This week we move on to Vorazun, Matriarch of the Nerazim, and one of my favorite characters introduced in the SCII games. The Nerazim have a lot of cool backstory and lore behind them, so I’ll try to cover it all at in a concise manner.
Link to previous Co-op lore episodes
CHARACTER BIO: VORAZUN
Raszagal and the Exile
Briefly, we’ll go over the Nerazim and their history, and how it relates to Vorazun’s mother, Raszagal.
Coming out of a brutal civil war named the Aeon of Strife, the protoss Khas sparked the deep emotional psionic link all protoss had within them, and created a system of spirituality surrounding this link. This was the Khala, the sacred union of every protoss thought and emotion. From this union, the protoss of Aiur united into the Protoss Empire, and began to move its domain across the stars.
Yet hundreds of years later, some protoss began to reject this union, seeing their individual personalities lost in the greater whole. They severed their nerve cords, cutting any connection off to the Khala, and hid away. The Conclave that ruled the protoss feared this, and captured one of these renegades, a young protoss female named Raszagal. She was presented before the mightiest commander of the protoss, Executor Adun, as an example of the heresy he had to cut out, but that had to be kept secret lest their taint spread.
But Adun could not bring himself to kill his fellow protoss. Instead, he and Raszagal worked together to teach these renegades to cloak themselves in shadows. Adun, Raszagal and his loyal Templar stages fake executions while they organized smuggling routes to get these renegades to safe locations. But without the Khala, many of these protoss lost control of their powers, and psionic storms began to ravage areas of Aiur. Quickly Adun’s deception was discovered.
The Conclave sought to punish Adun and execute the Nerazim, but Adun stated that if they killed any he would expose the truth of these renegades to the Empire. He negotiated exile rather than execution, and Raszagal and her followers were brought onto a xel’naga worldship capable of ferrying their whole species. But tensions between the renegades the forces of the Empire broke out into violence as they left, and Adun channeled the powers of the Void he taught the renegades united with the power of the Khala itself to fog the field, allowing the renegades time to escape. It was said he burned out like a mighty star channeling this power. To the Khalai, Adun would be remembered as the one who drove the renegades, called the dark templar or Nerazim, from Aiur, but Raszagal and her people would remember him as the one who saved their people.
Raszagal took their nomadic people through space, seeking the relics of the xel’naga while eluding the Khalai who still sought to fight them wherever they may be. They first settled on a moon named Ehlna, that housed a xel’naga warp gate, but from there spread out until they discovered the planet of Shakuras, a planet in perpetual twilight. There they found a massive xel’naga temple that channeled massive amounts of energies. Seeking to study this temple, the Nerazim made their capital this shadowed world.
Not long after, Raszagal was brought to the position of Matriarch, leader of the Nerazim. While she seethed with anger at the Conclave, she remembered the nobility of the Templar, and sought reunification with the Aiur protoss, sometimes even helping them from the shadows, though many times the Nerazim would be forced to fight their brothers.
Raszagal later had a daughter named Vorazun. She entrusted her most loyal advisor, Prelate Mohandar, to help raise her and tame her fiery spirit, and bring her up to take over when she passed on.
Vorazun: Stepping Into a New Age
Vorazun was a firm believer in the Nerazim and their traditions, proud of her people and what they had accomplished. Unlike her kind and soft mother, she was brash and outspoken.
Aiur fell to the alien horde of the Zerg Swarm, and in her kindness and in spite of centuries of persecution, Raszagal allowed the survivors refuge on Shakuras. But the zerg followed them and began to overwhelm the planet. Vorazun personally took part in the planet’s defense, fighting against the tide of zerg. She continued to wear the skull of one of her hydralisk kills as a reminder of that campaign. Soon though Zeratul and Artanis utilized the xel’naga temple’s power and purged the zerg from Shakuas, ending their assault.
But the zerg’s treachery did not end there. Sarah Kerrigan, the zerg Queen of Blades, had secretly psionically dominated Raszagal into her puppet. Using the Matriarch, she convinced Zeratul to help her defeat the newly growing Second Overmind and the United Earth Directorate forces that controlled it. But when her treachery was revealed, Zeratul tried to steal her back, but when Kerrigan surrounded his forces he had no choice but to kill his matriarch to free her from Kerrigan. Shocked, Kerrigan allowed him to live.
The death of Raszagal devastated Vorazun, who went into a depressive spiral. The only thing that managed to pick her up was Mohandar, who stayed by her side as she grieved. Yet, in spite of his reasons Vorazun could not forgive Zeratul for killing her mother. With the Khalai and Nerazim united, a new government was formed named the Daelaam, under a Hierarchy named the Twilight Council. This would have representatives from all of the tribes, including the Nerazim, under Hierarch Artanis. However, Mohandar was deemed to be the fit representative of the Nerazim until Vorazun could take over as Matriarch, though Vorazun was still present at meetings of the Twilight Council and an outspoken critic of Artanis and the Daelaam in general.
Under the Daelaam, Vorazun saw Nerazim culture eroded by the Khalai, as they focused on building a Golden Armada capable of retaking Aiur. Sacred sites were nearly destroyed to construct the fleet, and the dominance of the Khalai caused the Nerazim’s goals and aspirations to be overshadowed. She was vocal about this, to her people, rallying them to never give up on what it meant to be Nerazim.
Such rhetoric backfired however. As the Golden Armada neared its final stages of construction, a Khalai phoenix squadron collided with a Nerazim transport, the fatalities sparking outrage between both people. In response, a student of Vorazun named Taelus took a contingent of Nerazim extremist and seized the Hierarchy’s Citadel. They intended to die holding the Citadel against the Khalai, inciting civil war that could drive them from Shakuras. Mohandar and Vorazun entered the Citadel to try to diffuse the situation, but were forced to fight them when Taelus’s forces attacked. They attempted to take the extremists down nonlethally, but Taelus killed Mohandar. Enraged, Vorazun brought swift retribution upon Taelus and slew him. In his last moments, Mohandar saw Raszagal where Vorazun stood.
With the situation diffused, Vorazun stated to her people her commitment to the Daelaam and of their unified people, as her mother and Mohandar wanted. She took over as Matriarch of the Nerazim and offered to commit some of the Nerazim’s Shadow Guard to the Golden Armada in the reclaiming of Aiur. The fleet later launched, and Vorazun tracked their progress. But as their invasion began, suddenly all contact with the Golden Armada was lost.
Then the xel'naga warp gate on Shakuras opened. Zerg flooded Shakuras once again, overwhelming the planet. The Nerazim began to rapidly lose ground, falling back to their main cities. These zerg were led by Amon, the fallen xel’naga who sought the destruction of all life, who had seized control of the majority of the Khala-bound protoss.
Aid arrived with Artanis however. He commanded an arkship named the Spear of Adun and the last Khalai freed from Amon, and supported the evacuation of the Nerazim from their capital of Talematros. At the behest of Vorazun, he then overloaded the xel’naga temple, detonating the entire planet with billions of zerg and protoss/zerg hybrids on the surface. The Nerazim capital world was destroyed, but Amon’ forces were devastated.
Now, Vorazun and her Nerazim use their Void energies to fight against Amon from the shadows, and avenge the destruction of Shakuras. Yet she must come to terms with the compromises the Daelaam face when fighting against the fallen xel’naga, and what it will mean for her people if they do survive the End War.
UNITS AND UPGRADES
Centurion: The core of the Nerazim’s defense forces is their Shadow Guard. While their elite dark templar slip through the shadows to take out targets, the centurions make up the backbone of the Guard, and serve as their frontline soldiers. Centurions are formed into legions one hundred strong, and wield dual warp blades in combat.
- Shadow Charge: Zealots can utilize their psionic energies to turn their bodies into pure energy for several microseconds, allowing a burst of speed. The centurion can utilize a similar tactic, tempered with Void energies.
- ** Darkcoil:** When met with the enemy, centurions can erupt with Void energies, stunning those around them.
Stalker: After the dragoon’s technology to preserve warriors was lost on Aiur, the Nerazim developed a new combat walker. Willing Nerazim could bond their “shadow essence,” or consciousness, into an armored robot walker. These stalkers can phase through the shadows to strike enemies where they are weakest, and field two particle disruptors that can destabilize matter at a molecular level, tearing through heavy armor.Загрузка...
- Blink: Channeling energies through a conduit named a void displacer, stalkers can fade and materialize instantly at a different location. This allows them to flak enemies or move through rough terrain to gain an advantage over enemies.
- Phase Reactor: During the End War, stalkers were outfitted with technology linking them to the Spear of Adun’s solar core, which allowed it to rapidly regenerate shields after they displaced themselves.
Dark Templar: The most elite of the Nerazim, warriors without equal who can channel void energies and utilize deadly warp blades crafted from xel’naga technology to deliver killing blows to enemies. These warriors undergo a ritual named the Shadow Walk, where they must cross a valley filled with dark templar, and use either stealth or force to get through to the other side. This trial was one Tassadar undertook to gain full understanding of the dark templar and their powers. These dark templar are of the Lanessa Clan, who use curved war blades and shroud their faces with cloths.
- Shadow Fury: During the End War, the Nerazim looked deep into the Void, the realm Amon inhabited, in order to find ways to combat him. Their teachings uncovered deeper powers utilizing Void energies, allowing them to blink rapidly and strike hordes of enemies.
- Blink: One of the most common void-based abilities is the ability to displace oneself through the shadows. This allows dark templar to sneak up on enemies, close distance and move across rough terrain.
- Void Stasis: This is an ability not of the Nerazim dark templar, but one from the Tal’darim elite order named the Blood Hunters, who seek to cull the weak in Tal’darim society. In order to sneak up on targets, they can utilize Void energies to disable detection methods, preventing their prey from having anywhere to hide. Zeratul used a similar ability named Void Prison to disable detection.
Dark Archon: One of the most forbidden and desperate acts a Nerazim can do is utilize the rituals involved in the creation of a dark archon, a fusion or two or more dark templar. These unpredictable masses of Void energy are feared by their kind, as they are just as likely to turn on their allies as their enemies. Dark archons are only made in their race’s darkest hours, as such an act confines two Nerazim souls to oblivion when the archon inevitably burns out. Dark archons are ill understood, as many rituals have resulted in the death of Nerazim that have explored too deep, but some have been able to channel these secrets to become nearly immortal, such as the Ulrezaj, who is a fusion of seven dark templar.
- Confusion: Dark archons can reach into the minds of those round them, to shape and mold them. Initially, a push into these minds could stun enemies in a maelstrom, however, dark archons have learned to manipulate this psionic wave to reap confusion among enemy ranks, causing them to turn on one another.
- Mind Control: The ultimate weapon of the dark archon is the total and utter domination of the mind of a target. Through a massive expenditure of will and energy, the dark archon plants a portion of its psionic essence into any material being, absorbing their knowledge and allowing them to use the target’s powers and abilities.
- Argus Crystal: Little is known about these gems, other than their ability to channel Void energies. In the semi-canon expansion Retribution, during the Great War the three races fought to claim a xel’naga relic named the Argus Stone, which contained great xel’naga energies (later revealed to be Void energies). This relic was claimed by the zerg, and the expansion hints it was used in the creation of Sarah Kerrigan.
Oracle: The Void itself is a space between spaces, a realm beyond matter or time. Oracles are an order of the Nerazim devoted to utilizing the Void to seeing and manipulating time itself, attempting to manipulate events in order to produce the best outcome for the protoss race. They have designed specialized ships to psionically manipulate the battlefield.
- Pulsar Beam: The core of the oracle generates a massive amount of chaotic energy, which is funneled through a network of microcrystals that power the vessel. The vessel can create an opening in this field and pulse down this energy as a weapon into a coherent bolt. This is directed not by any form of technology, but by the pilot’s mind itself, and they utilize their knowledge of the timelines to guide their beams.
- Stasis Ward/Stasis Calibration: Not much is known about these balls of temporal energy. They are generated by the oracle, and set on the field. Once triggered, enemies are frozen in time for a brief moment.
Corsair: In their exile, the Nerazim constructed medium sized warships, named corsairs, to guard their wandering fleets from attack. They employ a neutron flare to take out large numbers of massed enemy ships, and are powered by a Void-energy catalyst in the ship’s center. These ships fell into disuse after the introduction of the phoenix into the protoss fleets, but the desperation of the End War necessitated them to come back into service.
- Disruption Web: The pilot of the corsair can channel their psionics through the neutron emitters of the ship, and lay down an area of psionic energy that disrupts the neural pathways of both computers and the brain. However, the pull of terrestrial ores and minerals draws the web toward the ground, rendering it useless against air targets.
- Stealth Drive: In order to evade the hunting Khalai, the Nerazim were forced to use what Adun taught them and hide in the shadows. Such applies to their fleets as well, which utilize cloaking technology to evade the sight of their enemies.
Void Ray: The void ray is a union of Khalai and Nerazim engineering into one capital ship. This vessel uses energy from a prismatic core that uses both Void and Khala energies, and channels them through phase crystals until it is made into a cohesive beam. This beam is guided by a protoss named a void lens, who focuses the energies to make sure they do not overwhelm the ship. However, such a position has great risks, and the more powerful the beam, the greater chance the lens is overwhelmed by the chaotic Void energies.
- Prismatic Alignment: During the End War, Phase-smith Karax developed solarite lenses for the void ray based off of his studies of the Spear of Adun. This increased the range of the void rays when their lenses were aligned.
Dark Pylon: While the Khalai pylons channel energies from their psionic matrix and distribute them across the battlefield, these pylons, seemingly based off of xel’naga storage technology, store massive amounts of Void energy within them. In spite of this, they seem to still connect to the Khalai’s psionic matrix, and can warp in reinforcements as well as cloak and recall allies.
Black Hole: An ability of the mighty protoss motherships, protoss technologies can use psionic energy to create a crack in the fabric of space and time. This can create a gravity well that pulls in all enemies of the protoss.
Shadow Guard: The Shadow Guard are the defensive legions of the Nerazim, devoted to protecting their people and Shakuras from all threats. They are largely comprised of centurions, but also utilize many stalkers and dark templar. The dark templar used in this calldown are of the Zer’atai Clan, who wear the bodies of their kills. Since the wars with the zerg, the majority of this clan drapes themselves in the bones and skulls of slain zerg, just as Vorazun herself does.
Time Stop: An ability of the Spear of Adun’s Annihilation Cluster, the arkship can tap into its warp drive to create a pocket of time stasis on the battlefield, freezing enemies.
Level 1: Shroud of Adun: The Shroud of Adun is another name for the ability to cloak. When he was aiding he renegade Nerazim on Aiur, Adun taught them this ability to hide them from the Conclave, and it has become a cornerstone of Nerazim tactics ever since.
Level 2: Orbital Assimilators: Nerazim vessels, such as star relics, can pull vespene gas from geysers even from low orbit. The Spear of Adun also was able to utilize this ability. Normally however direct teleportation of vespene gas is not used, which terran scientist Egon Stetmann speculated may be for spiritual reasons or that the protoss simply did not have terran creativity.
Level 8: Event Horizon: An event horizon is the region of a black hole in which a gravitation pull is so great that escape becomes impossible.
Level 13: Emergency Recall: Even before the war with the zerg, protoss were a race slowly in decline, and every warrior was invaluable. In order to preserve their ranks, protoss warriors were outfitted with a crystal named a warp stone that would trigger before they take fatal damage, warping them back to safety. This was used by both the Khalai and the Nerazim. A Khalai sect named the Avengers, who imitated the Nerazim in combat style, took this one step further, and used warp technology to wage a shadow war against the zerg on Aiur, warping back when a situation got out of hand.
- ”They could no more evade our wrath than their own shadow.” – A reference to the SC1 dark templar poke quotes “You could no more evade my wrath than you could your own shadow.”
That’s all for this week. If you don't have Vorazun, in a few week Twitch Prime will be giving her out for free. She's a cool character and great commander, so well worth picking up! Next week we get into Karax, who’s a fun one as well. Hope you all are enjoying this, and I’ll see you next week.
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