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Nebal, formally stylized as Nebal'a'Cheeneey[1], is a Sangheili bloodline and clan from Qivro on Sanghelios. A strong yet small clan, Nebal has exerted its influence across the continent of Qivro for millennia, and at times has aggressively expanded that influence through force of arms and subjugation of its neighboring states.

With the founding of the Covenant, Nebal's aggression has since been abated and the people of Nebal and its vassal states have endured the longest period of prosperity and peace in its history. But with the outbreak of the Blooding Years and the emergence of a new Kaidon, Nebal finds its lands threatened by enemies from all sides.


Brothers of Blood

The line and state of Nebal have attributed its founding to an ancient legend that involved a thousand-year war between two twin brothers who shared the same name. The true cause of this quarrel has since been lost to time, and oral tradition passed down the generations of Nebal is all that remains.

It is said that these brothers had been fighting each other even in the egg and that they burst from their egg in the middle of battle. To the tribal elders, they had seen this as a sign of greatness, warrior-brothers that would that conquer all Sanghelios, and thus gave them both the same name. As childlings they were quick to fight, both trying to impress their uncle and one-up the other in martial skill. As younglings, their battles only grew worse, leading to the elders banishing both of them to the sands of Nuusra. Here it is where it's believed that this was the only time the brothers worked together, determined to return to their homeland in force. They remained there for many years, continuing to hone their skills and gather an army of mercenaries, brigands and cutthroats who were promised treasures and lands beyond their dreams.

Once fully grown, the Nebals struck out from the deserts of Nuusra, marching with an army to take their place as the rulers of their tribe. Riding upon tamed Helioskrill, a feat that even today is considered nearly impossible, they set out for their home keep and began their siege. For seven-hundred days and seven-hundred nights, the brothers besieged their home, raining fire upon the keep and its people.

And once the walls were breached, they themselves lead the charge, coming to blows with the very same Elders and uncles that had raised them. It is said that the Nebals are some of the greatest fighters of Sanghelios, cutting down their foes with ease. With the battle won, the keep was theirs and soon came the spoils. But with the same people who brought the brothers together lay dead or dying, it would not take long for them to return to fighting their true enemies, themselves.

It is not known what caused the final quarrel. Among the clan there are countless stories; Disagreement over whether to kill or spare the keep's survivors; Allowing outlaws to loot their home; some even believe that the Nebals were infatuated with the same woman. But what is known is that this final battle would be so terrible and so long, that it gave even the ancient gods of Sanghelios pause, inadvertently giving the brothers eternal life.

The battle began in the keep, the Nebals and their army who had once stood together now began to tear each other apart. The bloody storm of that battle soon flooded the courtyard of the keep, and spilled out into the valley, giving birth to the river Nasina. Even when all of the mercenaries and outlaws had perished, the Nebals kept fighting, their blood blanketing the valleys and mountains surrounding them, giving the land its signature purple glow that it is known for today. For a thousand years they fought, transforming the landscape around them into a wasteland as they tried every conceivable way to kill the other. The gods of Sanghelios had forsaken them, and punished them with a life of endless war. The Nebals fought tirelessly, destroying the keep that had once been their home and eventually, they found themselves fighting up to the highest peak of Ansi Mountain. There they carved into the mountain what would eventually become the Keep of Nebal, its stone walls painted into a deep indigo. The final moments of the thousand-year war would soon come to a pass as the brothers reached the peak of Ansi. There they fought for days, nights, and seasons. Fighting through the snow and rain and strong winds. Unmoving, their struggle would end here. Finally growing tired from their many years of fighting, the Nebals looked each other in the eyes for the last time, and finally after a life of never-ending conflict, stopped.

Realizing it would never end, the Nebals laid down their arms and drew their ceremonial curveblades. But in defiance of the gods, they exchanged their blades with one another and kneeled down onto the peak. There they performed ritual suicide on one another, driving the blades deep into their abdomens, and spilling their entrails onto the ground. This ritual suicide was an ancient rite afforded to all Sangheili by the Creator, in that they will all be given the entry to the afterlife, even when dishonored by the gods themselves. As they lay dying, the Nebals embraced each other for the first time not with hatred, but with love. With their honor restored, they died together on Ansi peak, their bodies were turning to dust and blowing below to bless the wasteland with fertile grasslands and valleys.

In respect to their final act of unity, the sons of one twin and the daughters of the other joined their hands together and formed the Nebal clan, establishing their keep inside the Ansi Mountains.

This story had already fallen into legend by the founding of the Covenant, with many Elders of Nebal challenging its authenticity. However, in the wake of the Covenant's demise, many within the Nebal family have begun to take pride in the ancient traditions and legends of Nebal, even taking up faith with ancient Sangheili scripture.

Recent History

The New Kaidon

Notes and References

  1. In English, Nebal'a'Cheeneey roughly translates to Line of Nebal, or Descended from Nebal.
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