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Rtas 'Vadum

Sanghelios, state of Vadum.

Physical description

Special Operations Commander of the Covenant (before Great Schism)
Ship Master of the Shadow of Intent
Fleet Master of the Fleet of Retribution (post Great Schism)








Shadow of Intent, Wraith, Spectre

Eye color

Green (Halo 2), Orange (Halo 3)

Chronological and political information
Notable Events

Lost two mandibles in battle against an infected Kusovai in combat.


Covenant, later Covenant Separatists

"If it takes my death, so be it. You will not defeat the Covenant."
—Commander Rtas 'Vadum

Rtas 'Vadum (known as Rtas 'Vadumee before the Covenant Civil War) was a Sangheili Commander of the Covenant Army before the Great Schism, and later served as a high-ranking Separatist official.

He was the only known Special Operations Commander of the Covenant Army in the Halo series, a title in which he served before the civil war. As the Ship Master of the Shadow of Intent and the Fleet Master of the Fleet of Retribution, 'Vadum played a pivotal role during and after the Battle of Installation 05.




Service with the Covenant

The Last Voyage of the Infinite Succor

"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.

When the agriculture ship Infinite Succor was boarded by an unknown threat, Rtas 'Vadumee led a team there to investigate. This team was comprised of Special Operations Elites and Special Operations Grunts. In addition to eliminating the boarders, 'Vadumee's team was tasked with securing a Legate known as the Minister of Etiology. There they encountered the Flood for the first time. It is during this battle that 'Vadumee is depicted as expressing 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.

Rtas 'Vadumee on the Infinite Succor.

In an attempt to kill the Flood, 'Vadumee used the Engineering station to set a Slipspace course towards the sun. During that time, it was revealed that the Legate had become infected, and Rtas had to battle his infected sub-commander Kusovai. He was able to make a mortal strike at the infected Kusovai by allowing the sub-commander to strike him along his arm and face, severing his left mandibles. He managed to escape on board a Phantom called the Glorious Advance two minutes before the Slipspace jump occurred. He is believed to be the only survivor of the Infinite Succor mission.[1]

Alpha Halo

It is unlikely that Rtas 'Vadumee was present on the original Installation 04 due to the fact that he was stationed on the Fleet of Particular Justice and the extreme wounds he suffered on the Infinite Succor mission. However, his combat career on Alpha Halo remains largely unknown.

Battle against the Heretics

"You are the Arbiter, the will of the Prophets, but these are my Elites. Their lives matter to me, yours does not."
—Rtas 'Vadumee
Rtas 'Vadumee speaks to Thel 'Vadam.

Rtas 'Vadumee was assigned to hunt down the Heretic leader, Sesa 'Refumee, on a Forerunner Gas Mine above the gas giant Threshold (it is this first depiction of 'Vadumee that shows his color scheme is different from a standard Ultra). 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 Spec Ops 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[2] as they closed in on the Heretic leader.

The Special Operations Commander in the gas mine.

After clearing the area of the parasite, he 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, 'Vadumee 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, 'Vadumee and his remaining forces evacuated in a Phantom and returned to High Charity.[3]

Changing of the Guard

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

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 or the Grunts guarding the High Prophet could stop him. Because of his position, he 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 reinforcement attempt. However, the Prophet of Truth denied his complaints and sent Rtas 'Vadumee and his two Elites away.

The Search for the Sacred Icon

"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 Battle of the Gas Mine, 'Vadumee 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 Delta Halo. 'Vadumee 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, 'Vadumee left in a Phantom to command the Elite assault towards the Library. Later, he rejoined the Arbiter in a Spectre and helped him push through a Flood barricade to access one of the Gondolas that were the only way to enter the Library. 'Vadumee stayed behind to hold off the Flood while the Arbiter took the second Gondola to reach the Sacred Icon.

The Great Schism

Deactivating Halo

"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 in Halo 2
Rtas'Vadum prepares to escort the Arbiter to the Bastion of the Brutes.

Commandeering a Wraith, 'Vadumee spotted a Scarab walker outside a Brute encampment. Making his way along the coast, a surprised 'Vadumee 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 Council and the treachery of the Brutes. The Elites were interrupted by the arrival of Tartarus' Phantom and its escorts as they entered the Control Room. Wishing to avenge their fallen brothers, 'Vadumee and the Arbiter attacked them by surprise and met up with a squad of Hunters and other Elites.

There, 'Vadumee again split up with the Arbiter to prevent any Jiralhanae reinforcements from attacking the Arbiter's rear, and was not present when he escorted Sgt. Johnson to the Control Room. It is unknown exactly what happened to him, though it is assumed he attempted to take back a Covenant CCS-class Battlecruiser that was hovering a distance from the battle area, as the last line spoken by 'Vadumee was "Then, I'm going to take the Cruiser back!"[4] It is not known what became of that ship as he appears in Halo 3 with the Assault Carrier, Shadow of Intent.

'Vadum argues with Lord Hood aboard the Shadow of Intent.

Battle of Earth

"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 (if not all) of his kind. Shortly after, 'Vadum took on the role of a Ship Master in the Separatist Fleet during the late Battle of Earth. He came to the aid of the Humans by glassing "half a continent" (as put by Lord Terrence Hood) to destroy the infestation of the Flood. Later, he joined the Arbiter, John-117, 343 Guilty Spark, Lord Terrence Hood and Commander Miranda Keyes when a message from Cortana was found in the crashed Flood ship.

'Vadum on the bridge of the Shadow of Intent.

Battle of Installation 00

"Brute ships! Staggered line! Ship Master, they outnumber us, three to one!"
— A Major Elite reporting to the Ship Master.
"Then it is an even fight. All cruisers fire at will. Burn their mongrel hides!"
—Rtas 'Vadum, in response
Ship Master Rtas 'Vadum and Arbiter Thel 'Vadam depart for Sanghelios.

'Vadum went through the portal to lead the Battle of Installation 00 in space, joining forces with Commander Miranda Keyes to destroy Truth's much larger fleet. 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 and Spartan 117. 'Vadum then gathered all Human and Elite forces on the ship and returned to Earth through The Portal.

'Vadum 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.

Physical Appearance

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 a Combat helmet. He has green eyes in Halo 2, but one orange eye and one green in Halo 3. He stands an imposing 8 feet 6 inches in Halo 2 (though he is still shorter than Thel 'Vadam) and can use either hand to wield a weapon. Perhaps the most memorable feature of his appearance is that is missing his two left mandibles, as they were cut off in a fight with a Flood-infected Kusovai. As such, among Halo fans, he is commonly known as "Half-Jaw."


A close-up of Rtas 'Vadum's face.

Rtas 'Vadum is known for being a quick, smart, and ingenious tactician and an unparalleled fighter, especially with the Energy Sword and is an excellent leader. He expresses great care for his soldiers, even the Unggoy. He is eager to exact revenge on the Brutes after the Great Schism, and has a great respect for Thel 'Vadam. He usually speaks in a formal tongue. In time, 'Vadum begins to have respect for certain humans, John-117 in particular.

It is noted that Rtas '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, he is still willing to argue with Hood on matters regarding both the 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 he once held towards the humans but to protect the rest of the galaxy from infection. 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.

Production Notes

Halopedia has a collection of quotes related to Rtas 'Vadum on its quotes page.
  • Rtas 'Vadum was voiced by Robert Davi in Halo 2 and also in Halo 3.
  • The Rtas 'Vadum model for Halo 2 was created by Marcus R. Lehto.


A dead Elite Ultra on Floodgate that looks like Rtas 'Vadum due to the missing mandibles and armor.
  • "Vadum" translates from Latin as "ford, shallows"[5]
  • Vadum is the only known Ship Master to bear silver armor instead of golden armor.
  • There is an interesting glitch in Halo 2 which allows you to make 'Vadum fly through the air, being eaten by Flood Infection forms. For more information, go here.
  • 'Vadum is one of only three Elite NPCs shown carrying his weapon in his left hand at least once (the others are a Spec Ops 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 do 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".
  • In Halo 2, no matter what you try, Rtas 'Vadum will not die. He can survive lethal drops that the player cannot survive, much like Sgt. Johnson.
  • 'Vadum is the only Sangheili to feature the "Eye Glitch" when he uses Active Camo; his green eyes are still visible even though his body is not. It is only seen on the Arbiter level titled, the Oracle.
  • 'Vadum always carries an Energy Sword unless traded with; also, he is one of the few characters to propose a trade ingame, saying to the Arbiter, "Take my blade, I doubt the cable can withstand its bite."
  • 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 the new series 6 action figures.
  • His Assault shoulder pads are noticeably larger then multiplayer models.
  • Even though he is referred to as a Ship Master in Halo 3, he actually bears the title of Fleet Master.
  • The fleet that Rtas 'Vadum commands in Halo 3 is known as the Fleet of Retribution, a branch of the Sangheilian Armed Forces.
  • It is a notable habit of 'Vadum 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 'Vadum is invincible.



  1. The Last Voyage of the Infinite Succor
  2. The Arbiter
  3. The Oracle (Level)
  4. The Great Journey (Level)

This article uses material from the "Rtas 'Vadum" article on the Halo wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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