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This article is about the practices involving asceticism in general. For the Sangheili group, see ascetics.
Asceticism is a form and variation of Forerunner worship among the Covenant way of creed, involving a variety of practices, including humbling oneself before Forerunner technologies. Asceticism is followed in different forms by both the Sangheili and many San'Shyuum in diversities of Covenant Ages and by notable individuals.
The ascetic priests were led by the Philologist and resided in the Forerunner Dreadnought of High Charity. The priests concerned themselves with exploring the keyship's interior pathways with the help of trained Lekgolo and Huragok. The Philologist also tended to the Oracle of the Dreadnought and interpreted its will. Politicians of the Covenant required the Oracle's blessing for formality's sake when deciding important matters. Though the priests were not beyond political bribing or blackmail, the former-Minister of Fortitude was prepared to make a donation of some sort for the Philologist when asking for a blessing for what they thought to be a newly discovered reliquary.
Ascetic priests did not care for personal appearance, often having long, unkempt hair and unwashed skin. As part of their humble lifestyle, the ascetic priests wore white robes and used anti-gravity chairs made of stone, as opposed to the metal chairs used by most San'Shyuum. One of the former-Minister of Fortitude's clerics was also a follower of the San'Shyuum ascetic teachings. Huragok Drifts Randomly once assisted the ascetic priests.
The Ascetics are an ancient group of Sangheili whose main function is to defend and enforce ideological purity. During the Covenant's existence, the Ascetic guard was incorporated under the authority of the Ministry of Abnegation. The Sangheili Ascetics used a unique type of combat armor, known as the Ascetic Harness.
In the real world, Asceticism is a form of strict self-denial intended to foster spiritual discipline.
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