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The History of the Empire, 980M41-010M42.
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Old 22 Dec 2005, 09:49   #1 (permalink)
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Default The History of the Empire, 980M41-010M42.

This is largely based on my own fluff material, with some "official" stuff tossed in. In case of a clash, GW material is wrong.

The beginning of the Third Phase Expansion is marked, by many, with the launch of the Pathfinder Expedition. Pushing along the southern edge of the Damocles Gulf, a massive colonisation fleet led by Kor'O Tau'N Y'Eldi Shovah Tau'Va Shi, also known as "Kor'O'Shi", provided several new colonies for the Empire, as well as first contact with the elusive Eldar, and the race known as the Skiv'xh (pronounced "Skiv-Tzish"). Though the race is on the verge of extinction, their biological makeup ensures they are unrivalled mathematicians, scientists and thinkers. They have, with the help of the Empire, implimented and accellerated breeding program, and it is hoped this race will soon play a greater part in the expansion of the Tau.

Since then, Kor'O'Shi has led two other expeditions. The second was largely without incident, a routine colonial mission. The third, however, proved to be disasterous. Encounters with Eldar proved to be costly on several occasions, and the race repeatedly attacked without warning or provocation. This was most confusing for the Tau, as the Eldar were at the time engaging in diplomatic meetings, seeking to establish trade agreements.

The Tau have, at cost, forged an alliance with the Eldar. However, though they know little about them, they have discovered the Eldar are a fragmented race, and so this alliance is unlikely to prevent further hostility with their people. Indeed, reports of those the Empire call friend attacking shipping and colonies are common. Whilst the Eldar claim these attacks are made by their rivals to cause the alliance to fail, the Tau remain skeptical, and are likely to cease all relations entirely.

The Eldar are believed to be behind the defection of O'Lar'ka, who it is believed is being manipulated to further the goals of a pirate named Erija. There is clearly some sort of Eldar Civil War waging in the Eastern Fringe, and the Tau Empire is at the heart of it. Whilst it is unknown just how many factions are operating within, or close to, the Tau Empire, the Tau have confirmed five broad categories of Eldar: The Craftworlders, the Pirates, the Mercenaries, the Slavers, and an unknown group, who seem to be held in both awe and fear by their kin. How many other factions of this race will emerge as the Empire expands is, as of yet, unknown.

As well as the rebellion of O'Lar'ka, there have been other incidents of betrayal. Shas'O Mont'ka Mese'Ukos is amongst those who seek to forge their own power-base, turning their back of the teachings of the Tau. Such rebellions are possibly the single greatest threat to the Tau Empire. There also seems to have been an expansion of the Farsight Enclave. O'Ias seems to have vanished, superceeded by a much more sinister commander, O'cyrn. This Shas'O has begun engaging loyal Tau forces on the edge of the Gulf, thus feeding the flames of civil war.

On the south-eastern extreme of the Empire, the region of Tel'Oshi has seen countless battles. A once thriving region, Tel'Oshi has been devastated by incursions of the Tyranids. The war has drained the Tau of considerable resources, and this has all but crippled their attempts to expand the Empire, forcing them to rely increasingly on their allies. It is believed that, currently, 90% of patrols on the eastern boarder of the Empire are performed by auxiliary races, and within the Wolf's Den, it is not uncommon for Hunter Cadres to be composed primarily, if not entirely, of auxiliaries and mercenary forces.

If Tel'Oshi were to have fallen, the Empire would have died with it. As it stands, the region is a knife-edge; ever vigilant for the next Tyranid assault. Whilst no offensive on the scale of the Sun Campaign (named after its commander, O'Sun'yi of Tel'Oshi) has struck the Tel'Oshi Cluster to date, the region is always subjected to invasion from one race or another before it can properly recouperate. Despite being in desperate need of the Shas forces Tel'Oshi provides, it is unlikely the Empire will benefit from their troops further afield for many Tau'cyr yet.

The Wolf's Den itself has proven dangerous, and difficult, to hold. Tyranid incursions have been encountered here, suggesting the Hive Mind is performing a pincer move on the Empire. The region is home to many hostile races, but also potential allies. The proportion of carniverous races is quite unsettling, and it is believed this area once made up a large part of a former Kroot Empire.

Numbered amongst the races within the Den are the Praedar. Strong, intelligent, and very untrustworthy, the Praedar's way of thinking is utterly alien to the Tau. They have strong ties with the Kroot, however, and will happily serve alongside Cadres containing Kroot Mercenaries. The Praedar have played a part in vital campaigns, winning through sheer feral force, and their paternatural endurance, in battles where the Tau could not.

Yet despite seeming willing to serve the Empire, the Praedar have been known to turn on their allies. They are predatory, and view all others with contempt (indeed, they refer to the Tau as "Prey with Purpose", a race to be used, then hunted). Praedar society has proven a tricky subject for the Por, as they have no written or spoken language of their own. They seem to communicate through body language, roars and scent. It is assumed that if the Por can find common ground, the Praedar could be convinced to hold the Tau in as high regard as they do the Kroot.

Another race of the Den, the Vespid, are becoming increasingly valued in the Empire. With their forces stretched to breaking point, the Tau have now been forced to deploy the Stingwing Squads in greater numbers, playing their hand earlier than anticipated after a sudden incursion by the Astartes. The Vespid are a new threat for the enemies of the Tau, and it is hoped this will give them an edge in their continued expansion.

The latest alien race to be found by the Empire are the Draqui. The race has only been encountered once; a single, crippled vessel drifted into Dal'yth, limping from an unknown enemy. The moment it was detected, massive energy surges occured within the craft. Analysis of the recovered ship revealed all internal systems of any technological significance had either self destructed, melted down, or simply vanished without trace.

Only a few hundred Draqui survived. The command elements of the crew seemed willing to surrender, but numerous battles broke out between Tau Shas and the ship's crew. Casualties were light on both sides, but where it not for the efforts of the Aun and the ruling "Suqui Dominants", the first encounter could easily have become yet another war.

The Draqui seem to hail from the Western Extreme of the galaxy. How they came to Tau space is a mystery, and any answers the vessel may have given are now lost. The Dominants seem peaceful, but their Subservients are highly xenophobic. They have, for their own safety, been transferred to a secure colony, where they can live without having to encounter other races.

The Dominants have begun to serve the Empire, largely in advisory roles. They seem to have an ability for pheromone control, and are able to alter the moods of those around them. Only the Praedar seem immune to these effects, and there is talk of using the Praedar as Wardens, in case the Draqui seek to rebel against the Empire. This pheromone control has been considered very useful in diplomatic circumstances, as well as in personal recreation. There are some who believe that the Dominants could become the heralds of the Aun, ensuring loyalty to the Greater Good through pheromone-control where it is lacking. However, due to lack of sufficient Dominants, such plans cannot be implimented at this time.
Farewell, Kangaroo Joe, you shall not be forgotten.

Originally Posted by Tom Norman
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