Forerunner-Precursor war

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Human-Forerunner wars

Forerunner-Precursor war


c. 10,000,000 BCE


Milky Way galaxy and Path Kethona


Decisive Forerunner victory

  • Precursors driven to near-extinction
  • Rise of the ecumene as the dominant galactic power

Forerunner ecumene




Near extinction


"I am the last of those your kind rose up against and ruthlessly destroyed."
— The Primordial to the Didact.

Ten million years before the Forerunner-Flood war,[1] the Forerunners rose up and destroyed their creators, the race of beings known as the Precursors, in a sudden uprising.


Most details and even the causes of this conflict remain obscure or contradictory, as any records of it had been completely lost and/or intentionally suppressed by the Forerunners over the subsequent millions of years.[2] According to some Forerunners who later learned of the event, the Precursors had decided to erase the Forerunners from existence, as they had done with many of their other creations.[3][4] The Librarian learned this information from the Sedaaro Forerunners' biological memory reservoir,[5] which, in turn, recorded the memories of the early Forerunners who fought in the war.

However, the Gravemind claimed that the Forerunners struck against their creators completely unprovoked, enraged by the Precursors' decision to pass the Mantle of Responsibility on to prehistoric humanity instead of the Forerunners. According to the Gravemind, the Precursors did not defend themselves and simply marveled at the sheer violence the Forerunners were capable of.[6]

After driving the Precursors away from the Milky Way galaxy, the Forerunners—under the leadership of the then-dominant Warrior rate[7]—chased them down to the satellite galaxy of Path Kethona, where they finished their work, driving the Precursors to near-extinction. However, the Forerunners who traveled to Path Kethona never returned to the Milky Way, as they were unable to bear the burden of what they had done. Those who defied their commanders and invoked the Mantle were either executed or exiled on a barren planet and would later remain as the only Forerunner survivors of the fleet that conducted the extermination campaign at Path Kethona.[8]

Another account made by the Curator between 2554 and 2558 with information it learned from the Domain gives a version of the events that both match up with and differ from those of the former two accounts. According to this account, the Precursors seeded life in the Milky Way before settling in Path Kethona, leaving behind only remnants of their existence in the Milky Way. These remnants would later be discovered by the Forerunners who would also learn of the Mantle and lay claim to it as they were the most technologically advanced species in the galaxy thus believed it should fall to them to uphold it. However, such power made the Forerunners arrogant and prideful, which was observed by the Precursors. The Precursors did not approve of the Forerunners' brash claim to the Mantle and decided to wipe out the Forerunners and give the Mantle to another species they deemed worthy. The Forerunners discovered this when they sent an expedition to Path Kethona in search of the Precursors, ultimately encountering them. The Forerunner leadership was determined to avoid this fate and struck a preemptive strike on the Precursors, launching the largest known military campaign in the Milky Way's history at the time. They proceeded to near-exterminate their creators with only a fraction of their forces returning and then kept the conflict and its outcome a secret throughout the majority of Forerunner history.[9]

At some point, some Precursors fled to the world of Netherop where they hid amongst the local Tier 6 civilization. When the Forerunners found them, they dispatched a Guardian Custode to wipe out the Precursors. However, at the cost of destroying the Netherop civilization and turning the planet itself into a barren wasteland, the Precursors were able to destroy the Guardian with a weapon later dubbed the Divine Hand.[10]


Though all Precursors were believed to have been eradicated, the Primordial, who originally claimed to be the last Precursor, later stated that a number of Precursors survived by escaping beyond the Forerunners' reach.[11] A few Precursors did indeed manage to survive the Forerunners' extermination efforts. They either went into suspended animation or became dust that would regenerate into their past forms when the time was right. However, time rendered the dust defective, and it only created sickness and disease. With this new form, (the earliest stage of the Flood), and embittered by the conflict with the Forerunners, the Precursors vowed that none of their creations would rise against them again.[12]

During her expedition to Path Kethona, the Librarian discovered seeds left behind by peaceful Precursors that had eventually died. Secretly taking the seeds with her back to Bastion, the Librarian began a plan to ensure the rebirth of the Precursor race on a world outside of the Milky Way galaxy where they would be able to thrive and grow without outside interference. In 2558, with the help of Rion Forge and 343 Guilty Spark, the Librarian's plan was put into motion.[13]

In November 2559, the UNSC and the Swords of Sanghelios sought the Precursor weapon on Netherop, hoping to use it to destroy Cortana's Guardians. After realizing the true nature of the weapon's creators and seeing its power for themselves, the two sides decided that it was just too dangerous to use. While on Netherop, Rosa Fuertes encountered the Precursor fugitives, still alive and in hiding on the planet, who cured Rosa's prion disease after she promised to keep their secret and to ensure that everyone else left as well. It's unclear if the Precursors remained on Netherop as well or if they left with Rosa who sensed that they were still with her after Rosa's encounter with the Precursor survivors.[14]

List of appearances[edit]


  1. ^ Halo: Silentium, String 15, page 181
  2. ^ Halo: Cryptum, page 342
  3. ^ Halo: Primordium, page 194 ("Long ago, when it became apparent that the Precursors were about to erase Forerunners, there was a war, and Forerunners erased them.")
  4. ^ Halo Mythos, page 7
  5. ^ Halo: Cryptum, page 203
  6. ^ Halo: Silentium, String 24
  7. ^ Halo: Silentium, page 14
  8. ^ Halo: Silentium, String 15
  9. ^ Halo Mythos, pages 7-9
  10. ^ Halo: Outcasts, chapter 17
  11. ^ Halo: Primordium, page 364
  12. ^ Halo: Silentium, String 13
  13. ^ Halo: Point of Light
  14. ^ Halo: Outcasts