Official Tau Timeline

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Official Tau Timeline

Post#1 » Jul 20 2013 12:48

Official Tau Timeline

    The Adeptus Mechanicus Explorator vessel Land's End discovers and categorizes the T'au homeworld, finding only primitive savannah-dwelling aliens. Freak warp storms destroy the seeding ships dispatched to cleanse and colonize T'au. [CT, 4; CTE4, 4; CTE6, 28]

    Resource constraints force tau tribes to begin migrating out of the savannah to other biomes. Over the next several centuries, the tau species' genetic structure proves to be highly responsive to environmental conditions, and several divergent subspecies quickly come into being. Tau culture evolves at a similarly accelerated pace, with both technological advancement and social specialization occurring faster than would normally be expected. But tau society remains fundamentally tribal, and soon vast intertribal wars rage across the planet's main continent. [CT, 4-5; CTE4, 5; CTE6, 8-9]

791.M36 - The Siege of Fio'taun and the End of the Mont'au
    Plagued by disease and destructive intertribal conflict, the young Tau race teeters on the edge of extinction. The species reaches its nadir during the Siege of Fio'taun, when the greatest city of the builder Tau is besieged for five seasons by the a coalition of savannah-dwelling and airborne tau. At the height of the siege, strange lights shimmer in the sky, apparently a portent of the end of the world. But soon thereafter the ethereal caste appears, uniting the warring tribes and codifying an elemental-based caste system. Looking back, the time before the Ethereals will be known as the Mont'au, "the Terror" -- a period of bloody societal chaos to be avoided at all costs. [CT, 5-6; CTE4, 5-6; CTE6, 8-9, 28]

The Great Expansion

A time of great scientific and cultural evolution, during which the Tau advance into space, colonizing planets as far as their conventionally fueled spacecraft will take them.

533.M37 - Lu'val Colonized
    The Tau colonize their largest moon, Lu'val; this is their first off-world holding. [CTE6, 28]

756.M37 - Tau'n Established
    The Ethereal Council declares that the colonies surrounding the planet Tau'n will become their own sept, governed centrally from the sept world of Tau'n. This is the first of many star systems to be colonized. [CTE6, 28]

893.M37 - Short-lived Allies
    The Poctroon become the first sentient race to join the Tau Empire. Unfortunately, within a few generations disease wipes out their species. The Tau, whose physiology is fortuitously immune to the plague, inherit the Poctroon homeworld. It subsequently becomes the prime world of the future Bork'an Sept. Later, the Nicassar become the first race to join the Tau Empire and survive long enough to tell about it. [CTE6, 28]

606-792.M38 - The Campaign of Cleansing
    The Tau embark on their first prolonged campaign against the Ork menace. The campaign lasts for nearly two centuries, and the Tau suffer many defeats. Despite these setbacks, the campaign is ultimately successful, thanks in large part to the Earth caste's continued refinement of the first pulse rifle. The Dal'yth Sept is founded. [CTE6, 28]

844.M38 - The War of the Place of Union
    Leading an expeditionary fleet to explore a cluster of worlds beyond the Perdus Rift, Por’o Dal’yth Kiv’rai ends up aiding a kroot warband against an Ork raiding party. Immediately thereafter, a much larger Ork force runs the Tau to ground on the kroot world of Krath. Forced into an adhoc alliance, the Tau and Kroot fight alongside each other for 80 kai’rotaa, holding Krath until a relief force arrives from Sa'cea. Impressed by the kroot's fighting prowess, the Tau extend the alliance, promising to help the kroot liberate the remainder of their worlds from the Orks. The culmination of the twelve tau'cyr-long campaign comes when the Kroot war-leader Anghkor Prok invites the Tau to the Kroot homeworld of Pech, swearing fealty to the Tau Empire at the Oathstone. [The War of the Place of Union; CT, 8; CTE4, 14; CTE6, 12, 28]

The Second Sphere Expansion

The Ethereal Supreme, Aun'Wei of the Whispered Wisdom, gives the signal to begin the long-planned Second Sphere Expansion. Aun'Wei's famous speech is well remembered, ending with 'the nod that launched a million ships'. With new advances in propulsion technology and an already established space empire, the second expansion is marked by more contact and larger wars.

    The planet Vespid is absorbed into the D'yanoi Sept. Communication difficulties confound diplomatic relations, and limited crystal trade agreements are the only outcome of extensive Water caste lobbying. For reasons known only to them, the Ethereals choose to become directly involved in negotiations. Within days, the Vespid Strain leaders convert wholeheartedly to the cause of the Greater Good. [CTE6, 28, 54]

383.M39 - N'dras Colonized
    The planet N'dras is chosen by the Ethereal Council as the prime world of a new sept. In doing so, the Council overrules the reservations of the Earth caste, who had wanted more time to study a series of inexplicable sensor readings. [CTE6, 28]

576.M39 - Tash'var Subdued
    Improvements to anti-grav motion and new battlesuit technology -- specifically, the T-series prototypes -- help the Fire caste complete the annexation of the Tash'var sept. [CTE6, 28]

876.M39 - Desecration of Lilarsus and Ka'mais
    War is declared upon the cruel raiders victimizing the new colonies of the Kel'shan sept. Believing they have tracked their foe down, the Tau instead destroy the Eldar maiden world of Lilarsus.

    This provokes a bloody response from Iyanden, and the Ke'lshan sept colony of Ka'mais is reduced to rubble in the Eldar reprisal. Though slow to mobilize, the Tau engage the Eldar in battle and recover the wreckage of several Wraithguard. Earth caste scientists are unable to unlock the secrets of the Eldar wraithbone before the wreckage is retrieved by the Eldar in force.

    The Tau prove themselves incredibly tenacious, and the conflict continues for several weeks, until both sides discover that they are being manipulated by the Dark Eldar Archon Andross Klax. The Eldar of Iyanden disengage, and though the Tau extend the hand of friendship, their proposal is met with cold silence. [CTE6, 28; Codex: Iyanden, 57]

    The 'artefact world' of Arthas Moloch, a shrinehold at the periphery of the Damocles Gulf, is purged by the Scythes of the Emperor. [CTE4, 44]

    Tau troops launch a a surprise attack on the Imperial planet of Bruttulus. They quickly seize the planet's defense laser batteries and shield generators, making it impossible for Imperial reinforcements to reach the planet's surface. As more and more Tau troops arrive, Imperial defenses are quickly divided.

    Colonel Sjeaneus of the 513th Baneblade Linebreaker Company decides that desperate measures were called for. The three massive Baneblade tanks under his command have been separated from the main Imperial army and are located only a few miles from one of the main shield generator stations. Rather than falling back to join up with the rest of the Planetary Defense Force, Sjeaneus opts to launch a desperate counter-attack. If he can break through the Tau lines and destroy the shield generator, Imperial reinforcements will be able to land on the planet.

    Colonel Sjeaneus's Baneblades strike at dawn, and the assault catches the Tau unawares. But as more and more Tau troops began to arrive, the situation became increasingly desperate. The first casualty is the Empeor's Might, immobilised by fire from Tau Hammerhead tanks and then overrun and destroyed by Krootox Riders. The remaining two Baneblades, Victorius and No Respite, are severely damaged but still manage to break through the Tau and reach the shield generator station, which they eventually destroyed. Colonel Sjeaneus is slain in the final stages of the battle, but is awarded a posthumous Honourifica Imperalis for his actions. [Battle Missions, 92-93]

600.M40 - Vior'la's Trial By Fire
    An Ork fleet led by Garskrak the Undefeated smashes into the Vior'la system. Whether by accident or design, the Ork fleet focuses on the system's least-defended planets, and the outer-most planet quickly falls. Smaller tau ships quickly engage the Ork fleet in a series of hit-and-run actions, drawing them away from the less defended planets. Meanwhile, heavier warships block the Ork's path, presenting them with a much easier direction of attack. Soon the Tau ships have radically altered the course of the Ork fleet, sending it directly towards the defenses of Vior'la.

    Garskrak's ships take horrendous damage from a pair of northern polar orbital stations. The first station's resistance ends when a massive Ork hulk rams one station and knocks it into an uncontrolled re-entry. Before the wreckage can cause any damage to the cities below, the crew of the station overloads the reactor and destroy themselves. Despite the arrival of the Tau fleet, the second polar station is quickly overwhelmed, and the defenders killed before they can evacuate.

    Despite mounting losses on both sides, both sides fully commit their forces. The space battle rages for days, and both fleets are reduced to a fraction of their former strength. All the while, magnetic storms gather around Vior'la and radiation bursts erupt with greater and greater frequency.

    An Ork victory seems assured when the equatorial defense stations disengage from their geo-stationary orbits and pull away from the battle. The Tau fleet retreats and makes best speed in the opposite direction, allowing the remaining Ork ships to enter low orbit around Vior’la. However, the Orks had not reckoned on Vior'la's imminent "Trial By Fire." As Vior’la begins its regular journey between its twin stars, the planet's lower atmosphere is transformed into a seething cauldron of plasma storms. The fragmented Ork fleet is unable to withstand the violence of the Trial By Fire, and virtually every ship is destroyed. Garskrak himself perishes when his ship is caught in a plasma flare and sucked into the nuclear heart of one of the stars. Those few ships that are able to make planetfall crash among the Yel’ske Mountains, the survivors taking refuge in the region's many canyons and caves. Many of the hardy Orks are able to weather the Trial By Fire until Vior’la’s climate calms. However, they are soon hunted down and killed by vengeful Fire Warriors, who spent the duration of the Trial By Fire training for this moment. Within the span of three months, virtually all the invaders are slaughtered, but as is always the way with the Greenskins, it is impossible to be certain that they have been completely eliminated. [White Dwarf #263 (Dec. 2001), "A World of Warriors"; CTE6, 28]1

896.M40 - The Golden Ambassador
    One of the greatest Water caste envoys to have ever lived, the "Golden Ambassador" Por'O Dal'yth Kais Twi Lui'tan, leads an effort to recruit alien worlds into the Tau Empire. During this period the Thraxians, Greet, and Formosians are welcomed into the fold. The Hrud and Arachen reject the Empire's proposals and are driven out of the region. [CTE6, 28]

    Imperial defenses in the Devlan system destroy an unidentified alien craft when it fails to halt at designated checkpoints. The genetic material of the victims proves a match for the primitive race discovered by Land's End six millennia before. [CT, 8; CTE4, 8]

    A Tau hunter cadre engages the mercenary force of Zygmunt Molotch on the artefact world Zenta Malhyde, inflicting eighteen casualties on the humans. At least eleven tau are lost to the mercenary named Emmings, who captures a tau pulse rifle as a spoil of war. It is implied that the hunter cadre was destroyed. [Ravenor, 13, 16]

651.M41 - Puretide's Birth
    Commander Puretide, the pride of the Dal'yth Sept, is born. His brilliant campaigns later conquer half a dozen star systems. Under his authority, the Tau envelop those who can be embraced, seize what can be conquered, and obliterate those defy the Greater Good. Many of the Second Sphere septs, including Elsy'eir, and Tash'var, owe their existence to Puretide's brilliant strategies, and it was his masterful counter-attacks that warded off the Ork invasion that threatened to overrun Au'taal. [CTE6, 13, 28]2

    The Imperium discovers a Tau probe in the Koath system, transmitting a greeting. [CT, back cover]

715-731.M41 - The Veil War
    The war against the Arachen lingering in the Western Veil Nebula absorbs many of the Fire caste’s new recruits. Over the course of sixteen years of battle, a young shas by the name of Shoh displays both remarkable bravery and unparalleled military acumen. Shoh is eventually appointed the saz'nami -- Close Protection Officer -- of the campaign's commander, Shas'o Dawnstone. Relying on Vre'Shoh's understanding of the enemy, Dawnstone leads an assault against the flagship of the Arachen forces. Shoh guides her into the heart of the Arachen's cocoon-ship, where together they kill all three members of enemy's ruling Trinity and expel the Arachen from the Western Veil for good. [CFE, 10, 75]

731.M41 - Puretide's Enthronement
    Th elderly Commander Puretide is urged to view the new colonies across the Damocles Gulf before retiring. While inspecting one such colony, Puretide is grievously wounded during a raid. Unable to walk again, the revered military leaders spends his remaining years atop Mount Kan'ji on Dal'yth. For the next several decades, he teaches a select few students in the ways of war, and only those who attain perfect scores at the Fire caste academies are sent to sit at Puretide's hover-throne and learn his wisdom. Thanks to Earth caste holographic technology, this tradition is maintained after Puretide's death, although few students are deemed worthy of receiving this high honor. [CTE6, 28]

731-733.M41 - Enlightenment Atop Mount Kan'ji
    Sub-commanders Shoh, Shaserra and Kais travel to Mount Kanji and study under Commander Puretide. Though the legendary warrior’s teachings allow them to see the truths of battle with clear eyes, each of the students remain committed to their own favored style of war: Farsight to Mont'ka, "the killing blow"; Shaserra to Kauyon, "the Patient Hunter"; and Kais, who seeks to become a perfect lone warrior, a "Monat" commander. [CFE, 11-12, 75]

733-742.M41 - The Arkunasha War
    The populous Tau colony of Arkunasha is besieged by the numberless hordes of Waaagh! Dok. As his first independent command, Shas'el Shoh is charged with relieving the colony. The conflict escalates quickly, with both the Tau and the Orks repeatedly adapting to each others tactics and strategies. Even as Commander Shoh, now called Shovah -- "Farsighted" -- by his men, gains an increasing appreciation of the "Ork mentality", the Orks continue to grow in ferocity and cunning. After ten years, Farsight believes he is on the cusp of victory and pleads for reinforcements from Vior'la. Instead, the famed ethereal Aun'Shi is dispatched to Arkunasha and personally orders Farsight to begin evacuating the planet. Farsight dutifully orders all Tau forces to fall back to the Argap Highlands. In the face of a brutal, year-long siege, the Fire Caste successfully maintains a defensive perimeter around the civilian evacuation zones.

    A year after Farsight's evacuation, the Tau return to Arkunasha in force. Between the exhaustive cartographic information harnessed by Farsight’s warscaper drones and the commander's collated analysis of the Ork way of war, the reclamation teams make short work of the remaining Orks. The Tau discover that Waaagh! Dok is a spent fighting force; broke by its mindless siege of the Argap Platea, the Waaagh! is now less than a hundredth of the size of the force that made planetfall a decade before. Farsight does not bear witness to the reclamation; he is stationed on Dal'yth, desperately attempting to stem the Imperium's Damocles Gulf Crusade. [CTE6, 29; CFE, 13-26, 75]

The Damocles Gulf Crusade

CT - Codex: Tau (3rd edition)
CT4 - Codex: Tau Empire (4th edition)
CT6 - Codex: Tau Empire (6th edition)
CFE - Codex: Farsight Enclaves
TC1 - Imperial Armor 3: The Taros Campaign (1st edition)

1 The original "World of Warriors" piece opened by dating Garskrak's invasion of Vior'la to the "two thousandth year of the Ethereals' reign." Given that Codex: Tau Empire (6th) records the arrival of the Ethereals as happening in 791.M36, it is likely the information provided in "World of Warriors" has been retconned. However, "World of Warriors" might be refering to the two thousandth year of the Ethereals' reign on Vior'la. This would date the founding of Vior'la to roughly 600.M38, at the height of First Sphere Expansion. Though conjectural, this date does mesh with Vior'la's status as a First Sphere sept.
2 Given that the worlds of the Tash'var sept were conquered in or around 576.M39, Puretide could have been instrumental in the official founding of the sept, which may have happened any time after 576.M39. More likely, Puretide successfully defended the burgeoning Tash'var sept from attack, much like he did with Au'taal.

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The Time of Questioning

Post#2 » Jul 27 2013 08:40

The Time of Questioning

The Second Sphere Expansion ends ignominiously, with the Tau not only swept from dozens of newly colonized worlds, but also having suffered a protracted attack against one of the Empire's foremost septs. Their self-assured superiority shaken, this is a time of doubt and uncertainty. The Ethereals name this period the Nont'ka -- "the Time of Questioning" -- and seek new heroes to rekindle not only the Empire's expansion, but also its faith in the ultimate triumph of the Greater Good.

745.M41 - The Great Reclamation
    After studying the Imperium and realizing the Tau Empire has fought only the merest fraction of its might, Aun’Va decides that a morale boost is needed to drive the next phase of expansion. Aun'Va implores the aged Aun'Wei to order the immediate reconquest of the colonies lost to the Imperium during the Damocles Gulf Crusade. Aun'Wei acquiesces, and Commander Farsight is appointed supreme commander of the reclamation force. The effort sees the mobilization of the greatest fleet the Tau Empire has ever seen.

    Meanwhile, an extensive Water caste propaganda campaign elevates Farsight from a "mere" hero to that of a vaunted savior. Statues of Farsight are erected across the empire, while Fire Warriors of every rank have images or holo-cuts of Farsight somewhere in their possession, sometimes even displayed alongside those of Aun’Wei and Aun’Va themselves.

    The Great Reclamation is launched to great fanfare, including one of Aun'Wei's final speeches. Over the next fifteen years, Farsight surpasses all expectations, brilliantly defeating the human interlopers time and again. But even Farsight cannot prevent all losses. The reconquest of the four principal worlds on the distant side of the Gulf are bloody in the extreme, and with no reinforcements from the Empire, the reclamation fleet is slowly attrited to half strength. [CTE6, 16; CFE, 45-46, 78]

745.M41 - Digitization and the Stasis Chamber
    Alongside his advocacy of the Damocles reclamation fleet, Aun'Va seeks a way to preserve the incredible military skill of the rapidly failing Commander Puretide. To accomplish this goal, the ethereal pursues two different tacks. First, he has Puretide’s corpse subjected to extensive brain scans and autopsies, with the ultimate goal being the rebuilding of Puretide's mind into a complex artificial intelligence. This advanced AI is eventually installed within a holo-throne atop Mount Kanji.

    In the event the digitization of Puretide's memory and personality fails, Aun'Va orders the Earth caste to repurpose some its deep space cryogenics technology and place many of Puretide's pupils into stasis, thereby preserving at least a partial aspect of his legacy. Some of the Empire's most promising commanders, including O'Shaserra and O'Kais, are placed into deep sleep, to be awoken when the Empire needs new leaders. [CTE6, 17, 29;CFE, 43, 76]

747.M41 - The War of Neotech
    The Adeptus Mechanicus invade the resource-rich colony of Vesh'yo, their gruesomely augmented cyborg infiltrators silencing the tau's listening posts before legions of bionic soldiers, walking tanks, and arcane mechanical cavalry fall on the planet's main population centers.

    Despite their comparatively crude appearance, the technologies of the Adeptus Mechanicus are at least as advanced as the most recent achievements of Tau science. The inspired wisdom and leadership of Aun'Vos and the courage of Commander Quicktide slow the initial three Skitarii legions, and the Adeptus Mechanicus must ultimately deploy war cohorts from an additional eight Legions before victory is secured. Every tau defender is put to the sword.

    The Mechanicus strips the planet of every resource, both mineral and technological. During the clean-up operation, six star freighters full of Tau war materiel find their back to the Forge World of Tigrus. For their part, the Tau immediately begin to draw up plans for the recolonization of the world. [Codex: Skitarii - 7th Edition, 20; White Dwarf #5 (Jan. 2017), "Battleground: The Battle for Vesh'yo"]

760.M41 - Farsight's Decision
    The Farsight Expedition reclaims all of the worlds lost to the Imperium bar one. Just as battle plans are laid to reconquer the last world, Illuminas, Commander Farsight diverts his armies to repel the raids of a nearby Ork empire. What starts as series of isolated battles against Ork-infested Vorac asteroid field swiftly escalates into a costly war across a large battlefront. Instead of following the path allocated to him by the Ethereal Council, Farsight prosecutes his new war with great gusto, disobeying his reclamation mandate and shaking the Council's faith in him in the process. Over time, Farsight becomes incensed at the continued lack of reinforcements and absence of new technologies, which he feels his expedition should be receiving. He begins to believe that the Tau Empire at large has abandoned him, and a seed of doubt grows within his warrior hear. [CTE, 29; CFE, 47-48, 77]

    Alien mercenaries fitting the description of Tau Fire Warriors are reported fighting alongside pirate forces in the Sack of Penury IV. Rumors of such activity continue through 820.M41, before noticeably dropping away. [CT, 51]

793.M41 - All Is Death
    Like the fury of Khorne himself, the Wrath and the Eightscarred hosts fall upon the Tau colony of Shau’Nesh. The aliens fight bravely, deploying incredible technologies to blast great furrows in the Khornate ranks. Still, the Tau are outnumbered and, despite their heroics, overrun. Crazed with battle-lust, the two Daemonkin hosts then fall upon one another, battling frenziedly until both are all but wiped out. [Codex: Khorne Daemonkin - 7th Edition]

0.906.798.M41 - Xenological Studies
    An unnamed female Aun from N'dras is captured by Imperial bounty hunters on 'Colony #23' in the vicinity of the Damocles Gulf. On 0.996.798.M41, she is interrogated by one Inquisitor Maturin Ralei, who shows a curious interest in the Tau'va and O'Shovah's actions after the Damocles Gulf Crusade. The Ethereal is finally euthanized on 6.066.805.M41. Her remains are dissected by Magos Biologis Sharle Darvus, who is primarily interested in the mysterious diamond-shaped, pheromone-producing organ on her forehead. She lived to be 61 tau'cyrs old, or 49 terran years. [Xenology, 4, 17-18, 19]

    The Ultramarines begin to fortify the eastern bounds of their realm against the emergent forces of the upstart Tau Empire. [Codex: Space Marines - 5th Edition, 40]

806.M41 - The Novum Deception
    During a so-called mission of peace, a Tau Hunter Cadre launches a pre-emptive strike on the capital city of Novum Prime, railguns destroying a dozen Vengeance Weapon Batteries before the Imperium is aware of the deception. In answer, the stronghold Citadel of Judgement opens fire on the aggressors with its macro-cannon, obliterating the Tau, and a third of the city itself, in a dozen apocalyptic shots. [Stronghold Assault]

813.M41 - The Fall of Cano'var
    At Nemesor Zahndrekh's instruction, the armies of Gidrim invade the Tau world of Cano'var, routing the planetary defenders after two weeks of campaigning. As they are overrun, the Tau defenders transmit footage of unidentified robotic creatures using strange energy weapons. [Codex: Necrons - 5th Edition, 25; CTE, 29]

815.M41-825.M41 - The War of Dakka1
    Unbeknownst to Farsight, his strike into the Vorac Belt initiates a war against an old foe of the Tau Empire -- Grog Ironteef, Warchief of Alsanta. When his warband is terribly mauled by the Tau defenders of the arid colony world of Iolac, Grog learns from his mistakes and concludes that the simple application of overwhelming firepower is insufficient against the Tau. With a new-found appreciation of Tau battle strategy that rival's Farsight knowledge of the Ork's, Grog instigates an 'cunnin' plan' to lure Farsight away from the Enclaves... by taking the fight to the Tau Empire proper.

    Waaagh! Grog smashes into the edge of the Tau Empire, only to be temporarily halted by a massive Tau warship, the Korst’la. Known as Da Big Dakkaship by the Orks, the Korst'la frustrates the ork's efforts to breach the empire's borders. The warship’s only weakness is that it needs to use the huge orbital docks around Vor’sanar to refuel and rearm. While Grog knocks the heads of his Freebooter Kaptins together, trying to get a large enough fleet together to storm the Tau planet, a mob of Blood Axe Kommandos came up with a more cunning plan. They plan to attack the orbital docks while the Korst’la is on patrol, wrecking the Tau station and thereby denying the warship a place to repair or rearm.

    The Kommandos set out in a looted Tau transport ship, using captured codes to approach the Vor’sanar dockyard under the pretense of having been damaged in an Ork raid and seeking safe harbour. The Tau are initially suspicious of the lone vessel limping into their station, but every demand for identification is met with a satisfactory response, and the idea that Orks could undertake such a ruse is unthinkable to the Tau. It is a horrific surprise then when the vacuum seals opened and Ork Kommandos pour into the station. Before the Tau can muster a response, the Kommandos breach the station’s reactors. Smashing them to scrap, they set off a chain reaction, dooming the station and allowing Waaagh! Grog to ransack Vor’sanar and ultimately the entire sector. The wildly successful kommando attack is remembered as simply Da Big Raid.

    With the Korst'la removed from the picture, Warlord Grog takes the battle to the Tau-held world of Atari Vo in the most direct manner he can devise -- by propelling the titanic, dagger-shaped meteor he uses as his base through the atmosphere and plunging its burning tip straight into the colony's capital, Tau’rota’sha. Several billion of Atari Vo's Tau populace die before Grog and his Dakka Elite step out of the meteor's shieldcore chambers to begin the War of Dakka in earnest. Grog is a resourceful leader, and meets the Tau firepower with every gun he can hire and as much looted Tau weaponry as he can get his hands on.

    Farsight, pursuing Grog across the Damocles Gulf, arrives too late to prevent his planetfall. For their part, the defenders of Atari Vo, including a compliment of Fire Warriors from Dal'yth, are surprised to see Farsight and his armies emerge from the Damocles Gulf, though they eventually accept his aid. Farsight leads a counterattack against the Ork invaders, but underestimates Grog's leadership. Pressing too far and too fast, Farsight leads his bodyguard cadre into an ambush and barely escapes with his own life. Humiliated and dishonored, Farsight relegates himself to a mere advisory position for the rest of the war. The Tau are eventually victorious, but despite great personal heroics, Farsight does not feel he has atoned for his costly mistake.

    With the Tau preoccupied with the war on Atari Vo, Grog slips off planet and leads an attack against the Farsight Enclaves. The war escalates, encompassing the span of a decade until it consumes three of the Farsight Enclaves’ four sept worlds. O’Shovah returns from Atari Vo to find his colonies in flames. Appalled by his own failings, Farsight quickly realizes that there will be no victory in fighting a traditional war of mobility and patience; the Orks are on the brink of bringing the enclaves to total ruin, and are so intoxicated by the scent of imminent victory that even killing Grog will not stop them.

    Instead, Farsight resolves to think long on the events that have led him to this point. While the remaining defenders desperately fight to hold the line, Farsight enters a deep meditation, seeking to divine a way to utilize the planets themselves to the Tau's advantage, similar to how he exploited the environment of Arkunasha. Farsight communes with the four elements, not only devising a way to use the natural environment of each of his septs to defeat the invaders, but also gaining a deeper understanding of the material world -- though not the aether, realm of the ethereals. It is said that during the reclamation of Vior'los, Farsight bested Grog himself in single combat. [Planetstrike, 55, 72; CTE6, 29; CFE, 49-56, 77; Codex: Orks - 7th Edition, 21, 34]

823.M41 - The Way of the Short Blade
    O’Shovah studies drone-scans of the veteran Ethereal Aun’Shi in combat. By connecting his neural network to the honeycombed outer layer of his battlesuit, Farsight learns to truly feel through his ‘second skin’ and develops a style of close-range fighting that imitates the styles of Aun’Shi, but which can be performed in battlesuits. Perfecting it against captured Orks that the Earth caste have trapped for their own experiments, O’Shovah trains his closest acolytes until they learn to relish the art of close combat. [CFE, 78]

825.M41 - Assassination on Arthas Moloch
    As Farsight continues his purges of the greenskin race, Orks are again discovered, this time upon Arthas Moloch, an artefact world on the fringes of the Damocles Gulf. The resultant bloodletting sets free a host of ectoplasmic nightmares that rampage through the Tau expedition, killing off the Ethereals at its heart before vanishing as swiftly as they arrived. During the battle against these unholy fiends, Farsight gets a glimpse through a Warp rift and sees a vision of the Eye of Terror. In the process, he realizes the dire threat that looms over all sentient life – the ancient evils of Chaos. O’Shovah cannot believe that the Ethereals would keep their knowledge of such a terrible threat a secret, but the evidence seems clear. The revelations shake him to his core. [CFE, 57-60, 78]

826.M41 - The Tether Cut
    With the events of Arthas Moloch receding into painful memories, the Tau of the Enclaves wage their never-ending war against the Orks without the guidance of the Ethereals. A new era of violence is begun, yet the Farsight Enclaves continue to thrive. [CFE, 78]

832.M41 - Through Independence, Enlightenment... or Destruction?
    O’Shovah’s meditations lead him to believe that the arrival of Ethereals, so many millennia ago, speaks more of an external force acting on Tau society than an internal resolution. His doubts continue to mushroom, so much so that Farsight begins to wonder whether the castes would be better off seeking a natural harmony without the Ethereals. Farsight says nothing of his thoughts and, fearing his heretical conclusions will do harm to the Greater Good, disappears from active service, beginning a new life as a hermit in the mountains and searing plains of Vior’los. [CFE, 65-66, 78-79]

834.M41 - An Empire Mourns
    With communications between the Empire and the Farsight Expedition increasingly difficult, and with Farsight's natural lifespan long spent, the venerable commander is assumed dead. Farsight is finally reported dead to the wider Tau Empire when probes dispatched into the Damocles Gulf continuously fail to return. Even though they dare not show it openly, the eldest generations of Tau feel a pang of loss that their childhood hero has finally passed into memory. [CFE, 66-67, 79]

845.M41 - Censure
    An outrider probe’s routine orbit leads it through the Damocles Gulf and back to the sept worlds at the empire’s core, carrying with it footage of the prospering Farsight Enclaves. Aun’Va learns that Farsight yet lives, and that his enclaves not only still exist, but have split away from the Tau Empire to form their own territories. Incensed beyond measure, the Ethereal Supreme excommunicates Farsight from the Greater Good. He orders all imagery of the rebel to be destroyed and any who speak his name to be taken away for extensive questioning, often never to be seen again. His one concession is to allow a single statue of O'Shovah to be left standing outside the battle dome of Mont’yr, repurposed from a glorious monument to a grave reminder that without the guidance of the Ethereal caste, even the finest mind could be turned from the light. [CFE, 67-68, 79]

    After three weeks of study, Magos Trantor of the Adeptus Mechanicus concludes his analysis of a rail rifle "artefact" captured during the reconquest of Ultra Maximus. Concerned that the respect fellow Magi have for Tau technology borders on heresy, Trantor recommends the immediate destruction of the artefact. He unequivocally states that the weapon is "nothing more than an idolatrous tool" from which humanity can learn nothing. [Munitorum: Rail Rifles, 3]

    An Imperial diplomatic mission to Dal'yth records seeing an unarmed, open-topped skimmer of previously unknown design. One hundred years later, during the Taros Campaign, the Imperium will encounter armed variants of the light skimmer, code-named 'Piranha.' [TC1, 181]

886.M41 - Hope's End
    Earth caste engineers of Ke'lshan proudly reveal an immense new colony-seeding craft, a monolithic vessel named Hope's Light. On its maiden voyage, and with over three hundred thousand Tau colonists and warriors onboard, the Hope's Light is boarded by the Ork fleet of Megaboss Morkog and lost with all hands. For the next decade, Ke'lshan faces brutal raids led by Morkrog's new looted warship, the Taukilla. [Codex: Orks - 7th Edition, 34]

Hive Fleet Gorgon

    The heavily-defended Tau listening post on Morix Prime is eliminated in a rapid strike by the Ultramarines 4th Company. [Codex: Space Marines - 5th Edition, 40; Codex: Space Marines - 6th Edition]

913.M41 - The Six Hour War
    Captain Severis Agemman deomstrates why he is Captain of the Ultramarines 1st Company when he leads a Strike Force Ultra in the destruction of a substantial Tau garrison in just six hours. In a sublime execution of the teachings within the Codex Astartes, Agemman invades the sun-scorched desert planet of K'ail close to the edge of the Damocles Gulf. Though the garrison is well-equipped with battlesuit and armour support, Agemman's twenty veteran perform a coordinated strike that cripples the Tau's central defense network. While Stormraven-borne battle brothers make a series of diversionary attacks on munitions caches around the garrison's perimeter, Ageman personally leads a teleport assault directly on the Tau command node previously identified by elements of the 10th Company. Thinking they face a much larger force, the surviving Tau retreat into the void rather than be destroyed. [Strike Force Ultra Dataslate]

920.M41 - The Blood Tithe
    The Tau Empire expands into uncharted territory, hoping to bring new populations into their fold. Tau diplomats forge an uneasy peace upon the planet of Ur-Clemait, a world that has been consumed with civil war for centuries, simply by supplying one side of the warring factions with hi-tech pulse weaponry. Though most of the remaining population seems content with the Tau's enforced pacification, the elders and priests of the old faith are distraught, insisting that the Blood Tithe must continue to be met. While most of the wizened priests try to incite rebellion against the xenos, several attack the Tau directly, clawing feebly at their battlesuits or even taking their own lives in messy displays of martyrdom. The puzzled Tau continue their mission of absorption and assimilation, but before the year is out, the Word Bearers arrive to enforce the neglected Blood Tithe. They attack the newly prosperous world of Ur-Clemait in terrible force, chanting prayers of appeasement to the Dark Gods as they cut down human and xenos alike. The Tau Fire Caste meet the invasion head-on, and the world is plunged into an ongoing war far more terrible than the ritual struggles of old that had once provided payment. [Codex: Chaos Space Marines - 6th Edition, 24]

931.M41 - The Gravalax Incident
    Tau forces on the planet Gravalax engage Imperial Guard (notably the 597th Valhallans) and PDF forces during the escalating confusion following a Tau ambassador's murder. The conflict ends with the Tau withdrawing all military forces from the planet, though still insisting the world is theirs by right. They carry with them a number of Pathfinders potentially infected by Tyranid Genestealers. [For the Emperor, 205, 395]

939.M41 - Assault on Bork'an
    The 196th Iotan Gryphonnes are deployed en masse to the Tau sept of Bork'an. Their orders come from a single short sentence from Lord Commissar Tilenus -- target the planet's academic facilities and kill as many of the Earth caste there as possible. In the first few hours of fighting, the Gryphonne's Valkyrie-borne attacks meet with great success. Earth caste teacher and student alike are gunned down in white-walled auditoriums and research facilities across the planet.

    However, Tau High Command cannot countenance the destruction of a whole generation of engineers and scientists, and the Tau's counter-strike is terrible in its ferocity. Giant bipedal battlesuits prowl the colonnades, a number of hastily armed but deadly prototypes amongst their number. Each proves more than capable of annihilating the out-matched Scions, whose return fire does little but scorch their foes' iridium alloy armour.

    A flawlessly executed tactical withdrawal sees the Iotan Gryphonnes come within a hundred yards of their extraction point when Tilenus' repeat order chimes out across the vox-net once more. Uncomplaining, the Scions plunge back into the fight, a full half of their number giving their lives in order to seek out any Earth caste stragglers. But their reengagement is too late: the remainder of the Tau's robed scientists and students have already been evacuated by Manta gunships. The Tempestor Prime transmits his findings to Tilenus, but his request for extraction is denied. Over the next hour the Gryphonnes do as much damage to the Earth caste facilities as possible, concentrating fire on assembly lines and data cores even as they are hunted down and reduced to ash by chameleonic battlesuits. [Codex: Militarum Tempestus, 49]

940.M41 - The Timeaon Deliverance
    The Iron Snakes are ambushed during the Timeaon Planetstrike by Tau battlesuits and saved from certain death only when the Legion of the Damned appear and launch a devastating assault on the aliens' flanks. [Codex: Space Marines - 6th Edition]

948.M41 - Curiosity's Cost
    Tau explorers board the empty husk of Craftworld She’enshar. However, just days after their arrival, the Tau are driven off by Harlequins of the Frozen Stars, who surge from the craftworld’s webway portals to violently evict the interlopers. [Codex: Harlequins - 7th Edition]

~950-960.M41 - N'dras Abandoned2
    For reasons known only to the Ethereals, the once thriving sept of N'dras is largely abandoned. [CTE4 18; CTE6, 13]

962.M41 - The War of Infamy
    When the Tau raid Imperial ship yards at Ethron’s Harbour, destroying numerous escort vessels and crippling the battleship Pretorius Rex, Logan Grimnar’s Great Company leads a retributive strike against the nearest Tau outpost world. Taking advantage of a localised Warp anomaly to cross the sector in a matter of hours, the Space Wolves fall upon the unsuspecting Tau even as they refuel and recover from their raid. Though the battle is brutal and bloody, costing the Space Wolves dozens of their battle-brothers, the Great Wolf is determined to send a clear message to the Tau and leaves no survivors. [Champions of Fenris, 87]

    An Ultramarines force clashes with a Tau fleet for control of the cursed planet of Malbede. The conflict awakens Necron tombs hidden beneath that blasted rock, and so overwhelming is the attack launched by the metal warriors that only a union between the Tau and the Ultramarines prevents them both from being destroyed. In the wake of a hasty retreat, Marneus Calgar initiates Exterminatus on Malbede, but generously allows the Tau to evacuate beforehand. The planet's destruction sets off a brief flicker of unknown energy on dozens of planets throughout the system. It is feared this signal presages the awakening of more Tomb Worlds. [5th Edition Rulebook, 128; Codex: Space Marines - 5th Edition, 40; 6th Edition Rulebook, 175; Codex: Space Marines - 6th Edition]

966.M41 - The Waterlogged War for Kvariam Alpha
    The Tau Empire, encroaching ever further into Imperial space, mines the bed of the ocean world of Kvariam Alpha. It takes a full decade for the domes and corridors that stretch along the ocean floor to be discovered by an augur probe. With the Imperial Guard unable to engage the Tau forces so far below the sea, the Space Wolves are called in.

    Gunnar Red Moon’s Great Company makes planetfall upon Kvariam’s meagre land mass and takes the fight to the Fire Warriors stationed there. Having established a beachhead, Gunnar and his men split off from the main invasion force and launch a massed armoured assault into the depths. They drive deep into the ocean along the sea bed, the adamantium hulls of their Land Raiders proof against the terrible pressures of the ocean. The armored column is supplemented by Astartes Drop Pods, which plunge deep into the oceans before disgorging their Space Marine passengers.

    As the tanks near the alien domes and spires of the Tau cities to disgorge their Terminator-armoured passengers, circular portals in each section fan open and teams of graceful, propeller-tailed battlesuits move to intercept the slowly approaching armoured column. A desperate, silent undersea battle erupts, but despite the bewildering array of sleek torpedo-armed craft brought to war against them the Space Wolves still manage to shatter the domes of the Tau mining operations. Torpedoes, prop-bombs and missiles from the Space Wolves' Thunderhawk Gunships take a heavy toll on the Hammerhead and Manta gunships that intercept, and hundreds of Tau and Space Marine dead float to the surface. The sea around them is choked with corpses before the Tau finally flee. The Space Wolves, victorious, make the long walk back to land along the sea bed. [Planetstrike, 56; Codex: Space Wolves - 5th Edition, 20; Codex: Space Wolves - 7th Edition, ]

975-988.M41 - The Great War of Confederation
    An Ork fleet of almost unfathomable size, an amalgamation of at least a dozen separate Waaaghs!, bursts through the Western Veil Nebula into Tau space. Supreme Ethereal Aun'Va calmly convenes the leaders of every sept in order to form a comprehensive and unified plan of action. It is decided that the septs closest to the Ork threat -- Vior'la, Sa'cea, and Tau'n -- will combine forces in a delaying attack. All other septs are ordered to rush men and materiel to the front, in preparation for a subsequent counter-attack.

    Even as the Empire girds itself for a total war of survival, Aun'Va sets in motion the second part of his plan -- the reawakening of one of Puretide's pupils, O'Shaserra. Always looking toward the future, Aun'Va alone debriefs O'Shaserra upon her revival from cryogenic sleep. It is said that never before has the story of Farsight's dastardly betrayal been more skilfully told than in their meeting, and the young Commander shook with rage at Farsight's disregard of the Greater Good.

    But any confrontation between O'Shaserra and her once-comrade-in-fire will have to wait. O'Shaserra's reindoctrination and reintergration takes six years, at which point she is granted command of a single cadre. Proving her tactical abilities time and again, O'Shaserra assumes more and more command. By the time Sa'cea Prime's largest moon, Vay'harra, is proclaimed clear of Orks, Commander O'Shaserra's name has become well known. From there, she leads major victories on the dawn worlds of Kormusan, and finally on the K'resh Expansions. O'Shaserra earns the epithet "Shadowsun" when, in a daring attempt to end the Ork presence in the K'resh Expansion, she leads a Stealth Cadre straight into the heart of an Ork encampment. Timing her strike to coincide with an artificial eclipse, the Tau forces use the jet packs of their XV25 battlesuits to deploy from low-swooping Orca dropships. Their surprise is total, and in the confusion O'Shaserra personally hunts down and slays the camp's Warlord.

    With each triumph, more Tau forces are freed to apply additional pressure against the fractionalised greenskin forces. After the total massacres of the K'resh Expansions, the power of the Orks is finally broken. With the Ork invasion defeated, a new hero risen to lead the Fire caste, and a unprecedented level of inter-sept unity and war readiness, Aun'Va knows the time is ripe to declare a third sphere of expansion. [CTE6, 17-18, 29, 58-59, 61; CFE, 79]

976.M41 - The Feast of Steel
    The Sautekh Dynasty expands into Tau space and invades the Kroot-held world of Caroch. Though the Kroot win the first engagements, their attempt to dine upon the living metal of their victims has hideous results as a nano-scarab plague sweeps through their ranks. [Codex: Necrons - 7th Edition]

979.M41 - The Beast Slain
    The Tau sept world of Uan’Voss is almost overrun by a sudden infestation of Tyranids, only to be saved by most unlikely rescuers. Several legions of Necrons from the Atun Dynasty fall upon the swarming bio-horrors, Annihilation Barges laying down a crippling bombardment while phalanxes cut their way deep into the horde. Little do the Tau know that they have just witnessed the servants of the Silent King at work. [Codex: Necrons - 7th Edition]

981.M41 - Last Stand of the Swamp Devils
    After three long years of war with the Tau, the weary regiments of the Imperial Guard who defend the war-ravaged world of Lowamon are at their breaking point. While the great continents of Lowamon burn and the Imperial forces are stretched to the limit, Tau forces under the aegis of Commander Darktide prepare for a final push against the remnants of the Imperial Guard army. The Tau bring the Imperial Guard to battle at the critical Urdek Refinery, an ancient technological masterpiece, elements of which have survived since the Dark Age of Technology. As the Tau columns advance, Colonel Kratzer, the most senior surviving Imperial officer on the planet and commander in charge of the Catachan Swamp Devils, organizes his command staff and remaining warriors into positions. The Tau are able to collapse the center of the Imperial Guard line by using their skimmer technology to cross the acid death-mire surrounding the refinery -- but before the Catachans are swept into the swamp, they are supported by a relief force of Valkyrie Gunships commandeered by Inquisitor Archimedes Roth. The final outcome of this conflict is unknown. [6th Edition Rulebook, 352-355; 7th Edition Rulebook, ]

985.M41 - Shyrrek's Folly
    Archon Shyrrek of the Kabal of the Severed Hope seeks to turn the green hordes of Waaagh! Hammafist against the Tau colony of Korvessa. The archon's hit-and-run attacks lure the Orks toward Korvessa, but the he fatally underestimates his green foe. A number of Hammafist's kroozers use short-range tellyporta drives to surround the Dark Eldar and cut them off from the webway. The fighting is fierce, but resistance collapses when Hammafist and his Meganob retinue tellyport onto Shyrrek's flagship and slice the archon to shreds. [Codex: Orks - 7th Edition, 36]

989.M41 - The Purging of Lagan3
    Decades of Water caste work has converted many human worlds in the Lagan System. With the help of Expeditionary Cadres, the star system is graded a class 1 colony, moving steadily towards becoming a full-fledged sept. However, all this preparation comes to naught when the sector becomes a warzone, targeted for xenos cleansing by the Ultramarines 3rd Company. Many colonists are slain, but even as Lagan falls, several key planets of the neighboring Dolmac system capitulate to Tau ambassadors. [5th Edition Rulebook, 129; Codex: Space Marines - 5th Edition, 40; 6th Edition Rulebook, 177; CTE6, 29]

990.M41 - The War of Dark Revelations
    Hive Fleet Gorgon taught the Tau to fear the Tyranid menace. After the arrival of Hive Fleet Kraken, the Tau seek to employ every mercenary, ally, and confederate they can find in the war effort to hold back the unceasing tide of Tyranids, damn the consequences. The Tau High Command overseeing operations against Kraken is approached by an alien lord calling himself Urien Rakarth who promises to join the war effort against the Tyranids in return for a "cultural exchange" between their peoples.

    Though the Tau High Command is put off by his macabre appearance, they readily accept Rakarth's aid. The Tau and Dark Eldar forces synergize well, and together they push the Tyranids off of the hyper-verdant planet of Vigos. It's here that the Tau first see the grotesque brutality of the Dark Eldar in action. They rationalize away any dis-ease by pointing to their "barbarian" Kroot allies, and it's difficult to deny how effective the Dark Eldar are -- Vigos is ultimately saved from the Tyranids.

    Rakarth again contacts the Tau, saying that his men bore the brunt of the fighting -- and that to make it up to him, the Tau can live up to the promised cultural exchange, sending him 77 members of each caste, accompanied by a delegation of 7 ethereals. The Tau agree to the first part, dispatching a detachment of loaded Manta transports into a sky-portal above Vigos, but they refuse to send along the ethereals.

    This breach is not yet enough to disrupt the alliance. The Tau have mobilized their reserves from Rubikon, and with their Dark Eldar allies, go on the offensive against the Tyranids. They focus their efforts on freeing Vigo's polar continent from the Tyranids, and after six days of terrible fighting, the coalition triumphs. But in the battle's aftermath, the Tau begin to realize what happened to their 308 "ambassadors" -- from vid-captures from Tau drones reveal that the grotesque monsters the Dark Eldar lead into battle now have a very familiar blue skin tone...

    At this very moment, Rakarth's face appears on every vid-screen on Vigos, demanding either the 7 ethereals, or 7077 other tau in their place. The tau angrily refuse, promising to bring Rakarth to justice. When they try to engage the Dark Eldar fleet in orbit, they encounter only mirages -- and a distress call from Commander O'Shaev makes it clear that the Eldar are now attacking Rubikon en masse.

    Asdrubael Vect himself joins the assault on Rubikon, impressed with Rakarth's for delivering the jeweled heart of the Tau star system right into his hands. The Tau initially do well, but they begin to lose heart even as the Dark Eldar thrive on the pain and suffering that they inflict. By the time Tau forces arrive from Vigos, they find Rubikon a complete charnel house: the world is in ruins, and the bodies of Kroot and Vespid have been arranged into macabre sigils of destruction that could be seen from space. As for the tau population, not a trace remains -- the Dark Eldar enslaved the entire population and took them back to Commorragh. [Codex: Dark Eldar - 5th Edition, 18-19; Codex: Dark Eldar - 7th Edition]

991.M41 - The Plundered Flesh of Pech
    After capturing not only countless Tau upon Vigos but also the mercenaries with which they bolster their cadres, the Prophets of Flesh discover that the Kroot are able to learn and even evolve purely by selectively devouring the fallen. To appropriate such an ability would be seen as a coup even amongst the Haemonculi. Before long, the Prophets of Flesh have opened up a webway gate upon the Kroot home world, the humid jungle planet of Pech. The Tau, fiercely defensive of their empire’s mercenary allies, counter-invade in force by mobilising twelve Hunter Cadres to scour the jungle clean. The unfolding battle ends abruptly when the Prophets of Flesh withdraw, their Raiders straining to the point of collapse under the weight of the Kroot corpses they have stolen. Though the Tau propaganda machine celebrates a great victory, the Dark Eldar have what they came for. They leave a message behind, spelt out in the bloody corpses of their victims. It is loosely translated by the Water caste as the phrase "Welcome to the Feast."[Haemonculus Covens Supplement]

993.M41 - The Nimbosa Annexation
    With Imperial forces across Ultima Segmentum being diverted to defend against Hive Fleet Kraken, the Tau sense an opportunity to enlarge their empire while the Imperium is distracted. The Tau waste no time in annexing a series of Imperial worlds along the border. The most important of these worlds, Nimbosa, is invaded by Tau forces led by the infamous Commander Brightsword. The resisting, armed populace of the world is systematically exterminated, and the only Imperial Guard regiment able to resist the Tau with any measure of effectiveness, the Vostroyan Firstborn IX, is annihilated at the factory city of Polia.

    Adept Raphael Palmatus and Captain Taelos of the Imperial Fists are dispatched to the sept of T'olku to attempt to "amicably" resolve "the Nimbosa colony dispute." They meet with Aun'O T'olku K'yna, who informs them that he knows human reinforcements are months away, that the ambassadors are stalling for time, and that the Tau will control Nimbosa long before the human fleet arrives.

    Four months after Commander Brightsword's invasion of Nimbosa, Imperial reinforcements fight their way to the surface to find Polia deserted and the Tau well dug in at Nimbosa City. After allowing Imperial forces to batter themselves against their defenses, Brightsword leads the Tau in a series of aggressive raids, running rings around the ponderous Imperial Guard forces and eventually luring them into the Koloth Gorge. In what is now known as the Koloth Gorge Massacre, the Tau systematically destroy the entirety of the Imperial forces in a three-hour slaughter. So brutal are his tactics that Brightsword is summoned back to T'au and censured for the remorselessness of his acts. Since this attack, the planet has changed hands several more times and remains a war zone. [CT, 54-55; CTE4, 14-15; Cities of Death, 56-57; Aeronautica Imperialis, 96; CTE6, 29]

993.M41 - The Nimbosa Crusade
    Assisted by the Imperial Fists, Castellan Folker of the Black Templars leads a crusade to reconquer the hive world of Nimbosa from the Tau forces of Commander Brightsword. [Codex: Space Marines - 6th Edition]

    Evacuating Alepha Sigma in the face of Hive Fleet Harbinger, Prefect Vertex reports receiving an offer of assistant from Tau mercenaries. [CT, 51]

    Tau fleets strike at the shrine world of Ghola's Hope. [5th Edition Rulebook, 128]

995.M41 - At First Unseen
    A talented demagogue, the Water caste ambassador Por’O Myen O’Res convinces the populace of Lurid IX to join the Tau Empire one speech at a time. Wherever he appears, the ambassador is guarded by several Hunter Cadres from the Fire caste, and the skies above him are patrolled by Air caste pilots at all times. The Raven Guard are given the honour of his execution order, but have barely a dozen warriors with which to accomplish it.

    Instead of mounting a direct attack, Shadow Captain Shrike leads a Storm Wing-led strike that bears all the hallmarks of his signature stealth tactics. The gunships fly in close formation through the winding miles of Lurid IX’s graffiti-strewn underways, emerging from a pitch-dark culvert less than half a mile from the Water caste delegation. Myen O’Res is gunned down in mid-speech, the sheer volume of missiles and bullets thundering into his podium overcoming the shield generators intended to protect him. Three squads of Crisis battlesuits soar towards the low-flying Storm Wing Squadron to avenge their fallen ambassador, but they are met in mid-air when Shrike and his jump pack veterans effect an aerial deployment, barrelling into the Tau’s midst with lightning claws flashing. The Raven Guard’s dramatic victory is broadcast by the same pict-thief servitors that the Water caste had intended to use for their own ends, and the world of Lurid is returned to the Imperial fold within the hour. [Storm Wing Dataslate]

    Agent Ossneous dispatches a missive on the Tau to his master, Inquisitor Artelles. At Artelles' request, Ossenous had been conducting an investigation into the rumors of a breakaway section of the Tau Empire, and of Tau mercenary forces operating in the Horst Sector and the Damocles Gulf. Attached to Ossneous' report is the testimony of a Free Captain by the name of Dalmuertus, who reports that his Tau contacts are worried that Commander Farsight had gone rogue after coming into contact with an "artefact world" on the edge of the Damocles Gulf. [CT, 51]

    Roughly three to four years after the Defense of Ichar IV, an Inquisitorial kill team infiltrates the tau colony of Es'tau and assassinates Commander Brightsword as he prepares his forces to invade the Imperial nightworld of Sarcassa. [The Last Chancers: 13th Legion, 111; The Last Chancers: Kill Team, 307]

CT - Codex: Tau (3rd edition)
CT4 - Codex: Tau Empire (4th edition)
CT6 - Codex: Tau Empire (6th edition)
CFE - Codex: Farsight Enclaves
TC1 - Imperial Armor 3: The Taros Campaign (1st edition)

1 The timeline in Codex: Farsight Enclaves states that the War of Dakka, which began in 815.M41, "encompasses the span of a decade." (77) This provides the conjectured concluding date of 825.M41. The extensive and brutal fighting against the Ork invaders may also have been what inspired Farsight to hone his melee abilities. It's also clear that the fighting on Arthas Moloch was initiated as a "mop-up operation" against a tendril of Grog's original Waaagh! But the Enclaves never stop fighting the Ork menace, so whether or not the War of Dakka ever really ends -- and whether or not Arthas Moloch is that end -- is up for debate.
2 This date is conjecture based on Codex: Tau Empire - 4th Edition, which states N'dras was "voluntarily abandoned by the Tau nearly half a century ago." It is worth pointing out that Codex: Tau Empire - 6th Edition provides no date, and seemingly implies that N'dras is only mostly abandoned.
3 Both the 5th Edition Rulebook and the 6th Edition Rulebook list the date as 989.999.M41.

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The Third Sphere Expansion

Post#3 » Jul 27 2013 08:43

The Third Sphere Expansion

Drawing on the hard-won military experience of the past two decades, including the titanic Great War of Confederation, the Tau Empire embarks on its third phase of expansion. The Tau military machine has become so well-drilled and efficient that it seems almost unstoppable, capturing several Imperial worlds on the Eastern fringe without slowing. Both Imperial logisticiers and Water caste logistical teams project that without extreme Imperial intervention, the Tau will double their holdings within fifty years, and that captured Imperial worlds will provide the raw materials for exponential growth...

997.M41 - Forward the Empire1
    In his most epic pronouncement to date, Aun'Va declares the commencement of the Third Sphere of Expansion. Flanked by a full ceremonial guard, Aun'Va gives a slow, deliberate speech, culminating in a rousing call to arms -- a demand to proliferate across the stars, an order for them to seize what must be taken. He publicly denounces the renegade Farsight, and declares Commander Shadowsun to be the supreme commander of the Third Sphere. Unlike Farsight's rogue expedition, however, Aun'Va will personally accompany Shadowsun, leading from the front alongside her.

    O'Shaserra makes her first address as supreme commander from the Mont'yr battle dome, the site where Farsight famously trained. Arriving resplendent in her new prototype XV22 battlesuit and with the entire Fire caste watching, Shadowsun begins her speech by firing her weapons at the statue of Farsight, obliterating it in a burst of white hot desecration. As the dust settles, she outlines the new campaigns they would soon embark on, and reminds them each of the all-important law of the Tau'va. None can dispute the courage, eloquence, and symbolism of her actions, and the Fire Caste declares itself ready to follow her to any end. [CTE, 29, 58-61; CFE, 79]

310.997.M41 - Ksi'm'yen Established
    The first sept of the Third Sphere Expansion, Ksi'm'yen, is declared. It proves to be a useful staging ground for further conquest. [CTE6, 29]

997.M41 - The Vision of Aun’Shi
    An unexpected visitor arrives in the Farsight Enclaves: the Vision of Aun’Shi, a ship seemingly devoid of crew and earmarked for the imminent Third Sphere Expansion. After checking thoroughly for some sort of trap, the stasis holds are opened and a young Tau, Commander Torchstar, is found among the frozen passengers. She awakens and explains how some old friends and sympathizers still remain among the septs; these allies illicitly arranged for the ship’s course to be altered before launch. Secreted away in the cargo is a sizable collection of some of the Tau’s newest, untested technological blueprints, schematics, and prototypes -- including several XV104 Riptides originally destined for Shadowsun's assault against the Imperial world of Agrellan. [CFE 68, 72, 79]

525.997.M41 - Defense of the Farsight Enclaves
    The Tyranids of Hive Fleet Kraken penetrate the boundaries of the Farsight Enclaves. War is joined against the Tyranids on Vior’los, the most populous of the Enclave sept worlds. For six weeks, Kor’o Tinek’la Kai engages the splinter fleet in space, masterfully destroying three of the Tyranid's four bio-ship clusters. Unfortunately, the fourth cluster avoids interception and enter orbit over Vior'los. Soon thereafter, the planet erupts with the tyranid's infamous pre-invasion corruption.

    Sensing the danger his world is in, Commander Farsight comes out of exile to lead the defense. He and his elite force of eighty Crisis Battlesuits teams, dubbed the "Shining Spear," fight a series of desperate hit-and-run attacks against the attackers, attempting to decimate the Tyranids wherever they strike.2 Unfortunately, he quickly learns that his favored Mont’ka tactics prove largely ineffective against the Tyranid hordes –- their leader figures are so common as to render the strategy moot. The Earth caste scientist O’Vesa persuades Farsight to try a Kauyon approach, and Farsight reluctantly agrees. Vior'los is evacuated, while Farsight and his seven most trusted commanders buy time for the Earth caste research facility of Fio’ro’tl to develop a bio-toxin to kills the entire splinter fleet. Present are Shas'el Torchstar and Shas’O Varg’ha, who pilots one of the Riptides found aboard the Vision of Aun'shi.

    For a week, the defenders of Fio’ro’tl are undetected, but on the eighth day thousands of Tyranids descend on the research station. Only O'Varg'ha falls in the ensuing battle, but the remaining Earth caste scientists opt to say, injecting themselves with the toxin and then allowing themselves to be consumed. Designed to be time-delayed, the poison takes effect only after it has been absorbed by the orbiting bio-ships, and the destruction of the splinter fleet is absolute.

    The Earth caste's sacrifice makes a deep impression upon the newly returned Farsight, and when Vior'los is rebuilt, the planet's three principle cities are named after the Tau scientists who died so that others might live. [Planetstrike, 57; CTE6, 29; CFE, 68-74, 80]

    Returning from his grueling wars against the Tau Farsight Enclaves on Fall'yth, Kardan Stronos yields command of the Chapter to the Iron Council and is immediately re-appointed to face the threat of Hive Fleet Leviathan, despite the objections of several veteran Iron Fathers. [Codex: Space Marines - 6th Edition, 70]

998.M41 - The Revelation of Kauyon
    In finally mastering the greater scope of Puretide’s teachings, Commander Farsight acquires insight into the tactics of Shadowsun and Aun’Va. He comes to believe that the entire Damocles Gulf war was in fact one giant application of Kauyon, a war which drew the Imperium into Tau space and then hit the human's while their fleets were overstretched. O’Shovah learns a new respect for Aun’Va, though he knows that the truth of the Ethereal’s great plan must never be revealed to the populace. [CFE, 80]

The Taros Campaign

999.M41 - The Typha IV Campaign
    As the momentum of the Third Sphere Expansion carries them deeper into the Imperial space, the Tau find resistance increasing and their own supply lines stretching thin. Plans are laid to keep the Imperium on the defensive through guile and carefully applied force, and the Tau use a series of costly but effective hit-and-run raids to keep the Imperium's forces on the back foot. One such effort is the assault on Typha IV, a water-covered mining world. Spending most of their sixty-day journey beyond Tau territory to the distant Typha IV in cryo-sleep, and traveling in two specially-modified stealth Custodian carriers, a strike force of two Hunter Cadres and four Air Cadres from the newly founded Sept of Ksi'm'yen fall upon the storm-wracked world and begin their surprise attack. After initial success destroying much of Typha IV's infrastructure and off-shore mining operations, the Tau face enemy forces far in excess of what early intelligence had anticipated, and their momentum is quickly sapped. Soon on the defensive, the Tau are attrited and forced to evacuate the planet. While the Imperium recovers Tau technology, including several Remora drones, the Tau show the Imperium that they can strike much deeper into Imperial territory than previously believed. As a consequence of this raid, a great deal of material and resources that might have gone to an invasion build-up are diverted to fortifying the Imperium's defense in depth across this, and neighboring, sectors. [Tactica Aeronautica, 40-71]

103.999.M41 - Shas'O'Kais Triumphant
    It is unknown when Shas'o Kais, another of Puretide former proteges, emerged from stasis, but it is he that leads the victories that establish the Fi'rios Sept at this time. [CTE6, 29]

303.999.M41 - The Zeist Campaign
    In an effort to curb the Tau's third phase of expansion, Marneus Calgar dispatches Captain Sicarius and the Ultramarine 2nd Company to the Zeist sector. Sicarius begins by routing the Tau from the embattled forge world of Praetonis V, gaining enough momentum to drive the Tau from the sector. Then, using the same hit-and-run tactics that Commander Shadowsun employed, Sicarius saps the Tau expansion of its momentum and brings it to a halt. Nearby Space Marine chapters lend their aid to the Crusade, and eventually over thirty Chapters drive the Tau from dozens of conquered worlds. The Zeist campaign culminates in a massive assault against the Tau's staging point on Augura, during which the planet's factories and orbiting shipyards are destroyed. Before Sicarius can lead the Crusade deeper into Tau space and reclaim worlds taken at the very start of the Third Sphere, he is recalled to Macragge. The Crusade is dispersed and defense of the Tau border reverts to local governors.

    Unfortunately for the Imperium, Shadowsun anticipated the Space Marine counterattack, and the worlds of the far-flung Zeist sector are intentionally sacrificed for the Greater Good of the Third Sphere Expansion. While many seeded colonies fall to the vaunted Space Marines, the effort ties down the majority of the Imperium's rapid strike forces and allows the main Tau assaults to scythe deeply into more desirable neighboring star systems. While the losses are regrettable, the gains elsewhere are on such a scale that, even to the casualty conscious Tau, Shadowsun's diversion seems not just acceptable, but shrewd. [Codex: Space Marines - 5th Edition, 40, 48; CTE6, 19, 29]

757.999.M41 - Mu'gulath Bay
    With the Imperium settling into a static defense of a handful of their most key worlds, Shadowsun is able to marshal her forces and launch a massive attack against any planet of her choosing. Her fleets fall upon the Hive world of Agrellan, a gateway planet whose orbit safeguards the coveted Dovar system. In the largest battle of the Third Sphere Expansion to date, Shadowsun defeats the humans in a rout later known as "the Path of Blood." Firebase Support Cadres are successfully deployed alongside the newly unveiled XV104. Together, they are extremely effective in destroying the planet's White Scars, Raven Guard, and Catachan defenders. It is a bright day for the Tau, who see a foe with vastly superior numbers crushed. No less than twelve advanced weapon prototypes are successfully deployed during the campaign, with only the fusion reactor meltdown that destroyed Agrellan's moon proving a failure. Agrellan is rechristened Mu'gulath Bay, the newest sept of the empire. Eight separate battle fleets embark from Mu'gulath Bay, each carrying a Fire Caste spearhead toward a new conquest. [CTE6, 19, 29, 30; Firebase Support Cadre Dataslate]

757.999.M41 - War Zone Damocles
    Agrellan's location as a gateway world to neighbouring systems renders this loss strategically disastrous. Segmentum Command escalate operations in War Zone Damocles, centred on Agrellan itself. Waves of reinforcements begin a desperate rearguard action to slow the Tau advance. Meanwhile, a mighty armada of Imperial warships departs for Agrellan, bearing over one thousand regiments of Cadian, Catachan, Elysian, Tallarn and Cthonol Guardsmen, several full Battle Companies of Dark Hunters and Exsanguinators Space Marines, and the Titans of Legio Absolutium. The hammer of Imperial retribution bears inexorably down upon the attacking Tau, its wielders determined to crush the upstart xenos once and for all. [Codex: Astra Militarum, 24]

999.M41 - The Great Cull of Jach
    As the Damocles War escalates further, the battle analysts of the Ordo Xenos conclude that the Tau Empire relies heavily on auxiliaries. The vast majority of these in the Damocles Gulf hail from the jungle world of Jach. The Ordos research determines that the Kroot are able to evolve at an extreme rate by selectively feeding on the bodies of their enemies and assimilating those genetic quirks their tribal elders deem desirable. Seeking to tip the balance in the Damocles War by whatever means necessary, the venerable Inquisitor Lord Heiss-Alumin makes transition through the Warp for Jach without delay. Eight regiments of Scions requisitioned from the Ordo Tempestus accompany him.

    Making planetfall va grav-chute, the Tempestus regiments split up into separate task forces. Their orders are to locate and exterminate the leader caste of the Kroot wherever they are found. So begins a grueling jungle hunt, the high technology and stoic discipline of the Scions ranged against the savagery and feral cunning of the Kroot tribes. Unfortunately, the Inquisitor has greatly underestimated not only the resolve of his quarry, but the technology with which they are equipped. Each jungle tribe's Shaper is guarded not only by a cadre of experienced Kroot snipers, but also a delegation of the Tau Fire caste and swarms of accompanying drones. The Scions quickly find themselves outgunned and outmaneuvered by Tau battlesuits and swift-moving Kroot, and only the 88th Kappic Phoenixes make it off planet once the withdrawal is ordered. Though the Kroot Shapers dine well on the Imperial strike force and learn much from Heiss-Alumin's superior brain, the Phoenixes learn a great deal about the foe in return. Before the month is out, a new anti-Kroot doctrine is relayed to the Imperial armies in the Damocles Gulf. [Codex: Militarum Tempestus, 51]

999.M41- The Hagus Wars3
    The Command Squad of the Ultramarines 2nd Company is reformed alongside Chaplain Trajan. During the Hagus Wars, Chaplain Trajan’s squad spearheaded several counter attacks against a potent Tau expansionary force to recover the Sword of Zalthus. The legendary weapon, once wielded by Company Champion Zalthus a century before, had been captured during a devastating sequence of planetary raids. After Captain Sicarius sustains heavy injuries facing a XV104 Riptide, the Lions of Macragge rally around Trajan and deliver a blistering counterstrike against the Tau Ethereal leading the force. The Sword of Zalthus stands to this day, engulfed by clouds of incense, safe in the Ultramarines’ Reclusiam. [Reclusiam Command Squad Dataslate]

811.999.M41 - The Trials of Ghoroi V
    A Third Sphere Expansion coalition is engaged by Eldar raiders over the quagmire world of Ghoroi V. The vast majority of the Tau fleet is crippled or destroyed. The only survivors to reach the planet’s acidic swamps are the three Firebase Support Cadres intended to reinforce a far more numerous army. Though they are at first assailed by the same Eldar slavers that decimated their comrades in orbit, the Tau drive them off with a combination of shared targeting data and relentless missile bombardment.

    Though the Eldar raiders sustain such heavy casualties that they abandon the fight, the trials of the Tau stranded there have only just begun. When the surviving battlesuit cadres are finally evacuated from Ghoroi, their members have bonded together with an impromptu ta’lissera ritual. Their rescuers are surprised to see the foetid mangrove swamplands around them choked with the scaled and segmented bodies of several hundred mega-predators whose appetite proved stronger than their wits. [Firebase Support Cadre Dataslate]

859.999.M41 - Waaagh! Gurgit
    Gurgit’s Mekworld disgorges a Waaagh! comprised almost entirely of clanking Ork walkers. Big Mek Gurgit has fought Tau before, and believes his armoured stomping machines will be proof against the Fire Caste’s guns. At the Battle of Gunner Ridge, the deployment of six Firebase Support Cadres proves him sorely wrong. [Firebase Support Cadre Dataslate]

862.999.M41 - Knights Brought Low
    The military forces of the Farsight Enclaves arrive at the same conclusions as the Tau Empire from which they have seceded. They begin fielding the Riptides that have made their way into their possession alongside their veteran Broadside battlesuit teams. The first opportunity for their deployment in a live-fire situation comes when a Strike Cruiser full of battle-hungry Knights of Blood makes transition from the Warp near the capital world of Lub’grahl. The red and silver-armoured Space Marines launch a terrible purge of the Earth caste scientists that dwell in the planet’s living nodes, killing almost a thousand Tau before Commander Farsight’s fleet appears in low orbit. The vengeance of the battlesuits deployed onto Lub’grahl is measured and logical, but pitilessly effective. Every time the Knights of Blood launch their attacks against the large, obvious targets of the Firebase Support Cadres, they are intercepted before they reach their targets by blistering salvos from Farsight’s hidden Countercrisis Teams. In conjunction with the Broadsides and Riptides of the Support Cadres, Commander Farsight leaves the dusty surface of Lub’grahl littered with the smoking remains of power armoured bodies.. [Firebase Support Cadre Dataslate]

919.999.M41 - Burning the Splinter
    A lone bio-ship of Hive Fleet Gorgon, having sheltered within an asteroid field in the Perdus Rift, disgorges its vile swarms upon the biomass-rich world of Pech. The Tyranids run riot as the jungle itself turns against the Kroot who make the planet their home. Though the avian mercenaries of that planet are equal to the task of engaging and destroying the lesser creatures of the swarms, tribe after tribe are killed by the giant bio-titans in their midst. The Tau Empire, long-time allies of the Kroot, deploy the largest guns at their disposal in order to repel the Tyranids from the planet. Cadre upon cadre of battlesuits are deployed on mesas and plateaus overlooking the forest, each slaying those beasts whose exoskeletons shudder through the canopies below with sustained volleys of heavy rail rifle fire. Though the Firebase Support Cadres are hunted in their turn by chameleonic weapon-beasts and flocks of winged terrors, each mesa’s sides are soon thronged with Kroot climbing hand over hand to protect their battlesuited saviours. Together, the two factions make an excellent combination, and the Tyranid weapon-beasts are hunted down and slain without exception. [Firebase Support Cadre Dataslate]

    After its governor defects to the Tau Empire, several Catachan regiments mount a protracted campaign of guerrilla attacks on the world of Cytheria. Snipers from the Catachan LI 'Black Vipers' eliminate a prominent Tau leader -- reportedly, an Ethereal -- striking a critical blow to the aliens' morale. An expeditionary force from Bork'an, supported by cadres from Fal'shia, helps to secure the planet, with regular hunter patrols scouring the jungles for guerrilla fighters. [Codex: Imperial Guard - 5th Edition, 25; 5th Edition Rulebook, 172-173]

CT - Codex: Tau (3rd edition)
CT4 - Codex: Tau Empire (4th edition)
CT6 - Codex: Tau Empire (6th edition)
CFE - Codex: Farsight Enclaves
TC1 - Imperial Armor 3: The Taros Campaign (1st edition)

1 Many sources, including the 5th Edition Rulebook and Codex: Space Marines - 5th Edition, list the Third Sphere Expansion as beginning in late 997.M41 -- specifically, 977.997.M41. The dating of the foundation of Ksi'm'yen to 310.997.M41 is either a mistake or a retcon.
2 Planetstrike states the Shining Spear is composed of 80 Crisis suits; Codex: Tau Empire - 6th Edition and Codex: Farsight Enclaves both state 80 Crisis teams.
3 No date is given in the dataslate, but deployment of XV-104 Riptides dates the engagement to after 757.999.M41.

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The Damocles Gulf Crusade

Post#4 » Jul 27 2013 11:31

742.M41 - The Damocles Gulf Crusade

Crusade Commences
    After investigating reports of Tau activity in adjoining sectors, Cardinal Esau Gurney of Brimlock calls for a crusade to purge the xenos threat. Nineteen Imperial Guard regiments are mustered, and five provisional companies of Space Marines - drawn from the Scythes of the Emperor, Iron Hands, Space Wolves, and the 2nd Company of the Ultramarines - also pledge their support. The Crusade's first move is to the Timbra sub-sector, where it reasserts Imperial control over the human colonies of Garrus and Kleist. Individuals implicated of dealing with the Tau are condemned before special assizes. [CT, 58; Codex: Space Marines - 4th Edition, 20, 71; Rogue Trader: Star of Damocles]

Fleet Battle in Hydass System
    The first engagement against the Tau comes in the uninhabited Hydass system, when the Crusade encounters a Tau fleet of seven cruisers. The Imperial fleet is surprised by the long range of Tau weaponry, but a Space Marine strike cruiser supported by a squadron of Sword-class frigates is able to close with the Tau fleet. Lacking broadside abilities, the Tau fleet takes heavy damage and is forced to withdraw. One Tau vessel explodes while its crew is abandoning ship. [CT, 58]

Purging of Sy'l'kell System
    Following Hydass, the Imperium moves against Sy'l'kell, a fertile agri-world with an estimated population of seven million Tau. Rather than fight, the Tau fleet in orbit evacuates key planetary personal and disengages. Judging the other Space Marine Chapters present to be too weak, Iron Captain Rumann assumes overall command of the planetary assault of Sy'l'kell. Under his ruthlessly efficient leadership, the Tau defenders of the world's orbital station are swiftly overwhelmed. Though they suffer heavy causalities, the 17th Brimlock Dragoons establish a planetary beachhead. The additional landing of the 9th Brimlock Fusiliers collapses Tau resistance, and the planet is duly cleansed. [CT, 58; Codex: Space Marines - 6th Edition]

Purging of Viss'el System
    While the Crusade musters to cross the Damocles Gulf, an expeditionary force is dispatched to deal with the Tau presence in the Viss'el system. An ice-covered water world, Viss'el VI proves to be the site of several Tau fishery colonies. Seeing no strategic benefit to holding the planet, the Imperial fleet commences an orbital bombardment,Codex: Taumelting the ice around the colonies and destroying them. [CT, 58]

Battle Over Pra'yen
    After a five-month journey across the Damocles Gulf, the Crusade arrives in the Dal'yth system. The outermost planet, Pra'yen, is defended by a heavily-armed orbital station, eleven Tau warships, and a Kroot warsphere. The Crusade is able to secure thodex: Tau system, but at the cost of four capital ships and fourteen escorts. [CT, 58-59]

Invasion of Dal'yth Prime
    Apprehensive that a Tau reinforcement fleet might arrive, the Crusade moves to quickly secure a beachhead on the eastern seaboard of the Dal'yth Prime's largest continent. With a defensive screen of mountains to the north and ocean to the east, the Crusade's ground forces advance southwest toward a conurbation of Tau cities. Timely Tau counterattacks stall the Imperial advance, and thodex: Tau front stabilizes along a broad river twenty miles north of the city of Gel'bryn. [CT, 59-60]

Operation Hydra
    With his forces forced to dig in to avoid the worst of Tau firepower, General Wendall Gauge concludes the Crusade has stumbled onto a major Tau world and that his resources are insufficient for the task at hand. Inquisitor Grand demands evacuation followed by exterminatus. Members of the army high command, having found the Tau to be honorable adversaries, oppose such an extreme sanction. While the Crusade's council of war is paralyzed by internal debate, General Gauge acts: forming up his Titans alongside the Brimlock regiments, he forces the river line down the right flank, threatening to trap Tau forces against the sea. The attack achieves complete surprise - the Imperium secures a river crossing, Imperial Navy fighters establish temporary air superiority, and the day concludes with the Imperium five miles from trapping tens of thousands of Tau. During the night, the Tau withdraw to a position south of Gel'bryn, leaving exposed the starport on Gel'bryn's outskirts. Gauge begins the evacuation of his army, and both sides honor parleys held under flags of truce. Opposition to the evacuation from the Inquisition and the Adeptus Astartes is overruled when an express order from Inquisitor Kryptman demands the Crusade return to Brimlock with all available forces. [CT, p.60]

The Damocles Gulf Crusade is one of the best document campaigns we have involving the Tau, second perhaps only to the invasion of Hive Fleet Gorgon. The original Codex: Tau gave a blow-by-blow of the entire campaign, and the Rogue Trader duology -- plus its Savage Scars follow-up -- flesh out the story in dramatic fashion.

Recent releases haven't exactly retconned any of the existing fluff, but they have expanded the scope of the fighting on Dal'yth. Before the release of Codex: Farsight Enclaves, it was clear that the Imperium desired control over Gel'bryn for its starport, to evacuate the planet. While no time span is given, the implication seems to be that the forces of the Imperium spent very little time planetside. (For the sake of comparison, the Imperium's Taros campaign lasted under three months.)

In the Farsight Enclaves supplement, the fighting on Dal'yth is said to have gone on for at least six months, with fully half of the planet overrun by the Imperium. Gel'bryn is only the first of at least a half dozen Tau cities that fall to the Space Marines and their Imperial Guard allies. Between the five month transit and the six months on Dal'yth, it appears that the Damocles Gulf Crusade drug on at least into 743.M41. Unfortunately, the Farsight Enclaves supplement does not include any dates for the expanded fighting on Dal'yth.

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Hive Fleet Gorgon

Post#5 » Jul 22 2014 05:52

897-903.M41 - Hive Fleet Gorgon

    A new Tyranid menace is spotted by Imperial outposts, headed directly for the growing Tau Empire. No warnings are given. [6th Edition Rulebook, 174]

    The Tau are first alerted to the oncoming Hive Fleet Gorgon when the worlds of several trading-partners are devoured. [Codex: Tyranids - 5th Edition, 21]

810.899.M41 - Outbound Brotherhood Lost
    All contact is lost with Outbound Brotherhood when the Tau explorer fleet strays into the path of the Tyranids. Not one message of warning escapes. [Codex: Tyranids - 5th Edition, 21]

980.899.M41 - Kel'shan Fleet Departs For Sha'draig
    The Sha'draig colony's orbital system perimeter outpost is eliminated. The Kel'shan Sept Fleet, under the command of Kor'o Valroth, slips its moorings and heads for Sha'draig. [Codex: Tyranids - 5th Edition, 18, 21]

109.900.M41 - Sha'draig's Lunar Shipyards Assailed
    The shipyards of Sha'draig's moon are attacked by the Gorgon's outriders. With all other options closed to them, the defenders seal themselves in the main complex, trusting to their interceptor screens to buy time. Thousands upon thousands of Gargoyles perish under interceptor fire. Leaving a handful of vessels to blockade the moon, the Tyranids continue on to Sha'draig. [Codex: Tyranids - 5th Edition, 21]

401.900.M41 - Sha'draig's Lunar Shipyards Fall
    A new strain of Gargoyles attacks Sha'draig's lunar complex. The interceptor screen opens fire once again, but the fury of its strike is lessened by a refractive mucous that coats the Gargoyles' chitin. Their chief weapon rendered ineffective, the lunar shipyards are overwhelmed. [Codex: Tyranids - 5th Edition, 21]

    The Kel'shan Sept Fleet arrives at Sha'draig to find the planet under siege by Gorgon. [Codex: Tyranids - 5th Edition, 21]

    The Tau fleet breaches the Tyranid blockade of Sha'draig long enough to deliver reinforcements planetside, but it is forced to disengage from direct combat. Kor'o Valroth begins hit-and-run attacks on the Hive Fleet perimeter. His defenses bolstered by additional warriors, Shas'el Vorcah sends Kroot auxiliaries to create an outer defense line. [Codex: Tyranids - 5th Edition, 21]

    Hormagaunts assault Kroot positions in the forests of Sha'draig. Many of the invaders are entangled in the forest's twisted undergrowth or caught in carefully wrought traps. Under the direction of Shaper Pechallai, the defenders drive the Tyranids back. [Codex: Tyranids - 5th Edition, 21]

    Shaper Pechallai's position is assailed again, this time by swifter Hormagaunts, less prone to being ensnared. Only brute force and tenacity allow the Kroot to endure. [Codex: Tyranids - 5th Edition, 21]

    A final wave of Hormagaunts, honed to the slaughter of Kroot, swamps Pechallai's defenses. [Codex: Tyranids - 5th Edition, 21]

400.901.M41 - Evolving Immunity
    Following heavy losses by Tau Fire Warriors, the Hormagaunts and termagants of Hive Fleet Gorgon quickly develop an almost total immunity to pulse-rifle fire. Sha'draig's main settlement is overrun and Shas'el Vorcah withdraws his forces to the mountains. In reply to the Tyranid's adaptability, the Tau reconfigure their weapon load-outs, retro-fitting pulse rifles to use new prototypes or old ammunition. [Codex: Tyranids - 5th Edition, 18, 21]

    Stealth Teams recover several hundred Kroot rifles from the ruins of Pechallai's defenses. The retrieved weaponry is distributed amongst Vorcah's surviving Fire Warriors. [Codex: Tyranids - 5th Edition, 21]

620.901.M41 - Further Immunity
    Fresh broods of Hormagaunts and Gargoyles are spawned with chameleonic hides that blend in with their surroundings. They are now all but undetectable to the naked eye - only Battlesuit sensors can be sure of detecting them. [Codex: Tyranids - 5th Edition, 21]

843.901.M41 - Sha'draig Abandoned
    Deeming the situation irretrievable, Tau Supreme Admiral Kor'O'Vanan reluctantly orders the withdrawal from Sha'draig and breaks the Tyranid blockade long enough to retrieve the bulk of the surviving ground forces. Shas'el Vorcah refuses to abandon hope so readily - he and his cadre remain planetside under the pretext of covering the retreat, but with the intention of continuing the fight. [Codex: Tyranids - 5th Edition, 21]

901.901.M41 - Sha'draig Saved
    Shas'el Vorcah initiates a series of suicide missions aimed at shattering the Tyranids' synapse web on Sha'draig. Their success drives Gorgon from the world, but it is a pyrrhic victory. Sha'draig has been almost completely consumed by Ripper Swarms. Vorcah's cadre abandons the near-lifeless planet shortly thereafter, taking solace in the fact that they have denied the Tyranids some of Sha'draig's biomass. [Codex: Tyranids - 5th Edition, 20-21]

    Dozens of Hive Ships separate from the main body of Hive Fleet Gorgon and descend upon the Tau colony of Ka'mais. Bitter fighting erupts as a fleet of Necron starships unexpectedly emerges from Ka'mais' dead moon. The outnumbered Tyranid ships are destroyed. [Codex: Tyranids - 5th Edition, 21]

    A day of celebration on Ka'mais. Necrons led by Anrakyr the Traveller land on the colony world to be greeted in great ceremony by the honoured Ethereal Aun'taniel. [Codex: Tyranids - 5th Edition, 21; Codex: Necrons - 5th Edition, 62]

079.902.M41 - The Harvest of Ka'mais
    Aun'taniel is slain by Necron invaders. The Harvest of Ka'mais begins. [Codex: Tyranids - 5th Edition, 21]

098.902.M41 - Mass Evacuation
    The Kel'shan Ethereal council orders the evacuation of colony worlds that lie between Ka'mais and Kel'shan. [Codex: Tyranids - 5th Edition, 21]

235.902.M41 - Massacre at Ho'sarn
    The great evacuation fleet of Ho'sarn is ambushed by Tyranid Prowler drone ships. More than three hundred Tau vessels are lost in less than three hours. A handful of ships escape to the abandoned mining facilities on the edge of the Ho'sarn system. The survivors do what they can to fortify the decrepit buildings, but the improvised defenses are as nothing to the Tyranids that arrive on the planet two days later. No ones survives the ensuing massacre. [Codex: Tyranids - 5th Edition, 21]

550.902.M41 - The Battle of Sol'ai Rift
    Kor'O'Vanan's fleet engages Hive fleet Gorgon as it leaves the Ka'mais system. The battle initially goes well for the Tau, but they are forced to withdraw after encountering a cluster of Ramsmiter and Razorfiend bio-ships with nigh-immunity to the Tau's ion weaponry. Before the Tau fleet withdraws, they succeed in killing many of Gorgon's Narvhals, hoping to buy additional time for Kel'shan to fortify against the Tyranids. [Codex: Tyranids - 5th Edition, 21]

689.902.M41 - The Roksh System Falls
    Roksh, home of the Rokshashi Wealthweb merchant guilds, is consumed by the Hive Fleet Gorgon. Several Tau trading fleets are lost in the Roksh system, as is a secret Tau listening post on Roksh XVI. [Codex: Tyranids - 5th Edition, 21]

    Valroth's fleet arrives at the Kel'shan shipyards. Heavy retrofitting begins, aimed toward overcoming Tyranid immunities. [Codex: Tyranids - 5th Edition, 21]

760.902.M41 - Imperial Interlopers
    An Imperial fleet, sent into the Warp more than one hundred and fifty years ago to support the then-ongoing Damocles Gulf Crusade Campaign, arrives at Kel'shan. Unaware of the Tyranids, the fleet enters Kel'shan's orbit and besieges the planet. Castellan Crask's Cadian XVIIth begins the invasion. Valroth's fleet, its modifications complete, leave the shipyards and engage the interlopers. [Codex: Tyranids - 5th Edition, 21]

785.902.M41 - Defense of Kel'shan
    The Tyranids enter the Kel'shan system, joining the battle raging between the Tau and the Imperial Guard. [Codex: Tyranids - 5th Edition, 21]

830.902.M41 - Uneasy Truce
    Faced with a common enemy, Castellan Crask and Kor'o Valroth agree upon an uneasy truce. Acting in concert, the Imperial and Tau fleets cut deep into Hive Fleet Gorgon. Casualties are heavy, but almost all the bio-vessels are destroyed. In the confusion, three Hive Ships flee the system. Mistakenly believing that the knowledge Gorgon has gained of Tau genetics, technology, and tactics could only be transferred it the Hive ships made contact with the other Tyranids en route to the Tau Empire, Kor'O'Vanan's fleet pursues. [Codex: Tyranids - 5th Edition, 21]

920.902.M41 - Fleet Battle At Delmarra
    Kor'O'Vanan's fleet engages the surviving Hive Ships at Delmarra. One of the Tyranid vessels is destroyed but succeeds in luring the Custodian Fleet Carrier Firestar into Delmarra's asteroid belt where it is irreparably damaged. Outnumbered and outgunned, the remaining bio-ships continue to fleet, drawing the Tau even further from sept worlds that are left unguarded in their absence. [Codex: Tyranids - 5th Edition, 21]

011.903.M41-490.903.M41 - Gorgon Repulsed
    The Cadian XVIIth army and the Kel'shan sept warriors purge the Tyranids from the planet. With the destruction of their main fleet, the Tyranids have no reproductive capacity on Kel'shan aside from a single Dominatrix and a handful of wounded Tervigons. That, combined with the disparate nature of weaponry and tactics employed by the Tau and Imperial Guard, prevents the rapid adaptation that plagued the Tau in earlier battles. [Codex: Tyranids - 5th Edition, 21]

500.903.M41 - The Battle of Worldspine Ridge
    The last Dominatrix and Hive Tyrant are both slain. Hive Fleet Gorgon is ended, but Kel'shan will not know peace for long. Crask already has his eye on exploiting Kel'shan's weakened defenses, and his willful misinterpretations of Tau military strength are the chief precipitating factor in the deployment of the "Iron Hammer" campaign, the greatest military confrontation yet seen between the Imperium of Man and the Tau Empire. [Codex: Tyranids - 5th Edition, 19, 21]

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The Taros Campaign

Post#6 » Aug 09 2014 01:31

998.M41 - The Taros Campaign

2.392.998.M41 - Muster
    Once it becomes clear that the planet of Taros will have to be returned to the Emperor's Fold through force, the Taros Invasion Fleet officially comes into existence under the command of Fleet Admiral Kotto. [IA3:TC, 44]

514.998.M41 - Tarokeen Offensive
    Having secured an uncontested landing zone, Lord Marshal de Stael orders his regimental commanders to being the sixty day drive toward Tarokeen, the capital of Taros. [IA3:TC, 58]

537.998.M41 - Battle for the Taros System
    A Tau fleet stealthy infiltrates the Taros system and begins a protracted game of hide-and-seek with the more powerful Imperial fleet. Caught in an ambush while being transported planetside, the 8th Brimlock Dragoons is destroyed. Despite the destruction of the Custodian-class carrier A'Rho, the Tau convoy raiding continues, takings its toll on the transport of water supplies to the surface. [IA3:TC, 83-84]

650.998.M41 - Operation Comet
    In a desperate bid to secure a planet-side source of water, the Imperium attempts to secure Hydro-Processing Plant 23-30 with the 23rd Elysian Drop Troop Regiment. The initial drop is successful, but the Imperial overland relief column is stalled when the Tau destroy the Warhound Advensis Primaris. Pinned down and without reinforcements, the 23rd Elysian Regiment is annihilated and the processing plant destroyed. [IA3:TC, 106-123, 265]

718.998.M41 - Imperial Evacuation
    Facing a renewed Tau offensive driven by a desire to avenge Aun'vre, Lord Commander Otto Ivan Gustavus orders a general evacuation of the Imperium's forces on Taros. [IA3:TC, 144]

Codex: Tau Empire - 6th Edition reports that Shas'la T'au Sha'ng gained the moniker "Longstrike" for his part in the Taros campaign, even decapitating a Warhound Titan with a well-placed rail cannon shot. How this fits into the meticulous records of Imperial Armor 3 is unclear.

Codex: Tau Empire - 6th Edition also mentions that Taros, renamed T'ros, is now "the prime planet of a new sept; its remaining humans are considered gue'vesa citizens of the Tau Empire and are congratulated on the wisdom of their decision." (29)

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Undated Events

Post#7 » Aug 17 2014 05:46

Undated Events
Collected here are events whose dates are not known with any great precision; where possible, best guesses will be provided.

The Be'etar Expeditionary Force
Assembled by the D'yanoi sept, the Be'etar Expeditionary Force is a medium-sized coalition whose task is to colonize the Be'etar star system, some 12 light years from D'yanoi. It has a sizable Fire Caste presence as early reports have indicated there may be Ork-infested worlds in Be'etar. There is no indication of when the Be'etar Expeditionary Force was dispatched.

The Be'etar Expeditionary Force is discussed in the Apocalypse rulebook, p. 157.

The Defeat of Waaagh! Skarkill
At the head of a Waaagh!, the ork Skarkill took an Imperial mining world near the edge of tau space and press-ganged the human population into beginning work on a brand new Stompa Mob. Hardpressed to meet the Orks head-on in battle, the Tau developed the Nighthunter Stealth Group formation. Though eight stealth groups were lost to Ork counter attacks, Waaagh! Skarkill was defeated thanks to their efforts.

There is no indication of when Waaagh! Skarkill transpired. However, Darkstrider's entry in Codex: Tau Empire - 6th Edition mentions that he earned his moniker during the Great War of Confederation, infiltrating Ork camps and using markerlights to pinpoint the components of Gargants under construction. It is possible that this is a reference to the defeat of Waagh! Skarkill, though the specifics are unknown.

Waaagh! Skarkill and the Nighthunter Stealth Groups are discussed in the Apocalypse: Reload rulebook, p. 47. Darkstrider's background is presented in Codex: Tau Empire - 6th Edition, p. 63.

The Nightfire Wars
The Nightfire Wars are a series of wars fought between the Farsight Enclaves and the forces of the Imperium. The Imperial Fist successor chapter Hammers of Dorn is pivotal in the campaign. [Codex: Space Marines - 6th Edition, 46]

Furthermore, it was while leading a strikeforce during the Nightfire Wars that Chaplain Haldredd of the Black Templars was overcome by the spirit of the Emperor. A group of Space Marine veterans formed a Command Squad to protect him. Following the Chaplain’s wise battle council and fervent prayers, the High Hand of the Emperor smashed through lines of battlesuits and set the Tau to flight. Following their victory, Haldredd and his Reclusiarch Command Squad are named "the High Hand of the Emperor" and lead the Black Templars to many great victories.[Reclusiam Command Squad Dataslate]

No dates are given in either source. It is worth noting that the Imperial Fists and Black Templars also fought alongside each other in 993.M41, during the Nimbosa Crusade.

The Annexation of Baktar III
Led by Aun'o Pahn and Shas'el Vior'la Kavesh, the Tau invasion of Baktar III was aided by a traitor within the Imperial ranks - Planetary Governor Montague. The Tau destroyed the Vostroyan Firstborn 33rd Regiment, but were not able to prevent the 71st Cadian "Hellhounds" from uncovering the Governor's treachery and reporting it to the Imperial Guard High Command. Shas'el Kavesh was slain leading a direct assault against the Captain Hawkins of the the 71st Cadians, but the final outcome of the invasion is unknown. The presence of special issue weaponry - El'Kavesh sports a Cyclic Ion Blaster - implies that the campaign occurs during the Third Sphere Expansion.

The events on Baktar III are related in the four-part comic Fire & Honour.

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