|Heroes and Halflings|
Action, Adventure, Suspense, Romance
Lightning Strikes Twice
Heroes and Halflings is an epic written by Inferna Firesword, and was both her first epic and the beginning of her Heroes and Halflings series. It details the adventures of Vakama, Onewa, and Nuju when they join forces with Toa Rohaya Stara and Kronus to save their brothers from the Brotherhood, based on the island of Rohaya.
The story begins with the Massacre of Rohaya, conducted by the halflings Fyre, Kiria, and Tayra and their troops as they kill eighteen of the twenty Toa based there. The remaining two, Stara and Kronus, seek the aid of the revitalized Toa Metru, who agree to help them because their brothers and sister, Matau, Whenua, and Nokama, are both prisoners and progenitors of the halflings. Not long after they reach Rohaya, Nuju overhears that Kronus and Stara hide a secret: The Toa of Lightning had been exiled from her home, and Kronus had been sheltering her: a crime against the universal law.
Requiring a broken key to enter the fortress the captives are held in, the group of five travel to three different locations to fight the halflings and take the key fragments from them. They battle Kiria in Octopi Grotto, Tayra in Razor's Edge (which is ajacent to the Krycai Volcano), and Fyre above the Dragon's Watchtower. Throughout this, Nuju and Stara form a connection despite his own knowledge of her status, and he eventually realizes his own feelings for her, though he is conflicted about them. After returning from the Dragon's Watchtower, Kronus and Stara disagree on how to defeat the halflings, and Kronus unwittingly unmasks Stara an exile. Betrayed, she flees into the forest, and after a discussion, Nuju goes to find her. When they come mask-to-mask, Stara confides her dark past to him, and he convinces her to return to the caves, and to help her try and find out the truth of her exile once their task on Rohaya is complete. Using Kanohi Iden, they infiltrate the fortress and possess Exo-Toa to weaken the prisoner rack the Toa Metru are imprisoned in. When they return, Nuju is gripped by a nightmare (sent by Tayra) that foretells that Stara may die in the forthcoming battle. When they enter, the five Toa battle all three halflings to a stalemate. When Kiria comes close to slaying Stara, Kronus uses himself to shield her, and all five fall unconscious just as Matau, Nokama, and Whenua -- now fully revived -- break in and kill their halflings. Over the course of three days, the warriors revive, Nuju and Vakama being the last, but they awaken in time to witness the death of Kronus, who reconciles with Stara before he dies. After Kronus' death and the burial of him and his teammates, the Matoran Stiaye, arrives on Rohaya, and informs Stara that she is no longer an exile; that she had been cleared of all charges two years before because of the confession of Sekmet before her removal. The Lightning Toa decides to return to her homeland with the Matoran, and preparations are made to leave. The night before they leave, Nuju and Stara meet up on the parapets of the fortress, and they reveal their affections for each other in a kiss. Three weeks after they leave Rohaya, Stara and Stiaye return to the Amari Islands, their homeland and where their village of Xi-Koro is built. Stara uses her powers to signal her people of their return, and records it in the Memory Crystal Nuju had given her before she left Metru Nui.
- Toa Metru
- Turaga Dume
- Toa Mahri
- Toa Nuva (mentioned only)
- Toa Fortress
- Octopi Grotto
- Razor's Edge
- Krycai Volcano
- Mountains of Teeth
- Dragon's Watchtower
Near the end of Heroes and Halflings' sequel, Lightning Strikes Twice, Inferna began mentioning her dissatisfaction with some aspects of the story, saying that she was planning to rewrite the story and repost it. On March 19, 2010, her promise was kept with the revised version being released.
- According to Inferna, the story was inspired by Pokemon: Mystery Dungeon and Scott Westerfeld's series Midnighters
- The epic's title was inspired by the popular game Dungons and Dragons (Inferna herself does not play)