High Charity was the Covenant's mobile planetoid station and the capital city, known as the Holy City of the Covenant or the Prophets' Holy City.
High Charity is a structure built around a repurposed Forerunner dreadnought, an ancient war machine built to combat the Flood. High Charity was a mushroom-shaped space station 464 kilometres in length and 348 kilometres in width at it's widest point. Inside of High Charity was a massive light source (equivalent to a miniature star) which provided light to the interior. The "stalk" of High Charity held numerous docking bays, allowing Covenant ships to land there.
The station was mobile, and moved through slipspace under the power of the Forerunner dreadnought at it's heart. The whole station was also powered by residual energy from the Forerunner craft's engines.
Capital City Edit
In the internal hub of High Charity lay an extremely large capital city. In its center sat the Forerunner dreadnought, embedded within the city after the formation of the Covenant as a symbol of conviction and peace between the Sangheili and the San'Shyuum.
The city itself contained many locations sacred to the Covenant such as the Council Chamber, the Sanctum of the Hierarchs and the Mausoleum of the Arbiter. Unlike many small Covenant vessels and their UNSC counterparts, High Charity contained many courtyards and other non-essential spaces which gave the station a terrestrial feel. The interior of High Charity was filled with the Covenant's unique architecture, of a lighter tone than their naval vessels. All of the structures within the city floated above a methane-rich field in which the millions of High Charity's Unggoy lived.
Early History Edit
Construction of High Charity begin in 852 BCE, taking 204 years until its completion in 648 BCE. From the Covenant's earliest recorded history, the San'Shyuum ended their civil war by launching the Forerunner dreadnought from their home planet along with a chunk of rock. This chunk would later be built into High Charity. The city was erected during the Sangheili-San'Shyuum war and completed following the war's conclusion. The Forerunner dreadnought that the San'Shyuum used in the war was stripped of all known weapons and permanently installed inside High Charity. Because the city is mobile, it is extremely difficult for the lesser creatures of the hegemony to make journeys to the capital, yet it manages to establish a network of Slipspace probes to protect its position. Anything larger than a millimeter in diameter that drifted too close was engaged and obliterated, including ships that failed to transmit proper clearance codes within a millisecond of hailing.
Battle of High Charity Edit
In the early stages of the Battle of Earth, the High Prophet of Regret sent the coordinates of Installation 05 to High Charity. The planetoid and its fleet arrived just in time to watch John-117 and a group of Marines assassinate the Prophet of Regret. It then held position over Installation 05 until hostilities erupted between the Sangheili and the Jiralhanae, as the Great Schism began in November 2552.
During the chaos of the battle, John-117 infiltrated High Charity, by way of teleportation from Gravemind directly into the Council Chamber using Installation 05's teleportation grid. At the same time, the Flood made their own entrance, using the UNSC In Amber Clad to perform a slipspace jump into the interior of High Charity, bypassing its exterior defenses. Once inside, the Flood used Pelican dropships to spread both Combat forms and Carrier Forms around the city. Within the city a vicious battle ensued among Jiralhanae, Sangheili, and Flood forces, all bent on destroying one another (this was the start of the Covenant Civil War). John-117 was caught in the middle of the quarrel but managed to escape. Eventually, the Forerunner dreadnought at High Charity's core took off, with both the Prophet of Truth and John-117 inside, leaving Cortana behind.
Quarantine and Destruction Edit
As High Charity and Installation 05 were rapidly falling to the Flood, a massive battle between Sangheili and Jiralhanae held ships continued in the space around the city. The Sangheili Separatists eventually succeeded in driving away the Jiralhanae or they possibly retreated on orders from Truth to assist in the conquest of Earth. But this led to the fall of High Charity to the Flood under the command of the Gravemind who used this as his second base and gained a significant amount of ships.
After stopping Truth from activating the rings, John-117 returned to the Flood-infested High Charity on a mission to retrieve Cortana, which he successfully completed. At her recommendation, he overloaded the reactor core, by destroying its pylons, as he maneuvered back through High Charity to meet the Arbiter and re-activate the crashed Pelican to fly out of range of the explosion. High Charity was completely destroyed in the resulting explosions, with only the outer structure remaining when Installation 04B was fired, its debris showering the inactive Installation and the Ark below. Unfortunately, the Gravemind still managed to escape.