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Battle of the House of Reckoning

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Battle of the Silent Auditorium

Battle of the House of Reckoning
Concept art of an M808 Scorpion approaching a Banished stronghold.

Conflict:

Post-Covenant War conflicts

Date:

c. May 28, 2560

Location:

House of Reckoning, Installation 07

Outcome:

Decisive UNSC victory

Details
Belligerents
Commanders
Strength
Casualties
  • Light
    • Several Marines
 

"This was never a trap. It is a test of mettle. Our battle ends here. (...) Bear witness! Our story will become legend. Told by those that survive you."
Escharum arrives for his final battle.[1]

The Battle of the House of Reckoning is an engagement in the Installation 07 conflict involving the Master Chief storming the Banished stronghold known as the House of Reckoning to rescue Fernando Esparza. It resulted in the death of War Chief Escharum who was the leader of the Banished at the time.

Background[edit]

Following the revelation of the Master Chief's survival, the Banished War Chief Escharum was invigorated and he ordered Blademaster Jega 'Rdomnai to follow the legendary Spartan.[2] After the Master Chief destroyed three Banished anti-aircraft cannons, the terminally ill Escharum ordered 'Rdomnai to bring the Spartan to him.[3]

When the Master Chief and the Weapon succeeded in deactivating the Reformation Spires and stopping the Reformation, 'Rdomnai revealed himself where he had been hiding in Echo 216 and successfully hijacked the Pelican, taking its pilot Fernando Esparza prisoner. Using a portal, the Master Chief and the Weapon gave chase.[4] 'Rdomnai brought Esparza before Escharum at the House of Reckoning, knowing that the kidnapping of his friend would draw the Master Chief directly to them. Pleased, Escharum ordered 'Rdomnai to torture Esparza, but not to kill him.[5]

As the Master Chief and the Weapon attempted to find their way through the Repository to the Banished base, the AI uncovered a message left behind by Escharum where he taunted the Spartan with a recording of Esparza being tortured and claimed that the Master Chief's humanity, such as his compassion for Esparza, made him weak in comparison to the Banished. Escharum promised that he awaited their final fight and the Weapon discovered that the Banished War Chief had embedded his coordinates in the message so as to make it easier for his foe.[5]

Battle[edit]

The Road Warrior[edit]

Emerging on the surface, the Weapon discovered that the Banished base was actually the House of Reckoning, the location where Chak 'Lok had shipped his victims to. Nearby, the Master Chief discovered a small Banished outpost where he killed the forces guarding it and freed some imprisoned Marines.

Taking an M808 Scorpion tank parked at the outpost and aided by the rescued Marines, the Master Chief fought his way down the road towards the House of Reckoning through heavy Banished resistance including Sangheili, Kig-Yar, Unggoy, Jiralhanae, a Mgalekgolo pair, Ghosts and Wraiths. Blocked by a gate, the Master Chief climbed over it, killed a Sangheili Warlord, opened the gate and continued on. Finally, the Spartan arrived at the House of Reckoning where he encountered no resistance outside. Instead, the gate opened for him on its own and after the Master Chief extended and crossed the bridge, he found the door to the Banished stronghold unlocked.[6]

The Arenas[edit]

Entering an arena where Escharum had forced many UNSC prisoners to fight to the death, the Spartan was taunted by the old Jiralhanae who sent multiple waves of Unggoy, Kig-Yar, Sangheili and Jiralhanae to attack him en masse. Despite being heavily outnumbered, the Master Chief was able to slay the Banished forces with scavenged UNSC weapons and proceed to the next level of the House of Reckoning.

On the second level, the Master Chief was taunted by another holographic message from Escharum and entered yet another arena where he faced more waves of Banished troops. This time, the troops included a Hunter pair, but the Spartan succeeded in eliminating them and ascending to the third level where Escharum taunted him about the defeat of the UNSC Infinity.

On the third level, the Master Chief was drawn by voices into the single structure in the middle of the arena. Upon the Master Chief's discovery that it was Esparza's holorecorder, he was trapped by security barriers and attacked by a cloaked Jega 'Rdomnai. Aided by Spartan Hudson Griffin's Threat Sensor, the Master Chief managed to kill the sadistic Blademaster and continue on. As he headed for the fourth and final level of the House of Reckoning, Escharum warned that the Banished came prepared for war and a thousand legions controlled Zeta Halo and that no matter the outcome of their battle, the Master Chief's interference would be just a fleeting irritation.[1]

Test of Legends[edit]

Escharum duels the Master Chief

On the fourth level, the Master Chief and the Weapon discovered Fernando Esparza imprisoned in a torture device similar to the one that Chak 'Lok had used at the Tower. The Master Chief deployed the Weapon to free Esparza who warned the Spartan that it was a trap. Escharum dropped down in full battle armor to fight the Spartan personally while the Weapon continued to work on freeing Esparza. Escharum proclaimed that their battle would become legend, told by those that survived the Master Chief.

Shortly after the battle began, Escharum surrounded himself with an energy shield that the Spartan was unable to penetrate, causing Esparza pain instead. The Weapon warned the Spartan that the shield was connected to the torture machine and that any damage that he inflicted upon Escharum would be transferred to Esparza. Discovering that the power was transmitted by a series of relays around the room, the Weapon managed to expose one, allowing the Master Chief to destroy it. Escharum's shield dropped, giving the Spartan the chance to attack, but the other relays quickly restored the shield. With the help of the Weapon, the Master Chief managed to destroy all of the relays and Escharum's shield while preventing Esparza from taking any more damage from their battle. Enraged, Escharum discarded his Scrap Cannon in favor of his gravity axe Diminisher of Hope and attacked the Master Chief head on. Using the weapons available in the room, the Master Chief finally managed to defeat Escharum.

With Escharum down, the Master Chief and the Weapon succeeded in freeing Esparza from the torture machine. Mortally wounded but not dead yet, Escharum staggered over and demanded that the Spartan continue their battle. However, the Master Chief refused and caught and held the dying Escharum who promised that his death would inspire a thousand others and requested that the Spartan tell them that he had died well. Escharum then died of his wounds in the Master Chief's arms, surprising Esparza with the respect that the Spartan had given to the War Chief as he died since Escharum was a monster. The Master Chief recognized that in the end, Escharum was just a soldier, hoping he'd done the right thing and questioning his choices. While Esparza believed that it was over with the death of the Banished's leader, the Master Chief warned him that it was not that simple and that there would be consequences as there always were.[1]

Aftermath[edit]

With Esparza rescued, the three recovered Echo 216 and made their way to the Silent Auditorium in order to stop the Harbinger from unleashing the Endless.[7]

List of appearances[edit]

Sources[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Halo Infinite, campaign level House of Reckoning
  2. ^ Halo Infinite, campaign level Foundation
  3. ^ Halo Infinite, campaign level Pelican Down
  4. ^ Halo Infinite, campaign level The Command Spire
  5. ^ a b Halo Infinite, campaign level Repository
  6. ^ Halo Infinite, campaign level The Road
  7. ^ Halo Infinite, campaign level Silent Auditorium