- "Absolute unity is made from fear and purpose. But I will not allow my forces to be plagued by infighting - this time, I will take total control."
- ―Cronus, after founding the Dominion of Retribution.
The True Chieftain of the Jiralhanae Cronus (Oracle Code: J7-T2341-24), known by a long list of nicknames among his troops, including the Grand War Chieftain, is a Jiralhanae Chieftain of the Vheiloth skein who commands a sizable Covenant remnant known as the "Dominion of Retribution". An ambitious and highly vengeful individual, Cronus is nevertheless a talented military commander whose ability to inspire loyalty allowed him to conduct multiple wars he was part of.
Raised in the Margus Tribe of the Rh'tol skein, Cronus was raised in the period after the Covenant-Jiralhanae War, and as such was raised to oppose the beliefs of the Covenant religion and the rule of the Covenant as a whole. Conscripted into their military, he would keep his beliefs a secret and ascended in rank, eventually earning the right for his master-pack to command an CPV-class heavy destroyer, the Omniscient Spirit. Eliminating his way higher, Cronus would eventually be brought into the scheme against the Sangheili by the Prophets of Truth and Mercy, and would be allowed to ascend in rank to position himself as Supreme Commander of the Fleet of Restless Indulgence.
With the onset of the Great Schism and the death of Tartarus, Cronus would join the Jiralhanae War Council, although he would be forced to leave after the Council was dissolved following the death of the Prophet of Truth. Making a mad grab of territory, Cronus would found the Dominion of Retribution and declare a war against the weakened UEG and their allies.
Cronus' sire was a Chieftain blood guard by the name of Gadurus, a middle-aged, brash yet patient Jiralhanae who had proved himself during the 38th Age of Conflict. Gadurus was a ward of the Margus Tribe, taken as a living trophy from his original pack when he was very young. As such, he absolutely loathed his position, being forced to protect each new Chieftain when each was slain, and by his thirtieth birthday, he had seen eight Chieftains claim the title. As such, when the Covenant found Doisac and began their campaign to pacify the natives, Gadurus made his move - he staged an uprising against the current Chieftain Daxus, only for him to be defeated by the old Honour Guard and left for dead. Recovered by a Covenant patrol, Gadurus would be taken into prison and was promised the control of his master-pack in exchange for total obedience to the invaders. Gadurus would agree, yet he would never get the opportunity to kill either Chieftain Daxus or the High Chieftain - the former was killed by a Sangheili Minor and the latter would be slain in a fight by another recovered Jiralhanae by the name of Caesus. With Caesus taking direct control, Gadurus would be forced to serve as his protector, although this time he was given the right to mate with many of the pack's females, including Cronus' mother.
Cronus, at the time named Cron, was raised by his mother and unusually his father, who wished to have his son one day take the title of Chieftain. Already larger and stronger then his peers, Cron would indulge in the ancient customs of his clans, training for war by hunting the most dangerous of beasts that occupied the forests of Doisac. However, even when he was young, his defiant attitude was still prominent with the young Jiralhanae refusing to use any of the new Covenant technology. While learning under his father, who tried to enhance his son with natural chemicals and jungle-medicine, Cron would continue to develop his own combat style on the hunts, always searching for the glory. He would continuously follow raiding parties through the jungle, and as such would continuously watch in disgust as raiding parties were turned away by the superior Covenant equipment. He made a vow that this would change when he came of age.
|Cronus about to execute the Forbek son with his new weapon, Warbound.
Cron would suffer a number of defeats at the hands of his peers, forcing him to begin learning how the veterans such as his father fought during the War. He would steadily get stronger and more potent, and by the time of his coming-of-age ceremony, he was the largest and strongest member of his Pack. With the egging from Gadurus and his friends, he would quickly challenge Caesus, who at forty years his senior had nevertheless fought off every attempt for leadership. Accepting his challenge, neither Caesus or Cronus would hold anything back, although in the end Caesus' age would catch up to him when Cronus ripped out his guts and beheaded him. Taking his mask of leadership, Cronus would rule alongside his father, with Cronus quietly planning out future conquests while Gadurus agreed to watch over his civilian duties.
The timing of Cronus' ascension couldn't have been any better. The Jakas master-pack, led by the newly-christened chieftain Attilus, had begun a massive conquest across Doisac, weakening the tribes that the Margus bordered with. Cronus would quickly spread out across the continent he resided on, conquering numerous smaller tribes under his banner and rebelling against the overlording Forbek master-pack. His well-supplied raids would bring many riches to his pack, even ripping the Gravity Hammer Warbound from the dead hands of the Chieftain's son. Unfortunately, his success would eventually work against him. With the Forbek's losing as much territory to Attilus as they did to Cronus, in 2522 they cancelled their attacks in the Jakas territory and began their attacks on Cronus' land. Eventually, Cronus would be ambushed and barely escaped with his life. When he returned, it was revealed that while he was gone they had killed his father during a raid, along with most of his Blood Guards.
Now Cronus would feel the pressure as it was clear he had bitten off more than he can chew. His tribe was being driven back every day by both Forbeck and Jakas forces, with more and more rival packs seizing this opportunity. With few options available, he contacted the local Covenant garrison to save what little he had left. After some hasty negotiations, he agreed to trade himself in exchange for advanced Covenant weapons and their favour. This decision saved the Margus tribe from extinction, as the Covenant eventually stepped in to prevent the conflict from escalating into yet another global war; however, this also effectively exiled Cronus from his home, as now he was bound to the service of the Covenant.
In the Covenant's Service
- "Now listen, Nishum, because I am only compelled by my honour to tell you how you will work in my unit. You will be at my beck and call, you will not back-chat in denial - if you do, I will slaughter you and hang your head on the head of my tank as a lesson to the rest of your despicable pack. Do. You. Understand. Me?"
- ―Ship master Hoda 'Mdvuree to Cronus, during their initial meeting.
Following their conscription in 2523, Cronus was conscripted into service of the Ministry of Preservation, who managed the Covenant's counter-piracy force. Excelling in early tests about space combat, they saw fit to gift the Margus chieftain command of the CPV-class heavy destroyer Omniscient Spirit. Cronus was awed by the power granted to him, that was until he learned that station about a CPV-class was considered a lowly station, reserved for those unworthy of serving on more prestigious vessels, and they would all be "supervised" by a number Sangheili superiors. Their commanding officer, a shipmaster named Hoda 'Mdvuree, made his displeasure about his assignment very clear.
The next two years would be a boring affair; whereas many of the Covenant's premier vessels were responsible for probing the frontier and engaging in counter-piracy operations, the Spirit would be given mundane tasks such as ferrying supplies and across the Covenant Empire and checking the cargo of civilian ships. Cronus would occasionally bring the vessel over a rebelling world, only to be called off when the rebels surrendered after learning that an Executioner was coming to glass them. Cronus would see these operations as a waste of his time and became convinced that 'Mdvuree was deliberately choosing objectives that did he considered would bring them the least amount of respect, and many arguments arose between the two commanders. Eventually, the Chieftain would see fit to waste his time on redesigning the ship's interior to match a more rugged and primitive style that was comfortable to the Jiralhanae. When even this could not stop his bordem, he moved on to attempting to sire a son - however, the reputation he garnered for siding with the Covenant saw any mates he desired being fiercely protected by their packs on Doisac.
Eventually, news of the beginning of the Human-Covenant War would make their way to Cronus' ears. Desperate for his own glory, and knowing that the Covenant's bureauocracy would mean it may be years before he could be reassigned to the frontlines, Cronus also knew that 'Mdvuree was too well-guarded and shrewd to be intimidated. Instead, he planned a much more subtle though equally diabolical plan for a mutiny. In the weeks before they would return to port, he would carefully intimidate and manipulate the thralls tasked with operating the more mundane duties to position his supporters, killing - and in some cases eating - some Unggoy to cause them to support his schemes out of fear. He was never allowed to get close enough to the Spirit's Huragok complement, which thrawted his attempts to slowly deplete his Sangheili superiors through unfortunate "accidents". At the same time, he played off his pack's uneasiness over the lack of combat over the years to properly purge it of unbelievers and traitors, taunting them to participate in ill-fated duels - duels which he won with flying colours. Finally, he stole away excess supplies which could be used to bolster his pack. Plasma batteries, sharpened sheets of metal, and rarely entire weapons.
Battle of the Cauldron
Dominion of Retribution
Taking a Passage
- "Cronus is one of the biggest Jiralhanae on record - the biggest, actually. It's easy enough to distinguish him as a target - look for the one that looks like a lion crossed with a bear, and covered head-to-toe in gold."
- ―Anonymous ONI agent
|Cronus' True Chieftain attire.
Standing at nearly ten feet tall and weighing right under seven hundred kilograms of pure muscle, Cronus is a monster of a Jiralhanae. He is tall and muscular for his species, with golden blonde hair that darkens at his 'mane', which is wrapped around his head. His limbs have been described as being as thick as some trees, and he is covered in a thick layer of sparse black fur. This is not a continuous, uninterrupted scheme, but dotted and ripped by streaks of cauterised scars which show his dirty brown skin beneath. This fur is actually kept short, not only to prevent it from catching alight from plasma weaponry but as a status symbol. In fact, he literally reaks of his victories, although fortunately this came to an end once he took charge of the Dominion. He is considered particularly ugly, even for a brute, particularly in his face. He always has chipped and missing teeth, deep scars and half-healed wounds, with new ones constantly appearing after the fights for leadership. Occasionally, he would wear false teeth that have been created from the bones of previous opponents, both as a warning to others and as a memento to duels he barely won.
In his civilian attire, Cronus wears as luxurious and expensive attire as he can afford. His preferred clothes are covered entirely with gold sheets with gold chainmail holding it together, with accents being made from Obsidian and Platinum. His attire appears massive but is specifically designed for his body-shape, so it can provide maximum protection without compromising on comfort and flexibility. He has a large headdress that covers nearly his entire head, with micro-cameras feeding him vision from the outside onto large close-range screen that wraps around his face. The armour is adorned with various gems such as Diamonds and even glass from cleansed worlds, and special glyphs symbolising that the title of True Chieftain is his alone are plastered across his armour.
Cronus is a megalomaniac, supremely-ambitious Jiralhanae who cares for power but little else. Throughout his life, he has attempted to advance in power and prestige in any way possible, usually by just killing anyone who stands in his way. He's cunning and devious, and any alliances formed are purely for some long-term advantage he'll get; for example, the main reason he agreed to the Prophet's plans to replace the Sangheili was that he was guaranteed a rank that was exclusive to them. He cares little for anyone else and is completely subsumed by how much stronger he is to anyone else - anyone who says otherwise will quickly meet a very violent death. He loves inspiring fear in his subordinates and showing them their place, as well as a good fight and meeting a worthy foe. He is highly materialistic, not believing in the Covenant religion at all and instead only makes a show of adopting it to hasten his climbing of the ranks. His own kind would not be spared his brutality, as even before he formed the Dominion, he would kill many of his own sons who challenged him. Only those who proved cunning or strong enough to survive would live to adulthood.