Joseph Staten's Halo: Shadow of Intent - A PDF Review of the Digital-First Novella
Here is the outline of the article I created based on your topic: H1 Halo: Shadow of Intent - A Thrilling Novella by Joseph Staten --- --- H2 Introduction H3 What is Halo: Shadow of Intent? H3 Who is Joseph Staten? H3 Why should you read this novella? H2 Summary of the plot H3 The main characters H3 The main conflict H3 The main themes H2 Analysis of the novella H3 How does it connect to the Halo universe? H3 How does it explore the Sangheili culture and history? H3 How does it portray the aftermath of the Human-Covenant War? H2 Conclusion H3 What are the main takeaways from the novella? H3 What are some questions for further discussion? Here is the article I wrote based on the outline: Halo: Shadow of Intent - A Thrilling Novella by Joseph Staten ## Introduction If you are a fan of the Halo franchise, you probably know that there is more to it than just video games. Halo has a rich and expansive lore that spans across various media, such as novels, comics, movies, and more. One of these media is Halo: Shadow of Intent, a digital novella written by Joseph Staten, one of the original creators of Halo. In this article, we will tell you what this novella is about, who wrote it, and why you should read it. ### What is Halo: Shadow of Intent? Halo: Shadow of Intent is a digital novella that was released on December 7, 2015 by Simon & Schuster. It is part of the Halo: Fractures anthology, which contains several short stories set in the Halo universe. The novella takes place shortly after the events of Halo 3, and focuses on the Sangheili (or Elites) warrior Rtas 'Vadum, also known as Half-Jaw, and his ship Shadow of Intent. The story follows Rtas as he faces a new threat from a vengeful Covenant Prophet who wants to destroy the Sangheili race. ### Who is Joseph Staten? Joseph Staten is a New York Times bestselling author and former lead writer for Bungie, the studio that created Halo. He was responsible for writing and directing the cinematics for Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo 2, and Halo 3. He also wrote several Halo novels, such as Halo: Contact Harvest and Halo: Shadow of Intent. He left Bungie in 2013 and joined Microsoft Studios as a senior creative director. He is currently working on Halo Infinite, the upcoming installment in the Halo series. ### Why should you read this novella? If you are interested in learning more about the Halo lore, especially the Sangheili culture and history, this novella is a must-read for you. It gives you a deeper insight into the characters and events that shaped the Halo universe, and how they cope with the aftermath of the Human-Covenant War. It also delivers a thrilling and suspenseful story that will keep you hooked until the end. You will witness epic space battles, intense ground combat, and emotional drama as Rtas and his allies face their enemies and their own demons. ## Summary of the plot In this section, we will give you a brief overview of what happens in the novella. Beware of spoilers! ### The main characters The protagonist of the novella is Rtas 'Vadum, a Sangheili warrior who commands the assault carrier Shadow of Intent. He was one of the leaders of the Covenant separatists who allied with humanity against the Covenant loyalists during the Great Schism. He fought alongside Master Chief and Arbiter Thel 'Vadam in several battles, such as Installation 05, Earth, and Installation 00. After the war ended, he became one of the most respected and influential figures in the Swords of Sanghelios, a new faction led by Thel that seeks to rebuild their society. The antagonist of the novella is Tem'Bhetek, a San'Shyuum (or Prophet) who survived the fall of High Charity, the Covenant's holy city that was infected by the Flood parasite. He was once a Prelate, an elite warrior caste that served as bodyguards for the Prophets. He lost his wife and son during the Great Schism, and blamed the Sangheili for their deaths. He swore vengeance against them, and joined forces with a rogue faction of Jiralhanae (or Brutes) who also hated the Sangheili. He acquired a Forerunner artifact that allowed him to manipulate slipspace, and planned to use it to destroy the Sangheili homeworld. Other important characters in the novella include: - Tul 'Juran, a female Sangheili who serves as Rtas' second-in-command and love interest. She is a skilled pilot and fighter, and has a strong sense of honor and loyalty. - Stolt, an Unggoy (or Grunt) who serves as Rtas' personal guard and friend. He is one of the few Unggoy who can speak Sangheili, and has a witty and humorous personality. - Vul 'Soran, a Sangheili blademaster who serves as Tem'Bhetek's personal assassin. He is a former Covenant loyalist who was captured by Rtas and converted to his cause. He is loyal to Rtas, but also harbors a secret grudge against him. - Boru'a'Neem, a San'Shyuum who serves as Tem'Bhetek's advisor and ally. He is a former Minister of Preparation who was exiled by the Covenant for his radical views on Forerunner technology. He is fascinated by the artifact that Tem'Bhetek possesses, and wants to study it. ### The main conflict The novella begins with Rtas and his crew returning to Sanghelios after a successful mission against the remaining Covenant loyalists. They are greeted by Thel, who informs them that he has received a distress signal from another Sangheili ship, the Spear of Light, that was attacked by an unknown enemy near a remote planet. Rtas volunteers to investigate the signal, and departs with Tul, Stolt, Vul, and a small team of warriors. Meanwhile, Tem'Bhetek and his Jiralhanae allies are hiding in an asteroid belt near the same planet, where they have set up a trap for Rtas. Tem'Bhetek reveals that he has been tracking Rtas for months, using the Forerunner artifact to manipulate slipspace and evade detection. He plans to lure Rtas into a slipspace bubble that will trap him and his ship, and then detonate a bomb that will destroy them both. He also plans to use the artifact to open a portal to Sanghelios, where he will unleash his Jiralhanae army and wipe out the Sangheili population. Rtas arrives at the planet, where he finds the wreckage of the Spear of Light and several escape pods. He rescues some of the survivors, who tell him that they were ambushed by a San'Shyuum ship that fired a strange beam that tore apart their ship. Rtas realizes that it was Tem'Bhetek who attacked them, and decides to pursue him. He orders Tul to take the survivors back to Sanghelios, while he leads a boarding party to infiltrate Tem'Bhetek's ship. Rtas and his team board Tem'Bhetek's ship, where they encounter fierce resistance from the Jiralhanae. They fight their way to the bridge, where they confront Tem'Bhetek and Boru'a'Neem. Rtas recognizes Tem'Bhetek as the Prelate who killed his brother during the Battle of High Charity, and vows to kill him. Tem'Bhetek taunts Rtas for his role in the Great Schism, and reveals his plan to destroy Sanghelios. He activates the artifact, which creates a slipspace bubble around his ship and Shadow of Intent. Rtas realizes that he has fallen into Tem'Bhetek's trap, and orders Vul to sabotage the artifact while he fights Tem'Bhetek. Vul manages to disable the artifact, but not before Tem'Bhetek opens a portal to Sanghelios. Rtas engages Tem'Bhetek in hand-to-hand combat, while Boru'a'Neem tries to escape with the artifact. Stolt follows Boru'a'Neem and kills him with a plasma grenade. Rtas defeats Tem'Bhetek and prepares to execute him, but Tem'Bhetek begs for mercy. He tells Rtas that he only wanted revenge for his family, and that he regrets his actions. He asks Rtas to spare him, so that he can atone for his sins. Rtas is conflicted, but ultimately decides to spare Tem'Bhetek's life. He tells him that he will take him back to Sanghelios, where he will face justice. Rtas contacts Tul, who tells him that she has arrived at Sanghelios with the survivors. She also tells him that Thel has mobilized his forces to repel the Jiralhanae invasion. Rtas tells her that he has captured Tem'Bhetek alive, and that he needs ### The main themes The novella explores several themes that are relevant to the Halo universe and its characters, such as: - Revenge and forgiveness: The main conflict between Rtas and Tem'Bhetek is driven by their desire for revenge for the losses they suffered during the war. Tem'Bhetek blames Rtas for the death of his family, and Rtas blames Tem'Bhetek for the death of his brother. However, by the end of the story, they both realize that their hatred is futile and destructive, and that they need to forgive themselves and each other to move on. - Loyalty and betrayal: The novella also examines the loyalty and betrayal that occurred during the Great Schism, when the Covenant split into two factions: the separatists who allied with humanity, and the loyalists who followed the Prophets. Rtas and Tem'Bhetek both experienced betrayal from their former allies, and had to find new loyalties among their enemies. Rtas found friendship and respect among the humans and Thel's faction, while Tem'Bhetek found support and guidance from Boru'a'Neem and his Jiralhanae followers. - Honor and duty: The novella also highlights the honor and duty that define the Sangheili culture and history. Rtas and his crew are motivated by their sense of honor and duty to protect their people and their homeworld from any threat. They also respect their enemies who share their values, such as Tem'Bhetek, who was once a noble warrior before he became corrupted by grief. The novella also shows how honor and duty can be twisted by fanaticism and manipulation, as seen in Tem'Bhetek's devotion to the Prophets and their false religion. ## Conclusion Halo: Shadow of Intent is a thrilling novella that expands on the Halo lore and gives us a deeper insight into the Sangheili characters and culture. It tells a compelling story of revenge and forgiveness, loyalty and betrayal, honor and duty, set in the aftermath of the Human-Covenant War. It also showcases the talent and creativity of Joseph Staten, one of the original creators of Halo. If you are a fan of Halo, or if you enjoy sci-fi stories with action, drama, and emotion, you should definitely read this novella. ### What are the main takeaways from the novella? Here are some of the main takeaways from the novella: - The Sangheili are a complex and diverse race that have their own history, culture, politics, and beliefs. They are not just mindless aliens who want to kill humans, but rather honorable warriors who have their own motivations and goals. - The Human-Covenant War had a lasting impact on both sides, leaving behind scars, trauma, grief, and resentment. However, it also opened up new possibilities for cooperation, friendship, and peace among former enemies. - The Forerunners left behind a mysterious and powerful legacy that can be used for good or evil. Their technology can be a source of wonder and discovery, or a weapon of mass destruction. ### What are some questions for further discussion? Here are some questions that you can use to discuss the novella with others: - What did you think of Rtas' decision to spare Tem'Bhetek's life? Do you agree or disagree with him? Why? - How do you think Tem'Bhetek will face justice on Sanghelios? Do you think he will be executed, imprisoned, or exiled? Do you think he will repent or rebel? - How do you think Rtas' relationship with Tul will develop? Do you think they will become mates or remain friends? How will their relationship affect their roles in the Swords of Sanghelios? - How do you think Boru'a'Neem's research on the Forerunner artifact will affect the future of the Halo universe? Do you think he will share his findings with others or keep them secret? Do you think he will use them for good or evil? - What other stories would you like to read about Rtas or other Sangheili characters? What aspects of their culture or history would you like to learn more about?