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Atriox is Jiralhanae Warlord, and the primary antagonist of Halo Wars 2, and its subsequent DLC, Operation SPEARBREAKER. He featured a minor, non-playable character in the Halo Wars DLC Awakening the Nightmare.

He is the undisputed leader of the Covenant splinter group, The Banished, a faction he formed at a time when the Covenants power was at its zenith. Unnaturally intelligent and composed for a Brute, Atriox was the only known person in history to defy the Covenant and survive. In the years following the Covenants collapse, he subsequently became a force to be reckoned with.

He is voiced by famous voice John DiMaggio, who also voiced other Jiralhanae chieftains and the Heretic Leader in Halo 2 Anniversary.

History

Forming the Banished

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, but like the majority of species, he was once a foot soldier in the Covenant military. It was here that he would hone the skills that would prove crucial later in his life. Serving on the front lines at the height of the Human-Covenant War, Atriox's clan according to the human Ai Isabel, 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 at a time before the Jiralhanae's ascension within the Covenant hierarchy, under Tartarus, Atriox carried out several of these suicidal missions, always returning as the sole survivor. Whilst this earnt him great respect and recognition (especially amongst his fellow Jiralhanae), Atriox's growing hatred for the theocratic empire started to become noticeable. The loss of countless pack brothers, caused Atriox to not only question the treatment of his species but harbour resentment towards the San'Shyuum. Eventually, Atriox's hatred developed to the point where he not only doubted the Great Journey but the purpose of the Human-Covenant war itself.

Atriox's banishment

Eventually, word of Atriox's dissent reached the San'shyum, in particular, The High Prophet of Truth. Truth had his own long term plans for the Jiralhanae and understandably came to view Atriox as a threat to his ambitions.  As such he ordered Atriox's Sangheili overseers to keep an eye on him and gave his permission for Atriox to be eliminated if an opportunity presented itself. They did not have to wait long. During a subsequent mission on a human colony world, Atriox was confronted by the only other surviving pack brother once the battle was over. The second Jiralhanae had heard about Atriox's supposed blasphemy and blinded by his devotion to both the Prophets and the Great Journey, refused to listen to Atriox's arguments against them. Thus, Atriox was forced to kill the second brute, but not before openly professing his hatred of both the Covenant and its religion. Returning to the Jiralhanae quarters within the Covenants main base, Atriox found not only several pack brothers but a group of Sangheili waiting for him as well. Charged with murdering his pack brother by the Elites, Atriox was sentenced to death by Truth's operatives. Surrendering his gravity hammer, Atriox dropped to his knees in front of the leader, apparently accepting his fate. When the executioner tried to stab him, however, Atriox defiantly caught the blade with his right hand and gave his would-be executioner a defiant death glare. Rising to his feet, Atriox proceeded to kill the Elite with his own blade, claiming both the Sangheili's weapon and helmet as trophies. Enraged, the other Sangheili drew their own swords but at that moment, the surrounding Jiralhanae, including Decimus leapt to Atriox's aid. Massacring the Elites, this small number of Brutes acknowledged Atriox as their leader and followed him into exile, splitting away from the Covenant indefinitely. Thus the first Covenant splinter group, The Banished was born.

Leading the Banished

Throughout the remainder of the Human-Covenant War, and prior to the Great-Schism, Atriox led the Banished into several conflicts with both the Covenant and the UNSC. Utilising guerilla tactics and the skills he had honed during his service to the Covenant, Atriox was able 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. Xenos who felt they were being mistreated by the Covenant, blood-thirsty killers and mercenaries came to his side, though Atriox was also known for pressing others into his service. Post-Great Schism, Atriox would recruit Let 'Volir and his band of Sangheili mercenaries into the Banished, offering them fuel and supplies in exchange for their service thus gaining a fleet.

The Covenant, understandably, viewed Atriox as one of the greatest threats to its survival, alongside Humanity and the Flood. Yet for all their technological advancement, the Covenant never even came close to stopping Atriox and his forces. The UNSC Office of Naval Intelligence, on the other hand, saw an opportunity. Recognising Atriox's existence and hatred for the Covenant, alongside a careful study of his character caused some to wonder if a mutual understanding or perhaps even an alliance could be reached with him. These plans were never realised.

It should be noted that Post Great Schism, Atriox and his followers became aware of the existence of other Covenant splinter factions. The Banished do not associate with them, however, and actively look down upon most of them with disdain/contempt, especially those that continue to honour the Great Journey and the Forerunners. Whilst not necessarily true for each and every one of his followers, Atriox himself is an atheist, viewing faith as outdated and unnecessary. Subsequently, unlike most of the other splinter factions, The Banished are thoroughly irreligious. As such, they raid and plunder systems across the galaxy simply to support their own goals. Indeed some of Atriox's are former Covenant soldiers who simply wish to keep on fighting.

Conflict with the Spirit of Fire 

First contact

In 2558, Atriox led his forces en-masse to take over the Ark one month after its portal had closed, massacring any humans present on the structure. How Atriox came to know about the existence or location of the installation is unknown, but Atriox brought the entire Banished fleet with him. His goal was to create a Halo Ring and unleash it upon the galaxy. Four months after his arrival, The Banished were no closer to fulfilling Atriox's ambition, when 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 and they allowed the human's reconnaissance team, Spartan Red Team to land on the Ark without resistance. When the Spartans infiltrated a research facility they not only found the A.I. Isabel the colonies sole 'survivor', they also found Atriox waiting for them personally (his guards stood in the shadows). A brief scuffle ensued, and despite the Spartans legendary tenacity, strength and combat abilities Atriox outmatched them in every field.

Although Douglas and Jerome managed to injure Atriox the Brute paid these minor injuries no attention. He made short work of the highly trained warriors, wounding Douglas in the process and removing the Spartans helmet - thus revealing to his followers that beneath the armour was just a man. Forcing the super-soldiers to retreat, Atriox mocked them as 'Little Demons' before ordering his bodyguards to finish them off. By this point, the research facility was surrounded by Banished, and the Spartans barely escaped with their lives.

Subsequent conflict

Atriox's victory at the research facility proved to be short-lived. Although Atriox had firmly entrenched his forces on the Forerunner facility, and even hijacked the Ark's portal network (enabling him 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, they 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 right-hand man Decimus.

Enraged by this Atriox ordered his flag-ship, the Enduring Conviction to attack the Spirit of Fire. The humans responded by sending Douglas to a Forerunner cannon on the Arks surface, which they used to disable the Banished cruiser. Jerome and Isabel simultaneously infiltrated the flag-ship and provoked the facilities aggressor sentinels into destroying it. The lose of both his Lieutenant and (only known) cruiser angered the Brute no end.  

It was at this point that a Halo Ring 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 in order to claim it before the human forces could. At this point, Atriox contacted Captain James Cutter, acknowledging the Captains skill and offering to let him go peacefully if he abandoned both the Ring and the Ark. Recognising the danger Atriox posed to both Humanity and the galaxy, however, Cutter refused him.

Atriox's efforts came to nothing, however, as the humans not only shut down the teleportation systems but Professor Anders managed to separate the land that the Banished was stationed on from the ring, eliminating all of 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 they had destroyed several key Banished outposts, denied Atriox access to the teleportation system, killed many of his followers including Decimus, destroyed his flagship and now cost the Jiralhanae the chance to take control of the most powerful weapon in the galaxy. Despite these losses, Atriox himself survived along with a legion of his followers and began preparing for his next skirmish with the UNSC stranded on the Ark.

Conflict with the Flood/ Awakening the Nightmare

Atriox and his forces continued to wage an all-out war with the Spirit of Fire following the departure of Professor Ellen Anders, and the Halo ring. Following two months of conflict, however, The Banished appeared no closer to victory than they had been at the start of the campaign. In a desperate bid to turn the tide, Atriox sent two of his subordinates, the Brute brothers Pavium and Vordius to scour the wreckage of the Covenant Holy City High Charity for anything that might be useful. The shell was protected by an abnormally large number of sentinels and an energy shield, so Atriox opted to be cautious, and gave the brothers explicit instructions not to enter the city.

This decision proved to be a disastrous one. Whilst Pavium heeded Atriox's warning and scoured the outskirts, Vordius chose to disregard his instructions, breached the energy shield and entered the remains of High Charity. There Vordius' forces came into contact with the Flood, a parasitic organism which the Banished had previously dismissed and regarded as fictitious Covenant propaganda.

As a result of Vordius' actions, vast waves of Flood organisms escaped through the breach and swarmed across the Arks surface. Atriox's forces were caught completely off-guard by the unexpected assault, causing vast areas and forces to fall to the Floods assault thus depleting their resources even further. Thus the Banished suddenly found themselves waging a war on two fronts.

It is not known whether Atriox personally engaged the parasite directly but he stayed in regular contact with his forces, diverting men and resources were necessary to confront this new enemy.  Throughout the conflict, he made it very clear that he was far from pleased with Vordius' actions. After the brothers successfully defeated the Proto-Gravemind, Atriox arrived personally to survey the carnage. 

By this point, several key outposts had been lost and thousands of Banished had died. Knowing these were things that James Cutter and his human forces would be able to exploit, Atriox verbally reprimanded the younger Jiralhanae but chose to spare them. Crushing a Flood infection form that tried to latch onto him with his gauntlet, Atriox dispatched Vordius and Pavium to the breach telling them to clean up their mess. With the threat of the Flood apparently eliminated, Atriox returned to his command centre ready to continue his conflict with the Spirit of Fire. 

            Halo Villains

Species
The Flood | Huragok | Mgalekgolo | Jiralhanae | Kig-Yar | Sangheili | San Shyuum | Unggoy

Covenant Empire
Covenant High Council: Prophet of Truth | Prophet of Mercy | Prophet of Regret
Covenant Sangheili: Ardo 'Moretumee | Bako 'Ikaporamee | Field Marshal | Harka | Lat 'Ravamee | Luro 'Taralumee | Merg Vol | Ontomee | Re'gish Wamik | Rho 'Barutamee | Ripa 'Moramee | Rtas Vadum | Thel 'Vadam
Covenant Jiralhanae: Lepidus | Parabum | Tartarus

Storm Covenant
The Didact | Jul 'Mdama | Gek 'Lhar | Parg Vol | Kitun 'Arach

Created
Cortana | Warden Eternal | Guardians | Prometheans

The Banished
Atriox | Decimus | Let 'Volir

Office of Naval Intelligence
Jameson Locke | James Ackerson

Insurrectionists
Jerald Mulkey Ander | Robert Watts

Other
343 Guilty Spark | Commissioner Kinsler | Gravemind | Heretics (Sesa Refumee)

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