A female Protoss, followed by some male Protoss
|Skin Color||Grey (changes due to emotion)|
|Distinctions||Digitigrade Legs, Lacks a mouth and nose|
|Affiliation||Republic of Salleron|
|Notable Individuals|| Various
The Protoss, a.k.a. the Firstborn, are a sapient humanoid race native to Aiur. Their advanced technology complements and enhances their psionic mastery. The main protoss cultural groups are the Khalai, who adhere to the communal Khala, and the Nerazim, who reject the Khala. In addition, another branch of the protoss separate from the Khala called the Tal'darim lives in various places in the galaxy. Protoss civilization was reunified when the Khalai and Nerazim, sundered since the Discord, were reunited after the devastation of Aiur by the zerg during the Great War.
Protoss are about two meters (seven feet) to three meters tall and have two glowing eyes that blink normally, digitigrade legs, semi-permeable skin covered in scales, four digits on their hands (of which two are thumbs) and toes, broad chests and shoulders, and narrow waists with slim midsections. 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 them to access their racial psionic gestalt. This gestalt is the basis of the Khala.
The Xel'naga considered these beings to have purity of form as the Protoss are incredibly adaptable to harsh natural conditions and climates, and their strength and speed were unparalleled amongst the other races known to the Xel’naga. Protoss even have sharp claws, which can be deadly weapons if a Protoss is caught unarmed.
Protoss derive sustenance from light, capable of living off moonlight (reflected sunlight), and can go without light for extended periods of time. What little water they need is absorbed through the skin. The Dark Templar modified themselves biologically and used other techniques to survive on the formerly light-less world of Shakuras. The Protoss used to hunt, but they did so to collect the blood and hides of animals for various purposes, not for sustenance.
Protoss hear and smell through their skin, and it is believed that their primary sense is sight. Protoss have a sense of smell sharp enough to identify other Protoss and see very well at night. A Protoss' skin color changes in response to changes in its emotions. They are bereft of mouths, noses, or visible ears and are without a sense of taste. They possess three hearts.
Protoss sleep and dream in a manner similar to humans.
A protoss' average life expectancy is lengthy; Raszagal, aged 1045, was considered old. Protoss under 300 years rarely have any significant political positions. Artanis, who was 262 years old during the Brood War, is considered young, despite his powerful military position.
Protoss are not a prolific people and the Xel'naga even developed an artifact, the Kassia crystal, to counteract this. The population of Aiur, however, had reached billions. Before the Fall of Aiur, the Protoss population was in decline due to systematic extermination; the Protoss were passing away from sheer age. Their numbers have been further reduced through conflict, and their population continues to decline.
Protoss blood is blue or purple. As in humans, coloration is considered a sign of ethnicity, with each Protoss tribe having a specific subtly differing hue or typical pattern of markings associated with it.
Protoss are extraordinarily focused, to a degree unmatched by most races. Protoss have been described as "devastatingly intelligent", but their thought processes work very differently than those of many races.
Protoss are natural mind-readers. Protoss must learn to filter the thoughts they read and filter (or block) the thoughts that they release (which would prevent other Protoss from reading their minds). The ability to block thoughts is compromised by the Khala, which prevents the Protoss which follow that philosophy from hiding from each other.
Protoss can use their psionic abilities to shield themselves, charge their tools and weapons, and to manipulate or meld matter. At least some of these abilities can only be used by a small minority of Protoss without technological assistance (such as the creation of shields).
Protoss can sometimes access memories and strands of experience from protoss who have died and entered the Khala, but only preservers have full access to this knowledge. Protoss warriors can learn from the spirits of fallen warriors at the Templar Archives.
Protoss can communicate telepathically with each other. They can do so through "speaking", a method that transmits little or no emotional content. Using their nerve cords they can also communicate in a manner which enables them to sense each others' emotions, a key part of their psionic gestalt, the Khala. Protoss who follow the Khala use both methods of communication. Dark Templar ritually sever their nerve cords, which prevents the emotional link.
Protoss can create a special kind of mind-meld deep within the Khala, where no one can lie. Protoss performing this kind of mind-meld hold up their hands and face their palms to each other; both palms softly glow.
Protoss "speak" a language called Khalani, communicating through telepathic bursts. The privacy of the conversation is up to those involved on it. Even through communication, pain can be caused via this telepathy via mental spikes. Other races exposed to Protoss communication often hear nearly meaningless sounds. However, at least some Protoss have the ability to "translate" the thoughts into a form which a member of another race can understand.
In addition to telepathy, Protoss possess a degree of body language used in conveying feelings, intent, etc. For instance, a bob of the head and movement of a Protoss' nerve chords is a sign of contempt. Bowing of the head, shaking and/or mottling of the skin is a sign of emotional distress.
Protoss technology is a blend of psionics and mundane technology.
Some Protoss technology requires vespene gas as a catalyst. Protoss utilize cybernetic technology to save lives, and bolster their warriors' prowess. Battlefield communications between Protoss are efficient. The use of energy for defensive purposes is a standard protoss practice.
Protoss armor contains teleportation technology which whisks the warrior away to safety when they are injured to the point of death. Injured and crippled protoss can be transformed into cybernetic warriors.
Due to their low population, the Protoss frequently use robots in their military and are in a position of not being able to waste resources.
Protoss pilots are an integral part of their ship, and using it drains their energies.
The Protoss developed powerful crystal technology and incredibly powerful weapons of war, such as the Colossus and the Mothership, and could develop more powerful technology if they wished. The Protoss limit their use of technology, as they are frightened of what they could do with it and feel they have perfected a slow but steady and methodical system of technological development. The longevity of Protoss history has allowed them to develop incredible weapons of war over the course of it.
Despite the Fall of Aiur, the Protoss can still produce starships on other planets, and they have also inventories of them in many places.
Protoss excel in energy manipulation. Arcthium gems are key to their technology.