Fluff Update: Burning Dawn and Operation Shadowtalon

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Calmsword
Shas'Ui
Posts: 1484

Fluff Update: Burning Dawn and Operation Shadowtalon

Post#1 » Jan 26 2017 04:47

I realized we haven't had a fluff update on the two supplements taking place between Kauyon and Mont'ka, here is the breakdown:

Shadowsun has received her first major defeat on the jungle planet Voltoris, forcing her to consolidate on the renamed Hive planet 'Mu'gulath Bay'. Moving to a position on the ancient fortress world Prefectia, Shadowsun prepares to take the planet and, thus, open the Gilded Worlds (abundant planets in the Dovar System) to attack.

Aun'Do "Master of the Gifted Stars", an Ethereal, crash lands in the no-man's land between Imperial and Empire forces. A rescue team of Pathfinders is dispatched and Raven Guard marines ordered to recover Aun'Do, both groups recent veterans of the battle on Voltoris.

The Gilded Worlds: a solar cluster of mineral-rich mining worlds that stretch from the Damocles Gulf region deep in to the heart of the Ultima Segmentum. This may be the true goal of the Empire as first Agrellan and now Prefectia protect these vital planets.

The hunt begins with the recovery of Aun'Do by the Shas'Ui Kalas Starshroud who is harried by Shadow Captain Solaq. The pursuit goes on and on, through the crumbling cityscape of Prefectia until the Ravenguard corner the Pathfinders waiting for an Orca dropship to recover them.

A quick, bloody siege, commences with the Ravensguard foregoing stealth in an all-out assault but are too late.

Aun'Do with Starshroud are delivered to Shadowsun under no fan fair as the mission, despite its success, is sworn to secrecy so none know how close an Ethereal came to assassination or capture.

Aun'Do delivers a secret to Shadowsun. The Imperials believe that the Gilded Worlds are the Empire's target, when in fact it is a secret buried on Prefectia itself. Geomagnetic energy, untapped beneath the surface, is Shadowsun's great gambit. If the power can be harnessed it would fuel the armies of 3rd Sphere, creating a new base to launch her attacks.

Tau Vocabulary:

U'it: 'bucked like a caged u'it'

Tau Culture:

Shas'Ui Starshroud is in overall command of the Fire Caste during this mission, placing him in authority over Stealth Team Darktide and Shas'Vre Ryaon. This is said to focus the Darktide team on their missions rather than command.

In Aun'Do's description it states that some Ethereals serve on the front lines. This is said not as a reproach to those Ethereals tasked in the legislature or as functionaries- just a fact.
~Good Hunting

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SinisterSamurai
Kor'La
Posts: 351

Re: Fluff Update: Burning Dawn and Operation Shadowtalon

Post#2 » Jan 27 2017 03:40

It doesn't take place between Kauyon and Mont'ka, but between the Forge World Warzone Damocles and GW's Kauyon. Mostly at the very beginning of Kauyon, as they begin operations on Perfectia.

If you were surprised by mention of Starshroud at the tail end of Mont'ka (or the dramatis personae) that's because he only appears in the box set supplement and just in time to take a knife for Shadowsun. If you didn't read the small book, Starshroud comes out of nowhere.

Both Operation Shadowtalon and Burning Dawn are more or less the same book. The story is identical, but each has a unit breakdown, datasheets, and wargear related to their particular boxes.

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Lyi'ot
Por'O
Posts: 2726

Re: Fluff Update: Burning Dawn and Operation Shadowtalon

Post#3 » Mar 14 2017 12:13

I appreciate the breakdown, SinisterSamurai! It's weird that the tau would swear the rescue mission to secrecy, especially if 1) the tau are also aware that aun serve on the front lines (as your culture bulletpoint says), and 2) the mission were successful. Surely the tau are aware that sometimes ethereals perish violently, and that daring rescues are the stuff that legends (and propaganda films!) are made of. Just look at how Aun'vre came to prominence. :roll:

Beyond that, I'm glad the ol' u'it show back up. I don't know precisely where it's been used before -- probably Fire Warrior? -- but our lexicon has it defined as "a species of cub-raising animal on T'au." It's always nice to see writers remember and incorporate older stuff.

Any explanation on why a 'ui was in charge of the overall mission, despite being outranked by his erstwhile subordinates? (Not that this bothers me. The tau not sticking to hierarchy and graciously stepping aside when they realize that a subordinate is better equipped to lead in a given situation is very not-human, and I approve. Assuming that's what happened here.)

Finally -- and based on how I Am Slaughter introduced some ideas just coming to fruition in The Gathering Storm ("Lord Guilliman" as a position on the High Lords, for instance) I wouldn't be surprised if Prefectia is the flashpoint for our coming "End Times" story. Smells like Necrons. :dead:

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SinisterSamurai
Kor'La
Posts: 351

Re: Fluff Update: Burning Dawn and Operation Shadowtalon

Post#4 » Mar 14 2017 02:50

Lyi'ot wrote:Any explanation on why a 'ui was in charge of the overall mission, despite being outranked by his erstwhile subordinates? (Not that this bothers me. The tau not sticking to hierarchy and graciously stepping aside when they realize that a subordinate is better equipped to lead in a given situation is very not-human, and I approve. Assuming that's what happened here.)

It's directly addressed in the Stealth Team Darktride datasheet fluff. "Although their leader, Shas'vre Ryaon, is the most senior Fire cast warrior in the Infiltration Cadre, cadre command rests with Shas'ui Starshroud of the Pathfinders. This allows Stealth Team Darktide to concentrate on their designated mission parameters, whether they be destruction of a high--value target or the provision of supporting fire for their comrades, certain that the superior situational awareness of their comrades will guide the rest of the cadre to the successful resolution of their mission."

It also mentions a few times that Starshroud was personally selected to lead Aun'Do's rescue, because he's something of a prodigy and a protégé of hers. She sees, "...the same spark of tactical genius that her master once saw in her."

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Lyi'ot
Por'O
Posts: 2726

Re: Fluff Update: Burning Dawn and Operation Shadowtalon

Post#5 » Mar 14 2017 03:10

Bless you, Samurai. I'm really impressed with this little bit of fluff. It reads as very Tau-y to me.

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SinisterSamurai
Kor'La
Posts: 351

Re: Fluff Update: Burning Dawn and Operation Shadowtalon

Post#6 » Mar 15 2017 01:38

Lyi'ot wrote:Bless you, Samurai. I'm really impressed with this little bit of fluff. It reads as very Tau-y to me.

Lol, we covered it a little back in Oct '15. You even thanked me then, too.
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Lyi'ot
Por'O
Posts: 2726

Re: Fluff Update: Burning Dawn and Operation Shadowtalon

Post#7 » Mar 15 2017 01:52

Hey, at least I'm consistent!

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