Tel 'Szatulai

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Tel 'Szatulai
An illustration of Tel.
Biographical information




February 2, 2466[1]


April 2526

Personal details






228.6 centimetres (7 ft 6in)[1]


145.6 kilograms (321 lbs)[1]

Political and military information




First Blade[2]

Notable info:

In 2526, he commanded a kai'd of Bloodstars, as well as the Bloodstar Flotilla.[2]


Tel 'Szatulai was a Sangheili with the title of First Blade and a member of the Silent Shadow, an elite unit within the Covenant military's Special Operations branch. In 2526, he served then-Fleetmaster Nizat 'Kvarosee, who commanded the Fleet of Inexorable Obedience.[3] During his mission to gather intelligence from human insurrectionists and hunt down the United Nations Space Command's rumored Spartan supersoldiers, 'Szatulai commanded the Bloodstar Flotilla from aboard the Sacred Whisper.[2]


Early life[edit]

Tel 'Szatulai was born on Sanghelios on February 2, 2466.[1] He enlisted in the Covenant military when he came of age, as is expected of all male Sangheili. At some point during his service, 'Szatulai earned the title of blademaster, receiving the "-ai" suffix to show his mastery of the sword. By 2526, he had been inducted into the feared Silent Shadow, a unit of experienced Special Operations Sangheili often tasked with the assassination of high-ranking officials that had crossed the Hierarchs.[3]

Scouting the colonies[edit]

Early in the Human-Covenant War, Tel 'Szatulai served as the leader of the Bloodstars and traveled with the Fleet of Inexorable Obedience. As the fleet made ready to assault the human colonies, he led a squad of Silent Shadow to take measure of these planets' defenses so that Fleetmaster Nizat 'Kvarosee could easily crush any resistance that the humans might throw against the fleet. More importantly, 'Szatulai's squad would also search for any hint that these worlds might have once been occupied by the Forerunners, the deities upon which rested the pillar of the Covenant religion.[3]

While scouting out the tenth colony in line for destruction, Amasa, a human courier serving the United Rebel Front delivered a device containing a transmission to 'Szatulai and his squad. The Sangheili warriors captured the courier and forced her to demonstrate how the device worked and that it was safe; then they killed her.[3]

'Szatulai brought the device to 'Kvarosee aboard his flagship, Pious Rampage, with the Minor Minister of Artifact Survey also in attendance. Upon activating the device, they were greeted with a message recorded by General Harper Garvin of the United Rebel Front. The human offered information about the United Nations Space Command—and more specifically, the Spartans, which had recently destroyed two warships from the Fleet of Inexorable Obedience—in exchange for an alliance with the Covenant and the promise that their worlds would not be glassed. Garvin warned that the UNSC would try to replicate their successful boarding actions at Biko when the Covenant fleet arrived. He requested that they send a representative to meet with them in an abandoned ice quarry on Seoba to work out the terms of their alliance. 'Kvarosee and the San'Shyuum ordered 'Szatulai to meet with the insurrectionists on Seoba and learn how they might help combat the Spartans. However, once the humans outlived their use, he was ordered to execute them.[3] To carry out this mission, he took the intrusion corvettes of the Bloodstar Flotilla to the Kolaqoa system, commanding the small force from the Sacred Whisper.[2]


Main article: Battle of Seoba

On March 19, 2526, the Bloodstar Flotilla arrived in high orbit over Biko without alerting the planet's defense force.[4][2] Despite the intrusion corvettes' active camouflage, the UNSC's Task Force Yama, which had just captured the insurrectionists' base on Seoba, detected the incoming flotilla and began to deploy its prowlers. 'Szatulai stood inside the Sacred Whisper's forward observation blister as he watched the prowlers rise into space, backed by the looming pink disk of Biko. Even though the human vessels could be seen by the naked eye, none of the corvettes' sensors could detect anything to suggest that any vessels at all were leaving Seoba. 'Szatulai summoned Shipmaster Hulon 'Budyasee, pointing out the specks rising from the pale moon. The two of them then visited the reader stations at the rear of the bridge to investigate whether fault was with the bridge crew or their equipment. Going to one of the stations, 'Szatulai questioned the reader as to why he had not reported any enemy vessels on Seoba. Indeed, there were readings to suggest that the ice quarry they were headed for was warmer than the surrounding area, but the data suggested that it was the result of a small comet or asteroid impact rather than a vessel. Yet, the reader conceded that there could be vessels hidden in the quarry and its cave systems. When informed by 'Szatulai that he had seen with his own eyes at least seven ships leaving the quarry, the reader exclaimed that the impossible has happened as their vessel's sensors surely would have been able to detect that. This led 'Szatulai to the disturbing realization that the UNSC had stealth craft that were superior to those fielded by the Covenant. He then ordered the corvettes to fire on the quarry, despite the extreme range and lack of vessels to target, hoping that they could shoot down one of the stealth vessels and recover it to be inspected later on.[2]

The barrage successfully downed the UNSC Starry Night, the flagship of the human task force.[5] The vessel impacted the quarry wall, heavily damaging its fuselage and causing an avalanche.[6] The crash killed the Stary Night's captain and much of the crew,[7] and resulted in the prowler coming to a rest atop a massive ice pile.[6] Realizing that the barrage had yielded the desired results, 'Szatulai ordered his flotilla to move in to recover the disabled stealth vessel, all while fending off the other human ships. The Worthy Silence made it to the crash site before the others and deployed Bloodstar forces to secure the wreck. Before it could be recovered, a team of twelve Spartans arrived and contested them. However, with the arrival of a second corvette, the Spartans were forced to restart the avalanche with their grenade launchers, burying half of them in the ice, but also delaying the Covenant.[6][7] As 'Szatulai's Bloodstars fought the Spartans for control of the Starry Night, two more of the intrusion corvettes approached to harass the supersoldiers. Despite this, the humans gained access to the prowler and its nuclear self-destruct system, and a strafing run from the task force destroyed two of the flotilla's corvettes and chased off a third. With the situation turning in the Spartans' favor, the Worthy Silence began lifting the Starry Night into its hangar bay via gravity lift. It was too late, however, as the team inside the prowler armed the nuke and fled in an escape pod. The explosion pulverized both the Starry Night and the Worthy Silence, leaving 'Szatulai with only the Sacred Whisper and one other vessel.[7]

Meeting with traitors[edit]

After the Fleet of Inexorable Obedience arrived and began assaulting Biko,[8] news of 'Szatulai's failure reached the Minor Minister of Artifact Survey, who mocked the First Blade for the outcome of the battle. Caring little for the San'Shyuum's opinion, he had his two remaining corvettes move to join 'Kvarosee's fleet. However, a lone human transport broke Seoba's orbit and began trailing the Sacred Whisper. Realizing that the only ones foolish enough to chase after a Covenant warship in such a poorly armed craft would be the insurgents that he had come to meet, 'Szatulai had his corvette dock with the vessel. He took two young Jiralhanae Bloodstars with him—Orsun and Castor—and boarded the insurgent transport via its airlock. In an exercise to help them see each other as brothers-in-arms rather than as rivals, 'Szatulai ordered the Jiralhanae to not bring any weapons. This puzzled them greatly, but they obeyed.[9]

Once the airlock opened, the party of three were greeted by a group of armed Insurrectionists who were all pointing their rifles as them. Resolving to not utter a word to any of the humans, 'Szatulai simply stared at their leader's weapon until he took the hint, ordering his men to lower their weapons. When only about half of them complied, the man ordered them more sternly. After they all lowered their rifles, the man led 'Szatulai, Orsun, and Castor to the forward briefing compartment. As the group followed the transport's winding corridors, 'Szatulai noticed a man recording them with a data pad. Wanting to prove that they were not just some harmless oddities being paraded down the passageway for the enjoyment of the onlookers, 'Szatulai simply pointed at the device and Orsun lashed out with his fist. The blow shattered the data pad sent the man holding it into the arms of those behind him, limp and bloodied. After that there were no more disruptions on their way to the briefing compartment. When they arrived, 'Szatulai noticed that every human present was keeping a watchful eye on a particularly nervous man holding a HAVOK tactical nuclear weapon. The man, named Erland Booth, demanded that 'Szatulai call off on the attack on Biko or he would detonate the nuke. However, 'Szatulai was unconvinced that he had the conviction to actually follow through with that treat, so he approached Booth with a hand extended. While the man was confused by his actions, 'Szatulai swept the nuke out of his arms and used it to cave in Booth's skull, killing him instantly. A woman named Petora Zoyas and General Harper Garvin rushed over and offered to help defuse the HAVOK nuke, which they noticed had indeed been armed. Garvin managed to defuse it and he offered it to 'Szatulai as a token of the Insurrectionists' goodwill. The General's dedication to his cause made 'Szatulai wonder if he had taken the Death Vow. Accepting the gift, he gave it to Orsun, intending to make sure it was studied by Huragok in isolation on a small vessel to see if a method to prevent these nuclear devices from detonating could be discerned. Garvin began explaining how the ordeal at Seoba had not been their doing and he offered 'Szatulai yet another gift, a data card that contained schematics for the Spartans' MJOLNIR Powered Assault Armor. Garvin promised that they would continue to gather and share more information on the Spartans with them if they helped the Insurrectionists take control of Biko. 'Szatulai made a gesture of agreement and motioned for Zoyas to follow him back to the Sacred Whisper. She would help him communicate with the insurgents in the future.[9]

Intelligence gathering[edit]

As space battle of Biko went on, a detachment of Black Daggers attempted to board the Purifying Flame, but were ultimately captured before they destroyed the Covenant vessel. Mind melters were ordered to interrogate the ODSTs, though they saw little success. Their extreme resistance to interrogation led Tel 'Szatulai to order Castor and Orsun to get information out of them their way, through a "game" they called "tossers." However, before they ran out of prisoners, all the Jiralhanae could get out of them was the names of the twelve Spartans attached to their battle group, the name of the battle group, as well as the name of the battalion in which the ODSTs serve. Additionally, the insurrectionists confirmed to 'Szatulai that the human attacks on their main fleet were intended to distract them as the Spartans destroyed the logistics train at Etalan. They also claimed that their spy in Task Force Yama had been misled and that he was unaware that the Spartans had been sent to Etalan until after they had rendezvoused with the detachment.[10]

After the battle was won and Biko burned, 'Szatulai returned to the Pious Rampage to report on what he had learned to Nizat 'Kvarosee and the Minor Minister of Artifact Survey. The three of them surmised that the humans of Task Force Yama may in fact know that they have a spy in their midst and are using him to lure the Fleet of Inexorable Obedience into traps. As the fleet was beginning to run low on carrier gas for their plasma weapons, 'Kvarosee had called forward from Zhoist a new logistics flotilla that was already at Etalan, gathering the vessels that had survived the Spartans' attack. Upon hearing this, 'Szatulai was aghast. He revealed to 'Kvarosee that the humans had recovered a kelguid from the bridge of the Worthy Silence after it was shot down on Seoba. With this in their possession, Task Force Yama could potentially identify the exact locations of the fleet's supply lines and critical support nodes. Survey worried that the humans would use the kelguid to find and attack High Charity, but 'Szatulai and 'Kvarosee insisted that Zhoist was the much more likely target as it would buy them time. They explained that if the humans even knew about High Charity, going there would mean certain death. With Survey still in disagreement, 'Szatulai and 'Kvarosee agreed that they must go to Zhoist to support its meager rapid-response flotilla in the coming battle.[10]


Main article: Battle of Zhoist

In April 2526, 'Szatulai was dispatched by Fleetmaster Nizat 'Kvarosee to stop a Spartan attack on the Covenant supply world Zhoist. 'Szatulai's Silent Shadow squad engaged Blue Team in the Ring of Mighty Abundance, but the entire squad was killed by the Spartans through the use of heavy weapons and explosives. 'Szatulai himself died after being severely wounded in a melee against John-117. In his weakened state, he was shot dead by Kelly-087.[11]

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Tel 'Szatulai wore the indigo assault armor of the Silent Shadow, including an enclosed helmet with a red visor. As with all members of the Silent Shadow, 'Szatulai carried a Type-1 energy sword on his hip.[3]

List of appearances[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Halo Encyclopedia (2022 edition), page 252
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Halo: Silent Storm, chapter 12
  3. ^ a b c d e f Halo: Silent Storm, chapter 9
  4. ^ Halo: Silent Storm, chapter 11
  5. ^ Halo: Silent Storm, chapter 13
  6. ^ a b c Halo: Silent Storm, chapter 14
  7. ^ a b c Halo: Silent Storm, chapter 15
  8. ^ Halo: Silent Storm, chapter 17
  9. ^ a b Halo: Silent Storm, chapter 18
  10. ^ a b Halo: Silent Storm, chapter 21
  11. ^ Halo: Silent Storm, chapter 27