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The Khalai (not to be confused with the Khalai Caste) are protoss which followed the Khala. They are alternatively referred to as "Aiur protoss" or "Templar" (not to be confused with the Templar Caste), as a means of distinguishing them from other kindreds.
The Khala brought the protoss out of the Aeon of Strife and in time led to the foundation of the Protoss Empire. While the Dark Templar refused to submit to the Khala and were banished from Aiur as a result, the Khalai nevertheless remained united and at relative peace.
Their arrival was not without conflict, however. A legion of Khalai followed Judicator Aldaris in a revolt against Matriarch Raszagal – a revolt that was swiftly put down when Dark Prelate Zeratul, Praetor Artanis and Sarah Kerrigan returned. In turn, the Khalai were the subject of much hate from the Fist of Ulrezaj – a dark templar extremist group seeking to remove the Khalai from Shakuras.
In the aftermath of the Brood War, Hierarch Artanis struggled to keep the protoss a unified people. However, deep rooted tensions between the Khalai and Dark Templar drove a return to tribalism. While the Nerazim were welcoming of the Khalai at first, Khalai demands for resources soon stirred resentment from their hosts. By 2505, Khalai culture was in a state of flux, at least in part due to the loss of their caste system.
The reclamation of Aiur was the one common goal both Nerazim and Khalai possessed, so to this end, Hierarch Artanis led the Golden Armada in an effort to reclaim the protoss homeworld. However, the invasion was thrown into awry with the revealed presence of Amon, who corrupted the Khala. A number of Khalai escaped Aiur on the Spear of Adun, having severed their nerve appendages (the nerve appendages of those onboard the Spear were likewise severed). During the conflict, Artanis ordered the end of the Khalai's caste system.
By the end of the war, the remaining Khalai were freed from Amon's corruption. They returned to Aiur alongside the Nerazim, Purifiers, and some Tal'darim, working to forge a new, unified protoss society.
The Khala was the defining trait of Khalai culture. With their highly advanced technology and potent psionic abilities, the Khalai have long considered themselves the most powerful species in the known galaxy.
Khalai are more demonstrative than the Nerazim in regards to the display of emotions. However, their culture is more monolithic. Khalai place heavy emphasis on collectivism and conformity. The concept of family does not exist in Khalai culture in the same manner as terrans or the Nerazim, though warrior Khalai will often call other members of their kindred "brother," as a sign of familiarity and respect. Some Khalani phrases are exclusive to the Khalai's vocabulary, while others that are also used by the Nerazim have a different meaning to the Khalai than their counterparts. Because of the emotional connection provided by the Khala, Khalai found it difficult (though not impossible) to hate one another.
The caste system once ensured that a Khalai was fated to remain in the caste to which they were born into. With the end of the system, Artanis declared that a Khalai could aspire to whatever position they desired, and be judged by their deeds rather than their standing.
Prior to the Great War, Khalai under 300 years rarely had any significant political positions. Artanis, who was 262 years old during the Brood War, was considered young, despite his powerful military position.
If the Khalai have a weakness, it's their difficulty in accepting change. The tenets of the Khala formed a rigid path, and the Khalai were loath to deviate from it in fear of losing all they have built. Since the disbandment of the Conclave and formation of the Hierarchy, some Khalai have accepted the Nerazim as their kin, but old hatreds still remain beneath the surface.
Khalai predominantly possess blue eyes.
Khalai Religious PrinciplesEdit
It has been commented that, from a development perspective, the Khalai are "baseline protoss," and are the branch people generally associate with the protoss race as a whole.
The Khalai logo is labeled as "Templar" in its corresponding artwork. However, as it differs from the StarCraft II Templar Caste decal, and a correspondent design document uses "Templar" as a synonym for the Khalai, this appears to be the kindred's symbol.