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Master Builder


Design and creation of technology

Societal overview

Official language(s):


Official religion(s):

The Mantle

Official script(s):

Forerunner symbols

Notable event(s):

Technology level:

Tier 1

Historical overview


Forerunner ecumene


The Builders, referred to in some formal contexts as the Builder Corps,[1] were the highest rate of the Forerunners, considered to be the most powerful in terms of intelligence, wealth, and political power.[2][3] As their name suggests, the Builders were responsible for designing and constructing the majority of the Forerunners' advanced technology, including ships, weapons and the myriad of technologically advanced structures and objects seen throughout the Milky Way galaxy, most notably the Halo Array.[2] The chief of the Builder rate and all its guilds was known as the Master Builder.[4] The last Forerunner to hold this title was Faber.


Close-up of Faber.

In an archetypal sense, many Builders demonstrated an economically motivated and ambitious mentality, marked by a constant pursuit for more wealth and power.[5] Certain Builder families, such as that of Bornstellar Makes Eternal Lasting, were so wealthy they could own entire planets for their personal use. Molaetra, for one, was covered in megascale architecture that served as a testament to their owners' engineering skill and power.[6]

Builders were drawn to the Forerunners' ancient past, with some believing that Forerunners had long earlier possessed superior technologies and sought to recreate this past greatness with their technological achievements.[7] Such beliefs were also the basis of elements in the rituals of the secret societies that existed within the Builder rate; these rituals had traces of the Forerunners' past beyond their recorded history, including symbols based upon the designs of ten-million-year-old warships which had otherwise been long forgotten.[8] As Manipulars, Builders memorized the names of their ancestors, going back millions of years; these would be recited as part of a prayer meant to be spoken when faced with certain death.[9]

The Builders' gained and maintained their prominence via technological innovations, such as the production of new weapons during major conflicts,[10] though some Builders resorted to clandestine scheming and political machinations to achieve their goals. This aspect of the Builder rate became particularly notorious after Faber gained control of the Old Council and ruthlessly eliminated all of his opposition in positions of power, his corruption encompassing even the legal Juridical rate.[11] Faber's rule also marked a difficult time for Builders who were not part of his cabal, and especially those who openly disagreed with his policies. The Master Builder was not beyond having dissenting voices removed by his loyal Builder Security forces, or formally prosecuted by the corrupt Juridicals.[12]

At the height of their power, Builders held a monopoly on the accepted facts about Precursors' neural physics technology. In lectures mandatory to the other rates, including Lifeworkers, Builders dogmatically asserted that the star roads and other constructs were in fact fully inanimate despite their curious self-adjusting capabilities.[13]

Builder Security was an organization of Builders who conducted security and combat matters.[3] Many members of Builder Security were former Warrior-Servants who migrated into the Builder rate after the Warrior rate was diminished in the wake of Faber's takeover of the Old Council and the Didact's exile.[14]

Builder forms were generally tall and slender and were considered more refined and sophisticated in appearance than Warrior-Servants.[15] Consistent with their elevated position, Builders wore the most ostentatious style of armor of all rates; even the armor of a Builder Manipular was more opulent in design than that of a Promethean.[16]


The Halo Array, the most well-known of the Builders' many creations.

Builders achieved their power early in Forerunner history. The Builders, along with Warriors, played a part in the early suppression of the truth about the relationship between the Forerunners and the Precursors. Over a million years before the emergence of the Flood, after a Theoretical known as Boundless persisted in her studies of this aspect of the Forerunners' past, Boundless was silenced and the Theoretical rate was forcibly absorbed into the Builders.[17]

During one of the Forerunners' civil wars over 500,000 years before the Forerunner-Flood war, the Builders purged the other rates of their ancient rituals while retaining their own.[18] The Builders also accumulated their great wealth by assimilating other rates and subrates into their own over the course of millions of years, particularly ones who posed a threat to the Builders' hierarchy and influence. These rates included the Theoreticals, Historians, Weavers and Interpreters. Millions of years worth of history, wealth, culture, knowledge and ritual were forcibly absorbed by the Builders who accomplished this through the consistent erosion of the rates' contributions to society through corruption, and via campaigns of misinformation. Small-scale rebellions would break out with each assimilation, but they were tempered by Warrior-Servants forced to follow leadership and orders, although some rebellions led to full-scale wars.[19]

However, things never stayed lost for long with the lost rates eventually being rediscovered when some intrepid Forerunner would come along and discover some obscure trail, or the Domain would bring lost information to the forefront for purposes unknown at the time. The Didact's father, as a descendant of the Interpreters, had the need to uphold the Mantle and bring to light the misuse and misinterpretation and corruption of its laws imprinted on his very essence. The Didact's father became outspoken and passionate about his lost history, his innate ability to stir a crowd on par with the Speakers of old and the best silver-tongued Builders of the Capital. His eloquence appealed to the true heart of the Forerunners, namely their desire for glory, their joy in the diversity of rates and the tremendous loss felt to Forerunner culture when identities and rituals were forgotten. The Didact's father evoked the Twelve Laws of Making and Moving, its Upper and Lower Tenets of Authority, and the Rules of Virtue. As a result, millions of Forerunners began to believe that reparation was in order, calling for the restoration of the lost rates and bringing back the immense knowledge and rituals that had been confiscated and hidden away by the Builders. The Builders saw this movement as a threat, but couldn't silence him thanks to the Didact's mother and together, they united half of the occupied worlds to their cause, leading to the Kradal conflicts when the Didact was just a Manipular. However, the Didact's parents lost the conflict and were executed with a special variant of the Suppressor which left nothing behind of them, not even an essence for the Domain. As part of the punishment, the Didact, who was just a few domestic years beyond a decade at the time, had his memories of his early life erased and he was renamed Shadow-of-Sundered-Star, his true name and history left forgotten. The Didact would only know about this because the tale had been revealed to him in his later life by those seeking to cause the Didact pain and humiliation. However, the Didact had never wanted to believe that it was true.[19]

The Builders' power continued to accumulate during the millennium-long human-Forerunner wars, as they supplied the weapons. Toward the end of the wars, the Builders kept producing more weapons and ships than were ultimately necessary, further consolidating their political power and gradually transforming the attitudes of the Old Council itself. The Forerunners' ancient ways of understanding and enlightenment gave way for a more aggressive and ruthless general mentality, which also contributed to humanity's harsh punishment after the conclusion of the wars.[10]

Following the end of the wars, the Builders, led by Master Builder Faber, designed a new form of superweapon known as Halo in preparation for the Flood's inevitable return. This plan was opposed by the Didact and the Prometheans, who instead proposed the construction of numerous shield worlds as a strategy to combat the Flood. The Prometheans lost this political conflict after several millennia, leaving the Master Builder effectively in total control of the Council and making him the most powerful Forerunner in the ecumene.[4] While Faber lost his status for several years near the end of the Flood war, he would be restored in command by the remains of the New Council in the endgame of the conflict, not long before he met his end during the Flood's attack on the greater Ark.

In 2557, 343 Guilty Spark took the Ace of Spades to a Builder facility on Triniel in order to get an upgrade seed for the ship.[20]

Known Builders[edit]


List of appearances[edit]


  1. ^ Halo: Cryptum, page 296
  2. ^ a b c Halo: Cryptum, forward jacket description
  3. ^ a b Halo Waypoint, Cryptum Glossary (Retrieved on Mar 14, 2014) [local archive] [external archive]
  4. ^ a b Halo: Cryptum, page 124
  5. ^ Halo: Silentium, page 78
  6. ^ Halo: Cryptum, pages 227-228
  7. ^ Halo: Silentium, pages 59-60
  8. ^ Halo: Silentium, page 115
  9. ^ Halo: Silentium, page 274
  10. ^ a b Halo: Silentium, pages 33-34
  11. ^ Halo: Silentium, page 29
  12. ^ Halo: Silentium, page 90-91
  13. ^ Halo: Silentium, page 114
  14. ^ Halo: Silentium, String 3
  15. ^ Halo: Cryptum, page 206
  16. ^ Halo: Cryptum, pages 81-82
  17. ^ Halo: Silentium, pages 67-68
  18. ^ Halo: Silentium, page 119
  19. ^ a b Halo: Epitaph, chapter 11
  20. ^ Halo: Renegades, chapter 28
  21. ^ Halo: Silentium, page 67