Rtas 'Vadum

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Rtas 'Vadum
H2A - Rtas in Wraith.png
Biographical information


Vadum, Sanghelios[1]


September 21, 2487[1]






241.3 centimeters (7 ft 11 in)[1]


323 lbs (146.5 kg)[1]

Eye color:

Orange[note 1]

Political and military information


Covenant (formerly)
Thel 'Vadam's Covenant faction


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!"
—'Vadum, prior to the Great Schism

Rtas 'Vadum, known as Rtas 'Vadumee before the Great Schism, was a Sangheili Special Operations Commander who served in the Fleet of Particular Justice before the Great Schism, and later served as a high-ranking separatist official.[1] 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.


Early life[edit]

Born in the state of Vadum, Rtas 'Vadum graduated with honors from the top war college in the Iruiru region of Yermo, Sanghelios, a distinction he shares with Usze 'Taham.[2]

Service with the Covenant[edit]

First encounter with the Flood[edit]

"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 Elite.

Rtas 'Vadumee is first seen attached to the Fleet of Particular Justice orbiting Installation 04. When the agriculture ship Infinite Succor was boarded by an unknown threat during the battle there, Rtas 'Vadumee, fresh from a training duel with his second-in-command, Officer Bero 'Kusovai, led a team there to investigate. This team was comprised of Special Operations Sangheili and Special Operations Unggoy. In addition to eliminating the boarders, 'Vadumee's team was tasked with securing a Legate known as the Minister of Etiology. Upon landing, the entire team disembarked, weapons drawn and ready. They found Unggoy and Huragok blood everywhere, as well as human footprints. The slaughter of Huragok led the team to question whether the humans were truly responsible for the attack, as they were never so barbaric. Suddenly, the team was attacked by mutilated, infected animals. Realizing the danger of the Flood if it managed to escape the ship, 'Vadumee set out to destroy it.[3]

In an attempt to kill the Flood, 'Vadumee used the Engineering station to set a slipspace course towards the nearby sun. During that time, it was revealed that the Legate had become infected, and 'Vadum had to battle his infected officer, '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. He managed to escape on board a Type-52 Phantom, the Glorious Advance, two minutes before the slipspace jump occurred. 'Vadumee is believed to be the only survivor of the Infinite Succor mission.[3]

Given the fact that Rtas had sufficient downtime to engage in a training duel prior to the Infinite Succor mission, and due to the extensive wounds incurred in said mission, it is unknown what, if any, fighting Rtas would have seen during the greater Battle of Installation 04.

Raid on the Threshold gas mine[edit]

"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 his SpecOps Sangheili, but not that of the Arbiter

Rtas 'Vadumee was assigned 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, formerly the Supreme Commander of the Fleet of Particular Justice. Rtas 'Vadumee was to aid the Arbiter with his SpecOps Elites and Grunts to silence the Heretic. Aboard a Phantom for the majority of the mission, he provided valuable reinforcements to the Arbiter as he progressed through the facility. 'Vadumee joined the Arbiter in his search on foot as they closed in on the Heretic leader.[4]

After clearing the area of the parasite, Rtas split up with the Arbiter to regroup with reinforcements. A short time later, they further pursued 'Refumee until he locked himself behind an unbreakable energy barrier. Forced to give up, Rtas was about to turn away when the Arbiter volunteered to cut the cables holding up the mine in a risky attempt to draw out the fugitive. The Commander agreed, loaning the Arbiter his energy sword for the task. Leaving the Arbiter to his work, 'Vadum and his remaining forces evacuated in a Phantom.[5]

Changing of the Guard[edit]

'Vadumee listens to the Prophets speak of the Changing of the Guard.
"This is unprecedented. Unacceptable."
—Rtas 'Vadumee to the Prophet of Truth

Back on High Charity, the Jiralhanae were taking over the position of Honor Guard to the High Prophets, allegedly due to the fact that the "Demon" had successfully assassinated the Prophet of Regret and none of the Honor Guard Elites guarding the High Prophet could stop him. Because of his position, Rtas expressed his disdain to the Prophets of Truth and 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 Elites away.[6]

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

Soon after the raid on the Threshold gas mine, 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. Afterward, Rtas left in a Phantom to command the Elite assault towards the Library. 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.

The Great Schism[edit]

Deactivating Halo[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.

Commandeering a Type-26 Wraith, Rtas spotted a Type-47 Scarab walker outside a Brute encampment. Making his way along the coast, a surprised Rtas met up with the Arbiter, this time on a quest to find the Icon before Installation 05 could be activated. From the Arbiter he learned of the murder of the Sangheili Councilors and the treachery of the Brutes. The two Sangheili were interrupted by the arrival of Tartarus' Phantom and its escorts as they entered Halo's Control Room.[7] Wishing to avenge their fallen brothers, 'Vadum and the Arbiter attacked them by surprise and met up with a squad of Hunters and other Elites.

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.[8] It is not known what became of that ship as he later captained the CAS-class assault carrier, Shadow of Intent.[9]

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

After learning the truth of the Halo rings, he changed his name to Rtas 'Vadum, dropping the "ee" suffix and signifying his secession from the Covenant along with most of his kind. Shortly after, during the late Battle of Earth, 'Vadum took on the role of Shipmaster in the Fleet of Retribution, a branch of the Sangheilian armed forces. He took command in quarantining Installation 05 and High Charity, and was likely instrumental in destroying the loyalist fleet still above Halo. However, a single Flood-infected cruiser broke through the quarantine and headed for Earth, with the separatists in pursuit. He went to Earth to the aid of the humans by glassing a large region of Voi to destroy the infestation of the Flood. Later, he joined the Arbiter, John-117, 343 Guilty Spark, FADM Terrence Hood and Lieutenant Commander Miranda Keyes when a message from the UNSC AI Cortana was found in the crashed Flood ship.[9]

Battle of Installation 00[edit]

Sangheili Major: "Brute ships! Staggered line! Ship Master, 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 his crew, upon encountering the Prophet of Truth's fleet.

Rtas and his fleet went through the Portal to lead the Battle of Installation 00 in space, joining forces with Commander Keyes to destroy Truth's much larger fleet.[10] 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 High Charity appearing out of slipspace. 'Vadum's ship was incapacitated and left the task of killing Truth to the Arbiter Thel 'Vadam and John-117.[11] After the death of Truth in the Arbiter's hands, 'Vadum gathered all surviving humans and Elite forces on the ship and returned to Earth through the Portal.[12]

Rtas was last seen aboard the Shadow of Intent after the end of the war, where he gave the Arbiter the command of the ship and stated that he would like to see his own world to know that it is safe. The assault carrier then departed for Sanghelios.[12]


By March 2558 'Vadum, along with all other Sangheili administrative and military authorities, was designated a priority target by the Office of Naval Intelligence.[13]

Personality and traits[edit]

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 an excellent leader. He is also a good decision-maker. Very much like his friend Thel' Vadam, Rtas is able to think outside the box and doesn't rigidly adhere to the Sangheili's code of honor when it doesn't benefit him. He expresses great care for his soldiers, even the Unggoy. During this battle, Rtas displayed great care for the soldiers under his command, even for the Grunts, whom he tells to get behind the Elites. Such concern for the lower caste is particularly atypical for Elites.[3] He is eager to exact vengeance on the Brutes and the Prophets after the Great Schism. In time, Rtas begins to have respect for certain humans, John-117 in particular.[10]

Rtas held great trust and respect for Thel 'Vadam 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.[6] Later during the Great Schism, Rtas and Thel became the catalysts who united the Sangheili against the Prophets and the Brutes. He acknowledged Thel's "counsel" enough to convince himself that the humans were worthy allies.[9]

It is noted that 'Vadum becomes more calm in Halo 3, possibly because he spends less time fighting on the ground and more time commanding ships. Though he pledges much respect for the humans, 'Vadum is still willing to argue with Hood on matters regarding both the Covenant loyalist and Flood threats, as shown when he revealed that he originally planned to destroy Earth after the Flood 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.[9]

Armor and physical appearance[edit]

Rtas 'Vadum wears white armor in all of his appearances. In Halo 2, he wears standard combat armor, while in Halo 3 he wears the Assault variant (with shoulder pads that are noticeably larger than the multiplayer models), with a Combat helmet. He has green eyes in Halo 2, but orange eyes in Halo 3. He stands an imposing 7 feet 11 inches (though he is erroneously shorter than Thel 'Vadam in-game) and can use either hand to wield a weapon. 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. As such, he is commonly known as "Half-Jaw" amongst Halo fans and Brutes in-game.[10]

Production notes[edit]

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A dead Sangheili Ultra on Floodgate that looks like Rtas 'Vadum due to the missing mandibles and armor.
  • "Vadum" is Latin for "ford", "shallow" or "shoal".
  • 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 a 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."
  • In Halo 2, Rtas 'Vadum is one of only three Elite NPCs shown carrying his weapon in his left hand at least once (the others are a SpecOps Elite in the level The Oracle, and the Arbiter in a cutscene, which is also from The Oracle). This occurs during the level Quarantine Zone, in which he leaves the Arbiter to battle with the Flood, saying "On your way, Arbiter. I'll deal with these beasts."
  • 'Vadum is one of only two Elites, the other being the Arbiter, to call John-117 "Spartan" rather than "Demon".
  • Joyride Studios had originally planned to produce Rtas 'Vadumee action figures in the eighth series of the Halo 2 8-inch figures, but the production was canceled because they felt it was pointless to release another Sangheili figure with a different paint job. However, McFarlane Toys have made the action figure in their series 6 action figures.[citation needed]


List of appearances[edit]


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


  1. ^ a b c d e Halo: The Essential Visual Guide, page 175
  2. ^ Bungie.net: The Tru7h About Co-Op in Halo 3
  3. ^ a b c Halo Graphic Novel, The Last Voyage of the Infinite Succor
  4. ^ Halo 2, campaign level The Arbiter
  5. ^ Halo 2, campaign level The Oracle
  6. ^ a b Halo 2, campaign level Sacred Icon
  7. ^ Halo 2, campaign level Uprising
  8. ^ Halo 2, campaign level The Great Journey
  9. ^ a b c d Halo 3, campaign level Floodgate
  10. ^ a b c Halo 3, campaign level The Ark
  11. ^ Halo 3, campaign level The Covenant
  12. ^ a b Halo 3, campaign level Halo
  13. ^ Halo Waypoint: Catalog Interaction - Page 48
  14. ^ Halo 2, credits
  15. ^ Halo 3, credits