Halo Alpha
Halo Alpha

The Writ of Union, is an oath of service to the Covenant, written by the San'Shyuum and Sangheili who founded the Covenant at the end of their war. In the old Covenant tradition, when an Elite became a warrior, he recited the oath. This writ was apparently authored and first documented in the first Age of Reconciliation (852 BCE).


Part of the defining union between the San'Shyuum and the Sangheili was the division of labor it created: the San'Shyuum would serve as the religious leaders and scientists, studying Forerunner technology and seeking to discover how to use the Halo Array to initiate the Great Journey, which would propel the faithful to join the Forerunners in a god-like state of transcendence. In return for sharing this knowledge, the Sangheili would serve as the San'Shyuum's protectors and warriors, having total control over all security matters. As the Covenant expanded and incorporated other races, they were added to the Writ of Union, serving as soldiers under the Sangheili.

The Oath[]

"All who walk the blessed path will find salvation, even in death.

Out of darkness, these blades will light our way.

Glory and honor guide our ascension.

On the blood of our fathers, on the blood of our sons.

The true devotee honors our name with actions, not words.

Victory is secured not from the throne, but from the frontlines.

With this sacrament of blood we journey into the divine beyond."

- Third Echelon Leader

The beginning of the Writ of Union is as follows:

So full of hate were our eyes

That none of us could see

Our war would yield countless dead

But never victory

So let us cast arms aside

And like discard our wrath

Thou, in faith, will keep us safe

Whilst we find the path

The Arbiter (Level)[]

On the Halo 2 level, The Arbiter, in the opening cut scene, SpecOps Elites recite this before they land :

Rtas 'Vadumee: "When we joined the Covenant, we took an Oath!"

SpecOps Elites: "According to our station! All without exception!"

Rtas 'Vadumee: "On the blood of our fathers... on the blood of our sons, we swore to uphold the Covenant!"

SpecOps Elites: "Even to our dying breath!"

Rtas 'Vadumee: "Those who would break this oath are Heretics... Worthy of neither pity, nor mercy! Even now, They use our Lord's creations to broadcast their lies!"

SpecOps Elites: "We shall grind them into dust!" {The subtitles add to this line with "...scrape them as excrement from our boots." - see trivia.}

Rtas 'Vadumee: "And continue our march to glorious salvation!"

Early Halo 2 script[]

On and on shall old war go, Without respite my blood will flow

O’er your eyes ‘til they cannot see The impossibility of victory.[1]


  • High-ranked Covenant Unggoy Deacons, such as Dadab, were required to memorize the entire Writ of Union, word for word.
  • During gameplay, the extra line "scrape them as excrement from our boots" in the subtitles is added to the oath by the Special Operations Elites after "We shall grind them into dust," however, it remains unspoken. The reason for this omission is unknown.[2]
  • The Writ of Union is written on the inside of the Halo 2: Original Soundtrack Volume One.