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MasterDecoy
06-07-2009, 23:53
Did a search and nothing immidiatly obvious poped up but:

Do the tau worship any deity's or gods, and if so, what are their names/backgrounds?

Every other race belives in some sort of higher being but I have not read anything to indicate this is true for the tau.

Mannimarco
06-07-2009, 23:55
you havnt read it because they dont, tau dont do religion

unless you count the Aun, but thats different

MasterDecoy
06-07-2009, 23:57
seems odd to me that they are the only race that didnt question their existance and creation though.

will564752
06-07-2009, 23:59
you can question your existence and creation without reverting to religion :)

They religiously believe in the concept of the Greater Good, but it cant be described as a religion as such.

Gdolkin
07-07-2009, 00:00
The Greater Good is their religion/ideology/myth/reason for existence. I'd hazard a guess that they think they exist simply because the Greater Good requires it.
Now to leg it before completely spoiling the thread with atheist discussion of creation and existence.. Dangit, one quick one: In a massive big universe and a massive long time, something like us was bound to come up. There's no reason. It only looks so special 'cos we're the ones standing here, seeing it from here, see? The only 'meaning of life' is that we're a bunch of monkeys that evolved self-awareness and language to the point where we can ask and care about the answer to the question, 'what is the meaning of life?'.. Ain't it amazing?

Mannimarco
07-07-2009, 00:03
im gonna weigh in here and jump on the evil ethereal bandwagon (doncha just want it to be true?)

im guessing tau society actively discourages the belief in a god/religion in general, if you belive in any of that then theres a chance it will conflict with the orders from the Aun, no religion/god and the only thing you have to follow is the Aun themselves

MasterDecoy
07-07-2009, 00:46
I was just asking though becoause I was going about giving my tau names, but got stuck on the source of their culture and mythology (in relation to real world mythology).

yes Im aware the vehicles already have classification names, but i wanted more personal names. like the foehammer out of halo

MajorWesJanson
07-07-2009, 00:54
I was just asking though becoause I was going about giving my tau names, but got stuck on the source of their culture and mythology (in relation to real world mythology).

yes Im aware the vehicles already have classification names, but i wanted more personal names. like the foehammer out of halo

I'm doing Covenant-themed Tau. Similar aesthetic, similar names for vehicles and ships, even some of the units are near perfect analogues for each other.

Tau tend to use either religious terminology and jargon (even without believing in a deity) or pragmatic descriptors.

On one hand you see things like Primary Maneuver Group, Reaction Support Group, Target Acquisition Team, on the other you have things like Ennobled Sacrifice, Truth in Adversity, and Vigilant Law.

The Orange
07-07-2009, 00:55
Well unfortunately names aren't a big thing in Tau culture too. I'm not 100% clear on how it works but from what I can remember Farsight, Shadowsun, etc. get/got their names after becoming famous. It's common for some Tau to have many names which refer to their skillfulness in a particular area or their deeds, but before then their sort of just part of the crowd because the whole is great then the part. Though I'd expect the Aun to be somewhat of an exception to this given their revered position in society.

As for gods, yea sorry but they only have their ideology though it can be said that they follow it religiously. And in a supposedly equal society the Tau are the 1st class citizens because there the one's that truly believe in the "Greater Good".

Mannimarco
07-07-2009, 01:00
cool, been ages since ive read my tau codex, isnt there somthing in there about names, like the first part will be a caste, then the rank within the caste, then the sept he comes from, then any personal names which is then shortened to a common name for everyday use (and also so addressing a tau by his full name doesnt take longer than the conversation itself)

heres a site:

http://wh40k.lexicanum.com/wiki/Tau_Lexicon

so my personal favourite tau character (brightsword) name is Shas'o Tash'var Ol'nan B'kak, whic is shortened to his rank (O) and part of his sept (Tash'var) so to address brightsword it would be O'var

farsight full name is: Shas'o Vior'La Shovah Kais Mont'yr, shortened to his rank and part of his title so its O'shova

Aun'va is: Aun'o' T'au Acaya'Va'Denta

terribletrygon
07-07-2009, 02:37
The Tau don't do religion, as has been said. Why do you think they keep trying to come up with a logical explanation for the existence of Chaos Gods and Demons?

Puny Tau and their pathetic Science. It is no match for the power of the Chaos Gods.

MasterDecoy
07-07-2009, 05:14
hmm, yeah I knew about the naming structure.

Seems to me (yes, I would be fairly ignorant of the subject however) that they seem to follow a system simmilar to that of the american indians.

Eagle eye, dances with wolves, howling wind, ect, ect. however with a more science fiction'y twist.

Would you agree?

HK-47
07-07-2009, 05:52
hmm, yeah I knew about the naming structure.

Seems to me (yes, I would be fairly ignorant of the subject however) that they seem to follow a system simmilar to that of the american indians.

Eagle eye, dances with wolves, howling wind, ect, ect. however with a more science fiction'y twist.

Would you agree?

I guess, but then what would you call an earth caste or air caste member, this kinds of names are easy for the fire caste because they are out on the fount lines doing things that earn you a cool name like "Brightsword". What would you call a water caste member? Por'vre T'au Pencil Pusher?

Lothlanathorian
07-07-2009, 06:06
Por'O T'au T'op Sal'Esman Ov'Teh Y'r

will564752
07-07-2009, 09:46
The Greater Good is their religion/ideology/myth/reason for existence. I'd hazard a guess that they think they exist simply because the Greater Good requires it.
Now to leg it before completely spoiling the thread with atheist discussion of creation and existence.. Dangit, one quick one: In a massive big universe and a massive long time, something like us was bound to come up. There's no reason. It only looks so special 'cos we're the ones standing here, seeing it from here, see? The only 'meaning of life' is that we're a bunch of monkeys that evolved self-awareness and language to the point where we can ask and care about the answer to the question, 'what is the meaning of life?'.. Ain't it amazing?

There is also a lot of empirical evidence to back up the 'Argument from Design' (Doesnt even have to be a conscious, loving, creator - maybe just a 'first cause' so to speak, like Aristotles Prime Mover.)

There is also the 'Anthropic Principle' which is a plausable counter-argument to what you said :)

And isnt there an argument stating that Order can never arise out of Chaos? Quantum Physics? or am i completley wrong with that?!




Puny Tau and their pathetic Science. It is no match for the power of the Chaos Gods.

Amen!

------------------------------

The obvious reason for there being no wide-spread religion among the Tau is because of the Ethereals, there like philosopher-kings, rule and preach :)

TheBloodyFistOfKhaine
07-07-2009, 10:06
I believe that the Greater Good is a religion, a religion to me is why you think you were put on this earth for.
There doesnt need to be gods, just look at "shudder" Scientology.
Sorry guys if anyone here is Scientoligist, Im Catholic and I just dont get it.

The Tau believe they came into being to serve the Greater Good how isnt that religion.

TheBloodyFistOfKhaine
07-07-2009, 10:11
Sorry when I said im Catholic I didn't mean I think all other religions are wrong, I respect just about every religion and even some cults Jehovas Witnesses Helped my cousin fix his life up.
He was unemployed, drugged up and stuff like that, now his got a great job, wife, kid and his own house.
I know religions not for everyone but it does help some people and I think atheists should respect that.
The only two religions I dont like is Scientology because I believe you shouldn't have to pay to believe in something and Satanism.
But thats like the Imperium vs Chaos their two opposites.
Sorry I went a little off topic there
I apoligise.;)

narrativium
07-07-2009, 10:21
I'm yet to be convinced that Scientology is a religion. It's an organised movement, sure - but I'm not sure it's a religion.

There's also a difference between religions and beliefs. Religions tend to be the organised movement, or whatever it is that gather together people of the same belief to conduct the same forms of invisible-being-worship.

Then, there's the distinctions in attitudes in atheists. I have no problem with people finding meaning in traditions which help them lead their lives or which help them identify themselves. I don't pretend to know the answers so for all I know there really are deities out there... but I don't live my life trying to appease an omnipotent imaginary friend, or arguing that one imaginary friend is more powerful than someone else's, I find my own standards difficult enough to meet.

Back on topic... the Ethereals may have given the Tau purpose and identity, and named it the Greater Good. Happily for the Tau, the directors of their purpose are present and visible.

Mannimarco
07-07-2009, 10:31
theres a difference between religion ans social ideology, the greater good is a social ideology

and whats wrong with satanism? (talking laveyan satanism, which i happen to know a lot about, no devil worship and animal sacrifices here)

TheBloodyFistOfKhaine
07-07-2009, 21:43
Church of Scientology?
Church is a place of worship.
If rumours are true and Scientology is a huge scam I bet the guys who started it dont think its a religion.
As for the people who do worship it im sure alot of them take it as a religion.
Others its probably just a fad because of celebrities making it popular.
By the way I just dont get Satanism, its nothing against anyone.

sycopat
07-07-2009, 22:32
Funnily enough, the line "If you want to make money don't write science fiction, start a religion. Thats where the real money is." has supposedly often been attributed to L.Ron Hubbard. Science fiction writer and founder of scientology

But thats off-topic, and not as interesting to me as pondering 40k fluff.

As to the tau, I don't think they have a true religion, as the philosophy of the Greater Good took the place in their society often occupied by religions in ours.

That doesn't imply that the tau don't have some sort of a pre-Aun mythology akin to our fairy tales and legends though. Taking into account the inspiration for the tau, I wouldn't be surprised if their myths often incorporate some aspect of the greater good.


Kind of like Indian/Japanese hindi/shinto myths are presented as often incorporating elements of Buddhism (I don't know a lot of these type of myths tbh, but I just have picked up an impression of serene little monks talking with animals and spirits in parables and fables from somewhere.) Swap monks for ethereals and your probably pretty close to a decent tau mythology.

edit: Oh one more thing: The Tau are presented as being pretty disconnected from the warp. As this is the residence of the gods and spirits imagined by beings from physical space, it would seem possible to me that the tau don't have a religion because without the warp connection they lose the imagination required to truly believe in things which cannot exist. This would also kind of help explain their unwillingness to believe uncorroborated reports (To whit: The size of the imperium, the dangers of the warp) without experiencing them firsthand. Although that can also just be down to master propagandists refusing to believe what they see as inferior propoganda...

Firaxin
08-07-2009, 00:18
The Tau are connected to the warp.

DarkMatter2
08-07-2009, 00:27
The Tau may be atheistic now, but surely they had religions in olden times.

ryng_sting
08-07-2009, 08:31
If they ever had one religion, I can see it being like Taoism. After all it is the source of their name, and suits their general outlook.

Unlike the early Imperium, atheism for the Tau seems a matter of quiet stoicism rather than a militant creed. They allow their allies and auxillaries freedom of worship.

Condottiere
08-07-2009, 08:36
theres a difference between religion ans social ideology, the greater good is a social ideology

and whats wrong with satanism? (talking laveyan satanism, which i happen to know a lot about, no devil worship and animal sacrifices here)Ideology can often take the place of religion.

This could be a direct transfer, where it's unquestioning (or supposed to be), or might be an organized collection of principles that everyone agrees makes sense (or mostly).

will564752
08-07-2009, 19:07
The Tau are connected to the warp.

Yes but not to the extent that most other mortal races are. The Tau register a very very faint warp presence compared to Eldar for example who mostly register a large/strong warp presence.

This as Sycopat said could explain why religion never strongly rose in Tau society prior to the Ethereals.

This is also the likely reason which explains why there has been very few (Some argue none) Tau that have been corrupted by Chaos.

Messiah
08-07-2009, 19:54
The Tau are more or less the communists of the 40k universe, and as such do not worship gods..

Xisor
08-07-2009, 20:09
Historically I imagne they had many religions of the varied form similar to humanity. Some mountain worshippers, some sea-gods, some 'nature spirits'. Some of the thinking ones might have noticed the logical implication of a prime mover (whenever they begin to ponder causality one does question "Who started it all?").

With regards to the 'Order never arises from Chaos', 'tis ********. Emergent hierarchical structures are a fascinating phenomenon and one which we (well, scientists worldwide) are only steadily coming to understand.

----

Modern Tau Religion, Worship, Superstition and so forth

It strikes me that the Tau will be, for want of a better word, rational humanists. There's almost no mention of them going in for 'mystical explanations' when their science or technological understanding will suffice. There's no mention of gods, spirits or deities to be consulted.

However, they do have shrines, they likely have a highly ritualised and traditional set of things merely to 'cling to', to keep 'em in check. To keep them focused. There'll be a massive series of textbooks, mental 'prayers' and such. But these aren't prayers to gods, these would be...mind-focusing techniques. If you're distressed, recite this! It'll help refocus your brain!

It can be highly ritualised, highly 'spiritual' (in the "Wow, look at the beauty of this planet, the deep and emotive even evocative imagery involved in this poem. Isn't this song excellent, it moves me to my core!") and very traditional in the way we associate many of our modern religions but, and I think this is the crucial bit: they don't worship a skyman, they don't believe in an all-pervasive mystical energy field. They believe that there're very good reasons for being 'highly moral' and that they aren't related to some eternal punishment. Rather their motivations for being good, for doing things in a certain type of way comes from how they think it will affect society. In that sense, they've probably meshed the 'artefacts of religion' with the science of sociology and psychology whilst getting rid of (most, if not) all the superstitious mumbojumbo.

Also, Messiah's stupidly off the mark. Communism is about as far from the Tau as is possible. State owned factories? Everyone's equal? Abolish classes? ********. Tau = communists is like saying the Imperium is like the USA 'because they both have senates'.

terribletrygon
08-07-2009, 21:01
The Tau = Communist thing was more a joke taken from the fact that their catch phrase is 'For the Greater Good'.

Mannimarco
08-07-2009, 21:40
many people who claim tau to be communist dont really understand what communism is, they heard sombody say tau are communist so are saying it themselves

Bregalad
08-07-2009, 23:55
Other threads have been closed for less.

Wolfblade670
18-07-2009, 23:11
I honestly think the Tau = Communism analogy is more due to the popular American/Western impression of Communism and the Soviet and Maoist interpretation of it. Sure the Tau aren't textbook Communists, but neither was Soviet Russia.

After all, in Soviet Russia, the Greater Good serves you...

(for dinner)

:D

Lowmans
18-07-2009, 23:33
No Tau religion in the background I'm afraid.

The need for social cohesion is fulfilled chemically, I'm afraid.
The Tau opiate of the masses comes from an Ethereals trouser area (or something) rather than a prayer book.

WrYpoRrY
19-07-2009, 01:43
Tau'va - The Greater Good.

They also regard the Ethereal caste as pretty damn good*


*Or else...

baphomael
19-07-2009, 02:59
There's also a difference between religions and beliefs. Religions tend to be the organised movement, or whatever it is that gather together people of the same belief to conduct the same forms of invisible-being-worship.



Sociologically speaking, religions neednt be *that* organised. In this sence, religion is split into several sub-categories - Ecclesia/Churches (the kind of full on high religion, the big established Church type affairs), Denominations (somewhere between church and sect), Sects (newer religious movements, often formed in protest to a parent denomination), Cults and New Religious Movements (sorta like sects, but neednty necessarily break off from a parent denomination).

Religion neednt be High Church ritual and dogma or even *that* organised. It can be rough and ground-roots.


theres a difference between religion ans social ideology, the greater good is a social ideology

I dunno, the line can be very thin sometimes.


and whats wrong with satanism? (talking laveyan satanism, which i happen to know a lot about, no devil worship and animal sacrifices here)

Aside from the shock tactics name, its a form of glorified ethical egoism that isnt particularly new or different, in a philosophical sense. I think my biggest gripe with it is that it can be inherantly self centred and narcassitic, which I dont think is conducive to a social species.


The Tau are more or less the communists of the 40k universe, and as such do not worship gods..

Not at all. From what we know of Tau society, it bears very little resemblance to a communist society (communist, in the Marxist sense, rather than the Stalinist/Leninist/Maoist/Juche abhorations of history). For starters, the Tau have an extremely rigid caste system (while, in a communist society there are supposed to be no classes or castes), there is a distinct ruling elite (ethereals, despite communism being a classless society), there are fully functioning, organised, organs of state and government (despite the fact Marx noted when mankind reached a communist form of society the state would 'wither away').

The concept of the Greater Good could be interpreted as religious or pseudo-religions (afterall, many religions do not necessarily rest on the concept of divinity) and, in some ways, Tau society is a mash-up between Plato's Republic (specifically, his notion of 'philosopher kings') and a theocracy/ecclesiarchy.

akinokurisu
19-07-2009, 06:03
The Tau are more or less the communists of the 40k universe, and as such do not worship gods..

NO! No, no, no, no. Every time you say that, Marx kills a schoolgirl. Every time you THINK it, Stalin rapes a box of kittens. Tau are not communists.

Condottiere
19-07-2009, 06:30
Strictly speaking, practised political communism has more in common with George Orwell's Animal Farm than Marx's Manifesto.

baphomael
19-07-2009, 13:00
Strictly speaking, practised political communism has more in common with George Orwell's Animal Farm than Marx's Manifesto.

Thats because no state has ever practised, or claimed to practice, communism. Rather, they have claimed they are 'communists working to achieve communism'. Afterall, if Marx' vision of communism occurs there wouldnt be any nationstates or organised political structures that we'd recognise anyway.

TheBloodyFistOfKhaine
20-07-2009, 02:11
Aside from the shock tactics name, its a form of glorified ethical egoism that isnt particularly new or different, in a philosophical sense. I think my biggest gripe with it is that it can be inherantly self centred and narcassitic, which I dont think is conducive to a social species.

.


Well said.:angel:

TheBloodyFistOfKhaine
20-07-2009, 09:50
Then, there's the distinctions in attitudes in atheists. I have no problem with people finding meaning in traditions which help them lead their lives or which help them identify themselves. I don't pretend to know the answers so for all I know there really are deities out there... but I don't live my life trying to appease an omnipotent imaginary friend, or arguing that one imaginary friend is more powerful than someone else's, I find my own standards difficult enough to meet.



Ever seen the episode of South Park Red Hot Catholic Love.
Best way to see religion.
People who focus on the stories as real "though they may be"
is not the point of religion.
For example the bible was written to help people live their lives, though I dont agree with some things in it, it was written by several people who probably fitted in their own opinions for people to follow.
But to follow it to a T like some organisations is dangerous and intolarable, it only leads to pintless war and arguments when we should be focusing on advancing in a positive way.

TheBloodyFistOfKhaine
20-07-2009, 09:53
Then, there's the distinctions in attitudes in atheists. I have no problem with people finding meaning in traditions which help them lead their lives or which help them identify themselves. I don't pretend to know the answers so for all I know there really are deities out there... but I don't live my life trying to appease an omnipotent imaginary friend, or arguing that one imaginary friend is more powerful than someone else's, I find my own standards difficult enough to meet.



Ever seen the episode of South Park Red Hot Catholic Love.
Best way to see religion.
People who focus on the stories as real "though they may be"
is not the point of religion.
For example the bible was written to help people live their lives, though I dont agree with some things in it, it was written by several people who probably fitted in their own opinions for people to follow.
But to follow it to a T like some organisations is dangerous and intolarable, it only leads to pintless war and arguments when we should be focusing on advancing in a positive way.
I believe people have the right to believe whatever they want as long as they dont mock or hurt other people for their beliefs. Thats why i dont like satanism.

TheBloodyFistOfKhaine
20-07-2009, 09:54
whoops, sorry for posting twice:o

Lexington
20-07-2009, 10:06
seems odd to me that they are the only race that didnt question their existance and creation though.
I imagine this thread's not far from all sorts of being deleted, but before that happens, can I just point out that the Imperial religion in seems to have absolutely no stance on the origin of man?

Condottiere
20-07-2009, 12:24
I would suppose that would be the origin of Man is Holy Terra, one single genesis point in the entire galaxy.

Lexington
20-07-2009, 15:23
Right, but the Imperial Church, as far as I know, lacks a solid creation myth.

Col. Tartleton
20-07-2009, 16:09
They also don't point to the Emperor as being an actual "God." He is termed a god, but he was created as the hands of the gods. It says as much in one of the fluff things. Something about he was chosen to rule mankind by the hand of the gods or something to that effect.

He is simply the pinacle human and worthy of reverance and thus worship. He is allmighty, but he is not eternal. There was time and space before him, and will be after him. He is omnipotent, but not omnipresent.

The Imperial cult really lacks consistency, which makes us outside observers have no idea what its actually about. We only see the crazy loony militant edge of it at all. Its definitely more than that.

Condottiere
20-07-2009, 16:38
That's realistic, so do most religions in general. Faith being the binding element.

Lexington
20-07-2009, 19:20
They also don't point to the Emperor as being an actual "God." He is termed a god, but he was created as the hands of the gods. It says as much in one of the fluff things. Something about he was chosen to rule mankind by the hand of the gods or something to that effect.
Sounds reasonable. I doubt that's canonical (in the sense of being so to the Imperial Creed), but it probably wouldn't be an uncommon variation on the faith across several regions of the Imperium.


The Imperial cult really lacks consistency, which makes us outside observers have no idea what its actually about.
I'd say that lack of consistency is more a feature of the Imperial faith than a bug. ;)

baphomael
20-07-2009, 22:51
Ever seen the episode of South Park Red Hot Catholic Love.
Best way to see religion.
People who focus on the stories as real "though they may be"
is not the point of religion.
For example the bible was written to help people live their lives, though I dont agree with some things in it, it was written by several people who probably fitted in their own opinions for people to follow.
But to follow it to a T like some organisations is dangerous and intolarable, it only leads to pintless war and arguments when we should be focusing on advancing in a positive way.

And, of course, some of it was contextual to the time and place. Dhahiba and kashrut dietary laws where prudent for the time and place Islam and Judaism were founded. Afterall, I wouldnt want to be eating pork or shellfish in middle-eastern heat with no fridge-freezer :S


Right, but the Imperial Church, as far as I know, lacks a solid creation myth.

Probably because there doesnt seem to be any set dogma for the Imperial Creed - being made up of various smaller sub-cults. They have a basic, overarching, belief in the divinity of the Emperor and all that, but the details of the faith can vary from world to world (for example, to some primative world the Emperor might be a mighty sky-god who crafted their world from the skull of the terrible daemon-beast Horus). The Ecclesiarchy id quite open to mixing in local practices as long as the basic tenets of the Emperor being God and hating anything not human are observed.

The Adeptus Ministorum doesnt seem to have any set Canon, but rather several.


If anything, the Ecclesiarchy is akin to galaxy wide, and very militant, equivalent of the World Council of Churches, or other ecumenical councils.

Carlos
21-07-2009, 09:09
The Tau will have looked at the myriad races they neighbourly get along with within their empire and conclude it was raw evolution that created them and not some divine being. As mentioned, the greater good is a self-belief, a sociological revolution that the Tau'va set in place would ultimately benefit more races than themselves.
Despite the Mind control and manipulation the Tau use to coerce a race into joining them as far as the Tau are concerned it in the best interests of that particular race; they have no malevolent reasoning behind it all.

Firaxin
21-07-2009, 17:55
The Tau will have looked at the myriad races they neighbourly get along with within their empire and conclude it was raw evolution that created them and not some divine being. As mentioned, the greater good is a self-belief, a sociological revolution that the Tau'va set in place would ultimately benefit more races than themselves.
Despite the Mind control and manipulation the Tau use to coerce a race into joining them as far as the Tau are concerned it in the best interests of that particular race; they have no malevolent reasoning behind it all.
*snort*

I would argue the way the Tau treat their 'allies' can only support the idea that they believe their race was made in God's image, or at the very least that their atheistic Greater Good revolves around the notion that they are the 'master race' and all other races are 'slave races' (sound familiar?); in which case they might as well believe they were made in God's image.

Lowmans
21-07-2009, 18:30
Depending on how you interpret the Xenology book the Tau motive is irrelevant - they're controlled by the Ethereals who are controlled by the...... !? Eldar!?

Mr Zoat
21-07-2009, 19:29
The book which shows them without cloven feet? I think I'll take it with a pinch of salt.

II Orar II
21-07-2009, 21:27
Real world equivalent is communist-atheists. I agree with the latter. ;)

Killboy777
21-07-2009, 22:02
The book which shows them without cloven feet? I think I'll take it with a pinch of salt.

Did you ever see Aun'Va's Bodyguards? THEY HAVE TOES!!!:eek:

Madness_
21-07-2009, 22:57
Quite possible there are 2 strains.

baphomael
21-07-2009, 23:00
Depending on how you interpret the Xenology book the Tau motive is irrelevant - they're controlled by the Ethereals who are controlled by the...... !? Eldar!?

Being created by and being controlled by are two different things.


Real world equivalent is communist-atheists. I agree with the latter. ;)


Grrr, Hulk mad. Hulk mad at tau-communist comparisons.

Madness_
21-07-2009, 23:03
Also, you might dislike xenology, but the Farsight enclaves are still a strong indication that without an ethereal present the most independent minds tend to rebel, as to break out from oppression.

The only other option is that Commander Farsight is under the control of his blade, in which case he should move quickly toward Nothrend before Ill... ah ok wrong canon.

Clockwork-Knight
21-07-2009, 23:22
Or Farsight just thought he was doing the Tau Empire a favor when he continued the battle by seizing the momentum (back then, he was pushing back the Orks), instead of going to pick up a new Ethereal-babysitter and let the Orks regroup.

Of course, it should also be noticed that the Orks are now pushing back and his little enclave far far away from the nearest Sept is on the verge of being overrun by a Waaagh.

Madness_
21-07-2009, 23:27
Yes but the enclaves are right now actively refusing to have any contact with the Empire. They seceded. They REFUSED the Ethereal brand of Greater Good.

DoombringerATT
22-07-2009, 01:03
Well, if the 5th Edition Timeline change holds true in future publications, for all we know, Farsight simply cannot get in contact with the Empire from where he's at.

As per Codex: Imperial Guard, the Damocles Gulf Crusade has been bumped to 979-988.M41, after which point in time Farsight was sent out to reclaim the lost worlds and engage in his "decade-long Crusade" against the Orks of Arkunasha. Somewhere along the trip he arrived at Arthas Moloch, got his Aun killed, and picked up the Dawn Blade, and as Codex: Orks shows, he's currently engaged in the War of Dakka with them near the Damocles Gulf.

A lot to happen, engaging in a decade-long Crusade against the orks in a timespan of nine years (Post-Damocles 988.M41 to Pre-Shadowsun's Denouncing Him 997.M41), but weirder things have happened in GW lore.

In addition, Aun'shi was sent to investigate his whereabouts, but with the timeline bump there's considerably less time for the Tau Empire to have branded him 'rogue', implying some level of unknown (Battlefleet Gothic).

---

Now all we have to do is figure out how Brightsword, Farsight's protege who was with him on Arkunasha Post-Damocles, managed to invade Nimbosa in 790.M41 as per the same timeline in Codex: Imperial Guard... :confused:

Yes, you read right. According to GW, Farsight's protege on Arkunasha invaded a world two-hundred years before Farsight ever became famous...

Oh wait, that's right. My sig explains it all!

Clockwork-Knight
22-07-2009, 04:53
I thougt all contast was lost since the retrieval of that funky "Might-be-the-Dawnblade-or-Chaos-or-C'tan-or-whatever-funky-thingy-it-is"-sword. And that nobody in the Tau Empire sent anybody to investigate (funnily enough then decrying him as a rogue).

Then again, it might be quite difficult for a faraway and under--supplied enclave surrounded by hostile and advancing ork-tribes to establish contact with the Empire. Especially then if the days of that little enclave are numbered, and the Firewarriors have to fight mano-a-mano with Orks... so to preserve what little ammo they still have...

That would be quite funny, if Farsight and his loonies are actually waiting for reinforcements to arrive from the Empire, and it's just the Ruling Council of the Five Caste thinking he went revolutionary.

DoombringerATT
22-07-2009, 05:06
T'would be funny, indeed.

IIRC, the only one to ever 'decry' Farsight as 'rogue' was Shadowsun, and that was in conjunction with the Third Sphere Expansion to get everyone all motivated to launch their next Phase and to stop thinking about the famous Commander who just up and disappeared.

Contact is lost, but not necessarily cut, if you get my drift.

The real irony is that Aun'shi was sent to find out what happened to Farsight in BFG fluff (since the Empire literally has no idea), and yet you have Shadowsun seemingly jumping the gun publicly labeling him a rogue on his very homeworld, Vior'la, and then proceeding to melt down the statue of him with her fusion blasters...

---

This is where 4th Edition and 5th Edition fluff seems to butt heads.

If we go by the old fluff, then Farsight has been MIA for ~240 years - which would seem to make sense out of Shadowsun telling everyone to forget about the venerable Commander who, for all intents and purposes, left the Empire. It also adds to that air of mystery. What has he been doing in the Enclaves for so long? Why are him and Shadowsun even still alive (which the BRB actually explained, and then completely disregarded...)?

If we go by new fluff, Farsight has literally been missing for less than a tau'cyr, and Shadowsun is already denouncing him as a renegade... In this scenario, you have to ask questions like 'How does she know he's a renegade?' and 'Why a public declaration of defamation so soon and without hard evidence?'

Madness_
22-07-2009, 07:50
And most importantly, why are the ethereals allowing it?

But that doesn't take away that Farsight is fighting with methods directly in contrast with the Tau teachings.

Lowmans
22-07-2009, 11:41
[QUOTE=baphomael;3788091]Being created by and being controlled by are two different things.

If you accept that the Eldar created them (which is heavily suggested) why do you not accept the Eldar might control them?

Why would the Eldar create a race, or at least modify a subset of that race to control the others and then just walk away?

If the Eldar are responsible for the Ethereals existence why would they walk away without retaining control, having just released a new, unified (because they fixed it that way) and technologically advanced race on the galaxy?

Condottiere
22-07-2009, 13:28
If the Eldar created them, or assisted in their evolution and rise, they probably foresaw most of the development of the Tau Empire, and any further assistance or guidance will probably happen by the faintest of touches.

DoombringerATT
22-07-2009, 14:18
Madness

The Ethereals aren't "allowing" it. That's why they've sent one of their greatest, Aun'shi, to go find out what's what.

And what is there to "allow" anyway? There's zero tangible evidence that Farsight is actually a traitor to the Empire, and a bunch of circumstantial evidence at best (his quotes, his mercenary actions, etc.).

Seriously, for all we know, Farsight is still a bitter, but loyal servant of the Empire who just overextended himself and got stuck in the Damocles Gulf fighting Orks, Chaos, Tyranids, and all manner of angry beasties, and now he's established a series of fortified Septs to help bunker down until Empire reinforcements arrive.

But since the Empire is equally beset on multiple sides by much the same enemies, but in greater numbers and including the Imperium itself, they don't have the time or manpower to go sending an entire military Expansion force

Anyway, that's just one side of the coin - I'm not really "supporting" it one way or the other, just playing Devil's Advocate.

---

And how exactly is Farsight directly contradicting the doctrine of the Empire?

Just because his Fire Warriors are more willing to engage in hand-to-hand combat (and not that much more willing, anyway), doesn't mean he fights in contrast with Tau teachings.

Hell, even Fire Warriors in the Empire train in melee combat. Shas warriors ritually engage in ceremonial honor blade duels, and it was said that Aun'shi was taught by the Shas'vre of Vior'la, and could eventually best them in battle. In Fire Warrior, it explains that there exists a Tau festival called the Tau'kon'seh where Shas'la and Shas'ui who are up for their Trials by Fire will participate in ceremonial clonebeast hunts, armed with nothing but spears.

No, Farsight does not fight in contrast with Tau teachings - in fact, he exemplifies many of them. He perfected maneuver warfare at Arkunasha, and is even now focusing on high-power strikes at the enemy's center of gravity with high concentrations of battlesuits - not all that dissimilar to the Empire's own heavy-battlesuit cadres like the Rapid Insertion Force.

Please, next time you go and make wild assumptions, at least have some source material to back up your claim, Madness... :(

Madness_
22-07-2009, 15:06
Dude, don't get me started on source material.

Codex Tau 3rd edition, second version, page 50:
Breakaway Faction: O'Shovah and his followers have chosen to separate themselves from the Tau empire

On page 51 there is a clear depiction of O'Shovah as a disobedient warrior who entered a forbidden zone and was the first case of Treason/Heresy.

I won't go on researching more because that, alongside Xenology proves enough.

DoombringerATT
22-07-2009, 15:46
Codex: Tau's entry on Farsight is written from the perspective of the Empire. Note the number of unknowns present in the text.

Page 51, conversely, is written from the perspective of a human inquisitorial agent who is apparently piecing his story together with scattered reports of mercenary tau forces and drunken Por... Its like the interstellar telephone game, so you can't assume these reports and testimonials are 100% accurate either.

Xenology isn't much better, simply describing a tight-lipped Aun'el who wishes not to discuss Tau politics with a radical inquisitor who is forcing his own wild opinions on the reader... How can you possibly say this book "proves" anything!?

---

Seriously, where does it say that Farsight has done anything other than overextended himself chasing down the Orks?

Yes, he CHOSE to abandon his recolonization effort and CHOSE to leave Empire territory and enter an area of space the Ethereals have deemed off-limits, but without Aun present he would have very little guidance in the situation and the circumstances of these choices are entirely unknown to the reader. Combine this with a potentially real military threat in the form of the Orks and you have just created the possibility that Farsight has simply disobeyed orders to leave the Gulf alone in order to spare the Empire facing the full force of a very large Waaagh!, and now that contact is lost with the Empire they have simply assumed he has gone rogue or rebelled against the Empire itself...

Anyway, nothing empirically proves Farsight is a full-blown traitor. Military generals and soldiers disobeying orders from higher, as a side-effect of adapting to a changing military situation, is not as uncommon as you might think...

Lowmans
22-07-2009, 16:29
If the Eldar created them, or assisted in their evolution and rise, they probably foresaw most of the development of the Tau Empire, and any further assistance or guidance will probably happen by the faintest of touches.

Probably true, though don't know whether or not the Tau reduced presence in the warp would affect the effectiveness.
I seriously doubt, though, given the haphazard nature of the farseeing game (contradicting each other, being possible futures etc.) that the Eldar wouldn't leave the road open to assuming direct control over the etherals by some means. Just in case the farseeing was off and Tau felt like converting Alaitoc to or the odd exodite world to the 'greater good'.

Madness_
22-07-2009, 16:37
He went in an area forbidden by the Ethereals, he followed up in a war against the orders. What does a general have to do to be charged with treason among the Tau? Dismember an Ethereal with his bare hands?

Also, you're nitpicking the sources. Even ignoring the imperial point of view and only considering the Ethereal reaction in Xenology.

Awilla the Hun
22-07-2009, 16:39
I have just received this message from the Tau's Enlightenment Centre:

"Citizens! We must report that, whilst our ancestors have previously worshipped diverse deities in the past, before the horrific days of the Mon'Tau, we have since gone beyond those primitive days! It is regrettable indeed that our various alien allies have a wide variety of spirits, totems and idols, for they cause much barbarism and degeneration! Placing such trust in such false and foolish fetishes as these can only cause disunity, chaos, and the slaughter of uncounted trillions in the name of some far off whisper in the wind. We must be thankful indeed, Citizens, that Glorious Aun'Va, in whose honour a thousand thousand shrines have been erected, and who is praised by all for his wisdom, has deigned to assist the Greater Good! And, when he eventually passes away (which will not be for a good few decades, Citizens), he is to be followed by an even greater, nobler, wiser Ethereal. Long live the Greater Good! Long live Aun'Va!"

The Tau have no religion. However, this does not stop them from worship.

EDIT: Replaced "Comrades" with "Citizens". This was not intended to be a Tau=Commies thing, but Tau=dictatorship thing.

Joaf
22-07-2009, 18:53
I just don't see how this isn't a religion....
They have a code to live by (the Greater Good) that was given to them by the Aun whom they follow with unyielding faith. What am I missing?

--------------------------------------------------
With Farsight, I hate to see him as the bad guy. I feel like he bettered himself by loosing his Aun. He extended his life, conquered worlds and has forged a small army of elite warriors. True, he disobeyed commands but, it is implyed that he has found a different way of achieving the greater good with out his Aun'babysitter as was so elegantly put earlier.

Madness_
22-07-2009, 19:18
It's a philosophy, and sometimes the two thing become blurry.

Condottiere
22-07-2009, 19:59
Religion occurs when you develop faith - how many have actual faith in the inherent goodness of a cause, without believing in a divinity?

DoombringerATT
23-07-2009, 00:26
Madness

The rank of 'O' does not simply mean a Tau is an expert in their own field, they are Leaders of the Empire and have command authority that extends beyond simply serving as 'advisors' to the Aun; able to make their own decisions that may or may have value or consequences in terms of Grand Strategy.

An expeditionary mission into the depths of space, for example, would seem to naturally fit a Fio'O's job description; them being the scientists, cartographers, and surveyors of the Tau race, while a Kor'O would naturally be fit to lead the fleet itself - yet in the story of the War of the Place of Union (http://advancedtautactica.com/viewtopic.php?p=149011#p149011), we have one Por'O Dal'yth Kiv'rai leading it and carrying the ultimate civil, military, and naval command authority of the Fleet, both able to direct its exploration efforts or cancel them completely, deem a planet or system worthy of further attention, and deploy military forces both in space and planetside, all three of which events he exercised his rights and authority to do so.

Though it seems an Aun was present (to authorize the integration of the Kroot into the Tau Empire, as written), no mention was made of O'Kiv'rai asking for permission from HQ to scuttle the Kor's ships or engage in a thirteen-tau'cyr battle with the Orks...

That's right, it took thirteen tau'cyrs for his Kor blockade runners to get from the far side of the Perdus Rift to Sa'cea to request assistance, for Sa'cea to mobilize a fighting force, and then subsequently return to Krath, with what seems to be early or even Pre-Second Sphere etherdrive technology. Even considering advancements in etherdrive technology made from then on to Farsight's era, he's still traveling a similar distance away (Vior'la to the Damocles Gulf) and if you seriously expect him to wait any number of tau'cyrs for permission to engage the Orks in battle, you must be daft, mad, or both.

It is entirely illogical to think otherwise, and as the Tau have shown, they are a logical, pragmatic bunch.

Given this comparison between O'Kiv'rai's and O'Shovah's positions of leadership among their respective fleets, you must accept that Shas'O (and all O for that matter) are not just generals, they are strategic leaders, versed in all forms of command but specializing in a certain field of politics; land-based war. He would have carried ultimate command authority of the recolonization fleet, but he also likely would have had a full entourage of other leaders of all Castes, backing him and his decision to pursue the Orks into the Gulf, for him to have ultimately done so without any measure of resistance. In addition, there is no reason T'au'ar'tol would have appointed a Shas'O as Commander of a recolonization fleet if they didn't expect it to be militarily active - such a role would have been reserved for a Fio'O - therefore O'Shovah's actions in pursuing a strategic threat to the Empire wouldn't be all that strange.

---

Onto your primary points against my own point-of-view; he did go into an area "normally forbidden by the Ethereals", but following up in a war against orders? I think you have your chronology a bit mixed up.

Firstly, he was drawn into this war during his recolonization efforts, and said war brought him into the Gulf during his pursuit of the Orks from Arkunasha.

Secondly, the war couldn't have been "against orders" because he makes the orders, as a Shas'O in command of an entire fleet, as we have established.

Interstellar communication in the Tau Empire is too slow for commanders in charge of field or expeditionary operations to have to call home every single time they make a decision... That's the point of having a decentralized command structure - your momentum isn't sapped by having to call HQ and verify that it's okay to wipe your own ass. Commanders appointed would have the intellect to know what's in the best interests of the fleet, and the initiative to issue orders as they see fit without immediately seeking approval from Command first.

As they say in the military, "In war, it's better to ask for forgiveness than permission."

What this boils down to is that there lies some measure of autonomy and authority among expeditionary forces in the Empire to make one's own decisions as they see fit. Without the specific guidance of an Aun on how these decision ultimately fit into the wider tenets of "the Greater Good" (a luxury O'Kiv'rai had), these decisions may not always be in the Empire's best interests, but these field Commanders will be doing their best with the resources they have available.

Just look at Shas'O Ol'nan (Brightsword) for an illustration of my point. O'Ol'nan, lacking an ethereal among his fleet, amassed his forces to engage in military action against the world of Nimbosa. Note that T'au'ar'tol/Shas'ar'tol was perfectly okay with this (as evidenced by Aun'O T'olku Kyna's dialogue with Adept Raphael Palmatus in Codex: Tau, pg. 54-55), but when they heard about O'Ol'nan's ruthless strategies, he was recalled all the way back to T'au to account for his actions since there were no Aun present with the authority to censure him on-site.

The only difference with Farsight is that he is now out of practical communications relay range, and so cannot be called back (though Aun'shi seems to be trying to get into contact with the Shas'O).

Besides, it seems you have forgotten that O'Shovah's Aun were still alive when he abandoned his recolonization efforts and focused on fighting the Orks.

It was during his campaign against them that he came upon Arthas Moloch and the Aun were killed.

Doesn't that imply some measure of his military efforts being sanctioned events?

---

By the way, it isn't treason to disobey orders in the military.

Treason is disloyalty to one's sovereign nation, and nothing Farsight has thus far done has shown any measure of disloyalty to the Empire.

Insubordination maybe, but disloyalty is still fully on the table for debate. The distinction is important.

In the cases that these events of insubordination do happen, an investigation is usually launched to assess the Commander's decision-making pathways that led him to take the actions he did, before any type of punitive actions take place, if they take place at all.

Oftentimes they will be punished for their insubordination anyway, even if the outcome of the battle/campaign turned out better than if they had obeyed orders, but Commanders will often be secure in their ideology that what they did was, on moral grounds, for the better...

Lowmans
23-07-2009, 06:30
This is interesting conjecture DoomBringerATT but you seem to have staked a position contrary to all the fluff - circumstantial evidence or not, possibly dubious sources or not, it all suggests Farsight is off doing his own thing. The only fly in the ointment is the timeline screwery.

DoombringerATT
23-07-2009, 06:40
"All fluff" consists of a few scattered reports plagued with confusion. Nothing is even close to set-in-stone, being nothing more than fleeting hints and hearsay.

The very same sources that conjecture that Farsight has gone rogue also clearly state that Farsight has overextended himself and chosen to establish a string of colonies near/in the Gulf, and that contact with his forces since this happened has been all but lost.

I'm not denying Farsight is off doing his own thing. What I attempted to explain in my last post is that that is actually his prerogative as a Shas'O in charge of a military operation that has accidentally extended itself outside of communications and escape range to homebase. He has the authority and initiative to do this, without having to ask permission from Shas'ar'tol.

What I am denying is the claims that Farsight is truly renegade, in the sense that he is actively moving against Tau Empire policies or seeking the Empire's downfall, out of sheer boredom and the desire to play Devil's Advocate in this regard. Nothing has thus far stated that Farsight no longer follows the tenets of the Tau'va in his Enclaves, or is acting outside or beyond the interests of the Tau Empire.

What I'm essentially saying is that it's just as likely that Farsight is simply stuck out there on his Fortress Septs beset on all sides by Orks, Chaos, and Tyranids, unable to get the bulk of his recolonization fleet back to T'au safely, as it is that he has truly abandoned every tenet of the Greater Good he's learned over the years and has purposefully established a string of rebel worlds on the outskirts of the Tau Empire.

None of the fluff has been quite clear on this topic...

Lowmans
23-07-2009, 10:25
It really isn't just as likely that he's stuck there thinking 'I wish there was an ethereal still in charge here' though. He may not have abandoned every tenet of the Tau'va (though I guess acting as a mercenary might be tricky to square with it) but it does seem likely he's 'resistant' to going back under ethereal control.

'All fluff' is scattered repots plagued with confusion (with the exception of Shadowsun melting his statue) - but 'all fluff' does consistently point to him being at odds with the Empire in some manner. Do you expect the fluff to be quite clear on topics like this? The fluff very, very rarely will say anything like this in outright black and white - GW like the wiggle room because it let's them insert things in the gaps - sometimes massive things.

Like possible eldar machinations in developing the Tau/the ethereals - no where in Xenology does it say - 'this is so'. However, it's a very, very strong hint. The same regarding Farsight - where's the background to suggest he's loyal, when there's so much suggesting/hinting he isn't?

DoombringerATT
23-07-2009, 21:15
No one said he would be thinking 'I wish there was an ethereal still in charge here', and the theory that he may not has little, if anything, to do with where his loyalties lie.

Just because he doesn't miss his Aun (if that's even the case) doesn't mean he's working completely outside the interests of the Empire. Seeing the Orks approaching, what he's done could have been a morally valiant effort to keep them at bay for long enough for the crippled Post-Damocles Tau Empire to rebuild their defences, while the rest of the Empire simply interpreted his actions as abandoning them.

It's a similar concept to the situation many 'rogue' Space Marine chapters are in now. Fighting for the Imperium, but because they do it differently, they're exiles fighting for the very institution that has exiled them.

---

IRT the fluff itself, I'm well aware that GW leaves things purposefully open-ended.

But just because something is hinted at doesn't necessarily make it true, and we shouldn't think like that, otherwise we may as well accept that the Fallen are the loyalists and the current Dark Angels are the traitors.

Point is, this stuff is deliberately fuzzy so that we can debate things like this and mold and interpret the fluff to suit our own personal interests. Note how I'm not saying Farsight is loyal, but that he could be loyal.

---

As far as existing background hinting that he is still loyal goes, I'd like to refer you, well, everywhere. In all background referencing Farsight it states that he has simply 'refused to return to the Empire', in turn 'meaning one thing' (an admittedly ominous phrase), but these are all clearly from the perspective of the Empire - who has simply assumed Farsight has turned his back on them.

Note the large number of Farsight-sympathizers and supporters, even, who had taken his side or supported his decision-making skills, to include Commander Brightsword from Kill Team. That's hint enough that many members of the Fire Caste don't necessarily blame Farsight for what he did, and that he may still be working in their best interests despite contact with his Enclaves having been lost...

To me, publicly and finally officially (after ~240 years!) decrying Farsight as a traitor to the Empire was a clever political scheme by Aun'va and Shadowsun to destroy the schism that had been created in the Fire Caste and get them all united again; to focus on the Third Sphere Expansion - nothing more. Not implying anything sinister, but they have no real evidence of where Farsight's loyalties lie, they have simply judged him one way or another in order to proceed with their Expansion in a more efficient manner.

Lowmans
23-07-2009, 21:32
Hmmm..... Yes, he could be loyal. He could have turned to Chaos. He could have been replaced with a Necron Lord. These are also possible and equally well supported....

Suffice to say I think you're reaching with both hands.

However, I'll leave it here or I think we'll end up going round and round and we're already well off-topic!

If you want to continue PM me or post a new topic

Thankyou for the discussion, sir. :)

Madness_
23-07-2009, 21:38
No one said he would be thinking 'I wish there was an ethereal still in charge here', and the theory that he may not has little, if anything, to do with where his loyalties lie.But the Ethereals preach that in order to achieve the Greater whatever the castes have to do their job, and Farsight is doing the job of an Ethereal. His situation is clearly incompatible with the Tau Empire way.

I'm not saying Farsight has betrayed its people, I'm saying that it has deviated and therefore refused the Ethereal brand of Greater Good.

He is leading when an Ethereal should, he went in a place where he shouldn't have (remember, forbidden means it's forbid) and he's promoting a strategy unique and distant from the simple mont'ka/kauyon paradigm that use kroot or other races for close combat while the fire warriors try to keep the distance.

Clockwork-Knight
23-07-2009, 23:54
Since when is Farsight doing the job of an Ethereal?

Also, just in case there is a misunderstanding... Ethereals don't rule per se. They're advisors, moral guides, philosopher. That's all what they officially are. They give suggestions, but it's still the decision of other caste members if they follow them or not. After all, all Castes are equal by their law. Just because the Ethereals are treated more 'equally' than the other four caste doesn't mean that the Ethereals are absolute monarchs. The Ethereals only give a direction what to do. Taxes, commerce, first contact and espionage is handled and directed by the Water caste, the protection of the trade lanes and transport of the goods lies in the hand of the Air Caste, the Fire Caste is responsible for military action, and the Earth Caste for architecture, research and colonization. The Ethereals don't go barging in and telling the other four what they have to do. The Tau have an inter-caste council for that, where every voice from no matter what caste the Tau comes from is equal to any other. If the non-ethereal tau members decide to give more weight to the Etheral's opinion, then that's their prerogative, and nothing more.
The Greater Good is after all a collective effort from the entire Tau race, not a dogma enforced by the Ethereals which grants them dominion over all Tau.

A Tau military commander can and does work alone if needed, and not always is there a Tau Ethereal to watch and guide them.

DoombringerATT
24-07-2009, 00:52
Gah, Madness, you've pretty much reiterated the points that I had already disproved from two posts back.

---

Farsight's Role

1) Farsight is not 'doing the job of an Ethereal'. As I have already said, there are numerous cases where 'O of the elemental castes are put in command of fleets, expeditions, and even colonies - without the presence of an Ethereal.

Brightsword was one such case, leading a multi-caste fleet during the invasion of Nimbosa.

Por'O Kiv'rai was another, leading a multi-caste exploratory fleet.

Shas'O Udas from Fire Warrior was yet another, leading a cross-caste strike/negotiation force to rescue a lost Aun.

Ethereals aren't a requirement for every Coalition. There doesn't seem to be enough of them to go around.

To help illustrate, the one in Dawn of War: Dark Crusade, Aun'el Shi'or'es, had been the first Ethereal to step foot on Kronus in over a hundred tau'cyrs, if I recall correctly. When and if you played, did you see a bunch of heretical, traitor Tau running around incapable of making their own decisions without the presence of one of the revered Aun? No, the colony world was thriving, with a bustling gue'la population and a burgeoning industry - likely administrated by some Fio'O planetary governor who could guide the planet's various civil sectors with utmost efficiency.

---

"Ethereal-brand Tau'va"

2) There is no one "brand" of the Tau'va, labeled the "Ethereal Brand." As Fire Warrior and Kill Team show, there are a number of interpretations of the Tau'va, ranging from the former's almost fanatically pious Shas'la Ju and her incessant "preaching" to the latter's Shas'O Ol'nan, whose version of the Greater Good involved aggressive military expansion vice the far slower, more diplomatic methods.

Farsight has his own "brand" of the Tau'va too. One which, with no Ethereals present to guide it, has inexplicably led him outside of Tau Empire territory in pursuit of the Orks of Arkunasha.

---

The Shas'ken'to - Tau Warfighting Doctrine

3) His strategy, as already covered, isn't "unique and distant" from the traditional Shas'ken'to (Fire Caste Doctrine).

Mont'ka and Kauyon are but two popular schools of the Shas'ken'to, but there are many strategies out there, as even the Codex itself says.


The two most common types of Hunter Cadre are the Mont'ka and Kauyon.

Ken'rai (Cut off the Head - The Body will Die) was covered in Fire Warrior, used by the Shas and Kor Commanders to cripple the Imperial fleet.

Mon'wern'a (Deceptive Assault) was also covered in the same book, describing an operational or tactical feint that draws the enemy's attention away from the real strike force elsewhere.

I know there are others mentioned in the background, but none spring immediately to mind without my references. :)

Anyways, nothing Farsight is doing is beyond the scope of typical Tau maneuver warfare tactics, with the sole and minor exception that his Fire Warriors aren't as hesitant as Empire Shas to close to melee range. Of course, this could simply be a product of his Vior'lan roots, as Vior'lans are often seen as the more aggressive versions of Fire Warriors out there, and many, as per Aun'shi's fluff, train in ritual melee combat.

You mention his lack of Kroot as another sign that he has departed from traditional Tau tactics, but have you ever stopped to think that Farsight may have simply run out of them?

I mean, according to the Agent Ossneuss testimonial which you were quick to use as "evidence" that Farsight was a traitor, his forces have been seen operating alongside a number of mercenary and auxiliary forces over the years (to include Chaos, Orks, humans, Eldar, and yes, the Kroot), plus his most famous protege, Brightsword, was one of the most prominent users of auxiliary forces of his time, using Kroot to great effect at Polia on Nimbosa, and a variety of alien species during his preparations to invade Sarcassa in Kill Team. Even Dawn of War: Dark Crusade says that Farsight and his Shas'el used Vespid and Kroot in military actions during Kronus' initial annexation.

This stinks more of a logistical lack of Kroot and Vespid vice a conscious doctrinal resistance to their use - a failure which his melee-trained Fire Warriors are perhaps doctrinally attempting to alleviate the effects of?

Firaxin
24-07-2009, 01:19
Madness, you should take a leaf from Firaxin's Infallible Tome of Knowledge and bow before DoombringerATT's superior understanding of all things Tau.

Snoopy100
24-07-2009, 11:13
Heh, Farsights cool, isnt his blade a C'tan weapon.

DoombringerATT
24-07-2009, 12:46
That's up for debate.

It certainly has some stylistic cues from Necron weaponry, but also contains some Chaos and Eldar characteristics as well.

As far as the C'tan theory goes, often peoples' most telling evidence is that he found the sword on Arthas Moloch, an 'Artefact World' as they say, which they take to mean 'Tomb World' as if it were a human expression. This is incorrect.

Arthas Moloch is actually a Shrine World, purged of its Chaos taint by the Scythes of the Emperor in M39.

---

Anyway, IMHO, Farsight wields a blade powered by some warp entity. Not necessarily Khorne as we know him, though the evidence seems to be leaning that way with his Red Gore paint scheme, Honor Retinue of eight, and propensity for melee combat, but perhaps an undivided Chaos entity that is subtly manipulating him without his express knowledge.

And nobody go and cry 'But Tau can't be corrupted by Chaos!' because that's just untrue as well, especially in this scenario.

An emotionally stable Tau, with a lifetime of hypno-indoctrinated logic, didactic memory implants, and a tome of Sio't meditations to help him cope with the chaotic and disorderly world around him has a fortress of a mind, which Chaos has a painfully hard, if not impossible time breaching thanks to the Tau's natural defense of having a pinprick of a warp signature.

However, GW canon has already established that Farsight was deeply embittered after Shas'ar'tol refused to send him reinforcements on Arkunasha, and the novel Fire Warrior clearly shows that an angry and emotionally unstable Tau put in duress is not immune to the mystical psychic machinations of a Greater Daemon who tries hard enough.

---

Anyway, those are my real thoughts on the subject.

The whole 'Farsight could still be a good guy' thing is more of a pet project, with me playing Devil's Advocate for the sake of debate and Warseer's collective think-tank. :)

Just wanted to restate that for the third time so nobody's confused.

Madness_
24-07-2009, 13:07
Farsight is not 'doing the job of an Ethereal'. As I have already said, there are numerous cases where 'O of the elemental castes are put in command of fleets, expeditions, and even colonies - without the presence of an Ethereal.For a short while, in Xenology the Etherereal is scared by what a fire caste commander would do if not brought under check. And after a century or so if disaster might ensue, disaster will ensue.


Farsight has his own "brand" of the Tau'va too. One which, with no Ethereals present to guide it, has inexplicably led him outside of Tau Empire territory in pursuit of the Orks of Arkunasha.Tau'va was introduced by Ethereals to break the fight between the castes, without Ethereals there wouldn't be a Tau'va. But appartently Farsight is doing fine without Ethereals.


Anyways, nothing Farsight is doing is beyond the scope of typical Tau maneuver warfare tactics, with the sole and minor exception that his Fire Warriors aren't as hesitant as Empire Shas to close to melee range. Of course, this could simply be a product of his Vior'lan roots, as Vior'lans are often seen as the more aggressive versions of Fire Warriors out there, and many, as per Aun'shi's fluff, train in ritual melee combat.Still unprecedented and technically unachiavable with a different general, if it was an option, it would be an option open to any general, if no other shas'o ever does it, it's because it's outside the Tau tactica.

Be as it may, but Farsight has broken free of a very rigid caste system acting in strong contrast with the paradigm that the Tau way of life is.
His ideals might still be those of a person loyal to his people, but his action are in stark contrast with their philosophy.

In any martial court I can think of, in game and out of the game, he would be under trial for treason the moment he re-establishes contacts. I'm not saying he would be found guilty, there might be a thousand of attendant
circumstances. But it's no wonder they declared him dead.

Clockwork-Knight
24-07-2009, 14:28
Tau'va was introduced by Ethereals to break the fight between the castes, without Ethereals there wouldn't be a Tau'va. But appartently Farsight is doing fine without Ethereals.As fine as being almost wiped out by superior ork forces one can be in such a situation.


Still unprecedented and technically unachiavable with a different general, if it was an option, it would be an option open to any general, if no other shas'o ever does it, it's because it's outside the Tau tactica.DoombringerATT did give you several example in form of Brightsword in the Tau Codex, or the exerpt fom Battlefleet Gothic, where even a Water Caste member is leading a military campaign for colonization (and subsequently encountered one of their greatest allies).

Joaf
24-07-2009, 18:47
Wow... i think i found my new favorite thread. :)

IMHO- When it comes to Farsight, I don't see a guy that has turned his back on his nation (meaning empire, their ideals...). I see a guy whose nation has turned their back on him. I know, I know, half of you are falling out of your chairs right now but, think about it. He has been fighting for a very long time and like Doombringer said, maybe he doesn't use Kroot and other aux because he has simply run out. He has spread himself too thin. He is doing what he needs to do to survive and accomplish his mission.

Also, if he is this traitor or rouge or what have you, why has he never fought against fellow Tau? I have not heard of such an account.

Why is Aun'shi going to investigate? I'll tell you why, because his people have no clue where or what he is. Yet they tear down his monuments? How can you NOT feel for this guy?

Just some thoughts. I really enjoy reading this thread. Lots of people with great outlooks and well thought opinions. It could use a name change tho...

Madness_
24-07-2009, 18:52
Still, it's a controversial figure, and it wouldn't be controversial if it were "just fine, he simply forgot to recharge his mobile phone before going to war".

Huh, funny, I forgot the thing about the statues.

DoombringerATT
24-07-2009, 20:17
Madness

---

Xenology's Aun

Where do you get that the Ethereal in Xenology was scared?

The only indication the Ethereal was even bothered by what Inquisitor Ralei's discussion with her is that she visibly stiffens when O'Shovah was brought up.

Now, I don't know about you, but to me, someone stiffening when a topic of discussion is brought up that either she didn't expect, or doesn't wish to talk about to an outside source, hardly indicates fear. Note that the Ethereal becomes completely silent afterwards...

---

Maintaining Tau'va

The Tau'va was introduced by the Ethereals, yes, but they are hardly a requirement for the Tau to continue following that path now that it has begun.

There's much more to their inherent belief system than the mere fact that they are consistently reminded of it by the Aun.

Tau are, at "present", indoctrinated from birth to follow its tenets through both a variety of meditations and even hypnosis. They are implanted with didactic memory modules that serve more or less like little context-sensitive wikipedias in their heads, which may or may not also be a factor. They are trained that there is no other path to follow than the Tau'va, and that choosing otherwise would lead them back to every Tau's deepest, darkest fear; the Mont'au.

If anything, the Ethereals are simply a reminder to the Empire of the disorganized and disunited chaos of their past, when they almost drove their species to extinction.

The real work by the Aun was done at the beginning of it all, when they didn't have the luxury of indoctrinating the defenders of Fio'taun or plains-dwelling invaders on the tenets of the Tau'va from birth. Now, keeping the Tau on track is easy by comparison...

So yes, Farsight is doing just fine without his Ethereals.

But so are dozens of colony-worlds and hundreds of interstellar waystations, listening posts, and naval flotillas who don't have an Aun present with them either.

A Tau's confidence in the Tau'va without an Ethereal there constantly reminding him of its tenets and which path to follow hardly indicates some kind of sinister motive... Maintaining everyone's belief system is much, much easier than having to get them to see it your way from the get-go...

---

Farsight's Doctrine


Still unprecedented and technically unachiavable with a different general, if it was an option, it would be an option open to any general, if no other shas'o ever does it, it's because it's outside the Tau tactica.

Not necessarily.

Just because the Tau Codex doesn't contain a bunch of special rules for playing different style armies like the Imperial Guard and Chaos Space Marines did doesn't mean that there aren't totally different fighting forces, styles, and strategies in the Tau Empire background...

Luckily for us, Farsight's focus on the type of maneuver warfare described on Arkunasha is already a prime strategy for Tau forces, as he was taught by the Tau who wrote the book on warfare; Puretide.

All it takes for a player to play a Farsight-style maneuver warfare army is to load up all three elite slots with XV8s, mount up his Fire Warriors in Devilfish, leave the slower unmounted troops and auxiliaries behind, and float around the table launching attacks on your enemy's powerful units first while ignoring the weaker ones, with the primary objective being your opponent's HQ.

Unfortunately, there really isn't a good representation on the tabletop of maneuver warfare, due to its primary focus being destroying the enemy's will and means to resist vice attriting their forces to dust, but this is close. If only destroying your opponent's HQ would force some morale checks...

Oh wait, one of ours does! The definition of irony; giving the one army that most utilizes maneuver warfare and combined arms concepts the one major weakness of military forces that face it. ;)

And where does it say that Farsight has broken free of the very rigid caste system?

To my express knowledge, nowhere in the fluff does it flat-out state that Farsight's Enclaves don't still practice the caste system that has served the Empire well for thousands of years... The very fact that he's still called Shas'O Shovah should indicate that to you...

Bregalad
25-07-2009, 17:14
@ DoombringerATT: Damn fine research, just one correction: The Xenology ethereal was female.

DoombringerATT
25-07-2009, 17:27
Haha, got me there. Total brain-fart. :)

*Corrected*

Xisor
26-07-2009, 08:28
Madness_, DoombringerATT; don't despair with one another, it looks like a sufficient bit of progress is being made in discussion!

Madness_, I'd suggest avoiding Firaxin's book; keep questioning. I too happen to disagree with most of your points, but we'd never get to the root of the disagreement if we didn't all have a bruhaha about it!

On the loose-topic itself, I wonder if the new timeline rearranging highlights a more alien quality to the Tau'va. That is: It's fast. Really fast. The four-yearly rank progression from Saal-La-Ui-Vre-El-O, gives us O's of twenty years old. I like it. Their venerable warriors are...twenty-four year olds.

This also highlights a potential for Tau society to be reimagined as much faster and more vibrant. Not only the 'they don't sleep as much' factor, but even more than that. Highly sophisticated and thorough education? Check. (Didactic implants were proposed a bit, weren't they?)

Ignoring the 'fluff' to the contrary (the presentations in the BLP books aren't terribly endearing in this regard, a bit 'simple' for a presentation of an alien race and culture), might this be a possible direction looked for by the 'updated' timeline?

Solomon Stern
26-07-2009, 17:33
The Tau are an amusing ephemeral race. As they have little prescence in the warp, they will undoubtably have an empire that miniscule in comparison to the Imperium. As they will not be able to travel through the warp, their fledging empire is destined to be restrained in size. However, an Eldar of some note did mention that he thought they [Tau] may one day rival the Eldar at the height of their own culture, so if this is to come to pass, then there will undoubtably be some sort of schism or cultural upheaval waiting in the Tau future. Their warp prescence will somehow be amplified in a terrific manner, in which case, they become a feast for the Chaos powers.

DoombringerATT
26-07-2009, 17:53
Solomon, the Tau already use the warp to travel from star to star - they just don't go about it in the same manner as races with Navigators.

Rather than fully submerge themselves in the warp with their warp drives, they utilize a combination of a warp drive and gravity manipulator technology, collectively known as an ether drive, to create a "gravitic wing" that keeps the spacecraft in the rift between the two dimensions of the Immaterium and the Material Realm, called the Vash'aun'an.

As it stands, Kor'vattra ships are anywhere from 1/5 to 1/3 as fast as Imperial warp speeds in the region, and Qath'fannor/Kor'or'vesh ships are 1/3 to 1/2 as fast.

Given these speeds, and the fact that Tau technology is ever advancing, I'd wager and say that their current interstellar speed has little to do with the small size of their Empire at present. In both Tactica Aeronautica and Courage and Honour the Tau have shown a demonstrable ability to attack well beyond their territory; at Typha IV and Pavonis respectively, and this ability is nothing to be scoffed at.

Their small size likely has more to do with sheer numbers than anything. Despite throwing Custodian Carriers into the meat grinder as if they cost nothing (one was lost over Typha IV and the other was damaged, and they lost another Custodian over Taros), as the empire gets bigger a greater and greater number of ships are required to protect the ever larger volume of space, and the Tau are especially fearful of spreading themselves too thin after Captain Sicarius and his Chapter-sized band of Merry Men gave the Tau their bloody nose at the end of the Third Sphere.

It's consolidation time for the Tau, at least for a time while they can continue building up their forces for the next expansion phase. :)

Solomon Stern
26-07-2009, 18:02
I'm sorry, you're just wrong. As a matter of fact, your views and "evidence" are in complete conflict with Imperial truth.

Sorry, I was trying to make a post with the flavor of the decadent (ignorant?) voice of an Imperial beaurocrat that has never faced the technological juggernaught that is the Tau war machine. :-)

DoombringerATT
26-07-2009, 18:08
Ah. The gist of the post was lost in translation over the interwebs then. 0.o

I thought you were completely serious. ;)

Solomon Stern
26-07-2009, 18:11
Lol, sorry. My bad, my bad.