In the alternate timeline where Zeratul survived the opening stages of the End War, he hunted these artifacts across the battlefields of the conflict, using them against Amon's Forces and to enhance his forces. He stored these fragments in an artifact reserve.
Artifact fragments serve as the central mechanic for Zeratul in Co-op Missions. They give his units a level of weapons, armor and shield upgrades, unlock abilities for his units, and grant another top bar ability.
Artifacts spawn at a set rate, with two or three (depending on Zeratul's level) on the battlefield, though invisible. Zeratul can use prophetic vision to give him the location where the artifact is. When Zeratul is nearby and uses prophetic vision again, the artifact is revealed, and Zeratul can pick it up. After a set number of minutes, a circle will appear on the minimap around the area of the artifact, growing smaller as the game progresses.