Enslavers Redux Story Guide/Episode I: Shadow of Deception

Episode I: Shadow of Deception

Set between Starcraft I: Episodes II (Overmind) and Episode III (The Fall)...

Prologue:  

As the Zerg Swarm, led by the ravenous Overmind, progressed its campaign of infestation and genocide throughout the Koprulu sector, it stood nearly unchallenged as it left behind a trail of death and destruction from the ruined Confederate capital of Tarsonis to the Protoss homeworld of Aiur. With the Overmind's attention now fully concentrated on the Protoss, other previously conquered Terran worlds soon became stretched thin with only traces of Zerg presence.

With the bulk of the Swarm having abandoned Tarsonis and Terran space, self-crowned Emperor Arcturus Mengsk took the opportunity to bring the remaining Confederate dissident squadrons under the newly formed Dominion banner. Stronger than ever with a sense of unity, Mengsk began a campaign of silencing every anti-Dominion voice and outlaw who did not fall in line with Dominion law. Being unable to locate his primary target and former ally James Raynor to stand trial for the crime of mutiny, Mengsk eventually found one of Raynor’s accomplices that had assisted him in his escape - the ex-magistrate from Mar Sara and ex-commander of the Sons of Korhal.

The Commander had left Raynor’s recently formed rebel group - “Raynor’s Raiders” - before they traveled to Char in an effort to locate Sarah Kerrigan, a lieutenant of Mengsk’s whom he had abanoned to the Zerg along with most of the Commander’s squadron. The Commander saw Raynor’s desperate attempt to rescue Kerrigan as little more than a futile effort to save the one he loves and deemed it to be a trap set by the Zerg. Ignoring the Commander’s warning, Raynor left for Char as the Commander returned to Terran space to start a new life. Unfortunately for him Mengsk was waiting. Once arrested, he was given a choice of public execution or serving the Dominion with his talents, the ex-commander had no choice but to become a tool of war for Mengsk once more.

The new emperor next turned his attention to the crime lord Alan Schezar, notorious for having recently ransacked Dominion holdings with little effort. Locating Schezar's mercenary operation to the fringe colony world of Halcyon, Mengsk sent his most trusted advisor, General Horace Warfield, along with elite forces from both Alpha and Omega squadrons to intercept Schezar and make an example out of him to the public. However, soon after the fleets arrived to the planet they were heavily assaulted by unusually large amounts of Zerg coming from the planet's surface...


The following contains a story plot overview and where they correspond to in each map. Play through all the missions to go through both A and B canon arcs. Both arcs are based on official lore from the Starcraft universe, however, only A-canon missions are closely aligned with historical accuracy as compared to B-canon missions, which should be considered an alternate take on events. Nevertheless, both paths end up leading to the same canon outcome.


Terran01 - "Schezar's Scavengers"

The unwilling Commander of Arcturus Mengsk once again found himself defending against waves of zerg while on assignment from the self-proclaimed Emperor. Down to nearly the last ground marine, the Commander made a desperate plea for reinforcements directly to Korhal . Mengsk responded and authorized down a detachment from the fleet still in orbit around the planet. Hitching a ride down to the planet's surface was the Commander's long best friend, Gui Montag. Preferring a firebat combat suit to the standard marine issue, Montag had a love for fire that led him to produce several unconventional modifications to increase flame output. Looking the other way due to his ruthless effectiveness, the Dominion allowed him to tag along on several of Omega Squadron's missions.

As they make their way through the Halcyon colony badlands to find Schezar to hold him accountable for his crimes, they come across more Zerg that have infested the outlying colonies. The Commander locates several loose crates of refined rare materials of Palladium and Iridium, which he uses to construct additional upgrades for his armor and weaponry, respectfully. An unnusual weapons cache is found containing plasma grenades. Integrating it into his suit, the Commander finds the grenades to self-replicate and deal incredible damage to ground forces but seems to seep the very life out of him. How Schezar managed to acquire such technology is a mystery.

Eventually getting past the destruction they finally locate one of Schezar's outposts with a strange machine. The Commander orders his troops to destroy the unnusual device, despite the protests of one of Schezar's ghosts monitoring the station. After its destruction a crystal powering the machine is shattered and a wave of Zerg activity is detected near them. General Warfield confirms the Zerg have gone feral and are now attacking anything that moves, including both Schezar and the Dominion. He orders the Commander to get to Schezar's primary command center in the area quickly to arrest him before the Zerg overwhelm the area.

Taking control of the outpost, the Commander receives orbital reinforcements and begins to construct a militia. Some of the initial ground waves first squadron elite make a desperate call for rescue to which Mengsk tells the Commander to ignore and focus on Schezar. Nevertheless, the Commander ignores this order and pushes past the zerg to rescue them before they are killed. Together they overwhelm the primary compound in which Schezar is hiding and destroy his Command Center, but cannot find the mercenary anywhere. Just then, Schezar himself drops in from behind and attempts to attack both the Commander and Gui. They desperately fight him off not seemingly able to damage his enhanced goliath mech. Schezar proclaims they have no idea what they are up against and that his plans will not be interrupted before he escapes.

Meanwhile, atop a cliff, a dark templar oversees the entire conversation before departing into the shadows...


Terran02 - "Into Darkness"

As they open a meeting with General Warfield and Arcturus Mengsk about what has just transpired, a marine locates an entrance to a secret underground tunnel system. Mengsk orders the Commander to investigate and see if there are more things that Schezar might be hiding there. The Commander takes Montag and some of his forces into the complex where they finally come across an entrance to a lab complex. Breaking through, they attempt to use terminals to find out what Schezar is doing there but are blocked each time by someone remotely self-destructing the terminal. Eventually one of the terminals attempts to cause a cave-in to kill the Commander's team but they escape just in time. However, both Montage and the Commander become separated, each looking for their own way out. Finding unique experimental weapons such as high explosive grenades, plasma rifles, and a bio-flame thrower along the way, they eventually join together again to witness experiments going on with Zerg, with a mysterious mercenary evading the task-force deeper into the complex. They finally find the central terminal where the Commander hacks into the system and overrides the security protocols. They discover that Schezar has been experimenting with both Zerg and Protoss to create new weapons and technology. More concerning, however, is that they also learn that he has been able to remotely control Zerg actions through the use of modified Protoss Khaydarin crystals and are currently controlling a captured Cerebrate who was left behind during the destruction of Tarsonis from the bulk of the Overmind's Swarm. They realize if they destroy the Cerebrate, Schezar might lose control of his Zerg, if only for a moment, to allow the Dominion to take control of the planet Halcyon. Montag questions how Schezar got this technology in the first place and assumes it was Mengsk who first began experimenting with Zerg and was sending down the Commander to clean up the mess after Schezar went rogue. The Commander was upset by this notion, but was not completly dismissing it as a possibility. They soon began to make their way out of the complex but found Schezar was monitoring them the entire time. He began to activate a complete self-destruct sequence on the complex and release all feral Zerg. The Commander and his forces just barely escaped before Schezar locked the escape door, trapping Montag within. As hordes of Zerg began to approach the area, Gui Montag began to fight them off as he yelled for the Commander to escape while he distracted them. Grudgingly leaving his best friend behind, the Commander and his team made their way through the crumbling complex lab, fighting off the Zerg before escaping back through the tunnel system. Meanwhile, the mysterious mercenary looks down on the planet from his transport vessel, having escaped the lab earlier. He realizes his experiments will be halted by the Dominion time and time again and determines he needs a way to upset the balance of power in the region to continue un-interrupted for the return of his master, the one who will break the Endless Cycle...


Terran03 - "Playing with Fire"

Still reeling from the aftermath of the loss of his comrade by Schezar, the Commander vows to do whatever it takes to bring Schezar to justice. Mengsk agrees and uses his anger as fuel to assist with the capture of Schezar. Now knowing the location of his primary stronghold near the ruined capital of Halcyon, he orders the Commander to take his forces and assault the area. However they have to deal with not only Schezar's forces but the captured Zerg Cerebrate and his enslaved Zerg. Ordering to assist the Commander, Mengsk tasks his best wraith pilot Tom Kazansky and an advanced cybernetic AI construct Magellan, who currently is piloting a Nomad vessel to test in combat. General Warfield isn't convinced the Commander has enough resources from Alpha Squadron to get the job done and takes Omega Squadron from orbit to assist. Meanwhile, as soon as the Commander begins to establish a base near Schezar's stronghold they begin taking heavy attacks from the Zerg. They barely survive till the last possible moment before General Warfield arrives. He orders Omega Squadron to nuke one of the Zerg colonies and sets up a new base perimeter. Just as they are about to assault the central stronghold and take down the enslaved Cerebrate, they receive an unusual hyper waveform transmission that Magellan picked up. A captured Protoss who calls himself Mojo psionically reached out to the Terrans. He was trapped and being experimented on across the other side of the planet on another secret complex area. He was tasked with a small Protoss detachment to investigate the Khaydarin energy signatures on Halcyon before he was captured. He realizes if the Terrans destroy the Cerebrate the Zerg will run amok and potentially could wreak havoic. To that end, he begs the Terrans to rescue him first and to do that they needed to rescue more trapped Protoss near their location who could supply them with his location. Warfield interjects and orders the Commander to do his job first and will deal with the Protoss later.

A Canon) The Commander disobeys Warfield and Mengsk and takes Alpha Squadron to destroy nearby power generators to bring down Schezar's turret defense system. They then assault the primary stronghold, bypassing the Cerebrate, and rescue the captured Protoss. Not beliving they were rescued, the templar realize they must get to Mojo quickly before he is killed. Mengsk contacts the Commander and yells saying that Omega Squadron was now being overrun by the Zerg because of his carelessness to follow his orders. General Warfield and a few Omega Squadron units barely escape with their lives.

B Canon) The Commander follows his orders and takes Alpha Squadron to assault the Cerebrate. Even though it puts up a difficult defense calling more Zerg to defend itself, they eventually kill the creature. With the Overmind's connection with the Cerebrate severed, it was unable to detect its danger to it and was unable to be reincarnated. The Commander then orders his units to rescue the Protoss, but Magellan interrupts saying Schezar has begun to flee the area. Before escaping, they use poisonous gas to flood the prison chamber with the captured Protoss and lose the ability to rescue them.


Terran04a - "The Rescue"

Emperor Mengsk sends a final transmission to the Commander that tells him by disobeying his orders and being so reckless with protecting Omega Squadron that he has now been stripped of his rank and calls for his arrest. The Commander cuts the transmission and discusses with the rescued Protoss templar their plans to save Mojo. Taking a small ex-Alpha Squadron detachment that was still loyal to him along with the remaining rescued Protoss, they establish a small outpost near the secret forest complex on the other side of Halcyon. Leading a small controllable squad while his other forces directly assault the outposts, they eventually make their way to the first outpost where they find more templar and an experimental Protoss reaver called The War Bringer. With heavy shields and a devastating attack, they use it to seek out more trapped Protoss in the forest before coming across a second lab complex where they find the arbiter flagship, The Danimoth. Just then Schezar's forces activate an enslaved Zerg colony to unleash constant waves of Zerg at them. With the Warbringer, the Danimoth, and the rescued Protoss they fight their way with their squadron to destroy the Zerg and assault the final lab complex where Mojo was trapped within a Protoss stasis cell. Horrified the Terans knew how to use a stasis cell, the templar orders its destruction to free Mojo. Finally rescued, Mojo expresses his eternal gratitude to the Commander and says he knows what Schezar is going to do next....assault Aiur with his enslaved Zerg and his modified Khaydarin crystal technology in an attempt to control the Overmind itself and control the entire Zerg Swarm. The Commander states they can't leave Halcyon because of the Dominion blockade still around the planet but Mojo proclaims Schezar has leaned to open a warp rift to Aiur with stolen Protoss technology. They too can use a similar warp with the Danimoth in their position and travel to Aiur.


Terran04b - "The Pursuit"

Deeply upset by the fact they couldn't save the captured Protoss, the Commander questions Mengsk's obsession to hunt down Schezar at any cost. However, as they begin to plan their next move they receive word that their blockade is being assaulted in a last ditch effort by Schezar to escape while a dust storm rages on the planet below them. Not understanding why he would cause a suicide move against them, the Commander expects some sort of trap. Regardless, Mengsk orders him to protect the platform and regain control of the situation. Controlling a small section of the central platform, the Commander, Kazansky, and Magellan along with some reinforcements from Omega Squadron's Diamondback assets lead the effort to stop Schezar from launching heavily armored world-class transport ships to flee the planet. After stopping all the ships they realize Schezar wasn't among any of them. Just then, a warp gate rift is found to have just been opened on the surface, under the cover of the storm. They realize they would never be able to get there quick enough to stop it however Kazansky disagrees and was already en-route to the warp gate signature. He quickly places a tracker beacon from his wraith on one of the last transports to enter the rift before it closes.


Terran05a - "Defenders of Aiur"

Opening a warp rift to the planet Aiur through The Danimoth, The Commander and Mojo take their forces and return to Aiur where Mojo is horrified to learn of the Zerg having already destroying much of his world. Being hailed by the Conclave, they proclaim that it was not Schezar's enslaved Zerg to have caused this but the bulk of the Zerg Swarm. The Conclave, however, orders the destruction of all Terrans and Zerg from Aiur before Mojo explains the situation to The Conclave. Not fully trusting the Commander as he believed they were in league with Schezar's forces and the destruction he has already caused, Aldaris tasks him with helping Praetor Fenix and the rest of the Protoss Defense Force of Aiur to defend the province of Valeri from the Zerg before they agree to send a Protoss fleet to assist with Schezar's capture. They agree and set up a base defense near one of the cities entrances while Fenix begins to assault the Zerg. He asks the Commander to assist with defense of all three entrances to city. If a Nexus falls, the path to the city will be open for attack. The Commander heavily defends all entrances as he assists with the assault on the primary Zerg colony. As soon as it falls they detect a massive way of Zerg to destroy the city. Fenix accepts the challenge as they brace for impact against the onslaught of the Zerg. Eventually the Zerg begin to retreat back to the primary Overmind's Swarm. Aldaris is impressed with the Commander's resolve and while not fully trusting Terrans in general, he allows a small Protoss force to assist the Commander in taking down Schezar's destruction across the lands of Aiur. Meanwhile, listening nearby in the shadows, a dark templar stands ominously before escaping back into the distance...


Terran05b - "Assault on Aiur"

Placing a tracker beacon on the last Schezar transport to escape, The Dominion tracks Schezar to the planet of Aiur. Realizing this must be a Protoss homeworld, they begin to track where Schezar and his Zerg have fled to. They are horrified to learn that the planet is now covered in Zerg, but doesn't appear to be from Schezar's controlled Cerebrate. Then the Protoss Conclave sends a transmission through and demands they leave or be destroyed along with the previous 'invaders'. Attempting to explain they were not with Schezar does no good as Aldaris demands all hostile aliens to be purged from Aiur. Not one to take orders from others, Mengsk tasks the Commander with invading Aiur and stop any Protoss who attempt to prevent their capture of Schezar. Getting increasingly frustrated by Mengsk's obsession with capturing Schezar with no concern with the cost of lives of the Protoss or Terrans, he accepts the order grudgingly. General Warfield also agrees to assist the Commander, taking the elite ground forces from Omega Squadron while the Commander takes the superior air forces from Alpha. The Protoss begin to activate a massive warp gate at the center of a temple where it was determined this was where their reinforcements were being called from. Mengsk orders them to destroy this warp gate at all costs. Even though the Protoss boosted the warp gate's shield regeneration exponentially, the combined Dominion assault force was large enough to destroy the shield generators and bring down the warp gate. Aldaris comes and greets the Commander and Warfield personally proclaiming that they and all Terrans will be destroyed with the full might of the Conclave, before warping away. Meanwhile, listening nearby in the shadows of the temple, a dark templar stands ominously before escaping back into the distance...


Terran06a - "The Final Blow"

With a combined effort of the Commander's Squadron and Mojo's templar detachment, they begin to setup an assault force to take down Schezar who has taken up residence in a ruined Protoss temple. Meanwhile, Schezar begins to activate four of his towers powered by more altered Khaydarin crystals. They quickly surmise that Schezar means to take control of the Zerg on Aiur in order to gain complete control of the Swarm for their own purposes. Instead, the Overmind becomes well aware of their intentions and orders a large bulk of his swarm to destroy the Terrans before the plan can be put into motion. Schezar realizes he can control the Overmind faster than he can send the Swarm to destroy him and orders both his mercenaries and his enslaved Cerebrate to destroy the Commander and Mojo's forces. He even uses the Cerebrates primary ability to reincarnate a new strain of Ultralisk called the Torrasque which was capable of growing more powerful and larger each time it reincarnates. Still, the combined assault force was enough to take down the Cerebrate and assault the temple grounds. Just then, the Overmind's Swarm arrives and begins to destroy all Terrans in sight. With little time remaining, The Commander and Mojo destroy the towers and bring Schezar's plan to a halt. However, they realize Schezar is no longer at the temple and left the planet in the commotion of the battle. Just as they are about to escape before the Overmind's Swarm arrives at the temple, a dark templar reveals himself to have been watching them the entire time...


Terran06b - "The Final Blow"

Combining both the full strength of Alpha and Omega squadrons, The Commander and General Warfield begin to setup an assault force to take down Schezar, who has taken up residence in a ruined Protoss temple. Meanwhile, Schezar begins to activate four of his towers powered by more altered Khaydarin crystals. They quickly surmise that Schezar means to take control of a large Zerg brain entitiy believed to control the entire Swarm. Mengsk is excited by the notion of a master Zerg creature and believes once they stop Schezar they themselves can control the creature and gain the full power of the Swarm at their fingers. The Commander is horrified by this idea and proclaims that they are here to put a stop to Schezar only, not control the Zerg. Mengsk continues to reitrnerate his order as he ends the transmission. Even with General Warfield commanding his flagship The Iron Justice battlecruiser, the Dominion force became up against both the Protoss that were there to stop both them and Schezar, as well as Schezar himself. The Commander originally planned to leave the Protoss alone and focus just on Schezar, but they then began to warp in a massive Protoss vessel, an ancient, recently re-activated Protoss Mothership. The Mothership began to seek them out but warped back to saftey after it sustained hull damage. Being pushed to the brink, The Commander and Warfield knew they would need to take down the Protoss relay temple to stop the Mothership from repairing itself before taking it down itself. Even as the Mothership attempted to unleash a massive planetary weapon, they were able to stop the Protoss before assaulting Schezar. Just then, the Overmind's Swarm arrives and begins to destroy both the Terrans and any Protoss still remaining. With little time remaining, The Commander and Warfield destroy the towers and bring Schezar's plan to a halt. However, they realize Schezar is no longer at the temple and left the planet in the commotion of the battle. Just as they are about to escape before the Overmind's Swarm arrives at the temple, a dark templar reveals himself to have been watching them the entire time...


Episode 1 Aftermath

The Commander and Mojo (only A canon, Warfield if played on B canon) survey the temple in which Schezar was operating out of once his towers were destroyed, however, he was nowhere to be found and escaped the planet in the chaos prior. As they ready themselves to depart the temple before the Overmind's Swarm overwhelm the area, a dark templar de-cloaks himself, calling himself Ulrezaj. He claimed he had been manipulating Schezar from the beginning by providing him with the Khaydarin crystals and technology to control Zerg, but really was using his fleet's resources to control Zerg in order to remove the Khalai from their seat of power on Aiur. Ulrezaj vowed vengeance upon the Terrans that ruined his plans and all Khalai and departed back into the shadows. Meanwhile, the Overmind's Swarm arrives in full force and begins to engulf the temple region. It begins to question it's motivation for why it invaded Aiur, battling with thoughts that were not his own within his mind. Artificial thoughts of destroying the Protoss race raged within his mind, forced upon itself by the fallen Xel'Naga Amon in ages past. However, the Overmind quickly poised itself back to full mentality through finding cracks within his own mind to force his own purpose upon the Swarm - To infest and incorporate all species, Terran and Protoss alike, into the Swarm to create more powerful psionic agents like Kerrigan to battle the coming threat he knows is coming.

Mojo (A canon, or Warfield if B canon) and the Commander take the few standing forces they have at the temple and each depart their own ways on Aiur in the confusion, while the remainder of their forces are consumed as the Overmind's Swarm overwhelms the entire region. The Overmind finds the ruined corpse of the Cerebrate Schezar had been controlling and reincarnates it to bring it back into the Swarm's fold. Seeing its ability to create a powerful Ultralisk strain, he sends it back to the safety of Char. The Commander and the few Terrans he has left are forced into hiding on Aiur as they begin to holdout against Zerg waves. Mojo and a few Protoss barely escaped with their lives as they made it back to the relative safety of the Conclave (A canon, otherwise General Warfield takes the Iron Justice and barely escapes before the bulk of Omega Squadron is destroyed).

The Overmind feels nothing can stop him and his plan of growing into the perfect species to dominate the galaxy...and deep within the forbidden caverns of Aiur after the encounter with the Terrans at the temple, Ulrezaj fled within to gather his supplies and psionically call out to any Dark Templar who shared his view of justice to join him and his crusade...

(Post Episode I Enslavers Redux but just before Episode III Starcraft) Outside of Aiur's space, a mysterious creature of shape-shifting abilities, now appearing as a Terran mercenary, looked over his private vessel and saw the destruction below. His Terran allies have been destroyed and scattered yet his experimentations with Zerg and Protoss were not yet complete. He needed more time still as well as unlock the secrets of the Khaydarin crystals, used in ages past with the Xel'Naga to uplift both species. He realized Ulrezaj knew these secrets from his time in the past on his homeworld moon of Ehina. He only needed to supply him with resources and time. Still, the region was becoming increasingly unstable between the Dominion, the Zerg, and even reports of more Terrans coming from their homeworld of Earth. He began to formulate a plan of infiltrating both the Terrans and the Zerg in order to upset the balance of the region while regaining his supplies to allow Ulrezaj to continue his work on Zerg/Protoss energy manipulation. If successful, he could reap the fruits of his research and use them for his own plans...to call forth the coming of an immortal fallen xel'naga...

 

Continue reading onto Episode II! ->


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