"Char? You want me to tell you about Char? Oh man, I still wake up screaming from the nightmares I have about that pit. A thick layer of ash covers everything, and there's this eerie red glow that comes from the magma that seeps up through the surface of the planet. One wrong step and you find yourself wading in a pool of hot lava. You ever hear the scream of a man as he is being burned alive by lava, Major? It's not something you soon forget, let me tell you. And if the infernal planet doesn't get you, there's always the damned Zerg that'll try and finish the job. Those devils were everywhere, and they killed a whole lot of my buddies in ways I don't want to remember. Char was a hellhole, alright, and I rather have you kill me than send me back there again."
It is an inhospitable volcanic planet with thick ash covering most of its surface and tainting its acrid atmosphere. The hazardous environment is further intensified by extremely high levels of cosmic radiation from its volatile pairing of binary stars. Char's elliptical orbit means whole regions of its sunward face can become molten seas during a close approach, with temporary islands forming in them due to rapid cooling as the planet swings away to the frozen outer reaches of the system.
Char is tectonically active. The acrid air has a high oxygen and sulfur content and is laced with ash. An unprotected terran may survive on the planet, however uncomfortably. Despite the conditions small pockets of liquid water exist on the surface, and precipitation occurs.
Char has thick layers of ash which can wreak havoc on sensitive equipment and can also cover hazards such as magma pools. Clouds of ash form which are thick enough to block the view of the stars, making navigation difficult. In addition, fluctuating magnetic fields render magnetic compasses unreliable.
The magma, driven by powerful tectonic activity, often seeps to the surface. The harsh tectonic conditions can cause horrifying firestorms which unrelentingly burn across the plains; the tectonic activity can result in pyroclastic flows traveling down mountains at speeds of over 100 miles per hour and with temperatures in excess of 800 centigrade (1470 °F). Temperatures are sometimes so intense that entire sections of its surface become liquefied.
Char is one of the richest resource nodes in the sector, as the tectonic activity continually uncovers deposits of minerals and geysers of vespene gas. Additional resources become accessible when the planet is farthest away from the stars. The temporary islands formed from the magma are replete with minerals.
The surface of Char can reach such extreme temperatures that mineral deposits melt, forming rivers which can last months before finally hardening. Mineral-laden pathways are then created, protruding from the obsidian landscape, serving as both landmarks and rich mining fields.
Char was originally settled by the Terran Confederacy to exploit its fantastically rich reserves of heavy metals to fuel the rapidly growing Confederate economy. Although Char earned a place among the thirteen core worlds of the Confederacy, it became a source of friction between the Confederacy and independent mining guilds operating out of Moria.
In 2485, these disputes escalated into open conflict. Both the Confederacy and the Kel-Morian Combine attempted to secure Char, resulting in some of the most bitterly fought battles of the Guild Wars. In areas like Death Valley and Glass Flats, a combination of fiery volcanic activity and the unrestrained use of nuclear weapons created radiation levels that were lethal even for armored marines.
Ten years after the Guild Wars, Char was rapidly overrun by the zerg, who made it their primary hive planet in the Koprulu sector. It was chosen for its remote location, rich resources, and difficult terrain that made it easier to hide hatcheries and their populations. Theorists were evenly split among several ideas: some said that Char formed a useful jumping-off point to the core worlds of terran and protoss space; others said that Char's inhospitable nature made it easier for the zerg to defend it; and still others said that its high radiation levels promoted an increased rate of mutation in zerg organisms, enabling forced evolution of specialist strains.
Mengsk sent General Edmund Duke to flush out the zerg. However, Duke was defeated by the zerg and forced to fall back.Raynor's Raiders were prevented from getting near the chrysalis as it opened. Kerrigan allowed Raynor to leave.
Tassadar diverted Kerrigan while Zeratul killed Zasz and became temporarily linked with the Overmind. In that moment, the Overmind gleaned the location of Aiur from Zeratul's mind.
Once the Overmind's silence was broken, Kerrigan's cerebrate set a trap for the Dark Templar before she herself devastated Tassadar and Zeratul's armies. The zerg then traveled to Aiur, leaving Kerrigan to hunt down the remaining protoss warriors.
JudicatorAldaris and the new Executor came to Char to arrest Tassadar, whom they found with Raynor. Tassadar convinced his successor to help him find Zeratul. They were surrounded by zerg, but managed to break out.
Duke moved against Tassadar but was defeated. Tassadar then entered an installation and found Zeratul with the help of Raynor's troops. They then departed for Aiur.
Several cerebrates, commanded by Daggoth, returned to Char following the death of the Overmind and merged into a new one. They locked onto the Khalis' energies and nested near it. When a protoss army under Zeratul, PraetorArtanis and the Executor arrived, Kerrigan exerted limited control over a few of the zerg there and provided them with backup as they retrieved the Khalis.
The swarms over Char scattered in disarray when the psi disrupter hampered their communications to one another. This allowed the United Earth Directorate fleet under Admiral Gerard DuGalle to penetrate to Char's surface. Three cerebrates constituted the core of the Overmind's defenses, including one that pumped sunken colonies full of energy that continually reincarnated a Torrasque. Despite this, the UED forces overcame the Overmind's defenders. Once the UED troops had reached the Overmind, a team of specially trained medics administered powerful neurostims to pacify it.
Using MatriarchRaszagal as leverage, Kerrigan manipulated Zeratul into killing the Overmind. Zeratul then demanded that Kerrigan release Raszagal at once. However, when Kerrigan asked if she wished to return to her people, Raszagal replied that she wished only to serve Kerrigan and remain at her side. Zeratul realized that Kerrigan had corrupted Raszagal's mind.
The remnants of the UED fled Char as Zeratul and his brethren rescued Raszagal and regrouped with a number of protoss survivors on the surface of Char. Kerrigan's cerebrate mobilized all of her broods and sent them to the surface. They closed in before the protoss were capable of dimensional recall. Zeratul cursed Kerrigan bitterly and dealt Raszagal a mortal blow rather than let her be recaptured. In her last moments, Raszagal thanked Zeratul for freeing her from Kerrigan's control and named him the new leader of the Dark Templar.
After defeating three fleets under Mengsk, Artanis and DuGalle above Char, Kerrigan suspected a great and terrible danger to the Swarm and relocated her primary hive cluster to the surface. She stored millions of eggs in the acid marsh for future use.
In October 2504, Raynor's Raiders and half the Dominion Fleet assembled above Char under Crown Prince Valerian Mengsk. The zerg launched a spoiler attack and the few battle-groups that made it to the surface scattered all over the place. Raynor rallied the survivors and secured a landing zone.
Warfield's ship took terrible, terrible damage and crashed. Raynor rallied the survivors and secured a landing zone. A ship with General Horace Warfield aboard took terrible, terrible damage and crashed, but he was rescued by Raynor and Tychus Findlay.
Kerrigan recalled the closest broods to Char. Most of the zerg massed near the planet.
After Raynor made a diversionary attack to cripple part of the zerg defenses, Warfield brought the xel'naga artifact to Char and the engineer corps moved it to the base of the primary hive cluster. Raynor and Warfield entrenched the last of their defenses all around it. Once the artifact was activated, all nearby zerg were attracted by its pulse-emanations and went into a frenzy trying to reach it. Kerrigan herself took part in the attack. However, they were held back long enough for the device to charge up. It was used to make Kerrigan human again.
Raynor's Raiders smuggled Kerrigan off-world. Warfield claimed Char in the name of the Terran Dominion and spent the next three weeks trying to eradicate the vast number of zerg hives that still remained there.
BroodmotherZagara united the disparate feralbroods on Char and attempted to bring her brood through the Bone Trench, but Warfield brought in a Gorgon which strafed them repeatedly. Zagara then set up her hive cluster in the acid marsh to gather as many eggs as she could. Upon Kerrigan's return to Char, Izsha located her hive cluster near a birthing pond there. Kerrigan proceeded to collect eggs while Zagara made troops, which she then sent against Kerrigan's hive cluster, but it was successfully defended. Kerrigan was able to collect enough eggs to spawn an army, which she used to destroy Zagara's hive cluster. However, she let Zagara live.
In the Bone Trench, Kerrigan awakened scourge nests by spawning creep tumors near them. The scourges brought down the Gorgons and Warfield's forces retreated from the Bone Trench. Kerrigan then assaulted Warfield's compound on the Dauntless Plateau. Zagara set up a hive cluster and Kerrigan took the first attack wave as Warfield activated his nuclear arsenal. Zagara sent her reinforcements until Warfield used nuclear missiles. The hive cluster barely survived the blast. Despite this, Kerrigan managed to take control of the base and breach Warfield's Tactical Operations Center. Although Kerrigan killed Warfield, he convinced her to pull her zerg back and let three shuttles packed with wounded men go.
The Dominion launched thousands of two-way communicators at the zerg, which Mengsk used to contact Kerrigan and reveal that Raynor was alive.
↑Tassadar: "A powerful psionic call drew my attention to a remote, barren world named Char. Apparently, the call was answered by others as well. For upon Char, I encountered those who were once our brethren - the Dark Templar." StarCraft. Vivendi Games. Mission: Into the Flames (in English). 1998.
↑Overmind: "Yet shall their overweening pride be their downfall. For when the assassin Zeratul murdered Zasz, his mind touched with mine, and all his secrets were made known to me. I have taken from his mind the secret location of Aiur, the Protoss Homeworld." StarCraft. Vivendi Games. Mission: Eye for an Eye (in English). 1998.
↑Edmund Duke: "Protoss Commander, this is General Edmund Duke of the Terran Dominion Armada. You are in violation of our air-space and have endangered human lives in your reckless attack against the Zerg. I order you to withdraw your ships immediately. If you fail to comply, I will not hesitate to open fire upon your vessels." Tassadar: "General Duke, I am Tassadar, and you are well known to me. Whatever leniency I extended to you and your comrades before, may have been in error. If you persist in halting our course, we will burn your pathetic fleet down to the last man." Duke: "I'm going to have to assume that was a hostile response..." StarCraft. Vivendi Games. Mission: Choosing Sides (in English). 1998.
↑Zeratul: "Greetings to you mighty Tassadar. I knew that you would not forsake us. For in the time that you have spent with us, you have learned to value our ways and our methods. You have learned to channel our dark power as well as that of your masters; thus, you alone have found completeness beyond the scope of the Khala. But I fear that the Conclave, in its pride, could never bring itself to welcome outcasts such as we." Tassadar: "Outcasts though you may be, it is your vision and courage that may yet save our Homeworld from the Swarm. I beg of you, Zeratul, return with us to Aiur. Though they are petty, and have, in ignorance cursed your kind for generations... help me save our people." Zeratul: "Since our banishment long ago, we have never failed in our responsibility to Aiur. Though it shall cause us great pain to see our homeland once more, we shall return with you, Tassadar. We will do what we can." StarCraft. Vivendi Games. Mission: Into the Darkness (in English). 1998.
↑Kerrigan: "Apparently, many of the renegade Cerebrates, commanded by Daggoth, have merged into a new Overmind. Fortunately, the creature is still in its infant stages. It can't control the Swarm yet, but Daggoth and the others still have control over most of the Broods." StarCraft: Brood War. Vivendi Games. Mission: The Quest for Uraj (in English). 1998.
↑Zeratul: "Kerrigan, this is Zeratul. I demand to know why you've taken our Matriarch." Kerrigan: "Actually, Zeratul, she's not the one I'm truly interested in. I stole her to get to you. You see, I need you and your brethren to kill the Overmind for me. The only way I had of assuring your cooperation was to take away that which you value most. However, I give you my word that once you've killed the Overmind, I'll allow her to return to you." Zeratul: "As if your word held any value..." Raszagal: "Zeratul, my faithful servant. You must aid Kerrigan in this endeavor. The Overmind is our common enemy. It must be destroyed to insure that our people will survive!" Zeratul: "You ask me to aid this vile creature?" Raszagal: "I do not ask this for myself. Nor do I ask it on Kerrigan's behalf. I ask you to do this for our people, Zeratul. Obey me as you always have... Trust in my judgement." Zeratul: "Very well, Matriarch. The Overmind will die this day." StarCraft: Brood War. Vivendi Games. Mission: To Slay the Beast (in English). 1998.
↑Zeratul: "It's done, Kerrigan. The Overmind is dead as you wished. Now I demand that you release the Matriarch at once!" Kerrigan: "Of course. Raszagal, do you wish to return to your tribe?" Raszagal: "No, my Queen. I wish only to serve you and remain at your side." Zeratul: "What treachery is this, Kerrigan? This pathetic creature cannot possibly be Raszagal!" Kerrigan: "Ha ha ha. I promised that I'd allow her to return to you, Zeratul. But it looks to me like she doesn't want to go." Zeratul: "You have corrupted her! Somehow you have poisoned her thoughts. Restore her to her rightful self, or you will pay dearly for this offense, Kerrigan!" Kerrigan: "All right, Zeratul, you've got me. I made your Matriarch my slave long before I joined you on Shakuras. She made the mistake of underestimating my power just like everyone else did." StarCraft: Brood War. Vivendi Games. Mission: To Slay the Beast (in English). 1998.
↑Zeratul: "Damn you, Kerrigan, for what I must do!" Raszagal: "Thank you, Zeratul... You have freed me from her vile control at last. You have always served me with honor... Thus I must ask you... to watch over my tribe... Into your hands I give the future." Kerrigan: "I can hardly believe this! You've killed your own Matriarch!" Zeratul: "Better that I killed her, than let her live as your slave, Kerrigan." StarCraft: Brood War. Vivendi Games. Mission: The Reckoning (in English). 1998.
↑And alone, floating on a dark platform above the burnt-out planet of Char, Sarah Kerrigan, the Queen of Blades, sat and lorded over the ravenous Swarms. Unable to shake the feeling that a great threat loomed just over the horizon, Kerrigan could only stare off into the vastness of space where she beheld a great void. Or perhaps a reflection of a hollow victory and of the trials yet to come... StarCraft: Brood War. Vivendi Games. Level/area: Epilogue (in English). 1998.