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The Khalai Caste were the working class of the Protoss Empire, serving alongside the Templar and Judicator castes. Artisans, scientists and builders, they form the great majority of the protoss population. Their vital contributions were valued by the other protoss, though the Khalai Caste was regarded as the lowest of the three castes. Khalai Caste members were not given the robust mental training of the other castes, and as such often had weaker psionic powers and senses.
Before the advent of the Khala, each tribe had a definite proclivity or strength. The dictates of the Khala advised a three caste system, which each tribe fit easily into. The vast majority of protoss tribes were collected under the Khalai Caste. The Khalai Caste had a research retreat upon Endion, where they could study in isolation from the rest of the Protoss Empire.
Despite the caste's non-combatant role, the Great War signaled the beginning of changing times for the Khalai Caste, the role of a warrior among them. The Furinax Tribe fought for the Conclave against Fenix and Jim Raynor when they tried to free Tassadar from his trial for treason. As the war on Aiur continued against the zerg and the number of Templar diminished, many Khalai were forced to bear arms, the Shel'na Kryhas being a prime example. At some point, the Khalai Caste began developing a new Purifier program on the planet of Glacius, where they maintained a research base.
Many of the Khalai were instrumental in helping reconstruct the Golden Armada, with the intention of retaking their homeworld. In 2506, Hierarch Artanis launched the Reclamation of Aiur, with members of the Khalai such as Phasesmith Karax supporting their Templar brothers. However, Amon corrupted the Khala, causing many of the protoss to fall under his control. Artanis took what uncorrupted protoss he could, including several Khalai, and fled aboard the Spear of Adun.
Over the course of the End War, the Khalai Caste were forced to take a larger combat role. The facility upon Glacius was besieged by Tal'darim forces under First Ascendant Alarak. Only the intervention of Daelaam forces saved the Khalai's research into the new Purifier program. The colony of Endion was also overrun by Amon Brood, killing all 800,000 Khalai scientists at the colony, as well as the contigent of templar. Phasesmith Karax of the Khalai Caste worked through the war to modify the Keystone into a weapon to use against Amon, as well as discover the purpose behind its creation.
During the Daelaam's assault on Revanscar, the Spear of Adun was boarded by Moebius Corps and hybrid forces, forcing Karax alone to command the assault against the facility. The operation was successful, and saved the Daelaam from destruction, as well as ended Moebius Corps and Amon's hybrid production. Karax's bravery in spite of being born a Khalai showed Hierarch Artanis that the age of the caste system was at its end, and that it was time for all to become Templar. With that action, the Khalai Caste was dissolved.
By the end of the conflict, the Khala itself was destroyed. Without the Khala and with their caste dissolved, many among the former Khalai Caste felt a complete lack of purpose and a deep loneliness, unable to communicate with the greater whole of their race or confront the deep sadness inside them. Many felt they no longer mattered in the greater whole of the protoss.
- Main article: Khalai characters
Known Khalai Tribes
- The Khalai Caste decal is available as a reward for players who purchase the digital deluxe or collectors edition of StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm. Variations of the symbol are also unlockable upon reading Level 2, 4 and 7 as protoss.
- The symbol of the Khalai Caste appears as an unlockable portrait in the Blizzard Entertainment game Overwatch.
- The symbol of the Khalai Caste appears as an unlockable portrait in the Blizzard Entertainment game Heroes of the Storm as a reward for leveling the heroes Artanis, Tassadar and Zeratul to level 15. None of them pertaining to the actual caste, Artanis and Tassadar being part of Templar Caste, and Zeratul being outside the caste system, being a Dark Templar.