The Shadow of Intent is perhaps the most well-known Covenant vessel to mankind, having been involved in the Battle of Installation 05, the Battle for Earth, and the Battle of Installation 00. While originally commanded by Jiralhanae, the Great Schism saw the ship change hands to Thel 'Vadam's Fleet of Retribution, after a strike-force led by Half-jaw Rtas 'Vadum commandeered the ship. The ship became the flagship of 'Vadam's fleet, winning the space-battle around High Charity and Installation 05, and partially glassing High Charity after it was overrun by the Flood.
After the Battle of Installation 05, the Shadow of Intent left for Earth, where it arrived immediately after the Flood-infected ship Indulgence of Conviction. It quickly moved in to contain the outbreak, glassing part of the continent of Africa to ensure the threat was eliminated. Now an ally of the UNSC after the Great Schism, Thel 'Vadam and the Shadow of Intent left in the Portal at Voi for the Ark, where it assisted in the battle against the Prophet of Truth and his forces. After Truth's assassination, the Shadow of Intent was used to recover any remaining Sangheili and human survivors, then evacuated them before the firing of Installation 08.
After the war, the ship was refitted and used on various missions throughout the galaxy, most notably a battle with the former Covenant Minister of Preparation Boru'a'Neem involving the unprovoked attack by Boru'a'Neem on Sangheili colonies, and culminated in the dismantling of a plan to use a prototype Halo to destroy all of Sanghelios.