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- 1 Overview
- 2 History
- 2.1 Origins
- 2.2 Exile
- 2.3 Into the Stars
- 2.4 The Great War
- 2.5 The Brood War
- 2.6 Reunification
- 2.7 The Second Great War
- 2.8 End War
- 2.9 Observers in the Shadows
- 3 Nerazim Organizations
- 4 Notable Nerazim
- 5 Nerazim Technology
- 6 Notes
- 7 References
Overview[edit | edit source]
The Nerazim have "sharper" features than the Khalai, and perceive things differently.
Nerazim often cut off their psionic appendages, and developed the use of special clamps to control the energy bleed. The style of these clamps has changed over time. They can also be used for Khalai protoss who lost their own psionic appendages by accident or in battle (particularly with the zerg).
Nerazim warriors utilize a fluid combat style that cannot be mimicked exactly by terrans.
Culture[edit | edit source]
Driven by individuality and a thirst for knowledge, the Nerazim developed along a very different path than the Khalai. Nerazim work in smaller groups than the Khalai, and are far more individualistic. With a less monolithic culture, each Nerazim is encouraged to forge their own path, and they believe that fostering this attitude leads to their great successes. They remain willful and often fiercely independent, with their closest allegiance being first to clannish warrior bands and then to the Nerazim, the great tribe to which all Nerazim belong. By their nature the Nerazim are a diverse group of freethinkers motivated by their regard for one another and tribal bonds rather than abstract notions of authority. As such, many Nerazim develop skills outside their chosen professions, unlike in the strict caste system of the Khalai. Examples include some of their engineers also having knowledge in combat. Different clans take great pains to distinguish themselves through variations in weapons, armor, markings, and dress. Regardless of clan, reputation and personal responsibility are paramount in the eyes of any Nerazim: individuals must always be accountable for their actions. As a result, deeds rather than words act as the Dark Templar's guide. Individual clans can be prone to feuding and rivalry, but they are quick to band together against a common threat, such as that presented by the zerg. Family is important to the Nerazim, and the family unit is part of their social structure. They are less demonstrative than the Khalai when it comes to the display of emotion.
The Nerazim sever their nerve cords in order to fully separate themselves from the Khala. To prevent energy bleed, the Nerazim put clamps on the cut cords. This severing leads to a weakness where Void energy channeled through the exposed nerve chords can knock a Nerazim unconscious, serving as a nonlethal way to incapacitate a Nerazim warrior.
The Nerazim maintained the same system of writing as the Khalai. Unlike the Khalai however, female Nerazim are able to become figures of authority. Some Khalani phrases are exclusive to the Nerazim's vocabulary, while others that are also used by the Khalai have a different meaning to the Nerazim than their counterparts.
The xel'naga retain the position of "gods" in Nerazim religion. They consider anything that "taints" the Void to be unholy. Funerary rites are conducted for the deceased. Some, if not all Nerazim appear to store their dead in mausoleums and crypts.
Only one leader of the Nerazim exists at a time.
Psionic Abilities[edit | edit source]
Nerazim wield the energies of the Void. These energies are harmful to the zerg cerebrates and Overmind due to the similarities of the cosmic energies they wield. The Dark Templar consider their powers to be the "true gifts" of the protoss, and consider the Khala to be diluted and narrowed by the (former) leaders of the protoss, and the robbing of individuality. Their own powers are considered "wider." This power protects Nerazim from zerg infestation. However, those who walk the path of the Void do so with diligence and reverence, for they know full well the dangers lurking in the shadows of the Void.
Nerazim are cut off from the preservers; they have no preservers of their own, and their memories cannot be accessed by the preservers. As they are severed from the Khala, communicating with the Nerazim via telepathy requires Khalani to be mentally communicated rather than the essence of thoughts being expressed.
History[edit | edit source]
Origins[edit | edit source]
A few rogue tribes refused to submit to the Khala, believing that their individual identities would be erased to further promote the rule of the Judicator Caste. Although they were not hostile or militant, they believed that the communal agenda of the Conclave would be the eventual doom of the protoss. The rogues held no ill-will toward their brethren and attempted to live their lives unnoticed as best they could. Nonetheless their existence was known to the Conclave. They were joined further by individuals from other tribes who did not follow their kin's embrace of the Khala. More Nerazim stemmed from the Sargas Tribe than any other Khalai tribe.
Approximately one thousand years before the Great War, the Conclave, under the leadership of Kortanul, had collected records on the locations of the Rogues. The Conclave ordered the Executor Adun to report to the Conclave so they could tell him about this new threat, which they believed could cause a new Aeon of Strife. Adun was given Raszagal, a young prisoner, to question. He brought her to the Citadel of the Executor so the other Templar could question her. The Conclave gave him their information so he could quietly track down the rogues, abduct them, and execute them.
Adun was unable to bring himself to execute the Rogues. He transmitted fake recordings of the executions to the Conclave and hid the Rogues, even teaching them how to cloak. The Rogues ended up developing these abilities more quickly than Adun could teach them. Unfortunately, the Rogues, still learning their powers, lacked the discipline of the Khala. They inadvertently unleashed psionic storms, which spiraled out of control on Aiur. The Conclave discovered the corpses of dead Rogues, only to realize these Rogues had been depicted in the execution recordings.
Exile[edit | edit source]
The Conclave could neither punish Adun nor slay the Rogues, as he would force them to publicly admit the existence of the Rogues. The Conclave decided to banish the wayward Rogues from Aiur forever on an ancient, but functional xel'naga ship, along with other protoss ships which Adun insisted they be allowed to take with them. However, last-minute squabbling threatened the Rogues—Kortanul attacked Adun, prompting a psychic battle between the Rogues and the Conclave—and Adun feared the Rogues might accidentally create psionic storms again. Adun created a blue mist with a combination of Khala and strange energies, which covered and protected the Rogues. However, the power caused Adun to burn out like a star. They then took the name Nerazim, to signify that they were now a new tribe of the protoss, united in their exile.
The Nerazim ceremoniously cut off their nerve cords to show their disdain for the Conclave and the Judicator. This act cut them off from the Khala, forcing them to draw their psionic energies from the Void. Forevermore they would be known as the Dark Templar, as they had forsaken the Khala's light. After leaving Aiur, they adopted the name "Nerazim," to give name to the new tribe that had formed from the exiles. As their legend spread across Aiur, sparking the imaginations of many young protoss, this tale worked to incriminate them. Although they were hunted and feared by their own brethren, the Nerazim never abandoned their love of Aiur and worked to safeguard it in any way they secretly could. During this time the creation of the dark archon was banned.
During their exile from Aiur, the Nerazim were free to experiment with new technologies. They developed their fleet of corsairs; vessels designed to defend themselves as they had traveled through the stars. On board the xel'naga ship they had been exiled on, the Nerazim were able to gain access to new knowledge, which helped them create warp blades.
Into the Stars[edit | edit source]
The first step on the Dark Templar's journey was the moon of Ehlna, which they discovered shortly after leaving Aiur. It had a xel'naga-crafted warp gate, so the exiled protoss stayed. They discovered the moon had a combination of energies which altered khaydarin crystals, making them quite efficient at storing memories. Without preservers, the Dark Templar had no other way to store memories, so they used this technological means. After more than two centuries, the Dark Templar departed, but some remained to operate a shrine, the Alys'aril, where the memories could be extracted from pilgrims and stored. Numerous vessels remained behind as well.
Struggling to adapt to their harsh and nearly lightless environment (protoss feed on light), the Rogue Tribes altered their skills and even their biology to cope. The abilities that Adun had taught them served them well on their adopted homeworld, and their culture flourished. Some tribes would live in other star systems and aboard small ships.
During this time, both the Khalai and Nerazim fought a running conflict with one another. In 2497, Nerazim terrorists attacked a Conclave tower during the celebration of Khas'mas. Praetor Fenix fought through the terrorists, and slew them with their own warp blades.
Eventually Raszagal, age 1045 in 2500 and one of few Dark Templar who was old enough to clearly remember Aiur, became Matriarch of the Dark Templar. She ruled for approximately five hundred years before the outbreak of the Brood War.
The Great War[edit | edit source]
The Coming of the Zerg[edit | edit source]
The Dark Templar learned of the zerg from discovering their probes and in 2500 Dark Prelate Zeratul was drawn to Char by a powerful psionic call. On Char, he encountered Executor Tassadar and overcame his prejudices.
The Dark Templar were greatly concerned about the zerg and chose to test themselves in battle against small bands of zerg on Char. The zerg proved frighteningly resilient and numerous, and so the Dark Templar brought the Khalis to Char so that they might try to wield its energies against them.
Return to Aiur[edit | edit source]
On Aiur, Zeratul and his dark templar helped Tassadar's followers destroy the Heart of the Conclave. However, Tassadar surrendered and Zeratul slipped away in the chaos. but they returned in time to rescue Tassadar from Judicator Aldaris.
Zeratul infiltrated the primary zerg hive clusters and assassinated two cerebrates. The Conclave saw the results of this and admitted via Aldaris they were wrong about the Dark Templar. Zeratul participated in the assault on the Overmind, which ended when Tassadar channeled Dark Templar energies through the hull of the Gantrithor and crashed it into the Overmind, destroying it.
The Brood War[edit | edit source]
- Main article: Brood War
Stand on Shakuras[edit | edit source]
Zeratul banded together with Aldaris, Praetor Fenix and Commander Jim Raynor in order to unite and lead the Khalai survivors. He offered to shelter them on Shakuras and found them passage to the warp gate. On Shakuras, the Dark Templar rescued the refugees when they were ambushed by hydralisks.
Raszagal welcomed the Khalai to Shakuras and ordered the death of two cerebrates who had infested the temple grounds. The Dark Templar were instrumental in this. It was then that Kerrigan arrived and Raszagal, who had been mentally enslaved by Kerrigan, asked the protoss to accept Kerrigan's assistance. While Kerrigan and Zeratul assisted Praetor Artanis and the Executor in securing the Uraj and Khalis crystals, Aldaris began an open revolt against Raszagal, who in turn ordered his death. Zeratul felt something was wrong with Raszagal, who was normally gentle, but followed her orders, even authorizing the creation of dark archons to match Aldaris' forces. Kerrigan killed Aldaris before he could reveal Raszagal's secret, and Zeratul banished her from Shakuras.
Raszagal claimed that she was wearied by recent events. With her encouragement, Zeratul carried the Khalis to the temple while Artanis carried the Uraj. They channeled the temple's energies, resulting in an explosion which obliterated the zerg on Shakuras.
Ulrezaj's Rebellion[edit | edit source]
- Main article: Enslavers: Dark Vengeance
A combined Templar and Dark Templar force left Shakuras to conduct a mission on Aiur; the rescue of a number of wounded protoss warriors abandoned in stasis cells on the world. The protoss had to fight their way past zerg colonies to do so, but when they reached the stasis cells, a quartet of Dark Templar appeared and destroyed two of them (killing the protoss within). They were forced to surrender before they could destroy the third cell.
These Dark Templar were led by Ulrezaj, who hated the thought of harboring Khalai on Shakuras. He claimed that slaying the high born Templar was a sacred act. In a demonstration of protoss unity, a tribunal consisting of protoss from Aiur and Dark Templar sentenced Ulrezaj to imprisonment. The trial was interrupted by an attack of terrans. Early in the attack, they freed Ulrezaj and his minions, who stole a number of khaydarin crystals before fleeing.
Ulrezaj had created an alliance with Alan Schezar and his Scavengers, who had previously used khaydarin crystal-based techniques to control a cerebrate and thus an entire brood. Their plots included using warped khaydarin crystals to control and mutate zerg until they could withstand the power of the xel'naga temple and to use a powerful EMP Generator during battle against the protoss of Shakuras. Their plan involved unleashing the enhanced zerg upon Shakuras, which would cause the Dark Templar to flee to their hidden places, leaving the protoss from Aiur exposed to assault. However, the plan partially failed; a combined Khalai/Dark Templar force destroyed his warped crystals.
Ulrezaj and Schezar still tried the second part of their plan, using the EMP Generator to weaken the opposing protoss forces, while Schezar's Scavengers and the Fist of Ulrezaj attacked, but they were defeated.
Web of Treachery[edit | edit source]
Raszagal was kidnapped by Kerrigan's minions when Talematros was destroyed. Zeratul traveled in a carrier to Char Aleph, demanding to know why Raszagal had been taken. Kerrigan revealed that she stole Raszagal to use as leverage in getting him and his brethren to kill the Overmind for her, but Zeratul had reservations. He obeyed only when Raszagal asked him to do it for the sake of the protoss. Zeratul and his dark templar went to the surface of Char and killed the Overmind. Zeratul then demanded that Kerrigan release Raszagal at once. However, when Kerrigan asked if she wished to return to her people, Raszagal replied that she wished only to serve Kerrigan and remain at her side. Zeratul realized that Kerrigan had corrupted Raszagal's mind, explaining Aldaris's earlier rebellion.
Zeratul circumvented Kerrigan's defenses and rescued Raszagal before regrouping with a number of protoss survivors on the surface of Char, but Kerrigan and her broods closed in before they were capable of dimensional recall. Zeratul dealt Raszagal a mortal blow rather than let her be recaptured. In her last moments, Raszagal thanked Zeratul for freeing her from Kerrigan's control and named him the new leader of the Dark Templar. Feeling unfit to succeed Raszagal, Zeratul went into self-imposed exile.
Reunification[edit | edit source]
Following the death of Raszagal, Mohandar was chosen to speak for the Nerazim on the Hierarchy. He supported Artanis to lead the Hierarchy, and though he initially was resistant, Artanis accepted.
In the proceeding years, leadership of the recombined protoss civilization fell to Hierarch Artanis, who struggled to maintain unity against the deep-seated distrust and resentment between the Khalai and Nerazim. Raszagal's name was frequently invoked to keep the peace. Wishing to preserve the old ways of the Nerazim, Matriarch Vorazun had many disagreements with Artanis during debates in the Twilight Council. While the Nerazim were initially welcoming of the Khalai, their brethren's demand for resources soon stirred tensions.
The prior zerg invasion of their world caused the Nerazim to become more battle-hardened. The Nerazim combined their technologies with those of the Khalai. Their collaboration produced astonishing new developments, including the void ray and the stalker. Although the Nerazim were counted as part of the Daelaam—a united protoss people, internal tensions led to tribalism in both the Nerazim and Khalai.
The Second Great War[edit | edit source]
Maw of the Void[edit | edit source]
Children of the Void[edit | edit source]
As the Khalai rebuilt the Golden Armada with the intention of reclaiming Aiur, tensions rose between the Nerazim and Khalai protoss. The Nerazim began to feel the Khalai's presence was eroding away at their culture, and that the Khalai's obsession with reclaiming Aiur was causing unneeded misery upon the Nerazim. Vorazun, the daughter of Raszagal, was outspoken critic of the Khalai and Hierarch Artanis.
Vorazun and Mohandar would get into verbal sparring matches, and she viewed the aged Nerazim as a puppet of Artanis. Vorazun's activism prevented the Khalai from mining the Naszar, a holy site for the Nerazim. An accident occurred where a squadron of phoenixes collided with a Nerazim transport, killing twenty three Nerazim civilians. Artanis did not attend their funeral, causing Vorazun to view Artanis as one who cared little of Nerazim culture.
Tensions came to a high when Vorazun's student, Taelus, seized control of the Citadel with the intension of sparking conflict between the Khalai and Nerazim, so that the Khalai would be repelled from Shakuras. Vorazun and Mohandar went in to negotiate with them before Executor Selendis could raid the Citadel with a squadron of zealots. Taelus refused to back down, forcing Vorazun and Mohandar to fight Taelus and his followers. At first they attempted to take them down using non-lethal means, but Taelus killed Mohandar. Vorazun then fought Taelus, killing him and ending the crisis.
Later, Vorazun met with Artanis, stating he would carry out the funeral rites for Mohandar. Taelus was buried beside him as a sign of respect. Artanis stated he would support Vorazun's ascension to Matriarch, and Vorazun agreed that she would commit some of her forces to the upcoming invasion of Aiur, but stated she had to leave some of her forces behind on Shakuras. Vorazun's ascension to Matriarch would later go through, making her ruler of the Nerazim.
End War[edit | edit source]
The Nerazim tracked the reclamation of Aiur until they were cut off and the warp gate linking Shakuras to Aiur was reopened. The Shadow Guard was decimated by hybrid and zerg under Amon, who proceeded to obliterate Shakuras's cities. Vorazun's dark templar aided Artanis in clearing the infestation from the launch bays in the southwest quadrant of Talematros, allowing Vorazun to complete the evacuation. The Nerazim then fought alongside Artanis's warriors unto the destruction of Shakuras.
Nerazim born on Shakuras saw Aiur for the first time when they came to strike at Amon, having only heard tales of their homeland. Vorazun purged Antioch of the zerg with Tal'darim Highlord Alarak, then sent her dark templar to aid Artanis in the xel'naga caverns. The Nerazim assisted in destroying the Void shards surrounding Amon's host body and held the northern entrance to the temple where the Keystone charged.
In the aftermath of their victory, the Nerazim had successfully reclaimed Aiur alongside their protoss brethren. In the months to come, Nerazim structures were seen among those being rebuilt on Aiur.
Observers in the Shadows[edit | edit source]
After the defeat of Amon, the Nerazim began developing new technologies, including a throwing weapon named the warp disk. In addition, the Nerazim wished to observe their terran neighbors, to ascertain whether they would be a long term ally or a future threat. With the blessings of Hierarch Artanis, the Nerazim sent a dark templar named Ulavu to both observe the terrans and find how the telekinesis of their psionic ghosts could be used with the warp disk.
As the rebuilding of Aiur commenced, a cultural movement to artistically move back to the protoss's ancient days of the Golden Age of Expansion occurred, something that deeply disturbed many Nerazim. When Khalai phase-smiths and craftsmen redesigned Nerazim war machines such as stalkers and oracles in the Khalai style, it was met with offense by many Nerazim. Some dark templar threw their support behind the artistic movement and embraced the Golden Age in their armor and armaments, but some Nerazim speculated that these warriors were bribed. Matriarch Vorazun refused to comment on this movement, and it was not officially recognized by the leadership of the Daelaam. Meanwhile some Nerazim saw the Khalai as trying to reform the Nerazim to match their culture. The loss of the Khala also sparked some resentment between the two cultures, as the Nerazim had long adjusted to life without its guiding presence.
Nerazim Organizations[edit | edit source]
Judging the total power of the Nerazim is almost impossible, for most are nomadic folk scattered across dozens of star systems in small ships and hidden enclaves. It's quite possible that their combined strength is enormous.
Clans and Tribes[edit | edit source]
Warbands[edit | edit source]
The Nerazim often operate in independent warbands. Known warbands include;
Notable Nerazim[edit | edit source]
- Main article: Dark Templar individuals
- Matriarch Raszagal (former leader of the Nerazim, deceased)
- Matriarch Vorazun (current leader of the Nerazim)
- Prelate Mohandar (former leader of the Nerazim, deceased)
- Prelate Zeratul (deceased)
- Ulrezaj (dark archon)
Nerazim Technology[edit | edit source]
Terrestrial[edit | edit source]
Aerospace[edit | edit source]
- Nerazim transport
- Phase prism (Shakuras variant of Warp prism)
- Scout (different from the Khalai variant)
- Star relic
- Void ray
Notes[edit | edit source]
- The idea of making the Nerazim arms/armor predominantly platinum comes from development of the stalker, which was made platinum in order to distinguish it from similar-looking zerg units. The concept was later applied to the Nerazim as a whole.
- The center of the Nerazim crest comes from the Sargas Tribe symbol, possibly due to the fact that a large number of Sargas Tribe members joined the Nerazim during the Discord.