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The Battle of Char was fought during the Second Great War, between a joint Terran Dominion and Raynor's Raiders force against the Zerg Swarm. It was instigated by Prince Valerian Mengsk but executed by Commander Jim Raynor. The terrans struck at the primary hive and used a xel'naga device to deinfest Sarah Kerrigan.

Background

Imperial Aspirations

Prince Valerian developed an interest in xel'naga archaeology prior to the war. Emperor Arcturus Mengsk was aware of this and Valerian sought to keep his involvement in certain avenues of investigation secret from the public and from his father.[1] To this end, the prince privately sponsored the [[Template:Moebius Foundation]]. The Foundation went about acquiring components to a xel'naga device[2] that the prince believed could deinfest Kerrigan. He believed such a feat would prove his worthiness to be the next leader of the Terran Dominion.[note 1][3] Valerian did not tell his father of his objectives.[4]

Raynor's Cooperation

The scheme ran into difficulties on the eve of war. The Dominion was attempting to acquire alien artifacts for itself. Valerian was not to be stopped, and he turned to illegal means. Through recently freed Tychus Findlay, the Foundation recruited anti-Dominion rebel Jim Raynor and Raynor's Raiders to continue acquiring the xel'naga components. The Raiders were unaware of the Foundation's true master, and accepted for they desperately needed the income.[5] The war broke out as the Raiders acquired the first component and from then on it was a race to retrieve the rest before Infested Kerrigan did.[6] The prince continued to support the Raiders even after an official Dominion edict banning the private possession of alien artifacts.[7]

Valerian's faith in the Raider's abilities was rewarded as the rebels delivered the components they were sent to find. However, the prince had more uses for the Raiders. The prince revealed his involvement with the Foundation[2] and his plan to deinfest Kerrigan to Raynor, and then boldly proposed the Raiders help to carry it out. Raynor agreed, Valerian having correctly wagered on the rebel's personal interest in saving Kerrigan.[note 2][8][9] The Raiders were initially despondent at helping their mortal enemy, but were quickly persuaded by the logic that the zerg as well as the Dominion were a danger to terran freedom.[10]

Final Preparations

"Father, I am about to accomplish that which you never could. Today I will defeat the Queen of Blades and secure peace throughout the Dominion. By this act the people will finally know that I am a worthy successor to you."

- Prince Valerian Mengsk informs Emperor Arcturus Mengsk of his intentions(src)

Council SC2 CineDangerGames1

Discussing the invasion

Council SC2 CineDangerGames2

Valerian confronting his father

Having lost the race to the components, the Queen of Blades returned to Char.[11] The assembled device's range was limited and required it to be brought almost right up to the proverbial front door of the primary hive.[12] The prince requisitioned half the Dominion Fleet, including the flagship Bucephalus and the services of General Horace Warfield; this was done without informing the emperor. Warfield confidently planned a frontal assault on the defenses; the general's opinion of the Raiders was low and refused to consider Raynor's advice that the plan was ill-conceived.[4]

Valerian formally informed his father of the offensive and of his aspirations only after the fleet arrived at Char. The emperor was impressed by his son's ambition, but was uncertain Valerian had the experience to carry it out. Arcturus was also unpleasantly surprised by the alliance with Raynor. Nonetheless, the offensive was allowed to continue.[4]

Return to Char

First Attack

Main article: Gates of Hell
BattleChar SC2 CineDangerGames1

The zerg spoiler attack.

Infested Kerrigan did not wait for the terrans to strike. Zerg attack waves launched a preemptive strike on the orbiting fleet even as terran commanders were in conference. The battlecruisers were engaged at close range by mutalisks,[4] and by the powerful surface-to-orbit batteries. The fleet responded by bombarding the surface with weapons of mass destruction.[13]

Terran troops and equipment struggled to make land fall even as near-Char space was being contested. As Raynor had warned, the zerg were better prepared than planned. Most battlegroups were destroyed in mid-drop or quickly overrun after landing. Those that survived the gauntlet were badly scattered.[13] Some units were forced underground into the more defensible tunnels.[14] The situation was exacerbated by a breakdown in communications. Ground units had difficulty reaching higher command, and Warfield was temporarily unavailable after transferring to the battlecruiser Helios and coming under attack himself. Despite heavy casualties, little progress was made toward establishing a secure landing zone. Isolated units fought on as their intended support literally crashed around them.[13] The zerg took numerous prisoners and took them underground for infestation.[14]

Marine SC2-WoL CineCardPlay1

Dominion marines engaged.

Raynor and his Raiders landed relatively intact and established a base in the landing zone, despite of the disaster unfolding around them. The rebel commander quickly took in the chaotic situation and began impressing troops and equipment landing nearby. Raynor's initiative paid off. A terran force, sufficient to secure a perimeter, slowly snowballed around the Raiders, and a nominal foothold was established. It happened not a moment too soon. The battlecruiser Helios, with Warfield aboard, was disabled and crashed near the Raiders. The survivors dug in[13] and were rescued by the Raiders as the zerg began overrunning their position. A surrounded Warfield was rescued personally by Raynor and Tychus Findlay.[15]

The general was impressed by the Raiders and his previous animosity quickly faded. Warfield was wounded and willingly handed over command to Raynor.[note 3][16]

Push to the Hive

WarfieldForwardBase SC2-WoL Story1

Warfield Forward Base

The foothold was renamed Warfield Forward Base. Warfield met with Raynor there at 16:58 to discuss strategy.[note 4][16] Zerg strength was too great for a direct push on the primary hive cluster,[note 5][8] and the Queen of Blades was recalling zerg forces back to Char from worlds conquered earlier in the war.[17] The terrans understood the window of opportunity was rapidly dwindling, and there was time for only one secondary attack to weaken the defenses and clear the way for the main assault. Tychus Findlay believed attempting to advance while the rear was threatened by the nydus network was futile. Taking a contrary view, Warfield was convinced securing air superiority was paramount.[14][18]

Plot branch : Raynor's Raiders destroy the nydus network.
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A fissure into a key point after an explosion

Main article: Belly of the Beast

Raynor was unwilling to proceed with the nydus network intact. Flooding the area's subterranean tunnels with lava would disable the network. The rebel declined Warfield's offer of elite troops. Raynor had previous experience in the tunnels and believed a much smaller group stood a better chance of success; he would bring only Tychus Findlay, Egon Stetmann, and Rory Swann to plant the seismic charges. Warfield was not prepared to send the Raiders in without any reinforcement. He promised to relay the positions of any Dominion troops who had taken shelter in the tunnels.[14]

Once underground, the Raiders discovered the infested terran nests and encountered a very large queen, after numerous other obstacles. The squad escaped as the last charge detonated and the tunnels filled with lava.[14]

Plot branch ends here
GeneratorPlatform SC2 Game2

A generator and coolant tower after an explosion

Plot branch : The zerg's air support is destroyed
Main article: Shatter the Sky

Raynor' concurred with Warfield. 80% of zerg air support was based on a collection of orbital platforms tethered together. The nests were buried too deep for nuclear weapons. Destroying the coolant tower on each platform's would cause the power systems to meltdown, wrecking the platforms and the nests. The defenses were bolstered by a leviathan, but were unable to prevent the Raiders from wrecking the platforms. The attack neutralized the mutalisks and brood lords.[18]

Plot branch ends here

Assault on the Main Hive

Main article: All In
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The secret weapon

"That thing may be the key to stopping the Queen of Blades - but it's our sweat and blood that'll make it happen. After everything we've been through, past all the fire and fury...the one thing I know - is that we can count on each other to get the job done. Or die trying, if that's what it takes. ... because some things are just worth fighting for."

- Jim Raynor before the final assault(src)

The way was clear for the terrans to make a push on the main hive. Warfield delivered a fully assembled xel'naga artifact to Raynor. After an inspiring speech to the exhausted terran soldiers, the final attack was readied. The assembled device was moved to the base of the hive and the remaining troops drawn into a perimeter around it. The zerg pressed in, and the Queen of Blades personally sallied forth against the besieged. Though she was impressed by the device's "energy nova", this was the opportunity to acquire the device and repel the invasion at once. The terrans held the line until the device was fully charged; the resulting energy wave obliterated the zerg from the area.[12]

Raynor and Findlay led a squad into the hive itself. They found a de-infested Sarah Kerrigan inside. Findlay attempted to kill Kerrigan, to win freedom from Emperor Mengsk, but was stopped and killed by Raynor.[19]

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The battle rages on in orbit.

The terran fleet continued to be engaged even as Kerrigan was retrieved by Raynor.[19]

Notes

  1. Conversation with Valerian Mengsk after StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty mission, "Supernova".
  2. Conversations with Tychus Findlay and Matt Horner after StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty mission, "Supernova".
  3. Conversation with Horace Warfield after StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty mission, "Gates of Hell".
  4. Conversation with Horace Warfield after StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty mission, "Gates of Hell".
  5. Conversations with Tychus Findlay after StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty mission, "Gates of Hell".

References

  1. Golden, Christie (June 30, 2009). StarCraft: The Dark Templar Saga #3: Twilight. Simon & Schuster (Pocket Star). ISBN 978-0-7434-7129-9.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty. (Activision Blizzard). PC. Cinematic: Heir Apparent. (in English). 2010.
  3. Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty. (Activision Blizzard). PC. Valerian Mengsk (in English). 2010.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty. (Activision Blizzard). PC. Cinematic: Dangerous Game. (in English). 2010.
  5. Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty. (Activision Blizzard). PC. Mission: Wings of Liberty, The Outlaws (in English). 2010-07-27.
  6. Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty. (Activision Blizzard). PC. Mission: Wings of Liberty, Zero Hour (in English). 2010-07-27.
  7. Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty. (Activision Blizzard). PC. UNN newscast after "The Outlaws." (in English). 2010.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty. (Activision Blizzard). PC. Tychus Findlay (in English). 2010.
  9. Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty. (Activision Blizzard). PC. Matt Horner (in English). 2010.
  10. Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty. (Activision Blizzard). PC. Cinematic: Bar Fight. (in English). 2010.
  11. Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty. (Activision Blizzard). PC. UNN newscast after "Supernova." (in English). 2010.
  12. 12.0 12.1 Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty. (Activision Blizzard). PC. Mission: Wings of Liberty, All In (in English). 2010-07-27.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty. (Activision Blizzard). PC. Mission: Wings of Liberty, Gates of Hell (in English). 2010-07-27.
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 14.4 Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty. (Activision Blizzard). PC. Mission: Wings of Liberty, Belly of the Beast (in English). 2010-07-27.
  15. Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty. (Activision Blizzard). PC. Cinematic: Card To Play. (in English). 2010.
  16. 16.0 16.1 Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty. (Activision Blizzard). PC. Horace Warfield (in English). 2010.
  17. Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty. (Activision Blizzard). PC. UNN newscast after "Gates of Hell." (in English). 2010.
  18. 18.0 18.1 Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty. (Activision Blizzard). PC. Mission: Wings of Liberty, Shatter the Sky (in English). 2010-07-27.
  19. 19.0 19.1 Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty. (Activision Blizzard). PC. Cinematic: The Showdown. (in English). 2010.
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