The Relic, as it is known to the Covenant, is a Forerunner underground structure located in the northern polar region of Harvest. The installation's role has been described as a conservation sphere waystation and quadrinary Flood research and containment facility. Its most superficially apparent function is a form of galactic map room, displaying a holographic map of numerous nearby star systems when activated.
The structure is an underground complex buried under the northern polar region of Harvest. It consists of a large main room with a deep chasm cutting through it. The sides are connected by two energy bridges going across the chasm. A large sloped corridor connects the central chamber to the entrance. The room is largely symmetrical, with minor differences on each side.
The end of the main room opposite to the entrance houses a circular chasm with a round platform on it, accessible by a single bridge. On the platform there is a spherical activation console similar to that of the Apex Site and a hologram projector, which, when activated, projects a holographic map of nearby star systems.
There are also a number of smaller doors around the main room, as well as the corridor. It is unknown where these lead, but multiple structures partially seen below the ice in the region around the main entrance suggest that the underground complex extends to a large area.
During the Harvest campaign in February 2531, five years after Admiral Cole's victory at Harvest, the Covenant discovered this installation. The Arbiter Ripa 'Moramee was assigned to lead the excavation operation, and to search the Relic in hopes of finding valuable artifacts while keeping the human forces away.
Meanwhile, the logistical support ship UNSC Spirit of Fire was in-system on a mission to save the crew of another UNSC ship. After the operation, they intercepted numerous Covenant communiques, all pointed to the northern polar region. Scans of the area detected major gravitational anomalies. The UNSC forces sent troops to a base near the Relic to find out what the Covenant were looking for.
After the Arbiter had obtained the necessary information from the Relic, the Prophet of Regret ordered him to destroy it to prevent it from falling into human hands. However, UNSC forces breached the Covenant defenses and prevented them from destroying the structure. After this, they entered the underground complex, and professor Ellen Anders activated the star map. A group of cloaked Sangheili attacked the humans, who managed to escape the structure with the help of two Grizzly tanks.
It is unknown what became of the structure after this, but it is likely that the Covenant ships in the atmosphere were able to destroy it via orbital plasma bombardment before making the jump for Arcadia; it is doubtful that the Arbiter would neglect to follow orders given to him directly by a Prophet Hierarch.
The star map pointed at another planet, Arcadia in the Procyon system. The Covenant invaded the planet, searching for valuable Forerunner artifacts. Information from a Forerunner structure complex in Arcadia's jungles led the Covenant to Shield World 0459.
- The design of the relic interior bears some resemblance to the underground tunnels in the Halo: Combat Evolved level Assault on the Control Room; both are also located in frigid, snowy environments.
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