Canon

Banished

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The Banished
Banished Logo.png
The insignia of the Banished; the Mark of Atriox

Screenshot of Banished forces during the Battle for Zeta Halo, from pages 12-13 of the Halo Encyclopedia (2022 edition). Courtesy of Covenant Canon.
Members of the Banished on Installation 07

Government overview

Type:

Founder(s):

Head of state:

Warmaster

Capital:

Official religion(s):

None[11]

Notable event(s):

Technology level:

Adopted Tier 2

Historical overview

Formation:

c. early 2549[12][Note 1] (Pre-Great Schism)

Affiliation:

 

"I've gathered this crew and they're loyal, because I am loyal... and because we share a vision. One where the blood we spill and the treasures we plunder are in the name of our own free will and nothing more."
— Atriox explains the Banished's mission statement to the Silent Shadow.[16]

The Banished are an organization of mercenary raiders that broke off from the Covenant Empire to rebel against it and rose to power after the conclusion of the Human-Covenant War.[3] They were formed and led by the Jiralhanae warmaster Atriox. The Banished are primarily composed of Jiralhanae and have incorporated Sangheili,[17] humans,[18] Mgalekgolo, Unggoy, Huragok, and Kig-Yar, as Atriox saw feuds segregating species to be a senseless restriction in the way of gaining rewards and treasures.[16][19] The organization's goals have been described as attaining power in their raids across the Orion Arm,[20] while their killers and mercenaries plunder treasure in the name of their own free will.[16]

History[edit]

Early years[edit]

"Atriox and his Banished raided Covenant resources, cutting a swath across the galaxy... Growing in strength with each attack... Gathering killers and mercenaries to his side. The Covenant had two targets in those years. Humanity and Atriox. They almost got us. But Atriox? They never came close. The whole damn Covenant couldn't contain him at the height of their power."
Isabel tells the origin of the Banished.[6]
Atriox and his Banished conduct attacks and raids against the Covenant.

The Banished were formed around 2549, during the Algolis Invasion in the late years of the Human-Covenant War by Atriox, Decimus, En'Geddon and several other disgruntled Jiralhanae who rebelled against their Sangheili masters, after being used by the Covenant as cannon fodder repeatedly.[6] After establishing their group, the Banished started off as little more than raiders and pirates,[21] conducting surgical raids against the Covenant and other targets while scavenging for resources and gathering mercenaries to their cause.[12][6] Evading Covenant enforcers led to Atriox prioritizing stealth in his forces.[22] One such attack was on a Covenant training camp in 2550, Atriox and the Banished killed the Sangheili guards and stole everything they could including vehicles and weapons. By this point the Banished had attacked at least five other Covenant bases.[23]

Unimpeded by the Covenant's devastating Great Schism, the Banished managed to salvage many of the empire's former assets after its fall,[17] growing into a formidable power in their own right after a decade.[21][12] While Atriox had already recruited many allies during the Covenant War, the Banished gained many new members in the war's aftermath from former Covenant who wished to continue living as warriors,[24] and additionally renegade humans.[15][25][26]

Expansion[edit]

"Vengeance is petty. Vengeance has no reward."
— Atriox attempting to recruit Resa 'Azavayl, pointing out the futility in feuds between species.[16]

Decimus advised Atriox that the Banished should travel to the planet Otraak to recruit an old friend of his, a Kig-Yar T'vaoan scientist named Sig Raan. Decimus was sent to investigate first, where Sig Raan initially welcomed him and his squad showing off her latest invention: a device that could control the Yanme'e by simulating their queen's pheromones. Sig Raan then attacked Decimus with her Yanme'e swarm. Atriox showed up along with more of his Banished forces and attacked in Sig Raan in return. Decimus killed her, putting an end to the skirmish.[27]

Silent Shadow Elites killing Banished Brutes out of hatred for their species.

Following the Great Schism, some Sangheili continued their genocidal campaign against the Jiralhanae out of hatred. One such group was Resa 'Azavayl's Elite squad of the Silent Shadow. After slaughtering various Jiralhanae packs across various solar systems, the Silent Shadow boarded Atriox's Ceudar-pattern heavy corvette Elegy's Lament. The Silent Shadow slaughtered several of the Jiralhanae crewmen aboard, until they encountered Atriox who talked them down. Atriox stated that he and the Banished were different from the Jiralhanae led by Tartarus and the High Prophet of Truth, who had betrayed and massacred the Sangheili. Upon hearing this distinction, 'Azavayl's squad began to see the Banished as "other". Atriox then told them that they should rejoice that the traitorous Covenant was no more and invited them to join the Banished, to which 'Azavayl's squad expressed they were open to. 'Azavayl himself continued to harbor hatred toward Atriox for being a Jiralhanae, to which Atriox dismissed that vengeance was petty. 'Azavayl attacked Atriox but was killed by his Silent Shadow brethren who wanted to join the Banished. Atriox happily recruited them.[16]

Atriox and his Banished being knelt to by Let 'Volir and his crew.

After having successfully persuaded among the most vengeful of the Sangheili, 'Azavayl's Silent Shadow squad, Atriox confidently sought out the powerful CAS-class assault carrier Enduring Conviction and its Sangheili crew. He devised a plan to meet with its Sangheili Shipmaster, Let 'Volir. Atriox and his Banished attacked a Sangheili-led base on Kostroda, resulting in 'Volir and his forces deploying to the base to defend it. This left Enduring Conviction vulnerable for a separate Banished strike force to raid and capture the mostly vacant ship. Back on the ground, Atriox surrendered himself to 'Volir after seemingly losing the skirmish at the base, and was brought back up to the bridge of Enduring Conviction as a prisoner. On the bridge Atriox had his second team of Banished revealed themselves, ambushing 'Volir and turning the tables. Now as prisoner of Atriox, 'Volir was offered a chance to join the Banished and allow his crew to live a new life as mercenaries and be provided with resources, rather than be used as cannon fodder for the Sangheili-Jiralhanae conflict. After being persuaded, 'Volir had Enduring Conviction abandon their Sangheili-led fleet. 'Volir and his crew would later pledge their allegiance to the Banished, albeit reluctantly,[28] in return the Banished supplied their ship with fuel.[29] The Banished would later use similar methods to hire Thav 'Sebarim's clan and Inka 'Saham's crew as mercenaries as well.[8]

Atriox's Chieftains led divisions of Banished into Jiralhanae colonies and human criminal enterprises to build connections and spread their influence.[15] Atriox was open to recruiting capable assets of any species and several humans had joined the Banished.[25][26] As the city of New Mombasa began reconstruction on Earth, Banished human mercenary groups would flock to the city for opportunity.[30]

A veteran Jiralhanae Chieftain known as Jovus had made a name for himself as a warlord after the Covenant's fall, which drew Atriox's attention. The Banished sought to recruit him along with his pack, thus Shipmaster Let 'Volir invited him via video transmission to meet Atriox. Like many Jiralhanae, Jovus was confounded that Sangheili and Jiralhanae would overlook their feud and band together but he accepted the offer to meet Atriox regardless. After a tense meeting, Jovus was killed when he tried to attack Atriox.[31]

In 2558, a Jiralhanae in Hekabe's clan suggested hiring the Banished after gaining control of the Sharquoi, to move their new weapons as they needed slipspace-capable vessels and their own had been destroyed. However, Hekabe refused the suggestion, unwilling to share power with Atriox and the Banished when he wanted it all for himself. A dispute led to Hekabe killing a Banished Chieftain known as Odanostos.[32] The Children of Oth Sonin led by Lydus, one of the strongest Jiralhanae governments,[33] secretly hired the Banished as a mercenary military to take out his rivals in exchange for using his shipyards and land.[14]

Occupation of the Ark[edit]

Main article: Second Ark Conflict

"In the shadows of the Ark lurked a banished legacy of the shattered Covenant: a new opponent fueled not by religious fervor, but by raw lust for power."
Curator's update on the Banished.[34]

Atriox and the Banished took a fleet led by their flagship Enduring Conviction to the extra-galactic Forerunner structure known as the Ark, with a force comprised of Jiralhanae, Sangheili, humans, Unggoy, Mgalekgolo, and Huragok. They attacked a UNSC research facility on its surface, leaving no survivors but Isabel, a smart AI. In March 2559, 28 years after the UNSC Spirit of Fire lost contact with the rest of the United Nations Space Command, the vessel arrived at the Ark to find Isabel in the raided outpost. After the crew's Spartan-IIs encountered Atriox in the facility and were chased away by him, the Spirit of Fire engaged the Banished in combat.[35]

Opening engagements[edit]
Atriox intimidating the Spartans of the UNSC Spirit of Fire, after meeting them for the first time.

Captain James Cutter and Isabel decided to strike at the Banished by attacking a salvage operation, in which a group of Banished led by War Chieftain Decimus, Atriox's right-hand man, searched for supplies among the wreckage left from the battle nearly seven years earlier. The UNSC forces managed to destroy the operation despite orbital support from the CAS-class assault carrier Enduring Conviction, the Banished flagship, although Decimus escaped.[6]

From the wreckage of the fight, the UNSC discovered evidence of a Cartographer, a repository of data about the Ark's systems. As the Spirit of Fire sent Marines led by Spartan Jerome-092 to secure an elevator leading to the Cartographer, the Banished troops in the area were attacked by Sentinels. The survivors were unable to stop the UNSC forces from gaining access to the Cartographer.

Meanwhile, the Banished fell victim to a series of hit-and-run operations conducted by Spartan Alice-130, who was trapped behind enemy lines at the start of the battle, and liberated many captured UNSC troops.

The UNSC managed to capture the Cartographer and Professor Ellen Anders determined that the Banished were using the Ark's vast portal network to rapidly transport troops across the installation. The Banished forces at the network's control hub, led by Decimus, failed to prevent UNSC troops led by Jerome and Douglas-042 from destroying the hub, crippling the network. Decimus himself attempted to avenge the loss of the portals, but was killed by the UNSC forces.

The Banished then went on the offensive, launching an all-out ground assault on Alice's forces and sending several waves of Banshees from the Enduring Conviction at the Spirit of Fire. Alice managed to survive, but the Spirit of Fire was seriously threatened, as several of its deck turrets had been destroyed. Several Banished troops were diverted from the carrier's gravity lift in an attempt to stop UNSC forces led by Douglas from using a Forerunner particle cannon to disable the carrier's energy shields. The UNSC was ultimately successful, however, and Jerome and Isabel approached the ship's grav lift, intending to board the vessel and destroy it from the inside out. Their dropship was shot down by Banished anti-aircraft turrets as it approached, but they survived and Alice managed to use Kodiak artillery vehicles to destroy the Banished defenses to clear a path for them to board. On the ship, Isabel managed to fire the carrier's energy projector at the Ark's surface. The resulting damage caused swarms of Sentinels to crash themselves into the carrier, bisecting it. Jerome and Isabel were able to land safely on the Ark.

A new Halo ring[edit]
Banished and UNSC Spirit of Fire forces clashing at the wreckage of Enduring Conviction.

Atriox met with Shipmaster Let 'Volir, who survived his ship's destruction, on the Ark's surface, to assess the situation. They observed a new Halo ring rising from the Ark's Foundry, which the UNSC intended to disarm before sending it to the Soell system in the Milky Way in order to contact the rest of the UNSC. Atriox ordered 'Volir to send his surviving men onto the ring to capture it in a chance for redemption. However, Alice and Douglas led Marines in capturing a portal at the Foundry which the Banished were using to send troops to the ring. The Spartans went through the portal and it was destroyed afterwards to limit the Banished presence on the ring.

Atriox contacted Capt. Cutter and offered him a deal: the Banished would allow the Spirit of Fire to leave the area unharmed if the UNSC surrendered the Halo ring to him. He was refused, with Cutter reminding him that he did not make the same offer to the scientists at the Henry Lamb Research Outpost. The Banished troops on the ring were unable to stop Professor Anders hijacking a Retriever Sentinel in order to destroy a shield which the Banished had erected around the installation's Control Room.

The Banished fighting the crew of the Spirit of Fire on Halo Installation 09.

The Banished launched a last-ditch assault to stop Anders from disabling the ring's firing systems and planting a distress beacon. However, a stiff UNSC defense did not break, allowing Anders to finish her work. Once this was done, Anders accessed the ring's gravity anchors and ejected a portion of the landmass, which was occupied by the Banished, into space. The Halo ring then entered Slipspace after all of the UNSC troops were evacuated. However, Professor Anders was stuck on the ring. Cutter resolved to continue fighting the Banished on the Ark until Anders returned. Meanwhile, although Atriox's forces had been devastated by the combined losses of Decimus, the Enduring Conviction, and the Halo ring, the warlord still commanded an impressive army with which to fight the UNSC.

Operation: SPEARBREAKER[edit]

One month later, Colony, a pair of Mgalekgolo who command all Lekgolo forces in the Banished, attempted to launch a Forerunner Despair-class fighter to destroy the Spirit of Fire. This plan was thwarted by Sunray 1-1, a team of UNSC Orbital Drop Shock Troopers from Boomerang Company.

Yapyap's rebellion[edit]

During the battle, an Unggoy named Yapyap the Destroyer rebelled against the Banished with his subordinates. Many Sangheili and Mgalekgolo also defected and joined the rebellion. The Throne of Woe was established as their new headquarters. Following Yapyap's lead, they intended to locate the fabled Golden Methane Hydrate Mines of Sabator.[36]

Awakening the nightmare[edit]

After months of battle with the Spirit of Fire, the Banished were still searching for victory against the UNSC crew. They unintentionally released the Flood, few of which had survived the destruction of High Charity and the faulty firing of the unfinished Installation 08 at the end of the Human-Covenant War.[37] Pavium and Voridus were sent to scavenge old Covenant ships. Despite being told to not investigate the rubble of High Charity, Voridus breached the containment field around the wreckage anyway. This unintentionally released the Flood onto the Ark. Despite nearly being overwhelmed, Voridus and some of his forces survived and reunited with Pavium. The two began thinking of a way to fight the Flood. Knowing they were underground, they decided to use the drills to ignite explosive materials in the ground to buy them time.[38]

Voridus inadvertently releases the Flood.

After successfully fighting off the Flood and activating the drills, many of the Flood were destroyed by the resulting explosions. With the Flood temporarily weakened, Voridus and Pavium decided the next step was to reactivate the Sentinel Defense Network Voridus had shut down to get to High Charity in the first place. Voridus was chosen to go underground and reactivate the systems, while Pavium stayed up top with the majority of the forces to hold the line. Voridus was accompanied by a small group of soldiers to assist him, consisting of Sangheili Rangers and Jiralhanae Jumpers. They soon found out the Jumpers were crucial to traversing the Forerunner pathways. Despite their small numbers, Voridus' infusion gel helped slow the tide of Flood from overwhelming them in several encounters. Occasionally, Pavium was able to send small groups of troops down to help Voridus through scattered teleporters, but he could not spare many due to his defense against the Flood. Despite the long odds, Voridus and his surviving troops made it to the sentinel activation terminal, but found it covered in Flood biomass. Both Brutes took note of how the Flood seemed to know the defense system was dangerous to them. Pavium decided to send down Voridus' own special grenadiers powered by infusion gel and offered any amount of soldiers Voridus needed to clear out and reactivate the system. Despite stiff Flood resistance, Voridus cleared the biomass, and protected the nodes from being clogged up again. After reaching full power, he re-aligned the system, reactivating the sentinel network.[38]

Voridus used the teleporters to reach the surface and reunited with Pavium. The two decided it would be wise to inform Atriox of what was going on. Atriox was furious at them, as he would now have to give up a lot of ground they had earned in the conflict with the Spirit of Fire to assist them in suppressing the Flood. He ordered the two to have the problem fixed by the time he arrived or he would kill them himself.[38]

With the survival of the Banished and their own lives at stake Pavium and Voridus led all of their forces deep into Flood territory. Noticing the Flood's increase in tactical ability and intelligence, Pavium realized that a Proto-Gravemind must have formed and was commanding the Flood. He also realized that if they did not kill it soon it would become a Gravemind, at which point the Flood would be nearly unstoppable. They threw everything they had at the Flood and the Proto-Gravemind, which had emerged in the Flood badlands. The Proto-Gravemind used its tentacles to block the Banished forces from reaching it, but Pavium's Mega Turret was able to blast the tentacle away. Finally in range of the Proto-Gravemind, the Banished forces attacked its hard shell, exposing small bulbs. When they were destroyed, the Proto-Gravemind slightly retreated, but exposed its mouth to damage. The Banished fired everything they had, but the beast closed its mouth. Unable to damage it further, Pavium set up another Mega Turret nearby, which opened fire on the beast. The damage was enough to force the Proto-Gravemind out of its defensive state. They attacked the monster again, while holding off ever-increasing Flood forces. This process was repeated several times, adding more Mega Turrets to the barrage every time the Proto-Gravemind went into its defensive position. All the while, it was slowly reaching Gravemind status, but with the constant attacks it could not add enough biomass to reach that state. Pavium and Voridus noticed it was not taking significant damage despite their ever increasing firepower. Pavium decided to call upon a Retriever Sentinel by activating a nearby node specifically meant to control one. With its help, plus the Mega Turrets and Banished forces, the Proto-Gravemind finally succumbed to the damage and was obliterated.[38]

Pavium and Voridus reveled in their victory, roaring to the sky, but the celebration was cut short when Atriox landed nearby. Despite Voridus' inability to follow orders, Atriox allowed them to live because they had shown their worth by fending off the Flood with limited resources. During his inspection of their work, a Pod infector attacked him, but Atriox grabbed it midair with his gauntleted hand, crushing it a second later. However, this didn't stop Atriox from reprimanding the brothers for letting the Flood out of High Charity. He then commanded Voridus and Pavium to secure the breach and clean up their mess while standing menacingly over the former, as thousands of Sentinels began cleansing the surrounding area of the Flood.[38]

Following the incident, Pavium and Voridus' clan, the Long Shields, had lost reputation. Of the Banished's many humans, fifteen were under their command.[18] A few defected to the UNSC shortly after the Flood outbreak,[26] leading Pavium to preemptively kick out the rest in his clan and killing some in the process. Atriox was upset with Pavium's decision as he saw all Banished humans as valuable assets.[39]

Portal to Reach[edit]
Main article: Operation: WOLFE
Atriox used the portal on Reach to return to the Milky Way Galaxy from the Ark.

A Banished force allied with the Jiralhanae legions Keepers of the One Freedom, the Legion of the Corpse-Moon, and the Ravaged Tusks, were deployed to the glassed surface of Reach to search for a slipspace portal which would allow Atriox to return to the Milky Way from the Ark, under the orders of War Chief Escharum.[40] They successfully located the portal and activated with the help of the Ferrets who were undercover in the Keepers of the One Freedom, allowing Atriox to return to the Milky Way in a Eklon'Dal Workshop Lich. However, Castor of the Keepers of the One Freedom betrayed the rest of the Banished by going rogue and taking his forces to the Ark, with the aim of activating the Halo Array himself.

Although Atriox's stated intention was to return to the Ark with reinforcements, he departed with Escharum and his other forces in an intrusion corvette to attend to a greater purpose, leaving thousands of Banished troops behind to hold the Ark. With the slipspace portal bound to catch the attention of Cortana, Atriox and Escharum left Castor to escape Reach before a Guardian Custode arrived to investigate.[41]

Stopping the Ark from activating[edit]

Utilizing the opportunity presented by the opening of the slipspace portal, Castor led the Keepers of the One Freedom to the Ark to fire the Halo Array where both the UNSC and Banished forces under the command of Pavium and Voridus sought to foil them, indirectly aiding the Ferrets in eliminating the majority of the surviving Keepers. However, in the process, the Banished inadvertently got in the way of the UNSC's plan to finally destroy Intrepid Eye. The Banished suffered heavy losses in the effort, but both Pavium and Voridus survived while the UNSC Spirit of Fire destroyed the installation that the Keepers intended to use to fire the Halo Array and Intrepid Eye along with it. The brothers intended to report to Let 'Volir that their efforts had delayed the Keepers long enough for the humans to launch their strike.[42]

Occupation of Zeta Halo[edit]

Main article: Battle for Zeta Halo

"This Ring is different. It has secrets within... that I will have!"
Atriox seeking to free the Xalanyn.[43]

The Banished had united many Jiralhanae clans across Doisac and its moons,[44] though not all clans. Many clans, including those on Warial, continued to resist the Banished.[45] While Jiralhanae infighting persisted, the Banished staged a defensive against the Created.[44]

Atriox had also learned of the Harbinger during his time on the Ark,[46] and sought to free her species, the Xalanyn, to aid him. Upon the warmaster's return, the rogue AI leader Cortana ordered him and the Banished to surrender, and destroyed Doisac in response to his refusal by firing beams at it with several Guardians.

Following the loss of their home planet, Atriox and his Banished arrived at Installation 07 where the Xalanyn species were secretly hidden.[43] In December 2559, the Banished ambushed the UNSC Infinity above Installation 07 to retrieve CTN 0453-0 in order to defeat the rogue Cortana and her Created empire as well.[47] The Banished would come to occupy the ring and establish themselves on it.

Opening engagements[edit]
Main article: Battle over Installation 07

Several Banished dreadnoughts attacked the Infinity, sparking a space battle. The dreadnoughts rammed into the UNSC supercarrier, sending it crashing toward Installation 07 in four minutes. The ship was boarded by Atriox and other Banished forces during the attack. He dueled Master Chief Petty Officer John-117 and emerged victorious after tossing the Spartan-II into space. A few surviving UNSC forces of the devastated fleet managed to escape to the surface of the ring and would continue to engage the Banished in guerrilla warfare.

After Atriox arrived at the surface of Installation 07, he confronted Cortana who had been locked down by CTN 0453-0, a UNSC infiltration program also known as the Weapon. Now a prisoner of Atriox and unwilling to give him the secrets of the ring, Cortana detonated part of the ring to prevent him from controlling it, seemingly killing the Banished warmaster in the process. Atriox was thought to be dead, leaving War Chief Escharum in charge of the Banished who were stranded on the ring once it suddenly moved its location.[48]

Escharum's Banished[edit]
War Chief Escharum fighting John-117 in the House of Reckoning.

Despite the fact that Atriox valued Banished humans[39] and made statements denouncing genocide as "barbarism" with "no reward" which allowed the Banished to incorporate feuding species in the first place,[29][16][19] Escharum decided to go against Atriox's core beliefs that tied the Banished together and suddenly declared humanity's destruction.[49] Radically altered, the Banished under Escharum's leadership would expend valuable resources on revenge and his desire for a glorious battle,[50][51] opposed to pragmatism.[16] Escharum's Banished spent their resources to reform Installation 07 for the alleged purpose of "activating this ring",[52] a decision which would ultimately lead his forces stationed around the shattered islands to ruin with many high value leaders dead in the ensuing conflict.[8]

Escharum fulfilled part of Atriox's will by awakening the Harbinger, albeit using her for the reformation of Installation 07. The Banished were complimented with her Gasgira troops known as Skimmers.[53]

During May 2560, the Banished ship Ghost of Gbraakon was destroyed by John-117, who had survived in space and been rescued by Echo 216. Escharum was invigorated by his survival and welcomed him to a battle on his ring world. The Banished bases Outpost Tremonius, Tower, Annex Ridge, Armory of Reckoning, Forge of Teash, Horn of Abolition, Ransom Keep, Redoubt of Sundering and Riven Gate all fell to John-117 and the Marines he freed during the conflict. All high value members situated around the floating islands, many of which served as Bloodstars, were assassinated by the Spartan-II, along with the Hand of Atriox who were sent to kill him.

Seeking a legendary battle or a glorious death with his illness progressing, Escharum sent Blademaster Jega 'Rdomnai to kidnap Echo 216 to lure out the Spartan. Taking the bait, John-117 arrived for the final showdown at the House of Reckoning. Waves of Banished fought against John-117, only to be struck down. Jega 'Rdomnai fought him as well and was defeated, although it was left unclear if he survived the battle or not. Escharum revealed himself to the Spartan in the room where Echo 216 was being held and a duel took place. Escharum and John-117 took shots at each other until the War Chief resorted to using the room to power a dome-shaped shield to protect himself. The Spartan deactivated the shield and continued to attack, resulting in Escharum pulling out his gravity axe for an even closer battle. After sustaining enough damage Escharum collapsed and told the Spartan that his death would inspire others before dying in his enemy's arms.

The Harbinger would continue leading the remnants of Escharum's local forces, some Banished Jiralhanae saw his death as martyrdom and proclaimed to fight in his name. In a last ditcheeffort to protect the Harbinger in the Silent Auditorium's central chamber, they attempted to defend her against John-117 where they were all killed along with her. After the Harbinger's defeat, other Banished forces remained in control of different parts of the ring.[43]

Atriox's return[edit]

Unbeknownst to both the Banished and the UNSC, Atriox had survived his apparent destruction by Cortana, and had discovered the location of the cylixes in which the Forerunners had imprisoned the Xalanyn.[8] Several Banished affiliated human mercenary groups continued to operate in the crime-ridden streets of New Mombasa on Earth, capitalizing on the city's proximity to Forerunner secrets for Atriox and the Banished.[30]

Governance and society[edit]

"You will be paid-in blood and sport and spoils. But...I can offer no honor. For it holds no weight beyond sentiment."
— Atriox to his new Banished recruits.[16]
Atriox stands before the Banished.

As a mercenary organization, the Banished are essentially a military hierarchy led by Atriox. Their prevailing philosophy appeared to be one of ruthless pragmatism, with their operations focusing solely on accruing useful resources for their war machine. Their overall goals ostensibly center around increasing their power through raiding and conquest,[12] with Atriox having laid plans for dominance across the Orion Arm.[20] During the Covenant's reign, the Banished mostly laid low and kept on the move, never claiming territory; Atriox only attacked targets he had something to gain from, largely in the form of supplies and materiel. However, the Covenant did not seem to have been Atriox's ultimate target, instead only being leveraged as a source of supplies to raid. ONI operative 'D' speculated that Atriox was planning to stabilize the Jiralhanae on their homeworld Doisac under his leadership, though his colleague 'S' disagreed and suspected that Atriox was recruiting and his long-term goals were even more ambitious.[24]

Societal conditions within the Banished reflect their harsh values, most of the organization's members are honorless mercenaries and killers.[54][6] Weaker members are often subject to violent abuse,[55] however the Banished reject the Covenant's species-based caste system and any species in the Banished can rise through the ranks if they prove their merit, even Unggoy such as Briglard can make a name for themselves.[56] Their chain of command, predominantly composed of Jiralhanae veterans of the Human-Covenant War,[57] is a "twisted meritocracy" in which Atriox's subordinates constantly compete for influence and favor in their warmaster's eyes, in hopes of increasing their own status.[58] Atriox has spies across his command hierarchy to snuff out signs of disloyalty,[59] and his inner circle of loyal chieftains, known as Atriox's Chosen, are used to enforce compliance among the higher ranks.[60]

The Banished are thoroughly irreligious, and lack taboos regarding the treatment of Forerunner technology,[11] though Decimus in particular secretly harbors a reverence for the Forerunners.[61] Atriox and Decimus hate the Covenant's successor factions that uphold its oppressive ideology and structure,[62] while such remnant factions deem the Banished to be repulsive infidels.[63]

In addition to the core group of the Banished led by Atriox and Decimus which includes the Clan of the Long Shields among other clans, affiliated clans have also been absorbed into the Banished and reformed as military legions, such as the Legion of the Corpse-Moon and the Clan of the Ravaged Tusks. While Atriox and Decimus' mercenaries were all outfitted with red and gray Banished armor and vehicles,[64] affiliated mercenary clans during the Zeta Halo conflict typically reused standard former Covenant armor that had been salvaged and the usage of official Banished armor was limited to higher ranks.[8]

Personnel[edit]

"In theory, all who can aid Atriox's ambition and will bend the knee are welcome, from human to hunter, but their violence and conditions of service limit recruitment opportunities."
— A description of the Banished's society, from the Spartan Field Manual.
For a full list of personnel in the Banished, see here

All are welcome to join the Banished provided they submit to Atriox's will, regardless of species. However, in addition to the core Banished clans led by Atriox and Decimus, they are also made up of many affiliated Jiralhanae mercenary clans and packs organized into legions, a massive unification achieved by Atriox during the post-Covenant tribalistic warfare that ravaged Doisac following the death of Tartarus. Although Atriox has no particular-defined rules on which species may or may not join the Banished, he also tends not to interfere in the internal politics of the clans sworn to him, provided they do not interfere with the overall goals of the Banished.

Banished Elites and Banished Brutes fighting.

Atriox did not care for the greater Sangheili-Jiralhanae feud,[29] As such, he has welcomed some Sangheili to join the Banished as mercenaries. Because Atriox and the Jiralhanae in the Banished claim to not have been involved in the betrayal and massacre of the Sangheili, some Sangheili have willingly accepted the offer, and joined viewing the Banished as "other".[16] Three Special Operations Sangheili from the Silent Shadow, a former Covenant Special Operations unit, were successfully convinced by Atriox to join the ranks of the Banished.[16] Additionally, the Sangheili crew of the CAS-class assault carrier Enduring Conviction joined the Banished since its shipmaster, Let 'Volir, reluctantly aligned himself with Atriox.[65] These forces were among the first of many Sangheili Mercenary groups recruited into the Banished. Several of these individuals attained positions of prestige within the Banished, with Let 'Volir even being granted command of all Banished forces on the Ark by Atriox following his departure, much to the dismay of other Banished Jiralhanae.[66] Atriox's charismatic leadership allows for both Jiralhanae and Sangheili to be deployed simultaneously, whereas other leaders would struggle to get such bitter rivals to coopererate.[67] Despite this coexistence, hatred between the two species still manifests.[68] The Sangheili under Decimus' command were treated with resentment and often sadistically sent on suicide missions.[69] This is due to some Jiralhanae (including Decimus and Teranus) still holding a grudge against the Sangheili for treating the Jiralhanae as inferiors during the time of the Covenant.[70] Concurrently, Let 'Volir's Sangheili crew feel a strong hatred toward Atriox's Chosen Jiralhanae.[71]

Atriox harbors no animosity towards humanity,[72][19] and has recruited humans into the Banished.[26] While some humans have joined, the Banished's violent culture and conditions of service make them unattractive to many.[25] As Banished chieftains have spread their power beyond Jiralhanae colonies and into human territory, human criminal enterprises across the Orion Arm have been influenced. [15] Entirely human-led clans would also join the Banished, such as the Order of Harmony.[73] The Banished have also looked through the black markets on the colony of Venezia to trade with humans and sought Forerunner technology, which their shield generators utilized, as well as purchase nuclear weapons.[74][75] While battling with the UNSC Spirit of Fire during the Second Ark Conflict, Atriox utilized Banished humans in his forces and also admitted respect for his UNSC enemies' tenacity to the point of offering them a chance to leave peacefully without being hunted down, Captain James Cutter refused the offer however.[76] Despite Escharum's personal hatred for humanity,[77] he showed respect for Spartan John-117 as a warrior due to his legendary reputation, to which the Chief would return by listening to and holding him in his dying moments.[8]

This willingness to work with criminal elements extends to pirate and mercenary organizations of the Kig-Yar. During the early months of their campaign on the Ark, the Banished did not employ Kig-Yar mercenaries. However, Chieftain Minas led a strike force that included Kig-Yar on a mission to the abandoned Forerunner Dreadnought in the summer of 2559.[78] The group has also hired Kig-Yar pirates dubbed "Freebooters" and Skirmishers during the Battle for Zeta Halo.[79]

Despite their fairly egalitarian stance, which allowed a few Unggoy such as Briglard to climb the ranks of the Banished's meritocracy, most Unggoy within the Banished retain their thrall/slave nature as they did within the Covenant. The numerous Unggoy in their service were generally regarded as mere cannon fodder and are often abused for sport by their Jiralhanae superiors.[55] A number of "thrall colonies" exist where Unggoy are bred, only to be indoctrinated into the service of the Banished; the most violent individuals were set apart and formed into suicide squads.[80] This led to a rebellion by grunt forces under Yapyap on the Ark.

The Banished have amassed a small complement of Huragok; those serving on the Ark are imprisoned in harnesses equipped with control yokes keeping them in constant agony to keep them compliant, lest they be distracted by their innate need to repair damaged Forerunner technology.[81]

The Banished also field Mgalekgolo troops, many of whom are unusually violent for their kind, and may have been forced into service as well,[82] while Barukaza Workshop Scarabs use unstable plasma generators that quickly kill the Lekgolo comprising their control systems.[83] The Banished also maintained an alliance with the Lekgolo collective known as "Colony", which allowed the organization to employ the use of many lekgolo forms in their conquests.

Other[edit]
  • The Harbinger: A member of the Endless that is aiding Atriox and Escharum on Installation 07. Killed by John-117.[84]
  • Skimmer Alpha: An individual leading all the Skimmers, although it's under the command of the Harbinger. Killed by John-117.[8]

Ranks and roles[edit]

Various Banished infantry classes and vehicles.

The Banished make use of several mercenaries, criminals and affiliates.[15][13] These fill the ranks and roles of the Banished.

Jiralhanae[edit]

Ranks
  • Warmaster: First-in-command of the Banished, as the supreme leader and founder, this rank is held by Atriox.[85]
  • War Chief: Leader of the various legions in the Banished and second-in-command of the Banished.[86] The authority of second-in-command was held by Decimus until his death,[87] afterward Escharum became the next second-in-command.[88]
  • Legionmaster: Chieftains in charged of differing Banished legions with considerable degrees of autonomy, below the authority of the War Chief.[89]
  • Warlord: Jiralhanae Captains and Chieftains loyal only to Atriox and Decimus,[90] tasked to intercede on the Banished leaders' behalf to subdue uncooperative packs and direct critical operations within the organization.
  • Chieftain: Clan leaders.
  • Captain: A class of field leaders.
  • Warrior: Warriors are among the lower Jiralhanae ranks in the Banished.[91]
Roles

Lekgolo[edit]

Ranks
  • Captain: Mgalekgolo officers directly linked to "Colony".
  • Ardent Mgalekgolo: The longest serving Mgalekgolo in the Banished.
Roles

Sangheili[edit]

Ranks
  • Shipmaster: Captain of a starship, the shipmaster of the Banished's flagship Enduring Conviction was Let ‘Volir.
  • Ultra: A Sangheili mercenary in the Banished of high rank.[93]
  • Enforcer: Sangheili mercenaries can hold a red-clad Enforcer rank in the Banished utilizing stronger shields.[94]
  • Mercenary: The standard low ranking Sangheili mercenaries among the Banished.[95]
Roles
  • Hand of Atriox: Special forces that specialize in killing Spartans which Jega 'Rdomnai is a member of.
  • Honor Guard: Skilled mercenary swordsmasters who evoke the traditions of the old Covenant Honor Guard in the service of shipmaster Let ‘Volir, and who by extension serve Atriox.
  • Ranger: Mercenary units specialized in scouting and marksmanship.

Human[edit]

Ranks
  • Mercenary: Several standard human forces exist in some clans of the Banished.[26][18]
Roles
  • Criminals: Atriox's Chieftains have spread the Banished's power and influence through both Jiralhanae colonies as well as human criminal enterprises.[15]

Unggoy[edit]

Ranks
  • Conscript: Among the lower ranking Unngoy forces in the Banished.[91][95]
  • Assault: Battle hardened and higher ranking Unggoy, specialized for aggressive and direct combat.
  • Ultra: Highest individualized rank among the Unggoy, shielded in strong armor and armed with heavier weaponry. Unlike their Covenant Counterparts, these Grunts can now hold authority over low ranking Sangheili and Jiralhanae, but are still subordinate to Captains and higher ranked Sangheili Enforcers.
  • Bouncer: Unggoy Ultras given energy shielding to be utilized as bodyguards.
  • Thrall-taskmaster: A role for Unggoy, some of whom serve under the command of Decimus.
Roles
  • Suicide Unggoy: Drawn from the Banished's thrall colonies, Unggoy in this role are selected for their aggressive and violent tendencies and indoctrinated by the Banished to serve in dedicated suicide squads.
  • Assault: Banished Unggoy of unknown role.[96]
  • Mule: Heavily armored infantry that carry weapons and gear on their backs.[97]

Huragok[edit]

Roles
  • Engineers: Support units that can repair units with reconstruction beams and drop overshield bubbles.[98]
  • Infused Engineers: Described as Aberrant Huragok, these Huragok channel large pools of infusion gel and are exclusive to the command of Voridus who has a fascination with such gel.[99]

Kig-yar[edit]

Roles
Classes Jiralhanae Lekgolo Sangheili Human Unggoy Huragok Kig-Yar
Ranks and type classes
Standard ranks Warrior[91] Mgalekgolo Mercenary[95] Mercenary[26][18] Conscript[91] Engineers Freebooter[79]
Specialized troops Suicide

Berserker
Sniper
Jumper
Unstable Jumper
Grenadier
Scarred Grenadier
Bloodfuel

Goliath

Ardent Mgalekgolo

Ranger

Spec Ops
Blademaster
Wraithmaster
Honor Guard

Suicide

Mob
Bloodfuel
Assault[96]
Mule[97]

Infused Engineers Raider

Sniper
Skirmisher

Leaders Captain

Atriox's Chosen[73]

Captain Enforcer

Ultra

Ultra

Thrall-taskmaster

Titles
Affiliates Dokab[88] Kaidon Acolyte[88][13]
Criminal[15]
Ratings Chieftain

Warlord
Legionmaster
War Chieftain
Warmaster

Bond Brother
General

Warlord
Shipmaster

High Sumpter Arch Khordat

Technology[edit]

Enduring Conviction, a modified CAS-class assault carrier under Banished control.

Having salvaged and repurposed a great deal of Covenant matériel as well as equipment from other sources,[17] the Banished are well equipped with a wide range of military technology. Covenant technology plundered by the Banished is modified to match the aesthetic tastes of its new masters, including an overt preference for layered armor plating, spikes, and sharp angles contrasted with the smooth curves and surfaces favored by the Covenant.[57] The Banished additionally have the capabilities to manufacture their own weaponry by commissioning outside workshops, utilizing gravitic-catapults in their spike weapons. How the Banished have managed to make such improvements in as short a time as they have continues to baffle UNSC technicians.[103] This industrial expertise also extends to modifying starships to their own design such as the Banished dreadnought outsourced to workshops and shipyards,[8] many of which were provided to them by the Children of Oth Sonin in exchange for their mercenary work. The Banished are also known to use their own variant of UAV to repair their outposts during the Second Ark Conflict and modify the Emp'seam-pattern Antlion to fire spikes instead of plasma. The Banished are capable of using their own portable shield, which is hexagonal-shaped with trapezoids making up the shielding and be active or not active at the user's request.

Armor[edit]

Banished armor designs.

All forces directly under the command of Atriox and Decimus, including the personnel from the Enduring Conviction and the Clan of the Long Shields, were equipped with official Banished red and gray colored armor. These include modified Jiralhanae power armor, Sangheili combat harnesses and Unggoy combat harnesses.[104] Additionally, the Banished employ specialist Jiralhanae soldiers known as Jump-pack Jiralhanae, who are equipped with jump pack propulsion systems. Many of these Sangheili and Jiralhanae seemingly did not use their energy shielding.[64]

Many affiliated mercenary clans however, including those during the Battle for Zeta Halo, typically reused standard former Covenant armor that had been salvaged and the usage of official Banished armor was limited to higher ranks.[8]

Weaponry[edit]

Weapons used by the organization include standard Covenant weaponry such as the Energy Sword, Anskum-pattern plasma grenade, Gravity Hammer, Type-51 Carbine, Type-25 plasma pistol, and Pez'tk-pattern fuel rod gun, as well as their own variants modified by workshops. Atriox uses a custom forged gravity mace called Chainbreaker.[105] The Banished have no taboo against human weapons, with their focus on pragmatically accruing useful resources for their war machine as well as having humans among their ranks. In the Battle for Zeta Halo, Banished forces also used UNSC weapons such as the CQS48 Bulldog, M41 SPNKR, among others. Examples of Banished weapons made in clan workshops include;

Ukala Workshop
Grenflekt Workshop
Flaktura Workshop
Veporokk Workshop
Sicatt Workshop
Grenflekt Workshop
Jovokada Workshop
Covenant holdovers
Other

Vehicles[edit]

For a full list of vehicles in the Banished, see here

The Banished employ many vehicles and aircraft modified from designs premiered by the Covenant through workshops. These notable upgrades also come with a large aesthetic shift away from the Covenant's organic architecture and purple color, with an emphasis instead on armor plating, spikes, and the Banished red and gray color scheme. Notable examples include;

Gydrozka Workshop
Klavbrig Workshop
Eklon'Dal Workshop
Barug'gel Workshop
Dovotaa Workshop
Qavardu Workshop
Eklon'Dal Workshop
Bolroci Workshop
'Ahtulai Workshop
Kaelum Workshop
Baruzaka Workshop
Zaagokelu Workshop
Riuctda Workshop
Qavardu Workshop

Ships[edit]

For a full list of ships in the Banished, see here
The Banished dreadnought, heavily modified from a Covenant ship hull by Irusk Workshop.[107]

They have at least one CAS-class assault carrier, the Enduring Conviction as the flagship and once the largest Banished capital ship per ONI, at least five CCS-class battlecruisers,[6] and at one point captured the Ceudar-pattern heavy corvette Elegy's Lament.[16] Their ships have the ability to deploy bases for ground combat, such as Banished outposts.

The Banished during their operations on the Ark also used salvaged wreckage from Truth's fleet that was left on the Ark. However, the loss of the Enduring Conviction left them unable to perform the kind of orbital bombardment that the UNSC Spirit of Fire was capable of with her MAC gun.[108]

By October 2559, after absorbing three other Jiralhanae legions, the Banished in the Milky Way have a formidable fleet including at least one former massive Covenant supercarrier, at least one intrusion corvette, several destroyers,[109] and several dreadnought-class warships which were modified from the hulls of Covenant ships,[107] including Ghost of Gbraakon, by the time of the Battle over Installation 07 in December 2559.[8] Dreadnoughts in particular can deploy modular Banished bases to the ground. The Banished make use of Drekars.

AI, robotics and automation[edit]

The Banished are known to use their own variant of UAV to repair their outposts during the Second Ark Conflict

Iratus is an artificial intelligence construct created using a Jiralhanae donor and aligned with the Banished.[110] Iratus was created by the Lux Voluspa company as part of an effort to research artificial intelligence creation utilizing brain donors from species aside from humanity. This included Jiralhanae donors; a decision considered by researchers "LV038" and "LV106" as something that was "always going to draw some attention eventually."[110] The Lux Voluspa facility was ultimately breached by a cyberwarfare attack, with an intrusion package deployed using internally-sourced encryption and displaying a Jiralhanae retrieval signature. The originators of this attack were later indicated to be the Banished, who were able to steal the Iratus AI matrix from the facility.[111] In 2559, the Iratus AI was present inside the Banished shipbreaking facilities on Camber. When Spartan-IVs Sigrid Eklund and Hieu Dinh were deployed to the facility, they were able to trap Iratus inside of Dinh's neural interface, compromising his armor and cognitive functions. Eklund was ultimately able to commandeer a Banished Phantom back to the Avery J. Johnson Academy of Military Science to seek aid from friendly forces.[110]

Atriox is equipped with an augmented power gauntlet. In addition, Jega 'Rdomnai employs a prosthetic arm and prosthetic mandibles.

Symbols[edit]

The emblem of the Banished, known as the Mark of Atriox,[112] is modeled after the appearance of Atriox's gravity mace, Chainbreaker, when viewed from a top-down perspective.[113] Additional symbols can also be found both within and upon Banished structures.

Gameplay[edit]

The Banished are one of the two playable factions in Halo Wars 2. Atriox, Decimus, Let 'Volir, Colony, Yapyap, Ripa 'Moramee, Pavium, and Voridus are their playable Leaders.

Production notes[edit]

Trivia[edit]

  • The design and artstyle of the Banished has striking similarities to the design and artstyle of the Red Legion from the Destiny universe.[116]

Gallery[edit]

Concept art[edit]

Renders[edit]

Promotional artwork[edit]

Screenshots[edit]

List of appearances[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ See Algolis Invasion's Notes section regarding the formation of the Banished.


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