Writ of Union

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"The Writ of Union is written—it cannot be unwritten."
— Early Covenant declaration[1]

The Writ of Union is the founding charter of, and an oath of service to, the Covenant.[2] It was drafted as a peace treaty between the Reformist San'Shyuum and the Sangheili at the end of dogmatic conflict between the two species (938 BCE to 852 BCE). The document was ratified by the Council of Concordance, ushering in the First Age of Reconciliation.[3] The Writ is composed in the form of a rhyming poem.


Part of the defining union between the San'Shyuum and the Sangheili was the division of labor it created: the San'Shyuum would serve as the Covenant's religious leaders and scientists, studying Forerunner technology and seeking how to use the Halo Array to initiate the Great Journey, which would propel the faithful to join the Forerunners in a state of divine transcendence. In return for sharing this knowledge, the Sangheili would serve as the San'Shyuum's protectors and warriors, using weapons and technology developed by the San'Shyuum, and having total control over all security matters. As the Covenant expanded and incorporated other races, they were made soldiers under the Sangheili.

One of the terms of the union was the dissolution and reconstitution of the Ascetic guard into the newly made Ministry of Abnegation.

The oath[edit]

The beginning of the Writ of Union is as follows:[4][5]

So full of hate were our eyes
That none of us could see

Our war would yield countless dead

But never victory

So let us cast arms aside

And like discard our wrath

Thou, in faith, will keep us safe

Whilst we find the path

Behind the scenes[edit]

An unused stanza of the Writ of Union was present in an early script for Halo 2. It is unclear whether this part of the Writ is canon.

On and on shall old war go,
Without respite my blood will flow

O’er your eyes ‘til they cannot see
The impossibility of victory.

List of appearances[edit]


  1. ^ Halo: Broken Circle, Excerpt
  2. ^ Halo 2: Original Soundtrack, Volume One
  3. ^ Halo Encyclopedia, page 30
  4. ^ Halo: Contact Harvest, page 148
  5. ^ YouTube: Cutting Room Floor Cinematics @4:36