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- Character description(src)
N/A (female personality)
Sarah Kerrigan (creator)
Izsha exemplifies a midpoint for Kerrigan, standing between Kerrigan's cold rationality and the feral nature of the Swarm. She harkens back to the ideology of the Overmind, but is still a rational individual. Among the zerg, Izsha occupies a similar role to that of a terran adjutant, assisting with navigation, logistical analysis and record-keeping. Izsha is physically grafted to Kerrigan's leviathan, where she filters through the ceaseless volume of sensory data that floods the Swarm with each passing moment.
After the Brood War, the Queen of Blades turned to experimentation to advance the Swarm. Just as she was transformed by the Overmind's ministrations, so too did the Queen’s early attempts at crafting new strains mirror Sarah Kerrigan’s "rebirth." The being that would be called "Izsha" was one of the Queen’s truly unique developments, marrying traits like episodic memory to the collective consciousness of the Swarm. However, as her functions were more suited to hive organization than warfare, Izsha remained largely unknown to the enemies of the zerg.
Kerrigan used her to store her thoughts and plans. As she sensed a looming threat to the zerg, she took action to preserve her memories for the Swarm's future. On at least one occasion she entrusted Izsha with a plan to infest a planet using the hyper-evolutionary virus through its water supply.
Heart of the SwarmEdit
The Queen ReturnedEdit
"Yes...I do remember you. More importantly, you remember me."
- Izhsa and Kerrigan reunite(src)
The following section contains timeline information which isn't necessarily in chronological order.
"Not for long, it won't. Take us down to the surface."
- Izsha briefs Kerrigan(src)
At Kaldir, Izsha informed Kerrigan that most of the zerg on the world were under the command of Broodmother Nafash, who sought to create her own Swarm. On the planet's surface, she reported that their scouts had confirmed that Nafash had set up a hive on the plain, but that she had abandoned it shortly afterwards. Kerrigan concluded that she must have moved into the Ice Valleys to fight the protoss that were present on the moon. As Kerrigan led her forces in the field, Izsha advised her of the world's extreme temperatures, and how the sub-zero conditions would affect her forces. The protoss were defeated, and were unable to send a distress signal to Shakuras. After the battle, Kerrigan expressed unease at the bloodshed, but as Izsha reminded her, the protoss were not zerg, and were therefore the enemy by definition. On the subject, Izsha also informed Kerrigan that they had taken a protoss captive, at Abathur's request. Izsha disliked her presence, as she found the protoss's psychic presence to be disturbing.
The protoss were not finished, as they now intended to use shuttles through a warp conduit to Shakuras. They could not risk destroying the conduit, as it would alert Shakuras that something was wrong. As such, they had to destroy the shuttles before they could flee through the conduit. Izsha advised Kerrigan, and the battle was once again a zerg victory. Still, she could tell that her queen was troubled. Kerrigan simply mentioned that she was reflecting on better times, and of a friend now lost.
What was also problematic was that the protoss now intended to use the ship they had used to travel to Kaldir to flee the planet. Kerrigan was again prepared, and after implanting the captive with a queen, she allowed her to be warped back onto the ship, so that the zerg could overrun it from the inside. Again, the zerg were successful, and Izsha was satisfied, even if her queen was not. She asked if Kerrigan would find joy in slaying Arcturus Mengsk if she did not enjoy killing her other enemies. Kerrigan ordered her to be quiet.
"You were studying the future, planning for a great war."
"What war? Explain."
"You never told us. You only said that you had seen a vision of our extinction. And you wanted us to fight to the last."
- Kerrigan and Izsha discuss history(src)
On Char, the Queen of Blades was faced with the prospect of bringing Broodmother Zagara back into the fold, and dealing with the Terran Dominion forces that had taken control of the planet. Izsha advised her that if she were to succeed against the terrans, she would have to bring Zagara under her control, only that Zagara refused to acknowledge her as the Queen of Blades. Zagara and her forces had based themselves in the Acid Marsh, where she was gathering eggs in a bid to spawn an army. Kerrigan won the battle, and brought Zagara under her control. In the battle's aftermath, Izsha told Kerrigan of her history as the Queen of Blades, how she had sensed a looming conflict, and sent her zerg to find the Keystone while she prepared the Swarm for this final battle. It was because of how she had dispersed the Swarm that when the Dominion had brought the fight to her on Char itself, most of her broods were in deep space.
Kerrigan led the Swarm to Zerus, ancient homeworld of the zerg, now inhabited by the primals. Izsha reported that the primal zerg were disturbed by their presence, and were gathering for an attack. As they sought to awake Zurvan, an ancient primal, Izsha advised Kerrigan in the battle that resulted, as the Swarm did battle with their primal counterparts. The Swarm emerged victorious, and Zurvan was awakened. With the Ancient One awakened, Izsha told Kerrigan that his power outstripped hers, and was concerned that he would destroy them. Kerrigan responded that Zurvan was the key to unlocking the power of Zerus, and that him turning turncoat was a risk she was willing to take.
Kerrigan followed Zurvan's advice, and journeyed to the first spawning pool—the birthplace of the zerg. Once again, the primals massed for attack. Kerrigan ordered her subordinates to hold the line while she entered a chrysalis. She thus emerged as the Primal Queen of Blades.
The Queen ResurgentEdit
The following section contains timeline information which isn't necessarily in chronological order.
Izha informed Kerrigan that one of her broodmothers had picked up a message from a zerg individual, albeit not one part of the Swarm. It informed her of the existence of Skygeirr Station, where the Dominion was breeding protoss-zerg hybrids. Izsha informed her queen that if their attack on Korhal was to succeed, the lab would have to be destroyed.
Arriving at Ketill IV, Izsha introduced the contact to Kerrigan, who revealed himself to be Alexei Stukov. The two made an alliance to destroy the lab. Kerrigan ordered Izsha to contact the broodmothers, to order them to bring their leviathans into Ketill's star system.
The attack progressed, as the zerg overran the Dominion forces. As the Swarm neared the lower levels of the facility, Izsha alerted Kerrigan to the presence of Tal'darim forces. Still, they too fell to the Swarm, as did their commander, Emil Narud, though Kerrigan was severely wounded in the process.
Kerrigan was brought back to her leviathan, where Izsha and Zagara watched over her as she healed. After she healed, Izsha reminded Kerrigan of the threat of Amon. Kerrigan had not forgotten, but was resolved to defeat Mengsk first.
"Not yet, I have to deal with something first."
"Will this give us some special advantage my queen? Should Abathur be ready for new essence?"
"Silence, Izsha. This is a personal matter. It will end badly, but I must see it through."
- Izsha and Kerrigan discuss strategy(src)
Before moving on Korhal, Kerrigan made efforts to rescue Jim Raynor from the Dominion, much to Izsha's confusion. To this end, Kerrigan cooperated with Raynor's Raiders. Izsha informed her queen that the broodmothers disliked working with terrans, but Kerrigan reiterated that the terrans were not to be harmed.
Assault on KorhalEdit
"Tell them to hold position in orbit. Stay out of range of the planet's defenses."
"Dominion fleets are converging on our position. Terran troops are arriving from all over the sector."
- Izsha keeps Kerrigan appraised of the situation(src)
The Swarm was brought to bear on Korhal. Izsha informed Kerrigan that Dominion fleets were converging on the throne world. Kerrigan ordered that her broodmothers form a blockade of the system while she carried out her assault. The Swarm engaged Korhal's orbital defenses while sacs were dispatched to the surface in order to establish a beachhead. Izsha warned that they'd lose countless pods in the assault, but Kerrigan assured her that numbers were on their side. Enough to take out the surface defenses. Kerrigan took the fight to the surface, and Izsha alerted her of incoming bile launchers. The defenses were eliminated, and Kerrigan ordered Izsha to order the broodmothers to deploy their forces. After the initial battle, Izsha confided that she had feared that the zerg would not make it to the surface, and that she also feared that once Kerrigan took her revenge against Mengsk, she would abandon the zerg. Kerrigan assured her that this wouldn't happen, that after Korhal, they would face the looming battle ahead together.
Yet the battle on Korhal had to be won first. A battle that was not yet ended, as Mengsk deployed the Psi Destroyer, which began tearing the zerg apart on the psionic level. Izsha kept Kerrigan appraised as her queen and Dehaka led a counterattack, destroying the device. With the Destroyer itself destroyed, the Swarm moved into Augustgrad. Izsha alerted her of the arrival of the Hyperion, as Raynor's Raiders joined the fight on Kerrigan's side. Ultimately, Mengsk was defeated.
Heart of the SwarmEdit
Izsha, in Heart of the Swarm, plays a role similar to Matt Horner from Wings of Liberty, providing the player with the distribution of missions and tactical/intelligence support, along with plot points relevant to Kerrigan's past.
Izsha does not appear on the field of battle in missions as per her attachment to the leviathan.
Inside the story-mode space of the leviathan, Iszha will make a comment every two minutes if the player remains inactive. They progress as follows:
- "We will never conquer our enemies by doing nothing."
- "There are enemies to be fought, planets to be taken."
- "The old Queen of Blades was much more active than you."
- "I have heard that the Overmind was a very active leader. You should try it sometime."
- "Really? You have a terrifying Swarm, a giant leviathan, and a deadly grudge but you choose to stand around?"
- "Think I'll go for a walk" (the comments do not loop back after this line).
While Abathur was designed to be "evil," the concept of Izsha was to strike a balance between human and monster. Unlike Abathur, Izsha was to have a face that the player could talk and relate to, one that Kerrigan could have more of an emotional connection with.
The following section contains information from a previous version of StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm which is no longer valid.
Izsha's original background had her as an adjutant, from an era where they were cybernetic rather than synthetic. Her organic components allowed her to be infested by the zerg. By BlizzCon 2011, her backstory had been altered, instead portraying her as a former Amanda Haley. However, her (supposed) former life as Haley is never mentioned in the campaign.
Promotional materials suggested that Izsha might have had ulterior motives for assisting Kerrigan. There was no sign of this in the final product.
A description of Iszha in the map editor offers an alternative view on her character, which may have tied into earlier plans for her to have ulterior motives: "Very organized and intelligent, but also very sly and aware of the political ramifications going on around her. When she means business, she sounds no-nonsense. When she is politicking or engaging in dark humor, she has a slightly more playful air."