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"Arrrrr. We be ready for boardin', matey."
Black Box[1]
Kig-Yar pirates

Piracy is an illegal act typically involving violence or the seizure of property carried out against a watercraft, aircraft, spacecraft, or port. By extension, acts of participating in or inciting such activities are defined as piracy by the UNSC Convention on Admiralty Law of 2315.[2]



Traditionally, pirates are remembered as raiders who prowled the seas of Earth, hijacking merchant shipping. But the important point is that they did it on the water - when humanity broke free of the constraints of Earth's atmosphere, it was almost inevitable that space piracy would become the new lucrative threat to shipping. By the 24th century, space piracy was widespread enough for the UNSC to adopt the UNSC Convention on Admiralty Law of 2315, which authorizes the summary execution of pirates by the forces of an officially recognized government.[2] The budding threat of piracy in space also contributed to the creation of the Colonial Military Authority in 2310, one of its main functions being the protection of colonial vessels from raiders as humanity began interstellar expansion.[3] This laid the foundation for the Unified Earth Government's military presence in the Outer Colonies; the very involvement which would later provoke the colonists' ire and contribute to the sparking of the Insurrection.[4]

The Insurrectionist movement was frequently engaged in pirate activities, and by 2517, pirates were considered a serious threat to vessels traveling in the Outer Colonies without an armed escort.[5] Groups such as the Eridanus rebels based themselves in the system's asteroid belt—most prominently the habitat known as Eridanus Secundus—using it as a base of operations for their activities throughout the Insurrection and well into the Human-Covenant War.[6]

By December 2553 piracy had grown so common in the Outer Colonies that the UNSC had an entire Incident Response and Investigation branch dedicated to identifying and locating perpetrators.[7]

The crew of the Ace of Spades were pirates to an extent.


Space piracy is not restricted to humanity alone. The Kig-Yar had a long seafaring history on their homeworld, and when they became a space-faring race, piracy flourished in their system as pirate factions raided merchant shipping. When the Covenant discovered the Kig-Yar, these pirate bands joined Eayn's government's militia to fend off the Covenant intruders. In order to survive, these same pirates became privateers in the service of the Ministry of Tranquility. In theory, these privateers patrolled Covenant space on an exploratory mission. In practice, it was little more than an excuse for the Kig-Yar to salvage whatever they could.[8] Piracy remained heavily ingrained in Kig-Yar culture, as all their great folk heroes were famous pirates, representing freedom to those Kig-Yar in the service of the Covenant. Each Kig-Yar chick hopes to be a pirate when they grow up.[9]

Notable Kig-Yar pirates include Sav Fel,[10] Krith,[11] and the pirate queen of Ven III.[12]


Jiralhanae under the Banished were known for piracy. Before growing as a mercenary organization, the Banished were started as a pirate group predominantly consisting of Jiralhanae before the dissolution of the Covenant Empire.[13]


During the Blooding Years, the Ket-pattern battlecruiser Pious Inquisitor was stolen by Avu Med 'Telcam, the Bishop and head of the Servants of the Abiding Truth. 'Telcam intended to use the Pious Inquisitor to his advantage during the Sangheili civil war against the forces loyal to Arbiter Thel 'Vadam. 'Telcam had entrusted the ship to a group of Kig-Yar, led by T'vaoan pirate Sav Fel.[14][15]

Jul 'Mdama's Covenant did acts of piracy to gain supplies.[16] With former Covenant shipyards and production facilities falling inactive,[17] Jul 'Mdama's forces scavenged for their armor and were not outfitted like standard military,[18] obtaining parts of the Storm harness rather than the full set with sleeves.[19]


  1. ^ Halo: Mortal Dictata, Page 217
  2. ^ a b UNSC Convention on Admiralty Law of 2315
  3. ^ Halo Encyclopedia: The Definitive Guide to the Halo Universe, page 69 (2011)
  4. ^ Halo: Mortal Dictata, page 356
  5. ^ Halo: The Fall of Reach, page 14 (2001)
  6. ^ Halo: First Strike, pages 253-255 (2003)
  7. ^ Halo: Retribution, page 26
  8. ^ Halo: Contact Harvest, page 93
  9. ^ Halo Encyclopedia (2009 edition), page 147
  10. ^ Halo: The Thursday War, page 383
  11. ^ Halo Wars: Genesis
  12. ^ Halo: Escalation, Issue #12
  13. ^ Halo Wars 2, Phoenix Logs - Foundry
  14. ^ Halo: The Thursday War, page 329
  15. ^ Halo: Mortal Dictata (Excerpt) by Karen Traviss
  16. ^ Halo 4, Terminal (Halo 4): Prologue: "Shipmaster 'Mdama! The raiding parties have returned. They bring supplies and news of a human ship!"
  17. ^ Halo Waypoint, The Halo Bulletin: 4.16.14: "While a handful of their local shipyards still exist, most are inactive, forcing many Sangheili to fight over what remained at the close of the war."
  18. ^ Halo 4, campaign level Dawn: "The good news is these Covenant aren't outfitted like standard military"
  19. ^ Halo 5: Guardians, campaign level Alliance