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Arbiter (Title): Misc



Up to date as of February 08, 2010

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Species and equipment information


Political and military information
Mission types

Missions of suicidal danger and grave religious or political importance


"The Blade, the 'Will of High Prophets'"

Notable members

Covenant, later Covenant Separatists

Looking for the Thel 'Vadamee the Arbiter of the Great Schism, the level The Arbiter (Level) or the Arbiter from Halo Wars?
"The Taming of the Hunters, the Grunt Rebellion. Were it not for the Arbiters, the Covenant would have broken long ago."
Prophet of Mercy.

The title of Arbiter is the highest possible honor bestowed upon a Covenant Sangheili by the Hierarchs during a time of need, and is also the highest rank in religious significance, although the Councilor is superior in political or military rank. The Arbiter acts as a sort of field general, going on missions for the Prophets and during incidents such as the Taming of the Hunters, the Grunt Rebellion, the war with the Humans, and most recently, the threat of the Heretics.

The Arbiter is sent on the most perilous and suicidal missions in times of when he is needed. On those missions, the Arbiter is expected to die (which they do, in most cases) and become another great martyr of the Covenant on their path to the Great Journey.


Evaluating the Rank of Arbiter

Originally, the title of Arbiter was a privilege and may have once been a rank. This however has changed, after the betrayal of Fal 'Chavamee, the Prophets gave the title of Arbiter to disgraced Elites in order for them to regain honor by suicidal missions. Many members of the Covenant, especially Unggoy, see an Arbiter as their "Savior", and their peers consider him as the "Will of the Prophets" or, in his military role, the "Blade of the Prophets". Every Arbiter was "created and consumed in times of extraordinary crisis", and has been martyred in the undertaking of his momentous or most of the time suicidal tasks, as said by the Prophet of Mercy. The corpses (or perhaps only memorials in some cases)[1] are housed in identical caskets stacked upon each other in the great Mausoleum of the Arbiter; in the center of this room is a floating pod that contains the sacred armor of the holy Arbiter, highly decorative and fully functional despite its apparent age. The Mausoleum houses a very large number of caskets, reaching high into the air, and references of Arbiters settling the "Grunt Rebellion" and aiding the "Taming of the Hunters" (which in both, the Arbiter died) would indicate that the office has existed for quite some time - before the Covenant, as we know it, was fully formed and its castes defined. The definition for the word Arbiter is 'one who judges'. All the Sangheili Arbiters are warriors that have lived by and, in the case of all those before the current one, died by the sword.

When an Arbiter is made, it is usually a highly skilled Sangheili. The rank of the Elite previous to becoming Arbiter most likely has no effect on the chance of becoming Arbiter, though higher-ranked Elites have better chances due to their extensive experience and superior skill. The rank of Arbiter can be considered a very prized reward.

Though considered a status of high command, he who wears the armor of the Arbiter is condemned to a life of suicidal missions to regain his honor. This includes the current Arbiter, who failed to protect Installation 04 from the Demon. Other Sangheili join the Arbiter on his missions, though it seems they were both given the same task. The Arbiter can be compared to a Spartan-II, as both are highly skilled in combat and vehicular activities, and have the ability to instill morale even in the strongest, or weakest of troops.

The Armor

The armor an Arbiter wears is kept in the Mausoleum of the Arbiter until it is bestowed upon a new holder of that title. It is composed of a silvery metal, with ornate engravings and metal work, indicating the Arbiters ceremonial nature. However, it is fully functional as a combat suit, incorporating a Heads-Up-Display, Energy shield system, and Active Camouflage.

The technology used is all common to the standard Sangheili Combat Harness, though of an older design. While modern Covenant active camouflage has a virtually unlimited duration, the Arbiter's camouflage lasts only for a few seconds, though still enough to give him a tactical advantage[2]. Each Arbiter receives a different set of armor, though all of them have the same design. The very nature of the Arbiter means that they are sent on dangerous, often suicidal missions, where recovery of the corpse and the armor it wears may be impossible[3]. This would make it appear as though each Arbiter receives a new set of armor. However, the technology used in the suit is usually the same, with no improvements in the design to improve its capabilities. It may be that this is intentional, in order to test the Arbiter's skills, or due to the tradition.

The armor may be subject to some small amount of customization. Ripa 'Moramee was taller than the average Sangheili, at over 8'1, while Thel 'Vadam stood at 7'10''. Further, when first donning the armor, Thel lacked mandible guards or a shoulder-mounted light that he possessed after the Great Schism, where his active camouflage was also significantly upgraded. Ripa's armor seemed to be bulletproof but possessed no shields.[4]

Known Arbiters

Ripa 'Moramee, the 17th Arbiter in the line of Immaculate Succession.

This is a list of all known Arbiters in chronological order.

  • Unnamed Arbiter during the Taming of the Hunters, tasked with taming the Hunters.
  • Fal 'Chavamee - Arbiter during the period between the discovery of the Unggoy and the contact with humanity.[5]
  • Unnamed Arbiter during the Unggoy Rebellion, tasked with the quelling of the Rebellion.
  • Unnamed Arbiter - believed Nineteenth - serving during the Battle of Reach.[7]
  • Thel 'Vadamee - Believed to be the Twentieth Arbiter in the line of Immaculate Succession - fought the Heresy and started the Covenant Civil War, tasked with the destruction of the Heretics.


  • In a Halo Wars cutscene it shows Ripa 'Moramee, the current Arbiter of the game, being pushed off the side of the platform and then the entire area destroyed by a supernova. So, the Covenant would have to have made another armor set to be used for Thel 'Vadam (thus would have been necessary anyway as Ripa was massive, even for a Sangheili, while Thel was of average stature). Also, this would mean that his crypt in the Mausoleum of the Arbiter would be empty.
  • Note that the Arbiter armor is different in Halo 3 and Halo 2. The Arbiter's mandibles in Halo 2 are unprotected, while in Halo 3, the armor covers the mandibles. Also, the Halo 2 Arbiter armor is silver/gray, while the Halo 3 armor is closer in coloration to copper or bronze (however, this is due to the improved lighting effects, as his armor is grey in levels with sparse light). Similarly, the Arbiter now has a flashlight on his left shoulder, but it only works when playing with other players or a guest.
  • The Arbiter was originally meant to be called the "Dervish". The name was changed because it could be considered offensive to Muslims. In the Spanish version of Halo 2 and Halo 3, the Arbiter is called "Inquisidor". This is because the cognate (similarly spelled word) "árbitro" means "umpire" instead of "Arbiter."
  • Before Halo 2 was released, the Elite bipeds in Multiplayer had the armor of the Arbiter, but their armor was changed to the regular Elite armor.[8]
  • In Halo 2, the Arbiter's right side shoulder armor contains a mini sculpt of the Legendary Difficulty Skull. This can be seen in cut scenes (if you look carefully) and in co-op.
  • The definition of an Arbiter is someone that settles negotiations and disputes between striking workers and their employers. An Arbiter's decisions are legally binding and endorsing.
  • The Arbiter armor was originally going to be an armor permutation in Halo 3[citation needed]. More scrutinizing players usually attribute the Arbiter's relative height and width as the reason the armor was not included; he resembles the taller, lankier Elites of Halo 2 more than the bulky, squatter Elites of Halo 3, and it's likely their hitboxes are slightly different, which would ruin the balance of multiplayer.
  • It is stated in the Halo Wars manual that the Arbiter is theorized to be the equivalent of a UNSC Four-Star General.
  • In Halo 2 and Halo Wars, both Arbiters refer to themselves in third person as "Your Arbiter" when asking a Prophet for orders.


  1. Ripa 'Moramee's body could not possibly have been retrieved
  2. Halo 2, The Arbiter (Level)
  3. Halo Wars, Escape (Level)
  4. Halo 3
  5. Frankie: This is quite late into the Covenant as a society, with most of the client species either absorbed or in the process of absorption...
  6. Strategy Game back, the Blurb is talking about Jericho VII
  7. Covenant players in the Reach campaign missions of the Interactive Strategy Game play as an Arbiter
  8. Google Video: Halo 2 Bonus DVD : Multiplayer Featurette
Sangheili Ranks
High Council Councilor
Temporary/Prominent OssoonaArbiter
Fleet Commander Fleet MasterSupreme CommanderImperial Admiral
Zealot Officers Field MasterShipmasterFleet MasterSupreme Commander
Special Operations Spec-OpsSpec-Ops OfficerSpec-Ops Commander of the Covenant
Honor Guard Sangheili Honor GuardsmanHonor Guard UltraLight of Sanghelios
Specialists StealthRangerAscetics
Regular AristocratMinorMajorUltra
Civilian KaidonOracle Master
Heretic Heretic Sangheili MinorHeretic Sangheili MajorHeretic Leader

This article uses material from the "Arbiter (Title)" article on the Halo wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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