Ernicka the Scar-Maker
Ernicka served as the second-in-command to Field Commander Ussa 'Xellus during the San'Shyuum-Sangheili War. In 860 BCE, during the skirmish at the Planet of Blue and Red, he helped lead troops against the San'Shyuum Reformist forces. When the San'Shyuum were forced to retreat to the planet's orbit, Ernicka fired at the escaping shuttle pods in a failed attempt to destroy them. Ernicka did not believe the San'Shyuum would attack from their ships in orbit, since the San'Shyuum were not willing to risk causing damage to the planet's Forerunner structures. However, Ussa realized that the San'Shyuum were intending to use a weapon from their Forerunner Dreadnought that was too weak to damage the structures and kill all exposed Sangheili. Ussa desperately had Ernicka order all Sangheili to retreat into the interiors of the structures to survive the orbital attacks.
After the war ended in 852 BCE, the Covenant was formed as the Sangheili and San'Shyuum united under the Writ of Union. Ernicka and Ussa both opposed the Covenant, believing that the Sangheili were surrendering themselves to the San'Shyuum. In 851 BCE, Ussa warned the citizens of Xellus keep to not trust the Covenant or the San'Shyuum. When some Xellus residents did not share Ussa's sentiments, they reported his heresy to the Covenant authorities and a squadron of fighters was sent to the state of Xellus. As the fighters attacked the state, killed numerous residents, and destroyed Xellus keep, Ussa led the survivors to the region of Nwari at Sanghelios' southern pole with Ernicka. While Ussa and his mate, Sooln, traveled to Creck to recruit more followers, Ernicka remained in charge of the Sangheili at Nwari. Upon Ussa's return, Ernicka informed him that Covenant assassins were closing in on the group's position and there was likely a spy among their group. Without informing Ernicka of his plan to detect the spy, Ussa ordered the Sangheili to prepare to pack up and leave Sanghelios for a new refuge. When Ussa refused to tell Vertikus where their new destination was, Vertikus revealed himself to be the spy and charged at Ussa. Ernicka immediately jumped in front of Ussa and protected him from Vertikus' burnblade. Ernicka was quickly able to disarm the spy and knocked him to the ground. Although Ussa wished for Vertikus to be captured and interrogated, a group of surrounding Sangheili charged at the spy and tore him apart. The Sangheili rebels departed Sanghelios for the Refuge shortly after.
On the shield world, now referred to as the Refuge, Ernicka helped Ussa govern the Sangheili followers. At some point in 850 BCE, Salus 'Crolon approached Ernicka and Ussa and questioned the use of Forerunner artifacts, believing them to be potentially dangerous and an affront to the gods. Although Ernicka believed that 'Crolon was being treasonous for questioning Ussa, the latter reminded Ernicka that 'Crolon may simply be an annoying individual. While the Sangheili continued to set up their new colony, Ernicka supervised and ensured that everyone remained on task. Later, Ernicka was repairing burnblades with Tersa 'Gunok, 'Crolon, and two other Sangheili. Tersa became infatuated with Lnur 'Mol, but as 'Crolon continued to mock the young Sangheili, Tersa challenged him to a burnblade duel. Ernicka ordered Tersa to get back to work, though the Scar-Maker was impressed by his courage to some degree. When Tersa and Lnur overheard 'Crolon and 'Drem attempt to convince other Sangheili to rebel against Ussa, the former pair was spotted and 'Drem gave chase. Ultimately, they escaped and 'Crolon and 'Drem told Ussa that Tersa and Lnur were planning to rebel against him. Ernicka met Tersa and Lnur at the Hall of Feasts and arrested them. Bringing them to the Strategy Hall, they were put on trial. When Tersa revealed that 'Crolon and 'Drem were attempting to convince Gmezza and Scorinn to defect, Ernicka sent guardsmen to retrieve the two Sangheili. When it became clear that 'Crolon and 'Drem were in fact plotting against Ussa, the kaidon ordered for Ernicka to arrest them. 'Drem attempted to escape the hall, but Ernicka incapacitated him by throwing his burnblade into 'Drem's spine. Ussa had Ernicka finish off 'Drem, and the Scar-Maker decapitated the traitor. After the incident, Ernicka escorted 'Crolon to a prison cell.
Before he could be executed, 'Crolon managed to escape the shield world and was captured by Covenant authorities. To prevent his death, 'Crolon informed the Covenant of the Refuge's location. Correctly predicting that a Covenant fleet would soon arrive in the system, Ernicka and Ussa met within the Strategy Hall to prepare the for battle. They were approached by Sooln and monitor Enduring Bias. Despite Ernicka's reluctance to trust the monitor, Ussa allowed Bias to broadcast a signal to the Covenant fleet that allowed Ussa to converse with the Prophet of Inner Conviction. Ussa was offered by the San'Shyuum to allow his people to escape, at the cost of his and Sooln's own execution. However, Ussa realized that his people would likely be killed anyway and declined the offer. Instead, Ussa warned Inner Conviction to evacuate the Covenant troops on the shield world's surface, as they was going to activate the world's Disassembler process. After doing so, the Covenant fleet left the system, believing the shield world had self-destructed and the Ussans to be dead. However, Ernicka and the other Ussans indeed survived the Disassembler process by taking shelter in numerous freight movers, which made Ernicka nauseas. The Ussans resettled in the former shield world's fragmented habitats and continued to follow Ussa's leadership.
Ernicka the Scar-Maker was remembered and applauded as a legendary hero by the Ussans for centuries to come. A descendant of Ernicka, Tirk 'Surb, would later serve as the head of Refuge Security for the Ussans. Sculptures of Ernicka battling slithering, semi-saurian depictions of Salus 'Crolon were placed in the Refuge's Hall of the Godminds.
Personality and traits
Ernicka was stoic and loyal to his allies. He gave his respect to any individual that was competent in completing their tasks. Ernicka was extremely loyal to Ussa 'Xellus, and his mate Sooln. He was initially reluctant to trust monitor Enduring Bias, however he knew it was necessary to keep the colony operational. Ernicka gained respect for Tersa 'Gunok, especially after he stood up for himself against Salus 'Crolon. When he was reluctantly forced to arrest Tersa, he was apologetic and did not restrain him as he trusted in Tersa's honor. When the Ussans gathered to eat in the Refuge, Ernicka always chose to eat last.
Trok 'Tanghil is mistakenly referred to as "Ernicka" on page 178 of Halo: Broken Circle.
List of appearances