Rtas 'Vadum

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Rtas 'Vadum
H2A-Rtas-01.jpg
Biographical information

Birthplace:

Vadum, Sanghelios[1]

Born:

September 21, 2487[1]

Species:

Sangheili

Gender:

Male

Height:

241.3 centimeters (7 ft 11 in)[1]

Mass:

323 lbs (146.5 kg)[1]

Eye color:

Orange[note 1]

Political and military information

Affiliation:

Rank:

Special Operations Commander (Covenant)
Fleet Master of the Fleet of Retribution
Shipmaster of the Shadow of Intent

 
"If it takes my death, so be it. You will not defeat the Covenant!"
—Rtas 'Vadum, prior to the Great Schism[2]

Rtas 'Vadum, known as Rtas 'Vadumee before the Great Schism, is a very influential Sangheili commander and a high-ranking official in the Swords of Sanghelios.[3] Rtas has become a hero among Sangheili for his bravery and leadership during the Great Schism. He was responsible for negotiating the alliance between the Sangheili and the United Nations Space Command.[4]

Rtas 'Vadum formerly served as a Covenant Special Operations Commander in the Fleet of Particular Justice, led by Supreme Commander Thel 'Vadamee, before the Battle of Installation 04.[1] At the dawn of the Great Schism, 'Vadum became a leading member of the Sangheili who seceded from the Covenant. Leading the separatist fleets, 'Vadum worked together with the newly appointed Arbiter, Thel 'Vadam, to aid the UNSC and defeat the Covenant empire. As the shipmaster of the Shadow of Intent and the Fleet Master of the Fleet of Retribution, Rtas 'Vadum played a pivotal role in the final year of the Human-Covenant War.

Biography[edit]

Early life[edit]

Born in the state of Vadum on the Sangheili homeworld of Sanghelios,[1] Rtas 'Vadum graduated with honors from the top war college in the Iruiru region of Yermo, Sanghelios, a distinction he shares with Usze 'Taham.[5] He would later join the Covenant military.

Battle of Installation 04[edit]

Rtas 'Vadumee training with Bero 'Kusovai
"Though you leave this world, you will come on the Great Journey when the time comes. Die with honor."
—Rtas 'Vadumee mercy killing a Flood-infected Sangheili[2]

By September 2552, he served in the Covenant Special Operations division in the Special Warfare Group as a Special Operations Commander. Assigned to lead all Special Operation units within the Fleet of Particular Justice, 'Vadumee was stationed aboard the fleet's flagship, Seeker of Truth.[4] Following the Fall of Reach, the fleet pursued UNSC Pillar of Autumn to the Soell system, where Installation 04 was discovered and a battle began. After an emergency beacon was activated on agricultural ship Infinite Succor, Rtas 'Vadumee was called to the bridge by Supreme Commander Thel 'Vadamee—shortly after 'Vadumee's training duel with his second-in-command, Officer Bero 'Kusovai. 'Vadamee revealed that Infinite Succor was boarded by unknown hostiles that were expected to be humans. The Supreme Commander tasked Rtas with leading a Special Operations detachment comprised of Special Operations Sangheili and Special Operations Unggoy to board the agricultural ship, assess the situation, and rescue the Minister of Etiology and return him to Seeker of Truth.[2][6]

'Vadumee preparing to destroy Infinite Succor

Taking a Phantom, Glorious Advance, to Infinite Succor, the team boarded the ship and discovered the remains of Huragok and Unggoy. The slaughter of Huragok led the team to question whether the humans were truly responsible for the attack, as they were never so barbaric. Upon entering the vessel's hunting preserve, the team was attacked by mutilated animals infected by the Flood. The survivors managed to fight their way to the bridge, where 'Vadumee realized the danger of letting the Flood escape and ordered for the bridge be locked down, have warnings sent to the rest of the fleet, and to begin initiating protocols for the ship's self-destruction. After discovering that the Minister of Etiology had survived the Flood's attack by hiding in a hidden security room, the Legate informed 'Vadumee of the Flood's intents and that a central mass was forming in the ship. 'Vadumee decided to set the ship's course to the system's sun, however, the Minister insisted for the Special Operations crew to evacuate him to safety and then remotely destroy Infinite Succor. Angered that the Minister was willing to put his own safety before the rest of the Covenant, 'Vadumee took tactical command of the mission. 'Vadumee and three other Sangheili made their way to the vessel's Engineering station to set a slipspace course towards the nearby sun, while 'Kusovai led the remaining survivors and the Minister to Glorious Advance. While trekking to Engineering, the three Sangheili were killed by the Flood. Once 'Vadumee reached Engineering, the Minister revealed himself to be infected by the Flood though a view screen, while 'Vadumee was confronted by the infected 'Kusovai. He was able to make a mortal strike at the infected 'Kusovai by allowing the infected officer to strike him along his arm and face, severing his left mandibles. Setting a slipspace course towards the sun, 'Vadumee returned to Glorious Advance and travelled back to Seeker of Truth two minutes before the slipspace jump occurred.[2]

The sole survivor of the mission, Rtas revealed the threat of the Flood and the Minister's death to Supreme Commander 'Vadamee upon his return to the flagship. In response, 'Vadamee invoked emergency quarantine response throughout the fleet.[6] After the battle, Rtas was relieved of fleet duty and reassigned to command all Covenant Special Operations from High Charity.[4]

Raid on the Threshold gas mine[edit]

Rtas encouraging his warriors before battle
"You are the Arbiter, the will of the Prophets, but these are my Elites. Their lives matter to me, yours does not."
—Rtas 'Vadumee, expressing his care for the Sangheili under his command, but not that of the Arbiter[7]

On October 20, 2552, Rtas 'Vadumee was assigned to lead a Special Operations unit on a mission to hunt down Sesa 'Refumee, the leader of a heretic faction, on a Forerunner gas mining facility above the gas giant Threshold. Joining him was the newly assigned Arbiter, 'Vadumee's former commander. Aboard a Phantom for the majority of the mission, he provided valuable reinforcements and intelligence reports to the Arbiter as he progressed through the facility. As the Arbiter pursued 'Refumee in a Banshee, 'Vadumee had his Phantom help the Arbiter eliminate enemy weapons emplacements and Banshees. After tracking the heretic leader to a platform within the gas mine, the Arbiter eliminated all heretics nearby. 'Vadumee and his forces then joined the Arbiter in his search on foot on the platform.[7]

Entering the interior of the gas mine, Rtas smelled the "stench" of the Flood—remembering the scent from his mission to Infinite Succor. The team witnessed Flood combat forms battling Sangheili heretics while traversing through the facility. After briefly conversing with a holographic representation of 'Refumee, Flood infection forms attacked the group. 'Vadumee ordered for the Arbiter and several Special Operations Sangheili to continue forward through a door, while he awaited reinforcements. As the gas mine was engulfed by a storm raging in Threshold's atmosphere, 'Vadamee encountered 'Refumee, but the heretic leader managed to seal himself behind an unbreakable energy barrier. 'Vadumee and his forces regrouped with the Arbiter, and the latter revealed his intentions to cut the cable supporting the gas mine. The Commander agreed, loaning the Arbiter his energy sword for the task. Leaving the Arbiter to his work, 'Vadumee and his remaining forces evacuated in a Phantom. After the Arbiter succeeded in killing 'Refumee and obtaining 343 Guilty Spark, Tartarus picked the two up and all Covenant forces left the system.[8]

Search for the Sacred Icon[edit]

"We shall cut into the heart of this infestation, retrieve the Icon, and burn any Flood that stand in our way!"
—Rtas 'Vadumee[9]
'Vadumee speaking to the Hierarchs about the Changing of the Guard

Rtas was onboard High Charity when it left for the newly discovered Installation 05 to aid the High Prophet of Regret. During the battle at the installation, 'Vadumee sent in a large group of Phantom dropships loaded with reinforcements to stop John-117 before he could assassinate the Hierarch. However, these dropships were called off by the High Prophet of Truth.[10][11] Back on High Charity, the Jiralhanae were given the command to replace the Sangheili Honor Guardsmen in the Covenant Honor Guard by the Hierarchs, allegedly due to the fact that the "Demon" had successfully assassinated the Prophet of Regret and none of the Honor Guard Sangheili guarding the High Prophet could stop him. Because of his position, Rtas expressed his disdain to the High Prophet of Truth and High Prophet of Mercy, disgusted by this radical switch in tradition and customs, also noting his belief that Regret could have been saved had Truth not halted their attempt to reinforce the Prophet. However, the Prophet of Truth dismissed his complaints and sent Rtas 'Vadumee and his two Sangheili away to inform the High Council of their decision.[9]

Rtas retreating to deal with the Flood

Soon after the Changing of the Guard, Rtas was involved in the operation against the Flood and the UNSC Marines, rendering aid to the Arbiter as he searched for the Sacred Icon deep inside the Quarantine Zone on Installation 05. Rtas landed inside the Quarantine Zone in an orbital insertion pod but was separated from his squad during the fall. He held the Covenant camp at the foot of the Sentinel wall alone until his squad and the Arbiter joined him. The Sangheili then worked together to hold the camp against the Flood until a Phantom delivered reinforcements.[9] Afterward, Rtas left in a Phantom to command the Sangheili assault towards the Library. 'Vadumee sent in a squad of his most experienced warriors to aid the Arbiter. Later, he rejoined the Arbiter in a Type-46 Spectre and helped him push through a Flood barricade to access one of the Forerunner gondolas that were the only way to enter the Library. Rtas stayed behind to hold off the Flood while the Arbiter took the second gondola to reach the Sacred Icon.[12]

The Great Schism[edit]

"The Brutes control that cruiser, Arbiter. I'll remain here, make sure no reinforcements get in behind you. Then, I'm going to take the cruiser back!"
—Rtas Vadum's last words before leaving the Arbiter[13]
Rtas in his Wraith

Directly after the Sacred Icon was retrieved on November 3, 2552, the Hierarchs ordered the Jiralhanae to execute all Sangheili, beginning the Great Schism and the fragmentation of the Covenant empire.[12] After learning the truth of the Halo rings, 'Vadumee changed his name to Rtas 'Vadum, dropping the "ee" suffix and signifying his secession from the Covenant along with most of his kind. Commandeering a Wraith, Rtas spotted a Scarab walker outside a Jiralhanae encampment. Making his way along the coast, a surprised Rtas met up with the Arbiter, this time on a quest to find the Sacred Icon before Tartarus could use it to activate Installation 05. From the Arbiter he learned of the murder of the Sangheili High Councilors and the true extent of the treachery of the Jiralhanae. The two Sangheili were interrupted by the arrival of Tartarus' Phantom and its escorts as they entered the installation's control room.[14] Wishing to avenge their fallen brothers, 'Vadum and the Arbiter attacked them by surprise and met up with a squad of Mgalekgolo and other Sangheili.[13]

There, Rtas 'Vadum again split up with the Arbiter to prevent any Jiralhanae reinforcements from attacking the Arbiter's rear, and was not present when the latter escorted Sergeant Major Avery Johnson to the control room; earlier, he had announced his intent to take back a Covenant CCS-class battlecruiser that was hovering a distance from the battle area, and it can be assumed he attempted doing so.[13] It is not known what became of that ship as he later captained the CAS-class assault carrier, Shadow of Intent.[15] Following Tartarus' death, Rtas 'Vadum sent a message to all Sangheili-controlled vessels to inform them that Tartarus was killed by the Arbiter and the activation of Installation 05 was stopped, but the battle on the Halo continued. The supply ship Journey's Sustenance was one of the vessels to receive the message.[16]

Battle of Earth[edit]

"One single Flood spore can destroy a species. Were it not for the Arbiter's counsel, I would have glassed your entire planet!"
—Rtas 'Vadum to Lord Hood after glassing Voi to eliminate the Flood threat[15]

Shortly after, Rtas took control of the entire separatist fleet and became one of the highest-ranking individuals in Arbiter Thel 'Vadam's newly-established Swords of Sanghelios separatist faction. 'Vadum was one of the lead negotiators that worked to parley the alliance with the Unified Earth Government and the UNSC.[4] During the late Battle of Earth, 'Vadum took on the role of shipmaster in the Fleet of Retribution, a branch of the Swords of Sanghelios' naval force. He took command in quarantining Installation 05 and High Charity, and was likely instrumental in destroying the Covenant loyalist fleet still above Halo. However, a single Flood-infected cruiser, Indulgence of Conviction, broke through the quarantine and headed for the Sol system, with the separatists in pursuit. Upon realizing his location, he made contact with the Arbiter.[17] He went to Earth to the aid of the humans and deployed Sangheili forces to the Arbiter's and John-117's location. Ultimately, he was forced to glass a large region of Voi to destroy the infestation of the Flood. Later, he met with the Arbiter, John-117, 343 Guilty Spark, Fleet Admiral Lord Terrence Hood and Lieutenant Commander Miranda Keyes on the bridge of Shadow of Intent. Guilty Spark managed to repair the storage device that allegedly contained the human AI Cortana. However, after the monitor repaired the device, only a messaged played. Cortana revealed in the message that the key to stopping the Covenant and the Flood was on the other side of the recently opened slipspace portal. While Hood remained on Earth with the rest of the UNSC Home Fleet, 'Vadum led the Fleet of Retribution through the portal.[15]

Battle of Installation 00[edit]

Rtas 'Vadum commanding his fleet in battle
Sangheili Major: "Brute ships! Staggered line! Shipmaster, they outnumber us, three to one!"
Rtas 'Vadum: "Then it is an even fight. All cruisers, fire at will. Burn their mongrel hides!"
—Rtas 'Vadum and a Sangheili Major, upon encountering the Prophet of Truth's fleet[18]

Rtas and his fleet went through the slipspace portal to lead the Battle of Installation 00 in space, joining forces with Commander Keyes' and two Charon-class light frigates of the UNSC Navy's Seventh Fleet to destroy Truth's much larger fleet. Upon emerging from slipspace above Installation 00, 'Vadum and his fleet engaged Truth's forces headlong, despite being outnumbered three-to-one. While Keyes' ships provided reinforcements and eliminated Covenant Seraphs, 'Vadum's fleet engaged the CCS-class battlecruisers.[18] After devastating Truth's fleet and discovering that Truth was located on the Ark's surface, 'Vadum led the assault on the barrier towers from the Shadow of Intent, bombarding the shield with plasma torpedoes. After the barrier was deactivated, 'Vadum moved the ship over the Citadel and prepared to destroy it, but was knocked off-course by the Flood-infested High Charity appearing out of slipspace. 'Vadum's ship was incapacitated and its weapons systems were disabled, leaving the task of killing Truth to the Arbiter Thel 'Vadam and John-117.[19] After the death of Truth in the Arbiter's hands, 'Vadum gathered all surviving humans and Sangheili forces on the ship and returned to Earth through the portal, reluctantly leaving the Arbiter behind alongside John-117, Guilty Spark, and Sergeant Johnson.[20]

After the Arbiter returned to Earth, Rtas watched over the Voi Memorial aboard the Shadow of Intent after the end of the war. Shortly after the memorial, he gave the Arbiter the command of the ship and stated that he would like to see Sanghelios to know that it is safe. The assault carrier then departed for their homeworld.[20]

Post-war[edit]

By March 2558, Rtas 'Vadum—along with all other Sangheili administrative and military authorities—was designated a priority target by the Office of Naval Intelligence.[3] At some point between May 6th and June 1st, 2557, the Shadow of Intent was involved in an operation against pirates in a Joint Occupation Zone. Around March 2558, an incident took place in which three ONI prowlers trailing the Shadow of Intent were destroyed under unclear circumstances.[21]

Personality and traits[edit]

Rtas 'Vadum and Thel 'Vadam during the raid on the Threshold gas mine

Rtas 'Vadum is very switched on and is known for being a quick, smart, and ingenious tactician and an unparalleled fighter, especially with an energy sword, and is an excellent leader. He is also a good decision-maker and chooses to spend lives very carefully.[4] Very much like his friend Thel 'Vadam, Rtas is able to think outside the box and does not rigidly adhere to the Sangheili's code of honor when it does not benefit him. He expresses great care for his soldiers, even the Unggoy. During the Battle of Installation 04, Rtas displayed great care for all of the soldiers under his command, even warning the Unggoy to take cover behind the Sangheili when danger presented itself.[2] Such concern for the lower caste is particularly atypical for Sangheili. He is eager to exact vengeance on the Jiralhanae and the San'Shyuum after the Great Schism. In time, Rtas has begun to have respect for certain humans, John-117 in particular. 'Vadum is one of only two Sangheili, the other being Thel 'Vadam, to call John-117 "Spartan" rather than "Demon".[18]

Rtas rallying troops before battle

Rtas once served as a high-ranking subordinate to Thel 'Vadam during the latter's career as Supreme Commander of the Fleet of Particular Justice. However, 'Vadum lost his esteem in the former Supreme Commander after his failure to safeguard Installation 04.[7] Rtas' great trust and respect for Thel 'Vadam was regained after the events of the mission on the Threshold gas mine. His trust was unwavering during the Changing of the Guard despite the fact that Thel—as the current Arbiter—answered only to the Prophets.[9] Later during the Great Schism, Rtas and Thel became the catalysts who united the Sangheili against the Prophets and the Jiralhanae. He acknowledged Thel's "counsel" enough to convince himself that the humans were worthy allies.[15][17]

Following his arrival at Earth, 'Vadum had become more calm, possibly because he spent less time fighting on the ground and more time commanding ships. Though he pledged much respect for the humans, 'Vadum was still willing to argue with Fleet Admiral Hood on matters regarding both the Covenant loyalist and Flood threats, as shown when he revealed that he originally planned to glass Earth after the Flood-infected ship crashed in Voi. However, this was not because of the general hatred 'Vadum once held towards the humans but to protect the rest of the galaxy from infection, as he did not want to gamble that even one spore might survive the glassing, and most probably would have had humanity die with what dignity they had left than be used as tools by the Gravemind. His experience on the Infinite Succor gave him unique insight into the terrifying nature of the Flood and he takes any threat of infection very seriously.[15]

Physical appearance[edit]

Like most Sangheili, 'Vadum had orange eyes. He stands an imposing 7 feet 11 inches tall and weighs 323 pounds.[1] Perhaps the most memorable feature of his appearance is that he is missing his two left mandibles, as they were cut off in a fight with a Flood-infected Bero 'Kusovai, his second-in-command, during the Battle of Installation 04.[2] As such, he is commonly referred to as "Half-Jaw"—a derogatory nickname that is commonly used amongst the Jiralhanae.[18] Rtas 'Vadum wore white armor during the final years of the Human-Covenant War. During his service with the Covenant, he donned standard combat armor that was used by Special Operations Commanders. Following the dawn of the Great Schism, he began to wear the Assault harness variant with noticeably larger shoulder pads, with a combat helmet.

Trivia[edit]

Graphic Halo.png Check out our collection of quotes related to Rtas 'Vadum on its quotes page.
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  • Rtas 'Vadum was voiced by Robert Davi in Halo 2 and in Halo 3.[22][23]
  • "Vadum" is Latin for "ford", "shallow" or "shoal".
  • It is a notable habit of Rtas in Halo 2 to assist the Arbiter but suddenly leave to attend to other matters, usually just before the more difficult part of the mission. This tendency is noticed by Tartarus, who refers to him as a coward. This is most likely to balance the game, since Rtas 'Vadum, a plot-critical character, is invincible.
  • He is one of the few characters to propose a trade in-game, saying to the Arbiter, "Take my blade, I doubt the cable can withstand its bite." The only others are a Marine in Metropolis who offers the Chief a shotgun, and an Elite Major in The Great Journey that says, "Take my Banshee, Arbiter."
A dead Sangheili Ultra on Floodgate that looks like Rtas 'Vadum due to the missing mandibles and armor.
  • In Halo 2, no matter what the player tries, Rtas 'Vadum will not die. He can survive lethal drops that the player cannot survive, much like Sergeant Johnson.
  • It is a notable habit of Rtas in Halo 2 to assist the Arbiter but suddenly leave to attend to other matters, usually just before the more difficult part of the mission. This tendency is noticed by Tartarus, who refers to him as a coward. This is most likely to balance the game, since Rtas 'Vadum, a plot-critical character, is invincible.
  • Rtas is the only Sangheili to feature the eye glitch when he uses active camouflage; his green eyes are still visible even though his body is not. It is only seen on the level titled The Oracle.
  • There is an interesting glitch in Halo 2 which allows the player to make 'Vadum fly through the air, being attacked by Flood Infection forms. For more information, see here.
  • He is one of the few characters to propose a trade in-game, saying to the Arbiter, "Take my blade, I doubt the cable can withstand its bite." The only others are a Marine in Metropolis who offers the Chief a shotgun, and an Elite Major in The Great Journey that says, "Take my Banshee, Arbiter."

Gallery[edit]

List of appearances[edit]

Note[edit]

  1. ^ 'Vadum's eyes are green in Halo 2, but all other media (including Halo 2 Anniversary) depict his eyes as orange.

Sources[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Halo: The Essential Visual Guide, page 175
  2. ^ a b c d e f Halo Graphic Novel, The Last Voyage of the Infinite Succor
  3. ^ a b Halo Waypoint: Catalog Interaction - Page 48
  4. ^ a b c d e Halo Encyclopedia, page 136 (2011 edition)
  5. ^ Bungie.net: The Tru7h About Co-Op in Halo 3
  6. ^ a b Halo: The Flood, Priority Broadcast Log/Eleventh Cycle, Third Unit
  7. ^ a b c Halo 2, campaign level The Arbiter
  8. ^ Halo 2, campaign level The Oracle
  9. ^ a b c d Halo 2, campaign level Sacred Icon
  10. ^ Halo 2, campaign level Regret
  11. ^ Halo: Broken Circle, page 193
  12. ^ a b Halo 2, campaign level Quarantine Zone
  13. ^ a b c Halo 2, campaign level The Great Journey
  14. ^ Halo 2, campaign level Uprising
  15. ^ a b c d e Halo 3, campaign level Floodgate
  16. ^ Halo: Broken Circle, page 256
  17. ^ a b Halo Encyclopedia, page 205 (2011 edition)
  18. ^ a b c d Halo 3, campaign level The Ark
  19. ^ Halo 3, campaign level The Covenant
  20. ^ a b Halo 3, campaign level Halo
  21. ^ Halo Waypoint: Catalog Interaction - Page 14
  22. ^ Halo 2, credits
  23. ^ Halo 3, credits