“My face may be unfamiliar to you but my name will not be. I am Valerian Mengsk, son of our glorious Emperor Arcturus.”
Birth[edit | edit source]
When Juliana Pasteur realized she was pregnant, she told her father, Ailin, that she would not tell Mengsk, as she didn’t want to distract him from his combat duties. Instead, she gave up her career and raised Valerian on Umoja.
Early Life[edit | edit source]
For seven years, Juliana taught her son about what a great man his father was, and he became a budding archaeologist, frequently digging up “fossils” in the family garden. Juliana finally allowed her father to contact Mengsk just as the Guild Wars were ending and he making a great prospecting find.
Arcturus Mengsk was surprised and mainly displeased. He made an effort to connect to his son, but they had little in common. Arcturus disagreed with the way Juliana raised her son, and quickly threw out his books and replaced them with ones he preferred. Arcturus considered Valerian to be weak, and tried to instruct him in how to “be a man”, such as teaching him to shoot. The efforts were a failure, and Valerian felt that his father only noticed the things he couldn’t do. The only activity the two could enjoy together was fencing with wooden swords.
Arcturus Mengsk spent a week on Umoja, sending a message to his parents in the newly declared independent Korhal. The returning news was dire – the Confederacy had killed his parents and young sister, and Mengsk realized that his son would be next. He immediately ordered Valerian and his mother sent into hiding.
Over the next eleven years Valerian had to move from world to world, generally in Umojan territory; the Confederates sent assassins against him at least once. While in exile, his mother imparted her values to him; that freedom and liberty were basic human rights. As he grew up, Arcturus Mengsk tried to mold Valerian’s upbringing to resemble his, starting by hiring his old fencing instructor, Master Miyamoto, to teach Valerian all methods of fighting – martial arts, Japanese sword fighting, combat gear and the use of a gauss rifle – as well as academics. Miyamoto declared Valerian to be his finest sword fighting pupil. Valerian would learn little of his father, as most of the information came from propaganda about the Sons of Korhal. He did acquire a servant, Charles Whittier, although he distrusted this “minder.” He was kept in a wealthy lifestyle, due to his father’s rich prospecting find.
Valerian chose Van Osten’s Moon to hide from the Confederacy because strange alien ruins had been discovered on the planet. However, he had little opportunity to look at them, since his mother was suffering from terminal cancer, and he spent a great deal of time and energy trying to learn about the illness.
Valerian had his second meeting with his father eight years after their first meeting on that world. They connected a little, as Arcturus said he was proud of Valerian, including how he was becoming his own man, and admitted to trying to control him as his own father Angus had tried to control him. He also told Valerian that history would sweep him up and make use of his talents.
The New Order[edit | edit source]
“”Today I’m speaking with Crown Prince Valerian. Highness, what do you say about the allegations that recently came to light regarding your father’s corruption–“”
Valerian was finally able to see his father again six months after the establishment of the Terran Dominion, when Arcturus made his first official visit to Umoja since his coronation in order to make public Valerian’s existence as his heir… after negotiating passage to the surface. Ailin Pasteur insisted the fleet of capital vessels that Arcturus had brought with him stay beyond the outer markers. The emperor had to travel in an obsolete gun cutter with only about a dozen marines and two Wraiths to protect him.
The Confederate Resistance Forces had learned about the visit, and struck at this moment of vulnerability. Their superior air forces severely damaged the cutter, causing it to fall into an underground landing platform and their laser fire killed many people, forcing Valerian to dive to the ground; he was nearly killed. He helped his mother into the safety of the Pasteur home; she had been restricted to a wheelchair by that point. Meanwhile, at least 30 Confederate marines, led by Arcturus’ old instructor Captain Angelina Emillian tried to assassinate him, while communication with the Dominion fleet were cut off.
Arcturus planned on traveling underground to the gun cutter’s new location, since its communication system was strong enough to contact the leader of his fleet, Edmund Duke. He ordered the guests to hide in a safe place, but Valerian, toting a C-14 rifle, insisted on traveling with him. Along with Master Miyamoto, they fled towards the cutter, pursued by enemy marines. While Arcturus operated the communications systems, Valerian and Miyamoto were still outside the cutter, defending it from marines. Miyamaoto was shot down by Captain Emillian, and when Valerian attempted to surrender, she noted his resemblance to his father and tried to kill him. Valerian asked her who she was and why she wanted him dead, and she told him how she had instructed Arcturus as a soldier, when Miyamoto, with the last of his strength, disabled her rifle with his sword. As Emillian drew her knife, Valerian shot her down. As she bled to death, she told them that her new allies, the UED, would attack, but didn’t reveal their identity. Shortly afterward, Duke, having disobeyed orders to stay away from Umoja, arrived and destroyed the other marines with battlecruiser fire.
As time passed and Juliana Pasteur continued to sicken, she again told Valerian to be wary of his father, and not let Arcturus control him. Eventually, after many pain-filled months for both of them, she passed away, both Valerian and his father attending her funeral. In the aftermath, Arcturus related the history of Korhal and the Mengsk Dynasty to him, the two coming to respect each other as equals and different individuals. Arcturus again told his son he was happy that Valerian had become someone he could be proud of, and wasn’t looking for a “copy” of himself.
Heir Apparent[edit | edit source]
“I am your father, Valerian, and cheap gibes will not change that. I know you do not love me as a father ought to be loved, but I care little for that. However, if you are to succeed me you will need to be tougher.”
– Arcturus Mengsk prepares Valerian for his role as the future emperor of the Dominion.(src)
Valerian was brought to Korhal to be raised as Arcturus’ (secret) heir. His existence kept secret from the Dominion as a whole, Valerian began training for the day in which he would become emperor, acquiring the vital leadership skills that he would eventually need. In addition, he was given the authority to give orders to high-ranking military officers who knew his true position and had access to much wealth, mercenaries and low-quality military equipment.
Despite his status, Valerian’s relationship with his father was still strained. He respected the man, but their personalities didn’t match and his pursuit of archeology was of little interest to Arcturus, who nonetheless pushed his son to make his own way and be his own man. Valerian in turn strove for his own power and to create his own space, but didn’t directly challenge his father. From the outset, there was a power struggle of sorts between them, Arcturus believing in the use of fear in being a ruler, while Valerian was not so authoritarian. In contrast, Valerian continued to respect the endeavors of the rebel/mercenary Jim Raynor, despite his “treachery” against his father.
Shortly before Valerian’s birthday, Arcturus ordered the deaths of half of his government’s ghosts in a controlled environment as part of an “overhaul” of the program. Valerian asked to have one, which Arcturus granted as a 21st “birthday present.” Valerian was given a list of 282 ghosts; he chose Agent Devon Starke, Ghost #25876, from the list in part because of his psychometric and remote viewing abilities. Starke’s neural inhibitor was removed, granting him his memory back. He was loyal to Valerian as he had been rescued by him from certain death. Valerian intended to retain Starke’s loyalty, knowing that a loyal ghost was a valuable asset but to lose control of a ghost was a great mistake–remembering the example of Sarah Kerrigan. Valerian began to make contacts among mercenary and seedier criminal groups, such as the crime boss Ethan Stewart and the mercenary Rosemary Dahl, pouring money into Stewart’s business enterprises.
Around this time, Valerian invested considerable wealth into creating a scientific foundation that would study alien cultures, history and technology, from the protoss to the zerg to the recently discovered xel’naga. This group would be named the Moebius Foundation, and was headed by one of the greatest scientific minds on alien histories in the sector, Doctor Emil Narud. The prince personally designed the Foundation’s secret Space Station Prometheus. Valerian knew of the foundation’s proposals to create protoss/zerg hybrids, but was unaware as to how much progress the foundation had made on it.
The Discovery of Wonders[edit | edit source]
Valerian was delighted with reports of the discovery of strange artifacts on several worlds similar to the one discovered on Bhekar Ro. Arcturus did not share Valerian’s passion and viewed these artifacts as objectives to be secured by military forces. The emperor also wanted to keep his heir out of danger and, with the events of the Battle of Bhekar Ro still fresh, refused to allow Valerian to investigate personally.
Valerian persuaded Arcturus to send scientists and archaeologists to research a dead temple on the dead world of Nemaka. The information retrieved from the dead temple would enable Valerian to safely visit a live one. Arcturus Mengsk refused to let his son and heir anywhere near even a dead temple – an argument erupted, but Arcturus would not relent. Valerian would have to send archaeologists to do the work for him.
Valerian Mengsk sent three teams of archaeologists to Nemaka, one after the other, and they all failed. Finally in desperation he tried “maverick” archaeologist Jacob Ramsey, hoping his unconventional methods would succeed where the other researchers failed. He invited Ramsey to see him personally and confided that he was the son of Arcturus Mengsk. He also confided in his theories about the temple – he believed it was created by a third alien race, not protoss or zerg, but perhaps by a progenitor species.
Valerian Mengsk employed several mercenary marines, led by R. M. Dahl and including neurally resocialized marine Marcus Wright, who could guard the scientists. The archaeologists, support staff and mercenaries were transported by an old battlecruiser called the Gray Tiger, which had a complement of resocialized marines.
Dahl believed Valerian Mengsk planned on kidnapping the researchers when they were done researching the temple, employing telepaths to scan their minds and tell him everything there was to know, then kill them.
Ramsey was a good choice. He discovered some of the secrets of the temple, but the secrets changed him. He was accosted by a dying protoss mystic, Zamara, who planted a tremendous amount of memory into his mind. Ramsey was unable to deal with this at first and fell unconscious, requiring medical help, so he couldn’t pass the information on to Valerian Mengsk. Dahl secretly kept Valerian up-to-date on Ramsey’s progress. When Ramsey awoke, he discovered he had become a telepath, and read about Valerian’s plans from Dahl’s mind. Dahl and her team took the civilians into custody.
Betrayal[edit | edit source]
Meanwhile, Valerian Mengsk directed Charles Whittier to send the Gray Tiger to pick up the archaeology expedition, in part to save Ramsey’s life. However, Whittier sent the mostly resocialized crew another set of secret orders at the behest of Arcturus Mengsk.
The Gray Tiger arrived to pick up the visitors to Nemaka. Dahl was shocked when she and her team were arrested by the Gray Tiger’s marines. However the plan didn’t work, as Ramsey’s abilities had expanded further; he “removed” the neural resocialization of a marine in Valerian’s employ, Marcus Wright. Wright began killing the other marines, providing enough confusion for Ramsey and Dahl to escape Arcturus’ grasp. No one else on the Gray Tiger survived due to the actions of Wright. Valerian was temporarily heart-broken until he learned (from Dominion forces who had boarded the Gray Tiger) that Jake Ramsey had escaped the carnage.
As a result of this betrayal, neither Ramsey nor Dahl bore any trust in Valerian Mengsk. Valerian Mengsk would eventually realize he had been betrayed, but not by whom.
Valerian Mengsk knew of Dahl’s relationship with Ethan Stewart, who wasn’t too far from the site of the Gray Tiger incident, and made a call to Stewart. Unfortunately for Dahl and Ramsey, Valerian Mengsk already had a business relationship with Stewart, whom he paid off but would punish severely if he failed to obey orders. Dahl trusted Stewart, which would make it easier for Valerian Mengsk’s forces to pick her up.
Ramsey, Zamara (present in his mind as a spirit guide) and Dahl discovered Stewart’s betrayal, and in a battle they nearly killed him and attempted to escape. They were nearly stopped by Valerian Mengsk’s small military fleet, and had to make a blind warp-jump to escape, distracting the fleet with Ramsey’s terran pseudo-Khala ability to do so.
A Frustrating Hunt[edit | edit source]
Devon Starke explained to Valerian that Ramsey had used the ability as a delaying tactic, rather than an attack. Valerian was unable to talk with Stewart, however, who was seriously wounded and undergoing surgery. Making matters worse, the zerg attacked Dead Man’s Rock, abducting Stewart.
Arcturus Mengsk contacted his son, demanding to know why the zerg would attack “his space” after years of virtual silence. Valerian distracted him from Ramsey’s abilities by wondering aloud who else had Ethan Stewart been serving, such as Arcturus or even Kerrigan. Valerian feared Arcturus would abduct Ramsey for his own purposes.
Devon Starke and Valerian tracked them to Aiur. Valerian created a small fleet to recover Ramsey, a task made more difficult because the Dominion had so many problems it needed the fleet’s resources. He relied on the help of Charles Whittier to collect the ships and to keep the fleet a secret from Arcturus Mengsk. The fleet consisted of a battlecruiser, several smaller vessels, and ground forces, all led by Starke. The fleet included the Illustrious, Valerian’s personal ship.
The fleet rescued Ramsey, Dahl and their allies from an ambush led by an infested Ethan Stewart, but Dahl hijacked the dropship and fled towards Aiur’s warp gate. Forced to choose between letting Ramsey escape through the warp gate or leaving him to be destroyed by Ulrezaj or zerg attackers, he ordered Starke to protect Ramsey. He lost contact with Starke soon afterward. Starke took a hawk to the Illustrious when contact resumed.
The Hunt Successful[edit | edit source]
Valerian Mengsk’s forces followed Ulrezaj to the moon of Ehlna. Arcturus Mengsk lent technologically advanced forces to his son to assist him in the endeavor: capturing the protoss intelligence at the Alys’aril, an ancient shrine. The protoss, zerg and Ulrezaj were all fighting each other when the Dominion forces arrived, but the sudden disappearance of Ulrezaj gave the Dominion the upper hand and the zerg were defeated. Valerian captured the site, including Jake Ramsey and Rosemary Dahl, only to discover that the preserver was gone and Ramsey was suffering from brain tumors. Valerian did manage to acquire some protoss treasures, however. Shortly afterward, a larger protoss force arrived and the Dominion was forced to withdraw.
Without access to the protoss intelligence, Arcturus Mengsk decided to “acquire” Ramsey instead and have his handlers destructively probe his mind. This did not sit well with Valerian, who wished to hide Ramsey. However, he pretended to obey his father as a time-gaining measure. In the end, it was Devon Starke who had the answer. The ghost copied a selection of Ramsey’s memories and made himself a decoy. When Dominion ghosts would attempt to extract the information, Starke would resist them and buy time for Ramsey and Dahl to hide. However, he would likely perish from such an act. Valerian’s doctors treated Ramsey’s brain tumors, and Valerian did hear the story of Jake Ramsey as he had wanted all along, though at the price of his most loyal and useful agent.
Taking Command[edit | edit source]
Valerian on the bridge of the Bucephalus
Valerian Mengsk used the Dominion’s resources to acquire xel’naga relics for himself. At some point, he learnt of a prophecy that indicated that Kerrigan would play a vital role in an upcoming conflict. In this regard, Jake Ramsey suggested that there was a device that could de-infest her.
Valerian had greater public exposure by the Second Great War. On the eve and outbreak of war, he opened a veterans hospital on Helios and announced a new grant for an archaeology museum. He also attended the second annual navy ball.
During the conflict, Valerian was interviewed by UNN reporter Kate Lockwell. When asked about his personal life, he joked he’d always had a crush on her, causing her to become flustered. Valerian then explained he was studying military tactics under General Horace Warfield, to prepare himself for ruling the Dominion.
Dangerous Games[edit | edit source]
“Everyone wonders if I will be as good an emperor as my father. But I want something more. To prove that I will be a better emperor. And a better man.”
Valerian being held at gunpoint by Jim Raynor
Valerian revealed himself to Commander Jim Raynor as the owner of the Moebius Foundation when confronted on the Bucephalus. While holding a revolver to Valerian’s head, loaded with a bullet meant for his father, Raynor demanded to know why he shouldn’t kill him where he stood. Valerian answered that he could give Raynor his greatest desire: a chance to rescue Sarah Kerrigan. Valerian theorized that the artifacts the Raiders were collecting could make Kerrigan human again, using the knowledge Ramsey had provided. He claimed that his motivation in allying with Raynor was to prove to the people that he would be a worthy successor, if he reformed the worst mass murderer in history. To this end, he provided Raynor with the location of the final piece of the Keystone, and provided the rebel with Minotaur-class battlecruisers to aid him.
Taking half the Dominion Fleet with him to Char, Valerian was confronted by his father via hologram. He explained his plan to his father, for which he was praised, but Arcturus firmly believed that his son was in over his head. Raynor stepped in to assert that Valerian wasn’t alone in this. Arcturus was taken aback that his foe was allied with his son, and said that Kerrigan can’t be saved. Unfazed by the emperor’s claims, Raynor promised that they had a score to settle once the battle on Char was concluded. After Raynor switched off the hologram, Valerian commented, “Everything I could’ve hoped for.” What he didn’t hope for, however, was that the battle began disastrously for the terrans, their forces being mauled even before making landfall. All he could do was wait on the Bucephalus, hoping for the best.
Flashpoint[edit | edit source]
“The only fate I’m interested in is the one I make, boy. And that should be the only fate to interest you as well. In case you haven’t noticed, we’re humans—not protoss, not zerg—and anything those knobbly-skinned mystics have told you is likely to be more full of stardust and fantasy than anything solid. Now be a good son. Kill that mistake of a woman who just happens to be your father’s worst enemy, not to mention humanity’s, or give her to me and let Daddy do the dirty work.”
– Mengsk to Valerian(src)
Ultimately Valerian’s gambit paid off; the mission to Char was a success. Despite many casualties, Kerrigan was successfully de-infested. However, Raynor and his men had to fight a running battle against the leaderless but still deadly zerg on the surface, and had to take her to the Bucephalus. The relationship between Valerian and Raynor remained uneasy, and trust was in short supply. To make matters worse, Arcturus arrived in the Char System at the head of the other, combat ready half of the Dominion Armada, personally commanding from the White Star. He demanded that Kerrigan (and Raynor) be turned over to him for execution. Valerian refused, wanting to take Kerrigan to Dr. Emil Narud, a specialist on the zerg, for study. He also shocked Raynor and Arcturus by revealing that he knew of Kerrigan’s role in an ancient prophecy that foretold the return of the xel’naga, and wasn’t going to allow Kerrigan to be killed because of it. His refusal to hand Kerrigan over, however, resulted in Arcturus ordering his forces to destroy Valerian’s ship.
Due to the Hyperion‘s maneuvering, Valerian’s ships were able to escape along with the Hyperion. However, the Dominion fleet pursued, as they could pick up tracking bugs planted on the Bucephalus. Valerian’s fleet suffered more losses before the rebels escaped, and he had only two battlecruisers now.
The next time Arcturus confronted the rebels, they were ready for him. Valerian emptied one of his vessels, distributing the crew, and set it to lock onto and ram the White Star. Valerian fooled his father into thinking this was an actual suicide attack. Once free of the Dominion fleet, the rest of the bugs were found and removed.
That’s when Matt Horner walked in and, without warning, started to “mess up” Valerian’s face. An angered Valerian began using martial arts moves on Horner. Horner explained he wanted Valerian to “blend in” on Deadman’s Rock, but it was also clear Horner had little liking or respect for him.
The two intended to travel to a secret communications bunker that Han maintained. As they walked, they were attacked by Scarlip and some other hoodlums. Rather than lay low, Valerian used his knife skills to intimidate them. They weren’t bothered by any more such criminals. At the bunker, Valerian got in touch with Dr. Narud and asked him to visit them there.
The rebels were betrayed by Han’s lieutenant, Gary Crane. When Valerian, Raynor, Horner and Dr. Narud all met in a bar, Crane made his move. Crane’s men were surprised by Valerian and Raynor’s combat skills, enabling them to escape in the short term. The quartet stumbled into an abandoned prefab home. As their attackers threw gas grenades at them, Han got in touch and told them of an escape route she had kept secret even from Crane. The rebels escaped, fleeing the planet.
Kerrigan was upset about Dr. Narud, and was refusing to allow him to do anything more than preliminary tests. Nonetheless the rebels headed toward Space Station Prometheus in the hard-to-navigate Kirkegaard Belt.
Dr. Narud didn’t want to give up any information about the station, and was becoming unpopular on Valerian’s bridge and in his sickbay. Valerian managed to temporarily calm Narud’s overzealous attitude.
When the rebels arrived aboard the space station, Narud’s men met them… with weapons. Valerian once again had to calm Narud down. Together they discussed the xel’naga artifact. Narud said it was a weapon, and deinfesting Kerrigan wasn’t its primary purpose.
Valerian had a dinner with Narud and Raynor. (The other visiting rebels, Kerrigan and Egon Stetmann, were elsewhere on the station.) However, Narud had been in touch with Arcturus Mengsk and tried to ambush them. Valerian’s fighting skills helped the rebels escape, but now they were trapped on the station. Worse, their vessels had been sabotaged by Narud’s men and were under attack by the Dominion fleet.
The rebels got lost within the station until Valerian recalled his work in helping design it. Meanwhile, they were attacked by a pair of hybrids. Valerian knew of them, but didn’t know they had become this advanced.
During the struggle, Arcturus personally contacted them, saying he would let them live if they handed over Kerrigan. This prompted Kerrigan to fly into a psychic rage. She almost killed Valerian in her fit, due to his Mengsk heritage.
The quartet made it to the artifact room, but it was gone. They found it, and Narud, in the loading bay. Valerian participated in the battle against Narud’s troops and another hybrid. However, Narud escaped. Kerrigan’s powers frightened everyone and killed a rebel who had arrived to rescue them.
Hope and Vengeance[edit | edit source]
“Why did the Overmind spare her? Did it know that it was preparing the very instrument that would help to bring about its own destruction? Hell, did the Confederacy know? Would I know?”
– Valerian’s reflections(src)
Afterwards, Kerrigan fell into a coma while Valerian studied her. He intended to discern if Kerrigan had any humanity left as a promise to Raynor. Kerrigan gradually recovered. Objecting to the research, she tried to break out of the facility. Valerian threatened to terminate her with explosives, but Kerrigan had reconfigured them to turn on him. She then told him he couldn’t learn any more from her.
Heart of the Swarm[edit | edit source]
“I was wrong about you, Valerian. You’re not like your father. I’ll give you your chance. Make the most of it.”
– Kerrigan to Valerian, before her assault on Korhal(src)
On the run from his own father, Valerian helped the Raiders and Kerrigan seek refuge in the Umojan Protectorate. At Research Station EB-103, Valerian organized tests to determine Kerrigan’s control over zerg. However, Kerrigan chose to unleash her zerglings upon the lab equipment to prove to Valerian that the zerg could not be controlled.
Kerrigan lifts Valerian by the neck
Subsequently, the lab was under attack by the Dominion. Both Valerian and Kerrigan made it to the Hyperion, Raynor was unfortunately left behind. Kerrigan used her psionic powers to choke Valerian for abandoning Raynor. As the Dominion Fleet appeared and opened fire on the Raiders’ fleet, Kerrigan released Valerian when Captain Matt Horner ordered the Raiders to flee the system. Horner then hailed the Dominion to inform them of Valerian’s presence. However, Valerian informed Horner that his father would be willing to sacrifice even his own son to ensure Kerrigan’s death. The Raiders fleet made the jump to warp space, Kerrigan departed to find Raynor.
Valerian was aboard the Hyperion when Kerrigan, restored as the Primal Queen of Blades, resumed contact with the Raiders. She relayed that Raynor was alive and being secretly held hostage by the Dominion. The Raiders fought Mira Han and gained custody of Colonel Orlan to hack the Dominion’s deep-encryption network. Though Orlan initially refused to aid them, Valerian was able to gain his cooperation by threatening to hand him back to Mira. Valerian shielded Orlan from Kerrigan’s impatience and gained her respect; the prince refused to rush the hacker and risk failure.
With Orlan’s assistance, the Raiders located Raynor on the prison ship Moros. Hyperion and Kerrigan’s leviathan intercepted the ship at a refuelling stop at Atlas Station. Valerian relayed tactical information as Kerrigan boarded the prison ship and freed Raynor.
Discussing the coming invasion of Korhal
As the Swarm prepared to move on Korhal, Valerian told Kerrigan he accepted his father had to be removed from power and tactfully approved of her goal to kill the emperor; Kerrigan endorsed Valerian as the next emperor. The prince pleaded for the Swarm to avoid unnecessary civilian casualties; Kerrigan acceded, and commented that he was indeed different from his father. Valerian and Horner evacuated civilians during the invasion.
Assuming the Throne[edit | edit source]
“The days of military oppression, forced labor, and unlawful conscription are coming to an end. I have already begun establishing new regulations and limitations for the senate to weed out corruption and ensure that it stands as a clear and unwavering voice of the people. Our military will be re-purposed to protect the people instead of proscribing them.This new order of rule, this new Dominion, shall be maintained by liberty and justice to the citizens of mankind, those courageous pioneers who have fought through horrors unimaginable to become stewards of this distant end of the universe. Never again will fear, greed, or alien threats force us from our rightful place in the Koprulu sector, or from the sacred human desire for freedom.”
Valerian, now emperor
Following the death of his father and the departure of the zerg, Valerian assumed the throne and became the new Emperor of the Dominion. Working alongside Raynor, he immediately went to work rebuilding the Dominion, and enacted new laws to eliminate the corruption and abuse of power that had occurred during his father’s reign. These reforms included abolishing forced military conscription and slave labor, and a more evenhanded approach to the treatment of the Dominion Marine Corps. Valerian dissolved the resocialization program and sought new roles for those who had been subject to the procedure. Particular attention was made to reform the Ghost Program. He also reorganized a number of his father’s secret projects, such as Project Blackstone.
Legacy of the Void[edit | edit source]
Korhal[edit | edit source]
Valerian on Korhal
Valerian was present on Korhal when it came under attack by the Moebius Corps, who were in league with Amon. When the Hierarch Artanis and his Daelaam arrived on Korhal, Valerian gladly accepted their help in repelling the Moebius Corps and recovering the Keystone. At Bennet Port, he personally took command of a group of terran forces, and with the aid of Jim Raynor and Artanis, retrieved the Keystone from Moebius Corps and pushed them and their hybrid masters off of Korhal. In the aftermath, Valerian saw firsthand and beheld the destruction the group had wrought against Augustgrad, and he spent time seeing to the dead and wounded.
The Vermillion Problem[edit | edit source]
During the war, the Dominion world of Veridia Prime was invaded by the forces of Amon and became unstable. Valerian tasked allied commanders with stabilizing the planet and preventing its destruction. The commanders were successful in this operation.
Amon’s End[edit | edit source]
Through the rest of the End War, Valerian’s Terran Dominion survived through constant aggression by the corrupted Golden Armada. After the Daelaam banished Amon back into the Void, Dominion forces under Jim Raynor and Matt Horner were dispatched to aid Sarah Kerrigan in defeating Amon once and for all. This operation was successful, and Amon was slain.
With Amon’s defeat, Valerian and Horner ushered the Dominion to an age of peace and prosperity. The Dominion and the protoss held cooperative talks to ensure an alliance between the Daelaam and the Dominion. In 2508, Valerian declared that open elections would be held within the Dominion.
Memories and Secrets[edit | edit source]
“My father…trafficked in shadows and lies. In treachery, duplicity, and deceit. His transgressions proved to be his undoing. I’ve taken steps to distance myself from his regrettable legacy.”
Valerian gives Nova her mission
After the End War, Valerian Mengsk continued rebuilding the Terran Dominion, but kept his connections with the Moebius Foundation and their hybrid breeding program a secret, as he though it would damage his people’s trust in him. However, the Umojan Protectorate discovered files connecting him to the Moebius Foundation, which were kept in disks on a space fortress named the Keep. Valerian called in ghost agent Nova Terra, and ordered her to infiltrate the Keep and retrieve the disks.
Nova’s operation was successful, and she was able to disable the keep and retrieve the disks without being caught by the Umojans. Valerian was relieved, but expressed regret about his connection, and his fear of becoming like his father. Nova asked to speak freely, then told him that she was once told that memories may be buried, but that did not mean they were gone, and Nova suspected the same thing went for secrets. Valerian dismissed her, then looked solemnly at the disks.
Valerian addresses the press
Later, Valerian released the disks for all to see, and on UNN confirmed his connection to the Moebius Foundation and expressed disappointment in having failed his people. However, he stated the Dominion would no longer be founded on lies and secrets, and he would be transparent with his people.
Insurgency[edit | edit source]
Enemy Intelligence[edit | edit source]
“I am not the man my father was. I wish to serve a greater good. I believe we have that much in common.”
Valerian proved to be a fair and just ruler, and gave his people more freedoms, such as freedom of the press. However, that same freedom allowed his enemies to question his actions with impunity. The criticism was more intense than he had anticipated. He wanted his government to be progressive and fair, but now he was struggling to continue legitimate reign at all. He began to worry that not only were his enemies speaking out against him publicly, but that they would form alliances against him behind his back.
Valerian meets with Nova
After Agent Nova Terra escaped from the base of the Defenders of Man, a terrorist group unsatisfied with the regime of Valerian Mengsk, he met with her to debrief her. He stated that they were much alike, wanting to serve the greater good, and offered her his Covert Ops Crew and a stealth ship, the Griffin, if she offered her loyalty. She accepted, and he introduced Reigel, her new weapons and technology specialist. He used a technology to attempt to regain her lost memories, and when she obtained images of Tarsonis City, Valerian ordered her to investigate.
After the zerg attacked Tyrador IX when the Defenders of Man planted a psi emitter on the planet, Reigel reported Nova’s contributions to the rescue of civilians to Valerian. However, this did not stop the public perception from rallying behind the Defenders of Man. Massive protests began outside of Korhal Palace, calling for Valerian to step down as Emperor. After Nova retrieved terrazine to undo her memory wipe, she contacted Valerian, who insisted she proceed with caution. He was then rushed off by Horner, who stated that he had to leave, as the protests had begun to intensify.
Valerian contacts Davis
Later, Nova discovered the identity of the Defenders of Man’s leader; General Carolina Davis. She brought this to Valerian, who was stunned, as she was a friend to the Mengsk Dynasty. Nova said she would kill Davis, but Valerian insisted she would not, and she would follow the plan he laid out. Nova reluctantly agreed. Valerian then contacted Davis, stating his intention to step down. It was decided that he would give the announcement on Vardona.
Valerian’s Gambit[edit | edit source]
“The Dominion has always had a strong leader. Stepping into my father’s role was challenging, and I often relied on others to support me. As General Davis did, when the Defenders of Man began spreading disinformation about my response to the zerg attacks. I take these allegations seriously. My administration has completed a thorough investigation of the Defenders of Man. The truth is, they used psi-emitters to incite the feral zerg to attack, and they have executed unprovoked strikes on the protoss as well. Our evidence is undeniable, the evidence we recovered was issued by none other than General Carolina Davis. She is hereby under arrest and charged with treason against the Terran Dominion. I look forward to announcing the trial date shortly.”
Valerian explaining his plan to Nova
On Vardona, Valerian ordered Nova to infiltrate Davis’s compound while he made a speech to the people. She would capture Davis, and bring her before the people, where Valerian would announce his findings about the Defenders and her arrest. Nova was successful, and captured Davis. To the people of Vardona, Valerian stated that he took the accusations made by the Defenders very seriously, and said he had evidence Davis was behind both the Defenders and the planting of psi emitters to lure feral zerg to Dominion planets. Davis was brought before the crowd in handcuffs, and Valerian announced he would put her on trial. However, the Tal’darim Death Fleet under Highlord Alarak arrived on Vardona, seeking revenge on the Defenders of Man for their attacks on their outposts and fulfilling their bargain to Nova. Valerian ordered a defense of the city, and Matt Horner organized the remaining Dominion forces to repel the Tal’darim. He also ordered for Davis to be taken aboard a Dominion ship for safe keeping. Between the Covert Ops Crew, the Dominion Fleet, Dominion ground forces and low ranking Defenders of Man who were unaware of Davis’s agenda, the Tal’darim were repelled from the city with heavy casulties. However, in the chaos Davis took the Medusa and escaped.
Valerian contacted Nova, and stated that she had to take Davis in alive, as he would put her on trial as it was fair. Nova disagreed as she had escaped before, but Valerian stated that it was an order. Nova and Horner trailed her to the Cerros Shipyards, where Davis was making a final stand to cripple the Dominion Fleet using a war machine named the Xanthos. Nova and Horner were able to disable the Xanthos, but Nova defied Valerian’s direct order and killed Davis.
Valerian and Horner consider the issue of Nova
Later, Valerian and Horner watched UNN aboard the Bucephalus, seeing that popular opinion began to turn back to Valerian as documents were revealed about the Defenders’ true actions, and that the people even supported Valerian using lethal force against Davis. Horner tracked Nova’s ship, as she had now been labeled a fugitive for defying orders, and asked what Valerian wanted to do with her. Valerian said to let her go, for now.
The One-Day War[edit | edit source]
“Raynor had plenty of evidence the protoss weren’t to be trusted, but he listened to Tassadar’s story, and his version of the protoss’s reasoning, and decided to take a chance. Right now, we’re standing in the same place he was. We’ve seen the devastation the zerg can cause, and yet we hear Zagara tell us the Swarm have changed. I’m willing to take that leap of trust. Are you?”
By 2511, the Dominion was undergoing a massive famine and drought, with reconstruction efforts after the End War struggling. Valerian met with Envoy Louise DuPre of the Umojan Protectorate in the hope of gaining support from them, but found he was still seen as a threat by the Umojans. The meeting was interrupted by the arrival of a leviathan in the Korhal system. Aboard was a queen named Mukav, which requested Valerian go to the formerly purified planet of Gystt to aid Overqueen Zagara, new leader of the Zerg Swarm. He, Matt Horner, and one of his military assistants Colonel Abram Cruikshank were all skeptical of the true motivations of Zagara, but decided that it would be best to try for peace.
Valerian and his forces arrived on Gystt to find that it had been regrown, and a Daelaam fleet under Artanis had arrived prepared to purify it. Zagara extended an offer of peace to them both, saying she could regrow their worlds as she had Gystt. She requested Artanis and Valerian meet her on the surface. Though both skeptical of a trap, Valerian convinced Artanis to come with him to meet with her, on the condition they could send survey teams to the surface. This was agreed upon, and Valerian met her in a large zerg structure on the surface.
Early in the meeting, Artanis revealed to Valerian his anger that Kerrigan had been made into a xel’naga, and that the flora of the planet had xel’naga essence in them. Valerian was then contacted by his survey team, revealing they had been attacked by the zerg. Valerian confronted Zagara about the situation, and told him that his survey team had crossed the border between zones of broodmother control, and that it would not happen again. She also revealed that Kerrigan had gifted the freedom of choice, and xel’naga essence to use to regenerate the planet.
However, the meeting took a turn for a sour when the survey team came in contact with a strange zerg breed named the chitha that attacked them, and destroyed a nest of zerg creatures in sacs that looked related to them. Enraged, Zagara revealed that those sac creatures were adostra, and the ones who regenerated the planet. When Zagara began to take a more hostile stance, Artanis stormed out, but Valerian refused to leave, continuing his discussion with Zagara to find out more about the adostra. He found there was only a limited amount of the xel’naga essence, and that Abathur had created the creatures, but could not absorb them into the Swarm.
Valerian then got note that a protoss force had been attacked near the second of the three adostra nests. He sent Colonel Cruikshank to the second point, and the survey team to the third and final nest. Zagara bid him the best of luck in finding the solution, and the two parted ways. After the second nest was destroyed by a protoss disruptor, Valerian deployed a psi emitter to lure the zerg away from the third nest. However, this seemed to backfire as mutalisks took a hold of the survey team’s dropship, and they could not turn the device off, so Valerian launched a nuclear missile at the emitter. This earned him ire from Matt Horner, but destroyed the zerg nearest the emitter.
After Cruikshank defended the third hive from the zerg wave and the survey team secured the final adostra point, Valerian arrived, but was only now was beginning to figure out that Abathur was likely behind the chitha and the renegade broods, and he desired the destruction of the adostra and war between the zerg and the other sector powers. Valerian outfitted the survey team’s ghost, Tanya Caulfield with a communications transmitter in the shape of a C-10 rifle that could penetrate the communications blackout of the chitha. He then asked Zagara to meet him aboard the Hyperion, allowing the survey team to search her leviathan while it was in orbit, where he suspected Abathur was hiding. Valerian was correct, and Zagara and the research team were successful in capturing Abathur and killing the chitha.
With Abathur’s plan foiled, Valerian could now focus on diplomacy between the Daelaam and Zerg Swarm. The Dominion formed the Zerg Compliance Ground-Force Unit, suspected to help facilitate relations between the three powers as they discussed how to best use the adostra to aid in reconstruction efforts.
Peace Tensions[edit | edit source]
“Convenient. And now the protoss have indefinitely postponed our talks. Is this what we fought for?”
Valerian hears of the battle at Adena
Some time after the One-Day War, Valerian was informed of a skirmish on the planet Adena that caused the deaths of many protoss and terrans, causing the protoss to withdraw from peace talks. A report made by Captain Hogarth claimed that a mercenary had bribed the marines to violate the DMZ, and that the battle had begun as soon as they touched down on the surface. Furthermore, there were no survivors. Valerian noted how “convenient” this was for Hogarth (in that there were no witnesses, and that the report absolved him of any wrongdoing), but was left to reflect on the deteriorating situation between the Dominion and Daelaam. He openly wondered if this was really the peace they had won.
Valerian is highly knowledgeable. He wears his hair past regulation length and is considered handsome and arrogant. His great passion is archaeology, especially the study of xel’naga temples. He is also a skilled swordsman and has an interest in the of weapons and fighting styles of ancient Earth being skilled both in sword fighting and three separate martial arts. Valerian had a deep desire to become a great ruler like his father, but also wanted to become a better man. While the specter of his father’s rule hung over him after he took the throne of the Terran Dominion, he constantly maintained this strive to be a better and more fair ruler than Arcturus.
Although he proved that he has the ability to be ruthless, Valerian holds liberty to be a fundamental human right; a belief passed on to him by his mother. Unlike his father, Valerian admired Jim Raynor and how he proved to be a thorn at his father’s side despite the odds. Valerian had a deep rooted classical concept of honor that he learned from his instructor Master Miyamoto, and had an instant dislike for men he viewed as “dishonorable.”
Since he was a child, Valerian had a deep love of aliens, even before the discovery of the protoss and zerg. As a child he idolized his father, and desperately wanted his attention, but was scorned for not being what his father wanted. He took his stern face and willpower from his father, but a gentleness from his mother.
- Judging by the way he wears his sword on his right side in the artwork, Valerian appears to be left-handed. It also suggests that this sword is intended for use in combat, as most modern militaries always use the right hand for sword drill.
- Valerian appears as the red terran faction in RISK: StarCraft, and serves as the faction’s hero piece.
- Valerian has been referred to as “Junior,” “Scooter,” and “Princess” by Raynor, Swann, and Mira Han, respectively, though by the time of the Dominion attack in Heart of the Swarm, Raynor seems to trust Valerian enough to regularly refer to him by his real name.
- Valerian’s character shares many similar traits with Anduin Wrynn from the Warcraft universe. As adults, both share a similar hairstyle, while inheriting their hair color and benevolent personalities from their deceased mothers. Both were crowned heir princes and ascended to their respective thrones after their fathers passed away. Both characters also share the same voice actor (Josh Keaton).
Character Creation[edit | edit source]
“I remember the first picture that I saw of him and there he was. You know, this stunning young man with this one wild lock of hair and it was really cool. It’s like, I made that.”
– Christie Golden on Valerian’s conception(src)
Valerian Mengsk first appeared in Christie Golden‘s novel, StarCraft: The Dark Templar Saga: Firstborn, and she influenced his development. Blizzard Entertainment envisioned Valerian to young, blond and have gray eyes; Golden built upon this by having his first novel appearance be in military uniform and with longer-than-regulation hair. This was later reflected in artwork for StarCraft II.
The direction Valerian’s character development was still uncertain. Golden was instructed to write him as neither “good” nor “bad” so future character development could realistically go either way. Valerian’s personality included some of Golden’s ideas, including his love of history and archaeology, and his love of weapons from bygone eras.
Valerian was brought in because Arcturus Mengsk’s story had already been told. The storyline of StarCraft II raised questions whether the son would be the same way as his father, or be more benevolent and learn from his father’s mistakes.
Valerian was previously named Augustus. The name was eventually used for his great-grandfather.Augustus was also the first Emperor of Rome, and the name was also used as an honorific for later emperors. Valerian is also the name of two Roman emperors.