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"The Zerg Swarm came, as was foretold. And the protoss, firstborn of the gods, rose to fight them."

- Zeratul reflecting on the Great War(src)

The Great War, [1][2][3] also known as the First Contact War[4] and the First War[5] was a destructive conflict fought between the protoss and zerg, ancient enemies both created by a progenitor race, the xel'naga, with several factions of terrans being caught in between.



Main page: Protoss history

The protoss

Millennia ago on Aiur, the protoss, a race of powerful humanoids united by a psychic link, were uplifted by Amon, a renegade xel'naga who sought to create the perfect lifeform in order to end the xel'naga's Infinite Cycle. Amon and his faction of like-minded xel'naga considered the protoss to have purity of form, and eventually revealed themselves to the protoss. At first, the protoss worshiped the xel'naga as gods. However, the protoss started to lose their psychic link due to the rise of individual egos, and when the xel'naga abandoned them, the protoss fought a long civil war called the Aeon of Strife.

At the end of the war they regained the use of their link, which they called the Khala, and built a religion and philosophy around it. They believed straying from the link could provoke another civil war. However, a rogue group of protoss known as the Dark Templar refused to join, and were eventually expelled by the protoss leadership, the Conclave.

In 2259[6] the terran colonists arrived in the Koprulu Sector, in the shadow of protoss space. Under the dictates of the Dae'Uhl, the protoss philosophy concerning other species, the protoss secretly watched them from afar.

The protoss, constantly on the lookout for xenomorphic threats, intervened in terran affairs when the Koprulu Expeditionary Force under the command of executor Tassadar discovered zerg probes near terran worlds.[7]


Main page: Zerg history

The zerg

The zerg were a species of parasitic worms which evolved on the ash world of Zerus near the galactic center. Amon and his xel'naga discovered them and, considering them to have purity of essence, pushed their evolution. In order to keep the zerg from losing their purity, as the protoss had, Amon created the Overmind, a physical embodiment of their collected sentience.[7] Amon also instilled a "directive" into the Overmind, which would force it to destroy and assimilate the protoss and remold creation in his image.[8][9]

The zerg had the ability to absorb genetic material (also known as "essence") from other species, consuming what they wished and destroying any species deemed unworthy of assimilation. Soon they had taken over the planet, and after absorbing a space-faring species, became capable of space flight. At this point, the xel'naga from Ulnar, who opposed Amon's plans, arrived at Zerus and waged a war against Amon and his followers. Amon unleashed the Swarm upon his enemies. The xel'naga fell, and the Overmind absorbed most of them into itself, learning many of their secrets. Although Amon himself was felled and banished to the void during this conflict, the Overmind could not override its directive to destroy and assimilate the protoss. The Overmind and the Swarm subsequently departed Zerus and began seeking out the protoss.

While the Swarm absorbed numerous species during its journey, the Overmind feared it would be unable to contend with the protoss' psychic abilities.[7] The Overmind also knew that if it did succeed in assimilating the protoss, the resulting hybrid would enslave and eventually exterminate the zerg, as Amon intended.[9] In order to both combat the protoss and save the zerg from extinction, the Overmind sought to assimilate a species with sufficient psionic potential. Around 2440, it discovered this species — humanity.[7][8]


Main page: Terran history
"Before the war, things were different. Hell, back then, we were just making our daily living, doing our jobs, drawing our paychecks, and stabbing our fellow men and women in the back. We had no idea how bad things would get. We were fat and happy like maggots on a dead animal. There was enough sporadic violence -- rebellions and revolutions and balky colonial governments -- to keep the military going, but not enough to really threaten the lifestyles we had grown accustomed to. We were, in retrospect, fat and sassy. And if a real war broke out, well, it was the military's worry. The marines' worry. Not ours."

The terrans

The terrans were discovered by the zerg approximately sixty years before the Great War[7] although the terrans themselves would not know about them for five decades, and even then kept their findings secret.[10]

The strongest terran faction, the Terran Confederacy, consisted of Tarsonis (the capital world) and numerous colonies. Corruption by the Old Families (the economic leaders of the Confederacy), economic repression of the colonists and general poor treatment sparked numerous rebel movements. The most important of these was the Rebellion of Korhal, a secret movement led by Senator Angus Mengsk and heavily supported by Umoja. After the Confederacy defeated the Kel-Morian Combine in an economic and military conflict, the Guild Wars, in 2480, using numerous neurally resocialized criminals as troops, Korhal declared its independence. Senator Mengsk was killed by ghosts and his genius son, Arcturus, became the rebellion's new leader.[11]

The Confederacy discovered a zerg infestation on a remote fringe world and went to great lengths to destroy the initial infestation, which was found on multiple fringe worlds, but kept a number of the xenomorphs for study. By 2491 they were using psychics in experiments with the creatures.[10]

In 2491 the new Rebellion of Korhal became so strong under Arcturus Mengsk's leadership that the Confederacy retaliated with a massive nuclear strike.[11] The movement was renamed the Sons of Korhal.[10]

Confederate experiments with the zerg became known to Mengsk after he stumbled upon them while pursuing his insurgency against the Confederacy. One of the psychic test subjects, Sarah Kerrigan, was rescued by Mengsk, eventually becoming his second-in-command.[10] Mengsk would spend the next eight years leading the Sons of Korhal in attacking the Confederacy.[11]

Suffering low numbers of recruited troops, the Confederacy began abducting colonists and subjecting them to neural resocialization.[12]


"It was the Confederacy that brought the zerg here! With all their weapons and all their starships and all their soldier boy marines, they wanted more power. So they built that box, not even comprehending the death it would bring with it. They thought they could control them or capture them. They had no idea what they had unleashed. And now they're just 'writing us off' as though we were some cipher on a balance sheet!"

- Merdith Jernic on the Confederacy's use of psi emitters.(src)

Chau Sara

By 2499, the Confederacy had developed a number of devices called psi emitters, which would broadcast the telepathic signal of a ghost across interplanetary distances. Activated in the Sara System, the Confederacy intended to lure more zerg (which they called xenomorphs) into their traps in order to fashion them into a weapon-one that could put an end to their rivals, but without any of the bad press. Indeed, with the Confederacy coming in and destroying the xenomorphs after they'd done their work, they'd be lauded as heroes.[13] However, by November of this year, the xenomorphs had arrived en masse in the outskirts of the Koprulu Sector.[7] And with the psi emitters activated, what had started out as isolated zerg became an entire species.[14]

Main article: Battle of Chau Sara

Sending in a scouting brood, the Overmind ascertained the location of over a dozen worlds on which terrans were present. It began a subtle invasion of the world of Chau Sara, seeding the atmosphere with spores that made their way down to the surface, giving rise to creep and allowing the zerg to construct their hive clusters. The zerg also invaded other Confederate colony worlds, such as nearby Mar Sara, as well as Brontes and Dylar IV.[7]

In November, the Terran Confederacy lost control of one of its experiments on the zerg at the Flannum Installation on Chau Sara.[15]

The Confederate forces eventually defeated the zerg, beating them back from the capital, Los Andares. The Confederacy controlled all communication and travel to the planet, hiding the events of the battles.[16][17]

The destruction of Chau Sara

The Zerg Swarm took over Chau Sara,[7] but by next month,[18] Tassadar's Koprulu Expeditionary Force arrived there. The Conclave ordered the fleet to begin a purification operation against the planet. The Overmind ordered its forces to hold back so it could observe the operation. All life on the surface of the planet was extinguished. Although Tassadar was successful, there was no doubt that the zerg had established a presence on other worlds. Tassadar was ordered to burn them and any terran colony with even the slightest possibility of infestation. Making his way to the world of Mar Sara, Tassadar began to question the morality behind his genocidal orders.[7]

Course of the War[]

Mar Sara and Chau Sara-the sacrificial lambs

"The first contact with another sentient race and they blow up a planet. Helluva calling card."

- Michael Liberty reflecting on first contact with the protoss.(src)

Reactions to the knowledge that humanity was not the only sentient species in the galaxy, not to mention that said other species had vaporized an entire world, was varied. Initially the Confederacy placed censorship on what could be reported concerning the protoss attack in the Sara System,[14] though rumors still made their way all the way back to the Confederate capital of Tarsonis, Universe News Network running sensationalist pieces about how an alien species was going to wipe humanity out.[19] On the personal level, reactions were varied. Some quarters reacted in horror, others with religious ecstasy. Some wanted to greet the aliens with open arms, others prepared for war.[11] And right up to the fall of the Confederacy, there were some who refused to believe that the aliens even existed. The panic generated by the news inflicted an economic slowdown on the Confederacy,[19] reversing the economic prosperity that it had been enjoying since their victory in the Guild Wars.[14]

Confederate colonel Edmund Duke, fearing an attack against the nearby colony of Mar Sara, launched a clumsy counterattack against the protoss fleet. Tassadar retreated out of respect for the terrans' bravery.[14][20] Struggling with his inner doubts, Tassadar could not bring himself to destroy Mar Sara or the fleet that had come to protect it. Refusing to follow the Conclave's genocidal orders, he sought a way to defeat the zerg without arbitrarily wiping out humanity in the process. Thus, he pulled his fleet back beyond the range of terran sensors. Mar Sara had been spared, but with the zerg infestation gaining ground, a fact known to both the Confederacy and protoss fleet, how long it would remain a viable world was unknown.[7]

Battles of Mar Sara[]

"The Confederacy has quarantined this entire planet, and we'll proceed with the lock-down within 48 hours. You're to relocate your core colonists to the outlying wastelands."

Mar Sara

The Confederacy knew of Mar Sara's infestation; outland colonist stations had begun going silent in early December and the day before Chau Sara's destruction, a reconnaissance-in-force had confirmed the zerg presence.[12] Although the existence of the zerg was still kept a secret, known only to certain Confederates and a few members of the Old Families,[19] it appeared that the protoss were more interested in defeating the zerg than humanity, that terrans were destined to get caught up in a war between the two races. Unofficially, Mar Sara, and the Sara System as a whole, would be the place to test this theory.[14] As such, while carrying down a lockdown of the Fringe Worlds, Mar Sara's new magistrate was ordered by Edmund Duke to relocate Mar Saran colonists to the Wasteland[21] and other wilderness areas, supposedly to allow easier evacuation,[14] although some cities, such as the planet's capital, remained inhabited.[12] However, while Duke began uprooting the Confederacy's assets from Mar Sara, its people were effectively left to the wolves. Or rather the zerg, who had already been subject to the occasional sighting and rumor and were perfectly willing to take part in the odd mutilation of cattle. Yet despite the Confederacy's heavy handed relocation of the Mar Sarans, there was a definite fear that came from the knowledge that mankind was no longer alone in the universe and that Mar Sara could follow a similar fate as Chau Sara, despite Confederacy propaganda portraying the protoss as cowards as per their withdrawal.[14]

Adding fuel to the fire, hostilities broke out between the Confederacy and the Sons of Korhal. The Mar Sara Colonial Militia fended off an attack against one of their command centers, then destroyed the nearby rebel base.[22]

Loss of Support[]

"Priority alert! Backwater station under attack by unknown alien organisms. Distress beacon activated at 0658."

Raynor battles the zerg

A team of Confederate marines, firebats and SCVs at Backwater Station fell under attack from the zerg. Colonial marshal Jim Raynor offered to help rescue them, but Edmund Duke ordered him to stay away. Raynor insisted on taking his forces to the rescue anyway. During the battle, the terran combatants discovered an infested command center and destroyed it.[23] Reports about the battle from Universe News Network reporter Michael Liberty prompted the Confederate military to arrest Raynor's militia branch, imprisoning them in a prison ship in orbit.[14]

Fall of Mar Sara[]

The zerg overrun Mar Sara's defenses

Confederate policy would cost them the support of the magistrate of Mar Sara. His adjutant gave him a report showing the Confederacy avoiding combat with the zerg. The only source of military relief were the Sons of Korhal.[24]

Main article: The Battle of Oasis

Meanwhile, the Confederacy planned to evacuate the planet, but had final operations to attend to. The Sons of Korhal had stolen a secret psi emitter in a box from them, which lured zerg to its location in Oasis Station. The zerg had already taken the city. The 417th Confederate Marine Platoon was ordered to retrieve the item, but wasn't told of its properties. The platoon succeeded, capturing the box and a rebel operator, but were forced to flee to their base at Bunker Complex 3847, aka "Scenic". During the retreat they lost half the platoon, and the Confederacy attempted to kill them (and destroy the box) by dropping a tactical nuke on them. However, the attempt failed, leaving the platoon initially unaware they had been targeted for death. They took shelter in the mysteriously abandoned bunker complex.[12]

Main article: The Battle of Scenic

Arcturus Mengsk and his new ally Michael Liberty embarked on a strategy to gain the colonists' support.[14] He promised to rescue them from the zerg, which the Confederacy was conspicuously failing to do, even though his dropships were unlikely to reach Mar Sara City in time; they were five hours away.[12]

The rebel operative informed the platoon of the emitter's properties, and they became aware of the situation at Mar Sara City. By activating the device, they could lure flying zerg to their location rather than the city, delaying the zerg long enough to allow its evacuation. They activated the device and transformed the bunker complex into a defensive-oriented death trap during the hour-and-a-half they had before the zerg arrived. Then they fought a battle to the death, delaying the zerg as long as they could — enough time for the dropships to reach Mar Sara City — before being completely wiped out.[12]

Main article: The Siege of Mar Sara City

The Sons of Korhal rescue Mar Sara

Mengsk struck an alliance with the magistrate. His militia had to hold out against the zerg for half an hour until the Sons of Korhal dropships could arrive.[24] Due to the delays imposed by the 417th Confederate Marine Platoon on the zerg,[12] the militia was successful in keeping the zerg away from the civilians until they could be evacuated.[24]

Meanwhile, the Sons of Korhal rescued Jim Raynor from the prison ship, inducting him into their organization.[14][25]

Main article: Raid on the Jacobs Installation

Mar Sara's last stand

The Sons of Korhal planned their own evacuation of the planet, but not before stealing weapons designs from the Confederacy. Jim Raynor was selected to lead a team of marines and firebats into the Jacobs Installation. The team fought their way inside, killing Alpha Squadron soldiers and even captive zerg and retrieved a data disk,[25] but this prompted the installation's self-destruct sequence. The team escaped shortly before the structure exploded.[14]

At the very end, Fire Base Chimera came under attack. The zerg emerged triumphant, but protoss forces, personally led by Executor Tassadar, descended to the surface and aided the remaining terran present.[26]

The Sons of Korhal fled to the colony world of Antiga Prime. Thirteen hours later, the protoss purified Mar Sara.[25]

Battle of Antiga Prime[]


At some point after the purification of Mar Sara, the Sons of Korhal fleet engaged the forces of General Edmund Duke at the Battle of Brontes. A large fleet skirmish ensued, leaving behind a massive field of debris.[27]

Revolution of Antiga Prime[]

"Our sources tell us that Antiga Prime is ready to begin open revolt against the Confederacy. Unfortunately, the Confederates seem to be aware of this as well."

- Sarah Kerrigan elaborates before the revolution on Antiga Prime(src)

Main article: Revolution

Sons of Korhal staging area

The Sons of Korhal moved to Antiga Prime's second moon in order to support a colonial revolt. The Terran Confederacy, however, was prepared for a move, taking control of the primary Antigan command center and a nearby road.[28] The Sons of Korhal became aware of a stealthy zerg presence.[14]

Arcturus Mengsk dispatched Lieutenant Sarah Kerrigan (a ghost), Captain Jim Raynor and renegade reporter Michael Liberty to deal with the problem, along with extra troops. Raynor's troops destroyed the defense structures around the base, enabling Kerrigan to sneak into the command center and slay many Alpha Squadron soldiers. As Liberty followed her inside, Kerrigan killed the Confederate officer in charge. Liberty reported on the event, then played pro-Mengsk propaganda.[14]

Alpha Squadron responded with a strike force, which moved on the combined Sons of Korhal/Antigan position, but the coalition's forces not only defeated them, but also destroyed the nearby Confederate base.[28] This threw the Confederates into a state of panic.[29]

The Battle of the Norad II[]

"This is General Duke calling from Alpha Squadron Flagship Norad II! We've crash-landed and are being hit hard by the Zerg! Request immediate backup from anyone receiving this signal! Repeat, this is a priority one distress call-"

- General Edmund Duke(src)

Norad II crashing

Main article: The Battle for the Norad II

During the chaos, Alpha Squadron's flagship, the Norad II, was shot down by zerg attacks.[30]

Duke was forced to call for help. Arcturus Mengsk, seeing an opportunity, ordered Captain Raynor to rescue Duke. The Sons of Korhal linked up with nearby Alpha Squadron forces, and the joint operation was able to free Duke from the zerg. Mengsk then persuaded Duke to switch sides to the Sons of Korhal.[29]

The Confederacy imposed a massive blockade on the planet[14] using elements of the Colonial Fleet and Confederate Army.[19]

Confederate propaganda claimed the rebels were using volatile mind-control drugs on Antigans and Alpha Squadron, and that Duke was a "mentally reprogrammed zombie" whose image was being used to demoralize the Confederacy.[14] The rebels were also portrayed as allied with the protoss[19] and zerg to enslave mankind. The blockade was officially expected to bring a swift victory. The Confederates used Liberty's image to broadcast propaganda. For their part, the rebel propaganda continued to claim the zerg were Confederate weapons.[14]

The Sons of Korhal took the time to fully integrate Alpha Squadron into their own forces and changing their organization to more closely align with those of Alpha Squadron[14] while contiuning to fight the Confederacy for a significant period of time before achieving a breakthrough.[19]

The true extant of the war, and the full power of the zerg and protoss, remained a secret within the Confederacy. The defection of Alpha Squadron caused additional concern for the Old Families, especially as General Duke was one of their number. As a contingency against domestic unrest and future invasion, some families began evacuating their children from Tarsonis to Tyrador IX. The relocations were disguised as vacations.[19]


The following section contains information from StarCraft: Insurrection.

Main article: Insurrection

The zerg invade Brontes IV

The zerg invasion of the sector brought the anti-Confederate rebel group, the Fist of Redemption, to the world of Brontes IV.[31] The civilian government, the Council of Inquiry, created the Hammer Strike Force,[32] to combat the insurgency. Assistance from the Confederacy amounted to a number of ghosts. Heavy handed tactics by government forces incited another group, the New Dresdin Outlaws, to revolt.[33]

The arrival of the zerg, including the Incubus and Bahumut Broods, was followed shortly by that of the 7th Fleet from Tassadar's expeditionary force. The protoss decided not to scour the planet clean of life and a conventional struggle against the zerg and terrans ensued.[34] Matters were complicated by protoss infighting[35] and the takeover of the Incubus and Bahumut Broods by renegade ghost Atticus Carpenter, effectively merging those zerg forces with the Fist of Redemption.[36]

Additional zerg forces, including the Fenris Brood, joined the battle. A belated alliance between the terran and protoss failed to stem the tide and Brontes IV was ultimately overrun by the zerg.[37]

For Whom the Bell Tolls[]

"For those of us trapped in the middle of the war, there was nothing but raw panic broken by periods of total exhaustion. No one, not even those who supposedly did the planning, had any idea of the forces we were dealing with, until it was too late. Clockwork? Perhaps. But I prefer to think of it as a timer on a bomb we were feverishly disarming, hoping we could finish before the damned thing blew up in our collective faces."

Another battle lost

As time drew on, the battles of the Great War fell into a predictable pattern. Anti-Confederate propaganda spread by Mengsk sparked numerous minor rebellions, the Confederacy tightening its grip as a result. By the time the zerg arrived, the humans were at each other's throats, too busy fighting each other to prevent infestation. And when the zerg presence was detected, it was simply too little too late. If the zerg were a proverbial cancer in the Koprulu Sector, then only the chemotherapy the protoss provided could remove the disease, albeit at the cost of the patient's life.[14]

Fall of Antiga Prime[]

"The use of the psi emitter on Antiga Prime was a watershed event, a Rubicon, a point of no return. It was like the first appearance of ghosts in the Confederacy ranks, or the indiscriminate use of the Apocalypse bombs that leveled Korhal IV. It changed everything. It also changed nothing. For the average citizen caught between the rebels and the Confederates, and the Confederates caught between the Zerg and the Protoss, the war was still as deadly as ever. More planets would vapourize under the Protoss's weapons and more humans would be swallowed by the Zerg hives. Yet after the swarming of Antiga Prime, there was hope for the rebels. Now, at least, we had a weapon. And like the damn fool humans we were, we could not resist using it."
Main article: The Trump Card

During an attack by Delta Squadron on the Sons of Korhal, the rebels constructed a psi emitter from the technology stolen from the Jacobs Installation. The device could attract zerg from a considerable distance. Sarah Kerrigan was ordered to take it into the Confederate base menacing their current position. Kerrigan successfully carried out her mission[13] despite interference from the zerg.[14]

Antiga Prime is glassed

Masses of zerg traveled to Antiga Prime from light years away, falling upon the Confederate positions and destroying the blockade. The Confederates stood their ground rather than retreating, enabling the Sons of Korhal to escape. The protoss arrived, briefly engaging the zerg on the ground alongside Jim Raynor in a mission to rescue some colonists before surrounding them. They eventually purified the planet, sterilizing all life on the surface.[14]

The Confederacy changed their propaganda in light of the loss. They claimed that Mengsk had made a deal with the aliens (which they then reneged, explaining the rebels' flight). While calling upon citizens to enlist, the Confederacy moved forces to Halcyon, a point between Antiga Prime and Tarsonis, in order to stop the rebel and alien advances.[19]

Secret Missions[]

The Sons of Korhal struck at the moon of the gas giant G-2275, which held upgraded goliath walkers. Lieutenant Kerrigan and Captain Raynor lead the assault alongside Michael Liberty, destroying the facility. The attack not only gave the rebels upgraded goliaths, but destroyed a major Confederate technological hub and lost the Confederacy the designs for those goliaths.[38]

The Sons of Korhal also struck a science facility on Orna III with the intention of freeing the tortured test subjects inside and freeing the scientists sympathetic to their case. The Cormorant dropped off Captain Raynor and Lieutenant Kerrigan, who entered disguised as a ghost agent and captured prisoner. They then raided the base, gaining access to the prisoners and scientists. They then set up demolition charges, destroying the base.[38]

Tamsen Cauley's Treachery[]

Fighting on Atticus Minor

As the Sons of Korhal continued to win victories against the Confederacy, Tarsonis-based bureaucrat Tamsen Cauley came to believe that a victory by Arcturus Mengsk was inevitable, unless he was killed.

Cauley was the handler for the War Pigs, a band of criminals "freed" in exchange for fighting for the Confederacy. They were not neurally resocialized so they could preserve their unique talents.

Most of the War Pigs took their ship, the General Lee, to Atticus Minor, which the Sons of Korhal had recently taken from the Confederates, and was now defending against the zerg. The War Pigs infiltrated the rebel camp and tried to kill Mengsk, but failed. They were forced to flee, but the Confederate fleet tried (and failed) to prevent their escape.

Cauley now faced a dilemma. With Mengsk still alive, he believed the fall of the Confederacy to be inevitable. To survive, he would transfer his loyalties to Mengsk. However, the fact that he tried to kill Mengsk previously would make this impossible, unless he eliminated those who knew about the assassination attempt. When Brock Valevoss, one of the War Pigs, arrived at his office, Cauley persuaded him to lure the War Pigs into an ambush on Tyrador VIII, which would be conducted by his new, upgraded and neurally resocialized Cerberus Program. The ambush was a failure, however, and the War Pigs (barring Valevoss) escaped.[39]

The Fall of Tarsonis[]

Main article: Fall of Tarsonis


The anti-Confederate insurrection spearheaded by the Sons of Korhal gained intractable momentum after the Revolution of Antiga Prime. That battle saw the defection of Alpha Squadron to the rebel cause[29] and validated the effectiveness of the psi-emitters.[13] Thus strengthened, Arcturus Mengsk, leader of the Sons of Korhal, planned to strike Tarsonis and destroy the heart of Confederate power. He kept the exact nature of the plan secret from subordinates such as Sarah Kerrigan and Jim Raynor.[14]

Sons of Korhal Invasion[]

Main article: The Big Push

The orbital defenses over Tarsonis were considered formidable, and high-ranking Confederate officials believed the Sons of Korhal couldn't break through.[19]

However, General Edmund Duke had fought in over thirty battles over Tarsonis, and knew his way past their defenses. Leading from the Norad II, Duke led a Sons of Korhal strike force onto the center of three platforms, which were sloppily defended by Delta and Omega Squadrons. The Sons of Korhal were able to break through; Duke intended to raise a "ruckus" with them.[40]

Main article: Battle of Tarsonis

Urban combat

A Sons of Korhal force[19] led by Sarah Kerrigan and Jim Raynor descended to the surface,[14] destroying war factories operated by Nova Squadron, Delta Squadron and Omega Squadron. They received reinforcements from General Duke,[41] whose own forces also set up psi-emitters.[40][19] Confederate General Ledbetter coordinated the Confederate response,[19] but they were defeated.[41] Heavy fighting also took place between the Sons of Korhal and the Confederate military in the streets of Tarsonis City.[14]

Zerg and Protoss Invasions[]

Zerg invasion

The active psi-emitters drew the zerg to the planet and began overrunning the surprised Confederates and rebels on the surface. Tassadar's expeditionary force arrived in pursuit of the zerg sooner than Mengsk expected. The protoss were initially interested in only fighting the zerg, but nevertheless were also engaged by the Confederates.[14]

Kerrigan at New Gettysburg

The protoss efforts against the zerg alarmed Arcturus Mengsk. The rebel leader feared the Confederates would escape while the zerg were diverted. Mengsk ordered Sarah Kerrigan to defend the zerg hives at New Gettysburg from the protoss over the objections of Kerrigan and Jim Raynor. Fighting in the city degenerated into a four-way melee between the rebels, Confederates, zerg, and protoss. The rebels eventually forced the protoss to withdraw but were in turn overrun by the zerg. Kerrigan was lost after requests for support and retrieval by the rebel fleet were ignored, much to the horror of Jim Raynor and other followers.[42]

Terran Evacuation[]

As Mengsk ordered the rebel fleet to withdraw, Raynor and reporter Michael Liberty disobeyed orders and commandeered a dropship to New Gettysburg. Despite the retrieval team's efforts, Kerrigan was not among the rescued. The dropship rendezvoused with the battlecruiser Thunder Child which also acted as a safe haven for refugees before departing from Tarsonis[14] after destroying the Ion Cannon.[43] Mengsk took the opportunity to rescue potential assets such as Handy Anderson (editor-in-chief of UNN),[14] the Annihilators and powerful psychic Nova Terra.[19]

The Confederate Resistance Forces managed to escape at this time.[11]

Protoss and zerg on the surface of Tarsonis

The zerg continued to attack the Confederacy and protoss in order to protect their prize[44] before departing for Char.[45]

Establishment of the Dominion[]

The successful destruction of Tarsonis caused the fall of the Confederacy. Most Confederate survivors joined the Sons of Korhal,[46] including the remaining Confederate squadrons, which were forcefully conscripted, giving the former rebels military supremacy.[47] Mengsk's organization saved many terran lives, but refused to assist worlds that did not welcome their intervention, as Mengsk remarked that the planet's local government had ultimate authority on that planet.[46] Many survivors were taken to Ursa.[19]

When terraformers, surveyors and soldiers landed on Ursa, it became the site of a massive battle against the zerg as Jon Dyre won the campaign virtually single-handedly (after killing off his own men, believing them to have been infested).[48]

It was during this period that Jim Raynor's Raiders launched a daring raid on the Dylarian Shipyards, hoping to steal enough ships to move far from Mengsk. General Edmund Duke had been sent by Mengsk in the flagship, the Hyperion, in order to prevent the assault, but the Raiders prevailed, stealing the flagship and numerous other vessels. Duke was left behind, alive but tied up. Mengsk's government suffered a defeat before it could even declare itself.[49]

The Dominion Armed Forces in battle with the zerg

Mengsk announced that a new government, the Terran Dominion, was necessary to keep watch over the terran worlds asking for help.[50][46] He promised victory over the aliens.[46] For the first time, all of the terran colonies within the Koprulu Sector were united under one sovereign ruler.[47] This included the Kel-Morian Combine.[51] The newly formed Dominion Marine Corps continued the war against the zerg.[19]

The zerg took Sarah Kerrigan with them to Char. While there, she mentally contacted her old allies Jim Raynor and Arcturus Mengsk, alerting them to her location.[52][53]

The Argus Stone[]

The following section contains information from StarCraft: Retribution.

Fighting on Aridas

The Argus Stone was an incredibly powerful xel'naga artifact found in the ruins of Taledon, located on the world of Aridas.[54] Protoss,[55] Terran Dominion[56] and zerg forces all arrived at Aridas hoping to gain the Stone and use it for their own purposes.[57]

Judicator Kizrath's forces located the ruins of Taledon, but the Aridian terrans had also converged on its location. Kizrath defeated the Aridians and destroyed the old temple sheltering it, retrieving the Stone.[54]

The protoss government considered the Stone's tactical value to be low. Kizrath and the Stone were left stranded on Aridas, with orders to continue to fight the zerg.[54]

The protoss took the Stone to the "far side" of Aridas, protecting it with many troops,[58] while using a temple warped from Aiur in order to focus the Stone's energies. However, Dominion forces led by scientist Jenson Archimedes defeated the protoss, destroying the temple and stealing away the Stone.[59]

The zerg discovered the location the Dominion was using to hide the Stone, inside a science facility, and attacked it. With the aid of powerful defiler Thakras, the Stone was obtained by the zerg.[60] The zerg immediately brought the Stone back to Char, fending off protoss and terran attacks as they did so. Finally the zerg used the Argus Stone to create "the supreme being".[61]

Battles of Char and Aiur[]

The zerg cut deep into the terrans

Having sensed Kerrigan via her psionic emminations, Mengsk sent General Duke and Alpha Squadron to Char to retrieve her and flush out the zerg. They were beaten back by the Swarm.[53][62] Shortly afterward, Raynor's Raiders arrived, landing forces on Char and fighting their way to Kerrigan's location. However, Kerrigan emerged from a chrysalis as the Queen of Blades. The heavily damaged Raiders forces were allowed to retreat alive.[52][53]

As the Raiders consolidated their position on Char's surface, Kerrigan led the zerg on infiltration attacks against Alpha Squadron and Raiders' ships, forcing both flagships to flee.[53] She personally boarded the Amerigo, a Dominion science vessel, seeking information on the Ghost Program.[63][53] During the battles, protoss forces under the command of Tassadar, seeking the source of psionic emanations,[64] attacked the remaining infested ships from both sides.[53]

An Unusual Alliance[]

Zeratul on Char

In short order, Raynor struck an alliance with Tassadar and Zeratul, a Dark Templar prelate who assassinated Zasz, cerebrate of the Garm Brood while fighting against the zerg.[53] The death of Zasz threw the zerg into a panic, forcing them to destroy the now-renegade Garm Brood[65] and also prompted them to destroy the primary protoss ships. However, in both cases the zerg destroyed illusory copies.[53]

When Zeratul killed Zasz, he unknowingly made mental contact with the Overmind, which learned from him the location of Aiur. The zerg quickly began the invasion of Aiur based on this information, leaving Kerrigan behind on Char to lead a smaller number of zerg forces against the Dark Templar.[53]

The Fall of Aiur[]

Main article: Fall of Aiur

The zerg invade Aiur

As Kerrigan led zerg forces against Tassadar, Zeratul and Raynor, the majority Zerg Swarm engaged the Vanguard of Aiur, defeating them in a battle in which they acquired a khaydarin crystal[66] and then using the crystal to physically establish the Overmind on Aiur.[67]

Judicator Aldaris took charge of the protoss defensive effort. Alongside Praetor Fenix and the new executor,[68] Artanis.[53] Fenix was stranded at an unpowered outpost at Antioch. The executor led a relief force there and achieved a tactical victory against the local zerg.[68]

Main article: Into the Flames

From Char, Tassadar, with psychic help from Zeratul, contacted Aldaris and Artanis on Aiur.[53] Tassadar informed them about cerebrates and how they commanded the Zerg Swarm. While Aldaris was skeptical, Fenix was willing to listen to the advice.

Fenix would lead a reaver attack against the cerebrate near Antioch while Artanis kept the zerg defenses occupied. While the attack succeeded in killing the cerebrate[64] it quickly reincarnated.[69]

Poor strategy results in the "death" of Fenix

Main articles: Battle of Scion/Second Battle of Antioch

Aldaris ordered an attack against the hive clusters at Scion, while Fenix would remain with a small force at Antioch. The executor's assault on Scion was a success, but Fenix's forces were defeated[69] and Fenix himself was believed fallen in battle.[70]

Kerrigan vs the Alliance[]

Main article: The Hunt for Tassadar

Aldaris believed the alliance between Tassadar and the Dark Templar was a greater threat to the protoss of Aiur than the zerg. He dispatched a force to Char to deal with the former executor.[70]

The alliance between Tassadar, Zeratul and Jim Raynor prospered. Discovering the nature of the still-remaining psychic link between Raynor and Kerrigan, the allied forces were able to lead Kerrigan into a trap. Tassadar, using his newfound Dark Templar powers, personally slew Kerrigan's cerebrate, causing her to lose control of her forces. However, Kerrigan was able to take control of some forces inefficiently and challenge the protoss and terrans. Tassadar, Zeratul and Raynor personally confronted her but she immediately removed Raynor from the fight and was still able to beat the protoss commanders on an individual basis. The duel was interrupted by the arrival of protoss forces. Zeratul vanished in their wake.[53]

Arriving at Char

Tassadar was surprised when he discovered the "reinforcements" were in fact sent to arrest him. He was able to convince the executor not to arrest him, but instead help him find the missing Zeratul and the Dark Templar.[53][70]

Tassadar explained to the new executor why the Dark Templar were so necessary to the protoss effort. Tassadar was able to trace Zeratul to a terran installation on Char, but had to fight past zerg to reach them, as well as confront remnants of the Alpha Squadron force still present at Char.[71] Once inside, Tassadar personally led a small force through the zerg defenders, allying with the terran soldiers within. He was able to rescue Zeratul, who pledged to help save Aiur.[72]

The Protoss Civil War[]

Main article: Protoss Civil War

The return to Aiur

The origins of the civil war lay in the Aeon of Strife, in which protoss cut off from their psychic link fell into madness and slaughtered each other. The restoration of the link, which the protoss now call the Khala, played a key role in ending the war.[7][73]

Another seed lay in the Discord between the Conclave and the rogue tribes approximately 1000 years before the Great War. The Conclave believed the rogues, who deliberately cut themselves off from the Khala, were a threat as they could cause the protoss to fall into madness and civil war again. Then-Conclave leader Kortanul ordered executor Adun to capture and execute the rogues, but Adun hid them. The rogues ended up in exile.[27] The protoss of Aiur considered the Dark Templar heresy, stating that consorting with them was heresy.[64]

Main article: Battle of the Heart of the Conclave

The civil war erupted when Tassadar brought the Dark Templar, the very warriors who could destroy the cerebrates, to Aiur. The Vanguard of Aiur, led by the Conclave, attacked Tassadar's forces attempting to arrest him and Artanis. However, the protoss rebels managed to break out the Conclave defenses and destroy the Heart of the Conclave. Many members of the Conclave died in this battle, thus starting the beginning of the end of the protoss government.

However, Tassadar surrendered himself to the Conclave's forces, as he couldn't stand seeing his own brethren fighting themselves. Then, Judicator Aldaris appeared and arrested the renegade.[74]

Main article: The Trial of Tassadar

Zeratul and the other Dark Templar vanished after Tassadar's capture, leaving Fenix to lead the fight.

Raynor aids the protoss

Tassadar was put into stasis by the Conclave during his trial. Fenix feared that the Conclave would execute Tassadar after his trial and so planned a rescue. Jim Raynor, commanding the Hyperion, joined the rescue in order to repay Tassadar for rescuing him on Char.

The trial site was defended by Ara Tribe and Furinax Tribe forces, but Fenix and Raynor prevailed, rescuing Tassadar.

Immediately thereafter, Aldaris appeared with a small fleet, intending to interrupt the rescue, but they were in turn ambushed by Zeratul and his Dark Templar. After exchanging angry rhetoric, a secondary battle broke out.[75] The conflict would finally come to an end during the assault on the Overmind, with the Conclave admitting that Tassadar was right after all.[76]

The Fall of the Overmind[]

"My friends, this is our final hour. Not all of us may survive the coming conflict. Yet, death may be a blessing should we fail here. We seek now to destroy a foe that has ravaged its way across the universe consuming all in its path. And now it has reached the end of its long journey. The Overmind has come to destroy all that we hold dear and assimilate us into itself. And I say to thee, this shall not come to pass! Aiur shall not fall! Executor, I stand ready!"

- Tassadar's speech before the assault on the Overmind(src)

Main article: Assault on the Overmind

The final target

Zeratul revealed what he had learned when he killed the cerebrate Zasz on Char. The zerg were creations of the xel'naga and the Overmind was determined to complete the grand experiment of creating the perfect life form. Stopping the Overmind was imperative not just to ensure the survival of the protoss, but of countless other life forms as well.

Fenix and Zeratul intended to thin zerg defenses protecting the Overmind by assassinating a pair of cerebrates. They hoped the deaths would distract the Overmind long enough to assault it directly. The operation was a success, with Zeratul personally assassinating both cerebrates.[77]

Tassadar rallied his remaining forces for a final assault. Jim Raynor and his Raiders vowed to assist, and the two races launched a combined assault on the zerg.

The allied forces fought their way into the hive cluster. While the Tiamat and Jormungand Broods fiercely defended the Overmind, they couldn't prevent Tassadar's forces from attacking the Overmind directly. They managed to destroy the Overmind's armored shell but by that time the attackers had suffered grievous casualties. The attack was faltering, as the zerg broods were regrouping and the Overmind was preparing to escape.[76]

The death of the Overmind

Realizing the peril of the situation, Tassadar made the ultimate sacrifice. He resolved to channel the energies of the Void[46] and Khala through the hull of his flagship carrier the Gantrithor. The resulting pulse would strike and kill the Overmind. Intercepting mutalisks severely damaged the carrier but failed to stop it. A warp rift opened over the Overmind but it was too late. The energy pulse, erupting from the Gantrithor, struck and destroyed the Overmind before it could escape. The remnants of its dead body were absorbed into the warp rift before it closed.[78]

The Aftermath[]

Among the ruins

Following the death of the Overmind, the swarms ran rampant[79] and had infested most of the planet, killing 70% of the protoss of Aiur[47] and ruining much of the landscape.[80] The zerg scoured almost all non-zerg life from several continents. The jungles became littered with ash, broken war machines, and corpses.[81]

The leaderless zerg split into two factions, one (Kerrigan's Swarm) led by Sarah Kerrigan, and another (Daggoth's Renegade Zerg) led by cerebrate Daggoth and the second Overmind, sparking the Brood War.[82][83]

Misc. Events[]

A three-way space battle

A number of other battles/events took place during the war, but their exact timing is unclear. Such events include:

  • On Timul IV, an entire Confederate garrison was wiped out. A handful of ultralisks were believed to be behind the massacre.[84]
  • During the zerg invasion of Aiur, the Baelrog Brood established a nest on the island of Brushfire. However, a combined protoss and terran force was able to remove them.[86]
  • Sometime after the purification of Chau Sara, the planet of Gystt was purified by the Protoss Empire.[87]


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