What does it mean to be "Covenant" today? A hundred warlords claim they rule the Covenant, but each of them leads only a small faction.
Covenant remnants is a collective term referring to the numerous factions which emerged in the stead of the original Covenant Empire after its dissolution in the Battle of the Citadel and the events which followed. The remnants have varying political and religious standpoints, and conflict between different remnant factions is commonplace.
- Main article: Great Schism
Covenant Remnant Factions
Swords of Sanghelios
- Main article: Swords of Sanghelios
By far the most prominent remnant faction, the Swords of Sanghelios was an ancient faction, reformed with what remained of the Covenant Separatists by the Arbiter Thel 'Vadam after the end of the Human-Covenant war. Unlike many remnant factions, the Swords of Sanghelios promotes peace and cooperation with humanity, to further both species' goals. Despite faction's title, the Swords of Sanghelios allowed species other than just the Sangheili among their ranks, such as many Unggoy. By Sangheili standards, the Swords of Sanghelios are considered very progressive for reasons such as their admittance of female Sangheili into military positions, something otherwise unheard of.
Sali 'Nyon's Covenant
- Main article: Sali 'Nyon's Covenant
A breakaway faction from Jul 'Mdama's now defunct Covenant, Sali 'Nyon's Covenant came about following a successful mutiny on board the CAS-class assault carrier Breath of Annihilation. Due to his collaboration with Catherine Halsey among other things, warriors of 'Nyon's Covenant see 'Mdama as a false prophet and instead believe that Sali 'Nyon is a legitimate one.
- Main article: The Banished
A Jiralhanae-led faction whose Chieftain is Atriox, the Banished existed long before the Great Schism, and are known to have had conflicts with the original Covenant in the past. Banished forces have most recently been seen on Installation 00 in 2559, where they came across the UNSC Spirit of Fire.
Servants of the Abiding Truth
- Main article: Servants of the Abiding Truth
Keepers of the One Freedom
- Main article: Keepers of the One Freedom
Luro 'Taralumee's power consolidation
- Main article: Covenant Separatists
Covenant Separatists is the collective term given to the splinter factions of Sangheili formed following their ejection from the Covenant by the Prophet of Truth. On the 3rd of November 2552, Truth ordered the Sangheili in several major fleets to be massacred and replaced by Jiralhanae, who he viewed as easier to control. This caused the Covenant to splinter, as many of the Sangheili (as well as some Unggoy and Mgalekgolo) formed pacts and fought back. Though the Separatists were not a coordinated force and each alliance varied in beliefs, most were united in rebellion against the Covenant.
The splintering of the Covenant had a profound impact on tide the Human-Covenant war. Suddenly, humanity was fighting an enemy which was also fighting itself, rendering it a considerably weaker foe, and ultimately it was this which allowed the UNSC to claim victory. Although the largest Separatist force, the Combined Fleet of Righteous Purpose, was destroyed when a NOVA Bomb detonated in the vicinity, it was the Fleet of Retribution, led by Arbiter Thel 'Vadam and Shipmaster Rtas 'Vadum, that had the greatest effect on the war. Circumstances forced the Arbiter to negotiate a ceasefire with human forces on Delta Halo, and this makeshift alliance led to the prevention of the Halo Array's firing, the death of Truth (and hence the end of the war) on the Ark and finally the defeat of the Flood by firing a Halo ring.
Following the end of the war, many Separatist movements lost momentum, no longer united by a common goal. Those loyal to the Arbiter formed the Swords of Sanghelios, but most either disbanded or evolved into one of the many other remnant factions.
Sesa 'Refumee's separatist faction
- Main article: Sesa 'Refumee's separatist faction
Sesa 'Refumee's faction was originally a Covenant regiment led by 'Refumee, that was deployed to a gas mine in the atmosphere of Threshold during the Battle of Installation 04. After the ring's destruction, 343 Guilty Spark traveled to the gas mine, where he informed 'Refumee of the true purpose of the Halo Array; to wipe out all life in the galaxy. This caused the regiment to break away from the Covenant, whose objective was to activate the rings.
'Refumee secretly sent messages to several Sangheili in the hopes of swaying them to his cause. However, this was his undoing; one of the Elites showed the message to the Covenant authorities, and the Prophet of Truth deployed the newly-crowned Arbiter, Thel 'Vadamee, to quell the heretics. Ultimately, the faction met its end when the Arbiter killed 'Refumee, its leader, and jettisoned the mine into the gas giant below. Any remaining forces loyal to the cause were likely annihilated by the Covenant or inducted into the Covenant Separatists when the Great Schism erupted the following month.
Jul 'Mdama's Covenant
- Main article: Jul 'Mdama's Covenant
Formerly one of the most prominent remnant factions, Jul 'Mdama's Covenant was founded on the colony of Hesduros by Jul 'Mdama in partnership with many clans from the planet. The faction proved to be a thorn in the side of both the Swords of Sanghelios and the UNSC, participating in many battles such as the Battle of Requiem, the Requiem Campaign and the Battle of Aktis IV. However, the faction had its head severed during the Battle of Kamchatka when 'Mdama was killed by Spartan Jameson Locke, and it would later meet its end during its last stand at Sunaion.
Merg Vol's Covenant
- Main article: Merg Vol's Covenant
- Main article: Boru'a'Neem's faction
Vata 'Gajat's mercenary group
- Main article: Vata 'Gajat's mercenary group