Well I went with a respirator mask from a local hardware store (conveniently only a 30 minute walk away from where I live). It seemed like a good compromise between the suggestions, and the price, while considerably higher than anticipated (which was entirely my fault for not factoring in the cost of the filters), was not totally unreasonable.
I also finished painting up the first of my Kor'O'vesh capital ships, the Emissary class starship Sharon Den Adel
And with the foundation for my background, the 'ships of the Kor'vattra' series, finished, I can now start posting up the background of the ships of my fleet. I'll be starting with the most important ship of any space fleet, the flagship. Kor'vattra Fleet K-42 T'au'Il'fannor'B'Kyse'Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh ('Serenity') Ship name:
T'au'Il'fannor'B'Kyse'Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh Gue'la Imperial designation:
Il'fannor (Merchant) Configuration:
Kel'shan standard Mission role:
Flagship Serial designation code:
T356K448446O42 Sept of origin:
T'au Notable deployments:
- Exploration of the O'leath asteroid belt
- Discovery of artefact world Y-19
- Evacuation of Du'vr'Da colony
- First contact with Caityrakan protectorate (NOTE: contact lost with this species at later date. Current status of allied power unknown)
- Transport of first trade shipment to Gue'la world Monarch's Haven
- Fleet engagement in defence against Gue'la Imperial aggression around the Vash'Tor Sound. 2 confirmed kills on enemy shipping, 1 unconfirmed
- Guidammerg relief operation (Cross-reference: Kor'O'T'au Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh, K-42, Relief of Guidammerg)
- Ufa'Li'Sun'yi incident (Cross-reference: Kor'O'T'au Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh, K-42, Ufa'Li'Sun'yi disaster, Ufa'Li'Sun'yi reconstruction program)
- Escort of convoy V-03 (Cross-reference: Kor'O'T'au Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh, K-42, V-03 incident, Y'he, Y'he Vanguard Swarm, Y'he activity, Zone of Silence, Eldar, Eldar pirate activity)
- Fleet action in Thespa system. 7 confirmed kills on enemy shipping, 20 unconfrimed (Cross-reference: Kor'O'T'au Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh, K-42, Battle of Thespa, Thespa system, Grand Thespian Armada, Mont'au Gue'la, Mont'au Gue'la activity, Marc Baeth, Eldar, Eldar pirate activity)
- Re-enforcement of Fio'da (Cross-reference: Kor'O'T'au Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh, K-42, Necron, Necron activity, Tomb World)
- First ATT Station incursion (Cross-reference: Kor'O'T'au Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh, K-42, Shas'O'T'au Kais'ka'Eoro Da'Anuk, 42nd T'au Guards Cadre/Hunter Cadre Kais'Da'Anuk, ATT, Mont'au Gue'la, Mont'au entity, Etheric anomaly, Tzchael, Change incident, Embrace Change)
- Edge Expedition
- Defence of Tan'is. 3 confirmed kills on enemy shipping, 1 unconfirmed (Cross-reference: Kor'O'T'au Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh, K-42, Gue'la, Gue'la fleet activity, Gue'la fleet actions, Destruction of Tan'is)
- Fleet action around Celestial Moon. 2 confirmed kills on enemy shipping, 3 unconfirmed (Cross-reference: Kor'O'T'au Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh, K-42, Gue'la, Gue'la fleet activity, Gue'la Fleet actions, Battle of Celestial Moon, V-47)
- Second ATT Station incursion (Cross-reference: Kor'O'T'au Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh, K-42, Shas'O'T'au Kais'ka'Eoro Da'Anuk, 42nd T'au Guards Cadre/Hunter Cadre Kais'Da'Anuk, ATT, Gue'la, Gue'la terror activity, Gue'la Inquisition, Jotunheim, Jotunheim raid, Vanaheimr, Taleghan, The Emperor Calls Turn Not Away Lest Ye Be Judged) First Commander:
Kor'el'T'au B'Kyse Current Commander:
Kor'O'T'au Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh Crew:
6,000 Kor, 3,000 Fio, 200 Por, 1 Aun (attached to fleet), 6 Shipboard Security Cadres, numerous assorted Kor'vessa Powerplant:
Hybrid Fusion/Nova system (4 Fusion reactors, 2 Nova reactors) Propulsion:
Standard Fusion Drive/Gravitic Field hybrid system Defences:
Class 2 multi-tier close-in point defence grid, including 4 mass drivers. Class 1 gravitic shield Armament:
Three light railcannon batteries (Total armament composition: 18 heavy railcannons in 6 2-railcannon turrets, 2 single railcannon turrets and 2 2-railcannon casemates in prow) Docking Capacity:
2 Gravitic Hooks Compliment:
2 Kass'l (Orca) class gunships Status:
Active in Warzone Overview:
The first ship Kor'O'T'au Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh was given command over upon his promotion to Kor'el, the Merchant class starship T'au'Il'fannor'B'Kyse'Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh
, more commonly known by it's reporting name of Serenity
, may at first seem an unusual choice for the flagship of a fleet. While many other flagships are often extremely large capital ships such as grand cruisers or battleships, and Tau flagships are frequently lavishly equipped with numerous additional command systems and experimental equipment, the T'au'Il'fannor'B'Kyse'Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh
has neither of these qualities - aside from the re-enforced hull structure common to later model Merchants, it is a completely standard Il'fannor.
Despite this, the T'au'Il'fannor'B'Kyse'Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh
has had an illustrious history in numerous guises under a long line of captains. In it's first mission after launching from the T'au shipyards the vessel pioneered the exploration of the O'leath belt, almost single-handedly charting the vast expanse of asteroids over the course of several years, an achievement that earned it's first commander their namesake. The ship also played a major role in the evacuation of Du'vr'Da after the colony was threatened by dangerous celestial phenomena, saving the lives of countless thousands of colonists. The T'au'Il'fannor'B'Kyse'Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh
was the first ship to make contact with a number of alien powers, and was instrumental in a number of significant trading exchanges. She served as the secret refuge for Aun'El'T'au Li’Sun’yi when the Ethereal was targeted by Imperial agents, and it was fire support from her railcannons that broke the back of the Ork horde assaulting D'Upt, turning the battle there from an almost certain defeat into a decisive victory.
But it has been in recent times that the T'au'Il'fannor'B'Kyse'Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh
has made her largest mark on history, participating in a rapid string of major actions and being instrumental in numerous major victories. Twice now the ship has commanded Kor'vattra fleet K-42 in the defence of one of the Tau Empire's most prestigious military academies and science and engineering facilities, the famous ATT orbital, during significant attacks on it, each time relaying important information and delivering support to the Fire Caste hunter cadres fighting against incredible odds, and overseeing evacuation operations and re-enforcement delivery, and both times have ended in victories for the Tau forces. Even now it acts as the nerve centre for K-42 as it fights in the defence of Tau space against an enormous Imperial offensive. Indeed, as K-42 is at present the only combat-effective fleet in the immediate region it is located in, the T'au'Il'fannor'B'Kyse'Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh
effectively acts as the command centre for the defence of an entire sector.
The general consensus among analysts is that the key to the success of the T'au'Il'fannor'B'Kyse'Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh
, in recent times at least, is two-fold. In part it is due to the very nature of the ship's lack of modification, as it's standard systems are, typical of all Kor'vattra vessels, extremely reliable, and without the experimental or customised equipment commonly mounted on other flagships, there is no risk of such comparatively exotic additions failing when needed most - the command and communication systems onboard the vessel are much less likely to malfunction, and it's targeting systems rarely deviate too far off target. The simplicity and familiarity of the ship's systems also allows them to be quickly and easily repaired in the event of damage. The vessel's greatest strength, however, is undoubtedly that of the personnel that man it, and it's commander Kor'O'T'au Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh himself. Kais is an exceptionally gifted admiral, known for his creative thinking, and his crew are extremely close to each other and the ship, each fully aware of his or her fellow crew-members' abilities and limitations, as well as those of the ship itself - indeed a number of them have occasionally boasted that they know the ship better than the Fio that built it. It was this combination that enabled the T'au'Il'fannor'B'Kyse'Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh
to evade and thoroughly outwit the fleets opposing it in naval wargame exercises, and after these feats earned Kor'O'T'au Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh command of the ship the skills and tactics learned during them were tested to the limit in a baptism of fire when, during it's first mission with Kais commanding it, the vessel and it's two escorts were cut off from the rest of the Tau fleet and left stranded in hostile territory pursued by Task Force Vandal of the Imperial Navy. Over several grueling months Kais and his crew led the Imperial fleet on a cat-and-mouse chase across an enormous tract of space before finally slipping past the Gue'la and making their way back to Tau territory. This would be followed by a long string of cunning ploys and masterful gambits, ranging from successfully running the immense Ork blockade of Nars'Yanoi and delivering vital re-enforcements and supplies to the embattled Tau forces on the surface to the destruction of the heavy cruiser Crucius Imperator
by luring it into a black hole.
As an interesting note, upon it's initial construction the T'au'Il'fannor'B'Kyse'Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh
possessed a small but critical defect that somehow managed to evade quality control. While usually the viewports of any starship are made to be extremely durable, with immense amounts of re-enforcement and armouring to ensure they will not easily rupture and thus form a hull breach, the central main viewport of the T'au'Il'fannor'B'Kyse'Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh
was somehow left much thinner and fragile than usual, enough so that it could be broken through with concentrated fire from high-powered heavy weapons. This fault was quickly discovered early on in the ship's service, but was never rectified, and nearly all of the Kor that served aboard the vessel feared at one point or another that it would spell their doom. As it transpired, the faulty viewport ultimately proved to be the salvation of the ship and it's crew during the first incursion of the ATT orbital station. During the conflict a large host of Mont'au creatures materialised on the bridge of the T'au'Il'fannor'B'Kyse'Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh
, but the Shipboard Security units stationed on the bridge at the time were able to concentrate their weaponry onto the weakened viewport, breaking it and flushing the entire Mont'au force into space with the resulting decompression while a quick evacuation of the bridge beforehand and the sealed environments of Fire Caste combat armour and battlesuits issued to Shipboard Security cadres resulted in no Tau losses (although the bridge was left out of action for some time afterwards). In the aftermath of the battle the viewport was repaired and brought up to standard strength.
Whether eluding pursuit in a high-stakes mission or directing an engagement at the heart of an entire battlefleet, Serenity
, the T'au'Il'fannor'B'Kyse'Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh
is a testament to the age old truth that it is not a vessel's power or equipment that makes it a worthy flagship - it's the crew commanding it that does.Crew Profiles: Key Personnel Captain: Kor'O'T'au Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh
"Unidentified Gue'la vessel, this is Kor'O'T'au Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh commanding Kor'vattra fleet K-42. You are in direct violation of Tau space during a time of war, and are hereby ordered to stand down and surrender your ship. Lower your shielding, power down your weapons and main drives and prepare to be boarded for inspection. Failure to comply to these terms or resistance to inspection will force us to open fire on your ship."
- Kor'O'T'au Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh contacting the Imperial cruiser Terra Unbound, prior to it's engagement and destruction
Kor'O'T'au Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh has had plenty of experience with the darker, malevolent side of the galaxy over his lifetime. Much of his early life was spent as a Kor'la serving aboard the T'au'Gal'leath'Savon'Taal'Fann
, an Explorer class starship assigned as a hospital ship in support of Fire Caste campaigns on numerous worlds, giving the young Kais a brutal introduction to the horrors of total galactic war - severed limbs, mutilating scars, gruesome infections and casualties torn and mangled beyond almost all recognition screaming for aid, loved ones, the Tau'va or just in sheer pain were but a few of the sights he witnessed making his rounds on the ship. Eventually the T'au'Gal'leath'Savon'Taal'Fann
was boarded and stormed by Ork pirates and Kais got a glimpse of but one of the sources for such misery as he and the rest of the vessel's crew desperately fled the invaders in a frantic race to the escape pods that resulted in just over half the ship's crew reaching safety. Later as a Kor'ui he spent a hellish Kai'rotaa stranded in the ruined derelict of the T'au'Il'fannor'Ko'Eoro'Cea'Cha
after it was stormed by Chaos-aligned humans, never quite being sure that his nightmarish tormentors had left, until a Tau salvage team rescued him. Later Kais served on a ship that formed part of an evacuation convoy for a colony recently consumed by the Tyranids, and he and the rest of the crew were constantly accompanied by the bloodcurdling sounds that spilled out over communications channels from those ships unfortunate enough to be caught by the pursuing splinter fleet. Perhaps the two most crushing blows of all dealt to him, however, were the death of the Ethereal Aun'vre'T'au Ko'Ta under his watch when their ship was boarded, and the loss of his beloved companion Kor'vre'T'au Or'Ro, who was swept away by pirates later identified as Dark Eldar and never seen again.
It is perhaps surprising then that despite all this, Kor'O'T'au Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh remains as bright and idealistic as the Tau that first expanded into the stars, and indeed has been described as "A relic of the First Sphere" by his peers. Where recent history has led many Tau, particularly amongst the Fire Caste, to adopt a mindset that might perhaps be described as 'cynical', Kais remains as optimistic as ever about the future and the Tau'va, and genuinely believes in the best of both the universe in general and the various species and powers that reside within it, remaining staunchly so even in the face of a galaxy seemingly determined to break him. While many critics might consider this to be naivety, it cannot be questioned that such a positive influence has proved beneficial to the Kor of K-42, who are reported to be well-motivated and highly diligent as a result. Kais is also known to be somewhat eccentric by Tau standards and is often prone to sentimental or romantic feelings. This has never been considered extreme enough to warrant corrective action however, and he is still fully able to contribute to the Tau Empire in a productive manner, which has meant that he has always been accepted but never been especially popular with the Kor'ar'tol. It is believed by many that this is a key reason for his assignment to the command of K-42 rather than a more prominent Kor'O'vesh posting.
It should be noted, however, that with the recent appearance of Dark Eldar raiders in the regions near K-42, Many of Kais's closest peers and friends have claimed to have noticed a slight, yet unmistakable change in his mindset and behaviour. The ageing Kor'O seems to have become more determined, more relentless in combat and less compromising to both enemies and those under his command, though this is only noticed by those who have served with him for an extremely long time. This change is not officially noted by Water Caste psych-analysists, who claim that his thought-processes are no different to the past and that his aforementioned compatriots are simply over-reacting to the fatigue and stresses near-constant combat action inevitably has. Those who claim to have noticed the change however remain unconvinced and quite concerned.. Fleet Advisor: Aun'O'T'au Ret'Sav'cyr
It is common practice for Tau fleets to have an Ethereal attached to them in order to provide guidance for the fleet and inspire ship crews to operate to the absolute best of their ability. For the Kor'vattra fleet K-42 this role is performed by Aun'O'T'au Ret'Sav'cyr. Despite his prestigious rank the enigmatic Ethereal is little-known within what constitutes the Tau political landscape, having far less of a public profile than the likes of Aun'va, Aun'Shi or even the late Aun'vre that accompanied the T'ros expedition. Instead Ret'Sav'cyr prefers to lead from the background, allowing others large amounts of autonomy and only giving occasional subtle suggestions and advice. An idealist despite his senior rank, he has extremely strong moral convictions and holds a firm belief that for every problem and dilemma there is a solution and there is a correct solution, and strongly advocates the need to do the morally right thing at all times. By his own account the Aun'O specifically requested his current posting after growing tired of greater Tau politics and the High Council's dabbling in questionable actions.
Aun'O'T'au Ret'Sav'cyr has travelled to much of the Tau Empire over his lifetime, helping to resolve a number of diplomatic disputes and monitoring numerous important research and development projects, such as the current development initiative for greater numbers of high-precision fleet support weaponry and options begun after combat experience during the first ATT station incursion highlighted a deficiency in this area. He has also been involved in a considerable number of military conflicts, including both fleet engagements and ground campaigns with Fire Caste Hunter Cadres, perhaps most notably accompanying the renowned Hunter Cadre Kais'Da'Anuk, otherwise known as the 42nd T'au Guards Cadre, in several battles. In following with his indirect approach to guidance, he will often remain neutral in major decisions, especially during fleet actions, but if he does issue a directive it will be considered sacrosanct and carried out to the utmost ability of the fleet, as is typical of all directions and orders given by members of the Ethereal Caste.
Over the course of his time spent in K-42, Aun'O'T'au Ret'Sav'cyr has come to thoroughly enjoy his fleet posting, sharing many of Kais's views and ideals and showing great acceptance of and even fascination with the various eccentricities and quirks of the fleet's personalities, and it is unlikely that he would ever want to return to the great domes and towers of T'au any time in the foreseeable future. It is perhaps interesting to note, however, that many who have encountered the Aun'O claim to have felt as though he knows a great deal more about a given subject, or indeed the nature of the galaxy itself, than he makes immediately apparent, and there have even been occasional reports that he has successfully predicted events or actions before they occur. What to make of this, however, none are certain... Chief Officer: Kor'El'T'au M'yen'Cha
Though in practice the T'au'Il'fannor'B'Kyse'Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh
is commanded by Kor'O'T'au Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh himself, the ship's technical captain is currently Kor'El'T'au M'yen'Cha, whose responsibilities include command of the ship should Kais be incapacitated or otherwise rendered incapable of leading, as well as helping in administrative work, informing the Kor'O of current developments, ensuring the Kor'O's orders are carried out and in general acting as a second in command. He has an excellent record, being a veteran captain of both civilian and military missions, including one of the last voyages of a T'au Merchant class starship outside of K-42, and a masterful ship defence against Ork pirates that earned him his current posting.
Kor'El'T'au M'yen'Cha is the newest addition to the crew of the T'au'Il'fannor'B'Kyse'Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh
, having been assigned to it after Kais's promotion to Kor'O. This means that he has not had the same amount of time the ship's crew has had to grow accustomed to each other, and as a result he is at times something of an outsider amongst the crew. Although he has since quickly started to adapt to the crew's own particular characteristics and idiosyncrasies this disconnect can at times lead to tension amongst the crew. While undoubtedly a capable officer, M'yen'Cha still lacks some of the experience and command skill of Kor'O'T'au Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh, as well as the latter's ability to think outside the box, and his knowledge is slightly more based in academic studies and theory. While this is not usually a problem when in his typical role or when in command of a single ship, it does result in a greater tendency to make critical errors in judgement, especially when placed in situations or duties outside of his main areas of expertise. This was perhaps most prominently illustrated during the first ATT Station incursion, when after relieving Kais of his command M'yen'Cha's lack of direction when giving the order to disengage from the main battle and commence deep space anti-shipping patrols, to prevent enemy reinforcement from outside the orbital station, resulted in the loss of four entire wings of Mantas after they were hijacked by internal saboteurs and turned against Tau forces. Although not severely reprimanded for this mistake, Kais is still yet to truly forgive him for it.. Chief Engineer: Fio'El'T'au D'Yan
"Red sector team 5, reinforce that bulkhead now! If it pops the entire 3 decks next-door go with it! Don't worry about the causeway team 8, just focus on the oxygen feeds, the Juntas gun crews need air more than they need to get to the docking port. Team 2 black sector, what's the status on the number 3 reactor? What do you mean you don't know what to do with it!? To'tau'va, you've been on this metal brick for how long and you're telling me you don't know how to handle a fluctuating reactor!? What does the emission indicator look like!? Then get over and replace the containment unit regulator circuit, it's not plotting an etheric dive! Noo, kna, the spare one is in the passenger quarters, what else do you think would be in a compartment labelled 'Reserve containment circuit', use your head for Aun's sake! Klkn, if I have to go back there and fix it myself you're going to wish that last hit to the engine room had gotten through the hull plating!"
- Fio'El'T'au D'yan, during an encounter with two cruisers from Task Force Vandal during the T'au'Il'fannor'B'Kyse'Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh's escape from the Kindjal system
From her earliest days as a Fio'la working alongside Air Caste ground crews to service and repair Mantas, Fio'El'T'au has displayed an extraordinary affinity for machines and exceptional talent for understanding their workings. Such a gift quickly saw her promoted to higher duties in a highly promising career cumulating in the position of chief engineer on a Custodian class battleship. Eventually however, her renown gave way to discontent as her superiors grew increasingly aware of her character. Whatever the reason for it may be, D'yan has a long-standing history and reputation for being notoriously sardonic and derisive, as well as being extremely strong-willed and fiercely stubborn, and has been known to make frequent use of morbid or black humour. While early in her rise to fame such traits were ignored due to a combination of her immense technical skills and a belief that wisdom and experience would see them phased out of her, eventually such a personality proved too much for such a prominent position, and D'yan was transferred to the much less glamorous role of chief engineer aboard the T'au'Il'fannor'B'Kyse'Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh
when the ship was placed under command of Kor'O'T'au Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh (at the time only a Kor'El). It was thought that placing D'yan on an old Kor'vattra vessel meant to only perform mundane tasks in the quiet corners of the Tau Empire would be the ideal way of getting her out of the way and keeping her busy until she finally learnt more 'proper' conduct.
As it transpired this would turn out to be a stroke of genius. D'yan found the rugged, simple mechanical systems of the Merchant class starship to be an absolute joy to work on, and Kais, himself more than a little unorthodox, proved more than willing to turn a blind eye to her snarking - indeed, Kais would prove to be one of the few individuals of authority that D'yan treated with considerable respect, with the two quickly becoming good friends. Now more motivated than ever, D'yan would go on to prove her worth time and again. During the fateful first voyage of the T'au'Il'fannor'B'Kyse'Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh
under Kais's command her careful monitoring and direction of the engines of the T'au'Il'fannor'B'Kyse'Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh
while the ship was on silent running was instrumental in evading Imperial patrols, while her exquisite command of the ship's engineering teams enabled swift repairs that kept the T'au'Il'fannor'B'Kyse'Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh
fully operational during the Battle of Thespa despite being targeted multiple times by enemy capital ships.
As the crew of the T'au'Il'fannor'B'Kyse'Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh
has grown closer over time, Fio'El'T'au D'yen has grown to be extremely protective of her shipmates, and will not hesitate to retaliate against visitors that she feels have insulted the crew in some way, making her very popular with a number of the ship's crew members. Her derisive and often dark sense of humour also often makes her popular with Gue'vessa being transported aboard the T'au'Il'fannor'B'Kyse'Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh
, providing them with a source of relate-able amusement on what might otherwise be an uneventful voyage. Chief Science Officer: Fio'vre'T'au Gal'T'koreth
Not all of the major crew members of the T'au'Il'fannor'B'Kyse'Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh
were placed there by the ar'tols of T'au to hide their quirks. Indeed, Fio'vre'T'au Gal'T'koreth is considered by many to be a model citizen of the Tau Empire, a renowned scientific mind well known for his dynamic enthusiasm and utmost belief in the Tau'va, and is something of a 'rising star' in the Tau scientific community, rapidly establishing a reputation as one of the Tau Empire's leading experts in the field of astronomy. It was because of this extensive knowledge base that Kor'O'T'au Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh personally requested Gal'T'koreth's posting on the T'au'Il'fannor'B'Kyse'Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh
, believing that his expertise could prove highly useful for deep space missions. Gal'T'koreth himself was happy to comply, reasoning that being stationed aboard the ship would be an ideal way to study the mysteries of the cosmos without being likely to be frequently exposed to dangerous combat.
Fio'vre'T'au Gal'T'koreth would swiftly find out he was incorrect in his assessment, as the T'au'Il'fannor'B'Kyse'Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh
, but Kais would be greatly vindicated in his judgement, with Gal'Tkoreth's insights proving invaluable on several occasions. It was his knowledge of celestial phenomena that allowed the crew of the T'au'Il'fannor'B'Kyse'Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh
to lay the fateful trap that doomed the Crucius Imperator
, and to escape pursuit from Eldar pirates in the Hydrapses System, using the movements of the system's celestial bodies to mask the ship's course and taking advantage of the local solar winds to hinder the aliens. In return, the various journeys and missions K-42 and the T'au'Il'fannor'B'Kyse'Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh
have undertaken have lead Gal'T'koreth to all manner of exciting new discoveries and breakthroughs.
But Fio'vre'T'au Gal'T'koreth is not just learned in material space features. He is also a leading authority on Etheric or warp-based events and developments, a subject of immeasurable importance in interstellar travel. Gal'T'koreth's insights have allowed the T'au'Il'fannor'B'Kyse'Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh
to successfully navigate several minor warp storms, as well as successfully avoiding a number of small warp rifts, and during the first ATT station incursion it was Gal'T'koreth's analysis of the etheric breach in the orbital's Upper Concourse section that allowed the fleet's engineers to jurry-rig several 'etheric polarity reversal charges' that succeeded in sealing the rift, cutting off a key source of enemy reinforcements. Once again this arrangement is mutually beneficial, as the travels of K-42 and the T'au'Il'fannor'B'Kyse'Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh
frequently bring Gal'Tkoreth into contact with new and unusual etheric anomalies to study, observe and categorise, further expanding the collective knowledge of the Tau Empire. Chief Security Officer: Shas'El'T'au B'kais
All Tau vessels maintain a Fire Caste shipboard security force of some description, ranging from just one or two Firewarrior teams on an escort to an entire contingent of Shipboard Security Cadres stationed on a capital ship. These forces are functionally analogous to marines or naval armsmen, acting as an internal security force to defend the ship in boarding actions, police any disputes that occur between the occupants of the vessel, and in general act to ensure the safety of all on board the ship. While the Tau are usually loathe to initiate boarding actions against a hostile ship themselves, Shipboard Security forces nonetheless also conduct the task of securing enemy ships that have surrendered to Tau forces, disarming the crew and ensuring they pose no danger, as well as confiscating any illegal contraband the vessel may be carrying.
In the case of capital ships where multiple cadres are present, one of the Fire Caste commanders present will be appointed an overall commander of the entire shipboard security force, in a similar manner to being appointed overall commander of a Contingent or Battle during ground warfare, however unlike terrestrial multi-cadre groupings that are almost entirely temporary in nature, the long-term nature of most deep-space missions and ship crew postings mean that the position of overall commander of a shipboard security force is for all practical purposes a permanent one, lasting until the Fire Caste commander in question is either killed or assigned a new mission. These overall commanders or Chief Security Officers then report directly to the ship's captain, as well as the fleet admiral if applicable, and are not only responsible for organising and directing the vessel's Shipboard Security Contingent, but also for the safety of the ship's commander, effectively acting as a bodyguard for the Kor'El or Kor'O. Hunter Cadres assigned Shipboard Security duty are often met with mixed feelings by other Fire Caste forces, as while they frequently see much less combat than terrestrially-bound Fire Caste units, what combat they do see is invariably extremely dangerous, as the tight confines of a starship interior often place severe limits on the amount and variety of heavy equipment and weaponry that can be deployed, and leaves Tau forces highly vulnerable to close assault. Victory in such circumstances usually comes down to cunning tactical ploys and clever use of the ship's layout, and consequently veteran shipboard security commanders often have a reputation for being devious and underhanded.
The current chief security officer in command of the shipboard security forces aboard the T'au'Il'fannor'B'Kyse'Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh
, Shas'El'T'au B'kais is relatively new to the position, having been promoted to Shas'El for her valorous actions during the first ATT Station incursion, where she played a key role in fighting off the Mont'au forces' assault on the ship's bridge, and then given the role of chief security officer after it's previous holder was killed protecting Kor'O'T'au Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh from an assault by a boarding party of Gue'ron'sha heavy infantry that teleported directly into the interior of the T'au'Il'fannor'B'Kyse'Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh
. Nonetheless B'kais has a considerable amount of leadership experience despite her relatively new posting, having commanded small forces of Shipboard Security Firewarriors in several boarding actions during her time as a Shas'vre - a common occurrence among shipboard security forces due to the frequently chaotic nature of fighting in the confines of a starship, which often sees force elements cut off from main command channels. She has already displayed an impressive aptitude for the unique challenges of starship interior combat, and her tactical approaches and thinking on the subject are beginning to revolutionise the way such battles are fought, having already been adopted by many of the other shipboard security forces in K-42, and are even starting to diffuse to other Tau fleets.
As for Shas'El'T'au B'kais herself, she is soft-spoken and will often prefer to speak through actions rather than words, and is reputed to be highly honourable in battle, in contrast to the common stereotype of shipboard security commanders. Tall and powerful even by Fire Caste standards, she often presents an intimidating sight, and is extensively trained in combat and leadership both from within and without a battlesuit, a requirement for shipboard security commanders due to the restrictive nature of many starship interiors. Despite this imposing presence, she is often surprisingly compassionate, and frequently acts as a comforting presence in times of stress. ****
So there it is, my first piece of individual ship background. Now to do the same for the other ships in my fleet... urk.
Finally, I have another question for everyone, that is critically important for a top-secret project I intend to work on in the not-too-distant future. I am wondering if anyone might be able to point me in the direction of some good guides or tips for blending colours when painting, as I am wanting to get a smooth transition of colours on the aforementioned secret project when painting it, going from dark at the bottom areas to light at the top (So far I haven't been able to find any resources on here that are really helpful for what I want). If it helps the colours I am looking to blend are light blue-greys and blue-whites. It's something I've never tried before, but it's the only way I can think of to properly capture the look of what I want, and I'd prefer to get it right the first time, partially because I'm an almost obsessive perfectionist that makes the Emperor's Children legion pale in comparison, but also because thanks to the Specialist Games ranges being discontinued, I'll only be getting one shot at it. So any help would be greatly appreciated.
(P.S. And can someone please remind me what 'ATT' is supposed to stand for in-universe? I remember it's not 'Advanced Tau Tactica', but I can't remember what the official in-universe name is. It's something Tactical something right?)