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 The Sangheili (Elites) (WIP)

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PostSubject: The Sangheili (Elites) (WIP)   Fri Mar 27, 2009 8:39 pm




The Sangheili are a species of fierce, proud, strong, intelligent warriors, and skilled combat tacticians. Sangheili are named after their home planet, Sanghelios. Known by many as Elites, presumably due to their adeptness and their skills in combat, the Sangheili formed the military backbone of the Covenant for almost the entirety of its existence.

Originally a founding member of the unified conglomerate of races known as the Covenant, some later led the Covenant breakaway faction known as the Covenant Separatists due to the fact that they learned of the Prophets covering up of the truth behind their religion.

Sangheili are noted for their intelligence. They are incredible tacticians, renowned for their ferocity and decisive thinking. Elites have an unusual physical appearance and anatomy. They have thick torsos but thinner legs. Their skin is leathery with the colors varying from black, brown or grey. The color of their skin often changes when they put on or take off armor because of a covering almost like clothes that exists along with their armor. Their eyes are most often black, dark blue, orange or green.


History
The Sangheili home world, better known as Sanghelios, had at one point been visited by the Forerunners, or had been in contact with the Forerunners. They revered the objects these "Gods" had left, and considered tampering with them a heresy beyond any other. It was not long until they encountered the Prophets, a race who also felt the Forerunners had found salvation, but had utilized their technology for their own needs. This sparked a war between the two factions on how to treat the relics. The Reformists had already suffered terrible losses from a Civil War based on the same argument they had with their own race, the Stoics and if it were not for the incredible power of the Forerunner Dreadnought, they would have perished. The Elites suffered extreme casualties from the Prophet's hit and run techniques that utilized their "Key Ship" and it was not long before even the most devout had to admit their survival depended on the reconstitution of their Forerunner technology. This, of course, led both sides to an agreement that ended with the decommissioning of the Forerunner Dreadnought and a shaky alliance that eventually expanded into the Covenant.

The Prophets helped assuage the Elites by telling them more of the Great Journey: That by seeking out the Holy Rings scattered throughout the galaxy and utilizing them, a Great Journey would begin. This Great Journey would transform believers into godlike beings, while providing salvation for their doomed existence of fighting with the Flood. The Elites then became the bodyguards of the Prophets, who would search the galaxy for these rings. The Writ of Union was drawn up in order to codify the Covenant. Its first canto clearly outlines the nature of the Covenant from the perspective of the Prophets.

Being one of the few species in the Covenant to achieve space-faring status without outside intervention, Sangheili interaction with the Prophets was initially strained. However, the two later formed a prosperous relationship, eventually laying the foundation for the modern Covenant hegemony.

During their membership in the Covenant, Sangheili were simply put, technological and societal equals of the Prophets. However, they found themselves as the dominant military muscle for the entire Covenant structure - hardly surprising given the warlike feudal nature of their historical homeworld, Sanghelios. What was surprising was the cyclical stability this feudal society was able to offer. Technological and medical advancement prospered, and the intelligent, aggressive Sangheili were peerless until they encountered the Prophets. With exchange of goods and ideas, the Sangheili adapted to and eventually embraced the Covenant religion, grafting its tenets to their own belief system.


Description
Sangheili are at least 8' 6" tall, have four fingers and look like a lizard or a Theropod, except for their jaws. When wearing armor, they take on a shark like look because of the "fins" on the sides of their helmets. Their jaws are four separate mandibles attached to their face. The Sangheili are attributed for strength and intelligence, and are praised for their bravery and respect. Sangheili warriors augment these natural abilities further through use of Personal Energy Shields, integrated into their armor. Depending upon rank and mission objective, they are commonly seen in battle with Plasma Rifles, Carbines, Needlers and sometimes Energy swords. Sangheili employ coffin-like Orbital Insertion Pods as well as Phantom and Spirit Drop ships for military transit purposes and rapid-response operations.


Anatomy and Physiology
Elites are quite muscular and a foot taller than a tall human. Their jaw is quadruple-hinged, with an upper jaw and four mandible-like lips that are lined with sharp teeth. It is suggested that the Sangheili are a possibly carnivorous or simply more carnivorous than omnivorous, race, but either way would have to swallow food whole rather than chewing it. It is unknown, given this structure, how Elites speak, though it may be possible that they possess shaping vols or use their tongue. Their hands are tetradactyl, having four digits; two middle fingers, and two opposing thumbs on the outside for grasping. Their legs are digitigrade, with short upper and lower legs, and elongated tarsals, using the distal and intermediate phalanges to support their weight when walking. This arrangement allows them to run very quickly and jump large distances, at least when compared to ordinary Humans and other species of the Covenant. Their superior agility may also be attributed to their homeworld's higher gravity, causing them to be more powerful and able to jump higher than usual in lower gravity situations.

Given that Sangheili eyes are located on the sides of their elongated head, it is likely that they possess poor binocular vision, but greater peripheral vision (monocular vision), than humans. Elites have at least two hearts, possessing indigo-colored blood, most likely a bimetallic hemoglobin, possibly cobalt-iron, rather than the monometallic iron based hemoglobin of Humans. Despite the many theories, it is still unknown what chemical makes their blood this color. It is assumed that they breathe oxygen, as they can breathe the same atmosphere as Humans, and their homeworld has a nitrogen-oxygen atmosphere, similar to Earth's. They also appear to have a double set of pectoral muscles, which contribute to their incredible strength. They have grayish-brown skin which looks spotted, and the majority of Elites have either dark blue, black eyes, or brown eyes, although there are a few exceptions. It has been theorized that the reason Elites seem to have dark blue eyes is because they wear eye coverings. Elites have eyes with slit-shaped pupils, a large iris, horizontal eyelids, and are positioned laterally. They also have claws.


Intelligence
Elites are extremely intelligent and always demonstrate this in combat. Elites are normally on the move when fighting, constantly running and ducking, strafing and dodging when firing at the enemy. When presented with an obstacle, such as a Warthog driving at them, they will leap out of the way, and if a vehicle stops, they will attempt to board it or disable it. They are also smart enough to utilize cover, ducking behind crates or other obstacles when their shields are drained until they recharge. It should be noted that not all Elites make use of cover, because of their superior strength; these are the Elites who hold the ranks of either Zealot or Councilor. Elite's seem to implore complex strategy if only it either improves success in battle, or it allows them to inflict more casualties on their enemies. In ship-to-ship combat, despite having the advantage of long range weapons such as plasma torpedo's, Elite's prefer to maneuver in close in an attempt to board their opponents vessel. These Elites charge their enemies with reckless aggression, regardless of any damage they sustain; only very seldom do they admit temporary defeat. They are quite capable of luring their enemies into traps by falling back into cover; as the enemy approaches, the Elite will spring from its position and land a massive melee hit on the unsuspecting opponent, and is especially even more dangerous if the hiding Elite is carrying an energy sword due to the weapon's high melee power. Elites are incredible tacticians, renowned for their ferocity and decisive thinking. This is shown to be very true in space during ship-to-ship combat, even when being horribly out numbered; they can win the fight with only few losses.


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PostSubject: Re: The Sangheili (Elites) (WIP)   Sat Mar 28, 2009 10:25 pm

Culture
The Sangheili consider most other species to be inferior to them, both culturally and in fighting skill. In the case of culture, Sangheili believe that copulation without regard for the bloodline is uncultured.

Although Sangheili are naturally very intelligent, their culture's long dependence on a military-industrial schema has led to an emphasis on might over science. In some regards, the advent of the Covenant made this position easier-allowing the Sangheili to concentrate even more mono-manically on military endeavors, while Prophets took care of science and technology. Despite this, their adeptness at using and creating technology is evident. It is probable that they designed the Covenant Cruiser themselves.

All warriors are skilled in hand-to-hand combat and are almost equal to a Spartan II in a powered exoskeleton. Promotion in the Covenant military is by merit; a Covenant soldier must succeed to advance among the ranks. Success is often measured in scalps. A Zealot, for example, has slaughtered thousands of individuals to reach that status.

Raised from childhood to be warriors, other societal roles are treated as secondary endeavors or even hobbies. Even the most humble Sangheili citizen is skilled in most weapons and hand-to-hand combat. One interesting example of this martial focus is that only aristocrats are allowed to wield swords and that sword-wielders are then no longer eligible for marriage; however, they may breed with any female they choose, married or otherwise, to ensure successful transmission of "swordsman" genes.

In many ways the Elites are much like Humans. They communicate, are loyal to their superiors and comrades, become protective of their troops and become angry and vengeful if other Elites are killed. They fear very little, taking great pride in an ancient, honor-laden code. Even when mortally wounded, such as being stuck with a Plasma Grenade, they may roar with pain and fury, but they still charge towards the enemy in a doomed last minute attack.


Respect
Elites display respect and admiration for honorable fighters, whether they are allies of the Elites or not. It is not unusual for the Elites to have such an admiration for their adversaries. Their history is rife with victorious combatants welcoming the defeated enemies' remaining forces into their own arm. During the Grunt Rebellion the most tenacious of the Grunts who survived the conflict were admitted for the first time into previously all-Sangheili forces, much to the Prophet's discontent.


Superstitions
Despite their martial nature, the Sangheili have reservations to the spilling of one's own blood. This is an extension of the belief that the blood of a warrior is his essence (honor); thus, to spill one's blood is to lose one's honor. As a result, doctors in Sangheili culture are seen by some as scum because they "make [their] living slicing and causing another Sangheili to bleed without honor." This meant that the only 'honorable' way for an Elite to be injured or bled out is from combat with the enemy. This belief also makes visiting a doctor very shameful for some Sangheili.

It is a belief among the Sangheili that a weapon is only drawn if it is to be used, because a "drawn weapon demands blood".


Government
Sangheili government appears to be a feudal meritocracy and democratic in case of some elders different clans ruling different areas. The ruler, a kaidon, of these areas is elected by a group of council elders that reside in that area. If a council elder believes that his vote was "ill advised" or "had second thoughts", it was considered a tradition for council elders to initiate some form of attack such as assassins against the kaidon in order "to test the true merit of a ruler's martial abilities". The belief was that "a kaidon who could not defend himself was not a true leader." Should the attack fail then the responsible elder was executed immediately, and his family removed. However punishment for this form of heresy was usually flexible. As such, if the elder did something honorable such as attack the kaidon himself, or attempt to make a final stand against the kaidon then he would have probably have managed to save his family from a certain doom.


Family
Family history and lineage are greatly valued, with each family having their own unique "Battle Poem" detailing the deeds and actions of its members during war times. These "war poems" may have influenced the recitation of war poetry among the Mgalekgolo, due to their deep respect for Sangheili. It is theorized that only Sangheili males are sent into service as warriors and soldiers, as no female Sangheili have been seen to have served in the military. Whether sexual dimorphism exists in Sangheili or if there is a significant difference in gender roles is not known.

The warriors form very close knitted relationships, referring to their comrades as "brothers" and remaining intensely loyal to them. This loyalty is shown in the custom of grieving after the death of a fallen comrade, a ritual which includes prayer for the dead warrior.


Children
In some clans, Sangheili children are raised in "common rooms" to ensure that all start on an equal footing and progress in rank by merit of their abilities. Members of some Sangheili clans rarely know their true fathers, and are usually raised by a maternal uncle instead. This may be a method of preventing status from being inherited in order to force children to make their own way in the world so they actively work for and earn advancement. Though, as some children's fathers were Swordsmen who were granted the right to reproduce with any number of female Sangheili they desire, the use of a maternal uncle as a father-like figure may have also been to allow children to be raised equally. A popular pastime Sangheili children seem to have is to catch and kill small rat-like creatures that also live on their home world.


Naming
Elites have great value in their names, and are considered a privilege and an honor for only those proved worthy.

The surname of each individual comes from their lineage. Rtas' Vadum, for example, would be from the Vadum lineage. The lineage's own states on Sanghelios, and each Sangheili from that area adopts the name of the lineage.

Elite names are constructed from a series of parts, each of them with a specific or special meaning. The first name is a given name that is attained at birth, which persists until adulthood. As they come of age, they earned the right to carry a badge name. This name is made up of three parts: an adjectival descriptor, such as "fast" or "deadly," a crèche or family name, and the "-ee" suffix, an honorific indicating that the Elite is a military participant. Most Elites will have names with this kind of construction. It appears that additional titles may be given to those of very high rank, such as Xytan 'Jar Wattinree. Since "Jar" is not a part of the standard Elite name, it may be assumed that it denotes Xytan's status as Imperial Admiral, although this has yet to be confirmed. There is no other reference, however, of other names with this sort of addition, other than Voro 'Mantakree who was given the additional title Nar to denote his status as a Fleet Master.


Homeworld
Sanghelios is the home world of the Sangheili race. Temperatures on Sanghelios vary between -5°C and 96°C, with a population of 8.135 billion living in such conditions. Gravity on Sanghelios is approximately 1.375g. Atmospheric composition derives of Nitrogen, Oxygen, and Argon. Sanghelios is the fourth planet in a Triple Star System of stars Urs, Fied, and Joori. The planet has two Moons called Qikost and Suban. Many Forerunner artifacts exist on the planet, which are (or at least were) the topic of worship, as well as the cause of historical wars between the Sangheili and the San 'Shyuum before the formation of the Covenant. Sanghelios is divided into provinces, which in turn into states. Each state is owned by a Lineage, and everyone born in that state adopts the lineage's name as a surname, whether they have the suffix 'ee' on the end or not. Each state is controlled by a Kaidon, and is advised by Elders.


Rank Structure
Elites are promoted based upon their skills, abilities, and the number of casualties they inflict upon their enemy. This is usually measured by scalps. A high-ranking elite (e.g. a Zealot) may have personally slaughtered thousands of enemies throughout his military career.
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PostSubject: Re: The Sangheili (Elites) (WIP)   Sat Apr 04, 2009 3:08 am

Rank Structure
Elites are promoted based upon their skills, abilities, and the number of casualties they inflict upon their enemy. This is usually measured by scalps. A high-ranking elite (e.g. a Zealot) may have personally slaughtered thousands of enemies throughout his military career.

High Council
Councilor - These Elites share power with the minor Prophets on the High Council.

High Commander
Imperial Admiral - The Imperial Admiral's role is to command the whole fleet of the Covenant.
Supreme Commander - The Supreme Commander is the commander of a rather large or powerful fleet.
Zealot - The Generals and Admirals of the Covenant military.
- Fleet Master - Fleet Masters command armadas
- Ship Master - Ship Masters command ships
- Field Master - Field Masters lead armies

Honor Guard
Honor Guard Ultra - The Lights of Sangheilios are one of the most elite combat units of the Sangheili.
Honor Guardsman - The Elite Honor Guards are the personal guard of the High Council.

Covenant Special Operations
Special Operations Commander - controlling all Spec Ops within the Covenant and taking missions personally from the Prophets.
Special Operations Elite - Special Operations Elites are extremely skilled fighters, sent in by the Covenant to accomplish the most dangerous and difficult of missions.

Specialists
Stealth Elite - The Stealth Elites are the Covenant's assassins and spies, and they use Active Camo technology as their main ability, as the Special Operations Elites do.
Elite Ranger - Rangers are a voluntary group of Elites that work in the least forgiving environment of all: vacuum.

Regulars
Elite Ultra - These are the Covenant's Colonels and Captains, just below the golden-armored Zealots in rank.
Elite Major - This veteran Elite warrior is the physical equal of the augmented human and the ranking equivalent of a Lieutenant.
Elite Minor - The most common and least experienced Elite, Minor Elites are still skilled warriors superior to any standard Human soldier.


Other Ranks
Arbiter - In times of an extraordinary crisis, the High Council bestows the rank of the Arbiter on a single Elite.

Kaidon - Kaidons are leaders of particular States on Sanghelios, and the heads of their Lineages.

Oracle Master - Apparently advisers to the High Council and to the High Prophets, specializing in intelligence gathering and religious advise to high ranking Prophets and the Sangheilian Councilors.

Aristocrat - The aristocrats are important members of Sangheili society, they are masters of sword combat. They are unable to marry, but allowed to mate with any female, married or unmarried, to "pass on the genes of sword fighting and the nobility."

Ossoona - Ossoona is a special rank of Elites that are meant to be spies and are not suited for combat, instead meant for information gathering. It is a temporary rank only granted to those who have attained at least the rank of Major Domo.

Ascetic - The Ascetic Elites are like a special group of Elites made to ensure stability and purity. The Ascetic armor has been made to inflict a psychological fear by the use of special elements in the armor.

Commando - Commando is a rank of Elite, it is a branch of the Special Warfare Group. They are based upon pre-contact ground forces. Commando elites posses hardened communication gear and up-link capable equipment that an ordinary elite wouldn't have access to. Their armor is streamlined for better maneuverability in close encounters. The armor is lightweight and advanced internal equipment increase the overall effectiveness of an individual Elite making them more deadly.
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