Chronique:Canon Fodder - Fiction Festivities

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Welcome to our final Canon Fodder issue for 2023.

Here we go, then. One last recap of our recent Waypoint Chronicles and Intel, and a dive into some of their deep links to Halo 4; a bit of a retrospective on the stories we’ve told throughout this year, along with a reminder of what’s on the horizon for lore enthusiasts in 2024, a round-up of some community lore creations... and a new fighter craft to get you acquainted with.



Our final Waypoint Chronicle for 2023 released just the other week, following the most recent Halo Infinite update which brought Firefight: King of the Hill to the game with a new map from the campaign—the dreaded House of Reckoning.

A palace of pain all its own, the headquarters of War Chief Escharum also served as a series of mock battlefields where UNSC prisoners were brought to keep the blades of the Banished sharp. Naturally, this was not only the perfect location for a new Firefight experience, but also a new story told from the perspective of those forced to make their final stand.

Trial of Reckoning is available here on Halo Waypoint, as a free PDF, and in audiobook format on YouTube.

“February 2560. The wreckage of the UNSC Mortal Reverie served as a central rally point and home to human survivors on Zeta Halo, but it was only a matter of time before it was also overrun by the Banished.

A handful of survivors from the battle have been brought to the iron halls of the House of Reckoning where they are forced to take part in a twisted new war game...”


Prior to Trial of Reckoning, coinciding with the launch of the Combined Arms Operation, our previous Waypoint Chronicle also went live.

Battle for the Blood-Moon is available here on Halo Waypoint, as a free PDF, and in audiobook format on YouTube.

"2560. The Banished have come to Suban, the blood-moon of Sanghelios, seeking to claim the unique natural resource within its vast mines: the beautiful but volatile Subanese crystals.

The Swords of Sanghelios and their Spartan allies face an overwhelming force on the ground, while a Sangheili shipmistress in the skies above seeks to find a weakness in the enemy’s armor that might turn the tide against these invaders."

GIVE ‘EM MACH 10[modifier]

We have seen the fruits of many modding endeavors this year, with our own community mod spotlights and the tireless endeavors of the Digsite team, who delivered their first release back in July.

These efforts have even piqued the interest of internal folks here at 343 Industries as we dive into old archives in search of dusty old files and models covered in cobwebs. We have brought some of this recovered content more properly into the core canon of the Halo universe, and thanks to the efforts of 3D Character Artist Fletcher Kinnear we’re able to close out the year with one more addition to that list in the form of a beloved long-lost aircraft.

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The F-23 Falcata is an atmospheric fighter that served in UNSC Air Force reserve units during the opening years of the Covenant War. Largely supplanted by the S-14 Baselard in UNSC service, surplus Falcata airframes have found a new niche with planetary defense forces who appreciate a capable atmospheric fighter which is relatively economical to maintain and operate from austere airfields.

Ushuaia Armory sold production and design rights to the Falcata to the Vestol Corporation after the Covenant War, with the latter now offering reconditioned airframes, upgrade packages, and extended maintenance contracts for existing aircraft.


As is convention with UNSC fighter craft, their names are typically related to a type of sword (Longsword, Broadsword, Nandao, etc), and the profile for this particular design seemed to very naturally reflect the pre-Roman Iberian blade known as the falcata.

There are layers of meaning here, too! Falcata derives from the Latin term that literally means “falcon-shaped,” which works as a nice callback to the fighter’s original name for Halo Wars. As a more abstract reference: the falcata was allegedly also favored by the ancient Carthaginian general Hannibal during the Second Punic War, which is referenced in Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn.

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Our third piece of Intel for Season 5 went live just last week, providing some additional information on Gunnery Sergeant Elena Bobrov—the protagonist of Trial of Reckoning. She’s been with us for a good while, but we’ll dig into the specifics of that in our next section.


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Some of the characters featured in Trial of Reckoning have, in fact, been with us for quite some time…


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Episode 8, Chapter 3 of Halo 4: Spartan Ops is a mission titled Lancer, where Fireteam Crimson are sent to an area of Requiem known as the Warrens (a cavernous area that plays host to some Forerunner interior structures and a Covenant remnant outpost). After being dropped off by Lieutenant TJ Murphy (RIP!), Crimson links up with the Spartans of Fireteam Lancer, led by Spartan Terry Hedge, who requests assistance in clearing out the Covenant that have entrenched themselves in a defensive position.

This is a mission which quickly cascades in scope. As Crimson and Lancer eliminate the Covenant forces and destroy their camouflaged shield generators, Spartan Jared Miller detects an SOS in Morse code on a Covenant comm channel—a mystery previously encountered in the mission Unfinished Business, as the Covenant don’t use Morse code.

Upon entering the Warrens, Miller discovers that whoever is sending the Morse code signal is within the cave. Meanwhile, a call comes in from the Marines of Poker Squad, who have captured a wounded Sangheili that offers information on a Covenant listening post in exchange for his life. Palmer deduces that this is how the enemy forces have been seeing UNSC operations coming in advance.


Prometheans arrive to support the Covenant, but they are soon felled by Crimson and Lancer, leading them to discover the source of the SOS: Fireteam Switchback, who went MIA a few episodes back after reporting that the Covenant had deployed a Harvester at a dig site.

After releasing Switchback from their containment cells and helping them get payback against the Covenant for the death of their team’s leader, Murphy arrives to extract the Spartans, and Palmer commends a job well done with Fireteam Lancer.

As we learn in Trial of Reckoning, Spartan Hedge continued to serve aboard the UNSC Infinity in the two years that would follow, until he found himself awakening within the cold steel halls of the House of Reckoning…


Strap yourselves in because this one... this one’s pretty obscure!

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We return once again to Halo 4, this time heading into the campaign mission Reclaimer. After the Master Chief has reunited with the crew of the UNSC Infinity, he assists in the effort to neutralize a network of particle cannons as they seek to fulfil their greater objective of dealing with the gravity well that is keeping them trapped within the shield world.

It is possible to find several audio logs which cite some mission-relevant information and cite the names of several key UNSC personnel. Commander Lasky as Acting Ground Commander and Commander Palmer as Acting Tactical Lead; Master Sergeant (and living legend!) Marcus P. Stacker as Mammoth Infantry Lead, Sergeant Carlo M. Scudieri as Mammoth Navigator, and...

"Bobrov, Elena K. Staff Sergeant, UNSC Marine Corps, deployment – UNSC Infinity. Service Number 91532-11116-EB. Mammoth Driver, Gypsy Company, Requiem."

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Except... the means to listen to these logs is perhaps more involved than one would expect.

After loading into the level, the player must sprint ahead of the Mammoth to trigger the vehicle to begin moving forward. Then, you have to run back—avoiding the Mammoth’s massive wheels, which absolutely will splatter humanity’s greatest hero like a bug—to the raised pathway on the left, cresting a small hill where five white buttons can be seen merged into the ground (one is beneath the level).

If you have the game’s music turned off, you will be able to make out a system PA voice talking from the Mammoth’s starting position upon activating one of the switches, with lines that can be read if you enable subtitles. And that is where you will find the dialogue referenced above—though, notably only three of the five logs can be played.

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Video games are incredible things, are they not? One might imagine a programmer over eleven years ago working on this mission, putting these buttons to the side as a reminder to hook them up to the Mammoth’s five consoles, only to either lose them or simply run out of time to implement them...

The truth of the matter is lost to time, but the name of Elena Bobrov is not!

FAREWELL, 2023... HELLO, 2024![modifier]


This year in Halo fiction…

We caught up with an earlier configuration of Noble Team as we formally kicked off Waypoint Chronicles with Thom and Rosenda. We took a trip with Iratus into the traumatic mindscape of Spartan Dinh when Season 3 of Halo Infinite launched—and the consequences of letting a rogue Banished AI into the Academy’s systems in Season 4. We went on an adventure with the Arbiter and Spartan Vale in Halo: Outcasts, the latest novel by Troy Denning.

The Digsite crew released their first bundle of restored and reimagined content from Halo’s days of old, and we gave some canonical framing to all manner of creatures, weaponry, vehicles, and more.

Then the Halo World Championship arrived and we got to see Steve Downes, Jen Taylor, and Keith David perform a whole new scene together.

Alongside the release of Season 5, we saw what happens when a Spartan gets infected by the Flood. We visited the skies of Suban and its crystalline caves as the Banished make their move on the Urs system, and we concluded our 2023 journey within the House of Reckoning to face a final, terrible trial.

New art (how ‘bout that Let ‘Volir piece earlier this year!), new ships, new map lore, new Intel, new Armory Infinitum short stories, new Story Shards, new armor themes, a new official Halo book guide

But perhaps most importantly of all things, we finally managed to release that Halo Wars 2 trailer song by The White Buffalo!

So, what’s on the way in 2024?

On the novel front, Halo: Epitaph is due to release at the end of February, which will see the return of the Didact in a new story by Kelly Gay. It’s gonna be here before you know it!

March and April will see Halo: Battle Born and Meridian Divide by Cassandra Rose Clarke rereleased by Simon & Schuster, featuring some fun bonuses that lore folks may be interested in.

Halo: Empty Throne by Jeremy Patenaude is also due to be released later in 2024.

And yes, we may even have a Waypoint Chronicle or two still to come...

Canon Fodder itself is also due to hit a bit of a milestone with its 150th issue(!) which is due to be released in February. Maybe there’s some fun stuff we can do to coincide with that.


DJC Animations has turned out another belter! We’ve seen his animated versions of the Keyes Loop from Halo: The Fall of Reach and the approach on the Unyielding Hierophant from First Strike, and now the time has come for his take on the battle of Onyx.

MegMage continues her personal journey through the Halo universe! After dropping out of slipspace at Delta Halo in a little game you might have heard of called Halo 2, she has just picked back up with the Arbiter in the dreaded Quarantine Zone to retrieve the Index.

In a move that will shock and surprise everybody, HiddenXperia has made a new video... about the Flood! Our encounters with these parasitic monstrosities in the games have given us a glimpse at just a few of the grotesque shapes they can take, and this latest video explores some of the Flood forms depicted in extended media.

Katarn343 has put together a jaw-dropping cool animation of the Sunrise on Sanghelios Waypoint Chronicle. Even if you don't speak Spanish, seeing this visually play out is incredible.

And finally, Covenant Canon has done a round-up of some... Covenant canon, detailing the ranks and titles across all major client species.

And that’s a wrap for Canon Fodder in 2023!

Thank you all very much for coming along for the ride. As you well know by now, there are no brakes on this thing, so we’ll see you again very soon when we’re back in January for The Year of Our Didact 2024.

Until then, be well, be safe, be kind, and be merry.