Okay, so what factions are we dealing with?

Keep in mind, I just now started reading Shadows of Reach. But here’s what I have so far. For our list of enemies.

The Insurrectionists
Jul 'Mdama’s Covenant (Defeated)
Sali 'Nyon and his bulk of Jul’s Former Forces
The Servants of the Abiding Truth
Keepers of the One Freedom
The Banished
The Created w/Guardians
…and the Flood

In the words of a great elf from “The Lord of the Rings”: Our list of allies grows thin.

Add the fact that Cortina is pacifying any force that dares stand against her, the UNSC faces either subjugation or annihilation. At least when the Covenant was our only enemy, we could fight back. But when a Guardian shows up, everyone loses instantly. And while we are worrying about those, our other foes take advantage of our fears and do raids or hit and run attacks.

I honestly don’t see how we can possibly win this time.

It’s true that the UNSC has many enemies but those foes aren’t necessarily friendly towards each other either. We’ve seen instances of hostilities between the factions like the insurrectionists battling the Created in Bad Blood. If anything, you would have a more difficult time attempting to bring them together due to the wildly varying beliefs and objectives of the groups. Really, the only factions I can see from the list that may be compatible with one another are Sali 'Nyon’s Covenant and the Servants of the Abiding Truth. Both of those happen to be Sangheili founded groups with a centralised ideology that reveres the Forerunners and their technology with a disillusionment from the traditional Covenant theology. The original founder of the splinter faction under Jul 'Mdama and by extension Sali 'Nyon originated from the Servants of the Abiding Truth so it’s no surprise that there might be greater potential for cohesiveness there.

I think with everyone being brought to their knees by the Created they’ll likely prioritise getting this new dictator off their backs before turning on each other. Although who knows how many from these factions may have chosen to sign on to Cortana’s imperial dictate. We hear of at least the Unggoy on Balaho agreeing to surrender to them. Fortunately it doesn’t appear like the Sangheili are going to be rolling over any time soon and the Swords of Sanghelios look to be holding firm to the ceasefire they have with the UNSC for now.

What’ll probably be the most damaging to humanity from all of this is the fact that their technology, infrastructure, and communication methods were compromised so completely by the turncoat AI who have sworn allegiance to Cortana. I suspect it’ll take some time for the UNSC to get everything back in working order but in the meantime they’re going to have to rely on the segments that were able to resist destruction like the Infinity.

Well it looks like at least some of the Innies may be willing to band together with the UNSC against Cortana, so they might not be an issue for the UNSC to deal with. Sure the two sides hate each other, but it’s easy to find common ground when you’re all facing annihilation together.

As you’ve said, Jul Mdama’s Covenant has been defeated, so that’s a moot point. I’d imagine Sali Nyon and his buddies will meet the same fate since they are basically a discount version of Jul Mdama’s Covenant. The Servants of the Abiding Truth basically fall into the same camp as the other two factions, so they’re mostly out of the picture as well.

The Keepers and the Banished are now one and the same… though I do take a fair bit of issue with how that was portrayed in the books. Mostly concerning Atriox’s sudden hatred for humans, which hasn’t been a thing until now. He hates the UNSC, sure… but he’s been portrayed previously as a pragmatic leader that accepts all who would be beneficial to his cause. Heck the guy has Sangheili blademasters on his team. He has far more reason to hate them than he does humans.Aside from the Spoiler (which discusses the Banished and the Keepers), all you really have left are the Created forces and their Guardians. I fully expect we will see them in Infinite, but probably playing secondary antagonist to the Banished. H5 set them up to be the main antagonist, but I suspect fan backlash over H5’s story has led to some rewrites and brainstorming sessions over the last five years about how to downplay that aspect of the story going forward. I could be wrong, but I’m willing to bet the Banished are who we will be dealing with for most of the game.

As for the Flood, I’m not really confident we’re gonna see them again. At least not in Infinite. There’s already enough going on with the Banished, UNSC remnant forces, and the Created. Throwing in the Flood as a quaternary faction would put the confusion factor into overdrive for the average player.

EDIT: I would like to add one thought on the Flood… As I’ve said in another recent post, I think the Flood need to return and be a big part of Halo again. They are, afterall, the reason Halos were created in the first place. In the above paragraph I’m simply saying that it’s unlikely we will see them again for at least a while because we already have so many factions involved to begin with unfortunately.

The Banished also absorbed “Legion of the Corpse-Moon” and “Ravaged Tusks”.It simple the UNSC doesn’t win alone. They ally themselves with Sos, Innies, or a Forerunner A.I. They find Forerunner McGuffins that put the Guardians back to sleep, destroy the traitor A.Is, and cut Created Cortana from the Domain.

If the Precursor’s prophecy comes true, then Humanity’s test and placement of keeper of the mantle should probably take place. If that happens, then H6 should be interesting unless they make it like Destiny with all the factions and sub-factions.

> 2535435902217648;3:
> Well it looks like at least some of the Innies may be willing to band together with the UNSC against Cortana, so they might not be an issue for the UNSC to deal with. Sure the two sides hate each other, but it’s easy to find common ground when you’re all facing annihilation together.
>
> As you’ve said, Jul Mdama’s Covenant has been defeated, so that’s a moot point. I’d imagine Sali Nyon and his buddies will meet the same fate since they are basically a discount version of Jul Mdama’s Covenant. The Servants of the Abiding Truth basically fall into the same camp as the other two factions, so they’re mostly out of the picture as well.
> The Keepers and the Banished are now one and the same… though I do take a fair bit of issue with how that was portrayed in the books. Mostly concerning Atriox’s sudden hatred for humans, which hasn’t been a thing until now. He hates the UNSC, sure… but he’s been portrayed previously as a pragmatic leader that accepts all who would be beneficial to his cause. Heck the guy has Sangheili blademasters on his team. He has far more reason to hate them than he does humans.Aside from the Spoiler (which discusses the Banished and the Keepers), all you really have left are the Created forces and their Guardians. I fully expect we will see them in Infinite, but probably playing secondary antagonist to the Banished. H5 set them up to be the main antagonist, but I suspect fan backlash over H5’s story has led to some rewrites and brainstorming sessions over the last five years about how to downplay that aspect of the story going forward. I could be wrong, but I’m willing to bet the Banished are who we will be dealing with for most of the game.
>
> As for the Flood, I’m not really confident we’re gonna see them again. At least not in Infinite. There’s already enough going on with the Banished, UNSC remnant forces, and the Created. Throwing in the Flood as a quaternary faction would put the confusion factor into overdrive for the average player.
>
> EDIT: I would like to add one thought on the Flood… As I’ve said in another recent post, I think the Flood need to return and be a big part of Halo again. They are, afterall, the reason Halos were created in the first place. In the above paragraph I’m simply saying that it’s unlikely we will see them again for at least a while because we already have so many factions involved to begin with unfortunately.

But.

The keepers of the one Freedom has betrayed the Banished. Caster and his crew took one of Atriox’s ships to head back to the ark. Though they will probably be killed by the flood either off screen or in another book I bet.

Well hopefully this makes all the UNSC is too powerful types happy.

> 2533274819903178;6:
> > 2535435902217648;3:
> >
>
> But.
> The keepers of the one Freedom has betrayed the Banished. Caster and his crew took one of Atriox’s ships to head back to the ark. Though they will probably be killed by the flood either off screen or in another book I bet.

Fair point. Though I doubt the Flood would take them out. The Flood threat on the Ark was resolved in the Awakening the Nightmare DLC anyway. I’d bet they’d come face to face with a two front war. Atriox’s Banished and Cuttter’s SoF crew fighting against Castor. All this would be speculation of course. But yeah you’re point is valid that the Keepers have likely soured their standing among the Banished now.

I’m hoping the UNSC can find some Allies, but I’m kinda unsure about that one.

Well I’m guessing the last three are our biggest threats.

The Banished want power.
The Created want control.
The Flood want EVERYTHING.

The Insurrectionist have quieted down a bit again like they did during the Covenant’s war against humanity. Jul Mdama and his Covenant (along with subsidaries) appear to be gone for now. 343 seems to want to focus on the Banished and the Created for a little bit. The flood are still around but who knows what they’re really up to. Aside from their little stint on Installation 00, the Spartan branch seems to take care of them but without much commerce according to the Official Spartan Field Manual so they’ll likely stay quiet for a bit too unless 343 decides to surprise us.