A Sangheili's War Is Never Over
A Sangheili's War Is Never Over is a Halo Fan Web Comic written by the comic and concept artist Levi Hoffmeier, commonly known as Leviathan, also the author of Halo: A Fistful of Arrows. It takes place after the events of Halo 3 and regards the Arbiter and his fellow Elite warriors in the schism against the Brutes following the dissolution of the Covenant.
The Human-Covenant War has ended, but the Great Schism has begun and the warring space fleets of Sangheili (Elites) and Jiralhanae (Brutes) have been battling for dominance ever since the Covenant's breakup. However, the fight has been dragging to a stalemate, and the Brutes are beginning to pick up the slack and develop better strategy, and may even risk invading the Sangheilian homeworld. Discussing this matter aboard the flapship Shadow of Intent, the famed Arbiter Thel 'Vadam formulates a plan for the rest of the Elites. He will descend to the surface of the Brutes' homeworld, Doisac, and challenge their most powerful chieftain to a duel. Whoever wins the duel wins the leadership of the galaxy.
Unlike Leviathan's later work A Fistful of Arrows, Sangheili's War is comparatively shorter, as well as a taking a more "comic book" art style with starker lines and contrasting shadows as opposed to to his usual "painterly" style. It's also faster paced with greater emphasis on action and boasting speeches, and the characters share more trusting relationships.
- Exclusively Evil: The Brutes, though in a subversion, the Prophets are not.
- Badass Boast: This is a war between the Elites and the Brutes. There's A LOT.
- Blade Brake
- Blood Knight / Glory Seeker: The Elites are the latter, fighting for causes and honor. The Brutes are the former, declaring "Honor is dead!" and fighting simply for the sake of violence.
- Combat Pragmatist: Rather than accepting the offer of a duel with the Arbiter, Cerberus and the other Brutes attempt to kill him on the spot.
- Continuity Nod: The Arbiter recalls that he has fallen down a chasm at the hands of a Brute before. Also:
Arbiter: "It seems killing Chieftains is becoming a tradition for me."
- Face Death with Dignity: The Prophet of Penance does not evacuate his flagship with his crew, knowing he deserves his death for betraying the Elites. Elites too reflect on gaining this sort of death.
- Fate Worse Than Death: According to the Elites, the Brutes deserve worse than this, perhaps slavery.
- Gallows Humor: Subverted. The Arbiter accuses Rtas 'Vadum of this, but he assures him that battle is actually going splendidly well.
- Good Weapon, Evil Weapon: Energy swords versus gravity hammers.
- Gunship Rescue
- Ham-to-Ham Combat: Arguably as huge a battle as the physical duels themselves!
- Heel Realization: The Prophet of Penance, who too has learned the Great Journey was a lie and so accepts that the Elites should kill him.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Unusually, for a comic about a culture so obsessed with them, none are made.
- Honor Before Reason: The Elite Councilor aboard the Shadow of Intent fits this mold perfectly, while Rtas 'Vadum and the Arbiter are more tempered versions, balancing pragmatism with honor. Unusually for the species, they're shown invoking this trope on the Brutes, expecting them to be arrogant enough to accept the terms of their duel.
- It's Raining Men: How the Arbiter descends on Doisac.
- Martyrdom Culture: But according to the Arbiter, make sure it's a cause worth dying for first.
- Never Live It Down: In-universe. Many of the Elites accuse the Arbiter of going soft because of he fought with humans. "There were but two", indeed.
- Not So Different: The comic opens with the Arbiter reflecting how his kind once hunted down those who denounced the Covenant, branding them heretics. But now the Elites as a whole are rebelling against the Covenant, and so become their "heretics".
- Old Shame: For the Elites as a whole, joining the Covenant and believing the lie of Great Journey. For the Arbiter, it's being betrayed by Tartarus and thrown down a chasm. And so, on the blood of their fathers, they shall absolve their shame!
- One-Scene Wonder: The Prophet of Penance, in the opening intro to the comic.
- Only a Flesh Wound: Cerberus gets an arm chopped off yet continues fighting with his other arm. The Arbiter too gets struck twice with a Gravity Hammer, a one-hit kill weapon in the games and books, but is only knocked off balance. Justified by the fact that both Elites and Brutes are much tougher than humans, though Brutes more so.
- Painting the Medium / Speech Bubbles: The speech bubbles are colored differently according to who is speaking. Rtas 'Vadum's is light grey, the Councilor's is dark grey, Cerberus's is very dark grey, and the Arbiter's is medium grey.
- Pet the Dog: Penance gets one by allowing his crew to evacuate his vessel, though he himself does not.
- Punctuated! For! Emphasis!:
Arbiter: "I will not! Fall! Like! That! Again!"
- Super-Persistent Predator: Special mention goes to Cerberus, who leaps off a cliff to pursue the Arbiter before he's hit the ground, then continues fighting and nearly wins even after losing an arm!
- Throwing Your Hammer Always Works
- Wham! Line: "Hammers!", followed by "Honor is dead." The former may be a literal Wham Line?
- Galaxy Of Ham
- Xanatos Gambit: The Elites formulate one with their challenge of a duel. If the Arbiter wins, the Jiralhanae will be forced to back down and accept the Elites' leadership. If the Brutes win, then they pull back from the fighting to accept their victory, giving the Elites a much needed respite from battle.
- Batman Gambit: Even if the Brutes refuse to surrender, they will have lost their most valuable leader, causing them a power breakup that will degenerate into civil war.