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|Queen of Blades|
Simon & Schuster (Pocket Star Books)
May 23, 2006 (paperback)
Mass Market Paperback
|ISBN 10 (ebook)|
|ISBN 13 (ebook)|
Former marshal-turned-rebel Jim Raynor has broken away from the power-crazed Emperor Arcturus Mengsk. Enraged over Mengsk's betrayal of the powerful telepath, Sarah Kerrigan, to the ravenous Zerg, Raynor has lost all faith in his fellow humanity.
Yet, in the aftermath of Mengsk's treachery, Raynor is plagued by strange visions of Char -- a deadly, volcanic world haunted by horrifying alien creatures. As the nightmares grow in intensity, Raynor begins to suspect that they may not be figments of his imagination -- but a desperate form of telepathic contact. Convinced that the woman he loves is still alive, Raynor launches a hasty mission to rescue Kerrigan from Char. But deep beneath the planet's smoldering surface, Raynor finds a strange chrysalis...and is forced to watch in horror as a terrible, all-too-familiar entity rises from it.
Before him stands a creature of depthless malice and vengeance...
Sarah Kerrigan: the Zerg Queen of Blades.
The prologue began with the Battle of New Gettysburg on a space platform over Tarsonis, where protoss, Sons of Korhal and zerg forces clashed. Two zerg broods had custody of Sarah Kerrigan; one escorted her chrysalis, while the other destroyed the forces in front of them. Eventually the zerg left the planet, using a rift through warp space.
After the betrayal of Kerrigan, Jim Raynor turned against Arcturus Mengsk and the Sons of Korhal. Raynor's forces fled the area of Tarsonis, but they lacked long-term transport. He planned to go on his own, but instead he had a small army behind him.
Because of that Raynor had to launch a raid at Dylar IV, the new Terran Dominion shipyard. General Edmund Duke was waiting for him there in the Hyperion along with a fleet. Raynor's forces used the dockyard's equipment to grapple and capture the Hyperion. They then left with it and a dozen other vessels.
Meanwhile, former reporter Michael Liberty was spreading propaganda which was favorable to Jim Raynor to counter Mengsk's false rumors; Liberty referred to Raynor as "the hero of Antiga Prime", which he thought of as bunk, just like Mengsk's charges against him, save for the raid.
A New WorldEdit
Jim Raynor and Arcturus Mengsk received visions from the slowly transforming Kerrigan. Raynor's second in command, the young Matt Horner, used Raynor's descriptions of his visions to track Kerrigan's location - the world of Char. Without revealing these visions to anyone, Raynor announced that he believed the zerg were holding prisoners on this world, and they would try to rescue them.
When their fleet arrived at Char, they found General Duke there as well in the Norad III. Duke's fleet was smaller: with two carriers of ground troops, one cargo vessel, one science vessel and only Norad III armed for space warfare. Conversation with Duke revealed that Duke was here for the same reasons as Raynor was, and that he had sent troops down to the surface. However, these troops couldn't even defend their own landing point; there were too many zerg down there.
Raynor sent down shuttles from all his ships to the surface, and his troops searched for the zerg, which were hiding in tunnels. Raynor led his troops into a large tunnel and used his psychic connection with Kerrigan to navigate, losing a few troops on the way. They were spotted by a strange massive eye, and after it was destroyed, the battle was on. Raynor's troops took losses but eventually reached a chamber which was a breeding ground. There the chrysalis lay. Seeing the terrans, the two cerebrates attempted to defend it. Raynor was able to "hear" their orders and pressed forward as his troops held off the zerg. Just as he reached the chrysalis, it burst open, revealing Kerrigan, now the Queen of Blades. After disposing of the rest of the terrans in the chamber, leaving Raynor on his own, she ordered the zerg to leave them and the two had a short conversation. After that, Kerrigan disappeared, leaving Raynor alone. Heavily outnumbered, he returned to what's left of his team outside the chamber and ordered a retreat.
After leaving the caves (a different way from where they came in), Raynor and his troops made it to their base camp , only to find his shuttles missing, as Kerrigan had taken control of them in order to board his and Duke's ships. Kerrigan herself boarded the Amerigo.
Raynor was able to warn Horner aboard the Hyperion, who then initiated a blind warp jump in order to escape. Once she was gone, out of desperation, Raynor called for Duke and asked him for assistance, but the Norad III (and one other ship) also made an emergency jump, leaving Raynor behind.
This was when the protoss struck. They destroyed all the terran vessels in the area, attacking even the lifepods, leaving a very angry Raynor (along with the few terrans he had left with him) stranded on Char, days away from the nearest world. Raynor managed to find three signals of crashed vessels in the area. The first was of the Chandler, one of his shuttles, where they found twenty-three survivors. The second was of another shuttle, which was more damaged and only had five survivors. After salvaging it for supplies, Raynor found the source of the third signal; an escape pod from one of Duke's ships. He entered it and found a survivor, who told Raynor he was a scientist from the Amerigo, and that Kerrigan had stolen the Ghost Program files so she could learn about the conditioning process. After that, the scientist died.
After taking the supplies from the escape pod, Raynor gathered everyone around the Chandler, where they set up base camp. Repairing the shuttle was not an option as they did not have the parts, and communication with the Protoss was, at the time, out of the question.
Encounters with the ProtossEdit
Jim Raynor wandered alone from his troops, occasionally plagued by visions from Kerrigan. As he wandered, he saw a protoss ship land, and Tassadar and his troops leaving it. Both of them had teamed up a few months before, but Tassadar had also attacked his ships. The two quickly confronted one another and after an argument by Raynor on what the Executor did, Tassadar then asked the terran to seek out Kerrigan and gather intel. Raynor then notified his camp of the protoss presence and ordered them to ignore and not assault them. After that conversation with Tassadar, Raynor dreamed of Kerrigan again. Now, however, the dreams were pleasant; they showed him and Kerrigan as human civilians. He would also have multiple dreams, some of which showed him what Kerrigan was planning.
After a while, Tassadar headed off somewhere and Raynor decided to follow. While he followed, Raynor reconsidered whether the protoss would help them get off-planet or at least send a distress call. Soon, Tassadar made his way to a crater where Kerrigan herself awaited. Raynor decided to have a closer look and suddenly, he received a vision from Kerrigan once more. The Queen of Blades was discussing with the cerebrate about the protoss' arrival. After that conversation, she leaped out of the crater to confront Tassadar—and detect Raynor's presence (although she did not reveal him). After a short conversation, as both of their reinforcements arrived as well, the two sparred. In the middle of the battle, the protoss fled. As Kerrigan ordered her brood to pursue them, one overlord remained; it was that of Zasz. He wanted Kerrigan to reconsider her decision, but her mind was made up. As she then killed the overlord and went to follow her brood, Raynor on the other hand decided to return to the camp.
Back at camp, things were going well as despite the planet's 'inhospitality', there was water to drink, and rodents and mushrooms to eat. Eventually, Raynor left again to track down Tassadar and his protoss forces. Eventually, he located their camp and observed them from afar. After watching them ambush a horde of zerg, Kerrigan arrived but the protoss eluded her once more.
As Raynor resumed his search, he saw another protoss ship land and deploy its forces. Obviously, this wasn't Tassadar's and since Raynor couldn't find the templar, he decided to follow these protoss. They made their way to a cave and this happened to lead to Zasz's chamber. As the cerebrate ranted about Kerrigan's insubordination, the "dark protoss" made their way in. Zasz detected their presence and prepared to defend himself. The protoss leader then revealed his presence and introduced himself as Zeratul. He told the cerebrate that he knew of Kerrigan's weakness and Zasz was eager to know. As Zeratul approached, he then suddenly executed Zasz, rendering the Garm Brood insane. His task done, Zeratul left, his Dark Templar following him.
Raynor returned to camp and told his sergeants about this new information. After he assured them the protoss were not gonna attack the camp, he left the next day to find them. After a long search, he spotted Kerrigan and an overlord linked to Daggoth. He "overheard" their conversation as Daggoth told about Zasz's death and the Overmind's silence. Daggoth then told Kerrigan to deal with the Garm, but she refused, preferring to hunt down the protoss. Instead, she told Daggoth to destroy the Garm as his brood was closer, and then destroy Tassadar's ship.
Kerrigan went on her way and Raynor followed. Eventually, she found Tassadar again and they and their forces faced each other in battle. The battle almost went in Kerrigan's favor but Raynor managed to tip the scales against her favor, allowing for the protoss to escape. As Kerrigan resumed her pursuit for Tassadar, she encountered Zeratul and was able to detect him and his Dark Templar. Zeratul delivered a prophecy to her, and then they dueled She managed to defeat him, but he and the Dark Templar escaped her grasp. She then called up her brood, almost discovering Raynor's hiding place. He was 'saved' by Daggoth's arrival with his message that he has destroyed two protoss ships (Tassadar's and Zeratul's). The Overmind then 'came', discovering the whereabouts of the protoss homeworld of Aiur. Kerrigan offered to remain behind to eliminate the stranded protoss and the Overmind approved. Once they left, Raynor quickly returned to the base camp.
At the base camp, he told his sergeants what he learnt and told them to get ready to break camp if Kerrigan's brood were to attack. He also told them about his considerations with allying with the protoss, despite how uncomfortable it was to them.
A week later, after a long search, Raynor, located Tassadar and his forces, and followed them all the way to…Zeratul and his dark templars. The two leaders confronted one another and, despite Zeratuls' reasoning, their forces clashed. Tassadar struck with rage, while Zeratul maintained his composure and stopped the former's blows, lecturing him all the while. Eventually, only the two templars were still fighting, their forces (and Raynor) stopping to watch. Suddenly, Raynor detected the Swarm coming and knew that if he didn't warn them, the protoss would fall. He made his presence known, and just as the protoss unsheathed their blades on him, the zerg were upon them. Raynor tried to persuade Tassadar to retreat, but the templar didn't answer, so he turned to Zeratul and the dark templar agreed. In the midst of the fight, Zeratul took a mutalisk's attack for Tassadar, gaining a little trust. As they began to retreat, Kerrigan arrived and told them that the Swarm was headed for Aiur, thanks to Zeratul; when he slew Zasz, the Overmind read his mind, learning the world's location. Before Tassadar could turn to argue with him, Raynor cut in and told them to retreat. As they fled, Kerrigan saw Raynor's decision and it angered her. Zeratul promised to make amends for his mistake, which meant he would stay with Tassadar for the time being. After Tassadar permitted Raynor and his forces to travel with them as allies, the terran contacted his base to evacuate.
Raynor's dreams of a human Kerrigan began turning violent… As Raynor ordered his sergeants to evacuate and head for the mountains, which was where he and the protoss were going. Suddenly, he received a message from Cavez that their base was under attack. Raynor immediately set off—and the protoss followed. They managed to arrive in time and defeat the attackers. Raynor then saw that Cavez was not in armor; he thought the others needed it more. Raynor then told him that Cavez needs it the most, else he be a liability to his troops. Cavez then told him he saw Abernathy fall; it turns out her armor was merely damaged and disabled. The two got her out of the suit, now useful only for parts.
After burying their dead and packing up, Raynor's Raiders departed with both groups of protoss, forming an uneasy alliance. Zeratul was polite to Tassadar and spent a lot of time observing him. Raynor's forces were uneasy with them and their mannerisms, which were clearly different from theirs, but Raynor assured them that the protoss were not the enemy and to at least not consider them as enemies. Just then, the protoss prepared to leave. Tassadar panned on retreating, but Raynor suggested short skirmishes on the zerg to whittle their numbers, which Zeratul agreed to, much to the high templar's surprise. They faced fewer zerg, since most had left to invade Aiur, but Kerrigan and her brood remained. During their time together, the uneasiness between both races faded and they even worked together in battle. During one night, the two protoss leaders 'conversed' and Raynor decided to join in. There, he found out that Tassadar felt guilty of his actions. He was supposed to eradicate the terran worlds, but Tassadar disobeyed and chose to confront them directly to prevent further harm to the terrans. During the conversation that ensued, Tassadar took interest in Zeratul's abilities and Raynor brought up the fact that this was how Zeratul slew Zasz… and how the Overmind discovered Aiur through him.
Tassadar then contacted Aldaris (his former adviser) on Aiur in order to warn them of the Zerg, but too late; the zerg had already heavily damaged the planet. Aldaris was cold to Tassadar; he expected him to return immediately to help fight the zerg, but Tassadar said his fight was here on Char. He revealed that he was in contact with the Dark Templar, which prompted a scathing response. Several days after the conversation, Tassadar asked Zeratul about the 'true gifts' the protoss possess, as the former's kind were limited by the Conclave's fear of the Dark Templar.
Two weeks later, Zeratul decided to explain about the gifts of the protoss, but showed hesitation upon Raynor's presence, but Tassadar acknowledged him as a friend and they let him know their secrets, but as the process was done via "joining thoughts" , he struggled to learn. He learned about protoss history and theology, the xel'naga, the Aeon of Strife. Tassadar also learned things about the Dark Templar that the Conclave have rendered taboo, like the Khala's limits on Tassadar's kind, and that the Dark Templar are still loyal to their race and not savages.
One night, after waking up once more from yet another nightmare from Kerrigan, Raynor wondered to himself why she keeps tormenting him. As it turns out, Zeratul was observing him. Raynor then discussed with him about his dreams of Kerrigan. They agreed that Kerrigan was torturing him with the (formerly) pleasant dreams, but in a way she was torturing herself with what she couldn't have. Raynor asked Zeratul to break the link, but Zeratul refused. Raynor then realized why; Zeratul could sense how far away Kerrigan was through the link, and had been using that as an advantage. Zeratul also remarked that Raynor was "more like us than we know".
A few days later, Zeratul told Tassadar that he was already following the path to the truth, the first step being their clash when they first met. As it turns out, the bracers Zealots wear are for focusing their psi blades; Tassadar manifested such in the battle without them. Finally, after some more teachings, Tassadar was ready to perform the Shadow Walk. With both his newly-learned Dark Templar powers and his old Templar gifts, he passed the trial, finally becoming a Dark Templar. Just after however, the zerg attacked, but thanks to Raynor being able to "hear" the zerg, they managed to escape.
After this event, Raynor discussed his understanding of zerg "speech", only to discover none of his troops, or the protoss had heard the zerg say anything. When Zeratul stated that speech was not in their capabilities, Raynor reminded him of the dark templar's conversation with Zasz. This surprised Zeratul as the conversation was private. Tassadar guess that somehow, Raynor has tapped into the Swarms mind, being able to "hear" them, just as protoss "hear" each other as they speak. As it turns out, Kerrigan's sloppy psychic link was automatically "translating" zerg thoughts into speech that Raynor could understand, but she wasn't doing this deliberately; rather due her lack of experience in controlling her powers. Zeratul told him that he could use Raynor's dreams to lure Kerrigan into an ambush, since he could overhear the zerg battle reports.
During his next dream, Raynor showed Kerrigan the image of the box canyon he was hiding in. Kerrigan was surprised but fell for the trick. The ambush worked. Most of the zerg were killed, and Tassadar used his Dark Templar powers to slay Kerrigan's cerebrate. This rendered her zerg insane. However, Kerrigan fought on, inefficiently controlling zerg in small numbers. Even as the protoss then came down on her, she slew them with little difficulty. Zeratul then came in to attack, and Tassadar followed. When realizing they gone on without him, Raynor quickly followed suit. However, his suit was locked down early in the fight by Kerrigan. She was able to gain the upper hand on the two protoss commanders when protoss vessels arrived and opened fire. Kerrigan managed to escape.
As Raynor, Tassadar, and Zeratul watched their recent saviors descend, the latter decided to depart, as he felt it wasn't the right time to return. When Raynor asked how will he leave the planet as all their ships were destroyed, Zeratul revealed he still had the Void Seeker, which he was able to effectively conceal from the zerg with powerful illusions. When asked why he didn't leave earlier when he could've, Zeratul stated that it was destiny before he and the Dark Templar disappeared. The ship landed, and from it emerged Aldaris and the new executor, Artanis. Aldaris attempted to arrest Tassadar, but Artanis read Tassadar's mind and refused to do so.
Shortly thereafter, Raynor received a call. It was from Matt Horner, who has reappeared in the Char system. He apologized for being late, due to trouble from the sudden warp and subsequent repairs. Raynor calculated that he had forty people left out of the four hundred he first commanded, not enough to take on Mengsk yet but wanted to turn the tables on the Overmind. He joined Tassadar in his search for Zeratul so they could defeat the zerg.
Characters in StarCraft: Queen of BladesEdit
- Sarah Kerrigan, the Queen of Blades – a rising power in the Zerg Swarm
- Jim Raynor – former colonial policeman now leading a band of rebels
- Tassadar – protoss high templar and former executor
- Zeratul – Dark Templar leader
- Lieutenant Abernathy – crewperson of the Chandler and a top ground commander
- Lieutenant Deke Cavez – a top ground commander
- Young unnamed cerebrate – Kerrigan's assistant
- Daggoth – senior cerebrate and leader of the Tiamat Brood
- General Edmund Duke – leader of Alpha Squadron
- Matt Horner – Raynor's young and idealistic second-in-command
- The Overmind – leader of the Zerg Swarm
- Zasz – cerebrate in charge of the Garm Brood
A sequel to Queen of Blades, known as StarCraft: Heir of Adun has been proposed, covering Tassadar and Aiur history after the Invasion of Aiur. Blizzard has an outline, but as of February 2009 was unsure who the author would be.
StarCraft: Queen of Blades has deviated from the StarCraft storyline on multiple occasions.
The sequence of events around the death of Zasz were very different. In the game, Tassadar and Zeratul had seemingly formed an alliance by this time, but were hiding from the zerg. Kerrigan detected them with her newfound powers after leaving the Amerigo with the knowledge of the Ghost Program. Tassadar lured her into combat with an illusion while Zeratul slew Zasz.
Zasz's Garm Brood was then destroyed by zerg commanded by the player cerebrate (this would be Kerrigan's personal brood). In the novel, Zeratul slew Zasz before he even met Tassadar, the Garm were destroyed by Daggoth's Tiamat Brood, Kerrigan faced Tassadar many times before being fooled by the illusion (which happened after the death of Zasz) and used lines that occurred earlier in the game (when Zasz was being set up for assassination), and only later did Tassadar and Zeratul form an alliance.
Later during the zerg missions, Kerrigan destroyed a substantial portion of the protoss base and slew many Dark Templar while holding aggressive conversations with Zeratul. Zeratul was later captured and had to be rescued from a terran installation. In the novel, Eye for an Eye is ignored and skipped with zerg fighting protoss much later and losing the battle heavily rather than winning. The protoss were then immediately "reinforced" by Aldaris and Artanis.
Zeratul is repeatedly referred to as praetor, rather than his in-game rank, prelate. From the conversation between Tassadar and Aldaris, it appears that prelate is the Dark Templar analogue of praetor, the novel also refers to Zeratul as prelate.
Rosenberg, Aaron. StarCraft: Queen of Blades. New York, London, Toronto and Sydney: Pocket Star Books, May 2006. ISBN 978-0-7434-7133-6
- Starcraft: Queen of Blades - Excerpt. Blizzplanet. Accessed 2009-05-12 (excerpt).
- Draztal. 2010-10-25. Galaxy Archives - StarCraft: Queen of Blades. Blizzard Entertainment. Accessed 2011-08-01 (excerpt).