|Scientific name||Perfidia vermis|
|Homeworld||Janjur Qom (original)|
|Skin Colors||Light Brown|
|Behind the Scenes|
San 'Shyuum, also known as Prophets, are a mammal-like species who are the leadership caste within the Covenant and one of the more mysterious member races of the hegemony. Prophets appear to exert complete control over religious and political affairs, fulfilling the role of religious and political leaders. Prophets enforce a misguided theology based on the false belief that firing the Halo Array will start the Great Journey transcending them into a god-like status.
- "Who would doubt the Prophets? What have they foretold that has not come to pass?"
- — Prophet of Truth
Although physically frail compared to other Covenant species, they wield absolute power over the Covenant, making them more dangerous than most. Very little is known about the Prophets, beyond the fact that they are the sole members of the leadership and religious caste of the Covenant hierarchy. They are extremely important in the Covenant because they not only study the holy Forerunner artifacts, but keep order in the Covenant. They are an integral part of the High Council, sharing this responsibility with the Sangheili, also known as the Elites. However the expulsion of the Sangheili and their replacement by the Jiralhanae (often referred to as Brutes) is likely to have caused a power vacuum, and it is not known if any Brute Councilors exist, or if the High Council has been inadvertently disbanded due to the loss of the Covenant Capital City, High Charity. There is a triumvirate of Covenant leaders; they were known as the Prophet of Truth, the Prophet of Mercy, and the Prophet of Regret, though all three are now dead. Regret was killed by the Master Chief on Delta Halo, Mercy by the Flood on High Charity, and Truth by Thel 'Vadam in the Citadel on the Ark.
- "Your haste has jeopardized the fulfillment of our Covenant, threatened our grand design."
- —Cortana, quoting Truth's words to Regret.
Prophets appear extremely frail either as an adaptation to a low-gravity world or because of age. It is likely that inbreeding and a lack of concern for physical health, perhaps superseded by the single-minded desire to achieve "trans-sentience" (Also known as the "Great Journey"), is probably responsible for this outcome. It is known that they claim to have evolved on a former colony of an ancient race called the Forerunners which the Covenant revere as their gods. Prophets derive their legitimacy as leaders as well as their colloquial names from this connection. According to the Prophets their world was destroyed some 3200 years ago (approx. 648 BC) as the result of a natural stellar collapse; and because of this they have since elected to make their home on the mobile-planetoid High Charity.
It is known that the San 'Shyuum waged a fierce and bloody war against the Sangheili at some point, halted only by the discovery of Forerunner artifacts near the field of battle. The two races united to learn their secrets, forming a mutually beneficial arrangement that would eventually become the Covenant, although they usually see themselves above the Elites. The Elites would become the protectors of the Prophets while the Prophets would dedicate themselves to studying their "gods" and learning the secrets behind the"ascension" they left on.
Role within the CovenantEdit
"Whosoever is gripped by fear, take heed. I am the Prophet of Truth... And I am not afraid."
-Prophet of Truth
As the representatives of the gods, the Prophets hold a great amount of power over the other races of the Covenant, earning reverential titles such as "Holy One" and "Eminence". They are protected at all times by the mighty legions of Elite Honor Guards, and rarely involve themselves in combat, preferring to dedicate themselves to studying Forerunner artifacts. However, important events to the Covenant usually require a high-ranking Prophet, such as a Hierarch, to be present.
"Halo! Its divine wind will rush through the stars, propelling all who are worthy along the path to salvation!"
-Prophet of Mercy
Virtually all San 'Shyuum technology is reverse engineered from that of the Forerunners. The majority of the Prophets use anti-gravity belts to support themselves. Higher ranking Prophets, such as the Hierarchs, use anti-gravity thrones with some special modifications. These thrones, however, are not so much for support as they are for personal defense - they are fitted with holographic emitters, an energy shield generator, a teleportation device, and a built-in Gravity Cannon. In the event of assassins getting past their guards, they are able to defend themselves quite well.
Ranks and PositionsEdit
Prophet Hierarchs lead the Covenant High Council as well as the empire itself. They are only three each age, and the three main Prophets who held these ranks are: Truth, Mercy and Regret, who all died by the hands of their enemies. Truth was killed by the Arbiter, Mercy was killed by a Flood infection form and Regret was killed by Master Chief.
Lesser Prophets act as Councilors on the Covenant High Council. They share power with the Sangheili Councilors on the High Council.
Ministers are in charge of ministries within the Covenant Empire.
Vice Ministers are Deputies to Ministers and substitutes for the Minister if necessary.
Seniors aides to the Minister and Vice Minister.
Entry level Ministry workers, Junior Staffers are the lowest members of the Covenant Ministry.
Leaders of the Ascetic priests who tends to the Oracle on High Charity, the Philogist is necessary to the ascension of a new set of Prophet Hierarchs.
Clerics perform religious and medical duties.
Vice Clerics serve as subordinates to full Clerics.
Behind the scenesEdit
- Their Latin name, Perfidia vermis, means "Worms of Treachery".
- There are less than 1000 San 'Shyuum's left in the universe.
- Halo 2, 3, & Halo Wars