Sangheili (5e Race)

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"On the blood of our fathers, on the blood of our sons...we swore to uphold the Covenant!" — Rtas 'Vadum before the Battle of the Gas Mine.

Physical Description[edit]

Sangheili are a humanoid species that typically measure over seven feet and weigh over 300 pounds. Their hands have two fingers as well as two thumbs, all of which are larger than those of a human's. Despite their reptilian appearance, sangheili also have four separate mandibles which are insectoid in appearance. Their natural strength and intelligence allow sangheili to be strong warriors, something that they are praised for.

Sangheili are bipeds and bear a superficial resemblance to humans from a distance, an illusion shattered upon closer inspection. In addition to standing between 7'4 and 9'6 in a fully upright position, their head is more reptilian than humanoid with a quadruple-hinged mandibled mouth which opens at the bottom, hence the "split chin" and "squid face" nicknames given to them by humans. The central jaw contains around eight to ten teeth, although it has been noted that they can have more feral-like teeth as well as fangs at the tip of each mandible. There is no visible tongue. The torso of sangheili are similar to the those of a human, although the chest and abdomen are much wider, almost twice that of a well-muscled human. Sangheili also appear to have a double set of pectoral muscles and a more muscular back. Their shoulders are nearly identical in structure to human shoulders, only longer in length and thicker. Their hands have four digits, two fingers and two opposable thumbs, which allow them to use most equipment designed for humans. The feet of sangheili are digitigrade, which allows them to jump greater distances and run much faster than the human norm. Their toe configuration resembles the cloven hooves of various terran mammals; although sangheili wear a soled boot, the overall shape of the "hooves" are still visible. While it is a common misconception that the knees of the sangheili, as well as the knees of other well known bipedal animals such as dinosaurs "bend backward" as opposed to forward, this is not an anatomically correct description. In fact, the configuration of the legs and feet of such creatures are essentially identical to that of humans, except that the toes play the role of the whole foot, and the so-called "backwards knee" actually corresponds to the heel and ankle joint in a human foot.

A Sangheili Major - Guyver87, DeviantArt


The sangheili homeland, the continent of Sanghelios, had at one point been visited by or had been in contact with the mysterious race, the Forerunners. They revered the objects these "gods" had left, and considered tampering with them a heresy beyond any other. In 938 BCE they encountered the san'shyuum (who would later be known as "Prophets" by humans). They were a race that also worshipped the Forerunners as gods, but had utilized Forerunner technology for their own needs, believing that the technology had been left behind by the gods as gifts for their children. This sparked a war between the two races over how to treat the relics. Even though the sangheili were much more physically imposing and numerous, they suffered extreme casualties due to the sheer power of the Forerunner dreadnought, a surviving Keyship, and by 876 BCE even the most devout had to admit that their survival depended on the reconstitution of their own Forerunner technologies. This, of course, led both sides to an agreement that ended with the decommissioning of the Forerunner dreadnought and a shaky alliance that eventually expanded into the Covenant. Being one of the few races in the Covenant to achieve space-faring status without outside intervention, the sangheili interaction with the san'shyuum was initially strained due to memories of the recent war. However, the two sides later formed a prosperous relationship, eventually laying the foundation for the modern Covenant hegemony.


The sangheili display respect and admiration for honorable fighters, whether they are allies of the sangheili or not. It is common for the sangheili to have such an admiration for their adversaries. Sangheili respect and revere veterans and often follow their lead. Their history is rife with victorious combatants welcoming the defeated enemies' remaining forces into their own arm, provided of course that they fought with honor.

The sangheili consider most other species to be inferior to them, both culturally and in fighting skill. Although sangheili are naturally very intelligent, their culture's long dependence on a military-industrial scheme has led to an emphasis on might over science.

Promotion in the Covenant military is by merit; a Covenant soldier must succeed to advance among the ranks. Success is often measured in scalps. A Zealot, for example, has personally slaughtered thousands of individuals to reach that status.

Sangheili government appears to be a feudal meritocracy, and is partially democratic, as elders of different clans rule different areas. The ruler of these areas, a Kaidon, is elected by a group of council elders that reside in that area. If a council elder believes that his vote was "ill-advised" or if he "had second thoughts," it was considered a tradition for council elders to initiate some form of attack, such as sending assassins, against the Kaidon in order to "test the true merit of [the] ruler's martial abilities."[43] The belief was that "a Kaidon who could not defend himself was not a true leader."[39] Should the attack fail, the responsible elder will be executed immediately, and his family will be killed. However, punishment for this form of heresy was usually flexible. As such, if the elder did something honorable, such as attack the Kaidon himself, or attempted to make a final stand against the Kaidon, then he would probably have managed to save his family from certain death, although they might still be banished. It seems that if a keep was to attack another keep and fail the attacker would have its keep destroyed and slaughtered.

Family history and lineage are greatly valued, with each family having their own unique "Battle Poem" detailing the deeds and actions of its members during times of war. These "epics" may have influenced the recitation of war poetry among the Mgalekgolo, due to their deep respect for sangheili. It is theorized that sangheili males are sent into service as warriors and soldiers, as no female sangheili have been seen in combat roles. Females are trained from a young age to fight alongside the males but are kept home to tend to their respective houses. This training allows the sangheili to have a potent home guard should an attack on their homeworld ever make it past the males fighting on the front line.

Sangheili warriors form very close-knitted relationships, referring to their comrades as "brothers" and remaining intensely loyal to them. This loyalty is shown in the custom of grieving after the death of a fallen comrade, a ritual which includes a prayer for the dead warrior.

Sangheili Names[edit]

The sangheili place great value in their names, and it is considered both a privilege and an honor for only those proved worthy.

Male: Xakan 'Ravum, Jopo 'Zolcam, Khuza 'Tevumai, Syre 'Luromai, Thova 'Chama, Los 'Tetanai, Jyra 'Lunamee, Rore 'Sanamee, Lava 'Mulkam, Juto 'Kolcam

Female: Tula 'Chakam, Gaie 'Movamee, Foha 'Varomai, Lexe 'Tevam, Hopa 'Nrafum, Zane 'Zafamai, Hama 'Sulkam, Khaxi 'Wafum, Zoya 'Tegum, Numo 'Vurom, Yoka ‘Rofamei

Sangheili Traits[edit]

The sangheili are well suited for combat, as they are proud, strong, agile, and very fierce.
Ability Score Increase. Your Strength, Dexterity, Wisdom scores each increase by 1.
Age. Sangheili come of age in their mid 20's. The sangheili have an average lifespan of about 160 years and can live as long as 200 years.
Alignment. Sangheili do not tend towards good or evil, but almost uniformly tend towards lawful.
Size. Sangheili vary in height, from 7'4" feet to 9 feet tall. Your size is Medium.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 35 feet.
Powerful Build. The physical feats of the sangheili are not limited to their speed. Sangheili count as a Large size creature when determining carrying capacity and the weight you can push, pull or lift.
Innovative. Sangheili are capable builders and craftsmen. Choose proficiency with any two artisan's tools.
Agile Combatant. Sangheili are normally on the move when fighting, constantly running and ducking, strafing and dodging when attacking an enemy. As a reaction, you can grant yourself advantage on a Dexterity saving throws, provided you are not wearing heavy armor and not wielding a weapon with the heavy property.
Languages. Sangheili are fluent in Common and Sangheili. The sangheili language is unique to their homeworld. The script takes the appearance of a series of hollow acute triangles with one invisible side in various rotational orientations. The spoken language contains a lot of deliberation and stressed syllables, and is typically spoken slowly.

Random Height and Weight[edit]

7′ 10″ +2d12 350 lb. × (1d6) lb.

*Height = base height + height modifier
**Weight = base weight + (height modifier × weight modifier)

Suggested Characteristics[edit]

When creating a sangheili character, you can use the following table of traits, ideals, bonds and flaws to help flesh out your character. Use these tables in addition to or in place of your background's characteristics.

d8 Personality Trait
1 Better to be killed by a traitor than kill in misunderstanding.
2 I serve my deity above all else.
3 If my opponent fought honourably, I will give them the choice to join me, safely depart, or perish in combat.
4 I will not send others to do my work for me.
5 I will not give an honourable fight to those that have no honour.
6 I am a guardian and provider for my family.
7 I do not approve of doctors; they spill my blood unhonourably.
8 I carry a spare copy of my weapon so my opponent can defend themself in a duel.
d6 Ideal
1 Authority: I will follow my leaders until I am their equal.
2 Contract: I will not be the one to dishonour an agreement.
3 Family: I will do nothing to endanger or dishonour my family.
4 Glory: I will command the respect of those who see me.
5 Honour: I will ensure that every battle is won on equal ground to the enemy.
6 Merit: I strive to build my own merit, and recognize the merit of others.
d6 Bond
1 Someone/Something is threatening my family. I must silence it forever.
2 Ultimate honour is found in an honourable death. When I die, it will be on the battlefield.
3 I was stripped of honour. I can never regain that honour, but I'll spend my life trying.
4 I strive for leadership. I will prove myself worthy to lead.
5 Someone has turned their back on honour and betrayed me. I am now hunting them.
6 Honour in others is to be nurtured. I will seek out honourable persons and strengthen them.
d6 Flaw
1 I resent those who are not sangheili.
2 I will only stop fighting when I die.
3 I refuse to attack an enemy that is not prepared to defend itself.
4 If I approach death in battle, I will not accept healing.
5 I have very little patience.
6 If I fail an important mission, I will damage myself at least, and kill myself at most.

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