Captain of the Spirit of Fire.

Captain James Cutter is a leader steeped in military tradition and discipline, but who balances that tradition with a genuine compassion and interest for those who serve underneath him.

A true hero of the UNSC, Cutter's military career is long and distinguished and he has sacrificed advancement up the ranks in order to remain with his crew and ship. The crew on the Spirit of Fire are more than soldiers to the captain, they are his extended family. Cutter's respect is reciprocated by his troops, who place a great deal of faith in the captain and his decisions.


Brilliant and fearless scientist.

Professor Ellen Anders is one of the Spirit of Fire's most valuable weapons. A brilliant scientist with expertise in fields as far ranging as theoretical xeno-biopsychology and high-energy physics. She has also proven to have an exceptional grasp of Forerunner technology and has displayed a command of Forerunner control systems which impresses even Isabel.

Although her official designation remains 'civilian consultant', Professor Anders has become the de-facto right hand and advisor of Captain Cutter on the Spirit of Fire and has also earned the respect and trust of the troops she works with in the field.

Anders is able to theorize the function and determine the use of almost any alien technology. She has a displayed a particular affinity for controlling Forerunner constructs, and can redirect the Ark's own drones for her own use as well as manipulate their actions with specialized instruments of her own design.


Smart artificial intelligence.

Isabel is a smart Al originally assigned to the Henry Lamb Research Outpost to guide the activation and direction of the installation's massive Retriever Sentinels used to conduct repairs on the Ark.

Before long, those Retriever Sentinels were able to work unsupervised and Isabel and the team set to the immense task of researching and cataloging the Ark. This work was tragically cut short by the unexpected closure of the portal to Earth and the Banished's assault. Now she has been given a chance to strike back at the Banished with the aid of the Spirit of Fire's factories.

Isabel's vast knowledge of technology and military science gives her an edge when using and improving vehicles as well as making use of subterfuge and disruption tactics on the battlefield.

Sergeant Forge

UNSC sergeant back from the dead.

Sergeant John Forge is a veteran NCO with the UNSC Marine Corps. As a battle commander, his strategy strongly favors vehicle-orientated battle and focuses on slow-building strength, entrenchment and sustained growth.

Forge was a career soldier who served during the Human-Covenant War. Although his tactical ability and combat prowess were undoubted, his tendency towards insubordination prevented him from achieving a high rank. On the Shield World 0459 he gave his life to save the Spirit of Fire when he stayed behind to detonate the ship's translight engine to destroy a Covenant armada. His body was never recovered.


Insurrectionist firebrand turned UNSC leader.

Kinsano specializes in flame-based attacks, with an emphasis on destruction and area denial. Her arsenal includes a Flame Cyclops suit that she can use as a Heroine in the field, and a specially-adapted Warthog equipped with a white-burning anti-armor flamer.

Morgan Kinsano was a key insurrectionist leader in the outer colonies when the Covenant attacked, sparking the Human-Covenant war, and she saw fellow fighters and family members alike cut down by the unstoppable Covenant war machine. The Covenant war scattered the insurrection movement and she signed up to join the UNSC, realizing that if the Covenant killed everyone she wouldn't have an insurrection to come back to. Her politics and approach to combat might be unusual for the UNSC, but her ruthless fighting style and unorthodox tactics have saved many lives.

Sergeant Johnson

That's Sergeant MAJOR Johnson to you, chucklehead!

From the halls of Installation 04 to the shores of Harvest, Sergeant Johnson represented the UNSC with distinction and honor his entire life, and is remembered as a hero in death. However, in a twist of fate [and poor records—keeping], the UNSC Marine Corps accidentally assigned the life—challenged veteran to a position on board the long-lost Spirit of Fire. Even with the small handicap of being dead, Johnson isn't one to disobey a direct order from his beloved Corps and he sprung back to life ready to kick all butts that need kicking. The subsequent story of how he arrived at his new duty station is still classified, but trust us, it's a good one.

Sergeant Johnson favors a strong defense backed by heavy bipedal killing machines: Siege Turret Drop and Bunker Drop extend his fortifications, while EMP MAC Blast and Mech Overcharge give his combat walkers an upper hand in critical battles. But that's not all, the Corps has seen fit to issue Sergeant Johnson the Digging In Deep advanced power, letting him construct all structures on existing bases [excluding turrets] for free. Oh, and he can also get up close and personal with the Banished by leading from the front lines in the Green Machine, his personalized HRUNTING/YGGDRASIL MARK I[J] Armor Defense System.

Commander Jerome

UNSC Expeditionary Force Commander

With the authority granted to him as the ranking Navy and UEG official in a designated administrative region, Captain Cutter has conferred Jerome-092 the acting rank of Commander. The rank itself is a formality, but one insisted on by Isabel to better align the ship's ad-hoc command structure with the letter of UNSC regulations.

As force commander, Jerome-092 select units in his army Inspire the troops around them, increasing their resilience and damage. Once inspired they can be further buffed with abilities that trigger temporary acts of Spartan Morale-which further augments their armor, damage output, and speed. His Victory Mine and Enduring Salvo abilities also inspire nearby troops when they are activated.

As the battle reaches the peak of ferocity he can call in his trump cards: the Spartans of Omega Team and the ability to conduct a Field Promotion, which calls in an elite kill team of Spartans and upgrades all standard units to the first level of veterancy, respectively. When his troops are at low population, he can also activate Time For Heroes to Inspire his army and allow them to gain veterancy at a greatly-increased rate.


A mind of ice and fire.

Serina was activated on January 7, 2530, by Daedalia Technology, a Martian firm well-known for the seeding and development of artificial intelligences for military and corporate markets. Serina was their greatest work of that era, an omni—capable second—generation "Smart Al" that displayed both impressive intellectual capacity and remarkable computational efficiency.

Her assignment to the UNSC Spirit of Fire was fortuitous, despite a somewhat rocky period of acclimation to the ship's unorthodox crew. Under the orders of Captain James Cutter, Serina administered the deployment of forces on Harvest's surface, and successfully managed later campaigns on both Arcadia and the enigmatic Forerunner facility known as Shield 0459.

Unfortunately, the life of a smart Al is limited and their constructed minds cannot be slowed or stopped. While the Spirit of Fire drifted in the void after their victory over the Covenant at Shield 0459, Serina imagined, planned, and built for a future she would never see.

Serina had a remarkable aptitude for research and analysis, and her thoughts often turned to the work of Ellen Anders. In particular, the Professor's early work on vacuum energy extraction—and its potentially useful side effects with regard to heat siphoning—fascinated Serina.

Serina's experimentation and engineering expertise gives her access to unique cryotech—enhanced units and abilities that can slow targets, and render them inert. If the chill gets intense enough the target will freeze. Frozen targets are immobile and unable to perform any actions, but don't take damage unless they are shattered. Frozen units that take a significant amount of damage or are targeted by certain special abilities [such as Seismic Charge] will shatter and immediately take a massive amount of damage. Frozen units that are left alone will thaw out after a short time, and do not suffer the damage spike.



Vicious and cunning warmaster of the Banished.

Leader and creator of the Banished, Atriox is a fearsome warrior who rose to power through his fierce tenacity and shrewd strategic planning honed during the Human-Covenant conflict.

Atriox holds an extremely pragmatic view of warfare and understands the importance of supporting infrastructures and how to build armies and structures cheaply and efficiently.

His charisma and the fervor of his followers make it possible for Atriox to deploy both savage Brutes and Elite mercenaries simultaneously, whereas other leaders would struggle to control such bitter rivals on the battlefield.


Right hand of Atriox.

Decimus is one of Atriox's most trusted chiefs, though he secretly continues to harbor belief in the divinity of the Forerunners. A prime example of Brute power and rage, Decimus' bloodlust whips troops under his command into a frenzied rampage and his chieftain's hammer can be wielded to unleash a devastating gravity vortex.

As befitting his rank, Decimus has his own personal Brute Warlord lieutenants but he also relishes the chance to make a personal appearance on the field against particularly stubborn enemies.

Shipmaster Let 'Volir

Loyal captain, mercenary raider.

Let 'Volir is the head of a mercenary Sangheili clan and shipmaster of the assault carrier Enduring Conviction, the most powerful warship in the Banished fleet.

Atriox engaged The Shipmaster's forces to bolster his Banished army and provide the aerial advantage and firepower that the Banished were lacking; the Enduring Conviction can be called upon to unleash orbital plasma bombardments to support Banished ground troops or to destroy or damage enemy structures.

His decision to bind his crew to the Banished has forever tarnished his name in "proper" Elite culture, but the Shipmaster knows that in the current chaotic state of the galaxy "proper" is a luxury not all can afford if they want to keep their crew and their ship intact.


The Untamed.

Strange and inscrutable, the Hunter pair who identifies as "Colony" is believed to be either a representative for Lekgolo allied to the Banished or a specialized command form of the alien eel-worms. Colony defers only to Atriox and is charged with directing all Banished Lekgolo activities on the Ark, including creation and expansion of Lekgolo clusters for use in vehicles and other specialised applications. Though it cooperates with the Banished. Colony appears to have its own plans for the Ark. Most of its attention is currently focused on the activities near the resting place of the Forerunner keyships; missions undertaken outside the knowledge of other Banished leaders.

When called upon to direct Banished military operations. Colony's strategy is to control the battlefield with large numbers of Lekgolo-driven constructs that it can heal and augment, buying time with Engineer Swarm and Living Barriers until it can call in reinforcements with Colony Drop and Devastating Host. It can also enhance friendly vehicles by infiltrating them with gestalts, using Vehicle Symbiotes. But time is the main ally of Colony, as its Combat Repair passive ability slowly heals all friendly units and structures.

The Arbiter

Ripa 'Moramee

Driven to control and dominate, with a nearly insatiable bloodlust and ambition, Ripa 'Moramee was considered a radical choice as Arbiter. Ripa came to relish the nearly unchecked power and authority he wielded as an Arbiter, and his fearsome reputation was known by all—including a young Covenant warrior known as Atriox. Unbound by traditional notions of honor and loyalty, it is possible that Atriox could have convinced Ripa to join his cause, had Ripa survived events on Shield 0459.

As a Banished warhost leader Ripa would inspire fear and awe in those in his dominion, reflected in the Conduit of Rage passive ability. Conduit of Rage is triggered on the activation of leader powers, slightly healing the Arbiter's nearby units and increasing their damage and speed for a short time. Continuing to use leader powers extends the duration.

Ripa also had unrestricted access to experimental Stasis weapons, which immobilize units in their area of effect for a short time, in his role as Arbiter. Units in stasis cannot move or deal damage, but also cannot be harmed. Ripa used these weapons to delay enemy units and—on the rare occasion he was feeling generous—shield allies from harm.


Enough Talk!

Once in a thousand generations comes a Grunt with the combined wisdom of Ang'napnap the Enlightened, the charisma of Awlphhum Who Became Tolerable, and a strategic acumen unmatched since Yayep the Archdeacon of Indolence. That time has not yet come, but Yapyap THE DESTROYER (he likes to shout that last part) does embody the mythic skills of one, maybe two, of these legendary heroes. He leads his brave (if not so bright) warriors from atop his Throne of Woe, having abandoned the Banished to locate the fabled Golden Methane Hydrate Mines of Sabator hidden somewhere on the Ark (and why would that Kig-Yar fortune-teller lie?) and secure a position as the Halo Wars 2 main character.

Yapyap THE DESTROYER is more of an idea Grunt, and has better things to do than come down to the battlefield personally [his managerial expertise would be wasted on the front lines]. With style and panache he leads the Grunts to glorious victory or not—so—total defeat from his secret lair, throwing good Grunts after bad with Grunts from Above troop deployment and Shade Drop, while also playing the long game with defensive abilities such as the Surprise Party and Gruntdome deployable shield tower. And if Yapyap THE DESTROYER runs low on bodies, he can always put on a thrilling display of tactical cowardice with the Please Don't Shoot Me ability, which puts a temporary armistice in place. While the rebellious Grunts don't have much of a long-term strategy, they can avoid a loss simply by denying the enemy a win, with abilities such as Guilt Trip ensuring combat losses don't embolden the enemy and the Get Back Out There advanced ability which returns injured Grunts back to the nearest HQ. When the combat music starts late in the Blitz match he can also send out invitations for the Methane Party, which drops gas—filled explosive barrels that damage the enemy and leave behind a lingering aura that makes Grunt units more effective.


Unyielding tyrant.

Warlord Pavium is an architect and siegemaster, making and unmaking fortifications at Atriox's command. Given the epithet "The Unbreakable" for his implacable discipline and prowess in combat engineering, Pavium's skill is unimpeachable, but conflicting ties of loyalty to his clan and brother has slowed advancement in the Banished. Eager to prove his worth, Pavium has redoubled the efforts of his pack since their setback on the Halo ring. His efforts have not gone without notice, and Atriox has tasked Pavium and his brother with a mission to judge their worthiness as members of the warmaster's inner circle.

Pavium is a traditional Jiralhanae combat engineer, taking to the field of battle as an engine of destruction, smashing enemy lines as part of the pack's vanguard. His panoply of war always includes his custom warplate gifted to him by Decimus. On the battlefield, Pavium is a walking tank armed with a Heavy Mortar System for direct bombardment and a Target Designator for calling out high-value targets for combined fire. Targets painted by Pavium's designator can not benefit from stealth and take additional damage. This effect continues until the painted unit dies, moves out of range, or Pavium cancels the ability. Upgrades include Designator Shells, which temporarily paints targets hit by his mortar and an Advanced Designator, which also paints the enemies close to the main target.

Pavium specializes in a defensive strategy which combines Mega Turrets, powerful Ultra Mines, and orbital Rain of Fire to secure basing sites. Once established, he increases the output of buildings with Burnout and tears down damaged or inefficient structures with Full Salvage recycling. During grueling attrition battles he outlasts the enemy with Enduring Will to create a long-lasting healing zone while simultaneously striking deep behind their lines with Wraith Invader and Lich Vanguard. All of this is monitored using his Orbital Designator.


The corrupter.

Voridus is many things that his elder brother is not: glory-seeking, vicious, curious, and spontaneous. Gifted with an intuitive understanding of Forerunner systems, he has ruthlessly exploited the Ark for new resources and knowledge since the Banished arrived, culminating in his recent harnessing of infusion gel.

Infusion gel is a perfected form of the energetic meta-materials and strained-bond lattices used in Covenant fuel rods, and is one of the materials pumped throughout the Ark in great rivers to keep the installation functioning. Unfortunatly, the prototype infusion technology Voridus created produces corrosive and mutagenic sludge during operation. Not that this has stopped Voridus from field testing new weapons that actually harness these dangerous by-products.

As a leader, Voridus has bent his considerable intellect to perfecting the military uses of infusion gel, utilizing it in powerful Infused Mine explosives and creating an Infused Wake of corrupting energy with targeted bombing runs. With Salt the Earth he spreads energy pools, while the Invigorating Frenzy leader ability heals allies that are in energy pools. Cataclysm triggers the energy pools latent potential, resetting their duration and significantly increasing the damage they cause to enemy units (even those in the air). When not manipulating gel, his Combat Spoils leader ability orders his units to salvage a small amount of resources when dealing damage to enemy buildings.