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- Kerrigan leading the zerg(src)
Sarah Louise Kerrigan was a psychic terran female. She began her career as a Confederate ghost and later became the second-in-command of the Sons of Korhal. Following Arcturus Mengsk's betrayal, she was captured and infested by the Zerg Swarm, ultimately becoming the self-proclaimed Queen of Blades (a.k.a. the Zerg Queen) and leader of the Swarm.
Early Life and Ghost Training
Young Sarah Kerrigan's latent powers were demonstrated during an incident on TarKossia where she accidentally killed her mother (causing her head to "come apart") and damaged the brain of her father, Patrick. She was quickly taken in hand by Confederate agents and conscripted as a child into the Ghost Program. At eight years of age she scored highly on all phases of the psi-evaluations. Indeed, the Confederacy had to readjust their entire psionic power measurement scale in order to account for her abilities.
During ghost training, her most hated instructor was Lieutenant Rumm. Rumm attempted to break her sense of right and wrong and persuade her to demonstrate her psionic powers to prove to his superiors that she was psychic. Kerrigan refused, unwilling to relive what happened to her parents.
In an attempt to coerce her into using her powers, Rumm injected a kitten with a tumor-causing chemical, then ordered Kerrigan to use her powers to destroy the tumor or euthanize the kitten. Still unsuccessful Rumm threatened to shoot the kitten himself. Kerrigan refused once again and Rumm decided not to shoot, leaving the kitten to die slowly and painfully. Rumm later discovered his pistol's firing mechanism had been destroyed. However, the malfunction could be plausibly attributed to non-psionic factors, and so could not be treated as incontrovertible proof of her psionic powers.
A technician recommended the use of a neuro-adjuster, a device which would weaken a ghost's psionic powers and ensure their loyalty to the Confederacy. Rumm refused as a neuro-adjuster could kill the patient.
Sarah was taken to another room and strapped to a chair with a needle against her skin. In another room, she could see her brain-damaged father, similarly strapped to a chair. Rumm's scientists were about to inject her father with the same substance that caused the growth of a tumor in the kitten unless Sarah cooperated with the Confederacy. Instead, Sarah said she would kill herself and her father rather than use the power for the Confederacy. She was injected with the needle and quickly lost consciousness. Rumm felt he had no choice now but to employ the neuro-adjuster.
Kerrigan's further training included a combat scenario between her and an elder opponent—done with combat knives while scientists watched from overhead. Even at her young age, Kerrigan was able to defeat her opponent. In defiance, she used her psionic powers to shatter the glass of the viewing room the scientists were in. However, such defiance came to nothing—the Confederacy broke her down even further, to the point where Kerrigan was able to kill without remorse.
- Kerrigan reflecting on her time as a Confederate ghost(src)
Kerrigan was designated Ghost No. 24601 (often simply Ghost No. 24) following the successful completion of training. As a Confederate agent she would go on to assassinate many of the Confederacy's enemies.
The Assassination of Angus Mengsk
You heard me. They cut his damn head off, Arcturus! And we can't find it! The sick bastards took it with them!"
In 2489, senator Angus Mengsk declared Korhal to be a free world, independent of the Confederacy. In response, the Confederacy assigned a trio of ghosts to assassinate him and his family. Kerrigan was one of the three, and was accompanied by ghosts 24506 and 24718. They easily bypassed his security system, killing him, his wife and young daughter. Kerrigan was the one who personally killed Mengsk, decapitating him. The ghosts disappeared and took the senator's head with them.
The Umojan Mission
One of Kerrigan's missions involved the newly formed Umojan Protectorate. She took position above a political rally. She lined up her sights on the target, even as a child obstructed her view. She was seemingly able to make the kill.
- Kerrigan is greeted upon awakening.(src)
Arcturus Mengsk, leader of the recently-formed Sons of Korhal and son of Angus Mengsk, discovered Kerrigan was at Fujita through Umojan sources. He organized a raid on the facility to retrieve her, although the rebel soldiers were not told of Kerrigan's significance or presence. By this time Kerrigan was the only experimental subject left; the remainder, unable to elicit as strong a response from the xenomorphs, were killed to maintain secrecy. The rebel raid was successful and an unconscious Kerrigan, defecting Confederates, and research materials, were conveyed to the rebels' base of operations, the battlecruiser Hyperion. There Kerrigan's neural inhibitor was removed. A number of cybernetic implants were left; years later, Kerrigan suggested this was to prevent the onset of insanity by inhibiting her ability to read thoughts.
Upon awakening in Hyperion's sickward, Kerrigan was greeted by Arcturus Mengsk and Somo Hung. While Hung was smitten from the outset, she sensed Mengsk's animosity. However, Mengsk assured her she was a guest with full access to the ship.
Over the following intervals Kerrigan regained fragments of past memories. She welcomed the frequent visitations by Hung but always declined his invitations to "hang out." Kerrigan was privy to the Sons of Korhal xenomorph investigation, and helped to spread rumors about the creatures amongst the troops to harden resolve against the Confederacy. The Fringe Worlds where the xenomorphs were first found had been depopulated by Confederate bio-chemical weapons to keep the aliens secret. Kerrigan's decision to join the rebels was aided by the knowledge that Hung's parents were among those killed.
During an engagement between the Confederate battlecruiser Norad II and the Hyperion, Ghost No. 24506 boarded the rebel ship. Kerrigan detected and killed the ghost. The dead ghost's hostile environment suit was set aside for Kerrigan's use.
After a return and second departure from Umoja, Kerrigan began a relationship with Hung, almost simultaneously getting on worse terms with Lieutenant Pollock Rimes. He was already frustrated at the level of confidence she possessed in Mengsk's graces and defending Hung from his verbal abuse only made matters worse.
As part of the Sons of Korhal, she was involved in a nearly suicidal attack on the Ghost Academy on Tarsonis. She found Rumm, who had been promoted to Major, and took her rather messy revenge, both for herself and for Hung, who had been killed by the major. She subsequently returned to the Hyperion with a captured Ghost No. 24718, whom Mengsk killed as an act of revenge for the death of his family two years ago. To Kerrigan's disgust and horror, much of Mengsk's recent actions had been dictated by his search for vengeance for the three ghosts who murdered his family...and having delivered the first two to Mengsk, Kerrigan was the third. However, Mengsk found her to be more useful to him alive and decided to keep her around, claiming that he'd forgiven her. Kerrigan was extremely grateful for Mengsk's decision to spare her and now fully believed in the Sons' cause.
By 2499, Kerrigan's dedication to the Sons of Korhal and her competency in the field were clear to all. However, her personal loyalties were hazy, and it remained to be seen if her fellow soldiers could be loyal to her in turn.
By December of that year, with the outbreak of the Great War, knowledge of the xenomorphs, now known as zerg, was no secret, nor was the presence of a second alien race called the protoss. During this time, Kerrigan was on Mar Sara stirring anti-Confederate sentiments, meeting UNN reporter Michael Liberty in the process. A few days later, Kerrigan encountered Liberty again, who'd got on the wrong side of Confederate law. She got him into contact with Arcturus Mengsk, who wanted Liberty to spread pro-Sons of Korhal propaganda.
The Antigan Revolution
"What? I haven't even said anything to you yet!"
- Kerrigan's first meeting with Raynor(src)
Kerrigan resurfaced on Antiga Prime, whose colonists had become very tired of the Confederacy's heavy handed policies. She reported that Antiga Prime was ready to openly revolt against the Confederacy. However, the Confederacy was aware of this, and locked down the revolt with General Duke's Alpha Squadron, whose troops seemingly took over the Antigan revolutionary military base. Kerrigan scouted out the area, then linked up with Captain Jim Raynor. The meeting didn't go well, Kerrigan's telepathy sensing Raynor's less than pure thoughts. Kerrigan infiltrated the military base and assassinated the Confederate officer in the command center, placing the base under the control of the Sons of Korhal. The combined forces then descended upon Alpha Squadron's own base, destroying it. Immediately afterward, Duke's battlecruiser, the Norad II, was shot down by the zerg over Antiga Prime. Duke called for help from his position in the crippled vessel. Mengsk ordered a rescue, prompting a sarcastic response from Kerrigan; she wanted to know if Mengsk had lost his mind. If he had, it didn't matter, as Duke was rescued, and he and his forces joined the rebels.
Over the course of the fighting on Antiga Prime, Raynor and Kerrigan worked together on numerous occasions, becoming a formidable team.
The Trump Card
"I know you have personal feelings about this, but you can't let your past cloud your judgment. Carry out your orders, lieutenant."
- Kerrigan's misgivings(src)
The Antigan campaign reached its end when the Confederacy's Delta Squadron launched a major assault against the Sons of Korhal. Mengsk called a meeting of his commanders to discuss the situation. He had access to the plans for the Transplanar Psionic Waveform Emitter, or psi-emitter, which his forces had stolen from the Confederates. The devices could attract the attention of zerg from across worlds. Mengsk told Kerrigan to plant the emitter in the Confederate base, which would lure the zerg to their position.
As Kerrigan undertook the mission, she told Mengsk that she didn't think anyone deserved to have the zerg unleashed on them, but Mengsk seemed to believe her past was influencing her. Teaming up with Liberty, the pair made their way across the battlefield, encountering both zerg and Confederate forces before successfully planting the psi-emitter in the Confederate base. Kerrigan asked Mengsk to never again rely on this tactic, but he only mentioned that they would do whatever it took to save humanity.
Arriving on the Hyperion as Antiga Prime entered its death throes, Kerrigan met up with Raynor. Both were experiencing doubts as to what Mengsk was having them do, and they headed for the ship's galley for coffee and talk, their former antagonism having evaporated. Despite his history with telepaths, Raynor possessed genuine sympathy for Kerrigan. Sympathy gave way to mutual friendship and they "drew close". At some point, Raynor was given or obtained a vidsnap of Kerrigan.
"I know. But I can't just sit on the sidelines. I have to put myself at risk, just as you do. I can't help but think that maybe we shouldn't have gotten involved."
"Don't say that. Don't ever say that."
- Raynor and Kerrigan after the Orna III mission(src)
Mengsk had noticed the improved relationship between Raynor and Kerrigan, and in the interim period between Antiga Prime and Tarsonis, he assigned them on a number of missions. The first was a mission back to G-2275's moon, in order to retrieve Confederate goliath designs. Kerrigan was there when Raynor and his team arrived, and the mission was a success.
Next, Raynor and Kerrigan were sent to raid a science facility on Orna III. Kerrigan, who knew her way around the facility, pretended to be a ghost who had arrested the criminal Raynor. The deception worked. Several scientists and all the test subjects were rescued. The corrupt scientists were killed and the facility destroyed. Afterwards, Raynor offered her a drink and a real date at Sam's Place. One thing led to another, and the two gave into their emotions. That night, as they lay in bed, Kerrigan made Raynor promise that if the darkness in her ever went out of control, he would stop it.
Their relationship took a blow over the issue of Mengsk however. Raynor had come to realize that Mengsk was no better than the government that he was trying to overthrow, that he was in this for personal gain rather than higher ideals. Kerrigan conceded part of the point, but still believed that Mengsk could bring about a better future for humanity. She voiced her concerns that she and Raynor should have never got involved.
"Jimmy, drop the knight-in-shining-armor routine. It suits you sometimes. Just not ... not now. I don't need to be rescued. I know what I'm doing. The Protoss are coming to destroy the entire planet, not just the Zerg. I know that because ... well I just know it. I am a Ghost, remember? Once we've dealt with the Protoss, we can do something about the Zerg. Arcturus will come around. I know he will."
"I hope you're right, darlin'. Good huntin'!"
Ten days after the fall of Antiga Prime, Mengsk's revolutionary movement had reached Tarsonis, the Confederate capital world. Duke planned to assault the central space platform, allowing a small force to penetrate to the surface of Tarsonis. Kerrigan, Raynor and Liberty fought their way through the streets of Tarsonis City and Mengsk's forces successfully defeated the Confederates, but his next move surprised and dismayed Kerrigan and Raynor; his forces planted psi-emitters.
Billions of zerg were lured to Tarsonis, laying waste to the Confederacy's defenses. The protoss followed, descending upon the zerg's primary hive.
Mengsk ordered Kerrigan to protect the primary zerg hive from the protoss Expeditionary Force, allowing the zerg to complete the Confederacy's destruction. Raynor was getting increasingly uncomfortable with Mengsk's leadership and motivations, but was unable to convince Kerrigan to allow him to accompany her. Kerrigan completed her mission but was in turn overrun by the zerg. Mengsk callously refused to assist Kerrigan's troops; instead, the rebel fleet disengaged from the Tarsonian system. Mengsk did so due to her lack of political reliability and because he wanted long-due vengeance for the deaths of his family. The abandonment was the last straw for Raynor. He and Raynor's Rangers left the Sons of Korhal. Their first action as an independent group was an attempt to rescue Kerrigan; rising zerg activity forced them to withdraw before they could locate her.
Capture by the Zerg
More subtly, the Overmind realized Kerrigan was also the key to the zerg's salvation. The Overmind was unwillingly implanted with an overriding directive to destroy the protoss. It knew this was part of a greater apocalyptic plan by the fallen xel'naga Amon to destroy not only the protoss and zerg, but to remold creation in his own image. The Overmind believed it could resist Amon's control by infesting Kerrigan. The Overmind's plan was intended to save the zerg, but it had no concern over the other races of the galaxy.
Kerrigan was placed within a chrysalis by the creature Abathur. The process was painful, and she suffered much physical damage. She was entrusted to the care of a cerebrate and its brood, and was taken to Char, where her telepathic powers reached out and contacted Mengsk and Raynor. The psychic link with Raynor would persist.
Queen of Blades
The terrans converged on Char. Mengsk ordered Duke to investigate, while Raynor followed in person at the head of Raynor's Raiders to attempt a rescue. The zerg repelled both in turn. Kerrigan emerged from her chrysalis as the Raiders attacked. She adopted the title "Queen of Blades" and helped push the terrans back. Kerrigan confronted Raynor and allowed him to leave.
The Queen of Blades was not a separate entity within Kerrigan. However, the Queen could be considered Kerrigan under the influence of some devastating forces, such as zerg mutation.
The prior ghost conditioning continued to limit Kerrigan's psionic potential. To break it she raided the terran science vessel Amerigo in Char orbit for Ghost Program information. Zasz, a senior cerebrate, was dismayed by the initiative and self-aggrandizement displayed by the Swarm's newest power. Kerrigan quickly developed a dislike for the cerebrate. The Overmind consoled Zasz by revealing Kerrigan's personality was as intended. Not wanting to hamper Kerrigan's strategic and intellectual strengths, the Overmind had left her a degree of will that differed from other cerebrates.
Kerrigan's psionic abilities developed rapidly after the Amerigo. One ability she developed was psionic storm. More importantly, she could now sense the presence of the protoss Tassadar on the planet. Tassadar goaded the impulsive Kerrigan into battle; this allowed Zeratul, a Dark Templar, to infiltrate and permanently slay Zasz. Zasz had sensed the protoss' duplicity but Kerrigan had ignored its warnings. The Queen of Blades was not perturbed by the cerebrate's death, but was annoyed from being tricked. She zealously led the counterattack against the protoss, and remained on Char to continue persecuting them when the Swarm departed for Aiur.
Raynor and the surviving Raiders allied with the protoss to survive. During the running battles, Kerrigan tormented Raynor through the mental link, giving him pleasure and then guilt in his dreams. However, this untrained link allowed Raynor to interpret zerg communication and provide the allies with intelligence. After weeks of evading and wearing down Kerrigan's brood the allies counterattacked. First, they found a secure location, and destroyed Kerrigan's overlord after purposely allowing it to spot them. This allowed the allies to relocate without harassment. Next, Tassadar, having been taught to wield Dark Templar powers by Zeratul, slew the cerebrate directing the Queen of Blade's brood. This deprived Kerrigan of most of her forces, but she still managed to trap the protoss and terrans. During a heated discussion Zeratul vanished. The timely arrival of the Fleet of the Executor, led by Executor Artanis, forced Kerrigan to retreat, although she vowed an eventual reckoning.
The final battle on Aiur ended when the Overmind was destroyed by Tassadar which left the zerg Swarms scattered. Kerrigan was on Char at the time and became aware of the creature's death. In an instant, she learned the true nature of her creation and knew that the time for her ascension had come.
During this time, Kerrigan had spent her time covering Char with creep and created the Kukulkan Brood. She felt a psionic pulse coming from a recently-activated xel'naga structure on Bhekar Ro. She sent the Kukulkan brood to take control of the structure, but it came into conflict with protoss who had also felt the signal as well as Alpha Squadron, which had been sent to help the colonists. However, the structure turned out to be a trap: it was actually a chrysalis who required the energy and DNA of both protoss and zerg to complete its transformation. The whole Kukulkan Brood was wiped out by the phoenix creature. Kerrigan considered this an acceptable loss.
The Brood War
Alliance with the Protoss
- Kerrigan pleads her case to the protoss(src)
After the death of the first Overmind, many zerg cerebrates, commanded by Daggoth, merged into a new Overmind for the Swarms. However, Kerrigan, now in charge of approximately half of the zerg Swarm, began a campaign aimed at eliminating these cerebrates in order to rule over the Swarms by herself.
Shortly afterward Zeratul, Artanis and the protoss survivors of Aiur traveled through the warp gate which connected Aiur to Shakuras. They were closely followed by zerg which included two cerebrates allied with Daggoth's new Overmind. These cerebrates nestled around the xel'naga temple of Shakuras, a powerful artifact capable of wiping the zerg off the planet.
Raszagal informed the newly-arrived protoss of the temple's powers which required the use of the two lost crystals: the Uraj and Khalis, but she ordered the protoss to first slay the two cerebrates around the temple, which was done. Kerrigan made an appearance right after this event, asking to be escorted to their Citadel. She claimed that with the Overmind dead, she was no longer being controlled. However, a new Overmind was growing on Char and when it reached maturity it would take control of her. The protoss, especially Aldaris, didn't trust her, but Raszagal (under her influence) welcomed her.
Upon their return to Shakuras, Aldaris was in the midsts of launching an open revolt against Raszagal. He had discovered Kerrigan's influence on her, but he did not attempt to inform Artanis and Zeratul of this until he had been defeated. However, Kerrigan swiftly arrived and slew him as he tried to reveal the secret. A furious Zeratul ordered her to leave for her interference. Kerrigan bragged that she had forced the protoss to slay her enemies, the two cerebrates on Shakuras, before leaving the planet.
Zeratul and Artanis activated the xel'naga temple and destroyed the zerg on Shakuras, but by this time Kerrigan had left. Due to her machinations, the cerebrates who refused to follow her lead were all but destroyed.
Against the New Overmind
- Kerrigan to DuGalle(src)
During the United Earth Directorate invasion of the Koprulu sector, it acquired the Psi disrupter, a powerful anti-zerg weapon, but the leader of the UED force, Admiral Gerard DuGalle, squandered its use due to the influence and advice of Samir Duran. Vice Admiral Alexei Stukov secretly disassembled the device and hid it from DuGalle, which would later spark charges of treason.
The UED conquered Korhal, throne world of the Terran Dominion, and attempted to capture Mengsk. However, Mengsk was "rescued" by Raynor and Fenix, who transported him to Aiur. The UED pursued. The zerg, with help from Duran (seemingly an infested terran minion working for Kerrigan, who looked just like a regular terran) helped rescue Mengsk and Raynor from the UED. Exploiting the fear of the UED, Kerrigan had put together a coalition with Fenix and Raynor on Aiur. Fenix didn't trust her at all, but Raynor's fear of the UED was strong enough for him to persuade Fenix to fight alongside him and Kerrigan.
DuGalle ordered the Psi disrupter to be activated, then his force descended upon Char to capture the new Overmind. His forces were successful in their mission. Kerrigan and Duran confronted him shortly after his victory, telling him that all of the zerg, plus Duran, belonged to her, and that she would defeat him despite his Psi disrupter, with the help of certain allies.
"You want us to help you defeat the UED so that you alone will rule the Zerg!"
"Wrong, Fenix. I want to defeat them because if we don't, they'll clamp down on this sector, and enslave us all! You know I'm right Jim. You've studied the history of Earth, you know what the UED's agenda is. Taking control of the Zerg is only the beginning for them."
- A new alliance is formed(src)
Kerrigan also struck an alliance with Mengsk, contacting them on Shakuras. Together they rescued the remains of the Dominion fleet from the UED. Mengsk was her prisoner, and she told him he could be emperor of his own eight-by-eight cell if he didn't agree to her proposal. The allies destroyed the poorly-defended external power generators for the Psi disrupter for her, and with the help of psi-emitters provided by Mengsk, she took control of nearby dormant zerg and used them to destroy the Disrupter. In order to enhance her Swarm for the upcoming attack on the UED on Korhal, Kerrigan proposed a resource raid on Moria. Her allies stood aside as she infested Kel-Morian Combine personnel. She led the attack on the UED forces on Korhal, defeating them. However, she and Duran quickly turned against her allies when they were resting from the battle, killing both Duke and Fenix. Raynor and Mengsk were left very bitter about this betrayal, and Raynor swore he would see her dead for it. Kerrigan let Mengsk live however, as he was no threat to her. And as payback for Tarsonis, she wanted to let him live, to see her rise to power, to remember that he was the one who had allowed her transformation to occur. She also brushed off Raynor's vow of vengeance, doubting that he had it in him. Regardless, her enemies decimated, she withdrew her forces to Tarsonis, weary of the slaughter.
To Slay the Beast
"Actually, Zeratul, she's not the one I'm truly interested in. I stole her to get to you. You see, I need you and your brethren to kill the Overmind for me. The only way I had of assuring your cooperation was to take away that which you value most. However, I give you my word that once you've killed the Overmind, I'll allow her to return to you."
- Kerrigan forces Zeratul's cooperation(src)
Kerrigan brought Raszagal to Char, followed by a vengeful Zeratul, demanding to know why his Matriarch had been taken. Kerrigan proposed a deal - she would allow Raszagal to return if Zeratul agreed to slay the Overmind. Raszagal convinced him to go, saying the Overmind was a threat to both Kerrigan and the protoss.
Zeratul had no choice; though he knew killing the Overmind would only make the treacherous Kerrigan stronger, he consented. His Dark Templar participated beside her forces in the battle, killing renegade zerg and UED troops alike before ultimately destroying the Overmind. Then Zeratul again demanded the return of the Matriarch. Kerrigan agreed ... but Raszagal did not. Under Kerrigan's control, Raszagal said she wanted to stay. This did not fool Zeratul, who spirited her away and fled.
Consolidation of Power
Kerrigan had killed the Overmind's cerebrates, using the Dark Templar she had manipulated, and brought virtually all the zerg in the sector under her control. Kerrigan gave orders to recapture Zeratul and Raszagal. Her forces were almost successful, but Zeratul chose to slay Raszagal rather than allow her to live as a slave to Kerrigan. The surprised Kerrigan let Zeratul leave Char to live with his guilt. Meanwhile, Duran disappeared. Kerrigan had no idea what Duran was planning.
Kerrigan defended her base from a combined attack led by Mengsk, Artanis and DuGalle, leaving her as the ruler of the most powerful force in the sector. Kerrigan destroyed the remnants of the UED Expeditionary Force, but let the Dominion and protoss forces retreat. Standing alone on the platform, Kerrigan found herself the ruler of all she surveyed. Unable to shake the feeling that a great threat loomed just over the horizon, she could only stare off into the vastness of space where she beheld a great void. Or perhaps a reflection of a hollow victory and of the trials yet to come...
- Kerrigan stands triumphant.(src)
By the end of the Brood War, Kerrigan had become the undisputed ruler of the zerg. Kerrigan pulled back to Char in the aftermath of the war, out of sight, but not out of mind. The Dominion considered the zerg to be "too quiet" and though Kerrigan was the one responsible for the apparent cessation of hostilities, her motives were unknown, although it had nothing to do with Duran (only known to Kerrigan herself). She learned something of Duran's activities and of a looming threat.
Kerrigan believed herself to be the ruler of the zerg in the aftermath of the war, but this wasn't true, as a dark influence crept into her thoughts, exerting its will through the zerg mutagens within her. This influence was from Amon, though he did not directly control her. Over the next four years, she quietly prepared the Swarm.
Chains of Command
Kerrigan no longer required cerebrates since the death of the second Overmind, the Overmind's cerebrates having been destroyed although at least one remained at her side in the war's aftermath. At least four cerebrates survived on Braxis for a time. She feared the cerebrates might once again try to form a new Overmind, and besides, they had no place in her new vision for the Swarm.
At some point during this time, Jim Raynor attempted an attack on Kerrigan, trying to make good on his vow to see her dead during the Brood War. However, the attack failed.
During this period, Kerrigan directed zerg evolution as per her own designs, sending out her forces to explore and exploit various worlds and assimilate new species. She paid particular attention to species with hyper-regenerative properties. Additionally, she carried out a project to devise more intelligent infested terrans.
Eventually Kerrigan overcame her dislike of the idea of sapient zerg under her control and created brood mothers to fill the roles the cerebrates once maintained. She wished the Swarm to be able to survive even if she fell. Having sapient lieutenants would extend her control of the Swarm. The broodmothers were in service by 2501.
- Kerrigan's creed(src)
In 2503, Kerrigan's preparations to return to the Koprulu Sector were nearly complete, and she was enthused about the prospect of returning to slaughter. She still intended to carry out the original zerg mission, although had added revenge to her list of motives. Her preperations were interrupted when she became aware of a strange psychic phenomenon; a terran-protoss linking, similar to the Khala, emanating near the world of Dead Man's Rock (the originators were a terran named Jake Ramsey and a protoss preserver named Zamara). Several hours after detecting the psionic emanation, her forces arrived, capturing at least one terran, the crime lord Ethan Stewart. Stewart had been wearing a psi-screen at the time, leading Kerrigan to believe he was psychic (and the originator of the effect), and she realized the truth only after she had captured him. She transformed him into an infested terran so that he would serve her as a general and consort, and also to question him about the effects (the madness caused by the psi-screen prevented her from reading his mind without infesting him first). Stewart emerged from his cocoon and quickly fell under her control. After questioning him about Ramsey, she sent him to capture Ramsey on Aiur, since the preserver was valuable to her "beyond measure", but the attempt stalled, as his forces were unable to overcome Ulrezaj, a powerful dark archon who also wished to capture Ramsey. During the ensuring battle, Ramsey escaped, and the warp gate was sealed. Kerrigan took to berating Stewart for his failures. Kerrigan and Stewart jointly controlled their forces in a new operation; they would pursue the wounded Ulrezaj into his lair, as they believed he knew how to find Ramsey. Ulrezaj regained some of his energy, but constant zerg attacks eventually forced him to fight back (dismaying both zerg commanders) before fleeing. Stewart tracked him to Ehlna, a moon sacred to the Dark Templar. Ramsey was undergoing a ritual at a protoss shrine to remove the preserver from him there. Stewart's zerg tried to acquire Ramsey before Ulrezaj did, but Ulrezaj was too powerful for the zerg to defeat. Even the unanticipated arrival of the Terran Dominion and unexpected protoss resistance failed to stop Ulrezaj, but he mysteriously disappeared from the battlefield. Stewart's forces had been weakened during the battle, and the Dominion shot down his mutalisk, severely injuring him. As his former lover Rosemary Dahl approached, with backup from the protoss executor, Selendis, Kerrigan cut off contact with Stewart. She considered him to be a failure and allowed him to die, but the circumstances of his infestation a success. She could repeat it in order to create a new consort.
Whispers of Doom
- Kerrigan describes the coming threat.(src)
Under Kerrigan's leadership, the zerg were becoming "much, much more", the final metamorphosis having "only just begun." Nonetheless, the feelings of unease Kerrigan had felt at the end of the Brood War continued to concern her. Insight gained of the coming threat during the interbellum caused only pessimism, and she was resigned to accept it, though wanted to send the zerg out in a blaze of glory in the final battle she knew was approaching. She had become fatalistic because her zerg mutagens still left her open to Amon's influence.
Eventually she journeyed to Ulaan in search of an ancient prophecy. She was followed there by a protoss force led by Karass. As Kerrigan predicted, Zeratul was also drawn there searching for the same thing. The two sparred briefly, and Kerrigan ended up capturing Zeratul in a psionic prison. As Kerrigan discovered, the Nerazim was not prepared to give up all hope for the future. Zeratul escaped from the prison, severed the Queen of Blade's left wing, and fled. Kerrigan's wing promptly regrew. Zeratul recovered three fragments of the prophecy from the shrines but was intercepted by Kerrigan before he could leave the planet. However, Zeratul received aid from a protoss force led by Praetor Karass. Karass had pursued Kerrigan to Ulaan and willingly sacrificed himself and his troops to buy time for Zeratul to escape with the fragments. Following the line of investigation, Zeratul eventually discovered Kerrigan was the key to stopping the hybrids and their master, Amon. Zeratul passed this information to Raynor and instructed him to ensure Kerrigan's survival.
Wings of Liberty
"She's come to finish the job."
After four years of relative calm, Kerrigan drove the Swarm into a massive invasion of terran space and sparked the Second Great War. She sought a disassembled xel'naga device scattered throughout the sector in order to give the zerg as much of a chance as possible in the future conflict she had sensed. The Queen of Blades led from the front as the Swarm infested terran worlds, attacking research centers, and raiding archaeological sites. Her primary competitor was Raynor, commissioned by the Moebius Foundation to retrieve the same device. The terran rebels' ability to steal away with device components before the Swarm elicited Kerrigan's grudging respect. It was not long before Kerrigan struck at the Foundation directly; she recognized their pivotal role in the Raiders' success, and sought the Foundation's data cores on Tyrador VIII which would lead her to the remaining components. The timely intervention of the Raiders prevented her from acquiring any of the data. By this point, she was aware of the artifacts' true purpose, and saw through Dr. Emil Narud's "pathetic charade". The zerg conceded the race when the terrans retrieved the second last component from Typhon XI. The zerg invasion of the sector slowed and Kerrigan returned to Char.
Ironically, the device would soon come to her. A joint Dominion and Raynor's Raiders battlegroup attacked Char, believing the device could deinfest Kerrigan. The zerg were prepared and the terrans suffered heavy casualties establishing a foothold and pushing to the primary hive cluster. The Queen of Blades was not overly concerned; both she and her opposites knew the terrans had little time to achieve their objective before being defeated by massive zerg superiority. When the terrans entrenched at the base of the primary hive cluster with the completed xel'naga artifact, the Queen of Blades saw an opportunity to seize the artifact and crush the invasion at once. She was impressed by the artifact's power, but this did not deter her from personally leading attacks on the terran defenses. As the battle progressed, elements of her old personality seemed to resurface, telling her foes to "not give up" for a brief moment.
The terrans weathered Kerrigan's psionic prowess and activated the device. The resulting energy wave destroyed local zerg forces and deinfested the Queen of Blades, altering her DNA and making her more human than zerg. Raynor and Tychus Findlay led a small squad of Dominion and Raiders marines into the hive and found Kerrigan dazed and deinfested. She was unable to prevent Findlay from attempting to execute her; the former convict would win freedom from Mengsk with Kerrigan's death. She was saved by Raynor who blocked the would-be executioner's bullet before shooting and killing Findlay. Kerrigan was carried outside by Raynor. That Kerrigan had not been slain on Char was a point of divergence from a vision of the future glimpsed at by the Overmind.
That was not you. That was the Queen of Blades. What they made you into. You’re back to being Sarah again. And we’re together now. So just hush, honey.
It doesn’t matter. Sarah Kerrigan, Queen of Blades...you don’t understand. Maybe you can never understand. I’ve always been a destroyer of things. Anything I touch, anything I care about...that’s why they picked me, Jim. Because I’m a destroyer of things..."
- Raynor and Kerrigan after the latter's de-infestation(src)
Kerrigan's new state had a mostly human form, but still had some zerg traits such as her dreadlock-like antennae instead of hair, leaving open the question of how infested she was and whether she had her own personality back. While carrying her away from her hive, Raynor noticed that her "dreadlocks" felt the same as the rest of her skin. What was also noticeable was how weakened Kerrigan had become, as she began succumbing to Char's hostile atmosphere. After protecting her with insulweave, Raynor carried her to a waiting dropship, while fighting off the now leaderless zerg along the way. Kerrigan was taken aboard the Dominion flagship Bucephalus, commanded by Valerian Mengsk, son of Arcturus. Due to the arrival of his father and a battle-ready Dominion fleet, Kerrigan and her rescuers were forced to flee to Dead Man's Rock. While there, Kerrigan's health worsened, both physically and mentally, and she even tried to remove her "hair." However, her powers began to return, and she was able to warn Raynor and co. of an ambush planned by Gary Crane. As the group left the world with Doctor Emil Narud, Kerrigan made it clear that she did not trust him, nor his scientists. Kerrigan and co. arrived at the Moebius Foundation station Prometheus. There, she underwent preliminary tests, but it wasn't long before Narud revealed that he was in league with Mengsk and sure enough, the emperor and his fleet arrived in the area. Mengsk contacted the station, saying he'd let his enemies live provided that Kerrigan was turned over. Becoming enraged at the sound of Mengsk's voice, Kerrigan let loose her fury, killing numerous Foundation marines and even engaged in battle with a hybrid. Kerrigan and her allies successfully escaped, but she accidentally killed one of the Raiders in the process. The group headed for a top-secret Umojan space station, where the rebels' battlecruisers could be repaired, and Kerrigan could be given treatment. The rebels had grown frightened of her and wouldn't have her on the Hyperion. Kerrigan swore vengeance against Mengsk.
Hope and Vengeance
- Kerrigan's reflections(src)
Kerrigan was incarcerated in Research Station EB-103 and given a hostile environment suit to wear. For the first two weeks she appeared to be in a comatose state, refusing any food or water. Valerian, intent on studying her and seeing how much zerg influence remained in her, ordered an assistant to administer an IV. Kerrigan lashed out—instinctively, he believed, due to the lack of brain activity detected. However, that was cold comfort to the assistant, who was killed in the process.
However, Kerrigan's brain functions began to recover. She recalled her past life, as a ghost, as the Queen of Blades, and all the horror both roles entailed. She also reflected on Raynor's rescue and de-infestation of her. She reasoned that she owed it to him to at least try and hope for a better future, but did not regard herself as human. During this, Kerrigan's psionic powers began to spiral out of control, and Valerian activated the destruct system. He called it off however, as she revealed that she'd used those same powers to reshape the explosive charges, which, if detonated, would kill him instead. Thus, the testing continued, though Kerrigan's hostility remained.
Heart of the Swarm
- Sarah Kerrigan(src)
To Take the Queen
"Until Mengsk is dead, there can't be a 'you and me.'"
- Raynor and Kerrigan(src)
Kerrigan's personality reasserted itself, but she still felt guilty for her previous actions during the Brood War, even though she hadn't been in her "right mind" at the time. Regardless, she held a grudge against Mengsk. Her Queen of Blades persona had been unconcerned with revenge, but Sarah Kerrigan knew that Mengsk wanted her dead, and held a grudge against him for abandoning her on Tarsonis. Three weeks since her de-infestation, Raynor had enough. He visited the lab, ready to take Kerrigan with him—the test Valerian would conduct would be the last. However, while Kerrigan had regained her cognitive functions, she made no secret of her desire for revenge. Raynor wanted her to let it go, but Kerrigan maintained that while Mengsk lived, the two couldn't have a future together. The test began. Kerrigan's memory of her time as the Queen of Blades was still patchy, but Valerian continued the experiment anyway, desiring to see how much zerg mutagen remained in Kerrigan's system. He provided her with some zerg to control, and despite her de-infestation, Kerrigan was able to control them and spawn more at will- even zerglings, despite Valerian's orders to the contrary. Determined to show the prince that the zerg couldn't be controlled, Kerrigan set them loose on the base's sub-level. No-one was killed, but there was much damage, including the destruction of the Eradicator. Her point made, Kerrigan sent the zerg back to the pens. Appreciating the point, Valerian agreed to release her.
Raynor met up with Kerrigan afterwards. She expressed guilt for her past actions as the Queen of Blades, and commented that maybe Raynor should have let Findlay kill her on Char. Raynor insisted he had no regrets though—Findlay had made his choice, he'd made his, and Kerrigan was no longer the Queen of Blades. He went to suit up. And it was just as well, for the Dominion had found them.
The Dominion battlecruisers sent drop pods crashing into the facility. Under the command of Nova, they fanned out, looking for Kerrigan. One of the teams found her, but Kerrigan used her psionic powers to kill her attackers. Kerrigan reflected how the killing would never stop until Mengsk was dead. Raynor snapped her out of it by reminding her they had to leave, and would have to fight their way out. He tossed Kerrigan one of her attackers' weapons, and despite the 4 years of absence, Kerrigan instinctively got back into the game. The pair set out to make their escape.
With the aid of the Umojan forces, the pair fought their way through the facility, taking out everything the Dominion threw at them. Nova was able to send them down to the sub-level, where not only did the pair have to deal with an impending lockdown, but the now feral zerg that Kerrigan had spawned. Still, they wouldn't be stopped, and kept moving. They reached the base's tram station, and after fending off more Dominion forces, they arrived at their destination—the shuttle bay. However, Dominion forces had taken control of it, among which was the Archangel. The vehicle destroyed the bridge connecting the bay and the tram terminal, separating the pair. Raynor told Kerrigan he'd find another way around while Kerrigan and the Umojans were left to take the vehicle down themselves.
The Archangel was destroyed, but Raynor contacted Kerrigan—he was cut off, and he told her to take his ship. Kerrigan initially refused but Valerian, who was by now on the Hyperion, told her that he'd send a team to extract Raynor. Kerrigan agreed to take the ship, but warned Valerian not to mess things up, and that Raynor better not die on her.
After a trip through warp space, Kerrigan docked with the Hyperion, now above Phaethon along with a number of other allied ships. Arriving on the bridge however, she found Raynor to be absent. Valerian uneasily explained that they hadn't been able to extract Raynor. Kerrigan lashed out, using her psionic powers to choke Valerian, ignoring Horner's demands for her to stand down, and sending the Umojan marines who tried to intervene flying against the walls. What made matters worse was the arrival of the Dominion Fleet, which opened fire and continued firing, even after Horner told them that Valerian was onboard the Hyperion. The distraction was enough to get Kerrigan to let go of the prince. But despite Horner's plan of leaving the rendezvous point and circling back to pick up Raynor, Kerrigan wasn't interested. As the rebel fleet warped away, she took the dropship down to the planet's surface.
Dominion ground forces were already there however. Not only were they out in force, but they had set up a Drakken pulse cannon. Kerrigan knew that if Raynor warped into the space above the planet, it would shoot him down in an instant. Out of options, Kerrigan took control of a brood under the command of broodmother Naktul. The creature welcomed her "queen" back to the Swarm, but Kerrigan wasn't interested. The zerg were a means to an end, nothing more, to destroy the cannon and the Dominion forces guarding it. Both the cannon and the terrans were destroyed, yet Kerrigan was uneasy, as she found herself slipping back into her old persona. She took refuge in the dropship, hoping to contact Raynor. A zergling entered the dropship, and Kerrigan quickly grabbed her rifle and aimed at the zergling's head. The zergling backed away.
Kerrigan tried to contact Raynor, but instead picked up a UNN broadcast. It declared that Raynor had been captured and killed, before showing a triumphant Mengsk declaring that the war was over. The zergling that entered the dropship earlier approached her and looked at her eye-to-eye. Distraught, and with nothing left save vengeance, Kerrigan embraced her darker nature. Seeking revenge on Mengsk, she nonetheless knew that few terrans would help her. Thus, she turned to the zerg. She set a course for zerg space, intent on rebuilding the Swarm and using it to make Mengsk pay for everything he'd done.
The Queen Resurgent
"That's why I'm here. They'll either accept me as their queen, or I'll start killing them one-by-one until they do."
- Kerrigan upon arriving on the leviathan(src)
Kerrigan took the dropship to a leviathan. There, she met with the creature Izsha, a creation of hers from her days as the Queen of Blades. Kerrigan wanted the Swarm to move on Korhal, but as Izsha informed her, the Swarm was in disarray, the broodmothers vying for control in light of the power vacuum Kerrigan's de-infestation had created. It was a situation Kerrigan resolved to rectify. Onboard the leviathan, Kerrigan also met Abathur, who would help her evolve the Swarm.
The following section contains timeline information which isn't necessarily in chronological order.
Kerrigan quickly brought Zagara to heel on Char, and then led an assault on Warfield's base, decimating it. Kerrigan confronted an injured Warfield, who begged her to allow the wounded to evacuate. When Kerrigan remained silent, Warfield called her a traitor, condemning her for abandoning her humanity over revenge. After asking how many innocents she murdered, and how many more had to die (and still being met with silence), he reminded her that she was throwing away what Raynor had done for her and asked her what he would think of her actions now. At this, Kerrigan became enraged and brutally finished off the general, but nonetheless withdrew her forces just as they were about to finish off the evacuees too injured to fight back.
Kerrigan traveled to Kaldir, to reclaim Nafash and her brood. Unfortunately Nafash had been killed by the protoss, who quickly tried to alert Shakuras of Kerrigan's weakened state. Kerrigan stopped the first attempt, during which a protoss scientist named Lasarra was captured. Kerrigan destroyed the protoss shuttles that tried to warp to Shakuras and ultimately wiped out the final escape ship by implanting Lassara with a broodmother, Niadra. Letting Lassara be teleported to the ship, Niadra errupted from her body and, using the organisms stored onboard, was able to overrun the ship. Niadra was left to her own devices. Kerrigan later defended Lassara's memory from Izsha (who had called the protoss's presence disturbing), telling her she did not derive any satisfaction from her death.
During her resurgence, Zeratul had boarded Kerrigan's leviathan and after a brief scuffle, was able to convince her to travel to the zerg homeworld of Zerus to claim the power of the primal zerg. Kerrigan was skeptical of the prophecies, but agreed in order to gain the power she needed to kill Mengsk. Upon arriving at Zerus, Kerrigan learned from Zeratul that in order to gain the power of the primal zerg, she would first have to awaken Zurvan the Ancient One - a zerg older than the Overmind. Though suspicious of Zeratul's motives, Kerrigan's desire for revenge compelled her to take his advice. During this time, Kerrigan was attacked by the primal zerg, who regarded her Swarm as "corrupt". Kerrigan's forces fended off the primal zerg attackers, and successfully awakened Zurvan. Zurvan informed Kerrigan that the fallen xel'naga Amon was responsible for enslaving the zerg and corrupting them through the hive mind as part of his plot to destroy both protoss and zerg and remake all life in his image. Zurvan also explained that the few zerg who escaped Amon's influence became the primal zerg, and that Kerrigan must allow Zerus to remake her if she was to claim the power of the primals.
Despite knowing that her humanity would be lost again, Kerrigan agreed to this. She allowed Zurvan to lead her to the first spawning pool where the zerg had first evolved. Against Abathur's advice, she entered the pool to begin her transformation. Before sealing herself within a chrysalis, she ordered her minions to defend her until she either emerged from the chrysalis or was dead. She hoped that in her new form, Amon would exert no influence over her mind. The primal zerg ferociously assaulted Kerrigan's position, but Kerrigan's zerg held them off long enough for the transformation to be complete. Kerrigan emerged from the chrysalis as the Primal Queen of Blades; making her presence known to all of Zerus. Upon returning to her leviathan, Kerrigan was met by Dehaka, a primal zerg pack leader who wished to join her Swarm, pledging to serve her in exchange for new sources of essence. Kerrigan accepted Dehaka and his pack into the Swarm. Dehaka informed her that the other primal pack leaders would not submit to Kerrigan and thus, had to be eliminated.
Although Yagdra, Kraith, Slivan and their respective packs fought viciously against Kerrigan's Swarm, they were ultimately no match for the reborn Queen of Blades. After collecting their essences, Kerrigan was confronted by Zurvan, who initially acclaimed her for her victory. He then turned on her, with the intention of consuming her essence; explaining that he had "no allegiance but to self." Kerrigan expected his challenge and killed Zurvan, thus fully claiming the power of all Zerus. With her mission on Zerus complete, Kerrigan ordered Izsha to prepare the leviathan to return to the Koprulu sector.
The Queen's Return
- Kerrigan's vow(src)
Kerrigan's broodmothers delivered a communicator, and, on cue, a message from Arcturus Mengsk was delivered. Mengsk told her that Raynor was alive, but that if she brought her Swarm to bear against Korhal or him, Raynor would be killed. Kerrigan couldn't sense Raynor, but swore that she'd rescue him, and set a course for Dominion space.
The following section contains timeline information which isn't necessarily in chronological order.
Kerrigan was contacted by an unknown entity, who claimed to know of Kerrigan's desire to topple Mengsk. The figure told her that her chances of defeating Mengsk were nullified as long as his hybrid were alive and that defeating them was a top priority. Kerrigan tracked the figure to Skygeirr Station, and upon arrival, she questioned its identity. It revealed itself to be an infested Alexi Stukov. He told her that Narud was in fact a shapeshifter who "had worn many faces over the years" and served Amon. Stukov claimed that Narud had made him into whom he was and that he was the victim of countless experiments by Narud. To destroy the lab, Kerrigan first needed to destroy the Dominion garrison protecting the lab's topmost level, which was protected by infantry and heavy weapons. To this end, she utilized infestors to spawn infested terrans at the garrison's complement. The terrans used gas to wipe out the infested, but there was a delay between each usage of the gas. In the end, Kerrigan's zerg destroyed the garrison and then entered the lab.
On the lower level of the lab, Narud unleashed eight hybrid dominators to psionically sap Kerrigan's life. They were defeated, as was the Dominion garrison entrenched at the same level. Kerrigan then ordered the Swarm to flood the remaining levels of the lab and eradicate everything within. However, the lab was built atop a xel'naga temple, and here the Swarm encountered protoss Tal'darim warriors who worshiped Amon and served him. Narud personally tried to kill Kerrigan with a null-zone, which Kerrigan countered with her own. Narud drew power from several xel'naga temples located throughout the level. With Kerrigan locked in combat with Narud, Stukov was left to lead the zerg to destroy the temples. The protoss attacked the zerg, reinforced by hybrid reavers, but ultimately, the zerg prevailed. Eventually, Stukov deactivated all of the xel'naga temples and Narud lost the null-zone battle. He retreated even deeper into the temple, where he was confronted by Kerrigan. Morphing first into Raynor and then Kerrigan's pre-infestation form, he nearly killed her with a psi-blade but in turn, Kerrigan fatally wounded him with her wings. Before dying, Narud told her that Amon was alive, and that she would encounter him soon. It was the truth, for as Kerrigan looked into Narud's mind, she realized that Amon had indeed been resurrected. Kerrigan was brought back to the leviathan to be healed. She revealed what she had learned from Narud, that Amon was alive, and was a threat to the zerg. Once Mengsk was dealt with, they would have to face him in turn.
Reuniting with Raynor
"What I had to."
"Tell that to Fenix! Tell it to the millions you butchered!"
- Raynor and Kerrigan's reunion(src)
Kerrigan made contact with the Hyperion. Matt Horner and Valerian Mengsk were shocked to see that Kerrigan had returned to her zerg form, but agreed to help her find Jim. After retrieving Colonel Orlan from Mira Han, they forced Orlan to hack into the Dominion's network and locate Raynor. They learned that Jim was being held aboard the prison ship Moros which was currently docked at Atlas Station. Kerrigan launched an assault on the Moros and boarded it.
Mengsk attempted to kill both of them by triggering a self-destruct without the crew's knowledge, but Kerrigan was able to use her leviathan to stabilize the section where Raynor was being held. Raynor was horrified to see that Kerrigan had willingly reinfested herself, and brushed off her justifications by reminding her of Fenix's murder, as well as the millions of others she had murdered in cold blood, to which she offered no defense. Kerrigan gave him his gun, put it to her forehead, and told him that he was both the one who swore to kill the Queen of Blades and the one who believed in her. She asked him if he still believed in her. After some hesitation, Raynor fired...again and again. Yet for all that, he couldn't, or wouldn't, hit her. Kerrigan told Raynor that she would always love him, but he coldly declared their relationship was over.
"I made you into a monster, Kerrigan."
"You made us all into monsters."
- The final exchange between Kerrigan and Mengsk(src)
With Narud and his hybrids destroyed and Raynor saved, Kerrigan ordered the swarm to invade Korhal. The swarm surrounded Korhal with dozens of leviathans, preventing reinforcements from getting through. Kerrigan's first priority was to destroy Korhal's planetary defenses. She had Abathur devise the bile launcher, a modified virophage that could destroy the defense cannons from a long range. However, the launchers themselves had to be planted on the surface. Thus, Kerrigan unleashed millions of drop pods upon Korhal. Though many were shot down, a sufficient number landed on the outskirts of Augustgrad. Kerrigan herself entered the fray and secured the landing site of the bile launchers that eventually destroyed the Dominion defense, allowing the rest of the swarm to land and drive the Dominion into the city.
At this time, Mengsk activated his newest weapon: The Psi Destroyer. This device emitted a field that could kill the zerg through their psionic connection to a hive mind. Having anticipated this, however, Kerrigan, sent Dehaka and his primal zerg (who had no hive mind connections) to take out the Destroyer's power generators. The swarm then eradicated the dormant weapon and its defenders. After conferring the final attack plans with her lieutenants and one last communication with the Hyperion, Kerrigan invaded Augustgrad. On Prince Valerian's request, Kerrigan slowed her invasion to let Korhal's civilians evacuate unscathed. The zerg encountered heavy resistance from the Dominion's elite guard, who possessed enhanced weapons, as well as the Odin. Unexpectedly however, Raynor and the Hyperion came to Kerrigan's aid. With the combined might of Raynor, Zagara, Dehaka and Stukov, Kerrigan erradicated Mengsk's defenders and breached the palace. She ordered Zagara to take command of the swarm while she entered the palace to deal with Mengsk alone.
Inside the palace, Kerrigan cut her way through Mengsk's final defenses and made her way to Mengsk's office at the top where the emperor was expecting her. He brought his last weapon to bear: the xel'naga artifact, though this time he planned to use it to destroy her directly. Mengsk used the device to disable and torment Kerrigan while gloating, calling Kerrigan his greatest failure. Unfortunately for the tyrant, his gloating allowed Raynor to intervene in the nick of time; he crushed the control for the artifact and threw Mengsk across the room. Enraged, Kerrigan impaled Mengsk to the wall by his shoulders and after a final bitter exchange of words, overflowed him with her psionic energies. Mengsk exploded violently, blasting a massive hole through the wall behind. Though she departed Korhal immediately following Mengsk's death, she thanked Raynor "for everything" he'd given her before she left.
Her vengeance fufilled, all that remained for Kerrigan was to send the Swarm against its true enemy, Amon.
Legacy of the Void
- Kerrigan's declaration(src)
Whispers of Oblivion
Kerrigan led the zerg against a Moebius Foundation base which had fallen thrall to the mind control of hybrids within the facility. She was contacted by Zeratul, who told her that the Foundation had kidnapped Khalai that he wished to save. Kerrigan refused to call off the attack and told Zeratul to stay out of her way. The base and its defenders were destroyed, but not before Zeratul and his allies were able to free their breathren.
"I've never cared much for prophecy..."
"And yet, despite our history, here we stand...together. Perhaps you should start."
- Artanis and Kerrigan(src)
During Amon's war against the denizens of the Milky Way, Kerrigan was attacked by a hybrid reaver, which was able to gain the upperhand over her. She also encountered Artanis during the conflict. Despite the initial hostility between them, Artanis, knowing that Kerrigan was somehow important, spared her life and even helped kill another hybrid reaver that heavily wounded her in a surprise ambush. Together they progressed through the various challenges set before them in an effort to reach the shrine where the xel'naga apparently slumbered. During this time, their hostility seemed to abate somewhat.
Despite the intervention of Amon's servants in the form of Moebius Corps, Taldarim and hybrid forces, the pair eventually fought their way to the shrines and then to the xel'naga chamber, where they discovered, much to Artanis' horror, that the xel'naga had all been slaughtered by Amon. She witnessed Amon reveal to Artanis that he was building a new host body for himself using the possessed Khalai he had acquired (through corrupting the Khala with his rage and malice) and the Overmind's body, forcibly merging them into a new physical form on Aiur.
Kerrigan and Artanis fled the Void rift opened in the chamber, and she helped the protoss reinforcments sent by Vorazun destroy the Void crystals powering the rift, closing it. Artanis contacted her afterwards, saying that they needed to work together to stop Amon, Kerrigan regretfully told him that her forces needed time to replenish themselves, as they had suffered greatly in the recent battles, and thus could not aid the protoss. Instead she offered Artanis advice, gather allies to his cause to oppose Amon and destroy his armies piecemeal to weaken him.
Kerrigan fought alongside fellow commanders against Amon's forces throughout the End War.
"You know nothing about me! I care little for the xel'naga's Infinite Cycle or your twisted lies. No. I choose something different. I choose freedom...for all of us."
- Amon and Kerrigan(src)
Two years after Artanis's reclamation of Aiur, Kerrigan had rebuilt enough of her forces to assault and kill Amon in the Void. A voice from the Void called out to her, one that she sensed was benevolent. In order to guarantee her success, Kerrigan sent a psionic call to Raynor and Artanis for military assistance, with the three leaders heading a joint Dominion/Swarm/Daelaam armada to begin the invasion. There, they found Void forces being led by Duran—the combined forces were able to defeat and slay him, and free Ouros, the last xel'naga, and the one who had contacted her psionically. He told Kerrigan that he could merge his essence with hers, in a bid to defeat Amon. Despite Raynor's pleas, Kerrigan agreed to do it, hoping to atone for her past sins.
As Ouros began the essence transfer needed for her to ascend into xel'naga form, Raynor, Artanis and Zagara provided military protection from the legions of Void entities and even void thrashers Amon sent against them to stop the transfer. Ultimately however, with the combined might of all three races and Kerrigan's new powers, the transfer was successful. Kerrigan willed that Zagara should take command of the Swarm from now on, telling her to "remember our lessons". Now xel'naga, Kerrigan headed deep into the Void to confront Amon. Here, she was supported by her allies, and her zerg. Confronting Amon, she slew him, telling Raynor in her last moments to flee.
Ghosts of the Past
After the battle, Raynor found himself in Joeyray's Bar on Mar Sara, reminiscing on the past. At this point, he saw (or believed he saw) Kerrigan return, appearing as she had prior to her infestation by the zerg. Whether real or not, Kerrigan asked him whether he was ready to "get out of here," to which Raynor responded positively, exiting the bar.
A Queen's Legacy
Kerrigan's fate remained a mystery within the Dominion. Only a few people knew of her battle with Amon, and they remained silent. After her ascension, she granted the Zerg Swarm under Zagara with the freedom of choice, and free will among the Swarm's broodmothers. In addition, she gifted Zagara with the essence of the xel'naga, allowing her to spread life to other planets through the creation of zerg breeds melded with the xel'naga essence, the adostra.
Years after the End War, Niadra remained loyal to Kerrigan's final directive to destroy the protoss, even though she never heard her voice again since overruning the Daelaam Ark. Niadra led her brood into conflict with both the Terran Dominion and Daelaam.
- For the ghost marine unit, see: Sarah Kerrigan (ghost).
- For the zerg hero unit, see: Infested Kerrigan.
- See: StarCraft Sarah Kerrigan as Terran Ghost Quotations
- See: StarCraft Sarah Kerrigan as Infested Terran Quotations
- For the hero unit in Wings of Liberty, see: Sarah Kerrigan (Wings of Liberty).
- For the hero unit in Heart of the Swarm and Legacy of the Void, see: Sarah Kerrigan (Heart of the Swarm).
- For the hero unit in the epilogue, see: Sarah Kerrigan (Epilogue).
- For the hero unit in the Co-op Missions, see: Sarah Kerrigan (Co-op Missions).
- See: StarCraft II Sarah Kerrigan as Infested Queen of Blades (Wings of Liberty) Quotations
- See: StarCraft II Sarah Kerrigan as Deinfested Terran Ghost (Heart of the Swarm) Quotations
- See: StarCraft II Sarah Kerrigan as Terran Queen of Blades (Heart of the Swarm) Quotations
- See: StarCraft II Sarah Kerrigan as Primal Queen of Blades (Heart of the Swarm) Quotations
- See: StarCraft II Sarah Kerrigan as Primal Queen of Blades (Legacy of the Void) Quotations
- See: StarCraft II Sarah Kerrigan as Ascended Xel'naga (Legacy of the Void) Quotations
- See: StarCraft II Sarah Kerrigan as Co-op Commander (Legacy of the Void) Quotations
In StarCraft II, Sarah Kerrigan's portrait is available on battle.net for players who complete the Solo Zerg 1000 achievement. Sarah Kerrigan's portrait is available for players who complete the Liberty Completionist: Brutal achievement. Her cheerleader portrait is available upon completion of the Back to School Feat of Strength reward.
Kerrigan in her Primal Zerg form is available as a hero in Heroes of the Storm. Her ghost version appears as a color variant for Nova—she was once under consideration to be a separate hero.
Personality and Traits
Due to ghost conditioning, Kerrigan was an introvert from a young age and arguably remained aloof when freed from Confederate control. Her life as a ghost gave her "jaded sensibilities." However, she never fully embraced the darker aspects of her nature. As the Queen of Blades, Kerrigan was torn emotionally, and had to 'justify' to herself what she had become. During and after the Brood War, she had moments of what could be argued to be conscience/compassion, but became colder over time. Her actions were affected by Amon's influence. The Queen of Blades was not a separate entity from Sarah Kerrigan, but they were not quite the same person either. Rather, Kerrigan in her Queen of Blades persona was Kerrigan under the influence of some devastating forces such as zerg mutagen.
After her de-infestation on Char, Kerrigan was angry and conflicted, feeling like she was being pulled in many directions at once. That practically everyone in the Koprulu sector wanted her dead also affected her emotions. Indeed, she no longer possessed the hatred for life that she once did and while she was willing to be ruthless, she had a human's perspective on such actions. However, her hatred of Mengsk remained, albeit contrasted with her continued love for Raynor. Kerrigan had suffered some memory loss from her time as the Queen of Blades. Most of her memory was a blur, and of what she could recall, the images were horrible. She considered herself responsible for what she'd done as the Queen of Blades, and possessed extreme guilt for her actions. While moving against Mengsk, she demonstrated moments of compassion, such as sparing Dominion forces on Char and guilt over Lassara's death. One of the core elements of Kerrigan's personality is that of her manipulation by others, and her lack of identity. Her reversion to human form by Raynor allowed her to finally develop an identity for herself, though found her emotions torn between a man that she loved (Raynor) and a man that she despised (Mengsk).
- Sarah Kerrigan(src)
Sarah Kerrigan was an extremely powerful terran psychic. At a young age she fried her mother's brain accidentally with psionic powers and demonstrated telekinetic abilities. Indeed, her powers were so strong it forced a readjustment of the psionic measurement scale. Her powers were then rated at PI 10, making her the most powerful ghost on record. Her powers were reduced by both ghost conditioning and a neuro-adjuster but after the device's removal, she was powerful enough to throw Major Rumm around with telekinesis and fry his brain.
Kerrigan was uniquely suited to controlling zerg even before she was infested. In experiments conducted with captured zerg specimens, the Confederacy terminated the other ghosts involved in the project because only Kerrigan could get the results they wanted. Following deinfestation during the Second Great War, she retained the ability to control zerg. Kerrigan's gene pattern enabled her retention of intelligence upon infestation.
Prior to deinfestation during the Second Great War, she was at least an order of magnitude more powerful than PI level 10, possessing a "class 12 psi signature". After becoming a terran/primal zerg hybrid, her psionic power exceeded, and could not be measured by, the PI scale.
Upon the transfer of Ouros's essence, Kerrigan gained immense psionic might, able to wield celestial energy as a cohesive beam and send it out as a wave of energy.
"I am. I'm also very good with knives. And guns, too."
Kerrigan was a Confederate ghost and underwent the usual harsh ghost training. She was especially good at using knives, firearms, and driving vultures, and was skilled enough in martial arts to kill a terran officer by kicking him hard enough to break his neck. Kerrigan has also demonstrated competence in the areas of deception and strategy. When working with Duran, she often relied on him to come up with strategies, but was more than capable of creating her own complex plans. As the Queen of Blades, she was able to spin zerg DNA strands/sequences into her own creations.
Sarah Kerrigan was infested by the zerg as part of an experiment. Her new appearance was personally designed by Abathur, though the process was painful. The transformation occurred within a chrysalis and was completed on Char. Her stature increased, and she gained an armored carapace, claws, and "wings" usable as weapons and effective against psi-blades. Kerrigan was also able to cloak, despite no longer wearing a ghost's hostile environment suit. Unlike most infested terrans, Kerrigan retained her intelligence and at least some part of her personality. Her DNA also received telomeric additions.
Kerrigan's full psionic potential was initially suppressed by residual ghost conditioning. Upon reversing the process, she gained enough psionic power to create psionic storms and could even sense the protoss hiding on Char. However, she was still not in full command of her powers, as she was unaware that she was giving Raynor a direct link to the zerg hive mind through the psychic link she had with him.
By the time the first Overmind had been slain, Kerrigan was powerful enough to gain control of approximately half of the Zerg Swarm and seize the mind of Raszagal without even setting foot on the same planet. Upon the end of the Brood War, Kerrigan no longer needed cerebrates to help her control the zerg.
By the Second Great War, Kerrigan had gained a psionic implosion ability. She also had very swift regeneration; a wing severed by Zeratul on Ulaan regrew in seconds. By this time, Kerrigan was the most powerful psionic in the universe, powerful enough to hold her own against 27 siege tanks. After gaining Zerus's powers via the first spawning pool, Kerrigan was even stronger than when she was as the Queen of Blades. Her psionic powers continued to develop and the "boundless fury" of the primal zerg allowed her to leap through the air and strike at targets with terrible force. As the primal Queen of Blades, her psionic might was unrivaled by any being.
- As of October 9, 2005 the battle.net web site contained a hidden image of Kerrigan saying "Help me Jim Raynor...you're my only hope!". The animated GIF image and the text can be found at the bottom of the main page. In order to reveal them the user has to click the round object above the Blizzard image. This is a possible reference to Princess Leia ("Help me Obi-wan Kenobi... You're my only hope!") from Star Wars.
- A diorama of the Queen of Blades exists in Blizzard Entertainment's office in Irvine, California.
- Kerrigan has ranked well in fan polls of game villains, and was voted as fans' favorite female character of Wings of Liberty (in her terran form).
- Kerrigan's ghost number designation, 24601, is a possible reference to the number Jean Valjean was designated as a prisoner in the Bagne de Toulon in Victor Hugo's 1862 novel/play Les Miserables.
- Kerrigan was incorrectly labeled as a Dominion ghost on the StarCraft Twitter feed. In reality, she was a ghost of the Confederacy, not the Dominion.
Chris Metzen has described Kerrigan as (alongside Jim Raynor) the "loneliest person in the universe." In his mind, the possibility of her redemption and her rocky relationship with Raynor makes up the heart of the StarCraft universe. He has also hinted that Raynor's relationship with Kerrigan is drawn from personal experience, in regards to a man struggling with his own demons while saving a woman from her own. Brian T. Kindregan considers her to be the most complex character of the StarCraft setting. Valerie Watrous has cited Kerrigan as being her favorite character in the setting.
Despite her important role in the StarCraft storyline, the character of Sarah Kerrigan was not conceived until the middle of work on the first campaign of the original game. She was initially a "thrown in" character named after figure skater Nancy Kerrigan, as a nod to her rival Tonya Harding. This was in turn a reference to the character of Tanya from Command and Conquer, which was seen as a rival to StarCraft.
Kerrigan was given the role of a covert physic warrior. Metzen further worked on her character and fleshed out her relationship with Raynor. As her character was being discussed, it appeared that her role as a character was having more bearing than previously imagined, courtesy of her position between Mengsk and Raynor. Likewise, her subsequent infestation was a late development decision. The idea for it came while working on the zerg campaign, as it needed a human-like character. Metzen came up with the idea of infesting Kerrigan at the end of the terran campaign, so as to allow this human lens to see the zerg.
In the first game, Kerrigan (in both her forms) was voiced by Glynnis Talken-Campbell. She has described Kerrigan as being harder to voice than the medic (which she also provided the voice for) due to the role requiring her to "bring out her inner warrior."
With StarCraft II, Kerrigan's design was established by Blizzard's cinematic department, and while the game design team was allowed a degree of latitude with how she'd be portrayed in the game engine, the design had to remain faithful to the high-resolution version. In-game, her athletic proportions were very subdued when viewed from a distance, and her feminine features did not stand out enough to clearly present her as a female character. A quick resolution to this for the real-time artwork was increasing Kerrigan’s breast size and the width of her hips. A drawback of the design was the zerg-arms that protrude from Kerrigan’s back which interfere with her silhouette and distracts from her slim waist. Creating the in-game version of Kerrigan was a balancing act between readable, overbuilt proportions while maintaining strong feminine features. The in-game model was reiterated numerous times to get the balance right. Kerrigan's de-infested form in Heart of the Swarm had similarly exagerated features in the game engine to help her stand out. Her primal form in the game was based on the Wings of Liberty model, but was slightly tweaked with some new texture work and slight geometry adjustments.
It was speculated that Kerrigan (at least during Heart of the Swarm) has two personalities, one as Sarah Kerrigan, the other as the Queen of Blades. Brian Kindregan speculated in an interview that if Kerrigan's Queen of Blades persona still remained after her de-infestation at the end of Wings of Liberty, it would end up taking over. What is known is that the original concept for Kerrigan's storyline in Heart of the Swarm was that she would slowly revert to her zerg state over time, her hostile environment suit deteriorating to reveal her re-emerging zerg characteristics. The idea was that by using her powers, the zerg side of her would start to show (whether she liked it or not). This was represented in initial game models and various pieces of concept art. However, the visual evolution was downplayed since it slowly took the edge of her climactic return to power, and all the evolution models were shelved. Additionally, during a previous version of Heart of the Swarm, Kerrigan was interested in creating a "metamorph", a breed which could guide its own evolution.
According to Kerrigan's StarCraft II hero page, it was Amon who ordered her to retrieve the xel'naga device. This is in contrast to comments made at BlizzCon 2011, where her motives were established as seeking the artifact as part of her own volition, as well as comments in Heart of the Swarm, where she establishes that Amon never directly controlled her.
- DC Direct released a 12" high collectible statue of Kerrigan in March 2012.
- Sideshow Colletibles intends to release a Kerrigan statuette. Two versions are being considered, one for Kerrigan's traditional Queen of Blades form, the other corresponding to her primal form. Pre-orders will begin in 2013.
- 5000 busts of Kerrigan were produced for Blizzard employees.
- A Kerrigan figure will be included in Blizzard's Cute But Deadly range. It was available at BlizzCon 2013.
- A vinyl statue of Kerrigan is available.
- Kerrigan's primal form was available as an exclusive at the 2014 San Diego Comic Con.
- A statue of Kerrigan can be seen outside Blizzard's European HQ.
- A Funko figure based on Kerrigan's appearance in Heroes of the Storm was released in May, 2015.
- A Heroes of the Storm t-shirt for Kerrigan is available on the battle.net store.
- Kerrigan was set to appear in the StarCraft comic. However, the series was canceled before this could occur. She was scheduled to appear in its successor, the StarCraft OGN, a graphic novel continuing the StarCraft comic series by Simon Furman.
- As part of April fools 2010 Blizzard Entertainment announced a spoof game featuring Kerrigan called Queen's Quest, the title being a pun on the old Sierra King's Quest adventures games. The "Spin-A-Spacer DRM application" and "give wax lips to Jim Raynor" are references to the LucasArts classic Secret of Monkey Island adventure game series.
- In an episode of The Office, character Dwight Schrute dresses up as Kerrigan for a Halloween party, yet only the CEO's son recognizes the reference, along with pointing out that he should have dressed up as a lurker.
- Kerrigan cameos in Overwatch through the Fighters of the Storm arcade game.