- Latin Species Name:
- Perfidia Vermis
- Original Homeworld:
- Janjur Qom
- Adopted Homeworld:
- High Charity
- Technology Level:
- Tier 2
- Avg. Height Range:
- 7ft–7ft 5in (213.4–226.1cm)
- Avg. Weight Range:
- 179.4–212.9lbs (81.4–96.6kg)
Known more colloquially as the Prophets, the San’Shyuum were the prime architects of the Covenant and their holy war against the human race. For millennia, the San’Shyuum worshiped the Forerunners as gods, with the basis of their devotion revolving around the concept of transcendence which was connected to an artifact called Halo. As the Covenant’s religious leaders, the Prophets’ main activity was to locate, study, and incorporate Forerunner technology in order to more fully understand and eventually initiate what they believe to be the Great Journey, a pathway into godhood themselves.
Most Forerunners records indicate that the San’Shyuum were intelligent and physically attractive creatures during their ancient history on Janjur Qom. Evidence suggests that the Forerunners genetically manipulated the San’Shyuum at the close of the war, which resulted in a tragic physical and cultural reduction of their species as punishment for their alliance with humanity.
Contemporary San’Shyuum are tall, lithe creatures with long serpentine necks and thin, frail skeletal structures which require slow and delicate movement. They are tridactyly-fingered with narrow, highly tactile hands and prehensile (though often atrophied to a point of uselessness) feet. While younger San’Shyuum still walk upright like their ancestors, many adults and elders, particularly those in places of authority, now utilize anti-gravity systems for mobility. Despite their physical impediments, the San’Shyuum have been able to dramatically extend their lifespans through medical advancements, allowing many individuals to live for hundreds of years.
Under the preferences of the San’Shyuum, Covenant architecture was primarily comprised of large elegant, sweeping shapes--broad parabolic silhouettes that embellish even the most functional and utilitarian of devices. Covenant metals and stone composites are generally shades of purple and gray, bonded by a variety of exotic alloys using a tight hexagonal mesh.
After the Librarian’s reseeding of Janjur Qom after the activation of Halo, the San’Shyuum redeveloped technology, language, and philosophy based on their observation of Forerunner artifacts--their species having forgotten the conflict that took place long ago. At around 2200 BCE, two major sects divided San’Shyuum culture which eventually resulted in a vicious and bloody civil war that consumed almost the entire planet. On one side, the conservative Stoics believed Forerunner artifacts were divine and thought by dismantling them they would dishonor the gods who had left them. In opposition were the Reformists, militant progressives who were exhausted with simple, superficial observations and thought the true power of the old gods would be awakened by close study and disassembly.
At the center of the spiritual and scientific dilemma was the Forerunner dreadnought, a massive spaceship which lay at the center of the Great Apothtea sea. The most radical Reformists were eventually able to re-activate the slumbering dreadnought, escaping their planet and leaving the civil war behind. Peace would not last forever though, as a chance encounter with a powerful warrior species known as the Sangheili would pitch the San’Shyuum Reformists into another heated war for control of the Forerunners’ legacy. This conflict nearly spelled doom for both sides until a bargain was struck, and an alliance was formed.
After the penning of the Writ of Union in 852 BCE, what was simply a radical offshoot of the San’Shyuum religion ultimately became a political and military alliance with the Sangheili. This Covenant, as it was called, would eventually incorporate several species from across the Orion Arm into a powerful, unified empire stretching across hundreds of worlds and billions of individuals.
Unfortunately, the San’Shyuum’s ability to maintain the Covenant would eventually disintegrate during the course of their war with the humans, ironically, just as they managed to finally locate the Halo rings. When the future High Prophet of Truth made the discovery that placed the human species at the center of Forerunner prophecy, plans were spun into motion not only to wipe out this new species, but also to break the powerful grip the Sangheili held over the Covenant military--something the Prophets believed would eventually turn against them. Unfortunately, these plans would backfire and the Sangheili would rise against the San’Shyuum, giving the humans victory in the war and ultimately crushing what little was left of their grip on the Covenant empire.
Honoring the iconic hero and his epic journey, the Master Chief’s entire story is brought together as The Master Chief Collection, a collection of all four Halo games, including the re-mastered Halo 2: Anniversary, all at Xbox One visual fidelity and 60 fps.
John Shirley's novel takes readers to the dawn of the Covenant and the fateful alliance between the Prophets and the Elites.