The Covenant Empire, also referred to as The Covenant, is a theocratic hegemony made up of multiple alien species that maintains control over a large portion of the Orion Arm in the Milky Way galaxy. The Covenant is a political, military, and religious affiliation, originally a mutual alliance between the San'Shyuum and Sangheili following a brutal conflict between the two warring races. Its expansion to include at least five other races united in the worship of the Forerunners and the Halo Array soon began after the original formation. Now they wage a genocidal campaign against Humanity.
Overview and Background
Many of the alien species conquered by the Covenant are conscripted into, or gradually become part of the alliance.
|v • d • e||Covenant species in SPV3|
|Grunt • Jackal • Elite • Hunter • Brute • Skirmisher|
Covenant technology is repeatedly referred to as more imitative rather than innovative. Their technology is based largely on mimicry and reverse-engineering of the leftover Forerunner artifacts they have discovered. While Covenant technology is far more advanced than human technology, the Covenant seem to be ignorant of how precise or powerful their technology can actually be.
While Humans are inferior technologically, they are still capable of learning and often improving on new technology while Covenant advances are significantly slower. This is, perhaps, the Covenant's most serious disadvantage. Their technology is limited by this almost parasitic reliance on reversed-engineered Forerunner technology. In Covenant culture, there are religious laws set that prevent them from fully exploring what the Forerunners employed to create that technology.
Like humans, Covenant ships can enter slipstream space and travel faster than light. However, the Covenant equivalent of the Shaw-Fujikawa Engine is far more efficient and reliable. Covenant vessels do not suffer the "temporal fluidity" of the slipstream to such a degree as Human vessels. As a result, Covenant battle groups are much more efficient when acting as a coordinated group, and can strike more quickly and decisively.
Covenant starships use Repulsor engines for propulsion in space, rather than traditional reaction drives used by the UNSC. Covenant drive systems seem to be propelled by an unusual combination of gravity "waves" and some form of highly reactive plasma displacement, but the actual means and method of propulsion is currently beyond human understanding.
Most of the Covenant arsenal is plasma-based Directed Energy Weapons, however the Covenant are known to utilize pulse lasers, antimatter, and even chemical crystal-based weapons.
Plasma weapons are more rugged and far more effective than laser based weapons. They use a power cell to provide power to the internal components- most importantly a high energy current at the muzzle end of the weapon- to complete the cycling, ignition and release operation of the weapon. Plasma weapons use Hydrogen Fluoride as a source of fuel- this fuel is flash boiled and contained within a magnetic field until it turns from a cool liquid to superheated ionized gas.
Covenant plasma weapons are effective but crude for their technology. As such, they are prone to overheating, a weakness among the weapon class. Weapon designs compensate for this, although they render weapons inoperable as the excess heat is dissipated. Once the energy of the plasma weapon is depleted, it must be recharged, or discarded.
The Covenant are also known to employ ammunition based weapons, the most common of these being crystal based weapons. These weapons appear to use some type of chemical that reacts to environments and forms a hard razor sharp crystal that when fired, homes in on organic material and detonates when either embedded into an object or travels too far away from the weapon itself. These types of weapons are very dangerous because of their homing ability- one of the few "fire and forget" armaments on an infantry-portable level. With the introduction of the Jiralhanae, their weapons have found limited to widespread use. Jiralhanae weaponry typically utilizes crude projectile-like metal spikes in place of plasma, as well as explosive grenade-like launchers. Often, these weapons are outfitted with some form of sharp blade, spike or other implement as a sort of bayonet analog. On the whole, they are more primitive, brutal weapons than other Covenant counterparts - fitting, considering the nature of their creators.
The Covenant are also known to employ melee weapons in addition to their already fearsome arsenal. The most well known, is the Energy Sword, used solely by the Sangheili. Creating a solid blade of superheated plasma, it has both ceremonial and martial value to the Sangheili warriors, and its possession is closely monitored.
|v • d • e||Covenant infantry weapons in SPV3|
|Plasma Pistol (Brute variant • Void's Tear) • Plasma Rifle (Brute variant • Modified Plasma Rifle) • Piercer • Spiker • Needler • Shredder • Brute Shot • Particle Carbine (Unstable Round Carbine) • Focus Rifle • Hunter Cannon (Beam • Fuel Rod • Shade) • Energy Sword • Jackal Shield • Plasma Grenade • Gravity Grenade • Cluster Grenade • Needle Grenade|
Covenant vehicles use advanced anti-gravity technology for propulsion, and are well armored and well armed. Often faster than their UNSC counterparts, Covenant vehicles are more stable over uneven terrain as the anti-gravity help keep them upright. All Covenant vehicles are made from a purple or dark blue type of metal, said to be much more advanced than any alloy known to Humans, and all Covenant vehicles are nicknamed after some kind of supernatural entity by the UNSC, except for Shadows.
|v • d • e||Covenant vehicles in SPV3|
|Ghost • Shadow (Fuel Rod) • Wraith (Anti-Air) • Banshee (Interceptor) • Shade (Fuel Rod) • Phantom • Spirit • CCS-class Battlecruiser • ORS-class Heavy Cruiser • CAS-class Assault Carrier|
- Early concepts of the Sangheili resemble the Xenomorphs from the film Aliens, as with many other things such as Pelicans and Sgt. Avery Johnson.