The stones themselves were made from a wide array of materials with each unit of a set having a corresponding element. As such each unit had it's own geological properties that would isolate it from the other possibly intended in the design of the cartographer in the first place to prevent it falling into the wrong hands. All the units seemed to be outer casings for holographic display projecters which were projected in carvings found on the rocks themselves.
The first stone Dutse was composed of Iron Oxide although some kind of skin had been placed over the surface to prevent the unit from flaking off. Attempts by the Granchio to restore Dutse to it's previous lustre by using a more reactive metal and chemical scans showed that the rust had formed at the same time as the Map array had been placed inside. This suggests that the original owners intended for Dutse to be red and that some kind of chemical within the protective skin prevented the oxygen attached to the Iron from escaping.
Ghiaione the second stone discovered had a blue outer coating and was formed of Cobalt (II,III) oxide and was also covered by a protective skin. This was done to prevent the powdery surface from turning to dust revealing the internal mechanisum. As Ghiaione was moved from its place of origin it turned black until it was reunited with the other units and was activated by 931 Patient Quadrant.
Hiekka was the third stone discovered and was carved from Ignimbrite which gave it an orange hue. Unlike some of the other stones Hiekka was not protected by an outer skin although there was very little weathering done to the stone itself. Chemical composition scans on the surface of this unit showed that it had once had a protective coating and that it had somehow been lost.
The fourth stone Stena was carved from Cookeite and was a green unit with green streaks running along the surface. Due to the stones immersion in sea water and later scans Stena was discovered to be protected by not one but two skins to prevent the chemical composition from changing when it was exposed to the alkaline sea water. While the stone was resistant to the sea water there were marks from the claws of a abyssal Lurk Fish whose lair the stone was found in.
Like Stena, Cakil was also a green stone although it was formed out of a darker mineral Moldavite and allowed light to penetrate through the entire unit allowing the Granchio to see the internal mechanism. Comparison with naturally occurring Moldavite on Clax's moon Klip show that the composition is identical suggesting that this unit was made or at least had the raw materials harvested locally.
The sixth stone to be discovered was Noroi which was carved from Cymophane which was a thick honey colour. Noroi was described as being beautiful especially when it glowed in the sunset from within the spire of the Hive of Glory. Like the other stones Noroi possessed a protective outer skin which was later removed to increase the radiance given off by the unit’s construction.
The final stone Slijk Steen was formed of Tetraxenonogold(III) which consisted of a red gas moving inside the protective shell. When activated the gas froze and formed a blood red crystal suggesting that a large amount of heat was released from the stone in order to activate the map function.
The construction of both the mineral casings and the internal map holograms suggest that the builder was skilled with both computers and carving tools. The shells that protected the stones seemed to be made of glass yet the durability to the effects of the elements held inside and outside environmental pressure suggest that it is another material or even some form of energy shield. Caving on the internal minerals suggest that a powerful laser was used to cut the stones into shape as well as constructing the main cavity for the holographic array. Transmitters within the containers communicated with each other and other Forerunner artefacts allowing information to be shared. The map itself is a real time construct using seven points to concentrate on allowing the map to spread out until they overlapped creating a three dimensional picture. Due to containment measures the Granchio could not activate the stones unless they had the help of a Forerunner Construct or a Reclaimer. The level of detail displayed by the holographic units allowed a user to zoom into a particular area allowing them to plot course through individual solar systems.
While the stones are clearly a map of the milky-way galaxy it is unknown what they were meant to display or who would have used it. Due to their use of the cartographer array, such as the one found on Alpha Halo, it is obvious this unit was not used for strategic military or economic planning due to the increased detail shown by larger units. It possibly could have been a field portable unit used by a soldier or sailor to navigate away from a major power source or fixed terminal. The drawback to this would be if such a device were to be capture by the Flood it would give them access to the locations of shipping lanes and fortifications. A second use was suggested by 931 Patient Quadrant, was that the units were a child's toy, although he could have been referencing to Kryzikal and Grondulal who would have appeared to be mere children compared to the Forerunner. If the stones were toys then it can be assumed that they were for education allowing the owner to learn astronavigation and astrophysics while processing an attractive set of ornamental casings for the holographic mechanism.
The map function of the Stones of Unity can only be activated when all seven units are in close proximity as well as in the right configuration. The configuration was said to be in the shape of a diamond with Ghiaione in the centre of a square with Duste, Hiekka, Noroi and Slijk Steen acting as the corners while Stena and Cakil formed the top and bottom points with the Forerunner symbols on each stone pointing outwards. Setting the configuration was not enough however, two other items were needed; the presence of one who could unlock the stones and a powerful enough energy source. Only a Forerunner or one of their advanced constructions could unlock the device although it is possible that a Reclaimer would be able to use the device as well. The energy input was also tricky as the stones had to be suspended in the actual energy source although they could be placed in individually or in formation so the user didn't need to enter the energy stream. It is possible to use a wide selection of energy source to activate the units including nuclear, plasma and, in the case of the Granchio, hydro kinetic power for the full map functions to activate.
Once activated and the harmonic transmitters had locked onto seven fixed points of reference a map with the fixed points as the centre was displayed showing the movement of the planets as well as other points of interest. The map was able to save inputted information such as routes simply by an individual tracing a line through the stars with their finger. It was possible to zoom into sections to see individual systems and even planets with the option to scan topography and other geological features. In addition it showed the current level of development of sentient species that the Forerunner had visited in terms of the Forerunner Classification Tier System allowing the Granchio who observed the map to view other cultures although the map was never able to show the species. Due to the Granchio's disinterest in other matters outside their own solar system the cultures shown were never in danger from the Granchio until the Stones were destroyed.
Due to the Granchio’s interest in recording data as well as their well stored index of data the history of the stones from their discovery was preserved for future generations and reclaimer species. In addition the musings of 931 Patient Quadrant about the origins of the stones and their possible arrival on Clax were also present in the Chamber. Any information prior the appearance of the stones on Clax has been lost or is being withheld from the records by Forerunner Constructs.
Arrival on Clax
Carbon dating of the forerunner relics on Clax show that it arrived around 100,00BC before the Forerunner-Flood War began although it's purpose on the planet is unknown as it was adapted for storage and fortified with Clax Sentinels and other defences after it's construction in 92,000BC. As the original owner was never traced even through the remains of the Forerunner Census Database it is impossible to find out what function the device was used for and thus if it was bought by a civilian, researcher or warrior. Since the stones were found outside the relic and Patient Quadrant revealed that their had been no breaches in security prior to Kryzikal entering the warehouse suggesting that it had been left outside or lost prior to the shift in the buildings purpose.
The Finding of Duste
While the arrival of the stones were a mystery their discovery by the Granchio is well recorded and is an integral part to their culture. The first stone Duste was found long before the Sapper Granchio attacked the Hives of Progress by the farther of Grondulal when he was digging in the muck for crylik shells to sell. He instead found Duste and though outwardly valueless kept it for his children as he taught them how to harvest ores and minerals. The stone was given to his middle son who went to war against the other Granchio castes. His warband were part of the attack force who destroyed the hive that Kryzikal swore to serve leaving him the only survivor. In a fit of anger Kryzikal slayed all the sappers and took Duste as a sign of his feat. As the blood from the dead billowed in the surf the markings on the stone flashed briefly before disappearing.
Seeking knowledge on what he found Kryzikal went to the elder to examine what he found. On reaching the Gardener Steps Kryzikal found Sappers and turncoat Granchio guarding the elder. Instead of attacking Kryzikal bluffed his way in demanding that he had a peace offering for the local Sapper Warlord Brockalan who was guarding the Elder. Kryzikal and Brockalan fought each other until the Elder intervened and sent Brockalan and his troops away so he could talk to the Commander. Unfortunately the Elder was interrupted by the Sapper Grondulal who recognized the stone as the one given to his younger brother. Once again the Elder intervened stating that the stone was the gift of the old religons gods and that there was reports of a second stone found by a Hunteress on the slopes of the Coral Islands and that the stones would bring peace to all the people of Clax. Putting aside their differences for the purpose of peace with Grondulal swearing he would get revenge on the killer of his brother.
Journey to the Coral Mountain and the fight for Ghiaione
As both Kryzikal and Grondulal exited the Elders hut they found that Brockalan and most of his army had left leaving two massive Drummers and a single sapper. The sapper questioned the pair on what they were doing and upon hearing their response ordered the Drummers to attack both Grondulal and Kryzikal. After defeating the Drummers, Grondulal questioned the sapper who revealed that Brockalan was heading to one of the Coral Mountains to claim the second stone. Leaving the Drummers and Sapper alive Kryzikal and Grondulal left for a series of sea mounts covered with coral where the Huntress and second stone had last been seen. Upon arriving at the mountain they found the coral decimated and several dead hawkers and workers left to float in the deep water nutrient currents. Among the dead was the Hawker who had found the stone although it was no were to be found and it was presumed that Brockalan had taken the stone.
Kryzikal and Grondulal found Brockalan and his troops in a coral glade where they were looting through several treasures and possessions including the second stone of unity. Kryzikal and Grondulal arrived into the glade and challenged Brockalan to why he was trying to sabotage their mission of peace. It was at this time that the majority of Brockalan troops who had been unaware of their objectives rebelled against Brockalan forcing him to go on the offensive and attacking both Grondulal mortally wounding him and Krykikal who repelled him using a dropped pike to flick Ghiaione out of Brockalan's hands. In response Brockalan cut off Kryzikal's own hand and would have finished him off if his former troops had not intervened chasing Brockalan and his remaining troops out of the glade.
Hiekka and the Discovery of the Forerunner
Both Kryzikal and Grondulal stayed on the reef with at least three other Granchio; a hawker, a drummer and a worker that had been part of Brockalan's unit while they entered the shedding cycle to repair the damage done to them. Over this period Grondulal discovered from his father's teachings that while physically different the stones were part of the same unit and when held close together they revealed strange runes on the outer surface. After they regenerated and prepared to leave the reef the bodies of Granchio who had stated with them were brought to them by the Elder along with the monitor 931 Patient Quadrant. The Elder explained that the monitor was a messenger from a race called the Forerunner who had long ago visited Clax and that the stones were of Forerunner origin as well. Quadrant stated that the artefacts were for the reclaimers and that while the Granchio were not viable for this task they were noble enough custodians and that they would need to collect the remaining stones to safeguard them form 'meddlers' who might misuse them. When asked about the defeated Granchio who had protected both Kryzikal and Grondulal while they regenerated, the monitor said that they had been slain by Brockalan for aiding the pair in hunting down the stones.
With the help of the monitor who knew the positions of all the units in the set Grondulal and Kryzikal left with the monitor to find the third stone hidden in one of the deep mines that the Sappers worked in. Instead of fighting, Grondulal suggested meeting the Sapper King and petition for access to the land and a temporary ceasefire until the stones were recovered. While the king did indeed grant safe passage and his blessing on the quest he emitted that he would only call a ceasefire when all seven stones had been retrieved. Using Quadrants coordinates; Hiekka was discovered hidden in a makeshift Sapper Shrine. Upon removal of the stone the local pastor ordered his parishioners to attack and retrieve the stone. Unable to fight back to avoid risking the King revoking his blessing Grondulal gave the pastor the gist his father had given him, an opal that had once graced the tallest spire of the Opal Hive in the ancient Gardner Empire to gain passage back to the surface. Upon reaching the surface Grondulal enhanced his threat of bringing Kryzikal's death due to his actions costing him his brother and now his heritage.
Hunting the Lurk Fish and the Retrival of Stena
As they left the Sapper Kingdom, 931 Patient Quadrant revealed that the forth stone Stena was moving in an area known as Devil's Gap. Upon reaching the trench the party found the shells of many Granchio of various castes all picked clean as well as a colossal Lurk Fish many time larger then any found elsewhere. As the party investigated 931 Patient Quadrant's scans picked up Stena inside the Lurkfish's mouth stuck in the lower jaw. In an attempt to retrieve the stone Grondulal and Kryzikal triggered a landslide to dislodge the fish from the floor even stun it so they could remove Stena. Unfortunately the Lurk Fish had learnt that the Granchio were interested in harming it and retreated into a crater in the trench's floor and stayed put until nightfall. During the night the Lurk Fish as well as swarms of parasitic argonauts attacked the Granchio and swallowed Patient Quadrant.
As day break arrived Kryzikal and Grondulal descended to fight the Lurk Fish to claim both the monitor and the stone. Using pikes and spears they harassed the Lurk Fish until it attacked using it's huge bulk to slam the two Granchio until they were separated where it then used it's claws to crush Kryzikal to the floor while a swarm of argonauts attacked Grondulal causing him to fall into a crack in the rock. After fighting off his attackers Grondulal emerged to find the Lurk Fish swallowing Kryzikal. Using a chain Grondulal was able to rip out the barbells and bioluminescent patches on the face causing the fish to become temporarily blind and unable to smell. As it thrashed blindly around Grondulal used a spear to kill the fish with a single thrust through the brain. When Kryzikal emerged from the fish’s mouth he announced that the stone was gone. A dissection of the fish revealed that neither stone nor monitor was located in the body. As they started to comb the trench floor Quadrant floated out of a rocky hole with Stena announcing that he had reclaimed the stone. When the Granchio questioned why he didn't help them Quadrant admitted that he wanted to see the level of devotion they had to finding the units and that they had exceeded his expectations.
The Slaying of Brockalan
As the trio left the trench they were greeted by Brockalan and his loyal followers who demanded the stones. When Kryzikal refused Brockalan ordered his men to kill the Elder who they had brought along as a bargaining chip hopeing that his fate could convince his enemies to surrender the stones to him. Both Kryzikal and Grondulal gave up the stones only to see Brockalan rip the Elder open with his bare hands. Asking his would be executioner why he was apposed to peace, Brockalan replied that he was not against peace he was just following orders before motioning for both his captors to stand. As they followed his orders a giant Drummer stepped foreword from the ring of followers and joined Brockalan as they planed to fight their prisoners. Using his thumb spike Kryzikial was able to block the blow of Brockalan's bone sword and the pair fought each other while Grondulal turned on the drummer with noting but a short knife fashioned from dead corral.
The fight quickly concluded after Brockalan, his blade broken, produced a massive hammer which he threw at Grondulal knocking him off the edge of the trench with the sapper barley able to hold onto the ledge. Enraged by this action Kryzikial cut off both Brockalan's hands and pushed him to the ground where he lay defeated. As Kryzikial went for the death blow Brockalan emitted that he had been sent to retrieve the stones by the Monitor causing the commander to stay his blade. As he lay broken, Brockalan's men left leaving him behind as Kryzikial went to rescue Grondulal who was being attacked by a swarm of argonauts attracted to his bleeding wounds. As he was hauled up Kryzikial ordered the wounded drummer to throw Brockalan over the side of the trench causing him to be devoured by the argonauts while the survivors retreated to a safe distance. The drummer Krodalus thankful that his life had been spared begged forgiveness and swore a debt to Grondulal for trying to kill him. When Kryzikial questioned the Monitor about him asking Brockalan to aid in the collection of the stones Quadrant responded by saying it would be foolish to relay on a single party to reclaim what had been lost.
Recovery of Cakil and Noroi
As all three of the Granchio healed their wounds at the Elder's hut Quadrant announced that both Cakil and Noroi, locate on a vast expanse of costal kelp fields were both close together and would be easy to reclaim. Asking what trials he had set for them the monitor responded that he was ready to aid them as he always should have done. He was interrupted by Krodalus who announced that the area was an active battle ground and that the Hives of Progress was positioned on one side and that the Sappers and Granchio Turncoats were located at the other. As the group left for the plains Quadrant stayed behind saying that he would find the last stone that we has having trouble locating. Upon their arrival on the plains Grondulal and Krodalus went to the Sapper Camp while Kryzikal went alone to the Hive's fortress.
At the Sapper Camp Grondulal explained his mission to the warlord who loaned him some soldiers to help located the stone. The soldiers had created a network of mines to ambush the enemy and according to the monitor the stone Cakil was buried in the mud. As Grondulal began to dig, a counter attack by the Hives forces caused the tunnel to collapse trapping the Granchio in the tunnel. As they continued to dig the Granchio cam across a wall carved out of green crystal with Cakil embedded inside which Grondulal took before returning via the newly cleared tunnel to the Sapper Camp. At the same time Kryzikal had located the local Queen who had placed Noroi in the hilt of her prime commander's sword. Unwilling to part with the blade she agreed to give up the stone if Kryzikal defeated her five best gladiators. Unfortunately for Kryzikal while four of the gladiators were breeding male Granchio the fifth was an immature Faustapod which inspired fear in all Granchio. In a desperate attempt to avoid seeing the Faustpod, Kryzikal tore out his own eyes so he would be unable to see his opponent. Impressed with his tactics the Queen watched as Kryzikal fought the Faustpod by listening for it's steps before luring it into one of the pits in the arena where the creature would be unable to move before butchering it with it's own stinger. As a token of his bravery Kryzikal was granted the sword as well as any aid he required until his next shedding season.
As he entered the fields Kryzikal met up with Grondulal and Krodalus who had acquired the stone Cakil. Realising he was blind Grondulal attacked Kryzikial knocking him to the floor as he got ready to get his revenge. Realising his life was in danger Kryzikal asked Grondulal if it was worth him risking everything just to get even before presenting the sword he had won to the Sapper. Realising that he couldn't strike down Kryzikal, Grondulal admitted that when they started their quest he dreamed of killing the one who had taken so much away from him but now realised his family would prefer peace to the continued blood shed. Picking up Kryzikial and the sword Grondulal motioned for Krodalus to carry the Commander until they met up with the monitor.
Infiltration of the Relic and the uniting of the People
When they met up with the monitor he announced that he had taken the final stone to a Forerunner Warehouse for safe keeping and that they were near the end of their quest. Upon reaching the warehouse the lack of living things caused the Granchio to become suspicious of the monitor. Upon entering the instillation the monitor vanished and the Granchio were attacked by sentinels and forerunner beam turrets forcing them to fight along the corridors until they came to an open bay containing a Repurposed Strato-Sentinel and 931 Patient Quadrant who exclaimed that this was their last test and that he had placed the final stone inside the Sentinel's Core. As he disappeared the Strato Sentinel came to life and attacked the Granchio killing Krodalus with an energy beam before turning on the other two. Using various Forerunner equipment when their own weapons proved useless the two Granchio fought the Sentinel as the Monitor teleported all three of them through the instillation. Eventually the Sentinel began to lose power thanks to the multiple teleports and was sent to a recharging chamber where the Granchio seized their chance. Using a Missile Laucher the Granchio were able to stun the Sentinel long enough to remove the stone from the central sensor eye causing it to become motionless.
As they prepared to find the monitor Kryzikal and Grondulal were teleported to a chamber containing a huge chasm and the monitor himself who pronounced them worthy custodians of this instillation. Using the water rushing up from the chasm Quadrant activated the units revealing the map causing both Granchio to be intrigued as they stared in wonder at what they had found. Using the map as evidence of the Forerunner they were able to unite the castes into a single hive structure so that the Granchio would be worthy of the Forerunner's blessings when the Reclaimers arrived.
Significance in Granchio Culture
Due to their role in uniting the people of Clax the tale of Kryzikal and Grondulal was immortalized with every commander known as Kryzikal followed by their ceremonial name and Grond becoming a very common name. The Stones were spread to the seven home hives; with Duste given to the Hive of Life, Ghiaione to the Hawker Nest, Hiekka to the Sapper Kingdom, Stena to the Drummer Camps, Cakil to the Spy Network, Noroil to the rebuilt Opal Hive and Slijk Steen to the Worker population. In 1683AD the Stones were moved to the newly built Hive of Glory which sparked the 3rd Granchio Civil War which lasted for a hundred years due to the objections of Granchio Conservatives. In 2008 the Hive of Glory was rebuilt to contain a long central shaft from the summit to the central plaza with a stream of constant hydro-kinetic energy generated by powerful by an additional power station. Its purpose was to supply energy to the suspended stones that every night was activated to reveal the glory of the universe to the members of the population that were unable to view them on the surface of the planet.
The destruction of the Stones of Unity be Granchio Barbarians in 2133 was the one of the triggers that started the 4th Granchio Civil War. Barbarians had crept into the Hive of Glory and murdered the workers that were in charge of the power generators before deactivating them causing the Stones to be deactivated allowing operatives to steal the stones and escape into the night. As added insurance the attackers planted explosives across the hive to keep the military castes busy while they finished their daring raid. In addition to keep their plan secret a group of Granchio distracted the spy network by releasing misinformation throughout the Hive of an uprising in the southern provinces which was later discovered to be a trap for the Granchio military. When reaching a safe house the barbarians filmed live images of the stones destruction by filling them with plastic explosive to destroy the internal hologram mechanism causing the stones to be reduced to sand. Although aimed to cause a drop in morale of the Hives of Progress and all its allies, it caused them to ruthlessly kill all who were in league with the insurrectionists leading to a eight year civil war. While disastrous for the Granchio this action proved to be beneficial for humanity as it prevented the Covenant from using them to being used to located Earth or the Halo Array before the Spartan II Program was initialised for to protect the UNSC.
All the stones of unity are named after rockey entities in other languages.