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"For we are bound by the Khala. The sacred union of our every thought and emotion."
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Khalai operating in tandem through the Khala

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 levels of adepts.[2]

The Nerazim and Tal'darim don't use the Khala;[3][4] the former group views it as the robbing of individuality.[5]


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.

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.

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

"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)

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Khas brings the Khala

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.

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The protoss access the Khala

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.[6]

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

The Modern KhalaEdit

Based on the Khala, protoss society restructured itself to consist 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).[7]

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.[3][6] 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]

Khala's EndEdit

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This article or section contains information from StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void.

The content may change substantially over time.

"May the Khala's light guide us."

- Artanis, not long prior to the Khala's corruption(src)

The Khala was corrupted by Amon in the midst of the Golden Armada's attempted reclamation of Aiur. To avoid the corruption, Artanis and his followers were forced to sever their nerve appendages, and to attempt to create a protoss society that did not use the Khala.[8]


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Khalai may access and control psionic energies through the Khala.

It is very hard 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.

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.[9]

Protoss cut off from the Khala are quickly embraced by the Void.[3][10] 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.[11]

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.[11] Rather, the Khala contains "resonances" of deceased Khalai, that remain long after the respective protoss's death.[12] 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.[13] As more spirits enter the Khala, the stronger it becomes.[14]

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] The nature of the Khala means that Khalai do not have to speak vocally (whereas Nerazim must voice their words, allowing all around them to hear them).[15]

Protoss can create a special kind of mind-meld deep within the Khala, where no one can 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.[16]


"You really can't discuss protoss fiction without talking about the Khala."

In Blizzard's mind, the Khala is one of the four cornerstones of the protoss as a whole. From a literary standpoint, it has allowed them to explore themes of collectivism vs. individuality.[8]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 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. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 3.9 Golden, Christie (November 27, 2007). StarCraft: The Dark Templar Saga #2: Shadow Hunters. Simon & Schuster (Pocket Star). ISBN 978-0-7434-7126-8.
  4. Kenyon, Nate. (September 27, 2011). StarCraft: Ghost: Spectres. Simon & Schuster (Pocket Star). ISBN 978-1439-10938-0.
  5. 2014-12-01, BlizzCon 2014 LotV Lore Community Corner Discussion with James Waugh. YouTube, accessed on 2015-04-03
  6. 6.0 6.1 Golden, Christie (May 22, 2007). StarCraft: The Dark Templar Saga #1: Firstborn. Simon & Schuster (Pocket Star). ISBN 978-0-7434-7125-1.
  7. Raszagal: "In your absence, Judicator Aldaris and an entire legion of Khalai survivors from Aiur have begun an open revolt against us." StarCraft: Brood War. Vivendi Games. Level/area: The Insurgent (in English). 1998.
  8. 8.0 8.1 2014-11-07, StarCraft II Legacy of the Void Campaign Overview. YouTube, accessed on 2014-11-13
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 11.0 11.1 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.
  12. 2014-10-30, Zealot Science. Blizzard Entertainment, accessed on 2014-11-01
  13. Karune. 2007-01-22. StarCraft II Q&A - Batch 26. StarCraft II General Discussion Forum. Accessed 2008-01-22.
  14. StarCraft II Protoss My Life For Aiur Premium Tee, J!NX. Accessed on 2014-01-19
  15. Todd, Hugh. "“Lens of the Void”." (April 25, 2013). Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft Lore: Lens of the Void Accessed 2013-04-26.
  16. Zeratul: "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." StarCraft. Vivendi Games. Level/area: Into the Darkness (in English). 1998.

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