Age of Abandonment
The Age of Abandonment is one of the first periods in Covenant history.
It is speculated that the Age of Abandonment was the period of time when the Forerunners activated the Halo Array, or, as the Covenant put it, "embarked on the Great Journey". Covenant belief holds that the Forerunners departed from the universe when they used the "sacred rings" to ascended to a state of divinity. In actuality, the Forerunners perished when they activated the array and killed all sentient life in the galaxy in order to contain the Flood. This event happened about 100,000 years prior to 2552.
Progression of the Ages
During the ritual, the appropriate dialogue is as followed:
Leader, or Chieftain: Abandonment.
Congregation, or Pack: The First Age! Ignorance and fear!