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Fanfic / Finishing the Fight

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What's the Armor Class of a MJOLNIR Mk VI, anyway?

Halo: Finishing the Fight is a crossover styled story taking place in an alternate ending to Halo 3, where the remaining members of the Forward Unto Dawn's crew (The Master Chief, Cortana, Commander Keyes, Sergeant Major Johnson, and the Arbiter) escape the destruction of the Halo array with their lives, only to get sucked through a Negative Space Wedgie in the process, and wind up literally crash-landing into the Forgotten Realms universe (sometime between The Icewind Dale Trilogy and the Legacy of the Drow Series).

Before long, the crew meets the natives of Faerun, and find themselves drawn ever deeper into the conflicts of the local world. As tensions mount, and armies are mustered, the Dawn's crew is forced to pick a side and make their stand, while trying to make sense of who brought them to this strange world, and more importantly, why?


Halo: Finishing the Fight is, as the author put it, "the result of what started as a series of postulated "what ifs" among the author and his friends after a night spent consuming too much root beer while playing games, and listening to far too much Immediate Music to possibly be healthy." It has since grown to a 700+ page work of fanfiction involving (the author hopes at least) passable attempts at blending military science fiction with high fantasy, alternating between the two different elements trying to understand one another and Orcs and Dark Elves being shot in the face with 26th century assault weaponry.

The story was completed on 19th of January, 2011, and is available on two major sites. The first is at the Creative Writing Forum of with the full forty-six chapters, while a slightly more polished and proofread version can be found at


Tropes found in this work:

  • A Father to His Men: Jarlaxle greatly values the lives of his soldiers, refuses to sacrifice them pointlessly, and ultimately turns against Lolth out of disgust that half his forces were slaughtered due to her.
  • Aliens Speaking English: Averted, none of the Forgotten Realms characters understand English, or French, German, Chinese, Russian, Spanish, Latin, and Old English for that matter. Cortana manages to decipher it, allowing them to communicate. She later does the same for the Neo-Covenant, and they later act as translators when the UNSC shows up (as obviously no one from Faerun can speak any of the Covenant Languages either (Except Helm)).
  • Anti-Magic: One of the new toys Cortana creates is a grenade that releases this.
  • Armor Is Useless: Played with. UNSC armor is resistant to the Forgotten Realms' weaponry. The medieval armor however, offers no protection from bullets.
  • Arm Cannon:
    • The Golems created by Cortana have a 30mm cannon attached to the left forearm and a flamethrower on the right.
    • Also, the Hunters in canon have these, so the ones in this story have them too.
  • Artistic License – Gun Safety: Averted. The characters all take great care with their weapons. During the Extended Disarming (see below), the Master Chief turns on the safety, ejects the magazine and bullet, and then shows the guards that the gun is empty. The Arbiter even takes the power cell out of his plasma cannon just to be safe.
    • Also when Keyes and Johnson take out the weapons of mass destruction, Johnson comments:
      Johnson: "You will not trigger these things by banging, dropping, or otherwise manhandling them." He closed the second case. "Nevertheless, and I want everyone to hear me very carefully here, you treat this shit as if it were armed, and the slightest jostle could set it off. You treat it, as if the very second you stop respecting it for what it is, that it will kill you."
  • Ascended Extra: Dove Falconhand, a minor character in the Drizzt series who received a lot of attention, and became very important after her sister Alustriel dies. Eilistraee is also promoted from 'footnote' to minor character.
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Didact has learned how to become a god.
  • The Atoner:
    • Helm/Didact
    • Mendicant Bias fits the role, as well.
    • Also, The Arbiter Ascetic and the Covernant Separatists see serving Helm and helping the Humans of Torill as a way of atoning for their near destruction of the UNSC Humans.
    • Technically, the whole JOB of Arbiter is about this, even if the crime he was guilty of was actually handed down by the bad guys, so...
  • Awful Truth: The Neo-Covenant don't take the revelation that the Forerunners and humanity are the same race well, and are infuriated to learn that the Prophets knew it all along.
  • Badass Back: One drow makes the mistake of trying to interfere with Mephasm facing down Errtu and gets thrown into a wall for her trouble.
  • Badass Boast: A few.
  • Batman Gambit: Helm counts on Bane trying to steal Ao's tablets to initiate the Time of Troubles.
    • A large part of the final battle with the Drow depends on Helm being able to successfully taunt Lolth to a sufficient degree that she can't assist her clerics in the battle.
  • Battle in the Rain: '"Yeah, all we need is a torrential downpour and the trope is complete," Cortana said.' Sure enough...
  • Berserk Button: Go ahead, drow, kill one hunter. I dare you. The other one will be killing you extra hard shortly.
  • Better to Die than Be Killed: Mias Tarkimee kills himself rather than let Triel Baenre extract information from his head.
    • Master Chief invokes this to Bruenor when the dwarf tells him he's more afraid of being captured than being killed.
  • BFG: The Rhino main cannon, Spartan Laser, and All the Forerunner weapons.
  • Big Brother Instinct: John seems to be developing one of these towards Neeshka.
    • At the meetup between John and the other Spartans, the other members of John's "Family" seem to have adopted Neeshka as well.
  • Big Good: Helm is the most obvious one, but on the mortal plane Miranda Keyes and Lord Nasher tend to fill this role. Later Lord Hood arrives, and he's the Big Good for the UNSC.
  • Bizarre Alien Biology: It is noted that some of the Drow's allies have biology so different that nerve gas will have no effect on them. Miranda Keyes decides to get around that by simply nuking them.
  • Blade on a Stick: Lolth wields a spear, against Helm's sword.
  • Boring, but Practical: Mephasm's office, which honestly isn't all that different from a modern office. He notes that most would be surprised that it's not some obviously evil hole of pure corruption and doom, but he does need to have a place where he works on his paperwork.
    • Similarly, the reason he's not constantly conspiring against his superiors as so many of his kin do is because he's quite happy with his current position- any higher and the responsibilities and pressure would be too much, any lower and he wouldn't have enough power.
  • Boss in Mook's Clothing: The Balor, Wedonnai the Corruptor. Extremely powerful, it takes the Master Chief quite a bit of effort to defeat. He was also quite clever (something the Chief himself noted) using both armor and a spell to augment his protection.
  • Bring It: After Mendicant Bias offers to let the Foreunner fleet surrender, Admiral Dulianus tells Offensive Bias to give their response: "I think I speak for us all, Sir, when I tell my brother than he and his 'Master' can both go to Oblivion, and rot in the endless void. Come, Mendicant, let us see if you and your master can triumph over us. We will not go quietly to our ends!
  • Broke Your Arm Punching Out Cthulhu: Most of the Chief's initial attacks on Demogorgon really just make him angry. While he does eventually hurt the demon, those wounds heal quickly as well and now he's pissed. Finally killing Demogorgon nearly kills the Chief, and virtually destroys the his suit.
    • Bruenor is the one to kill Matron Baenre, but in the process his face is scarred so badly that he'll never grow a beard again (Beards being rather significant to dwarven culture, to the point that Chief remarks that they'd be willing to give up other parts of their anatomy before they give up their beards).
  • Bullet Time: One of the powers of the Forerunner suits is controlled time dilation. Spartan time and haste spells also create this effect.
  • Call-Back: When Diadact reveals a flashback to the cast of him firing the Halo Rings, he asks Guilty Spark if he would fire them given the choice. Master Chief realizes that Guilty Spark thought he was Diadact when Guilty told him his answer had not changed in 100,000 years.
  • Canon Immigrant: Numerous characters from all over the Forgotten Realms' expanded universe make appearances, not least of whom are Neeshka and Drizzt, who share main character status with Chief and the crew.
    • Diadect, previously only mentioned in computer log entries made nearly one hundred thousand years ago, is a major supporting character here. Note that this was done before the revelations of Halo 4, where he also made an appearance (though in a very different role).
  • Chekhov's Gun: MC gives Bruenor a grenade before the battle for Mithral Hall, so he can commit suicide if he thinks he'll get captured. This proves crucial during the fight with Matron Baerne, where he uses it to great effect.
  • The Chessmaster: Helm, big time.
  • Chest of Medals: At the end, Admiral Hood conducts a ceremony endowing Chief with a medal, and quietly asks if he wants it to be taken care of, "like the other ones". A bit later, Johnson clarifies to Neeshka that somewhere, there's a rather large room filled floor to ceiling with awards, medals and commendations Chief and the Spartans have won, and that if Chief tried to wear all the medals he'd ever earned, it's likely they would double as a particularly shiny and noisy suit of armor.
  • Chunky Salsa Rule: This fic invokes the trope liberally.
  • Clarke's Third Law: Played with. Miranda Keyes is initially assumed to be a powerful sorceress who controls two golems (Master Chief and Johnson in their armor) and a demon (the Arbiter). Other times, the weapons are sometimes confused with wands of some kind, and many technological innovations (the intercom system, self-powered vehicles (like the Mongoose and warthogs)) are also assumed to be magic, but other times the weapons are recognized as descendants of primitive gunpowder weapons.
    • Helm even states that there is a way to combine science and magic, and that it is how he became a god.
    • Then Cortana starts creating her own bags of holding, golems, and magic-infused weapons...
  • *Click* Hello: Inverted. The UNSC and Neo Covenant are pretty jumpy when it comes to people teleporting into or off of their ship. Mephasm and Helm learn this first hand.
    Johnson: "The next person who teleports in here is getting a belly full of uranium."
  • Cliffhanger
    Helm: "I was born more than a hundred thousand years ago, on a planet long since blasted to ash and dust… There, on that day, at that time, I was given the name Arias Didact."
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Done to Neeshka by Errtu and the drow.
    • It's also implied that Miranda Keyes was tortured by Tartarus on Installation 5. That she survived it, and then continued to fight is what truly made the Chief respect her and entrust her with his name.
  • Combat Pragmatist: The MC and co emphasize that this is how you have to fight.
    • Complete with nightmarish videos from the Human-Covenant war to show why they think this way.
  • Commanding Coolness: Miranda Keyes again. Mias Tarkimee is also a Commander.
  • Continuity Nod: When MC is told that a news crew is coming to Toril, Johnson tells him to wear something nice for the cameras, as back in Halo 2.
    • Gazap mentions several battles, including that his son died in the battle of Jericho Seven, which was described from the SPARTAN point of view in The Fall Of Reach. He also brings up the SPARTAN assault on Reach as well as the destruction of the Unyielding Hierophant, which were documented in Halo: First Strike.
    • When the Master Chief describes Hunters to the Faerun inhabitants, he describes his fight with them as described in The Fall of Reach in the fight on Cote de Azure.
    • There are also many references to the games, and to various characters who died over the course of the game.
  • Cruel Mercy: Flashback's reveal that after the Didact abandoned his post in a doomed effort to save his wife (dooming trillions in the process), the Council punished him by having him by the one to fire the Halos. Forcing him to live with with killing the galaxy turns out to be a pretty horrifying punishment.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Chief vs anybody. On the other hand, we are talking about Master Chief.
    • Then we get to a serious aversion when MC runs into Demogorgon, who can take anything thrown at him - including Forward Unto Dawn's MAC - and keeps coming.
    • One of the chapters is actually called "Strategy, well, they just rush," which is one of the lyrics of "The Curbstomp Song."
  • David Versus Goliath: Chief in Didact's Class 20 armour would be the Goliath against lots of other things, but is still out-beasted by Demogorgon.
    • The Forerunner fleet is outnumbered 437 to 1 at the beginning of their final battle.
  • Demoted to Extra: Catti-Brie big time, who receives passing mention at the very beginning and then is completely dropped from the story with little explanation, she's largely replaced by Neeshka. Gandalug Battlehammer, who flat out never appears. And Alustriel, who only appears long enough to get killed.
  • Doesn't Like Guns: Drizzt is this in spades (mainly because such weapons make his Master Swordsman skills utterly obsolete). He does carry and use firearms as the story progresses, but with a distinct lack of enthusiasm. Usually.
    • This actually comes from the fifth Drizzt book, where he lays out many of the same problems regarding the idea of guns becoming widespread. Ironically, said book occurs before this story comes in.
    • Which is ironic, considering the need for repetitive drill, that the arquebus made necessary. His concerns there were valid, and even in Real Life it still took five centuries for firearms to completely replace melee weapons as a main weapon in warfare.
  • Do with Him as You Will: Chief does this to the captured leader of a Luskan raiding party, handing him off to the barbarians whose loved ones the raiders took for slaves.
  • Dual Wielding: The Arbiter does this with plasma swords before Halo Wars made it cool.
    • Also, Drizzt.
    • In fact, dual wielding is quite common among the drow.
  • Dungeon Bypass: It wasn't exactly a dungeon per say, but the UNSC raids Luskan's Hosttower from the top down by blowing off the top third of the tower with one shot from a Rhino's MAC cannon.
  • Easily Forgiven: Averted. The Master Chief tells the Arbiter not to apologize for nearly destroying humanity, but to prove himself by saving what's left of it. At the end, while some of the UNSC may still hold grudges, he tells the Arbiter that he has his forgiveness.
  • Elves vs. Dwarves: A pretty epic example, when Corellon threatens Helm/Didact's children (the Halo crew) Moradin makes it known that he will send EVERY Dwarf at whoever dares try it and tells Corellon to watch his tongue.
    • Otherwise averted in the mortal realm, as other than a little light-hearted ribbing, elves and dwarves alike are seen fighting together against the Drow and the Demogorgon's forces.
  • "Eureka!" Moment: When discussing assaulting Menzoberranzan, Keyes asks how they are supposed to so with such a small force, noting the differences between fighting a defensive battle and an offensive one. She trails off mid-sentence when she realizes it, when launching an offensive battle, there's no reason not to use nerve gas or nukes.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Mephasm may be a devil, but he cares very much for his granddaughter. His rival Errtu and a group of Drow find this out the hard way.
  • Evil Lawyer Joke: When an irritated Ao once again notices how good Helm is at skirting the letter of his decrees while coming dangerously close to violating their spirit, he wonders why he hasn't extended his sphere of influence to more suitable realms... like becoming the god of lawyers.
  • Extended Disarming: Chief, Arbiter, Keyes, and Johnson take a while to fully disarm before meeting Lord Nasher. The table ends up being buried in their weapons, and the assembled guards are rather unsettled by the quantity of weapons. The only thing Johnson keeps is a mini-shovel. Which of course he uses, in the following fight.
    • Throughout all of this, proper gun safety is displayed, as well as showing off how much these weapons are cared for.
  • Feed It a Bomb: Chief throws a plasma grenade at a half ogre's head, only for the creature to open its mouth and accidentally swallow the projectile. A few seconds later, none of the half-ogre exists anymore.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: In the finale, Chief spots Johnson smoking a Sweet Williams Cigar. Since they ran out of those months ago, it tips Chief off that the UNSC has finally found Faerun... and presumably provided Johnson with some of them. He's correct, and moments later he encounters UNSC soldiers and Lord Hood.
    • The biggest hints that Helm is actually a Forerunner come right before his reveal as Didact, with him showing a great amount of familiarity with UNSC and Covenant technology, and the Chief noting that the interior of Helm's sanctum greatly resembles that of the Halos.
  • Fix Fic: Somewhat minor. Keyes and Johnson survived, and Guilty Spark was saner in this story's version of Halo 3's events.
    • The author's dislike for the Drow however is palpable as he subjects them to every kind of overkill imaginable (he admits as much in one OOC post).
  • Foe-Tossing Charge: A squad of Elites do this in one battle, drawing their plasma swords and wading into an entire battalion of enemies.
  • The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: A very mild example, but whenever the Gravemind spoke to the Chief, it left a kind of "Psychic Echo." Those who weren't there can't hear the voice, but certain people are more... sensitive, to say the least, as Neeshka nearly has a fit by exposure to the video.
  • Gambit Roulette: Helm's plan involves a number of events unfolding in just the right ways, and people behaving in certain patterns, much of which he couldn't directly control. Granted, with his powerful foresight he could predict some events (though with varying degrees of certainty) and try to alter his plans accordingly.
  • Gangsta Style: From the 21st chapter: "Nekar, stop holding that pistol sideways, you are not here to show off!"
  • Genre Blind: The UNSC characters meet various elves and dwarves, and not one of them ever thinks of The Lord of the Rings or Santa Claus and his elf helpers.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: The entire fic noticably treats the fluff and lore of both the Halo EU and the Forgotten Realms as canon to the storyline, while ignoring the crunch of the Halo games and DnD 3rd Edition - especially noticable in how Spartans are depicted as far more capable than their ODST allies in combat, rather than roughly equal, with Spartans having a slight edge.
  • Genghis Gambit: Part of Helm's plan involves putting the rest of the Good pantheon into a corner so they'll HAVE to put aside their petty squabbling and unite together against Lolth and Demogorgon
  • God of Evil: Several, but Lolth and Demogorgon are the most prominent.
  • Gods Need Prayer Badly: As a result of the Time of Trials, Ao changes things so that the gods are dependent on the belief of their followers, so as to give them consequences for pulling off schemes.
    • Gruumsh is one of the first to have this demonstrated- the massive orc losses taken when the Drow attempt to retake Mithril Hall cause him to feel week, and enter into a sort of "Power Loss Spiral:" the more orcs die, the less his power is. And the less powerful he is, the less the orcs will believe in him, which leads to him losing power, which leads to less orcs believing in him...
    • Lolth also suffers from this after The nuking of Menzobarranzen. Her race was never very numerous, and with the culture that she herself implemented, weakness is to be despised... and she is very weak...
  • Good Is Not Soft: The UNSC and Neo Covenant may be pretty unambiguously heroic, but they are also utterly ruthless Combat Pragmatists compared to the armies of Faerun. Even some of the Drow are shocked by the ruthlessness of some of their tactics.
    • This is perhaps best shown in their interrogation of Briza. Keyes has the Chief crush her hands prior to the interrogation, "She can't cast spells with her hands if her hands don't work"; and upon getting all information out of her and learning she cannot be redeemed, simply has her executed on the spot.
  • Goomba Stomp: Chief does this to a Tundra Yeti in the fic's first fight scene. Then again, this is pretty easy when one is wearing half a ton of MJOLNIR Mk.6 armor.
  • Good Cop/Bad Cop: Keyes and Drizzt do a fairly spectacular version when interrogating Luskan prisoners, though Bad Cop Psychotic Cop might be a better description. Drizzt has Guen drag a prisoner into another room, makes him scream once before knocking him out, and then plays recordings of the scream, and throws in random bouts of maniacal laughter. Keyes threatens the other prisoners both with him, and with a truth serum that might "melt their brains."
  • Groin Attack: "Pwent retaliated with a spiked gauntlet, smashing the Elf at about eye level. The Master Chief almost winced as he realized both where the Gutbuster had struck his foe, and that his opponent happened to be a male. The Dark Elven warrior screamed in agony as blood went everywhere."
    • "Twinkle punched through the mail, through the padding underneath, and down until it emerged from the Elf's groin."
    • The Chief's epic takedown of a Glabrezu.
      The Spartan's fist connected with the bronze codpiece that it wore, and a resounding 'gong' echoed through the room. The Tiefling's mouth dropped open as the piece of protective equipment crumpled inward and collapsed under the fury of the blow. The Glabrezu stumbled backwards, its eyes crossing slightly. It collapsed to its knees, its lower arms clutching at its wound. Then it howled in agony as its brain finally finished processing what had happened to it. It was a scream, Neeshka noted with a smirk, which was quite a few octaves higher than she believed the wolf demons were capable of. This was followed a by a moment of whimpering, before the Spartan turned his weapon upon the creature.
  • Healing Factor: Demogorgon has a pretty powerful one.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Jarlaxle and Bregan D'Arth, who are offered a chance to join the heroes by Eilistraee when she explains that not only is fighting for Lolth a losing prospect, but that she doesn't even care about them and has tried to undermine them constantly. Being mercenaries though, they still want compensation for their help though. See, Honor Among Thieves.
  • Hero Killer: Gromph Baenre, who manages to kill Revajik, Lady Alustriel, and the Hunter Denos.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Cortana
    • He's Just Hiding!: The reactions to the above. Helped by the fact that the passage in particular doesn't actually say exactly what happened. Chapter 45's last part suggests there might be hope.
    • Also, Denos sacrifices himself to save Lotar,
    • Mias Tarkimee chooses to hold off Triel so that his task force can retreat to safety. When his capture at her hands seems inevitable, he commits suicide by shooting himself in the brain, preventing her from using psychic powers to learn of the group's strengths and weaknesses (and more importantly, their mission inside Menzoberranzen).
      • When he becomes apparent he wont be able to hold her off on his own, Usze joins him.
    • And a villainous example when Gromph chooses to save Triel Baenre instead of himself. He spends his final moments trying to figure out why.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: When Mephasm comes for Neeshka, several drow are thrown into their own torture implements.
  • Honor Among Thieves: Jarlaxle agrees to work for Eilistraee not for huge sums of gold (like the heroes expect), but rather in exchange for the retrieval of his captured soldiers held by Lolth after they were killed in the Battle for Mithral Hall. This of course, shocks everyone, because the concept of loyalty among a large group of Drow would be unexpected.
  • Humans Are Warriors: UNSC tech (which is purely human-designed) is one of the key multiplying factors for the story, and human characters make up roughly half the armies working for the side of good.
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: Accomplished via abusing Bags of Holding for fun and profit.
    • Also, in a more literal meaning, the Master Chief uses a slipspace portal to fire all of his weapons into the inside of the Demogorgon. Literally, an arsenal sent through hyperspace.
  • I Die Free: :Mias Tarkimee tells Triel that they were once similar, the difference now is "I die with no yoke upon my back."
  • I Shall Taunt You: Johnson uses this on the Drow when they assault Mithril Hall, working them to a frenzy. Helm also uses this to great effect on Lolth, causing her attacks to become more crazed, and distracting her from the surface battle. The crowner though, is probably when Mias Tarkimee insults Triel Baenre so that she focuses on him and his men can escape. "Turn and face me, you misbegotten servant of a spider bitch!"
  • Invincible Hero: Swings back and forth. Whenever Chief is facing something that can't possibly hurt him or even penetrate his armor, it's usually balanced out by him trying to fulfill some other objective, like protecting a much squishier character. He does however blaze through golems, demons, and wizards without stopping. It takes the Matriarch of the Dark Elf race to cause him trouble.
    • The UNSC as a whole however play this trope much straighter. Most of their opponents can't touch them (for obvious reasons), and any potentially clever tactics they come up with to turn the tables such as ambushing with summoned demons, or secret tunnels in the attack on the Dwarf city always seem to get undone within minutes.
      • It makes sense that the UNSC's forces don't take many losses, as the five characters that initially travel to Faerun include two SPARTANs (one I and one II), an AI (capable of analyzing thousands of tactics per second), Commander Keyes (who helped lead the UNSC to victory multiple times with her tactical insight, and rarely gets involved in the battles personally), and the Arbiter, a mighty warrior who used to be in command of an unbelievably huge warfleet. Out of all the people who could have been sent, these individuals would stand the best chance of surviving, adapting, and thriving in these new situations.
  • It's Quiet… Too Quiet: A variation. As the Master Chief is sneaking up on the reindeer herd, he senses something is off. As he starts scanning, he notes that the only thing in the trees are birds, which are silent. He then realizes that birds shouldn't be silent, and muses something is definitely amiss.
    • When Johnson is leading his task force into Menzoberranzan, he's concerned that he hasn't encountered any resistance. He actually feels better once they do engage the enemy.
  • Killed By The Adaptation: Alustriel, killed by Gromph during the Drow Assault on Mithril Hall. Also, Bane during the Time of Troubles. Gromph dies when Menzoberranzan is obliterated by the nukes.
  • Large Ham: The Arbiter is as over the top as ever, as are the rest of the Elites. Johnson however has toned it down (except when he's Mr. Exposition, which admittedly calls for hamminess).
  • The Law of Diminishing Defensive Effort: Averted, as while little the Drow have can seriously dent MC's shields or those of the Sangheili, he isn't standing around letting them have free hits either.
  • Mad God: Lolth, natch.
  • Magic from Technology: Literally. Cortana is having a field day devising new uses for Faerun's local magical artifacts (the above-mentioned Bags of Holding, for instance), and the author has indicated that her ungodly INT and WIS scores (the only real requirements to use magic in D&D) could make her one of the most powerful spellcasters in the entire setting.
    • A running bet on Spacebattles had it that by the end of the fic, or the sequel, she'd become a new goddess of technology and firepower. She almost made it.
  • Mission Control: Miranda Keyes fills this role in most of the battles.
  • Mistaken Identity: When Neeshka first sees the Chief without his armor, she thinks he's a vampire, as he hasn't had sunlight on his skin in years and he also has an intense stare.
  • Mook Horror Show: The perception of the Spartans as seen through Covenant eyes, as well as the newcomers as seen through the Drow and their allies.
  • More Dakka: Happens here and there.
  • Mr. Exposition: Usually Cortana or Johnson explaining to the natives how modern weapons work. Often doubles as Shown Their Work as Aratech has clearly made the effort to research the weapons he describes.
    • Justified, seeing as how the most advanced projectile weapons that have been developed in Faerun are blackpowder weapons, and their technology is somewhere in the neighborhood of pre-industrial, while the UNSC are at the stage of development where faster-than-light travel is common, and the Covenant are even more advanced in many areas. Them having to explain things about their home and their toys isn't unexpected.
      • Somewhat played straight with Johnson, who at one point is assigned to talk about the Rhino tank because "He has a way with words."
  • Mundane Luxury: The Chief's idea of "a little luxury R&R" is five hours of sleep, a hot meal, "and maybe even a shower".
  • My Species Doth Protest Too Much: Drizzt, as usual.
    • Jarlaxle and his company as well, by the end.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Johnson making a joke about Miranda NOT trying to attack Truth on foot, which was what led to her death in canon.
    • And, seeing how it's based on Halo, a Bungie property, there are multiple references to the number seven.
      • Johnson plays the Mjolnir Mix version of the Halo Theme over his speakers to ease pre-fight tension.
      • Given his... well, alien appearance, the Arbiter is constantly mistaken for some form of demon... which the Chief finds funny, given that it wasn't all that long ago that the Arbiter was calling him that.
  • Noble Demon. Jarlaxle and Mephasm (although Mephasm is actually a Devil).
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Demogorgon gives a particularly vicious one to the Chief. But since he's the Chief, he manages to win anyway.
  • Normal Fish in a Tiny Pond: Played with. While the Halo characters tend to be fairly unusual, even in their own universe (Johnson, A SPARTAN-I and ODST, the Master Chief, a SPARTAN-II, and Orna Fulsam'ee, an Arbiter/Acstetic), the "normal" level technology of the UNSC is a massive force multiplier for those fighting the Drow.
  • No-Sell: One of Demogorgon's Death Knights easily stops a spell that supposedly can damage even the strongest demi-liches. Also, the full power of the deities can shrug off spells that would shred their avatars.
  • Not So Different: The Arbiter Ascetic notes how the drow are similar to what the Covenant used to be.
    • Miranda Keyes has to choose between forcibly abducting an entire generation of Drow children from Menzobarranzan, or the potential loss of the entire Dark Elf race by nuclear fire. This situation is uncannily similar to the one her mother (Dr. Halsey) found herself in trying to justify the SPARTAN-II project.
  • Not So Stoic: See the second Tear Jerker entry below.
    • Master Chief of all people cracks a smirk at one point as the Arbiter, who's nothing less than irritated, is mistaken for a demon again by the locals.
    • In the beginning, he's utterly dumbfounded when he sees first a reindeer and then a human on an alien world. His jaw actually drops over it.
  • Nuke 'em: Miranda Keyes decides the end things with the Drow and their allies once and for all by simply detonating a nuke in their fortress.
  • Oh, Crap!: Mendicant, when the halos go off and disable his ships by killing their entire crews.
    Offensive Bias My turn, Brother.
    • Vendes Banrae and her retinue, who have just been torturing Neeshka, get this when Mephasm shows up. He takes one look at his granddaughter, bloodied and tortured, and everyone knows exactly how pissed he is.
  • Out of the Inferno: Done to great effect by the Chief, walking out of the after effects of a blast orb with his shields crackling visibly.
  • Outside-Context Problem: Chief and co. are Outside Context Heroes.
    • Similarly, magic tends to be an Outside Context thing for the Haloverse characters fairly early on.
  • Papa Wolf: Mephasm to Neeshka. So very much.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: The Chief/Cortana in Didact's Class 20 power-armor. Full stop. They even mention that he could probably take down an entire Covenant fleet single-handedly with it. Unfortunately, they're fighting the Demogorgon.
  • The Peter Principle: Briefly mused on. After Miranda Keyes is promoted to Rear Admiral, she notes that while she's a proven excellent commander of a single ship and even a capable ground battle commander, commanding a fleet is something else entirely and she isn't sure she can do it.
  • The Plan: Helm/Didact is very good at this.
  • Pragmatic Hero: The Halo cast are all several steps closer to the cynical side of the Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism than the Forgotten Realms characters and it shows. However, the Forgotten Realms characters mostly come around to the pragmatic point of view. By the final battle, the only objection to genecide of the drow is the Gods insistence that they save some of the children, so that the drow race will live on even if the drow culture doesn't. In fact, most characters see the death of drow culture as a good thing.
  • Precision F-Strike: In chapter 33 Matron Baenre teleports away just as the Chief initiates the decapitation strike. His reaction? "Shit!"
    • In the epilogue, the Chief corrects the assumption that there were hundreds of Spartans by clarifying there were actually 33. After a stunned silence, all an ODST can say is "No fucking way."
  • Rank Up: The Arbiter is promoted to Acstetic, which is more symbolic than anything else; the only real difference is that "Arbiter" is supposed to be a martyr. At the end Admiral Hood promotes Keyes to Rear Admiral, in recognition of her work, and because her new assignment requires a higher rank.
  • Redemption Quest: Invoked. The Master Chief tells the Arbiter that if he truly wants to atone for his role in the genocide of humanity, to help save whatever is left of humanity. Later when the Arbiter tells the Covenant Separatists that humanity are the descendants of the Forerunners (which the Prophets knew), he also tells them to redeem themselves by fighting for the humans here.
  • Ret-Gone: A spell used by one of Demogorgon's Death Knights does this, so thoroughly killing a pair of elves that Corellon cannot remember them.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: What the surviving member of a Hunter pair goes into after their Bond-Brother is killed. Dwarves also do this.
  • Rock Beats Laser: Averted in pretty much every battle.
    • Also rather amusingly inverted on one occasion, where Briza Do'urden is barely halfway through gloating about her newly summoned Earth Elemental before it gets annihilated by a Spartan Laser.
  • Rousing Speech: Johnson broadcasts one to pretty much all of the allied forces as they're gearing up for the final battle.
  • Rules Lawyer: Helm naturally, who must restrain his actions within Ao's decrees. Ao finds it mildly annoying how close Helm skirts the limits, remarking that he should seek to extend his domain to becoming the God of Lawyers.
  • Running Gag: The locals keep mistaking the Arbiter for a demon. Same goes for the Covenant Separatists.
    Johnson: The irony here is thick enough to cut with my combat knife.
  • Science vs. Magic: Played with... somewhat. while the technology of the UNSC does carry a lot of the plot, the heroes tend to use a blend of science and magic, particularly in the later chapters. For example, Chief uses a bag of holding for his weapons while he is under a haste spell. However, it is stated by Helm that he deliberately cut off the Halo-Earth from magic so that they wouldn't take "the Easy way" and force them to learn science and technology. Though he does state that one of his goals is to teach humanity how to become supremely powerful by combining science and magic...
  • Screw You, Elves!: Corellon states arrogantly that he doesn't believe that the Flood would pose his people a threat, so Helm gives him memories of the Flood, and points out that forests aren't really a great defense against a highly infectious, FTL-capable parasite.
    • In a slightly earlier scene, the Dwarven pantheon and Helm call out the Elves (and the rest of the gods) for, despite knowing that bad times were coming, not coming to the aid of the dwarves in retaking their hall from the drow.
    • For the most part, the light-alligned elves are barely mentioned, and are seen working together with the humans and their allies. Their Dark counterparts? Not so much. They are subjected to massive curbstomps, while their way of life is shown to be cruel, barbaric, and self-destructive, which is even lampshaded by Lolth herself after she faces Helm.
  • Sequel Hook: The UNSC will be establishing a colony on Faerun's moon. Helm is going to deal with the remnants of the Covenant Loyalists. Triel Baenre is still out there.
    • In addition to all of this, the Tribes of the Plains are starting to see social upheaval, and Lady Alicia is now working to teach magic to the UNSC. There's also a group of Drow Children who will grow up outside the influence of the main drow community.
  • Ship Tease: If you squint, you can see traces of Chief/Neeshka sometimes.
    • From Neeshka maybe, but having known nothing but war for his entire life Chief is very much a Chaste Hero.
      • Not to mention the fact that the Chief ultimately sees her as a sister (much like his fellow Spartans)
      • Also, Chief and other Spartans had implants that lessened their ability to feel sexual arousal, so there's that...
    • Although there is Cortana to remember...
    • There are also small, but noticeable teases between Drizzt and Dove.
  • Shoulder Cannon: The Golems created by Cortana have a Gauss Cannon mounted on their left shoulders.
    • Class 20 armor also has this.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: A rather literal example:
    Gravemind: There will be no more hate! No more envy! No more strife! No more fear! No more prejudice! No more—
    Didact: Shut! Up! (fires the Halo rings)
  • Smoking Is Cool: Played with. Johnson still enjoys Sweet William Cigars, but Miranda Keyes mentions that he's "burned through several sets of lungs" with his smoking. When he offers her one, she comments she'd rather not burn through her lungs as well.
    • Somewhat averted for most of the story- due to the fact that there are no ways to get back to Earth or one of her colonies, Johnson has to go without his trademark cigar right up until the epilogue.
  • Spanner in the Works: The UNSC are this to the Dark Elves' Evil Plan to conquer the realm. Just as Planned as far as Helm/ Didact is concerned...
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Johnson and Miranda in the Halo verse; Wulfgar and Dinin in the Drizzt verse. See Take That! for more details.
  • Storming the Castle: The Drow attempt this at the battle of Mithril Hall, though they have the numbers to do it. Pity the defenders were using much better weapons.
    • A straight, but well thought out and justified, version occurs at the end when Sword team storms the Drow fortress. It's justified in that it is a very large strike force, is backed by the tanks and Hunters, and Miranda can give them artillery support. Also, this is just a diversion.
  • Sword and Gun: The Arbiter Ascetic uses both a SMG, later a needler, and a plasma sword to fight a Balor.
  • Take That!: One thrown at the source material. Johnson and Keyes reminiscence about her rescuing him from the Prophet of Truth, and both share a laugh about how Keyes was sensible enough not to make the very mistake that got her killed in the actual game.
  • Tank Goodness: The Scorpion, and the new Rhino. The New-Covenant are apparently terrified of the Rhino, having heard about its capabilities..
  • Teleport Spam: Used by the Forerunners, Helm and Lolth. Demogorgon and Chief do quite a bit of this in their fight as well..
  • Tempting Fate: In chapter 8, Briza mentions to Drizzt as they fight that her Earth Elemental is tearing through his friends and that nothing they have can stop it. Cue the Master Chief and a Spartan Laser...
    Drizzt: Yes, Sister, you were saying?
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Tanks, gunships, white phosphorus, and a whole army of Covenant separatists. Later on, they are talking about using nerve gas.
    • Scratch that, it's now been used against the Drow. Bring on the squick.
    • Hell, the only reason they haven't nuked Menzobarrenzan yet is because they need to get Neeshka and some Drow children out. Of course, once that was done, then they nuked it. Collapsed the whole cavern in on itself, made a massive depression in the landscape, and the pressure wave incinerated almost anything living in the tunnels for miles in all directions.
    • Master Chief finishes off kills destroys annihilates Demongorgon by opening a one-way Slipspace portal inside of his body, then firing everything he has left into it. The interaction of the portal and the firepower exposes Demongorgon to energies that are in the same league as the Big Bang itself.
    • In a more literal case, the "Antioch Grenade" homes in on, and attaches itself to a target (usually aiming for the face on Humanoid targets), unleashes a disintegrate spell point-blank, then explodes with enough force to level a small house.
  • Time Marches On: Unfortunately for this otherwise well-written story, the Halo Canon has moved on slightly. The Arbiter's name is revealed not to be Orna Fulsamee, but Thel 'Vadamee in the novel Halo: The Cole Protocol. The history of the Forerunners is revealed in The Forerunner Saga, where the Forerunners are revealed to be a separate species from humanity, invalidating pretty much all of Diadect/Helm's awesome backstory. Also, SPARTAN-III's were known by military higher-ups by the Fall of Reach, as all members of NOBLE Team but Jorge, a Spartan-II, were SPARTAN-III's. And guess what? Didact was actually the bad guy of Halo 4, and had almost exactly the opposite opinion of his Helm incarnation here, and believes that humanity needs to be wiped out!
    • The last part is actually still technically canon - there are two diacts, one who was for humanity and one who wanted to wipe them out.
  • Undying Loyalty: Jarlaxle's mercenary company all have a great degree of loyalty to each other. And in a culture that encourages treachery, that's really saying something.
  • Villain's Dying Grace: Gromph decides in the final moments before Menzoberranzan's destruction to save Triel rather than himself with his last bit of teleportation magic. Neither of them can figure out why he did it.
  • Villain Teleportation: Some of the enemies use teleportation to get into the defences of Mithril Hall. Including an attempted decapitation strike at Lord Nasher and the command group.
  • War Is Hell: The description of the carnage on Azure Twelve is horrifying, both in- and out-of-story.
    • And the same occurs when UNSC/Covenant-style warfare is applied to Faerun. The second battle of Mithril Hall is easily the bloodiest battle is Faerun's history, with millions slaughtered in a matter of hours.
  • We Have Reserves/Zerg Rush: The drow employ this in their assault on Mithril Hall, and how! Casualties mount in the millions before long. Later, the demons use this too.
  • Wham Line:
    Helm: "I was born more than a hundred thousand years ago, on a planet long since blasted to ash and dust… There, on that day, at that time, I was given the name Arias Didact."
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Averted with Lady Alicia who after the group meets Master Chief and sees their 'spelljammer' disappears only to show up in the epilogue apparently having been captured during the battle at Luskan
    • Her actual capture is shown too, at the end of the Luskan battle. She's also shown being interrogated by Miranda and Drizzt.
    • She's offered a job teaching the UNSC about magic.
    • The dark elf children, however, disappear after the scene where they ask Keyes what will happen to them. Who she will convince to adopt emotionally-abused children from a near-universally-despised race whom will take at least sixty years to mature is not addressed.
  • When All You Have Is a Hammer...: "One of the first lessons that Lek'golo were taught in combat came to mind: nothing is indestructible if you apply enough force."
    • On a similar note, whenever the UNSC and their allies encounter an enemy that creates a magical barrier that can stop attacks, they simply continue to shoot the barrier until it collapses. This does make sense, as that's how they take down Covenant shields, so they're consistent, at least.
  • Where Did They Get Those Weapons Of Horrific Destruction?: Many of the weapons that are so horrific to the Faerun inhabitants come from standard UNSC stocks aboard the Forward Unto Dawn. Cortana also makes a few weapons using onboard fabrication equipment, and when one of the Sangheli asks why they didn't use the Rhino Tank, which could have turned the tide of the Battle of the Ark, it is rationalized away by it being too tempting a target for the enemy ships in orbit.
    • A number of them even ask what kind of a world would need weapons like this. The Master Chief and Johnson respond by showing videos showing just how horrific the war against the Covenant and the Flood were.
    • Turns out that this was more or less Helm's entire plan- without magic to just say "Oh, I can do this with magic," he weaned the people of Earth off of their magic until there was next to none left. This forced them to rely more and more heavily on science and technology, whereas Faerun and other realms have relied solely on magic, which has caused a tiny bit of stagnation (by which he means "As soon as a society with magic gets ready to enter the industrial age, they stop advancing and resort more and more to magic.")
  • Whole Episode Flashback: Several chapters were dedicated to Helm/Diadact's flashback to the Forerunner/Flood war, writing in whole events which were only alluded to or briefly explained in the Halo games (before the Forerunner Saga books came out and made his fanon obsolete (Yet still unbelievably cool)).
  • Why Won't You Die?: Lolth asks this of Helm/Didact when they fight.
  • The Worf Barrage: During the Chief's fight with Demongorgon, the Chief narrates the what his weapons system could destroy (including a Covenant Super Carrier). That Demongorgon just keeps coming makes it clear how terrifying powerful he is.
  • You Are in Command Now: Extreme case, in flashbacks to the Forerunner/Flood war, after the Halos fire Offensive Bias asks the Didact what should be done with Mendicant Bias.
    Didact: Why ask permission of me?
    Offensive: Because, Reclaimer, you are the last ranking member of the military alive.

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