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The Celestial Temple, home of the Prophets

The Prophets as the Bajorans know them, Siblings to the Eav'oq or Wormhole aliens to Starfleet are a race of non-corporeal aliens who reside in the Bajoran wormhole outside of linear space time.


The Prophets and Bajor

The Prophets have been involved with affairs of the Bajoran people for millennia. The Bajora began the worship of the Prophets which soon spread over much of the planet to the point where the planet and people were named after the Bajora. (DS9 - Gateways short story: "Horn and Ivory")

The Prophets sent nine Orbs to Bajor which can sometimes induce effects on those exposed to them, these have been interpreted as messages and sometimes even communication with the Prophets.

The Prophets and the Pah-Wraith

There existed another group of beings similar to the Prophets who were known as the Pah-wraith. One group of Pah-wraith were banished by the Prophets to the Fire Caves on Bajor while another group remained hidden within a second Red Wormhole. Both groups were unlike the Prophets as they were malevolent as well as cruel. (DS9 novel: Millennium)

Other Information

Out of respect for the Prophets the Iconians did not generally build Gateways within a ten lightyear radius of the wormhole. (DS9 - Gateways novel: Demons of Air and Darkness)


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San 'Shyuum (Perfidia vermis)
Biological information


Physical description

7 feet, 2 inch[1] (220 cm)


200.6 pounds[1] (91 kg)

Skin color

Brown-pink, Gray-pink


Long necks, humanoid features

Military and Political information

Gravity Thrones, Gravity Belt[2]

Notable Individuals
Other Nomenclature
  • Holy one
  • High one
  • Hierarchs (High Prophets only)
"Who would doubt the Prophets? What have they foretold that has not come to pass?"
Prophet of Truth

San 'Shyuum (Latin Perfidia vermis[1], meaning "Worms of Treachery"[3]), also known as Prophets, are a mammal-like species who are the leadership caste within the Covenant and one of the more mysterious member races of the hegemony. Prophets appear to exert complete control over religious and political affairs, fulfilling the role of religious and political leaders. Prophets enforce a misguided theology based on the false belief that firing the Halo Array will start the Great Journey transcending them into a God-like status. Although physically frail compared to other Covenant species, they wield absolute power over the Covenant, making them more dangerous than most.



Very little is known about the Prophets, beyond the fact that they are the sole members of the leadership and religious caste of the Covenant hierarchy. They are extremely important in the Covenant because they not only study the holy Forerunner artifacts, but they keep order in the Covenant. The only prophet that you fight within gameplay (Discounting the campaign against the Prophet of Truth) is the Prophet of Regret. They are an integral part of the Covenant High Council, formerly sharing this responsibility with the Elites[4]. However the expulsion of the Sangheili and their replacement by the Jiralhanae is likely to have caused a power vacuum, and it is not known if any Brute Councilors exist, or if the High Council has been inadvertently disbanded due to the loss of the Covenant Capital City, High Charity. Halo 2 indicates that there is a triumvirate of Covenant leaders. They were known as the Prophet of Truth, Prophet of Mercy and the Prophet of Regret, though all three are now dead. Regret was killed by the Master Chief on Delta Halo, Mercy by the Flood on High Charity, and Truth by Thel 'Vadam in the Citadel on the Ark.

Prophets appear extremely frail either as an adaptation to a low-gravity world or because of age. The supplemental book incorporated in the Halo 3 Collector's and Legendary Edition suggests that inbreeding and a lack of concern for physical health, perhaps superseded by the single-minded desire to achieve "trans-sentience" (Also known as the "Great Journey"), is probably responsible for this outcome.

It is known that they claim to have evolved on a former colony of an ancient race called the Forerunners [5] which the Covenant revere as their gods. Prophets derive their legitimacy as leaders as well as their colloquial names from this connection. According to the Prophets their world was destroyed some 3200 years ago before the events of Halo 3 (approx. 648 BC) as the result of a natural stellar collapse; and because of this they have since elected to make their home on the mobile-planetoid High Charity [1]. It is also known that they waged a fierce and bloody war against the Elites at some point, halted only by the discovery of Forerunner artifacts near the field of battle [5]. The two races united to learn their secrets, forming a mutually beneficial arrangement that would eventually become the Covenant, although they usually see themselves above the Elites. The Elites would become the protectors of the Prophets while the Prophets would dedicate themselves to studying their "gods" and learning the secrets behind the "ascension" they left on.[4]

High Prophet of Truth, the main Prophet and antagonist of the Halo series

As the representatives of the gods, the Prophets hold a great amount of power over the other races of the Covenant, earning reverential titles such as "Holy One" and "Eminence".[6] They are protected at all times by the mighty Legions of Elite Honor Guards [7], and rarely involve themselves in combat, preferring to dedicate themselves to studying Forerunner artifacts. However, important events to the Covenant usually require a high-ranking Prophet, such as a Hierarch, to be present.[4]

The majority of the Prophets use anti-gravity belts to support themselves. Higher ranking Prophets, such as the Hierarchs (a group of three Prophets with total control of the Covenant), use anti-gravity thrones to support themselves. These however, are not so much for support as they are for personal defense - they are fitted with holographic emitters, an energy shield generator, a teleportation device, and a built-in Gravity Cannon. In the event of assassins getting past their guards, they are able to defend themselves quite well with the Gravity Cannon.[4]

Since the activation of the Halo Array, the Prophet's numbers have been dwindling, with the destruction of their original homeworld 3200 years before the events of 2552 likely contributing, and at the time of Halo 2 there were only 23,831,463 Prophets existing, after the Flood invasion of High Charity, their new "Home World," the majority of their species was consumed, leaving less than a thousand alive, most doomed by the Elite's quarantine of Delta Halo, and the rest of the Covenant Fleet. The Bestiarum contains a most curious reference to the Prophets. Where the rest of the races have one entry for population, the Prophets have two: Their current population, and one noted as "At time of Reseeding", exactly 500,000,000. [1]



Anatomy and Physiology

Since they bear the status of political figureheads, most Prophets are physically frail creatures, preferring to move around via Gravity Belts, or Gravity Thrones outfitted with an impenetrable shield, a powerful particle beam gun, and a short-range teleportation device, in the case of the High Prophets. A life of physical inactivity leaves most if not all Prophets withered and weak. It should also be noted that the Prophets are at an odd middle-point in mass; it appears, therefore, that they are transformed into their own special Flood form due to their frailty. In the Halo 3 level The Covenant, the Prophet of Truth is seen walking for a short amount of time.

Each Prophet has distinct, often fur-covered lobes of skin hanging underneath their chin similar to a beard, known as "wattles".[8] Prophets of greater age, for example the High Prophet of Mercy, have skin lobes on either side of their heads reminiscent of ears; despite this resemblance, the San 'Shyuum actually receive sound at the back of the head. The Prophet of Truth (and possibly others) appears to have slits on both sides of his head. Prophets have three digits on each hand, and are usually found wearing ornamental pieces that may also double as life support systems. These head-pieces bear a holographic representation of a Halo (indicating that the Covenant have known about the Halo rings for much longer than originally thought), but each is uniquely shaped and highly ornamental. However Prophet Councilors have been seen wearing more functional robes that lack any ornamentation whatsoever. These Prophets have a lower status and as a result wear simple robes and can be found on the seating above the Council Chamber accompanying Sangheili Councilors. Prophets also seem to have parts of their brain showing through absences of skin on their heads, while skin is still there, it may be possible that they evolved to allow their brain to grow to such a size that the skin is there simply to hold it in place.

The lifespan of a Prophet appears to be extensive, largely through the development of technologies to increase it. Such a process began in about 1552, which was one thousand years before the events of Halo 3. The San 'Shyuum have put considerable effort into the increase of lifespan of their own species, as more than a quarter of their population are now super-bicentarians.[1]

In an unknown time, before the Covenant was formed, a thousand or so pro-technology Prophets called Reformists (who believed in using Forerunner technology for their use and wished to explore the Dreadnought) left their homeworld, leaving the anti-tech Stoics (those who only wished to worship the technology and not explore the Dreadnought) stranded.[8] The resulting calamity meant that the Covenant San 'Shyuum population was reduced to a few thousand, forcing the species to carefully manage their gene pool to prevent the loss of beneficial genes and the introduction of undesirable traits, with individuals possessing negative recessive traits placed in the Roll of Celibates to prevent their breeding. The Prophet of Truth is on such a list. However, if they should have such sexual urges, the Prophets will use concubines.[9]


San 'Shyuum Civil War

Main article: San 'Shyuum Civil War

As revealed in Halo: Contact Harvest, the San 'Shyuum left their homeworld with only about one thousand in their population due to a brutal civil war on their home planet. Just like the Sangheili-San 'Shyuum War that would take place later on, it all began when some San 'Shyuum believed that they should enter into the Forerunner Dreadnought, even though many of the population believed that they couldn't ever touch the ship and should revere it as it was, which was presumed to be trapped in the surface of the planet as though it had crashed there. The two sides fighting in this war were called the Stoics, or the San 'Shyuum who refused to enter and desecrate the Dreadnought, and the San 'Shyuum who wanted to develop new technologies by entering the Dreadnought, called Reformists.[8]

In 2100 B.C.E. at the climax of the Civil War, about a thousand of the Reformers commandeered the Dreadnought, while the Stoics debated what to do, since even their hate could not bring them to destroy the object of their reverence. However, when the Reformers took flight from the planet they tore a chunk out of it.[10]

Even though the Reformers were victorious and had left the Stoics (who sent out communication messages threatening that they would be damned for their digressions to the gods) behind, they realized that they were indeed ruined by the fact that there were only about a thousand that had joined their cause to control the Dreadnought [10]. With an extremely small gene pool they would need to create strict controls around mating to prevent potentially disastrous inbreeding. The next step in San 'Shyuum history would be the Sangheili-San 'Shyuum War, but since they had developed a fleet to complement the Dreadnought.

Sangheili-San 'Shyuum War

Main article: Sangheili-San 'Shyuum War

The war between the Sangheili and the San 'Shyuum began soon after their first encounter in 938 B.C.E.. Sangheili believed that Forerunner technology should not be touched or used for personal gain while most of the San 'Shyuum believed otherwise, and disassembled Forerunner relics to produce their own versions. Their first meeting resulted in a bloody engagement. Physically the Sangheili were far superior. One Sangheili warrior was the equal to at least ten San 'Shyuum[11]. However, technologically, the San 'Shyuum had the advantage: they had the Forerunner Dreadnought which proceeded to wipe out the Sangheili armada using hit-and-run tactics. Eventually in 852 B.C.E., in order to ensure the survival of both races, the Sangheili gave up their own conviction, and the two races merged to form the early Covenant with the San 'Shyuum as the head religious leaders and the Sangheili as the physical backbone and defenders of the Prophets.

Fall of High Charity

With the outbreak of the Flood and its subsequent arrival on the holy city High Charity, the San 'Shyuum will have had two extinction events visited upon them within a single great cycle. Only those individuals who were permanently posted somewhere other than their ersatz homeworld are certain to have survived. Even those who held some position within the Covenant fleet have no hope for survival, as the entire fleet was present at Installation 05 and the Sangheili quarantined it.This is also impacted by many Elites killing the San 'Shyuum in an act of vengeance and/or honor. Their current total population is now estimated at less than one thousand. It is likely that the number of Flood Prophet forms are drastically higher as a result of the Flood outbreak.


The Prophet of Regret is the only Prophet that is confronted in combat by the Master Chief in the Halo series in the game Halo 2. He appears at the level called Regret. The Prophets do make other appearances though, mostly in the cinematic sequences in Halo 2. In fact, in most of the cinematic sequences, there is at least one Prophet present. Also, Mercy's corpse is found at the beginning of the level called High Charity, and Truth's corpse can be seen at the last playable section of The Covenant.

The Prophet of Regret also appears as an in-game "Hero" unit in Halo Wars, riding his gravity throne amidst combat. He can call down a "cleansing beam" or glassing beam that drains the players resources and that is guided around by one of the analog sticks.

Known Prophets

High Prophets

Lesser Prophets



Note: Only the San 'Shyuum in the High Council are referred to as Prophets. This is likely due to the "Prophet of..." title only appearing in High Councilors.

Flood Prophet Form

Regret infected by the Flood.
Main article: Flood San 'Shyuum Form

Prophet Form is a term to describe Covenant Prophets that have been infected by the Flood. Due to their unusual nature, they are not thought of as Combat Forms in the way infected Humans, Elites, or Brutes are (Note that the term "Prophet Form" has not been officially used as canon to date). Regret was the first Prophet to be infected in-game, although, the Minister of Etiology was infected long before Regret and it is assumed that most of the millions of Prophets on High Charity fell victim to the Flood after the Gravemind escaped Installation 05. The Prophet of Mercy was one of two Prophets to be seen being infected by an Infection form. In his case, the Infection Form was killed by the Master Chief before it could burrow inside Mercy's body. In the second case, The Gravemind took control of the Prophet of Truth while he was being infected and spoke through him as though he were a puppet. When Thel 'Vadam was preparing to finish Truth, small Flood tentacles and boils can be seen erupting from Truth's skin. Thel 'Vadam, thus ending the Covenant, killed the Prophet of Truth but his body was not brought back to life like most corpses that are infected. This may be due to the mortal wound that Thel 'Vadam inflicted, or it could be that the Prophets' frail nature does not support them being resurrected. It is worth noting that at the time of Truth's death a small Flood 'popping' sound can be heard, indicating that Thel Vadam's sword killed the Infection Form as well. (Regret, pictured right, has what seems to be a Human skull assimilated into himself, just above his head and a little to the left. This may indicate other Human "hosts" may have passed through the Gravemind before).


  • The Prophets' names are often the opposite of what their behavior is, e.g. the Prophet Of Truth was prone to lying, the Prophet Of Mercy was very harsh towards others, the Prophet of Regret even when captured by the Flood he still spoke of The Great Journey to try to convince the Arbiter to not listen to the Gravemind showing he never regretted his actions in the Covenant, and the Prophet of Restraint stepped down as a result of high sexual exploits when it was forbidden for him to do so, therefore showing a lack of restraint.
  • Prophet's blood is strikingly red, like that of a Human. This can be seen when you beat the Prophet of Regret in Halo 2 and if you shoot Truth's corpse in Halo 3.
  • Perfidia is Latin for "Perfidy," which means "a deliberate breach of trust, faithlessness, treachery." Vermis means, "worm". Thus, the Prophets' scientific name can be translated into "treacherous worm".
  • Early designs of the Prophets had a far more integrated feel, with the Gravity Throne more fused with the Prophet's organic structures.
  • Halo: Contact Harvest states that only the highest-ranking Prophets have the luxury of traveling in singular platforms in High Charity. Lower-ranking Prophets have to travel in groups of threes, fives or tens. This is because the thrones of the lower-ranking Prophets are not individually capable of flight, so they must combine gravity fields with other thrones in order to fly.
  • Truth kills Miranda Keyes with a Spiker. He holds the rifle awkwardly, since it was designed for Brute hands and tosses it aside as if it disgusted him to even touch such a weapon. This could hint towards the San 'Shyuum's repulsed feelings towards the Jiralhanae's primitive ways, or their dislike of having to do anything themselves.
  • The Halo 3 limited edition species book states there are less then 1000 San 'Shyuum's left in the universe.
  • Most of the San 'Shyuum's technology, and as a result the Covenant's, is copied from the Forerunner species.[citation needed]



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Bestiarum
  2. "He wore a red over robe, a gold under robe, and somewhere, hidden beneath all the fabric, an antigrav belt which served to keep his body suspended a full unit off the deck."
    -- Halo: The Flood, page 5
  3. HBO Forums
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Halo 2
  5. 5.0 5.1 Conversations from the Universe
  6. Halo: The Flood
  7. Halo: First Strike
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Halo: Contact Harvest
  9. Halo: Contact Harvest, page 264
  10. 10.0 10.1 Halo: Contact Harvest, page 262
  11. Halo: Contact Harvest, Page 147



This article uses material from the "San 'Shyuum" article on the Halo wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

ST Expanded

Up to date as of February 07, 2010

The Star Trek Expanded Universe Database is for fanon and related content. See for the canon Star Trek wiki.

The Prophets, referred to as the Wormhole aliens by non-Bajorans, are a group of non-corporeal aliens that inhabit the Bajoran wormhole.

The Prophets appear as glowing translucent blue lights when in normal space. When they communicate with corporeal beings they often take the form of persons familiar to the being they are communicating with. They can also possess a corporeal body and use it to communicate with others. (DS9: "Emissary", "The Assignment", "Rapture", "Sacrifice of Angels", "The Reckoning", "Tears of the Prophets")

At some point the Prophets ejected other similar entities from the wormhole and imprisoned them within the Fire Caves of Bajor. (DS9: "The Assignment")

Over a ten thousand year period they sent orbs to Bajor, which led to the creation of a religion that worshipped them. (DS9: "Emissary", et al)

During the Dominion War the Prophets intervened in the conflict by removing 2,800 Jem'Hadar warships that were travelling through the wormhole from the Gamma Quadrant to the Alpha Quadrant to join the war. (DS9: "Sacrifice of Angels")

The Prophets' conflict with the Pah-wraiths appeared to come to an end when Benjamin Sisko trapped them in the Five Caves forever. (DS9: "What You Leave Behind")

External links

This article uses material from the "Prophets" article on the ST Expanded wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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