|Day-Chaser Makes Paths Long-stretch Morning Riser|
c. 97,645 BCE
Approx. 91 centimeters (3 ft)
Riser (personal name Morning Riser and long name Day-Chaser Makes Paths Long-stretch Morning Riser) was an ancient human living on Earth (then known as Erde-Tyrene) during the Forerunner-Flood war. Riser was a Florian, a member of a diminutive species of human known today as Homo floresiensis. Native to the settlement of Marontik, Riser was a friend and mentor of Chakas and later acquainted with Bornstellar Makes Eternal Lasting. He was among the humans who survived the firing of the Halo Array through the Forerunners' Conservation Measure, being later returned to Earth.
Life on Erde-Tyrene and meeting with Bornstellar
In the centuries prior to the endgame of the Forerunner-Flood war, Riser's family, driven by a geas implemented by the Librarian, had spent many generations attempting to discover the secret that lay within the center of Djamonkin Crater. Upon birth, the Librarian imprinted Riser with a personal geas containing specific instructions, memories and archived personalities of humans who fought in the human-Forerunner wars. This geas later caused him to seek out young hamanush and help them with their lives, finding them useful work in exchange for protection for his clan. Riser had an older brother with whom he would often wrestle when they were young. Initially, his brother usually won, but as both got older the odds began to even out; Riser never let his brother forget the times he won. His brother later died at some point. When Riser was around two hundred years of age, he became the mentor and friend of a young human called Chakas, finding him various places to work.
At one point, Riser's geas caused him to have dreams of a young Forerunner visiting them. Not long after, a Forerunner Manipular known as Bornstellar Makes Eternal Lasting arrived in Marontik. The young Forerunner enlisted the services of Riser and Chakas through a collective of guides, and they joined him on an expedition to the Djamonkin Crater, where Bornstellar found the Didact's Cryptum. Here, thanks to their geas, Riser and Chakas sang a preprogrammed sound code that authorized the opening of the Cryptum. This awoke the Didact, whom they later accompanied to Charum Hakkor and Janjur Qom, the San'Shyuum homeworld, in the hope that it would spark a memory implanted by the Librarian that could help the Didact. On the way, they also began discovering their ancestral memories, imprinted as part of their geas. On Janjur Qom, Riser was imprisoned by the Master Builder along with Chakas and the Didact.
Journey on Installation 07
While Riser was held in stasis aboard one of the Master Builder's transports, the ship was attacked by the forces of the Ecumene Council, who opposed the Master Builder. The ship Riser was on crash-landed on Halo Installation 07, along with three Forerunners, one of whom was held captive by the others. While the two were uninterested in Riser at first, the imprisoned Forerunner explained Riser's importance due to his geas, saying the human was more valuable than the Forerunners themselves. As a result, the Forerunners took Riser with them.
They had crash-landed in an area infested with Flood biomass; what Riser himself described as a "graveyard-desert". Riser and the Forerunners were soon forced to shed their armor, as Mendicant Bias, the intelligence in control of the ring, took control of their armor and attempted to crush them. Not long after, the two surviving Forerunners were infected by the Flood after being covered in spores carried via rainfall. However, Riser survived uninfected — this was later revealed to be because of the Flood's deliberate choice not to infect humans at this time. It was here that Riser discovered that the archived personality implanted in his genetic material was a woman once known as Yprin Yprikushma.
After traveling through the Flood-infested landscape for days, Riser eventually came to its edge and made his way to a plateau, where he observed the Forerunner Lifeworker called Genemender Folder of Fortune, accompanied by a number of humans and an ape. However, Riser quickly noticed that they cast off no smell, which made him suspicious. He decided not to attempt contact and observed them from a distance, even after the Lifeworker met with Chakas and the two humans who accompanied him, Vinnevra and Gamelpar.
After Genemender had taken Chakas and the others to his station, Riser came to Chakas' hut in the middle of the night and warned him that something was wrong about the Lifeworker and the humans in the area and told Chakas not to trust them. Indeed, it was soon revealed that Genemender and the humans were actually archived personalities present only as holographic simulations. These illusions disappeared as the area experienced a power outage, and Riser joined Chakas, Vinnevra and the ape soon after. Riser could communicate with the ape, explaining that her name was Mara and that Florians had once known her kind on Earth.
Upon reuniting with Chakas, Riser explained the events up until that point and the two soon let their "old spirits", as they called the ancestral personalities they carried, converse with one another. It turned out that Chakas carried the spirit of Forthencho, who was once a political opponent of Yprin Yprikushma. After the two ancient humans had finished their exchange, Riser and the rest of the group continued their journey. Starving and exhausted after traveling for several days, they eventually came across a rail transport and boarded it. The transport took them to a Lifeworker research station, where they entered a boat-like vehicle with an uncertain destination.
The transport took them deep within the bowels of the Halo, all the way into the lair of the rampant AI Mendicant Bias itself. There, Riser and Chakas had their minds scoured by the AI, and eventually their personality imprints were removed. All of the humans who had carried ancestral personalities were then rounded up by Mendicant Bias, who offered them the choice to help it fight its former masters with their "old spirits", who had been placed into monitors. Riser accepted and was taken to one of the Halo's control stations to help coordinate its movements in order to save it from impending collision with a planet — a security measure should the Halo fall under enemy control.
Although the Halo took heavy damage, Riser survived the passage of the planet. After the ring was reclaimed by the IsoDidact's forces, Riser was transported to the greater Ark and later returned to Earth, having fully recovered from the physical and mental trauma caused by the removal of his imprint. He lived on Earth for several years, until the Forerunners called to all humans who were imprinted with Librarian's geas. He was taken for preservation aboard the greater Ark and later, when the facility became compromised, he was among the small number of humans who were successfully transported to the lesser Ark by 343 Guilty Spark, his old friend Chakas in the form of a Forerunner monitor.
Upon arrival at the second Ark, Riser was awakened by the Lifeworker Growth-Through-Trial-of-Change and given a new geas with knowledge on the new state of affairs. Riser quickly assumed the role of a leader among the humans aboard the ship, informing them of the circumstances as they were awakened. Riser and the other humans were transported to the surface of the lesser Ark, where the Forerunners had constructed artificial villages for them to inhabit. Riser was not satisfied with the village or the landscape, quickly recognizing them as wholly unnatural. Upon arrival, his newly-provided geas activated and provided him and the other humans, to their great horror, images of the Halos' effects on the galaxy. After Riser and the other humans had settled in their temporary home, they visited other nearby villages in hopes of finding lost friends or relatives. Riser found Vinnevra in a neighboring village. She asked him about Chakas but Riser did not have the courage to tell her the truth.
Several days later, the IsoDidact came to visit Riser in his hut. Despite not having seen him since his mutation's initial stages, Riser immediately recognized the Forerunner as Bornstellar. Riser confronted the IsoDidact about his decision to fire the Halos and expressed disappointment about the way the adventurous mentality of his youth had given way to the grim pragmatism of his new persona. He also queried the Forerunner if the Librarian had survived; to Riser's sorrow, the IsoDidact stated that this was unlikely. At Bornstellar's request, Riser, along with several other humans, accompanied him to the sentencing of Mendicant Bias.
Later on, the humans held a festival commemorating the fallen while celebrating the future. Riser invited the IsoDidact and the other Forerunners to join them, and several arrived. Riser and Vinnevra reminisced their past adventure on the Halo; she recounted a heavily embellished version of the story to the crowd and he raised a toast in Chakas' memory. At dawn, Riser had a small conversation with Trial, discussing the fraternal relationship between humans and Forerunners and the latter's decision to give up the Mantle.
Return to Earth
When the time came to reintroduce the humans to Earth, Riser requested Trial that he and his people be reseeded on a warm, humid island, stating that he had always wished to live in such a place. Trial accepted, having found a suitable location in what would later be known as Flores Island. As the Lifeworker transport arrived on the shores of the island, Riser shared some final words with the IsoDidact, the latter stating that the Forerunners would now withdraw from the affairs of the galaxy. Both expressed their hope that humans and Forerunners may be able to coexist as brothers one day. Trial and Bornstellar then bade Riser farewell and they took off on their ship, leaving the Florians to explore their new home.
Upon the Forerunners' departure, Riser reflected on the previous events and the momentary harmony between humans and Forerunners, comparing all of it as a long and strange dream. He was satisfied at future of his people and their new home, even though he understood that life would run its natural course and war and suffering would be inevitable. He had previously chosen to request his people's relocation on the island partly in order to get away from the many ghosts which he believed must now roam aimlessly across the earth. However, in his newfound contentment, he decided that he would rather build walls, as his ancestors had done in the Djamonkin Crater for centuries, to guide and honor the spirits of the dead instead of hiding from them or driving them away.
100,000 years later, Riser was amongst those friends so missed by Chakas, now 343 Guilty Spark, that he sought the Librarian to either bring them back through geas or go to the Domain to join their memories. After finding a personality imprint of the Librarian with the help of the crew of the Ace of Spades, Spark learned that his friends were at peace and their gene song was silent. The Librarian helped Spark decide to move on from the past and accept a new future with his friends from the Ace of Spades. When the crew held a funeral for John Forge, Spark sang for everyone that they had lost, including Riser and his other friends.
Personality and traits
- "More Forerunner devil stuff? Boring. Where's the food?"
- — Riser, upon arrival at Mendicant Bias' core facility
Riser was very cheerful and took a liking to food. When not communicating with his own kind, Riser spoke in a clipped, simplistic manner, although this was the result of other languages lacking many of the intricate aspects of Florian communication which complemented verbal expression. Despite this, he spoke multiple human languages. He also had particular knowledge about the practical uses of plants and herbs, which he would often share with others.
Over the course of his long lifespan, Riser had gained a great deal of knowledge and was wiser than his mannerisms may have indicated. He was quick-witted, mostly unimpressed by things larger than life and had a dry sense of humor. Riser also possessed an inclination for leadership, which he stated was because of his small size, not in spite of it. He was generally friendly towards Bornstellar and was greatly saddened by the memories provided by his geas.
- Somehow, Riser appears to have foreseen the virtually indefinite lifespan Chakas gained as a result of his transformation into a monitor; during their journey on Installation 07, Riser told Chakas that he would live as long as Forerunners. When Chakas asked how, Riser refused to answer.
- Despite being centuries old when he met Bornstellar, Chakas stated that Riser was actually considered a youngster by the Florian reckoning of age.
List of appearances
- Halo: Cryptum (First appearance)
- Halo: Primordium
- Halo: Silentium
- Halo: Rebirth
- Halo Mythos
- Halo: Renegades (Mentioned only)
- Greg Bear - Discussion Board: Topic: Cryptum and forerunners
- Halo: Primordium, page 181
- Halo: Cryptum, page 33
- Halo: Cryptum, page 23
- Halo: Rebirth
- Halo: Primordium, page 298
- Halo: Primordium, page 31-33
- Halo: Cryptum, page 35
- Halo: Cryptum, page 60
- Halo: Cryptum, page 130
- Halo: Primordium, page 36
- Halo: Primordium, page 215-224
- Halo: Primordium, page 207-208
- Halo: Primordium, page 211
- Halo: Primordium, page 244-249
- Halo: Primordium, page 273-274
- Halo: Primordium, page 297-305
- Halo: Primordium, page 279
- Halo: Primordium, page 348
- Halo: Renegades
- Halo: Primordium, page 284
- Halo: Primordium, page 296
- Halo: Primordium, page 258