Latin Species Name:
Macto Cognatus
Technology Level:
Tier 2
Avg. Height Range:
7ft 4in–8ft 6in (223–259cm)
Avg. Weight Range:
307–393lbs (139–178kg)


Sangheili are biped saurians with tall, muscular bodies and elongated heads bearing four mandibles, each laced with sharp rows of teeth; adult Sangheili mandibles can be found in varying shapes, sizes, and ranges of dexterity, and are as distinctive as a fingerprint. Their long, sinewy arms end in zygodactyly hands with impressively dexterous fingers.


Divided into clans composed of a tightly-knit families, Sangheili culture has historically been based around a type of feudal manorialism, with multiple allied clan being led by a kaidon who controls a fortified keep and the surrounding territory. This system persists in modified form to the modern era, with major keeps evolving to become city-states that lead alliances of lesser kaidons. On small colonies, a handful of keeps control the entirety of its resources, while on developed worlds, such as Sanghelios, hundreds of keeps vie for power and influence using both politics and military force.


Several hundred years prior to the formation of the Covenant, the Sangheili had developed slipspace technology and created dozens of independent colonies, though their homeworld of Sanghelios remaining central to governance and culture. After a long and bloody war against the San’Shyuum the two species eventually formed a truce, vowing to come together in a union called the Covenant and advance together – united in worship of the Forerunners and dedicated to following their path to transcendence: the Great Journey.


After the Covenant was formed, the San’Shyuum slowly insinuated themselves into Sangheili culture, gradually replacing their scientific and industrial capabilities and supporting their warlords’ ambitions to focus purely on martial matters. As time passed, other species were given charge over even menial tasks and labor and the entire Sangheili culture was dedicated to waging holy wars and acquiring Forerunner artifacts on behalf of the San’Shyuum Prophets.

Much later, it was the Sangheili that led Covenant forces in a vicious campaign to wipe mankind out. During this protracted war, however, ancient lies and betrayal at the hands of the High Prophet of Truth led to the permanent fracturing of their collective. The resulting Great Schism tore apart the Covenant, though many Sangheili fought only to destroy the Prophets and their Brute allies.


In the aftermath of the conflict and the destruction of the San’Shyuum-led Ministries that had managed the Covenant species’ day-to-day needs, Sangheili society began to fall apart, with their colonies sliding into violent internecine clashes over resources, politics, and influence. Still reeling from these events and divided on their relationship with humanity and their belief in the Forerunner divinity, the once-unified Sangheili splintered into a number of factions with no leader to truly unify their kind, though a few groups have gathered more strength than others.

One of those groups is the Swords of Sanghelios, an ancient order restored by Arbiter Thel ‘Vadam, who seeks to unite his people and return the Sangheili to their ancient independence and nobility. Opposing him are Sangheili warlords such as Jul ‘Mdama, who have slowly put together shattered pieces of the Covenant and reforged it under Sangheili leadership.

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