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Vrathek (Demon)

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UNSC WARNING: This document, Vrathek (Demon), is property of the UNSC and is Classified [NOVEMBER BLACK], protected under Office of Naval Intelligence Security Protocol 1A. Disclosure of its contents to, or access or alteration by, personnel with a clearance level lower than GAMMA THREE is an offense punishable by court(s) martial and imprisonment or execution for treasonous acts. Failure to disclose confirmed or suspected breaches of security will be treated as complicity, and is punishable by dishonourable discharge and/or imprisonment.
Lieutenant Commander Michael Pomare, Office of Naval Intelligence, UNSCDF Navy
ONI Seal 1
678px-Shoggoth by pahko

While there have been many depictions of the Vrathek, this is the most consistent - a horrifying mass of slime, eyes and tentacles.


While Jiralhanae culture has largely been replaced by the religion espoused by the Prophets, some vestiges remain. One such facet is the Vrathek, a "demon" that is guards the gates of the afterlife. Many Jiralhanae continue to believe in the Vrathek, reasoning that all paths have obstacles along them, and that the Great Journey is no exception. The Prophets have tried hard to stamp out the continued belief in pre-Covenant entities, but have had little success against figures so deeply entrenched in the Jiralhanae's phyche.

In Jiralhanae mythology, the Vrathek functions similar to the Ancient Egyptian goddess Ammit, consuming those deemed unworthy, while allowing the worthy to pass. In Jiralhanae culture, worth is measured in success - cowardice, weakness, inability and failure are all things judged by the Vrathek, and those with too many are devoured. As such, unlike the Sangheili belief in a "waiting period" for all, Jiralhanae believe that their lives are only lived once, and that their actions must count, perhaps explaining their eagerness to please. Regardless, the Vrathek is unique in that it is not a singular entity - while one guards the gates of the Great Journey, others are held to wander among the people themselves, watching and judging, sometimes lending support to the "chosen" and ensuring the failures of their enemies.

In later periods of the Covenant, with the sudden schism and the secession of the Sangheili, belief in the Vrathek came ot further prominence, despite all the best efforts of the surviving Prophets, spreading to the Unggoy and Kig-Yar. A class of ship constructed by the Jiralhanae to bolster their devastated fleet, the Vrathek-Class Cruiser, was named for the creature, in an attempt to inspire fear in Sangheili opponents and courage in Jiralhanae allies and crewmembers.

Quotes

  • "Maybe Lovecraft was channeling the Brute religion? The damn thing looks like a Shoggoth."
  • "It would certainly be fearsome...if we knew what it WAS. The Jiralhanae always made the mistake of thinking we knew enough about them to care that they named their ships after demons, and that we would fear their false gods. Of course, we would never do such a thing ourselves..."
  • "Scary thought, huh? That thing following you around, watching everything you do - no wonder the Brutes are nuts."
  • "Supposedly, all its says is "Tekeli-li." Even the Jiralhanae know not what it means.

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