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Crei 'Ayomuu, Olympia Vale and Thel 'Vadam on Netherop during the Created uprising.
At least 3
Netherop, identified by the Covenant as Neska and N'ba, is a greenhouse planet located in the Ephyra system. The planet is considered both in humanity's Polona sector and the Sangheili's Out Sectors. Netherop was once home to a civilization of intelligent beings, but has been uninhabited for centuries.
The Covenant refer to Netherop under two names: Neska and N'ba. Within the Sangheili language, the name N'ba translates to "world of death". Neska however is a Sangheili phonetic transcription of a Forerunner word and means "world that makes ghosts", while the original Forerunner word itself means "planet of ghost makers".
Netherop appears to be covered in a pall of dingy brown clouds, many of which rapidly expand in various swirls. Netherop's atmosphere produces a thick corona and its mesosphere creates a pearl-colored haze. A survey of the planet described it as uninhabited, marginally survivable, and of minimal strategic value with no exploitable resources. Daylight on the planet, at least at the latitude visited by Blue Team in 2526, lasts twenty-three hours and five minutes. The planet's night also appears to last a long time, so long Nizat 'Kvarosee considered it to be interminable.
- Mountains of Despair
- Cave Cities (Mentioned only)
- Archaeological tel
In the time of the Forerunners, Netherop was a lush world covered in jungles and home to a now-extinct species of sapient life forms. The firing of the Divine Hand to fend off a Forerunner Guardian Custode resulted in the destruction of much of the planet's ecology, eventually turning the planet into little more than a barren wasteland.
In the modern day, Netherop is mostly barren, meaning little plant or animal life grows there. However, a few hardy plant species have been observed. During the battle on Netherop in 2526, Nizat 'Kvarosee remained unsure whether the planet actually had local fauna, or even cool nights that could enable them to come out after dark.
Thanks to the nanotechnology inside the Inner Sanctum, Nizat and the Defenders of the Sanctum were able to survive on Netherop for thirty years - with some of the less disciplined warriors even becoming slightly overweight - due to an abundance of fruits and other edible (for Sangheili) flora grown inside the sanctum's agricultural grange. The fruits grown there included abbu, banaqs, peks, rishe, and wuff. It is unclear whether these fruits were the result of the Precrusor nanotechnology growing fruit that the Sangheili occupants already knew from their own homeworlds, or whether it simply grew flora of its own creation. After the Divine Hand was stolen from the sanctum, the plant life in the sanctum almost immediately withered and the waters became poisoned.
During the Forerunner-Precursor war, Netherop became home to Precursor fugitives who used a powerful weapon that was later dubbed the Divine Hand to destroy an attacking Guardian Custode. However, the use of this weapon wiped out the original inhabitants of the planet and effectively destroyed the planet itself, transforming Netherop from a lush world into a barely inhabitable wasteland. This was later misattributed to being due to the great increases in temperature that resulted from greenhouse gases.
Rise of humanity
A survey was done by the UNSC of Netherop, but was cut short by the planet's hostile environment. The Military Survey of Uninhabited Planets would list Netherop as uninhabited, marginally survivable, and of minimal strategic value with no exploitable resources. Though the survey notes suggested that a properly equipped survey team should return, a classified ONI addendum listed the planet as possibly abandoned, suggesting that the survey had found anything from an old Colonial habitability probe to the presence of terrain features that could've been artificially constructed. Frederic-104 would later guess that the survey had been electronically added to the MSUP by some clerk who only read the part about minimal strategic value and no exploitable resources and as such, the assessor's recommendation went unread and thus not acted upon.
At some point in probably the twenty-fifth century, a group of pirates with Insurrectionist leanings were marooned on the planet. Though they weren't expected to survive, the pirates and their descendants managed to make a living on Netherop, coming to call themselves the Castoffs.
- Main article: Human-Covenant War
On March 5, 2526, a single Covenant frigate, the Radiant Arrow, was holding position in orbit around the planet until it was boarded by three teams of Spartan-IIs, forcing the ship's self-destruction at the hands of its shipmaster.
In June 2526, the UNSC returned to Netherop to capture the Steadfast Strike, a Covenant frigate that had seemingly crashed on the planet. However, this was actually a trap by renegade Covenant Fleetmaster Nizat 'Kvarosee who planned to plant Luminal Beacons amongst the human forces so that he could locate and destroy ONI and redeem himself in the eyes of the Hierarchs and their gods. However, due to 'Kvarosee's renegade actions, the Silent Shadow and the Fleet of Swift Justice chased him to Netherop, leading to a three-way battle on and above the planet. Much of 'Kvarosee's forces were decimated, but two of his ships, including 'Kvarosee's flagship the Quiet Faith escaped. The Silent Shadow eventually destroyed the Steadfast Strike and exiled 'Kvarosee and his few surviving followers on Netherop after removing their armor. At the same time, the surviving human forces pulled out aside from Lieutenant Commander Amalea Petrov who intended to create a deep-operations base on the planet.
To complete 'Kvarosee's exile, the Silent Shadow established a minefield of self-targeted Jaet-pattern plasma torpedoes around Netherop, preventing even a drop pod from getting through to land on the surface. In this fashion, the Silent Shadow ensured that no loyal Shipmaster could ever rescue 'Kvarosee who witnessed the destruction of five ships attempting to do so. This also cut the UNSC off from the planet permanently though they rescued many of the Castoffs and relocated them to Gao at the Castoffs' request.
Information about Netherop in the Covenant World Registry included information on the two battles but did not include any information on the mine shell placed around the planet or 'Kvarosee's role in it. Instead, the registry simply said that the Prophet of Truth had deemed the losses to be a sign of divine displeasure and forbade all Covenant vessels from entering the system.
War on the surface
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- Main article: Created uprising
In 2559, rumors about an ancient artifact located on the planet were heard by both the United Nations Space Command and the Swords of Sanghelios. While the Arbiter Thel 'Vadam and Spartan Olympia Vale travelled to the planet with hopes that the artifact could help them in their fight against Cortana's Created, they were being manipulated by mysterious forces with their own agenda.
List of appearances
- Halo: Silent Storm (First appearance)
- Halo: Oblivion
- Halo: Outcasts
- Battle for the Blood-Moon (Mentioned only)
- Halo: Silent Storm, chapter 1
- Halo: Outcasts, chapter 4
- Halo: Silent Storm, chapter 2
- Twitter, Troy Denning (@TDenningauthor): "Okay -- got 'em. Both were Innie bases, not colonies. And I forgot to specify -- Netherop was a non-human, non-Covenant world originally. The civilization is long gone, never advanced to space-faring." (Retrieved on Mar 9, 2022) [archive]
- Halo: Oblivion
- Halo Encyclopedia (2022 edition), page 51
- Halo: Silent Storm
- Halo: Outcasts, chapter 3
- Twitter, @TDenningauthor: "Etalan and Biko are in the Polona Sector. Netherop probably is, too. The action is fairly compressed, timewise, so they couldn't have been traveling far. Harvest is less certain -- in my mind, it was more distant, so was probably in an adjoining sector 2/" (Retrieved on Mar 9, 2022) [archive]
- Halo: Outcasts, chapter 2
- Halo: Oblivion, page 122
- Halo: Oblivion, page 147
- Halo: Oblivion, chapter 394
- Halo: Outcasts, chapter 6
- Halo: Outcasts, chapter 21
- Halo: Oblivion, chapter 14
- Halo: Outcasts, chapter 25
- Halo: Silent Storm, chapter 3
- Halo: Outcasts, chapter 13
- Simon & Schuster, Halo: Outcasts (Retrieved on Feb 9, 2022) [archive]