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Kiro
12-01-2008, 16:14
Is it just me, or has GW tried to pull a quick one on us?
Going by the previous edition of the Tau codex, it seems that "old" for a Tau is around 40 years old, which lends mystery to the character of O'Shovah, who's seemingly been alive for a couple of centuries, something impossible for a Tau seeing as though we have no evidence to indicate they have rejuvenat technology (or the mindset to use it).
The Tau Empire codex introduces us to Commander Shadowsun. Now at first glance I thought it was bad editing - GW aren't exactly seamless when it comes to copy-and-pasting new/altered sentences or paragraphs of fluff into older material. But the more I read on, the more I came to realise the implication was there, it wasn't just me: Shadowsun and Farsight were contemporaries!
How could that be? I thought, Farsight, if he's still the same Tau, would be over 200 years old, the same for Shadowsun, but no mention is made of this oddity in the codex.
Initially I filed the thought under the 'things GW need to sort out, but in the meantime consider it irrelevant' section of my mental filing cabinet. However, the idea jumped from implicit to explicit in Star of Damocles (tedious book, no?) where Shadowsun is standing alongside Farsight.
What in the hell is going on!?
Your thoughts/opinions/gaseous expulsions?

CELS
12-01-2008, 16:23
Typically, unless GW makes a clear effort to hint when there's something strange going on, they screwed up :D

But I could be wrong. I never read very much about the Tau.

MrBigMr
12-01-2008, 16:28
GW is changing their fluff?! The heresy!

But yes, it seems GW has taken back all they have previously said. Farsight isn't unnaturally old anymore. He's just a normal Tau commander gone rogue. It also seems that the age of the Tau has been increased, as in Xenology the Ethereal is around 49 years old (61 Tau ones, or Tau'cyrs) and I don't remember it ever being said that she was particulary old.

Stuff like this happens all the time.

Kiro
12-01-2008, 16:38
Well shoot, if it's a plain old retcon, that's fine by me...

Mechanicus
12-01-2008, 16:40
Well, it makes more sense all round if the forty years bit was a mistake. I'd add another zero to the end of the initial estimate of and leave it. :)

reds8n
12-01-2008, 17:41
Perhaps the space travel they've done has had some affect here as well ?

I know they've only done short warp jumps but that can make a difference too.

Axel
12-01-2008, 17:41
Probably the first edition was compiled from a faulty Imperial Xenos report. You know that these get edited by various organizations before they are released, among them the Inquisition and GW. Naturally some of the info that reaches us mere mortal customers is subject to heavy propaganda and thus subject to mistakes.

On the other hand, what is written is true. Its just the history that is unreliable and prone to changes.

Chaplain of Chaos
12-01-2008, 17:46
I was talking to a Tau player friend, and it was theorized that he was in fact 200 years old and his odd survivability are linked to his mysterious Dawn Blade.

Or perhaps he pulled a dread pirate roberts on us and the name of Farsight and the suite has been passed down to rogue commanders.

MadDogMike
12-01-2008, 18:29
Perhaps the space travel they've done has had some affect here as well ?

I know they've only done short warp jumps but that can make a difference too.

It's been stated that Tau do use cryogenic suspension for long distance trips (according to Forgeworld and AI, at least) so that could have an impact on the aging. I'm pretty sure though that the Tau do live longer than 40 years normally and it's just a fluff change :D. Truth be told it's kind of ridiculous for them to have the biotech they've been shown to have and NOT live longer; if they can do biotic limbs they can probably handle things like artificial hearts and such.

Damien 1427
12-01-2008, 19:04
It might simply be a title, handed down in secret to a trusted advisor when the last one dies. Gives Farsight an air of immortality, making him more of a threat to the authority of the Ethereals.

Much like the Arch-Arsonist.

Kiro
12-01-2008, 19:07
It's been stated that Tau do use cryogenic suspension for long distance trips (according to Forgeworld and AI, at least) so that could have an impact on the aging

Ahhh, that I did not know, thanks for pointing that out! :)
I'm glad the Tau aren't so short-lived anymore. Although it made a contrast to the other races and their centuries-long lifespans, I still thought it was a little...dumb.

Bregalad
12-01-2008, 22:40
The Farsight thing might just be different people in the same recognizable Crisis Suit, always taking the role of Farsight then (like in the comic and movie "The Phantom"). But seeing the fluff for Shadowsun now, GW just seems to have changed the fluff and put all expansions closer to each other (can't find explicit years in the new Codex).

Gensuke626
12-01-2008, 23:00
Or perhaps he pulled a dread pirate roberts on us and the name of Farsight and the suite has been passed down to rogue commanders.

My story touched him so that he took me on as his personal Valet. Everynight he would tell me "Good Work Kais, Sleep Well. I'll most likely Kill you in the morning."

burning crome
12-01-2008, 23:02
is'nt he the one with the necon(or is it chaos) blade thing? that might have some thing to do with it

zerachiel
12-01-2008, 23:15
Although it made a contrast to the other races and their centuries-long lifespans, I still thought it was a little...dumb.

The Tau philosophy revolved around advancing their race as a whole over the prosperity of each individual, so it's quite possible that while they COULD have such tech, they choose not to work on it, or reserve it for the select members most capable of advancing the Greater Good if they don't bite it early.

Chaos and Evil
13-01-2008, 00:13
GW forgot about the Tau's max age when writing the book.

Teh horror.

Hellebore
13-01-2008, 00:41
Isn't the statement something like "shadowsun was a student of Puretide" rather than anything more concrete?

If that were the case then I'm a student of Sun Tzu doesn't mean I lived at the time he was around...

I have a feeling though that there is more to it than that.

However, it doesn't preclude 40 being old age for SOME tau - they have distinct castes.

Maybe the fire warriors have a longer natural age than the others - maybe the 'valued' leaders are given life extension therapy like Imperials get.

It isn't completely irredemable.

Hellebore

GreenDracoBob
13-01-2008, 01:47
Also, wasn't there something about Aun'va being around forever? Like something along the lines that he has led the empire since the first sphere expansion?

MrBigMr
13-01-2008, 01:49
My recollection of the new codex is a bit hazy, but I remember the Shadowsun bit saying that when Farsight turned rogue, Shadosun led the destruction of all the monuments put up in honor of Farsights. Or something similar. Would suggest that Shadowsun was already a soldier when Farsight turned.

Iracundus
13-01-2008, 02:03
The book Star of Damocles portraying the Damocles Crusade has a character meet Puretide, and alongside him are Farsight and Shadowsun. This creates problems of continuity given that the Damocles Crusade was at the time of Hive Fleet Behemoth roughly 200 years before the 40K "present".

While Farsight's survival might be chalked up to his Dawn Blade or a line of successors taking on the name and identity, the problem of Shadowsun remains. Either she has had rejuvenation therapy, was in stasis, or has been affected by the time distortion of interstellar travel (ie spend 1 day in warp or skimming along the warp interface in the case of Tau while months or years pass in realspace).

cpl_hicks
13-01-2008, 02:03
just a question are we talking Tau years or earth years, or what ever planet they meet on years.
Cause if a Tau year is five times a human year, a Tau would recongnise themselves as being 40 using their calendar, but using a human calendar they would be 200.

Iracundus
13-01-2008, 02:08
The first Tau Codex states the Tau year or tau'cyr lasts 297.74 Terran days. So a 40 Tau year old Tau would be less than 40 Terran years old.

chromedog
13-01-2008, 02:24
Perhaps the reason tau advance so quickly (to our eyes) is precisely because they don't live as long. The whole "light that burns hotter, burns shorter" kind of thing. It gives them the drive to work harder and make their efforts count for the future generations.

Johnnyfrej
13-01-2008, 04:21
Perhaps the reason tau advance so quickly (to our eyes) is precisely because they don't live as long. The whole "light that burns hotter, burns shorter" kind of thing. It gives them the drive to work harder and make their efforts count for the future generations.
Well said. The Tau have yet to master their primative selves like we most pure and superior humans have. Why, someone with enough juvilants can live to be over 600 terran years old (Eisenhorn is the only one who comes to mind). BTW I'm not talking about stasis fields or dreadnaughts, though they further prove how much the Tau have yet too learn.

Brother Siccarius
13-01-2008, 06:17
Also, wasn't there something about Aun'va being around forever? Like something along the lines that he has led the empire since the first sphere expansion?

They also had a kroot shaper from when the Tau and kroot first allied. Also, yes, Aun'va is that old. He looks it too, for a tau.

As to Farsight, yeah, so he's still probably alive somewhat. I also thought the latest fluff about his forces would have gotten around faster by now. The Ork codex pretty well defines the instances leading up to the loss of contact with the Sept worlds. Loss of Etherial and upper echelons happened when his fight against the orks turned way south, and they destroyed Farsight's command post and took most of his army's equipment. They've been fighting a despirate battle ever since against the ork WAAAGH! threat.
-----
It's possible that contact was never truely lost with him, but that they support him in the background. Going out and supporting his actions now would be telling the rest of the sept worlds that there's a giant horde of orks that've been pushing the allied Tau armies past the eastern border.

At the very least, just passing the title is a bit more pomp and circumstance than you'd be able to get when you're fighting off the ork invaders via gorilla style warfare. Spending all your time in a battlesuit that connects directly to your spinal collumn doesn't exactly require a young body.

Bregalad
13-01-2008, 12:23
"Star of Damocles" was written by Andy Hoare, who is also the author of the Codex. And in the novel Farsight and Shadowsun stand next to their teacher Puretide. The Codex also hints at them being contemporary. I take it as a fluff error, that doesn't affect game play.

MrBigMr
13-01-2008, 13:10
This creates problems of continuity given that the Damocles Crusade was at the time of Hive Fleet Behemoth roughly 200 years before the 40K "present".
Maybe that's the answer. I mean, not everything in 40K happens in the year 40 999. Maybe the first codex featured Farsight as a present day incarnation, while the current one takes him back about 200 years when Shadowsun was also around?

So in the year 40 999 Farsight has already lived for 200 years where as Shadowsun would already be long gone.

If you think that's strange, explain how you can have Macharius in your IG? Didn't he die like 4000 years ago?

Iracundus
13-01-2008, 13:38
Shadowsun led the 3rd Sphere Expansion which only occurred in the aftermath of the Imperium drawing forces away to meet Abaddon's 13th Black Crusade, which occurred in the "present" year 999. So Shadowsun is still alive and active.

Macharius was never marketed as an active character of the present 40K era. He was always a historical character.

Mr_Rose
13-01-2008, 14:36
Could it be that Tau age differently depending on their gender? If Farsight and Shadowsun were contemporaries back then, could Farsight not have gone on to become the generational hero of the Farsight Enclaves and/or been warped by the dawnblade whilst Shadowsun went on ageing naturally for a female Tau (who live much much longer than the males for lots of perfectly sensible biological reasons).

AndyH
13-01-2008, 16:11
I vote for the sadly unexplored explanation that it was in fact written entirely deliberately, and said explanation, though hidden between the lines in both versions of the codex and in other places, has yet to be revealed (if it ever will be!).

And thanks for the review :D

Andy

Kiro
13-01-2008, 16:20
Isn't the statement something like "shadowsun was a student of Puretide" rather than anything more concrete?

If that were the case then I'm a student of Sun Tzu doesn't mean I lived at the time he was around...

See, that's what I intially thought, but as Iracundus says, Star of Damocles explicitly says Shadowsun and Farsight are contemporaries.
Why does everyone keep talking about Farsight? I'm talking about Shadowsun! :p

Decius
13-01-2008, 16:49
I'm no expert on Tau, but does it seems reasonable that 40 years old is simply the natural life span of the average Tau? A whopping 200 could be the medically altered life span of a Tau who's death would not benefit the greater good. Unless of course there is fluff out there that says that Tau don't have or use rejuvenate processes.

For the record, your average imperial citizen's life span would be about 40 years or so (industrial poverty and all that). Unless you were rich, in which case it could be more than 200 years. We're not so different, them and us...

Brother Siccarius
13-01-2008, 23:46
I vote for the sadly unexplored explanation that it was in fact written entirely deliberately, and said explanation, though hidden between the lines in both versions of the codex and in other places, has yet to be revealed (if it ever will be!).

And thanks for the review :D

Andy


Seconded! :D

Hellebore
13-01-2008, 23:56
Seconded! :D

You can't be serious!?

We all know the games developers don't know what they're doing...:p

Hellebore

Imperialis_Dominatus
14-01-2008, 00:45
Could it be that Tau age differently depending on their gender? If Farsight and Shadowsun were contemporaries back then, could Farsight not have gone on to become the generational hero of the Farsight Enclaves and/or been warped by the dawnblade whilst Shadowsun went on ageing naturally for a female Tau (who live much much longer than the males for lots of perfectly sensible biological reasons).

True, but it seems odd that the difference would be so high and remain unmentioned in fluff.

I chalk another one up to GW's lack of editing and source comparision.

And if they wrote out that Farsight is so long lived, I am saddened that another piece of evidence for his corruption has been abolished.

Chaplain of Chaos
14-01-2008, 00:53
I always thought of Farsight as the one guy who could be considered good. ya know, threw off the phermone control of the Ethereals and began thinking on his own for once.

Iracundus
14-01-2008, 01:19
However it seems the best he could manage by "thinking on his own" was to establish a military dictatorship, with the other castes being the exploited underclass.

Brother Siccarius
14-01-2008, 04:01
However it seems the best he could manage by "thinking on his own" was to establish a military dictatorship, with the other castes being the exploited underclass.

See one of my posts above, he hasn't set up a military dictatorship so much. The Ork WAAAGH! he was so well known for 'defeating' (and which made his career) came back to bite him with Mork-ish underhandedness. He was beaten back and is fighting a losing battle against it on the Eastern Border of the Tau Empire. It's all in the Ork Codex under the War of Dakka!.

There's also been nothing to say that he ever set up a military dictatorship, just that all contact with Farsight's expedition was lost. A lot of the "Military Dictatorship" idea was thinking further into it than was given.

It's funny. So many either look at Farsight as being "Good", throwing off the ethereals, or "Bad", being fully corrupted by some outside force, when he ended up "Neutral", or neither as he's the same guy he was before.

Iracundus
14-01-2008, 04:29
There is actual evidence for Farsight's less than shiny ways: his forces have been spotted as mercenaries for other aliens as reported in the first Tau Codex.

His quote in the 2nd Tau Codex is also a firm statement of his rejection of the ideals of the Greater Good and its unity of the Tau castes.

The Orange
14-01-2008, 04:39
It could be that GW just went back in the timeline with the 2nd codex. I.E. Farsight will eventually become over 200 years old. IIRC their was nothing to indicate when he was stated as being over 200 years old. That IMO is the simplest conclusion.


I vote for the sadly unexplored explanation that it was in fact written entirely deliberately, and said explanation, though hidden between the lines in both versions of the codex and in other places, has yet to be revealed (if it ever will be!).

And thanks for the review :D

Andy

Oh snap! :eek: It's a daemon sword (of khorne) right? :angel: Seriously though, give us more fluff man, can't wait for the 3rd book of the rogue trader series :p.

Kiro
14-01-2008, 14:32
And thanks for the review :D


Sorry, Andy, but I bought Star of Damocles just for some new info on the Tau.

Shadowsun, people...bring it back to Shadowsun...

Adra
14-01-2008, 15:15
I call it the Budgie effect….every time one dies they just replace it….like Dante….

Bregalad
14-01-2008, 17:31
I always thought of Farsight as the one guy who could be considered good. ya know, threw off the phermone control of the Ethereals and began thinking on his own for once.
Depends on whether you find brutal massacres good ;)

Xisor
14-01-2008, 19:08
It strikes me that GW is very obviously reworking the timeline. I'm unsure as to the meaning of Andy's comments (though my gut reaction is a "They've got it covered"). Anyhow: Damocles Edition of The Imperium Infantryman's Uplifting Primer, seemingly distributed before the crusade is dated: 949.M41for the revised edition (i.e. this edition).

It really does make a bit more sense. That is:
- <950M41 Second Phase Expansion(?) (Or is this after the crusade?)
- ~950M41 Damocles Gulf Crusade
- ~970M41 First Hero Class Cruisers come into production
- ~999M41 We start to see the 'Commerce Protection Fleet' of Forgeworld and the Third Phase Expansion

In any case, it really speeds up the Tau's expansion. On the otherhand it condenses them into a tiny period of the history of 40k. For the Imperium and Chaos we have ten thousand years to play with. With the Tyranids its a bit blurry. With the Necrons, Eldar and Orks we have something in the region of ten thousand years to sixty (plus) million years. For the Tau, about a century.

The Orange
14-01-2008, 19:17
I believe the 2nd phase expansion came after the crusade. IIRC thats when they were retaking worlds taken over by the Imperium during the crusade. Though not stated it could probably be said that the Imperiums crusade squashed the Tau's first phase expansion.

Mechanicus
14-01-2008, 19:53
Xisor - I wouldn't put too much on the dates for the Primer of any edition - the original edition, quoted as being published in 945, has quotes from Yarrick from the 2nd and 3rd Armageddon Wars. ;)

In any case, I am reluctant to condense the Tau further - that would just seem pointless to me, especially given the reasonably extensive material that has featured them outside the fifty-year time period...

If forty years is taken to be true, the issue of Shadowsun, and perhaps Brightsword if he was claimed to be around then too (Farsight is more easily explained, with his many plot devices and mystery) could be explained by cryo-stasis until major battles, though I'm not keen on that.

As to Andy's comments, I'm not certain what they mean either, but perhaps I need to read Star of Damocles first...

Dangerman
14-01-2008, 20:04
It really does make a bit more sense. That is:
- <950M41 Second Phase Expansion(?) (Or is this after the crusade?)
- ~950M41 Damocles Gulf Crusade
- ~970M41 First Hero Class Cruisers come into production
- ~999M41 We start to see the 'Commerce Protection Fleet' of Forgeworld and the Third Phase Expansion

In any case, it really speeds up the Tau's expansion. On the otherhand it condenses them into a tiny period of the history of 40k. For the Imperium and Chaos we have ten thousand years to play with. With the Tyranids its a bit blurry. With the Necrons, Eldar and Orks we have something in the region of ten thousand years to sixty (plus) million years. For the Tau, about a century.

I'd been thinking about this regarding the Tau as well. Given the Tau rate of technological advancement and replacement, I would imagine that the equipment in the codex is really only 'current' for the Tau empire for a century, tops.

Epicenter
15-01-2008, 10:28
As it seems sort of fluid at the moment - I vote that there's something unusual about the particular Tau in question - all of them.

Why?

I've always found it really irritating that being an alien always means you live longer than a human being, especially in the case 40k where every alien race (save Tyranids) seem to be immortal or effectively immortal (Orks apparently live hundreds of years if they don't get knocked off fighting, which is pretty common, Eldar live for centuries or millenia on end then join the Infinity Circuit, Chaos hang out in the Eye where time means nothing, Necrons are debatable if they're alive, Dark Eldar can live forever if they keep consuming souls, etc.).

It's a tiresome plot device to make a creature seem more alien is to make hundreds of years old. That Tau only lived to be 40 Earth-years old on average was a very refreshing change for me, and I applauded GW for making the decision to make Tau not as long-lived as humans. I thought it made something about them poignant and really underlined their rapid advancement - as an earlier poster pointed out, that they don't live as long means they work harder during their brief lives to make an impact where they will at least gain a sort of immortality as having advanced the cause of the Greater Good in some large way.

I also liked the very "fantasy" idea that the elder races all lived longer, but the younger races don't live as long - humans having come later than Orks and Eldar don't live as long, and Tau coming after humans don't live as long as humans.

Of course, a Tau-playing friend of mine has a theory that says that Tau actually do live to be about 100 Earth years, but the Ethereals have deliberately shortened the lives of all Tau so no Tau under them live so long as to gain enough wisdom to break free of the control of their suspicious recent caste...

five01st
15-01-2008, 11:08
I would like to add something here, but in Codex:Tau Empire, they removed some of the fluff articles from Codex: Tau dealing with O'Shovah. In Capt. Dalmuertus' Testimony in page 51, a drunken Tau told him that O'Shovah went to recolonize some of the lost worlds, but an unexpected battle started, and the message sent back to T'au but it confused who was the enemy. In this battle, the residing Aun died. This occurred in an "Artifact World" at the edge of the Damocles Gulf. The date this data was inputed into Imperial Record was 6284996M41, if anyone knows something else close to that date.

Considering this was when O'Shovah BEGAN recolonization, this is an Artifact World close to the nearer edge Damocles Gulf Crusade and not relatively near the Farsight Enclaves. Considering both the new and the old map of the Tau Empire, the only place this can point to is Arthas-Moloch, where O'Shovah found the Dawn Blade.

Obviously these events are connected although I wonder why GW removed this article of Fluff. Now I feel cheated that I had all these weird conspiracy theories about how these events were connected, and now they're all gone.

Sidri
15-01-2008, 11:19
In xenology as far as I remember there was a question - why does Farsight still lives - he should be around 350 years old or so...

Chaos and Evil
15-01-2008, 12:40
I vote for the sadly unexplored explanation that it was in fact written entirely deliberately, and said explanation, though hidden between the lines in both versions of the codex and in other places, has yet to be revealed (if it ever will be!).

And thanks for the review :D

Andy

Damn, now I have to go look for subtlety of language in a GW Codex, this is a shocking thought! :rolleyes::D

Cheers for dropping in and being mysterious Andy. :p

Chaos and Evil
15-01-2008, 12:42
In xenology as far as I remember there was a question - why does Farsight still lives - he should be around 350 years old or so...

I'd always assumed that the name had become a hereditary title, that in a 1984-esque manner O'Shova had become the Farsight Enclave's Big Brother figure, someone to unite around, and it doesn't matter whether he's real or not as long as he pulls the society together.