Conflict & Reconciliation
The beginnings of the Covenant can be traced as far back as 2200 BCE, at the start of the War of Wills, a violent San’Shyuum civil war on their home planet of Janjur Qom. While most San’Shyuum wanted to worship and revere the Forerunner artifacts scattered on their homeworld without disturbing them, a small sect of San’Shyuum thought it best to exploit any and all Forerunner technology for their benefit. This disagreement exploded into a war between the majority Stoics and the minority Reformists, a fight that lasted around one-hundred years. The conflict only concluded when the Reformists took control of the crashed Forerunner Dreadnought, half-buried in the Janjur Qom surface, and successfully piloted it away from the planet.
For the next thousand years, the San’Shyuum Reformists, which numbered around one-thousand, searched the galaxy for Forerunner artifacts, eventually coming into contact with the Sangheili in 938 BCE. Like the Stoics a thousand years prior, the Sangheili wanted to worship the Forerunner artifacts littering their homeworld and colonies, and didn’t appreciate the Reformists who wanted the artifacts to themselves. This sparked another war, the War of Beginnings, which lasted over eighty years, between the Reformists and Sangheili. Eventually the two sides fought to a draw, signing an alliance known as the Writ of Union which ended the war and formed the Covenant. For the next several centuries, the Covenant grew, building High Charity and incorporating new species into their theocratic union of alien races.
Age of ConversionThe Covenant continued to grow for thousands of years, Adding both the Yanme’e and Kig-Yar into the fold. Though neither species wanted to join initially, the might of Covenant eventually overwhelmed both civilizations, adding their skills to the ranks of the empire and growing it’s strength even further.
Doubt & Discovery
In 2142 the Covenant discovered the Unggoy, a relatively weak race that had little ability to fight off the power the Covenant wielded. They were quickly assimilated into the ranks by force, becoming the slaves of the other Covenant species. This position as the weakest race made the Unggoy hungry for any respect within the Covenant, eventually resulting in the Unggoy Rebellion. Though the rebellion was quashed quickly, it did help the Grunts to earn the respect of the Sangheili, finally giving them combat roles.
The Jiralhanae were the last Covenant species to be incorporated into the Covenant, joining in 2492, just before first contact with humanity in 2525. Though the Brutes were strong, they were also recovering from a great civil war known as the First Immolation, one that sent the entire Jiralhanae civilization back to pre-industrial times and covered their home planet of Doisac with radioactive fallout. Though they didn’t know it then, the addition of the Brutes would eventually lead to the collapse of the Covenant in 2552 after the onset of the Great Schism.