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- "We are the Silent Shadow. Once our charge was varied—assassination, extraction—direct and thorough acts of violence. Our goals, strategic—pointed and precise. Our ends, religious, verging on Godly. Those days are over. Or, at best, on hold. Now we have but one aim… the slaughter of beasts."
- — Resa 'Azavayl
The Silent Shadow was a division of special operations Sangheili within the Covenant's Special Operations branch. It was made up of several individual squads. The Silent Shadow undertook numerous missions during the Covenant War, including assassinations and extractions.
One such squad was led by First Blade officer Resa 'Azavayl. During the Great Schism, Resa's squad took it upon themselves to wipe out every Jiralhanae they encountered. However, Atriox was ultimately able to convince the rest of squad to betray 'Azavayl and join the Banished.
- Main article: Operation: SILENT STORM
During the Human-Covenant War in 2526 a Sangheili First Blade named Tel 'Szatulai led the Bloodstars, a select group of Jiralhanae Stalkers including Orsun and Castor, to find and destroy Demons. When Blue Team attempted to destroy the under construction Covenant supercarrier Hammer of Faith in its docks, Tel and several of his warriors attacked the Spartans directly. Most of Tel's warriors were killed by Linda-058 and Fred-104 while Tel himself engaged John-117. After a fierce fight, Tel was disarmed by John and then killed by Kelly-087 with a point-blank shot from an M90 shotgun to the head. Castor and Orsun were able to escape in Banshees and reported back to Fleetmaster Nizat 'Kvarosee on the death of Tel and all of his Sangheili warriors.
- Main article: Mission to an unidentified moon
- "You can sense your end, human. That is good. If it brings you any peace, the whole of your kind will soon follow suit."
- — First Blade of Silent Shadow to Jonah
At some point prior to December 2552, a unit of the Silent Shadow laid a trap for two two-person teams of Spartan-III Headhunters. On an unnamed moon, ten Covenant base camps were established to field crew for a Forerunner artifact dig site, which the Spartans were ordered to destroy. The Spartans observed the base for the next two days, identifying patrol routes, high-ranking enemies, and important control sites, unaware of the trap prepared for them. On the third day they infiltrated the base, eliminating all hostiles and setting demolition charges around the base. At the moment the Spartans let their guard down, the cloaked First Blade impaled one of the Headhunters with his energy sword, while his subordinates appeared and surrounded Jonah-B283. The First Blade suggested the Spartan surrender, informing him that the second Spartan team was already dead. Refusing, Jonah lured the Sangheili closer to the charges before setting them off, killing himself and the Elites.
- "I see you for what you are and what you could be. We can do great things together. Not as master and slaves, but as the warriors you truly are—free to continue your crusade without the shackles of outdated faith."
- — Atriox, offering the Silent Shadow a place within the Banished
After the Covenant's betrayal of the Sangheili and the outbreak of the Great Schism, the squad led by First Blade Resa 'Azavayl dedicated themselves to eliminating all Jiralhanae, as well as any forces under their control. Notably, the Silent Shadow wiped out a Jiralhanae pack in an armory on the fourth moon of Victors' Truth, runaway Jiralhanae forces aboard the stolen Covenant corvette Adherent, "butchers" encamped in a resource enclave in the northern highlands of Thalia, Covenant holdouts aboard a derelict colonial substation in the low orbit of Sansar, and the last remaining members of Chieftain Tartarus' crew aboard the Covenant cruiser Rapid Conversion.
At some point, the Silent Shadow embarked on a mission to eliminate Jiralhanae aboard the SDV-class heavy corvette Elegy's Lament. Unbeknownst to the Silent Shadow, Elegy's Lament was crewed by the Banished and commanded by the faction's chief, Atriox. Infiltrating the corvette, the Silent Shadow eliminated several Jiralhanae before entering the ship's bridge. Despite being cloaked, the Banished detected the Sangheili's infiltration and Atriox noticed the assassins' arrival when they entered the bridge. Atriox stated that he and the Banished are different from the Jiralhanae that betrayed the Sangheili. He also offered the members of the Silent Shadow a place within the Banished, where they would serve as warriors and fight under their own free will. While the other members of the Silent Shadow were greatly tempted by Atriox's offer, 'Azavayl refused, citing that Atriox and the Banished deserved death for their "sins". The rest of the Silent Shadow squad tried to convince 'Azavayl that Atriox and the Banished were "other", but to no avail. As 'Azavayl moved to attack, he was slain by the rest of his squad, who desired to join the Banished. Afterwards, Atriox allowed the remaining members of the Silent Shadow to join the Banished, offering to reward them with "blood and sport and spoils".
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List of appearances
- Halo: Evolutions
- Headhunters (First appearance)
- Halo: Tales from Slipspace
- Halo: Retribution (Mentioned only)
- Halo: Silent Storm
- Halo: Tales from Slipspace, Hunting Party
- Canon Fodder: Brute Force - "The Silent Shadow are a unique Sangheili special forces division made up of several different individual squads. In Halo: Tales from Slipspace, readers encounter one such squad led by Resa 'Azavayl, a 1st Blade officer in the Silent Shadow.", Jeff Easterling
- Halo: Silent Storm, Chapter 18
- Halo: Retribution, page 265
- Halo: Silent Storm, pages 367-369
- Halo: Silent Storm, page 377
- Halo Evolutions, Headhunters pages 188-192
- Halo: Tales from Slipspace, Hunting Party - "I am not Tartarus or some fanatic. I am not Truth. I am not Regret. I am their remedy."
- Halo: Tales from Slipspace, Hunting Party - "Agreed. Atriox is of a kind with our enemies, but he is OTHER, and an ally worth considering."
- Halo Waypoint - Community Update: Brute Force