AVERAGE SIZE: 7 - 7.5 feet, 180 - 210 lbs
AVERAGE LIFESPAN: > 200 years
COMMON NAME: Prophets
AboutThe San'Shyuum are one of the oldest sapient species in the galaxy, building a great civilization during the time of the Forerunners, eventually getting wiped out during the Great Purification, only to get reseeded in the aftermath. In the millenia that followed, the San'Shyuum rose from the ashes of their former glory, eventually forming the Covenant with the Sangheili and later beginning the Human-Covenant War. When the San'Shyuum betrayed the Sangheili during the Changing of the Guard and the Great Schism, they mostly disappeared from the known galaxy, not to be seen from after 2553. Their current status is unknown.
Ancient HistoryThe San’Shyuum, better known as the prophets, are an advanced alien race and one of the two founding species of the Covenant. Prior to the Great Purification during the Forerunner Era, the San’Shyuum were nearly as advanced as ancient humanity, and later on allied with the humans against the Forerunners during the Human-Forerunner Wars. At the very end of the war, sensing their imminent defeat, the San’Shyuum broke their alliance and betrayed humanity in exchange for a lesser punishment. Following the war, the San’Shyuum were quarantined to their home star system, allowed to continue their civilization but unable to expand beyond the host star system of Janjur Qom. They remained there through the end of the Forerunner Era, where they were wiped out during the Great Purification and then repopulated through the Conservation Measure several years later after the Flood had been wiped out.
Dozens of millennia later, the San’Shyuum had recovered to become a space-faring species again through the help of the many Forerunner artifacts littering the surface of Janjur Qom. In 2200 BCE, a civil war known as the War of Wills began on the planet between a group known as the Stoics who wanted to leave the artifacts alone and a smaller faction known as the Reformists who wanted to use the artifacts for their benefit. For 100 years the battle raged until 2100 BCE, when a group of Reformists gained access to the crashed remains of a Forerunner keyship known as the Anodyne Spirit. Soon after they successfully took command of the ship, flying it off Janjur Qom with a chunk of the planet’s crust attached.
In 938 BCE the San’Shyuum came into contact with the Sangheili, and a war between the two species known as the War of Beginnings was sparked. Similar to the War of Wills, the War of Beginnings was over the San’Shyuum Reformists’ desire to make use of the Forerunner artifacts scattered on Sangheili colonies, while the Sangheili wanted to worship them and leave them be. Though the Sangheili were superior warriors, fighting continued to for over fifty years due to the San’Shyuum’s use of the Anodyne Spirit, slowly battling deeper into Sangheili territory until only Sanghelios and a handful of Sangheili colonies remained. The fighting was finally ended in 852 BCE with the signing of the Writ of Union, a peace treaty between the two races that formed the Covenant and established the species’ roles within the alliance.
Modern HistoryFor the next several millennia the Covenant grew and the San’Shyuum power along with it. Slowly but surely the San’Shyuum solidified their rule over the Sangheili and the lesser Covenant races. By the start of the Human-Covenant War in 2525, the San’Shyuum were firmly in command, though there was an occasional challenge to their power from dissolutioned Sangheili commanders, all of which were put down. Even so, one of the Covenant Hierarchs, the Prophet of Truth, disliked the perceived threat to their power by the Sangheili and developed a plan to replace the Sangheili in the power structure with the newly-incorporated Jiralhanae. This plan, known as the Changing of the Guard, came to a head at the end of 2552 during the Battle for Earth and Battle of Installation 05, sparking a massive conflict between the Sangheili and the Jiralhanae and breaking the Covenant apart. This battle also coincided with the Flood’s capture of High Charity, the center of the Covenant and home to nearly all the San’Shyuum in the alliance. With the San’Shyuum Reformists almost completely wiped out and those remaining being hunted by the Sangheili, the survivors disappeared from the known galaxy, not seen again since 2553.
Notable San'ShyuumThough the San'Shyuum were markedly weaker than the Sangheili and many other Covenant races, they filled the role as the head of nearly all political affairs, making them the most powerful species of the entire hegemony. Their actions not only formed the Covenant, but also started the Human-Covenant War as an attempt to cover up the truth behind their religion and the reality of what happened to the Forerunners.