Following the destruction of Aiur by the zerg, the protoss fled through the world's sole remaining warp gate to the Dark Templar sanctuary of Shakuras. The gate was disabled in order to prevent the zerg from reaching Shakuras.
The stranded protoss, calling themselves the Shel'na Kryhas ("Those Who Endure") and led by the Templar Ladranix, eventually congregated in the old cities. Many of the protoss could not withstand the feelings of abandonment, a racial wound dating back to the xel'naga abandonment (which had led to the Aeon of Strife), and began to emulate the protoss from long ago, such as by restricting their mental contact except for strict necessities, causing them to grow distant from the Khala.
Felanis, their leader, began acting strangely (according to Ladranix), collecting around him a clique of like-minded protoss such as Alzadar, a former Templar. Felanis insulted Ladranix for clinging to the old traditions, then took his followers and departed. They became known as the Tal'darim (the "Forged").
Felanis had come into contact with a powerful being whom Felanis saw as a demigod. The being, called the "Benefactor" (or the Xava'tor), offered power to Felanis to save him and his people. However, only Felanis ever saw the creature and realized its true nature; others of his followers only "heard" its powerful mental voice.
The Tal'darim were given an addictive drug, Sundrop, and instructed to take shelter in a huge cavern system under Aiur. (The Conclave had declared the area off-limits, but the Tal'darim no longer cared about their heritage.) The Xava'tor had other instructions; sometimes he would request a Tal'darim to join him, and these "Xava'kai" ("Hands of the Benefactor") would never be seen again. The Xava'tor also forbade them from entering the chamber where an extremely pure huge xel'naga-created khaydarin crystal was located.
Hunting the PreserverEdit
The Xava'tor desired preservers for his own uses, and the Tal'darim would provide them to him. When the terran fugitive archaeologist Jake Ramsey, bearing the preserver Zamara within his head, and his companion Rosemary Dahl traveled to Aiur, Felanis quickly heard of it.
Dahl was sent to scout the caverns (looking for the giant crystal) and was captured by the Tal'darim. Felanis "spoke" to her, declaring that his people were unlike the Shel'na Kryhas who clung to old traditions, and while upset at being abandoned by his own people, took "comfort" in the certain deaths of the other protoss at the hands of the Dark Templar of Shakuras. (These statements drew positive attention from the other Tal'darim.) Felanis told her that she would betray Jake Ramsey by bringing him to the caverns (which would bring Zamara to him), and when she objected, he reminded her of previous betrayals by people she had trusted. However, Dahl refused to break, so Alzadar dosed her with Sundrop instead.
The plan didn't work. While Dahl was heavily addicted to the drug, she confessed to her companions and the Shel'na Kryhas what had happened. From her recollections of discussions with the Tal'darim, Zamara realized the Xava'tor was in fact Ulrezaj, a powerful dark archon (and anathema to many protoss, including the Tal'darim), which meant the Tal'darim were slaves to the very beings they feared. In addition, the Sundrop altered their minds to be much more like the Dark Templar (they could cloak and were cut off from the Khala, just like their dark brethren). The Shel'na Kryhas laid a trap for Alzadar, kidnapping him until they could break his addiction to Sundrop and reconnect him to the Khala.
Alzadar led the two terrans and a force of Shel'na Kryhas to the giant crystal's chamber, seeking a shard of khaydarin crystal. While leaving, they discovered a number of drained protoss corpses ... these were formerly Xava'kai. Felanis and his forces surrounded the Shel'na Kryhas, but Alzadar proclaimed the truth; the Xava'tor was a powerful dark archon, was effectively transforming the Tal'darim into Dark Templar, and was responsible for murdering the Xava'kai. Felanis expressed no surprise, as he had already known this; his previous statements condemning the Dark Templar as untrustworthy were simply propaganda.
While the terrans and half the Shel'na Kryhas force fled with the crystal, Alzadar and the other half of the force remained behind, hoping to convince other Tal'darim to turn against Felanis. Felanis's fate is unknown, but Alzadar emerged from the caverns alive with many Tal'darim followers.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Golden, Christie (November 27, 2007). StarCraft: The Dark Templar Saga #2: Shadow Hunters. Simon & Schuster (Pocket Star). ISBN 0-7434-7126-1.
- ↑ Golden, Christie (June 30, 2009). StarCraft: The Dark Templar Saga #3: Twilight. Simon & Schuster (Pocket Star). ISBN 978-0-7434-7129-9.
- ↑ Underwood, Peter, Chris Metzen and Bill Roper. StarCraft: Brood War (Manual). Irvine, Calif.: Blizzard Entertainment, 1998.
- ↑ StarCraft: Brood War. Vivendi Games. Mission: Escape from Aiur (in English). 1998.
- ↑ StarCraft: Brood War. Vivendi Games. Mission: Dunes of Shakuras (in English). 1998.