|This article, Savage Embrace, is currently under active construction.|
One of the most advanced ships left on the Covenant fleet, the Savage Embrace is a strealth frigate developed before the Great Schism. Though it uses the hull and superstructure of the Jiralhanae-developed Laktran-class Frigates, in most regards it is an entirely different ship. It has changed hands frequently in its service; initially commanded by Chieftain Ashkenazus, then his subordinate Erebus, as Minorca; then by Chieftain Drusus and his pack during the Second Battle of Earth and the Mandorla Campaign.
The Jiralhanae have long petitioned the High Council to grant them greater participation in the Covenant, but for decades the most they were allowed were roles as general infantry. As the Great Schism approached, however, and the Sangheili increasingly began to doubt many of the decisions made by the Prophets, it was to the Jiralhanae that the Prophets turned, planning the Sangheili's eventual replacement. As part of that, they began a covert buildup of Jiralhanae Naval power.
At the time, the Jiralhanae lacked the sheer numbers the Sangheili possessed, and trying to match that would have instantly attracted the attention of the High Council. Given that limitation, the Jiralhanae were forced to focus on less conventional types of ships - the Savage Embrace was one of almost two dozen frigates built at the Thrakakrathak Shipyards later modified for stealth active camouflage and improved sensors. At first, these served to covertly transport involved dignitaries - the Savage Embrace carried the Prophet of Mercy and a small retinue of Jiralhanae bodyguards during his 2551 inspection of the Jiralhanae fleet over Doisac. As the number of ships built for the Jiralhanae grew, this need became superfluous, and eventually, just before the Schism, the Jiralhanae fleet was unveiled. A number of Sangheili fleets were stripped of their Sangheili crew, and replaced by Jiralhanae personnel entirely.
The Savage Embrace, being a stealth reconnaissance and insertion vehicle, filled a role few Jiralhanae were accustomed to. Overwhelming firepower was well and good, but the poor armaments and defences of the Savage Embrace made it ill equipped for combat, and thus few Jiralhanae were willing to captain a ship unlikely to see action of the kind they enjoyed. Eventually, a Shipmaster was found willing to conduct espionage missions on behald of the Ministry of Tranquillity, in place of a Kig-yar missionary ship - Rakatus quickly settled in, familiarising his pack with the ship's layout and operation. His first combat deployment was also that of his ship - transporting Chieftain Ashkenazus and his pack to the human world Minorca to search for a Labyrinth Facility. The ship was not a part of the initial assault, making it's way through the UNSC Orbital Perimeter using its stealth systems and ignoring the battle, although the Jiralhanae aboard took great pleasure in seeing so many Sangheili ships annihilated by a "mere" human fleet. Entering the ship's atmosphere, the ship remained cloaked, deploying the pack and a Scarab.
Later, Rakatus would take command of a Battlecruiser of his own, rising to the rank of Chieftain of a tribe - Erebus, formerly Ashkenazus' second-in-command and his successor, would take control of the Savage Embrace after escaping with the Minister of Acquisition from a UNSC-Sangheili holding cell, captured during the Battle of Ares IV, returning to the Covenant fleet in time to join the hunt for a third Labyrinth Facility. The ship would serve the Covenant well, it's stealth and sensors alerting it to inbound enemy ships, finding minor relics, and deploying troops covertly. After the Mandorla Campaign, it would become a part of the New Covenant, merged with the New Covenant Fleet and would serve in a dozen combat theatres against rival Covenant Remnant Factions.
After the promotion of Erebus to Fleet Chieftain of the Thirteenth Fleet of Eternal Sanctity, the Savage Embrace would pass to Chieftain Aelius and attached to the fleet as a part of the forward reconnaissance element. Gainin experience against Kig-yar raiders during the New Covenant-Privateer Alliance brushfire conflicts, the Savage Embrace would play a vital role on the New Covenant's assault on Expansive Judgement, the last significant Blood Covenant colony of significant size. Entering the system, the ship monitored the battlefield, discovering the presence of a small Sangheili fleet already engaging the far larger force. Reporting this occurance to the fleet, the Savage Embrace would continue to monitor the combat until the Fleet of Eternal Sanctity entered the system, engaging the Blood Covenant fleet.
For the most part, the Savage Embrace shares most of the design characteristics of the newer Laktran-class Frigate. It is slightly smaller than the average Covenant frigate, and rather than the rounded bow normally found among the Covenant fleet, tapers off to a point. In terms of manoeuvrability, it is almost identical. The real differences are its firepower, and it's purpose.
As a stealth frigate, the Savage Embrace mounts a sophisticated active camouflage system. Jiralhanae understanding of the technology is imperfect - while Sangheili stealth ships can stay cloaked nearly indefinitely, Jiralhanae ships can only manage a few hours or, if power is diverted from other nonessential systems, a day at most. The time limit is extended exponentially for each Huragok a ship has aboard, but given their scarcity and reluctance to interact with anyone besides the Prophets, this is a rare occurence. The active camouflage is able to conceal the ship from virtually all enemy sensors - Radar, Masers, LIDAR, infra-red, and optical. Tremendous amounts of heat are generated, further limiting the time it can be used for.
Such advanced equipment occupies a significant portion of the ship. One third of the engineering compartment is dedicated to powering it, and the field emitters are embedded deep into the hul, occupying portions of the internal compartments. A Sangheili ship would be far less crude, but Jiralhanae limitations in terms of ttechnological understanding, time available, and resources made the Savage Embrace's development a hasty one. What this means, however, is that the ship's internal capacity is significantly lowered. Several of it's storage compartments were converted into emitter stations, and with fewer supplies the ship can carry proportionally fewer crew and passengers. Additional storage capacity was converted to allow the ship to carry a single Scarab walker. Additionally, many of the emitters protrude where weapons were once mounted - virtually all of the dorsal, ventral, portside and starboard side pulse laser turrets have been removed, leaving only the bow and stern turrets for offense - sufficient to blow a hole in anything to pass through, or to return fire against a pursuing enemy, and little else.
- Chieftain Rakatus (2549-2551)
- Chieftain Erebus (2551-October 2552)
- Chieftain Drusus (2552-onward)
- "There were rumours among my warriors that a ship had managed to penetrate the humans blockade and land on Minorca - I dismissed it at first, but them we found the wreckage of a Scarab near the Daimon Hills, which we didn't bring, and a few Jiralhanae corpses. The Field Master was livid, until the Prophet informed us that it had been condoned by the Hierarchs - what could we say to that?"
- "Its certainly a piece of work - most of the stealth systems were gutted from a Kig-yar missionary ship and fitted pretty well into the engineering section, camouflaged to look like regular equipment. Even the other systems aren't as primitive as the Jiralhanae usually make do with - they went through a lot of effort to get it running."
- "Imagine a Prowler. Now give it a plasma cannon and lasers, and fill it with seven hundred angry apes with broadswords. Would you want to go up against that?"