"Samir Duran" and "Emil Narud" are but two of the many names used over the millennia by a xel'naga in service to Amon. Millennia after the fall of his master Amon, Duran manipulated the conflicts between the terran, protoss, and zerg in order to bring about his master's return and the creation of the hybrid.
Duran took many guises and roles throughout the conflict, including a member of the Confederate Resistance Forces, an advisor in the United Earth Directorate, an infested terran consort to Sarah Kerrigan, head of the Moebius Foundation and the Terran Dominion Hybrid Breeding Program, and finally a xel'naga and jailer to Ouros. All of these roles were used to manipulate events to bring about Amon's return.
Duran/Narud was the devoted servant of Amon, trying to resurrect him for millennia after his master died.
Duran claimed to have served in Alpha Squadron before Arcturus Mengsk brought down the Terran Confederacy. Duran, sensing a shift in the power structure, assumed command of a small commando squad called the Confederate Resistance Forces that was dedicated to striking at Mengsk and his new Terran Dominion.
The Brood War
A Meeting on Braxis
"Intriguing. Lieutenant, you have absolutely no idea as to who we are or what we have come here to do. Why do you wish to side with us?"
"Because my men and I have sworn to fight against the Dominion and its Emperor. Seeing as how your forces have been laying into this Dominion base, I figured we were on the same side."
When the United Earth Directorate launched its first attack against the Dominion on Braxis, Duran monitored the attack before offering his services to Vice Admiral Alexei Stukov. Stukov accepted, but only because both men had the same enemy. Even though Duran had the potential to be a valuable asset, Stukov was nevertheless suspicious. However, Duran won him over, and provided the UED with a route to the 'back door' of Boralis, aiding the invaders in capturing the planet's capital.
The UED gained access to confidential Dominion information from Braxis. Duran used the information to plan an assassination attempt on Arcturus Mengsk, who was visiting Umoja at the time. He did not take part in the operation as he was required to journey to Dylar IV for the UED's attack on the Dylarian Shipyards. Instead, the failed assassination mission was led by Captain Angelina Emillian – Mengsk's former instructor.
Special Advisor to the UED
"Of course, Admiral."
"Heh heh. You're beginning to show your age, Gerard. Give the boy some credit. He just tipped us off to a preeminent attack."
"However useful he may prove to be, Alexei, he will always be a traitor in my eyes. And you know that I cannot abide a traitor."
- DuGalle and Stukov discussing Duran(src)
The UED sought to steal Dominion battlecruisers dry-docked at the Dylarian Shipyards. During operational planning, Duran warned DuGalle that the Dominion could reinforce its outlying bases within sixteen hours. The stolen battlecruiser fleet was ready in time to defeat Dominion reinforcements led by General Edmund Duke.
Duran accompanied the UED fleet to Tarsonis. His research team located the psi disrupter, a lost Confederate weapon capable of disrupting zerg communication. Duran advised that it be destroyed, and DuGalle concurred; if it was captured by the Dominion, it would jeopardize the UED's plan to enslave the Second Overmind. Stukov's dissenting opinion, to use the disrupter against the zerg, was overruled.
As Duran had shown such concern over the matter, DuGalle ordered him to personally secure the disrupter. Duran's strategy of destroying surrounding hives to render surrounding the zerg dormant was successful. Duran's preparations to demolish the disrupter were interrupted by the intervention of Stukov's ghosts, who had orders to relieve Duran and take over the weapon's disassembly. Duran did not challenge them.
Duran participated in planning the UED assault on Korhal, the Dominion throne world. He suggested destroying a large cluster of missile silos on the outskirts of Augustgrad, the capital city, to disable the defender's core nuclear capabilities. The UED subsequently captured Augustgrad. Mengsk escaped capture with the aid of Raynor's Raiders and a small protoss fleet.
- Stukov warns DuGalle about Duran(src)
The UED pursued Mengsk and his rescuers to Aiur, where the fugitives prepared to escape through the warp gate. The UED's quarry were entrenched in a large protoss base, surrounded by nesting, but apparently passive, zerg.
While one UED force struck for the gate and the fugitives, Stukov and Duran were assigned to guard the flanks and prevent potential interference by the zerg. As the main attack neared its objective, the warp gate activated and incited the zerg. Duran's forces were out of position as a large zerg force swept in from the northeast. He claimed not to detect the enemy force, and claimed communications difficulties prevented him from receiving Stukov's frantic warnings. The ensuing chaos allowed Mengsk and Commander Jim Raynor to escape through the gate in a dropship. The gate subsequently self-destructed.
Stukov took an unauthorized leave of absence to Braxis as the operation on Aiur concluded. DuGalle and Duran tracked him there and found the vice-admiral had secretly had the psi disrupter reassembled, in contravention of previous orders. Duran convinced DuGalle that Stukov was acting treacherously, and was authorized by the aggrieved admiral to find and execute the vice admiral. Duran and a marine strike force entered the disruptor and broke through the Stukov's Elite Guard to confront Stukov.
Duran shot Stukov and disappeared to activate the disruptor's self-destruct. A dying Stukov convinced DuGalle that the psi disruptor was critical to defeating the zerg and that Duran was the real traitor, and possibly infested. So alerted, the UED quickly shut down the self-destruct.
- DuGalle to the Captain over Char(src)
Duran escaped to join the zerg. The UED used the disrupter to severely weaken the zerg and claim the second Overmind on Char. As the UED claimed victory, Duran appeared to introduce DuGalle to Sarah Kerrigan. After some verbal sparring with DuGalle, the two departed, as a swarm of mutalisks covered their retreat from the UED forces.
Kerrigan and Duran traveled to Tarsonis, where Duran interrupted a conversation between her, Raynor, and Fenix to inform Kerrigan that the psi disrupter's signal had reached them on Tarsonis and shattered the unity of her broods.
Aboard the Hyperion, in orbit around Moria, Duran and Kerrigan discussed whether Raynor, Fenix, and Mengsk suspected them of anything. Kerrigan said they must suspect something, but preferred working with her rather than with the UED.
The Swarm traveled to Korhal and assaulted the UED forces there along with Raynor's Raiders and Fenix's troops. After the main UED base was destroyed, Kerrigan decided to eradicate her allies. Duran suggested the strategy of attacking while her allies were resting, allowing them to whittle down their defenses with relative ease. The ploy was successful. After the destruction of Duke's and Fenix's bases, they returned to Tarsonis to rest.
Two days later, the UED, intent on forcing Kerrigan's hand, tested out their control of the Overmind by sending hundreds of zerg to Tarsonis. As they began attacking their outposts, Duran informed her of the situation and rallied her forces. Kerrigan's forces secured their perimeter when Duran noticed a small UED encampment which protected a number of scientists. Kerrigan said the "scientists" were helping the UED command these Renegade Zerg at such a great distance from the Overmind; they had to be eliminated. Kerrigan's zerg took the fight to the UED Slave Brood hive clusters and the scientists, destroying them.
Duran then accompanied Kerrigan to Shakuras to kidnap Raszagal. Kerrigan did not reveal her interest in Raszagal to Duran, however. Duran informed her that the pylon clusters were generating some sort of electromagnetic field that prevented their flyers from maneuvering. Duran suggested staging a diversion and claiming Raszagal during the confusion, namely causing a surge within the pylon clusters adjacent to the outpost of Talematros, causing its power grids to overload. The resulting explosion will be the perfect cover for retrieving Raszagal. Kerrigan agreed, calling Duran's scheme "Clean, simple, devious". A cerebrate provided cover for Duran as he infiltrated the pylon clusters, set the charges, and ignited them.
Duran soon discovered that Raszagal was captured so as to provide Dark Prelate Zeratul and his brethren the incentive to kill the new Overmind for them. After this was done, Duran informed Kerrigan that with the Overmind and its cerebrates destroyed, all of the zerg in the sector had reverted to her direct control. In addition, the remnants of the UED fleet had fled the planet (although he had no idea how many functional ships they still possessed), and the zerg had finished relocating Kerrigan's primary hive clusters to Char Aleph. However, Zeratul and his brethren were able to bypass their defenses and steal Raszagal away from them. They had regrouped with a number of protoss survivors on the surface of Char and would be capable of dimensional recall to Shakuras within thirty minutes. Kerrigan had all of her broods mobilized and sent to the surface of Char. During this time, Duran had disappeared.
The Mystery Deepens
"All I behold is an abomination."
"Your violence, young prodigal, is typical. As is your inablility to comprehend the greater scheme of things. You can destroy all of the specimens here. It will do you no good. For I have seeded the Hybrid on many, many worlds. You will never find them all before they awaken... And when they do... your universe will be changed... forever."
- Duran and Zeratul on the dark moon(src)
Duran would refer to the hybrid as the "completion of a cycle, a reference to the life cycle of the xel'naga, in which the long-lived but not immortal race would regenerate itself by modifying two species with purity of form and essence to naturally over eons evolve into a new incarnation of the xel'naga. According to the preserver Zamara, however, Samir Duran's experiments are a "perversion", and if his attempts "unify" the species become successful, it will result in "a monstrous and powerful perversion of both protoss and zerg will be set loose upon the universe, and all that [the protoss and terran] know and cherish will fall in their wake".
Zeratul discovered the project when investigating the source of protoss energy signatures on the dark moon. Duran himself uncloaked in front of a stasis cell holding a successful specimen and spoke to Zeratul. From the manner in which Duran replied to Zeratul, claiming to be many millennia old (and having had many names over these millennia) and serving "a far greater power", Duran's background became even more enigmatic. Duran, referring to the hybrid, said it was a "completion of a cycle. Its role in the cosmic order was preordained when the stars were young".
Prior to the Second Great War, the xel'naga, calling himself Dr. Emil Narud, and now appearing as a white-haired middle age man with a soft German accent, was made the head of the Dominion's Hybrid Breeding Program, combining protoss and zerg DNA to create alien supersoldiers. Technology was utilized that was well beyond the scope of terran capabilities.
Narud built Skygeirr Station on top of a xel'naga temple. There, more hybrids were created with Dominion support. Narud devised a plan to modify a xel'naga relic named the Keystone that could convert the zerg mutagen in Sarah Kerrigan and her Swarms into energy, providing enough power to resurrect Amon.
Alexei Stukov was infested and reanimated, and eventually deinfested and rescued by Jim Raynor and the protoss. Stukov held Narud responsible for his infestation, which was spun on a micro scale not possible for the zerg.
Stukov's deinfestation eventually failed, and he was imprisoned and experimented on by Narud and the Dominion at Skygeirr Station. During the Second Great War, Stukov escaped and contacted Sarah Kerrigan, his former enemy, seeking revenge.
The Good Doctor
Narud made friends with Valerian Mengsk, an aspiring archaeologist and Heir Apparent to the Terran Dominion. Valerian became convinced that Narud was a genius about the zerg and the xel'naga, the latter a subject of keen interest to Valerian. Together they founded the Moebius Foundation.
The two designed Space Station Prometheus, a secret research laboratory in the difficult-to-navigate Kirkegaard Belt. While there, Narud worked on hybridization experiments. He let Valerian know about them, but not about how far they had progressed.
The Second Great War
As Raynor's Raiders continued to pick up pieces of the artifact, they clashed with Sarah Kerrigan's Zerg Swarm and the Tal'darim who were holding most of the pieces. While affiliated with the Tal'darim, he did not inform them that the artifact was essential to his plans to revive Amon.
The Moebius Factor
"Yeah well, that was all a long time ago, Doctor. Looks like you got one heck of a zerg problem here. Where do you need us?"
When Kerrigan attacked the Foundation's main research campus on Tyrador VIII, Narud sent three Moebius Security teams to purge the Foundation's data cores. When none of them reported back, he asked Commander Jim Raynor to destroy the cores. He warned that if Kerrigan found them and discovered the coordinates of the remaining pieces of the xel'naga artifact, the fate of the entire Koprulu sector could hang in the balance. He gave Raynor control of the Foundation's medivac dropships to transport his men around the city and avoid most of the zerg. Kerrigan claimed that she saw through Narud's "pathetic charade." Once it was confirmed that the final data core had been destroyed, Narud ordered an evacuation and told Raynor why Kerrigan wanted the artifacts: she feared the power of the xel'naga.
In a statement, Narud credited Raynor's Raiders with keeping Kerrigan from achieving her goal. He was unavailable for comment when the Universal News Network broadcast its report on his run-in with Kerrigan.
The first phase of the war ended with Kerrigan's defeat and de-infestation at Char due to the device's effects. Hybrid located nearby collected the energy which could be later used to resurrect Amon.
Seeking to keep Kerrigan out of the reach of Arcturus Mengsk, Raynor and Valerian Mengsk fled to Deadman's Rock in the battlecruisers Hyperion and Bucephalus. Both vessels had taken significant damage. On the way there, the rebels decided to take Kerrigan to see Dr. Narud, due to his reputation as a zerg expert, as well as his expertise about the xel'naga artifact.
Dr. Narud appeared at a meeting with the rebels there. When he wanted to begin examining Kerrigan, Raynor told him that Kerrigan was refusing to be examined. They were interrupted when criminals tried to capture them. Dr. Narud pulled a small pistol. During the battle, rebel commander Matt Horner was injured. Dr. Narud helped treat him.
Dr. Narud and the rebels took Kerrigan to Space Station Prometheus, where Narud was situated. Along the way, his repeated attempts to examine Kerrigan and hide information about the space station annoyed the rebels. Valerian Mengsk even told Narud that he wasn't popular in his sickbay or bridge. In addition, Kerrigan believed his psionic resonance was familiar, but didn't recognize Narud, causing her to wonder if he was disguised.
A frustrated Narud ordered a hostile reception for the rebels, but Valerian talked him down. Kerrigan went to the station's sickbay, where her blood was tested but nothing else was done to her. The xel'naga artifact was also brought the station, where Dr. Narud examined it.
Narud assigned repair teams to their ships and invited the pair to dinner, although these teams were really out to sabotage the vessels. In addition, he had Dr. Chantal de Vries "persuade" rebel scientist Egon Stetmann to visit his laboratories, but it simply enabled Narud's men to capture him.
He invited Raynor and Valerian to a dinner meeting, where he questioned Raynor so thoroughly the latter felt annoyed, as if he were being interrogated. The dinner turned into an ambush, as Narud was revealed to be in contact with Arcturus. In the resulting skirmish, Narud cloaked and fled.
The ambush failed in a sense, in that Kerrigan and her protectors were able to escape Mengsk's grasp and rescue Stetmann, even when Narud released a trio of his hybrids against them. Narud took the artifact to the station's loading bay and put it aboard a warp-transport when Raynor, Valerian, Stetmann and Kerrigan arrived there. One of the hybrids was present, along with many of Narud's troops, and during the battle Narud abandoned the station with the artifact. At the last minute, the Raiders dropship Fanfare, newly armed, arrived. It fired on Narud's transport, but he managed to escape.
Heart of the Swarm
In the final stages of the Second Great War, Kerrigan led the Swarm against Skygeirr, having been requested there by an escaped Alexei Stukov. When she entered Narud's lab and killed one of his hybrid dominators, Narud told her she was not welcome there. He then proceeded to awaken seven other hybrids, telling them to fulfill their purpose and kill everything. He prattled that the Swarm had served its purpose and was a broken tool fit only for the scrap heap. He asked Kerrigan if she could feel the hybrid's hatred coursing through her mind. Although Narud was surprised that Kerrigan managed to kill several of his hybrid, he told her that she still had no hope.
Narud held his best troops, the Tal'darim, in reserve in the depths of the station. When Kerrigan breached the sanctum, Narud drove a null zone beam towards her, which she tried to hold back with a beam of her own. He ordered the Tal'darim to destroy the zerg hive, and unleashed numerous hybrid to support the Tal'darim. Narud's strength began to slip as Stukov deactivated the five temples that were amplifying his power. The null zone left him weakened and vulnerable. As Kerrigan entered Amon's temple, Narud caught her off guard by appearing as Raynor. In the middle of their fight, Narud changed his appearance to that of Kerrigan's human form and impaled her on a psi blade. In response, Kerrigan fatally wounded Narud with her wings. With his dying breath, Narud revealed that Amon was alive and that she would see him soon.
Into the Void
"Narud. I thought you were dead."
"Without form, we, the xel'naga, return to the Void. Here, I live on, but you will not be so fortunate."
- Narud and Kerrigan(src)
After Skygeirr, Narud returned to the Void, where he served as the jailer of the xel'naga Ouros. Later, when Kerrigan, Raynor, Stukov, and Hierarch Artanis led a joint invasion into the Void to seek out and destroy Amon, they came upon Narud. Despite resistance from void shades and thrashers, the allied forces pushed through Narud's defenses and cornered him. Stukov stepped forward and asked Narud if he remembered him as well as what he did to him on Braxis, calling him "Duran". When Narud assumed that Stukov was there to gloat, Stukov simply said, "No. I've come to say goodnight, you son of a bitch." He then destroyed Narud/Duran with a psychic blast, finally exacting revenge for their confrontation on Braxis eight years ago. This time, Narud's death was permanent.
Narud appears in all three installments of StarCraft II.
Heroes of the Storm
Personality and Traits
- Character description(src)
Duran considered himself superior to other beings as he manipulated them to his own ends. He has let this condescension shine through when not masking his own nature. This low opinion of other lifeforms extended to the zerg as a whole, regarding them as "a broken tool, fit only for the scrap heap."
While masquerading as an adviser to DuGalle and later Kerrigan, Duran presented the facade of being dutiful and loyal, frequently offering information and suggests for plans of attack. His knowledge of tactics made him invaluable in the campaigns of both commanders. As Narud, he was also apt at displaying earnest humility to those around him when he needed to.
Few were aware of Duran's true nature before his demise in the Void. Sarah Kerrigan was unaware of who or what he was until shortly before the Second Great War. Zeratul only became suspicious after personally meeting Duran at the end of the Brood War. None of his former Confederate Resistance Forces comrades would have believed the truth.
"But you destroyed the Ancient One. You captured the power of all Zerus."
"This is something born of the void. Cold and empty. But so powerful it hurts."
Duran was a powerful and vastly intelligent being. He was knowledgeable about the zerg, and protoss technology. He was powerful enough to generate a null zone, survive being hit by it, generate psionic bolts, and survive all manner of psionic and physical attacks before finally succumbing to his injuries at the hands of Kerrigan, only to later have survived and retreat to the void. He also demonstrated the ability to generate a psi-blade without any apparent technological device to focus the energy. He also possessed shapeshifting abilities.
- "Emil" may be derived from Latin Aemilius, a family name, which means "to rival, to emulate, to copy."
- Artwork depicts Duran is shown standing in front of a Sons of Korhal flag, but in both Brood War and I, Mengsk, it appears he never abandoned the Confederacy.
- Duran's voice varies over the course of the campaign to reflect his apparent infestation.
- Duran's beret is the same color, and has the same insignia, as the ones worn by soldiers in the ARVN Airborne (South Vietnamese paratroopers) during the Vietnam War, according to IMDb.
- Duran and Narud were confirmed as being the same entity in StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void: Whispers of Oblivion. This followed multiple hints in Wings of Liberty and Heart of the Swarm.
- In Wings of Liberty Kerrigan claimed to have seen through Doctor Emil Narud's "pathetic charade".
- It was hinted that Duran would appear in Heart of the Swarm. Unused subtitles had Stukov referring to Narud as Duran. At BlizzCon 2011, the story panel said that Samir Duran and Emil Narud might be the same character. Upon inquiring on whether he would appear in Heart of the Swarm, Chris Metzen commented "You might have met him already. You totally did, by the way."
- Narud spelled backward is Duran. Both are real surnames, with Duran being Spanish and Narud being Scandinavian.
When exploring how to portray Narud in the cinematic "Shifting Perspectives," the cinematic team explored what it would look like to show Narud's true xel'naga form. Hybrid-like concepts were designed. As development went on, it felt more thematically appropriate to the team to show Narud shapeshifting in his battle against Kerrigan. In the end, it was decided to have Narud take the form of Kerrigan to symbolize her killing her old self.