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Have S'moa

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Issue 12

Welcome back lore-lovers, and thanks for joining us for a particularly community-involved edition of Canon Fodder. Last week, ship got real with the announcement of the upcoming Halo fleet battle tabletop game from our partners at Spartan Games. Afterward, we asked you to submit your burning canonical curiosities for clarity consideration. And submit you did. I got together with the Halo Franchise Team in a darkened cave and we carefully selected a few queries to answer from the well over 300 that were submitted. Before we get started, I know that many of you might often wonder, “Why didn’t my question get picked?”, “Why did you kill my particularly favorite group of characters?”, or “Where did Hamish Beamish learn his skills?” Needless to say, there are many factors that come into play when selecting suitable inquires including the desire to craft a compelling, enriching, and spoiler-free Halo experience, as well as the sheer amount of time it takes to answer as many requests as we possibly can. In the end, we hope that no matter whose questions we choose to take a closer look at, that each of you will find out something new, cool, and interesting that you never knew before. And with that, let’s get to it!

COMMUNITY Q&A

What is the location of humanity's primary shipyards post-2553, and the approximate size of its fleet around 2558?

- FourthEchelon17

The orbital shipyards located on and around Mars remain the primary shipyards utilized by the UNSC. The UNSC continues to rebuild in the years following the war; their exact fleet sizes remain classified.

How many shield worlds were successfully constructed?

- VINNIENATOR15

While over a thousand shield installations were originally planned, encompassing a variety of different design approaches, the final number of completed and surviving installations has yet to be determined. According to the records accessible by its monitor, Enduring Bias, Shield 0673 – also called Refuge – was the last Shield installation to finish its construction, though, given anecdotal evidence from other monitors and compartmentalization protocols instituted by the Forerunners, one cannot necessarily take this evidence at face value.

What is the name of the class which the UNSC Heart of Midlothian and UNSC Iroquois belong to?

- ISURUS95

Both belong the to the Halberd-class of UNSC destroyers. Other examples include Hillsborough-class destroyers such as the Heracles.

Do any of Thel's elites participate alongside Spartans in War games for training?

- Detendez

There are healthy military relationships stretching back to 2553. Classified records associated with the ANVIL initiative indicate a number of very select joint training engagements.

What is the canonical design of the Charon-class Frigate? The one featured in Halo 3, or Halo 4?

- Onyx81

Halo 3 shows the canonical Charon-class, while Halo 4 introduced us to the Strident-class of UNSC frigates.

Is the unknown Forerunner construct in the E3 2013 a War Sphinx?

- Voleheartmecraz

No. However, many fans have already gazed into the eye of one variant of war sphinx – while investigating Halsey’s laboratory on Ivanoff Station in Halo 4.

Were the lekgolo on that halo fragment [in Halo: Nightfall] part of the covenant or were they one of the specimens in the ring?

- DragonWarrior24

The lekgolo in question are of the Thanolekgolo variation, and were resident specimens to Installation 04. Do you “know that a thousand other plans were tried and failed”?

Who were Spartan Teams Gauntlet, Red, and Echo (mentioned in Halo Reach)? Spartan-III teams like Noble?

- Toa Freak

These Spartan teams were indeed specialized S-III squads much like NOBLE, their constituent members partitioned off from their original companies in much the same way.

What class of ships are currently being used by Jul Mdama's Covenant?

- Verses Fatum

While Jul ‘Mdama’s Covenant faction has made use of whatever vessels were most easily obtainable, his primary contingent consists of two assault carriers (the Song of Retribution and Breath of Annihilation), multiple CRS-class light cruisers, CCS-class battlecruisers, RCS-class armored cruisers, and several SDV-class heavy corvettes. This does not take into account other vessels which have augmented his fleet on different occasions.

What ship class was the Ascendant Justice?

- Spartangold125

The Ascendant Justice is a DDS-class carrier (Halo Visual Guide, p. 28). The confusion arises from the designation of “supercarrier” in the Adjunct text of Halo: The Flood (2010, p. 367). However, that wasn’t inaccurate from the perspective of the writer, as the DDS, CAS, and CSO carriers are a breed apart from the as-yet unrevealed range of lighter “carrier” vessels that have support functions using small craft (e.g. the Lawgiver from Halo: Ghosts of Onyx). Nevertheless, it is confusing and we are currently in talks with Sangheili semantic linguists to see if such confusing nomenclature can be rectified in future broadcast logs.

What is the name of Spartan Locke's armor variant?

- Reclaimer Fox

Spartan Locke is currently equipped with the MJOLNIR GEN2 HUNTER variant.

Are there other sentient life forms other than humans and the Covenant's species?

- Trio of Kings

Yes.

Were there any active Headhunters at the end of the Human-Covenant War?

- Cpl Lucas96 & Aspari

The Headhunter special operations program is still active, though it has undergone various changes and adjustments to its structure. Spartan branch and ONI retain a very select list of Spartan-III and Spartan-IV operatives who, when the need arises, can be employed in either two-person [BINARY] or single-operative [LONEWOLF] teams. The details of their missions always remain classified.

Most of the Covenant vessels in halo have a certain naming convention with three letters (CCS-Class Battlecruiser, CAS-Class Assault Carrier, DDS-Class Carrier, CSO-Class Supercarrier, ORS-Class Heavy Cruiser, RCS-Class Armored Cruiser, CPV-Class Heavy Destroyer, RPV-Class Light Destroyer, DAV-Class Light Corvette, SDV-Class Heavy Corvette, CAR-Class Frigate, CRS-Class Light Cruiser, etc...). We know these class names are the product of human designations of covenant ship classes, but what are some of the covenant names for these ship classes?

- Onyx Imperium

The three-letter codes for Covenant vessels are transliterations of the Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary classification codes used by the alien fleet itself. Though these are somewhat analogous to the hull classification codes used by the UNSC Navy (e.g. “C” denoting cruiser, “DD” indicating the vessel is a destroyer, etc.), the Covenant fleet have a different tradition of ship design and naming than the UNSC, due to the particularities of their history, language, role in the empire, and individual missions. Of considerable consternation to naval intelligence is that the alien empire was able to eschew rigid standardization and mass production due to the highly advanced manufacturing methods enabled by fabrication plants such as the Assembly Forges. In fact, every Covenant vessel is a bespoke, “coach-built” example within a broader design pattern – often tweaked by individual shipwrights or the demands of the fleet masters who requested them.

For a worked example let’s consider the Incorruptible, a “Reverence-class” Covenant cruiser noted in Halo: Ghosts of Onyx (p. 191; Halo Encyclopedia, p. 287) and not to be confused with the destroyer Reverence (Halo Encyclopedia, p. 284). Thorough fans have historically (and correctly) inferred that another Covenant vessel from Halo: Ghosts of Onyx, the Bloodied Spirit, is a CPV destroyer based on p. 223 of Halo: Ghosts of Onyx (and confirmed in Halo Encyclopedia, p. 282). For the Incorruptible, however, it was more difficult to make the necessary connections, though we can confirm today that the Incorruptible was an ORS-class heavy cruiser. To help alleviate any confusion, let’s take a closer look at the ship naming conventions as held by the Covenant.

Regarding the Incorruptible, (R)everence refers to vessels who can conduct missions related to reconnaissance and possible excavation of Forerunner artifacts. The known classes that fall within category for primary or secondary mission and size class is specific enough that we could narrow it down to either the ORS heavy cruiser or RCS armored cruiser. Of note here is that (O)rdained denotes the vessel contains a Forerunner augmentation (a weapons-core in this case), and is not a mission type. The tertiary code of (S)alvation denotes that this is a dedicated warship capable of cleansing the enemies of the Covenant with holy fire. Keep in mind that there isn’t a single, specific ship type that the Covenant refer to as the Reverence-class in all cases. There are multiple vessels ranging in size from kilometer-long behemoths to scout ships less than 100m in length that share a Reverence classification code.

Did any Moa survive the invasion of Reach?

- M0aHerder

Though their native numbers were certainly decimated to near-extinction levels by the catastrophic environmental effects of the Covenant’s assault on their natural habitat, it is held that there are still moa populations thriving in remote sectors on the post-glassed Reach. Interestingly enough, the largest single population of moa still alive are currently thriving on Gannick 22, an inner colony world named for the original twenty-two scientists and pioneers of the UNSC Gannick that gave their lives in the discovery and exploration of a once-hostile environment. Gannick 22 has become a larger population center since escaping the Covenant War unscathed, and is home to Wiljax Brantley, entrepreneur and humble owner of his restaurant and petting zoo “Have S’Moa.” When the attack on Reach took place, the latest population of moa that he had just recently received instantly became worth more than their weight in titanium, turning Brantley into a very rich man practically overnight. In related news, moa nuggets, once a simple staple in Have S’Moa’s KolonyKids Meals, have now become an incredibly expensive delicacy among wealthy UEG dignitaries.

There you have it! If you enjoyed that, then you’ll be happy to know that we plan on making this type of thing a regular occurrence whenever possible. Keep an eye on this space! The fan involvement doesn’t stop there this week though. In the Universe forum, I asked you to pick from seven possible entries to help us decide which ones we’d like to bubble up to the top and publish this week. I can’t remember if I said I would pick the top two or the top three, so let’s just go with the top four just to be safe. You’ll find the resulting entries linked down below as always, and with that, we draw this issue to a close.

Until next week… Live well, play Halo, and don’t make bets with a Kig-Yar.

-Grim

New Universe Entries This Week!

Threshold

Threshold is an enormous gas giant in the Soell system. It has an extensive network of Forerunner gas mining and refinery stations and was once orbited by Alpha Halo.

Song of Retribution

Song of Retribution is an assault carrier that operates as the leading flagship of Jul ‘Mdama’s resurrected Covenant.

Grizzly

The Grizzly is employed in combat situations that require overwhelming firepower and near-invulnerability.

High Charity

The Holy City of High Charity was an enormous mobile space station used as the capital of the Covenant empire.

Discuss

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