Protoss - A fantasy version
Protos in Elder Tongue means 'first'. This name is supposedly given because the Protoss were the first beings through the eyes, but some say it was given to the humans who first met them.
This is a fantasy remake of the Protoss from the video game Starcraft. What happened if some of them were 'sucked through the void' to a fantasy world (without many of their toys).
They are one of the races that fell to the world from The Eye. They come from other places and unlike many of them, it shows. Still, in the centuries they have been here, they have made a place on the world, creating their own lands, and working (loosely with other species).
Protoss are about 3 meters tall, of a reptiloid (not draconic) descent. Their skin is semi-permeablend covered with fine scales. With broad chests, narrow waists, and digitigrade legs, they are quite different from most races. Their faces with two luminous eyes, but no mouth, nose, or visible ears, show their 'alien nature'.
While no one knows for sure, scholars speculate that certain patches of their skin have chemical and auditory senses, and that they breath through their skin. Others are fairly sure that they simply use magic to sense, breath and feed.
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 Protoss to access their magical gestalt. The simplest part usage of the gestalt is telepathic communication between them all. They are all in near constant communication, so what one knows, others soon will. Note: they can communicate mentally with other species with a touch of difficulty.
The species is quite tough, having astounding physical resilience and healing. They seem immune to poisons and illnesses (perhaps because of their magical nature). They seem to feed off magical energy, (absorbing any materials they need to grow through their skin). The theory that they consume magical energy for sustenance, could contribute to their almost emaciated appearance (no storage of physical fat) as well as their long lifespans (no ingestion of unhealthy materials). A Protoss average life expectancy is about a thousand years; because of their arcane nature, their life expectancy may extend well beyond that figure.
As in humans, coloration is considered a sign of ethnicity, with each Protoss tribe having a specific color or typical pattern of markings associated with it. While it is supposed to based on birth, it seems Protoss can 'change their spots' with enough effort.
One other feature that marks them as different alien outsiders is their hands. Rather than having the hands of any true intelligent species, they have four digits on each of their hands, two are opposable. It is difficult for any other species to utilize Protoss tools.
In stark contrast to the adaptive Humans, aggressive Dwarves, and artistic Elves, are the stolid, conservative Protoss. With their highly developed and potent magical abilities (they are masters of exotic enchanted items), the Protoss have long considered themselves the most powerful species in the known world. Although they are not a prolific people, they have learned to bolster the ranks of their military with golem like war machines and to utilized powerful enchanted items, producing some of the most effective warriors ever known. The Protoss are not aggressive, per say. However, they have a need to be in a position of strength. If the Protoss have a weakness, though, it is their refusal to accept change. The tenets of their major religion, known as the Khala, form a rigid path and the Protoss are loathe to deviate from it for fear of once again falling into civil strife.
Although the Protoss were originally divided into several warring tribes, they were united by a single scholar/philosopher known as The Khas, or 'he who brings order'. From the study of the ancient fforbiddenteachings, he created the beliefs the religion, that forms the backbone of their gestalt. The Khas also developed a strict religious, philosophical, and social structure christened the Khala. Under the Khala—which translates roughly to Path of Ascension—the Protoss have abandoned the crude tribal factions that led them into generations of vicious blood feuds and have instead created their perfect three castes society
Protoss religion takes its roots from the wars that plagued it on their old world. United under the teachings of Khas, the Protoss began to adhere to Khas's teachings of the 'Khala', or Path to Ascension. The resulting religion bears a striking resemblance to modern day Hinduism in teachings, e.g. it includes a caste-based social system. 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 Magical powers. When Protoss warriors die in battle it is believed that they have reached the 'Khala's End.'
('Path of Ascension'): This the unity of the Protoss and their development to greater heights.
('Great Stewardship'): Taking up the responsibilities of their slain Gods, they started supervising and protecting the lesser life forms once shepherded by their Gods, but they rarely interfered.
When the Humans of their star lands arrived in the Protoss lands, the Protoss observed silently. They put the Humans under their Stewardship. When the Humans of our lands did the same to their Lands here, The Protoss did the same. (Some say they owe the Humans a debt because of the actions of their Star Land cousins.) At first they protected the Humans from the Great Beasts, then they taught them how to fight them, then they gave Humans new laws and techniques to live by.
Castes: The Khalai (artisans and inventors), The Templar, (warriors and explorers) and The Judicator (administrators and leaders).
are descended from the first tribes to join the Khala at the end of the Aeon of Strife. They were selected by The Khas and his students to act as leaders. They are advisors and coordinators for all other Protoss activities, no matter what the caste. The Judicator Caste itself is guided by the Protoss Conclave, a small group of elders (some are nearly two thousand years old). Members of the Red Tribe try to take their hhereditaryplace in charge of the Conclave, but their numbers were too few going through The Eye. Judicators are red or white in colors.
The Templar Caste
are the warriors of the Protoss. They are named after great religious warriors, as they are the only ones blessed enough to 'conflict with others.' They fight Great Beasts, protect Protoss from other dangers, and occasionally join other battles as a matter of 'policy'. They are descended from great warrior tribes from the Aeon of Strife, who began to follow The Khas. All other Protoss will not fight anyone for any reasons. The Blue Protoss are mostly seen abroad, while the Teal Protoss are police, home guard, and emergency personnel
The Khalai Caste
are the working class of the Protoss. They form the slight minority of the Protoss population. While willing to fight, they are kept from fighting because their needed skills. Most Protoss workers are Purple, though there are an odd smattering of colors who from other clans who have adopted crafting, enchanting, and building as their skills.
Khalai is also a term which refers to Protoss who follow the Khala.
In the otherworld, the Protoss have a long history. They were created by a pantheon of Gods called the Xel'Naga. The Gods were striving for a perfect worshiping race. They found a species of hunters creatures with magical abilities. They uplifted them to beings of magic.
The Xel'Naga were initially revered, 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.
Thus the time of war began, the Aon of Strife. In fear of treachery from their masters, and in seeking to sever themselves from the rest of their race, the tribes sundered the gestalt. A time of war ensued. The Protoss attacked each other. The Protoss attacked their Gods. They drove their Gods away from their lands. They attacked the other creations of their Gods (In their quest, the Gods started to create another species... Protoss and the Enemy are now mortal enemies).
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 Ancient Crystals. With these crystals he was able to amplify the mystic link, which had submerged itself in Protoss minds, and recreate the Gestalt.
With this power, he traveled across Atheir Star Lands teaching the Protoss the Khala. Eventually he 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 Red 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 philosophy 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 Caste.
Once united, they moved out to the Other Lands in the Stars. They encountered The Enemy. These creatures were created by the Protoss Gods. However, they were uncontrollable and slew them. Thus the Great War of the Stars began. Other peoples became involved, Humans and others, in this Great War. At first it was a war of principal, but it became a war of survival.
The war continued. Many Protoss were lost, not just to The Enemy, but to The Eye. While the Protoss will speak of many things, they are shy with information about their time just before and after The Eye.
The Protoss found themselves in The Lands here, rather than their far away Star Lands. They did not have their forges and resources to keep up their special tools and powers. They used their tools to create lesser mystic forges and find resources they needed. They made a place for them selves in the Sun Drenched Lands (insert desert or dry area of choice). They sheparded the creatures here, holding down the numbers of Great Beasts, showing Dae'Uhl.
After a short while, Human refugees and migrants found their way into the Sun Drenched Lands. The Protoss aided them secretly at first, watching and showing stewardship. Some say that the 'Great Voice of the Desert' which taught many of the early tribes how to cope. Eventually the Great Beasts were a true danger to the Humans there. At first, the Humans were protected by the Protoss. However, in their drive to ascend, they needed to uplift the Humans to take care of themselves... teaching them warrior ways and tactics to deal with the beasts. When the Humans began to apply the warrior ways to each other, the Protoss, having learned from such a mistake before, taught the Humans a better way, stopping the fighting.
Thus the Protoss live in the deep Sun Drenched Lands, surrounded by their Human stewards. The Protoss have been seen in other parts of The Lands, including distant Cathay. They fight the Great Beasts when they can. They also explore the Lands and some say the World for their own knowledge.
The Protoss are masters of magically enhanced tools. Their degree of enchantment is far beyond anything known in The Land. Some Known Artifacts and their Human translations.
TemplarSuits: These armored suits make the Protoss near invunerable, with a dragon's strength and speed.
PowerSpears (These weapons shoot magical energy to disrupt and kill opponents). These come in several sizes, from wands to huge tubes.
Stunning Stones (These weapons shoot out cones of magic that cause blindness and confusion in targets).
Skydisks: Three to eight Protoss can ride on these giant plates. They can hover in one place or fly any direction at a speed twice that of a galloping horse.
Skycraft: These strange vaguely dragon shaped ships allow The Protoss to reach anywhere in the world (they call it a globe) with magical speeds.
Searchingcrystals: Utilizing these devices, a Protoss can find just about anything in its immediate area.
There are hundreds of others, but these are the most commonly seen by adventuring types. Remember that most of these items are simply mystic tools that simply enhance a Protoss's natural magical abilities.
I stumbled over some images and write up of the race while surfing. I thought it was very unique. After a while, I discovered it was part of a game... then that led me to more sites with more information.
So now after researching several sites, I find myself writing them up for a fantasyish game. I knew that they were 'well known', so I knew this write up would have to be extensive. Sigh. Another long write up.
There are some small changes, mostly because they are from a small grouping of Protoss that were transported to the fantasy world because of some terrible weapon. Thus some of the details have changed because this is not a representative sample of Protoss.
One of the key changes is the replacement of the science fiction codeword for magic - psionics - back to the fantasy term - magic.
Great Beasts: They could be big monsters, could be giant worms, could be dragons, could be giant sand worms, they could be Zerg critters cut off from the mass mind. Choose something appropriate.
The Eye is the the source of Protoss I suggest, there could by others.
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? Responses (19)-20
I wish I could vote on this already.
Having played Starcraft for a while when it originally came out this would suit well for an explanation into the beings and their mentality. It makes you aware of their choices and their struggle. hey not only struggle with the worlds around them for their different outlook, but they struggle with themselves to not stray from their path of acension...
Huge kudos Moon. i would give you a 5.0 and a HOH right now if I could.
Big fan of Starcraft, and this is a good write-up of the Protoss. The only thing that I would add would be the Xel'Naga and their quest to find perfection of Form, which they achieved in the Protoss, as each creature is so immune to age, disease, and such. As a side note, the Xel'Naga would later experiement with the Zerg race and the quest for the Perfection of Essence, creating the assimilating organic horror of the Zerg Swarms who would later devour the Xel'Naga themselves.
re:The only thing that I would add would be the Xel'Naga and their quest to find perfection of Form, which they achieved in the Protoss, as each creature is so immune to age, disease, and such. As a side note, the Xel'Naga would later experiement with the Zerg race and the quest for the Perfection of Essence, creating the assimilating organic horror of the Zerg Swarms who would later devour the Xel'Naga themselves.
I know about that. The reasons I didn't mention it, Would the Protoss mention that to anyone on the fantasy world? And especially if they had to coach it in 'fantasy tropes'. Where you see The Enemy, StarCraft players should insert Zerg.
I have NO CLUE what Starcraft is or was, but the post is sublime! Delicious details, but you know what?...I could have used even more detail with such an interesting race and world, not being familiar with its scope. Well done Moon!
hmmmm...Sun-Drenched Lands, can I steal that?
Sure. It is my generic 'poetic response' for arid/ desert regions.
Yes, it's a good write-up, but my real reaction is... 'Ehhh... It's just the Protoss.'
I never really liked them that much at all, and this does little to change them in any way (though the purpose was not to change them, I understand, just to put them into fantasy).
Will vote later when I have time, but are you planning on writing up 'The Enemy'? If not, I'd be willing to do so. Definitely something that would compliment and put this into perspective as well (and might open up other plots).
Write up the Enemy if you want. As I understand it, if Zerg get too far from an Overmind, then they just become critters again. So if they came here, they would probably be without the big overmind and just have a weaker (dumber) local one.
Actually, if I remember right, that's not the case, because the Overmind would send out scouts to find new races to absorb. However, if they lose contact with the 'Overmind figure' (because as was shown in the series, a sufficiently telepathic being can control them) then they turn into mindless, rampaging monsters.
That said, a few of the actual 'creatures' have a 'story' ability/task of controlling lesser breeds. So, they would probably be controlled, but a rogue mage might also start trying to steal them with mind-control spells and such...
Definitely need to do that write up now. Fwee!
A pretty demented druid with the ability to control creatures would be a neat little bad guy in charge of a bunch of zerg...
oh. I like that one.
I always enjoyed the Protoss as a race in the game of Starcraft, and so I find them in a fantasy game to be quite interesting. There are a whole plethora of plots and sub-plots to be connected with this, just because two games were made including them. 4/5. Very nice job.
Interesting-I liked the complex history.
I didn't like to play the Protoss, too slow for me. I was more of a 'the Enemy' type player. Good write-up of them though.
Wow, detailed in a very good manner. The details are useful and will make in into my game. I am not a starcraft fan but this is very good.
The consept for starcraft was taken by blizzard from warhammer 40.000. Zerg being chaos, terrans being humans and the protoss are... elves. I have always thought of protoss as the science fiction version of elves and thought they worked better than just transferring elves into the future. So bringing the 'toss'(as battlenet gamers say) back into fantasy just don't work that well for me. It's still a splendid write-up but I also mirror CP's opinion; They are still the protoss, just put back into fantasy without changing them back into elves.
I like the idea of including a Protoss analogue in one's game, and this does a good job of gathering the pieces of culture and technology to make it work.