Chronique:Canon Fodder - If they want lore, we'll give 'em lore

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Issue 150

Art of one of the senescent Ark's with one of the original Gyre installations framed at the center by Espen Olsen Sætervi

We made it, folks. The big one-fifty!

Canon Fodder formally began in September 2014, almost ten whole years ago. This is a feature that has taken many different forms over the years, but the mission statement as detailed in that very first issue has remained the same:

“We wanted to take advantage of this opportunity to reflect specifically on the fiction, from the fifty-thousand-foot view to the far-reaching corners. The Halo story can be found on many fronts. It is all at once an epic space opera, but also a boots-on-the-ground character experience, and we want to continue to make the galaxy more accessible to fresh faces while rewarding the investment of fervent fans.”

And here we are, hitting the milestone of one-hundred-and-fifty issues… I think we should do some special things to celebrate that, don’t you?


How auspicious that this milestone issue should just so happen to be releasing on the birthday of Halo Wars 2, almost like we must have planned it! Kicking off the celebrations for today, we have a new Waypoint Chronicle for you.

Halo: Fireside is available here on Halo Waypoint, as a free PDF, and in audiobook format on YouTube.

"May 2559. Having emerged into the unknown after twenty-eight years adrift in space, the crew of the UNSC Spirit of Fire find that new foes are not the only challenge they face on the enigmatic Ark—but the past they left behind."


Of course, this wasn’t the only Waypoint Chronicle to release this month. Just a few short weeks ago, alongside the launch of the Spirit of Fire Operation in Halo Infinite, we released a short story that was more closely connected to the events of the original Halo Wars.

Halo: Hippocratica is available here on Halo Waypoint, as a free PDF, and in audiobook format on YouTube.

"2560. Adam Andrews, CEO of an interstellar corporation, ruminates upon the Covenant invasion of Arcadia—facing certain death, until the timely arrival of the UNSC Spirit of Fire."


We are less than a week away from the release of Halo: Epitaph, the next novel by acclaimed author Kelly Gay, who has written some of the most beloved Halo stories in recent years—from the emotional journey of Rion Forge learning about her father’s sacrifice and Guilty Spark’s pursuit of redemption, to the plight of the survivors from the UNSC Infinity following the Banished ambush at Zeta Halo.

Epitaph will see the return of the Didact, who has found himself stripped of armor, might, and memory after being torn from the physical world after a destructive confrontation with the Master Chief.

Ahead of the book’s release, we have put together something of a “primer” for those who are looking to get quickly caught up on the Didact’s story up to this point. His origins as a character from Halo 3’s Terminals, his trials and descent into madness detailed in the Forerunner Saga by the late legend of science fiction Greg Bear, and his reawakening in the modern galaxy experienced in Halo 4 and Halo: Escalation.


Collage of nine images showing the Didact's journey across Halo media, from the Forerunner Saga to Halo 4 and its Terminals, Halo: Escalation, and Halo: Epitaph

We have also released a preview of Epitaph’s first chapter, which you can read here on Halo Waypoint or listen to on YouTube.

Even if you’re somebody who prefers holding a physical book, this is an audiobook you’re going to want to secure, as the entire thing is narrated by Keith Szarabajka himself—the voice and motion capture actor for the Didact in Halo 4.

Pre-order your copy of Halo: Epitaph here.


Last year, alongside the release of Halo: Outcasts by Troy Denning, we gave players the Arbiter’s Guard armor coating in Halo Infinite for free, themed around the Swords of Sanghelios.

We’re doing the same once again for Epitaph.

Head to the Shop in Halo Infinite from February 27 to March 12 and you will find the Sundered Star armor coating available for free. This coating is themed around the Didact’s own combat skin, and be sure to check out our Halo Infinite Intel which gave a cool bit of lore to it.



While we’re on the subject of all things Forerunner, here’s another Canon Fodder #150 exclusive for you all: some new art of the senescent Ark by the one and only Espen Olsen Sætervik.

Before the commissioning of the final Halo Array, the original twelve Gyre installations were constructed by the greatest of the Master Builder’s forges.

Art of the Senescent Ark by Espen Olsen Sætervik

In the aftermath of the Forerunners’ war with the ancient human Ancestors, Faber-of-Will-and-Might commissioned a grand project that would see profit and power enrich the Builder rate, entrenching their political position in the ecumene. While it would come to commonly be known simply as “the Ark,” the Master Builder named it “the Beginning Place,” as this project marked a fundamental shift in the Forerunners’ long history where the Builders would ultimately seek to diminish and subsume all other rates.

Initially conceived solely as a means to manufacture Halo, the Master Builder would alter his designs over time to ensure that the Ark and its installations could sustain and support protected populations, a tremendous expense that was counterbalanced by the Lifeworker rate’s investment into these measures. However, the Master Builder’s ambitions to construct a second Ark to expand these efforts were delayed until significant design flaws in both the senescent Ark and its Gyre installations were identified.

Art of the Senescent Ark and a Gyre installation by Espen Olsen Sætervik

The original senescent array was composed of twelve Gyre installations. These rings measured thirty-thousand kilometers in diameter and, instead of firing a spherical, omnidirectional pulse, would discharge a lateral, cone-shaped field.

Data strings recovered from a Catalog unit within Trevelyan containing testimony from the Ur-Didact includes an exchange with the Builder known as Maker-of-Moons. She informed the Didact that the Gyre installations possessed a fatal flaw: their size.

When transported through slipspace, the Gyre installations built up enormous amounts of reconciliation debt and therefore could not be deployed to designated locations with speed or flexibility. The senescent Ark was also not capable of constructing smaller Gyre installations, and while they theoretically possessed the ability to shed sections to reduce their size and mass, this came with the risk of instability and collapse.

Art of the Senescent Ark and a Gyre installation by Espen Olsen Sætervik

The Builder rate experienced significant political blowback when this information came to light, but the Master Builder’s original proposal for a second Ark ensured that its construction could address these issues.

Following Mendicant Bias’s assault on Maethrillian, the senescent Ark was repurposed to serve as a new capital for the surviving Forerunner leadership and a rally point for strategic military assets.

Towards the end of the Flood War, the senescent Ark was destroyed after it came under attack by overwhelming forces brought to bear by the rogue Mendicant Bias.

Art of the Senescent Ark's central foundry by Espen Olsen Sætervik

SUPER SCARAB[modifier]

Scarabs. We all know and love ‘em, in all their forms—from the “handbasket” design of Halo 2’s Protos-pattern to the Deutoros-pattern in Halo 3 and beyond that is known to make such a pretty explosion after frogblasting its Lekgolo-occupied ventcore. And, of course, we saw in Halo Wars 2 that the Banished have their own Scarabs to bring to bear.

But there is one particular design of these excavator platforms that has remained something of a mystery over the years: the so-classed “Super Scarab” from Halo Wars. We recently revisited the site of its destruction in the aforementioned Hippocratica. And since this is a special issue... what the hell, let’s give this thing some lore!


Halo Wars screenshot of the so-called Super Scarab

MANUFACTURER: Assembly Forges
CREW: 1 supervisor + 30 passengers
ARMAMENT: 1x ultra-heavy focus cannon, 4x light plasma cannons

Rarely encountered during the Covenant War and referenced with reverence in Covenant records, the R'awuw-pattern pathcarver is a site excavator of ancient design that must be constructed on-site due to its sheer size.

Conceived in the years after the Lekgolo were brought into the Covenant in 784 BCE, the R'awuw-pattern pathcarver would typically be assembled on worlds bearing notable Forerunner reliquaries when the patience of San’Shyuum stewards failed to gain access to subterranean structures and a more direct application of force in measured precision was necessary.

While the R'awuw-pattern pathcarver bore the most powerful focus cannon of all known Scarabs, capable of melting through even the most durable of Forerunner architecture, it was not typically utilized in combat.

A notable historic example of a R'awuw-pattern pathcarver being observed by humanity was on the Outer Colony resort world Arcadia in 2531. After an interstellar cartographer facility discovered on Harvest held a connection to ancient Forerunner ruins on Arcadia, the Covenant’s excavation efforts were thwarted by the intervention of the UNSC Spirit of Fire.

DEEP LINKS: SPARTAN-150[modifier]

So, we had a fun idea for the Deep Links section of this issue. There were, of course, one-hundred-and-fifty candidates for the SPARTAN-II program, so who was Spartan-150—the “omega” of the Spartans in terms of numbering? We’ve certainly never detailed that in our existing fiction, so I thought I’d convince the powers that be to let me crack open our internal roster and see who it is.

Well, it turns out his name is Edgar. Edgar-150.

Status: Deceased. Died during augmentation.

Er, end of section, I guess...


Just kidding! We wouldn’t do you like that—not the way that poor Edgar-150 got done.

We recently featured Omega Team in Hippocratica, and their armor is available in Halo Infinite alongside the Spirit of Fire Operation, so we thought we would address one of the outstanding questions about that team.

When we formally meet Omega Team in the original Halo Wars during the Arcadia Outskirts mission, they are composed of six Spartans. In Halo Wars 2 and Hippocratica, we centered on a team of three—August-099, Leon-011, and Robert-025. So, who were the other three Spartans?

In fact, they’re on the silver screen this week!

You’ve seen ‘em. You know ‘em. We’ve even previously stated that these characters were drawn from core canon.

Halo Wars screenshot of the six Spartans of Omega Team deploying to Arcadia


During the Covenant War, Omega Team served as a fast reaction team of Spartan super-soldiers deployed to colony worlds under attack where their missions involved denying the enemy critical resources, data, and personnel—by any means necessary.

Omega Team had a specialized task, with critical missions requiring their attention throughout besieged human space. Its membership was never fixed, with August-099 having the longest tenure. In 2531, when deployed to the Outer Colony resort world Arcadia, its membership included Leon-011, Robert-025, Riz-028, August-099, Kai-125, and Vannak-134.

This team composition would temporarily reform for operations on Hellas in 2540, but Riz, Vannak, and Kai were assigned to Silver Team shortly after.



The Skewer was first introduced in Troy Denning’s Halo: Shadows of Reach, though its appearance in that book was of course predicated on its inclusion in Halo Infinite’s sandbox. Described as a weapon designed for an anti-armor role, it is noted that the Jiralhanae gleefully used them against enemy infantry.

In Halo Infinite’s campaign, the Master Chief can acquire the unique weapon variant known as the Volatile Skewer from Ik’novus the Devourer—a high value target. The Volatile Skewer fires a harpoon projectile that detonates upon hitting its target to cause maximum damage, though its effective range is somewhat reduced from its standard counterpart.

For this issue’s Armory Infinitum entry, let’s take a closer look at the moment in which Ik’novus acquired this devastating weapon...

Halo Infinite screenshot of Ik'novus with the Volatile Skewer in the background

The campfire crackled and the illumination from the flames danced around the mouth of the cave, casting a half-light on Avitus’s face as he sharpened the blade of a speargun. A fitting farewell gift for a great warrior.

As the thudding of footsteps drew closer, Avitus knew the time had come.

“Escharum tells of a time before the Covenant,” Avitus said. “Of the old stalker packs, before they were appropriated by the Prophets.”

Ik’novus set down the chunks of wood he had collected from the nearby forest and tossed two fresh logs onto the fire before taking a seat. His chieftain had seen fit to leave a serving of dengkra breast for him—the flesh of this creature, a strange kind of reptile-canine, was gamey even for a Jiralhanae’s sense of smell, but Avitus considered the taste of the meat second only to thorn beast.

“They hunted creatures of myth across many moons with these spearguns,” Avitus finished sharpening the weapon’s blade and held it up to the light to scrutinize his work before concluding, “And now you shall do the same.”

“I am honored, chieftain.” Ik’novus accepted the weapon and ran two clawed fingers across its surface, which had been painted white with pigments from the chalk fields of Warial. Upon closer examination, the harpoon appeared to be modified with an explosive—designed to detonate upon penetrating armor.

“We have unleashed the full measure of our fury upon all who stood in our way,” Avitus said. “But now, Escharum and Atriox call for us to direct our efforts towards more specific targets. You shall serve the war chief’s wishes well as Bloodstar.”

The two warriors sat for a while in quiet contemplation, reminiscing about battles of the past, casting their minds ahead to the greater battles to come, and sharing a final toast to the fallen—honoring the crypt-haulers that would ferry the souls of the dead in Oth Sonin. And as first light broke over the horizon, they bade a final farewell.


Covers for the reissued Halo: Battle Born and Meridian Divide novels

Halo: Battle Born and Meridian Divide by Cassandra Rose Clarke are getting rereleased on March 26 and April 30 respectively, which includes a new treatment for the audiobook.

A unique element of Cassandra’s books is that chapters rotate perspectives across the four main characters—Evie, Saskia, Dorian, and Victor. And so, our amazing partners over at Simon & Schuster have actually got four different narrators to read for those characters.

  • Ryan Do
  • Caitlin Kelly
  • Lee Osorio
  • Angel Pean

We’re tremendously excited for everyone to get the opportunity to revisit Battle Born and Meridian Divide—whether you intend to read it or listen to the new audiobook narrators. Meridian is a setting that is rich in detail, and Cassandra explored it through the compelling scenario of a Covenant planetary invasion through the eyes of young civilians.



Image of Alex Wakeford and Jeff Easterling on the Community Stage at the Halo World Championship 2023 gesturing towards a seat with the Canon Fodder logo and a mini Troy Denning also pointing at it

Not only is Canon Fodder at issue #150, but it has also almost been around for a decade. September 2014... The Xbox One was still a new console back then, Halo 2 was about to turn ten years old, and we were just months away from its highly anticipated anniversary treatment in Halo: The Master Chief Collection.

And me? I was a year into university. A lot of learning to do and a lot more growth to experience, and a whole other career to dip my toe into before making my way into the gaming industry. Never did I think that I would actually inherit the mantle of responsibility for writing Canon Fodder.

(It just seemed so unlikely when Grim never answered any of my lore questions!)

Halo has been in my life since I was seven years old. I’m going on thirty this year, which means that there is only a very small time in my life without Halo, which largely exists beyond my memory.

In those twenty-three years, playing every game, reading every book and comic, voraciously devouring every possible morsel of ancillary media with the studious attention of a Haruspis, it has always been Halo's story and universe that captured my imagination and refused to let go. The nature of that relationship has changed, of course, being on the inside looking out now, but it still refuses to let go.

There are many people I have to thank for what has ultimately led to this opportunity to wax poetic about Halo lore on a monthly basis. Although Grim never answered any of my questions, I don’t think I’ll soon forget the rush of excitement that resulted from him saying “So, how would you feel about taking over Canon Fodder?” back in December 2021...

But it’s all of you in the community that I have to be truly thankful for. Those of you who continue to read these issues every month, the incredible creators out there who do their own work to curate Halo’s lore, the community artists who inspire me every day with their renditions of every conceivable element of the Halo universe. Canon Fodder is enriched because of your passion for Halo, and that is my very natural way of segueing into our showcase of what you’ve been doing on that front!


Kicking things off here is Off Screen, who has put together a fantastic video about the history of war on the road to Halo as we know it in the twenty-sixth century—from classical civilizations to the World Wars, and looking ahead to elements from the Halo fiction such as the Interplanetary War, Domus Diaspora, up to the SPARTAN-II program.

Speaking of histories, Katarn343 has created something quite unprecedented: two hours and eighteen minutes of recent events that have taken place on Zeta Halo, featuring in-game footage, animation, and machinima to retell the ambush of the UNSC Infinity and subsequent ringfall, The Rubicon Protocol, audio log stories, and more.

Forgotten Weapons gave us a lovely Christmas present last year, as they uploaded a video detailing the M90A CAWS shotgun through a real-life recreation of the weapon. We would absolutely love to see more of these!

The folks of JumperScape have brought HaloGuy onto their podcast to discuss all things Created-related, exploring the nature of Cortana’s short-lived empire.

It is a truth universally acknowledged that ODSTs are incredibly flipyappin’ cool. Uncle Sam agrees and has put together a lore video detailing exactly why this is.

ER Doctor Jordan Wagner has done a video reaction to injuries various characters in the Halo games receive. Ever wondered exactly how messed up Sergeant Forge must’ve been when Ripa punched him in the stomach? Well, it’s time for a consultation with a medical professional!

GammaCompanyMark has taken a look at some Covenant canon (heh!), exploring the various carriers utilized by both the Covenant and the Banished.

MegMage continues her journey through the Halo universe. She’s up to Halo 3: ODST in terms of the games, but she’s been taking some detours to check out additional storytelling elements which now includes Halo Legends!

And on the more artistic side of things, just last week our latest Community Corner issue spotlighted IsoDidacta—an absolutely spectacular artist whose illustrations have brought to life many aspects and characters of the Forerunner Saga. Go and check out their incredible artwork!


Community Corner module image showcasing crops of three pieces of art by @iso_didacta depicting the Primordial, a Flood-infected Forerunner, and a young Bornstellar

That’ll close us out for this issue. Our next milestone will be in September when Canon Fodder officially turns ten years old, and we’ve got the big two-hundred to hit after that (just fifty more issues to go!)

Thank you all once again for your continued readership, and the creativity and passion with which you create your own lore-related content. We hope that you enjoy the Fireside Waypoint Chronicle, and we really, really can’t wait for you all to get your hands (or ears) on Epitaph—which is now less than a week away.

You sought the Didact. You will have him.