Blades of Damocles

Discuss Tau background and even your own Cadre fiction here.
User avatar
Calmsword
Shas'Ui
Shas'Ui
Posts: 1515

Re: Blades of Damocles

Post#19 » Apr 14 2016 06:01

Well... I just read it... This guy has to stop writing for Tau. His Space Marine sequences are really interesting including a [spoiler=]rescue of a tactical squad falling from an exploding droppod on entry by in-flight assault squad[/spoiler].

But the core aspects of Tau culture, frankly, are offensively short sighted and ... can I just say dumb? The following is a running mention of the book as I read it so it's a little sloppy, apologies, I've tried to keep it organized and the consternation and outrage to a minimum... which I fail at several times.

The Tau are taught in other novels and sources, that independent thought and survival skills are necessary for every aspect of their constituents to learn. Technology is modular, easy to use with a lifetime to master ect. ect. But this concept that the mindset of 'vash'ya' is forbidden (playing up the 'Fire Caste don't fix their own stuff') Makes no practical sense. The evolution of this idea only permeates with the (now expectant) admiration the Tau have for the Imperial way of war with Brightsword [spoiler=]wishing that the Tau could enact war like the Space Marines with uncaring direct abandon[/spoiler]. I'm just really bored by the idea that the Tau hate their own culture (in these modern fluff examples).

One of the strongest aspects of Tau culture is... They love their culture. They believe their way is the way- so why do all their leaders find holes in it without exemplifying any aspects of it save for 'this is my duty, I do my duty, duty duty duty'... ugh.

I'm going to have to read Brethren because there is constant mention of a planet 'Vespertine' which is the lead up to the Imperial push on Dal'yth.

There's also an instance of Farsight letting [spoiler=]A Space marine captain fight an honor duel with Brightsword that kills him... Uh... what? Since when do the Tau regard honor duels? I guess it's a decision offered every author but along with everything else it shows this author only considers the Tau blue noseless humans and not a true alien race.[/spoiler]

Moving on into the near constant deconstruction of everything I like about the Tau, here's an excerpt:
[spoiler=]“It was unheard of for one of the water caste to pursue the art of sculpture. Acts of material creation were the exclusive province of the earth caste. Aman’te, driven by something inside her, had created them nonetheless. ”[/spoiler]

... ... ... what is happening? Later it describes that this Tau Por'El's reason for never finding union in a ta'lissera is because of her love of creating art. I mean... This book reads more like a anti-communist propaganda piece rather than a novel about an alien species. How do the Tau get anything done with this implied micromanagement.

[spoiler=]“For a tau even to show aptitude in the arts of another caste was forbidden”[/spoiler]

I remember when, in early novels like Firewarrior, having additional skills were considered 'cute' if anything. Now, a band of Ethereal secret police come in and send you for 'attunement'. The Por'El is so worried about this she keeps a pulse pistol near her so that if they come for her she can either... kill them? or herself before she is disappeared. I'm not taking anything Phil says at canon especially when the entire Tau political plot: [spoiler=]Farsight's former teacher undermining Farsight's leadership because he can restart a 'warerlogged' crisis suit and thus shows signs of 'vash'yan' mindset.[/spoiler] COME ON?!!?

The author's sacrilege of the Tau kind of pollutes his Space Marine story [spoiler=]when a Sgt. decides to not kill the same Por'El when it speaks Macraggian dialect High Gothic. Perhaps this is just the direction 40k is going in, but Space Marines don't view civilian, alien, targets and somehow 'off limits. If you're an alien you are guilty of the heresy of not being human, as the Emperor taught the Imperium, so you die. That's it! No hard feelings, you just die if you're not human.[/spoiler]

Shadowsun: [spoiler=]Is piloting an XV-22, but then the Ghostkeel is also mentioned in passing so... I thought both were supposed to be an experimental weapon centuries after this invasion. The author seems incapable of researching more than just the pictures provided in a codex.[/spoiler]

Um: [spoiler=]Fio’o Bork’an Ishu’ron is alive and active as of right now since he's mentioned actively. This is the guy that invented the K120 and it makes an appearance.[/spoiler] At this point I'm on page 199 and it's hard to be actively hateful.

Brightsword [spoiler=]As already mentioned, O'Vesa is in fact cloning him (voluntarily if illegally).[/spoiler]

There's an interesting trial held against Farsight, even if it is a bit weird that it's happening in the middle of a full scale invasion. Meanwhile, the logic of the Ethereals is laughable as they compare Arkunasha to Dal'yth. But hey, everyone seems incompetent outside of Farsight so maybe that's just the Tau Empire= a bunch of knuckleheads bumbling their way through the galaxy on luck's whim.

[spoiler=]Also... Farsight being sent to mind-copy Puretide? I mean... ugggghhhh. And Aun'Va straight up tells Farsight if he doesn't do this he will be executed.[/spoiler] I hate you Phil... I hate you.

And we meet Puretide... yay... ... [spoiler=]Farsight kills him with the mind-copy. We learn that there was a failed Ta'lissera between the three students.[/spoiler]



Take Aways:

Sicarius: He'll show up a few hundred years later as a Captain that leads the campaign to halt the Third Sphere so it's nice to see he fought the Tau when he was a Sgt. I like this aspect of creating nemesis for the Tau.

There are a lot of vat-grown clone creatures. Cybernetic Kroot, humans- used ostensibly for Fire Caste training. Sicarius wonders if the Tau plan on making war on the kroot at some point. While I believe this doubtful it would make sense that the Tau prepare for every eventuality. Later Farsight says he specifically told O'Vesa to not do these things- it's an interesting character aspect of O'Vesa to bend and break rules... totally waisted on a story that wasn't researched.

Tau hierarchy seems to be based on personal decision making in the presence of two leaders. Shadowsun interrupts Farsight's speech and, thusly, half of the lower ranked Tau present follow her plan of Kauyon rather than Mont'ka. It's very 'un-human' in a refreshing way.

Aun'Dreca: Perhaps the lead ethereal of Dal'yth, one of three (maybe worlds are managed by three Ethereals), Aun' Tefan and Aun'Tipiya being the other two.

The Onager Gauntlet is describe thusly: “four massive articulated fingers clutching into a fist that glowed from the inside with barely suppressed power.”

Calgar: [spoiler=]While not on Dal'yth, he uses an intergalactic cell phone to tell the Ultramarines to withdraw. Does anyone remember when interstellar communication was highly difficult and required psykers? No? Okay...[/spoiler]

Eventual Victory: [spoiler=]So Farsight wins by detonating a massive EM field which renders the Astarte suits, and his own, inert. The Kroot arrive and pull off the helmets of the Space Marines and hold blades to their throats. Farsight demands a parley which he gets. He threatens to make the Apothecaries a primary target and to destroy the geneseeds they carry- so Sicarius agrees to withdraw. Again, not at all as we are told in other canonical sources like our own fething codex.[/spoiler]

Tau Cultural Notes:

Tau Birth Cycle: [spoiler=]The Tau are grown insides vats and, judging by Sicarius, are manipulated and designed. They are perfectly proportioned rather than large skulled like a human baby. Personally, I think this flies in the face of a sentence I read, somewhere, that said the the Tau don't use genetic altering in the same vein as they choosing to not use drones to do all their fighting for them. But since all logic has been thrown into a thresher maw, who cares anymore.

The KV120 is referred to as the Giant's Mantle as opposed to the Hero's Mantle.

“Incubator carousels, each with an infant tau lifeform inside.”[/spoiler]

The Tau have vast subterranean complexes with factories and habitats more so than on the surface.

Tau that are wounded spend time in 'healspheres'= sound like bacta tanks.

Anti-ballistic/air defenses for the Tau include fletchette arrays and electronic countermeasures.

Vior'la: Has something called a 'seedstorm' that Farsight uses as a metaphor when describing his crisis teams descending.

Perhaps the most interesting thing in the book is the Tau have 'heard' of the human flaw of 'vanity' and are endlessly entertained by it. Wouldn't it have been great if not every single Tau character's major flaw is, in fact, vanity. Or maybe that's the point? Some kind of ironic hipster Tau fluff piece or something?

Tau Vocab: A lot of these have been mentioned but for the benefit of Tauman and El'liot, here's some words that might not be a part of the databases.

Ovidu: A type of tree with muave blossoms- they grow on mount kan'ji.
icho stick: used in non-lethal duels
Saz'nami= bodyguard
vash'ya= descriptive a mindset of those who understand aspects outside of their caste... apparently forbidden... which is dumb... but okay.
fu'llasso: a mind game or some kind of diversion. "Mind Knot".
Shas'tral: Seemingly this is the rank of a Fire Caste member who serves the Ethereal (those guy with the halberds).
da’thle’vral, the mirror that shows the weakness.: A tactic Puretide mentions.

Conclusions: We need to stop Phil Kelly from writing a Tau story, somehow.
~Good Hunting

R.D.
Shas'La
Shas'La
Posts: 566

Re: Blades of Damocles

Post#20 » Apr 14 2016 07:50

Wait, Water Caste don't do sculpture? ...never mind they did precisely that in Kill Team, but oh well, who cares.

Yeah, the Caste stratification here is taken to an absolutely ludicrous level. Oh, and the Space Marines generally act like frat boys with finer language, with Assault Marines making cracks about the smell of drop pods.

User avatar
TauMan
Shas'Ui
Shas'Ui
Posts: 680
Contact:

Re: Blades of Damocles

Post#21 » Apr 14 2016 07:51

Calmsword wrote:Conclusions: We need to stop Phil Kelly from writing a Tau story, somehow.

I can get a plane ticket to Nottingham. I don't know about anyone else, but I'm up for a "Kill Team"? :dead: :eek: :P

Calmsword wrote:The Tau are grown insides vats and, judging by Sicarius, are manipulated and designed. They are perfectly proportioned rather than large skulled like a human baby.

To me it appears Mr. Phil Kelly is not going for 1984 with the Tau, rather he's going for Brave New World. "Now, now take your gram of soma for all of you who 'hate' what Mr. Kelly wrote...There, there doesn't a nice 'vacation' sound like just the thing?"

This goes for all of the BL writers and GW fluff makers, if what they wrote was well thought out, well written, logical (within the parameters of the in game world) and actually a good story. I would buy it. In other words if it's well done, then even if I didn't like what direction the plot or the characters are going...I'd grit my teethplates and go along with it.

But it has to be well done.

Otherwise it just goes out the airlock with the rest of the junk stuff: the 7th edition WH40K rules; the Farsight Enclaves Codex (except the artwork); everything with the name 'Age of Sigmar' attached to it, and almost all the recent fluff GW/FW/BL etc.

The TauMan Abides
Viro’los gu brath!
N.Y.A.B.X.T.T.

User avatar
ARC'Thunder
Shas'Vre
Shas'Vre
Posts: 850

Re: Blades of Damocles

Post#22 » Apr 14 2016 08:10

Calmsword wrote:I'm going to have to read Brethren because there is constant mention of a planet 'Vespertine' which is the lead up to the Imperial push on Dal'yth.
Brethren was a short audio-drama. In it Sicarius and Numitor assault the tau while they come to terms with the fact that the two races may not be so different from one another.

The story also asserts the tau have (at the time of the crusade) no meaningful weapons with which to combat the Astartes. Given that Phil's previous works often make a lot of references to tabletop rules: I find this bordering on offensive. Fusion blasters and plasma rifles notwithstanding, missile pods, rail weapons, and all pulse weapons (like burst cannons?) are quite effective at reliably wounding marines and generally have volume of fire enough to saturate a target regardless of armor saves—their basic infantry weapons being almost as effective against astartes as bolters are to the tau.

Ultimately, while Blades of Damocles is delivered to us as a "Tau Empire" novel, it is just a part of his ongoing Farsight series. Given his work on the story of the FSE itself, I think his only focus is to sell us on how awesome Farsight is without any thought of the collateral damage such biased narratives cause. For example, the repeated emphasis on tau hating their own culture. While it's read as fact, I think the clear point is to emphasize that those fighting against this "system" are perfect candidates for the future Enclaves (like Brightsword and O'Vesa). With that understanding, I think that the best way to view the story is almost as if it's Enclaves propaganda.

Truthfully, I haven't read it myself yet, but that's at least the feeling I'm getting from everyone's comments. And, using this lens retrospectively, clarifies a lot of the narrative issues with his previous works regarding the tau (the FSE, Blood Oath, Legends of the Dark Millennium: Farsight, and now Blades of Damocles).



EDIT: I wanted to add that, I appreciate that Kelly has tried to continue the legacy set in 6th edition's Allies Matrix of Astartes and Tau being "battle brothers" because of the mutual respect and honor that each faction observes. However, he does it in the clumsiest, in-your-face manner possible rendering the ideas and events completely unbelievable. The exchange between Farsight and an Apothecary the original FSE was absolutely painful even if I liked the concept.

Also, to further push my stance on it being FSE propaganda: look at how Farsight seemingly ends the Crusade in this book. Perhaps we haven't heard of this particular ending before because it was really just a minor factor in a larger set of variables, but it helps sell everyone on how cool and righteous Farsight is so they over-emphasize how important it really was.

User avatar
Bitterman
Shas
Posts: 909

Re: Blades of Damocles

Post#23 » Apr 18 2016 02:42

Val'Sitsor wrote:Apparently, earth caste gives a lectures about arrangement of battlesuit to fire warriors, but it is strictly forbidden to actually understand this lectures. Even if it can save you live. If you are from the Air Caste and can understand other languages and speak politely, you will be censured. If you are from water caste and can create beautiful watersculptures you will be censured. If you are from fire caste and understand how to repair your weapon you will be censured. If you mastered skill of other caste you will disappear forever and if you ever return drones would look wise in comparison to your state.
Ambassador of the water caste in this book, who likes to create beautiful sculptures has a pulspistol to kill herself if they come for her at night.

On the second page of the book space marines shoot down three seeker missiles with bolt-pistols. And it only get worse from this.
and actually I can forgive all this over the top and up to eleven stuff, ultramarines hating each other and gulag-tau, but Phill Kelly just can't write literary texts. The scenes, characters, motivations, book structure (boss fight at the end almost of each chapter - seriously???) - almost everything is bad.
To his credit, the idea of "thing that in tau empire everyone has his own place is unnatural" is interesting to explore, but he can't execute it right. He could focus on psychological issues related to this, how person has to live under this pressure. But he just creates secret police that eliminates everyone who is extraordinary. Because it is easier and doesn't require skill or talent.


Everything about this book sounds horrific.

Which, to be fair, is exactly what I expected from the moment I saw it was to be written by Phil Kelly, based on his earlier work.

Please, Phil. If you're reading this? I'm asking you directly. Just stop. Go and ruin someone else's enjoyment. Leave the Tau alone. You can't write Tau. Please stop trying.

User avatar
Val'Sitsor
Shas'Saal
Posts: 145

Re: Blades of Damocles

Post#24 » Apr 19 2016 01:01

I finished this book last Friday, but had no internet connection to write a review. And Calmsword already beat me :D
However, I should be glad, because it save me a lot of time.
Apparently, near the end book somehow becomes slightly better. And… Funny things about space marine and tau parts… I have opposite opinion and I think that tau parts was better – not all of them of course, but some in the second half of the book. At least they are different: from horrible to slightly interesting. Space Marine parts are all the same. And let’s face it: Numitor is a classical Mary Sue – he has at least 60% traits and tropes from the list to qualify as one. Sicarius exists in this book only to show that Numitor is better than him and author don’t even try to hide it. There are several scenes where narration says it literally. And all this space marine over the top stuff with throwing aircrafts and monorail train into the tau…. It’s just painful to read. At least loli-psyker was cute and funny :biggrin:
As for the tau, part about Puretide was interesting enough, dialog between Shoh-kun and tsundere-tan and scene with dying Bravestorm were solid at least. And when all tutor Sha’kan’thas plotline with delation about vash’ja is stupid I kinda like resolution of this plotline. Farsight was unable to forgive tutor because it is easier to hate him for Puretide death than etherials or himself and Shovah gave him “just go and die alone”-mission. And dying alone is a curse for tau. Moreover, if I understand correctly, tutor would became that very monat who use prototype stasis bomb to trap space marine captain with himself forever. Fate worse than death. And it is left ambiguous whether tutor really repented after facing gue’la hordes and witnessing Farsight’s trial or was it just political move orchestrated by water caste like Farsight thought. It is the single moment in the whole story where reader can decide for himself – all others scenes are completely one-polar.

User avatar
Macknight
Shas'La
Shas'La
Posts: 306

Re: Blades of Damocles

Post#25 » Apr 20 2016 05:05

Its quite good imo so far, concur with the assessment of the lesser sgt there just to emphasize how godly Sicarius is. Even though the scene between Farsight and the marine medic was already written in the FE fluff, the portray reading made it even more lively. I'm only into ch 6 so far and the scene depicting the water caste outcaste was memorable.

I bought the audio version, am uploading to youtube for you all; the entire Blades of Damocles will be up in the coming week or so. Enjoy!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XI-8xQRf7AM
For the greater good!

Shas'vre Ka'ra
Shas'Saal
Posts: 14

Re: Blades of Damocles

Post#26 » Apr 21 2016 08:33

Well I told myself I wouldn't come to this page again, wanting to distance myself from people venting their anger, but I caved and read through it once, and I want to say one or two last things.

Val'sitsor, I want to thank you for your comments, and pointing out the things that you liked about the novel alongside all the things that you didn't. It does make me feel better seeing that we can be critical of a piece of literature without descending into hateful rhetoric.

As far as some positive things go... I really did like the parts with the Imperial Guard. From the bayonet charge mentioned in the Codex to Loli-psyker (;D) I enjoyed all their characters and stories. Watching the commissar have to eat his own hat was fun.

I'm also intrigued, if apprehensive, of the continued expansion of The Eight. If nothing else, Phil is trying to give each of them a distinctiveness that I enjoy. Most of my WH40k fun time comes from the roleplaying games, and building parties full of diverse characters has always been a joyful hobby of mine. Maybe it's Phil's too. Brightsword the daredevil, Sha'vastos the model officer, Ob'lotai the old veteran. Now with this novel we get the arrival of Bravestorm, who I've come to understand is the Angry Tau. The destroyer. Hearing his lines at the end brought his whole ordeal with the Dreadnought full circle. How poetic for him to go from being utterly shocked that the Imperium would keep their soldiers alive and suffering in this way, to learning how they feel first-hand when he makes the same choice himself.

I must admit, I did not expect O'vesa to be so... Amoral. The way he views experimenting on living people... When it was Orks I thought little of it, but from Tau eugenics to Kroot experiments he definitely seems unsettling. I wonder what convinced O'Shovah to make him one of The Eight in the end. Another dark side of the Tau, since the Ethereals must be authorizing all of these experiments and hiding them from the general population, like how the Imperium hides knowledge of Exterminatus from its common masses.

User avatar
Calmsword
Shas'Ui
Shas'Ui
Posts: 1515

Re: Blades of Damocles

Post#27 » Apr 21 2016 11:22

I do want to keep the conversation respectful, but frankly, I don't think you grasp Shas'Vre Ka'ra how damaging Phil has been to the faction: Tau.

40k is held together by a loose series of canonical rules that keep people happy and keep people coming up with their own ideas which keeps things 'fresh' in the grim darkness of the 41'st millenium.

Be it that there are 'no female Space Marines' or that 'Horus is dead-dead-dead' that gets people upset, there is always options and viewpoints to be explored as to the 'why' and 'how' this could be circumnavigated by the individual to prove the GW fluffmasters wrong... This is not extended to the Tau.

We get new fluff that is contradictory, half-baked, or flat out wrong in light of our own canon.

I get that there is this drive to rush to the defense of the author- but frankly- he's damned the next years to all the newer Tau players who will now be at odds with the older Tau players. The only example I can compare to what Phil is doing is what Episode 1 did to Star Wars.

Everything the guy puts to paper is not considerate of the writers that came before him, and for that, he should be invalidated by the gamer/fluff enthusiast population.... And that 'dark side of the Tau' could have been excellent if it wasn't paired with some of the worst writing about Ethereals I've ever seen.

So I'm not going to engage in any kind of healthy dialogue about the validity of what Phil has put forward because, frankly, it invalidates almost everything ever written for the faction I play and write about. His works should be ignored, or at the least, considered the fancies of an overreactive imagination to someone watching replays of Tau 40k gameplay.
~Good Hunting

User avatar
O'Sho'Ko'Is
Shas
Posts: 26

Re: Blades of Damocles

Post#28 » Apr 22 2016 01:48

As others have said, Ka'ra, I think the main issue isn't really his actual writing ability, but more that the concepts put in here go against a lot of other stuff we've been told about the Tau. Fire caste not being allowed to do even minor repairs on their gear, or have the slightest clue how it works? Tau being ready to shoot themselves if the Etheral secret police come for them in the night? It just doesn't match up with the other stuff we've been told in codices etc.
I do want to see more about the Eight, etc, I just don't want it to be that the reason Farsight left is due to the moustache-twirling villainy of the Ethereals and their secret police, and the caste system developing into non-sensical levels of separation from each other function-wise.

Personally, I'm a fan of the Tau having a bit of a darker side, just not to the extent of "oh no, I'm a pilot and I can write a poem, I'm going to die!"

User avatar
Calmsword
Shas'Ui
Shas'Ui
Posts: 1515

Re: Blades of Damocles

Post#29 » Apr 22 2016 01:55

Well said O'Sho'Ko'Is- and Shas'Vre Ka'ra- I don't want to come off as contentious (all my issues are with the author of this book).

This isn't a 'Tau Dark Side' moment- it's a total meltdown of how a society can function... Seriously, you make a sculpture and then you buy a gun to keep by your bed for they day to 'come and git ya' ...???
~Good Hunting

User avatar
Val'Sitsor
Shas'Saal
Posts: 145

Re: Blades of Damocles

Post#30 » Apr 22 2016 02:10

Shas'vre Ka'ra wrote:Now with this novel we get the arrival of Bravestorm, who I've come to understand is the Angry Tau. The destroyer. Hearing his lines at the end brought his whole ordeal with the Dreadnought full circle. How poetic for him to go from being utterly shocked that the Imperium would keep their soldiers alive and suffering in this way, to learning how they feel first-hand when he makes the same choice himself.

And while I agree, that this plotline could be perceived this way, I want to point out ones more that there is a problem with realization of this concept. If you cast everything else aside – yes – everything alright. However… Let’s count!
It was stated early in “Farsight” that Obl’Tai hates dronekind. And he ultimately became one by the end of the book.
It was stated in the same book that Brightsword wanted to “preserve” his gene line. And he became series of clones.
It was stated early in “Damocle Blades” that Bravestorm is terrified of dreadnought concept. And he ultimately became one by the end of the book.
Sha’vastos at one point thought along the line “Why would someone want to remove puretide neirochip? It’s just stupid!”. Farsight put him in stasis to protect from aforementioned removal by the end of the book.
It is the trope overuse. The same as “crashing aircraft into something”. Do you know about law of diminishing marginal utility? In our case, it is the same, because with the stories not only impact from every next applying of trope decreases, but previous ones lost their value too.
Dramatic irony and foreshadowing are great things, but they supposed to be subtle. Writer should use them like scalpel, not like a hammer. And definitely should not score all his nails with them.
That’s why I joke about Torchstar and delivering of Riptides.
Kelly can write texts for codex, Farsight enclave is my favorite one lore-wise, but when he trying to write literary text… I don’t know… May be he lack experience or theoretic knowledge?
Calmsword and others already told about “essence” flaws, but “form” has many flaws too. There are a lot of things to work upon.

User avatar
O'Sho'Ko'Is
Shas
Posts: 26

Re: Blades of Damocles

Post#31 » Apr 22 2016 02:25

Personally, although not having read the book, I think the most jarring thing is a Tau prepared to commit suicide over their own interests. To me, suicide would be a completely alien concept to the Tau mindset, at least in this regard. Mental illness, sure, but not in the "you'll never take me alive!" sense. The Tau are far too communally-oriented for their own desires to be something they reach such a strong decision for. After all, if muder is the Mont'au, there's got to be some really, really strong stigma against suicide.

I might create a topic to discuss the concept of the darker side of the Tau, as I think this needs a bit more exploration on what exactly that should mean.

User avatar
Macknight
Shas'La
Shas'La
Posts: 306

Re: Blades of Damocles

Post#32 » Apr 22 2016 03:30

O'Sho'Ko'Is wrote:Personally, although not having read the book, I think the most jarring thing is a Tau prepared to commit suicide over their own interests. To me, suicide would be a completely alien concept to the Tau mindset, at least in this regard. Mental illness, sure, but not in the "you'll never take me alive!" sense. The Tau are far too communally-oriented for their own desires to be something they reach such a strong decision for. After all, if muder is the Mont'au, there's got to be some really, really strong stigma against suicide.

I might create a topic to discuss the concept of the darker side of the Tau, as I think this needs a bit more exploration on what exactly that should mean.


Link to the audio version is in my above post if you want to check it out.
For the greater good!

User avatar
1st Tau Airborne
Kor'La
Kor'La
Posts: 402

Re: Blades of Damocles

Post#33 » Apr 22 2016 10:05

It seems I have chosen a rather bad time to return from the shadowlands (Reality). I never did like Phil Kelly but now he has given me reason to dislike him. Ruining my beloved Tau!! I think we are all in agreement here that we as a community shall simply overlook some of the more poorly written or outright contradictory fluff for the Tau out there. The good ole communistic vision of hope that was the greater good shall always be for me. I don't think that there shouldn't be a dark underbelly to the beast of the Tau empire but to restrict the castes? It simply doesn't make sense. There are always going to be the rogues in the group who diverge from the Greater Good but they should generally have some fairly convincing arguments and I think it is far more Tau-ey to try and enlighten them and bring them back to the fold before sending bag men to do dirty work. I am all for Tau bag men and hit squads but some semblance of balance and respect to the culture that already exists. I could rant here for a while but I think we all see the point.

Good to be back
-1st Tau

User avatar
Macknight
Shas'La
Shas'La
Posts: 306

Re: Blades of Damocles

Post#34 » Apr 22 2016 12:15

So after listening to the book, the major wtf bad fluff stands out in my mind is actually on the space marine part. In chapter 4 I believe, where sgt. Sicarius leap up and away to take out tau zooming fliers. Communication between Calgar and Numitor over many systems like they're both in the same block.

Memorable moments from the book: scene between Farsight and the medic; dialogue between Numitor and techmarine to keep the higher grade promethium and hush hush about it; depiction of O'vesa and his experiments; tau's interaction with psykers; scene with the commissar when the rabble band of IG and marines returned; Farsight and Shadowsun's interactions; failures of cybernetic kroots, vat grown marines, and initial Puretide engram chips; incompetence of Munitorum sending IG wrong ammo.

I hope there is more fluff written based on Kais, the monet student in the future.
For the greater good!

R.D.
Shas'La
Shas'La
Posts: 566

Re: Blades of Damocles

Post#35 » Apr 23 2016 12:06

O'Sho'Ko'Is wrote:Personally, although not having read the book, I think the most jarring thing is a Tau prepared to commit suicide over their own interests. To me, suicide would be a completely alien concept to the Tau mindset, at least in this regard. Mental illness, sure, but not in the "you'll never take me alive!" sense. The Tau are far too communally-oriented for their own desires to be something they reach such a strong decision for. After all, if muder is the Mont'au, there's got to be some really, really strong stigma against suicide.

I might create a topic to discuss the concept of the darker side of the Tau, as I think this needs a bit more exploration on what exactly that should mean.


Eh, in prior editions there was the 'Failsafe Detonator' which was basically the ending of Predator recreated by a Tau unit, so it's not really lacking precedent.

User avatar
Kakapo42
Shas'Vre
Shas'Vre
Posts: 990

Re: Blades of Damocles

Post#36 » Apr 23 2016 12:37

R.D. wrote:Eh, in prior editions there was the 'Failsafe Detonator' which was basically the ending of Predator recreated by a Tau unit, so it's not really lacking precedent.


Perhaps, but there is a difference. The main concern O'Sho'Ko'Is appears to have isn't so much the idea of Tau committing suicide, but rather Tau committing suicide for selfish reasons. While the failsafe detonator is a suicide weapon, it's intended as a suicide weapon for selfless purposes - if an enemy force overruns the battlesuit team in close combat, then the battlesuit pilot using the failsafe detonator can hold off the enemy forces and inflict enough damage on them to allow the rest of the team to successfully escape, effectively trading his or her own life for the lives of their team-mates.

There are other instances of Tau performing sacrificing their lives in a similar way (I believe a newer piece of background introduces the term 'broken jade' for it), but the consistent pattern is that it's always done to benefit the rest of a group, either the rest of the Tau's team or the larger Tau force present, or to further a common goal (a bit like the popular image of a soldier throwing themselves onto a hand grenade so that it won't kill or injure the rest of their squad). From how it's described, this instance on the other hand is very different. The Tau Water Caste mentioned appears to be keeping a means to kill herself, but not to further any common goal. On the contrary, it seems to be purely out of fear of being abducted by some secret police institution and a desire to live how she wishes, which is ultimately a self-centred point of view (however common and expected it is in our society), and thus contrary to the popular collectivist society the Tau are described as having.
A Shas and a Kor walk into a bar...
Naked Metal

Return to “Library”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests