In those days the dozen moon-colonies at Shik were contested between feuding warlords seeking to mold the region's future to their own designs. The Yzen Faction, rising out of the lesser base-world of Suaboswi just outward of the Chikri-Merkaa Strand and led by the young but formidable Sovar 'Yrjaam, lay claim to the moons, for they were of great military value to anyone seeking to control the region, and had indeed been ruled over by his bloodline centuries in the past. In the aftermath of the Great Betrayal, with the tacit support of the Dakhta-Ti Banking League -- a break-off of the influential Ruusha Commercial Guild -- and the still-warm forges of the Rinar Fabricaria, Yzen had everything they thought they needed to seize the opportunity to right past wrongs and raise their lines to greatness from the fief of greater clans.
However, most of the prominent leaders on the Shikran Moons had already pledged fealty to the Circle of the Twin Worlds, that is the highest nobles of the Gilt Lookouts, which were the mightiest worlds in the region. There were rumblings of discontent, and some expressed support for Yzen for their vision of ambition and glory as well as an ancestral claim seen as rightful in the eyes of some, but by and large, allegiances to the Golden Worlds remained strong for they were prominent trade partners and the moons' leaders remembered their valiant actions in the Second Discordance at Siakar two centuries earlier. Furthermore, the Elders of the High Ruursa had already declared their support for the Gilt Circle, and the leaders of the Shikran Moons had long deferred to their wisdom.
What further informed the moon-lords' loyalty was 'Yrjaam's barely restrained scorn of the rule of the Arbiter, Thel 'Vadam, a stance many among the far-sighted wisely considered a fool's gambit in the long term, even if they held reservations about his peculiar ways; the Gilt Lookouts, despite their great pride and some initial reluctance, were already considering an alliance with the 'Vadam-sympathetic Vanguard of the Strident, spread out along the hazy reaches of the Jartuub Salient. This was even before Sanghelios' Outer Vigil had been formalized, making the gesture all the more decisive.
The people of the ocean-moon of Resounding Contentment were ill-prepared for war when it found them. The dust of the Schism had not yet settled when 'Yrjaam's troops began to descend upon the world with great ferocity and bombard the population centers in an attempt to force the water-world into submission.
The moon had few actual warriors, for it was mainly used as a storage and maintenance depot for Covenant ground vehicles, in contrast to the robust war-garrisons on some of its accompanying moons. What it did have, however, were Selkies. Tens of thousands of the marine hover-gliders were stored in the moon's great depots, designed to be transported to faraway battlefields at the Hierarchs' bidding. Now, however, they found an entirely new purpose as chariots of war in the battle to decide the Covenant's successor as supreme authority in the Shik system, and perhaps the entire Apex Firmament and beyond, for control over the colony-moons was decisive to the balance of power in the region.
The Selkies' usage niche was a very specific one, which was one reason they had been such a rare sight in the human conflict; for less specialized staple vehicles were prioritized on long expeditions to the outward dark. On Resounding Contentment, however, the Selkies were in their element. Largely covered in oceans, the moon's population centers were concentrated on small clusters of islands both natural and artificial. There were no large cities, and most structures were accessible by water, in accordance with Ruk'harusi, the water tradition, part of a school with a strong emphasis on a harmonious connection with the natural elements of a world's environment.
While Ghosts, Wraiths, Spectres and other Covenant mainstays handled clumsily at best in water, the Selkies dominated, enabling nimble movement between city-islets. Their two powerful plasma cannon allowed them to function in both an anti-aircraft role and flushing out invaders who had been forced out in the open upon the world's plentiful seaside terraces, plazas and promenades. In the absence of warriors, lowly mechanics were drafted to pilot the water-skimmers, yet many acquitted themselves with surprising skill and ferocity. It was the Selkies that eventually turned the tide of the battle for Resounding Contentment, and though the turbulence on the Shikran Moons would rage for several cycles still, the power of the Yzen Faction would soon begin to wane. The greater garrison-moons were taken by those sympathetic to the Circle of the Twin Worlds, and they would consolidate their power in the region to form the greater alliance known as the Golden Compact, while Yzen diminished into a vestigial entity, huddled around a handful of stars in the shadow of greater factions.
--Excerpt from the Annals of Convalescence, Book of the Years of Tumult, Seventh Sequence: The Strifes and New Paradigms at Siakar
Pictured: A Ruhuk Thek-pattern Selkie during the Siege of Resounding Contentment, crewed by Brevet-Major Sere 'Russiri, Minor Arimozzak 'Huarr and Arms-Retainer Hout 'Waril. The Ruhuk Thek-pattern, still common to the Forges of Karsakri, is most visibly characterized by its open plasma cannon mounts. Other design patterns have, in the recent decades, begun to prefer turrets remote-operated from seats within the fuselage, but older models can still be found in great numbers both in storage and in service; additionally, some legions' warrior traditions favor direct weapon operation over remote control due to the superior field of view and the spiritually important personal connection with the weapon.
This is a little something that stemmed from a Discord conversation. We were discussing the idea of water levels in Halo and (who commissioned this piece earlier) dropped this description:The Selkie is a purpose-built amphibious assault craft, one of the few in the Covenant arsenal. The gravity cushions of most Covenant vehicle patterns do not provide adequate buoyancy to float on water, and those that do lack the stabilization needed to stay upright.
The Selkie uses double-knit generators for its boosted-gravity propulsion, and its low, flat design lends it exceptional stability even in rough waters. An impulse drive mounted in the back makes the Selkie one of the few vehicles that can compete with a Ghost for top speed on flat ground, and the ventral energy fin projectors provide for incredible high-speed handling over water.
Crew size is three, a driver with two gunners seated behind him. Each gunner controls a heavy plasma turret with 170 degrees of traverse, though models with a single anti-aircraft needler cannon have been fielded.
The Selkie is a fast raider and fills a narrow niche in the Covenant war machine. In the hands of a capable crew, it is a right terror on the battlefield. The platform is not without its weak points, however. In spite of the fact that it outweighs a Wraith, the Selkie has the armament and crew protection of a lighter vehicle like a Spectre or Revenant. Likewise, the articulated impulse engine (Which appears to have been directly copied from a spacecraft) is vulnerable to small arms fire and salt corrosion.
Like Ghosts, Selkies are excellent scouts and are second to none at catching fortified enemies off-guard, but against armor or air support, they must hit and fade or die in vain.
Because I liked his idea and was feeling inspired, I proceeded to whip up a quick draft of the vehicle in question; the main thing that differed from his ideas was that he thought of the turrets as remotely-crewed (which I proceeded to justify in my fanlore as a variant because I kind of like having the Elites there in the picture). Because I sometimes have difficulties letting sketches stay as sketches and like to connect everything, I took the piece a bit further and also added some lore to tie it into my own fanon, which gave me a chance to flesh out some of the interstellar neighborhood I've been working on. So just to be clear, the lore up until the real-world description begins is mine, while the description of the Selkie itself is by Klikker.
Does it have two fins or three?
I also like the crustacean-like, segmented aesthetic of the selkie, it kind of matches the vehicle design I would imagine for a mix of Sangheili and Jiralhanae designs for an alternate Covenant.
Keep up the art, it is always a privilege to see, man!