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Recap / StarCraft II

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This is a brief overview of the plot of StarCraft II. Warning: unmarked spoilers for all three Expansion Packs.

A brief introduction on plot and mechanics

All three chapters of the StarCraft II saga share the same gameplay mechanics and branching plot structure. You follow The Hero (Raynor / Kerrigan / Artanis) aboard a massive starship (the Hyperion for Raynor, a leviathan for Kerrigan and the Spear of Adun for Artanis), where you can interact with other characters and customize your army between missions. Each one has a way to customize the troops (Raynor gains credits and buys upgrades / Kerrigan chooses between evolutionary options / Artanis chooses between three diferent factions), and also a way to gain incredibly overpowered Support Powers (Raynor may collect "investigation points" / Kerrigan gains Power Levels for herself / Artanis collects solarite to ignite the Spear of Adun Solar Core Mechanics).

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Also, all three share the same plot structure: a fixed beginning and end, and a branching structure in the middle. So, for the middle part, Starcraft II uses an open-world model similar to Grand Theft Auto, where most mission chains are available for access at any time, and (in Wings of Liberty at least) players may jump between them at their leisure. Consequently, there is not really a "canon" path for the main section of each game.

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Chapter VII: Wings Of Liberty

It's been four years since Sarah Kerrigan trounced the United Earth Directorate, Terran Dominion and Protoss remnant. Since then, the Koprulu Sector has settled into a relative calm. The protoss continue to rebuild on their new homeworld of Shakuras, Dark Templar and Aiur protoss side by side. The zerg lie quiescent on Char, biding their time. Arcturus Mengsk remains the Emperor of the Terran Dominion, doing his best to rebuild human civilization and/or consolidate his own power. And where Acturus Mengsk rules, rebellions rise.

One such rebel is former Confederate Marshal James Raynor, leader of Raynor's Raiders and The Hero of the StarCraft franchise. After a stunning Cut Scene of a terran Marine being armed and armored ("Hell, it's about time."), we find Raynor back on his former home turf, Mar Sara, leading a strike against the understaffed Dominion garrison there and fomenting open rebellion. Shortly thereafter, he's joined by, of all people, the Marine from the Cut Scene: Tychus Findlay, resocialized criminal and one of Raynor's former partners in crime. Tychus reveals that the Moebius Foundation are in the market for alien artifacts, and that one such piece was discovered right here on Mar Sara. Raynor and Findlay seize this artifact, and then exfiltrate it by Holding The Line against a sudden encroachment of zerg. However, this was not just a random brood stirring on Mar Sara: Kerrigan's forces have begun a wide-scale invasion of the Koprulu Sector.

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Safely aboard his flagship, the Hyperion, Jim contemplates his next move.

  • On the worlds Monlyth and Xil, Raynor attempts to secure more pieces of the artifact. His mission is complicated not only by zerg, who seek it for themselves, but by the presence of protoss "Tal'darim" extremists, self-appointed guardians of anything xel'naga.
  • Agria is a border world under seige by the zerg. Raynor makes contact with Dr. Ariel Hanson, a local authority, and helps her people to evacuate to a staging area on planet Meinhoff. However the planet happens to be contaminated by zerg virus and the colonists find themselves in a full-blown Zombie Apocalypse scenario to which the Raiders have to return to save the colonists again. Afterwards Raynor helps the colonists re-settle on the planet of Haven. There, Raynor's forces are confronted by Executor Selendis, the no-longer-featureless Non-Entity General of Brood War. She reveals that the Havenite colonists carry a zerg virus with them, and offers to put the colony to the sword herself if Raynor cannot.
    • If Raynor chooses to spare the colonists, he successfully defends them against Selendis's forces and its mothership. Selendis, a Worthy Opponent, commends him for his victory and expresses hope that his faith in the colonists has not been misplaced. It has not, as Dr. Hanson discovers a cure and secures Haven's future.
    • If Raynor chooses to purify the colony himself, he attempts to destroy only those structures that have clearly become zergified, saving the rest as much as possible. Hanson protests this action and locks herself in a lab aboard the Hyperion, determined to find a cure. However, as the mission progresses, his Number Two Matt Horner reports increasing disturbances from the lab, and afterwards Raynor finds Hanson an infested, half-mutated menace. With remorse, he kills her.
  • Raynor is approached by Gabriel Tosh, a pirate of Jamaican extraction, who wants help obtaining several rare materials, like terrazine gas (guarded by those Tal'darim again) and a mineral called jorium. He then leads them to New Folsom Prison, where he wishes to stage a mass breakout. During the planning, Raynor is contacted by Nova, still-canon Player Character of the Vapor Ware project Starcraft: Ghost, who explains that Tosh is a member of the Spectres, a black-ops Ghost augmentation project gone rogue, who would turn against Raynor as they had the Dominion.
    • If Raynor decides to trust Tosh, he stages the break-out, freeing the Spectres, as well as many political prisoners and dissidents. Despite Nova's claims, spectres remain loyal allies to the Raiders
    • If Raynor believes Nova, instead of attacking New Folsom Raiders assault Avernus station, where Tosh recreates Project Shadowblade. Raynor and Nova destroy it together, Nova assassinates Tosh and later hands over the technologies necessary to train Ghosts.
  • Matt Horner takes the Raiders to Tarsonis, following a lead on a very special bit of technology which the Dominion is guarding. It turns out to be a decommissioned Confederate Adjutant—one of the gynoids whose voice delivers all the "You Require More Vespene Gas" warnings. But it's not just any Adjutant: it's the one who assisted Raynor and the nameless Colonial Magistrate during the Terran campaign of the first game, and contains recordings of Mengsk's decision to use the Zerg against the Confederacy on Tarsonis. To publicize Mengsk's war crimes, Horner stages a grand demonstration: Raynor's Raiders steal the Odin, a Super Prototype descended from Metal Gear, and let it run amok during its official unveiling on Korhal. The real damage, however, is done by the recordings, which cause wide-scale rioting across the Dominion.
  • After Xil, Jim is visited by an old friend: Prelate Zeratul, who has been wandering the galaxy ever since he discovered the zerg/protoss hybrid being grown by Samir Duran. He has infused the memories of his journeys into an Ihan Crystal, through which Jim can access Pensieve Flashbacks to his various adventures. On Ulaan he discovers a prophecy concerning the return of the xel'naga; on Zhakul he seeks the help of protoss Preservers in comprehending it, fighting off an active hybrid to obtain it. The prophecy itself mentions the Zerg Overmind, so Zeratul visits its corpse on Aiur, where the spirit of Tassadar explains that it too was acting under prophecy: a vision of the future where the hybrid, led by something called the Dark Voice, have demolished all life in the galaxy. The final memory is a Flash Forward to that day of "victory," in which the protoss enact a futile Last Stand against the hybrids, their Tragic Mistake now clear: victory would be in their grasp were Sarah Kerrigan still alive...

Raynor turns over the pieces of the Xel'Naga Artifact to the Moebius Corporation, which is revealed to be one man: Valerian Mengsk, Crown Prince of the Dominion. Valerian believes that the Artifact can return Kerrigan to (most of her) humanity, and has brought about half the Dominion fleet, as well as its CO, Gen. Horace Warfield, to prove it. The initial landing on Char is a disaster, but Raynor's Raiders pick up the pieces and establish a beachhead. After choosing between wiping out the zerg Nydus network or its air superiority (and fighting a mission to do it), the assembled terrans settle in to Hold the Line as the Artifact begins charging. Kerrigan's assault is fierce: she began the entire war simply to obtain this Artifact, and has no intention of having her plans thwarted. But ultimately the Terran spirit proves victorious: the Artifact releases its cleansing wave, demolishing the broods on Char.

Jim, Tychus and several others venture into the ruins of the primary hive cluster. There they find Sarah Kerrigan, recognizeably human (though not entirely so), but disoriented and helpless. Tychus draws his weapon, while the voice of Arcturus Mengsk speaks out of his armor; he had entered into a Deal with the Devil, vowing to slay Kerrigan in exchange for his freedom. Raynor interposes his armor between him and the bullet, and then returns fire, killing one of his oldest friends. The final shot of the campaign is of Raynor carrying Kerrigan into the smoky sunlight of Char.

Chapter VIII: Heart of the Swarm

Three weeks after the Battle of Char, Raynor's Raiders are hiding with Kerrigan at an Umojan lab, where Sarah has been receiving medical treatment and coming to terms with her past actions. As an exercise in controlling the Zerg, Valerian asks Kerrigan to take control of some captured Worker Units and build a small Hive Cluster; to demonstrate that Evil Is Not a Toy, Kerrigan deliberately disobeys orders, building a Zerg Rush and dealing substantial damage to the lab's equipment—though she also deliberately avoids civilian casualties. Valerian, unlike his father, takes the point.

Raynor and Kerrigan are already hatching plans to escape, but as it happens, they are unnecessary: when the Dominion attacks the Umojan facility, Valerian flat-out helps them flee, guiding the Battle Couple through the facility to reach Jim's Drop Ship. Unfortunately, the two are forced to separate, with Jim getting detained by Nova; when Sarah reaches the Hyperion, Horner and Prince Valerian are prepared to retreat due to being hideously outgunned. Kerrigan turns her dropship around and returns to the surface to secure Raynor's safety, particularly concerned about an Anti-Air Drakken Pulse Cannon which can blow just about anything out of orbit. To destroy it, she is forced to turn to local feral zerg, taking over a brood for her purposes. All is for naught, though: when she returns to the drop ship, she receives a Universe News Network broadcast proclaiming that the notorious terrorist James Raynor has been captured by the Dominion and summarily executed.

Furious and with a desire of vengeance, Kerrigan makes contact with a zerg Leviathan and its minion Izsha, who brings her up to date on the status of the zerg race in the last three weeks: with Kerrigan no longer present to unite the swarm, individual broodmothers have fallen into internecine conflict. Kerrigan created broodmothers as replacements for Cerebrates; they are much more independent and can function even if the Queen of Blades is removed from the Swarm; in fact, they will war amongst themselves until one emerges as the new Zerg Queen. This plan having Gone Horribly Right, Kerrigan will now need to win their loyalty them if she wants the full might of the zerg at her back.

  • On Char, Kerrigan repels the forces of Gen. Warfield, who are still occupying the planet and attempting to eradicate the zerg. By winning the allegiance of Zagara, the dominant broodmother on Char, Kerrigan is able to handle everything Warfield throws at her, eventually storming his compound, where she finds him already bleeding out. Warfield castigates her, asking if this is what she thinks Raynor would want. His words take hold, and Kerrigan allows the remaining Dominion survivors to return to Korhal instead of slaughtering them en masse as she once would have. Warfield, sadly, does not live to see it.
  • On the ice world of Kaldir, Kerrigan seeks the allegiance of a broodmother named Nafash. As it happens, she's already dead, killed by protoss colonists, but Kerrigan re-mobilizes her brood to prevent the protoss from calling in the Golden Armada. The colonists eventually give up, crate up their expedition and return to Shakuras, but Kerrigan is not having any word of her activities get out: she infects a protoss prisoner, Lasarra, with a larva and then "lets" the protoss retrieve her. Within, the larva emerges and consumes biomass, eventually transforming into a full-fledged broodmother named Niadra, who kills every protoss on the ship. At that point, Kerrigan stops communicating with her (for unspecified reasons), and Niadra continues her objective: building up a swarm to take on the protoss, whilst aboard an ark ship headed directly for the protoss homeworld...
  • Kerrigan is visited by Zeratul, who has spent time on the zerg homeworld of Zerus. According to him, it was vital for Kerrigan to return to her old Infested form, and she will be able to do so on Zerus. She travels there to do so, as well as win the allegiance of the Primal Zerg. Kerrigan makes contact with Zurvan, called the Ancient One because it is the single oldest zerg in existence, who claims that her broods have the mark of corruption by the Dark Voice: Amon, a fallen xel'naga who tainted the zerg by creating the Overmind. Thankfully, Amon, like all the xel'naga, died many thousands of years ago. Kerrigan metamorphoses into a zerg hybrid again, but her new Zergified form is even more streamlined and dangerous, and—more importantly—free from the influence of Amon. She then kills Zurvan, who only aided in her metamorphosis to then consume her and grow stronger himself. She also gains the allegiance of Dehaka, a primal pack leader who respects strength and, like all zerg, seeks the chance to absorb other lifeforms and self-improve.

Upon return to the Koprulu Sector, Kerrigan is badgered by broodmothers who wish to acknowledge her as the true leader of the swarm. One of them has a holocom terminal, which Kerrigan uses to spar verbally with Arcturus Mengsk. From him, however, she learns a vital fact: Raynor is still alive and in prison. Somewhere.

  • Kerrigan's next acquisition is a most unlikely character: Vice Admiral Alexei Stukov, who was infested after death and has lately escaped captivity from Skygeirr Platform, a star station where the Dominion experiments with hybridizing various life-forms. Under patronage from Mengsk, the lab's leader, Dr. Emil Narud, has been engaging in all manner of experiments, but his true master is Amon, the Dark Voice. He also has the allegiance of the Tal'darim, who help him defend against the swarm. Nonetheless, Kerrigan takes the day, demolishing the lab and its hybrids and slaying Narud, though not without taking great wounds herself. Additionally, Narud claims that Amon has already been resurrected. After she recovers, she and Stukov discuss the use of the xel'naga artifact to de-infest her at the end of Wings of Liberty, and realize that the great outpouring of energy from that event is what was was used to return Amon to life. Kerrigan cannot let Stukov go, and he supposes she will kill him; instead, she offers him a place in her Swarm, and he agrees to become her last lieutenant.
  • Before facing the Dark Voice, and even before killing Mengsk, there's Jim. Kerrigan returns to Terran space and makes contact with the Hyperion, informing Raynor's Raiders of Mengsk's lies. She doesn't know where Raynor is being held, but Matt and Valerian take the Hyperion up against a company of mercenaries led by Mira Han, who are holding a hacker skilled enough to tease that information out of Dominion networks. Kerrigan tries to pressure this hacker, Col. Orlan, to work faster, but Valerian stands up to her, preferring a slow and steady pace with more chance of success. Kerrigan, impressed with his spine, defers to his instincts. And sure enough, Orlan turns up a prison ship, the Moros, that jumps to a random location every hour. Kerrigan ambushes the Moros when it stops to refuel. Despite stiff resistance from the Dominion—as well as Mengsk, who attempts to self-destruct the ship out from under her—she reaches Raynor's cell and frees her. His gratitude, however, is replaced by dismay at the sight of her: he spent the entirety of Wings of Liberty trying to free her from Zerg influence, and now she's voluntarily returned to it. This means that all the deaths of the last few months—Tychus Findlay, General Warfield, a bunch of Tal'darim, thousands of Dominion redshirts and probably no small number of Raiders either—have been reverted to Senseless Sacrifices. He accepts his freedom, but declares their associations over.

Finally, Kerrigan turns her attention to Korhal, where Mengsk has summoned the bulk of his armies to defend against her. Valerian petitions her to make her landings on the outskirts of the capitol of Augustgrad, in order to give him time to oragnize an evacuation of his father's subjects—his subjects—under the aegis of the Raiders; Kerrigan, again, accedes to his wishes. After securing a beachhead, Kerrigan's forces enter the city, where they discover a Psi-Destroyer, a device that creates an "Instant Death" Radius against zerg. Here Dehaka gets a chance to shine: the device attacks the zerg through their Hive Mind, which primals are not a part of. He leads a commando mission against the Psi-Destroyer, after which Kerrigan's brood sweeps over the remaining defenses. Finally Kerrigan besieges the royal palace itself, promising once again to stay out of the civilian sectors while Valerian evacuates them.

James Raynor bears silent witness to Kerrigan's conference with Valerian. But when her forces move, he can stay silent no longer: he brings in the Hyperion and the military contingent of the Raiders to offer what assistance he can. Whatever his feelings towards Sarah, he wants Mengsk gone, and she's the sector's best chance to do it. Together, they overwhelm the Dominion's defenses, and Kerrigan penetrates the palace to confront Mengsk. He has one last card up his sleeve: the Xel'Naga Artifact used against her on Char. With it, he renders Kerrigan helpless. But it doesn't stop Jim, who has also arrived in his armor. He destroys the device's controls, and Kerrigan at last puts an end to the deceitful emperor.

Sarah thanks Jim for his assistance before withdrawing the Swarm from Korhal. While Valerian ascends to the throne and begins to re-organize the fractured Dominion, Kerrigan takes the zerg into deep space, there to prepare their defenses against the final foe: Amon.

"I now see my true enemy. He waits for me in the Void, wielding powers I cannot imagine. I go to face him, having renounced everything. My humanity. My identity. The man I love. But I will not face this enemy alone. I am the Swarm."

Chapter IX: Legacy Of The Void

Prologue: Whispers of the Void

The final chapter begins immediately after Heart of the Swarm. The three-mission prologue follows Dark Prelate Zeratul, who was following the clues to the prophecy of the Xel'Naga that would result in Amon's demise. He is contacted by Praetor Talis and told of a Moebius Foundation base where the Tal'darim had abducted templar and taken them for conversion into hybrids. Unfortunately, Kerrigan and her swarm was also present, with intent to destroy the station and no mood to discuss. Zeratul managed to work around the swarm and rescue the templar. The Templar inform Zeratul that the Tal'darim had found and held the Temple of Erris, a Xel'Naga temple on Atrias. The Prelate defeats the Tal'darim and enters into the temple, where Ma'lash waits. Zeratul, flanked by stalkers and templar reinforced by Talis, reaches the structure and learns the last piece of the prophecy (via Tassadar's ghost), but is trapped by Ma'lash and Amon and forced to escape alone with Talis sacrificing herself to keep Amon's forces at bay. Zeratul finds that the Keystone would lead them to the xel'naga. He heads to Auir to warn Artanis.

Legacy of The Void

In a frantic cinematic, the protoss achieve something have sought for four years: a return to Aiur. Three Zealots, two High Templar and one Probe make landfall on their stolen homeworld. They are ambushed by burrowed zerg, but the protoss have the Khala—a telepathic gestalt that links them together, allowing them to share their thoughts and observations. Founded by Messianic Archetype Adun, it is what helped the protoss transition from Barbarian Tribes locked in constant warfare to the Space Elves with Crystal Spires and Togas they are today... and it keeps the small party (we're talking only 11 Supply here) from being instantly overwhelmed. The Probe begins warping a pylon. One Zealot fends off several Banelings at the cost of his life. The Templar helps his brother to his feet, and they merge into an Archon, which grapples an Ultralisk. Finally, there is only one Zealot—he has but one eye—remaining to face the fury of the swarm (the Probe has disappearednote )... But behind him, the Pylon finishes warping in, and a bunch of Warp Gates spawn an entire flock of Zealots. They charge.

High above, Hierarch Artanis oversees the reclamation of Aiur by the Khalai (protoss of Aiur), but is interrupted by Zeratul. The real threat, Amon, is beyond, Zeratul claims, and any attempt to retake Aiur will merely waste lives needlessly. Artanis, nonetheless, chooses to press the charge, and the protoss make landfall en masse. After they succeed at clearing out a beachhead, Zeratul makes contact with Artanis again. He explains that a Xel'naga "Keystone" is critical to Amon's defeat. He proposes to obtain it from Korhal, where it was last seen being wielded by Arcturus Mengsk in his (unsuccessful) bid to defeat Sarah Kerrigan. Artanis bids him luck and sends him on his way. However, as Zeratul departs, he senses an enormous disturbance in the Khala, isolating individual protoss and filling the telepathic bond with rage. It is Amon. Zeratul, like all Nerazim, is cut off from the Khala; their refusal to join it is why they were exiled, and they sever their nerve cords to make it physically impossible to join it. Thus, only he and his forces are safe from Amon's interference; only they can resist falling under Amon's control.

Zeratul fights his way to Artanis, who is glowing red to show that Amon has succeeded in corrupting him. Zeratul engages him blade-to-blade in an attempt to sever Artanis' nerve cords, but Artanis, augmented by Amon, bests him. Zeratul, imbuing the tired Zealot Catchphrase with more meaning than it's ever had before—"My life for Aiur"—makes a Heroic Sacrifice in a Single-Stroke Battle that frees Artanis his nerve cords and Amon's control. Artanis cradles the corpse of his friend in sorrow.

Artanis links up with Karax, a Phase-smith of some renown. With a small contingent of protoss who are now free of their nerve cords -and thus from the Khala-, he re-activates an ancient Protoss ark-ship, the Spear of Adun, and takes to the stars. The vast majority of the Khalai army, including Executor Selendis, remain on Aiur, lost to Amon's control. Aboard the Spear of Adun, Artanis meets Rohana, a protoss "Preserver" who contains the memories of much of the race's history. With this team, the Spear of Adun sets to travel the galaxy and stop Amon's rampage:

  • On Shakuras, Artanis finds the Nerazim besieged. The Warp Gate through which the Khalai evacuated back in Episode IV has been re-opened, allowing Amon's forces to pour forth from Aiur. Artanis secures the safety of the evacuation, and then helps Matriarch Vorazun, leader of the Nerazim, carry out one last plan: to overload the Xel'Naga temple, once used by Artanis and Zeratul to wipe out the zerg infestation on Shakuras. The result is an Earth-Shattering Kaboom that consumes at least a billion foes.
  • On Glacius, Artanis attempts to gain access to some ancient Protoss technology: androids with Khalai personalities imprinted on them. This "Purifier" program was discontinued after predictable setbacks, but recent advances have increased its safety margins. Opposing them is Alarak, First Ascendant of the Tal'darim, attempting to annihilate the research facility. Its contents come with a bonus: Fenix, the protoss warrior slain on Shakuras by Kerrigan's treachery, now operating one of the robot bodies. As he passes time on the Spear of Adun, Fenix comes to grips with his new reality—not only as a robot, but as a mental clone of the original, made between Episodes III and IV.
  • In orbit of Korhal, Artanis finds Raynor attempting to drive off the Moebius Corps, who serve Amon and have obtained the Keystone. After Artanis helps Raynor, Adm. Matt Horner and Emperor (Valerian) Mengsk defend the Terran capitol of Augustgrad from Amon's incursion, they hands over the Keystone without fuss. However, the destruction wrought upon Korhal by the hybrid rampage is considerable, and thus the Terrans are unable to further lend support to Artanis' cause.

Karax discovers that the Keystone includes the coordinates of the xel'naga homeworld, Ulnar, deep within the Altarian Rift (a "hazardous astral anomaly" which Vorazun describes as "between universes"). Within is a giant octahedron, the "Temple of Unification," supposedly containing slumbering xel'naga who will awaken when their children call. Amon has already arrived, trying to defend using members of all three races, and so Artanis decides to enter alone. Within, he finds Kerrigan, also in search of the xel'naga, and the two team up: they find the entirety of the "prophecy" of two "enlightened" races necessary to awaken them, and both the zerg and protoss have been touched by the improving finger of the xel'naga.

Inside Ulnar, the secrets of the xel'naga are revealed. They live in the Void between universes, and enter each new one as it is born, there to sow the seeds of life. Two races are always destined to emerge: one pure of form and the other pure of essence. When the two "pure" races arrive, led there by the Keystone, they will merge together, ascend, and become xel'naga. However, according to the inscriptions in the shrine, the xel'naga did not interfere in the fates of their children, not as was seen in the Koprulu Sector; Artanis and Kerrigan figure out that it was Amon who conducted the Technology Uplift that made the zerg and protoss we know today. And, even worse, when crossing the portal to the resting chamber, they find out all the xel'naga within the temple are dead. The good news is, the xel'naga—and Amon—can be forced back into the void between universes. The bad news is, the reason Amon uplifted the two races was to create himself a physical, tangible host. He has chosen the Protoss as the source of his mutation, and is slowly building himself a body worthy of being a Final Boss on Aiur.

Whilst Artanis and Kerrigan are below, figthing the Void energies coming from the portal, Alarak boards the Spear of Adun. Surprisingly, he comes to perpetrate treachery against his own side. To revenge what he sees as Amon's betrayal of the Tal'darim, he helps a rescue force sneak in. Thereafter, Artanis and Kerrigan entrench: she to defend against Amon's thralls, and he to destroy the mechanisms through which the portal has been opened. Afterwards, Kerrigan declines to join Artanis' quest, citing the need to rebuild her broods after the fierce battle, but the two former enemies part as Fire-Forged Friends.

Back aboard the Spear of Adun, Karax has made further discoveries into the nature of the Keystone, an energy transfer device of unfathomable capability. Just as it extracted the corrupted energy that transformed Kerrigan into the Queen of Blades, Karax believes it can be used to extract the corrupted energy of Amon from the Khala, saving the Protoss and defeating the foe in one stroke. However, this research will take time, and cannot be hurried by Chrono Boost, so in the meanwhile Artanis gets to do more mission chains:

  • At Slayn, Alarak challenges Ma'lash as the Highlord of the Tal'darim in the rite of 'Rak'Shir,' attempting to secure a Klingon Promotion for himself. His first step is to destroy four of Ma'lash's lieutenants, and afterwards he duels Ma'lash one-on-one. While the Tal'darim and Daelaam cluster cannot directly interfere with the rite, they can gather around for "moral supporting", whilist interfering with the other's "moral support". In exchange, he offers to ally the Tal'darim to Artanis' growing alliance of "Daelaam" protoss... For now, at least.
  • On the planet Endion, Artanis seeks an ancient protoss starship, Cybros, which contains the bulk of the Purifier forces in power-saving mode. He has become convinced by Fenix's maturity that they can be safely harnessed. Despite opposition from Amonified zerg, he succeeds in disabling Cybros' stasis grids and gaining their allegiance.
  • In an asteroid belt called Revanscar, the Moebius Corps oversee the creation of Amon's Zerg-Protoss Hybrid—"False xel'naga, created in his image," as Rohana puts it. It turns out to be a trap, with boarders attacking the Spear of Adun; Artanis leads the defense, whilst Karax leads a contingent of Carriers against the base. For his actions, Karax is recognized as a true warrior, while at the same time Artanis realizes the mistakes of the Protoss caste system and abolishes it completely.

Finally, it is time to take the battle to Aiur. Two commando missions—Alarak and Vorazun, and Karax and Fenix (later renaming himself as Talandar)—strike at two of the giant crystals that power the Khalai Psi-Matrix, whilst Artanis takes on the third himself. With it destroyed, the Golden Armada, which Amon had intended to be the core of his defense, can no longer be teleported home across interstellar distances. (Fortunately, the other practical effect it ought to have—forbidding your forces from warping in buildings and units—is handilly avoided by everything you warp in being nearby in the Spear of Adun.) Then it is time to deal with Amon's host body, which is being built atop the corpse of the original Overmind. It is being powered by five Void Shards, which must be destroyed. Finally, as Jim Raynor did back on Char, Artanis bunkers down to charge the Keystone. Rohana takes command of the Spear of Adun, while the Nerazim, Purifiers and Tal'darim guard the flanks. Though the enemy hammers them mercilessly — the Spear of Adun takes such a pummeling that all her Support Powers are, one by one, knocked offline — Artanis' Daelaam prove victorious. Even a vanguard led by Selendis, by now the Mouth of Sauron, is unable to break their lines, and as the Keystone sucks Amon's energy into itself, Artanis exhorts his temporarily-freed brothers to give up on the Khala... their greatest strength and their Weaksauce Weakness.

Selendis: "Without the Khala, what will we become?"
Artanis: "Free."

With Amon expelled back into the Void, the Daelaam set about rebuilding Auir. Artanis lays Zeratul's warp gauntlet to rest, declaring his friend's quest finally over.

Epilogue: Into the Void

Aboard the Spear of Adun, Artanis receives a transmission from Ulnar. It's Kerrigan. She senses Amon's energy within the Void, along with something much more benevolent. She intends to pursue her enemy within and destroy him once and for all. Artanis and Raynor together pledge their support, and the combined fleets of the Koprulu Sector enter the Void.

Within, Artanis' forces are surprised to find Tassadar imprisoned by Narud, who reveals himself to be a member of the xel'naga. In a complicated, multi-pronged operation, Artanis, Kerrigan Raynor, Adm. Horner and Alexei Stukov advance across the misty, barren plateau, pushing forward against Void Thrashers and worse until finally they reach Narud's bloated form, where Stukov deals the finishing blow to the creature that betrayed him. Then they address the freed Tassadar.

It's not Tassadar; someone was merely using his form to inspire Zeratul. Instead, it's Ouros, a xel'naga who calls itself the "last shepherd of the cycle." Ouros reveals that the entirety of the prophecy was his own machination to stop Amon; Ouros wishes to maintain the cycle—"the merging of purity of form and purity of essence"—and to accomplish this he proposes to transfer his power to Kerrigan. Kerrigan, in remorse, agrees, fulfilling Zeratul's vision of her importance to the universe. The player, now as Raynor, settles in beside Tassadar and Brood Mother Zagara to defend Kerrigan as she learns to control her newfound abilities.

Kerrigan, now ascended into an almost angelic state, strikes at Amon. The player, in control of Kerrigan and the Zerg, must destroy several of Amon's weak spots whenever they are actually vulnerable, with the support of Artanis and Raynor. Amon's response is to simply eat the islands on which everyone's bases rest, consuming rock, minerals and Worker Units with impunity. But despite this opposition, Kerrigan's forces win through, and she annihilates Amon with a blast of light whilst teleporting her allies back to the known universe.

Two years later, Jim Raynor sits in a bar while a news report discusses the state of the Koprulu Sector: the rise of a kinder, happier Dominion, currently engaging in peace negotiations with the Daelaam protoss nation. According to a "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue, Zagara and the Zerg are asserting control of the space around Char, whilst the Tal'darim have ultimately withdrawn from their alliance with the Daelaam and founded their own homeworld. Behind him, the door opens, and someone strides in: lithe, female, with long red hair.

Kerrigan: You ready to get out of here, Cowboy?

Nova Covert Ops

As Valerian continue to rebuild Dominion, he encountered obstacle in form of the Defender of Man, a Terran-only organization that participates in actions that defame Valerian, trying to paint him in going down the same path as his father Arcturus. Thankfully for Valerian, with his new rulership on Dominion, he has a method to try to investigate this, Dominion's finest Ghost unit, Nova Terra. He commanded her and her squad of Ghosts to investigate this 'Defender of Man'. But the first investigation went awry and the whole squad went missing, with rumors that there's a traitor amongst Valerian's ranks.

Nova woke up after apparently being mind-wiped on certain parts of her life, in a facility belonging to the Defender of Man. Sensing danger, she quickly broke through the facility and rescued her fellow Ghosts before making her escape back to the Dominion mothership. She was met with cold reception by Matt Horner due to rumors that she might be the aforementioned traitor, but he gives her a chance to prove herself by dispatching her to an area under attack by feral Zergs. Nova defended well, but ultimately, it was the Defender of Man that eventually wiped the Zergs out, once again citing that Valerian is being an incompetent ruler.

Nova rendezvoused with Valerian, who asserts that he certainly will not follow his father's footsteps, and granted her the mothership Griffin. With that, she departed to the next area infested with feral Zerg, Tarsonis. In there, Nova uncovered a horrifying truth: The Defender of Man were behind the Zerg attacks in order to make it look like Valerian was being negligient, while their methods were scarily close to the methods used by Arcturus Mengsk to depose the Confederacy, sacrificing innocents in the name of 'the greater good'. Along with that, a psi-emitter was deployed, to attract thousands of feral Zergs onto Tarsonis...

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