"In my younger years, I had thought the Covenant was the reason I took my birth in this cosmos. I deeply believed in them, accepted them as the single goal of my life. But, they did something unexpected. I was thrown out of them, branded as a heretic. But now, I know the true secrets of the Covenant. Thus, I take an oath to fight and destroy the empire until my last breath, no matter what it takes."
―Jez, revealing his experience of the betrayal of the Covenant Empire.
Jez 'Varum, formerly known as Jez 'Varumee was a well known Sangheili warrior, shipmaster, and an important figure during the Great Schism and the formation of the Swords of Sanghelios. Born in the densely-populated urban areas of Qikost, Jez was from his childhood very interested in the Covenant Empire. Even though his ancestors were not in the military, Jez left his family's tradition and instead joined the Covenant. He was noted to be very effective and skilled at sword-to-sword combat, something only a few Sangheili were expert at. His expert sword fighting skills granted him with the honorific rank of a Zealot, in search for Covenant artifacts. But his life took a reverse turn when the Covenant accused him of being with the heretics, expelling him from the Covenant for him to die. Enraged, he took an oath to fight the Covenant to his dying breath after learning of its true secrets.
In order to get his revenge, Jez allied himself the rebellious group of the 'Knights of Loyalty', led by his long-lost brother Ceb 'Varum and indulged in small hit-and-run attacks against the Covenant. In one of these attacks did Jez find his ship, the Tenacious Esteem. He continued fighting with the Knights until he heard of the Sangheili breaking away from the Covenant. Jez, along with the rest of his faction, joined with the Sangheili, then called as the Covenant Separatists and later as the Swords Of Sanghelios, and aided them in their war against the Covenant Loyalists until the Covenant finally dissolved in 2552.
Since then, Jez had been a member of Swords of Sanghelios, while also conducting his own operations too. While the Varum state was completely remade and brought back to its pre-Clan war stage, Jez had opted to not be the Kaidon of the keep, giving the title to his brother, instead, who was known by many to be a worthy commander.
Life on Qikost
Jez was born in the 23rd Age of Doubt, or according to the human calendar, in the year 2491. He was raised in the state of Varum by his uncle Daro 'Varum. He never knew his father, nor his occupation or anything about him. He used to constantly participate in battles with other Sangheili of his age, and was a champion, making his uncle proud. This made him grow his love for combat. Although his brother Ceb 'Varum wasn't a big fighter as Jez was, he too was quite strong, instead of fights Ceb used to focus more on history, politics, and literature. When the time had come, Jez refused to continue the tradition of his ancestry by being in the state politics and overlooking it and joined the Covenant military, leaving his family's tradition to his brother. This was because Jez wasn't interested in ruling; he was more fascinated by battles and the Covenant.
Jez joined the military as a Sangheili Minor, which was the starting for all Sangheili who joined the Covenant generally. His initial missions included fighting Heretics who opposed the Covenant, silencing down rogue Kig-Yar packs who had stolen Covenant ships and using for their own advantages, and as well as the search for the Halo rings, which, according to the Covenant's religion, were called the Sacred Rings and their activation will cause them to complete the Great Journey and become gods, just like the Forerunners they worshipped. As per Qikost's tradition, Jez was taught Covenant religion since his childhood and hence came to accept it wholeheartedly, until he was betrayed.
The Gladiatorial Duel
Not long after his joining in the Covenant military, he received word that the various states of Qikost were having conflicts within them. Rushing to the planet, Jez found out that the powerful states of Vulcam and Kronam were fighting each other. In this, the other states were getting destroyed. The Vulcam state had fallen, as the conflicts had destroyed his keep and the Kronam people had slaughtered Jez's men, with the belief that they were on the other side of the war. His uncle and his family were killed, except for his brother Ceb, who was not to be found. Seeing the destruction, Jez's heart sank. Everyone he ever knew gone, forever.
Jez was unable to bear the pain, and more importantly, the rage he had within. In his enraged state, Jez went to the Kronam state and challenged its Kaidon, Fenr 'Kronam, for a gladiatorial fight. News spread all over the planet, as Fenr had accepted the challenge. Everybody advised Jez to forget the challenge and run away, but Jez had no intention to be mocked by the public for challenging someone and later surrendering; that simply wasn't Sangheili honor. Besides, he wasn't going to let Fenr live, Jez's thirst wouldn't be quenched until he cut off Fenr's head.
Jez, clashing with Fenr 'Kronam, in the duel. Although Fenr was a cruel and an experienced warrior, Jez was able to overcome and slay him.
On the day of the duel, Jez went to The Coliseum of the Brave and the Fearless, the ancient and famous arena of Qikost, where the previous Kaidon of the Kronam state, Xolo 'Kronam, was fought and defeated. Jez looked forward to continuing that tradition, only that this time, he would kill the kaidon. The crowd was huge; quite a large amount of people had gathered to see the fight. Fenr arrived, and passed an Energy sword to Jez, for the duel. Jez clenched the sword and activated it. When the sound came, both Jez and Fenr ran towards each other to strike first. Both of them slashed, their swords hitting against each other and bouncing. Fenr kept on slashing on the offensive, and Jez was trying to defend himself. Jez kicked Fenr's abdomen, making him fall backward, but he broke the fall and stood his ground.
This time, Jez attacked Fenr. He kept slashing continuously, and Fenr kept on defending. Fenr was a great warrior, but Jez knew that Fenr was underestimating him. Fenr silently activated his energy dagger and tried to attack, but Jez saw it at the right time and backstepped. He then slashed again, aiming for the dagger. The sword cut through the mechanism of the dagger and severed it, rendering it useless. Fenr, enraged, took Jez by the neck and lifted him, but before he could throw him, Jez thrust himself outwards, kicking the chest of Fenr and at the same time cutting off one of his arms by his sword. The pain weakened Fenr and the blow made him stagger backward and fall down. Taking the chance, Jez ran and pierced Fenr at his hearts with the sword, before swinging the sword again and separating Fenr's head from his body, killing him brutally.
Emerging as the champion and having finally taken his revenge, Jez stood high with pride and honor. The crowd cheered on, and many also felt justified as the malicious Kaidon was finally killed, while some felt angry, especially the members and allies of the Kronam state. This gladiatorial fight earned Jez a name across Qikost, as 'the Slayer', both good and bad. Some thought of him as the bringer of good days on Qikost, one that would help them get rid of their problems and worries. Others thought of him as someone to be removed from Qikost, someone that would cause civil wars that would engulf the planet. Rumors spread that he is "a devil who'd consume the moon one day." But despite the good name, the states together had decided that Jez should be banished from Qikost for some time, believing his presence to be bad for Qikost and that he would return as a changed person. Thus, as a punishment, Jez was banished from Qikost for a long time, starting in 2529 and ending in late 2553, according to human terms of calculating time.
Not able to go back to Qikost anymore soon, Jez took a brief leave from the military to search for his brother. He searched Sangheilios and its moons but was unable to find him. His brother was nowhere to be found; he was either dead or had escaped to a distant, unknown place. After a long time of searching with no success, Jez was finally able to overcome his feelings and accept his brother to be dead. He then returned to the Covenant military, to keep him away from his thoughts of his dead family and brother. Little did he know, his life would be forever changed due to the Covenant Empire, from the famous 'Slayer' name earned on the Sangheili moon to being an important figure in the history of the Covenant.
Battle of Eridanus II
After training and enlistment, Jez's talent was finally put to test in his first battle with the humans, the Battle of Eridanus II in the Eridanus system. The Covenant had found the location of Eridanus II fairly easy, due to them infiltrating computer networks during their visit and the subsequent war on Harvest, known to the humans as the First Battle of Harvest. From the edge of the system, they found out there were neither any UNSC ships in orbit, nor any Orbital defense platforms, making it easy for the Covenant to invade the human colony. However, as they reached the planet, they witnessed a battle group of ships speeding towards them. Believing to be a surprise attack, the Covenant fleet quickly sent in Jez and his troops to the surface of the planet, for a quick assault and a search for the locations of human worlds in the galaxy, by infiltrating their databases.
"The humans are indeed clever to defend themselves without a main military force. They're not cowards. So aren't we."
―Jez, commenting on the determination of the Vanguard Corporation soldiers to protect the planet against the Covenant invaders.
Jez 'Varumee and Rego 'Betazee fighting on Eridanus II
Jez and his squad travelled to the surface using a Troop Carrier Type-44 Troop Carrier. They landed at the edge of the city, for a clear landing zone since the city was crowded with buildings and also that they might be taken down by any unknown Anti-Air weapons. Advancing into the city, the squad inspected human architecture and style, adding the information to their reports as they progressed. On entering, they found out that the United Nations Space Command, the main strategic military force of the humans, had removed their presence from this planet, indicating the importance of only specific human colonies. However, though, there was a smaller scale military force present on the planet, different from the ones they've faced before, a force they later learned the name to be "Vanguard Forces", who tried to fight Jez's squad back.
The Vanguard Forces, although having technology and weapons inferior to those found on Harvest, proved to be a tough opposition, but they were soon defeated by a diversion using the Unggoy and an ambush, where they were massacred by leading them into a trap and detonating Covenant mines placed in the area. All forces gone, Jez's squad entered a huge human facility, which they thought to be important. There, they found lots of machines and databanks, possibly containing the location of their homeworld. Before they could analyze the machines, some of the human soldiers, who were cut off from the massacred unit, tried to ambush the Sangheili. The Sangheili managed to kill them all, but witnessed the deaths of two, one of which was Rego 'Betazee, Jez's childhood friend. Just then, they were called back by the Covenant fleet in orbit, which had won the battle in space and were now moving to glass the planet. Retreating back to the ship, Jez witnessed the glassing and destruction of the human world.
"This war won't be an easy one. There will be more humans, with more reinforcements. This is only the beginning..."
―Jez, thinking about the possible outcome of the war.
"With this sacrament of blood, we journey into the Divine Beyond."
―Jez, reciting the Sangheili Field Marshal's mantra.
Jez's first mission as a Field Marshal was the Battle of Algerion IV. Algerion IV was a small Outer Colony, located in the Algerion star system. Originally an Insurrectionist planet, Algerion IV was firmly taken over by the UNSC in 2548. Since then, it has become a military planet. The Covenant attacked Algerion in May of 2552. The Covenant fleet was led by the CAS-class assault cruiser Ardent Inquisitor, and consisted of about 15 ships in total. As there weren't many ships in orbit and those that were already present were just frigates and destroyers, the fleet just sent a moderately sized army to the surface. Their goal was the same, infiltrate human databases in order to get coordinates for the humans' strategic worlds, especially their homeworld, Earth. However, it was a huge mistake made as they realized soon.
Jez was sent along with about four Phantom carriers to the planet for invasion. However, what they didn't know was that the city that they attacked, New Calicut, contained many Mass drivers that were actually used for launching payloads into orbit. In the case of Covenant invasion, they were quickly re-purposed into weapons for fighting the enemy ships. The mass driver shot down two of the phantoms right at their central area, crippling them. Jez's phantom was shot at too, and although it hit the side, the damage was too much for the ship to bear, and so it went down. Crash through an industrial building, the Phantom hit the ground near the coastal area of the city. The impact was huge enough to kill more than half of the Kig-Yar and Unggoy, and a few Sangheili too. The survivors including Jez, after a few minutes, salvaged all the weapons they could and set out.
Jez led the survivors into the city, in an attempt to find the survivors of the other phantoms, and group together for more chances of survival. They went underground, thinking it as the better option. There, he met the GeneralSed 'Gcada, with his small squad of Minors and Majors. Grouped, they continued their search. They were attacked by a platoon of human Marines, and although they killed them all, they faced a few losses; two Minors and an Ultra died of the injuries. Just then, he was contacted by the Supreme Commander of the Ardent Inquisitor, who ordered the survivors to retreat back to the ship, as they had won the battle in orbit. For this, Jez's squad was asked to neutralize the humans manning the mass drivers.
Jez led his squad to the place of the mass drivers, at the edge of the city. Time was running out, so the Sangheili disregarded stealth and sprinted towards the mass drivers. On reaching and waiting for a few moments to take a breath after the pretty long sprint, Jez split up his team into two; Sed's team would go to the generator facility to take it out in order to cut off the power to the mass drivers, while Jez's team would attack and kill the humans manning the mass drivers inside the control room. For this, Jez opted for stealth; they had to take out all the humans without them calling for reinforcements.
Advancing slowly, Jez's squad reached the control room. Inside were about eight human technicians, three military soldiers, and an Artificial Intelligence. Jez guessed that the AI was vital in the mass drivers' functioning. Igniting his energy sword, Jez signaled his zealots to go for the soldiers, while he'd go for the AI. Giving the go signal, Jez darted forward, with unpredictable steps and with his sword, slashed the AI's core database. The AI's avatar sputtered and went dark. Meanwhile, the Zealots took on the Marines by surprise, slashing and beheading them. Jez took no prisoners, he ordered the zealots to kill the technicians too and watched as they were slaughtered. He took a look at the computers and screens, before destroying them.
With his work done, Jez proceeded towards Sed's group, in order to assist them. He took out his Fuel Rod cannon, ready to use. Going to the generator complex, he saw that Sed's group were pinned down by a huge force of Marines and Army soldiers. The soldiers were like fish in a barrel for Jez, he thought, as he pointed the fuel rod cannon at them. He pulled the trigger thrice, and the weapon spat out three huge bursts of green energy. Three explosions followed, with many humans flying in the air with burnt bodies. This sudden attack caused confusion among the soldiers, which gave an upper edge for Sed's squad, who attacked back too. The combined fire finally finished off the humans. With their missions accomplished, they requested evac from the Ardent Inquisitor. The phantoms soon arrived, and they got on them and rode away from the planet. After reaching the ship and going to the deck, Jez observed the glassing of the planet, with the same thoughts of leaving the Covenant. For now, he held his feelings, with the intention of staying for a little more time.
Second Battle of Deston
In November 2552, the Covenant, at the peak of their power and almost winning the Human-Covenant War, attacked the planet of Deston again, having failed at glassing it the first time decades ago in 2530. Since 2530, Deston was significantly improved on its defenses, with new military bases and training complexes set over the planet, and more MACs and ships guarding the planet, in the case of a surprise attack. The Covenant, however, hadn't come without a purpose. The Luminary of the Ardent Inquisitor had detected a massive Forerunner structure in the deserted forest part of the planet, the one which was almost glassed by the Covenant during the previous battle. The Prophet Of Regret had, secretly, ordered the Ardent Inquisitor and its fleet to go back to the planet, and investigate the Forerunner structure, in order to find any new technology helpful for the Covenant and take it, with the conception that humans were unaware of the Forerunner site. Thus were sent a huge force of troops to the surface for an ambush, as the humans were fish in a bowl.
Jez was leading a huge battalion of Zealots, Kig-yar, Yanme'e and Unggoy, to the surface of the planet, near the site. On landing, they were immediately encountered by teams of Spartans, or as the Covenant called them, "Demons", and a small fight ensued. Jez's team had some cover in the dense forests and the advantage of being more in number. Although the Spartans mysteriously vanished in a few minutes, possibly due to them getting new orders, Jez was still impressed by their skills, their bravery, and tactics. As they reached the area of the site, they realized their mistake; the humans had already guessed the Covenant's destination and had assembled a huge force around the installation, due to their recently acquired information of the Forerunners from the Battle of Installation 04.
Fearlessly and confidently, Jez attacked the Spartans with his Zealots, ambushing them
Jez, realizing he had no choice, charged with his huge force at the humans, with the confidence of overcoming them. While most of the Sangheili and the infantry were indulged in the conflict, Jez led a task force of Zealots and Kig-Yar into the interior of the installation through a secret back entrance. There, he saw the same Spartan he had faced before, with the gray and blue colored armor, along with his teammates, near a control panel studying a giant hologram. Jez ambushed them, engaging in a brief conflict with them. At this moment, a Kig-Yar, trying to do something in order to distract the Spartans, quickly pressed a button on the console, initiating something that caused the entire room to shift and tremble. Lights from the ground turned on, and before they could realize, Jez and the others felt nausea and dizziness. Jez's vision started to go shaky, giving him a sense of discomfort. In truth, the installation was teleporting them through the Forerunner's advanced slipspace manipulation technology, to a distant Forerunner installation light-years away, floating in space, undisturbed.
Battle of the Repository
Jez and his squad reached the Repository, the ancient Shield World, within a matter of hours.
They reached a desert area, with a huge structure in the distance, seemingly Forerunner in origin. Since Jez brought a small force, two platoons or so, they weren't widely scattered, and soon came together. Jez ordered his force to proceed towards the structure, in hopes of meeting somebody who can explain to them what was going on.
On nearing the building, Jez spotted the humans talking with an Oracle, presumably of the installation they were on. Creeping behind them, Jez and his task force entered the huge Forerunner complex. Inside, as they moved on, they found the humans in a big room, with a huge hologram in the middle and the Oracle explaining to them. It told them about the purpose of this world, being built by the long-gone Forerunners who used it as a weapon testing-bed in their war with the parasitic Flood, and about the Guardian, a fighting machine. Jez, now finally convinced that the Covenant was indeed feeding lies to him all this while, couldn't stop himself and appeared before the humans, just as a Demon had alerted the humans to his presence and lifted their guns to him. Jez raised his hands as if he was surrendering, and clarified his friendship. After the truce was made, the rest of the Sangheili too came out, on allied terms with the UNSC forces present.
The Repository, the Forerunner Shield World onto which the UNSC and Covenant forces were teleported from Deston.
After going outside, another Spartan by the name of Tyler-A319, who was the humans' leader, told the humans and the Sangheili of their plan. The Spartans and a few of the Sangheili along with Jez would go for the Guardian, while the rest of the humans, Sangheili, and Kig-Yar with the rest of the forces and engage the Covenant on the ground, in hopes of distracting them, naming the mission as 'Operation: RECLAIMER'. The squad used a couple of human vehicles to travel to the desert, having uploaded its location on the NAV markers. After reaching there, they began searching for the underground passage. Before they could find it, a large Covenant force, including a pair of Hunters and some Wraiths began a battle.
The Sangheili and half of the Spartans were fighting the enemy, barely finding cover, while the other half escaped the battle and began searching for the tunnel quickly. After a few minutes, they saw the ground shake as a huge opening was being formed in the ground, and out of it, the Guardian emerged, seemingly under the control of the Spartans. The Guardian used high-precision hardlight and gravity-manipulation weapons, killing all the Covenant soldiers before they even had the chance to react, while huge hardlight cannons all over the 'hands' of the Guardian took care of the Covenant cavalry.
Meanwhile, thousands of light-years away, due to the fight between the Covenant and the UNSC on Installation 04, the Flood on the ring was accidentally released. Due to this, the Alpha Ring was activated, resulting in all the other Forerunner installations in the galaxy immediately turned on, under the protocol of eradicating the Flood completely again. 371 Repentant Instigation, who was alerted about the activation too, believed there was indeed a widespread Flood infestation on various planets the Forerunners knew of, including Earth (known to him as Erde-Tyrene). The Monitor, panicked, quickly tried to launch the Warships buried underground, capable of destroying entire cities within a few minutes.
When the ground started shaking, the remaining Spartans and Sangheili were confused before being advised to get onboard the Guardian by the Corvo, which they did hurriedly, with various platforms under the sand dunes falling suddenly, to their doom. Using grav lifts on the Guardian's surface turned on by the pilots, they launched themselves several times before entering an opening near its control center, running through a small passage before falling through a vent, falling right in front of the Spartans on the deck.
As the warships rose from the sand, the situation was understood quickly; Repentant was going to send those unmanned ships to the many planets and annihilate all the so-called "aboriginal species" on them, which could also possibly include humans. Realizing the lives of billions were on the balance, Jez suggested to attack the warship to try and destroy them. Agreeing with him, Tyler-A319 ordered it. Locking onto the three-dozen relatively-smaller-sized warships, they opened fire.
The hardlight weapons did not do much to dissipate the warships' energy shields. The gravity-manipulators, however, were another story. The highly-intense directed gravitational waves created within an infinitesimally small time interval shattered the energy shield like a needle touching a soap bubble. The hardlight weapons then had a devastating effect on the hulls of the ships, tearing down through various metres of armor and damaging various systems and anti-gravity thrusters, with a couple of the ships no longer able to sustain flight and fall into the deep abyss below formed due to the huge hole through which the warships arose.
The massive Guardian as it rose from the opening in the ground.
This invited the wrath of Repentant, who, enraged that the technology he was devout to protect was being destroyed, ordered all the Sentinels on the Guardian. With less than ten warships remaining, the remaining either completely disabled or destroyed by the mighty fighting machine, the Spartans enjoyed a moment of triumph, short-lived due to the arriving Sentinels. The small machines grouped together in clusters of hundreds, overlapping their energy shields to create a powerful, big one. Since the gravity waves emitter was exhausted, and it would take a long time before it could be restarted, the Guardian's weapons could not penetrate the Sentinels' shields. Receiving heavy fire, the Guardian began taking a lot of damage. On observing that the shields of the clusters dropped at the time of firing, a targeting solution was derived to make the hardlight projectiles hit just as the shields were down. This caused a lot of Sentinels to go down bursting into flames, but there still plenty to take down the Guardian.
Just then, the team received a message on the COMLINK from a Spartan who was with the Marines. He immediately requested everyone onboard to quickly exit the vessel, and run away from the Guardian as far as possible. Without thinking, they set the machine on automatic fire targeting the sentinels and disembarked, with hopes that the Sentinels would be busy in taking down the Guardian and not notice them. After running for about two kilometers, Tyler said that they were receiving a video message on the UNSC E-Band, which Jez and the other Sangheili tapped into by the help of a Spartan.
The video showed the same Spartan who told them to exit the Guardian, a few Marines and various other members of Jez's squad, on the deck of a UNSC ship, with everyone in a bad shape. Jack's MJOLNIR was heavily damaged and blood was oozing from his ears. Jack announced that they were too injured to continue fighting, and the only way to stop the battle was to fly the UNSC Sansad, the ship that crash-landed on this planet seventy-five years ago, right into the Guardian with the Sentinels all around it, and overload its reactors, creating chain explosion that'd destroy everything nearby.
The team then saw far away in the sky the ship headed towards the Guardian. The Sentinels, on spotting it, opened fire on the ship, highly damaging it, but it was still bound for the Guardian. It crashed at the heart of the Guardian, right below its control deck. It waited for five seconds, before exploding, turning into a huge fireball and taking down a huge lot of Sentinels who wandered too close. This caused the gravity weapons on the arms of the Guardian to lose its safeties and overload. Everything that was not engulfed in the explosion began getting attracted towards it, and the rest of the Sentinels and whatever part of the Guardian that was left got sucked into itself, as another explosion followed, and another. Then came a huge shockwave that spread far, hitting the Spartans and pushing them as far as five kilometers, in the same direction, knocking them out.
Waking up after approximately forty-three minutes later, the Spartans and Sangheili soon regrouped and gave the rendezvous coordinates at the same Forerunner structure as before to their allies. Taking another hour to reach there, they linked up with the remaining UNSC forces and Jez's soldiers. Going back inside, they met a furious Repentant. Jez tried to slowly calm him down, but given his behavior, it was evident that sweet-talking was not the way. Fairly enough, Repentant went rogue and attacked the people with his laser 'beam' eye. This erupted into a quick firefight, resulting in the Monitor getting damaged by a grenade at point-blank range. Believing he would no longer attack, this time they tried to slowly explain that the Monitor was mistaken, and there was no real threat. Little did know, there was indeed a real threat to the galaxy, but one which was stopped right on time by a Spartan on the Alpha Halo ring, deemed by the humans to be their best.
Feelingly seemingly convinced, 371 Repentant Instigation refrained from the hostile behavior, and agreed to send everyone back to the same planet they came from. Repentant warned that the return process might take a longer time than when they reached here, due to the damage sustained and won't be able to bring such a large number of people again. After going on rounds and doing one final check-up, they were all ready, as they entered the teleporter. The same dizziness feeling took over, and before long, they disappeared into thin air.
Betrayal and Initiation into the Knights Of Loyalty
After the battle of the Repository, Jez had learned the true secrets of the Sacred Rings, the Great Journey and the Forerunners in general. The actual facts behind them made his decision to quit the Covenant almost final, but Jez was able to stop his rebellious thoughts and still decided to continue working for the Covenant. His banishment time from Qikost was nearing its end, but it was still a long time. Besides, Jez had devoted his life to the Covenant Empire and served for it, so he was reluctant yet. When he finally seemed to suppress his inner thoughts and continue his life as he knew it, the Covenant turned on him.
Jez was called by the High Prophets, who claimed that he was a heretic who tried to change or even destroy the holy Forerunner station and kicked him out of their society. He was branded with the Mark of Shame, to signify that he was a heretic and lost his rank as well as his respect and dignity in the Empire. Only those who knew him close were able to support him but to no avail. In reality, the Prophets removed him because he had learned of the true nature of the Forerunners and the Sacred Rings, and they did not want to risk him spreading this information throughout the Empire.
Kicked out of the Empire, Jez had nothing to do but wander around the galaxy in search of any work or job to spend his time until his banishment time for Qikost would get over. Going to Sanghelios and staying there was not an option; any allies of Qikost's states would notify them of Jez's presence and would worsen the situation. Not long after that, Jez was greeted by a Sangheili who said he came to recruit Jez into a secret Heretic organization, called the 'Knights of Loyalty', after hearing what they did to him. He said that the organization's head was someone Jez knew personally, and himself had called for Jez's recruitment.
Opting to go with the Sangheili, Jez was led into a secret location in the galaxy, a planet in an unknown star system that was guarded by many Covenant cruisers and destroyers, with one CAS-class assault carrier in the lead, presumably the flagship of the fleet. The ship Jez was traveling in entered the planet's atmosphere and docked in a huge tower, with Sangheili architectural designs all over its surface. Jez was led into a big room, where he met the leader of the faction, none other than his brother himself, Ceb 'Varum.
Happy to see his brother alive, and also curious to know of him, Jez and Ceb hugged and greeted each other, before Jez asked Ceb of what happened on that fateful day on Qikost. Ceb replied that as soon as the fights began, the Varum family was about to leave the state for safety when anti-air cannon fire, in the form of huge plasma bolts from an unknown source struck Jez's home. Ceb had narrowly managed to escape by jumping out of the building just at the right moment. Realizing that he was outnumbered, Ceb, instead of fighting, chose to run away. That was when he found a derelict Type-44 Phantom and escaped the planet, searching for Jez. With nowhere to go, Ceb chose to join the Covenant military too, in hopes of searching for Jez, but continuous missions and battles had diverted him.
With all the questions regarding that event clarified, Jez asked what was Ceb doing in this organization, to which Ceb replied saying that he was fed up of the Covenant and met others like him with whom together formed the Knights. He later recruited smaller species of the Covenant such as Unggoy, Kig-Yar, and Yanme'e, and formed an army with which he was able to successfully take over a Covenant ship refit-and-repair center in order to get a fleet of ships for themselves. Jez then told him and the others about the lies the Covenant Empire had told them all, and the real truth behind the Forerunners and the Great Journey. Shocked to know this, and more importantly, enraged, Ceb took an oath to destroy the Covenant Empire, no matter what it takes. This was the beginning of the good times for Jez and Ceb too, the dawn of a new era.
Taking the Tenacious Esteem
Jez's first mission as a Knight was the capture of the Tenacious Esteem. The Tenacious Esteem was a CVS-class assault cruiser, and was originally used by the then-Shipmaster Erus 'Redamee. Later, it was used as a Missionary ship by the Ministry of Tranquility when it was attacked by a Kig-Yar pirate group, who took over the ship. They had parked it near their hideout in interstellar space and was left empty except for a small Huragok crew and a few Kig-Yar. The Knights had found out the pirates' hideout's location, and a huge force was sent in to take over all the useful ships of the pirates, who were somewhere else on a different mission, and left the ships unguarded.
The Tenacious Esteem, the ship that'd later become the flagship of the great warrior Jez 'Varum.
Jez and the soldiers came equipped in Ranger harnesses, and reached the location in the CAS-class assault carrier Infinite Transcendence. They all selected different ships as their mission, with Jez selecting the Tenacious Esteem. Using Type-52 Phantom Gunboats, they came close to the ships when the Infinite Transcendence fired on all the ships, bringing down their energy shields. The Sangheili quickly launched themselves and navigating themselves in space, they entered the ship from the minor hole caused by the attack.
As soon as they entered, the Sangheili headed towards the bridge area, where a couple of Kig-Yar were present, trying to get the ship to fight the Infinite Transcendence, taking a few Huragok found in their way along with them. The Sangheili, opening the bridge doors, quickly killed the few Kig-Yar in the bridge and took over the controls. Immediately, they depressurized all the cabins and hangars, making all the Kig-Yar present in the ship die due to asphyxiation. With the ship under control, Jez quickly made a slipspace jump back to the Knights' headquarters. Ceb, impressed by his brother's actions, made Jez as the commanding Sangheili of the Tenacious Esteem, therefore earning Jez his first ship.
Allying with Covenant Separatists
Soon after Jez acquired his new ship, word reached that the long-feared cataclysmic Great Schism finally happened, with the Sangheili now about to start a fight against the rest of the Covenant. The Knights learned of the formation of a new faction, known as the 'Covenant Separatists', led by none other than the Arbiter Thel 'Vadamee and SpecOps Commander of the Covenant Rtas 'Vadumee. Ceb, who was a good friend of Thel, insisted that the Knights be merged into the Separatists, thereby strengthening both the factions. Surprisingly, none of the Knights resisted to this, and thus Jez was sent to meet the Arbiter and talk about the alliance.
Jez went to the CAS-class assault carrier Shadow of Intent, the flagship of the Fleet of Retribution, which was the fleet of the Separatists. There, he met both of its commanders, to whom he suggested his proposal. While Rtas was originally reluctant, Thel agreed with Jez about a strong Sangheili alliance, and even more so when Jez told of Ceb's name. He preached that as more and more Sangheili brothers stand together, the Covenant will have a lesser chance of survival. Happy with the suggestion, Thel accepted the proposal, the thus the Knights of Loyalty and Covenant Separatists unified into a bigger militia.
The union benefitted both the factions; the Covenant Separatists gained new ships for their fleet, while the Knights gained more soldiers in their fight for justice. Seeing this powerful organization, more and more Sangheili joined it, including various Heretic groups, for who the Separatists asked for forgiveness for having slain many of their brothers under the false ideas and orders of the Hierarchs. The Sangheili accepted each other, and the state began to grow stronger at a higher rate. This also caught the attention of the Covenant, who realized that this organization was not one to be neglected, rather being one to be feared. For the Sangheili had always been the tactical geniuses in their fleets compared to the Jiralhanae, and now the enemy had a superior advantage.
Personality and Skills
Jez 'Varum was an honorific Sangheili, like most other members of his species, and always chose the honor of him and his family/close acquaintances over everything else. This was more popularly shown to others when he clashed with Fenr 'Kronam in order to avenge his state and his family members, who were killed in the State Wars of Qikost. This cost him a big price, resulting in his banishment from Qikost for a long time. While the banishment was official, Jex earned quite a name across the planet and even Sanghelios, which fortunately helped him during the Post-War era when various people reached out to his help, which Jez promptly did.
While not as well-known as that regard, Jez was also a good tactician and a leader-figure, resulting in him becoming a Field Marshall rather quickly. His proficiency in tactics would extend to naval engagements as well after he took the helm of the Tenacious Esteem, which became a pivotal ship in Thel 'Vadam's fleet during the Blooding Years. His unfortunate demise would come during a naval engagement, in which Jez heroically sacrificed himself in order to stop a huge threat to Sanghelios.
Jez was, however, known to have taken a few decisions in rage and/or seeking honor, especially the Duel with Fenr 'Kronam and rushing his Zealots at the Second Battle of Deston, ultimately causing their participation in the Battle of the Repository. While most of these decisions proved to be luckily advantageous, Jez tried to control himself as much as he can while full of anger and rage. Although a firm believer in the Covenant Empire initially, Jez slowly lose his trust battle by battle, being one of the very few who believed humans should be given a chance to walk the Great Journey as well, before his refutation of the Covenant religion. However, he never voiced such opinions of his, as he knew he'd be publicly executed and his state members be banished or murdered if he spoke such "heretical" words.