Artanis – Co-op Commander Lore

starcraft 9 - Artanis - Co-op Commander Lore

Hey folks!

Another week, another Co-op Commander to go through and retell the lore of. This is one I enjoy talking about a lot, and his units have a ton of detailed lore to get into, Heirarch of the Daelaam, Artanis. Let’s get into it.

Just for some people that may be confused, Artanis is the protoss player character in SC1, at least for Episode III. Admittedly this meshes a bit weird with how we’re introduced to him in Brood War. Artanis’s design in Brood War was a mess of its own; he wore a Nerazim loincloth and had his nerve cords cut. Given that his model was used in the BW manual for the dark templar unit, it’s assumed that he was initially intended to be Nerazim before the writers realized Brood War kills every character from Aiur.


Longform summary here

Artanis was a warrior of the Protoss Empire of the Akilae Tribe, born into the Templar Caste. At an early age, he attained the honor of being the youngest protoss to attain the rank of Praetor. Artanis was mentored by one of the most venerated rising commanders of the protoss, Tassadar, and became close friends with a fellow Praetor named Fenix, and the two served the Empire with distinction.

However, war broke out with the ravenous zerg, and Tassadar was called to take a protoss fleet and annihilate them. However, he defied the will of the ruling Conclave and refused to purify the worlds of the infested terran race, and thus the Conclave stripped him of his rank of Executor. Not long after the zerg invaded Aiur, and their hive mind, the Overmind, embedded itself into the planet’s surface. To combat the threat, Artanis was appointed as Executor to replace Tassadar. The Conclave believed it was winning, yet slowly the protoss began losing ground, and Fenix fell in battle, seeding Artanis’s doubts in their leadership.

While Aiur burned, the Conclave ordered Artanis to leave Aiur and hunt down Tassadar, for he consorted with the exiled Nerazim (protoss who denied the mind link of the Khala), Dark Prelate Zeratul. Artanis found Tassadar, but his old mentor convinced him that the Nerazim were the only ones with energies capable of harming the Overmind. Thus, Artanis defied the Conclave, and helped Tassadar and his terran ally Jim Raynor rescue Zeratul. The alliance then returned to Aiur, but found that they had all been branded as heretics.

Fenix, who had survived the battle but placed in a dragoon, aided Artanis as he helped lead Tassadar’s forces against the Conclave, burning their capital Khor-shakal. Yet Tassadar could not stand the sight of protoss slaying protoss, and surrendered himself. But Artanis, Fenix and Raynor refused to give in, and rescued him from execution with the aid of Zeratul. They then struck at the Overmind, and in a climatic final battle, Tassadar sacrificed himself to slay the Overmind, shattering the broods.

But in their victory, the zerg rallied under the Overmind’s cerebrates, and began to overrun Aiur. Artanis stepped down as Executor, returning to his Praetor role, and a new Executor took his place (likely Selendis, but not confirmed). Knowing Aiur was lost, Artanis led the Aiur protoss to the world of Zeratul’s people, Shakuras. But the zerg followed them to the planet, and threatened to overwhelm them. Desperate, Zeratul and Artanis allied with the infested terran Sarah Kerrigan to retrieve two relics of the ancient xel’naga, the Uraj and Khalis crystals, and used them to purge Shakuras of the zerg.

The protoss had a brief moment of peace, and Artanis launched a small operation under Selendis and Zeratul to retrieve protoss stranded on Aiur. Yet this played into the schemes of a Nerazim terrorist named Ulrezaj, who used enslaved zerg and terran pirates to attack Shakuras. But in a battle over Shakuras, Ulrezaj was repelled.

However, the threat was not over. Seeking to defeat the invading terrans of the United Earth Directorate and their new enslaved infant Overmind, Kerrigan had allied with Fenix, and when she began to turn the tide, she betrayed and killed him. Later she used the Nerazim leader, Matriarch Raszagal, to coerce the Nerazim into slaying the new Overmind, and forced Zeratul to kill her when it was revealed Kerrigan had mind controlled her. Enraged, Artanis rallied the might of the protoss fleet, and alongside the remnants of the UED and Terran Dominion fleets, struck at Kerrigan’s weakened forces on Char.

It was not enough. Kerrigan crushed the protoss fleets, and Artanis swore he would never forget her treachery.

Artanis and the survivors returned to Shakuras to rebuild protoss civilization, forming the Hierarchy, or Twilight Council, to rule over the united protoss. This new government was the Daelaam. Yet racial scars and strife threatened to tear apart the government, and though he wished to remain a warrior rather than a statesman, Artanis took the role of Hierarch, leader of the Daelaam, as he was the only leader the Hierarchy could agree on.

Over the next few years, the Daelaam took small military actions against the zerg, Dominion, and rogue protoss such as Ulrezaj, but mostly focused on holding what protoss space remained. Artanis rebuilt the protoss arsenal, creating great new war machines and recovering ancient ones, yet he never forgot his true goal: Aiur. He launched a massive initiative to create the largest protoss war fleet with the express purpose of reclaiming Aiur, the Golden Armada.

But in 2504, Kerrigan returned, and invaded the Terran Dominion. Rather them risk his fleet, Artanis fortified the protoss borders, only striking out with occasional raids, holding the zerg back. His focus remained on forming the Golden Armada. However, the mass strip mining required to build his fleets inflamed relations between the Khalai and the Nerazim who lived on Shakuras, with voices such as Vorazun claiming their planet and Nerazim culture were being destroyed. This nearly sparked a revolt when Nerazim terrorists seized the Hierarchy’s capital, but this situation was diffused thanks to Vorazun, and Artanis managed to calm relations.

In 2506, Kerrigan seemed to have vanished with the bulk of the zerg, and Artanis saw his chance. He launched the Golden Armada, preparing to retake Aiur. He had his doubts on whether it would be worth the bloodshed, but his old zealot friend Kaldalis

. The hour of the attack, Artanis prepared his forces, but Zeratul appeared, warning him that the xel’naga, the race who uplifted the protoss, were on the cusp of returning, and that a war against the fallen xel’naga Amon was imminent. Artanis stated that they still needed to reclaim Aiur, and launched the invasion.

The zerg occupying Aiur began to crumble, but soon it was discovered they were led by the protoss/zerg hybrids of Amon. Now taking the threat seriously, Zeratul told Artanis that a relic named the Keystone could stop Amon. But not long after Amon seized the Khala, the mind link all Aiur protoss shared, and brought Artanis and his race under his control. Zeratul severed Artanis’s nerve cords that linked him to the Khala, but not before the possessed Artanis slew Zeratul. Seeing the battle as lost, Artanis rallied what freed forces he could, and fled to the supermassive arkship, the Spear of Adun.

Now, with what few of his entire race remain free, Artanis must rally an army, follow Zeratul’s cryptic last clues regarding the Keystone, and drive back the fallen xel’naga and his thralls. The End War has begun.

  • Zealot: Templar warriors trained from birth to channel their rage into their psionics, zealots are masters of marshal combat. They utilize two psi blades, which draw from their own emotions and psionics, and utilize an advanced power suit with a powerful plasma shield. These suits have an embedded warp stone that allows them to teleport back before taking fatal damage. At level 4 these zealots change to a different variant, which we'll get to in the talents section.

    • Charge: During the Great War, zealots would often graft cybernetics to their legs of their power suits that would increase the speed of which they charged into battle. Later however zealots utilized their psionics to turn their body into pure energy for a few microseconds, allowing them to dash at the enemy in a sudden burst of extreme speed.
    • Whirlwind: Not much is known about the ancient Solarite Reaper. It is a weapon of the ancient zealot order from the era of the Protoss Empire, and many ancient zealots utilize these unconventional axes over psi blades to cleave all enemies around them.
  • Dragoon: The dragoon exoskeleton was developed to preserve wounded protoss warriors, too mortally injured to continue to fight on their own but still wishing to continue to serve their race. Armed with phase disruptors, these war machines shoot bolts of anti-particles that can burst through armor. After the fall of Aiur, the technology to build the dragoon’s life support systems was lost, but this was recovered during the invasion of Aiur, and non-Khala integrated dragoon designs were found on the Spear of Adun.

    • Singularity Charge: An upgrade to the dragoon phase disruptor that dates back to the Great War, the singularity charge restructures the disruptor’s antiparticle amplitudes, increasing the range of the weapon.
    • Trillic Compression Systems: Initially this upgrade was named Trillic Compression Mesh, but was changed when the upgrade got added functionality. Trillic Compression Mesh was what the shell of the Purifier Talandar (who had the memories of Fenix) was made of and was a very durable substance. Presumably, this has been integrated into the dragoons that Fenix was so well known for, and increased both their durability and plasma shield regeneration systems.
  • High Templar: As zealots are trained in marshal and hand-to-hand combat, high templar are trained in pure psionics, able to utilize their races purity of form to channel immense and fantastic abilities. These warriors are seasoned veterans and honored as leaders of the Templar Caste and masters of the Khala. During the End War these warriors were forced to sever themselves from the Khala they spend their lives mastering alongside their psionics, but nonetheless continued their service against Amon.

    • Feedback: Once an ability from the infamous dark archons, after the Brood War the high templar learned to attune to the energy flows around them, and grasp the energies that flow through both machines and psionic beings. High templar can focus these energies into a feedback loop, which can devastate those beings and technologies with large amounts of such energies.
    • Psionic Storm: The psionic storm is a psionic ripple, disruptive to the minds other life forms, but of such magnitude that it can damage the physical world as well. Many lesser psionics have accidently created such ripples that have caused great devastation on protoss worlds, such as when the early Nerazim on Aiur could not control their psionics without the Khala. High templar however have learned how to focus these energies and devastate the minds and technologies of other beings.
    • Khaydarin Amulet: Khaydarin crystals are a xel’naga technology that can help focus psionics; the literal meaning of Khaydarin is “focuser of the heart.” Many templar utilize pure samples of these crystals to channel their psionic energies with greater efficiency.
    • Plasma Surge: After the loss of the Khala, the high templar were forced to hone their psionic abilities using simply their own willpower. This led to breakthroughs in how they manifested psionic storms, allowing the to channel the energy of that ripple into the plasma shields of their allies.
  • Archon: In desperation, two high templar can fuse together to form a mighty being or raw psionic energy known as an archon. This ball of unbridled power is a destructive force capable of taking on entire armies, sending out bursts of psionic energies that can devastate organic life. However, every archon made comes at a heavy cost: archons themselves are temporary and burn out like a star, and the two high templar, the greatest warriors of a race on the verge of extinction, are killed in the process, their named honored forever in the halls of the Templar Archives.

  • Immortal: After the Brood War, the technology to make new dragoon life support systems was lost on Aiur. As such, the protoss needed to preserve what dragoons they had. They enhanced them with dual phase disruptors and a new swiveling torso, and equipped them with hardened plasma shields that could deflect heavy blasts. Up until the End War when the dragoon technology was recovered, every immortal was irreplaceable. Now they serve as the bulwarks of the protoss forces, though only the most venerated heroes are placed in these shells as they are still prohibitive to reproduce.

    • Improved Barrier: The shields of the immortal are a special kind, and intertwine energy spectrums and wavelengths of varying intensity. This makes them more dense than most shields, allowing them to shrug off even siege tank blasts.
  • Observer: A old protoss technology, the observer is made to scout planets, battles, and situations through the protoss’s domain. They are often used for deep space exploration, but in combat are equipped with a micro-cloaking field. Their ability to scan for cloaked or burrowed units makes them an invaluable support drone.

    • Gravitic Booster: The Gravitic Booster dates back to the Great War, and combined anti-gravity theory with micro-booster technology. This allowed the observer to speed quicker around the battlefield or out of hostile situations.
  • Reaver: Initially, the reaver was not designed for combat, it served as a civilian Khalai Caste manufacturing unit. However, the ability to produce explosive guided bombs named scarabs proved invaluable in the zerg invasion. The reaver can construct these explosives on the battlefield using minerals. After the Brood War the reaver was largely replaced with the reclaiming of the ancient colossi walkers in 2503, but in 2506, Phase-smith Karax created a new automated scarab production system based off of the star forge of the Spear of Adun, making reavers a deadly addition to Artanis’s arsenal.

    • Scarab Housing: During the Great War, the Khalai could improve the capacity of the reaver by installing a neoteric micro-manufacturing plant in older reavers, increasing their stored scarab capacity from five to ten.
    • Solarite Payload: Solarite is an ancient material once used by the Protoss Empire, renowned for being very highly combustible. Some protoss colonies who were irresponsible with its use sometimes found themselves reduced to ash, and even the Grand Preservers were frightened when Adun christened the Spear of Adun by placing the first piece of solarite in its solar core. During the Great War, reaver scarabs were improved when Khalai Caste engineers synchronized their electro-magnetic fields for improved concussive damage. However, it would seem that this design has been further improved with the addition of solarite to the scarab’s make.
  • Phoenix: After the Brood War, the protoss created the phoenix, capable of firing while on the move, replacing the cumbersome scout fighter and the Nerazim’s corsair as the core air superiority option of the Daelaam. These ships are armed with twin ion cannons capable of shredding light armor and a compact inertial drive that allows the phoenix to maintain its high speed in a variety of atmospheres and environments.

    • Gravaton Beam: Phoenixes can unleash a short gravity beam by overloading the ship’s inertial drive, picking up a target in a field of anti-gravity. However, this comes at a cost to the mobility of the phoenix. Initially, this was used only in desperation by phoenix pilots, but has since been embraced as a core tactic to the operation of the Phoenix.
    • Anion Pulse Crystal: Replacing the old focusing lenses of the phoenix’s ion cannon, the Anion pulse-crystal is a new crystal design able to deliver greater power to the cannons.
    • Double Gravaton Beam: During the End War, Phase-smith Karax utilized solarite to improve the Phoenix’s power management systems. This allowed the phoenix to utilize their graviton beams on two targets without causing further drain on the phoenix’s systems.
  • Tempest: A new capital ship design for the Daelaam, the tempest is the protoss’s long range answer to heavy zerg fortifications. It utilizes a massive kinetic matrix that fires a large sphere of highly charged particles, a shock so powerful that measures must be taken for it to not kill the pilot. The pilots themselves must wear special armor just to operate the ship. An oddity of Artanis’s tempests is they use the model of the and portrait of the Khalai tempest, but the quotes of the Purifier tempest from the campaign.

    • Disintegration: During the End War, advanced disintegration technology was developed that further pushed the power of the tempest beyond that which normal protoss could survive. To compensate for this, Tempests were integrated into the Purifier data web, which allowed the AI to operate with these lethal energies. This makes the fact that Artanis’s tempests use the standard tempest model a bit odd, though it’s suspected this is why they use the Purifier quotations.

  • Pylon Power: Pylon power fields connect to the psionic matrix on Aiur, a network of khaydarin crystals that channel psionic energy into protoss machines, via a nexus attuned to the energies of the matrix. This allows protoss warriors to warp onto the field of battle from anywhere inside these power fields. Though the protoss were forced to destroy the psionic matrix on Aiur in the End War, a similar submatrix appears to operate out of the Spear of Adun, which Artanis utilizes in this ability.

  • Orbital Strike: The ancient Spear of Adun utilizes an assault cluster of armaments, including a series of orbital strike cannons that can decimate target areas on a planet or platform below.

  • Shield Overcharge: The Spear of Adun has a specialized set of functions named Force Support to aid troops. One of these functions is to boost the plasma shields of those connected to its psionic matrix to nearly impenetrable levels for a short time.

  • Solar Bombardment: Not much is known about this ultimate ability of the Spear of Adun’s Annihilation Cluster, its primary superweapons. This assault is a bombardment of 200 to 400 shots that levels a target area.

  • Level 2: Guardian Shell: Protoss are a dying race, and thus utilize technologies to preserve every warrior they can, as every loss of life is deeply felt. While most technology involves warping away wounded warriors, the guardian shell is a technology from the Spear of Adun that protects the protoss warrior as they take fatal damage, allowing them to continue to fight on the field.

  • Level 4: Twilight Council Upgrade Cache: This upgrade changes the model of zealots into Aiur zealots. These are ancient warriors from the old age of the Protoss Empire. When the Grand Preservers convinced the Conclave that the arkships needed to be sealed away, as they were designed to only be used in the race’s desperate hour, these warriors volunteered to go into stasis inside the buried arkships and only emerge at the race’s darkest hour. They are equipped with Solarite Reapers, and a heavy ancient power suit, ready to fight in the final battle they prepared for.

  • Level 7: High Archon: While it rarely comes up in the game due to balance reasons, archons are masses of psionic energy capable of leveling the area around them. The High Archon psionic storm is more reflective of this.

  • Level 8: Warp Harmonization: Warp gates were an advancement on the traditional gateway model made after the Brood War, which resulted from the protoss reverse engineering the xel’naga warp gates and using it to teleport troops directly onto the battlefield. With the aid of the Spear of Adun, this technology could also be integrated into robotics facilities and stargates.

  • Level 15: Glory of the Daelaam: The Daelaam translates to “unity government,” and is the combined tribes of the Khalai mixed with the united Nerazim that is led by Artanis. Later, this would incorporate the Purifiers and some Tal’darim. While they are a powerful force, they are mired by constant infighting and political bickering between the tribes, which hamper reconstruction efforts even after the End War.

This one was a fun one, so I hope you all like it! Next week we’ll be going into Swann, which is fitting given that’s close to when they’re releasing the Twitch Prime bundle for him. Let me know if you have any questions, everything here is from some canon source or another (though stuff that says “presumably” is less confirmed), otherwise I’ll see you all next week!

Source: Original link

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