The Prelates were an order of San'Shyuum organized by the Covenant Ministry of Preparation. Prelates were genetically enhanced San'Shyuum trained to serve as supersoldiers for the Covenant. Most Prelates were killed during the Battle of Installation 05, with the exception of Tem'Bhetek.
The augmentations provided to Prelates were developed in the Sacred Promissory of High Charity and included genetic, physical, and chemical changes, as well as suits of highly advanced powered armor and intensive combat training. Prelates were capable of releasing chemicals into their bodies to enhance their combat abilities, or to attempt to control their consciousness, as Tem had done before to attempt to stay asleep and continue exploring the traumatic dream brought about by the Flood's assault on High Charity.
Prelate armor included an anti-gravity belt that could be used to quickly propel themselves in various directions, or allow them to engage in limited flight. The armor also included a gauntlet made of hard light, which when activated produced a crescent blade on the forearm, as well as a shield of hard light to deflect shots that managed to connect with the highly mobile Prelate. Prelates were considered formidable foes, powerful enough to give even veteran Sangheili pause.
The augmentations given to the Prelates were not without risks, however. Prelate abilities were expected to be used in short bursts; pushing their bodies too far could cause sudden exhaustion, seizures, and—in rare cases—death.
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