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StarCraft: The Dark Templar Saga: Shadow Hunters is a novel which was authored by Christie Golden. It concerns the history of the Dark Templar. It is the second book of the Dark Templar Saga trilogy (the entirety of which was written by Golden), serving as the sequel for Firstborn. The trilogy was written concurrently with the StarCraft II storyline.
Driven by the living memories of a long-dead Protoss mystic and hounded by the Queen of Blades ravenous Zerg, archaeologist Jake Ramsey embarks on a perilous journey to reach the fabled Protoss homeworld of Aiur.
Seeking a vital piece of Protoss technology, Jake finds that Aiur has been overrun by the Zerg. Descending into the shadowy labyrinths beneath the planet's surface, he must find the sacred crystal before time runs out—for him...and the universe itself.
Four years before the events of Shadow Hunters, the protoss fled from Aiur to Shakuras through a warp gate. In order to prevent too many zerg from following, a group of protoss (including Fenix and Ladranix) and the terran Jim Raynor defended the gate from the zerg long enough for Fenix and Raynor to disable it. This stranded a fairly large number of protoss on Aiur.
Later on, the zerg of Aiur became more dormant, but the gate remained deactivated.
Valerian Mengsk's fleet allowed Jake Ramsey to escape from Dead Man's Rock due to his mind-meld with its crew. One of Valerian Mengsk's agents on board, a ghost named Devon Starke, explained to Valerian Mengsk what had happened.
Ethan Stewart survived Rosemary Dahl's attempt to kill him; his medical team patched him together, but noticed too late that he had been wearing a psi-screen for at least six hours, which can inflict memory loss and brain damage if worn too long.
The powerful dark archon Ulrezaj detected Jake Ramsey's protoss/terran psionic emanations and determined the protoss in his brain, Zamara, was a preserver. In addition, Kerrigan also sensed the emanations and sent zerg minions to investigate Dead Man's Rock. The creatures broke into Stewart's compound and abducted him.
Having escaped the Terran Dominion, Ramsey and Rosemary "R.M." Dahl journeyed to Aiur, the former homeworld of the protoss, on Zamara's instructions. However, Zamara refused to divulge the reasons for this journey.
Meanwhile, the zerg brought Ethan Stewart to Char, where Kerrigan, the Queen of Blades, placed him in a chrysalis. Stewart awoke, dramatically transformed, as a general and her consort.
Stranded upon Aiur
Upon arrival, Ramsey and Dahl found that Aiur had been overrun by the zerg, whose attacks damaged their ship beyond repair. They were barely rescued by a group of stranded protoss, the Shel'na Kryhas, also known as "Those Who Endure", led by Ladranix. The terrans discussed matters with the Shel'na Kryhas, a task made more difficult by Dahl's insistence that no protoss read her mind. They learned of another group of protoss, the Tal'darim (also known as "the Forged"), who had devolved into a form of madness similar to the protoss of the Aeon of Strife. The Tal'darim seemed to lose fewer members to the zerg than the Shel'na Kryhas, leading to a number of defections. The Tal'darim had taken shelter in vast underground caverns, which the Conclave had forbidden any protoss from entering. Zamara required technology from the caverns in order to save Ramsey (her presence was causing him brain cancer, and she could be stored in a khaydarin crystal, but only through a technique known only to the Dark Templar). Dahl agreed to enter the caverns, protected by a mental screen, and scout for trouble; the Shel'na Kryhas were reluctant to attack the Tal'darim to clear the path from fear of creating another Aeon of Strife and also because they would be outnumbered.
Dahl was captured by the cloaking Tal'darim and forcibly hooked on a drug called Sundrop which had lethal withdrawal symptoms. The Tal'darim desired the preserver, Zamara, because their Benefactor, the Xava'tor, wanted them. Dahl was ordered to lure Ramsey (and therefore Zamara) into the caverns where the Tal'darim could capture them.
Dahl couldn't go through with the plan, and was detoxified by Zamara and Jake. With the information gleaned from her mind, they discovered the truth behind the Tal'darim; their Benefactor was the powerful dark archon, Ulrezaj. Dahl took part in a ploy to capture an influential Tal'darim, Alzadar, and detoxify him as well.
The terrans, Alzadar and a force of Shel'na Kryhas sneaked into the caverns and reached the chamber Zamara sought, where they obtained a shard of extremely pure khaydarin crystal, suitable for housing Zamara, from a giant crystal. However, the chamber housed other secrets; strange liquid-filled vats housing unseen creatures which emitted a form of psionic horror, and the drained protoss corpses of Tal'darim betrayed by Ulrezaj. The party was ambushed by the Tal'darim, but Alzadar was able to hold them off by revealing the truths he had recently discovered. He and half the party remained behind while Ladranix, the two terrans and the rest sneaked out, only to be ambushed by zerg forces led by Ethan Stewart. They were "rescued" by the Dominion, but since Dahl and Ramsey feared Valerian Mengsk, they hijacked the ship and brought it to the warp gate.
Zamara and Dahl fixed the gate, a time-consuming venture, and were attacked by the zerg. After Alzadar and his Tal'darim arrived to save them, a vengeful Ulrezaj appeared on the scene. The Dominion forces also appeared. The zerg, protoss and Dominion all worked against Ulrezaj, who still appeared to have the upper hand until Ramsey quickly taught the protoss a new psionic technique which hadn't been used since the days of Adun. Most of the protoss survivors sacrificed themselves to stop Ulrezaj, enabling Ramsey, Dahl and the protoss, with great loss, to escape through the warp gate to Shakuras.
Legacy of Adun
During their time on Aiur, Ramsey experienced the memories of Vetraas, a Templar adviser and friend of the famous Adun. Adun was tasked by the Conclave to destroy the Rogue Tribes, protoss who didn't join the Khala. However, Adun disobeyed orders and taught them to tap within their power, hoping they would join the Khala. Instead, he got the opposite; the Rogues accidentally unleashed psionic storms that raged across the planet. With fear that Adun and his high-ranking Templar would be angry if they executed all the Rogues, the Conclave instead exiled them on a derelict xel'naga craft. Adun barely was able to stop a bitter last-minute battle between the Conclave and the Rogues and perished as a result.
Note: These characters were only mentioned or had little to no role during the story.
- Ladranix claimed protoss hadn't killed each other since the Aeon of Strife, making no mention of the Protoss Civil War which had taken place several years previously.
- In the novel, the last functional warp gate on Aiur is shown to be disabled by Jim Raynor and Fenix, and is later repaired and used by Jacob Ramsey to escape the planet. This contradicts the StarCraft: Brood War mission "Emperor's Flight", where the warp gate self destructs to allow Raynor and Fenix to make their escape from the UED.
- While it is never directly stated, Fenix's actions in the flashbacks during the Fall of Aiur (notably, manipulating the warp gate) strongly imply he was still a zealot, rather than in the shell of a dragoon as he was at the time.
- Golden, Christie and Medievaldragon. 2007-10-27. Starcraft: The Dark Templar Trilogy: Book Two: Shadow Hunters: Christie Golden Interview. Blizzplanet. Accessed 2007-12-15.
- 2007-10-19. Starcraft: Dark Templar: Shadow Hunters (Starcraft). Simon & Schuster. Accessed 2009-05-12. (chapter 1 excerpt)
The list of authors can be seen in the page history of StarCraft: The Dark Templar Saga.
Wikipedia content was licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License prior to June 15, 2009 is. Wikipedia content from June 15, 2009, and StarCraft Wiki content, is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License 3.0 (Unported).
|The next article in this series is StarCraft: The Dark Templar Saga: Twilight.|
- Golden, Christie. StarCraft: The Dark Templar Saga: Shadow Hunters. Pocket Star Books, November 27, 2007. ISBN 978-0-7434-7126-8.
- 2006-09-23. Starcraft Trilogy: The Dark Templar pocketbook. Blizzplanet. Accessed 2007-09-08.
- Metzen, Chris; Chambers, Andy; StarCraft Legacy staff. 2009-04-03. BlizzCon 2007 StarCraft Lore Panel Editorial. StarCraft Legacy. Accessed 2009-05-18.
- StarCraft. 2020-03-18. [https://www.audible.com/pd/Shadow-Hunters-Audiobook/1950366006?ref=a_lib_c4_libItem_1950366006&pf_rd_p=6a5ce8e4-798e-4a64-8bc5-71dcf66d673f&pf_rd_r=0S2YA52KH2ACJ067M6BX Shadow Hunters StarCraft: The Dark Templar Saga, Book 2]. Audible.com Accessed 2020-03-18.