A glossary of terms from the Greg Bear novel Halo: Cryptum.
Greg Bear's Halo: Cryptum has finally made it onto store shelves. To celebrate this momentous occasion, we're providing a handful of brief definitions for some of the exciting new terms you'll find in Cryptum.
So a word of warning to all who read past this point: if you haven't yet read Cryptum and would like its terminology unspoiled, please refrain from proceeding (and grab a copy at your earliest convenience!). But if you've already enjoyed the Forerunner novel or just want to get a quick preview of the incredibly deep lore Mr. Bear has packed into this book, check out what we have below:
ANCILLA–A highly-advanced but purpose-scaled artificial intelligence housed in Forerunner armor, machines, buildings, and ships.
BAFFLER–A Forerunner-designed camouflage technique employing geometric distortions.
B'ASHAMANUNE–An equatorial variety of skinny and lithe humans living in Erde-Tyrene’s grasslands.
BEN NAUK–A neighboring planet to Charum Hakkor and Faun Hakkor, also occupied by the humans.
BREVET MUTATIONS–Risky, ad-hoc mutations which can be successful, like traditional mutations, but can often introduce complications since they are less practiced and honed.
BUILDER SECURITY–Forerunners of the Builder rate who conduct security and combat matters for the Builders.
BUILDERS–The highest and most powerful rate among Forerunners, led by the Master Builder.
THE CAPITAL–The center of the Forerunner ecumene, a repository of twenty thousand years of Forerunner knowledge and wisdom which housed trillions of ancilla and served as home to roughly one hundred thousand Forerunners, mostly Builders high of rate and the Council.
CHAMANUNE (CHAMANUSH)–A variety of the human species on Erde-Tyrene, bronze-skinned and predominantly hairless.
CHARUM HAKKOR–An important planet which was once a Precursor hub world and the site of a great Forerunner war.
THE COLLEGE OF STRATEGIC DEFENSE OF THE MANTLE–Often simply referred to as the “War College,” it was a school for warrior Forerunners at which the Didact once taught and where he acquired his final name.
THE CONFIRMER–An aged Promethean commander assigned by the Council to guard and protect the San’Shyuum.
THE COUNCIL–A collection of at least five hundred representatives from various Forerunner rates across the ecumene.
COUNCIL SECURITY–A team designated to protect the Council.
CRYPTUM–Also referred to as a “Warrior Keep,” a sealed structure where a Warrior-Servant would enter a self-imposed exile, hibernating in a meditative state of contemplative transcendence called “timeless xankara.”
DAOWA-MAAD–A human saying for a concept regarding the roll and tug of the universe on a being.
DAZZLER–A Forerunner-designed camouflage technique that causes visual and auditory delusions.
DJAMONKIN AUGH–A ring-shaped island known locally as “Big Man’s Water,” believed to be a Precursor site, located on Erde-Tyrene.
THE DIDACT–A banished Promethean warrior who once served as the protector of the entire Forerunner ecumene.
DIGON–An ancient language used almost exclusively by Warrior-Servants.
DURANCE–A receptacle which can maintain the “reduced essence” of a Forerunner after the moment of physical death.
ECUMENE–The Forerunner empire, which was composed of three million fertile worlds.
EDOM–A red, desert world which serves as a home to Forerunner miners.
ERDE-TYRENE–A blue-green planet neighboring Edom, presently occupied by humans.
FAUN HAKKOR–A neighboring planet to Charum Hakkor, one which humans had once occupied.
GEAS–A generations-long genetic command which can nudge or persuade individuals or generations into a planned destiny.
GHIBALB–The natal Forerunner planet, once a beautiful paradise, now a desolate, radiation-scorched cinder due to early Forerunner mistakes in stellar engineering.
HALO–An enormous ring-shaped, wide-effect neural-disruption weapon considered to be the final defense against the Flood.
HAMANUNE (HAMANUSH)–A smaller, diminutive variety of the human species, roughly half the size of the chamanune, and commonly known as Florians.
HURAGOK–Techno-organic Builder servant-tools which float above the ground.
JAGON–An older Forerunner language, though not as old as Digon.
JANJUR QOM–A primary-treaty planet and the largest of the San‘Shyuum quarantine worlds.
KASNA–An intoxicating green San‘Shyuum beverage.
K'TAMANUNE–A husky, ochre-skinned northern species of human living in frigid climates.
THE LIBRARIAN–The greatest and most prestigious Lifeworker; there have been only three to reach this rank in all of Forerunner history.
LIVING TIME – The joy of life’s interaction with the Cosmos and the foundation for the Mantle itself.
MANIPLE–A specific division, defined by one’s function, within a Forerunner family or guild.
MANIPULAR–A Forerunner’s initial and simplest physical form; the form prior to one’s first mutation.
THE MANTLE–A belief system held by the Forerunners in which they are required to protect and promote life.
MARONTIK–The largest human community on Erde-Tyrene.
MASTER BUILDER–A title given to the chief of the Builder rate and of all the guilds; considered to be the most powerful Forerunner in all the ecumene.
MENDICANT BIAS–A tremendously powerful Contender-class ancilla designed to coordinate control of the Halo installations under authorization of the Council and the Master Builder.
METARCH–A hyper-advanced level of ancilla in the exclusive service of the Council, with less than five in existence at any given time.
METARCHY–An unimaginably vast network used by ancilla, ultimately coordinated by a single metarch-level intelligence which reports directly to the chief councilor.
MUTATIONS–The careful act of customized biological maturation of a Forerunner to new forms and/or rates which is typically performed two to five times over the course of a lifetime. The process determines a Forerunner’s place within his or her family, Maniple, or guild, and is always patterned after the mutation’s mentor–typically, but not always one’s parent.
ORGANON–A possibly mythical device believed to be capable of reactivating all Precursor artifacts.
PHERU–A highly valued human pet who originally came from the planet of Faun Hakkor.
PHYLARCH OF BUILDERS–A leader within the Builder rate who was particularly notorious for his role in reinstating the Warrior-Servants in response to a great threat.
PLASMA JOCKEYS–A colloquial term by Builders for stellar-class Engineers equipped with third-class ancilla; their role is to tame young stars for future use.
PRECURSORS–A civilization which preceded the Forerunners, leaving behind indestructible and inscrutable remnants of their way of life.
PROMETHEANS–A noble class of the Warrior-Servant Forerunner rate from the distant past.
RATE–The Forerunner society is structured by “rates” of varying societal function and cultural importance: Builders (highest rate), Miners, Lifeworkers, Warrior-Servants, and Engineers.
SAN'SHYUUM–A peaceful species, interested in their own betterment through science; noted for their profound sensuality.
SUPREME MANTLE COURT–A rare holding of the court by the Council to discuss matters of extreme importance and significance.
SYNCHRONS–A nexus of great forces and personalities; a point when one’s life dramatically changes.
THE TIMELESS ONE–A mysterious creature which was once held within the arena of Charum Hakkor.
WAR SPHINXES–Flight-capable combat machines which were employed by Forerunner Warrior-Servants in battle; roughly ten meters tall and twenty meters long.
WISDOM OF HARBOU/STRENGTH OF LANG–Two forces that hold the millennial seal on the Didact’s Cryptum, barring entry to all but a Forerunner.If you haven't had time to pick up Cryptum, we hope we've whetted your appetite. You can learn much more more about the mysterious Forerunners and their world in Greg Bear's fascinating and informative novel, on sale now!