The temple consisted of a pyramid-shaped structure with a small floating crystalline top. The Uraj and Khalis crystals were required to channel the temple's energies. The temple's effects might have been able to reach out in space. It was protected by a shield. The activation of the temple during the Brood War in 2500 tore apart the ground around the temple, creating a massive chasm.
By the time of the End War in 2506, the Uraj and Khalis were lost. The temple's energies could still be channeled, but this required time. Without the crystals, zenith stones in the temple's proximity were used to control its energies. The temple's energies were now activated by a holographic interface panel in a chamber deep within the temple. In the temple environs, a platform had been constructed over the temple's higher points, with bridges spanning the surrounding chasm and connecting to the mainland.
The xel'naga constructed the temple above a nexus of powerful cosmic energies. After their banishment from Aiur, the dark templar found Shakuras and the temple, and decides to make a permanent settle on the planet to study it.
During the Brood War, two cerebrates infested the temple grounds. They were killed at the command of Matriarch Raszagal. Raszagal also ordered the recovery of the Uraj and Khalis to use the temple's energies to scour Shakuras of the zerg that had invaded it.
The protoss recovered the crystals, and Praetor Artanis and Dark Prelate Zeratul took them to the temple while the Executor held off the zerg. Artanis and Zeratul channeled the temple's energies into an explosion that obliterated the zerg on Shakuras.
The protoss studied the temple after the Brood War and derived several technological advancements from the discoveries. Most of the temple's new guardians were from the Shelak Tribe, rather than Nerazim. The guardians had access to deep lore which they protected zealously. These secrets included a sweet-smelling substance.
During the End War against Amon, Shakuras was again invaded by zerg and the dark templar suffered heavy losses. Matriarch Vorazun accepted that the planet could not be held, but chose to destroy her world rather than see Amon's forces use it as a staging ground. The protoss entrenched their defenders around the temple, destroyed the zenith stones that were regulating its energies, and waited for Amon to send enough zerg to the planet that their loss would cripple his brood. Once at least a billion zerg were on the planet, Artanis concentrated the temple's energies into a shard of crystal that plunged into Shakuras' core, creating a massive explosion that destroyed the planet.
At an earlier point in the End War, Amon's forces besieged the temple with intent to destroy it. Allied forces under the command of preserver Rohana led the temple's defense, and held off Amon's forces until the temple's energies could be charged and released, destroying them and securing the area.
The temple appears as a structure in the missions "Legacy of the Xel'Naga" and "Countdown." In the former it is invincible. In "Countdown," the player must bring Artanis and Zeratul to the temple as the mission's first objective. When they do so, they must defend the temple from the zerg for 15 minutes. A successful defense wins the mission.
The temple appears in the mission "Last Stand." Once again it must be defended from the zerg until the counter reaches at least 1 billion zerg on Shakuras. At this point, provided the three zenith stones have been destroyed, the player can end the mission at any time, or keep going to earn the achievements and bonus objectives.
The temple also appears in the Co-op mission "Temple of the Past" where its defense is the primary objective.