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Zeratul is a Protoss character in the fictional Starcraft universe. Zeratul is a Prelate of the Dark Templar. Over the course of StarCraft Episode II and III, Zeratul taught the hero Tassadar how to use Dark Templar energy and joined his revolt against the Protoss Conclave. He further led the Dark Templar missions to protect their homeworld and personally slew the second Zerg Overmind.
Zeratul is a 634-year old Protoss Dark Templar. Like all Dark Templar, his ancestors have been long-banished from the Protoss homeworld for refusing to follow the Khala. Although he hates the Protoss Conclave for exiling him, and is somewhat of a secretive and calculating sort, he is nevertheless honorable and loyal to his species.
Adventures on Char
Zeratul had spent "many decades" away from Shakuras on missions which may have included spying on the Protoss of Aiur. He reacted to Sarah Kerrigan's psionic call from Char by taking his small force there. While there he met the Protoss Executor Tassadar, who was open-minded for a member of the Templar Caste . The two groups joined forces and hid from the Zerg. After the rebirth of Kerrigan, Tassadar and Zeratul distracted her long enough for Zeratul to slay Zasz, Cerebrate of the Garm Brood. This created a connection between Zeratul and the Zerg Overmind, which enabled Zeratul to discern the Overmind's motives and the Overmind to discern the location of Aiur in a way it found useful. Other information may have been transmitted as well.
Kerrigan led a devastating attack against the Protoss on Char. Tassadar escaped to an orbital platform over Char while Zeratul and a small number of other Dark Templar were captured and herded into a Terran installation.
Tassadar was able to free him, and together they fled to Aiur, meeting up with Fenix and leading a rebellion against the Protoss Conclave, which was hampering their efforts at fighting the Zerg. The Conclave felt that anyone who worked with the Dark Templar must be traitors to the Khala. When Tassadar surrendered to the Conclave, Zeratul disappeared, but later led a strike force to rescue him. He had an aggressive conversation with Aldaris, where he revealed his astounding knowledge of the universe.
The Fall of the Overmind
Zeratul's next act changed the face of Aiur. He assassinated two more Zerg Cerebrates, causing two Broods to fly out of control. This weakened the Zerg Overmind's defenses enough for Tassadar's forces to kill it.
While the Protoss defeated the Zerg, the Overmind attempted to escape. Tassadar sacrificed himself to destroy the Overmind, using Dark Templar techniques taught to him by Zeratul.
The Zerg ran rampant over 70% of Aiur, killing many Protoss. Zeratul concluded that the Protoss must retreat to Shakuras through the last remaining Warp Gate, abandoning Aiur. Aldaris reluctantly agreed. Zeratul personally led the refugees to the Warp Gate.
On Shakuras, Zeratul met with Matriarch Raszagal and was directed to accept Kerrigan as an ally and find the Uraj and Khalis crystals, which would enable the Protoss to activate the Xel'Naga Temple and defeat the Zerg who had followed them through the Warp Gate. Due to the Zerg invasion, the Warp Gate was shut down, a decision which would have disastrous results.
Zeratul counselled young Praetor Artanis on the nature of humanity but otherwise did not personally participate in the missions. Upon his return, he founds Shakuras in a state of uproar. Aldaris had discovered that Sarah Kerrigan was somehow manipulating Matriarch Raszagal's mind, and tried to overthrow her. While Zeratul and Raszagal directed their forces to defeat Aldaris, Zeratul felt that perhaps Aldaris was right because of the Matriarch's harsh orders. He was proven right when Kerrigan appeared and assassinated Aldaris right in front of him. Raszagal assured him that, now that Kerrigan had left, she was back to herself.
Fury of the Xel'Naga
Zeratul next appears when Infested Kerrigan kidnapped Matriarch Raszagal from Shakuras, in a brazen attack on the planet, which was protected by the Xel'Naga Temple. Raszagal was taken to Char, where she was used to force Zeratul to kill the second Zerg Overmind. Zeratul slew the Overmind, then overcame Kerrigan's treachery, rescuing the Matriach.
Zeratul placed her in a Protoss Stasis Cell as he awaited dimensional recall, which took some time. Alas, that was enough time for Kerrigan to defeat his forces, but forced her to place the majority of her forces on the surface of Char, and away from the space platforms (her first line of defense). In anguish, Zeratul broke the Stasis Cell and killed the Matriach. With her dying thoughts, Matriach Raszagal made Zeratul the leader of her people - she may have granted him some kind of psionic power as well. Nonetheless, Zeratul felt incredibly guilty, and Kerrigan derived sadistic pleasure by allowing him to live with this guilt.
Zeratul fled with his small warband, since Kerrigan's attacks scattered most of his troops. He tried to find Artanis but failed. Instead, he located a dark moon, similar to Braxis, with Protoss energy signatures.
On the moon he fought Terran mercenaries and rescued several Protoss prisoners, including a Protoss Archon . He also discovered experiments performed on Zerg for the creation of a Zerg/Protoss Hybrid . He was even more surprised when Samir Duran revealed himself as the mastermind of this Grand Experiment, despite his former status as a member of the Zerg Swarm.
Zeratul slew the Hybrid, a natural reaction, considering its status in his eyes as an abomination.
Zeratul left the dark moon, unable to tell the other Protoss what he had experienced, possibly due to guilt over the death of the Matriarch, or possibly even post-traumatic stress disorder. Zeratul has not been seen since.
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