House of 'Vadam

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A young Thel 'Vadam training in the Halo 2: Anniversary terminals.
Members of the House of Vadam in combat training.

Thel 'Vadamee: "The lineage is strong."
Elder: "Vadam is strong."
— Thel 'Vadamee discussing Vadam before the elders[1]

The House of 'Vadam[2] is a legendary Sangheili noble clan. The family resides in Vadam, a relatively young, yet powerful, state in Yermo, Sanghelios.[3] The clan's keep stands on Kolaar Mountain and is located close to a harbor which brings wealth to the clan and the state. Vadam's land was well-developed and their serfs were strongly motivated and efficient, as their great ambitions were to gain distinction and receive a position inside the keep.[1]

Each Sangheili that brought honor to the noble house was given the opportunity to add their name to the Vadam saga, a mural located within the keep.[4] A legendary house of great renown, all male members of the House of 'Vadam were expected to meet high expectations in their military careers. The House of 'Vadam's kaidon during the Human-Covenant War and the following years was Thel 'Vadam, later known as the Covenant's last Arbiter.[2]


"Thel 'Vadamee was born of noble blood. The legendary House of 'Vadam. His family's renown demanded great expectations for his military career. And he would meet them all."
— A San'Shyuum scribe, referring to Thel 'Vadamee's military success[2]
Thel 'Vadam, the current head of the house

The House of 'Vadam was founded during the Sangheili's first age of exploration, sailing to lands on the Yermo coast that would become the state of Vadam despite the oceans' massive tides.[4] It was told by members of the house that Vadam keep was once captured by an opposing clan and the Sangheili of Vadam were forced to rot within their own fortress's dungeons. Their kaidon, Ther 'Vadam, soon escaped, however, due to the fact that he was skinny enough to slide through his cell's bars. He fled to a desert and quickly grew in power, recruiting bandits and outlaws to form an army. His newfound allies had statuses that were lower than Vadam's but they were willing to fight under Vadam's leadership.[5]

Soon, Ther returned to what was rightfully his with his army, scaled the walls, and killed all his enemies before throwing their bodies in the river; legend has it that the river ran purple with Sangheili blood for days. After this was done, he killed those of Vadam who had been foolish enough not to commit honorable suicide within their dungeon cells.[5] The fortified location of Vadam keep protected the clan from numerous invasion attempts, while allowing them to launch offensives. In the waning years of the War of Beginnings, the state of Vadam was one of the many city-states on Sanghelios that was attacked by the San'Shyuum Reformists. However, their keep was too well-defended to be destroyed.[4]

Years later, during the Human-Covenant War, Shipmaster Thel 'Vadamee was ascended to the title of kaidon in 2535. The day after Thel had assumed his responsibilities of kaidon, clan elder Koida 'Vadam sent assassins to kill him, a common practice among Sangheili if the kaidon's capability was in doubt; however, all of the three assassins were slain by Thel. Thel assembled the elders of his clan later that same day. Boldly announcing that the attempt on his life had failed, Thel promptly discovered and executed the culprit and exiled Koida's family line for his insolence, only sparing their lives after Koida attempted to kill the kaidon himself.[6] Thel would eventually be promoted to the Supreme Commander of the Fleet of Particular Justice, one of the largest Covenant fleets. However, his failure to protect Installation 04 resulted in his demotion by the Covenant High Council. Rather than execute him, the Hierarchs of the Covenant charged him with the title of Arbiter.[2] Following the Great Schism, Thel would ally himself with the United Nations Space Command and helped end the Covenant.[7][8]

Following the Great Schism and the end of the Covenant War, Vadam became perhaps the most prominent state on Sanghelios as the home of the Arbiter, now a key mediator between humanity and the Sangheili[9] and the leader of the group known as the Swords of Sanghelios.[10] However, many Sangheili believed that Thel was a traitor for aiding the humans or for not believing in the "gods".[11] This dissent eventually led to a civil war across Sanghelios, initiated by the Servants of the Abiding Truth. Vadam keep was attacked during the war but, with the aid of UNSC Infinity, the attack was repelled and Vadam was saved.[12] Thel 'Vadam continued to act as a face for the Sangheili as a whole in the coming years, even agreeing to peace negotiations with the Jiralhanae Chieftain Lydus' master-pack in 2558.[13]

In October 2558, the temple city of Sunaion became occupied by Jul 'Mdama's Covenant. Located off the Yermo coastline in close proximity to Vadam Harbor, Sunaion was an optimal staging site for an attack on Vadam. However, Thel became aware of these plans and established a forward operating base in Nuusra territory, where the Swords of Sanghelios planned to take Sunaion.[14] However, seeking the power and prestige promised to him, Murok 'Vadam leaked the Arbiter's plans to the Covenant.[15] The Covenant launched an attack on Nuusra in an effort to kill Thel, however the attempt failed and the Covenant was pushed back to Sunaion.[16] After executing Murok for his treason,[15] the Swords regrouped and defeated the Covenant in the Battle of Sunaion.[17]


List of appearances[edit]


  1. ^ a b Halo: The Cole Protocol, page 93
  2. ^ a b c d Halo 2: Anniversary, Terminal 12
  3. ^ Halo: The Cole Protocol, page 88
  4. ^ a b c Halo: The Cole Protocol, page 90
  5. ^ a b c Halo: The Cole Protocol, pages 195-196
  6. ^ a b c Halo: The Cole Protocol, page 92
  7. ^ Halo 2, campaign level, The Great Journey
  8. ^ Halo 3, campaign level, The Covenant
  9. ^ Halo: Glasslands, pages 58-61
  10. ^ Halo Waypoint: Covenant
  11. ^ Halo: Glasslands, page 20
  12. ^ Halo: The Thursday War, page 330
  13. ^ Halo: Escalation, Issue 1
  14. ^ Halo Waypoint: Sunaion
  15. ^ a b c Halo 5: Guardians, campaign level, Before the Storm
  16. ^ Halo 5: Guardians, campaign level, Swords of Sanghelios
  17. ^ Halo 5: Guardians, campaign level, Battle of Sunaion
  18. ^ Halo Waypoint: Arbiter Thel 'Vadam
  19. ^ Halo: The Cole Protocol, page 349
  20. ^ Halo: The Cole Protocol, p. 144
  21. ^ Halo 5: Guardians campaign level Enemy Lines, dynamic dialogue