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"I bring tidings of doom... I have pierced the veil of the future and beheld only... oblivion."

- Zeratul delivers a warning to Jim Raynor(src)

StarCraft II

StarCraft II is the sequel to StarCraft: Brood War. It takes place four years after the previous war.[1]

The Brood War[]

Main article: Brood War

The Brood War began with the evacuation of Aiur by the protoss, using a warp gate to travel to Shakuras.[2]

A number of protoss were left behind, however.[3][4][5]

Meanwhile, the zerg civil war raged between factions led by Sarah Kerrigan and Daggoth, who had created a second Overmind on Char.[6] Kerrigan took control of Matriarch Raszagal, and through her used the protoss to support her side of the war.[7]

The United Earth Directorate Expeditionary Force entered the Koprulu sector, conquered the Terran Dominion,[8] and captured the Overmind with the help the psi disrupter[9] but not without the loss of Vice Admiral Alexei Stukov, betrayed by Kerrigan's enigmatic minion Samir Duran.[10]

The protoss also became embroiled in a civil war against the dark archon terrorist, Ulrezaj, who aimed to destroy the Khalai refugees who sought shelter on Shakuras.[11]

Kerrigan manipulated the Dark Templar into slaying the second Overmind,[12] and destroying the cerebrates, placing the Swarm under her complete control.[13]

The Brood War ended with a massive battle over Char, with Kerrigan emerging as the winner. However, Duran had vanished.[14] The United Earth Directorate fleet was nearly destroyed, with only remnants remaining in the sector.[15]

Kerrigan didn't follow up on her victories, fearing a great threat coming...[16]

The Protoss of Shakuras[]

Since the Brood War, the Khalai have had a hard time accepting the Dark Templar, and the protoss have begun devolving back into their tribal states.

Hierarch Artanis has been trying to merge the two halves of protoss society together and prevent the slide into tribalism.[1] The name of Raszagal has been invoked more than once in an effort to keep the peace.

The protoss have been studying the xel'naga technology on Shakuras, making many technological developments for continuing the war with the zerg.[15] They formed the Protoss Protectorate, a region of space that contains worlds held by the protoss.[17]

Meanwhile, many protoss have been left behind on colony worlds, and have become fanatics.[18]


Righting a wrong

Artanis, Praetor Taldarin and Jim Raynor traveled to Braxis to right a grievous wrong, the reanimation of Alexei Stukov, who was infested as a result of his resurrection at the hands of cerebrate Kaloth. The combined protoss/terran forces defeated the combination of terran and zerg forces and administered a nanotech serum to Stukov, curing his condition. Afterward, the protoss purified Braxis.[19]

The protoss have on occasion resumed open warfare with the Zerg Swarm and Arcturus Mengsk's Terran Dominion; namely to compete for a xel'naga temple on the planet Artika. The protoss won the battle.[17] The protoss, working with Jim Raynor, also engaged in conflict with the zerg on the world of Urona Sigma.[20]

In 2503, a Dark Templar warband led by Prelate Azimar did battle with a powerful entity, which had been partially freed from its xel'naga-crafted prison. The warband only seemed to succeed at freeing it entirely.[21]

That same year, a protoss team sought out the colossus.[22][23]

Terran Factions[]

Dominion-Kel-Morian Combine Actions[]

The Kel-Morian Combine focused on building up its commercial empire. The rise of the Dominion caused concern among the Combine's leaders over the safety of their far-flung mining operations. Nonetheless, they were intent on claiming more worlds for plunder.[24] In an attempt to "simplify" relations, Emperor Arcturus Mengsk sent ghosts to kill Victor Kachinsky. The Combine's response was angry but reserved, as it was in no place to mount any sort of military retaliation. Kelanis Guildmaster Abraham Kachinsky made a speech about working toward peace with the Dominion.[25]

Kel-Morian prospectors found that minerals on Mar Sara had acquired unique properties due to the protoss bombardment. Shortly thereafter, the Combine staked a claim to mining and salvage rights over the Sara system. In 2502, independent and indentured contractors began strip-mining both Mar Sara and Chau Sara of their resources.[26]

Later that year the Dominion intimidated the Kel-Morian Combine into taking control of certain secret sits on Mar Sara.[27]

By 2503 the two terran factions were clashing on worlds such as Roxara's moon.[29][23]

The Combine and Dominion could still cooperate. In 2504 the Players' Club pirates tried to sabotage a Kel-Morian operation at Chanuk. The Kel-Morians were supported by the Dominion, which had its own clashes with the pirates. The battle was eventually won by the abandoned miners, with help from a lone Dominion marauder.[30]

Dominion-Umojan Protectorate/Shadowblade Conflict[]

The Umojan Protectorate remained ideologically opposed to the Dominion and was widely considered a safe haven for individuals seeking refuge from persecution by Mengsk's forces. Cognizant of this fact, the Dominion took measures to undermine the sovereignty of Umoja and its affiliated worlds by imposing trade embargoes and making assassination attempts against dissidents pursuing asylum in Protectorate territory. The Umojan Ruling Council was fully aware of the Dominion's unparalleled military might and embarked on a covert route to uphold its independence. The Protectorate funneled resources into advanced technological research, established a far-reaching network of anti-Dominion separatists, and stationed elite espionage agents throughout the sector to keep tabs on the Dominion. The Ruling Council's members debated whether or not the Dominion would ever make more forceful moves against Umoja or its allies. Regardless, they unanimously agreed to continue their subversive activities and were prepared to take any action necessary to preserve the freedom of Umoja and other Protectorate worlds.[31]

Corbin Phash, political opponent

The Umojan Protectorate clashed with the Dominion over its Ghost Academy after former Dominion senator Corbin Phash lost his psychic son, Colin, to the Academy.[32] Eventually Corbin freed his son from the Academy.[33]

The Odin

The Dominion has worked to improve its military through initiatives such as the Thor Project.[34] In 2503,[23] the Umojans conducted an intelligence operation at the Simonson Munitions Factory, learning the secrets of the Odin. As the Umojans made their escape, they planted evidence blaming the incident on the Koprulu Liberation Front.[35]

The Protectorate joined forces with the renegade Project Shadowblade, rogue elements within the Dominion and Michael Liberty in an effort to overthrow Arcturus Mengsk. The plot failed, however.[33]

Raynor's Raiders and the Dominion[]

Following his betrayal by Kerrigan, Raynor swore to kill her.[36] He maintained a relationship of some kind with the protoss, visiting them on Shakuras briefly[37] and cooperating with them on a mission to right a grievous wrong on Braxis, the reanimation and infestation of Alexei Stukov. Raynor was successful in this mission.[19][38]

Since then, Raynor's Raiders became public enemy number one to the Dominion. Mengsk used the media and propaganda to marginalize his efforts.[15][39][40] Raynor's Raiders instigated open rebellion across six separate worlds and stole vast amounts of Dominion weapons and hardware. Mengsk spent trillions[41] on keeping them constantly hunted and harried, denying them any chance to gain a respite and build their strength.[42]

Raynor networked and struck alliances with numerous anti-Dominion factions, including the Kel-Morian Combine, even spending time on Moria and meeting their leaders. However, he didn't remain and made efforts to cover his tracks.[43] They hid out on zerg-infested worlds by keeping a low profile.[44]

The War Pigs

Meanwhile, the Dominion's chief of internal security Tamsen Cauley recruited his old outlaw employees and foes, the War Pigs, as part of a secret plan to eliminate them. He tasked them with finding and killing Jim Raynor, an act which he believed would mark his ascension. Then he would use his secret Cerberus Program troops to eliminate the War Pigs.[45] The War Pigs traveled to Moria in order to collect information on Raynor, only to be attacked by the Kel-Morian Combine. They fled, and the Cerberus Program troops, led by Lars Trakken assigned to follow them, also landed on Moria and asked similar questions in a much more "aggressive" fashion before moving off to follow the War Pigs.[43] As Raynor took shelter on zerg-infested worlds, the War Pigs encountered a team of Dark Templar friendly to him. The Dark Templar read their minds and warned them not to interfere with Raynor.[44]

Raynor's Raiders hid in an underwater cave on the zerg-infested Urona Sigma.[46] The protoss believed the fight against the zerg there was hopeless, so Dark Templar trio arrived there to warn him about an impending purification operation[20] as well as the attack by the War Pigs.[46]

Purification of Urona Sigma

The arrival of the War Pigs stalled the Raiders' departure. The lead War Pig, Cole Hickson, was an old friend of Raynor, who trusted him, but Hickson had been modified by neural resocialization to assassinate Raynor on the orders of Tamsen Cauley.[46] Hickson's first attempt failed due to the zerg discovering the Raiders' hideout, but this enabled him to escape, and separated Raynor from his dropships. Simultaneous attacks by the Cerberus Program cut the War Pigs off from their own transport vessel. Raynor managed to subdue Hickson when the latter tried to kill him again, but Raynor and the War Pigs found themselves stranded on Urona Sigma as the purification operation began.[20]

Lars Trakken, consumed by hatred of Hickson, brought a dropship down to the surface along with a team of Cerberus troops intending to personally oversee the death of Hickson. However, he was distracted, enabling Raynor and the War Pigs to get the upper hand, steal his dropship, and escape.[47]

The Zerg[]

In the years since the Brood War, the zerg remained ominously silent,[39] despite having more power than any other faction in the Sector.[1] Kerrigan's forces ensured that no scouts have returned alive with information about her plans.[15]

Kerrigan worked on an advanced infested terran project,[48] by 2503[23] culminating in the creation of a general and consort, Ethan Stewart.[5]

Kerrigan's forces remained on Aiur, although in a relatively "quiet" state, and spread to other worlds, gathering more genetic strains for the Swarm.[5] Kerrigan's genetic machinations resulted in the creation of the new queen strain, which is itself capable of manipulating the genetic patterns of its "offspring".[49] Kerrigan conducted experiments to create new strains, such as the baneling[50] by 2503.[23]

Secrets Revealed[]

Zeratul's Journeys[]

Main article: The Reckoning

Dark Prelate Zeratul was instrumental in Kerrigan's victory over the Overmind. She had kidnapped Raszagal, to ensure his cooperation, forcing his Dark Templar warriors to slay the Overmind.[51] Refusing to turn Raszagal over, Kerrigan was surprised when Zeratul counter-abducted her, and began a massive search of Char to reacquire the Matriarch. Zeratul had hidden her in a stasis cell, but Kerrigan's forces discovered them and laid waste to the protoss forces. Zeratul, in a desperate attempt to break Kerrigan's hold over Raszagal, slew his own Matriarch. Raszagal told him she would grant her power to him before dying. Kerrigan, surprised by this display,[52] allowed Zeratul to leave with his pain.[53]

Main article: Dark Origin

Zeratul on the dark moon

Due to the chaos surrounding the battles between the protoss and zerg on and over Char, Zeratul drifted away from Char and stumbled upon a dark moon. Noticing protoss energies, he descended with a small warband to investigate, only to discover a chilling secret: a protoss/zerg hybridization experiment masterminded by Samir Duran without Kerrigan's knowledge.[54] (According to the preserver Zamara, Duran's experiments were a "perversion" of the natural life cycle of the xel'naga.)[55] Zeratul was unable to tell anyone else what he had seen.[54] Zeratul paid a brief visit to Shakuras[37] before vanishing.[56]

He spent four years searching for clues behind Duran's mystery[15] and feeling sorry for himself.[55]

The Dark Templar Saga[]

Main article: The Dark Templar Saga

Valerian Mengsk, the Heir Apparent

Sometime after the War of Vengeance, the dark archon Ulrezaj, a terrorist against the Khalai protoss, pressed forth in a campaign to exterminate the preservers, a branch of Khalai who held the memories of all Khalai. His forces eventually slew all preservers on Shakuras. Zamara, one such preserver, was being transported by carrier near the dead world of Nemaka when it was attacked by Ulrezaj's assassins. Zamara was put into an escape pod and launched, but the pod was shot down and crashed into a xel'naga temple on Memaka. Believing Zamara to be dead, the assassin left the job unfinished. Zamara, bleeding to death, used the temple's stasis function to preserve her life until she could be hopefully rescued by a protoss.[55]

Arcturus Mengsk brought his son Valerian into a hidden position of power within the Dominion.[57]

Jake Ramsey

Preserver Zamara

As the next war approached, more xel'naga artifacts appeared throughout the Koprulu Sector. This drew the interest of Valerian Mengsk, a budding archaeologist. He hired another archaeologist, Jake Ramsey, to investigate a temple found on Nemaka, along with a "protector", R. M. Dahl. Within the Temple, Ramsey made shocking contact with the protoss; a dying preserver named Zamara implanted her mind within his. She told him she had a dread secret that she had to bring back to her people, and even the death of her body would not stop her from carrying out her mission.

Ramsey and Dahl were both imprisoned by Dominion forces, and it was only through strange circumstances that they were freed. Mistrusting Valerian Mengsk, the two fled to the only man Dahl trusted, crime lord and ex-mercenary Ethan Stewart. Unfortunately, Stewart also betrayed them, resulting in Dahl shooting him and the fugitive duo fleeing again. Ramsey, drawing upon his new knowledge of protoss psionics, distracted his opponents with a psychic connection.[57]

Nerazim terrorist Ulrezaj

However, this "attack" drew the attention of both Sarah Kerrigan, and the dark archon Ulrezaj. The former sent minions to Stewart's former base of operations, and found him undergoing surgery. He was abducted and converted to Kerrigan's cause. In addition to serving her as a warrior and consort, he could also tell her about the preserver in Ramsey's mind.

The fugitives fled to Aiur, looking for mysterious technology under Zamara's guidance. They were all surprised at what they found there; a world flooded with zerg, and protoss survivors, calling themselves the Shel'na Kryhas and the Tal'darim. The fugitives took shelter with the Shel'na Kryhas, but the Tal'darim, unknowing servitors of Ulrezaj, opposed them.

Discovering several dark secrets in the Tal'darim's lair, such as mysterious psionic creatures in vats, the Shel'na Kryhas and fugitives found themselves in a midst of battle between Ethan Stewart, Valerian Mengsk and Ulrezaj himself, all interested in the preserver in Ramsey's head. The fugitives managed to escape from Aiur to Shakuras, using a warp gate, and leaving behind dead friends and angry enemies.[5]

The gate guards at Shakuras were surprised and disturbed by the opening of the gate and redirected it. While several Tal'darim and Rosemary Dahl emerged at Shakuras, Jake Ramsey and Zamara ended up on an unidentified world. They located Zeratul, intending to ask him for help, only to find him soul-sick. Ramsey and Zamara convinced him to throw off his lethargy, after which they traded information. Zamara revealed the life cycle of the xel'naga, while Zeratul told what he knew of Samir Duran and the hybrids. Zamara said that Duran's experiments were a "perversion" of the xel'naga's natural cycle, and the resulting hybrids would not be xel'naga.

Zeratul brought them to Ehlna, a Nerazim sanctuary moon, which held a shrine where Zamara could be separated from Ramsey. While there, they encountered a Dahl and a small force led by Executor Selendis, who had come there looking for them. Zeratul did not remain, instead seeking out a fresh xel'naga temple at Pegasus and following the emerging energy creature, which converged with numerous others and created a wormhole with a mysterious planet at the other end. Zeratul traveled there.

The forces seeking Ramsey – Ethan Stewart's zerg, Ulrezaj and Valerian Mengsk's Terran Dominion forces, also arrived. A massive battle erupted, with Ulrezaj on the winning side, until Zamara, now in a khaydarin crystal, used the moon's unique energies to seal Ulrezaj in the crystal with her. The Dominion won the battle, and Stewart was killed. The Dominion took control of the site, taking Ramsey and Dahl captive, along with some of the treasures. However, Emperor Arcturus Mengsk had donated the force to Valerian and, cheated of the preserver, insisted on using his minions to drain Ramsey's brain of information, which would cripple him. Valerian and his ghost servant, Devon Starke, came up with a plan to keep Ramsey safe, but it involved sacrificing Starke to the emperor.[55]

Final Moves: The Dominion, Jim Raynor, and the Artifacts[]

The Dominion was actively seeking alien artifacts.[58][59] This put great stress on legitimate scientific organizations like the Moebius Foundation.[60][61]

The Foundation, led by Doctor Emil Narud[62] and secretly owned by Crown Prince Valerian Mengsk, intended to collect a series of five artifacts, which they could use to restore Kerrigan to her human form.[63]


Mengsk devised a complex plan to move against Kerrigan.[64] Key was Tychus Findlay. He was released from cryonic imprisonment and sealed into a marine suit, giving him a semblance of freedom.[65]

In 2504[28] the Dominion annexed the formerly Kel-Morian Combine-controlled world of Mar Sara. Meanwhile, Jim Raynor had traveled there to reflect on old memories.[66]

Old Rivals[]

"The Zerg Swarm came as was foretold. And the protoss, firstborn of the gods, rose to fight them. Now, the xel'naga that forged us all are returning. But do they come to save... or to destroy?"

- Zeratul on the xel'naga.(src)


TheProphecy SC2-WoL VCine1

Kerrigan confronts Zeratul on Ulaan.

Zeratul searched for xel'naga prophecies on Ulaan, now infested by the zerg. Several hydralisks attacked him, but Zeratul slew them, when Kerrigan appeared. She had been waiting for Zeratul to appear there.[67] Zeratul collected three artifacts containing prophecies and made his escape.[68]

The Prophecy Revealed[]

The hybrid represents the end of all life

Zeratul brought the prophecy to Zhakul, intending to consult the three preservers there. The Zhakul Guardians were corrupted however by Maar, a powerful hybrid who was draining the preservers for their energy. Zeratul's forces destroyed the guardians, slaying Maar and freeing the preservers. Their information suggested the Overmind held the knowledge Zeratul sought.[69]

Zeratul at the Overmind's remains

Zeratul headed to Aiur, seeking the site of the Overmind's death. While attempting to access memories stored in the being's cortex, he was confronted by the spirit of Tassadar. Claiming he had never tasted death, the spirit told Zeratul about how the Overmind had been enslaved and forced to kill the xel'naga, and then given a similar mission of destruction against the protoss. However, the Overmind created the Queen of Blades, a free being, to circumvent this plot. Zeratul found this hard to believe.[70]

Nonetheless, he saw the painful vision: Kerrigan would be slain in the (possibly alternate) future conflict called Armageddon, leaving Amon and his hybrids free to take control of the Swarm. They would use it to crush the protoss. Afterward, the hybrids would turn on the zerg.[71] Zeratul stored this knowledge in an Ihan crystal, intending to deliver it to Commander Jim Raynor.[72]

The next article in this series is Second Great War.

The next article in this series is Liberation Day.


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    Kerrigan: "Actually, Zeratul, she's not the one I'm truly interested in. I stole her to get to you. You see, I need you and your brethren to kill the Overmind for me. The only way I had of assuring your cooperation was to take away that which you value most. However, I give you my word that once you've killed the Overmind, I'll allow her to return to you."
    Zeratul: "As if your word held any value..."
    Raszagal: "Zeratul, my faithful servant. You must aid Kerrigan in this endeavor. The Overmind is our common enemy. It must be destroyed to insure that our people will survive!"
    Zeratul: "You ask me to aid this vile creature?"
    Raszagal: "I do not ask this for myself. Nor do I ask it on Kerrigan's behalf. I ask you to do this for our people, Zeratul. Obey me as you always have... Trust in my judgement."
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    Raszagal: "Thank you, Zeratul... You have freed me from her vile control at last. You have always served me with honor... Thus I must ask you... to watch over my tribe... Into your hands I give the future."
    Kerrigan: "I can hardly believe this! You've killed your own Matriarch!"
    Zeratul: "Better that I killed her, than let her live as your slave, Kerrigan." StarCraft: Brood War. Vivendi Games. Level/area: The Reckoning (in English). 1998.
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