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"I know what to do now. I know the path we need to follow. These centuries of hatred-it's wrong, Temlaa, so very wrong. We need to remember what we once had. We do not need the Xel'Naga, we need only each other!"

- Savassan describes the necessity of the Khala to Temlaa(src)

The Khala ("Path of Ascension") is the main religion of the Khalai protoss. It is based on a psionic philosophy that maintains a communal psionic link between all adherents.[1] Followers are further subdivided into at least five level of adepts.[2]

The Nerazim and Tal'darim don't use the Khala.[3][4]

HistoryEdit

The Original LinkEdit

In their quest to create the perfect lifeform the xel'naga returned to Aiur, one of their engineered worlds, and discovered the protoss. The protoss possessed many favorable traits but most distinct of all was their psionic link, a form of instinctive telepathy that enabled them to communicate with one another and work together efficiently even in large groups. The xel'naga saw the protoss as suitable for further elevation.[1]

After a millennium of subtle manipulation the xel'naga revealed themselves to the protoss and interacted with the nascent species directly. However, the xel'naga discovered the maturation of the tribal social structure and the rise of individualism was adversely affecting the psionic link. Eventually the psionic link was broken. The protoss could still telepathically communicate and read each others thoughts, but the empathic bond was lost.[1]

The end of the empathic bond caused the xel'naga to regard the protoss experiment as a failure and they departed Aiur, resulting in the Aeon of Strife.[1]

The Aeon of StrifeEdit

Near the end of the Strife a protoss named Savassan, later known as Khas ("he who brings order"), found the khaydarin crystals left behind by the xel'naga on Aiur. Savassan touched the crystals and rediscovered the psionic link. With knowledge gained from researching other xel'naga relics, Savassan learned how to rekindle the empathic bond. He recorded these findings, the founding precepts of the Khala, so that the protoss might once more become a unified communal society.[5]

Many protoss both revered and hated the xel'naga and the hatred fueled the Strife. Khas believed the Khala would allow the protoss to embrace the positive emotions all protoss shared to negate the destructive self-hatred. As Khas saw it the protoss did not need the xel'naga, only the once-lost emotional link. Khas thus ended the Aeon of Strife and brought on the protoss' Second Age.[5]

The Khala formed the foundation of future protoss psionic techniques, especially powerful abilities such as psionic storm.[1]

The Modern KhalaEdit

Based on the Khala, protoss society restructured to compose of three Castes: the Judicator Caste (led by the Conclave), the Khalai Caste and the Templar. When the protoss became an active interstellar civilization once more after the Strife, the Khala led them to adopt the Dae'Uhl ("Great Stewardship") over less advanced species they discovered.[1]

Protoss who follow the Khala are often referred to as Khalai (used in a different sense from members of the Khalai Caste).[6]

Being subsumed in the Khala meant a certain loss of self in addition to the gain of the "other". There was a risk the loss could be drastic.[5][3] As a result some protoss rejected the Khala and severed their long head nerve cords to cut the empathic link. These outcasts formed into the Rogue Tribes and were later known as the Dark Templar after their banishment from Aiur.[1]

UsesEdit

HighTemplar SC-FL3 Art1
Khalai may access and control psionic energies through the Khala.
MecoAdded by Meco

It is impossible for Khalai to hide from one another due to the empathic link. Hiding was possible for all protoss during the Aeon of Strife when the link was suppressed. Non-adherents, like the Dark Templar may still conceal themselves from other protoss.[3]

The depth of the link varies according to personal choice. Generally it is difficult to be fully immersed in a state of unity all the time. Members of the Templar and Judicator Castes immerse themselves deeply several times per day, along with many Khalai, "nourishing" themselves through the rich contact and emerging refreshed and invigorated.[3]

The discipline of the Khala is required to control abilities such as the psionic storm.[1]

The Khala grants a protoss an enormous amount of psionic energy.[7]

Protoss cut off from the Khala are quickly embraced by the Void.[3][8] The drug Sundrop is capable of doing this, at the cost of mental imbalance.[3]

The fortitude of the Khala protects protoss from assimilation by the zerg.[9]

Memory PreservationEdit

Khalai "enter" the Khala upon death but do not remain as complete or coherent entities.[3] Their last thoughts are automatically gained by protoss in close proximity to the deceased.[9] As a result Khalai may access memories and strands of experience of dead Khalai through the Khala, sometimes with the aid of the templar archives. However, only preservers have full access to this knowledge.[10] As more spirits enter the Khala, the stronger it becomes.[11]

The memories of other protoss (such as the Dark Templar) cannot be accessed using these methods, but the memories of the Tal'darim of Aiur, who had been cut off from the Khala, still were.[3]

Communication within the KhalaEdit

Protoss can communicate using a mental link (which transmits emotions) or simply through "speaking" (another form of mental link).[3]

Protoss can create a special kind of mind-meld deep within the Khala, where no one could lie. Protoss performing this kind of mind-meld hold up their hands and face their palms to each other; both palms softly glow. This kind of communication was also possible between Adun and Raszagal, the latter not following the Khala.[3]

Combining with the VoidEdit

Utilizing the Void and Khala simultaneously grants protoss incredible power, but can result in the protoss burning out like a star. Protoss who can utilize both sets of power simultaneously are exceedingly rare. Known practitioners were Adun[3] and Tassadar.[12]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 Underwood, Peter, Bill Roper, Chris Metzen and Jeffrey Vaughn. StarCraft (Manual). Irvine, Calif.: Blizzard Entertainment, 1998.
  2. Elder, Josh and Ramanda Kamarga. "Why We Fight." In StarCraft: Frontline: Volume 1, pp. 6–47. Tokyopop, August 1, 2008. ISBN 1427-80721-3.
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 Golden, Christie (November 27, 2007). StarCraft: The Dark Templar Saga #2: Shadow Hunters. Simon & Schuster (Pocket Star). ISBN 0-7434-7126-1.
  4. Kenyon, Nate. (September 27, 2011). StarCraft: Ghost: Spectres. Simon & Schuster (Pocket Star). ISBN 978-1439-10938-0.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Golden, Christie. StarCraft: The Dark Templar Saga #1: Firstborn. Pocket Star Books, May 2007. ISBN 0-7434-7125-3.
  6. StarCraft: Brood War. Vivendi Games. Mission: The Insurgent (in English). 1998.
  7. Yeah, I mean, basically, any protoss that is a part of the Khala is going to have an enormous psionic energy to draw on and can create, you know, obviously, weapons and blades with it. The dark templar, you know, in all of the lore, they, because they chose to go their own way and they don’t have the power of the Khala behind them, but they have the power of enormously strong individual will. It's sort of, I’m giving a long-winded version of the answer, I think, that Chris just gave. One is pulling that power from within whereas the dark templar have to take what is around them, the void, and manifest it. It is a completely different philosophy, but both are really cool weapons. Chris Metzen, Brian Kindregan, StarCraft Legacy staff. 2010-10-23. BlizzCon 2010 StarCraft II Lore Panel. StarCraft Legacy. Accessed 2010-10-25.
  8. Zapotek, Ren (w), Noel Rodriguez (p, i), Mel Joy San Juan (i). "Twilight Archon." In StarCraft: Frontline: Volume 3 (paperback binding), pp. 132-177. Tokyopop, July 14, 2009. ISBN 978-1427-80832-5.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Furman, Simon (w), Tomás Aira (p, i), German Erramouspe (i). "Creep." In StarCraft: Frontline: Volume 2 (paperback binding), pp. 26-67. Tokyopop, January 1, 2009. ISBN 1427-80831-7.
  10. Karune. 2007-01-22. StarCraft II Q&A - Batch 26. Battle.net StarCraft II General Discussion Forum. Accessed 2008-01-22.
  11. StarCraft II Protoss My Life For Aiur Premium Tee, J!NX. Accessed on 2014-01-19
  12. Rosenberg, Aaron (May 23, 2006). StarCraft: Queen of Blades. Simon & Schuster (Pocket Star). ISBN 978-0-7434-7133-6.

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