StarCraft II: Shadow Wars is a comic series created to continue to tell the story after the end of StarCraft: Evolution. Individual comics continue to be released through War Chest releases, and can be viewed or downloaded on the War Chest page. Each phase unlocks a new issue. The story arc was concluded with its 12th issue.
Years after the events of Legacy of the Void and Nova Covert Ops, it seemed that peace had come to the Koprulu sector at last. But even when leaders understand each other, their warriors on the ground do not. Hidden in the shadows, their battles rage on.
On the planet Adena, in the demilitarized zone between the Terran Dominion and Daelaam territory, a group of Dominion marines (including a psychic named Elms) and mercenaries were sent to salvage jorium crystals from an abandoned mining outpost. In reality the marines were going to keep the jorium for themselves and sell it on the black market. The Daelaam under Admiral Urun watched the terrans skeptically, but allowed them on the planet. The salvage team below took the crates, but soon found zerg under the Niadra Brood in the base, which quickly attacked them.
The marines defended themselves, and Broodmother Niadra revealed she had been waiting on the planet for a long time for terrans to expand her brood, in order to fight the protoss. Niadra planted a larva into the commander, Naderi, just as Kerrigan did on the Daelaam Ark, and allowed her to escape on a dropship. Meanwhile, she turned her attention to Elms, who she recognized as a psychic. Urun's carrier meanwhile shot down the dropship as it was escaping the atmosphere.
Enraged, Captain Hogarth fired on Urun's carrier, and Urun deployed his forces, though it broke the treaty the Daelaam had with the Terran Dominion. Urun then lead a team down to the surface, and fought the zerg around Elms. Together they beat back the zerg, and Urun soon turned on the terrans, but Elms psionically communicated with him, convincing the admiral to join forces to fight off Niadra's zerg. They fought together against the zerg tide, but Elms sensed a zerg presence in the caves behind them, and went to investigate while the protoss held the outside. In the caves they encountered a group of infestors who attempted to plant larva into the group, missing Elms but implanting one into Gary. Meanwhile, outside, Urun came face to face with Niadra, and realized she was a rogue broodmother who could bring war to the sector again. Inside the caves, Elms found a massive amount of zerg Niadra kept in reserve, and retreated before she was overwhelmed, with Yong collapsing part of the cave with a grenade. Outside, Urun's forces formed into archons in an attempt to destroy as many zerg as possible, while Urun attempted to kill Niadra. However, Niadra proved too swift and killed Urun, ordering her forces to claim her real prize: Elms. Elms and her marines fled through a nearby terran structure, encountering zerg along the way, but successfully escaping to a nearby dropship, where they found a substantial amount of jorium in their hold. When Niadra attempted to psionically stop Elms, Yong knocked her unconscious, and the ship sped away.
The Battle of Adena caused ripples through the powers of the sector. Hierarch Artanis was pressured to take action for Urun's death, and canceled peace talks with the Dominion. Emperor Valerian Mengsk got a report from Captain Hogarth that it was the betrayal of mercenaries they were using. Meanwhile, Overqueen Zagara sensed the return of Niadra.
Meanwhile, Elms and her crew decided their next course, hearing on the news that they were blamed for the combat and reported as dead. Elms reflected on her time serving on Luria IV, when she was snapped awake by a nearby Dominion battlecruiser who fired warning shots. She told her crew that she knew where they could sell the jorium, a prospect Gary reacted to with hostility, forcing Elms to punch him in the gut.
Elms met her contact at the Last Junction, a mercenary named James Sykes. However, Sykes double crossed her, killing Turan, and sending mercenaries at her dropship. Elms subdued Sykes, but at the dropship as the remaining forces fought the mercenaries, the zerg parasite in Gary mutated within him, turning him into an infested terran. He tore through the attacking mercenaries and ran off into the outpost.
Elms tracked down Gary, and found him in a bar slaughtering the patrons. After a brief fight, Elms took the flamethrower of one of the patrons and ignited Gary. As Gary smoldered, a figure approached behind Elms with a gun, saying he knew a buyer for the jorium. As they returned to the ship, Nova Terra uncloaked, stating she would like to buy the group's stockpile. Contreras reacted with hostility, but Nova disarmed her, telling her she was good for the deal. The group transferred their jorium, and were paid by Reigel. Nova offered Elms a place in her crew, but Elms declined, and the two groups parted ways. Elms said she wished to go her own way, but just then their ship was attacked by a reapers. The crew tried to escape, but a reaper detonated a demolition charge and crashed their ship. However, the three managed to overpower the reapers, and Elms psionically discovered they were sent by Captain Hogarth to cover his tracks. Contreras convinced Elms that Hogarth would be hunting them down forever, and that the only way to stop him was to get Nova's help, though Elms knew it would cost her some of her freedom.
Elms and her crew were given a cloaked Liberator to assault Aspar with, as well as a number of weapons. Reigel helped monitor communications while Nova aided from the shadows. The group burst into the base, using stun grenades to take out the guards. However, they found Hogarth's office empty, and instead were electrocuted by a trap he set. Elms was knocked out, and Yong shot in the chest, but as Hogarth moved in to finish off Contreras, Elms rose and killed him and his marines with her psionic abilities. Nova later came to extract them.
Later, Elms refused training from Nova, opting to go her own way, but said that she'd may need her help in the future. The two groups parted ways, with Reigel saying that Nova's recruitment failed, but Nova insisted that all was not as it seemed.
- Emperor Valerian Mengsk
- Admiral Matt Horner (mentioned)
- Captain Hogarth
- Commander Naderi
- Gary (later infested)
- Kate Lockwell (cameo)