|“||The warriors who will follow me will do so because they know me. Because they have seen me - and they know I will fight whoever it takes, wherever I have to - and I will win, no matter what||„|
|~ Atriox to his lieutenant Decimus|
Atriox is a Jiralhanae Warlord who serves as the main antagonist of Halo Wars 2. He retains this role in the subsequent DLC, Operation SPEARBREAKER, whilst featuring as a minor character in Awakening the Nightmare.
Atriox is the Warmaster of the villainous Covenant splinter group The Banished, a faction that he formed when the Covenants power was at its zenith. Unnaturally intelligent and composed for a Brute, Atriox is the only person in history to leave the Covenant and survive.
Whilst he kept a low profile during the Human-Covenant War, following the Covenants collapse, Atriox's Banished became a force to be reckoned with.
He is voiced by John DiMaggio, who also voiced other Jiralhanae chieftains and the Heretic Leader in Halo 2 Anniversary.
Atriox is 8-9 feet tall, making him the average size for a Jiralhanae. He appears to be taller than most of his kin however, with the exception of Decimus. Atriox has dark fur with noticeable side-burns, a braided beard a long ponytail. His fur is starting to turn grey.
As a Jiralhanae Warmaster, Atriox wears grey plate armour. This war-gear is made from a combination of human and covenant technology. His primary weapon is a mace.
|“||I am not Tartarus or some fanatic. I am not Truth. I am not Regret. I am their remedy.||„|
|~ Atriox's opinion of himself compared to historical Covenant figures.|
Unlike most of his kind, Atriox is capable of keeping his emotions in check. He never lets his anger consume him and will never take his frustrations out on any of his soldiers or fly into a berserkers rage. Coupled with his unnaturally high intelligence this allows Atriox to employ strategies that a normal Jiralhanae would not employ. He is also resilient capable of holding his own against an entire unit of Spartan II's.
Atriox does not possess many of the prejudices found in many of his kind. He will welcome any species from the Covenant into his ranks, so long as they agree to serve him. As demonstrated by his later negotiations with Captain Carter, he does not hate humans either. Never-the-less, he is a brutal overlord, allowing his followers to fight amongst themselves.
Once a faithful adherent to the Covenant religion, his experiences in the military eventually convinced Atriox that the Great Journey was a lie. Ultimately, Atriox renounced his faith. Since leading the Banished, he has become a staunch atheist, carrying out many of his schemes for need and pleasure rather than due to faithful proclamations. Although some of his followers, like Decimus, do not share this sentiment the Banished as a whole are irreligious. Atriox holds a particular disdain for the other Covenant Splinter Groups, especially those that still follow the Covenant Religion. He also hates historical figures like Tartarus and the High Prophet's of Truth and Regret.
Early life & Service in the Covenant
|“||Forty at a time, they carelessly sent them in. Forty, to break the front lines. Forty to die for beliefs not their own. None ever returned ... until he did!||„|
Isabel explaining Atriox's early history and what eventually led him to defy the Covenant
Serving in the Covenant
Nothing is known about Atriox's early life. Like the majority of species, however, he was once a foot soldier in the Covenant military. It was here that Atriox would hone the skills that would prove crucial later in his life.
According to the human Ai Isabel, Atriox hailed from a clan that was predominantly used as expendable muscle. Whether this was due to a fearsome reputation, staunch belief in the Great Journey or a means to eliminate potential dissenters is never explained. Forty pack brothers at a time would be sent on suicidal missions in order to break the UNSC's frontline. None of these warriors ever returned, until Atriox broke the trend.
Serving during the height of the Human-Covenant War and at a time before the Jiralhanae's ascension within the Covenant hierarchy, under Tartarus, Atriox took part in many of these suicidal missions, always returning as the sole survivor. Whilst this tenacity earnt him great respect and recognition from his peers (especially amongst his fellow Jiralhanae), the loss of so many pack brothers, had a profound effect on Atriox's psychology.
He disliked this wasteful, seemingly endless slaughter of good soldiers, his kinsman. Eventually, this allowed doubt to settle in his mind. Atriox began to wonder why the Covenant willingly sacrificed such large numbers of loyal soldiers. This led him to doubt about the San'Shyuum's proclamations, not just about the Great Journey but the purpose of the Human-Covenant War itself.
Eventually, these doubts manifested into hatred, causing Atriox to renounce the Great Journey and detest the Prophets, especially the Hierarchs. Although he initially managed to keep these observations to himself, Atriox's dissent gradually became more noticeable. Eventually, word of his heresy filtered back to the Covenant Command.
Botched Execution - Forming the Banished
When Atriox's apostasy was reported to the Covenant Hierarchs, The High Prophet of Truth was particularly concerned. He had his own long term plans for the Jiralhanae race and thus considered Atriox a threat to his ambitions. Contacted by Atriox's Sangheili overseers, the leader of the Covenant instructed them to keep an eye on Atriox for the time being. However, Truth also declared that if Atriox did anything to indicate his loss of faith or loyalty then the Elite's were to eliminate him.
Ultimately, they did not have long to wait. During a subsequent mission on the human colony world, Atriox sent out yet another conflict zone. For once another, however, he was the sole survivor. A second, younger Jiralhanae had also survived the encounter. A Jiralhanae that Atriox had noticed glaring at him on the journey to the battlefield.
With the fight over, the second Jiralhanae confronted Atriox. During the battle, Atriox had openly proclaimed his doubts and hatreds to one of his adversaries. His pack brother overheard these proclamations and was outraged. Blinded by his devotion to both the Prophets and the Great Journey, the Brute refused to listen to Atriox's arguments against them. In the end, the two engaged one another and Atriox was forced to kill his pack brother in self-defence.
Returning to the Covenants main base, Atriox entered the Jiralhanae quarters. There he found not only several pack brothers but his Sangheili overseers. The leader of this group, The Executioner declared that they were aware of Atriox's actions. Charging him with heresy, blasphemy and murder Truth's operatives sentenced Atriox to death.
Atriox faced these charges and sentence without protest. Casting aside his gravity hammer, the Jiralhanae dropped to his knees in front of his executioner, apparently accepting his fate. However, when the executioner tried to stab him with his red energy blade, Atriox defiantly grabbed onto the Sangheili's hand with his right hand. Having changed his mind, Atriox stood back up and gave his would-be executioner a defiant death glare.
The Jiralhanae proceeded to run the Elite through with his own blade, before claiming both the Sangheili's weapon and helmet as trophies. Prompted the rest of the Sangheili activated their own swords. Inspired by Atriox's actions, however, and perhaps sick of their own mistreatment the surrounding Jiralhanae, including Decimus leapt to Atriox's aid, brutally dispatching all of the Elites.
When the job was done, Decimus knelt before Atriox in publication. With a defiant roar, the Brutes acknowledged Atriox as their leader and left the Covenant base alongside him, following him into exile and splitting away from the Covenant indefinitely. Thus The Banished, first of the Covenant Splinter-Groups was born.
Leading the Banished
Throughout the remainder of the Human-Covenant War, Atriox led the Banished into several conflicts with both the Covenant and the UNSC. Utilising guerilla tactics Atriox managed to successfully raid key strategic positions across the galaxy. With each victory, Atriox bolstered not only The Banished's armaments but its numbers as well. Those that felt they were being mistreated by the Covenant, blood-thirsty killers and mercenaries flocked to his side. Atriox was also known for pressing others into his service.
The Covenant, considered Atriox to be the greatest threats to its survival, alongside Humanity and the Flood. Yet for all their of technological advancement, the Covenant never even came close to stopping Atriox. The UNSC Office of Naval Intelligence was likewise also aware of Atriox's existence. However, whilst the Covenant saw only an enemy they saw an opportunity. Carefully studying Atriox's character they recognised his hatred for the Covenant and began to if they could reach a mutual accord, perhaps even an alliance with him. These plans were never realised.
During the Great Schism, Atriox never came to the aid of the Covenant Separatists, who subsequently broke up into several warring factions. With the collapse of the Covenant Empire, thousands of former soldiers flocked to his side. Some because they revered Atriox. Others because they did not trust humanity. A number simply wished to carry on fighting. Perhaps Atriox's greatest victory was recruiting Let 'Volir and his band of Sangheili mercenaries into the Banished, offering them fuel and supplies in exchange for their service. Thus the Banished managed to gain a fleet.
Conflict with the Spirit of Fire
|“||As I suspected, nothing but a man. ... Yes, run little demons!'||„|
|~ Atriox mocking Spartan Red Team during their first encounter|
In November 2558, Atriox led his forces en-masse to the Ark, massacring the human garrisons present on the structure. How Atriox came to know about the existence or location of the installation is unknown, but he brought the entire Banished fleet with him. Atriox planned to acquire a new Halo Ring, before unleashing it upon the galaxy at large. Four months after his arrival however, The Banished were no closer to fulfilling Atriox's ambition.
Then the crew of the MIA UNSC Phoenix-Class colony ship, Spirit of Fire arrived at the Installation, bringing them into contact with Atriox and the Banished. By this point, Atriox's forces were well entrenched. Atriox allowed the reconnaissance scouts, Spartan Red Team to land on the Ark without resistance. When the enhanced warriors infiltrated main research facility they encountered not just Isabel, the colonies A.I. and sole 'survivor' but Atriox as well.
With his Jiralhanae guards watching in the shadows, the Banished's Warmaster proceeded to engage the Spartan squadron in single combat. Despite the Spartans legendary tenacity, strength and combat abilities Atriox outmatched them in every field. Although Douglas-042 and Jerome-092 managed to stab Atriox, the Brute paid these minor injuries no attention. Making short work of the highly trained warriors, the fight culminated in Atriox severely injuring Douglas. In the process, he removed the Spartans helmet revealing to his followers that beneath that armour was just a man.
Forcing the super-soldiers to retreat, Atriox mockingly referred to them as 'Little Demons'. Turning away, Atriox ordered his bodyguards to finish them off. By this point, the research facility was surrounded by Banished. The Spartans barely escaped with their lives.
Atriox's victory over the Spartans proved to be short-lived and the Banished's only one. Despite being firmly entrenched on the Forerunner facility and even having hijacked the Ark's portal network (enabling Atriox to teleport his troops anywhere on the Arks), Captain Cutter and his human allies proved to be just as strategically gifted, if not even more so than he was. Striking at key positions across the Ark's surface, the UNSC forces managed to put up fierce resistance and became a serious thorn in Atriox's side. Delaying his plans and weakening his forces, they eventually managed to kill Atriox's chief follower, Decimus.
Enraged, Atriox ordered his flag-ship, the Enduring Conviction to attack the Spirit of Fire. The humans responded by sending Douglas-042 to a Forerunner cannon on the Arks surface, which they used to disable the Banished cruiser. Jerome-092 and Isabel simultaneously infiltrated the Enduring Conviction. Logging into the ships computer systems, Isabel provoked the Ark's aggressor sentinels into destroying the Banished vessel. The lose of his Chief-Lieutenant and (only known) cruiser angered the Brute Warmaster no end.
It was at this point that a Halo Ring finally emerged from deep within the Ark. Despite his previous setbacks, Atriox was quick to seize the initiative. Ordering Let' Volir to get as many troops as possible onto the ring, he told them to take it before the human could.
At this point, Atriox personally contacted Captain James Cutter. Acknowledging the Captains skills, the warlord offered to let Carter go in peace if he agreed to abandon both the Ring and the Ark. Recognising the danger Atriox posed to both Humanity and the galaxy however, Cutter refused him.
Ultimately, Atriox's efforts came to nothing. The Spartans not only to shut down the teleportation systems, then held off the Banished forces already stationed on the ring. They did so long enough for Professor Anders to access the rings network and separate the land that Atriox's forces were stationed upon from the rest of the ring itself, eliminating them with a simple wave of her hand. As the Professor steered the ring through a portal, thus taking it safely beyond Atriox's reach, the Jiralhanae warlord vented his fury on the holo-table, enraged at the loss of his prize.
It had only been five days since the humans arrived on the Forerunner installation. During that time Carter's forces had destroyed several key Banished outposts, cut off access to the teleportation system, killed many of Atriox's followers, slain Decimus and destroyed his flagship. Now they had cost the Jiralhanae his chance to take control of the most powerful weapon in the galaxy. Despite these losses, Atriox still had an entire legions worth of followers at his command. Accepting his loss, Atrox began preparing for his next skirmish with the UNSC forces, who like him were now stranded on the Ark.
Conflict with the Flood/ Awakening the Nightmare
|“||I don't think pleased is the right word, brother. Atriox will arrive soon. He may not be as merciful as the Flood||„|
|~ Pavium telling Voridus what to expect after the latter's arrogance led to the Banished's conflict with the Flood|
His decision proved to be a disastrous one. Pavium, the older and wiser of the two brothers heeded Atriox's warning and only searched the outskirts. Vordius, on the other hand, was arrogant, cocky and eager to please the Jiralhanae Warmaster. As such he chose to disregard Atriox's instructions in the hope of acquiring more lot. With the aid of a scarab, he breached the energy shield and sent soldiers into the remains of High Charity. There Vordius' forces came into contact with the Flood, a parasitic organism which the Banished had previously disregarded as fictitious Covenant propaganda.
Due to Vordius' actions, vast numbers of Flood organisms escaped from the city and swarmed across the Ark. The Banished were caught completely off-guard by this unexpected assault. In less than a day, vast numbers of Atriox's outposts and forces had fallen to the Floods onslaught, With their resources now depleted even further, the Banished suddenly faced the prospect of facing a war on two fronts.
It is not known whether Atriox himself personally engaged the parasite but in the latter stages of the campaign, he personally re-organised the position of his forces, diverting men and resources were necessary to combat the new enemy. He also managed to get in contact with Pavium and Vordius, making it very clear that he was angry with the latter. Just after the brothers had successfully defeated the Proto-Gravemind, Atriox arrived on the scene, to survey the carnage.
By this point, several key outposts had been lost and thousands of Banished had died. Aware that James Cutter and his forces would exploit these in the coming battles, Atriox verbally reprimanded the younger Jiralhanae for his carelessness. To illustrate this point Atriox crushed a Flood infection form that tried to latch onto him with his gauntlet, before tossing the body at Vordius' feet. He subsequently sent the pair back to High Charity, to seal up the breach, threateningly telling Voridus he would be waiting for the latter's return. With the threat of the Flood still looming over them, Atriox returned to his command centre ready to continue his conflict with both the parasite and the Spirit of Fire.
- It is not known why Atriox did not come to the aid of the original Covenant Separatists or humanity during the Human-Covenant War.
- He can be considered Tartarus' antithesis.
- Spartan augmentation made their bones nigh unbreakable. Testimony to Atriox's strength can be seen in his fight with Spartan Red team, where he not only threw them around like ragdolls but subsequently crushed Douglas-042's shoulder and armour.
- That same fight suggests Atriox has a high pain tolerance. Jerome-092 and Douglas-042 stabbed him multiple times with combat knives. Atriox not only ignored the pain but carried on fighting unimpeded.
- Atriox is one of three named leaders to actively leave the Covenant and create renegade factions. The others were The Arbiter Thel 'Vadam and Heretic Leader Sesa 'Rufamee. Atriox is not only the sole Jiralhanae on this list, he is arguably the most successful. Unlike 'Rufamee, Atriox and his forces survived their battle against the Covenant. Whilst The Arbiters actions did result in the eventual collapse of the Covenant Empire, he needed the aid of the humans to defeat Truth's Covenant Loyalists. The Sangheili also lost their unity following the end of the conflict, breaking into several inter-warring factions. Atriox not only kept his forces united under his leadership but also managed to defeat the Empires forces at the height of their power.