-High Prophet of Truth
San'Shyuum (Latin Perfidia Vermis meaning "Worms of Treachery") also known as Prophets by Covenant, Forerunner and Human alike are a mammal-like species who are the leadership race of the Covenant Empire and one of the more mysterious member races of the hegemony. Prophets appear to exert complete control over religious and political affairs, fulfilling their role as leaders. Prophets enforce a misguided theology based on the false belief that firing the Halo Array will start a "Great Journey" that will allow them to join a journey with the Forerunners and transcend them into a god-like status. Although physically frail compared to other Covenant species, they wield near absolute power over the Covenant. They have a strong religious importance throughout the Covenant.
Janjur Qom (Precursor, Forerunner and Civil War Eras), High Charity (Covenant Era) and Forsaken Glory (Dark and Prosperous Eras)
200 pounds (91kg)
Long necks, humanoid features
Gravity Thrones, Gravity Belt
Covenant Empire, Covenant Loyalists, Covenant Remnants
Prophet of Truth, Prophet of Mercy, Prophet of Regret, Prophet of Candor, Prophet of Disdain, Prophet of Restraint, Prophet of Supposition, Minister of Etiology
Holy One, Prophet, High One, Hierarchs (High Prophets Only)
The Human RaceEdit
The San'Shyuum were one of the three races noticed by the Precursors and upgraded to Tier 2 Status, the other two were Humanity and the Forerunners, who were given Tier 1 Status. The San'Shyuum were once a beautiful, handsome and attractive race of highly religious beings residing on their homeworld of Janjur Qom, which was a place of beauty.
They continued this existence until their homeland was invaded by Humanity, who mistook the planet as uncolonized. This escalated into the Human-San'Shyuum War, which was quickly resolved by a peace treaty between both races. This created an alliance in which the San'Shyuum's unmatched merchant ability was used by the Human Empire, in return for exchanges of technology. This alliance proved to help, especially when the Human-Flood and Human-Forerunner Wars broke out. Although they helped quell the Flood, Humanity was utterly defeated by the Forerunners, and their empire stripped to nothing. The San'Shyuum quickly surrendered, which was rewarded by the Forerunners by a less harsher punishment, instead of being devolved like Humanity, the San'Shyuum were allowed to keep their Tier 2 status, but were quarantined on their own homeworld.
The Ark and ReseedingEdit
The San'Shyuum eventually rebelled against the Forerunners when one of their Prophet leaders was kidnapped by the Forerunner Ecumene, and not returned. This rebellion was disastrous for both sides, but eventually the Master Builder ordered a unauthorized firing of a Halo Ring near Janjur Qom which not only quelled the rebellion, but ended up in the massacre of millions of San'Shyuum. The effects of the Ring caused the San'Shyuum to develop long-term skin cancer, survivable, but it caused the skin to shrivle up, giving the San'Shyuum the current "ugly" appearence they hold now.
The Librarian indexed the San'Shyuum, and after Halo's activation, they reseeded back on Janjur to continue living their lives, but a Forerunner Dreadnought containing a part of Mendicant Bias was left on their homeworld, which has become something of a religious site for the San'Shyuum.
Division and the SangheiliEdit
The San'Shyuum had a similiar belief to the Sangheili, do not disturb or activate Forerunner relics, as its considered heresy. However one group called the Reformers disagreed with this, believing Forerunner relics are allowed to be tampered with which lead to the San'Shyuum Civil War. This ended in Reformer defeat, but they did not surrender without causing a last bit of major damage. To mock them, the Reformers hijacked the Forerunner Dreadnought and left Janjur Qom, later being exiled by the Stoics, the opposers, who banished them never to come back.
The Reformers crossed the galaxy, looking for a new world to settle until coming across the Sangheili. When the Sangheili learnt of the "heresy" committed by the San'Shyuum, they swore to wipe them out. The Sangheili-San'Shyuum War was a long and bloody one, with the San'Shyuum having the upper hand, having the power of a Forerunner Dreadnought. Eventually the Sangheili were forced to sign the Writ of Union, forming the foundations for the Covenant.
Construction quickly began for High Charity, a monolithic space station that would not only serve as the Covenant's capital, but the new homeworld for the San'Shyuum, due to the unfortunate supernova in their home system that wiped out the Stoics and destroyed Janjur Qom.
The Covenant and HumanityEdit
With High Charity at its capital, the San'Shyuum serve as the "Holy Leaders" of the Covenant and with the Sangheili providing a military foothold, the Covenant began systematic domination and assimiliation of other species. These include the Kig-Yar, Unggoy, Lekgolo, Jiralhanae, Yame'e, and Huragok. The San'Shyuum quickly convinced these races to follow a single religion: The Great Journey.
The San'Shyuum were consumed by a belief that activating the Halo array will allow the Covenant to trascend into godhood and follow the Forerunners on a "Great Journey." The San'Shyuum quickly established that any disbelievers would not be rewarded, which quickly eliminated opposers. A Hierarchy was established where a High Council, headed by three High Prophets and are the main government of the Covenant. The Three High Prophets each have assigned tasks: Military, Religious and Political. After a long series of Unggoy Rebellions, the San'Shyuum quickly located a human world called Harvest. They were quickly affirmed by the "Oracle" who is Mendicant Bias, that humanity are reclaimers and are the true inheritors of the mantle, not the Covenant. Scared that this revelation would shatter the Covenant, the San'Shyuum declared Humanity unclean heretics and so started the Human-Covenant War.
The War was long and bloody, and the San'Shyuum only ever command warships themselves when the need arises or if a artifact of religious importance has been recovered. They sometimes even order the glassing of planets in certain, like the burning of a Forerunner symbol into a planet's surface.
The Great SchismEdit
The San'Shyuum were greatly angered that the Sangheili not only failed to protect a Halo from destruction, but they were losing faith and the though of rebellion loomed. The San'Shyuum then secretly switched their trust to the Jiralhanae, which quickly ended up with the Changing of the Guard, and eventually the murder of the Councilors. This broke out into all-out Civil War, aka the Great Schism with two factions, Separatists and Loyalists. The San'Shyuum, as loyal patriotic to its religion as any of their followers, lead the Loyalists.
The majority of the San'Shyuum were wiped out in the Flood outbreak on High Charity, but a small amount escaped into Loyalist controlled space, quickly forming the Covenant Remnants. The High Prophet of Truth was thought to be the last of his species by the Separatists and the UNSC, and when the Arbiter succesfully killed him, their race was though extinct.
The Dark Era and the Final WarEdit
The San'Shyuum were able to thrive in the Covenant Remnants and formed a new capital called Forsaken Glory. Many Jiralhanae, Unggoy, Sangheili, Kig-Yar, Yanme'e and other members of the original Covenant joined the Remnants, but were banished by their own race. The San'Shyuum slowly rebuilt their population and eventually reached a populace of 522,000,000. The Dark Era was one of obliviation for the rest of the galaxy. While the Second Human-Sangheili and First Apocalyptic War raged, the San'Shyuum rebuilt their empire, and had been given resources by the Shipmaster, Fleetmaster Krodom and Chava'Salsamee.
The San'Shyuum eventually led the Covenant Remnants to war with the UGA and they thought the best way to destroy them was to deprive them of allies. They first targetted Balaho, but this failed due to their underestimation of the Unggoy's actual military strength. They then began losing battle after battle after repeated attempts at invading Doisac, Eayn, Sangheilos, Reach, Earth and other worlds, all failing. The Remnants pose little threat to anyone and were finally defeated in the Second Apocalyptic War. Although only defeated, not destroyed, the San'Shyuum have begun to lose power and eventually have become replaced by the Sangheili on the Remnant's High Council.
The San'Shyuum no longer contain any threat, neither as political or military power, and no threat will eminate from them ever again.
Anatomy and PhysiologyEdit
While little is known of the San 'Shyuum homeworld, it is known that its gravity was quite lower than Earth's. Because of this, and their status of political figureheads who perform little physical work, most Prophets are physically frail creatures, preferring to move around using anti-gravity technology. A life of physical inactivity leaves most if not all Prophets withered and weak. They are capable of moving unaided, however: In the Halo 3 level The Covenant, the Prophet of Truth is seen walking for a short amount of time.
Each Prophet has distinct, often fur-covered lobes of skin hanging underneath their chin similar to a beard, known as "wattles". Prophets of greater age, for example the High Prophet of Mercy, have skin lobes on either side of their heads reminiscent of ears; despite this resemblance, the San 'Shyuum actually receive sound at the back of the head. Older Prophets, such as the Prophet of Mercy, appear to lose the pigment in their skin as they age and turn a shade of grey, then white. Prophets have three digits on each hand, and are usually found wearing ornamental pieces that may also double as life support systems. These head-pieces bear a holographic representation of a Halo (indicating that the Covenant have known about the Halo rings for much longer than originally thought), but each is uniquely shaped and highly ornamental. However Prophet Councilors have been seen wearing more functional robes that lack any ornamentation whatsoever. These Prophets have a lower status and, as a result, wear simple robes and can be found on the seating above the Council Chamber accompanying Sangheili Councilors. Prophets also seem to have parts of their brain showing through absences of skin on their heads, while skin is still there, it may be possible that they evolved to allow their brain to grow to such a size that the skin is there simply to hold it in place.
The lifespan of a Prophet appears to be extensive, largely through the development of technologies to increase it. Such a process began in about 1552, which was one thousand years before the events of Halo 3. The San 'Shyuum have put considerable effort into the increase of lifespan of their own species, as more than a quarter of their population are now super-bicentenarians.
Little is known about the culture of the San 'Shyuum. In an unknown time, before the Covenant was formed, a thousand or so pro-technology Prophets called Reformists (who believed in using Forerunner technology for their use and wished to explore the Dreadnought) left their homeworld, leaving the anti-tech Stoics (those who only wished to worship the technology and not explore the Dreadnought) stranded. The resulting calamity meant that the Covenant San 'Shyuum population was reduced to a few thousand, forcing the species to carefully manage their gene pool to prevent the loss of beneficial genes and the introduction of undesirable traits, with individuals possessing negative recessive traits placed in the Roll of Celibates to prevent their breeding. The Prophet of Truth is on such a list. However, if they should have such sexual urges, the Prophets will use concubines. If such a pregnancy should occur, however, they must be aborted, or the children will be killed at birth and the father sterilized.
It is known that the fertility cycles of female San 'Shyuum are short and few and far between, which would make it difficult for San 'Shyuum to have children. As a result, they would have a celebration called a Birthing Period when a child was conceived, which was very uncommon.
With regards to naming practices, each San 'Shyuum has a given name and a family name. However, once they rise to a certain level in the bureaucracy, they prefer to be addressed by their title. Upon their ascension, Hierarchs may select a regal name from a list of former High Prophets. For example, the Prophet Hod Rumnt is always addressed by his titles, such as Philologist or his regal name, the Prophet of Mercy.
The Prophet of Regret is the only Prophet that is confronted in combat by John-117 in the Halo series in the game Halo 2. He appears at the level called Regret. The Prophets do make other appearances though, mostly in the cinematic sequences in Halo 2. In fact, in most of the cinematic sequences, there is at least one Prophet present. Also, Mercy's corpse is found at the beginning of the level called High Charity, and Truth's corpse can be seen at the last playable section of The Covenant in Halo 3
The Prophet of Regret also appears as an in-game "Hero" unit in Halo Wars, riding his gravity throne amidst combat. He can call down a "Cleansing beam" or glassing beam that drains the players resources; it is guided around by one of the thumbsticks.
- High Prophet of Restriant
- High Prophet of Tolerance
- High Prophetess of Obligation
- High Prophet of Mercy
- High Prophet of Truth
- High Prophet of Regret
- High Prophet of Revelation
- High Prophet of Restoration
- High Prophet of Wisdom
- High Prophetess of Retribution
- High Prophet of Deliverance
- High Prophet of Ascension
- The First Prophet
- Sustaining Wind
- Unidentified Prophet (The Duel)
- Prophet of Supposition
- Prophet of Pity
- Prophet of Disdain
- Prophet of Objection
- Truth and Reconciliation's Prophet
- Unidentified Prophet (The Babysitter)
- Unidentified Prophet (Ariel)
- Unidentified Prophet (Heian)
- Minister of Etiology
- Minister of Inquisition
- Minister of Penance
- Vice Cleric of Zeal
Clerics are the lowest of the San'Shyuum ranks in the Covenant and they are appointed the jobs of disseminating information transmitted from fleets in operation. In the Covenant Remnants, they are given minor positions on warships, but only as navigators. By the end of the "Great Reformation" in the Remnants, the Clerics now have extremely minor roles, which involve mostly what janitors do.
Junior Ministers are San'Shyuum who are part of a Ministry, and have minor roles in that ministry that mostly involve paperwork and the leading of small expeditions. In the Covenant Remnants, the Junior Minister rank has been removed due to the nonsensical point of the rank.
Vice Ministers are San'Shyuum who are part of a Ministry, and have a significant role in that ministry, which mostly involves acting as the Minister's assistant. They lead the Junior Ministers, and can conduct moderate-scale expeditions. In the Covenant Remnants, the Vice Ministers are in charge of replacing the Minister if he/she retires or dies. During his/her time as Vice Minister, they can lead moderate-scale expeditions, but instead of looking for religious artifacts, they look for weak spots in enemy fortifications. In the Great Reformation, the Vice Minister rank has been removed due to the "disneed" of Ministries, and enemy Vice Ministers that still existed became Clerks.
Ministers are San'Shyuum in charge of a Ministry. For example, the Minister of Etiology is in charge of the Ministry of Etiology, which is in charge of intelligence. They use Vice Ministers as assistants and Junior Ministers for minor work. In the Covenant Remnants, they are still in charge of a Ministry, except the role has become more powerful, allowing Ministers to overrule a High Prophet's decision, if three others veto as well. After the Great Reformation, Ministers lost all of their political power, and with Ministries now non-existant, Ministers soon became little more than clerks, just with some form of power that is above the Unggoy.
Lesser Prophets are San'Shyuum that serve on the High Council. They have alot of political power and have a major say in trials, meetings and votes. When electing new High Prophets (with the exception of the power swap prior to the Human-Covenant War), the Lesser Prophets are given the first say and are allowed to put in 2 votes each, unlike the others who are only allowed to enter 1 vote. In the Covenant Remnants, Lesser Prophets now have much more power, and some act as assistants for the High Prophets. After the Great Reformation, Lesser Prophets lost all power and were ejected from the High Council and became as ranked as a Kig-Yar. Most of their opinions didn't matter anymore, and they only retained a tiny fraction of power.
High Prophets are San'Shyuum that serve as the total leaders of the Covenant Empire. There are only three at a time, and each one is assigned a certain task: One deals with coordinating the military or representing the Sangheili's war choices. Two deals with the examination, discovery and procession of religious artifacts, and deals with the Zealotry and holy choices in the Covenant. The third deals with political choices such as to go to war, change of government seating or anything else political. They held absolute power. In the Covenant Remnants, nothing changed, but after the Great Reformation, the High Prophet rank became non-existant and most of them joined the Lesser Prophets, Ministers or Clerks.
- The High Prophets' names are usually always the opposite of what their behavior is. The High Prophet of Truth was prone to lying, the High Prophet of Mercy was very harsh towards others, the High Prophet of Regret was headstrong and unapologetic, and the High Prophet of Restraint stepped down as a result of high sexual exploits when it was forbidden for him to do so, therefore showing a lack of restraint.
- Prophet's blood is strikingly red, like that of a Human. This can be seen when the player beats the High Prophet of Regret in Halo 2 and if the player shoots Truth's corpse in Halo 3.
- Perfidia is Latin for "Perfidy," which means "a deliberate breach of trust, faithlessness, treachery." Vermis means, "worm". Thus, the Prophet's scientific name can be translated into "treacherous worm."
- Early designs of the Prophets had a far integrated and cybernetic feel, with the Gravity Throne more fused with the Prophet's organic structures.
- Halo: Contact Harvest states that only the highest-ranking Prophets have the luxury of travelling in singular platforms on High Charity. Lower-ranking Prophets have to travel in groups of threes, fives or tens. This is because the thrones of lower-ranking Prophets are individually capable of flight, so they must combine gravity fields with other thrones in order to fly.
- The Halo 3 Limited Edition Bestiarum states that there are only 1000 San'Shyuum left in the universe after the Great Schism, but this information is now outdated as of the Dark Era.
- It is possible that their thrones are inspired by Frieza's hover throne in Dragonball Z. Or more likely by Baron Karkonnen's hover belt in Dune.
- There are only 19 known Prophets in the Covenant Empire.
- The gravity throne as its own weapon called the Gravity Cannon.
- At the time of the Human-Forerunner War, the San'Shyuum an Humans were strong allies. However, while the Humans were punished by being deevolved and split into sub-species, the San'Shyuum were simply quarantined onto 2 planets, Janjur Qom and it's moon.
- Before their quarantine they were regarded as handsome and sensual, seeking only the pleasures in life and revering youth and beauty. Some time later however, as a result of the Halo activation over Janjur Qom, they went on to respecting only elders, looking upon the young and beautiful with distain.
- Before the Stoics and Reformers, the Prophets believed that Forerunner artifacts were deemed holy, that it was considered heresy to study the relics to deeply a depth.
- Prophet is a seven letter word, and so a possible 7 reference.
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