Ulrezaj is a protoss dark archon formed from seven Dark Templar. He is named after their most powerful personality. He led a group of Dark Templar who still resented their exile from Aiur and demanded that the Khalai refugees be removed from Shakuras or be exterminated.
Ulrezaj was raised at the Alys'aril, a massive library on the moon of Ehlna, the first site the ancestors of the Nerazim (Dark Templar) visited after being exiled from Aiur. Ehlna bore traces of the xel'naga and a combination of energies which altered the properties of khaydarin crystals, making them better suited to storing memories in the form of data but less useful for other things.
The Alysaar ("Keepers of Wisdom") were scholars whose duties revolved around tending memories in these khaydarin crystals, which were considered valuable as the Nerazim had no preservers of their own. Even after the Nerazim left, they continued to make pilgrimages there through the warp gate.
Ulrezaj spent 40 years as an alysaar, and though he rose quickly in the brotherhood, his duties continued to revolve around moving memories from time-worn crystals to newer ones. The mental wounds of the exile were still raw, and Ulrezaj wished to help his people by making them "better" than the protoss of Aiur. He felt many of the preserved memories were useless. He also hungered for new knowledge, such as the forbidden knowledge held at the Wall of Knowledge. Custom prevented most of the alysaar from accessing this knowledge, and even the highest-ranking alysaar refused to access much of the knowledge. In the night, Ulrezaj began sneaking to the Wall of Knowledge and learning from it.
Eventually he was caught by his mentor, Krythkal. When asked why he betrayed the Alysaar, Ulrezaj replied that he would do anything to help advance the cause of the Dark Templar and get vengeance against the protoss who exiled them. He wouldn't tell Krythkal what he had learned (such as how to become a more powerful dark archon, something greatly feared by the Dark Templar), and refused to have the knowledge erased from his mind. He left that night.
In the aftermath of the defeat of the zerg forces on Shakuras, Zeratul led a force to the zerg-ravaged world of Aiur in order to recover wounded heroes who may have survived. His forces discovered three templar heroes lying in stasis cells, but they were surrounded by a zerg hive cluster. Zeratul's forces defeated the zerg, but were surprised when four Dark Templar, including their leader, Ulrezaj, attacked the "high-born Templar" while they lay within their cells. Only one of the heroes, Eredas, survived the attacks. Ulrezaj and his cohorts were arrested and taken to Shakuras for trial by Zeratul's forces.
Previous to his activities on Aiur, Ulrezaj had made connections with Alan Schezar and his smugglers, Schezar's Scavengers. He summoned them to Shakuras; during their attack on the protoss, in which the stasis cells were destroyed, Ulrezaj escaped, stole a sacred khaydarin crystal during the confusion, then slipped away unnoticed.
Ulrezaj's forces traveled to Korhal IV, which was contested territory due to the United Earth Directorate conquest. They didn't stay there long, but did leave behind the khaydarin crystal in the care of a zerg base. When Zeratul and Praetor Mojo arrived at Korhal, they were shocked to discover the crystal in the hands of zerg who were defending terrans. This led Mojo to believe that he was facing his old enemy, Alan Schezar, a terran who had previously controlled zerg. The protoss forces had the choice of retrieving the crystal or defeating Schezar's Scavengers; they chose the former.
The crystal turned out to be a fake made from a strange fusion of Dark Templar and zerg energy; the protoss believed it could lead to several more fake crystals stationed on Char by the Fist of Ulrezaj.
Zeratul sent a number of heroes, including a Dark Archon Hero, to Char in order to destroy the warped crystals. Only the psionic fury of a dark archon was capable of this. Zeratul's forces staged a diversionary attack which would keep most of Ulrezaj's forces away from the crystals for an hour, giving the heroes time to accomplish the mission. The Fist of Ulrezaj and mind-controlled zerg forces guarded five crystals; each time one was destroyed, the zerg it was controlling fell dormant. All five crystals were shattered.
Utilizing ancient and forbidden knowledge, Ulrezaj had fused with three of his Dark Templar cohorts to create a very powerful, but insane, dark archon, with Ulrezaj as the dominant personality. While once he was calculated and tactical, now he was a being of only rage, which began to concern the terran forces he commanded.
Ulrezaj's plan of revenge against the protoss of Aiur now settling on Shakuras was two-fold. He had hoped to use the warped khaydarin crystals to mutate zerg he had captured, rendering them more powerful and immune to the effects of the xel'naga temple. They would be brought to the space platform over Shakuras through a warp gate. He believed the Dark Templar would hide in their secret places on Shakuras, while the protoss from Aiur would be caught in the open and destroyed by the Fist of Ulrezaj and his enhanced zerg. This plan was foiled by Zeratul's forces.
Ulrezaj placed an orbiting space station over Shakuras to launch his assault. Schezar's EMP Generator was on the platform, draining the psionic energies of the protoss. Zeratul and Ulrezaj tried to persuade each other, but both failed. The Fist of Ulrezaj and Schezar's Scavengers fought on Shakuras' space platform, but were defeated. Alan Schezar did not survive the battle.
Ulrezaj survived the battle over Shakuras, and it is said his hatred "still burns hotter than the brightest star".
"Who, whoa—Ulrezaj had a boss"
Following his defeat at Shakuras, Ulrezaj called three more dark templar to him and added them to himself, becoming even more powerful. He maintained his energy by secretly visiting an underwater nexus of energy at Ehlna.
Ulrezaj sent assassins after preservers, protoss who hold the memories of dead Khalai, believing they "knew too much" and could threaten him, and trying to silence their knowledge of the xel'naga and their motives. A force of his ships attacked a carrier bearing Zamara, a preserver. She escaped in a lifepod but was pursued by an assassin, and she was able to read his mind, determining that he had been sent by Ulrezaj. She crashed on the airless world of Nemaka, where she was presumed dead. She landed in a xel'naga temple and, bleeding to death, was able to preserve her life energy until she was discovered by terran archaeologist Jake Ramsey.
His forces continued to hunt down the preservers, slaying the one by one, until it was speculated that Zamara was one of the last preservers.
Ulrezaj returned to Aiur, which was still populated by a group of stranded protoss survivors (the Shel'na Kryhas). He corrupted one of their members, Felanis, who created his own followers among the group. Eventually Felanis set up a cult, which splintered off and moved into the Aiur cavern system. The group became known as the Tal'darim ("the Forged"). They referred to Ulrezaj as the Xava'tor, or Benefactor. Ulrezaj induced them to use a drug called Sundrop which rendered them dependent and loyal to him, in addition to mentally transforming them into Dark Templar. This enabled them to learn Dark Templar abilities such as cloaking.
In this endeavor, Ulrezaj was serving his own mysterious master, who had set him a task. Only Felanis, leader of the Tal'darim, knew his true nature; none of the other Tal'darim had even seen Ulrezaj (although many had "heard" his voice). Ironically, the Tal'darim despised Dark Templar.
Ulrezaj taught the Tal'darim how to capture zerg and bring them to him. In return, he occasionally asked for one of them to go with him – the "Xava'kai" ("Hands of the Benefactor") – to help him with unspecified tasks. In addition, they knew of his desire for preservers.
Ulrezaj forbade the Tal'darim from entering a central chamber on pain of death. In this chamber, he used a xel'naga khaydarin crystal artifact to "drain" the bodies of the Xava'kai, for reasons unknown. He also stored about a half dozen vats with strange unseen psionic creatures. These creatures, which may be hybrids, are related to the return of the xel'naga or the "perversion" thereof.
Shadow Hunting on Aiur
The preserver Zamara herself arrived on Aiur in 2503, after its fall. She intended to visit the central cavern chamber and acquire a piece of the giant crystal. Her current form was an unusual one; trapped within the brain of fugitive terran archaeologist Jake Ramsey. They arrived in a system runner, accompanied by mercenary Rosemary Dahl.
They made contact with the Shel'na Kryhas and quickly struck an alliance. The Shel'na Kryhas had lost many members over time, both to zerg attacks and to defection to the Tal'darim, as many Shel'na Kryhas believed the Tal'darim lost fewer members to the zerg. Word eventually reached the Tal'darim of Ramsey and Zamara.
Dahl was sent to scout the caverns for a safe path to the central chamber. However, she was captured by the a team of Tal'darim led by former templar Alzadar. He intended to force her to lure Ramsey (and therefore Zamara) to them. To this end, he subjected her to Sundrop, which was addictive to terrans as well, and possessed deadly withdrawal symptoms for them. Dahl, a former drug addict, could not withstand the drug and submitted to Alzadar.
Dahl's task was made easier by her insistence on not having her mind read, but she eventually broke down and revealed her betrayal to Ramsey. He and Zamara broke her addiction and reached into her mind. The Tal'darim had communicated freely around her during her captivity, and so Zamara was able to identify their leader as the dark archon Ulrezaj (something the Tal'darim themselves did not know).
Dahl, Shel'na Kryhas leader Ladranix (a templar) and several other protoss lured Alzadar to them and ambushed him. They broke his addiction to Sundrop and convinced him of the truth behind Ulrezaj. He cooperated in their mission to acquire a piece of the crystal. Within its chamber, they discovered the vats with the strange creatures, and on their way out they found the desiccated bodies of several Xava'kai... Ulrezaj had apparently been draining them. The Tal'darim learned of the infiltration and attacked, but Alzadar caused them to pause by telling them of Ulrezaj. Meanwhile, Ramsey, Dahl and Ladranix, along with several other Shel'na Kryhas, headed towards the warp gate. Zamara intended to reactivate it and use it to head for Shakuras.
The escape attempt devolved into a massive brawl between the two fugitive terrans, Shel'na Kryhas, Terran Dominion forces sent by Valerian Mengsk, and zerg forces led by Ethan Stewart, an advanced infested terran, who had once been Rosemary Dahl's lover. Ramsey and the Shel'na Kryhas were joined by a number of (former) Tal'darim, under the command of Alzadar, although most simply attempted to escape.
This is when a very angry Ulrezaj made a personal appearance at the scene. He wished to capture Zamara for his own purposes and punish the renegade Tal'darim. All the other forces on the battlefield opposed him, but he easily destroyed numerous opponents and spacecraft.
Ramsey proposed a desperate solution; a fusion between the powers of the Dark Templar-like renegade Tal'darim and the Khala-based powers of the Shel'na Kryhas. The attack surrounded Ulrezaj with a cocoon of power, feeding off his essence, and enabling Ramsey, Dahl and some others to escape.
Ulrezaj survived his encounter at the warp gate but was forced to flee. Kerrigan and Ethan Stewart's zerg pursued him into the caverns, where he was able to restore some of his energies. However, he was eventually forced to return to Ehlna in a xel'naga ship. He was followed there by Stewart's zerg and Terran Dominion forces. Reaching the moon, he absorbed the world's unique energies underwater in order to restore himself further. However, he couldn't stay long; he desired Jake Ramsey and Zamara, who were there to use the expertise of the alysaar to remove the preserver from the terran, as her presence was killing him, and the zerg were there to acquire the preserver as well.
Ulrezaj assaulted the Alys'aril while it was surrounded by zerg. He devastated the zerg forces, which in turn managed to injure him. Various roadblocks, such as the Alys'aril's shields and the arrival of the Dominion slowed him down, but Zamara knew he would eventually make his way in. Despite the cost to herself, she used the nexus of energies which the Alys'aril sat on, similar to those used by Ulrezaj, to trap him in the crystal she herself was transferred into. The crystal containing the dark archon and Zamara was then transported to Shakuras to be guarded.
He appeared as a huge swirl of "glowing darkness". His outer nimbus created atmospheric effects such as wind and electricity. Despite his size, he was capable of moving "at the speed of thought".
Ulrezaj was capable of creating blasts of dark psionic energy, which destroyed creatures and objects in or near their path. Dark tendrils of shadow snaked on the ground from his position, attacking creatures they could reach. Ulrezaj was described to be able to teleport for short distances.
Ulrezaj was capable of teleporting and flying a xel'naga spaceship. His very presence damaged the soil he traveled over.
Dark archons do not last long, but Ulrezaj managed to control his power through the knowledge he gained at the Alys'aril; he could enhance his power in the caverns underneath Aiur by feeding on his followers, as well as with the unique combination of energy found at Ehlna.
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. It has been confirmed that Ulrezaj's master was not Amon.
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at List of minor characters in the StarCraft universe#Ulrezaj
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