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Ancient Tau era (tau early history "realm of fire")
Old 28 Feb 2008, 09:54   #1 (permalink)
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Default Ancient Tau era (tau early history "realm of fire")

Hope all the Tau player and 40k enthusiasts alike enjoy this post.

The "Realm of Fire" refers to the period in history where the Shas Empires ruled the majority of the provincial lands. The major territorial powers consisted of the Va'suam Empire, ruled by Shas'va Y'shi Or'es; the Ukoyr, Or'kas, T'suam'shi Confederate Fio Alliance (referred to as "the Confederacy") and the Aun'myr Empire ruled by a collective council of all four Castes (although Shas'O Lar'shia Nan'cova was widely regarded as the "Emperor" of Aun'myr).

In this period of time, the Va'suam Empire had attained near total control of the Shas Tribes. Although a relative era of peace had emerged for those living in the southern lands, the north was still war-torn as feudal warlords battled one another for supremacy. Scattered amidst these warring tribes were the city-states of the Fio, and the mountain strongholds of the Kor. The Por caste was primarily located in the south, sheltered by Va'suam.

Most of the northern tribes were linked by a series of allegiances, marriages and trade agreements. Amongst the largest were Shas'O Ka'mont'yr of the Ka'suir Tribe, and Shas'O Suul of the Kaius Tribe. Both of these were loyal to the Shas'va, who offered them ceremonial "Swords of Office". These were also presented to several other minor Tribal leaders.

Though the period officially begins with the Ta'cha'ka Insurrection, it is the rise of O'Nan'cova that is most widely followed. Born Kais of the Lar'shia Tribe, he became a Shas'El to Ka'mont'yr at a very young age due to a combination of skill, drive and breeding. At a gathering of warlords, he slew Ka'mont'yr and shattered the Ceremonial Sword, earning the title "Nan'cova", or "Swordbreaker". Having made pacts with the Kaius Tribe, the two factions split off the Ka'tyr lands, and O'Nan'cova began his campaign of dominance. In due course, he became the leader a very powerful political faction, rivalling the other two. As this rise brought about the most intense fighting of the Era, O'Nan'cova is largely acknowledged as beginning the Realm of Fire era.

At that time, the Tau were only just developing Black Powder. Though it was used in many armies, the weapons were innacurate and gunpowder expensive. For this reason, cavalry was still considered to be the main power of any army, and the Shas held almost all such units.

The possible exception to this rule lay with the Confederacy. Having access to the resources of the Western Provinces at their disposal, the Confederacy used far more gunpowder weapons than other factions. Unfortunately, they had no ties with the Fire Caste, and so their armies were not as well trained in hand to hand combat.

Interestingly, there is little evidence of War Machines being used in battle. Although the Aun'myr armies reportedly used catapults and trebuchets, and the Confederacy were said to use cannon to blast down at least one castle, the use of siege engines of this kind was a rare occurence indeed.

Ranks and Organisation:
The ranks of today owe their origins to the ancient ranks of the Tau of this period (and, indeed, prior to this). The ranks listed refer to fighting soldiers of both the Shas and Fio Castes; there is no record of Kor or Por maintaining any sort of standing army, and so were only ever seen in rag-tag militia.
La - Basic infantryman.
Ui - Regimental leader.
Vre - Company Leader.
El - Army Commander.
O - Supreme / Tribal Commander.

Note that unlike today, the ranks were not given based upon age or experience. O'Nan'cova, for example, was given Shas'vre, status before he'd even fought a battle.

The armies were formed up as follows;

Each Cadre consisted of 96 fighting men, led by a 'Ui.
Each Company consisted of three Cadre, led by a 'Vre.
Each Army consisted of three Companies, led by an 'El.

This gave the standard Shas army a total of 864 men. However, it was not uncommon for Shas to command "scattered" Armies, consisting of whatever forces were available. For example, at the battle of Ty'an'lo, Ka'mont'yr commanded six full regiments, plus a "scattered" army off approximately 350 men.

The types of Cadre used within each Army varied greatly depending on the forces available. However, a "typical" Shas force consisted of five Cadres of Spearmen, two Cadres of Cavalry and two Cadres of either musketeers or irregulars (skirmishers armed with hunting spears). This was by no means universal; the early Aun'myr armies made heavy use of Swordsman, as well as commaning many Fio musketeer and fusilier units.

Progression - the Age of Mont'au:
Ultimately, the Realm of Fire era came to a close. Despite the preachings of unity, and the obvious strengths the Aun'myr Empire possessed, the Empire broke apart in the years following O'Nan'cova's death. Skilled tacticians and charismatic leaders were replaced by untrained, inexperienced or overconfident warlords, and soon infighting erupted. The Fio cities, having made many advancements in gunpowder, made their own military gambits and forged their own kingdom. Aun'myr was fractured into three, with the Shas divided as to whether to push for peace or wage the long war.

The Confederacy, seeing a chance to expand, launched a massive campaign into Va'suam territory. The newly founded "Or'es'nan" Empire also began their own invasion, and the Va'suam empire crumbled.

Now the dominant power, the Confederacy found itself overrun. The Shas Tribes feared its dominance, and were unified in the common goal of crushing the upstart Fio. In a bloody and violent campaign, the "Alliance of Flame" destroyed the Confederacy, breaking the Fio into isolated city-states once more. This marks the beginning of the "Mont'au" Age; the darkest and most terrible period in the Tau race's history.
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Old 28 Feb 2008, 17:04   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ancient Tau era (tau early history "realm of fire")

Nice history, where did you find the information?
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Old 28 Feb 2008, 17:17   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ancient Tau era (tau early history "realm of fire")

Some of this looks very familiar indeed.
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Old 28 Feb 2008, 17:30   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ancient Tau era (tau early history "realm of fire")

That was a nice little read there. I'm also wondering where you found that.
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