Jiralhanae (ferus servire)
420 kilograms (930 lb)
Gray Skin; Light Gray, White, Brown, or Medium Brown fur.
|Military and political information|
Covenant, later Covenant Loyalists
- "With my blessing, the Brutes now lead our fleets! They ask for your allegiance, and you shall give it!"
- — Prophet of Truth
The Jiralhanae (Latin: Ferus Servire, meaning "Wild Slave"), known by humans as Brutes, are the newest members of the Covenant. They are a large, bipedal, ape-like species from Doisac. The Jiralhanae were the second Covenant species encountered by the humans following the Kig-Yar raid on the freighter This End Up. They were also the first Covenant species encountered by the Harvest Colonial Militia. The Brutes have a profound hatred of the Sangheili, unmatched by any other feud within the Covenant, fired by the Jiralhanae's natural aggressive nature and the Sangheili's attitudes of superiority.
The Jiralhanae have been part of the Covenant since before the destruction of the UNSC agricultural colony on Harvest, and were always feared by the Sangheili for their monomaniacal behavior. The Jiralhanaes' plans to seize power over the Sangheili began with their alliance with the High Prophet of Truth during the Battle of Harvest and continued to gain headway until the eventual splitting of the Covenant. They eventually took the role of the Prophets' Honor Guards from the Sangheili after the Sangheili failed to prevent the assassination of the High Prophet of Regret by SPARTAN John-117. Regret's assassination culminated in the Jiralhanae replacing the Sangheili as the leaders of the Covenant military.
They are rated Native Tier 4/Adopted Tier 2 species by the Forerunner Technological Achievement Tier scale.
Despite their savagery, Brutes have proved intelligent enough to achieve spaceflight and space-faring status, though their warlike nature meant they quickly collapsed into civil war, and afterwards, fell back to their former pre-space status and learned nothing from the experience. The Brutes had recently concluded a mechanized war of attrition in which the many Master Packs fought and pummelled each other back to a pre-industrial state when the Covenant discovered them in 2492. Having only just rediscovered radio and rocketry, the primitive Brutes were quickly defeated and absorbed into the Covenant.
Their warrior culture makes them formidable opponents, even for SPARTANs, and they were incorporated into the Covenant to serve as fierce guards for the San 'Shyuum and as heavy infantry, or shock troopers.
Brutes are obviously carnivores, given their fearsome fanged jaws and propensity for violence. It has been stated that they feed on the flesh of their enemies, such as the Humans they face in battle, and have been seen eating the meat of a Thorn Beast, apparently considered a delicacy among Brutes. A Brute once stated he would have gladly devoured the future Arbiter, had he been allowed.
As part of the Covenant, Brutes were required as a prerequisite to convert to the Prophets' religion of worshipping the Forerunners. Previously, their culture revolved around the worship of totems and idols, but they made swift converts. The Brutes are now the most fanatical adherents to the Prophet's faith, although they seem to hold little to no concept of sanctity, evidenced by Tartarus' handling of the "Oracle".
Even at a glance, the Brutes are one of the most primitive members of the Covenant, at least technologically. Even though they employ Power Armor, and use a selection of the Covenant's weapons such as the plasma rifle, their native technology is crude; they often use weapons propelling spike-like or explosive projectiles. These weapons are often fitted with effective metal blades for melee combat.
Though the Jiralhanae retained their pack and tribal culture, their constant internal feuds began to take a back seat as enmity with the Sangheili built up, caused by the similarity in roles between the two species. Though the Jiralhanae retained the majority of their pre-Covenant technology, they also began to incorporate aspects of Covenant technology into their own designs, such as mounting plasma cannons onto their Prowlers, vehicles with a strong Jiralhanae aesthetic but with some Covenant technology. The Jiralhanae have little need to learn the languages of other species, instead relying on translation devices. Their exact fate, after the disastrous defeat at the Ark, is unknown, though it is extremely unlikely that they would surrender or retreat, or that the Sangheili would allow them to. A Sangheili Shipmaster visiting Kholo noted that at least some Jiralhanae factions had formed separate from the Covenant, waging an internecine war against each other and when the remaining San 'Shyuum retreated into hiding, they returned to their primitive savage nature, allowing the Sangheili to gain the upper hand in battle. There were also small groups of Jiralhanae that were used as hired help on Sanghelios, however it is likely they were all killed when they attempted to rebel against their Sangheili employers.
They have very sharp teeth and sometimes use them as a weapon. John-117 barely survived a hand-to-hand battle with one, proving how physically powerful they can be. However it should be noted that John-117 and the other Spartans were suffering from the non-stop combat they had endured since the battle of Reach, with John-117 sustaining, in Doctor Halsey's words, "Burns, brain damage, fractures, and internal bleeding". The other Spartans involved in the fight had sustained various injuries from falling over two kilometers at terminal velocity onto Reach's surface. It appears that their physical strength cannot be accurately quantified.
The Brutes, with the exception of Tartarus, did not use energy shielding, all of them are equipped with Power Armor that emphasizes their natural strength and power. Brutes speak in deep, gravelly voices when speaking human languages and speak their native language as a series of grunts, hisses, roars and deep communal howls during ceremonies and for communication. Presumably because English is not their first language, they often speak without contractions, even during a fight.
In many military records, Brutes are referred to as 'Bravo Kilos', since UNSC Marines have nicknamed Brutes "Baby Kongs" or "Gorillas", a reference to King Kong.
Anatomy and PhysiologyEdit
Brutes are physically imposing enemies to face in combat. Standing at approximately 9 feet tall, they not only tower over their human opponents, but the majority of their Covenant allies, with only Mgalekgolo standing taller than themselves. They have thick, gray skin that is extremely resilient to battle damage.
They are covered in thick, shaggy fur that offers further protection. It covers most of the body except for the head and the shoulder blades. However, the Brutes in Halo 2 are shaggier than those of Halo 3. In Halo 3, the Brutes have what looks like scales on their arms, but it may have been extensions to their armor, or simply their thick skin. Brutes exhibit two colorations: brown and gray. This is perhaps an indication of age, since lower ranking Brutes are brown and most Honor Guards, and Tartarus himself, are grey.
Brutes have mixed red-and-blue blood (on first glance they look completely red, but on closer inspection one would see blue spots in pools of Brute blood). At a casual glance, it appears purple.
Brutes resemble a cross between an ape and a rhinoceros, being taller and more muscular in the torso and limbs than a human, and having the same weight and height as an average male polar bear.
Heavily muscled and possessing an animalistic brutality and strength, Brutes can rely on close combat to defeat their enemies, even more so than their Elite counterparts. However, their great strength may in fact be simply relative, due to the species' evolution on a world with twice the gravity of Delta Halo, Earth, and other planets and structures with one 'g'. Featuring characteristics simiar, ursine, and alien, their appearance fits their human given name.
Brutes have digits on each hand including opposable thumbs. As such they can make use of a variety of weapons both of Covenant and human design. Their feet have only two digits. When it comes to ranged conflict Brutes show a tendency to use large, rapid firing, often powerful weapons. This may be indicative of their mentality and an extension of their brutal nature. The many spikes and serrated edges that adorn their race's weapons, vehicles and armor further exhibit this.
Brutes are not as mentally slow as they may appear, and are often fairly cunning tacticians. As such they can pilot vehicles & ships and command both land based & fleet encounters with strategic competence, albeit lacking in artistic flair. They also have a higher vocabulary than other members of the Covenant apart from Elites and Prophets.
Brutes are known to descend into a highly aggressive berserk killing-rage when all their pack mates have been killed. Their incredible physical strength coupled with a dogged self-determination to kill their target makes a berserk Brute a force to be reckoned with, powerful enough even to kill Hunters (if they slam into the Hunter enough). Also, when berserking, they will not hesitate to attack an enemy, even if the target is in a vehicle, such as a Ghost. If the target is in a Spectre or Wraith, they will board it and attempt to kill (in a Wraith) or force the enemy out (such as in a Warthog or Spectre). Interestingly, they will neither attack nor hijack a low flying vehicle (such as a Banshee).
It is stated that before Jiralhanae reach full maturity, they naturally release pheromones. Other Jiralhanae can smell these pheromones and tell how others are feeling by the scent. When they do reach maturity, they learn to control the releases of their pheromones and most likely stop them all together.
Brutes are extremely zealous creatures, known for their willingness to cling to ancient, bloody traditions and are deep believers in the promise of the Great Journey and in the Forerunners. Their home world is war torn, and Brutes are known for their particular joy in vicious activity, complimented by regimented discipline.
They prefer using weapons from their homeworld, rather than the Covenant standard-issue plasma-based firearms. Brute weapons are notable for being extremely dangerous, somewhat primitive and brutal, and always featuring a blade attachment such as the Spiker, Mauler, Brute Shot, and the Gravity Hammer. These weapons show their barbaric nature, for example, the fact that all of the weapons are named after ways of injury or causing bodily harm to another being. Although they do have their own type of Plasma Rifle.
In general, Brutes have a pronounced dislike of the Sangheili, due to the fact that they believe that they are better protectors of the Prophets than the Elites. The Prophet of Truth took advantage of this to ignite the Great Schism .
Brutes have a fierce pack culture and lineage, a close knit affair that ties each member to another, and forces them into varying states of rage known as "berserking", and desperate mourning for their fallen pack mates should one die in the midst of battle. What a pack member kills may be the food of the pack. Each pack is led by a prominent Brute Chieftain that wields a ceremonial Gravity Hammer, passed from one leader to another upon his death, to denote his status. A Brute becomes a pack Chieftain by challenging the current Chieftain to a Mortal duel; the victor claims the title after executing the other. The chieftain rules his pack like his own little empire. Their warrior culture is extremely patriarchal, with rank measured by success onand off the battlefield, unlike the Sangheili.
It is unlikely, given their combative and aggressive nature, that the Jiralhanae have a single cohesive government. Instead, Jiralhanae society can be viewed as an extension to the simply pack structure, but with a number of different levels:
- Alpha Tribes - seem to be the political body of the Jiralhanae, and are comprised of smaller Master Packs. Lead by Alpha Jiralhanae.
- Master Packs - more military oriented groups, Master-Packs are comprised of many smaller packs. Prior to contact with the Covenant, rival Master Packs reduced Jiralhanae society to a preindustrial level through warfare.
- Packs - range in size and importance, with less important packs made up largely of Unggoy or Kig-Yar forces and led by a low-ranked Jiralhanae, and more important packs led by War Chieftains and comprised of more experienced veteran Jiralhanae bodyguards.
Most known Jiralhanae have Latin-sounding names, such as Tartarus and Bracktanus. It is revealed that the "-us" at the end of their name is an honor denoting maturity or experience in battle (similar to the "-ee" suffix on Sangheili's names.) However, it is possible that different naming conventions are used among different tribes, as evidenced by the names of Gargantum and Parabum.
Doisac is the name of the Jiralhanae home world. It possesses three satellites: Warial, Solrapt, and Teash, and is the fourth planet of the Oth Sonin system. The gravity on the planet is approximately 2.1G while the atmosphere is 1.3 ATM. Surface temperature is between -15'C to 52'C. The estimated population of the planet is approximately 12.5 billion. Its habitat is described as being dominated by magma and magnetism.