Jul 'Mdama's Covenant
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This article is about the rogue splinter faction during the post-war era. For the original theocratic empire, see Covenant.
Jul 'Mdama's Covenant, simply referred to as “the Covenant” by its followers, was a newly created splinter faction formed from assets of the former Covenant Empire. Founded and led by Supreme Commander Jul 'Mdama, this faction continued to worship the Forerunners while also rejecting the Prophets for their betrayal, and opposed the Swords of Sanghelios following the end of the Human-Covenant War. It was later bolstered by the Didact's Prometheans and fought against the United Nations Space Command during the post-war era. The faction lasted for five years, crumbling after Jul's death in the Battle of Kamchatka and finally falling during the Battle of Sunaion.
Although the faction was generally recognized as a Sangheili attempted re-creation of the original Covenant and referred to as “the Covenant”, its members were identified as cultists by the UNSC and the organization itself was regarded as a terrorist organization as opposed to an empire like the original Covenant.
When the Great Schism began, the entirety of the Sangheili species were forced out of the Covenant by the High Prophet of Truth and its new Jiralhanae-led military. Shipmaster Jul 'Mdamaee was against the High Prophets and renounced his service to them by removing the "ee" suffix from his name, as did many other Sangheili.
Following the Covenant's destruction on the Ark, its former member races returned to their home systems. Many Sangheili and Jiralhanae continued to fight each other, steadily dwindling both sides' military resources. After the revelation of the Prophets being false, some Sangheili began to forsake their religion altogether while others reverted back to pre-Covenant worship of the Forerunners. With the Covenant that had betrayed the Sangheili now dissolved, there was no longer a common goal to keep the separatists united.
The Sangheili soon fell into civil war, sparked by opposition to Arbiter Thel 'Vadam's emerging secular government, the Swords of Sanghelios. Among the first religious Sangheili factions to oppose the Arbiter was the Servants of the Abiding Truth led by Avu Med 'Telcam who adhered to a pre-Covenant worship of the Forerunners and feared human retaliation. Jul 'Mdama and Raia 'Mdama had become affiliates of the Servants of the Abiding Truth, though Jul was quickly disillusioned with the faction after being arrested by the Office of Naval Intelligence during an arms deal. In March 2553, the Servants and their loose coalition of keeps opposed the Swords of Sanghelios' ratified treaty with the Unified Earth Government by launching an assault on the state of Vadam. The timely intervention of the UNSC Infinity turned the battle in the Arbiter's favor and Raia 'Mdama was killed in the conflict.
Jul 'Mdama was held in ONI custody on the shield world Trevelyan during the battle, yet managed to escape via a Forerunner portal to the Sangheili colony world Hesduros. His hatred for humanity was strengthened when learned that his wife, Raia, was killed in the civil conflict. Jul gained a small following on the planet, the populace of which was unaware of the Great Schism and the war's end. Jul informed them of the Prophet's treachery as well as how the Arbiter had made an alliance with humanity. Feigning religious devotion to the Forerunners, he resolved to recover Forerunner technology from the shield world Requiem to the Sangheili residents, much as the humans had done on Trevelyan. Though Jul believed it unlikely that any Forerunners still lived, he also planned to find the Didact, the leader of the Forerunner military who also shared disdain for humanity. It was here where Jul 'Mdama would establish a new faction with the residents of Hesduros, self-proclaimed to be “the Covenant”.
Requiem and the Didact
On April 22, 2554, Jul 'Mdama's forces fought against the Swords of Sanghelios' Shadow of Intent and managed to leave the ship combat ineffective. Later that year, 'Mdama's fleet arrived at Requiem but were not able gain access. The fleet subsequently took up position around the shield world. For the next three years, Jul 'Mdama's Covenant frequently dispatched raiding parties to steal supplies from other planets, while continuing their attempts to awaken the Didact by broadcasting his name from orbit in thirty minute intervals, though their calls received no response. Due to many of the former Covenant's infrastructure and shipyards falling inactive, Jul 'Mdama's faction had to scavenge for most of their resources and salvage what they could find. They were not outfitted like standard military, with most of their infantry lacking sleeves compared to more affluent factions like the Swords of Sanghelios.
By July 2557, the group had gathered a sizable fleet, consisting of at least sixteen Zanar-pattern light cruisers and a single CAS-class assault carrier, the Song of Retribution, as their flagship. At this time one of the returning raiding parties noticed a human ship, UNSC Forward Unto Dawn, drifting toward the planet. 'Mdama ordered the fleet to stop it from entering. Multiple boarding parties attempted to take the crippled ship, but were fought off by Spartan John-117, who had been awoken from cryo-sleep and was bewildered by the existence of their faction. A cruiser then attempted to destroy the Forward Unto Dawn, but the Master Chief manually launched a Hyperion nuclear missile and destroyed the cruiser before it could open fire. At that moment, the installation detected the presence of a Reclaimer, causing an entrance portal to open; both the Dawn and several Covenant ships were pulled crash landing into the shield world by the gravity well emitted by the portal.
Despite losing many ships, the surviving Covenant forces immediately began establishing positions all over the shield world, engaging John-117, who had arrived in the wreckage of the Forward Unto Dawn. Jul 'Mdama's forces were also engaged by local Forerunner Sentinels who were hostile only to them. A trio of light cruisers eventually reached Requiem's core, where the Didact was imprisoned. By this point the forces of Jul 'Mdama's Covenant had come under attack by the Prometheans, who tried to prevent them from reaching the Didact. Despite the mutual hostility of 'Mdama's Covenant and the Prometheans, John-117 soon reached the Didact's Cryptum and accidentally released him. Upon the Didact's release, 'Mdama's Covenant forces in the area (including 'Mdama himself) bowed down in worship.
Through their mutual hatred toward humanity, Jul 'Mdama's Covenant and Promethean forces (now controlled by the Didact) quickly formed an alliance, despite the Didact seeing 'Mdama's Covenant as little more than "beasts" and "primitives." 'Mdama's Covenant aided the Didact's forces in their attack on the UNSC Infinity, though the ship's point defenses disabled two cruisers and forced the Didact to retreat. Later, they defended a network of particle cannons which protected the shield world's gravity well generator, preventing Infinity from escaping; they were again unsuccessful. 'Mdama's Covenant later dispatched a flight of Phantom and Lich dropships to accompany the Didact's flagship to Ivanoff Station, an Office of Naval Intelligence facility. 'Mdama's Covenant spearheaded an attack on the station in order to acquire the Composer, a Forerunner superweapon. The attack caught the defenders off-guard and despite John-117's efforts the Didact acquired the Composer. The Didact then attacked Earth and tried to digitize its population, though he was defeated by the Master Chief. However, the millions-strong population of New Phoenix, URNA, was composed and the victims' essences were transported to Requiem and converted into new Promethean Knights; there they would fall under the command of Jul 'Mdama himself and would fight alongside his Covenant in the battles that followed.
Installation 03 and New Phoenix
Around July 2557, Jul 'Mdama's Covenant detected a signal originating from Installation 03 in the Khaphrae system. The signal was emanating from the Conduit, a device on Installation 03 that was capable of opening Forerunner slipspace portals throughout the galaxy. 'Mdama's Covenant succeeded in picking up the signal moments before the UNSC did and sent a large fleet to the ring to recover the Conduit. Procuring the Conduit, 'Mdama's Covenant sought to bring the device to Installation 03's Altar to activate it, where they could open slipspace portals for Prometheans to invade Gamma Halo and give themselves control over the installation. In response, the UNSC engaged 'Mdama's Covenant forces in an attempt to take the Conduit for themselves. When 'Mdama's Covenant discovered the Altar, a Spartan-IV was deployed nearby to stop them. As 'Mdama's Covenant activated the Conduit, Promethean forces began to invade the installation. Arriving at the Altar, the Spartan fought through Covenant forces and was able to retrieve the Conduit after killing the Sangheili Field Master that held it, despite 'Mdama's Covenant's efforts to stop the Spartan. Realizing that the battle was lost, 'Mdama's Covenant began to retreat from the ring, while the Spartan and other UNSC forces continued to wipe out the remaining Covenant forces.
However, the activation of the Conduit also opened a portal in an Office of Naval Intelligence facility in New Phoenix, allowing Jul 'Mdama's Covenant and Promethean forces to briefly invade the city. Believing the Conduit could be used to deactivate the portal, the Spartan embarked to Earth with the device. The Spartan rendezvoused with a group of ONI researchers and escorted them through 'Mdama's Covenant and Promethean forces to the ONI facility to allow them to use the Conduit to stop the minor invasion. While the Spartan continued to protect the researchers by holding off the invading forces, ONI learned that the portal was being powered by a Forerunner device they had been studying. As the researchers interfaced with the device to shut down the portal, Covenant and Promethean forces assaulted their location in an effort to stop them. However, the Spartan succeeded in protecting the researchers from the invading forces and the portal was successfully shut down, resulting in the Conduit entering slipspace and being lost to both the UNSC and Jul 'Mdama's Covenant.
Later actions on Requiem
Even with the Ur-Didact missing, Jul 'Mdama still retained some control over the Prometheans and Requiem, due to his alliance with the Ur-Didact. As the Didact's Hand, 'Mdama was able to push aside the majority of competing Sangheili warlords. 'Mdama managed to sway several previously neutral Sangheili worlds to his side and secretly began to make preparations for an invasion of Sanghelios. 'Mdama was unable, however, to convince the Servants of the Abiding Truth to join his Covenant. The newfound power did not come without a price, as splits within the newly combined forces exploded into violence as newcomers competed for prestige and influence. After several conflicts 'Mdama focused his attention on Requiem. He leaked his plans for Requiem to ONI, and prepared to draw the UNSC into a grinding war of attrition. This would give him the opportunity to cement his control over his Covenant and sacrifice any forces whose loyalty was suspect. 'Mdama's Covenant maintained a presence on Requiem in February 2558. By that time, they had begun searching for the Librarian's imprint in the hope of finding more Forerunner artifacts.
ONI, having taken Jul 'Mdama's bait, sent all five branches of the UNSC to Requiem: Spartans, Marines, Navy, Air Force and Army. Jul 'Mdama's Covenant ships in orbit around the planet were swiftly defeated and scattered, due to the technological advancement of the UNSC since the end of the war. Arriving on Requiem's surface, Majestic, Crimson, and other Spartan-IV fireteams began to disrupt Covenant operations across Requiem and recover Forerunner artifacts for study. 'Mdama's Covenant in turn made several attempts to destroy Infinity. 'Mdama's Covenant and their Promethean allies engaged in numerous skirmishes with the UNSC expeditionary force. Territories and facilities around Requiem traded hands multiple times. During one such battle, Parg Vol, a Sangheili terrorist, assassin and arms dealer acting as a high-ranking ground commander in 'Mdama'sCovenant, was assassinated by Fireteam Crimson.
'Mdama's Covenant forces discovered the Librarian's imprint at "Librarian's Rest" and set up a military base inside with 'Mdama and his lieutenant Gek 'Lhar supervising 'Mdama's Covenant's attempts at activating the imprint. Via a Forerunner artifact which was brought onboard the Infinity by its crew, 'Mdama's Covenant managed to abduct the ship's chief scientist, Doctor Henry Glassman, and forced him to work on activating the imprint. Jul told his followers that the Librarian would gift them incredible bounties spread throughout the galaxy, such as weapons and ships. During this time, 'Mdama began to discretely communicate with Doctor Catherine Halsey via data pads while she was aboard the Infinity. To prove the truth of his words, 'Mdama purposefully led the UNSC to recover "the Didact's Gift," a Durance containing the soul of a Promethean Knight, specifically one created from a human digitized by the Composer during the New Phoenix Incident. To sell its importance, 'Mdama attacked Galileo Base to supposedly get it back, taking heavy losses but succeeding in his secret true goal. Despite lacking adequate equipment, Glassman managed to activate the shrine which caused all Sangheili, except Jul, to bow. Glassman used this opportunity to flee, but when 'Mdama was thrown back by the shrine due to a protective shielding, the Sangheili noticed Glassman's disappearance. Meanwhile, two Sangheili were bringing the captured Spartan Gabriel Thorne to Librarian's Rest. When Glassman exited Librarian's Rest, he encountered the two Sangheili. Thorne used this as an opportunity to kill both Sangheili and the two humans escaped the area. However, Gek picked up their trail and pursued them.
Gek eventually tracked down and ambushed the pair, and a battle between the Sangheili and Spartan ensured. After gaining the upper-hand, Gek prepared to kill Thorne and Glassman, but was suddenly killed by Spartan Fireteam Majestic. Meanwhile, Promethean Knights invaded the Infinity, captured Halsey, and brought her to 'Mdama at Librarian's Rest though the attempt to destroy the ship with stolen HAVOK tactical nuclear weapons was thwarted. At the shrine, Halsey deactivated the shielding. She then quickly ran into the beam of light before 'Mdama. Inside the shrine, Halsey met the Librarian's imprint, who offered her the two halves of the Janus Key, an artifact capable of locating every piece of Forerunner technology in the galaxy. She asked her to bring it to the Absolute Record to help mankind and Halsey was subsequently ejected from the shrine. Jul immediately took the piece of the Janus Key that he had seen for himself, unaware of the second half. Suddenly, the shrine was attacked by Fireteam Majestic and Spartan Commander Sarah Palmer. Palmer attempted to assassinate Halsey, but instead only wounded her in the arm. Halsey and 'Mdama were then translocated away by a Promethean Knight.
The battle culminated in Jul 'Mdama sending Requiem into the local star in a bid to destroy Infinity. Jul 'Mdama's Covenant and the UNSC fled the planet before its destruction. While 'Mdama's Covenant suffered considerable losses, including the mercenary Parg Vol and 'Mdama's lieutenant Gek 'Lhar, they escaped with two important assets: one half of the Janus Key and Dr. Halsey, who offered to further assist 'Mdama in exchange for his help in achieving revenge. However, Halsey gave the other half of the key to Thorne, delaying their plans.
After the destruction of Requiem, UNSC Vociferous was given the task of tracking down Halsey and 'Mdama. In March 2558, one of 'Mdama's shipmasters, Vata 'Gajat, led a mercenary force to attack a Sangheili-Jiralhanae peace summit on Ealen IV. 'Gajat told his human employer, Captain Daniel Clayton of the New Colonial Alliance, that he believed 'Mdama was unlikely to even notice his "moonlighting". Two weeks later he apparently abandoned 'Mdama's faction entirely and was later killed during the Ambush at Oth Lodon.
The Janus Key
In a plot to acquire the other half of the Janus Key onboard the UNSC Infinity, Doctor Catherine Halsey and Jul 'Mdama launched an offensive against the human colony of Oban solely in order to draw Infinity out into a vulnerable position. This allowed Halsey to use an artifact capable of contacting Infinity's Forerunner components to deny this ship access into slipspace. The following day, when the Infinity jumped into slipspace, its slipspace drive experienced an anomaly which trapped them in an uncharted system. Furthermore, 'Mdama's Covenant had created a faux Forerunner artifact that appeared to require the Janus Key to be functional and planted it on one of the system's planets, Aktis IV, in order to prompt the UNSC to take their half of the Key to the planet.
At the same time, Jul began to face other problems within his Covenant. Some of his followers began questioning his decisions, especially for allowing Requiem to be destroyed and letting Dr. Halsey work with them. Soon after, the Sangheili Sali 'Nyon began to recruit followers and plot against 'Mdama. Nonetheless, his Covenant succeeded in deceiving the crew of Infinity to bring the red half of the Janus Key to the surface of Aktis IV. While the UNSC's half of the Janus Key was en route, the convoy carrying it was attacked and shot down by Sali 'Nyon's rebel forces. In the confusion, the shipmaster of Breath of Annihilation believed the attack on Infinity had begun earlier than expected, and Jul's entire fleet engaged the human ship. While 'Mdama traveled to the crash site to reclaim the red Janus Key half himself, Sali 'Nyon managed to retrieve it first and he brought it back to his hidden base.
As Jul and some of his ground forces began to eliminate the insurgents, the rest of his soldiers assaulted a Spartan reconnaissance team who had fallen back into a Forerunner structure. As the Spartans fled the structure using the planet's teleportation grid, reinforcements were deployed by the UNSC to combat Covenant forces. Meanwhile, a Sangheili Minor who had defected from 'Nyon's faction with the red half of the Janus Key contacted 'Mdama's forces and offered them the Key. 'Mdama allowed Halsey to travel to the planet in order to authenticate the artifact in person. 'Mdama dispatched a group of Phantoms, with Halsey aboard one of them, to meet with the defector while he continued to eradicate Sali 'Nyon's rebels across the island. Expecting no ambush on the Janus Key retrieval group, 'Mdama had most of the Phantoms redirected to combat the UNSC forces elsewhere on the island. This proved to be a mistake as Spartans Palmer, Thorne and Ray ambushed Halsey's group. Meanwhile, Jul 'Mdama's forces destroyed the last of Sali 'Nyon's outposts and a captive 'Nyon was brought before 'Mdama, who had the rebel leader kept alive for his punishment. Palmer captured Halsey but the doctor was able to distract her and escape, with Palmer's pursuit of her promptly halted by one of 'Mdama's Harvester excavators. Halsey, still in possession of the red Janus Key half, contacted 'Mdama and was recovered by a Phantom. Halsey and 'Mdama subsequently reunited the halves of the Janus Key and used the artifact to pinpoint the location of the Absolute Record.
The Absolute Record
With both halves of the Janus Key, Jul and his fleet worked to find the exact location of the Absolute Record, while hiding within the Urs system. Since the battle at Aktis IV, Jul's forces had grown and the losses from the previous battle were less severe than he had feared. Jul kept Sali 'Nyon in captivity aboard his flagship and personally interrogated him, though the failed revolutionist only implied that Jul will soon realize the amount of insurgents that remain in his ranks. On September 15, 2558, Halsey finished another analysis of the Janus Key and believed to have finally pinpointed the Absolute Record's exact location. Two days later, as the fleet prepared to depart for the Absolute Record, a Phantom carrying Spartans Palmer, Thorne, Holly Tanaka, Dr. Glassman, and Ayit 'Sevi—a mercenary within Jul's ranks working for ONI—boarded Breath of Annihilation, intent on revealing the location of the Absolute Record to the UNSC. Jul's fleet arrived at an apparently artificial gas giant with a slipspace portal leading to the Absolute Record. Before the fleet could press forward, slipspace ruptures materialized around the fleet, destroying at least two ships and damaging Breath of Annihilation.
While the Song of Retribution made it into the Record, the Breath of Annihilation descended to a nearby moon for repairs. In the Record, Jul, Dr. Halsey, and an escort of many Zealots entered its interior and met its Custodian ancilla, a Contender-class artificial intelligence, controlling the facility. However, Jul's group ran into complications as the ancilla was suspicious of relinquishing control to Halsey, then killed Jul's Zealots after they attacked the ancilla's Aggressor Sentinels. The AI summoned the humans in the Song for a test who see who deserved control of the Absolute Record, but Dr. Halsey disabled the ancilla and took command of the facility herself. She used her newly gained technology to attack Jul and his reinforcement warriors with Sentinels, but the humans used the ensuing battle confusion to allow them to covertly reinstall the ancilla. With its control restored, the AI forced Halsey out and denied her further access to the Record.
Jul, unaware that she had ordered the Sentinel attack, ordered the Song to fire into the Record to disrupt its power. He and his forces then retrieved Halsey and evacuated the Record. However, they found the situation had worsened at the Breath of Annihilation. With the help of ONI spy Ayit 'Sevi, Sali 'Nyon had broken out of imprisonment and rallied his followers to capture the Breath. With the assault carrier and Jul's vault of Forerunner artifacts in their possession, 'Nyon engaged Jul's ship in a starfight before fleeing.
Battle of Kamchatka and death of Jul 'Mdama
In late 2558, a long-dead Forerunner communications hub on the remote planet of Kamchatka activated. drawing the attention of Jul and his followers. While on the planet, Halsey discovered that her old AI Cortana was responsible for the recent attacks on human colonies by awakening Guardians. She contacted the UNSC about her discovery but they did not take any action for three weeks.
Cortana soon took control of Jul's Prometheans, unleashing them against their former allies. A huge battle broke out across Kamchatka, with Jul deploying massive numbers of forces including a Kraken siege tower in an attempt to hold back the constructs. Around the same time, the UNSC Infinity deployed Fireteam Osiris, a SPARTAN-IV special operations unit to Kamchatka with the objectives of rescuing Halsey and assassinating Jul 'Mdama. Using the chaos of the ongoing Covenant-Promethean battle to their advantage, Osiris were able to enter the temple where Halsey and Jul were located. Taking the Covenant supreme leader by surprise, Osiris were able to quickly neutralise Jul's Zealot guards and Jameson Locke personally assassinated 'Mdama, severing the head of his Covenant.
During October of 2558, the derelict ONI research and development station Argent Moon was discovered by Kig-Yar scavengers, who sold it to Jul's Covenant. These soldiers promptly began to search the ship for weapons and other resources to use in their ongoing fight against the Swords of Sanghelios. A week later ONI was alerted to the ship's discovery and ordered SPARTAN-II Blue Team to secure the vessel and return it to ONI.
The team of Spartans infiltrated the ship on October 23, 2558, catching 'Mdama's Covenant scavengers off-guard. While on-route to Central Control, Blue Team engaged a large force of Unggoy and Rangers in an assembly bay. Before they could reach Central Control the Spartans were intercepted by a Mgalekgolo pair who destroyed the catwalk they were on, plunging the humans into the maintenance tunnels several levels below. More Covenant forces were present in the darkened tunnels including numerous suicide Unggoy and cloaked Sangheili Zealots. Fighting their way up to the third level, the Spartans witnessed the arrival of Covenant survivors from the Battle of Kamchatka exiting slipspace near the station attempting to rescue their forces from the ship. Recognizing that retrieving the station was no longer possible, John-117 changed Blue Team's objective to asset denial - the ship would be destroyed, eradicating all Covenant forces in and around Argent Moon.
Large numbers of Covenant, including the Mgalekgolo pair attempted to halt the humans progress, to no avail. Blue Team were able to begin an overload of Argent Moon's reactor before using Banshees to destroy the cooling system, preventing the reactor overload from being stopped. Realizing that the Banshees wouldn't be able to escape the explosion in time, John-117 and his team reached the ship's hangar where the parked ONI Acrisius sat, surrounded by Covenant forces. The Spartans were forced to engage the hostiles while the Winter-class prowler recharged its fuel cells. Blue Team were successful in repelling 'Mdama's Covenant forces in the hangar and boarded the Acrisius as soon as she was ready for launch. Piloting the Prowler away from the station, they were successful as the Argent Moon exploded, taking out all Covenant forces in its vicinity.
Assault on Sanghelios and destruction
On October 27, 2558 the remnants of Jul 'Mdama's Covenant rallied on Sanghelios, preparing to assassinate Thel 'Vadam, the leader of the Swords of Sanghelios. Using the city of Sunaion as their stronghold, Jul 'Mdama's Covenant launched an attack on Vadam lands. 'Mdama's Covenant made initial headway during their assault, pushing the Swords of Sanghelios back to the Elder Council Chamber. They would soon be thwarted however by the arrival of Fireteam Osiris, who pushed through waves of Covenant forces and secured a landing zone for the Swords of Sanghelios to bring in reinforcements. The combined UNSC-Swords of Sanghelios forces pushed onward towards the Elder Council Chamber, where Thel 'Vadam and his forces staunchly held out against masses of Covenant. Osiris was soon able to enter the chambers, killing the last of 'Mdama's Covenant forces and rescuing 'Vadam.
'Mdama's Covenant took further losses following their failure to assassinate 'Vadam. A Kraken deployed near a Forerunner facility housing the Constructor needed by Osiris to access the Guardian under Sunaion was destroyed by the Spartan team with the help of Swords of Sanghelios aerial forces. Now poised to attack Sunaion, the Swords of Sanghelios launched a massive air and ground assault on the final stronghold of Jul's Covenant. Fireteam Osiris were able to successfully neutralise a number of Covenant Shrike anti-aircraft emplacements, allowing the Swords of Sanghelios aerial fleet to deploy more forces as well as lend support from the skies. Promethean constructs began arriving in Sunaion, engaging both Swords of Sanghelios and Covenant forces. Fireteam Osiris and Thel 'Vadam were successful in reaching the Guardian, fighting of waves of Prometheans including the Warden Eternal. Osiris was able to board the Guardian right as it departed for Genesis. The Swords of Sanghelios soon emerged victorious at Sunaion, effectively destroying Jul's Covenant, although remnants remained on the planet for a while.
Many scattered and disorganized remnants of Jul's Covenant were transported to Genesis after Guardians at Sunaion and several planets were activated. Shortly after arriving, they engaged Created Promethean forces under the leadership of Cortana as well as Spartan teams Blue and Osiris. Ultimately these few remnants of remnants were killed off.
After learning of the death of Jul 'Mdama and the destruction of his Covenant, the Servants of the Abiding Truth considered the Covenant to be completely gone and that only themselves and the Swords of Sanghelios to be the only factions left active.
The Sangheili served as the faction's military leadership caste with total reign, free from the Prophets who had betrayed them in the original Covenant. The Unggoy served as cannon fodder. Likewise, the Kig-Yar were deployed as snipers and light infantry. The Mgalekgolo were deployed as super-heavy infantry. The faction also infrequently used Yanme'e infantry.
In very few select cases 'Mdama's forces used a few humans (most prominently Dr. Glassman and Dr. Halsey) to aid them as scientists in their operations against the United Nations Space Command, and were also depicted in a UNSC Tactical Simulator using a few Jiralhanae as infantry. The need for capturing human scientists came partly from their ability as Reclaimers to utilize Forerunner technology, in Halsey's case she formally aligned with Jul 'Mdama under her claimed hatred for the UNSC and provided knowledge of said technology.
'Mdama's Covenant used a streamlined version of the hegemony's long-standing rank hierarchy except exclusively Sangheili-led. Sangheili veterans of the war with humanity were organized into cadres of higher-ranked personnel. The highest-ranking Sangheili, most notably Zealots, also held sway in the faction's civil arena.
Although a less formidable force than the original Covenant, this reorganized Covenant had amassed a considerable pool of military assets, though it had been observed that they "aren't outfitted like standard military." Many of the faction's Sangheili personnel were from Hesduros, though the majority hailed from the species' homeworld, Sanghelios, and other core worlds. Most matériel, such as the Type-25 plasma pistol, Pez'tk-pattern fuel rod gun, Type-33 Needler, Type-50 concussion rifle, Vostu-pattern carbine, Pek-pattern plasma cannon and rarely the Okarda'phaa-pattern plasma rifle, Nakata'vho-pattern plasma repeater, and M'tara-pattern focus rifle, has been carried over from the pre-Schism Covenant, though more recently developed weapons like the Tufasumo-pattern plasma caster, Type-54 plasma pistol, Kelos'vaarda-pattern storm rifle, Mosa-pattern carbine, Gespu-pattern fuel rod gun, and Shea'p-pattern plasma cannon were also common. In other cases, the faction used older models, such as the Zubo-pattern beam rifle rather than the Type-50, due to the scarcity of modern weapons. Some older weapons and vehicles were produced by new manufacturers but are generally unchanged in design. Infantry were equipped with armor that appears to be a mix of new variants and styles used by the original Covenant; for example, Unggoy Storm troops were equipped with rebreathers modeled on traditional Unggoy diving apparatuses, whereas Sangheili Commanders wore armor that is very reminiscent of the armor worn by Sangheili officers during the war.
As under the hegemony's reign, the Type-32 Ghost and Type-26 Wraith were the mainstays of Jul 'Mdama's Covenant's vehicular ground forces as well as the Type-54 Ghost and Type-58 Wraith. The Ogab'd-pattern anti-aircraft Wraith was used in relatively small numbers. The T-26B Banshee and D'nomlhe-pattern Banshee were the organization's primary ground support aircraft; modifications to the T-26B and T-54 allowed them to serve in a limited exoatmospheric scouting capacity akin to the purpose-built Elsedda-pattern Banshee, though the Seraph remained the primary space fighter in 'Mdama's Covenant. The Ru'swum-pattern Phantom saw less extensive service than during the war, as the Ru'swum-pattern Phantom had become primary dropship in 'Mdama's Covenant. Though by October 2558 the Mikpramu-pattern Phantom had seemingly replaced the Type-44 Phantom. The Dextro Xur-pattern Spirit and R'shwupa-pattern Phantom were both used, but not in the same numbers as the T-44 and T-57 Phantoms. The Nuro'k Xur-pattern Spirit was also common by October 2558. The Kmiro'sish-pattern Lich provided ultra-heavy transport capability when needed. The faction also frequently used the Gloto-pattern Breaching Carapace, the Type-53 Squad Breaching Carapace, and the Gloto'kas-pattern Assault Carapace to deploy troops from orbit. 'Mdama's forces used the Type-26 Shade, Type-29 Shade, automated plasma turrets, Type-55 Shade, and Upisa'weri-pattern Shrike for static defense, along with an unclassified type of stationary artillery and Cheru-pattern Tyrants. An unknown amount of Za'zayara-pattern Harvesters and Shuul'se-pattern Krakens were used as excavation and assault platforms.
The faction's armada was composed of vessels formerly used by the Covenant hegemony. The core of 'Mdama's fleet comprised two CAS-class assault carriers, including 'Mdama's flagship, Song of Retribution and the Breath of Annihilation, numerous Zanar-pattern light cruisers, several Maugen-pattern armored cruisers, several Ceudar-pattern heavy corvettes, Mjern-pattern agricultural support ships, Hekar Taa-pattern blockade runners, Lursu-pattern brigantines, Rwaru-pattern carracks and R'sikosh-pattern man o' wars. The CRS filled much the same role within the new Covenant's fleet as the CCS played during the war, though it is much smaller and less powerful than the latter. In addition to these staple ship types, a number of other vessels had augmented the faction's fleet on different occasions. During Gek 'Lhar's time spent salvaging and pillaging for Jul 'Mdama, he commanded a war-freighter.
Unlike those of the original Covenant, much of the hardware utilized by the group bore green-glowing lights, as opposed to white, blue, or purple lighting. This difference may be have been for a number of reasons, as the lighting on Covenant ships and equipment is known to vary based on factors such as the manufacturer, the era of production, and a commander's personal preference.
Unlike the original Covenant, 'Mdama's group was not averse to using captured UNSC weapons. During the Requiem Campaign they hoarded several caches of stolen UNSC matériel, though it is unclear whether they used any of this equipment in combat. Most notably, they attempted to destroy Infinity using stolen HAVOK tactical nuclear weapons. The faction also began to use Promethean weaponry during the battle like the Z-110 Boltshot, the Z-130 Suppressor, and the Z-180 Scattershot.
Religion and beliefs
'Mdama's Covenant no longer believed in the Great Journey as the Prophets had been revealed as liars. However, 'Mdama's faction continued the practice of worshiping the Forerunners and their technology. Some members, including Jul 'Mdama himself, privately understood that the Forerunners were not gods, and were interested only in acquiring Forerunner technology for themselves. Nevertheless, the majority of this faction consisted of extremists and true believers. During his first encounter with the new Covenant, John-117 observed that they were more fanatical than any Covenant he had fought during the war. The faction was considered to be extremely conservative, as 'Mdama forbade his followers from speaking human languages. However, adherence to this rule began to wane as support for Jul 'Mdama's radicalism weakened, with many members of the group speaking English when encountering human forces.
'Mdama's followers held particular reverence for the Didact, who shares their hatred for humanity. This led the Covenant faction to quickly align themselves with the Didact upon his release from his Cryptum. Even after the Didact's apparent demise following his failed attack on Earth, 'Mdama's Covenant continued to display allegiance to the Didact, as evidenced by their continued cooperation with the Didact's Promethean constructs on Requiem. 'Mdama himself took on the title "The Didact's Hand".
In contrast to their worship of the Didact, members of the 'Mdama's Covenant appeared to have held an antagonistic opinion on the Librarian at the time of the Didact's rampage against humanity, with one Sangheili derisively referring to John-117 as the "Librarian's pet", demonstrating that at least some of them were aware of the Librarian's favoring of humans and the Master Chief in particular. Six months later, however, when attempting to activate the Librarian's "shrine" on Requiem, 'Mdama's Covenant treated her with a similar reverence as they did the Didact, seemingly oblivious to her actual intentions.
After Requiem's destruction and Jul's alliance with Dr. Halsey, some members of his Covenant began to question 'Mdama's decisions, and prepared a rebellion against him, though it was ultimately suppressed. During the following months, Jul's authority started dwindling considerably, to the point of such changes as members speaking in English while fighting humans.
This group is referred to simply as "the Covenant" in official material. According to an inaccurate article by the Official Xbox Magazine and perpetuated by Examiner, the Covenant forces encountered in Halo 4 are known as "the Storm". However, this arose due to a misunderstanding of the Covenant's then-new "Storm" class and the Kelos'vaarda-pattern storm rifle. The word "storm" is also used as a generic organizational directory in the Halo 4 game files, although the directory encompasses multiple items that are not Covenant-related. These articles also falsely claim that the "Storm" follow the religion of the San'Shyuum; while they do continue to worship the Forerunners, they have forsaken the Covenant's original religion after the High Prophet of Truth's betrayal against the Sangheili.
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