Sunday, May 20, 2007




The Protoss are a race technologically advanced and rely on psionic abilities and cybernetics in battle. They are the primary opponents of the Zerg. The Protoss are highly religious and follow a strict code known as the Khala. The Protoss have mastered their psionic powers, and are currently engaged in a devastating war with the Zerg. They have also had to deal with civil wars within their ranks.
Protos in Greek means 'first'. This name is supposedly given because the Protoss were the first semi-successful Xel'Naga creation. They (the Protoss) were later deemed a failure by the greater species, leading to the engineering of the Zerg.
In StarCraft online culture, the Protoss are often referred to simply as Toss (or Pro by some Korean players); amongst more experienced players, it's usually abbreviated to simply P.


Aiur is one of many worlds engineered by the Xel'Naga, a race of extragalactic geneticists, obsessed with creating the perfect race, that would be marked by a distinct purity of form. The Xel'Naga, after innumerable failures to create such a race, turned towards Aiur.
They watched over a particular species of hunters and warriors and discerned that they indeed had a purity of form, as they were incredibly adaptable and had unmatched strength and speed. However, the most intriguing ability of the species is a psionic link that is shared by the entire race. This link was a form of instinctive telepathy, enabling them to communicate with one another, so that even large groups could work together efficiently.
The Xel'Naga altered them to some extent with their Khaydarin Crystals, but were content to remain unseen for many generations. The Xel'Naga felt they had achieved their goal, and gave the new race the name of Protoss, or 'the First Born'. Aiur was eventually covered by civilized Protoss, and so the Xel'Naga descended onto Aiur in order to more closely study the evolution of their charges. A Temple marks where they first set down upon Aiur.
The Xel'Naga were initially revered as gods, as the Protoss looked towards their creators with respect and a lust for knowledge. However, as the understanding and personal awareness of the young Protoss grew, they began to place greater pride in individual achievements rather than the benefit of the community. The various Tribes sought to distance themselves from one another, seeking their role not only within their immediate society, but the universe as a whole.
The tribes began to fear treachery from their masters, and in seeking to sever themselves from the rest of their race, attempted to lose the psychic link that they shared. This dissolved whatever remnants of brotherhood or unity that the Protoss had shared. Feeling that the greatest attribute of the Protoss was lost, the Xel'Naga began withdrawing from Aiur. However, the suspicious Protoss responded with an attack that destroyed a number of Xel'Naga Worldships. The Xel'Naga Worldships fended off the hasty attack and left the system. The Protoss Tribes then turned against each other, beginning the Aeon of Strife, the most devastating civil war in recorded galactic history.

The Aeon of Strife

During the Aeon of Strife, Protoss advancement slowed, and the tribes waged a massive war with each other, lasting hundreds of years. Little is known from this time, but it is known that the Protoss lost their psionic link with each other. The Aeon of Strife was the longest, most devastating civil war to ever strike any currently known species. The most famous Tribe from this time period is the Akilae Tribe, which are to this day renowned as the Protoss' finest psionic warriors.
During this time, the Protoss maintained colonies on other planets, often connected by Warp Gates, but these too quickly became gripped with the Strife.
The Protoss Tribes descended into something resembling madness as they attacked one another. One example was the Mendella Incident, where the mainly underground settlement of Mendella was deliberately flooded when another Protoss faction destroyed a nearby reservoir.

He Who Brings Order

The mystic Khas (a word meaning "He who brings order") eventually brought about the end of the Strife. He had studied the "forbidden" teachings of the Xel'Naga and unearthed the Khaydarin Crystals. With these crystals he was able to amplify the psionic link, which had submerged itself in Protoss egos, and recreate the link.
With this power, he travelled through Aiur and the other Protoss planets, teaching the Protoss he encountered to join the psionic link; this became a philosophy called the Khala. He demonstrated the powers of the Khaydarin Crystals at Gyras, where he ended the feuding by destroying the battleground. Eventually Khas reunited the majority of the Protoss, forming three castes and a new Tribe.
The very first group of warriors and students to surround him became the Ara Tribe, and joined the Judicator Caste. The other Tribes to quickly join also became members of this caste.
The next group of Tribes became the Templar Caste (the warriors), and the majority of the Protoss became the Khalai Caste (workers and artisans), ending the civil war.
The theory known as the Khala brought on the Second Age for the Protoss. The Tribal society evolved into three Castes: the Judicator Caste (led by the Conclave), the Khalai Caste and the Templar.


Unknown to the majority of Protoss at this time, some Protoss refused to join the Khala, yet did not act on the violent emotions of the Strife. Adun and his Templar refused to exterminate them as ordered by the Protoss Conclave. Instead, Adun taught them how to hide themselves from the Conclave and to create psionic storms. The latter lesson backfired, however, as the storms could not be controlled without the discipline of the Khala. The storms spiralled over Aiur, revealing the presence of the Rogue Tribes to the Protoss.
The barely reunited tribes began to fight once more. Old vendettas and ancient prejudices were reborn as the Protoss who refused the way of Khala were branded as traitors and hunted down.
Eventually the Conclave devised a way to impose order on the Protoss once more. The Rogue Tribes were secretly placed on board a Xel'Naga Freighter and exiled from Aiur. Matriarch Raszagal, a very old Protoss and Dark Templar leader, is old enough to remember the Exile clearly. Their fate was kept a secret from the other Protoss. Eventually they became known, in legend, as the Dark Templar. These Protoss, forced to draw on cosmic energies to power their psionic abilities, severed the nerve cords that linked them to the Protoss telepathic community.

Expansion and Discovery

The Protoss conquered hundreds of worlds within their corner of the galaxy, spreading civilization to many of the more advanced races that they encountered.
The Protoss follow the Dae'uhl, aka Stewardship, of the planets once claimed by the Xel'Naga. They started supervising and protecting the lesser life forms, but rarely interfering.
When the Terrans arrived in the Koprulu Sector, colonizing over a dozen worlds within Protoss space, the Protoss observed silently. They put the humans under their Stewardship.
The Protoss suffered disastrous contact with the Zerg. The Protoss discovered Zerg probes on the edge of Protoss space and discovered their true purpose; to conquer the Protoss and absorb their psionic abilities into the gene pool. They realized that the Zerg had secretly been infesting the Terran planets, and they exterminated the first planet without warning.

The Fall of Aiur

After the destruction of the first Terran planet (Chau Sara), Tassadar would wait until the Terrans had left the planet to destroy them, but would scour the surfaces clean of all Zerg. Tassadar, the leader of the force sent to scour the planets of the Zerg, enlisted the aid of the Dark Templar on Char without the permission of the Protoss Conclave after he discovered that they could be used to defeat the Zerg. Normally, a Zerg Cerebrate, a Zerg Brood commander, would be reincarnated if slain, but the Dark Templar had the power to cut off the reincarnation power. However, when the Dark Templar, led by Zeratul, destroyed the first Cerebrate, the Zerg Overmind linked its mind with Zeratul. They exposed their secrets to each other, and as a consequence the Overmind discovered the location of Aiur. After a long battle, the Zerg finally managed to conquer the planet. Meanwhile, Tassadar was trapped on a space platform above Char, while Zeratul was captured in an installation by Infested Kerrigan, who had remained behind.
The Overmind itself landed on Aiur, but after a long, stalemated battle, several Cerebrates were slain as a distraction tactic. Taking advantage of the confusion that followed, Tassadar, with the aid of Terran forces led by Jim Raynor, combined the forces of Dark and Light Templar and sacrificed himself to destroy the Overmind. Even then, in the aftermath, most of the Protoss population (about 70%) was slain, Zerg were running loose on Aiur, and the Conclave had fallen. It is interesting to note that before the battle with the Overmind begins, the Conclave, realizing that Tassadar, Zeratul, and Jim Raynor had done much more than the Conclave could have hoped to accomplish, repented their past blind adherence to tradition. Aldaris remarks that they are the representatives of Aiur in its darkest hour.


With Zerg running loose across Aiur, Zeratul, a prominent Dark Templar leader, suggested that they flee to Shakuras, the homeworld of the Dark Templar. Despite protests from Aldaris, the leader of the Conclave, they did so. However, it was soon discovered that the Zerg had followed them there, and that they had manifested themselves around the Xel'Naga Temple. The Matriarch of the Dark Templar, Raszagal, noted that they would need two crystals, the Uraj and Khalis, containing the powers of light and dark Templar, to defeat the Zerg.
However, Sarah Kerrigan, a Terran Ghost operative that had been infested by the Zerg into a ruthless servent of the Overmind, came to them and told them that there was a new Overmind growing on the planet Char. She claimed that she was free from the Overmind's control and that she didn't want to come under its influence again. So, while they agreed to help cripple the maturation of the Overmind, Kerrigan agreed, in turn, to help with the obtaining of the two crystals.
After the two crystals had been discovered and the Overmind was crippled, Aldaris and his followers waged a civil war with the Protoss under the command of Artanis, Zeratul, Fenix, and their Terran allies (notably James Raynor). The Conclave was defeated, but Kerrigan intervened, killed Aldaris, kidnapped Raszagal, and claimed that she had been brainwashing her to do her bidding all along. The Protoss then proceeded to secure the Xel'Naga temple and combine the powers of the two crystals. This scoured the surface of Shakuras of all life, except for the ones inside the temple, and, therefore, defeated the Zerg force. Later, Zeratul had been captured by Kerrigan and offered to return Raszagal to him. However, Zeratul feared that Raszagal was still under the control of Kerrigan and killed her. Kerrigan, surprisingly, let Zeratul go.
Later on, when Kerrigan had gathered her forces above Char, the remaining Protoss under Artanis (as well as forces commanded by the United Earth Directorate and the Terran Dominion), attempted to stop Kerrigan. However, Kerrigan defeated all three forces, and the remaining Protoss, commanded by Artanis (since Fenix had been killed and Zeratul had disappeared), retreated to Shakuras to begin rebuilding their once grand civilization.


Protoss are about three meters tall and have two glowing eyes, digitigrade legs, semi-permeable skin covered in scales, four digits on their hands (of which two are thumbs) and toes, broad chests and shoulders, and narrow waists with slim midsections. Extending back from the crown of the head, Protoss have a bony crest. Beneath it, emerging from the back of the head, are the nerve cords, allowing them to access their racial psionic gestalt. This gestalt is the basis of the Khala.
Protoss are bereft of mouths, noses, or visible ears. Two of the Protoss portraits (namely those of Aldaris and the Arbiter unit) appear to have mouths, but these "mouths" do not ever open. Though it is unknown how their senses of hearing or chemoreception operate, they are widely believed to possess such sensitivites, likely to acute degrees due to their perfected nature. They can communicate telepathically with each other, especially for long distances. Due to their nature (possibly psi-based physiology), which deviates widely from conventional biology as it is understood, illness is unheard of, and their physical resilience and capability is astounding due to the lack of limitations normally posed by typical biological processes.
A Protoss' average life expectancy is about a thousand years (see Matriarch Raszagal), Protoss under 300 years rarely have any significant political positions. Artanis, who is 262 years old, is considered young, despite his powerful military position.
Protoss blood is blue, with a slight iridescence. They also have a psionic pulse encased in a physical body. Once that body is destroyed, the psionic pulse dissipates, flaring with a pale, blue light.
As in humans, coloration is considered a sign of ethnicity, with each Protoss tribe having a specific sutly differing hue or typical pattern of markings associated with it.
The Protoss brain is similar in structure to a human brain. The most noticeable differences lie in the cerebellum, primarily in its size. The Protoss cerebellum is elongated in comparison to humans, resulting in a larger surface area which accounts for the greater cognitive abilities of the Protoss.

Protoss religion

Protoss Religion takes its roots from the wars that plagued Aiur following the retreat of the Xel'Naga. United after several years under the teachings of Khas, the Protoss began to adhere to his teachings of the "Khala", or Path to Ascension. The resulting religion bears a striking resemblance to modern day Hinduism in teachings i.e. it includes a caste-based social system, and even a group of "Untouchables" not considered part of the caste system at all (the Dark Templar). However it is more like Medieval Catholicism in how it is carried out, with a hierarchy and Zealot warriors; the Khala has a caste system and focuses heavily on the teachings of Khas and the ability of the Protoss to use Psionic powers. When Protoss warriors die it is believed that they have reached the "Khala's End."

Religious principles
  • Khala ("Path of Ascension")
  • Dae'Uhl ("Great Stewardship")

Religious figures in Protoss society
  • Khas — A prominent figure in Protoss society, he was the charismatic and spiritual leader who brought an end to the Aeon of Strife by using ancient Xel'Naga artifacts, the Khaydarin Crystals, to unite the warring tribes by calling them into a communal telepathic matrix. The belief that this was necessary for the Protoss to survive became known as the Khala, and is followed by almost all Protoss factions. The Path of Khala is the sole and dominant religion in Protoss society, and societal rank (for example, templar, judicator) and honour are linked with Khala.

  • Adun — Another well known figure in Protoss culture, he is honored by Khalai and Dark Templar alike. A powerful warrior in his time, he was charged with the extermination of the Rogue Tribes by the Conclave. Unable to bring themselves to slaughter their kin, Adun and his troops attempted to hide the heretics. Though he failed, he would be known as a saviour to the Dark Templar, and would gain similar status on Aiur after the myth of the heretics spread, revealing that he "saved" Aiur from the heretics and their "anarchist" ways. The phrase "En Taro Adun" is used by the Protoss as a formal greeting or farewell, and also serves as a battlecry, although "Adun Toridas" seems to be used exclusively by the Dark Templar.

  • Tassadar — He gained a following after his heroic death in defeating the Zerg Overmind. He serves as a contemporary example of Protoss virtues, and some Templar (notably Artanis) have taken to saying "En Taro Tassadar".

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