UNSC Turrets, these upgrades can be combined.

Banished turrets start as moderately effective defensive structures, but they can be improved as time and resources allow. Canny overseers do not attempt to upgrade every turret to its full potential all at once, instead taking advantage of momentary surpluses and keen tactical analysis to upgrade based on current threats. Fully upgraded Banished turrets are extremely deadly, and only the most foolish UNSC commander would run directly at a fully upgraded defense line. But do not assume the Banished will be content to wait behind their turrets, Atriox commands that the best defense is always a good offense.

StrongholdsEdit

Multi-purpose staging area for Strongholds.

These bases define the win conditions of the Strongholds mode. Each Stronghold has infantry, air, and vehicle support structures already attached. Capturing Strongholds increases population capacity.

Atriox sees little value in simulation training, preferring to blood his warriors in actual combat. Pain and fear are the best teachers, for what price is there to failure in the sterile realm of simulations and shadow-enemies? However, there are occasions when monitoring and screening are useful in indentifying recruits that have the talent needed to lead Banished forces, and what better tetst for a new Banished lieutenant than a Stronghold on the chaotic front line?

Living BarrierEdit

Dragon's teeth

Colony has a suprising rapport with the Huragok ("Engineer") technicians, though the specifics of their communication are indecipherable to others. Among the results of their collaboration are a unique form of vehicle barricade containing a Lekgolo cluster and communicator, which can be drop deployed directly on the battlefield to both impede enemy mobility and extend the awareness of Colony and it's field commanders. Unfortunately, the lifespan of the Lekgolo is drastically shortened when abused in this way.

UNSC buildingsEdit

FirebaseEdit

Forward operating base.

Lightweight firebase modules can be delivered directly to the battlefield by Condor dropships. The modules then unpack and can assemble basic structures and UNSC weapons systems, protected by up to four turret emplacements. Upgrading the firebase to a combat station allows basic infantry to be deployed, while the command center and headquarters expansions make additional units available. Each upgrade also opens additional build locations for support structures.

The Sprit of Fire's expeditionary firebases trade a portion of the original Heron-transported "pod" system's operational flexibility for substantial mass and resource savings. Unlike the older pod firebases, additional pre-manufactured base structures must be transported to the firebase rather than assembled on site, but this method saves irreplaceable strategic resources aboard the Spirit of Fire. The older pod bases remain in reserve, with the Heron dropships used exclusively for mass deployment of cargo and troops in secured rear areas.

MinibaseEdit

Expansion outposts.

Minibase outposts have an armory for equipping basic infantry, and slots for one, two, or three additional support buildings.

Minibases are deployed from Condors to opportunistic locations in the operations zone. Each minibase is build using stripped-down modules assembled and packed aboard the Spirit of Fire before being loaded on the dropship for deployment. Minibases that survive a battle become unmanned sensor and communication relays in the ever-growing system of control nodes being extended across the Ark by Isabel and Captain Cutter.

Supply PadEdit

Supply landing zones.

Supply Pads allow the firebase to receive a constant flow of Supplies from the Spirit of Fire. These are vital logistical ports for UNSC combat operations, and the force commander should carefully weigh the cost of delaying their construction. To sustain high-tempo missions the Heavy Supply Pad upgrade is needed, which accelerates Supply generation. Though important to the war effort, too many Supply pads can impede efficiency if they take the place of unit-creating structures - you can't win a fight with just raw materials!

While some useful assets can be salvaged and tapped on the Ark's surface, the bulk of the UNSC's supplies must still be delivered from the Spirit of Fire.

Sustaining combat operations on the Ark would be practically impossible without the use of supply pads to quickly unload cargo from dropships and the on-site direction of logisticians to efficiently redistribute the incoming food, ammunition, spare parts, and power cells.

GeneratorEdit

Power generators.

Each firebase has an integral power plant to meet immediate needs, but additional Generators are needed for the accumulation of Power used for unit assembly and purchase of upgrades. A Generator should be among the first support structures added to the new firebase. The Advanced Generator upgrade significantly improves Power output.

The older "pod" bases deployed by the Spirit of Fire used hydrogen-burning reactors for power, which required expensive and bulky fuel storage and safety systems. However, new firebase structures require far less power to function compared to the legacy designs, allowing Isabel to adapt modern UNSC vertical axis turbines as a more sustainable replacement.

BarracksEdit

Infantry staging area.

Infantry shipped down from the Spirit of Fire muster in the firebase's Barracks. The Barracks allows the requisition of Hellbringers, Cyclops, and Snipers and unlocks their upgrade options. Multiple Barracks in a firebase reduces infantry requisition time.

Army and Marine Corps troopers are detached ("chopped") from their parent unit aboard the Spirit of Fire and deployed to reinforce key firebases on the Ark's surface, replacing injured personnel who are then medevac'd out of the combat zone. While they await assignment to a fireteam, the "new blood" acclimate and review tactical situation reports in the barracks, which doubles as a recreation area and messhall during lulls in battle.

TurretEdit

Defense emplacements.

Automated weapon towers are installed around UNSC firebases to deter attack. Most firebase facilities have power and control hookups prearranged for up to four Turrets. Turrets can engage a variety of targets, but each can be upgraded to specialize against one particular threat: aircraft, vehicle, or infantry.

The base towers used by the Spirit of Fire are relics of a defensive-in-depth tactical doctrine the UNSC was eventually forces to abandon as the Covenant War ground down Humanity's armies and industrial centers. Turrets are still invaluable tools for the field commander's arsenal on the Ark, however, freeing up troops and vehicles needed to find, fix, and destroy the Banished.

ArmoryEdit

Requisition and tech upgrade structure.

Armory structures contain advanced manufacturing modules and electronic support measures that unlock structure, training time, and population capacity upgrades. Construction of an Armory allows the requisition of UNSC Spartans and Operatives to the battlefield, as well as deployment of the Condor gunship. These are key facilities for a UNSC field commander, though their full potential is only unlocked once sufficient resources are available.

The Armory contains specialized machinery and robotic assemblers need to support the logistical upgrades Isabel has added to the Spirit of Fire, as well as additional communication and sensor systems to expand the force commander's option when assembling battle groups.

GarageEdit

Vehicle factory.

The Garage and its kit assembly line allows the requisition of Warthog, Scorpion, Wolverine and Kodiak armored vehicles from the Spirit of Fire and unlocks their upgrade options. This should be one of the first infrastructure upgrades made to a new firebase, as the Garage constructs vehicles that will remain useful throughout the mission. Multiple Garages in a firebase reduces armored vehicle requisition time.

Pelicans and Darters are not rated for transatmospherical transport of most UNSC combat vehicles, due to the potential for damage and loss of control during reentry. While travel to and from the surface of the Ark is dramatically simplified die to its artificial gravity, the Spirit of Fire is not currently configured to make effective use of this deployment method. Instead, UNSC doctrine states that when use of heavy lifters and surface staging areas is not available, combat vehicles can be partially disassembled, "crated" for transport, and then reassembled near the combat zone.

AirpadEdit

Aircraft landing pads and hangars.

Airpads are firebase support structures that allows the requisition of Hornet, Nightingale, and Vulture flyers from the Spirit of Fire and unlocks their upgrade options. Multiple Airpads in a firebase reduces flying vehicle requisition time.

Expeditionary airpads house the maintenance crews and equipment needed to assemble, repair, refuel, and rearm UNSC aircraft. Airpads also support the force commander with sensor feeds and intelligence uplinks which allow for proper battlespace deconfiction, kill chain assignment, and other aerospace management tasks.

WatchtowerEdit

Sensor tower.

The Watchtower is an elevated sensor platform that increase the firebase's line of sight and can detect nearby cloaked units. Additional Watchtowers extend the cloak detection range. Each Watchtower occupies a turret slot.

The multi-modal stealth and jamming systems employed by the Covenant and Banished are a significant strategic challenge for the UNSC. Though improvements have been made, there is still a significant capability gap in detection range versus cloaking capabilities. Nevertheless, with microdrone clouds and hyperscanner technology acquired from former Covenant sources, UNSC firebases can deploy a short-range sensor network that wil reliably reveal enemies otherwise shrouded by cloaking generators and active camouflage. Once detected, their location can be shared to all friendly units for targeting.

Siege TurretEdit

Artillery turret.

Siege Turrets are long-range artillery systems build to counter enemy bombardment platforms that would otherwise be out of range of standard Turrets. These structures occupy a turret slot.

The UNSC learned the dangers of relying on fixed installations against enemies with orbital fire support early in the war against the Covenant. The modular firebase system was developed in response to pinpoint Covenant targeting of large military command and control installations with orbital strikes, and the inability of standard counterbattery systems to detect, defelct, or defeat plasma-based artillery bombardment. The siege turrets can do little against threats in the orbital high ground, but they will deter enemy artillery systems by matching or exceeding their range, making ad-hoc assaults on UNSC firebases a costly proposition.

StrongholdsEdit

Multi-purpose staging area for Strongholds.

Based on rapid-deploy foritifications in the War Games training simulations set up by Isabel, these bases are vitally important objectives that define the win conditions of the Strongholds training mode. Each Stronghold has infantry, air, and vehicle support structures already attached. Each captured Stronghold increases population capacity.

The concept of Strongholds began in War Games, but Isabel continues to run optimization routines on the design templates she uploaded to the Spirit of Fire's databanks. Isabel has gleaned many novel upgrades from the logs kept by the ship's previous AI, Serina, of the many prior engagements of the Spirit of Fire.

Bunker DropEdit

Home away from home.

The Bunker Drop is an air-droppable garrison building used by the UNSC. It is permanent, but does cost population capacity. It has enough fire points for squads, and has a built—in table for card games while the troops wait for enemies to wander by. The Reinforced Bunker upgrade increases its infantry capacity and adds a shield.

Ice BarrierEdit

Cryotech area denial system.

Serina learned much about warfare from monitoring the activities of Sergeant Forge and Captain Cutter, including the value of controlling the flow of battle by manipulating the terrain. Among her tools to accomplish this is the Ice Barrier leader power, which creates a frozen block at a target location. The block of ice can be used to block chokepoints and disrupt enemy formations, and will chill nearby enemies. The barrier can be shattered by enemy attacks.

Ice Barriers are weaponized versions of an Ander's early, failed, experiment with creating compact, zero—point energy condensers. Activation overloads the delicate barrier generators, but not before the area around them are drained of thermal energy.

Banished unitsEdit

GruntsEdit

Expendable minions (and they know it).

Though derided as cannon fodder, there is no mistaking the military value of having an almost endless supply of cheap infantry armed with plasma pistols to hurl at a foe. Each Grunt squad is led by a Brute armed with a spike rifle who can be upgraded to plant a cloaked proximity-fused shrapnel mine on the battlefield. The Grunts can be upgraded to add a pack brother and lackeys.

Grunts may not be strong, brave, intelligent, hygenic, or particularly fearsome warriors, but those forced so serve the Banished have a healthy enough fear of their Brute leaders to stay on-task and motivated. Even if their fellows are used as target practice by bored Brutes or disintegrated by Forerunner sentinels, the survivors can at least look forward to a full food nipple and a brief nap in the methane atmosphere they call home.

WarlordEdit

Decimus' infantry champions.

Brute Warlords are among the most fearsome infantry in the Banished forces. They are armed with devastating gravity hammers and have energy shields to supplement their already-heavy armor and hides. Their gravity hammers emit a massive shockwave which damages and stuns all nearby ground units.

Each Brute that holds the Warlord rank has been promoted by Decimus for their raw strength, sava lust for battle, and the complete absence of mercy on the battlefield. While the Brutes who make up Atriox's Chosen share their leader's cunning, Decimus encourages more basic traits in his warriors, chief among which is an unquenchable thirst for blood.

GhostEdit

Fast scout armed with twin palsma cannons.

Exclusively used by the Shipmaster and Arbiter for their speed and firepower, Ghosts are single-occupant anti-grav speeders armed with twin plasma cannons and the ram ability to decimate enemy infantry squads. Ghosts can also negate control over resource nodes. With the ghost shield upgrade the Ghost becomes a significantly more durable and effective high-speed raider.

The Ghost is one of the most recognizable and ubiquitous vehicles on the battlefield. It is less armored than its Brute counterpart, the Chopper, but this sacrifice grants it nearly unmatched speed. This speed makes it useful for harassing and hit-and-run tactics on the field.

HuntersEdit

A bonded pair of walking tanks formed from colonies of worm-like aliens.

Hunters are superheavy infantry who fight in bonded pairs. Their massive shields help protect them from all frontal attacks, and their assault cannons deal heavy damage to any ground target and to vehicles in particular. Hunters can be upgraded to equip beam cannons which fire a constant stream of energy at the target.

Hunter are actually just one form taken by Lekgolo worm colonies, with other notable examples including the musculature and control systems for the Scarab and Locust. Always cryptic and undecipherable, Lekgolo in the service of the Banished seem curiously aggressive and the Brutes take great care to separate them from the general population of thralls and mercenaries under their banner to avoid unnecessary carnage. It's possible the Hunters' service is not voluntary, though only Atriox's inner circle knows the truth.

ChopperEdit

Agressive scout and anti-infantry vehicle.

The Brute counterpart to the Ghost, Choppers are durable raiding vehicles that can deal out punishment with its twin spiker autocannons and ability to ram enemy forces that approach too close. The spike cannons can be upgraded with shrapnel rounds for additional explosive punch.

The Chopper gets its name from sharp rotary blades mounted at the front of the chassis to ram enemy vehicles and shred ground troops, a savage tractic reflective of Brute culture. Choppers are so popular among the Banished that competition to become a driver in the outrider squadrons is a major source of death and injury among Atriox's packs.

SpiritEdit

Versatile combat dropship.

The distinctive 'tuning-fork' shape of the Spirit comes from the twin carrier bays that extend out from the pilot's compartment at the rear of the ship. The Banished have reengineered the Spirit's contragravity system so that its chassis can take the strain of transporting prefabricated buildings to forward command centers.

LichEdit

Superheavy deployment platform.

The Banished have appropriated Lich transports and repurposed them to function as carriers for the central command structures of their raider bases.

Suicide GruntsEdit

Grunts with explosive tempers.

Suicide Grunts are specially chosen infantry with exaggerated aggressive tendencies. Each Grunt is fitted with an unstable plasma cell and detonator and given only one order: rush the assigned target and violently explode. They can be upgraded with new "recruits" and plasma lensing which increases their damage against structures and vehicles.

Truly aggressive and violent Grunts are rare, but without Covenant oversight or the environmental hazards of Balaho to cull them from the population, the number of aberrants has increased dramatically in thrall colonies. The Banished have adapted existing indoctrination protocols to turn the aggression and natural cleverness of these Grunts to their own violent purposes.

WraithEdit

Heavy mortar tank.

The Wraith is a tank armed with a plasma mortar for long-range bombardment and short-range plasma cannons for engaging ground and air units. Wraiths in Banished service are fitted with energy shields. The Wraith's can be upgraded to fire a scorch mortar; the impact of this system's unstable plasma shells leaves a lingering pool of energy after impact.

Modified to fit the Brutes' warlike aesthetic, the Wraith serves the Banished as both a mainline tank and artillery piece. Armed with its distinctive plasma mortar the Wraith can shatter heavily reinforced defenses from long distances or engage closer targets with devestating barrages. Despite the Wraith's large size, its boosted gravity drive allows for impressive bursts of speed and surprisingly agile maneuvers over most terrain.

Jump Pack BrutesEdit

Fast-moving assault troops.

This Brute heavy infantry unit is equipped with jump packs and armed with hammers. The Brutes can leap a great distance with the pack's assistance, unleashing a crushing attack at their destination that deals area-of-effect damage. Jump Brutes in the service of Atriox also drop trip mines along their jump path to deter enemy pursuit. All Jump Pack Brute squads can increase their unit size with the dark skies upgrade.

Favored by Atriox for their mobility and savagery, the Banished make extensive use of Jump Pack Brutes for reconnaissance, hit-and-run harassment, and devastating close-quarters assaults. Though the jump packs cannot provide full flight capabilities and must cool down after each use, they allow the Brute warriors to quickly smash into enemy lines, crushing all who stand against the Banished.

EngineersEdit

Enigmatic living machines with remarkable repair abilities.

The Engineers are non-combat infantry support units that can heal nearby friendly units and structures with their reconstitution beams. They can float over cliffs and other impediments to escape danger, but have no offensive abilities. Engineers have an ability to create an overshield bubble to briefly protect itself and nearby allies.

Mysterious living machines created by the Forerunners to function as techno-savants, Engineers have peerless knowledge of all types of technology and seemingly inexhaustible wells of ingenuity in modifying and repairing machinery.

"Born" with an obsession to maintain and protect Forerunner artifacts, Engineers in the service of the Banished exist in constant agony due to the control yokes bonded to their flesh forcing them to ignore endless requests for maintenance from the Ark as a result of Atriox's extraction and excavation efforts.

BansheeEdit

Multi-role attack aircraft.

The Banshee is a versatile attack aircraft armed with anti-aircraft plasma cannons and a ground attack fuel rod cannon. The fuel rod cannon can be upgraded to fire a powerful tracking plasma torpedo that is surprisingly effective against air units.

The earliest models of banshees were modelled after the 'sKelln, a leathery winged flying predator from the Sangheili homeworld Sanghelios. The Banished have twisted this anceint ancestry to make it look similar to an aerial predator hailing from their own homeworld, Doisac.

Atriox's ChosenEdit

Atriox's enforcers.

Only the most cunning and loyal Brutes are chosen as Atriox's personal enforcers. Their unquestioning devotion to Atriox makes them a force to be reckoned with on the battlefield and personal energy shields make them even harder to kill. Each Chosen is armed with teh explosive grenade launcher commonly known as the Brute Shot, which can be upgraded to crease both damage and range.

Favored chieftains in Atriox's retinue may be promoted to Atriox's Chosen, agents that intercede on his behalf to bring recalcitrant packs to heel and direct critical Banished operations. Answerable only to Atriox, these warriors are feared by lesser Bruets and hated by the Shipmaster's troops, but none can deny their loyalty or ability to detect and destroy weak links in Banished operations. Many a prideful chieftain who dared question Atriox's command have ended up as a problem 'fixed' by one of Atriox's inner circle.

MarauderEdit

Fast, medium tank.

The Marauder is an infantry-fighting vehicle armed with a heavy plasma turret. Marauders can be upgraded with modular plates of thick hide to increase their staying power in escalating battles, and those in the shipmaster's service can also be fitted with cloak systems.

Usually operating in close support of Banished infantry, the Marauder is a Jiralhanae design that traces its origins to armored hovercraft that ranged on the plains of Doisac during the world wars that eventually devestated their civilization. The vehicle is also found in the service of the mercenary Shipmaster as a heavier support vehicle for his Ghost raiders.

ReaverEdit

Anti-aircraft combat walker armed with rapid-fire missile launchers.

The Reaver is a walker unit unique to the Banished, build to act as a highly mobile counter-air unit. It is armed with Trasher missile pods that track on enemy aircraft and a light spiker autocannon that can deter attack by infantry and light armored vehicles. It can use its Predatory Leap ability to jump short distances, useful for setting up ambushes or evading attack.

The Reaver is a relatively new addition to the Banished arsenal, and its manufacturer is unkown - though it bears telltale marks of both workshop and assembly vat construction, which hints at an origin on Doisac. They have largely replaced the AA Wraith and anti-aerospace fortifications in the Banished forces, and have quickly earned a dreaded reputation among the Spirit of Fire's pilots.

LocustEdit

Siege walker.

Locust walkers are siege vehicles armed with an unstable focus cannon that deals continuous damage to buildings and vehicles. Locusts are fitted with energy shields but are relatively fragile once those shields are depleted.

One of the many Covenant vehicles modified by the Banished, to serve their needs, the Locust is a walker unit originally build for mining and excavation purposes. The Covenant repurposed Locusts to demolish enemy buildings and outposts with sustained bombardment from their focus cannons, but the Banished have managed to make these vehicles even more dangerous than they were before.

ScarabEdit

Superheavy assault walker with devastating excavation beam.

Few weapon platforms strike as much fear into an opponent as Scarabs. Massive and armored with nearly impregnable battleplate, most battles end soon after a Scarab appears. Banished Scarabs are armed with an unstable plasma beam that deals incredible ground-target damage and Trasher missiles for air defense. The Scarab is slow but very mobile and can easily travel up cliffs and across rough terrain.

Scarabs are highly prized excavation vehicles, though in Banished service they are almost exclusively used a war machines. Heavily modified by the Banished to maximize firepower, the unstable plasma generators used in these Scarabs quickly kill the Lekgolo worms that form its control system. Atriox cares not for this sacrifice as long as the Scarabs continue to bring him victories.

Elite RangersEdit

Anti-infantry marksman and skirmishers.

The Elite Rangers are specialist infantry units devoted to anti-personnel duties. They are armed with rapid-fire carbines with excellent range. They rely on their mobility to stay out of danger and can often severely diminish enemy forces before being within range of a counterattack.

Rangers serve as the skirmishers and snipers of the Shipmaster's mercenary group, tasked with eliminating high-value enemy leaders and scouting routes for his raiding squads. Rangers deploy in pairs that can operate for days, even weeks, away from the main Banished forces. All the hardened raiders and merciless killers who would (and did) sell their own clan if there was profit in it.

Honor GuardEdit

Personal guard of Shipmaster Let 'Volir.

These mercenaries are the infatry bodyguard of Let 'Volir, armed with energy swords and equipped with active camouflage. The Honor Guard can cloak for a limited time, allowing them to close to melee range and engage with their swords.

Borrowing the ceremonial gear and matching the martial prowess of the old Covenant Honor Guard, these mercenary swordmasters evoke the traditions and accomplishments of their forebears in the service of their Shipmaster and his unconventional arrangement with Atriox and the Banished. Though the Honor Guards' motives are not as pure as they once were, only a fool would dare risk their wrath by challenging their presumed honor and skill.

BlisterbackEdit

A heavy air unit that launches barrages of plasma missiles.

The tick-like Blisterback is a massive earial siege vehicle utilized by the Banished. It is designed to alternate between two modes: On the ground it deploys to fire Annihilator siege missiles, and while in the air it fires medium plasma canons that can engage ground and air targets.

On the ground the Blisterback enters a lockdown mode, stabilizing itself before its carapace splits open, revealing a battery of long range rockets. it can then exit lockdown mode to become airborne, closing the rocket carapace and tucking its legs underneath its body to perform a vertical take-off and enabling the use of its meidum range plasma cannon to bombard the enemy.

ShroudEdit

Support vehicle with cloaking field and point defense system.

A war machine from the Covenant's past given new life in Banished service, the Shroud is a support air unit with two combat modes. When deployed, the Shroud activates a persistant cloaking field around the vehicle. When not cloaked, the Shroud engages a point defense system that attempts to shoot down incoming enemy projectiles. The Shroud has no offensive capabilities.

The Shroud is difficult to pilot, with complicated subsystems made even les reliable by Banished tinkering, but its utility in concealing and defending raiding parties means Atriox spares no expense in maintaining his stock of the vehicles.

Hunter CaptainEdit

Impervious Lekgolo commander.

The Hunter Captain is a superheavy hero employed by Colony. Their thick armor and massive shield makes them extremely durable, at the expense of mobility. Each Captain is armed with a modified siphon beam that drains health from those it attacks, and it can protect nearby allies by using a taunt ability to temporarily redirect nearby enemy attacks to itself. The siphon beam can be upgraded with an overcharge ability, increasing range, damage, and an area of effect.

Colony deploys Hunter Captains to locations where some element of its plan or Banished operations requires direct intervention and monitoring. One can be sure that all Banished Lekgolo colonies and gestalts will be operating at full efficiency if these “officers” are present in the battle. Each Captain is linked directly to Colony and its distant bond-brother over a specially modified battlenet relay. The Captains themselves exhibit individual peculiarities and attitudes, though none could be said to be personable.

SkittererEdit

Fast scout walker and escort.

Skitterer units are mechanized scouts piloted by Lekgolo. They are cheap, expendable vehicles, and their twin-linked beam cannons are surprisingly lethal for a vehicle of this size. Their most notable feature is that they can use a defend ability to set up a protective overwatch on other friendly units and act as a weapon turret and defense shield, increasing the health of the attached unit as well as providing additional firepower. Most units can have at least one Skitterer attached, including infantry and aircraft. The defensive link cannot be undone during a mission.

The harsh restrictions on AI research in the Covenant limited the development of autonomous weapon systems, though I clever San’Shyuum technicians did find that carefully selected and pruned Lekgolo colonies could substitute for artificial minds in some applications. Though never widely used, combat machines such as the Skitterer proved this approach had merit, though the risk of aberrant gestalts in small colonies meant it never saw widespread use. Colony has adapted and perfected this technique, which allows for the integration of Lekgolo with the Banished Locust and mass production of Skitterers without the behavioral issues that plagued earlier work.

GoliathEdit

Prime Hunter.

The Goliath is a superheavy infantry unit deployed by Colony to protect areas it finds of particular importance. It is walking tank that bulldozes foes with its powerful melee smash attacks, crushing anything that gets in its way. What it can’t immediately destroy with its smashing blows can be dealt with using the Goliath’s ram ability, which does massive damage and stuns the target temporarily. The Goliath's Rage upgrade significantly increases melee and ram damage, making it even more of a terror against enemy vehicles.

Unlike a typical Mgalekgolo pair, which splits a colony into two independent bodies, the Goliath is a Hunter-style body containing a single colony that optimizes brute strength over all other considerations. Inside the Goliath’s armored shell most of the Lekgolo eel-worms in the gestalt adapt to function as corded pseudo-muscle and thick-skinned protective bands, with a minimum of sensory and cognitive function. Goliaths are not easily self-sustained due to their ravenous hunger for nutrients, and are typically only seen in times of extreme danger among feral Lekgolo, but Colony can coerce or direct subsidiary Hunter gestalts into this form seemingly at will.

Elite EnforcersEdit

Instruments of vengeance.

The Enforcers are fast-moving, battle-hardened Sangheili armed with plasma rifles, plasma casters, and plasma grenades which can be deployed by the Arbiter in place of Jump Pack Brutes. They excel in hit—and—run attacks where they can rush in to attack with their plasma weapons and then disengage to allow their energy shields to regenerate.

Enforcers can also use their special Stasis Grenade ability to take targets they cannot effectively deal with out of action, and raid enemy bases to shut down production for a short time. They can be upgraded with an Arbiter's Champion to add an additional Sangheili warrior armed with a plasma caster. Disgraced Sangheili have few options to recover their honor, even in death. Had Ripa joined with Atriox and thrown off the Prophets' shackles he had powerful tools to exploit Sangheili warriors seeking redemption. Though Ripa could not lead through loyalty or charisma as a general, as the Arbiter he could bind Sangheili with iron-clad oaths that traded unquestioning service as his vassals for a return to the rolls of honor.

GruntsEdit

Grunts commanded by an Elite

The Grunts in this squad are armed with plasma pistols, led by an Elite with plasma rifle. Upgrades allow the unit to cloak themselves for a while and add an Elite second—in—command.

A Grunt's lot is not a happy one, but this squad has the advantage of being led by an Elite rather than a Brute, and whilst their average life-span is still short, it may be fractionally less unpleasant. The unit is relatively fast and effective against all enemy types and better at ranged combat than a Brute—led squad.

PhantomEdit

Assault dropship.

The Phantom is a fast, heavily armed aerial transport available to the Arbiter. It is armed with heavy plasma cannons for engaging enemy air and ground targets, and can embark up to two infantry squads using its integral grav lift. These squads can fire from the Phantom, or be deployed at any time with the Eject ability. The Phantom's speed can be increased with the Swift Wings upgrade.

The Enduring Conviction carried a number of Phantom dropships to augment its existing stocks of Spirit troop carriers and Lich deployment platforms when it deployed to the Ark. The Banished Phantoms that would have been used by the Arbiter are heavily modified to serve as gunships and firing platforms, and are capable of long-range subluminal travel.

The ArbiterEdit

Ripa 'Moramee

Though a talented strategist, Ripa prefers to make fights personal. On the battlefield Ripa wields his two relic blades with devastating skill, and can trigger his Arbiter’s Rage ability to temporarily become a murderous avatar of war.

While Raging the Arbiter can leap to attack air units, moves faster and does significantly more damage. Upgrades include Swift Fury which increases his movement speed and damage, Conduit Incarnate which activates Conduit of Rage when the Arbiter kills an enemy while Raging. and Arbiter's Reprisal which reflects damage back towards his attackers.

Cannon FodderEdit

Quantity is its own quality.

Cannon Fodder are an infantry unit which replaces standard Grunts in Yapyap THE DESTROYER'S army. They are unarmed, excitable, and poorly trained, but free: they cost no resources to deploy [just takes time and population cap]. Though each unit is not exactly a powerhouse combatant, the Grunt Swarms are very useful for scouting, overwhelming enemy positions, and capturing points. In addition to standard infantry upgrades the Swarm can be trained in ancient Unggoy art of being Anklebiters, which gives them a weak close—combat capability and ability to dogpile the enemy and slow them down. Yapyap can also get them fired up with his Refer a Friend upgrade, which gives the unit a self—heal by packaging his best—selling novel on Grunt leadership together with some bandages.

An endless horde of overzealous Unggoy, ready to be marched into battle at a moment's notice! As Yapyap has lost [he says "misplaced"] more Grunts in their revolution than were even carried to the Ark in the first place, it's a bit of a mystery where these recruits are coming from. All that anyone knows for sure is that Yapyap THE DESTROYER argues with his Throne of Woe, gives it a few good kicks, and glassy—eyed reinforcements show up at camp the next day, ready to fight for the glory of Yapyap! In these dark days Grunts adrift are a gift, so other Grunts don't ask any questions.

Heavy GruntsEdit

They eat Spartans for breakfast!

Heavy Grunts are elite infantry who replace. Jump Pack Brutes. Heavy Grunts are Yapyap THE DESTROYER'S enforcers, wearing heavy armor and armed with plasma pistols. When they need to break out the big guns the leader uses his Fuel Rod Cannon. This cannon can be upgraded with the party's Over special ability, which fires an EMP round that stuns vehicles and aircraft. And though war never changes, their unit size can. The My Plus One upgrade adds an additional squad member to the entourage.

Heavily augmented using strange machinery found on the Ark, Heavy Grunts are part Grunt, part machine, all awesome. Even without their new battle armor the Heavy Grunts are bad to the bone, and their chainmail undervests, mirrorshade lenses, and bad attitude prove it. They are led by the Shadow Master of Buwan, a red—beret wearing Grunt spoken of in hushed whispers, who has taught his disciples ancient Balaho martial arts and a number of useful rope knot tricks.

Methane WagonEdit

Flamethrower guitar attachment is on order.

The Methane Wagon is a support vehicle unit which can be deployed by Yapyap THE DESTROYER. It's slow, rickety, unstable, and the parking brake is a chunk of wood, but other than that it works as well as you would expect a Grunt contraption to. Whether by design or malfunction the Wagon emits a Methane Aura: clouds of infusion-enriched methane that enhance the aggression and damage of nearby Grunts, while confusing and reducing the damage of enemy units in the stinky cloud. The Wagon can also make special deliveries of enriched gas clouds by catapult—launching kegs with the Methane Delivery special ability. The aura and clouds can be upgraded with The Good Stuff by drawing upon illegal infusions stashed aboard by its party-hard operators. Unfortunately, these special brews are rather...volatile. The Methane Wagon will detonate violently when its structural integrity is compromised.

Yapyap THE DESTROYER dreams of owning a fleet of gold-plated warships to lord over the mean streets of Balaho. Well, Yapyap doesn't yet have the gekz saved up to afford that, so he has to settle for a souped—up Shadows in the meantime. But with a few more successes on the Ark he can at least upgrade them with aftermarket iridium plating, hubcaps molded with the face of legendary Grunt heroes, and massive spoilers which ensure the Great Journey can be travelled in style. Although it has not yet reached its final form the Methane Wagon's mix of combat and support abilities do make it the mullet of Grunt mechanized warfare: all business on the front lines, but party central in the rear.

Grunt RidersEdit

Backseat driver.

The Grunt Rider is an infantry unit which replaces Suicide Grunts. The Grunts chosen to lord it over captured Brutes still lack much common sense, so going from carrying a backpack to being a backpack may not be a step up. Grunt Riders have a simple partnership with their Brutes: the Brutes punch things with their fists, while the Grunts tell them where to go and throw plasma grenades at enemies, allies, small animals, inanimate objects, and strange noises. The Brute's attacks as-is, they can upgrade their punch force with Grunt-engineered plasma gloves by investing in Punch Harder, You!

Unlike methane and infusions, the Grunt and Brute pairing is not a perfect match. Among other quirks, some Brute Riders have a tendency to develop an obsession with biofuels, power management, and gladiatorial fights, much to the annoyance of everyone else in the rebellion. Other Brute Riders suffer "accidents" at the fists of the Brutes if they get too bossy. The rest simply hope to survive long enough to get promoted to Locust driver or methane hauler.

Grunt GoblinEdit

Large and in charge.

Those nasty humans and Banished bullies won't know what smacked them when the Grunt Goblin enters the battlefield! Piloted by Top Grunt jockeys, each Goblin is armed with unstoppable power wrists and heavy needle cannon right from the start, and can upgrade to the Shardstorm launcher for additional crystalline explosive fireworks. When the Goblins fancy feet get to stepping they can be upgraded to allow Grunt Hustle, increasing the movement speed for all nearby friendly units for a short period of time. While footloose and fancy free under the effect of the Grunt Hustle, the Goblin and nearby Grunt units are deadlier - as deadly as a Grunt can be, that is. And nest-mother said those dancing lessons would never pay off!

Also known as the Balaho battlesuit, Goblins are a patent—pending combination of amazing good looks and punchiness in a single value—packed package. But wait, there's more! Act now and you can get not one. Not two. But THREE Goblins on the battlefield, for a true Grunty triple—threat. Forget fighting fair, for these suits have hearts of blamite and fists of justice that will deliver the Ark to its rightful owners: the Unggoy. And with the Ark in their grasping claws the rest of the galaxy will tremble! At least, that's what the Throne of Woe keeps telling Yapyap THE DESTROYER. But wait, how did Yapyap get ahold of these incredible new machines and find time to modify them? Mind your own business is how.

UNSC unitsEdit

GrizzlyEdit

Superheavy assault tank.

Grizzly tanks are armed with duel high-velocity cannons that make quick work of most armored vehicles and duel medium machine guns to suppress enemy infantry. The missile barrage upgrade allows them to fire an area-of-effect bombardment. The Grizzly's heavy armor is reflected in their slow speed and cost, and they are vulnerable to enemy aircraft.

Approaching the upper limit of mass and volume that can be dropship-transported, the Grizzly is a superheavy tank unit deployed as a siegebreaker by specialized UNSC armored groups. The Spirit of Fire has an unusually large complement of the vehicles due to the machinations of Sergeant John Forge, though the secrets and convoluted story of their acquisition went with him to the grave.

WarthogEdit

Utility light attack vehicle.

The most versatile vehicle in the UNSC inventory, the Warthog is armed with a autocannon which can handle all but the most heavily armored vehicles. In a pinch the vehicle can be used to ram a target, directing the driver to careen into (and ideally over) enemy infantry. The autocannon can be upgraded to a gauss cannon, which substantially increases the Warthog's anti-armor capabilities.

The M12 Light Reconnaissance Vehicle, more commonly known as the Warthog, is a quintessentially tough and urable UNSC vehicle, manufactured in one variant or another for centuries. The towing winch system at the front of the vehicle resembles a warthog's tusks, giving it its name, and it has enhanced suspension and four-wheel steering for a smooth ride over any battlefield. Highly configurable and adaptable, dozens of specialized Warthog loadouts are loaded into the Spirit of Fire's datastores, awaiting use.

Jerome-092Edit

Genetically augmented humans wearing MJOLNIR armor, the ultimate super-soldier.

Spartans are the crack infantry unit of the UNSC - tough, fast moving and equipped with a rapidly recharging energy shield when not in combat. Their enhanced agility and strength enables them to leap high into the air before slamming into the ground, either to take out an enemy, place an explosive device on an enemy structure or even hijack a vehicle.

Though every Spartan has an instinctive mastery over all weapons, each of the Spirit of Fire's Red Team can be upgraded with their favored weapon. In Jerome's case this is a Spartan laser which is highly accurate and powerful, but has a slow reload rate.

Senior Chief Petty Officer Jerome-092 was born into poverty in the infamous Palaikos borderlands on the colony world of Minister, a tough world that forced him into an early childhood of crime where he also realized his capacity for violence. He was abducted and indoctrinated into the SPARTAN-II Program, where after many initial escape attempts, he was transformed from a self-centered survivalist to a leader, honing the speed and agility that kept him alive back home.

Alice-130Edit

Genetically augmented humans wearing MJOLNIR armor, the ultimate super-soldier.

Spartans are the crack infantry unit of the UNSC - tough, fast moving and equipped with a rapidly recharging energy shield when not in combat. Their enhanced agility and strength enables them to leap high into the air before slamming into the ground, either to take out an enemy, place an explosive device on an enemy structure or even hijack a vehicle.

Spartan Alice-130 can be upgraded to heft a medium range, rapid-firing heavy machine gun.

Alice-130 grew up on the way station colony of Passage, where she amazed her family by quickly learning rudimentary engineering at an early age. This exceptional aptitude marked her out from the rest of the children and she was flagged up as a potential candidate for the SPARTAN-II program.

Like all the candidates, she was abducted from her family for secret training, but she was one of the few children wo weren't traumatized during the process. In fact, Alice actually relished and trived on the challenge, a natural Spartan if there ever was one. Despite eagerly embracing her destiny, Alice's body initially rejected the augmentation process and she had to be retrained separately, where she met similar 'wash outs' Douglas-042 and Jerome-092, her future partners in Red Team. Alice lives for combat and challenge and can often appear reckless, but this is in actuality an utmost belief in her abilities.

Douglas-042Edit

Genetically augmented humans wearing MJOLNIR armor, the ultimate super-soldier.

Spartans are the crack infantry unit of the UNSC - tough, fast moving and equipped with a rapidly recharging energy shield when not in combat. Their enhanced agility and strength enables them to leap high into the air before slamming into the ground, either to take out an enemy, place an explosive device on an enemy structure or even hijack a vehicle.

Douglas-042 can be upgraded with his specialist weapon, which is a long range, slow firing rocket launcher.

Douglas-042 had a tough time adjusting for the SPARTAN-II program, as he had originally come from an affluent family in Khetleya on the Asphodel colony. He found the sudden culture shock difficult to adjust to, but soon focused that anger into a quiet confidence in his physical ability - even among the other Spartans Douglas is considered something of a giant, and he started to believe that he had a purpose in life.

This faith in destiny has given Douglas more of an optimistic outlook in life than the guarded cynicism common among Spartans, and it is this hopefulness that helps lift their spirits in hard times.

MarinesEdit

Basic infantry units who can take-and-hold fortifications or activate Foreruner artifacts.

UNSC Marine Infantry are armed with assault rifles that are effective against infantry but deal little damage against ground vehicles. They can receive additional reinforcements and supplies in the field, including the ability to throw grenades or assigning a combat mechanic to the squad. The mechanic will automatically repair nearby damaged vehicles and is armed with an anti-tank rocket launcher.

Marines are the UNSC's expeditionary force-in-readiness, and after decades in cryo-sleep they are old school both figuratively and literally. The Spirit of Fire's veteran Marines are experienced at fighting in exotic environments and have received training by Anders to operate Forerunner systems well enough to avoid triggering defense wards and immolating themselves (most of the time).

HellbringersEdit

Anti-infantry Marines with armed flamethrowers.

Each Hellbringer carries a heavy flamethrower which deals area of effect damage against close range targets. The flamethrower is very effective against infantry - eve nthose garrisoned in structures - but is of limited use against armored vehicles. The flamethrower can be upgraded with dispersion nozzles that increase damage and size of the flame sheets.

Marines willing to strap a tank of volatile chemicals to their back to fire a jet of super-heated flame at enemies are braver (and crazier) than most. Though the UNSC adopted thermobaric munitions for deploying most incendiaries, the liquid projector flamethrower proved its worth to the Spirit of Fire's combat teams by buring out dug-in Covenant infantry, sterilizing Flood infestations, and heating up decades-old MREs.

DarterEdit

Utility cargo dropship.

Darters are cargo dropships that form the backbone of the Spirit of Fire's logistical system. Darters are loaded with carefully packaged cargo pallets and passengers aboard the Spirit of Fire. They are then launched to firebases in the combat zone, dropping off vital supplies and returning with injured personnel and strategic resources. A steady stream of Darters is vital for the just-in-time warfighting strategy of UNSC expeditionary operations on hostile worlds.

PelicanEdit

Military transport dropship.

A workhorse of the UNSC, Pelican dropships are used by military and civilian agencies throughout human space. Produced in bewildering numbers with dozens of major variants they form the backbone of all medium-lift operations made by the Spirit of Fire. Though they can be used to hot-drop troops and vehicles to a combat zone, the ever-present threat of Banished anti-aerospace cannons deployed near conflict areas means Captain Cutter has strictly limited their tactical utilization.

Condor DropshipEdit

Slipspace-capable cargo dropship.

The Condor is a long-range transport vessel used by the UNSC and many civilian agencies, and those that survived the Banished attack at the Ark were redeployed to the Spirit of Fire to deploy prefabricated base modules in lieu of the ship's original complement of Heron dropships. These are valuable vessels, for they possess slipspace drive cores, although the Ark's extreme distance from UNSC space mean they can only be used to explore outlying Forerunner installations and conduct long-range reconnaissance rather than make trips back to Earth.

HornetEdit

Fast, nimble, multi-role attack VTOL.

Hornets are fast-attack aerial gunships used for combat reconnaissance and lightning strikes against high-priority targets. They are armed with rotary autocannons that are effective against all targets and can be upgraded with Marine wingmen carrying rocket launchers.

Air operation directors from the Spirit of Fire are fond of the AV-14B Hornet's firepower, but they are also very much aware of the vehicle's relative fragility. Marine pilots often mitigate this issue by operating in Hornet "wolfpack" kill teams to overwhelm air defenses and destroy their targets before retaliatory fire can do much damage. Commanders are advised to wait for the SPNKR-armed wingmen and personally direct the assault when using Hornet swarms against heavily defended facilities.

CyclopsEdit

Anti-tank combat walker.

Cyclops suits are armored infantry exoskeletons armed with an anti-vehicle autocannon effective against most ground units. The autocannon can be upgraded to fire shock rounds with non-nuclear electromagnetic pulse warheads that slow the movement of target vehicles. Cyclops suits benefit from infantry upgrades but are as durable as most light vehicles.

Radically redesigned by Serina using design files from Lethbridge Industrial that she inadvertently "found" during operations on Arcadia, the HRUNTING Mk.III Cyclops suits produced aboard the Spirit of Fire now use a refactored exoskeleton and completely original control software. Though this combat walker variant does not have the raw strength of the original engineering vehicle, it is faster and far easier to operate eevn with its new weaponry and armor. Isabel continues to improve on the design with modern UNSC cyberlink protocols and module concepts.

WolverineEdit

Specialized anti-aircraft vehicle.

The Wolverine is a tactical air defense vehicle, fitted with an advanced Multiple Lauch Rocket System (MLRS). A secondary grenade launcher is fitted to engage ground targets, but it is recommended that the Wolverine avoid engaging armored vehicles.

The Wolverine was reintroduced in the latter years of the insurrection, but is also proved highly effective in countering the Covenant's Banshee and Seraph fighters. Wolverines aboard the Spirit of Fire are relatively unsophisticated compared to contemporary variants, but Isabel is making great strides in adapting modern UNSC targeting software to the older hardware.

ODSTsEdit

Elite rapid-deployment infantry.

Orbital Drop Shock Troopers (ODSTs) are elite infantry that make quick work of any nearby enemy troops with their silenced SMGs. ODST's can place a proximity-fused demolition charge and deploy from orbit anywhere in explored territory using the ODST drop leader power. Other units in the drop zone may take damage from the ODSTs' meteoric arrival.

A special forces raiding unit of the Marines, ODSTs are deployed from the Spirit of Fire to turn the tide of battles, raid enemy bases, and assassinate high-value targets. A normal ODST day entails a hair-raising drop from orbit while encased in an armored drop pod. The ODST's enter the atmosphere at high speed and brake just short of impact. Because of the speed with which they enter the atmosphere, the pods get extraordinarily hot, giving ODSTs the nickname 'Helljumpers' and their slogan "Feet first into Hell!"

ScorpionEdit

Main battle tank.

The Scorpion is armed with a high velocity cannon for anti-tank work and a medium machine gun for engaging enemy infantry. Scorpions in the field can be upgraded with submunition canishter shells that deal heavy damage in a balst radius around their target.

The Spirit of Fire carries a large complement of M808S Scorpion tanks modified by Serina during the years in which the ship drifted in space. Her improvements include a more efficient armor arrangement, better situational awareness for the operator, and upgrades to the main cannon. Isabel has found little room for improvement on this blueprint, but she sees possibilities for specialized variants that leverage the chassis for other roles.

NightingaleEdit

Medical and maintenance support aircraft.

Nightingales support UNSC forces on the ground with their complement of multi-purpose restoration drones, which automatically deploy to heal and repair nearby allied units. Nightingales can also deploy multi-spectrum defensive smoke as an ability, which blocks enemy line of sight. The Nightingale is unarmed, and should never be deployed without an escort.

The Nightingale EV-44 Support VTOL is one of the newest UNSC support aircraft used by Air Force rescue squadrons and Marine combat logistic teams, and its relatively simple construction (aside from the drone systems) made the design blueprint easy to adapt to the Spirit of Fire's older factory modules. As the ship's complement of troops cannot be replenished, vehicles such as the Nightingale are essential for keeping as many bodies in the fight as possible.

JackrabbitEdit

Fast reconnaissance trike.

The Jackrabbit, or M121 Light Strike Vehicle, is a very fast scout vehicle that can detect cloaked enemy units and rapidbly gather resources. It can be upgraded with a mini-frag launcher for some offensive punch, but is frequently used for exploration and liberating resource nodes from opponents.

Cheap and easy to manufacture, the Jackrabbit's design blueprint was one of the first to be integrated by the Spirit of Fire after Isabel's rescue. At first glance it looks like a lightly armored bike with a compact cockpit for the rider, but when decelerating the front splits into two seperate wheels to form a tripod and retain stability. When bursts of speed are required, the two wheels pinion together automatically.

KodiakEdit

Self-propelled artillery gun.

Kodiak artillery systems are armed with long-range siege cannons, though the vehicle must deploy before it can fire. Deployed Kodiaks cannot move, which means that they are best paired with other units to act as spotters. Professor Anders can fit the Kodiak with beacon warheads that act as Sentinel lures, attracting and antagonizing the Ark's defense constructs.

A modern UNSC vehicle introduced to the Spirit of Fire by Isabel, the Kodiak M400 Artillery System has quickly become a favorite of the ship's crew on account of hte Kodiak's spectacular firepower. When the Kodiak enters lockdown mode, the articulated 'feet' from the side of the vehicle fold down to anchor the vehicle to the ground to provide stability and counter the recoil of the siege cannon. The cannon's shells are massive and take some time to reload between firing, but the devastation they cause is well worth the wait.

SnipersEdit

Stealthy reconnaissance and marksman unit.

Snipers are specialized infantry units armed with a sniper rifle and accompanied by a spotter drone. Snipers are equipped with cloaking tech, which they can use to camouflage themselves as they scout out enemy targets. The base rifle is only effective against infantry, but the Stanchion upgrade arms the Sniper with a portable railgun that deals heavier damage against ground troops.

Drawn from experienced Marine froces reconnaissance and Army cavalry scouts, the Spirit of Fire's sniper teams have traditionally operated in the background as unsung heroes of many skirmishes and aerial strikes. Equipped with photoreactive cloaks and deceptive jammers, Snipers are extremely difficult to detect until they prepare to strike. After a sniper engages, a canny commander should redeploy them to another vantage point ot avoid retaliatory fire.

Condor GunshipEdit

Slow-moving but heavily armed and armored gunship.

The Condor is a slow-moving but powerful gunship variant of the civilian dropship armed with multiple laser turrets and a Ballista mini-Magnetic Accelerator Cannon (MAC), all of which can independently target enemy units. THe pulse lasers fire quickly, making them effective against massed units, and the MAC is unmatched in hard target elimination. It can be upgraded with a heavy gauss barrage, which fires three quick MAC blasts at enemy targets.

Condor gunships produced on the Spirit of Fire lack the slipspace drive found on the base dropship, however, with those systems replaced by older, bulkier, capacitors Isabel used to power the pulse lasers and magnetic accelerator cannon.

THe G81 Heavy Gunship, Isabel's reconfiguration of the Condor transport, breaks a large number of UNSC weapons platform and other safety regulations, but she's pretty sure Captain Cutter will have her back if they survive the war on the Ark.

VultureEdit

Ground-attack gunship with tactical missile payload.

AC-220 Vulture gunships engage ground vehicles with twin medium autocannons, air vehicles with anti-air missile pods, and enemy bases and staging areas with Phoenix tactical missiles.

The Vulture is the largest combat aerodyne in UNSC service and is essentially a flying tank. The size an cost of deploying such a unit limits its use by the Spirit of Fire, though Isabel's upgrades and logistical expertise has dramatically simplified Vulture production and maintenance.

Forge's WarthogEdit

Warthog driven by (the late) Sergeant Forge.

Sergeant Forge has spent long hours in the Spirit of Fire's hangar customizing this Warthog with turbo chargers, rollbars, and hundreds more tweaks, but has no compunction to let it sit idle. Forge's Warthog is a Hero unit unique to Forge, kept out of the motor pool circulation and the hands of other Marines.

Always wanting to be in the thick of action, Forge has outfitted his vehicle with a defensive aura of nanobots to repair the Warthog in the midst of battle. Forge uses his Warthog for fast harassment of enemy units and has made some modifications to the autocannon so that, when upgraded to a gauss cannon, it can fire highly damaging Anvil Rounds. The Gauss can then be further upgraded to a Gauss Overcharge, making the cannon's shots even more powerful.

Kinsano's CyclopsEdit

Kinsano's adapted Cyclops mech-suit.

The Flame Cyclops is a Hero unit unique to Kinsano. Her one-off armored exoskeleton is equipped with twin flamer units whose limited range is offset by the high damage they inflict, and by the mech's overall speed, giving impressive area-control.

A fast-recharging energy shield provides basic defense and an upgraded gives access to the Firewall ability, which creates a static wall of flame very damaging to units passing through it.

Flame WarthogEdit

Warthog armed with powerful flamer.

The Flame Warthog, or 'Flamehog', is an adapted Warthog only available to Morgan Kinsano. The usual Warthog autocannon has been replaced with a white-burning flamethrower which is particularly effective against infantry and buildings. The passenger also fires anti-air rockets.

The Flamehog has the same ramming ability as a regular Warthog and an upgrade allows the flamer to be replaced with a grenade launcher with incendiary grenades.

MantisEdit

Mark IX Armor Defense System

The Mantis is a combat vehicle used in a number of different configurations by the UNSC and licensed security forces. The Mantis replaces the Warthog in Sergeant Johnson's force. Its default weapon is a chaingun, which can target both ground and air targets. The Missile/Shield Requisition upgrade increases the number of missiles the Mantis can fire and adds energy shielding, while the Gauss Designator Requisition upgrade replaces the conventional chaingun with a gauss repeater and adds a networked target designator. The target designator allows the Mantis to "paint" a single unit and coordinate attacks using the local battlenet, increasing all damage the target takes from friendly units. Groups of Mantis walkers will smart target their designators.

Highly mobile, well-protected, air-droppable, and reconfigurable, the Mantis represents the state-of-the—art in infantry walkers. Mantis units were stationed at the Henry Lamb Research Outpost for site security, but many were destroyed in the initial Banished attack. Well aware of their combat potential, Isabel has begun producing a modified version of the Mantis for the use of Spirit of Fire's ground forces, with adjustments to reuse parts produced for the Cyclops and Colossus. While capable, these units lack the neural interface control systems installed on contemporary UNSC models; a necessary concession due to the Spirit of Fire's older manufacturing technology.

ColossusEdit

Heavy—metal mayhem.

The Colossus is a superheavy vehicle unit which can be deployed by Sergeant Johnson in place of the Scorpion. It is relatively slow, but fitted with a devastating arsenal, capable of taking down almost any foe. The Colossus' primary weapon is a long-range heavy railgun, a massive weapon originally designed for installation on fortified structures. While the rail cannon can only target ground units, its autocannon has an all—environment engagement profile. After upgrades the Colossus can use Stomp, sending out a shockwave that stuns and damages enemy ground units.

The Colossus is a next—generation exoskeleton combat unit designed by Materials Group and Hannibal Weapon Systems for the UNSC Army. Isabel retains its manufacturing templates from her supply-chain training on Earth, though manufacturing these massive combat machines represents a considerable burden on the Spirit of Fire's supplies. Sergeant Johnson claims to have acquired the materials for his Colossus units via the classic Marine Corps logistical expediency of 'borrowing' equipment that isn't nailed down [or couldn't be pried free], but his actual source for these machines is a mystery wrapped in an enigma, protected by shield generators and several tons of Titanium—A armor plating.

Green MachineEdit

Lean, mean, killing machine.

When Sergeant Johnson joined the Corps they didn't have any fancy-schmanzy power armor, but he's a quick learner. He drops onto the Ark in the "Green Machine," a bipedal weapon system custom-fitted with an array of miniguns, phased-plasma fusils, sonic blindwolf repellers, repair beacon pods, and fast-regen energy shields. He keeps a sharp stick handy as a backup weapon. The energy shielding rapidly regenerates after it hasn't been hit for a few seconds, which plays well with Sergeant Johnson's preferred tactics of hit-and-run raids and well-timed combined-arms strikes. The suit's repair beacon ability heals up to ten nearby allies with constructor beams tuned to a pleasing Marine Corps-approved green color.

The suit can be upgraded in the field, further enhancing the Green Machine's killing power. The Gauss Chaingun upgrade upgrade adds specialized high-power ammunition while the Beacon Shield pairs the repair beacon with a bubble shield, reducing incoming damage for those inside the repair radius. And last—but certainly not least—the suit can be upgraded with a Smart Missile pod for dealing with pesky nuisances at long range. Why doesn't he wear a helmet? Well, would YOU hide behind an armored faceplate if you had Sergeant Johnson's rugged good looks.

Commander JeromeEdit

UNSC Expeditionary Force Commander

Commander Jerome has proven himself to be an inspirational and highly capable leader, though some aspects of his Spartan conditioning conflict with his strategic instincts. Among these is a preference for direct action. On the battlefield. Commander Jerome can Inspire nearby troops and take the fight to the enemy with a custom Hydra missile launcher, shrugging off attacks with his energy shield.

Commander Jerome cannot hijack vehicles, but he can deploy his personal Command Mantis onto the battlefield from the Spirit of Fire. Upgrades include increasing the radius of his Inspire ability and add a suppressing orbital barrage to the Command Mantis.

Command MantisEdit

Theseus unleashed!

The Command Mantis is a hero vehicle deployed by Commander Jerome. It is an upgraded variant of the Mantis all-environment bipedal walker armed with twin high energy lasers and fitted with an advanced energy shield.

The Mantis can operate in an unmanned combat mode or be piloted by Commander Jerome. When piloted by Commander Jerome the mech's long-range missile launchers are also deployed, though these do have a minimum engagement distance. Jerome-092 is free to disembark at any time with the unload ability.

The Command Mantis is tailored specifically for Jerome's neural interface and cannot be Hijacked. Upgrades to Commander Jerome also affect the Command Mantis, and he continues to Inspire while operating the mech.

Nicknamed Theseus by Jerome-092, his personalized Command Mantis is a mobile command post and linebreaker unit that complements both his augmented physiology and leadership style. It incorporates one of the Spirit of Fire's command—and—control nexus relays, enhancing Jerome's situational awareness of the battlefield and serving as a backup for the UNSC battlenet should the ship be crippled or destroyed.

Omega TeamEdit

Enemies' end.

Omega Team is a Spartan special forces team available exclusively to Commander Jerome. All three members of Omega Team are deployed into battle via drop pods. Legendary soldiers in their own right, Omega Team members inspire nearby units in addition to packing heavy weapons.

Robert-O25 is armed with a fast—firing Plasma Cannon, Leon-011 is fitted for close—quarters combat with a custom Energy Sword, and August—099 is a crack shot with her Railgun. As Spartans, each member of Omega Team has energy shields and the ability to Hijack enemy vehicles.

Omega Team is a fast reaction team of Spartan super-soldiers deployed to colony worlds threatened by the Covenant. Using the fastest transports available, Omega Team rushes to reinforce local defenses and buy time for a UNSC response or–more often–an emergency evacuation and enforcement of classified last-stand protocols.

In this latter role Omega Team is responsible for denial of critical resources, data, and personnel to the enemy by any means necessary, including deployment of weapons of mass destruction to prevent capture and utilization.

Red Team worked closely with Omega Team several times, including the defense of Arcadia’s capital city when it was attacked in 2531, but were separated when the Spirit of Fire departed the system to chase retreating Covenant forces. Commander Jerome has discerned they survived the war, based on UNSC records recovered from the Henry Lamb facility, but he can only speculate as to their current activities.

MastodonEdit

Armored personnel carrier.

Mastodons are heavy troop carriers available to Commander Jerome. Each is armed with a M41 machine gun in a remotely operated weapon station, but the vehicle's primary offensive utility comes from the three units of infantry it can carry. Each of these units can engage the enemy using their weapons through the ABC's firing ports. The Mastodon can be upgraded to carry an additional infantry unit. If the Mastodon is destroyed the troops within will survive, but suffer heavy damage.

M650 Mastodons are widely used by the UNSC Army and colonial defense forces. Their large troop compartments enable them to carry heavy infantry (such as Spartans in powered assault armor) and their armor protects against most heavy weapons, but their size made them difficult to deploy and they lack the mobility of smaller (but far less protected) Warthog troop carriers. With troops in short supply on the Ark——and reinforcement unlikely—Jerome has investigated starting production of these vehicles to minimize infantry casualties.

Cryo TrooperEdit

Nerves of steel and hands of frost. Cryo Troopers replace Hellbringers in Serina's combat force. Fury runs hot and cold, as evidenced by Serina's plans for a cadre of cryotech—equipped infantry. Cryo Troopers are armed with a portable cryo spray which deals damage and inflicts a chilling effect on enemy units. This can shut down enemy vehicles and structures [including turrets], temporarily shutting them down even if they are not subsequently shattered. They can be upgraded with advanced cryo systems, which increases the damage, range, and area covered by the chilling field of their spray.

Hellbringers are qualified to maintain, operate, and deploy a number of specialist weapon systems in the UNSC arsenal. This includes a range of incendiary, thermobaric, energetic, chemical, and biological weapons that most UNSC personnel are not even aware of. Serina reasoned their hazardous material qualifications and daredevil reputation made them well—suited for field testing experimental cryotech weaponry. Who better to strap on experimental and unstable power cells that tap strange energies than Marines who routinely wear volatile chemical packs into battle? She was probably right, if the spirited discussion about her cryotech weapon templates among the Spirit of Fire's Marines is any indication.

FrostravenEdit

Death on frozen wings.

The Frostraven is an aerial support vehicle unique to Serina. It is equipped with a vacuum energy extractor, nicknamed the cryo ray, which chills and then freezes enemy units. The Frostraven can also unleash its special ability, a shockwave missile. which shatters any frozen enemies in the target area. With the Chill Out upgrade the Frostraven's cryo ray becomes even more powerful, chilling and freezing the targeted unit faster.

The ZAV—48 Frostraven is a conjectural design that pairs research work Serina conducted on weaponized vacuum energy cryotech with a modified EV—44 airframe. As Isabel continues to review and integrate the knowledge left behind by Serina, it is possible that she will take this design from theory to prototype, but it is not without some irony that Anders has now focused her full attention on unraveling the secrets of the Forerunners rather than continuing this line of research and development.

BisonEdit

Heavy—duty cryotech support vehicle.

The Bison is a hero vehicle available to Serina. In Serina's employ it is a heavily-armored and shielded vehicle that synergizes well with other cryotech vehicles and abilities. It is fitted with a powerful Coldsnap launcher, which fires experimental cryo shells that damage and chill enemies caught in its area—of—effect. The launcher can be upgraded, which increases the launcher's range, rate of fire, and chill effect. When the Bison deploys it leeches ambient heat energy to augment its defensive systems, creating a chill aura that affects nearby enemies. These systems can also be upgraded to further boost defenses and the area of the chill aura.

Bisons are versatile, durable vehicles that served in most groundside combat elements of the old Colonial Military Authority [CMA] in a number of roles, including armored personnel carrier and recovery vehicle. It remains in service with several UNSC Army units and local militias [such as the Sedran Colonial Guard]. The variant designed by Serina uses the proven chassis as a testbed which holds a vacuum energy siphon, scientific instrumentation, and cryotech weaponry in one mobile package. As there are no Bisons aboard the Spirit of Fire at present, Isabel has looked at improving and repurposing the siphon with her own research data on Forerunner vacuum energy cells, but the delicacy and intricacy of Serina's manufacturing template complicates this effort.

Major VaughanEdit

lst Squad, lst Platoon, B Company, 9th Shock Troops Battalion.

Major Vaughan's command squad, callsign Sunray 1-1, is the lead element of Boomerang Company, the UNSC's most elite force of Orbital Drop Shock Troopers [though that's what they all say].

The Mustang.

Born to a family of politicians and corporate executives, Vaughan lived a life of privilege and luxury in the most prestigious of Earth's arcologies. But when a family squabble escalated, a rebellious young Vaughan made the worst and best decision of his life by enlisting in the UNSC Marines.

Rammed through boot camp during the height of the insurrection, Vaughan had no time to regret his decision before shipping off to war against terrorists and separatist movements in the Outer Colonies. His first duty station as a green recruit was the Spirit of Fire, an old ship retasked with transporting UNSC military and police forces to colonies it once established. Few appreciated the irony more than Vaughan, given the role his own family played in exacerbating colonial tensions.

Years later he found himself on the Spirit of Fire again, this time as a commissioned ODST officer on a campaign against the alien Covenant that would take him from half-glassed colonies to ancient Forerunner shield worlds, and beyond. It's been a long road, but Vaughan takes solace in the fact that this is definitely not the course his family had pre—charted for him.

The Spirit of Fire's unusual situation makes Vaughan one of the highest-ranking UNSC officers in the Ark conflict, but he prefers to leave strategy and high—level operational planning to the experts. He's a Helljumper, and his place is in a drop pod plunging feet-first and on fire into the cauldron of battle. In addition to coordinating Boomerang Company's deployments and leading the command squad, Vaughan carries the squad's SPNKr rocket launcher, which he occasionally uses as a blunt teaching instrument to knock sense into younger ODSTs.

Warrant Officer QuinnEdit

lst Squad, lst Platoon, B Company, 9th Shock Troops Battalion.

Major Vaughan's command squad, callsign Sunray 1-1, is the lead element of Boomerang Company, the UNSC's most elite force of Orbital Drop Shock Troopers [though that's what they all say].

Signals Reconnaissance Specialist.

Quinn has been many things in her life, but none have been as meaningful as service in the ranks of the Spirit of Fire's 9th Shock Troops Battalion. A highly trained signals intelligence analyst and electronic warfare operator, Quinn accompanies ODST pre—assault and deep strike post—assault teams on missions that require the application of technical wizardry in addition to raw firepower.

With Professor Anders' departure on the Halo ring it has fallen to Quinn and other UNSC personnel who have demonstrated affinity with—and knowledge of—Forerunner systems to be boots—on—the—ground resources for task force commanders. It's a job she relishes.

Quinn and Major Vaughan have a long history of service together on board the Spirit of Fire. Quinn has no particular love for the ship itself—and despises its recycled air and the peculiar pull of the barracks' artificial gravity—but she cares deeply for the crew and troops aboard it. When Quinn accompanies Vaughan on his Ark expeditions, she serves as the command squad's technician and "Ark door opener," in addition to handling a prototype target designator for the Spirit of Fire's new EMP Ordnance support drop.

Corpsman GrussEdit

lst Squad, lst Platoon, B Company, 9th Shock Troops Battalion.

Major Vaughan's command squad, callsign Sunray 1-1, is the lead element of Boomerang Company, the UNSC's most elite force of Orbital Drop Shock Troopers [though that's what they all say].

UNSC Navy Medic.

Petty Officer Gruss is the Navy combat medic assigned to Major Vaughan's command squad. A woman of [very] few words, the ODSTs make it their mission to interpret "Doc's" opinion of their shenanigans by analyzing her body language, sighs, rude gestures, and grunts of disapproval. This friendly harassment ends when combat begins, for Doc holds the lives of the troopers in her able hands, wielding biofoam and trauma packs across the squad's position with incredible skill and delicacy. So perfect is her timing in dealing with injury that it borders on the prescient, and squad members resign themselves to the inevitable if Doc appears near them during battle.

In addition to her medical skill, Gruss has shown a remarkable talent for escape and evasion by avoiding the Marines' many and varied attempts to induct her into their ranks as an honorary Helljumper. This irks some members of the battalion, but even ODSTs are not crazy enough to risk the ire of a medic [and

Major Vaughan] by pressing the issue. When deployed with the command

squad Doc patches up the team's injuries with her medkit.

Corporal TurpinEdit

lst Squad, lst Platoon, B Company, 9th Shock Troops Battalion.

Major Vaughan's command squad, callsign Sunray 1-1, is the lead element of Boomerang Company, the UNSC's most elite force of Orbital Drop Shock Troopers [though that's what they all say].

Drone Controller.

Cursed with always being the right woman at the right place at the right time, Turpin wishes for nothing more than a life of glorious anonymity, rather than a life filled with fateful encounters. Turpin's recent assignment to the command squad has the rest of Boomerang Company nervous, as her reputation for dragging fellow Marines into perilous adventure is well known among the Spirit of Fire's crew and troops. As the squad prepares to deploy for a routine recon mission on the Ark's surface, Turpin crosses her fingers that nothing of interest or importance will transpire, just this once.

Turpin carries the squad's battlenet relay and operates a drone high—energy laser weapon platform designed by Isabel.

Lance Corporal SparksEdit

lst Squad, lst Platoon, B Company, 9th Shock Troops Battalion.

Major Vaughan's command squad, callsign Sunray 1-1, is the lead element of Boomerang Company, the UNSC's most elite force of Orbital Drop Shock Troopers [though that's what they all say].

Designated Marksman.

Sparks is the squad sniper, and something of a wildcard even among the Spirit of Fire's impressively large cast of misfits and rogues. Sparks' long list of non—judicial punishments and reprimands would have landed him a full—time billet in the ship's brig were it not for two unique qualities: his unparalleled skill with a SRS-99 anti-materiel rifle, and supernatural ability to acquire the rarest [and tastiest] meal packs on the ship. Luckily, Helljumpers value good chow and a good shot more than adherence to UNSC regulations, which keeps this "Lance Criminal" from behind bars—so far.

Sparks provides fire support for the command squad with his sniper rifle and assists Turpin by designating priority targets for her drone. He also contributes to the squad's morale with his vast knowledge of terrible jokes and patently ridiculous [but completely true] "war stories" from his civilian days.

Campaign logsEdit

The Healing of Old Wounds IEdit

Journal of Nathaniel J. Palmer, Archaeologist, Henry Lamb Research Outpost. 

Personal Diary Date: 03/16/2558

The will and resilience of life never ceases to amaze me. Infinite permutations of bacteria, animals, and plants all exist as a direct result of the endless struggle and adaptation against a hostile universe. This installation, light years from the galactic center, is a paragon of that fact. When we first arrived here, the Ark had suffered great wounds from our war against the Covenant, and so we activated dormant retriever sentinels and deployed them to strip-mine lifeless planets for the materials needed to repair the installation. Like watching a sleeping giant nudged into wakefulness, the reconstruction slowly reached full automation until we were no longer needed to guide the sentinels and could simply sit back and record the wonder of a world being reborn.

The Healing of Old Wounds IIEdit

It has been three months now since we established the outpost, and each day we wake up to some new, shift in our surroundings as its Sentinels repair and rebuild the Ark around us. I have witnessed dense forests spring up from pit-black, barren terrain over the span of a week and monitored a particularly virulent strain of weed checked by the reintroduction of voracious, insectoid parasites before it could strangle the budding plants nearby.

The Healing of Old Wounds IIIEdit

My role as an archaeologist has been inverted. Instead of peeling back the layers of the past to reveal hidden truths, I watch and document those layers being placed and marvel at the subtle ambiguities. More than anything, I want to tell my family back home about the wonders I've seen, but for now I have to be content with news from home until the confidentiality contract is lifted. So much to talk about - we could learn so much here!

A New Bridge to Cross IEdit

Journal of Nathaniel J. Palmer, Archaeologist, Henry Lamb Research Outpost. 

Personal Diary Date: 04/02/2558

Isabel, our new smart AI, has embraced our new home with a wonder and enthusiasm that matches our own. She is a young AI and this is her first assignment but even so, her excitement for discovery and investigation is infectious among the team. I even caught Brewer, the most jaded of the scientists here, swapping jokes with her while they worked. Although we are hesitant - and too worldly - about admitting it openly, it feels like we are on the cusp of a new era.

A New Bridge to Cross IIEdit

The Human-Covenant War often felt impossible to win, or at least, would be so prolonged that as a race we would end it exhausted and broken, retreating back to our own galaxy, cowed by the power of a greater enemy. Instead, it proved that there was always hope, and that even enemies can become allies. Now the war is over and events have brought us to the Ark. Peace reigns, and we have the time and resources to unlock some of the mysteries of the Forerunners. We've been mired in war for so long -perhaps now mankind can focus on development, on self-enrichment, for a change.

A New Bridge to Cross IIIEdit

As I have cataloged the marvels of the Ark, I've come to realize it is not simply repairing itself from the ravages of the war, but remains remarkably adaptable to change. Only this morning, I watched in awe as giant tectonic plates rearranged, shifted and unfolded to form a new pathway across a chasm. My amazement at the size of these things was only matched by the naturalness of the movements, as graceful as a flower opening in time-lapse. If eon's-old technology can move with the present, if it can adapt and change to work in harmony with the universe, then perhaps we can learn to evolve as well.

The GraveyardEdit

Journal of Nathaniel J. Palmer, Archaeologist, Henry Lamb Research Outpost.

Personal Diary Date: 11/28/2558

Fifteen of us managed to escape the attack. I still don't know if anyone else made it out.

We were returning from a survey expedition when we heard the first explosions.

I ran back, following the plumes of black smoke rising into the evening sky from just over the bluff. Sounds of UNSC gunfire were soon drowned out by the too-familiar whine of plasma weapons, confirming our worst fears.

As we looked down at the horror below, we saw several hulking outlines move amongst the shadows. Jiralhanae, I think. Brutes. They were everywhere. The air was filled with the smell of burning ozone as a couple of bright, electric blue shapes arced their way toward us. We scattered as the plasma blast hit, vaporizing the trees nearby and showering us with ash and debris.

We instinctively turned and ran. My ears were ringing and the ground shook, but we somehow managed to stay together. I yelled at everyone to keep moving, to not look back no matter what. But when the firing stopped I couldn't help myself, I turned around and witnessed the orbital plasma bombardment of our home firsthand. It didn't last long. I didn't need to. But the finality of it will be forever seared into my memory.

We've been on the run for three days now. The grime and smoke and ash clings to our clothes, our hair. We sleep in shifts, but not for very long. Every sound wakes us with a start and we expect to see the enemy bearing down on us.

We don't know where we're going but we've found some temporary shelter amongst some old wreckage from the last time humanity was here - skeletons of the past.

I can't help but think of the people we left behind. Will the Ark simply clean them away as it repairs itself? As if they never existed, layering fresh grass and fauna over their graves until the scars are no longer visible? They should not be forgotten. I think of you and I pray we are not at war again.

Rise of Atriox IEdit

ONI Section Zero Board//Surveillance transcription of internal communications between subjects 'D' and 'S', 02.15.2550 0313 hrs//Full transcript available on request//

['D'] Whatever it is you woke me for it had better be good. I have a 0600 with Zero and I'm going to need my full four hours to keep ahead of them.

['S'] Yes, sir. It's one of the Unggoy we captured. It's offering information in exchange for a deal.

['D'] A grunt? Why are you wasting my time? Those things don't know HOW to tell the truth. Besides, something that far down the chain won't have access to plans. Not beyond kitchen duty anyway.

['S'] You're right, sir. But it's not about the Covenant. The Unggoy says he was snatched from the Covenant. You remember the attack on Carter Guard Armory six weeks ago?

['D'] I'm still trying to make up the losses from the fallout. They took everything we had and left no survivors. I've never seen the Covenant take our gear like that before. Are you telling me we have a splinter group to contend with now?

['S'] Maybe. Whether they're our problem too is another matter. I started doing some digging and the group's targets seem to be chiefly Covenant. I guess hit what you know, eh? Anyway, I pulled the security vids of the raid to get the Unggoy to identify the leader.

['D'] And did the grunt ID? Do we have a visual?

['S'] Pulling it up now. It's a little blurry, but what you're about to see is the leader, a Jiralhanae, fighting a squad of ODSTs. There's a lot of blood, sir. It's not an easy watch.

['D'] Good lord. Is he beating that ODST With...? Do we have a name?

['S'] We do, sir. From the Unggoy. Says his name is Atriox.

['D'] Make sure no one else talks to that grunt. I want this compartmentalized. Some at ONI will see this as a problem to be fixed, not an opportunity. Find out all you can on this Atriox and keep me informed.

The Turn of the ScrewEdit

Journal of Nathaniel J. Palmer, Archaeologist, Henry Lamb Research Outpost.

Personal Diary Date: 01/17/2559

It has been two months since the attack and our group has atrophied to eight. Four disappeared one night while the rest of us slept. Each of them had argued with us that week about returning to the base to see if they could reopen the portal, so I can only hope they left in the night to go back without us. Three we lost to thirst, hunger and the elements. I am ashamed to notice that our smaller group is now more manageable - finding food and water is easier with fewer mouths to feed.

During this time, the invaders have not been idle. Yesterday we stumbled upon what seems to be some kind of transport route, moving resources they're mining to supply their forces. The lanes sprawl out across the land like a spider web, with all the grace and aesthetics of Forerunner design.

We rested and argued for a while about which direction to head in. There was a real danger we could accidentally stumble upon an enemy base, but that could also lead to supplies, perhaps even a vehicle we could steal.

We are hungry and exhausted and cannot last much longer in the wild. One of us, Brewer, said as much and not for the first time raved about surrendering. We thought we had talked him out of it but the next morning he had gone. If he had successfully surrendered he could have given away our position, so we had no choice but to start moving immediately.

We look for cover but avoid the trees because I have seen strange shimmers and movement amongst them. I am scared and tired and want to give up. But that won't get me back to you.

Rise of Atriox IIEdit

ONI Section Zero Board//Surveillance transcription of internal communications between subjects 'D' and 'S', 11.17.2550 1453 hrs//Full transcript available on request//

['S'] Sir. did you receive the report on Codename: Slow Dive? I thought you should see it.

['D'] I did. although I'm not sure why I'm looking at it. Hit and run, neutralize Covenant forward outpost...break it down for me, what am I missing? Why is this an ONI concern? Did we lose anything vital?

['S'] No sir - in fact we suffered no casualties at all. When the team arrived at the outpost it had already been wiped out. Every Covenant dead, every weapon and vehicle gone. The only vehicles left look to have been sabotaged. 

['D'] Crossed lines happen all the time. I take it you've already had a discrete[sic] poke around the other departments. Did we have a Spartan black ops mission there? 

['S'] No one's heard a peep, sir and l was very thorough. I've annotated the report for you. The ballistics report confirms the majority of the damage came from spikers, brute weapons. Remember our discussion about Atriox? 

['D'] Ah. You think this could be his work. What did that Grunt call them, 'The Banished'? Still out there, are they? 

['S'] Once I saw the ballistics report I requested the last six months of mission reports—under a proxy of course—and I believe I've found other similar incidents; five months ago a rookie marine trips an alarm during a mission against a Covenant training camp. The team dig in, fearing the worst but no Covenant troops respond. The team sweep the camp only to find a few dead Sangheili in a warehouse. Everything else is gone, vehicles, weapons, even the rest of the Covenant that were stationed there. Once I started looking I found five other similar cases, all against Covenant targets.

['D'] So he's not just stealing armaments, he's recruiting. At the moment he's still using guerrilla tactics, which means he's still small time. Still, I'm impressed he's  still alive. If he's got a grudge against the Covenant we may be able to use his attacks to our advantage, coordinate our operations with his raids. See if you can find a pattern, I want us to follow him more closely. Who knows, we may be able to come to some kind of agreement.

Alice-130 Report #1Edit

Spartan Alice-130, Spirit of Fire Red Team. Date: 03/28/2559

This is senior chief petty officer Alice-130, recording status report. Operating comms silent. I managed to hold them off as long as I could while the Pelicans carried out Jerome and Douglas, and once they we clear I spotted a Ghost, commandeered it and made for the nearest portal. There was a brute coming through from the other side, and I have to admit, his surprised expression as he bounced off the front of my Ghost was very satisfying.

The Portal transported me a couple of clicks away from the main force, so I stashed the Ghost in a nearby cave and took up a watch. After a couple of hours perched in a small indent of a cliff face, the hostiles had moved on. A caravan detachment had captured some of our troop from back at the outpost and were taking off in another direction of the main forces, so I've been tracking them, maintaining comms silence until it's safe to contact the Spirit of Fire.

One more thing - although the hostile forces consisted of both Unggoy and Jiralhanae soldiers they're not kitted out like any I've seen before, and the taking of prisoners is unusual behavior tor the Covenant. It's unclear yet whether this is some kind of subfaction or new enemy force. I will continue to make and log these reports until contact is reestablished. Alice-130, signing off.

The BlindedEdit

From the journal of Orda Val 'Saham, Sangheili Guard 03/04/2559

How my ancestors would envy me. I have walked within the cavernous corridors of one of the fabled cartographers on the Ark, a place long considered only in legends. I still feel strong emotions here, for so much of the history of our race is intrinsically bound up in it. But those emotions are not those of my ancestors.

No longer do I feel the religious reverence or feel humbled in the presence of the ancient's structures and monuments. Gone is the comforting certainty of a shared destiny and the peace and connection between brothers that comes with it. Instead, when I close my eyes and breathe in the air around me, I smell only machines. I remember how many hundreds of thousands of our warriors fell—how many were sacrificed for a journey that never existed. I feel anger and a deep sorrow for a race that has lost its way.

Even now, long after the Prophets' lies have been revealed, the ripples of that revelation continue. I have become estranged from my family, who even after the truth has come to light, refuse to fully renounce the ancient doctrines I have brought shame upon our name by offering up my blade alongside my brothers...for hire.

Battle and conflict is in our blood, our very way of life, and that is the only truth I can now find. I cannot wait for another holy war, not will I be duped again. With Atriox there are no lies; he speaks like a warrior. He wished to break free from the yoke of the Prophets, so he did. Would that we had joined him earlier. Now he offers us a way to keep our ship and our crew together and I can think of nothing more truthful to fight for right now. The Shipmaster brought us through the war and to this place alive where so many others have perished. He asked us to follow him once more, and I will.

The TelegonyEdit

Professor Ellen Anders, Civilian Consultant 500493, Spirit of Fire. Date: 03/29/2559

As we continue our campaign against Atriox and the Banished, I continue to discover more about the Forerunner's history and the Ark. Ever since Red Team rescued Isabel, I've been pouring over her notes, trying to catch up on as much history as possible. There are so many intertwining stories and revelations that each new piece only throws up more questions, sending me darting down another branch of investigation.

I am trying my best to remain focused, but it's hard not to wander occasionally when something intrigues. However, my passion is tempered with my responsibilities to the rest of the crew.

Although I am still a civilian here, I've been through too much with these people to not consider the Spirit of Fire home and its crew family. Now I can help them by beating Atriox in the race for knowledge. It's the only way to keep them...and me...alive.

A Split Heart is Easily ConqueredEdit

From the journal of Orda Val 'Saham, Sangheili Guard 03/30/2559

This may be my last entry. The humans reached the Cartographer and by now have no doubt discovered the location of Atriox's reinforcement portals. I admire the humans' courage and skill as warriors; they are just one ship, but fight as fiercely as an entire fleet! If their leader is as shrewd as he has appeared so far, then he will understand the value of the portals and they must be the human's next target. They're likely already striking out to destroy them.

I have been ordered to defend the portals and must report to Decimus. This gives me grave concern. When we first arrived at the Cartographer, I was among the Sangheili who were to sweep the area for hostile elements and as such I was privy to Decimus' movements.

He is Atriox's right-hand and pledges loyalty to the Banished, but as I watched him walk among the ancient's halls I recognized the awe and reverence in his eyes that I once saw among my own clan. I saw that fatal longing, that tragic need to be once more struck dumb and blind by the promise of a wondrous destiny. If we are to succeed, Decimus must purge these old conflicts from his thoughts. A warrior's heart must be certain if he is to survive, as doubt is a surer killer than the sharpest blade.

Rise of Atriox IIIEdit

ONI Section Zero Board//Surveillance transcription of internal communications between subjects 'D' and 'S', 05.06.2553 1702 hrs//Full transcript available on request//

['D']...what's the name of the ship? Something pronounceable, I hope. 

['S'] 'The Enduring Conviction', sir. A CAS class assault carrier. The Conviction and its Sangheili commander have been known to us for some time, we've lost quite a few ships to it over the last four years. According to our intel it's the largest ship Atriox controls now.

['D'] He's amassing quite a fleet. This must be the ninth raid in as many months. Still, he's never gone for something this large before. How did he raise enough troops to capture and then crew a CAS-class carrier?

['S'] We're piecing together what we can, sir. From what we understand, Atriox and a small group of his warlords were captured during a raid on a former Covenant air base and taken aboard the Enduring Conviction. Twelve hours later. Enduring Conviction broke formation and contact with the rest of the fleet it travelled with. The Conviction was hailed, warned, and then fired upon when it ignored orders. The Conviction performed evasive maneuvers, returned fire and escaped. It was an impressive move...and it's one we've seen before during a battle with the Conviction two years ago.

['D'] Are you implying the commander was still in control?

['S'] It's possible, sir. It's unclear who's giving orders to these Sangheili ships now and his crew was fiercely loyal. If we knew that, then Atriox would have. What if Atriox planned to be captured by the Conviction so he could get close to the commander and get him to defect? It may have even already been planned and this was just a cover.

['D'] An assault carrier and its crew. Atriox has just painted a very large target on his back, he's going to want to lay low for a while. Keep track of known Sangheili, let's see if this snowball turns into an avalanche.

A WarningEdit

Balkarus, Brute captain. Transcription Date: 03/30/2559

Attention all Unggoy!

As captain of this pitiless rabble I have the displeasure of having quarters close to you whelps, and so my ears are tainted with every cowardly whisper and idiotic rumor that is spread among your number! Recently. a poisonous tale has become popular among you little ones, a tale that has resulted in two - TWO- attempted desertions! This threatens to undermine my authority and is an insult to the name of the Banished and Atriox himself. I am here to crush that rumor before it results in any more disobedience.

The rumor is of an enemy warrior, so called 'The [UNKNOWN TRANSLATION]'. It has been said that this '[UNKNOWN TRANSLATION]' is responsible for the deaths of our comrades at the ancients water treatment structure and the loss of several captives. According to you superstitious fools, the '[UNKNOWN TRANSLATION]' single-handedly fought our bravest Jiralhanae before freeing the human captives and then led a path of destruction leaving not one of our warriors standing! The worst versions have the '[UNKNOWN TRANSLATION]' being unstoppable, a ghost or even the same Demon that defeated the Covenant curs!

This ends now. The death of our warriors and loss of captives was due to an accident, probably caused by some lazy Unggoy neglecting its duty! From now on, any talk of this phantom (UNKNOWN TRANSLATION) will result in several of you pathetic creatures being hurled to the bottom of the nearest ancient chasm as a warning. Let that be the end of it.

One last thing - the execution of the deserters will happen in one hour, all are to attend.

Rise of Atriox IVEdit

ONI Section Zero Board//Surveillance transcription of internal communications between subjects 'D' and 'S', 12.21.2553 1702 hrs//Full transcript available on request//

['D'] What are these? Wraith tanks? What's this other vehicle? I don't recognize it.

['S'] Not many people would, sir. Those are Banished Wraiths, the other thing we're not sure about, some kind of airborne artillery. With the war over, there's an awful lot of materiel out there for the taking. No Covenant also means Atriox can stop running.

['D'] But if the Covenant are gone what's he fighting for? I guess he could be making a bid for Doisac. Brutes don't have a strong leader to stabilize them since the wars ended, and that's a good thing.

['S'] O don't think so, sir. Throughout the war he was always about raiding, about building up his army. He never struck directly against the Covenant unless there was something to gain from it. Never took territory, never made demands or speeches. He kept as low as he could, a small target. Now his targets have become more focused, less hit and runs than surgical strikes. And he's still recruiting. Even some of the Lekgolo are joining him now as well as more ex-Covenant who don't want to stop fighting. The Covenant was never the target. They ware just convenient suppliers. He's just getting started.

ChrysalisEdit

Professor Ellen Anders, Civilian Consultant 500493, Spirit of Fire. Date: 03/29/2559

I've been examining data pulled from the amber lake and cross-referencing it against Isabel's information banks on the Forerunners. I couldn't help but draw a parallel with the amber that fossilized long dead species on Earth. Except on Earth, those biological relics were preserved where they fell. Here, despite all appearances, everything has been constructed and planned. The Ark is part of a larger plan spun by the Librarian, and the UNSC archives say this was a plan for humanity.

New Mombasa was the first city to have an orbital elevator, but also the site of the portal that first led to the Ark. Was this all part of the Librarian's plans? Could she have manipulated our evolution just so we would discover the portal?

If we are to be these 'Reclaimers' as so often claimed, does that mean we are predestined to follow a set path or are we merely being guided to assume a greater role in the universe? On the one hand, it is thrilling that we may be finally uncovering the great questions as to why we are here, but it also scares me. It feels like we're preserved specimens under the surface of the amber lake, observed by some great, unknown eye.

I need to get back to work, but I have to come back to this when we have time. If we have time. Back to it, Ellen.

A Small SacrificeEdit

Teranus. Jiralhanae guard. Transcription of audio report. Enduring Conviction. Date: 12/07/2558

Captain, how much longer must we put up with these Sangheili mercenaries? They are as haughty as their kind ever was during the Covenant. Despite how they have debased themselves for Atriox.

True, their ship is impressive; when I think of the punishment we dealt to the humans pitiful outpost great peals of laughter burst from my lips. How they ran like tiny insects, hopelessly lost and panicked as if we had poured boiling water into their dirty little nest! Yes, we burned that place. Of course, many of the Unggoy under our command were obliterated as well, but you cannot have a feast without breaking bones! Our soldiers knew the risks and were willing to die for our goal and the Unggoy - well, they are merely fodder, willing to hurl themselves to their deaths as long as there is someone to command them to do so!

Not so with these POMPOUS Sangheili! They declined our invitations to celebrate the destruction of the human's outpost. It is untrustworthy to have mercenaries be so squeamish! War is not about honor, but about who climbs out of the pit alive at the end! The end of the Covenant has freed our race, but it seems to have imprisoned theirs. 

That is all, my shift is over and I must go now to find some Unggoys to beat for sport.

Rise of Atriox VEdit

ONI Section Zero Board//Surveillance transcription of internal communications between subjects 'D' and 'S', 05.06.2555 1702 hrs//Full transcript available on request//

['D'] Play it back to me, let me hear what we got.

"You wish to know about Atriox and his Banished? The Covenant's dirty little secret. The Jiralhanae they could not control. When I joined the Covenant I was young and easily led. Even back then he had already passed into legends and whispers. A monstrous savage who railed against those who would show us the way to the Great Journey. What a fool I was. I was there when they tried to execute him. Many have said the same but I speak the truth. His crime was to question the Great Journey. To question the Prophets as they sent wave after wave of his kind to die. With each battle he became harder, his dissent louder until the Covenant had to silence him. He was to be executed for heresy; for bringing shame upon the Covenant and doubt to weak willed minds. I was working some menial task nearby when they brought him in. Bloodied and fresh from the fight. He showed no fear—it was as if there was too much rage inside him for any other emotion. As the executor brought down his blade, Atriox rose, killing his would be killer. The other Brutes fell upon the rest of the guards—such savagery. Years later I heard Atriox had engaged the services of the Enduring Conviction. I wonder, would the war have ended sooner had he led the Covenant? Or would it still be raging? I say this—do not underestimate him. I know you humans. There is honor in you, but there is equally deceit and I know how you nurture your plots. If you try and harness his power. He will burn you. Atriox works for no one. He may not be the Covenant, but he is not your tool." 

['S'] That was all we could get out of the Sangheili, sir. He wouldn't say any more without us answering some uncomfortable questions so we let him go.

Enduring Conviction Battle ReportsEdit

Various Battle Reports, Banished station Delta.

Incoming: R-5557-4452: We have spotted a small human vehicle force on the southern spire near the ruined human settlement. No sign of a larger strike force, but all Banished forces in the area should be ready to mobilize in the event of a larger human assault.

Incoming: R-6001-4452: Humans routed from the area, many dead. One of their demons immobilized, the other missing, presumed dead. We have secured prisoners for interrogation and sport.

Incoming: R-6029-4452: The humans launched a surprise assault against Decimus' salvage operation. Superior numbers forced Decimus to return to base. Decimus has been ordered to report to Atriox immediately. All Banished outposts to be on the alert for further human assaults.

Incoming: R-6042-4452: Supply deliveries along the southern Spire supply-line have slowed significantly. Rumors delivery outposts have been lost to human forces. Temporary re-route of emergency supplies underway. We also have reports of several communication blackouts at one of our settlements, seems to be a small second force operating independently of the main enemy force. Reinforcements sent down to bolster our bases there and eradicate this problem.

Incoming: R-6066-5012: Cartographer lost to the enemy. It is believed humans managed to recover information from Decimus' base and location of portals controls now compromised. Decimus reassigned to protect likely portal targets.

Incoming: R-688-5014: Loss of captives to the guerrilla force. No survivors, but garbled reports from the Unggoy forces of a '[UNKNOWN TRANSLATION]'. Rumors of this '[UNKNOWN TRANSLATION]' are unsettling the Unggoy forces and there have been several desertions. Suggest deserters are executed as an example and anyone spreading rumors of the '[UNKNOWN TRANSLATION]' are punished.

Incoming: R-7012-5093: Reinforcement of outer portals underway. Enduring Conviction has finally been ordered to engage the human ship directly—although Enduring Convictions shield is under assault from an enemy ground cannon. All local Banished forces to mobilize and neutralize enemy threat immediately. The Huragok onboard assure us that the cannon is little threat to the hull of the Enduring Conviction, but losing our shield could leave us open to other attacks.

Incoming: R-7013-5093: Enduring Conviction has lost all shields. All available Huragok to be assigned to repair duty immediately. No sign of orbital counter-attack, assault against Spirit of Fire continues.

Incoming: R-7016-5093: Alert! We have been...

[REPORTS END]

The Snake that Eats the TailEdit

Unknown Author, Installation 00, Date: 01/14/2555

Once again, the humans have damaged Installation 00 with their war, like chidddlren allowzed to run rampnt and uncheckedd.

Correction: [Like children allowed to run rampant and unchecked]

Are these truly the ones destined to carry the Mantle? Perhaps it is heresy to question the Librarian's plans, but one's thoughts do tend to wander and dwell on forbidden thoughts when one has been left alone for so lone

Correction: [long]

How long has it been now? No matter.

I cannot help but question the wisdom of my masters. After all, there have been countless battles and each time the only difference seems to be the names of those involved.

Can the universe really be shod and bridled like some common beasts simply to serve the wants and needs of petty organic life? I have had time to do little but watch as events unfurl and to my senses there has been no advancement. If a rock is cast into the water, no matter the weight or the force of the one who hurls it, it creates a few ripples quickly subsumed by the calm of the lake itself. Is the purpose then to simply upset the stillness, albeit temporarily?

If so, then surely it is a selfish, prideful need for immortality in the sentient beings. A need which we should not encourage. After all, they only hurt themselves.

No, the real truth is that the universe is cyclical and must maintain its stillness, infinitely returning to the source. Installation 00 must be maintained and returned to its former state and those that have done it harm must be dealt with.

It is time for me to get to work.

Rise of Atriox VIEdit

ONI Section Zero Board//Surveillance transcription of internal communications between subjects 'D' and 'S', 03.15.2558 1702 hrs//Full transcript available on request//

['S'] Sir, it's me. We've lost him. He's completely disappeared.

['D'] You can drop the 'sir', I'm not your boss anymore. remember? I take it I know which 'him' we're talking about? 

['S'] Every one of my sources say the trail has gone cold. Those that are still answering my calls anyway. Without ONI channels at my disposal the only people talking are those who owe me favors.

['D'] They don't need us now their war's over. Forget about it.

['S'] Forget it? Atriox has assembled an army somewhere out there and we still don't know what he's after. I've got connections on Doisac and he's become a symbol to the Jiralhanae. A new leader to rally around. While we've been fighting the Covenant, he's been growing and gathering his forces. The last time we heard from him he had captured a whole host of Hugarok[sic]. Forerunner engineers. You know what those things can do?

['D'] Listen, I stopped caring when they cut me out. They pull me up on a few shady deals after what they did with the Spartan IIs? Hypocrites. They ask you to get your hands dirty and then they're too good to shake your hand. The only reason I'm not in some detention station is the stuff I have on them. So let them find out about Atriox in their own time. Don't call here again, we're done.

Beyond the EdgeEdit

Captain James Cutter, SN: 01730-58392-JC, Spirit of Fire, Date: 04/02/2559

Once again, I say goodbye to a colleague and friend. The new Halo installation has disappeared through the slipspace portal. Far out of reach of Atriox's hands. But it took Professor Anders with it. I know the Professor will be okay, her intelligence and resourcefulness will see her safely back to her lab in no time, but I will miss her and our family is a little smaller without her.

But there is plenty to keep us occupied here. The portal to Earth is still closed, and as far as I'm concerned it should remain so until we fully evaluate the threat the Banished pose to it. However, I have ordered Isabel to start investigating the portals controls in the event that we need to open—or close—it again in the future. The Ark is our new home for now and the Banished threat is too great to leave it unguarded until we establish contact with the UNSC forces back home.

For now, Atriox seems to be licking his wounds, but we know he still has forces active in the darkest corners of the Ark and it won't be long before he mobilizes them once again. This time we'll be ready for him.

Yes, I have said goodbye to another friend and we are again cut off from the rest of humanity, but this time it's different. We know that the Covenant war has been won and a new future awaits us back home—perhaps our families as well. For now, we have a new purpose, something to fight for. And we'll do it together on our new home.

A New CommanderEdit

Balkarus, Brute captain. Recorded Date: 4/1/2559

Forticus, we have received the Huragok you sent us and have already put them to work around the operation site. I have tasked a Sangheili to look after them, for I cannot stomach to be around them for long. Simply the sight of the Sangheili communicating to those creatures with strange hand signals repulses me. I ofter need to punt three of four short ones unto a deep chasm before my mind settles again!

I fear I would need to kick a thousand Unggoy into the depths to restore my peace of mind after meeting our new commander. While stationed at the raid camp, I head utterings about a Lekgolo who had risen up the ranks to the standing of actually having Atriox's ear! I know know those rumors to be true, and that it calls itself 'Colony'. I have only glimpsed its hulking form from a distance, but the others swear they actually heard it speak, or something close to a sound. I can tell many of the younger Brutes are nervous in its presence and guard their conversations, for if they are truly a hive mind, then surely all eels hear what one hears.

Atriox appears to have tasked Colony with investigating the ancient technologies here and restoring them for our own use. He, they - whatever it is - seems to have curbed its feasting habits and has already made progress in establishing a cloaking field over the site. Such power makes me nervous. The Lekgolo are formidable fighters, but sometimes I wish the Covenant had left them burrowing away amongst the relics like the worms they are. Still, if it gives us the chance to strike back at the humans, then I welcome it, but it is not the natural way of things!

I must end my transmission now: I swear I heard something slithering behind me.

Hold Fast Edit

Balkarus, Brute captain

Attention pack brothers!

The next Jiralhanae that comes to me asking for Unggoy replacements to bolster the one he has 'misplaced' will lose his tongue to my blade! I understand patience is troublesome for warriors such as us, but hurling the whelps as the cloaking field to watch them fizzle and pop is a waste of resources!

True, it is amusing and I am willing to turn a blind eye to the occasional 'accident', but as disgustingly numerous as the Unggoy are, our forces here are limited until the operation is over. Besides, the grating squealing of the pathetic ones are likely to attract the unwanted attention of the Sentinels, which will slow down out plans.

Until the operation is over, the cloaking field must remain in place, and we must hold here to ensure its function. Despite their weakness, the humans seem to have eyes everywhere and they must not find out out plans. Save your bloodlust for the enemy, or strive for patience until the operation is complete. We are close now, and it will not be long before we can indulge ourselves again. Stay your hand, pack brothers, and sate your urges with the knowledge that we will soon have vengeance on the humans for the loss of the Enduring Conviction.

Floats Low But SteadyEdit

From the journal of Val 'Telram, Sangheili Guard and translator.

I was overseeing a group of Huragoks when I heard the shrieking of metal, an almost animalistic cry that pulled at my gut as the Sentinels tore the Enduring Conviction apart. I would have given anything to be with my clan brothers then, to die as a warrior's death among my brethren. Instead, I watched helpless as the Sentinels carved up the ship - my home and family.

The shame I felt nearly drove me to madness. It had been weeks since I had even unsheathed my blade, but they told me my skills as an interpreter were more important than my swordsmanship. When we left the Covenant to join with Atriox, we lost access to all logistics and docking support. No more repair crews, just the few Huragoks we happened to have on board when the Shipmaster pledged allegiance to the Banished.

My ability to communicate with the Huragoks, the sign language and the patience requiered to learn it, quickly isolated me from my own kind. While my brothers fought in battle, I was to work with the Huragoks to secure resources and unlock ancient technology. How I wished we had a Unggoy Deacon that could have taken my place. I felt less than a warrior.

Now at last I feel that vengeance and redemption is within my reach, and the instrument is the very thing that has separated me from my warrior brothers. Atriox has charged the mysterious Lekgolo known as Colony to seek out Forerunner weapons, and it has found a long forgotten ship. I have been assigned to watch over and communicate with a Huragok, which goes by the name of 'Floats Low But Steady' because of its habit of almost skimming the ground as it works. Within the span of a day, it has started 'talking' to the ship and the launching systems that hold it. I consider myself fluent, but there are occasional words I cannot accurately translate. The closest translations seems to be 'bloom', 'grow' or 'seed'.

The Jiralhanae look with disgust as I work with Floats Low as they fear what they do not understand, but they cannot hide their awe at the results. The Ship seems to grow and rebuilt itself from the very launch system, a spear to drive deep into the heart of out enemies.

A Tensed BoltEdit

Unknown Author, Installation 00, Date: 29,823 BCE

It disturbs me to admit, but I always feel a wash of ennui after dismantling one of the Librarian's ship-seeds. As with all my master's designs, architecture and function balance in perfect harmony. It seems such a pity to put it back in the box.

It is as if a mighty archer has flexed their muscles, drawn back the box to full strength and then suddenly frozen in full pose. The tension remains, the action and all potential postponed, perhaps never to be realised. The temptation to launch it and to break the stasis is strong, so I must busy myself with other tasks. However, every Refugia has some buried inert marvel of technology: weapons, ships, power sources - all patiently waiting to be put to use once again.

This is the way of things, and at least the ship is in sympathy with this installation. As with all the Librarian's plans, Installation 00 has performed admirably, but now it lays dormant, sleeping. It is my task to watch and maintain this installation should the threat arise once again.