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Kandarin
03-11-2007, 23:36
The four main Tau castes (Fire, Air, Earth, Water) match the four classical elements of human antiquity. Obviously this is a nice measure on GW's part, but on an 'in-story' basis, are these the actual terms for these castes? Do the Tau believe in four elements of nature and apply their metaphysical meaning to the strata of their society (thus being loosely translatable as elemental castes). Or are these classifications merely Imperial simplifications of alien words, much like the Tau vehicles named after the fish that the arid Tau homeworld does not have?

MadDoc
04-11-2007, 01:27
The terms for the five castes in Tau are:

Aun - translated as Ethereal caste

Damn four picture limit

Shas - translated as Fire caste
http://www.geocities.com/mcbuff.geo/SHAS.gif
Kor - translated as Air caste
http://www.geocities.com/mcbuff.geo/KOR.gif
Por - translated as Water caste
http://www.geocities.com/mcbuff.geo/POR.gif
Fio - translated as Earth caste
http://www.geocities.com/mcbuff.geo/FIO.gif

There appears to be some similarity between the nature of the members of each of the castes and the Element ascribed to each.

Shas are firey and passionate, Kor quite literally used to fly, Por are adaptable and "flow" around problems or slowly wear them down, Fio are sturdy and resolute and the Aun seem above everything, unreadable and slightly removed.

Or at least thats my take based on how they've been presented in the background.

A neutral shade of black.
04-11-2007, 01:59
As with 90% of alien names, the caste names aren't Tau - they're Imperial codenames.

Same reason why Tau vehicles are named after maritime creatures when they come from a desert planet.

Iracundus
04-11-2007, 02:32
I don't see where people start claiming the Tau world has no fish or oceans. It is simply described as "arid", meaning drier than average not necessarily a Dune lookalike. The ancient ancestors of the Earth caste are even described in the first Tau Codex as settling in fertile river valleys.

Kandarin
04-11-2007, 02:54
I don't see where people start claiming the Tau world has no fish or oceans. It is simply described as "arid", meaning drier than average not necessarily a Dune lookalike. The ancient ancestors of the Earth caste are even described in the first Tau Codex as settling in fertile river valleys.

Regardless of that fact, those oceans contain no Mantas, Devilfish, or Pirahnas.

MadDogMike
04-11-2007, 04:41
I don't see where people start claiming the Tau world has no fish or oceans. It is simply described as "arid", meaning drier than average not necessarily a Dune lookalike. The ancient ancestors of the Earth caste are even described in the first Tau Codex as settling in fertile river valleys.

The codex specifically states T'au "though a world of varied terrain types, large areas of its surface are arid in nature, and these are the regions in which the Tau first flourished". Though apparently this varried a bunch; the original Earth caste tribes apparently settled in "lush river valleys", while the Fire caste stayed in the (likely dry) plains the Tau originally came from.

Iracundus
04-11-2007, 04:53
Exactly, and by the time the Tau were building their anti-grav vehicles, they would have already spread across their entire world, including its coastlines. There isn't any evidence their oceans did not have life, or creatures that could be translated to mean approximately Devilfish, Manta, etc...

Bregalad
04-11-2007, 08:38
This is irrelevant, as the tank names are indeed human Imperial code names, not translation of Tau names.