The Faces of Empire: Auxileries

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Calmsword
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The Faces of Empire: Auxileries

Post#1 » Jan 09 2017 07:30

A while ago I had a pretty extensive entry on the Morralian Deathsworn and, stuck in freezing cold Scotland as I am and jet lagged, I thought I'd revisit the entry with some fan art, new self-spun fluff, and expand to the Formosians, the Nagi and the rest of the known Tau races.

Based on sites like War of Sigmar, it seems like 40k is going through it's AoS phase with further emphasis on the EoT 13th Crusade which is on the other side of the Galaxy. I'm not going to discontinue my collection of Tau, and I don't really like suits, so I've begun converting more and more from other model ranges. This entry will be the basis of specialized units and auxiliaries in this ongoing endeavor. I hope you enjoy!


(I would also like to invite any interested members to comment and critique what you see here if it tickles your fancy)

Note: The entries are written without ambiguity unlike most 40k fluff but in future stories I don't plan Tau or even the Auxiliary races to necessarily know the facts I'm laying down here.

Note 2: Original art from multiple artists on Devientart: sunkaro, borrinin, straylost,

The Nexus

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The Nexus is a non-governing council made up of about a dozen alien species that hold varying degrees of membership within the Empire and serve as the spiritual leadership for the Commonwealth. Those diplomats chosen to sit on the council represent the goals, aspirations and opinions of their people as a whole and often hold the position for life. Each of the Castes of the Tau are also represented while the council is presided over by an Ethereal council of three.

The council has a permanent facility near the heart of the Empire on the Air Cast city Concordia that serves as a major point of trade.

The Morralian

The Morralian are a race of humanoid-felids that live on the planet Morra near the Kel'shan Sept. In the wake of the Iron Hammer campaign that saw the sudden arrival of Imperial forces deep within Tau space, a Tau reprisal fleet cornered and engaged the battlecruiser Shield of Arrogance and its escort ships over a previously undiscovered world. During the battle, Tau strike forces successfully boarded the vessel and, in a suicidal act, the Gue'la shipmaster unleashed the payload of planet-killing weapons on board. Much of the Tau fleet, and the planet named Morra below, was engulfed by the resulting firestorm.

The survivors of the Tau fleet landed on the planet, securing themselves behind the gravitic fields of their starships as the northern hemisphere burned. During this event which lasted days, a primitive tribal species was discovered, fleeing the atmospheric conflagration.

Pre-industrial, the Morralians regarded the Tau first as messengers of their gods and threw themselves before the Crisis teams that overshadowed them. It was Aun'Uro, the surviving Ethereal of the fleet, that met with the Morralian leaders, providing safety for the tribes despite the Kel'shan Firewarriors disdain for the alien presence.

As the fires of the exterminatus weapons cooled, the Morralians emerged with the Tau, migrating south. It was there that they came across a Gue'la frigate, the Daedalus, crashed in a valley that had shielded it from the worst of the firestorms. Aun'Uro explained that it had been the doing of another race, easily described as demons and monsters of the Morralian culture sparking a holy war against the Imperial survivors.

The joint attack lasted a cycle that saw the Morralian tribes unite under Aun'Uro and the Firewarriors, annihilating the Gue'la and occupying the Daedalus, and settling it to create the Morralian's first city. When search and rescue cadres finally discovered Morral, the Tau on the planet had long since passed away, their bodies enshrined by the Morral; no longer gods but as saviors of their civilization.

Now, the Earth Caste has worked diligently to recover the ruined biosphere of the planet, learning much about the nature of Exterminatus and its many phases including the Life-Eater Virus. While only a very few molecules of the weapon survived entry into Morral's atmosphere, wherever it touched; all life unravelled. The Earth Caste struggles to maintain the viral growth, keeping the planet in a precarious state.

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The Deathsworn

When Water Caste envoys arrived to Morralia they found a people with a distinct technological culture having adapted from the Kel'shan cadres and civilized by the ideals of Aun'Uro's tutelage of the Greater Good. Membership into the Commonwealth came quickly yet, despite their martial nature, were not selected by the Fire Caste like the Vespid or Kroot to serve alongside. Instead, it was Ethereals that adopted the Morralians, with many of the Aun fascinated by an entire alien species dedicated to the ideal of the Greater Good.

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The Morrallians serve the Empire and the will of the Ethereals, their loyalty unquestionable and their dedication an extreme matched only by the Fire Caste. Their military units, aptly named the Deathsworn, understand that they will never return home but that in their sacrifice they ensure their world might one day be healed.
~Good Hunting

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Jefffar
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Re: The Faces of Empire: Auxileries

Post#2 » Jan 10 2017 07:05

I've been looking at Auxiliaries in my own writings as well. This is an interesting and plausible take on the concept of the Deathsworn. Good work.

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Calmsword
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Re: The Faces of Empire: Auxileries

Post#3 » Jan 10 2017 07:14

Thank you Jeffar.

Getting into the grim-tau that I know many players sometimes prefer- I think there's also room for the Earth Caste to be willfully not completing the recovery process of Morra in order to keep the Morralians under more complete control.

I've also always liked the idea that the Castes have differing personal relationships with the Auxiliary races. For example, the Greet would be tightly bound to service with the Earth Caste or the Jia'trix and the Niccassar with the Air Caste as they are voidborn.

The Morralians would be unique in their dedication to the Ethereals, operating in missions that would be outside of the pervue of the Fire Caste that could range from assassination, suppression or other potentially nefarious missions.
~Good Hunting

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Calmsword
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Re: The Faces of Empire: Auxileries

Post#4 » Jan 10 2017 08:19

The Galg

The Galg are a migratory species from the Sol'ai Rift (commonly known as the Perdus Rift) operating in small family groups aboard slow-burn generational starships. They are not colonial and, instead, acting as mercenaries for the many alien civilizations in the Rift zones or as pirates for thousands of years. Due to the fragmentary culture of the Galg, a coherent history is impossible to confirm including a planet of origin.

What is known is that the Galg and the Kroot universally hate each other to such a degree that the Fire Caste keeps operating contingents far from each other. Water Caste Archivists have investigated this relationship and it appears that, during the time of the Kroot interstellar empire before its eventual downfall against the Orks, they destroyed several generation Galg ships. In response, the Galg in the region adapted to hunting Kroot, unable to bring the numbers to persecute a war.

This animosity continues to this day with the Kroot lobbying complaints to the Nexus and the High Council. The Galg families, by contrast, do not seem to care for the opinions of either the other races of the Commonwealth or the Tau. The Tau, in turn, do not allow the low opinions of the Galg to prohibit hiring the Galg.

In the ongoing attempt by the Empire to tame the Sol'ai Rift, the Galg have been employed or driven off in equal measure. Each generation ship is home to hundreds of family units that are lead by fiercely protective female 'alphas' that do not possess a means of interstellar communication with one another. As such, each generation ship must go through First Contact protocols, an exhausting and expensive process which has only earned further ire by the Kel'shani and their prejudice against aliens.

Image~courtesy of craigjohn

Galg are exceptionally long lived and have adapted to sub-luminal galactic migration able to enter suspended animation without cryo technology. They are supernaturally patient as such making them excellent hunters, able to wait months, if not years, for the right opportunity to spring a trap.

Another adaptation the Galg possess is exotic, often poisonous, bacterial buildup underneath their scales. Close proximity to a Galg can cause unusual maladies in many alien species, most disastrously humans yet the Tau are immune. The Galg use this bacteria in their weapons, much like the needle weapons of the Ar'cean (Eldar), ensuring that their targets expire if not by the initial wounds then days later in poisoned agony.

Family units work contractually with the Fire Caste in concert with Pathfinders and enjoy a wide degree of autonomy which is all the better as they are often regarded with mistrust by other auxiliary formations. Their generation ships are often tethered to the warp-capable Air Caste and are towed into regions of space their services are potentially needed. In the event that they are not, the Galg families tend to search out worlds and habitats they then explore, seemingly for curiosities sake alone. If they discover resources they exploit them quickly and not for long, moving on from a region and either returning to their ship or petitioning the Air Caste to bring them to other stars.

In a few cases, despite the Empire's ban on the slave trade that exists in much of the So'lai Rift zones, it has been recorded that the Galg have no qualms in partaking in the hunting and procurement of beings they then sell to the most immediate bidder.

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Here are some early model examples of Galg in my army (I plan on repainting their skin to have a more mottled yellow/green look). The unit formation are a family unit that operate as skin-hunters (a personal take on the concept of 'bounty' hunters). With so many human worlds on the borders of the southern Empire in the Coreward Marches, I envision the Water Caste to secretly use this Galg family unit to remove humans who resist the influence of the envoys.

As such, the Galg are a key allied species in the "Mon'daryo" also known as the Shadow War perpetuated by opposing Imperial and Empire agents in the wake of the Damocles Gulf Crusade and despite the Dal'yth treaty.
~Good Hunting

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Calmsword
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Re: The Faces of Empire: Auxileries

Post#5 » Jan 10 2017 06:57

The Formosians
(concept art courtesy of Dreamforge Games)
I've been following Dreamforge Games for a while now, I've bought their extremely detailed models and think the company is fantastic. Their new race, the Shadokesh, will take up the role as Formosians.

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The Formosians joined the Tau empire just before the turbulent period of warfare in the Western Veil Nebula. Discovered by a merchant fleet returning from the quarantine Interdiction Zone around the Red Sun systems, the planetary system inhabited by the Formosians was already highly developed with a pre-super luminal civilization.

Forma, the star systems largest gas giant, possessed hundreds of planetoids ranging from T'au sized worlds to orbiting asteroids rich in ore and water. The proximity of so many planets allowed for the perfect foundation for the Formosians to populate over twenty planets of their trinary star system, many of them habitable.

The Tau were greeted as one of many alien visitors to the system and shortly thereafter the Golden Ambassador would arrive and negotiate a lasting trade agreement and none-agression pact with the Empire. The Formosian inclusion came at a perfect time, at the height of the Second Sphere expansion period. The raw materials and exotic elements traded with the Formosians lead to the solidification of several Sept systems including N'dras.

Much like the Kroot, the Formosians had resisted an Ork attack early in their history, uniting their society and promoting technological innovation out of a necessity for survival. Unlike the Kroot, the Formosians seem to have done this with help of an as yet encountered alien species that visited their planet just prior to Ork invasion. These aliens, known to the Formosians as the Auguran, taught them how to construct complex and potent light based weaponry. When the Augurans departed thousands of years ago, they left sculptures of light encased within crystals that the Formosians began to worship. The Waystones are believed to offer prophetic visions to those who look upon them. Why the Auguran left and why the Tau have not discovered any evidence of these aliens in the rest of the Cluster remains a mystery.

It was the Formosians that initially drew the Empire into conflict with the Arachen, having fought with the swarm fleets exiting the Damocles Gulf region to prevent their star system from being colonized. When the Arachen rejected the Empire and continued migrating without concern into Tau space as well the Formosians joined the Fire Caste in persecuting a hotly contested border conflict with the insectoid species. Devastating in close quarters with their hardlight weapons, the Fire Caste soon came to rely on their new allies to repel the mass charges by the Arachen.

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The Formosian are bipedal humanoids with three distinct subspecies that seem to have evolved simultaneously on three different worlds orbiting Forma. It is this unique factor that leads the Earth Caste to believe that the Formosians were manipulated early in their evolution, perhaps by the same Augurans, and seeded deliberately.

Now, the Formosians number in the many billions on nearly every terrestrial rock in the Forma system, however, they do not attempt to colonize worlds outside the orbit of their stars. This is believed that the Forma suns provide a unique type of radiation that, if unprovided to a Formosian, will result in the deterioration of their bodies. Therefore, the Formosians primarily serve as defenders of the Western Veil and the Red Sun systems but little elsewhere in the Empire.
~Good Hunting

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Calmsword
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Re: The Faces of Empire: Auxileries

Post#6 » Jan 13 2017 05:57

I've always been fascinated by the Demiurge. From their enigmatic fleet presence in BFG, my favorite game, to their fluff inclusion as the race to offer ion technology to the Tau. I especially take heart the correlation between the Homeworld 'Bentusi' and this 40k race and prefer the implications that they are more in line with that video game than Squats... Frankly I don't get why anyone likes Squats- but that's neither here nor there.

My interpretation of the Demiurge has been since influenced by the few descriptions of the Demiurge; heavy fully enclosed armor along with a dependence on drones that can change in function to suit the needs of their masters. I've recently gotten an order from Studio McVey:

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And I believe that the Vanguard Power Armor, with some conversion, will provide a unique and interesting addition to my army as counts-as Space Marine Centurions for the purposes of rules.


The Demiurge of the Srr'tok and Thurm Brotherhood

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The Demiurge entered Tau space during the Second Sphere as Tau'N colony fleets brushed against the edges of the galactic-north star systems in what would be later be Dal'yth Sept. Prospecting new stellar territories, the Thurm Brotherhood had finished rendering a moon of the gas giant Azora to its basic elements when First Contact was attempted by the Water Caste. The Demiurge responded, quickly interpreting the Tau transmissions and sternly declined further communication, explaining the mineral rights of the region had already been claimed.

Had it not been for a sudden intrusion by greenskin raiders the Demiurge might have remained a chance alien encounter. At this time, the leadership of the Empire had conceded that the Tau'Va would not find communality amongst all species and that the Ork should be exterminated wherever found in large numbers. The earliest campaigns were successful, but, as would be discovered when dealing with the greenskins, conflict only begets further and larger conflict.

Several ramshackle starships attacked the newly seeded colony on Ka'rak, scattering the Tau fleet and leaving the population centers on the planet open to attack. Instead of a land invasion, the Orks unleashed a storm of asteroids against the Tau colony on Ka'rak, killing thousands. Civilian vessels unable to flee the carnage were boarded by eager greenskins until Thurm Brotherhood suddenly appeared.

Cutting Ork warships to pieces with intense, impossibly powerful weapons, they pushed through the Ork blockade and launched dozens of dropships which fell upon the Tau vessels still embroiled in Orks.

The Thurm warriors fell upon the Orks with surprisingly few numbers but wielding the same weaponry as their starships, annihilating packs of the feral barbarians while protected by thick suits of powered armor.

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The remaining survivors were lead away on what able starships were left while the Thurm protected them all the way to T'au Prime.

The Water Caste of Ka'rak would learn much about the Demiurge on this journey, and, petitioned that a representative of the Thurm Brotherhood be allowed direct access. The details of such a privileged encounter are unknown, lasting two days in the White City. In the end, the Demiurge gifted ion-technology providing a near limitless energy source with countless offensive weapon applications. The Thurm, in turn, were given prospecting rights across the Empire and first-right to colonization of any planet in known space. In addition, the Demiurge alone may travel anywhere in Tau space without censure or license despite not having a complete membership to the Empire.

Toward the end of the Second Age saw the introduction of another Brotherhood; the Srry'tok, a much smaller coalition, arriving from beyond the edges of the Galactic arm. While no introduction was made by the Thurm, it was clear by the way the representatives of the Srry'tok carried themselves that they knew much of the Tau Empire. Their own agreements with the Empire were seamless and the Srry'tok began inhabiting the regions closer to the Ido'koi Nebula in T'olku Sept in the south rather than move into the Western Veil regions the Thurm were located.

For a similar agreement that the Thurm enjoyed, the Srry'tok traded the Tau the means of which the Brotherhoods communicate; Ansible tachyonic arrays. in the wake of the Tyranid swarmfleets that devastated the Empire's eastern colonies this miracle technology would allow for near instantaneous communication between developed worlds, Sept centers and the largest of capital ships.

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Although such a device, even after a century of use, remains exorbitantly costly and , it has provided the Empire with the means to accomplish superluminal communication and, like the gifts of the Demiurge before, are now a cornerstone to the success of the Commonwealth and the Empire.
~Good Hunting

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Calmsword
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Re: The Faces of Empire: Auxileries

Post#7 » Jan 15 2017 09:07

Next up I've got the Ranghon, based off a model from the Numenara RPG miniature range, I wanted to go with something non-military: https://www.google.co.uk/webhp?sourceid ... 8388452913. with a nod to some elements from the Ferengi from Star Trek.

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The Ranghon

The Ranghon are a race of near-avian humanoids that evolved on the supermassive planet Emalguma in what would later become partitioned by the Tau and become the Bork'an Sept. Emalguma is as large as a medium sized gas giant that, in a galaxy of oddities and strange stellar phenomenon, does not orbit a star but instead has accumulated a thick nebula cloud of primordial stars that orbits it along with several smaller planetary bodies.

The Ranghon civilization is ancient and many Archivists believe that it might predate the primordial epoch that formed the globular star cluster thousands of cycles ago. As such, the Ranghon believe themselves superior on almost every measurable level when compared with other species. This includes their cultural values which largely begin with Emalguma being the center of the cosmos even despite modern stellar cartography and that Ranghon morality supersedes the rational of lesser life-forms.

Despite this, they have found placement in the Empire as second-to-none tradesmen.

Upon First Contact, the Ranghon had already been trading in stolen Earth Caste goods taken by the Selica Rift pirates and selling them to human Governors as well as the Rosksoshi Wealthweb. At first the Fire Caste petitioned for military sanction against the Ranghon but, after much debate, the Water Caste convinced the Council of the Highest that the Empire could, despite its loss, benefit by a relationship and thus further the greater good with the Ranghon.

The Ranghon greeted the envoys of the Water Caste with such fanfare and wealth that any insult was soon forgotten. Negotiations regarding trade, refinement and coveted information regarding other species were quickly offered by the Ranghon for, seemingly, nothing. On examining the impossibly vast continents of Emalguma the Water Caste saw teeming cities, pyramidal factories and space elevators rising and falling in constant rhythm taking goods from sleek transport craft that arrived and departed to regions all over the Galaxy. If they were not impressed by this sense of industry then when they arrived at the Hall of Acquirement.

Standing three kilometers tall and almost three times as wide, the Hall of Acquirement contained within it rooms and menageries of exotic elements and creatures, luxury items and artifacts in their thousands. The Commerce Authority was the only government the Ranghon needed for it was their state religion that truly unified their people centered on the acquirement of profit, material wealth and successful negotiation. Perhaps in these Water Caste envoys naivety that they allowed themselves to believe the Ranghon's faith was not unlike the Greater Good.

Soon, Ranghon emissaries known as Aquisitionists appeared in a hundred trading outposts, ever eager to pursue wealth in all its forms. Despite the mistrust other aliens of the Commonwealth, particularly the Demiurge, feel toward the Ranghon, the Tau always seem to benefit from any new agreements as well as many First Contact events with other species. Not surprisingly, the mercenary nature of the Kroot and Tarrelians have the closest relationship with the Ranghon and are often seen escorting an Aquisitionist.

Perhaps it has, in the centuries since, been realized by the Council of the Highest that the Ranghon have benefitted the most from the agreement for, time and again, the Fire Caste has been called upon to defend the Ranghon even in the wake of failed negotiations.

Note: While the Ranghon have not standing military, believing war to have an ultimately negative impact on commerce and trade (the only sin the Ranghon believe is the loss of wealth and poverty), they often possess the fastest ships, the most remarkable of defensive systems and utilize a form of powered armor when an enemy cannot be bribed or coerced out of violence.
~Good Hunting

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