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The Tal'darim, otherwise referred to as "the Forged" or "the Chosen", are a fanatical and war-like sect of protoss that were taken from Aiur as Amon and his followers abandoned the planet. They stand apart from both the Khalai and Nerazim. They do not use the Khala.
An ancient faction once based out of Slayn, the Tal'darim are the most vicious and cut-throat of all the protoss factions. They spent countless ages in the service of Amon, who took them from Aiur before the Aeon of Strife. They claim to be the "chosen" of the xel'naga. The title of "Tal'darim," which translates as "The Forged", was taken from a group of mythological servants to the xel'naga.
Tal'darim inhabit many planets, mainly for the purpose of collecting and spreading terrazine. They used the terrazine to bring them close to the Void, and by association Amon. Some remained on worlds such as Monlyth after they had been mostly abandoned centuries ago.
The Tal'darim are the most cutthroat of all the protoss kindreds. They possess a culture that is distinct from their Khalai and Nerazim counterparts, as is their manner of thought. Their morals and ethics are considered barbaric by their brethren, but their power in battle is undeniable. Tal'darim warriors wield bane blades, ancient red psionic blades that draw power from the Void.
The Tal'darim have a brutal and war-like society, and all members adhere to a Chain of Ascension. This chain determines who is in command of the society, and is ruled by a Highlord. No Tal'darim may fight or kill another above his rank unless he first challenges them to Rak'Shir, rite by ritual combat. Attacking a superior outside a Rak'Shir duel is punished through public execution. Those deemed too weak to be of service to their Highlord are ruthlessly hunted down and executed by blood hunters. They do not take prisoners in battle.
Hostile toward outsiders, the Tal’darim have little interaction with other protoss, and do not seem concerned with evangelizing their mission beyond their ranks. However, closer examination of their war machines revealed them to be exact duplicates of Khalai designs, with little variation beyond construction materials. This has led to speculation among the Daelaam that tales of lost Khalai expeditions and missing patrols over the eons may have been the result of encounters with the Tal'darim pilfering their technology instead. In this, there is some truth, as Tal'darim shipwrights excel in reverse-engineering Khalai technology for their own ends. While they often scoff at the Daelaam's choice of weaponry, many elements of the Tal'darim's arsenal originate from that of the Khalai/Daelaam, or in some cases, simply stolen. The Tal'darim have likewise pilfered Nerazim designs, for they have long envied the Nerazim's temporal mastery.
The Tal'darim do not utilize scientists or engineers within their ranks—every Tal'darim is a warrior, and believe that it is one's strength in battle that defines an individual. Tal'darim utilize captured Khalai Caste engineers, and interrogate them for engineering secrets. In the development and application of technology, the Tal'darim typically invest resources in offensive rather than defensive technologies.
Tal'darim care little for the environment around them, and even their resource gathering devastates worlds. Captured probes have their environmental protection controls disabled, and assimilators dig so deep into the world for vesepne that they can often cause earthquakes. Some of their worlds, such as Slayn, were once lush jungle planets, before the Tal'darim devastated them through terrazine exposure.
These Tal'darim believe in the concept of survival of the fittest and carry out sacrifice. In the day cycle of Slayn, these Tal'darim are expected to fend for themselves, while at night, all are equal in their god's gaze. Their society operates with the concept of the Chain of Ascension—obey those above you, while being superior to those below you. One may ascend the chain through Rak'Shir duels, or simply move up as openings in the chain are created. Those high up in the chain are referred to as ascendants, while the top of the chain is the highlord, of which there have been many. It is their philosophy that as the weak are removed from the chain, the Tal'darim grow stronger. Only younglings are exempted from the Chain.
The architecture of these Tal'darim bears some resemblance to that found within Daelaam society, but it utilizes "harsher" edges, and stands "tall and proud." Most of these designs were stolen from the Daelaam, and redesigned in order to give a more intimidating and sombre appearance.
The Tal'darim name their worlds to honor significant events.
The Tal'darim worshiped Amon, a fallen xel'naga, as their god, though they have given worship to the xel'naga as a group of deities as well. Sarah Kerrigan claimed that their devotion made them even more dangerous. The Tal'darim followed Amon's creed, even carving his words into their bodies as demonstrations of their zeal. They believed that it was through Amon's will that the Breath of Creation was shared with them, and it was through his blessing that one could travel safely through the Void. That once Amon had undone the "corrupt" cycle of the xel'naga, they would be their own masters, and the Day of Ascension would come. The Tal'darim sought to become as hybrid, and stand by Amon's side. This changed after Alarak took over as highlord, and the Tal'darim sought revenge on Amon for deceiving them.
The Tal'darim separated and went away with Amon millions of years ago, having been taken away with Amon and his xel'naga not long after they abandoned Aiur before the Aeon of Strife. As such, they gained a different methodology and culture from their protoss kin, and did not have the connection to the Khala that their Khalai brothers did. They were taken to the sigma quadrant, and Amon left them with an order "Defeat your masters, or rise beyond them." The Tald'arim interpreted this as through obedience, they would one day ascend alongside him. This was in fact a lie, a means for Amon to keep the Tal'darim in his thrall.
In the early days of the Tal'darim, the first highlord was asked where would be their homeworld. He responded by pointing downward, and stating "wherever I tread." This edict remained unchanged within the Tal'darim.
Wings of LibertyEdit
Battle of Bel'ShirEdit
Raynor's Raiders traveled to Bel'Shir seeking terrazine. Attempts to negotiate proved fruitless, and the Tal'darim Executor, Nyon, ordered his troops to "execute" the Raiders. The Raiders made off with seven canisters of terrazine.
Battles for the ArtifactsEdit
The Keystone became a point of conflict during the Second Great War. It consisted of five pieces scattered across the Koprulu sector. Four pieces were in Tal'darim custody—one in a shrine on Monlyth, one was in a xel'naga temple on the dead world of Xil, another one in a vault on the old world of Typhon XI  and the last on a worldship in the Sigma Quadrant. The Tal'darim viewed the components as holy relics and appointed themselves guardians against all thieves.
Unfortunately for them, the device was desired by other races. Commander Jim Raynor and Crown Prince Valerian Mengsk wanted to use the Keystone to attack the zerg and eventually make Sarah Kerrigan human again. Meanwhile, the zerg made numerous attempts to collect the pieces of the Keystone as well.
A band of Tal'darim guarding an alien artifact on Monlyth came under the attack by both Raynor's Raiders and the Zerg Swarm. Both forces sought the artifact, and despite the Tal'darim forces' use of stone guardians, Raynor's Raiders were successful in stealing it.
The Moebius Foundation attempted to acquire an alien artifact from a xel'naga temple on Xil. However, their forces were all wiped out by the Tal'darim. Some of their structures survived, however. The Raiders were dispatched to the scene to make their own attempt on the artifact. Nyon once again demanded the terrans leave, to no avail. Raynor's Raiders fought their way into the temple and stole the artifact. This prompted Nyon to threaten Raynor.
The Tal'darim realized the Raiders would seek the remaining components, and were dug in when the terrans arrived on Typhon XI. The impending supernova did not deter the protoss from their self-assigned duty. However, the Raiders once more absconded with the component, leaving the Tal'darim to be consumed by the fire sweeping across the planet's surface.
The Raiders attacked the Sigma Quadrant Worldship, a derelict xel'naga worldship, and its Tal'darim occupiers for the final component. The Tal'darim also kept Dark Templar prisoners on the ship; the prisoners claimed to be the victims of treachery. As the terrans closed on the component's vault, Executor Nyon arrived in a mothership.
The terrans made off with the artifact.
Narud stole the artifact from Raynor and traveled to Atrias, a Tal'darim-guarded world, where he revived Amon using the Keystone's Void energy. The reborn Amon used a void catalyst to communicate with the Tal'darim highlord, Ma'lash.
Phantoms of the VoidEdit
Another group of Tal'darim was discovered to be inhabiting the lower levels of Skygeirr Station, working for Emil Narud. These Tal'darim worshiped the fallen xel'naga Amon. They also defended Amon's temple at Skygeirr Station, working directly with Amon's servant, Emil Narud, willingly allowing him to experiment on them for his goals.
Whispers of OblivionEdit
Tal'darim led by Highlord Ma'lash, based on Atrias, raided Daelaam colonies for Templar Caste prisoners. The Tal'darim had stayed away from Daelaam colonies for a long time. The prisoners were delivered to a Moebius Foundation base and experimented upon to create hybrid. Most of them did not survive. Hybrid controlled the local Moebius forces.
These prisoners were tracked by Praetor Talis to the Moebius base. She was planning on rescuing these protoss when two simultaneous events occurred. Dark Prelate Zeratul arrived, seeking clues to the last piece of the prophecy he had been seeking, and Kerrigan arrived with a zerg force, intending to destroy anything to do with Amon. Talis's forces rescued the templar and discovered that they had been captured by the Tal'darim.
Zeratul and Talis led their force to Atrias, location of Amon's resurrection. Zeratul's forces engaged the Tal'darim outside a xel'naga temple. Later, he infiltrated the Temple of Erris in order to recover the prophecy, while the Tal'darim stationed inside came to blows with his forces. Inside, Ma'lash used a void catalyst in the temple to communicate with Amon. The reborn Amon ordered the Tal'darim to war with the protoss. The Daelaam made their way to the device in order to sever this connection and forestall the Tal'darim mobilization. When Zeratul finally encountered the void catalyst, the spirit of Tassadar gave him a hint of the future. Ma'lash escaped, and the temple began to fall apart. Zeratul escaped, despite Amon trying to stop him, but the rest of the protoss forces were killed. Zeratul intended to bring the prophecy and warning to Artanis.
Legacy of the VoidEdit
At the command of Amon, Ma'lash gathered the Tal'darim and began to march for war. He sent First Ascendant Alarak and a contingent of the Death Fleet to the protoss world of Glacius, where the Khalai were experimenting with reviving the Purifier program. Daelaam protoss under Artanis arrived to retrieve the technology, but Alarak fired his mothership's displacement beam in an attempt to destroy the facility. Artanis and his forces slipped through the displacement beam the Tal'darim attackers who attempted to stop them, and retrieved the Purifier technology. Alarak contacted Artanis and told him he was not as weak as he thought and that they would meet again soon.
As the Daelaam moved on Ulnar, Alarak and a contingent of the Moebius Corps gave chase, trying to bar their entry into the structure. Artanis fought through their forces and activated the four locks sealing the temple. The Tal'darim continued to hound Artanis and Kerrigan in their descent into the temple, warping in forces and using their mothership's displacement beams to try and stop the Hierarch. The temple was a trap set by Amon however, who opened a portal to the void.
Alarak, who had earlier discovered Amon's true goal of consuming all life including the Tal'darim, used this opportunity to turn against him. He boarded the Spear of Adun and confronted Matriarch Vorazun, stating that Artanis was in danger and he desired to help him. After a brief confrontation Vorazun decided to trust Alarak, and the two saved Artanis by sealing the void portal.
Alarak and his followers agreed to help Artanis in his fight against Amon only if he would help Alarak defeat Ma'lash in Rak'Shir, thus gaining the title of Highlord of the Tal'darim. Artanis reluctantly agreed, and sent out for Slayn. Alarak informed Artanis that he had to defeat four of Ma'lash's guardians to get to him. The Daelaam fought through the terrazine fog of the planet, and slew the guardians. Alarak revealed that wasn't at all part of Rak'shir, much to the ire of Artanis, but that it removed any allies of Ma'lash that would challenge him after he became Highlord.
Alarak met with Ma'lash, and challenged him. Artanis loaned his forces to support him psionically, battling Tal'darim and hybrid who in turn supported Ma'lash. Eventually Alarak was victorious, slaying Ma'lash and becoming new Highlord. He declared that the Tal'darim would fight Amon and destroy him for his betrayal.
After Alarak's ascension to Highlord, a splinter group of the Tal'darim loyal to Amon challenged First Ascendant Ji'nara to Rak'Shir. With the aid of allied commanders, Ji'nara was able to maintain her position on the Chain of Ascension.
Against Their GodEdit
- An Ascendant(src)
The Tal'darim fought alongside the Daelaam in the last days of the End War, lending the death fleet to fight Amon's forces. Alarak himself served as an advisor to Artanis aboard the Spear of Adun. When the time came to reclaim Aiur from Amon, Alarak and Vorazun paired up to destroy one of the core khaydarin crystals powering the psionic matrix. When a sealed door barred their way, Alarak channeled enough power to destroy both the door and the crystal. Tal'darim vanguards fought alongside Artanis in destroying the final khaydarian crystal.
When Amon revealed his host body, the Tal'darim helped the Daelaam destroy the void shards defending him while he transferred his essence into the new host. When the shards were shattered, the combined protoss fleet unleashed an orbital bombardment on the host body, annihilating it.
Amon was still in control of the Khala-bound protoss however, and the Golden Armada arrived to destroy the Keystone, an artifact that could pull Amon out of the Khala. The Tal'darim aided in the final defense of the Keystone, giving it the time it needed to purge the protoss of Amon.
Though Amon was defeated on Aiur, he was not killed, merely thrown back into the Void. Two years later, at the behest of Kerrigan, Artanis lead the Spear of Adun into the Void itself to put an end to him once and for all. Tal'darim forces were among the Daelaam who fought alongside Artanis against Amon's minions. Eventually, Kerrigan ascended into a xel'naga, and after a long battle slew Amon. The Tal'darim's revenge was complete.
After the defeat of Amon, Artanis offered the Tal'darim a place among the unified protoss. Alarak declined, but gave any of his warriors who opposed his decision a single chance to join the Templar. He then departed with his fleets to find a new homeworld for his people, embarking on a path of conquest.
Waking the BeastEdit
"The same as you...to annihilate the Defenders of Man. They destroyed a remote Tal'darim outpost, and then scurried away before the death fleet could retaliate. Such brazen disrespect demands retribution. I will exterminate them like the pests they are."
Years after the End War, a remote Tal'darim outpost was attacked by the terran separatist group the Defenders of Man. The group retreated before the Death Fleet could arrive and attack them. Highlord Alarak dispatched First Ascendant Ji'nara with the Death Fleet to hunt down and destroy the Defenders of Man for their transgressions.
The Death Fleet arrived on the world of Tyrador IX, and used their void rays to assault the feral zerg lured there by the Defenders of Man from orbit. Ji'nara then deployed a Tal'darim mothership, defended by four shield projectors to the surface, and intended to use it to destroy the Defenders of Man on the planet. The Tal'darim also deployed a special powerful fleet beacon to Shell Isle near the battlefield. However, as the Defenders of Man were defending a large number of Terran Dominion civilians, and Agent Nova Terra and her Covert Ops Crew moved in to ensure that they were evacuated. Nova destroyed the shield projectors, weakening the mothership. Enraged, Ji'nara sent the mothership after the Covert Ops Crew, but without its shield projectors it was vulnerable to terran weaponry and destroyed. The Tal'darim were forced to pull back from the planet.
After the conflict, Highlord Alarak boarded Nova's command ship, the Griffin. Nova raised her rifle to fight him, but was stopped by Reigel, who said he came as a guest. Alarak explained the transgressions the Defenders of Man committed against the Tal'darim, and said that he came for vengeance. When he realized that Nova was once one of the Defenders but had been subjected to a memory wipe, he made a bargain with her; he would show her where she could find terrazine, which would undo the mind wipe, if she lead him to the Defenders of Man. Nova agreed, and Alarak guided her to the planet of Jarban Minor.
As Nova and her squad arrived on the world, Alarak allowed Ji'nara and a cadre of his warriors to deploy to the surface to challenge Nova. Reigel suspected that Alarak was attempting to cull his weakest warriors against her. The Tal'darim attempted to destroy the Umojan extraction devices being used to extract terrazine from the native Jarban gliders, but Nova's crew warded away both them and the infested Umojan researchers on the planet and mined enough terrazine. With his part of the bargain fulfilled, Alarak appeared to Nova stating the provided the terrazine didn't destroy her she would be able to restore her memories. Nova asked how she would contact Alarak once she knew where the Defenders of Man were, and he simply stated that he would know when the time comes. With that, the two factions went their separate ways.
Later in the conflict, Nova discovered that General Carolina Davis to be the leader of the Defenders of Man, and Vardona was their base of operations. As Emperor Valerian Mengsk revealed this publicly, the Tal'darim struck the world with great ferocity. In a fell swoop, they began assaulting the city the Defenders operated out of, killing soldiers and civilians alike from the Dominion and the Defenders. Alarak psionically contacted Nova saying their bargain was fulfilled, and that the Defenders would die as they agreed. Nova refused to accept Alarak's slaughter of civilians, and the Dominion prepared their defense.
The Tal'darim clashed against a line of Dominion, Defenders of Man and Nova's Covert Ops Crew. During the course of the battle, Admiral Matt Horner deployed Gorgon-class battlecruisers from the Dominion Fleet, strafing the Tal'darim attack paths. First Ascendant Ji'nara personally lead Tal'darim motherships to break the Dominion line, but to no avail. After suffering immense casulties, the Tal'darim were forced to retreat from Vardona. After the battle, Alarak contacted Nova, saying her betrayal was noted, and that she had made a powerful enemy. She said he had as well, and that he should never again return, before cutting communications.
See also: List of Tal'darim characters
- Highlord Alarak
- Highlord Ma'lash†
- First Ascendant Ji'nara
- First Ascendant Nuroka†
- Second Ascendant Guraj†
- Third Ascendant Zenish†
- Emil Narud (affiliated)†
- Executor Nyon†
- Amon's Champion†
- Demon's Fair (formerly)
- Ketill IV (formerly)
- Monlyth (formerly)
- Slayn (former homeworld)
- Typhon XI (formerly)
- Blood hunter
- Tal'darim mothership
- War prism
- In Wings of Liberty, the Tal'darim used the same color scheme and unit models as normal protoss. In Heart of the Swarm, they used the same visuals as the protoss corrupted by Maar. In Legacy of the Void, Tal'darim units have a black and red color scheme and unique models. This stems from development constraints, as in Heart of the Swarm, the Tal'darim were simply "darker protoss" with a slightly different color scheme. The new scheme in Legacy of the Void came from more time being allowed to flesh out the Tal'darim, and Samwise Didier, who did the concept for Alarak. The new Tal'darim aesthetic stemmed from Alarak's.
- A full Tal'darim skin set, named the "Forged" is available as a reward for protoss BlizzCon 2017 War Chest. Tal'darim building skins were introduced in the Katowice 2019 War Chest.
- A group named the Tal'darim first appeared in The Dark Templar Saga prior to the Tal'darim's first onscreen appearance in Wings of Liberty. According to an interview with Chris Metzen, the Wings of Liberty Tal'darim may still be influenced by Ulrezaj, and to some degree it was the same group that appeared in Shadow Hunters. Valerie Watrous later confirmed that the Aiur and Slayn branches of the Tal'darim were unconnected.
- The Tal'darim symbol from Wings of Liberty is available in multiplayer as a reward for winning 1000 team games as protoss. A decal named the Tal'darim Warcrest is available as a reward for players who purchase the digital deluxe or collectors edition of StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm.
- The Tal'darim symbol from Legacy of the Void is available as a spray, banner and warbanner in Heroes of the Storm.
- In the 2013–2018 period, the Tal'darim were the most popular protoss faction on the wiki (in terms of the no. of page views).