Dhas Bhasvod's Covenant
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Dhas Bhasvod's Covenant loyalists[Note 1] are a faction of Jiralhanae and Kig-Yar soldiers that had been assigned as part of the crew of the keyship Anodyne Spirit during the final weeks of 2552. Following the Covenant's fall during the Battle of Installation 00, these soldiers remained inside the Keyship to defend it from intruders, and remained vigilant in their duties and beliefs long after the death of the High Prophet of Truth and the firing of Installation 08, which they managed to survive. Led by the Prelate Dhas Bhasvod, they seek to continue the mission of the Covenant, although in secret Bhasvod's goal is to restore the San'Shyuum to power in the galaxy once again.
Battle of the Ark
During the final months of the Human-Covenant War, the Prophet of Truth commandeered the Anodyne Spirit to escape the Fall of High Charity and head to Installation 00 to begin the process of firing the Halo Array. When his keyship landed in the Mahsko region, Truth and his entourage departed for the installation's Citadel, while a charge of Jiralhanae and Kig-Yar soldiers led by Prelate Dhas Bhasvod were left with the keyship to fend off potential attackers. During the battle, the crew guarding the keyship deployed half of their forces to try to draw the humans and Sangheili away from the Prophet of Truth.
At the battle's conclusion, the Covenant was formally defeated and Installation 08 fired, severely damaging the Ark in the process and killing those of the keyship's crew who had exited in an attempt to draw the enemy away from their leader, yet the keyship managed to protect the rest of the surviving crew inside from the ring's pulse. Stranded on the Ark well outside the Milky Way, the soldiers were able to survive for the ensuing seven years thanks to the keyship's ample supply reserves, seemingly in hiding from the later exploration and settlement of the Ark by UNSC researchers.
A Long Wait
For a hundred cycles the loyalists waited, believing that the firing of the Halo meant that the Prophet of Truth had succeeded and they would thus be called to Transcendence at any moment. Eventually, their elation gave way to despair as they realized that Truth had failed and in the process, damaged the Ark seemingly beyond repair. Many began to fear that they would perish on a dead world far removed from their home stars and for nothing but the vanity of a dead Hierarch. Unwilling to let that stand, Prelate Dhas Bhasvod culled over the course of twenty cycles as many heretics as he had culled for Truth over the Heresy of the Chosen.
Eventually, as their despair seemed ready to destroy them, a scout discovered that the Ark was being repaired and that Anodyne Spirit was simply so far removed from where the repairs had begun that they had not realized that it was happening.
Second Ark Conflict
- Main article: Second Ark Conflict
During the later months of 2559, a force of Banished soldiers led by Chieftain Minas were deployed to the keyship to retrieve several shards of the Menachite Forerunner crystal, intended to be used to re-connect the Banished forces with their allies in the Milky Way.
While exploring the ship, the Banished troops were ambushed by the surviving Covenant forces aboard the keyship - who no one had expected to still be alive. Despite using their old Covenant-era equipment, the Covenant troops were able to put up heavy resistance against the Banished troops and arranged several successful ambushes. Later on, they deployed six Phantom dropships to support their attack, proving to outnumber the Banished raiding party considerably. Nonetheless, the Banished force's Flaktura Workshop Skewers proved capable anti-air weapons in the battle, and the force was ultimately able to escape with the shards retrieved - though at considerably cost to their own numbers. The loyalist forces remained inside the keyship a potential threat to future operations in the region.
Under the leadership of Prelate Dhas Bhasvod, the Covenant loyalists allied with the Keepers of the One Freedom when they arrived on the Ark in October 2559 seeking to fire the Halo Array and begin the Great Journey. Aided by the Forerunner archeon-class ancilla Intrepid Eye, the Keepers and the loyalists nearly succeeded in their mission, but they were ultimately foiled by the Banished and the UNSC. In the process, Castor learned the truth about the Halos and broke off his alliance with the loyalists as the UNSC Spirit of Fire launched an orbital bombardment that destroyed Epsilon Clarion and Intrepid Eye. The battle completely wiped out Castor's detachment of the Keepers aside from Castor himself and Blademaster Inslaan 'Gadogai, while the only survivor of the loyalist forces that took part in the engagement was Bhasvod. However, the damage that Bhasvod took prevented him from recovering the crystal shards that the Banished had stolen from the loyalists and thus kept him from opening a portal to Cloister to warn Jom G'e'qth that their plan had failed.
Following their defeat, Bhasvod and his forces retreated back to their base at Anodyne Spirit. Since then, they have begun to rally their forces with the intention of making another attempt to retake the slipspace crystal shard that was stolen from them, and thus reach Cloister - though are awaiting a suitable opportunity to do so.
Given their status as soldiers picked for their loyalty to the Prophet of Truth during the Great Schism, the loyalist troops consist primarily of Jiralhanae and their Kig-Yar subordinates, numbering in the dozens. As expected, the loyalists remained outfitted with Covenant-era arms and weaponry including Vostu-pattern carbines and at least six Phantoms. They also have a number of Ghosts, Banshees, and some Seraph starfighters. For defensive purposes, the loyalist remnant continue to make use of Rizsheda-pattern Shade turrets abandoned by the Covenant during the original conflict on the Ark.
While relatively high in numbers when compared to a Banished raiding party composed of three Phantom dropships, their exact numbers are unknown. Truth's forces mobilized everything they had to defend the Citadel during their last stand in the war, rendering Bhasvod's remnants a very small sliver of Truth's former fleet. Notably, while working with the Keepers of the One Freedom, the loyalists resorted to tricking the UNSC into eliminating most of their Banished pursuers rather than using their own forces to do so, suggesting they are outnumbered by the Banished and the UNSC forces on the Ark. In addition, they used a trap to outmaneuver and attempt to destroy the Banished force following them, but this ultimately failed. The Covenant-Keeper alliance's attempt to fire the Halo Array cost the faction the Ghosts that they brought with them, at least two Phantoms, three Seraphs and several Banshees as well as a number of ground troops.
- Dhas Bhasvod - Prelate commander of the loyalists.
List of appearances
- In Divine Wind, these soldiers are referred to as the Covenant faction and the Covenant remnant on pages 71 and 216 respectively; this name is applied here to help differentiate from actual Covenant-era soldiers from prior to the empire's fall
- Halo: Shadows of Reach: Adjunct - Sacrifice
- Halo: Divine Wind
- Halo: Divine Wind, chapter 4
- Halo: Divine Wind, chapter 17
- Halo: Divine Wind, chapter 7
- Halo Encyclopedia (2022 edition), page 247
- Halo Encyclopedia (2022 edition), page 249
- Halo Encyclopedia (2022 edition), page 302-303
- Halo 3, campaign level The Covenant: "Brutes are mobilizing everything they've got."