Who would have doubt the Prophets? What have we foretold that has not come to pass?
~ The Prophet of Truth

San Shyuum are a species of aliens who hold leadership of the Covenant Empire, and serving as some of the more mysterious members of the empire. They appear to exert complete control over religious and political affairs, thus fulfilling the role as leaders. They enforce a misguided theology based on the false belief, that firing the Halo Array will start the Great Journey and transcend them to a god like status. Although physically frail and weak compared to the other species within the Covenant, they wield near absolute power throughout the Covenant. Before the formation of the Covenant, the Prophets had a war against the Sangheili and had Forerunner technology to support them in combat. At the end of their war, the two species formed the Covenant and made an oath: Prophets would act as religious leaders while the Elites would be in charge of military operations and act as their protectors.

The three main Prophets throughout the Halo series were Truth, Mercy and Regret, who were the leaders of the empire though Truth appeared to have more control. With the exception of Regret who was assassinated by John 117 on Installation 05, Mercy and Truth planned to remove the Elites from power and replace them with Brutes. Truth encouraged the other aliens to stay loyal to their Prophets and turn on their Elite commanders.

Ranking System

  • Hierarch: Leaders of the Covenant Empire 
  • Lesser: Members of the Covenant High Council
  • Minister: In charge of Ministries
  • Vice Minister: Deputies to full Ministers
  • Senior Staffer: Aides to Ministers and Vice Ministers
  • Junior Staffer: Staff
  • Cleric: Prophets who perform religious and medical operations
  • Vice Cleric: Subordinates to Clerics

Known Prophets

Prophet Hierarchs

  • Prophet of Truth (Killed by the Arbiter on Installation 00)
  • Prophet of Mercy (Killed by the Flood on High Charity)
  • Prophet of Regret (Killed by John 117 on Installation 05)
  • Prophet of Restraint (Deposed)
  • Prophetess of Obligation (Deposed)
  • Prophet of Tolerance (Deposed)

Lesser Prophets


  • Minister of Etiology (Killed by the Flood)
  • Minister of Inquisition (Killed aboard Harbinger of Piety)
  • Minister of Penance