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Wargamer 09 Mar 2006 09:05

Xenology: the Dark Side of the Tau'va
 
Without wanting to spoil it for anyone... did anyone else feel that Xenology gave the Tau a darker, more sinister feel? The insight into the Aun, for example...

Faolin 09 Mar 2006 09:31

Re: Xenology: the Dark Side of the Tau'va
 
Is it at all possible to tell the people who haven't read Xenology more about the "insight into the Aun" without totally spoiling it?

As for Tau being given a darker side, I agree with you completley on that one. Isn't it just abit suspicious how all the Vespid leaders instantly swore allegience to the Ethereals without any debate once given those helmets?

Wargamer 09 Mar 2006 10:29

Re: Xenology: the Dark Side of the Tau'va
 
Well, suffice to say that the Ethereal Caste does not come across as "beneficient rulers" at all... they seem more akin to Imperial Commissars, or Inquisitors, than compassionate rulers.


It also gives significant support to the "pheromonal control" theory, which many will recall was officially denied in canon fluff... but it was denied by a member of one of the "lower" castes, not an Aun.


Farsight is mentioned as well. It would seem that he became aware of the control the Aun have over the other Castes, and decided he and his men would rather live free.

Ketter 09 Mar 2006 10:59

Re: Xenology: the Dark Side of the Tau'va
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Faolin
Isn't it just abit suspicious how all the Vespid leaders instantly swore allegience to the Ethereals without any debate once given those helmets?

Assuming the Vespid leaders have in fact been mind controlled one must ask why the rest of Vespid civilization is going along with it all.
  • The Tau did not mind control the entire race (I mean c'mon)
  • If the leaders mind control their subjects the Tau have not done any worse
  • If the population joined the empire freely the Tau would have no reason to mind control the leaders
  • If the population wants to join but the leaders don't why did the Tau not simply replace the leaders?

Quote:

Originally Posted by Wargamer
Well, suffice to say that the Ethereal Caste does not come across as "beneficient rulers" at all... they seem more akin to Imperial Commissars, or Inquisitors, than compassionate rulers.

Yet Ethereals never enforce capital punishment, either directly or indirectly.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Wargamer
It also gives significant support to the "pheromonal control" theory, which many will recall was officially denied in canon fluff... but it was denied by a member of one of the "lower" castes, not an Aun.

There is simply no way every Tau is constantly under pheromonal control. The logistics are completely against it. Also, why would the Ethereals need to use pheromonal control? The Tau are already indoctrinated from birth and there is nothing to shake their faith in the greater good. Where has the greater good ever failed? Tau military doesn't waste lives, set unrealistic goals for commanders nor ignore their input. Tau cities are clean and efficient. Even humans have joined the empire and never revolted, and they're trained from birth to hate aliens.

Wargamer 09 Mar 2006 11:14

Re: Xenology: the Dark Side of the Tau'va
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ketter
Yet Ethereals never enforce capital punishment, either directly or indirectly.

They don't need to. They have control over the other Castes... and by the time control is lost (eg: Farsight), they are rarely in a position to perform summary execution.

Quote:

There is simply no way every Tau is constantly under pheromonal control. The logistics are completely against it.
What "Logistics"? Perhaps the pheromones remain in the Tau system for several hours (24-48?) after contact, meaning they need only encounter an Ethereal a few times a week to be manipulated.

Quote:

Also, why would the Ethereals need to use pheromonal control? The Tau are already indoctrinated from birth and there is nothing to shake their faith in the greater good.
Not so. Farsight was left without "guidance" of the Ethereals, and chose to live outside the Tau'va. If what you claim is true, he would have remained faithful to the Tau Empire, and their ideal.

Seriously, read Xenology. There is very strong evidence that the Ethereals are manipulating the other Castes.

Quote:

Where has the greater good ever failed? Tau military doesn't waste lives, set unrealistic goals for commanders nor ignore their input. Tau cities are clean and efficient. Even humans have joined the empire and never revolted, and they're trained from birth to hate aliens.
The Aun in Xenology states how every Tau is free to choose their own way in life... and all choose the Tau'va. Yet, when Farsight is mentioned, she becomes very uncomfortable indeed.

This is why the Empire is hunting Farsight. He is a Tau who has escaped the Tau'va, and the Aun fear that, should others realise the truth, they will lose control over the Empire.

As for Gue'vesa, and other races... we do not know whether the Aun pheromonal control is limited strictly to Tau. Even if it is, people can be swayed; not everyone who supported Hitler was a Nazi.

Ketter 09 Mar 2006 11:41

Re: Xenology: the Dark Side of the Tau'va
 
[clarify]
I do agree that the Ethereals maintain some degree of control over Tau society, I just think that they do it
idealogically or religiously rather than phermonically.
[/clarify]

Quote:

Originally Posted by Wargamer
What "Logistics"?

  • We know that pathfinders and stealth teams frequently operate behind enemy lines, sometimes even for lengthy spells. Yet, there is no documented case of such teams going "rogue".
  • I seriously doubt that every Tau comes into contact with an Ethereal at least once a week.
  • If Ethereals can control other races why didn't the Ethereal on Taros take the time to control the captured Imperial commander? The commander was "reconditioned" after returning to base, but no mention was made of any specific Tau Ethereal taint, just the usual precaution when dealing with xenos.
  • Even in righly regulated societies (Nazi Germany, Stalinist Russia) there are frequent incidents of dissention that are dealt with harshly, not so with Tau. Even O'Shova's story is a bit vague.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Wargamer
The Aun in Xenology states how every Tau is free to choose their own way in life... and all choose the Tau'va. Yet, when Farsight is mentioned, she becomes very uncomfortable indeed.

This is why the Empire is hunting Farsight. He is a Tau who has escaped the Tau'va, and the Aun fear that, should others realise the truth, they will lose control over the Empire.

Only O'Shova has turned from the greater good in over 6000 years, I'd also be nervous when such a thing heppened. I believe the reason the Tau are "hunting" O'Shova is not because he discovered some horrible truth that could destroy the empire, but rather to find out exactly what the hell went wrong.

[note]
I don't mean to sound too argumentative, but I understand that I frequently come across as such:-\
[/note]

sprite 09 Mar 2006 13:57

Re: Xenology: the Dark Side of the Tau'va
 
Another interesting point brought up in the xenology was the issue's surround the kroot! I would love to see some experimental rules or even a suggestion of something in the form of specialising kroot as deemed necessary by the shaper and their selective dietry habbits! how awesome would a kroot pysker be! (probably in the form of a master shaper or something) and also more of the crazy technologies they have stolen from the orks?

orion549 09 Mar 2006 14:23

Re: Xenology: the Dark Side of the Tau'va
 
Sprite: there is, it's in the Kroot Merc army list. And yes, there are Psyker Shapers, they get to use minor powers.

I haven't read the Xenology, I'm guessing it's in the new WD, but I've always believed that the Aun have control over the Tau population. Also, remember that these Xenos reports are always written with an Imperial bias intentionally, so be aware of that when you read it as well. Because really, WD articles have to appeal to your average player, who plays SMs. If these articles are written well (I can't comment on this one yet) then they will boost the pride of the Xenos player, but encourage those who don't play the race to despise those who do. So if from a Tau perspective it's really good and it says great things, but from a non-tau perspective it makes them seem evil and horrible, then it's done a good job. With the comments I've seen on the Vespids, I can assume that from a Tau perspective, it would make you go "Of course they would all join, impressed by our greater tech and once the Aun are translated, who wouldn't join?" but from a non-Tau perspective makes you go "Barbarians! Mind controlling those poor creatures with thier technology!" then it's written well.

Wargamer 09 Mar 2006 14:28

Re: Xenology: the Dark Side of the Tau'va
 
Xenology is a book, not a WD article.

Yes, it's written from the Imperial viewpoint, but there are parts with the Aun being "interviewed", and other parts come from direct autopsy (it is pretty hard for something to be dismissed as "propaganda" when the evidence is lying in a pool of Cyan blood infront of you!).

orion549 09 Mar 2006 14:46

Re: Xenology: the Dark Side of the Tau'va
 
Ah. Well, sounds like something worth picking up after my 4th Ed Tau army gets finished. So until then I"m kinda left in the dark on the evidence. But like I said, I never doubted some form of control on the rest of the Tau population, be it indoctrinal, phermonal or psychic, and that Farsight saw something that he wanted that he couldn't get remaining with the empire. Whether that's personal glory, a free mind or simply not having to report to any higher-ups, I can't guage. Maybe they'll explain it eventually.


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