Not all Protoss found peace and unity in embracing the Khala. Some Protoss sought to keep their individuality, fearing that the communical psionic link would lead to a loss of self. They thus refused to indulge in the Khala, and as a symbol of this rejection, severed their psionic nerve cords, cutting them off from the Khala permanently. The Conclave, paranoid of a second Aeon of Strife, sent the Templar Adun to arrest and execute the rogues in secret. Instead Adun took them under his wing, teaching them psionic skills to help them to hide from the Conclave, but without the guidance of the Khala they had trouble controlling their powers. Massive psionic storms broke out over Aiur, causing chaos. Unwilling to admit the existence of the rogues and the treason of their most decorated warrior, since that would just make everything much worse, the Conclave exiled the rogues from Aiur and concocted a cover story that Adun was responsible for this.
The exiles became known as the Dark Templar. Without the Khala, they found guidance and power in the void of space. They settled on Shakuras and built their own civilization. After the fall of Aiur, the Khalai Protoss fled to Shakuras and the splintered race was reunited, though tensions on both sides remained. The Dark Templar became properly known as the Nerazim Tribe, though there are many sub-tribes and other factions that are also of the Dark Templar.
- Anarchy Is Chaos: Subverted. The Conclave believes that since the Dark Templar rejects the Khala's teachings, they must want to subvert the peace it has granted the race and lead the Protoss back to the path of ruin. The reality is the Dark Templar just believe that peace doesn't mean sacrificing your individuality.
- Color-Coded Armies: In contrast to the Khalai Protoss usually using blue and yellow, the Dark Templar are blue/green and silver, shown through the Stalker, Void Ray, and Oracle. Their art and expanded lore has them with green and purple highlights, but in multiplayer it makes them look too much like the zerg, hence the focus on blue and silver.
- Dark Is Not Evil: The Conclave believes they are, but the Dark Templar prove themselves heroic and admirable figures in their own right. When Aiur is threatened by Zerg, they are more than willing to provide help.
- Divergent Character Evolution:
- Supplementary materials and expanded world building have established the Dark Templar as having their own tribes and character among them rather than being one single band of assassins. This is integrated into the game in Starcraft II, the two different Dark Templar models said to be from different tribes. The Dark Templar themselves are also known as the Nerazim now.
- Legacy of the Void introduces Nerazim skins of some units and buildings, to emphasize that the Dark Templar utilize different designs from the Khalai.
- The Evils of Free Will: The Conclave thought that their refusal to embrace the Khala meant they would lead to a second Aeon of Strife. In reality, most of the Dark Templar are benevolent and peaceful and welcome their brethren to Shakuras. There are individuals who protest it (like Ulrezaj), but mostly they subvert this trope.
- Strawman Has a Point: note Turns out that, in Legacy of the Void, that there was a better reason to reject the Khala, as it makes Protoss vulnerable to Amon's mind control.
- Force and Finesse: They're the stealthy and shady Finesse to the brute and straightforward Force of the Khalai. This carries into gameplay; the Nerazim-influenced units (Stalker, Dark Templar, Oracle, Void Ray), are best used as precision strike forces that hit hard and then retreat, while the Khalai units (Colossus, Immortal, Archon, Carrier, etc) mostly have you send them straight at enemies wrecking anything in their path.
- For Happiness: They believe in individuality and sever themselves from the Khala, but remain committed to making the galaxy a better place to live in.
- The Heretic: A more benevolent version, they rebelled against the Khala's teachings not out of malice, but because they disagreed with them and wanted to follow their own path.
- Hufflepuff House: There are three main tribes that make up the largely individualistic Nerazim: The cloth-wearing Lenassa (like Zeratul, the original Dark Templar units, and half of the StarCraft II Dark Templar units), the zerg bone-wearing Zer'atai (like Lassatar and the other half of the StarCraft II Dark Templar units)... and the Boros which apparently wear helmets and heavy armor. Unless the Boros tribe flies the void rays, they have never shown up outside of vague mentions.
- Important Haircut: In a sense. While the Protoss do not have "hair", their psionic appendages are tentacle-like protrusions extending from the backs of their head in the same manner. The severing of these appendages cuts them off from the Khala forever, and is a symbol of the Dark Templar's rejection of it.
- Invisibility Cloak: Their most reputed ability is the power to bend light around themselves to turn invisible.
- Ninja: A space-themed version. They can turn invisible, are stealthy and secretive, and in gameplay the Dark Templar units are best used in small numbers as scouts and precision strike teams that hit the enemy's blind spot and then retreat. The novel Evolution takes it a step further with the reveal they have warp-bladed disks as throwing weapons — in other words, shuriken.
- No-Sell: Amon's possession does not work on them because they don't have nerve cords. When it happened, they were in the position to save corrupted Protoss and cut off their nerve cords.
- Power of the Void: Since they cannot access the Khala, the Dark Templar draw power and guidance from the void.
- Rite of Passage: For a Protoss to be considered a true Dark Templar, they must pass the Shadow Walk, in which the Protoss has to survive an assault against multiple opponents alone. Outside of the Nerazim, only Tassadar and Artanis ever passed the test. A protoss can pass the Shadow Walk while not explicitly doing the test, as Vorazun considers Artanis passed the Shadow Walk when he alone held out against an unending amount of Zerg in the Xel'naga temple of Shakuras, becoming the last Protoss to ever pass the test on said planet.
- Vindicated by History: In-universe example: in Legacy, the protoss eventually abandoned the Khala due to Amon's corruption, which allows him to mind control them en masse.
Zeratul is introduced with a bang: the shadowy Dark Templar achieved the seemingly impossible and murdered a top Cerebrate of the Zerg Overmind. With the knowledge that Dark Templar could permanently harm the Zerg, Tassadar makes a highly-controversial alliance with Zeratul, and the two of them, along with Jim Raynor and Artanis, return to Aiur, where Tassadar uses what he's learned from Zeratul to kill the Overmind. Zeratul then leads the Khalai survivors to the Dark Templar homeworld Shakuras, and eventually forms an uneasy alliance with Kerrigan to fight the rogue Zerg. When she betrays them he banishes her, but she returns later to kidnap Raszagal and blackmail Zeratul into killing the Overmind for her. Zeratul kills Raszagal rather than let Kerrigan control her, and as he leaves he finds Duran's experiments on Hybrids on the dark moon. Canonically, he hasn't been seen since, but resurfaces in Starcraft II, having learned something horrible and omninous.
Provides examples of:
- The Atoner: In Starcraft II. Just to drive the point home, one of his "command response" quotes references Raszagal.
- Badass Boast: In response to Aldaris being an arrogant Jerkass:"You speak of knowledge, Judicator? You speak of experience? I have journeyed through the darkness between the most distant stars. I have beheld the births of negative-suns, and borne witness to the entropy of entire realities... Unto my experience, Aldaris, all that you've built here on Aiur is but a fleeting dream. A dream from which your precious Conclave shall awaken, finding themselves drowned in a greater nightmare."
"Alone... it is said that those of our kind suffer, separated from the glory of the Khala. But none of us are ever truly alone. For our warrior hearts are bound by honor, tradition. Battle is waged in the name of the many... The brave who, generation after generation, choose the mantle of... Dark Templar!"
- Another one delivered posthumously in Legacy of the Void:
- Captain Obvious: Justified since newer players won't know these things, but a lot of his dialogue in his mini-campaign in Wings Of Liberty is this:"I can use Blink to cross that chasm."
"We should build pylons to power our base."
"That detector unit can alert its allies to my presence."
- Character Development: Between Brood War and the second installment of the series, Zeratul's attitude has completely mellowed out to the extent that the irritability and aloofness that had previously distinguished him is no longer present.
- The Chessmaster: He's manipulated events behind the scenes in order to stop the coming apocalypse, including showing Jim Raynor why Kerrigan had to live, and then sending Kerrigan to Zerus—both to become stronger, and also to cleanse the last remaining bit of Amon's dark influence. His effort pays off nicely in the end, when Kerrigan proves to be the one to end Amon once and for all.
- Dark Is Not Evil: He constantly hides in the Dark, his powers are based on Darkness and Void, and he is a member of the Dark Templar (or was supposed to be), but he is pretty much as heroic as Tassardar or Fenix. Blizzard even stated he was designed with "Darth Vader on the side of the Rebellion" in mind.
- Deadpan Snarker: It's never seen in-game, but the novel Queen of Blades mentions he "has a wicked sense of humor" and makes friendly jabs at Raynor and Tassadar.
- Deuteragonist: He's never been the central protagonist in any of the games, but he has his own subplot that runs through the storylines of Brood War, and Starcraft II concerning the return of Amon.
- Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: How he's introduced—he permanently kills a Cerebrate, something thought impossible by the Protoss. It's what interests Tassadar and eventually leads to the Dark Templar being accepted by the other Protoss.
- Broke Your Arm Punching Out Cthulhu: As noted below, doing so connects his mind with the Overmind. This lets the Overmind learn the location of Aiur, which leads to its fall.
- Also pulls this trope when fighting Kerrigan in Wings of Liberty. He's held in the air for brief moment via telekinesis, but breaks free and slices off a portion of her wing. However, he injures his arm doing so and is forced to fall back (plus, Kerrigan's wing grew back).
- Broke Your Arm Punching Out Cthulhu: As noted below, doing so connects his mind with the Overmind. This lets the Overmind learn the location of Aiur, which leads to its fall.
- Does Not Like Shoes: He has none in the cutscenes he is in, nor does his in-game sprite.
- Dying Moment of Awesome: He fights an Amon-controlled Artanis in a brutal battle and manages to sever Artanis' nerve cords and free him from Amon's control. He is fatally wounded, but he gave the Protoss a fighting chance in Artanis.Zeratul: My life... for Aiur!
- Enemy Mine: With Kerrigan in Heart of the Swarm.
- Figure It Out Yourself: Though he shows little sign of it in the game, he is viciously this in the novels."The wise mind seeks its own answers rather than relying upon the information of others."
- Fire-Forged Friends: With Tassadar and then Raynor, when the three were stranded in Char and had to put down their differences to survive until rescue arrived. The same happens with Fenix and Artanis during the battles against the Conclave.
- Flash Step: Other Dark Templar don't have such ability. It must be a Prelate thing.
- From a Certain Point of View: Zeratul claims to have served Raszagal for many millennia, an impressive feat, considering he's "only" 635 years old, and Raszagal is barely over 1,000. Depending on the revolutionary period of Shakuras compared to Aiur, he could possibly have served Raszagal for many Shakuras-millennia while still being only 635 Aiur-years old. Or vice-versa.
- Frontline General: Prelate is something like the dark templar equivalent, and his in-game unit is a One-Man Army.
- Gameplay and Story Integration: Zeratul is seen in a cutscene one-hit killing hydralisks. He can one hit kill hydralisks in both games as well.
- Heroic BSoD: As shown in the Dark Templar Saga, he's still shouldering a lot of guilt for killing Raszagal and handing the Zerg to Kerrigan on a platter four years after the fact. In said novel, he's been in seclusion for most of the four-year gap, traveling the stars to try and make sense of things and come to terms with himself.
- Heroic Sacrifice:
- In the Overmind's vision, "In Utter Darkness," he dies along with the rest of the Protoss.
- He pulls a real one to save Artanis from Amon's control, giving up his life to sever Artanis' nerve cords.
- Hero with Bad Publicity: In the first game, the Conclave see him and his people as heretics. In the second game; many Protoss, including Vorazun and Selendis, are mentioned to see Zeratul as a heretic and a traitor who murdered the Nerazim matriarch, and brought ruin to Aiur. When he comes back in Legacy of the Void, Artanis has to stop his forces from arresting him. Selendis more or less forgives him later on, even to the point of trusting him to keep Artanis safe. Vorazun has completly forgiven him at the end of the Legacy of the Void campaign by saying, she will never stop honoring him.
- Averted with Karass, the Zhakul Preservers and Talis who still respect him and aid him in his quest. The two Praetors (Karass and Talis) also treat him like a hero and/or a brother (much like Artanis) and fight with him without any grudge or hesitation, going as far to sacrifices themselves to permit Zeratul to escape for the sake of their entire race (in both cases, Zeratul didn't want to leave them to their demise).
- I Did What I Had to Do:
- "Damn you, Kerrigan, for what I must do." Occurs as he kills Raszagal rather than let her live as Kerrigan's mental slave.
- Occurs again in Heart of the Swarm when he directs Kerrigan to Zerus, wanting her stronger for the fight against Amon, even though he's fully aware the rest of the Protoss will NOT be pleased upon hearing that he helped their most hated enemy. That is also not going into the special hatred he must have for her brainwashing his beloved matriarch and forcing him to kill her to free her from it.
- Ineffectual Loner:
- He prefers to travel alone, rarely bringing along small groups of other dark templar units for support. However, while his own abilities are impressive, he often needs help in his travels and wouldn't be able to complete his missions without aid.
- His status as this trope has even been subject to Gameplay and Story Integration. As a commander in Co-op, Zeratul is able to call down AI-controlled reinforcements in reference to his reliance on allies. During the early plans for Legacy of the Void, Zeratul was intended to be the main character, but Blizzard shifted the focus to Artanis when they realized it just wouldn't be in-character for Zeratul to lead a grand Protoss army.
- Invisibility: Standard for Dark Templar, he's permanently cloaked.
- Irony: Zeratul dies earlier than in the Bad Future he helped prevent.
- Knight In Sour Armor: Living as long as he did and his people being persecuted by the Conclave for so long, Zeratul is cynical and jaded. He still tries to do the right thing though.
- Laser Blade: the Warp Blade, infused with the energy of the Void, the only weapon that can destroy a cerebrate or the Overmind permanently.
- Mundane Utility: he uses his warp blade as a lantern in a cutscene.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Twice. First he killed Zasz and accidentally told the Overmind the location of Aiur, then he killed the second Overmind giving Kerrigan complete control of the Zerg. He later learned that the second of these wasn't as bad a thing as it first appeared. And even the first of these had some long-term benefits.
- Ninja: He is a ninja in everything but name (though with his shields in both games he take a ton of damage), and is it surprising that he's one of the most popular characters in the series?
- One-Man Army: However, he does the most normal damage of any unit you can control in the game. There's even an achievement in Wings of Liberty invoking the trope's name, where he has to kill 50 enemies.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: His Badass Boast (above) to Aldaris also has vibes of this.
- Small Role, Big Impact: In the main campaign of Legacy of the Void; he only lasts two missions into the campaign before he dies in a Heroic Sacrifice by severing Artanis' nerve cords and freeing him from Amon's corruption. But this ensured the Hierarch survives and is able to lead the remaining Protoss to victory; indeed, his sacrifice was the beginning of a long Humiliation Conga suffered by Amon at the hands of Artanis' forces.
- Take Up My Sword: Though he doesn't voice the request, when he dies in Legacy of the Void, Artanis takes his gauntlet from him and uses it for the rest of the game, projecting his warp blade from it.
- Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Zeratul makes it clear that he is not happy about ensuring Kerrigan's survival, but puts up with it for the greater good.
- You Are in Command Now: After he slays Raszagal to free her, she charges him to take command of the dark templar. Really, he'd been the de facto commander all along. So far he hasn't returned to Shakuras to actually take the role, however. And given his death, he never will.
The Matriarch of the Dark Templar, one of the oldest Protoss to have lived, and a powerful psychic who led her people for nearly 500 years, long enough to have clearly remembered Aiur from before the exile of the Dark Templar. It is not known when exactly Kerrigan controlled her, but Raszagal was a slave to Kerrigan for most of the events of Brood War. In a last act of mercy, Zeratul killed his matriarch, refusing to let the Queen of Blades control her any longer. Although she is passed now, the Dark Templar still believe their matriarch is watching over them and some have invoked her name to keep peace between the feuding tribes.
Provides examples of:
- Art Evolution: The Remastered HD remake gives her a considerably more detailed appearance than in the original game, bringing her look more in-line with the established Nerazim aesthetics.
- Dying as Yourself: In her last words, she is freed from Kerrigan's control and thanks Zeratul for killing her, leaving him in charge to save Protoss.
- I Die Free: She regains her own mind before she dies.
- Mind Control: Kerrigan had taken over her far before she even arrived on Shakuras.
- Mind Rape: On the receiving end from Kerrigan.
- Not So Different: Mohandar thought one of Raszagal's reasons to welcome the Khalai survivors to Shakuras was to defy this trope, as she would have been just like the Conclave that banished the Nerazim from Aiur if she didn't let the survivors stay in Shakuras.
- Out-of-Character Alert: Zeratul starts suspecting something is not right with her when the usually peaceful and reasonable Raszalgal coldly orders them to eliminate Aldaris. This is the first sign indicating she is under Kerrigan's influence.
- Psychic Powers: She was one of the most powerful protoss minds during her prime, but as time passed and she grew old, her powers waned and she fell victim to Kerrigan's mind control.
- Really 700 Years Old: True in general for the protoss, but Raszagal was 1,045 years old at the time of her death, and since her death was of unnatural causes she likely could've lived longer. She was old enough to remember Aiur before the exile of the Dark Templar, and personally knew Adun himself.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Despite the Conclave banishing her people and treating them like heretics for centuries, she welcomes the Khalai survivors to Shakuras with open arms, saying she doesn't consider them responsible for the Conclave's sins. Zeratul, who has been serving her for a very long time, states she has always been "a wise and benevolent soul", hence why her aggressive behaviour makes him suspect something is wrong with her.
- Sacrificial Lion: Her death sends Zeratul fleeing into exile in shame, leaving the Protoss down two of their most valuable leaders and establishing Kerrigan's power over them.
- The Smurfette Principle: In Starcraft I/Brood War, she is the only female Protoss seen.
- Underestimating Badassery: Kerrigan tells Zeratul she could enslave Raszagal because she underestimated her power.
- Unwitting Pawn: To Kerrigan, from the beginning.
Vorazun is Raszagal's daughter, and, as of Legacy of the Void, the Matriarch of Dark Templar on Shakuras. She was Mohandar's student and Taelus' mentor; when Mohandar was killed, she replaces him as the leader of the Dark Templar.
Provides examples of:
- Action Girl: She's a dark templar and has a good arm with a warp scythe. Also the first protoss female to take the field and fight personally, as Selendis pilots a carrier.
- Combat Pragmatist: In Co-Op Missions, fittingly for the Matriarch of the Dark Templar. Her abilities overall focus on using cloaked units, disabling the opponent's ability to defend against cloaked units, and generally using sneaky and subversive tactics, culminating in taking down defenseless units by using Time Stop.
- Dance Battler: Her fighting involves a lot of spinning and fluid movements.
- Deadpan Snarker: Does this when communicating with Alarak. Unfortunately, Alarak's tongue is just a hair sharper than hers.
- Enemy Mine: She and Artanis are frequent political opponents, but they've buried the hatchet in the face of The End of the World as We Know It.
- Fantastic Racism: Towards the Tal'darim. Sure, anyone in-universe has just as good a reason as any to hate the Tal'darim, but Vorazun sees them as barbarians and liars.
- Fire-Forged Friends: She doesn't actually dislike Artanis, and after he saves her people from extermination, she's his closest ally on the Spear of Adun, and his primary adviser.
- A Mother To Her Men: She may be a tough cookie sometimes, but Vorazun loves her people.
- Flash Step: Her special ability lets her rapidly warp around the battlefield striking enemies. She also has a variant of the Stalker's Blink ability to teleport around.
- To Raszagal. Both are fiercely dedicated to their people, but Raszagal was said to be far more accepting of the idea of protoss united under one banner, while Vorazun wasn't as much, mainly because she feared that her culture would diminish and that her people would lose their lives for a cause that she believed didn't involve them (she gets better). Furthermore, their demeanors contrast with each other as well.
- She's also one to Artanis. Artanis is very ideological, whereas Vorazun is quite jaded. Also, while Artanis has a lot of Humble Hero moments and almost cripplingly low self-esteem, Vorazun is very confident and pragmatic.
- She's also one to Zagara. Both are Number Two to their respective leaders, complete with a history of disagreements (in Zagara's case, violently). While Vorazun remained in her Number Two position, Zagara eventually took over the Swarm after Kerrigan's departure.
- Headbutting Heroes: Not a fan of Alarak, and wonders whether the alliance with the Tal'Darim will change the Daelaam for the worst. When he arrives, Vorazun spends her time in the War Council room to stay away from him. Ironically, she is teamed up with him during the mission to destroy the Matrix on Aiur.
- Lady of War: She fights in the traditional manner of the Dark Templar with a double-bladed beam scythe, and she makes it look both graceful and ridiculously deadly.
- The Lancer: To Artanis. She is frequently the second in command whenever the Hierarch goes on solo missions.
- Like Mother Unlike Daughter: They both share a striking resemblance in appearance, but Vorazun and Raszagal's personalities are different, something that is constantly lampshaded in the Children of the Void short story.
- Number Two: Once she comes on the ship, it's clear that she's helping Artanis run things.
- Promoted to Playable: When Artanis is in danger of being taken by Amon's trap within the Temple of Unification, Vorazun handles his normal pre-battle duties like adjusting the Solar Core or picking troops in the War Council.
- Taking You with Me: Non-suicidal version. Although it's clear that the Protoss cannot hold Shakuras against Amon's relentless army of Zerg, she and Artanis hatch a plan to destroy the planet after luring as many Zerg there as they can, to kill them all with the planet's destruction. Thankfully, they can warp to avoid getting killed
- Where I Was Born and Razed: A surprisingly benevolent version. In the Legacy of the Void campaign, Amon's zerg had completely overrun Shakuras. Instead of letting it stay that way, Vorazun decided to destroy the planet. She justifies this by saying that Auir was always her people's true home, even if she's never seen it for herself.
- You Are in Command Now: Represents the Nerazim on the Twilight Council after Mohandar's death.
Mohandar is an elderly leader of the Dark Templar caste, and a member of the Hierarchy. In Wings, Mohandar was killed in the Overmind's vision of the protoss' final stand against the Dark Voice. He went into battle leading the remaining void rays. As his ship was destroyed, Mohandar declared he was returning to the Void.
Mohandar during the current timeline is the leader of the Dark Templar after Raszagal was killed by Zeratul, and also Vorazun's mentor. He is killed by Taelus during a Nerazim insurgency; his death is why Vorazun is in the Twilight Council representing the Nerazim.
Provides examples of:
- Ace Custom: Pilots a cool-looking, souped-up Void Ray into battle.
- Casual Danger Dialog: Mohandar is such a stoic during "In Utter Darkness" he's the only one of the Protoss heroes that does not express regret at their choice of killing Kerrigan or shock upon being killed. Mohandar just calmly states he's "returning to the Void".
- Cool Starship: as with Urun, he too appears piloting an awesome Void Ray.
- Cool Old Guy: Especially to Vorazun.
- Death In The Limelight: He's a prominent character in the "Children of the Void" short story released leading up to Legacy of the Void. He is killed near the end of the story.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: Is killed off in a short story leading up to Legacy of the Void. No matter which timeline occurs, he dies anyway.
- Killed Off for Real: No, In Utter Darkness doesn't count because it was merely vision. He dies during Children of the Void short story.
- Last Stand: During "In Utter Darkness," he dies fighting the zerg-hybrid forces of Amon.
- Master-Apprentice Chain: Mohandar mentored Vorazun, who then mentored Taelus, who later turned on him.
- Old Soldier: He's ancient, even by Protoss standards, and is still capable of putting up a good fight with or without his Ace Custom Void Ray.
- The Smurfette Principle: A weird gender-inverted version; he is by no means the only male Nerazim, but he's the only male Nerazim that has led, given how Dark Templars are usually matriarchal.
- The Stoic: Mohandar during In Utter Darkness emotes very little if at all.
- You Are in Command Now: Mohandar became the leader of the Dark Templar after Raszagal died, even though she wanted Zeratul to succeed her.
A Dark Templar assassin who, unlike a majority of their kind, hates the Khalai Protoss. Acts as a minor antagonist in the side campaign Enslavers: Dark Vengeance, where he allies with the Terran smuggler Alan Schezar to attack Shakuras with mutated Zerg. During the campaign, Ulrezaj merges with some of his followers to become a Dark Archon. Zeratul foiled his plans and killed Schezar, but Ulrezaj escaped.
Got a big promotion to primary antagonist of the Dark Templar Saga novels, where he acts as a secondary antagonist and lead a tribe of brainwashed Protoss in the ruins of Aiur. He is concerned with hunting down the Preservers as they "know too much", and serves a mysterious, unknown entity.
Provides examples of:
- Ascended Extra: From a side-campaign meaningless to the overarcing plot to a major antagonist in a trilogy of novels.
- Big Bad: Of Dark Vengeance.
- Big Bad Ensemble: With Kerrigan in the Dark Templar Saga. While Kerrigan is the larger overall threat, Ulrezaj is much more pertinent and confronts the antagonists directly.
- Characterization Marches On: His motivations and characterization in Dark Vengeance are a far cry from his actions in the Dark Templar Saga. As described under Took a Level in Badass, this is not a bad thing.
- Dark Is Evil: He's a Dark Templar/Dark Archon. He's evil. Yup.
- Dark Messiah: How he's seen by his followers in the novels, at least.
- The Dragon: He's stated to have a boss who's much more powerful than him.
- Eldritch Abomination: Described as an enormous cloud of crackling, ''radiant darkness''. It took a whole Terran Exploratory Fleet, uncountable Zerg and several Protoss sacrifices to even slow him down. Not even Kerrigan wanted to mess with him.
- Fusion Dance: Most Archons are fused from two Templar. Ulrezaj on the other hand is a fusion of seven Dark Templar with himself as the dominant personality. Exactly how he managed that is unknown, even in-universe. Also, most Archons burn out and expire after some time. His method for continued survival is also unknown, but it likely involves the souls of the living, and drinking them.
- Hunter of His Own Kind: In the Dark Templar Saga, it's revealed that since the Dark Templar cannot access the khala, they do not have preservers, thus they store memories in crystals that must be maintained over centuries. Ulrezaj is one of these Dark Templar, making him this trope to natural preservers.
- The Juggernaut: Stopping him in the second book requires dozens of Protoss to unite their powers to create a massive storm of psionic energy; everything up that point doesn't even slow him down. In the third book they don't actually stop him so much as they trap him in a crystal.
- Left Hanging: It never is explained precisely who he was working for or what he was doing on Aiur. Word of God is that he wasn't working for Amon, but otherwise it's left vague.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: With other names like Zeratul, Tassadar and Artanis, does "Ulrezaj" sound like a hero's name?
- From Nobody to Nightmare: He was once not even a warrior, the novels reveal he was a scholar and librarian who preserved memories via khaydarin crystals. These days he's a massively powerful Dark Archon and one of the most dangerous beings in the galaxy.
- One-Man Army: The climax of book two in the Dark Templar Saga describes three armies working together to fight him...and losing! The passages describe him killing dozens of Mutalisks with one blast, and Zerglings "toppling like dominoes" at his feet. It isn't until the Protoss unite their powers (see above) that he actually takes any significant damage, and even then it doesn't kill him and he's back on his feet by the climax of the third book.
- Red Herring: What he ended up being in the Dark Templar Saga. As a leader of the Tal'darim on Aiur and hinted to be serving a mysterious master even more powerful than him, the novels seemed to be setting up Ulrezaj as an antagonist for Starcraft II leading the Tal'darim and/or working for Duran or Amon. However, Word of God has since said that Ulrezaj's Tal'darim have no connection to the Tal'darim serving Amon other than taking their name from the same historical source, and Ulrezaj's master was not Amon.
- Royal "We": As seen in his quote. Justified, considering that he's actually seven people.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: He gets sealed inside a psionic crystal along with the Preserver Zamara at the end of the novels.
- These Are Things Man Was Not Meant to Know: He left his companions as a storer of memories when he began infiltrating the Wall of Knowledge, a storehouse of memory-storing crystals containing knowledge that even the leaders of the tribe do not access because they consider those memories this trope. Whatever Ulrezaj learned from those crystals is not revealed, but it's likely how he has managed to become so powerful now.
- The Unfought: In Dark Vengeance, he is never fought, though he does appear in the field, and ultimately escapes.
- The Voiceless: In a few scenes in the Dark Templar Saga we see his mental processes as he talks to his other personalities, but otherwise is entirely silent when the heroes confront him. Also works on a meta-level, the Enslavers missions were not given voice acting so Ulrezaj had no voice actor.
- Took a Level in Badass: In Dark Vengeance, Ulrezaj was a normal Dark Templar who wanted the Khalai Protoss to suffer for their ancestors banishing the Dark Templar from Aiur, and while his scheme to do so was pretty impressive, he didn't get a lot of character besides the basic idea of revenge and was a minor character in an optional campaign. In the Dark Templar Saga, he's a Dark Messiah leading his own cult in the ruins of Aiur by brainwashing the survivors stranded on the planet and is a One-Man Army able to destroy dozens of forces from all three races. Ulrezaj took several levels in badass.
- With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: Implied by the Dark Templar Saga — at the least, he's got six other Protoss in his mind as a result of their Fusion Dance.
- Xtreme Kool Letterz: Again — Ulrezaj.