Kig-Yar (Perosus latrunculus)
"Jackals" and "Skirmishers"
185 cm (6 ft 2 in) - 200 cm (6 ft 8 in)
88.6 kg (195 lbs) - 93.6 (206 lbs)
Varying shades of brown/tan
Sinewy and slender; avian features, large pale eyes, beaked head with teeth, clawed hands and feet, light brown pigmentation.
|Military and political information|
Kig-Yar point defense gauntlet, Holographic decoy
- "Jackals may be superior marksmen and they're very sneaky, but that doesn't make them excellent snipers — they’re a little too bloodthirsty for that."
- — Anonymous UNSC serviceman
The Kig-Yar (Forerunner designation, translated into Latin: Perosus latrunculus, or "hateful bandit", Human designation: Covenant secundarium carnivora prœdonis, or "Covenant secondary carnivorous combatant") are an avian/reptilian species which serve the Covenant, as mercenaries and privateers. There are three distinct races of Kig-Yar, which Humans have termed Jackals, Skirmishers, and now the Storm Jackals. In combat, Kig-Yar typically serve as snipers, shock troopers, defensive fighters, and scouts within the Covenant due to their excellent senses of sight, smell, and hearing.
The Ark and reseedingEdit
The Kig-Yar were one of many species indexed by the Librarian and preserved on Installation 00 from the firing of the Halo Array. They were subsequently returned to their homeworld, where they began re-building their culture.
During their early history, Kig-Yar society was divided into clans that sailed across Eayn's seas as pirates, raiding the encampments and settlements of rival clans. Eventually, the clans united, and the Kig-Yar species worked together in developing space-travel technology. Shortly afterward, they established colonies on many small asteroids around Chu'ot. Some Kig-Yar continued their ancient ways of life and became pirates once more, preying upon merchant starships. These groups of pirates were the Kig-Yar's only effective response to the overwhelming Covenant military juggernaut that arrived in the Kig-Yar home system in 1342.
The war between the Covenant and Kig-Yar forces culminated in sieges of redoubts on the asteroids surrounding their world. Eventually, in order to survive, they accepted Letters of Marque: commissions from the Ministry of Tranquility to engage in the services of the Covenant, though often this was merely used as an excuse to continue their plundering lifestyle. The Kig-Yar would spend much of their time preying on the ships of the Covenant's enemies, such as humanity.
Kig-Yar are around the same level as the Unggoy in the Covenant hierarchy, although the Kig-Yar despise the Unggoy and believe themselves to be superior. This reached a boiling point in 2462, when some Kig-Yar in High Charity attempted to poison Infusions, recreational narcotics the Unggoy enjoyed, which would have left the Unggoy sterile, in retaliation for the Unggoy encroaching on their habitats and displacing Kig-Yar nests. Although a junior staffer in the Ministry of Concert found evidence of this, the High Council failed to properly investigate the incident, culminating in the Unggoy Rebellion.
A Kig-Yar missionary ship, the Minor Transgression, was the first Covenant vessel to make contact with Humans. The ship raided a commercial freighter leaving the planet Harvest, and the events that followed would later lead to full-scale military action on the part of humanity and the Covenant.
Following the outbreak of the Human-Covenant war, a group of Kig-Yar under Reth made contact with the Rubble, a community of human survivors of the glassing of Madrigal. The Kig-Yar agreed to trade Covenant weaponry in exchange for slipspace drives. Although the humans believed the Kig-Yar were defying Covenant authority, they were in fact secretly proceeding with the blessing of the High Prophet of Truth to use the weapons to map UNSC space and learn the location of Earth. They also built up an army of hundreds of thousands of Unggoy. The plan fell apart due to the High Prophet of Regret sending Sangheili warriors to investigate the weapons, believing the Kig-Yar to be heretics. In the Battle of the Rubble and the Battle of Metisette, Reth and his forces were killed by SPARTAN-II Gray Team and the crew of the UNSC Midsummer Night.
During the Great Schism, the Kig-Yar sided with the Loyalists against the Covenant Separatists.
By 2553, an unknown number of Kig-Yar had settled on the human Insurrectionist world Venezia. They were numerous enough to have their own compound on the planet. There, they integrated quite well with the humans , trading with them and living side by side with little animosity.
By the year 2557, at least a portion of the Kig-Yar species served as combatants in the splinter group known as the Covenant Remnant . Many later served under the Didact, who the Kig-Yar believed to be a god due to their continued faith in the old Covenant religion of worshipping the Forerunners .
In 2559, Kig-Yar forces engaged Humans on Kholo.
Anatomy and physiologyEdit
Kig-Yar have features similar to birds of prey as well as reptiles. Their legs are sinewy and muscular, and are reverse-jointed in a similar fashion to birds. They have sharp claws on both hands and feet. Being carnivores, their sharp beaks are lined with rows of razor-sharp teeth; some have far more numerous teeth which bear a passing resemblance to baleen. Kig-Yar have been known to eat the flesh of fallen enemies, as well as live prisoners. Kig-Yar have extraordinary senses of sight, hearing, and smell. Male Kig-Yar possess plumages of spiny quills at the back of the head and on the elbows; the color of this plumage indicates the Kig-Yar's mood. Females lack these quill plumages, instead having calloused plates at the forearms and the rear of the head. This thick skin helps protect the female during courtship: when mating, the male will often bite, chew, and tear on the back of the female's head, neck, and arms. Kig-Yar reproduce by laying eggs which the female incubates, similar to birds. When mating, the male can choose to fertilize the egg, in which a male is produced, whereas, if the eggs are not fertilized, a female is produced. This may imply that Kig-Yar have the ability to reproduce without mating.
While Kig-Yar have hollow bones and are physically frail, they are capable of moving quickly to evade harm. Their blood is bright purple in color, similar to that of the Sangheili, possibly showing a similar chemical makeup. The lack of calcium in their skeletons makes them a poor source of biomass for the Flood. Thus, Kig-Yar that are infected by the Flood are typically turned into carrier forms rather than combat forms. However, they have been utilized as combat forms during at least one engagement.
The Kig-Yar species is divided into at least two subspecies: the lighter "Jackals" and the more muscular "Skirmishers". Each subspecies exhibits distinct variations in appearance and physiology. Jackals typically exhibit light brown or tan skin tones, though some individuals feature gray-green or red skin; flexible quills on the head and forearms among males, with calloused plates among females; and elongated, beaked heads with bulbous eyes, though some Jackals have heads akin to those of the Skirmishers. Skirmishers are darker in color, with true feathers on their heads and arms, and have shorter, squared heads with small yellow eyes. While both subspecies are quite agile, Skirmishers are capable of sprinting at great speeds and leaping incredible distances.
The reason behind the differing subspecies is unknown, though it has been theorized that it may be a result of the Kig-Yar adapting to different colony worlds over millennia. Alternatively, they may simply be variations that arose naturally on Eayn, much as early humanity was once divided into many species and subspecies.
The Kig-Yar are unique among Covenant races: rather than being faithful followers of the Prophets' religion, they serve the Covenant due to the monetary rewards the Prophets pay them. However, due to the long time they have been in the Covenant, a large number of them have accepted the Covenant religion. Kig-Yar have been known to coexist relatively peacefully with humans, as evidenced by the relationship between the Rubble and Reth's forces on Metisette and those that settled on Venezia. When the Kig-Yar were finally ordered by the Prophets to attack and destroy the humans of the Rubble, many of them even regretted the order. This is likely due to the pragmatic, mercantile culture of their race: As long as it benefits them economically, Kig-Yar will co-operate with nearly any group, even declared enemies of the Covenant.
Role within the CovenantEdit
Kig-Yar serve primarily as light infantry, police forces and overseers. Kig-Yar privateers also commonly crew Covenant missionary ships, such as the Minor Transgression. Originally, they were intended to replace the Unggoy as the foot soldiers of the Covenant, but their temperament made this impractical. Instead, they were assigned roles that were better suited to their natural abilities, such as scouts and snipers.
Within Covenant society, Kig-Yar have little status and are subservient to all but the Unggoy. Because of this, Kig-Yar frequently harass Unggoy to assert what little authority they have. In some cases, Sangheili or Jiralhanae dispose of criminals or prisoners by feeding them to Kig-Yar convicts, who eat the victim alive.
Due to their unique position in the Covenant, the Kig-Yar often utilize starships of their own making instead of Covenant-made ones. In addition, they are forbidden to build their own slipspace drives, and have to rely on heavily regulated, unmodifiable drives engineered by the San 'Shyuum instead.
The Kig-Yar are not represented on the High Council but are instead vetted by the Ministry of Concert. The Kig-Yar do not vocally complain about their position but instead have elected to siphon off resources to their brethren. Whether the Covenant leadership was aware of this is currently unknown.
The Kig-Yar government on Eayn is a post-industrial capitalist system, with a population of 978 million. It is also described as an ochlocracy, a system of government best described as a government by mob, or the intimidation of constitutional authorities. Presumably, this implies that whatever form of local government the Kig-Yar possess is ineffective and ignored.
Kig-Yar names usually consist of a single syllable, with two consonants and one vowel, such as Yeg, Jak and Bok. However, Chur'R-Yar and Chur'R-Mut, who were both Shipmistresses, have multiple syllables in their names. It is speculated that the Kig-Yar naming system is at least partially based on sex, rank, or both. However, their naming system might not be the one of their own culture; it has been stated that Sangheili do not allow the Kig-Yar to have more than one name. Alternatively, it may be that the Kig-Yar language consists of single syllable words (their name for themselves, Kig-Yar, actually is two single syllable words combined).
The prefix "Chur'R-" is believed to indicate the title of Shipmistress, as both Chur'R-Yar and Chur'R-Mut were female Kig-Yar in command of a vessel.
Eayn is the homeworld of the Kig-Yar species and is the primary satellite of the planet Chu'ot. It is characterized by its single equatorial ocean, sparse volcanism, and almost total lack of glaciation. Only about one-third of all Kig-Yar who still reside in the Y'deio system call Eayn their home; many have chosen to live among the minor planets within the asteroid belt since their initial contact with the Covenant. However, it is theorized that the Kig-Yar have colonized many other planets, due to their physiological diversity.