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The Silent Shadow was a unit of special operations Sangheili within the Covenant's Special Operations branch. It was made up of several individual squads. They were often dispatched by the Hierarchs when they wanted to remove a high-ranking commander from their post. In the event that they might one day be ordered to kill them, members of the Silent Shadow are forbidden to show their faces to any of their superiors. The Silent Shadow undertook numerous missions during the Covenant War, including assassinations and extractions. Following the Great Schism, one such squad was led by First Blade officer Resa 'Azavayl and took it upon themselves to wipe out every Jiralhanae they encountered.
During the Human-Covenant War in 2526 a Sangheili First Blade named Tel 'Szatulai led the Bloodstars, a select group of Jiralhanae Stalkers that included Orsun and Castor, to find and destroy the Demons. However, before the Covenant realized the threat that the Spartans posed, 'Szatulai and his squad had been attached to then-Fleetmaster Nizat 'Kvarosee's Fleet of Inexorable Obedience to stealthily scout out the defenses of human colonies that they planned to destroy. They would also be searching these worlds for any hint that they had once been occupied by the gods. While scouting the world of Amasa, a courier from the United Rebel Front delivered a communications device to 'Szatulai's squad. It contained a message from General Harper Garvin, who wished to form a tentative alliance with the Covenant in exchange for information on the UNSC and their Spartans, which he claimed to be very dangerous. 'Szatulai took the message to 'Kvarosee aboard Pious Rampage as the fleet was in the process of glassing Etalan. The fleetmaster, as well as the Minor Minister of Artifact Survey, instructed him to meet with the insurgents on Seoba to see what more information they could provide, especially pertaining to these Spartans.
When the Spartans of Blue Team attempted to destroy the partially-constructed supercarrier Hammer of Faith within its docks on the Ring of Mighty Abundance over Zhoist, 'Szatulai and several of his warriors attacked the Spartans directly. Most of these warriors were killed by Linda-058 and Frederic-104 while 'Szatulai himself engaged John-117. After a fierce fight, 'Szatulai 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 'Kvarosee on the death of 'Szatulai and all his Sangheili warriors.
In June 2526, another squad of Silent Shadow were sent with the Fleet of Swift Justice to hunt down the now-renegade 'Kvarosee and his Flotilla of Unsung Piety. The Silent Shadow arrived at Netherop where they got caught in the middle of a conflict between the UNSC and 'Kvarosee who hoped to use the Spartans to get rid of the Silent Shadow. However, despite suffering heavy casualties, the Silent Shadow was able to destroy the Steadfast Strike and capture the renegade Fleetmaster, bringing in Honor Guards and a Sangheili Ultra from High Charity itself to deal with him. When 'Kvarosee claimed to no longer have the Luminal Beacons as they were supposedly destroyed with his ships, the Ultra had 'Kvarosee and his surviving warriors stripped of their armor and exiled on Netherop. Before leaving the planet, the Silent Shadow established an orbital minefield of self-targeting plasma torpedos that would prevent even a drop pod from landing, thus keeping 'Kvarosee from being rescued by any of his surviving loyal Shipmasters.
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.
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 that they came across, as well as any forces under their control. 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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