Covenant remnants

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This article is about the collection of new factions after the Covenant's destruction. For the collection of Sangheili-led groups during the Great Schism, see Covenant separatists.
Jul 'Mdama's Covenant, formerly one of the largest Covenant remnants.

"What does it mean to be 'Covenant' today? A hundred warlords claim they rule the Covenant, but each of them leads only a small faction."
Zef 'Trahl[1]

Covenant remnants are splinter factions originating from the former Covenant body and remain active after the dissolution of the Covenant,[2] though no single group uses the specific term "Covenant remnant" to refer to themselves.[3] These factions vary greatly in ethos and motives; while some consider themselves as upholding the legacy of the Covenant as it used to be,[1] others have been shown to pursue more extensive reforms or their own specific agendas. Although many former Covenant members discarded the Prophets' religion and the belief in the "Great Journey" altogether in the wake of the revelation of the truth about the Halos,[4] many Sangheili in particular have reverted to their species' ancient ways of worshiping the Forerunners and their technology,[5] while others continue to maintain their belief in the "Great Journey" while simultaneously renouncing the Prophets as false.[6] Thus, the various Covenant remnant factions range from pragmatic mercenaries to fanatical religious cultists.[1]

Unlike the Covenant at its height, the general scarcity of resources has forced many of the remnant factions to use whatever materials they can find. Intact capital warships are considered coveted assets among the splinter factions, as many ships were destroyed in both the Great Schism and the Human-Covenant War as well as a significant portion of the Covenant's infrastructure and shipyards remaining inactive following the wars.[7] Additionally, with the majority of the Huragok mysteriously disappearing, many former Covenant no longer possess the capacity to repair and maintain most of their equipment.[8] Still, select Sangheili armories have taken over the production of matériel formerly manufactured within High Charity and have even developed new assets such as the T-55 storm rifle.[9][10] Despite this, many remnant groups are forced to employ obsolete or second-hand military equipment and weaponry in the absence of the Covenant's extensive supply chain. On the other hand, black markets—many of them operated by Kig-Yar profiteering from the Covenant's end, and others by Yonhet—were flooded with former Covenant matériel after the war.[11] Because of their limited resources, some Covenant groups have resorted to terrorism to achieve their ends following the war.[12] While previously considered a major taboo among the Sangheili, some groups are also known to utilize human weaponry, namely nuclear weapons,[13] and have even recruited humans into their ranks.[14]


The Great Schism and dissolution of the Covenant[edit]

Main article: Covenant separatists

While select remnant factions, such as the Ussans or the Banished, were already active before the Covenant's fall, many of the Covenant remnants can trace their origins to the aftermath of the Great Schism and the defeat of the Covenant. After the Hierarchs replaced the Sangheili with the Jiralhanae and ordered the genocide of the former, the Sangheili became separatists and rebelled against the San'Shyuum-led main body of the Covenant. Many of the Sangheili-led groups within the separatists that emerged from the conflict would continue to regard themselves as the "true" Covenant, some noting that the Sangheili had "kicked out" the San'Shyuum.[15] Amidst the turmoil of the Great Schism, all groups of Sangheili were called to their base world Joyous Exultation under the leadership of Imperial Admiral Xytan 'Jar Wattinree, who announced the treachery of the Prophets and proposed the creation of a new, Sangheili-led Covenant. After Wattinree and the forces gathered at Joyous Exultation were killed by a NOVA bomb, the bulk of the Sangheili rallied behind Arbiter Thel 'Vadam and Shipmaster Rtas 'Vadum. This group, initially centered around the Fleet of Retribution, would later come to call themselves the Swords of Sanghelios.[16]

Many Unggoy, Mgalekgolo, Yanme'e and Kig-Yar remained within either the Jiralhanae's or the Sangheili's respective command hierarchies and continued to serve their masters throughout the Great Schism.[17][18]

Post-war period and new factions[edit]

After the death of the High Prophet of Truth and many of the Prophets at the hands of the Sangheili, the remaining San'Shyuum went into hiding, leaving a power vacuum within the remains of the Covenant.[19] With their enemies defeated, the Sangheili-led separatists no longer had a common goal to unify them. Various high-ranked members of the fallen hegemony seized control of as many military assets as they could; many split off and became independent warlords commanding their own factions, some of them claiming to be legitimate successors to the Covenant.[1] Others, including many Sangheili kaidons, hoarded ships and weapons for their own purposes while avoiding involvement in larger conflicts.[20]

Humanity was also entangled in the Covenant remnants' post-war power dynamics. Conducting its own operations unknown to the rest of the UNSC, the Office of Naval Intelligence armed Sangheili dissidents of the Servants of the Abiding Truth and even covertly attacked their allied Sangheili, the Swords of Sanghelios, to maintain the balance of power between the two factions. ONI was also indirectly responsible for the formation of one of the most prominent post-war factions self proclaiming to be a new "Covenant", led by the Sangheili Jul 'Mdama. After escaping ONI detainment on the shield world-based ONI research facility Trevelyan, 'Mdama learned of his wife's death during the Blooding Years and vowed revenge on the humans due to their involvement in his species' affairs. 'Mdama, assisted by Sangheili from a remote colony planet called Hesduros, formed a new "Covenant" and eventually traveled to the Forerunner world Requiem and wake the "living god" known as the Didact to assist their smaller faction in their ambitious goal of eradicating humanity.[5]

Covenant remnants hostile to humanity have been informally referred to as "Covies" by the United Nations Space Command,[21][22] despite the various remnants existing as entirely different organizations than the original Covenant empire.

New conflicts[edit]

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Main article: Post-Covenant War conflicts

The greater Sangheili-Jiralhanae feud continued in the background for years in the wake of the Great Schism, taking its toll on both species.[19] In 2553, a faction led by Prelate Tem'Bhetek and Minister of Preparation Boru'a'Neem and their Jiralhanae forces sought to destroy Sanghelios and all life in its system using a Prototype Halo installation. This plan was foiled by the crew of the CAS-class assault carrier Shadow of Intent, resulting in the dissolution of the faction. After discovering that he had been fooled by Preparation, the Prelate sacrificed himself to destroy the installation, ensuring the end of the threat it posed.[23] The conflict between the Sangheili and Jiralhanae began to intensify as the years passed and the later's resources began to dwindle. This prompted the Jiralhanae to raid Sangheili-held territories for foodstuffs and other supplies, as they were unable of obtaining the resources themselves due to their disorganized and barbaric nature.[24]

Defying the tenuous peace between humanity and the Swords of Sanghelios, representing the majority of the Sangheili, a few newly formed Sangheili-led factions—mainly religious cultists—began to oppose the UNSC after the end of the war in smaller skirmishes. In 2554, the planet of Draetheus V was attacked by Merg Vol's Covenant. This group was eventually stopped by UNSC forces and Merg Vol was executed by Spartan Sarah Palmer.[25] In 2557, Jul 'Mdama's Covenant engaged UNSC forces, including their flagship Infinity, at Requiem. During these events, the Didact was awakened and soon joined forces with Jul 'Mdama's Covenant, although he was eventually defeated by Spartan John-117 over Earth, and shortly after in the Composer's Forge.[26] After the Didact's apparent death, control over his mechanical Promethean armies passed on to 'Mdama. Six months later, the UNSC again contested the occupying Covenant forces in the Requiem Campaign, ending in the shield world's destruction at the hands of 'Mdama.[13]

Only weeks after the destruction of Requiem, a mercanary organization that splintered off of 'Mdama's Covenant was hired by the human insurrectionist group New Colonial Alliance to disrupt peace negotiations between the Arbiter and the Jiralhanae Chieftain Lydus on Ealen IV.[1][24] During July 2558, another splinter group of 'Mdama's Covenant attempted to rebel against the main faction, but 'Mdama's forces managed to capture its leader, Sali 'Nyon, and eliminate all his followers.[27] Eventually, 'Nyon would escape captivity and lead a mutiny aboard the assault carrier Breath of Annihilation, successfully breaking away and gathering more followers.[28]

A few of the more fanatical new factions have resumed the practice of glassing human colonies after the end of the Covenant War. The colony of Cleyell fell victim to such an attack in 2556.[29] However due to the lack of resources and size, these factions typically resorted to terrorist attacks. In early 2556, the human colony of Sedra suffered a bioweapon attack from a Sangheili insurgent belonging to an unidentified faction, utilizing a new element native to a fragment of Installation 04. A subsequent mission to the shard destroyed the deposits of the element, preventing its future use, but the perpetrators behind the attack were left unknown. Part of the mission was to capture the smugglers mining the element to prove that the Sangheili had broken the treaty which forbade either side from returning to Installation 04. However, both smugglers perished during the mission and the survivors were unable to retrieve any proof.[30]

In 2557, some of Jul 'Mdama's Covenant led by Gek 'Lhar discovered the remnants of the Forerunner shield world known as Trove which had been destroyed in 2531 by the long-lost UNSC Spirit of Fire. Following a brief skirmish with the crew of the Ace of Spades, his Covenant forces retreated.[31] ONI subsequently found the debris field by forcing the Ace of Spades crew to give up their data. However, a subsequent mission encountered Gek 'Lhar's forces who had returned to plunder the debris field for themselves. Though the UNSC Taurokado retreated from the system, the UNSC returned again with a massive UNSC fleet which launched a huge nuclear bombardment against the shield world remnants, destroying it and keeping any surviving Forerunner technology out of the hands of Gek 'Lhar and thus Jul 'Mdama.[32]

In 2558, tensions continued to rise between the Sangheili and Jiralhanae, but also between two Sangheili factions on the planet Carrow in one of the Joint Occupation Zones. In September, it turned into an all-out conflict after the more extreme Thars 'Sarov called in a Jiralhanae faction led by Hekabe to aid him in an uneasy alliance. Thars was planing to backstab the Jiralhanae once they had served their use, while Hekabe had ulterior plans of his own intending to unleash hundreds of thousands of Sharquoi from their hive beneath the planet's surface to gain galactic dominance for himself and his Jiralhanae. The conflict led to the decimation of all three factions, but the aid of Spartan-II Gray Team and the Surakan Militia Volunteers ensured the destruction of the Sharquoi hive and the death of Hekabe and the end of his plans as well as the death of Thars. The consequences of the conflict led the new Sangheili leader on the planet, Kaidon Akato 'Dakaj, to recognize the need for the humans and Sangheili to have a closer relationship if they were to survive. Though Rojka 'Kasaan, the leader of the more friendly of the three factions survived, he agreed to act as an envoy between the Sangheili and the humans rather than trying to take up a leadership position again.[33]

In October 2558, 'Mdama's Covenant suffered a disastrous setback when its leader was killed by Fireteam Osiris while engaging Promethean forces. 'Mdama's forces would continue in his name, including an attempt to secure the ONI research vessel Argent Moon and an attack on Arbiter Thel 'Vadam's keep, but were ultimately destroyed in a a counterattack by the Swords of Sanghelios and Fireteam Osiris against their last major stronghold on Sanghelios, Sunaion. After learning of the destruction of 'Mdama's Covenant, the Servants of the Abiding Truth considered the Covenant to be completely gone and believed that only they and the Swords of Sanghelios were left of the factions that developed after the Covenant fell.[34] The Servants instigated the Second Onyx conflict around the time that the Created conflict was beginning.[35]

Following the closure of the Portal at Voi due to the Created conflict, forces from the Jiralhanae-led mercenary organization known as the Banished attacked the Ark in intergalactic space and took over the installation from the UNSC. In March 2559, the long-lost UNSC Spirit of Fire was pulled to the Ark through a slipspace portal under mysterious circumstances and engaged the Banished for control of the Ark. The Spirit of Fire managed to destroy the Banished flagship, the CAS-class assault carrier Enduring Conviction, stranding both forces on the Ark and later launched a new Halo ring in an attempt to get a distress beacon back to UNSC space.[36] A disastrous mission to the ruins of High Charity resulted in a brief Flood outbreak on the Ark, but it was quickly contained by the Banished.[37]

By October 2559, the Keepers of the One Freedom and two other Jiralhanae legions had joined forces with the Banished. On the Ark, Atriox had Anodyne Spirit raided for the fragments of Menachite Forerunner crystal that were once collected by Tartarus and given to the Prophet of Truth.[38] A message was sent to War Chief Escharum to locate the Portal Under the Mountain on Reach in order for Atriox to return to the Milky Way, ostensibly to bring Banished reinforcements back to the Ark. During this time, Blue Team launched an operation to recover important objects from the ruins of CASTLE Base for Dr. Catherine Halsey. Blue Team inadvertently led the Banished forces to the portal complex where a human acolyte of the Keepers activated a slipspace portal to the Ark. Atriox and some of his forces returned in a Lich, but he departed for a more important mission, leaving behind thousands of Banished troops to hold the Ark. Determined to begin the Great Journey, Castor's detachment of Keepers used the Lich to travel through the portal before it closed. During an encounter with Fred-104 in the tunnels, Veta Lopis was able to pass him a message warning ONI of the Keepers and Atriox's plans.[39]

Upon arriving on the Ark, the Keepers allied themselves with Prelate Dhas Bhasvod's faction of surviving Dhas Bhasvod's Covenant, opposed by both the Banished and forces from the Spirit of Fire spearheaded by Veta Lopis and the Ferrets. Events were complicated by the Forerunner archeon-class ancilla Intrepid Eye who was believed to have been destroyed by Blue Team along with Argent Moon. Intrepid Eye sought to fire the Halo Array in order to destroy the Domain and make Cortana vulnerable to destruction so that she could continue with her own plans to prepare humanity to accept the Mantle of Responsibility. The two allied Covenant remnants were able to reach Epsilon Clarion, a facility on the Ark where the Halo Array could be fired, but both suffered heavy casualties as a result of attacks from both the Banished and the UNSC. However, Intrepid Eye's efforts to take control of the facility revealed the truth about the Halos and broke Dokab Castor's faith in the Covenant religion, causing him to abandon the ancilla and the mission. Once Intrepid Eye was in Epsilon Clarion's systems, Lopis had the Spirit of Fire launch an orbital bombardment of EMP MAC rounds on the facility, destroying it, Intrepid Eye and the Ark's ability to fire the Halo Array.[40] The entirety of Castor's small detachment of Keepers was decimated, leaving the vengeful Castor and Sangheili Blademaster Inslaan 'Gadogai as the only survivors. Due to the revelation of Halo's true purpose, Castor was forced to withdraw from the Keepers' numbers.[40][41] The Banished's Clan of the Long Shields were also decimated by the conflict while the Covenant forces sent to aid in the mission were wiped out aside from Bhasvod himself, whose true intention was to set the stage for the San'Shyuum to return to reclaim the galaxy from their supposed hiding place on the shield world Cloister. After killing Mark-G313, the undaunted Prelate returned to his forces to plan his next move.[40]

Presently known groups[edit]

Swords of Sanghelios[edit]

Main article: Swords of Sanghelios

Arbiter Thel 'Vadam and then-Special Operations Commander Rtas 'Vadum of the Fleet of Retribution successfully rebelled against the San'Shyuum-led Covenant during the Great Schism, assassinating its remaining political leadership alongside the UNSC.[42][43] Following the conclusion of the Human-Covenant War, 'Vadam and his allies formally established the Swords of Sanghelios and sought to make peace with the humans. The Swords are the most prominent post-Covenant faction to abandon not only the Covenant religion but also question the Sangheili's traditional worship of the Forerunners as well, which has been a point of controversy among some of the more conservative Sangheili.[44][45] The Servants of the Abiding Truth, in particular, consider 'Vadam and his allies blasphemers.[5]

Servants of the Abiding Truth[edit]

Main article: Servants of the Abiding Truth

The Servants of the Abiding Truth is an insurgent group formerly led by Sangheili religious extremist and former Field Master, Avu Med 'Telcam.[46] Unlike most of the post-Covenant factions, the Servants have their roots in an ancient order, mostly suppressed by the Prophets during the Covenant's reign and revived after the San'Shyuum were overthrown.[47] Outspoken in their opposition of the Arbiter and his abandonment of the worship of the Forerunners, the Abiding Truth launched an armed insurgency against 'Vadam in March 2553, assisted by elements of the human Office of Naval Intelligence.[48] 'Telcam was assassinated by SPARTAN-G059 in January 2558. However, they remain active in the Sarcophagus shield world after the onset of the Created conflict, now led by Dural 'Mdama, son of Jul 'Mdama.[35]

Keepers of the One Freedom[edit]

Main article: Keepers of the One Freedom

The Keepers of the One Freedom are a militant religious cult devoted to the worship of the Forerunners based on Venezia. The Keepers are unusual among post-Covenant factions in that they welcome human followers to their ranks, provided they swear to oppose the "heretic tyranny" of the Unified Earth Government. Because of this, the Keepers quickly gained popularity within the Outer Colonies after the Covenant War. As of July 2553, they were also supported by separatist elements within Gao's planetary government, namely minister Arlo Casille, who covertly supplied them with money and weapons.[49] Later that year, they became victims of a plot by Dark Moon Enterprises to frame the assassination of Admiral Graselyn Tuwa and the kidnapping of her family on the Keepers. This led to Operation: RETRIBUTION in which Blue Team and the Ferrets foiled a bioweapon plot. During the operation, the Keepers' Salvation Base was destroyed through the detonation of six HAVOK tactical nuclear weapons and it was estimated that ninety percent of the Keepers forces in that sector were eliminated in the blast.[50] In 2557, the Keepers suffered tremendous losses in a massive eradication campaign conducted by ONI using intelligence gathered over the course of eight months the Ferrets, working undercover in the faction. Around 15,000 Keepers are killed, leaving the faction decimated and with extremely low numbers.[51][52] As a result, Castor was forced to abandon or sacrifice most of his followers.[53] By October 2559, they had joined forces with the Banished. After activating a slipspace portal to the Ark, the Castor's detachment of Keepers forces abandoned the Banished and traveled through the portal in a Lich in order to begin the Great Journey.[39] On the Ark, Castor and the Keepers were manipulated by both the Dhas Bhasvod's Covenant led by Prelate Dhas Bhasvod and Intrepid Eye, the Forerunner archeon-class ancilla who had long been posing as their holy Oracle. Both sought to use the Keepers to fire the Halo rings for their own purposes, but the Keepers were forced to contend with both the Banished and the UNSC. The battle resulted in the total destruction of Castor's forces apart from himself and Sangheili Blademaster Inslaan 'Gadogai. Their mission failed due to the intervention of the Ferrets and the UNSC Spirit of Fire who finally succeeded in destroying Intrepid Eye. Having learned the truth about their faith, Castor and 'Gadogai sought to exact vengeance upon their enemies,[40] withdrawing from the Keepers' numbers. Despite the defeat of those led by Castor and ONI's eradication campaign, the Keepers of the One Freedom maintain a presence on several worlds and Forerunner installations, with their largest foothold still on Venezia.[41]


Main article: Banished

The Banished are a mercenary group led by the Jiralhanae warlord Atriox. They fought against the Covenant long before the Great Schism since the late 2540s,[54] and have consolidated a significant number of military assets in the wake of the Human-Covenant War. Similar to the Keepers of the One Freedom, the Banished are open to recruiting humans.[55] In 2559, they had a major presence on Installation 00 and clashed with the UNSC forces from the UNSC Spirit of Fire when the long-lost support vessel mysteriously stumbled upon the Ark.[56] Despite having an advantage, the Banished suffered massive losses to the Spirit of Fire's forces including their flagship the CAS-class assault carrier Enduring Conviction and their second-in-command Decimus.[36] The Banished later successfully contained a renewed Flood outbreak on the Ark caused by Pavium and Voridus' attempts to salvage High Charity.[37] By October 2559, the Banished still in the Milky Way had joined forces with the Keepers and two other Jiralhanae legions.[39] After Banished forces raided Anodyne Spirit for the Menachite Forerunner crystal,[38] the Banished forces on the Ark and on Reach managed to open a slipspace portal that allowed Atriox to return to the Milky Way. Departing on a more urgent mission, Atriox left behind thousands of Banished forces to hold the Ark.[39] The Banished on the Ark opposed the efforts of the Keepers of the One Freedom and the Covenant loyalists to fire the Halo Array, resulting in the destruction of both the Keepers and the Clan of the Long Shields, but ultimately a defeat to the Keepers' plan at the hands of the UNSC.[40] In December, the Banished engaged the UNSC Infinity over Installation 07, defeating the supercarrier and the UNSC, leaving the Master Chief believed to be dead by the Banished after losing a battle with Atriox and being thrown off of the Infinity during the attack. Six months later, after being recovered by Echo 216 from where he'd been left floating in space, the Master Chief engaged the Banished across the Halo ring's surface, killing Escharum and many of the Banished's other top warriors and lieutenants, while Atriox was attacked and believed to have been killed by Cortana during the aftermath of the Battle over Installation 07. However, with the help of The Harbinger, Atriox succeeded in locating the Endless.[57]

Yapyap's rebellion[edit]
Main article: Yapyap's rebellion

This rebellion group led by the Unggoy Yapyap splintered off from the Banished during their campaign on the Ark in 2559.

'Taralumee's faction[edit]

After the events of the Great war, Luro 'Taralumee used his previous station within the Covenant in an attempt to consolidate power for unknown reasons. His zealous devotion to the Great Journey while also renouncing the traitorous San'Shyuum allowed him to fill the vacuum in their absence,[58] this zeal along with adherence to Covenant ideals has made his power consolidation considered dangerous by the UNSC.[58]

Children of Oth Sonin[edit]

Main article: Children of Oth Sonin

Lydus is a Jiralhanae Chieftain leading a master-pack called the Children of Oth Sonin which emerged in a position of power among the Jiralhanae after the fall of the Covenant. In 2558, Lydus and the pack agreed to enter peace negotiations with the Swords of Sanghelios to exchange Jiralhanae resources for food, overseen by the UNSC.[24] However, the subsequent attack by 'Gajat's forces left these peace negotiations in doubt. Following the compromised peace talks on Ealyn IV, Lydus secretly hired the Banished as a mercenary military to take out his rivals, in exchange for using his shipyards and land. After the razing of Oth Sonin and the destruction of Doisac by the hand of the Created, Lydus and his clan survived by escaping to an abandoned human colony world.[59]

'Nyon's Covenant[edit]

Main article: Sali 'Nyon's Covenant

Sali 'Nyon was a former member of Jul 'Mdama's faction, until he decided that he was the true "Didact's Hand". After gaining followers from within 'Mdama's faction, he betrayed Jul and stole the UNSC's half of the Janus Key.[60] Despite this, one of his followers had a change of mind and stole his half of the Janus Key, delivering it to Dr. Halsey. Shortly after this, Jul's Covenant captured Sali 'Nyon and destroyed all of Nyon's hideouts, killing all his followers and ending his rebellion temporarily.[27] Months later during Operation: ATHENA, Ayit 'Sevi released Sali from custody, allowing Sali and his new followers to take over the Breath of Annihilation and escape from Jul 'Mdama's forces.[28] 'Nyon remained as the de facto "Hand of the Didact" after 'Mdama's assassination and the collapse of his Covenant at Sunaion.[61]

Kig-Yar pirates[edit]

Since the collapse of the Covenant, Kig-Yar society has shown little to no change. It is still overwhelmingly matriarchal in nature and is prone to piracy.[62] Significant Kig-Yar activities have been recorded on planets such as Venezia and Ven III. Kig-Yar scavengers have also continued to occupy glassed human colonies, as in the case of Cleyell.

Shields of Requiem[edit]

Main article: Shields of Requiem

The Shields of Requiem are a Sangheili-led mercenary group based out of the Lich Sundered Psalm compromised of various Sangheili, Kig-Yar and Unggoy soldiers, who previously fought under the command of Jul 'Mdama among his forces during the Battle of Requiem and Requiem Campaign.[63][64]

Bhasvod's Covenant loyalists[edit]

Main article: Covenant loyalists

Prelate Dhas Bhasvod's Covenant loyalists are a faction of Covenant troops that survived the firing of Installation 08 aboard the Anodyne Spirit. They remained behind to guard the keyship while the Prophet of Truth left to fire the Halo Array and remained onboard the ship for nearly eight years afterwards, completely undetected by the other residents of the Ark. Unlike the other Covenant remnants, this particular faction remains completely loyal to the fallen Covenant Empire and were equipped with several Phantoms.[38] In 2559, following the Outbreak on Installation 00, the Banished raided Anodyne Spirit for the shards of the Menachite Forerunner crystal that Tartarus had collected years earlier and came into conflict with the Covenant loyalists. Most of the invading Banished forces were wiped out, but Minas and other survivors managed to escape with the shards of the crystal. The loyalists remained in control of the keyship after the attack.[38] In October, the loyalists engaged in a three-way battle with both the Banished and the UNSC for control of the slipspace portal that Atriox had opened using the crystal shards. When the Keepers of the One Freedom arrived in a Eklon'Dal Workshop Lich, they formed an alliance with the Covenant to fire the Halo Array and begin the Great Journey, utilizing the Covenant's knowledge of the Ark to their advantage. However, due to the intervention of both the Banished and the UNSC Spirit of Fire's forces, the Keepers and the Covenant suffered heavy losses that left the Keepers decimated. During the Battle of Epsilon Clarion, the two surviving Keepers abandoned their mission after learning of the truth about the Halo Array while both Intrepid Eye and Epsilon Clarion were destroyed by the Spirit of Fire. Bhasvod was left disappointed that his true plan had failed: to wipe out all life in the galaxy so that if the hiding San'Shyuum made it to the Cloister shield world for protection, they could take complete control of the Milky Way in the aftermath. With the shards of the Forerunner crystal still in the hands of the Banished, Bhasvod and his forces were left for the time being unable to open a slipspace portal to Cloister and communicate their failure.[40]

Ke 'Nzahz's Evocati[edit]

Main article: Ke 'Nzahz's Evocati

Led by Colonel Ke 'Nzahz, this order of evocati warriors are active in the post-war era and known as a threat to the UNSC.[65]

Former groups[edit]

'Bhetek's faction[edit]

Main article: Tem'Bhetek's faction

After the end of the war, several former Covenant members that were loyal to the Covenant during the Great Schism sought revenge against the Sangheili.[66] Predominantly composed of Jiralhanae, this faction was led by San'Shyuum Tem'Bhetek and Boru'a'Neem. It is one of the few post-war factions to contain San'Shyuum, and to resume hostility against the Sangheili but not humanity. After discovering the truth that he was being used by Boru, Tem sacrificed himself to destroy the Prototype Halo installation and end the threat it posed as well as Boru's plan. In the process, Rtas 'Vadum discovered that many more San'Shyuum had survived than was previously believed and resolved to track them down and determine who deserved punishment for their actions and who deserved forgiveness.[23]

Vol's Covenant[edit]

Main article: Merg Vol's Covenant

Led by Zealot Merg Vol, the faction initiated one of the first post-Covenant War conflicts, attacking the human research world of Draetheus V to access the Forerunner artifacts on its moon.[67] Ultimately, the UNSC defeated the group and Vol was executed by Spartan Sarah Palmer, leading to the faction's dissolution.[68] Parg Vol, a former member of this group, joined the faction led by 'Mdama following the battle,[69] but was killed by Fireteam Crimson during the Requiem Campaign.[70]

'Mdama's Covenant[edit]

Main article: Jul 'Mdama's Covenant

This faction was created to be a brand new Sangheili-led "Covenant" and was founded on Hesduros by Jul 'Mdama, who initially started as a member of the Servants of the Abiding Truth but grew disillusioned with their religious zeal and willingness to collaborate with humanity even temporarily.[71] Despite the ostensibly religious trappings of the group and the genuine zeal of many of its members, 'Mdama himself secretly did not view the Forerunners as gods, only projecting the façade of a religious leader to motivate his followers.[72] Since the events of the first Requiem campaign, Jul 'Mdama's faction was considered by the UNSC to be the biggest threat among the many Covenant remnant factions, and absorbed elements of Merg Vol's Covenant faction,[69] spun off two smaller groups,[1] and allied themselves with the Ur-Didact's Promethean constructs, and with the greatest mind of the UNSC: Dr. Catherine Halsey. During the Battle of Kamchatka in October 2558, this Covenant faction received three fatal blows: Halsey was rescued by Fireteam Osiris, the Prometheans betrayed their Covenant allies, and the leader Jul 'Mdama was assassinated. After this devastating event, his Covenant—temporarily led by Kitun 'Arach and other high ranking Sangheili—launched a final, desperate assault to Sanghelios, but it failed and the faction was destroyed by the Swords of Sanghelios.[61] After the destruction of 'Mdama's Covenant, the Servants of the Abiding Truth considered the Covenant to be truly gone.[35]

'Gajat's mercenary group[edit]

Main article: Vata 'Gajat's mercenary group

Vata 'Gajat was a former member of Jul 'Mdama's faction, until he saw the benefit of human capitalism and turned mercenary. The faction's equipment and resources are a mixture from both the original Covenant and 'Mdama's group. By March 2558, 'Gajat and the group were employed by the New Colonial Alliance.[1] The group was responsible for the disruption of a Sangheili and Jiralhanae peace meeting on Ealen IV.[24] They later assisted the New Colonial Alliance in their attempt to assassinate Lord Hood and destroy the UNSC Infinity.[1] During the Ambush at Oth Lodon many of its forces, including 'Gajat himself, were killed, leaving the group's future uncertain.[73]

'Sarov's faction[edit]

Main article: Thars 'Sarov's faction

On the former human outer colony of Carrow, now jointly-held between humans and Sangheili, a sea change in governance has come to Rak, the foremost Sangheili habitation on the planet. In 2558, a Sangheili known as Thars 'Sarov took power. Thars is utterly opposed to peace with humans and believes that sharing Carrow with them is impossible. Those loyal to him began to attack humans here and there, but it wasn't until July of 2558 that the first one was killed and hostilities between his group and the Surakan Militia Volunteers erupted.[74] Things escalated into all-out war between Thars and his cousin Rojka 'Kasaan, escalated when Thars brought in Jiralhanae Chieftain Hekabe and his forces to help. In truth, Hekabe sought a Sharquoi hive located on the planet and betrayed Thars. Thars' faction was almost entirely wiped out by the civil war and Hekabe's betrayal and the rest of his forces fell when Sharquoi took over his surviving ships to escape the planet. In a final confrontation with Rojka, Thars' remaining warriors fell to Spartan-II Gray Team and a few surviving Sangeheili of Rojka's faction and Thars was executed by Rojka for his actions. During this time, Akato 'Dakaj took control of Rak and executed the kaidons who had lent their support to Thars.[33]

'Kasaan's faction[edit]

Main article: Rojka 'Kasaan's faction

After his cousin Thars 'Sarov betrayed him to take control of Rak on the planet Carrow, Rak's leader Rojka 'Kasaan formed a faction loyal to him to oppose Thars' forces. However, in the ensuing conflict, Thars called upon the help of a Jiralhanae faction led by Jiralhanae Chieftain Hekabe which gave him the edge over Rojka in a space battle. Rojka's fleet was destroyed while his Varric-pattern heavy cruiser Unwavering Discipline crashed on Carrow. Rojka gave chase to Gray Team, the Spartans responsible for the destruction of his homeworld Glyke while Thars relentlessly pursued Rojka even with Hekabe betraying him. Thars succeeded in slaughtering the entire faction aside from Rojka and three Sangheili he sent back to Rak. With Hekabe taking control of the Sharquoi, Rojka and his remaining warriors, who unexpectedly traveled to Suraka to help their leader, allied themselves with Gray Team to defeat Thars and stop Hekabe from using Thars' surviving ships. With one Sangheili piloting a Banshee and the other two cloaked, the were able to catch Thars and his warriors by surprise and defeat them with the help of Gray Team. However, at least one if not all three of the surviving warriors were killed in the process. Rojka subsequently aided in the defeat of Hekabe and survived to return to Rak where the kaidons who had supported Thars had been executed by Akato 'Dakaj and his forces. Despite having won his conflict with Thars, Rojka did not retain power as the leader of Rak which instead went to Akato. Instead, Rojka agreed to act as the envoy between Rak and the human population of Suraka, the conflict having created the need for both species to come closer together.[33]

Voice of Maardoth[edit]

Main article: Voice of Maardoth

The Voice of Maardoth was a powerful force made up of several Jiralhanae war packs led by the Jiralhanae Chieftain Hekabe. During the Battle of Installation 00, Hekabe led a force into the depths of the Ark where he retrieved the vertex, a Forerunner device that allowed the user to control the Sharquoi. This faction was known to ONI along with the threat they posed, especially if it discovered the location of a Sharquoi hive on Carrow containing hundreds of thousands of the creatures. During the erupting conflict on Carrow in 2557, Thars 'Sarov brought Hekabe and his forces to the planet as mercenaries to aid in his fight with his cousin Rojka 'Kasaan. Having learned the location of the Sharquoi hive, Hekabe ultimately betrayed Thars and unleashed the creatures, planning to use them to gain dominance over the galaxy and refusing to be beholden to anyone else for help, even the Banished. Hekabe and his forces were narrowly defeated by a small force made up of Surakan Militia Volunteers, Governor Ellis Gass, Melody Azikiwe, Spartan-II Gray Team and Rojka 'Kasaan. Hekabe himself was killed by Sharquoi under Gass' control and his surviving Jiralhanae were slaughtered by the Sharquoi as well. The Sharquoi hive and all of the creatures were subsequently destroyed with a HAVOK tactical nuclear weapon, ending the faction and their plans.[33]

Defenders of the Sanctum[edit]

Main article: Defenders of the Sanctum

A rogue faction of Covenant soldiers led by Nizat 'Kvarosee who, in 2526, sought to destroy ONI following Operation: SILENT STORM, seeing it as the biggest threat to the Covenant. While they succeeded in getting one of the Luminal Beacons into ONI's custody during the Battle of Netherop, the Covenant retaliated for Nizat's rogue actions, destroying most of the Flotilla of Unsung Piety and forcing the survivors to retreat. Nizat and his ground forces were then exiled on Netherop's surface with a mine shell being placed in orbit of the planet to prevent anyone from coming back for him. In addition, Lieutenant Commander Amalea Petrov and some of her forces were left stranded on Netherop as well.[75] Over the next thirty-three years, the UNSC and Covenant survivors fought each other, resulting in the death of most of Nizat's forces, leaving only Nizat himself and six others while the humans numbers continued to grow as the stranded survivors had children and families.[76][77]

In 2559, the Defenders of the Sanctum were encountered by the UNSC and the Swords of Sanghelios when they visited the planet in search of the Precursor weapon dubbed the Divine Hand. During the battle that followed, three of the surviving Sangheili were killed by Spartan Olympia Vale, one was killed by Oath Warden Crei 'Ayomuu, Blademaster Meduz 'Ra'ashi defected to the Swords of Sanghelios and Nizat and Tam 'Lakosee were captured with Nizat suffering severe injuries. Unable to get the two to give up their zealotry, Arbiter Thel 'Vadam stranded Nizat and Tam, the last members of this faction, on Netherop. Facing imminent death by infection, starvation and dehydration, Tam chose to mercy kill Nizat so as to spare him that fate.[78]



Main article: Ussans

This ancient group was the very first Covenant splinter faction, created by Ussa 'Xellus and other Sangheili who opposed the Writ of Union. During the time of the Covenant's creation, the Sangheili and Reformist San'Shyuum had united to create the empire. Ussa and like-minded Sangheili who opposed this union, fled their homeworld as it was occupied by the newly formed Covenant empire. They had arrived at the shield world known as the Refuge and continued to practise pre-Covenant Sangheili traditions for many generations since. However, many fell victim to the Blood Sickness over the centuries since. In 2553, the Refuge was rediscovered by the crew of the supply ship Journey's Sustenance led by San'Shyuum Zo Resken, descendant of the Prophet of Inner Conviction who had pursued the Ussans to the Refuge in the first place and chose to leave them be even though he suspected the Ussans not to be gone when they had the shield world's Disassembler process initiated. With the help of Huragok Sluggish Drifter, the Refuge's monitor Enduring Bias was repaired and he helped to put down a rebellion and cure the Blood Sickness. Enduring Bias reassembled the Refuge into a circular structure similar to a Halo ring and those Ussans who wished to return to Sanghelios were allowed to do so while many remained on the Refuge.[79]

Way of 'Greftus[edit]
Main article: 'Greftus Faction

This splinter group splinter off from the Ussan's splinter group. Like most groups, without a common enemy the Ussans began to fight amongst themselves. A Sangheili named 'Greftus started this group.

List of appearances[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Halo: Escalation: Issue 5
  2. ^ Halo: Escalation: Issue 3
  3. ^ Halo Waypoint: Canon Fodder: 05.05.15
  4. ^ Halo Waypoint - Universe: Covenant
  5. ^ a b c Halo: The Thursday War
  6. ^ Halo: Divine Wind, chapter 3, page 51: "Though Castor and his Keepers had long ago renounced their loyalty to the Covenant's San'Shyuum "prophets," they remained devoted to the doctrine of the Great Journey"
  7. ^ Halo Waypoint: The Halo Bulletin: 4.16.14
  8. ^ Halo: Glasslands, page 256
  9. ^ Halo 4 Official Site: ORDNANCE + ARMOR (defunct)
  10. ^ Halo 4: Official Game Guide (Collector's Edition), page 263
  11. ^ Halo: Glasslands, Page 247
  12. ^ Halo 4: The Essential Visual Guide, page 29
  13. ^ a b Spartan Ops, S1E1 Departure
  14. ^ Halo: Last Light, page 62 (Google Play edition)
  15. ^ Halo: Glasslands, page 58
  16. ^ Halo 3
  17. ^ Halo 2, campaign level Uprising
  18. ^ Halo 2, campaign level The Great Journey
  19. ^ a b Halo: Evolutions: The Return, Page 506
  20. ^ Halo: The Thursday War, page 295-296
  21. ^ Spartan Ops S1E1 Departure "The Covies...they believe this is the home of one of their gods."
  22. ^ Halo: Tales from Slipspace: On the Brink "If we hadn't jumped in, Covies would have blown this place sky high!"
  23. ^ a b Halo: Shadow of Intent
  24. ^ a b c d Halo: Escalation: Issue 1
  25. ^ Halo: Spartan Assault
  26. ^ Halo 4
  27. ^ a b Halo: Escalation: Issue 16
  28. ^ a b Halo: Escalation: Issue 24
  29. ^ Halo: Escalation: Issue 17
  30. ^ Halo: Nightfall
  31. ^ Halo: Smoke and Shadow
  32. ^ Halo: Renegades
  33. ^ a b c d Halo: Envoy
  34. ^ Halo: Legacy of Onyx, ??
  35. ^ a b c Halo: Legacy of Onyx
  36. ^ a b Halo Wars 2
  37. ^ a b Halo Wars 2: Awakening the Nightmare
  38. ^ a b c d Halo: Shadows of Reach: Adjunct - Sacrifice
  39. ^ a b c d Halo: Shadows of Reach
  40. ^ a b c d e f Halo: Divine Wind
  41. ^ a b Halo Encyclopedia (2022 edition), page 247
  42. ^ Halo 3, campaign level The Covenant
  43. ^ Halo Waypoint: Arbiter Thel 'Vadam
  44. ^ Halo: Glasslands, page 58-61
  45. ^ Halo: Glasslands, page 130
  46. ^ Halo: Glasslands, page 18
  47. ^ Halo: Glasslands, page 19
  48. ^ Halo: The Thursday War, page 114
  49. ^ Halo: Last Light, page 62 (Google Play edition)
  50. ^ Halo: Retribution
  51. ^ Halo: Divine Wind, chapter 11
  52. ^ Halo: Divine Wind, chapter 11
  53. ^ Halo: Divine Wind, chapter 15
  54. ^ Halo Wars 2, Phoenix Logs - Outpost - "The Banished have perfected their strip—mining and rapid assault and extraction efforts over a decade of raiding Covenant and other targets."
  55. ^ Halo: Official Spartan Field Manual, page 161: "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."
  56. ^ Halo Waypoint: Halo Wars 2
  57. ^ Halo Infinite
  58. ^ a b Halo Waypoint: Clarity & Grace [archive]
  59. ^ Halo Encyclopedia (2022 edition), page 255
  60. ^ Halo: Escalation: Issue 14
  61. ^ a b Halo 5: Guardians, campaign level Battle of Sunaion
  62. ^ Halo Waypoint: Kig-Yar
  63. ^ Mega Construx - Shields of Requiem Lance
  64. ^ Halo Waypoint, Canon Fodder - Encyclopedic Enlightenment (Retrieved on Apr 6, 2022) [archive]
  65. ^ Halo Infinite, High Value Target dossier, Myriad: "We encountered [individualistic behaviour] in recent years with the Swarmlords that served alongside a dangerous independent faction of ex-Covenant evocati led by Ke 'Nzahz"
  66. ^ Halo: Shadow of Intent, page 133: "And I promise the Sangheili will pay for everything they have done"
  67. ^ Halo: Spartan Assault, campaign level Operation A: Umbra
  68. ^ Halo: Spartan Assault, campaign level Battle for the Moon
  69. ^ a b Spartan Ops, S1E3 - The VIP
  70. ^ Spartan Ops, S1E03 Hunting Trip
  71. ^ Halo: The Thursday War, page 436-441
  72. ^ Halo: The Thursday War, page 437
  73. ^ Halo: Escalation
  74. ^ Halo: Fractures: Oasis
  75. ^ Halo: Oblivion
  76. ^ Halo: Outcasts, chapter 7
  77. ^ Halo: Outcasts, chapter 9
  78. ^ Halo: Outcasts
  79. ^ Halo: Broken Circle