Halo: A Sangheili's War Is Never Over
Halo: A Sangheili's War Is Never Over is a fan-made Internet graphic novel by Levi Hoffmeier, who also wrote Halo: A Fistful of Arrows. It takes place after the events of Halo 3, after the Great Schism between the Sangheili and the Jiralhanae continues to rage. The comic was posted on halo.bungie.org and featured by Bungie on May 25th 2012. It was later published in Hoffmeier's DeviantArt page and in his personal sub-site leviathan.bungie.org.
The comic opens with the boarding of the flagship of the Prophet of Penance. His crew reports that the Elites will soon reach the bridge, but he demands that they leave him. The Brutes beg for him to evacuate with them, but Penance denies their request, asking that they save themselves. Once alone, the Prophet reflects on how he lead thousands of believers to their deaths, in exchange for a Journey he knew to be false. As he accepts he deserves his death, the Sangheili arrive and kill him. Major Dros, the Elite in charge of the boarding crew, orders them to finishing clearing the ship of Brutes and then to have a skeleton crew command this ship. Once done, the flagship will join the Elites' main fleet for their attack on Doisac, the Brutes' homeworld.
The first scene introduces Rtas 'Vadum, giving a speech to his crew. He remarks upon the Covenant's old Writ of Union, and how it swore to punish heretics who would break its laws. But now they are the heretics and have discarded those laws. 'Vadum assures his men that they are still united and will soon reclaim their lost grace from rebellion, through their war against the Brutes. 'Vadum then commands his fleet against a Jiralhanae one, winning but still facing a tough challenge.
Afterward, 'Vadum, a Sangheili High Councilor, and the Arbiter Thel 'Vadam have a meeting assessing the Jiralhanae's forces. The Councilor worries about the defense of Sanghelios, as it is practically unguarded now that all their ships are at war. He advocates an immediate attack on Doisac to cripple the Brutes, but Rtas sees this as suicide because their fleet is so small. As the Councilor protests that they'd be worthy sacrifices, Thel responds that a foolish charge will not give them honor and that the Jiralhanae do not deserve the Elites' deaths. The Councilor is not glad to hear this, and claims that the Arbiter has gone soft from working with humans, until Rtas puts him at bay. Thel decides the Brutes deserve a worse punishment than death, such as imprisonment or slavery, but knows they won't easily bend to their will.
He then suggests his simpler plan: that they challenge the Brutes to a duel between their greatest warriors, and the losing side must surrender. If the Elites lose, then they will be able to retreat from Jiralhanae space safely to nurse their wounds and prepare for another attack. But if they win, the Brutes will have lost a valuable leader. That leader, however, is Cerberus, a Chieftain that Rtas warns him is a much smarter and ruthless Jiralhanae than most. But the Arbiter confidently turns down his worries, assuring him that "my sword was sharpened with the necks of chieftains past."
The agreement is made and Thel 'Vadam descends to Doisac's surface in an Orbital Insertion Pod, Cerberus arms himself and taunts the Elite, certain that he'll win. As the Arbiter makes his speech about how a duel will truly decide which species is stronger, Cerberus betrays him and throws his gravity hammer at him. The impact knocks 'Vadam backwards, sending him off a cliff. But 'Vadam comes to in the fall and stabs his sword in the rock face to slow his fall. Cerberus leap off the cliff to face him, and the two ready for their duel.
The two swing at each other with their weapons. The Arbiter succeeds in slashing the Brute and then chopping off his left arm, but the Chieftain swings his hammer with his right and sends the Elite flying. With his foot Cerberus crushes Thel's energy sword. The Sangheili pulls out another, but the hilt malfunctions as he tries to activate it. Just as Cerberus raises his hammer for the final blow, Thel's sword activates, but in a new single-bladed design. The Arbiter stabs the Chieftain in the chest and then flees as Cerberus' forces try to kill him. A Sangheili Phantom descends to rescue him and then flies off to take him back to the Shadow of Intent.
During the flight, the Arbiter speaks with Rtas 'Vadum as he prepares the Sangheili's attack on Doisac. But they note there is already bloodshed occurring, for many of the Brute clans are now warring against each other. Each is desperate to become the leader, and the Elites will let them tear themselves apart for a time before striking with their own attack. As the Arbiter reflects on his victory, Rtas adds that he was worried because Thel narrowly won against Tartarus only with the help of humans. Thel does not take kindly to this jest, and asks the shipmaster if his jocularity is coming from the space battle going well. Rtas assures him that this is so, and once they win they will let the word of the Jiralhanae's defeat spread among the other former Covenant species, shaming the Brutes' even further. With that, the Elites will be satisfied, for now.
A transcript is included after the main story containing the conversations of the Sangheili fleet. It was intended to be part of the main body of the comic during the opening space battle, but was cut out to give more time to the Arbiter's duel.
In it, the Shadow of Intent is holding its own against Brute ships, but Rtas 'Vadam worries that their position is depriving his other ships of a defense. He orders his crew to lure the Brute ships deeper in the battlefield so that they can be dealt with quickly, allowing the Intent to complement its other ships.
Two of the Brute ships are destroyed and the rest retreat to their flagship Superior Clairvoyance. 'Vadum demands to speak with Major Dros aboard the Silver Cleave, who tells him that they've weakened the flagship but have taken a heavy beating and have been outmatched by the retreating ships. 'Vadum assures him that the Shadow of Intent is coming his way, and will distract the smaller ships so that the Silver Cleave can infiltrate and destroy the Clairvoyance.
Their plan starts to work, but the Intent's shields fall, forcing 'Vadum's ship to retreat. Fortunately, they have bought enough time for the Silver Cleave, which has crippled the Superior Clairvoyance enough to cause the ship to fall into Doisac's atmosphere. As the flagship goes down in flames, 'Vadum's crew reports that numerous escape pods and Phantoms are being launched from it. Rtas realizes this means its chieftain is still alive, and calls for a council, so that they may plan their next move to cut off the head of the Brutes.
Note: All appearances listed below are non-canon.