423px-Cryptum - Cover
Halo Cryptum is the first novel in the new halo book series, The Forerunner Saga. The series will be written by Greg Bear.

It will serve as 1 of 3 in the series. It is based around the time following the Forerunner-Flood War.

Halo Cryptum


Greg Bear


Tor Books

Date Released:

January 14,2011


352 pages


Hardcover or Paperback


The Following Prices Apply








The novel is set to explore the beginnings of the Forerunner-Flood War. It details Forerunner-Human contact within the "first dozen pages." [2]

It is also revealed in the first chapter that Humanity once had a previous interstellar empire. This original empire ended some 10,000 years before the events of the book, when they went to war with the Forerunners and were utterly defeated. As punishment, the surviving Humans were devolved by the Forerunners and exiled back to their planet of origin, a world called "Erde-Tyrene" (known in the present as Earth) in the Sol system. The Human species was also split into about a half dozen sub-species to reduce the chances of it once again allying and becoming strong.[3]

The story opens on a Human steam boat on Earth (then known simply as Erde-Tyrene) sailing over a sea of kraken-like monsters which must be sung a lulling song to keep the creatures from attacking. On board are two members of a human subspecies; one is a chamanune known as Chakas, and another called a hamanune (also called a florian) known as Riser, respectively, and the young Forerunner Manipular known as Born Stellar Makes Eternal Lasting, preferring to be called simply Born, as his mother did. The hamanune approaches Born and instructs him to remove his forerunner combat skin as it is upsetting the song. Born then decides to consult with his armor's ancilla first. The ancilla is shown as a disemodied intelligence (in a similar role to another famous A.I) and explains that electrical and magnetic fields, other than the ones caused by the planet's dynamics, throws the krakens into a frenzy as is why the boat is powered by a primitive steam engine. She then continues to assure him that the armor will be of no value to the human crew. With that, Born begins to remove his armor as the florian fetches him sandals made of reeds.[4]

Born, a swap-member of the Builder caste in the Forerunner hierarch, shows the desire to turn his back on his future as a Builder and instead become a treasure hunter and search for long-lost Forerunner and Precursor artifacts. Precursors were an advanced alien race that, according to Forerunners, shaped them in their image and gave them their name. After exploring an island near a large crater, Born stumbles across a Forerunner Cryptum; a vault where Forerunners are interred in a state of neverending sleep and contemplation. Born encounters the AI monitoring the Cryptum and assumes that its occupant is to be revived; Born hesitantly complies and reawakens the Forerunner inside. This Forerunner turns to be a Didact, a member of the dismantled Warrior-Servant caste who was interred in the Cryptum over a thousand years earlier. The Didact, upon awakening, assumes that his wife The Librarian (a member of the Lifeshaper class) sent Born and the humans to awaken him for some purpose. He takes Born and the two humans upon some recently arrived ships to retrace his steps prior to being put into the Cryptum, desparate to see if "it" was fired.

The Didact, Born and the humans travel to a series of worlds that served as battlegrounds in the Forerunner's war against the humans. All of which show no signs of sentient or complex life, much to his dismay. The Didact asks Born to accept a brevit mutation to accept some of the Warrior-Servant caste's traits and to gain access to his memories and that of his class, anticipating the urgency that his knowledge must not end with him. Born accepts, and gains access to the Didact's memories and learns that he holds deep regrets about his war with the humans. It is revealed that the humans were fighting a two-front war; one against the Forerunners and another against an extra-galatic threat referred to as "The Flood". The Flood originated as simple cells inside automated transports that made their way into the human's part of the galaxy; initially they showed no noticible signs of life or any sort of activity apart from making animals more docile. Humans and their allies, the San'Shyuum, used the spores on animals to domesticate them as pets. After a while the pets began to mutate and become aggressive, as did the humans who handled them; thus the first variation of The Flood was born. The humans, fleeing their ravaged worlds, soon encroached upon Forerunner territory and found themselves at war with them as well. Although they lost to the Forerunners, the humans were able to defeat The Flood by injecting themselves with a formula that made their genetic material toxic to The Flood, killing those that attempted to convert fallen humans into more Flood. The humans kept the specifics secret, refusing to tell the Forerunners how to beat The Flood when they returned.

The Didact then takes Born and the humans to the San'Shyuum's world where they have been in isolation since the end of the Human-Forerunner War. The cities are in turmoil as the Librarian's latest visit to procure "specimens" was seen as a sign for the San'Shyuum to rebel against the Forerunners. A distance from the San'Shyuum's homeworld a portal appears and through it a large ring-shaped construct appears. The four are apprehended by The Master Builder, who is in the system to witness a test-firing of a new creation against the unruly San'Shyuum. Born is handed over to his swap-family and escorted home. During his trip home the Didact's memory tells him that the creation of the ring-shaped constructs, called Halo, was the reason he was placed in the Cryptum as he opposed their creation in favor of save-haven "Shield Worlds." Shortly after coming home, Born hears his father arguing with a member of the Forerunner council, and decides to confront his father about the true nature of the Halos. He confirms that 300 years ago, The Flood had re-emerged in their part of the galaxy and the Forerunners were at a loss to combat them so he and the Master Builder decided to move forward with the construction of Halos. Each Halo has a powerful, energy-based weapon that can eliminate any life-forms with sufficient biomass to sustain The Flood in an entire star system. To his horror, Born learns that Halo was test-fired on the human worlds he visited (at low power) and the Master Builder recently test-fired another Halo on the San'Shyuum's homeworld.

The Forerunner Council learns of the Master Builder's actions and summons Born to a criminal trial against him. High above the Forerunner homeworld sit 11 Halo rings, with one missing for many years. The trial is interrupted by a rampant AI known as Mendicant Bias, who causes havoc with the Forerunner's computer and defense systems. Born and a group of others are rescued during the chaos in a small ship; above them some of the Halo rings separate from the others and are preparing to fire. The Forerunner fleet quickly assembles and begins attacking the renegade Halo's, quickly destroying 3 of them while a gigantic slipspace portal opens and seven other rings begin escaping through them. Born's ship manages to escape through the portal before the rings detonate, wiping out all Forerunner life in that part of the galaxy. Born is knocked unconscious during the slipspace jump and recalls Didact's memories; Mendicant Bias was an AI tasked with safeguarding the Halo constructs and overseeing their firing systems and that after a test-firing over a human world Mendicant Bias and the Halo dissapeared along with a long-feared creature held deep in a Precursor facility the humans had built over. Soon after, their ship arrives at The Ark, a "Shield World" where the Halo rings were constructed in another galaxy. There he meets the Librarian, who sees him as her husband now (according to her, the Master Builder had the Didact executed shortly after triggering the Halo above the San'Shyuum homeworld). They hypothesize that the creature that escape from the Precursor prison somehow corrupted Mendicant Bias, who attempted to gain control of all the Halos but only managed to control five. The rest were co-opted by the Libarian as vessels for numerous life-forms across the galaxy to live on as well as The Ark. The novel ends with Born recalling the Didact's contact with the captured lifeform; it revealed itself to be the last of the Precursors and that it was planning revenge on the Forerunners who had risen up and wiped them out in ages past.


  • The Didact
  • Bornstellar Makes Eternal Lasting
  • Chakas
  • Day-Chaser Makes Paths Long-Stretch Morning Riser
  • The Librarian
  • The Last Precursor
  • The Master Builder (Faber0
  • Born's Mother
  • Born's Father
  • Born's Sister
  • The Confirmer
  • Splendid Dust of Ancient Suns
  • Glory of Far Dawn


  • The working title of the book was "Halo: Andtediluvian"
  • The first part of Erde-Tyrene, Erde, is german for Earth
  • The cover of book depicts two small creatures, possibly Forerunners, overlooking a Forerunner structure. These are possibly Chakas and Riser.
  • Chapter 1 is available to read for free by registering at, or through a download sample in the Book store.
  • Chapter 2 is available to read on Halo: Waypoint


Main series
The Fall of Reach The FloodFirst StrikeGhosts of OnyxContact HarvestThe Cole Protocol
The Forerunner Saga
Kilo-Five series
Glasslands The Thursday War - One unannounced sequel -
The Art of Halo The Art of Halo 3Encyclopedia (2009)The Essential Visual GuideThe Art of Building Worlds