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The Prophets (or, San 'Shyuum) are the highest social group in the Covenant hierarchy, akin to that of gods in their society. The Prophets follow the long gone religion of the Forerunners, believing themselves and the Covenant to be the rightful heirs to their legacy. Using this cult-like religion, they have led the forces of the Covenant to fight the UNSC forces and to find their divine calling with the Halos.
"They're like giant space popes," says Lead Artist Marcus Lehto. "The first two races of the Covenant were the Elites and the Prophets," adds Jason Jones. "The Elites are the military right hand, and the Prophets are the political, religious and spiritual leadership. Together they formed the Covenant and recruited other races around them.�
Interestingly, Bungie has declared that every single Prophet in Halo 2 will be unique � that is, you won�t see the same one twice, unlike the almost identical Elites, Grunts, Jackals, and especially Hunters. Their headdresses are all unique, as are their robes.
Any combat capabilities that the Prophets may have remain largely unknown, and judging by their looks I seriously doubt they'll have any aside from their ability to lead. My thoughts are that they'll be employed largely as things for you to kill, and as things that you might have to capture and hold for information as well as ransom (well not literally ransom, but to force a bargain or to exchange for the release of some of your own men).
The chair that the Prophets float on may be misleading. "[It's] not that they can�t walk," says Lead Designer Jaime Griesemer, "They just choose not to. They're too good for that."
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