Chronique:Canon Fodder - Championship Chronicles
Those chilly October nights have finally arrived, bringing with them a new lore-laden season of Halo Infinite (feat. Flood, Suban, ancient ruins, and more!) and some announcements from the 2023 Halo World Championship event we should catch up on.
Let’s begin with a return to Sanghelios...
Sunrise on Sanghelios[modifier]
“We all fail, Spartan. We all make mistakes.”
Or you can watch Steve Downes, Jen Taylor, and Keith David’s performance of the scene at the 2023 Halo World Championship on YouTube.
October 2558. Cortana has awakened countless Guardian custodes, ancient Forerunner constructs she intends to use to enforce an imperial peace on the peoples of the galaxy.
After Fireteam Osiris rescues the Master Chief and Blue Team from the renegade artificial intelligence’s clutches, the Spartans return to Sanghelios. As they await the arrival of the UNSC Infinity, two legendary heroes recount all that has transpired in the years since their last meeting....
When the word came down that we would be joined not only by Steve Downes and Jen Taylor for this year’s Halo World Championship event, but Keith David as well, for the very first time these three would be in the same room together... we knew we had an opportunity to do something special.
I would like to take a brief moment to lend some appreciation to @Ricteous, who has very quickly turned around a version of this image with the Master Chief, the Weapon, and the Arbiter!
This naturally arose when we were looking at the Scene Readings panel, where folks in the audience perform iconic Halo scenes with Steve, Jen, and Keith. The Master Chief and the Arbiter, of course, have only a handful of lines together throughout the series. Much of their relationship, particularly in Halo 3, comes from the camaraderie of playing together with your friends or family. It’s a unique element of storytelling that is fascinatingly adjacent to the fiction—driven by the events of the story but leaving much for the players to fill with their own gameplay experiences.
At the same time, there has been a strong desire from many folks to get a greater understanding of what kind of relationship these two actually have. Some of the most transformative moments of their lives have been inexplicably intertwined with each other as both foe and... friend? Does the Master Chief think of the Arbiter in that way? What would an actual conversation between these two look like?
Matt Forbeck’s Halo: Bad Blood gave us the perfect opportunity to explore those questions. Because the story of that book is told from the singular perspective of Edward Buck, he remarks that the Chief and the Arbiter head off to speak with each other after reuniting on Sanghelios, but Buck is not himself privy to that conversation.
Folks have already picked up on a fun thematic tie-in with Halo Infinite, where the Master Chief’s line to the Pilot—“We all fail. We all make mistakes.”—finds its origin in hard-won wisdom from the Arbiter after long reflection on his past deeds.
Just as the Arbiter sought to give hope to the Master Chief that he could turn Cortana from her destructive path, the Master Chief then passes that hope to Fernando Esparza.
As Jen Taylor put it while we were all on-stage, this was a much-needed therapy session between the Master Chief and the Arbiter in the fallout of the events depicted in Halo 5. We hope you enjoyed it, and we also want to extend a huge thank you to Steve, Jen, and Keith for lending their immense talent to bringing this scene to life.
Lore @ HaloWC 2023[modifier]
Of course, we had plenty of other lore offerings at the 2023 Halo World Championship as well.
Join myself, Jeff Easterling, and acclaimed author Troy Denning for a discussion about the recently released Halo: Outcasts and a look at some future fiction...
Join us for a discussion with author Troy Denning about his storied writing career, from Star Wars to Halo, detailing his inspirations, the collaborative process of creating tie-in novels, and featuring additional Q&A from HiddenXperia.
And, as a bonus...
Hey, Troy’s on it, there’s lore involved, and you also get to see Steve Downes, Jen Taylor, and Keith David up on stage again—don't miss the Halo World Championship 2023 Pictionary contest!
We announced Halo: Epitaph, the next novel by Kelly Gay, at last year’s Halo World Championship event, and there has been much speculation about the novel in the time that has passed.
Earlier this year, we revealed the cover art and the official description for the book, and we had another thing to reveal during this year’s Canon Fodder LIVE panel...
Keith Szarabajka, the voice of the Didact himself, will assume the mantle of audiobook narrator for Halo: Epitaph.
Halo: Epitaph will be released in early 2024. Pre-order your copy here!
During our Canon Fodder LIVE panel, we announced the next novel that will follow Halo: Epitaph’s release. Coming later in 2024 is Halo: Empty Throne by Jeremy Patenaude.
2559. It has been a year since the rogue artificial intelligence Cortana seized control of the Domain, an otherworldly dimension housing a vast information network. With an array of Forerunner weapons at her disposal, Cortana set out to enforce an authoritarian peace on the civilizations of the galaxy. But as the United Nations Space Command flagship Infinity prepares to strike against Cortana at Zeta Halo, another plan has also been set in motion.
An ancient access point hidden on a seemingly insignificant human colony has become the focus of a parallel effort to claim the Domain and its immeasurable capabilities. The UNSC, however, needs a key: a living, forsaken product of an old war. As a new generation of heroes rise to meet this challenge and Cortana's pursuit of control reaches a desperate and sudden crescendo, a cunning, ruthless warrior emerges from the shadows of the Banished, who has vowed to fill the new power vacuum by any means necessary....
We will have more to say and show about this novel in the future—I think you’re now all quite familiar with our process of revealing cover art and artist, releasing preview chapters, and so on. Empty Throne will, of course, be getting the same treatment.
What can we say about this story for now? It’s something that will perhaps be somewhat analogous to Halo: Contact Harvest as far as comparisons with previous novels go. Characters and stories—some old, some new, some borrowed from corners of the universe we’ve not seen for a while—spanning generations will bring plenty of surprises.
It’s an absolute joy to be working with author Jeremy Patenaude once more (who, for some of you grizzled ancients of the Halo universe, may be familiar to you under the name of Vociferous for the Ascendant Justice blog), whose expertise on Halo after more than thirteen years goes light years beyond the realm of public knowledge. From working with the legendary Greg Bear on the Forerunner Saga and editing all the books beyond, writing several short stories (the untitled epilogue for Bornstellar in Halo: Fractures, “Sacrifice” in Halo: Shadows of Reach), and co-author for Halo Mythos and the 2022 Halo Encyclopedia.
We can’t wait to share more details with you about Empty Throne in the future!
As we teased during the Canon Fodder LIVE 2023 panel, Season 5 will be accompanied by some new Waypoint Chronicles—short stories that will be available here on Halo Waypoint, as downloadable PDFs, and in audiobook format on YouTube (narrated by yours truly).
Here’s a teaser for what we’ve got coming up next...
SATURN DEVOURING HIS SON
Coming October 31, 2023
The greatest thing about the Halo World Championship event isn’t just about the announcements or the tournament, but the gathering of Halo fans who have come from across the world to attend this event and share their love and passion that reaches across generations.
To speak personally for a moment: I had the privilege of meeting and chatting with so many lovely people about all things Halo. The atmosphere of this event—which aims to be more of a “Halo Fest”-type experience, having something for all kinds of fans—really is something else, and I wanted to extend a Maethrillian-sized thank you to our wonderful guest panelists, to the Esports Engine folks working their magic behind the scenes to make it all happen, and to all of you who came or tuned in online.
I also wanted to give a specific shoutout to Josh Ratsavong, who spoke to me about the fifty-person roleplay group he’s been involved in known as Strike Force Phoenix. Unfortunately, one of their crew, who went by the name of Irons, sadly passed away from COVID. We’re sending our very best wishes to their family and friends—and a huge thank you to Josh for telling us your story.
Community Lore Corner[modifier]
Speaking of community, let’s take a look at some of the recent lore content that has been sent out on the chatternet...
Lore Tours explores the established details of what happens when a Spartan is infected by the Flood.
GammaCompanyMark returns to give us a tour of the Valiant-class super-heavy cruiser, with perhaps the best-known vessel being the UNSC Everest—flagship of Vice Admiral Preston J. Cole.
WildWildWes has put together a video on the life and legacy of Noble Team.
Finally, if you’re looking for some background noise, The Ashen Hollow has put together the complete story of Halo and packaged it into a “lore to sleep to” video.
Season 4 concluded with its final Intel drop a few weeks ago. If you’re not yet familiar with the terms CORRUPTER and UPSILON, you’ll definitely want to look those up.
With the launch of Season 5, we have also released our first of four Intel drops which will be releasing on a monthly basis through January.
These two pieces might just connect to a certain upcoming Waypoint Chronicle...
That’ll do it for this month’s issue to bring you all up to speed on what’s been going on. Next month, we’ll explore the usual seasonal elements we cover for Season 5.
We’ll see you on Haloween!