Defenders of the Sanctum

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Defenders of the Sanctum
Government overview


Marooned Covenant remnants


Worldmaster Nizat 'Kvarosee

Societal overview

Official language(s):


Official religion(s):

Covenant religion

Historical overview


June 2526[1]


Destroyed November 2559




The Defenders of the Sanctum were a group of Sangheili warriors formerly of the Covenant, marooned on Netherop and ultimately self-charged with defending the Inner Sanctum on the planet.[2] The group were stranded on Netherop following a battle there against the United Nations Space Command in 2526, and thus continued to uphold the Covenant for thirty-three years even despite its collapse in 2552 - completely unaware of the changing status quo in the galaxy. While stranded on Netherop, the Defenders engaged in a prolonged guerilla war against Lieutenant Commander Amalea Petrov and her own group of marooned humans, using the Inner Sanctum as their base and relying on the Precursor technology within to sustain themselves on the hostile world. In November 2559, they were wiped out by UNSC and Swords of Sanghelios forces, aside from a Silent Shadow Blademaster who defected to the Swords of Sanghelios.



During the Battle of Zhoist in early 2526, Fleetmaster Nizat 'Kvarosee failed to prevent a strike force of SPARTAN-IIs and Orbital Drop Shock Troopers from enacting a critical blow on the reliquary world - resulting in the destruction of two of the Ten Cities of Edification, the Ring of Mighty Abundance, and the under-construction supercarrier Hammer of Faith. As such, Nizat was recalled to High Charity for punishment and sentencing by the Hierarchs of the Covenant. Unwilling to accept this fate and desparate to reclaim his honour, Nizat gathered a number of followers (including his steward Tam 'Lakosee) and stole two Luminal Beacons from High Charity - intent on using them as a trap to lure in the Office of Naval Intelligence and destroy them. Nizat's loyal followers formed the Flotilla of Unsung Piety - consisting of a number of intrusion corvettes - and began to enact their plan.

Unfortunately for the flotilla, the operation was interrupted by the arrival of the Fleet of Swift Justice and the dispatch of Silent Shadow assassins to hunt down Nizat. During the ensuing battle, the Silent Shadow ultimately elected to establish a shell of Jaet-pattern plasma torpedoes surrounding Netherop, ensuring that Nizat and his party would be marooned on the planet with no hope of rescue.[3][1] However, some of the personnel of the fleet - including Silent Shadow Blademaster Meduz 'Ra'ashai - were also stranded on the ground. As such, 'Ra'ashai elected not to kill Nizat and instead join him - figuring that a chance of survival was better than dying on Netherop.[2]

The long war[edit]

Only a few cycles after being stranded on Netherop, Nizat and his warriors found Lieutenant Commander Amalea Petrov also stranded on the planet, and roasting Netherop's native teardrop pads over a fire. By this time, the warriors were having difficulties with tracking time, and Tam 'Lakosee suggested killing Petrov to eat her and steal her supplies. However, Nizat - who had now taken on the self-proclaimed title of "Worldmaster" - interjected and pointed out that Petrov was gathering many more supplies than she would need to feed herself alone. At this time, Nizat still believed that Shipmaster Qoo 'Weyodosee had a chance to complete the Flotilla of Unsung Piety's mission of destroying ONI - and thus redeeming Nizat of his sins. As such, he elected to wait rather than simply kill Petrov, believing her presence to be a sign from the gods and not to be misused.[1]

Several years after the battle on Netherop, the group found the Sanctum of the Ancients buried underneath a tel on Netherop. The Sanctum's Precursor nanotechnology began to acclimatize to the Defenders' wants and needs, resulting in the Sanctum providing fresh food and water for the group. At the heart of the Sanctum was the Divine Hand; an ancient superweapon developed by the Precursors to fight against the Forerunners. Taking control of this superweapon, around a year after finding the citadel, Worldmaster Nizat 'Kvarosee used the Divine Hand to destroy the UNSC corvette UNSC Alpina before it could clear the orbital minefield and rescue Amalea Petrov's group. Around ten years after the destruction of UNSC Alpina, Nizat used the Divine Hand again, once again destroying a vessel attempting to clear through the orbital minefield.[4]

After this rescue attempt, no further visits were made to Netherop; the UNSC wrote off the possibility of landing on the planet and the Prophet of Truth had deemed the loss of the Covenant frigates Radiant Arrow and Steadfast Strike over the planet a sign of divine displeasure and forbidden all travel to the system - a ruse to cover the marooning of Nizat and his cohort.[5]

Over the years, discipline problems and dissent formed amongst the ranks of the Defenders of the Sanctum with a number of the warriors growing fat on the fruit that the tel provided them. During the last rescue attempt, three of Petrov's people leapt inside of the Sanctum when the Rift of Eternity opened and, instead of perishing, began to float around inside the walls of the Sanctum, stalking its inhabitants like ghosts, always watching and ever present. This persisted for two years before the last apparition - dubbed Lurkers by the Defenders - disappeared and during that time, the surveillance grew so unbearable that four Defenders fled into the desert and were never seen again. Petrov and her people witnessed them sneak out on mountain runners and attempt to disappear into the mountains. However, unwilling to risk them being a danger again in the future, these deserters were killed by Petrov and her forces. The other Defenders remained unaware of what had become of them other than that they were never seen again.[2][6] By the time that the last Lurker vanished, the Defenders were so sleep-deprived and apprehensive that Nizat and his faithful steward Tam 'Lakosee spent most of their time keeping the others from attacking each other. Although no one was willing to outright stand against Nizat due to his control over the Divine Hand, great unrest remained amongst the warriors, particularly Blademaster Meduz 'Ra'ashai who would've led a mutiny against Nizat otherwise.[2][7]


In November 2559, the Defenders of the Sanctum were alerted to the first landing attempt on Netherop in many years. Mistaking the Swords of Sanghelios' Mikpramu-pattern Phantoms for friendly Covenant rescue ships, they did not use the Divine Hand to destroy the trio, instead sending out four warriors and a Dust Runner to investigate the party.[8] However, following the arrival of UNSC Hidden Point and its deployment of forty Pelican dropships to begin excavations on Netherop, the Defenders once again used the Divine Hand to bring all of the dropships out of the sky with the exception of the stealth D102 Owl.[2][9]

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The personnel of the Defenders were drawn from Nizat Kvarosee's Flotilla of Unsung Piety and some members of the Fleet of Swift Justice sent to hunt them down. When the fleet coated Netherop in a shell of plasma torpedos to prevent anyone landing on the planet, both forces combined their efforts and were forced to work together against their common enemy.[2] Due to the Defenders being comprised exclusively of male Covenant military personnel, Petrov intended to simply out-live the group - noting that the Defenders would be unable to replace their numbers as they were killed, whereas her cadre of humans could have more children until they were eventually victorious.[4]

By the time of the group's destruction in 2559, the Defenders of the Sanctum had been whittled down to just seven;[2]


When Nizat 'Kvarosee was interrogated by a Helios Ultra on Netherop, he was questioned as to the status of the Luminal Beacons - to which he lied and claimed they were destroyed as to allow Qoo 'Weyodosee to finish the mission of the Flotilla of Unsung Piety. As such, the Covenant Honor Guardsmen did not elect to reward Nizat with a quick death, but instead removed his combat armour with the intent of ensuring a slow death without even his helmet on.[3]

Throughout their time occupying the Sanctum, the Precursor nanotechnology inside gradually became accustomed to the presence of the Sangheili. Gathering on their skin, the nanotechnology formed a substance termed "Sanctum's Hide"; a cloth-like coating that could provide armour, active camouflage, and medical aid (including the regrowth of severed limbs) to the wearers. The Sanctum also provided food and purified water for the defenders, with the agricultural grange inside providing so much food for the warriors that some of them - including Blademaster 'Ra'ashai - became lax in their training discipline and began to grow fat. Aiding this, the Sanctum provided "Dream Lives" for the warriors to escape into to relieve their boredom.[2]

For transport, the Defenders of the Sanctum used the mountain runners (nicknamed "Dust Runners" by the Defenders) native to Netherop, left behind by its extinct civilization.

List of appearances[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Halo: Oblivion, Epilogue
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Halo: Outcasts, chapter 10
  3. ^ a b Halo: Oblivion, chapter 21
  4. ^ a b Halo: Outcasts, chapter 9
  5. ^ Halo: Outcasts, chapter 4
  6. ^ Halo: Outcasts, chapter 11
  7. ^ Halo: Outcasts, chapter 12
  8. ^ Halo: Outcasts, chapter 7
  9. ^ Halo: Outcasts, chapter 8