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This article is about the Covenant Supreme Commander. For the friend of Arbiter Fal 'Chavamee, see Roh.
Rho 'Barutamee was a veteran Sangheili fleet commander who served the Covenant Ministry of Fervent Intercession as the shipmaster of the Sh'wada-pattern supercarrier Long Night of Solace and Supreme Commander of the Fleet of Valiant Prudence during the Human-Covenant War. His fleet was tasked with security and stewardship of Forerunner artifacts. 'Barutamee led his fleet in the opening stages of the Fall of Reach, resulting in his presumed death.
Early life and military career
Rho 'Barutamee was born on Sanghelios in March 23, 2479. 'Barutamee joined the Ministry of Fervent Intercession, serving in the Covenant military as a Zealot. 'Barutamee aggressively rose through the ministry's ranks by exploiting the weaknesses of his former comrades and superiors. The Ministry of Fervent Intercession eventually selected him from among the Zealots and 'Barutamee was ascended to the post of Supreme Commander of the Fleet of Valiant Prudence, a Covenant fleet charged with far-ranged scouting operations and the security of Forerunner artifacts. Covenant leadership entrusted 'Barutamee with a powerful Luminary from High Charity, which he used to locate Forerunner relics across the galaxy. Rho 'Barutamee became the shipmaster of the Sh'wada-pattern supercarrier Long Night of Solace during the final years of the Human-Covenant War. At some point in his career, 'Barutamee became interested in seeking out the fabled Maethrillian, the Capital of the Forerunner ecumene. Intending to locate the world himself, 'Barutamee had secretly amassed a collection of powerful Forerunner artifacts that helped point him in the right direction to the Capital.
In around 2552, 'Barutamee's Luminary detected Forerunner artifacts on a world in the human-inhabited Beta Eridani system. The Fleet of Valiant Prudence traveled to the system and engaged UNSC forces. While the system's human residents attempted to flee, the fleet procured Beta Eridani's Forerunner relics; 'Barutamee studied the objects personally. The artifacts were "processed" through the Luminary and 'Barutamee realized that the objects pointed towards an uncharted system, though he recognized several symbols on the artifacts that indicated danger, damage, and the marks of the Builders' rate. Determined to embark to the mysterious system, 'Barutamee ordered the destruction of the remaining human forces in the Beta Eridani system to prevent any UNSC forces from following the Fleet of Valiant Prudence to its next destination.
Fall of Reach
By July 23, 2552, the Fleet of Valiant Prudence had arrived at its next destination: the Epsilon Eridani system, home to the UNSC stronghold of Reach. 'Barutamee was surprised to learn that the system boasted a massive human military presence in the form of the Epsilon Eridani Fleet, so he begun preparing his fleet for the first assault on Reach. However, 'Barutamee had ulterior motives aside from glassing Reach. He secretly continued to pursue his objective of locating the Capital and believed that the Forerunner artifacts on Reach were the final piece to the puzzle that was the Capital's location.
'Barutamee led a hand-picked crew of Sangheili Zealots known as the Devoted Sentries from aboard the cloaked Long Night of Solace as they covertly searched for numerous Forerunner relics scattered across Reach. When the UNSC realized the Covenant had arrived in the system, a large-scale engagement began. The Covenant's arrival forced the Office of Naval Intelligence research team at Teller Station to abandon their efforts at uncovering a Forerunner installation beneath the surface of a planetoid in Epsilon Eridani's Oort cloud. As the team attempted one last dig, they inadvertently activated Forerunner systems within the installation, revealing the site's location to 'Barutamee and the Fleet of Valiant Prudence. The human scientists managed to recover a Forerunner artifact from within the installation and departed the Oort cloud; 'Barutamee ordered his fleet's reconnaissance elements to retrieve the artifact when he learned of the object's importance. However, Vice Admiral Michael Stanforth intended to lure the Covenant fleet away from the relic and into a trap over Reach. 'Barutamee continued to search for Forerunner artifacts that he hoped would reveal the location of the Capital. However, he feared that a massive fleet from the Ministry of Resolution en route to Reach would rob him of the chance to secret away relics from the other ministries and locate the Forerunner site. With his artifact recovery teams pinned down by UNSC forces on Reach's surface, 'Barutamee recognized that if his fleet could not locate an object of value before the second fleet's arrival, he would be forced to either evacuate and abandon many of his own Zealots in the process, or face interrogation by the Hierarchs for his impudence and apparent incompetence in the battle.
'Barutamee's vessel partook in the Battle at Szurdok Ridge on the surface of Reach, where UNSC Army forces accompanied by the Spartan-IIIs of Noble Team exposed Long Night of Solace through the destruction of Spire One, a communications tower that had been cloaking the vessel. In response, 'Barutamee destroyed UNSC Grafton, the Paris-class heavy frigate that revealed the supercarrier's location by destroying the spire. 'Barutamee's vessels smashed the Army garrisons below before retreating to Reach's orbit.
In response to the revelation of the supercarrier, UNSC commanders and Noble Team formulated two operations to eliminate the ship: Operations: UPPER CUT and LEFT JAB. Operation: LEFT JAB would serve as a mission to distract the Covenant fleet, while Noble Team destroyed Long Night of Solace with the rigged slipspace drive of the UNSC Savannah. On August 14, 2552, the operations were set into motion. While the Epsilon Eridani Fleet engaged the Fleet of Valiant Prudence, the significantly smaller Covenant fleet became stretched thin—leaving 'Barutamee's flagship open for a direct attack. The UNSC hijacked the Ceudar-pattern heavy corvette Ardent Prayer disabled the ship's communications so it couldn't warn the supercarrier and activated the corvette's refueling track. The Long Night of Solace was caught completely by surprise when Jorge-052 detonated the rigged slipspace drive underneath the supercarrier. Rho 'Barutamee was presumably killed along with his entire crew when the subsequent slipspace rupture tore the ship in half or when its remains reentered the atmosphere and crashed on the surface near New Alexandria.
Following 'Barutamee's death, his lieutenant—Shipmaster Kantar 'Utaralee—assumed command of the splintered Fleet of Valiant Prudence. In a last ditch effort, 'Barutamee's fleet attempted to recover the Forerunner relic from Epsilon Eridani's Oort cloud, now held in a space station near Turul. The Ministry of Resolution's fleet arrived directly afterwards to engage UNSC forces at Reach.
Personality and traits
Rho 'Barutamee was a skilled commander and an excellent tactician, and was noted to be unexpectedly reserved and thoughtful for a former Zealot. He was a fearless leader, though 'Barutamee became afraid for the first time in decades when he realized that punishment from the Hierarchs was a possibility following his impudence and apparent ineptitude at the Fall of Reach. He was disinterested in the war against humanity, but he had no qualms with wiping out an entire system's human population to procure local Forerunner artifacts. 'Barutamee was very ambitious; as a Zealot, he aggressively climbed through the Ministry of Fervent Intercession's ranks by exploiting weaknesses wherever he found them—taking advantage of greed, blind adherence to the Covenant religion, and the ignorance of former allies and comrades alike in order to ascend to the post of Supreme Commander. In battle, 'Barutamee often tactically ignored the United Nations Space Command's attempts to find vulnerabilities in his fleet to exploit, though he realized that he could not afford such luxuries at the heavily defended Reach.
Supreme Commander 'Barutamee was apparently a devout Sangheili and wished to claim Forerunner relics for himself. However, 'Barutamee's ambitions far exceeded the expectations of his enemies and rivals within the Ministry of Fervent Intercession. His personal objective was to locate the fabled Maethrillian, the Forerunner Capital of the ecumene. To help achieve this goal, 'Barutamee had secretly and illegally accumulated a large collection of powerful Forerunner artifacts that he believed would aid in his search. 'Barutamee attempted to pursue his own goals at Reach, while following his superiors' orders. He became conflicted when he learned that a large Covenant fleet from the Ministry of Resolution was en route to Reach, and he feared that the larger fleet would rob him of his chance to locate the Capital.
Halo: Fleet Battles
Rho 'Barutamee is a skilled military leader and an excellent tactician. He can therefore choose to re-roll the initiative dice each turn, but the second result must be accepted.
Rho 'Barutamee was first mentioned as the shipmaster of Long Night of Solace in the Halo: The Essential Visual Guide, released in 2011. 'Barutamee was later featured as the first Covenant "Fleet Commander" in Halo: Fleet Battles, released in 2015, where his backstory and actions at the Fall of Reach were expanded upon. Those who pre-ordered Fleet Battles were given a detailed bust of 'Barutamee.
List of appearances