T'au 26th Tactical interdiction Cadre- Specialist strikeTeam

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T'au 26th Tactical interdiction Cadre- Specialist strikeTeam

Post#1 » Mar 27 2012 08:53

EDIT: As my log has now been moved from the concourse and into the project logs, members of saal rank will be unable to post. If this applies to you but you still want to make a comment/share an idea/tell me about what you had for breakfast, feel free to send me a pm :D all feedback is valued




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Tactical interdiction cadres

Tactical interdiction cadres are a reasonably new and specialized formation within the Tau Military. T.I.C units are tailored to perform rapid strikes into hostile territory in order to seize and subsequently hold ground, denying it to the enemy. In order to most effectively execute this purpose, Members of Tactical Interdiction Cadres are outfitted for rapid deployment and have become expert in establishing temporary fortifications in which to dig in their heels.

During their inception, Tactical Interdiction Cadres were originally envisioned capturing enemy supply routes and depots. And while they have admirably performed in this function, the formation has grown far beyond this original designation. While they may lack some of the manpower and heavy equipment of certain other cadres, their ability to quickly deploy and efficiently seize ground while withstanding counter attack has made T.I.C units among the favored choices in a variety of operations with many commanders. Perhaps the most unforeseen and succesful application of T.I.C units however, has been in the role of a quick reaction force. Able to deploy quickly and erect temporary fortifications, they are able to reinforce and anchor positions until heavier relief forces can arrive. Countless outposts, colonies and settlements have been saved by the deployment of a T.I.C cadre in order to thwart an unforeseen attack

Configuration

Mobility and firepower are the essence of a Tactical Interdiction Cadre. Because of this, standard T.I.C’s rely heavily of devilfish mounted infantry, supported by Jet pack enabled battle suits with a small pool of hammerhead gunships and lighter skimmers for fire support. In this configuration the cadre is able to stab quickly into enemy territory while bringing with them sufficient firepower to hold their ground. This also gives the cadre the ability to exfiltrate and re-position entirely under their own power and without relying on extraction units.

A number of Interdiction Cadres have specialized even further; training extensively in unison with the Air caste in order to conduct airborne operations. Using XV-8’s deployed from high altitude or pre-inserted stealth teams, a landing zone will be cleared as Orca dropships deliver infantry and heavier battlesuits directly onto the target. This configuration relies on the element of surprise, giving the target little to no time to react before the cadre are quite literally deployed on top of them. Exfiltration can however become more difficult during these operations as the lack of armoured transports and heavy vehicles means the cadre will either need to either hold until a relief force arrives or risk a dangerous extraction by dropship while under fire.



T’au 26th T.I.C

The T’au sept's 26th tactical interdiction cadre were amongst the 3rd itineration of T.I Cadres commissioned for the Tau military. Since its inception 22 years ago, the Cadre has served primarily along the North Eastern border of the empire. In this time the cadre has accrued an enviable service record; wresting control of planets from the grip of Orkish hordes, shielding colonies from Tyranid monsters and facilitating the annexation of a number of worlds into the Empire. The cadre's latest logged deployment is recorded as being upon the Gue'La world of "Outreach". A campaign fought in desperation which has claimed a severe toll on the cadre's personnel, resources and commander.

For the past 7 years The 26th Tactical Interdiction Cadre is has been command by Shas’O T’au Bap’rra Cova’upt Kar’tyr’Vash. The history of the cadre and that of its commander are one and the same, Vash joining the 26th T.I.C as a newly graduated Shas’La when the cadre was first formed. His entire military career has been served within the 26th T.I.C and likewise, the 26th T.I.C has played out its entire history with Vash as a part of it. As a result, the cadre and its commander have seemingly each shaped each other in equal measure, their fates inseparably intertwined.

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Shas'Saal BL-572 during training exercise [1]

Training

Over the years the 26th has developed a number of idiosyncrasies unique to the cadre, most of which having been inherited via the eccentricities of their commander. Recruits to the cadre are typically newly graduated Shas’La from the fire caste academies of T’au. With Fire Warrior teams being made up in large part by unseasoned recruits, strict training regimes are fastidiously maintained. To this end, Shas’O Kar'tyr'Vash maintains a team of handpicked drill Shas to oversee training exercises internally within the Cadre. As a result, the Training regime within the 26th has evolved into a non standard affair. Even more so than in a regular cadre, an all-encompassing emphasis is placed upon co-operation and synergy within fire teams. Rather than new recruits being assigned to a fire team, Shas’Ui team leaders are given free reign to select recruits that they feel will be conductive to their specific team. Conversely, Should a fire warrior prove especially disruptive or cause consistent friction within a team, the Shas’Ui maintains the authority to eject any member from his La’rua. This is an extreme measure however and is fairly rare as great lengths will be taken to successfully integrate the fire team beforehand. Great dishonor is attached to a Shas who has been ejected from his team and unless he can prove his worth and find a new place within the Cadre, he will be transferred out of the unit.

Exercises, simulations and assessments are all conducted on a group basis with team scores and accolades being given in place of individual statistics or praise. Further to this, fire teams are housed, fed and encouraged to socialize together. Over the course of their training, teams will learn to operate as one, coming together as parts of a single entity rather than as individuals.

Competition between Fire warriors of the same La'rua is viewed as counter productive and heavily discouraged. Young warriors of the fire caste naturally possess competitive spirits however and their appetite for challenge must be satiated somehow. This is facilitated with structured competition between the cadre's individual fire teams. These events play host to fierce challenges of strength, speed, skill and intelligence with one fire team vying for supremacy over the others. The one caveat of these events is that team leaders are strictly forbidden from participating. The events are a platform for the Shas’La to prove themselves against their peers and foster their drive to win as a team.

While the Shas’La compete against each other, Shas’Ui team leaders are gathered into a kind of team of their own. Just as members within a fire team must co-operate and perform with synergy amongst other members of their team, so too must each team operate with synergy among other groups within the cadre. To accommodate this, the Shas’Ui team leaders are grouped together and given a variety of tasks to accomplish. No leader is elected within the team and all Shas’Ui are considered equal regardless of age or experience. With no ranking member to claim the final word, each ‘Ui must decide how best to employ the resources at his disposal in unison with his fellow team leaders. This exercise tests the team leaders ability to deploy the assets at their disposal in support of each other, whether those assets be a team of 11 trained Fire Warriors or the Shas’Ui’s own bare hands.

With such great weight placed upon the value of a unified team, it is unsurprising that warriors who constantly work, live and fight together form exceptionally strong bonds. Arguably as a direct result of this structure, The 26th T.I.C possess an unusually high number of bonded teams for its size. Like anywhere else Tau society, The ritual of the Ta’lissera is treated with the utmost reverence and esteem within the cadre. Bonding knives, symbols of this sacred blood bond, are maintained with the utmost care and displayed proudly by the leaders of bonded teams. Should a team fall in battle with no surviving members to carry on the bonding knife, the blade will be transported back to T'au in order take up a place of reverence within the halls the fire caste training academies.






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26'th T.I.C Dress Uniform [2]

Dress

Most Tau military forces will alter their uniform to better suit the environment of their current deployment. Many will also maintain a characteristic formal or “dress” uniform however. The T’au 26th is one such unit, their uniform closely resembling the standard dress uniform of the T’au sept with a few distinctive alterations. The most distinctive alteration to the uniform lies in the deep crimson armour panels painted throughout the cadre. With the high frequency of bonded units within the cadre, these deep red panels have come to represent the blood bonds with the cadre. This practice began with the cadre’s commander, Shas’O Kar'tyr'Vash, and eventually disseminated through the ranks to become a trademark of the cadre and solidified feature of the uniform. This characteristic blood red panel along with the prevalence of the ta’lissera ritual inspired the cadre's informal nick name, "The Crimson Blades”.

Another distinctive feature of the 26th is the inclusion of tribal warpaint markings on certain units and Armour panels. While squad and unit markings are common throughout the greater Tau military; members of the 26th T.I.C have taken the practice a step further, including complex and elaborate patterns of warpaint dating back to the ancient pre-unification fire caste. These symbols typically adorn the armour panels of team leaders and ranking officers. Again, this feature is one that has spread from the personality of the cadre’s commander through his subordinates.

The final significant difference in the cadre’s uniform is a subtle shift in the traditional ochre shade of the T’au sept uniform. A number of Tactical interdiction cadres including the 26th have their primary barracks within the Or’es’shi military complex located within the Suam plains of the Tau home world, an area characterized by its uniquely red coloured earth. The primary colour of the Crimson blades uniform has had its ochre colour subtly tinted a red-orange shade as a tribute to the cadres spiritual home.




Cadre Personnel and Assest files:



========= Cadre Command and Control elements =========



Shas’O T’au Bap’rra Cova’upt Kar’tyr’Vash





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Screen capture of Shas'O Kar'tyr'Vash during a night operation



With the rapid advancement of tau technology and the integration of more and more alien cultures into tau society, it has become easy for many throughout the expanding empire to forget the old ways. With intense focus placed upon the tau’s future, there still remain those who place the same importance on their past.

Shas’O Kar’tyr’Vash is an archetypal embodiment of the inevitable conflict created within an empire expanding as dynamically as the Tau’s. O’Vash represents two sides of the same coin. A staunch traditionalist by nature, he is observant of tradition and customs of the ancient fire caste. Conversely, O’Vash recognises his first duty as to the warriors beneath his command. In order to preserve the lives of his people and overcome obstacles laid before him; O’Vash will flaunt tradition and doctrine, acting instead as a free thinking and radical pragmatist. This conflict within a single Shas is indicative of a tug of war taking place within the greater empire as a whole.

The struggle between the old and the new, between tradition and progress.

This internal conflict might serve as a hindrance to some or be seen as a lack of direction by others. Shas‘O Kar’tyr’Vash however has taken a different standpoint. While these two doctrines may be considered as conflicting, opposing or mutually exclusive, he argues that the inclusion of two opposite schools of thought constitutes a complete and rounded view. Rather than seeing the two as opposing one and other, O’ Vash believes they support and contribute to each other. When both exist in harmony one lends its strength to the other. It is around this central theme that O'Vash has based his personal philosophy. A philosophy which has earned ’O Vash a reputation as an extremely versatile leader, able to adapt his strategy to any situation rather than attempting to adapt the situation to fit his strategy.

Many of ‘O Kar’tyr’vash’s personal philosophies can be ascertained simply by examining his choice of equipment. His hybridization of the old and the new can be seen in the configuration of his suit. Rather than accepting a newer command variant battlesuit, ‘O Vash has maintained his original XV-8 crisis suit that he was bestowed as a Shas’Ui (though it has been refurbished and upgraded many times). Mounted on this venerable chassis are a number of newer experimental class systems such as an IX-22 cyclic ion blaster,a GX-22 airbursting fragmentation projector and a stimulant injector suite. The configuration of his battlesuit is tailored toward quickly engaging, suppressing and dispatching large groups of infantry. Having spent much of his career battling Orkish hordes and holding back Tyranid swarms, this armament has proven brutally effective and brought a swift end to countless foes of the empire. This choice of armament leaves O'vash largely unable to engage heavier targets; a compromise that leaves the commander unconcerned though. Caring nothing for personal glory, ‘O Vash remains focused on delivering the most efficient form of destruction upon his enemy's line infantry while leaving the larger "trophy kills" for others to strike at. Thanks in no small part to the vulnerabilities opened by Vash's efforts, many of his students have earned famed reputations for slaying monstrous beasts or destroying heavy armour, Accolades in which the commander takes great pride in watching his pupils receive.

Vash's character has been shaped by a long and conflicted past, as evidenced by his collection of bestowed titles (his full title translating to: Fire caste commander, T'au sept, Lost shadow, shatter mountain, just intervention). This remains a past that the commander has proved utterly unwilling to discuss or divulge. There is a deep seeded darkness that exists hidden within his character, a pit of seething grief and self loathing borne of great sorrow. This stems all the way back to his days as a Shas'La and mission gone wrong upon the planetoid of Embras. The records of this event have subsequently been sealed and held in extraordinary secrecy. Whatever occurred upon Embras however, Vash emerged carrying an evidently heavy burden. Going forward Vash has managed to suppress his past thanks in large part to his mentor, Aun'Vre Au'res Seech. Whether he has ever truly come to terms with it though, remains to be seen

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[center]Shas'El T'au Vior Suam'Ta


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Brash, headstrong and emotive, the personality of the 26th T.I.C’s second in command could not contrast more starkly to that of its leader. Where O’Vash is diplomatic and lyrical, Suam is direct and blunt. Where his mentor is calm and reserved, Suam is passionate and forthcoming. It is difficult to imagine O’Vash selecting a more dissimilar student as his successor, but this decision was as carefully measured as any other that the commander makes. Suam’ta provides the cadre with a wildly different command personality and an entirely alternate perspective. Where this might seem conflicting or dysfunctional to outsiders, it harmonises perfectly into O’Vash’s philosophy of balance.

Fiercely loyal to his mentor, Suam’ta serves stalwartly as Vash’s right hand. Where O’Vash must often concern himself with the intricacies of a regional or even global theatre, Suam’ta remains responsible for the day to day operations of the 26th T.I.C as well as often assuming direct command of the cadre’s field operations. In this role, and under the guidance of his teacher, Suam’ta has proven himself not only an immensely capable officer but also a fierce combatant. Suam’ta himself will most often be found leading strikes against the enemies most dangerous or valuable assets

Circumstances were not always so amicable however. Among Vash’s numerous students, Suam’ta would easily rate as the most resistant and belligerent. Aptly named, the young Shas’Vre “fire soul” boasted a ferocity of spirit to rival that of any Vior’lan. The young warrior held no regard for any limitations, whether they be mental, physical or authoritative. Through sheer force of will, he would overcome any obstacle arrayed before him. When placed under the tutelage of Shas’O Kar’tyr’Vash, significant friction occurred. Suam’ta considered the teachings of his new mentor to be antiquated, impractical and irrelevant to modern military doctrine. The thought of studying philosophy and history while the Empire was beset on all sides by war and turmoil infuriated him. Rather than attempting to tame the Shas’Vre however, O’Vash preyed upon his insatiable drive to succeed. Presenting Suam’ta with a series of obscure riddles and challenges, O’Vash silently watched on while offering no comment or tutelage. As the the Shas’Vre failed time and time again using his conventional means, his frustration and bitterness only grew. After a period of several weeks and meeting only with consistent failure, the infuriated Shas’Vre demanded the answers to his trials. It was at this point and with a great deal of satisfaction, O’vash announced that his tutelage could begin. It was with this single moment of enraged weakness that O’Vash began to break through Suam’ta’s headstrong attitude.

Owing to his tendency to lead the cadre from the front and engage only the most dangerous of enemy combatants, Suam’ta is equipped with a specially developed XV-8 “Nemesis” battlesuit. This suit is designed to be more durable than standard XV-8 suits with additional armour plating enhanced servo motors and built in redundancy systems. This gives the suit the longevity and staying power necessary in order to challenge targets whether they be enemy champion, lumbering monster or armoured behemoth. This added durability does come at a cost however; the additional weight and bulk of the suit hampering the manoeuvrability of the user. Most XV-8 pilots regard the Nemesis suit as sluggish and unwieldy as a result. To compensate for this shortcoming, large additional retro boosters have been fitted to the outside of the suit lending the pilot bursts of surprising agility. The co-ordination of such systems during a combat situation takes an exceptional level of skill however. Only the most talented pilots are able to utilise the system to its full effect. The boosters can also contain only a limited charge. They are unable to operate at peak output during prolonged engagements. For this reason, nemesis suits are often utilised against high value targets before being withdrawn to avoid operation while under peak capacity.

The most heavily armoured region of the suit is the chest cavity in which the pilot is housed. Even if the suit suffers catastrophic damage and is disabled, it is likely that the pilot will survive the encounter. Due to the construction of the armour plating though, the pilots compartment can not be opened and closed at will like in other battlesuit models. Before an engagement, the chest of the suit must quite literally be assembled around the pilot using a specialised Fio scaffold. This also means that the pilot will be unable to exit the suit without additional aid. Should the operator become trapped within the suit, the front armour panel may be explosively ejected in an emergency. Once the panel has been ejected however, the suit will be inoperable and the pilot will be unable to re-enter until the XV-8 has been recovered and repaired by a qualified technical team.

Due to its expense, complicated maintenance and difficulty to operate, the XV-8 Nemesis battlesuit has become a rare variant amongst most of the Tau military. In the hands of a capable pilot and applied to the correct situation however, its effectiveness can not be questioned.










========= Infantry Elements =========



Fireteam: Dagger 1


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Dagger 1-1: Shas'Ui Soo'Myr


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========= Xar'Vesa specialists =========



XV-8 Nova Team


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Nova 1


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nova 2


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Nova 3


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========= Light Armour =========





Pondskater Tetra Squadron


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Due to the tendency for tactical interdiction cadres to operate heavily within enemy lines, T.I.C units cannot always depend upon standard intelligence assets. In order to seize and subsequently hold an objectives against counter attack, it is essential for the cadre to have accurate up to the minute information. This has given rise to increased reliance on tetra scout speeders within many T.I.C units. This is no different within the 26th T.I.C.

Unlike infantry based pathfinder teams, tetra speeders are capable of keeping pace with the mobile actions of T.I.C without the need for a dedicated devilfish transport. Tetra equipped pathfinders are capable of moving independently of external support while remaining small and agile enough to evade detection as well as fast enough to escape eventual hostile contacts. These capabilities make tetra squadrons ideal outriders for the 26th's armoured columns where they serve to identify targets and threats in the path of the task force.

Once the Cadre has reached its objective, tetra squadrons switch seamlessly from a reconnaissance element to a combat support role. Utilising high intensity marker light technology, Tetras accurately mark high value targets for destruction by the cadre’s fire support units.

Once the objective has been seized the tetra squadrons will once again switch roles and return to their original reconnaissance designation. In this role they provide an early detection network against hostile counter attacks until such time as the cadre is prepared to withdraw with their objectives accomplished.

So reliant have certain Interdiction cadres become on their tetra speeders that a system of aerial deployment has been devised specifically for use during T.I.C airborne operations. Utilising externally attached retro boosters combined with the output of the skimmers over driven anti-gravatic engines, the tetra can be deployed from the rear hatch of an orca dropship while at altitude. The anti-gravatic engines coupled with the additional thrust of the boosters are capable of slowing the tetras descent enough to facilitate a safe landing. Upon touch down, the expended boosters are detached and abandoned as the tetra departs to pursue its objectives.

This type of deployment isn't without its inherent risks though. The boosters output must be carefully recalculated based on the atmosphere, gravity and myriad other variables native to each planet. There is also a precise altitude range in which this maneuverer must be performed in order to succeed. Deployed too high and the boosters will be exhausted before making planet fall. Deployed too low, and the boosters will have insufficient time in order to slow the skimmers descent. Additionally, should a single booster fail during descent either due to malfunction or enemy fire, the tetra will spiral violently and irreversibly out of control.

Because of the significant risks involved and potential for catastrophic failure, aerial deployments are attempted only by the most fearless or foolhardy of skimmer pilots. The members of the 26th T.I.C’s “pondskater” squadron are regarded by their peers as resting somewhere between these two traits. Undoubtedly talented pilots, they have often been chastised for their reckless behavior. The unit earned its name for the tendency of its members to adjust their gravatic fields in order to lower their vehicle and skim lower to the ground. It has been argued by squadron members that this is in order to minimize the tetras profile during reconnaissance operations. Most outsiders maintain speculation that it is simply a custom to flaunt skill and bravado however.

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Pondskater 1: Shas'Ui Ar'Raik


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The pondskaters are headed by Shas’Ui Ar’Raik. A talented, albeit slightly eccentric soldier of exceptional experience, Ar’Raik stands as the 26th Tactical’s longest serving active duty Shas, having been a member of the cadre before even Shas’O Kar’tyr’Vash. Many years ago, Shas’Ui Ar’Raik and his former pathfinder team came to the aid of a stranded fire team on the Ork held world of Tal'scea. As fate would have it, a young Shas'La named Vash within the stranded team would rise through the ranks to become the eventual leader of the cadre. In present times, Ar’Raik enjoys an informal relationship with O’Vash, thanks in part to the rescue on Tal'scea but also due to the fact that Ar’Raik was a close friend of Vash’s former mentor, Shas’Ui Dier.



Prone to speaking in a convoluted and whimsical fashion, Ar’Raik is often described as confusing or off putting by those unfamiliar with him. His habit of referring to Shas’O Kar’tyr’Vash; his commanding officer and a grizzled veteran in his own rite, as “young one” has raised more than a few eyebrows. This Coupled with his tendency to sing or hum cheerfully to himself while in the thick of battle, has led to more than a few observers coming away dazed and confused after their first encounter with the Shas’Ui.

His tetra speeder itself is even indicative of his personality. While many team leaders within the 26th have embraced Vash’s practice of marking themselves with ancient fire caste iconography, Ar’Raik has taken the practice to extremes by covering most of the hull of his skimmer with the symbols. He reasons that; as the trunk of a firax tree is decorated by rings with age, so too should his markings become more ornate with his age. There are few who are willing to argue with his sentiment. Slightly more troublesome however is Ar’Raik's love for seeker missiles which verges on the unhealthy. Nothing brings joy to the old Shas’ eyes like the howl of a seeker missile in flight. It is a well-known fact within the cadre that the last available seeker missile is reserved for Shas’Ui Ar’Raik’s use. Those who forget this ruling receive Ar’Raik’s own brand of disciplinary action; the last incident resulting in a Shas’La’s personal possessions being strapped to an outgoing seeker missile.

Despite never progressing beyond the rank of Ui, Ar’Raik has organically shifted to take place as the unofficial co-ordinator of the cadre’s recon and intelligence assets. Confused first impressions aside, Shas’Ui Ar’Raik has proved himself a supremely capable pilot and team leader. Ar’Raik’s skills and experience have made him a highly valued member of the cadre, his eccentricities exuding an unfamiliar charisma that pushes those around him to willingly perform acts of seemingly reckless bravery. Many a Shas’La have been saved by a markerlight guided seeker missile thanks to the actions of Ar’Raik and his team.




========= Fire Support =========







Dragon 1



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The 26th T.I.C heavily utilises hammerhead tanks as mobile fire support during interdiction operations. Spearheading these operations is the cadre’s lead vehicle, designated as Dragon 1. Aswell as maintaining its role as a main battle tank, Dragon 1 acts as a command and control unit for the cadres armoured operations. The vehicle possess an enhanced communications suite and additional tactical displays to aid in the co-ordination of the battle space. Dragon 1 is also equipped with swappable hard points in the form of its turret mount. Based on the parameters of the mission, the tanks main armament can be replaced with a variety of weapons ranging from high velocity rail guns to volatile plasma cannons.

Dragon 1’s chassis has served within the 26th for a number of years and in that time has developed a distinct personality of its own. Within the cadre, Dragon 1 is considered as both a blessing and a curse depending largely on whom you ask.

Fio technicians attached to the cadre have come to loath Dragon 1 for the temperamental nature of its systems. Dragon 1 has earned a vicious reputation for developing a near constant stream of problems while off the field. Unbalanced gravatic thrusters, Targeting array miscalculations, Electrical failures, Engine malfunctions, The word “Dragon 1” has become a curse word amongst numerous Fio workshops which have had the displeasure of trying to tame its systems.

Conversely, The Shas which serve alongside Dragon 1 have no such complaints. While deployed in combat, Dragon 1’s technical malfunctions are inexplicably replaced with an extraordinary resilience. Time and time again, Dragon 1 has sustained damage that would have crippled any other tank and somehow managed to continue flawless operation. The vehicle’s reputation for good fortune was perhaps most dramatically solidified in an incident where a Gue’La missile penetrated through the rear hatch of the vehicle but then failed to detonate, coming to rest impotently on the floor of the crew compartment. The missile has since been defused and claimed by the tank crew as a trophy.

Having proved its miraculous resilience on the field only hours earlier, Dragon 1 will then routinely resume its inexplicable string of malfunctions upon returning to the depot.

Cursed by the Fio, Praised by the Shas, the chasis of Dragon 1 has taken on as much personality as any other member of the cadre.

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==DISCLAIMER== IMPORTANT!
Throughout many of my fluff pieces I will be using various images to add visual stimulus. Many of these images ARE NOT PRODUCED BY ME. They are the works of others that I have either edited or used as is. Where possible I will credit the artist though many of them are found on blogs or gallery threads with no links to the original artist. If I have used a piece of your work please feel free to pm me and I will gladly edit my posts to either credit you appropriately or remove it at your discretion.





Key:
[1] image owned by games workshop as found in Codex: Tau empire, Warhammer 40,000 rule book and various other publications
[2] image generated using Tau firewarrior scheme selector produced by brother Argos of http://www.bolterandchainsword.com
[3] Image produced and owned by artist Gary Tonge. Visit his home page HERE for more of his brilliant work
[4]Screenshot taken from Relic entertainments "Dawn of War" series of computer games
[5] Artist unknown. if this is YOUR work please pm me and I will gladly credit you appropriately
[6] image from fire warrior video game by Kuju entertainment
[7] Cover art from the music group "disturbed"
[8] image taken from myhdwallpaper.com
Last edited by shadow kat on Oct 13 2016 08:14, edited 35 times in total.

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shadow kat
Shas
Posts: 239

Re: T'au 26th "Crimson Blades" Tactical interdiction Cadre [WIP]

Post#2 » Mar 27 2012 09:05

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======== Part I ========



When we gaze in wonderment at the majesty of an ancient Tree, Rarely do we consider the nut in which the tree began. When we admire the strength of a mighty empire, rarely do we consider the village from which the empire sprouted. Likewise, when a hero emerges from his people, his humble beginnings are often overshadowed.
The truth is however that heroes aren’t born, they are forged. No matter how lofty the figure, all had their beginnings in youth, naivety and obscurity. Farsight, shadowsun, Brightsword, even puretide, legendary figures one and all. Not one of them began their life as the legends they became. Just as all within the empire, they began their careers as saal. It is how an individual proceeds from here that forges their name.

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A young Shas begins his military career as a capable yet unremarkable academy saal. During training he is well regarded by his crèche mates as a competent warrior, but more so as an intellectual and confidant. The young saal possesses a deep love for Tau history, a trait not uncommon for Tau hailing from the empires maiden world. His extensive study of history naturally incorporates close examination of the tau’va or the philosophy of “the greater good”.

Having studied and taken to heart the words and deeds of the greatest figures throughout Tau history, the young saal earned a reputation for his ability to speak with wisdom beyond his years. This coupled with the young saal’s warm disposition made him a natural choice for his crèche mates to seek advice and comfort from during their strenuous training. Unusual for a warrior, the saal was treated as somewhat of an oddity, his personality somewhere between that of a Shas and the silver tongued Por. It was for this reason that the young saal came to be known by his fairly ambiguous first title.

Vash


Upon his graduation and progression to the rank of Shas’la, Vash was transferred to the newly commissioned T’au 26th Tactical interdiction cadre (or 26th T.I.C), and placed within a fire warrior team. Though unable to distinguishing himself as a superb marksman or an outstanding fighter, the fire team’s leader, Shas’Ui Dier recognised Vash’s abilitily to inspire his squad mates. When faced with a difficult task or time of hardship, Vash would provide wise counsel to the members of his team, his words able to calm their fears and steel their hearts. He would often cite historical figures or events to remind those around him of past deeds of heroism and sacrifice. It would not be long before members of other fire teams within the cadre would seek the counsel of the young fire warrior.

Shas’Ui Dier encouraged a close knit attitude within his fire team, expecting each member to contribute the best of his abilities to the group. He would often gather his warriors in a circle upon the floor and hold communal debates and discussions of upcoming missions. These exchanges facilitated the free flow of ideas from all members of the team. This communal exchange of ideas suited the intellectual Vash well and he would often be one of the foremost contributors to these discussions. Shas’Ui Dier always maintained his authority as being final but input and ideas were always welcomed and valued. Dier was fascinated by the young Shas’la in his care. Vash had managed to marry the positions of an equal and a mentor together, speaking not from a position of bestowed authority but with an earned trust. This perfectly suited Shas’Ui Dier’s vision of how a team should operate and the two would develop a strong friendship during their extensive debates.


““when one branch outgrows and eclipses those around it, the tree grows lopsided and uneven. When all branches stretch out together in harmony, the tree grows tall, its trunk thick and its roots deep.”

---Shas’Ui Dier to his fire team


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---- Fire team Dier taking part in a large scale training operation [1]

As well as becoming a close confidant of Shas’Ui Dier, Shas’la Vash would develop bonds with each Shas’la within the fire team. His warm personality exhumed a trustworthy quality that attracted others to him.

He would spend hours at a time discussing the cause and effects of historical events with Shas’la Cha, a fellow historical enthusiast.
He would train intensively with the team’s largest and strongest member, Shas’la Cal’Nars, in an attempt to compete with his chiselled physique, a competition which brought no end of amusement to Cal’Nars.

Vash would also develop a particularly close bond with a female fire warrior, Shas’la Li’Sun’Yi. Initially Vash and Li’Sun’Yi proved problematic for the fire team, a disagreement over a missing tin of Pech’caffe sparking an unfriendly relationship. Li’Sun’Yi would prove herself to be the fire team’s and possibly even the cadre’s preeminent marksman while Vash would not excel in any particular area of combat. She would often chastise him as a bookworm more suited to being a Por’ Liaison than a fire warrior. He in turn would portray her as brash, impetuous and short sighted.


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---- Shas'la Li'Sun'Yi [5]

Shas’Ui Dier, not tolerative of any friction between his Shas acted quickly to quell their growing distrust for each other. Instead of reprimanding or separating them however, he forced the two Shas to conduct every activity paired together. Firing drills, battle simulations, obstacle courses, aptitude tests and even seating in the mess hall, they were forcefully paired in every endeavour, the actions and scores of one directly affecting the other.

This almost brought the two Shas’la to breaking point, their distaste for one and other only growing with their forced proximity. There were several incidents in which the pair would temporarily vanish, only to eventually reappear with a number of minor injuries and unexplained bruises. Shas’Ui Dier flatly ignoring both of their furious protests continued with the exercise regardless though.

In order to maintain her immaculate firing range scores, Li’Sun’Yi would begrudgingly tutor Vash on the firing range, reluctantly sharing her technique with him. Conversely, to stop both of them being killed repeatedly during battle simulations, Vash would go to great lengths in order to have Li’Sun’Yi restrain her impatient nature. He would teach her to observe, calculate and act accordingly to the situation rather than according to her “gut” as she put it.

"FIRST find your target with your eye and aim from your shoulder, THEN guide your shot onto the target making only fine adjustments with your scope . Your wasting both of our time chasing targets with your zoom."

---Shas'La Li'Sun'Yi to Shas'La Vash during a firing range exercise


Unsurprisingly both fire warriors began to improve drastically with the others oversight. Eventually their bickering turned to friendly jests and frustration turned to pride in the others accomplishments.
His team once more united, Shas’Ui Dier lifted his restrictions from Vash and Li’Sun’yi. Amusingly to him however, the two continued to pair together naturally, both becoming acutely displeased should someone accidently take their place next to the other in the mess hall. Their mysterious absences would continue however, albeit with far fewer resulting injuries. When questions regarding the two Shas were raised, Shas’Ui Dier could not help but to grin broadly and chuckle.





======== Part II ========



One year after being placed within the unit, Shas’la Vash and the 26th Tactical interdiction Cadre are deployed to a verdant ork held world along the north eastern region of the empire. “Groggrokk” as the greenskins had named it, had long served as a stronghold and haven for Ork raiders stabbing into tau space. The world contained six primary continents spanning a number of distinct environments from frozen polar regions to dry arid deserts. Much of the planets surface however was dominated by vast mountain ranges and warm lush forests. The planet had been deemed ideal for colonisation and its position would provide a valuable bulwark along the empires eastern rim once developed. The interloping orks would first need to be forcefully removed however….

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---"Groggrokk" and its attendant moon as seen from space" [5]

The 26th TIC would join with forces contributed from t’au, Dal’Yth, D’Yanoi, aswell as Cadres provided by nearby Ke’lshan and Au’taal. With the application of sudden overwhelming force, it was hoped that the war could be resolved quickly, the enemy eradicated before he could retreat to mountain strongholds to wage a drawn out guerrilla war. This would allow colonisation to begin immediately.

The operation was met with initial success, the fleet successfully navigating a minefield and obliterating the ill prepared Ork ships in orbit. The Air caste proceeded to expertly hunt and destroy anti air assets across the planet’s surface as an armada of orca dropships and manta carriers descended upon the planet. So successful had the air caste been in destroying the back footed Ork batteries and fighters that not a single dropship was lost during the deployment.

“Groggrokk? Groggrokk?? Ridiculous! Sounds more like a convulsion of the stomach than a name”

“The Be'gel seem to like it well enough. Once we’ve finished liberating this world though, I’ll be more than happy to take down suggestions for a new name”

--- Conversation overheard between Shas’La Li’Sun’Yi and Shas’Ui Dier during final descent to the planets surface


The Fire caste contingents disgorged from their transports before each cadre then diverged to their pre-designated target. Factories, strongholds and habitation centres were all destroyed before they could be properly manned and fortified by the orks. The 26th T.I.C along with several other cadres were tasked with the elimination of a massive mek workshop complex. With the aid of air caste fighters, the workshop along with several un-crewed ork stompas were taken and destroyed within the day. Shas’Ui Dier’s fire team collecting a respectable tally of confirmed kills for themselves during the initial operation.

The first phase of the invasion hinged entirely on the combination of speed, aggression and surprise. With this accomplished, the second phase of the operation began in earnest. Caring little for the loss of major installations across the planet, the Ork defenders would inevitably begin to rally and the counter attack would come.

Grogrokk had been heavily infested by the greenskins. Despite the Coalition bringing with them a considerable force of their own, they were still indisputably outnumbered by the Orks on their home ground. To combat this, The high command employed an overall strategy of deception and manipulation. No battle lines, no ground to defend, no permanent bases of operation, the second phase of the invasion would rely solely on mobility and misdirection. This would leave the Orks with no stationary targets to muster and hurl themselves against. The greenskins would need to actively hunt and pursue cadres in order to engage them. The Air castes domination of the sky made any large scale pursuit of tau forces hazardous in the extreme however. The Orks only other option would be to hold within the umbrella of their remaining positions awaiting the next tau raid. Sitting and waiting for the tau to strike could leave a force idle for weeks at a time though, a notion that proved decidedly unpopular with the bestial Orks and led to no shortage of internal strife.

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The 26th T.I.C's commander at the time, Shas'El Du'Eio'Eldi ambushes a group of Orks [1]

Tau forces avoided the strongest positions and struck instead where the enemy was most vulnerable. Settlements which had sent the bulk of their force to chase shadows proved to be prime targets. When strikes eventually did come to defended targets, tau forces continued to remain frustratingly difficult to pin down and engage. Attacks were delivered suddenly and ferociously, causing maximum damage in as little time as possible. The raiding forces would then melt away as suddenly as they arrived before the defenders could deal a telling blow in return. Any warband attempting to pursue the attackers beyond the reach of their surviving anti-air weaponry would fall victim to merciless strafing runs by the unchallenged Air caste.
Despite devastating orbital bombardments, the annihilation of key facilities and catastrophic troop losses, it was The Tau’s refusal to meet the Orks in open combat that proved most frustrating to the greenskin psyche. Desperate to get to grips with their foe, many of the more simple minded tribal chieftains abandoned all semblance of strategy and hurled themselves at any opportunity for battle. Needless to say, these tribes were wiped out quickly and efficiently. Across Groggrokk however, other more cunning chieftains adapted to the tau strategy more appropriately ……



Six months into the invasion, the initial momentum of the operation had all but ground to a halt. Plans were carefully laid out and executed by the invading tau, but the Orks remained characteristically stubborn. Those greenskins who had managed to survive this long through unusual cunning or sheer blind luck had learned to avoid moving in large groups and instead dispersed into smaller bands. This left the Air caste with frustratingly few targets of opportunity and was the beginning of the guerrilla war that the Aun had dedicated so much to avoid.
The Orks knew that if they could deny the tau their mobility then they may finally be able to get to grips with their adversaries. As such they began to focus on destroying devilfish transports and orca dropships instead of their combat escorts. Shas’la Vash and the rest of his fire team would nearly be undone by this shift in Ork tactics.

Following a hard fought raid on an Ork munitions facility while attatched to the 72nd Au’taal assault cadre, ‘la Vash and the rest of the force were in the process of hastily withdrawing. While passing through an area designated ridge 61B their devilfish was ambushed by a concealed team of Ork “tankbustas”. Despite groups of piranhas, hammerheads and battlesuits passing ahead of the devilfish, the tankbustas restrained themselves and waited for the heaviest elements of the armoured column to pass. When a lone devilfish skimmed over the ridge, the Orks seized their opportunity. Their rockets spiralled out from the undergrowth and slammed into the side of the devilfish, violently disabling its grav engines. As the vehicles anti-gravity field failed and dispersed, the nose of the craft dipped and dug into the earth as it skidded into a rocky outcrop.

The blast and resulting crash seriously injured Shas’La Ko’ris, Vash and Fier as well as the devilfish pilot. The battered fire team dragged the wounded free from the crippled craft and took positions around its hull. With Ork forces in pursuit from the munitions facility, the Au’taal commander was unable to turn his cadre around, instructing Shas’Ui Dier to instead continue on foot evading the Orks until they could be evacuated by an orca dropship. With three seriously injured Shas and a devilfish pilot who would likely not survive being moved, Dier refused to leave his men behind.

“Shas’El, Route the nearest available transport to my current position. We will be here waiting.”

--- Shas’Ui Dier


Knowing the smouldering devilfish wreckage was sure to attract the horde, Vash pleaded with his Shas’Ui to lead the rest of the team to safety. A request Shas’Ui Dier and the rest of the fire team stoically ignored. The Fire team fought a desperate defence of their wreckage as more and more Orks began to arrive. Air caste pilots covering the withdrawal of the cadre assisted the beleaguered fire warriors as best they could, but the thick tree canopy coupled with the Orks proximity to the fire team made strafing runs difficult. A pair of Tiger shark aircraft did however manage to deploy a wing of gun drones to harass the Orks around the fire team, buying the fire warriors precious time.

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---Fire team Dier fights to hold back the Greenskins [4]

The Situation turned gravely worse as troop laden Ork vehicles began to arrive. Suppresive fire from mounted machine guns on the transports made it difficult for the stranded Tau to return fire. A bullet punched through Shas’La Cal’Nars armour below his right shoulder as the last of the gun drones struggled to hinder the advancing Orks.

As the last gun drone crashed to the ground spraying sparks from its deep gashes, the fire team prepared to make its final stand. The Orks roared and began to bound across the open ground towards the devilfish wreckage under a howling gale of machinegun rounds from their junk vehicles. The Orks mere Seconds from impacting with the battered fire team, distant whistling sounds eclipsed even the noisy rattle of the mounted machine guns. The noise closed with incredible speed and a moment later several of the Orkish vehicles exploded in fiery conflagrations as if struck by devastating lightning bolts. The Orks stopped in their tracks and stared slack jawed and flat footed. They froze not out of fear or shock but with simple bestial fascination as another set of distant whistles approached. For a moment the fire team also stood dumbfounded and idle until a familiar voice over short range transmission snapped Shas’Ui Dier back to the battlefield.

“Markerlights active, Targets acquired. May I suggest you open fire Shas’Ui Dier?”
--Shas’Ui Ar’raik


The familiar voice refocused Dier back to the task at hand. He rallied his Shas’la and the the fire team sprung back to life, mercilessly gunning down the Orks caught in the open. The timely arrival of Shas’Ui T’au Ar’raik and his pathfinder team gave Shas’Ui Dier the resources he needed to change the course of the battle. An old friend of Dier’s, Ar’raik had overheard the fire teams distress call. Disregarding orders, he and his pathfinders halted their withdrawal and turned back.

Utilising the Ar’raik’s markerlights, Shas’Ui Dier requisitioned every available seeker missile from the fleeing Au’taal vehicles to supress the surrounding orks. Seizing his chance, Ar’raik ordered the pathfinders attached devilfish to swoop in and extract the stranded fire warriors. Utilising their field craft the pathfinders would extract on foot while the compromised fire time was swiftly ferried back to friendly forces.

“Aaah, truly there is no sweeter song than the chorus of an inbound seeker missile. The growing roar of the engine, the harrowing sirens call as the casing whistles through the air. All culminating in the explosive crescendo of impact. The enemy think themselves impervious inside their armoured shells? Little do they know, soon they too will hear my symphony…..”

---Shas’Ui Ar’raik


Incredibly the entire team including the devilfish pilot managed to escape the ordeal with their lives. The teams bonds with each other and dogged refusal to abandon their friends shepherded them through the battle and returned each member safetly. This experience would prove to be a profound lesson for the young Vash. It would serve to engrain within him what a group could accomplish with true bonds fraternity and kinship to one and other aswell as the acts of courage performed by separate elements with a sense of brotherhood between them.

Two weeks after the ambush on Ridge 61B when all members had recovered sufficiently, Fire team Dier elected to undertake the ritual of the Ta’lissera swearing bonds of fealty to one and other. The ceremony was conducted by Shas’Ui Dier himself and presided over by Aun’Ui Au’res Seech of the ethereal caste.

“With this blade you give of your blood, With this ceremony you give of much more. You give of your very essence. Today you transcend your individuality to something higher. Each of you has been deemed worthy by your kin to carry with you a part of themselves. You now shoulder the weight of many, yet your burdens are shouldered by many in turn. You are joined in blood, Joined in cause, joined in the Greater Good.”

--- Aun’Ui Au’res Seech During the Ta’lissera of Fire team Dier.


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---Shas'Ui Dier ritually scarring Shas'La Vash during the Ta'lissera [1]

Fire team Dier and the rest of the 26th T.I.C would continue to serve on Grogrokk (now renamed Tal’Scea) for a further 7 months. In this time the greenskin threat would greatly diminish as the final Ork chieftains were assassinated by stealth teams and the last Ork strongholds were overwhelmed. After this, the majority of the cadres present during the initial invasion would be withdrawn and re-tasked.

The Orks by their nature would prove all but impossible to eradicate entirely however, small groups persisting in remote isolated pockets. With the Greenskin’s capability to offer resistance crushed and their threat contained within acceptable parameters though, the Aun declared the commencement of Tal’Scea’s colonization.

Massive resources were dedicated to jump starting the colonies of Tal’Scea. Almost immediately, dozens of Colonist ships laden with Earth caste engineers and pre-fabricated structures of every description began arriving. An Air caste fleet would remain in orbit to safeguard the flow of resources and ferry them in and out of orbit. An army of water caste administrators would arrive to co-ordinate the flow of assets and organise the worlds development. A Standing fire caste force would also remain on world to provide security and Pursue the worlds remaining Orks. All of this would be overseen by an elected council of experienced Ethereals.

Kroot auxiliary troops attached to the fire caste would prove especially effective at hunting down Ork remmnants. Their natural field craft skills allowed them to track the greenskins through Tal’scea’s dense woods and inhospitable mountain ranges. Recognising the value of the kroot on Tal’scea, the ethereal council set aside large sections of land with additional incentives to encourage the establishment of Kroot communities. The incentives proved successful with a number of kroot kindred clans choosing to settle on Tal’scea.

In the years after the liberation of Tal’scea, The fledgling colony would enjoy explosive growth thanks in no small part to the massive investment of resources contributed by the empire. Thanks to the efforts of a professional and dedicated Earth caste, The expansion of cities and infrastructure would often outstrip the rate at which new colonists could be brought in to inhabit them. The combined efforts of the fire caste and the Kroot kindred clans ensured that the colonisation could proceed unmolested.

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---Tal'Scea as it is seen today. The planets primary space port of Vash'aun'an rises high above the planets surface
(Image produced and owned by artist Gary Tonge Click here for his home page) [3]

The constant persecution of the Orks forced them to revert to a lower form of technology in order to survive, their numbers dwindled and their movements being largely limited to undeveloped parts of the planet. Kroot communities would also flourish in the wilds of Tal’Scea however and the hunting of Ork’s would become intrinsic to their culture. When a carnivore would come of age, he would tasked to track, stalk and kill an Ork in single combat in order to prove his worth and join the kindred. Annual competitions would also be held between the Kroot tribes to kill the largest and greatest number of Greenskin’s. These competitions would be presided over by the Ethereals and great honour would be visited upon the victorious tribe. This constant routine of merciless culling would keep the Ork populace in check and ensure they would not be able to recover as a major threat.

While Tal’Scea bloomed into a productive and valuable world of the empire, The 26th T.I.C would never have the opportunity to witness the fruits of their hard fought victory. Their task here complete, the 26th would be needed on another hellish battlefield upon another distant planet.

“Hey, what happened to you taking down suggestions for the planets new name at the end of the campaign Dier???”

“Well I had suggested to Aun’Va in passing that we name the planet Li’Sun’Yi in your honour Shas’la, but he somehow settled on the name Tal’Scea instead. I’ll be sure to lodge a formal complaint for you when we return to the carrier”

“……”


--- Conversation overheard between Shas’La Li’Sun’Yi and Shas’Ui Dier during departure from the Surface of Tal’Scea





======== Part III ========


With the fighting on Tal’scea contained, The T’au 26th tactical interdiction cadre would be rotated off the planet and deployed to new conflict zones. In the two years following Tal’scea the 26th T.I.C would be deployed across a number of theatres against a variety of foes. They would spend time hunting Faressian pirate bands across the east of the empire, battle against the remnants of a Tyranid splinter on the desert world Haik and participate in the annexation of human colonies on the frozen world of Sarroth.

This final campaign would be particularly hard on the 26th T.I.C. When the final settlements on Sarroth surrendered, The Cadre would be rotated off the planet in order to re-organise and replace casualties before their next deployment. While in transit from Sarroth the 26th would intercept a distress call from the planetoid of Embras near the edge of the Perdus rift. The planet held a number of small settlements dedicated to research but the planets lower than average gravity also made it a suitable place for Air caste crews to live and work. The world acted primarily as a way station for ships proceeding towards and away from the Perdus rift anomaly.

The planet reported that it had been experiencing uncharacteristically violent lightning storms for some time now. The physically frail Kor were having difficultly dealing with the events and requested assistance with the relief effort. Relaying this information to the Shas’Ar’Tol, It was decided that the 26th would assist with the relief effort on Embras while they awaited a rendezvous with their reinforcements.

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--- The planet of Embras boasts a high level of volcanic activity with vast free flowing rivers of magma both on and beneath the surface. [5]

The fierce lightning storms on the world made landing hazardous even for large craft and all but grounded small atmospheric craft. The 26th arrived Within the planets main dockyard where they found many of the facilities electrical systems non-functional. Even essential systems such as food and water had been compromised. The Cadre dispersed to assist the colony as best it could. Most were tasked with assisting the few available Fio engineers by performing menial tasks such as clearing debris while others ferried supplies back and forth between colonies and outposts. Shas’El Du’Eio’Eldi would task Fire team Dier with assisting a small research station near one of the planets active magma rivers.

Research station 3F reported they were being harassed by a species of magma dwelling reptile native to the planet. The creatures were not particularly dangerous but the incessant lightning storms had apparently aggravated them. The research station had weapons with which to defend itself and wasn’t in immediate danger but with communications failing across the planet, it was decided to ere on the side of caution and dispatch a team of Shas to watch over the isolated station. With the intensifying electrical storms making Sub orbital flight hazardous, the fire team boarded a devilfish and set off into the lightning wracked night.

The storms reached a climax during the night with massive bolts of energy stretching down from the atmosphere and stabbing violently into the earth in a dazzling show of multispectral light while furious winds whipped up great clouds of ash and ripped apart buildings. Communications across the planet failed entirely as the colonists struggled to weather the ferocity of the storm.

When morning finally crept over the dockyards, a solitary Shas’la stumbled over the distant horizon, his armour sundered and his fatigues torn. A deep three clawed gash stretched across his helmet while his chestplate was blackened by what appeared to be pulse fire impacts. Once picked up by perimeter sentries, the bloodied and disoriented Shas’La insisted on being taken immediately to Shas’El Du’Eio’Eldi. When questioned as to his identity or the location of the rest of his team by the sentries, the warrior would repeat only that his name was Shas’La T’au Vash and insist again on being taken immediately to the Shas’El.

Upon reaching the settlements command bunker, the sentries escorted Vash inside to a waiting Shas’El Du’Eio’Eldi to be debriefed. A mere two hours after the arrival of the solitary Shas, an immediate order to dispatch Air caste craft to obliterate research station 3F from orbit was given. All non-essential personnel would be expelled from the bunker and for a full two weeks Shas’La T’au Vash would remain locked inside. A number of Ethereals would also quietly arrive on world and take up residence within the bunker. It was also noted that during this time the anomalous lightning storms subsided entirely.

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---No trace of Shas'Ui Dier, Shas'La Li'Sun'Yi, Shas'La Cal'Nars or any other member of fire team Dier would ever be recovered. Nothing now exists at the site of Research station 3F besides a massive perfectly formed crater.

to be totally helpless..... To feel as an insect being shaken inside a jar by a sadistic child.
+++ subject becomes alert and begins to address the gathered council directly +++
It toyed with us, it took pleasure in our fear. It could have ground us to pulp on its mere whim yet it chose instead something far crueller. I cant comprehend what happened... I cant accept what happened....
+++ subject becomes noticibly aggravated +++
everything was wrong! nothing made sense! and then the blood.... I still feel it on me, It still stains my hands.....

---excerpt from debriefing of Shas'La T'au Vash


When Vash finally did emerge from the command bunker he would be a much different Shas to the one the rest of the cadre had known. When questioned by the other Shas as to the fate of Shas’Ui Dier and the rest of his fire Team, Vash would stare blankly and refuse to comment. To this day beyond his initial debriefing within the command bunker, Vash has never again spoken of what transpired that night. The events at research station 3F remain a mystery to all but those privy to the original debriefing. The missing members of fire team Dier remain publicly listed as killed in action with no further explanation or details given.

Being eligible to take his first trial by fire before the incident, it was decided during his interment that Vash would be advanced to the rank of Ui for his actions. The warm hearted Shas’la capable of such evocative speech was instead replaced by a cold and distant Shas’Ui. Vash would become a bitter recluse and avoid contact with others if at all possible. He socialised with no one, consumed all of his meals in solitude and gave only the very bare minimum of an answer when asked a question by another.

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--- +++ CLASSIFIED +++ The final image recorded by Shas'La T'au Vash's damaged helmet. [7]

Even after departing Embras, all attempts to reach Shas’Ui Vash failed. Seemingly consumed by his grief at the loss of his bond mates, Shas’Ui Vash flatly refused to be placed within another fire team. Upon the completion of his battlesuit training he also refused to be placed within an XV-8 team opting instead to follow the hazardous path of the monat.

With a degree of sadness, other members of the T’au 26th who had known Vash as a Shas’La took to calling him Bap’rra or “lost shadow”. They recognised the deep sorrow within their friend and saw that he had become a mere echo of his former self. They hoped that one day he would accept their attempts to reach out to him but for now he would be known as Shas’Ui T’au Vash Bap’rra




========= Part IV ========


Combat

Shas’Ui Vash would become utterly consumed by it. Where the Shas’La had failed to distinguish himself, The Shas’Ui strived to excel. It mattered little why or to whom he brought death, he cared only that he was given the tools with which to carry out their sentence.

When the 26th Tactical Interdiction Cadre was assigned to the fledgling world of Taish’Ro in order to safeguard colonists and quell the growing Ork population, Vash would maintain his stubborn refusal to take his place within a team. Rather than re-integrate into the cadre after the loss of his team, it appeared as if Vash was doing all he could to stand apart from them.

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---The majority of fighting on Taish'Ro took place on the foothills surrounding the larger Ork held mountains[8]

Upon their arrival on Taish’Ro, Vash would force his way into the Fio workshop and demand that his battlesuit be repainted in a Jet black. Unwilling to argue with the grim “lost shadow” The Fio’La begrudgingly obliged. Some within the cadre had speculated that Taish’Ro harkened too closely to Tal’Scea, the place where Vash was bonded with his team. Others believed that whatever had transpired on Embras had simply shattered his spirit and he was slowly losing his grip on sanity. Whatever the reason though, Vash’s Isolation would only worsen as time progressed.

Vash’s battlesuit would become instantly recognizable to friend and foe alike. It would likely provide similar feelings of dread to both sides albeit for very different reasons. Beyond the non-standard black armour panels, Vash would spend hours hand painting a complex series of patterns derived from war paint of the ancient fire caste. Symbols for loss, grief and emptiness featured prominently alongside vengeance, death and fury. With his bonding knife lost alongside his Shas’Ui, Vash also painted a number of crimson red panels onto his suit. It was secretly rumoured amongst members of his cadre that the pigment for this paint was mixed with his own blood.


Vash would make it a point to spend as little time as possible within the settlements. During mandatory breaks from active duty, Vash would continue to exist in solitude though. It was noticed by those formerly close to him that he had completely abandoned his meditation and now spent the entirety of his down time preparing for his next engagement. Combat simulations, fitness routines battlesuit modifications. Every waking moment was dedicated to the advancement of martial prowess to the detriment of all else. His social interactions consisted solely of gruff demands for parts to the attendant Fio’Ui. Most within the cadre quickly learned to leave “the lost shadow” a wide berth, lest they fall under his crushing gaze. A newly transferred Shas’La learned this the hard way when he dared to question Shas’Ui Vash’s attitude. The resulting confrontation left the Shas’La unconscious for a full two days.


Shas’El Du’Eio’Eldi likely would not have tolerated Vash’s behaviour had it not been for the wild success of his operations. On his own insistence, Vash would be deployed alone and unsupported within the Orks Vast mountain strongholds. Taking with him a number of Fio’Vesa drones to rearm and refit his battlesuit, Vash was able to operate unsupported within the heart of the enemy for weeks at a time. By night the lone battlesuit could traverse the vast length of the mountain ranges quickly and quietly choosing where to launch devastating strikes before fading back into the darkness. By day, Vash would return to his hidden stash of Fio’Vesa drones within one of the mountains countless caverns. With his battlesuit refuelled and resupplied, The lost shadow would strike out again under the cover of darkness.

Eventually after days or even weeks without communication, Shas’Ui Vash would arrive unannounced at an outpost with his food, water and ammunition stores exhausted. Saying little of his mission, the extent of Shas’Ui Vash’s exploits would only be revealed while examining the mission logs of his battlesuit. Dizzying kill counts, dozens of destroyed installations and the elimination of notable targets would all be revealed by the suits A.I. logs and vid recordings.

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---Outpost 42 (pictured above) serves as the only point of Tau presence within the "Irontoof" mountains[5]

Other battlesuit pilots wanting to share in the success of his missions would routinely petition Vash to accompany him. Even when Shas’El Du’Eio’Eldi formally ordered he take with him a team so that they might learn from his unique actions, Vash still blatantly refused. Rather than take disciplinary action, Du’Eio’Eldi saw past his mask and took pity on Vash. Within him she watched a wounded beast striking out in all directions to protect itself. She would take a keen personal interest in his plight, but for now atleast she would allow him to continue his solitary operations.

You serve in your way Shas’El and I shall serve in mine. I serve the greater good by bringing ruin to its enemies. Point me to your enemies and I alone will deliver unto them a deserved death or they will deliver it unto me, No one shall perish at my side though.

---Shas’Ui T’au Vash Bap’Rra to Shas’El Du’Eio’Eldi


Vash would remain amongst the settlements only long enough for him to repaint sections of war paint lost to superficial damage with a new unique pattern. In this way the markings of his armour would evolve after each operation. When he left to return to his hunting grounds though, one thing was assured. In the night, the mountains would burn.

As the months passed, word of the lunatic Shas fighting alone within the heart of the enemy spread throughout the colonies and its defenders. Aerial surveillance images of ruined Ork camps in the uncontested mountains began to surface as well as recordings taken by stealth suit teams of a mysterious black tattooed battlesuit ambushing entire war bands on its own. Even the Orks began to take notice of the specific threat. They ineloquently took to calling him “Da Blakk Squiggly Wun” and many amongst their ranks superstitiously grumbled that he was infact a vengeful spirit sent to punish them by Gork or Mork. The Tau of Taish’Ro would however take to calling him Cova’Upt or “Shatter Mountain”.

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---Screen grab from Shas'Ui Vash's onboard vid log just before the destruction of Be'gel camp #43J [5]

Despite the growing renown of his deeds and skill as a battlesuit pilot, Vash still chose to remain detached from his kin. He would never claim his fame and the identity of Cova’Upt would remain a mystery to most outside of the 26th Tactical interdiction cadre. To those within the cadre though, he was Shas’Ui T’au Vash Bap’Rra Cova’Upt.

In the meantime Vash would continue his personal war not seeking glory or acknowledgement for his deeds. Things would drastically change with the arrival of an old friend of Shas’El Du’Eio’Eldi’s though….
Last edited by shadow kat on May 07 2012 06:35, edited 11 times in total.

R.D.
Shas'La
Posts: 537

Re: T'au 26th "Crimson Blades" Tactical interdiction Cadre [WIP]

Post#3 » Mar 27 2012 09:11

Your painting isn't half bad! I'd say you've handled the color scheme pretty well--the red bands on the shoulderpads do make them stand out a bit. I also like the warpaint on the FW's face.

If there's only one negative thing I have to say, it's that the white markings on the commander's chest could've been applied slightly better. As such, they look a tad wonky. Other than that, nice work all around.

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Isaac
Shas
Posts: 85

Re: T'au 26th "Crimson Blades" Tactical interdiction Cadre [WIP]

Post#4 » Mar 27 2012 02:26

You have done a great job painting them and your colour scheme looks great too (It is almost the same as mine) :D
For The Greater Good (and icecream) :D

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Raik'Ray
Vespid
Posts: 47

Re: T'au 26th "Crimson Blades" Tactical interdiction Cadre [WIP]

Post#5 » Mar 27 2012 03:45

I find enjoyment in seeing people use their creativity to paint these models in a way somewhat different than the examples found in the codex :D .

good job!!!
Fly like a Vespid, sting like a Stingwing!

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XENO GOD
Shas
Posts: 53

Re: T'au 26th "Crimson Blades" Tactical interdiction Cadre [WIP]

Post#6 » Mar 27 2012 05:43

Those are just mindnumbingly good. Smooth color. Crisp highlights. Tribal rank markings. Fantastic stuff. Crisis suit is particularly awesome. Love his head.
The worst things are done with the best intentions.

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shadow kat
Shas
Posts: 239

Re: T'au 26th "Crimson Blades" Tactical interdiction Cadre [WIP]

Post#7 » Mar 28 2012 01:10

R.D. wrote:Your painting isn't half bad! I'd say you've handled the color scheme pretty well--the red bands on the shoulderpads do make them stand out a bit. I also like the warpaint on the FW's face.

If there's only one negative thing I have to say, it's that the white markings on the commander's chest could've been applied slightly better. As such, they look a tad wonky. Other than that, nice work all around.


Thanks R.D. I too wasnt completely happy with how the markings on the chest plate turned out. Unfortunately with the way ive painted my armour its difficult to patch small sections once they have had their wash applied. If I were to neaten up the lines, any corrections would be clearly visible. I'm considering redoing the entire panel from scratch. Im still undecided though. From normal viewing distance the chest plate doesnt look half bad so im unsure if its worth the effort (or if it will even come out better the second time :? ). what do you guys think?

either way, this is my first attempt at anything that remotely resembles free hand. With time and practice my brush-fu will hopefully improve :smile:

Isaac wrote:You have done a great job painting them and your colour scheme looks great too (It is almost the same as mine) :D


Thanks! :)
Based on my browsing since starting my tau, I've somewhat gotten the impression that T'au sept ochre based schemes have fallen out of fashion of late. Nice to know I'm not the only one repping the home world :P

Raik'Ray wrote:I find enjoyment in seeing people use their creativity to paint these models in a way somewhat different than the examples found in the codex :D .

good job!!!


Thanks Raik'Ray. I wanted to have a scheme based on the standard ochre but tried to give it my own twist and a splash of personality. I had to be careful when first trying the tribal designs as I wanted them to remain recognisably Tau and avoid having them resemble tribal designs from Earth cultures or a fantasy setting too closely.
I have another piece of writing coming along that explores Shas'O Vash's history in a little bit more depth. It will cover his career from an academy shas'saal right up to Shas'O and should shed some light on various quirks of his personality and his cadre (the origins of the tribal markings, the reason for the red armour panels, why O'Vash has so gosh darn many names and what each of them means etc. :P )

Stay tuned if your interested ;)

XENO GOD wrote:Those are just mindnumbingly good. Smooth color. Crisp highlights. Tribal rank markings. Fantastic stuff. Crisis suit is particularly awesome. Love his head.


Gee, that's some pretty high praise there. going to make me blush :P

Thanks XENO GOD :D

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Raik'Ray
Vespid
Posts: 47

Re: T'au 26th "Crimson Blades" Tactical interdiction Cadre [WIP]

Post#8 » Mar 28 2012 11:45

I had to be careful when first trying the tribal designs as I wanted them to remain recognisably Tau and avoid having them resemble tribal designs from Earth cultures or a fantasy setting too closely.


Just make them look like the Tau letters, they are tribal-like and Tau-ish that doesn't resemble the tribal markings that I know of.
Fly like a Vespid, sting like a Stingwing!

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shadow kat
Shas
Posts: 239

Re: T'au 26th "Crimson Blades" Tactical interdiction Cadre [WIP]

Post#9 » Mar 31 2012 09:27

Time for a little update. Next group of models for the cadre have been started. Ill leave what they are as a surprise (atleast until I can take some photos). How long they will take largely depends on how much trouble I have figuring out how to use a spray gun :smile:

Also have a little fluff update (fluffdate?) concerning the roots of Shas'O Ka'tyr'Vash. If I feel so inclined or there is enough interest I may turn this into a full blown story. As it stands now though, it is more of a background piece. Part 2 to follow


=================================

Edit: added to second post


====================================

Second part to follow soon.
Last edited by shadow kat on Apr 22 2012 08:29, edited 11 times in total.

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Wolfs16
Fio'El
Posts: 2748

Re: T'au 26th "Crimson Blades" Tactical interdiction Cadre [WIP]

Post#10 » Apr 04 2012 11:53

Okay, I have been neglecting my response to this thread for way too long! You have done some really nice work here shadow kat. The introduction to your cadre and your commander has really been fleshed out. I will agree though, that without any pictures, it can get a little difficult to read. As for posting permissions with pictures and all that, I suggest that you give credit where credit is due. Sometimes you have a picture and you don't know the original source (like me), so you can always put a little disclaimer that any of the pictures are NOT yours and used without permission, but with much appreciation!

Oh and your painting is top notch! It is so crisp and the lens detail is just fantastic. Great work!

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