Bestiarum

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The book version of the Bestiarum.

The Bestiarum is a Forerunner compendium of information about the various species in the Milky Way Galaxy. It also includes information about the species' homeworlds and the Forerunners' Technological Achievement Tiers. Sources for the information include the Halo Array, Shield Worlds, 2401 Penitent Tangent, and 343 Guilty Spark, with the latter Monitor's observations "under investigation".

Bestiarum - (CAVEAT)[edit]

The following information has been gleaned from a variety of sources, impartial and otherwise. Records retrieved from alien systems cannot be verified except by cross-reference against our own records. The significant system-wide lull in record-keeping for many of these species invalidates much of the provable veracity of this information. The following document is as accurate as possible under difficult circumstances but should be treated as an incomplete investigation only.

Investigation Status: ONGOING.


Information origins include:

UNSECURED ALIEN COMPUTER ARCHIVES (SUSPECT)
RECORDED OBSERVATIONS (VARIABLE)
TRANSLATED COMMUNICATIONS (VARIABLE)
INTERLOPED SYSTEMS (SUSPECT)
OWN ARCHIVAL EVIDENCE (ACCURATE)
COMMUNICATIONS FROM ARRAY INSTALLATIONS (CLEAR)
COMMUNICATIONS FROM SHIELDS (CLEAR)
ASSUMPTIONS FROM MONITOR 343 GUILTY SPARK (UNDER INVESTIGATION)
ASSUMPTIONS FROM MONITOR 2401 PENITENT TANGENT (CLEAR)

DNA/RNA/Silicon samples are encoded in this datastream. Reproduction of individuals for analysis is prohibited by this facility.

Beastiarum[edit]

[GRUNT, Monachus frigus]
Height: 1.67 meters | Weight: 118 kilos

HOMEWORLD
Balaho
STAR, POSITION
Tala, IV
SATELLITE(S)
Buwan, Padpad
GRAVITY
.709 G [approx]
ATMOSPHERE
5.7 atm [CO2, CH4, He]
SURFACE TEMPERATURE
–33°C to 5°C
POPULATION
320 million
SOCIETAL APPROXIMATION
Pack/Matriarchal
GOVERNMENT
Tribal/Religious hegemony client
TECHNOLOGY TIER
Native Tier 6/Adopted Tier 2
CURRENT THREAT TO ARRAY
Negligible

The Unggoy homeworld, Balaho, is a [terrestrial] planet with significant quantities of methane in the atmosphere. It is covered in a largely opaque layer of clouds, which prevents much of its surface from being seen from space. The parts of its surface that aren’t covered by polar ice caps or free water are brackish tidal flats with naturally occurring pillars of fire. It is still recovering from preactivation environmental collapse caused by massive global overindustrialization.

It seems that prior to their incorporation into the [Covenant], the Unggoy had yet to [reattain] Tier 4 technologies. Their discovery by the [Covenant] might even appear providential if it weren’t for their current [sociocultural] situation. The positions they hold within the [Covenant’s] rigid class structure have more to do with [genus bias] than inherent ability. To wit, their size relative to the species already in positions of power and reliance on external accoutrements to survive away from their homeworld have left them vulnerable to any number of exploitations. Their short gestational period, large number of young per clutch, and rapid sensory–motor integration development only increase their perceived disposability to the [Covenant] leadership. Although their principal [enforced function] tends more toward [drowning their foes in bodies and blood], their [unburdened neural pathways] allow them to [absorb knowledge more freely] than their peers, so they are also tasked with monitoring [the void] for signs of human communication. As a result, most Unggoy have a working knowledge of two or more Human languages. This has become a source of pride for them and, in times of great stress, also serves as a [reservoir of confidence].

One thing that has remained intact within the Unggoy population, even through [the dark time] following [reintroduction], is their unshakable sense of solidarity. It is quite extraordinary that they have been able to hold onto any sense of [national identity] separate from the [Covenant] after what amounts to [3,597,192 hours] of incessant indoctrination. Although their culture has been largely erased since their incorporation into the [Covenant], they retain enough of [an ethnic character] to occasionally urge them to challenge their oppressors—but they have yet to do so successfully.

[BRUTE, Servus ferox]
Height: 2.8 meters | Weight: 510 kilos

HOMEWORLD
Doisac
STAR, POSITION
Oth Sonin, III
SATELLITE(S)
Warial, Solrapt, Teash
GRAVITY
2.1 G [approx]
ATMOSPHERE
1.3 atm [N2, O2, Ar]
SURFACE TEMPERATURE
–15°C to 52°C
POPULATION
12.5 billion (estimated)
SOCIETAL APPROXIMATION
Pack/Alpha oriented/Warlike/Patriarchal
GOVERNMENT
Feudal subdictatorships/Religious hegemony client
TECHNOLOGY TIER
Native Tier 4/Adopted Tier 2
CURRENT THREAT TO ARRAY
Significant to serious

Recent events have propelled Brutes from their role as Covenant-occupying muscle into a role previously held by Elites: the predominant military might of the hegemony total. These aggressive, pack-minded belligerents are one of the least technologically oriented species in the Covenant. What native technologies they do bring to the hegemony are invariably martial in nature, from reasonably sophisticated chemical explosives to primitive, yet markedly reliable percussive weapons. Because of their interactions with other Covenant species, their adoption of technologies is sporadic and nonlinear.

Typical of High-G mammalian bipeds, Jiralhanae are physically powerful, sturdy, and resilient. The Human term "Brute" is technically derogatory, referring generally to feral or wild creatures of prodigious strength. In that regard, it is one of the more accurate nomenclatures used by Homo sapiens. Brutes are strong, unsophisticated, and quick to anger.

Brute social structure is primarily pack-oriented under an alpha or alpha prime. There is certainly a patriarchal scheme that is followed loosely, depending on the social, martial, and sexual success of the patriarch. Patricide is an unfortunate side effect of patriarchy. No females have been observed in military roles.

Their adoption of the Covenant religion is recent and absolute. Indeed, Jiralhanae are some of the most fanatical adherents, following Prophet doctrine to the letter and maintaining an uneasy position of subservience to Sangheili until civil unrest and political turmoil propelled them to their new status. A long history of totemistic and symbolical native religions prepared them perfectly for conversion to the Prophet/Covenant dogma. This process is still in flux, but the Jiralhanae’s quickness to fill the Sangheili vacuum and its unpredictable predilection for destructive violence make them a significant threat to Array integrity.

[JACKAL, Perosus latrunculus]
Height: 1.9 meters | Weight: 88 kilos

HOMEWORLD
Eayn
STAR, POSITION
Y'Deio [HD 69830], primary satellite of III
SATELLITE(S)
n/a
GRAVITY
.875 G [approx]
ATMOSPHERE
.9 atm [N2, CO2, O2]
SURFACE TEMPERATURE
–18°C to 45°C
POPULATION
978 million
SOCIETAL APPROXIMATION
Luck egalitarianism/Ochlocracy
GOVERNMENT
Postindustrial capitalism/Religious hegemony client
TECHNOLOGY TIER
Native Tier 4/Adopted Tier 2
CURRENT THREAT TO ARRAY
Negligible to mild

The homeworld of the Kig-yar is the primary satellite of the planet Chu’ot, which lies in the inner region of the system’s massive asteroid belt. It is characterized by its single equatorial ocean, sparse volcanism, and almost total lack of glaciation. Only about one-third of all Kig-yar who still reside in the Y’Deio system call Eayn their home; many have chosen to live among the [minor planets] within the asteroid belt since their initial contact with the [Covenant].

Although it is not entirely accurate to describe the Kig-yar as a typical Low-G species, they do have several qualities in common with other groups of [Lacerta erectus] from Low-G worlds that may or may not have survived [the dark time] following [reintroduction]. The female of the species lacks the spiny plumage of the male; replacing it are callositic plates at the forearms and rear of the head. Aside from the expected differences in reproductive organs, the male and female of the species are physically identical with none of the usual disparity in size or mass distribution.

The Kig-yar were initially intended to replace the Unggoy as the [Covenant’s] foot soldiers, but their temperament made the switch impractical. Instead, they have been employed as scouts or formed into special [commando] groups—overall, a more sensible utilization of their exceptional senses and physical prowess than to be used as amassed brute force. They are also used as an [ersatz] police force in occupied areas, although normally under the supervision of a representative of one of the higher castes. It is unclear whether they have been given this responsibility because the [Covenant] leadership feels the Unggoy aren’t reliable or intelligent enough for the job or because it is felt that the constant threat of [predation] projected by the Kig-yar is advantageous to the role.

Although the Kig-yar occupy a [caste] near the very bottom of the [Covenant] socioeconomic structure, they more closely resemble a separate entity existing independently within the state. None of the client species has direct representation within the [High Council]; rather, their [interests and concerns] are vetted by the Ministry of Concert. And while others have protested this inequity rather openly (but unsuccessfully), the Kig-yar have chosen a more pragmatic form of dissent—siphoning off resources to their expatriate brothers. But whether the [Covenant] powers have decided [to turn a blind eye] to their larcenous activities or those escapades have been made invisible by the labyrinth of bureaucracy is uncertain.

[PROPHET, Perfidia vermis]
Height: 2.2 meters | Weight: 91 kilos

HOMEWORLD
(High Charity)
STAR, POSITION
n/a
SATELLITE(S)
n/a
GRAVITY
.95 G [approx]
ATMOSPHERE
1.03 atm [N2, O2, Ar]
SURFACE TEMPERATURE
20°C to 24°C
POPULATION
500 million (at reseeding); 23,831,346 (currently)
SOCIETAL APPROXIMATION
Theocracy
GOVERNMENT
Religious hegemony
TECHNOLOGY TIER
Tier 2
CURRENT THREAT TO ARRAY
Significant to serious

The Prophets claim their homeworld was destroyed when its star went [nova] some 3200 years ago, but there is very little data regarding the actual location of their system of origin. Their reluctance to disclose this seemingly inconsequential bit of information could well be a holdover from their long period of hostility with the Sangheili. At any rate, the [commitment[?]] necessary to maintain such a conspiracy of that magnitude would tend to be prohibitive. Perhaps its longevity has worked in its favor, with [myth[?]] taught as fact to subsequent generations.

One wonders what predicated their star’s destruction when the current state of their species’ long-term survival is taken into account. Current [census[?]] data indicate a population far below projected growth based on pre-activation archival records. Certainly some criteria for the maintenance of genetic stability must have been drafted and enforced, yet all available data indicate population growth has been dwindling and recessive traits are being expressed with greater frequency with each successive generation. It seems odd then they have chosen to keep their bloodlines [pure[?]] but largely unregulated until recently. In the past [8,760,453 hours], considerable effort has been put into developing technologies specifically to increase the lifespan of their own species. Several breakthroughs have been achieved, as a full quarter of their total population is [superbicentarians[?]].

The fact that they have never sought a more permanent home is somewhat less troublesome, although it still begs further investigation. After having narrowly survived the obliteration of one’s home system, it could be conjectured that one would be less likely to establish another [static[?]] population center. It must be stated that the Prophets have attributed a large degree of religious significance to [Forerunner] militaria but have shown very little in the way of [veneration[?]] in their own treatment of these [artifacts]—at least until the institution of their [Covenant] with the Sangheili. Inarguably, it is that fact alone that saved them from utter defeat, and perhaps annihilation, by the Sangheilian war machine.

UPDATE: With the [outbreak] of the Flood and its subsequent arrival on [High Charity], the San’Shyuum will have had two extinction events visited upon them within a single [great cycle]. Only those individuals who were permanently posted somewhere other than their [ersatz] homeworld are certain to have survived. Even those who held some position within the [Covenant] fleet have no hope of survival, as the entire fleet was present at Installation 05 and the Sangheili [quarantined] it. Sadly, their total population is now estimated at less than one thousand.

[DRONE, Turpis rex]
Height: 1.9 meters | Weight: 127 kilos

HOMEWORLD
Palamok
STAR, POSITION
Napret, III
SATELLITE(S)
Naxook, Oquiu, Ka'amoti, Kami
GRAVITY
2 G [approx]
ATMOSPHERE
.09 atm [CO2, O2, Ar]
SURFACE TEMPERATURE
29°C to 42°C
POPULATION
[unknown[?]]
SOCIETAL APPROXIMATION
[Hive[?]]
GOVERNMENT
Monarchy/Religious hegemony client
TECHNOLOGY TIER
Native Tier 4/Adopted Tier 2
CURRENT THREAT TO ARRAY
Negligible

Correctly and accurately compared to several other forms of arthropod, the Yanme’e are unusual only in physical scale and intelligence. While intelligent hive arthropod cultures are relatively common throughout the galaxy, it is rare that individuals attain tool-making and technological skills. The other notable feature is their sheer size. Averaging a height of just less than 2 meters, they are among the largest mobile arthropods yet discovered. Largely carnivorous, the Yanme’e developed and bred a form of feral, hunted livestock as they became more sophisticated.

On their home planet, the Yanme’e are capable of short bursts of limited flight. In gravities less than 2 G, they become much more agile and competent fliers, should there be even minimal atmosphere against which to beat their diaphanous-looking yet sturdy wings. Palamok itself is quite Earthlike, although significantly larger and tending to tropical extremes. It is a flat and geologically featureless world, with little tectonic or volcanic activity. One of the reasons Yanme’e became adept tool users is a chitinous, flexible appendage, more properly a vestigial secondary leg, which behaves like an opposable thumb, allowing—in conjunction with other limbs—tremendous manipulative dexterity. A Yanme’e’s ability to aim and fire a weapon in flight, or while clambering over a structure, makes it one of the most dangerous infantry units available to the Covenant. Compound eyes give it excellent visual acuity, too. The high gravity of Palamok means that they are denser and heavier than most arthropods and capable of absorbing significant damage.

Culturally speaking, they are simply a conquered and dominated client of the Covenant (see Unggoy). They adhere to Covenant religious principles and obey unquestioningly but have no particular passion for Covenant societal norms. They follow what they see as a normal and linear power structure, with the Prophet “queens” ruling from on high. Their initial contact with the Covenant was devastating for both sides, and the eventual resulting [détente] was unexpected given the scale of the mutual carnage. Communication difficulties with other Covenant species mean that they largely stick to their own, except in combat.

[HUNTER, Ophis congregatio]
Height: 1.4 meters ( 3.65 armored)| Weight: 22.6 kilos (4762 armored)

HOMEWORLD
Te
STAR, POSITION
Svir, V
SATELLITE(S)
Rantu, Uhtua, 23 smaller natural satellites
GRAVITY
4 G [approx]
ATMOSPHERE
1.2 atm [N2, He, CH4]
SURFACE TEMPERATURE
–20°C to 95°C
POPULATION
1.980 Trillion
SOCIETAL APPROXIMATION
Egalitarian
GOVERNMENT
Socialism/Religious hegemony client
TECHNOLOGY TIER
Native Tier 3/Adopted Tier 2
CURRENT THREAT TO ARRAY
Mild

The Lekgolo individual is actually a wormlike creature, about 1.4 meters long. They are typically encountered outside of their homeworld, Te, in purpose-specific assemblages (Mgalekgolo) that increase the intelligence and utility of the whole. One strange effect of this assemblage is that the formed creature develops a distinctive personality. An individual worm is not terribly (or at least demonstrably) bright, but a complex neural connection is formed in group situations using hormonal and bioelectrical connections. The resulting form is quite intelligent and can be scaled upward to a limited degree for intellectual applications. Their physical strength is prodigious in individual units, but combined into another form (bipedal for Covenant interactions) they are exponentially more powerful, forming muscle and lever analogs in a cleverly networked fashion.

One of the most successful and culturally enigmatic gestalt intelligences in that arm of the galaxy, Hunters have been catalogued precataclysm, but in completely different ways. The term "Hunter" is completely inappropriate as a description of the species whole. In fact, Hunters are the rarest assemblage of the Lekgolo gestalt; supplied exclusively as part of the Covenant client arrangement, each world in the Covenant must provide fighting troops. Lekgolo manifest those in the Hunter form—and in small numbers. This seems to be accepted by the Covenant body politic as a necessary interaction with its most alien client.

The Lekgolo philosophical, religious, and political affiliation with the Covenant is built solely on its need for viable space travel. Lekgolo society has little need for religion. The High-G world made progress in space technology painfully slow for such an otherwise advanced culture. The arrival of Covenant strip miners on Te to seek its fabulously rich heavy metal deposits was met with a protracted and difficult resistance. Lekgolo physiology gave the species a tremendous fighting advantage on the rocky, oppressive world and eventually terms were met. Difficult communication slowed the process, but a mutually beneficial relationship now exists. The Covenant utilize local labor, expertise, and resources to mine rare metals and minerals, and Lekgolo have free access to Covenant spaceways.

Little observable information has ever been available about the inner workings of Lekgolo society. Outside of mating and feeding habits, their interactions are often opaque—and much theory has been applied to their political and intellectual structure.

[ELITE, Macto cognatus]
Height: 2.2 meters | Weight: 144 kilos

HOMEWORLD
Sanghelios
STAR, POSITION
Urs (primary), Fied, Joori, IV
SATELLITE(S)
Qikost, Suban
GRAVITY
1.375 G [approx]
ATMOSPHERE
.9 atm [N2, O2, Ar]
SURFACE TEMPERATURE
–5°C to 96°C
POPULATION
8.135 billion
SOCIETAL APPROXIMATION
Manorialism/Militant/Patriarchal
GOVERNMENT
Religious hegemony
TECHNOLOGY TIER
Tier 2
CURRENT THREAT TO ARRAY
Significant to serious

The Sangheili are, simply put, technological and societal equals of the Prophets yet, for a significant period, found themselves as the dominant military muscle for the entire Covenant structure—hardly surprising given the warlike feudal nature of their historical homeworld, Sanghelios. What is surprising is the cyclical stability this feudal society was able to offer. Technological and medical advancement prospered, and the intelligent, aggressive Elites were peerless until they encountered the Prophets. With exchange of goods and ideas, the Elites adapted to and eventually embraced the Covenant religion, grafting its tenets to their own belief system.

Elites are physically powerful and bred for strength and ferocity. Raised from childhood to be warriors, other societal roles are treated as secondary endeavors or even hobbies. Even the most humble Elite citizen is skilled in most weapons and hand-to-hand combat. One interesting example of this martial focus is that only [aristocrats] are allowed to wield swords and that sword-wielders are then no longer eligible for [marriage]; however, they may breed with any female they choose, [married] or otherwise, to ensure successful transmission of “swordsman” genes.

Although Elites are naturally very intelligent, their culture’s long dependence on a military–industrial schema has led to an emphasis on might over science. In some regards, the advent of the Covenant made this position easier—allowing the Elites to concentrate even more monomaniacally on military endeavors, while the Prophets took care of science and technology.

One of the few species in the Covenant to achieve space-faring status without external intervention, Elite interaction with the Prophets was initially strained but later formed into a prosperous relationship, eventually laying the foundation for the modern Covenant hegemony. That foundation is currently shaking under the strain of a civil war. The Sangheili have split from the Covenant for religious reasons and have formed a tentative and fragile alliance with Homo sapiens. It remains to be seen how this will play out in the long term.

It is known that this civil war stretches from Earth all the way back to Sanghelios as Elites try to wrest their share of the hegemony away from their new-found enemies. Jiralhanae have stepped in to fill the military void in ever-increasing numbers, sensing the vacuum and opportunity left by the departure of the Elites.

[PURE FORM, Inferi redivivus]
Height: [varies] meters | Weight: 144 kilos

HOMEWORLD
[Extra-galactic [?]]/~first contact [G617g]
STAR, POSITION
[G617], VII
SATELLITE(S)
[G617 g 1]
GRAVITY
1.375 G [approx]
ATMOSPHERE
.9 atm [N2, O2, Ar]
SURFACE TEMPERATURE
–25°C to 41°C
POPULATION
[unknown [?]]
SOCIETAL APPROXIMATION
[Utopian socialism[?]]
GOVERNMENT
n/a
TECHNOLOGY TIER
Native Tier 7/Adopted Tier 2
CURRENT THREAT TO ARRAY
Significant to serious

The Flood is the deadliest threat to life—or more specifically, biodiversity—in the galaxy. It is a virulent, parasitic life form. Flood biomass is composed of an undifferentiated cell type that has been labeled [marker[?]]>LF.Xx.3273_Flood_Super_Cell. The Flood Super Cell (FSC) can be loosely described as [thinking muscle[?]], and it closely resembles neurons or glial cells in structure. It has been verified on multiple occasions that the Flood have the ability to arrange these FSCs to mimic any organ they might need.

Every Flood outbreak goes through several distinct stages: Feral, Coordinated, and Interstellar. During the Feral stage, the Flood has only ever utilized four forms: the infection form, the combat form, the carrier form, and the [proto-gravemind]. Once the Flood establishes a viabl [Gravemind], they enter the Coordinated stage and the number of forms available to them begins to grow rapidly. The Flood’s Interstellar stage has more to do with access to captured technology than an evolutionary change. Theoretically there is at least one other stage that it enters beyond Interstellar: [Transgalactic[?]].

The pure form does not become available until a coordinated group has secured sufficient reserves of calcium from host lifeforms. The Flood uses these calcium resources to construct an [adaptable] framework upon which the FSC is attached, creating a [fearsome engine]. Initially, the pure form’s primary function (i.e., to aid the infection forms with securing hosts and secure biomass and complex neurosystems to strengthen the local Gravemind) tends to overlap that of the combat form, but once the pure-form population reaches [equilibrium[?]] all extant combat forms are either relegated to a purely defensive role or added to the Flood’s available biomass/calcium reserves.

The Flood have no culture as such, as they should be considered a single macroorganism instead of a group of individuals or even a group of subsentient individuals controlled by single, or a group of, [transsentient[?]] being(s). Their society—if it may be called that—most closely resembles a [utopian socialist ideal], as there is no wealth, no poverty, no want, no crime, and no disease; every individual works for the advancement of the Flood as a whole. It is unfortunate that their one overriding goal is to [butcher and consume] every other life form in the galaxy.

[GRAVEMIND, Inferi sententia]
Height: [varies] meters | Weight: [varies] kilos

HOMEWORLD
[Extra-galactic [?]]/~first contact [G617g]
STAR, POSITION
[G617], VII
SATELLITE(S)
[G617 g 1]
GRAVITY
1.375 G [approx]
ATMOSPHERE
.9 atm [N2, O2, Ar]
SURFACE TEMPERATURE
–25°C to 41°C
POPULATION
[unknown [?]]
SOCIETAL APPROXIMATION
[Utopian socialism[?]]
GOVERNMENT
n/a
TECHNOLOGY TIER
Native Tier 7/Adopted Tier 2
CURRENT THREAT TO ARRAY
Significant to serious

The Flood exists in a fairly stable steady-state in the absence of a Gravemind. They do not spawn spontaneously. They form around sentient life forms, specifically those that are self-aware and [capable of introspection[?]].

During its Feral stage, the Flood is only capable of local coordination through use of [pheromone-based] communication. Research indicates that the content of said messages would be necessarily of limited complexity. Individual forms have access to the skills and memories of their host; however, once an outbreak establishes a viable Gravemind, the Coordinated stage begins—and it is at this point the Flood becomes truly dangerous. Synchronization among remote groups of varied forms and the use of [occupational specializations] by members within local and remote groups can no longer be accounted for by the use of [pheromone-based] communication. Group reactions to situational changes at a strategic level are instantaneous or near-instantaneous with no perceptible [time lag] attributable to distance. It has been theorized that post–Feral stage Flood have some form of [telepathy[?]], although this has not been verified.

A Gravemind—like the proto-gravemind that gave rise to it—is the fusion of pure Flood Super Cells and the evolved complex neurosystem of one or more sentient entities. The control it exerts over the more mobile forms it creates is accurately likened to an entity’s control over its own limbs. Ergo, during the Feral stage, control is localized at the individual level, but once an outbreak enters the Coordinated stage control is assumed by, and broadcast from, a central compound intelligence.

Although no data exist from any adequately controlled experiment, data gathered in the field suggest that if a mobile form is removed from the influence of the Gravemind coordinating its [group of origin] it will revert to a Feral stage. Insufficient data exist on whether mobile forms of one Gravemind would be influenced by another Gravemind, though logic dictates this would be the case. However, because individual Graveminds are remarkably similar and are all striving for the same goal, it is likely that a distinction would be impossible to detect.

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[HUMAN, Homo sapiens]
Height: 1.8 meters | Weight: 90 kilos

HOMEWORLD
Earth
STAR, POSITION
Sol, III
SATELLITE(S)
Luna
GRAVITY
1 G [approx]
ATMOSPHERE
1 atm [N2, O2, Ar]
SURFACE TEMPERATURE
–20°C to 40°C
POPULATION
200 million (sudden change)
SOCIETAL APPROXIMATION
Mixed/Democratic/Religious
GOVERNMENT
Emergency military
TECHNOLOGY TIER
Tier 3
CURRENT THREAT TO ARRAY
Significant to serious

Homo sapiens is a largely peaceful, slow space-faring culture with varying governmental institutions and philosophies. The culture appears initially homogenous but, on closer inspection, contains rivalries and differences that have made its very short time in space troubled and difficult. Combined with their limited Tier 3 technology, such strife means their forays into their arm of the galaxy have been hampered by relativistic constraints. They are simply not technologically prepared for the complications of interstellar trade, commerce, or war.

Known as the cradle world, Earth is the classic 1-G, 1-atm paradigm favorable to evolutionary stability and mammalian intelligence; however, it is populated by a botanically interesting range and variety of creatures—thanks to its mix of climates and temperate zones. This world has always held a botanical and geological attraction outside of its role in the Circumstance. Homo sapiens are the only technological intelligence evolved on this planet, although the potential exists for other species there.

Until recently, Homo sapiens was uninfluenced by outside factors. Its society reached its zenith through a painful process of trial and error, passing through a remarkable variety of feudal, dictatorial, and democratic phases before settling on a centralized government with distinct regional offshoots. Its ability to grasp, invent, and adapt to new technologies is predictably swift.

Obviously there is little unexpected information regarding their physical attributes. Homo sapiens are largely unchanged physiologically in the last [100,000 years] but they have managed a remarkably quick evolution from hunter–gatherer to space-farer, unaided by external influence.

The most important current factor in Homo sapiens condition is its interaction with the Covenant hegemony. Human populations have been decimated by a one-sided conflict and unfortunately are approaching extinction. Only one planet survives with any meaningful population, and that planet is, perhaps not coincidentally, their cradle world. It is also the home to a [schism artifact]. Ironically, it is the existence of that [artifact] that has prevented the Covenant from simply destroying the world. They wish to utilize its technology, but they seem curiously unconcerned as to why the [artifact] is located on that particular planet. This series of coincidences is notable and statistically unlikely—unless viewed in the context of the Array conflict.

[RECLAIMER, Homo sapiens augeous]
Height: 2.08 meters | Weight: 179 kilos

HOMEWORLD
Earth, other
STAR, POSITION
Epsilon Eridani, II
SATELLITE(S)
Ehilend
GRAVITY
1.01 G [approx]
ATMOSPHERE
1 atm [N2, O2]
SURFACE TEMPERATURE
–18°C to 38°C
POPULATION
200 million (sudden change)
SOCIETAL APPROXIMATION
Mixed/Democratic/Religious
GOVERNMENT
Emergency military
TECHNOLOGY TIER
Tier 3
CURRENT THREAT TO ARRAY
Significant to serious (ties with group—Human)

Anomalous. Requires further investigation.

Simple scanning reveals the Reclaimer is plainly Homo sapiens; however, it is enhanced and augmented in many significant ways. None of these indicate the need for species recategorization, but they are notable differences, especially given this individual’s behavior and actions within the Array network and during the recent Parasite resurgence events. It certainly meets all the required traits of a Reclaimer, but its physicality is notable.

The Reclaimer’s bone density and muscle mass describe experience in many different gravitational environments—it is well traveled and bears signs of prior dermal and internal damage. Repairs are cursory but effective. The Reclaimer suffers no serious physical ailments other than Homo sapiens’ very truncated lifespan and superheated [mammalian] metabolism.

Augmentations seem to be militaristic in purpose and include gene therapy, hormone replacements, and tuning to the capillary and nervous systems. Some of these augmentations have questionable health benefits, but their military application is obvious and relatively useful. The subject’s tenacity and ability to survive problematic circumstances are testament to that fact. Subject has not been observed without its [CombatSkin] and, while brutally primitive, this armor provides it with protection from elements as well as limited protection from our very basic countermeasures and [sterility hostiles].

The Reclaimer’s mode and philosophy seem to tie directly with the more numerous Homo sapiens military force, and it is difficult to gauge hierarchy among this cluster. The Reclaimer plainly reports to the smaller sapiens; however, they seem to defer to it in many military circumstances. It is an interesting macrocosm of their [democratic] process. The Reclaimer also tends to act independently, deploying itself into perilous circumstance to aid the group.

It is intelligent and resourceful—but purpose-driven. Although its actions are often independent, its end goals are not. It is a social creature but far less gregarious than its companions.

One last note: The Reclaimer employs a [noncorporeal citizen] companion. Further information is being negotiated. Its pertinence to the Circumstance is apparent.

[ENGINEER, Facticius indoles]
Height: 1.88 meters | Weight: 56 kilos

STAR, POSITION
n/a
SATELLITE(S)
n/a
GRAVITY
n/a
ATMOSPHERE
n/a
SURFACE TEMPERATURE
n/a
POPULATION
n/a
SOCIETAL APPROXIMATION
n/a
GOVERNMENT
Religious hegemony client
TECHNOLOGY TIER
n/a
CURRENT THREAT TO ARRAY
[Nonexistent[?]]

The huragok that are now employed by the [Covenant] were discovered and gathered from many extant [Forerunner] facilities, initially by the San’Shyuum and later by the [Covenant] proper. Though not specifically [designed] for assignment within habitable zones, all huragok currently engaged have been recovered from [M-series] facilities. It is [inspiring] to see that even one of the [Builders’] most humble creations has survived through [the dark times] of post-activation.

Physically the huragok most closely resemble [Gigastaurozoa] with obvious difference in locomotion. Though they possess no true tissues or organs, the [nanomechanical surrogates] so closely mimic their biological analogs as to be indistinguishable from those possessing sub–Tier 1 biomedical technologies. Given sufficient raw materials, a pair of huragok can produce a [unified replica[?]] of themselves in approximately [45 minutes]. If another huragok assists (a maximum of three participants can take part in the [reproductive event]), the [progeny[?]] is produced in approximately [30 minutes] and is essentially an [amalgamation] of all three [parents[?]]—thus this latter method is preferred, as the resulting individual has [a broader range of experience]. Likewise, as long as a huragok has access to raw materials, it can self-repair all but the most catastrophic damage. In the same manner, one huragok can completely re-create another as long as it has access to at least ten percent of the damaged individual’s mass. An effective individual [lifespan[?]] of [87,600,000 hours] had been theorized, but according to data retrieved from individual [•••[?]], that limit can be more accurately described as [indefinite[?]].

One would think that the [Covenant’s] employment of the huragok would have introduced a much more pronounced advancement in their understanding of the marvels left behind by the [Forerunners], but the truth of the matter is that the [mysticism] they have attributed to such things has held them back considerably. Unfortunately for them, the huragok is one of the less sophisticated thinking machines the [Builders] were responsible for and requires [an expert hand] to extract any information of discernable value.

Tiers of Technology[edit]

TIER 0: TRANSSENTIENT

As the [Forerunners] had no examples of civilizations with technological accomplishment greater than their own—with the exception of the Precursors—this is a theoretical ceiling. They can travel intergalactically and accelerate evolution of intelligent life. These may be creatures of legend.

TIER 1: WORLD BUILDERS

[Forerunner] ability to manipulate gravitational forces, create AI with full sentience, fabricate super-dense materials, and perform ultra-accurate [slipspace] navigation is unequaled by any extant civilization.

TIER 2: INTERSTELLAR

The [Covenant’s] accurate [slipspace] navigation, near-instantaneous interstellar communication, and man-portable application of energy manipulation owe everything to [Forerunner] technology.

(note: The two primary extant interstellar civilizations were space-faring prior to discovering [Forerunner] artifacts—or each other—but they have not successfully reverse-engineered those artifacts.)

TIER 3: SPACE-FARING

Humans have efficient [slipspace] navigation, mass drivers, asynchronous linear-induction weapons, holocrystal storage, and semi-sentient AI, but their creation requires [blood sacrifice], memory transfer, and flash cloning. They have had little or no outside influence—until recent events. Since [Covenant] contact, they have been on the verge of huge artificial advancement.

TIER 4: SPACE AGE

Tier 4 is often the final resting place for species intelligent enough to break free from their [cradle’s] surface only to fill the gulf surrounding it with war. Their comfort-focused technology can include medical advances.

(note: Jiralhanae are the only species on record who achieved space, reduced themselves through internecine war to a preindustrial condition, [clawed] their way back to their former state, and learned nothing from the experience.)

TIER 5: ATOMIC AGE

Tier 5 species usually become space-farers, focusing on clean energy production. The occasional belligerent species will use atomic energy for weapons, often resulting in extinction. In-atmosphere craft are a hallmark, often leading to spaceflight.

TIER 6: INDUSTRIAL AGE

Tier 6 is often the pinnacle for a civilization. Agrarian societies can remain stable in the preindustrial stage, but Tier 6 population strain and mechanized food production invariably create political and economic pressures few can balance. Moving past this usually promises advancement. Some societies improve environmental and medical understanding concurrently with mechanical and transport advancement; those that do not are frequently doomed.

TIER 7: PREINDUSTRIAL

Tier 7 is one of the most common and stable states, with limited weaponry and environmental threats. Societies tend to be small and scattered, driven by subsistence farming, foraging, or hunter–gathering needs. Technology is limited to simple tools, weapons, or agrarian implements and methods, but a basic understanding of planetary or solar mechanics is not uncommon.

Behind the scenes[edit]

  • The Bestiarum is included exclusively in the Legendary Edition and Collector's Edition of Halo 3. In the Collector's Edition it is a physical book, while in the Legendary Edition it is included in an expanded digital form on the Legendary-exclusive DVD. The book has background summaries and renders of the different sorts of entities in the Halo universe.
  • The "Reclaimer" entry of the Bestiarum erroneously places John-117's homeworld, Eridanus II, in the Epsilon Eridani system; the planet is actually situated in the similarly named Eridanus system. While the Bestiarum refers to the planet as "Epsilon Eridani II", ancillary material for Halo: Reach later established this designation as belonging to Reach, whose physical details (namely, its gravity and moons) were detailed to be different from the planet discussed in the Reclaimer entry,[1] eliminating the possibility that the Bestiarum was in fact referring to Reach (the home of the SPARTAN-II program) instead of Eridanus II.

Sources[edit]

  1. ^ Bungie.net: Halo: Reach Project Page

External link[edit]