- "Do not reject out of hand the mercenary. Consider that each one of these scum is worth three to you: one more on your side, one less on your foe's side, and one more worker in your ordnance smithies."
- —Magnate-General Constantine Beaumont
Ever since the Damocles Gulf Crusade ended, there was a splinter group of Tau that traversed the space of the Ultima Segmentum. These Xenos survive through trade, selling their alien technologies for supplies necessary to continue their voyage through space. On some occasions, the Tau warriors that defend this fleet will work as mercenaries for the highest bidder, thus earning the title Tau Mercenaries.
At 746.M41, only a few brief years after the Damocles Gulf Crusade was concluded, the Tau Ethereals wanted to find out more about what lies beyond the borders of their fledgling Empire. To do so, they prepared a fleet from the Dal'yth Sept to explore the vast space that surrounds them. Ethereal Aun'El Dal'yth Na'Geka was chosen to lead the so called Ar'Cyr'Ru Exploratory Fleet (a.k.a. the Rising Tide). However, shortly after the fleet left the borders of the Tau Empire, the turbulence in the Warp had distortet communications and the fleet was cut off from their home. Regardless, Aun'El Na'Geka convinced his subordinates to push on and resume with their primary objective, to search and discover, hoping that they would eventually return to the Empire.
The Tau fleet was occasionally running low on resources, so they briefly landed on some planets from time to time to resupply before quickly returning to space and resuming their mission. However, in the year 758.M41, the Ar'Cyr'Ru Fleet stopped on a lush and verdant Jungle Planet which the Humans called Nimue. Their stay there was cut short, because a splinter of Hive Fleet Behemoth (which was headed towards Ultramar at the time) had set its sights on the same planet. As Tyranid Hive Ships battled with the Tau exploratory vessels, thousands of Mycetic Spores descended upon the planet, releasing countless Tyranid organisms which spread like a ravenous plague. The Tau tried to stand their ground, but their efforts were futile. At the climax of the battle, a brood of Carnifexes had rampaged through the ranks of the Honor Guards and tore Aun'El Na'Geka to pieces. With this act, the entire Tau army was demoralized and their organization was tearing at the seams. Their doom would have been sealed if it weren't for Shas'O Dal'yth Su'Nan'Ol. The Tau Commander organized a hasty withdrawal and what was left of the Ar'Cyr'Ru Fleet retreated from the planet, leaving it to be consumed by the Tyranids. From then on, that desolate world was known as "Na'Geka'Muort" to the Tau.
After this event, the Tau were left without an Ethereal to guide them. There was nobody to lead them in their objective, nobody to show them the way through these dark times. But Su'Nan'Ol yet again took matters into his own hands and created "The Council of Four". This Council was comprised of four individuals, each a representative of their Caste within the Ar'Cyr'Ru Fleet. A Kor'O (Admiral) to direct the course of the fleet, a Fio'O (Planner) to research newly discovered technologies, a Por'O (Ambassador) to oversee all trade and distribution of resources and a Shas'O (Commander) who would be tasked with defending the fleet. This chain of command proved to be stable and well organized, which allowed the Tau to continue with their mission the Ethereals gave them. But there was still the matter of acquiring resources, trade alone would not be enough. It is to this reason that the Council of Four gathered for the first time ever, in the eve of 759. M41. Shas'O Su'Nan'Ol made a proposal over which the other members of the Council debated over aggressively. After much discussion, the proposal was accepted and from that point on, the Fire Warriors of the Ar'Cyr'Ru fleet would also work as mercenaries for the highest bidder. Word of this had reached the Tau Empire and the Ethereals declared these Tau renegades. It was then, in the year 760.M41, that the Ar'Cyr'Ru Exploratory Fleet was renamed to the Ar'Cyr'Ru Mercenary Fleet. But despite the accusations of treason the Ethereal Caste is throwing at them, the Ar'Cyr'Ru Fleet is still fulfilling its primary objective: Galactic exploration and reconnaissance.
- "The journey is the reward."
- —Common Ar'Cyr'Ru saying.
Ever since they were branded as renegades, the Ar'Cyr'Ru Fleet had rarely entered the space of the Tau Empire. The reasons for this is because the Tau of Ar'Cyr'Ru do not force the belief of the so called "Greater Good" upon others. Therefore the Ethereals of the Empire forbid the Ar'Cyr'Ru Fleet from ever returning home, fearing that they might spread their corrupt influence to the general Tau populace. However, this did not prevent the Ar'Cyr'Ru from picking up any distress signals from the borders of Tau space and assisting those in need, for a price. The Tau of Ar'Cyr'Ru would descend upon the enemies of their Tau brethren and deal with them, but would request for appropriate payment afterwords. There have even been instances where some Fire Warriors deserted their posts and joined the Ar'Cyr'Ru Fleet. Such newcomers are welcomed into the Fleet with open arms, for fresh blood is always needed. There have even been instances where the mercenaries tried to convince the Empirical Tau to abandon their Ethereal masters and earn their freedom by fighting for the Ar'Cyr'Ru Fleet. The largest amount of Tau mercenary activity is within the Farsight Enclaves, who are welcome guests and close allies with Commander O'Shovah.
But it is not just with their fellow Tau that these mercenaries work with. More often than naught, these Tau outcasts have sided with radical elements of the Imperium and Eldar Corsairs, offering their services as guns for hire. On some occasions they have even fought alongside Ork Freebooters, Dark Eldar Kabals, Necron Dynasties as well as various pirate gangs and lesser Xeno species. Even elements of the Ordo Xenos Inquisition saw use in hiring these Tau. In the big picture, the Tau of Ar'Cyr'Ru are neutral and they keep no preferences, grudges or vendettas. To them war is just a profitable business.
The Ar'Cyr'Ru Fleet had divided itself into smaller flotillas, scattered and fragmented across the Ultima Segmentum. The flotillas sometimes merge together at some notable occasions, but this is a rarity. The reason for this splintering is so that the Fleet as a whole does not present itself as a threat to the Imperium. In this state it is much easier to go unnoticed and ignored rather than while moving as an entire Fleet. This splintering had allowed the influence of the Ar'Cyr'Ru to become widespread in the Segmentum. The underhives of many Imperial worlds have been supplied with Tau technology and many battles have been won with the assistance of Ar'Cyr'Ru Mercenary warriors. There are some who try to contain or even use these Xenos to further their own agendas. The most notable of such individuals is the Radical Inquisitor Rommul Nero of the Ordo Xenos. As part of the Xeno Hybris, he believes he may better Mankind's interests by utilizing Xenos as disposable tools. He proved this by hiring several Tau Mercenary flotillas to guard and secure some worlds of the Imperium at the edge of the Eastern Fringe. These planets remain in the custody of Humans, albeit they are protected by Xenos, which allowed Imperial forces to be redirected elsewhere. Inquisitor Nero pays the Mercenaries decently, and so they remain in his service. Alas, the Mercenary Tau combat the Imperium as often as they work for it, which had led to much mistrust towards them.
- "If you expect the Galaxy to be fair with you because you are fair, you're fooling yourself. Every organism seeks to benefit its own agenda, the rest are acceptable losses."
- —Shas'El Dal'yth D'verl of the Ar'Cyr'Ru Fleet
Means of Payment
Tau Mercenaries are usually hired by someone who is willing to work with them. They will also seek out distress signals using their highly sensitive equipment. Either way, the Ar'Cyr'Ru will assist by deploying their Fire Teams and Battlesuit Squads into the fray, working as an allied detachment to anyone who is lacking in firepower. After the fighting is done, the Tau will request for adequate payment. They usually accept basic provisions such as food and drinkable water, but they are known to accept weapons, gear and all kinds of new technologies as well. Even information is an acceptable means of payment (if it is of any use). If someone is unable (or unwilling) to pay, then the Tau will most likely try to negotiate for a bare minimum. But these small talks are just a distraction, which give the Tau infiltrators enough time to steal anything they can find and leave swiftly. The art of double-crossing is something the Ar'Cyr'Ru Tau are very well accustomed to. Such mischief had made many cautious of these Xenos, and even called them shameless thieves. The truth is, the Tau of Ar'Cyr'Ru only ask for what they need to survive, because their goal is exploration, not theft, and they are prepared to do just about anything to accomplish their goals.
- "Well it's not like it sounds. Sure we have to earn to survive and we demand something back for our services, but it's not like we are forcing them to give us everything they have. We take what we need and that's it."
- —Shas'Ui Fal'Shia Eoro'Anuk while interrogated by Inquisitor Nero
Signing a Contract
The concept of the "Greater Good" is very vague to the Ar'Cyr'Ru Tau because they do not have an Ethereal to lead them. Instead, the only thing these Tau revere and uphold are the contracts they make. When a temporary alliance is decided between these Tau and another army, they will document the exact terms on a contract which representatives of both factions must sign. The two may negotiate on how exactly would the contract work and what would be contained within it. Nonetheless, once the contract is signed, the Mercenaries will uphold it to the letter with utmost zeal and determination. Their devotion to upholding their word is inspirational to some. If the Ar'Cyr'Ru Tau are unsatisfied with either the terms of the contract or the ones they signed the contract with, they will try to find and exploit any loophole they can find. There were even documented events that when as soon as they finished a contract with one army, they signed a new contract with another one.
For example, if the Mercenary Tau fight alongside the Eldar against Orks and sign a contract with them, they will abide the contract and work with the Eldar. But if the Tau were left dissatisfied with how the alliance works (the Eldar could have used the Tau as cannon fodder) they will stay quiet and continue their mission. However, once the Ork threat was defeated, the contract would be rendered null, which would allow the Tau to sign another contract with an Imperial force. Together, the Tau and Humans would crush the same Eldar the Tau Mercenaries were working with earlier.
- "When someone offers you a hand, don't take his whole arm."
- —Common Tau Mercenary saying.
Unlike the Tau Empire which prohibits and shuns mixing between Castes, the Ar'Cyr'Ru Fleet is lax about the subject and sometimes encourages it. Such actions, considered heinous by the Ethereals, can produce interesting and useful results. A mix of Fire Caste and Earth Caste would create individuals comparable to combat engineers who can repair damaged equipment on the battlefield. On the other hand, a mix of Water Caste and Air Caste would produce the ideal envoys and traders who can ply through space and negotiate a business. When a child who bears the markings of two Castes is born, it will be classified in the Caste that suits it the most, but the Caste can be changed. For example, a child born through interbreeding between a Water Caste and a Fire Caste member can be affiliated to the Water Caste because the child physically resembles an ordinary member of that Caste. However, if the child grows up bearing a strong urge to fight and a fiery spirit, then it may be relocated to the Fire Caste.
- "One can regard the Tau race as a single entity. Earth the body, water the blood, air the breath and fire the spirit. All four elements must work together in harmony for the entity to survive and evolve."
- —Shas'O Dal'yth Su'Nan'Ol after founding the Council of Four
During their prolonged journey through space, the Tau Mercenaries have acquainted themselves with a large multitude of alien races. Sometimes they became trade allies, sometimes they became bitter foes. All in all, the Ar'Cyr'Ru Fleet contains varying different races that aren't Tau within it:
Kroot Warspheres have been known to travel through many parts of the Galaxy and carry with them entire hordes of Kroot Mercenaries. Because both factions are mercenaries and seek a mutual cause, they will often work closely together. The Kroot will often accompany the Ar'Cyr'Ru flotillas inside their Warspheres and support them when the Tau make a contract. With the firepower of the Tau and the melee capabilities of the Kroot, a united force of these Mercenaries can make an excellent addition to any force that requires aid. However, the Kroot are not bound to the Tau of Ar'Cyr'Ru in any way and can leave at any time. The closely knit alliances the two make have been known to evolve and two mercenary forces can merge into a larger one, linked together by trust and contract. The Tau even use Kroot Shamans as Psychic Navigators to guide their ships through the Warp, allowing them to travel through the Galaxy at notably increased speeds.
It is not common for Vespid to travel beyond the territories of the Tau Empire, but in rare situations when they do they'll not fair well alone. The Ar'Cyr'Ru Tau will accept any Vespid strains that seek their help and in doing so will join the fleet. These Tau even grant the Strain Leaders what they call "modified versions" of their Communion Helms to make communications easier.
As a fellow space bound race that has no home and live like nomads aboard their fleets, the Demiurg had often find mutual ground with the Ar'Cyr'Ru flotillas. Both races also engage frequently in trade, so it is a common sight for Tau Exploratory Vessels to travel side by side with Demiurg Bastion and Stronghold Class Vessels. These relations can also extend in battle, where the Demiurg will spare some of their miners to fight with the Tau in whatever war they are waging.
Both the Tau of Ar'Cyr'Ru and the Nicassar race devote themselves to galactic exploration and greatly enjoy discovering new worlds. Nicassar Dhows have been sighted following the Tau Mercenary battleships, acting as guides to lead them to what were once unexplored areas of space.
The Ar'Cyr'Ru Tau are known to include Human Auxiliaires (or Gue'Vesa in their language) in their flotillas. There are varying ways for Humans to join the Fleet. Some were prisoners of war being salvaged after a conflict with the Imperium while working for one of its enemies. Others had willingly joined these Tau in hopes of achieving some form of freedom. A bare few were even slaves, which the Tau accepted as payment, but were set free from their chains and allowed to work with their saviors. Entire communities of Humans can reside in a Tau Ar'Cyr'Ru vessel, living side by side with Xenos, even fighting for them as Gue'Vesa Auxiliaries.
- "To win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the true acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill."
- —One of Commander Puretide's quotes used by the Tau of Ar'Cyr'Ru
The Ar'Cyr'Ru Tau are different from the Tau Empire in several areas of military organization. Firstly, the Mercenary Fire Caste warriors have bared witness to many horrors the Galaxy has to offer and have thus grown sturdy, resilient and stalwart. They even utilize their Bonding Knives for melee combat, practicing with them on a daily bases. Secondly, the Mercenaries see a need to prove their worth and bring with them several trophies they've taken from the cold dead hands of their enemies. These "war trophies" can come in the form of stolen gear, such as an Imperial Auspex, or trinkets such as Eldar Spirit Stones. To carry such items, they will wear pieces of clothing that compliment their armor. A hardened veteran will have collected many such items, decorating his scarred and warn-out armor, hanging of the torn up rags that cover his figure. Thidrly, the Tau Mercenaries think it is more important to have veterans, so they've managed to extend their short lifespansf through technological means from 40-50 years to 100-200 or more. To them a hundred veterans are worth more than a thousand recruits, so giving longer lives to their warriors is essential to give them additional combat experience. Other than this, their tactics are very similar to the regular Tau, combining the tactics of Mont'Ka and Kauyon.
In addition, the Tau Mercenary warriors revere Commander Puretide. This is because the Ar'Cyr'Ru Exploratory Fleet (which is the Mercenary Fleet's original title) originates from the First Sphere Sept Dal'yth, which is where the famed Commander Puretide comes from. Although no Ar'Cyr'Ru Tau had ever even met Puretide in person, they all deeply admire him and respect his prowess as a military commander. Many, if not all Commanders of the Fleet's Fire Caste had studied his works, including the current representative of the Fire Caste in the Council of Four, Shas'O Dal'yth Mont're.
- "The opportunity to secure ourselves against defeat lies in our own hands, but the opportunity of defeating the enemy is provided by the enemy himself."
- —Shas'O Dal'yth Mont're, Mercenary Commander
Although the Ar'Cyr'Ru Fleet is divided across the Ultima Segmentum (and is even found in some areas of Segmentum Tempestus), they do have several "Harbors" as they refer to them as. These planets are mostly stationed in the Farsight Enclaves, but there were several found in areas filled with pirates, outcasts and deserters, the corridors of space where no law can reach. Such places are perfect for concealing the movements of the Ar'Cyr'Ru flotillas and the Xenos that travel with them.
The Harbors serve as areas where the bulky and weathered spaceships of these Tau can land and repair themselves in peace. The planets are not owned by the Tau, but they do own a form of "Embassy" there, which they might have earned as a means of payment by the natives that inhabit such worlds. There they may breathe at ease, count their payment and even meet with other elements of the fleet, The locations of these Harbors are kept as a strict held secret by the Ar'Cyr'Ru Tau and their allies. Many Tau who have been taken prisoner to be interrogated would rather commit suicide than reveal the locations of these treasured planets.
- "If you are far from the enemy, make him believe you are near."
- —Shas'El Dal'yth Aloh'Lasa
Ever since Aun'El Dal'yth Na'Geka died at the planet Na'Geka'Muort, the Ar'Cyr'Ru Fleet had no Ethereal to lead them. Many believe that the sudden change in the psyche of the Tau was due to the fact that the Ethereals do use pheromones to alter the vision of their subjects. These claims were not confirmed, and the change could simply be due to the desperate situation the Tau Explorers were placed in. Regardless, after 300 years without a single Ethereal to lead them, the Ar'Cyr'Ru Tau became quite paranoid when it comes to the "holy Aun Caste". This paranoia goes as far as the fleet members refusing to negotiate with an Ethereal in person, but instead communicate through technological means, like a monitor or comm-links. If the mercenaries absolutely have to meet an Ethereal face to face, then they wear some form of suit at all times, to prevent any influence to cloud their judgement. Whether this is simply paranoia on the behalf of the Ar'Cyr'Ru Tau, or if there is some degree of truth in the claim that Ethereals use pheromones to control their subordinates, nobody can tell for sure.
- "All war is deception."
- —Common Mercenary Tau saying.
Fleet and Flotilla
Even with Harbors, the Ar'Cyr'Ru Tau are still a nomadic people who live within their fleet, separated into smaller flotillas. The Fleet itself holds perhaps two hundred spaceships in total, and each flotilla has two or three, perhaps even five at a time. The most notable of all the flotillas is the Counselor Flotilla which is lead by the Divine Emissary Explorer Class Battleship. The Divine Emissary (or Eir'Gharial in the Tau language) serves as the home to the Council of Four and it is here that they gather to discuss the fate of the Fleet. The full list of all Tau vessels is here (the numbers are only roughly estimated, the exact number is unknown):
-5 Explorer Class Battleships (Gal'leath)
-2 Custodian Class Battleships (Or'es El'leath)
-17 Merchant Class Cruisers (Il'fannor)
-12 Hero Class Cruisers (Lar'shi)
-14 Emissary Class Cruisers (Il'Porrui)
-10 Protector Class Cruisers (Lar'shi'vre)
-23 Castellan Heavy Escorts (Kir'shasvre)
-28 Defender Class Starships (Kir'qath)
-31 Messenger Class Starships (Skether'qan)
-23 Orca Gunships (Kass'l)
-35 Carrier Warden Escorts (Kir'la)
-42 Courier Class Merchant Transports (Il'Emaar)
Additionally, these Tau place numerous Orbital Cities and Space Stations to monitor specific areas and act as rally points for the flotillas. It is also worth mentioning that the Ar'Cyr'Ru flotillas are also accompanied by Kroot Warspheres, Demiurg Commerce Vessels and Nicassar Dhows and on some occasions Rogue Traders.
- "Be extremely subtle, even to the point of formlessness. Be extremely mysterious, even to the point of soundlessness. Thereby you can be the director of the opponent's fate. "
- —Kor'O Dal'yth Oi'Nan, Admiral of the Mercenary Fleet
There are many warriors and diplomats who had earned great respect in the Ar'Cyr'Ru Fleet, but there are an exceptional few who rise up in status above all others:
The Council of Four:
Shas'O Dal'yth Mont're: Soldier of a hundred wars, a veteran without compare in the entire Fleet. He relies more on pure grit and experience rather than well thought out tactics or plans. He can inspire an entire Cadre which had lost its will to fight to raise their spirits high and crush his opponents. He pilots an XV8-05 Crisis Battlesuit equipped with an Airbusting Fragmentation Projector, a Plasma Rifle and a Command and Control Node. When outside of his suit he holds in his hands a Pulse Pistol and an Honor Blade that once belonged to the Ethereal Na'Geka. The blade was salvaged by Shas'O Su'Nan'Ol after the Ethereal died and it was kept as an artifact in the fleet ever since, being passed down from one Shas'O to the next for generations.
Kor'O Dal'yth Oi'Nan: A rather young individual who had only recently earned his title of "Fleet Admiral". He tries his best to make his peers impressed and his subordinates inspired. He is stationed at the Battleship "Divine Emissary" at all times, plotting the course of the Counselor Flotilla and keeping tabs of the other Ar'Cyr'Ru fragments.
Fio'O Dal'yth T'Sho: Old, hunched and impatient, T'Sho is a man with little time for incompetence. He rarely tolerates failure and expects only the best from his subordinates. He was a Counselor long before any of the other three came to command and so his word rings respect with the other Counselors. According to him, things should be done yesterday. He is a man of science above all else and spends his time experimenting and analyzing new technologies the Tau uncover, always accompanied by an entourage of Drones.
Por'O Dal'yth Na'Qan: An inquisitive and curious fellow, Na'Qan is the ambassador and so diplomacy and trade fall within his jurisdiction. His words are like water that flow through the cracks of any well placed argument. He speaks with a purpose and knows exactly what he is doing. He enjoys the little things in life and seeks to find peace in his own life, even for a little bit.
The Three Braves:
A Shas'O (Counselor that represents the Fire Caste in the Ar'Cyr'Ru Fleet) may choose three Shas'El Commanders to be his favored students and prime among his champions. Although there might be a dozen or so Shas'El, each a skilled combatant in his or her own right, none may compare to the ones chosen to be the Three Braves:
Shas'El Dal'yth Len'Tol: The tactical brilliance of Len'Tol is among his strongest traits. When he plans out a strategy, he will make it so all goes accordingly. He is also known for his quick thinking, and the capability to adapt his tactics to the ever changing situation of the battlefield. He comes in an XV8-05 Crisis Battlesuit equipped with a Cyclic Ion Blaster, a Flamer and Vectored retro-thrusters. When outside of his suit, he presents himself as a skilled gunslinger, holding two Pulse Pistols around his waist.
Shas'El Dal'yth Aloh'Lasa: The cold blooded brutality of Aloh'Lasa is something to be feared. She is usually assigned as a defensive commander, coordinating blockades and crushing sieges against the wall of her steely resolve. Her XV8-05 Crisis Battlesuit comes with a Fusion Blaster, Burst Cannon and Positional Relay. When she is outside of her armor, she brings her Pulse Pistol and two light Power Swords to engage her enemies in melee.
Shas'El Dal'yth D'verl: Vicious, merciless and somewhat bloodthirsty, Shas'El D'verl is as respected as he is feared. He does not shy away from his enemy and he welcomes death as an old friend. This mindset turned him into a ferocious warrior, an unstoppable killing machine, and a worthy adversary for any warlord. His XV8-05 Crisis Battlesuit is armed with a large Energy Sword, a broad Shield Generator and shoulder-mounted Missile Pods. Outside of his suit, he will charge straight towards the enemy with his Pulse Pistol and Power Sword, without a shred of hesitation in his heart.
The Tau Mercenaries are often accompanied by a number of other Xeno races. The most notable of such individuals even earn the right to command the Tau Cadres in battle.
Hagrak the Bloodbound: A Kroot Master Shaper that fought alongside Shas'O Mont're for many years. He guided many Kindreds to bloodstained battlefields, letting them feast upon the flesh of the strong to grow even stronger. The many hordes of Kroot that follow the Tau as a unified Mercenary force are often spread by Hagrak and his personal Alpha Kroot Kindreds. The title "Bloodbound" derives from the ceremony he and Mont're preformed when they pledged allegiance to one another. Both cut their hands, let some blood flow and then shook the palms of each others hand. The scars of the ceremony still remain on the hands of both Hagrak and Mont're, as a reminder of their union. Hagrak bears a Pulse Carbine which Mont're used personally before becoming Shas'O, and a spear that bears the symbol of the Kroothawk.
- "Regard your soldiers as your children, and they will follow you into the deepest valleys; look on them as your own beloved sons, and they will stand by you even unto death."
- —Master Shaper Hagrak the Bloodbound
Hunter Cadre Fireblade
Similar in many ways to the regular Cadre Fireblade, these leaders are of the Shas'El rank and are very respected in the entire Ar'Cyr'Ru Fleet. They are commanders who discard the use of Battlesuits and prefer to go to battle on foot with nothing more than combat armor and an array of light wargear to support them. They can bring many different weapons, such as Pulse Rifles, Pulse Carbines, Rail Rifles, Ion Rifles and even Bonding Knives for close combat. To aid them, they can wield EMP Grenades, Photon Grenades, Markerlights, Blacksun filters and even Drone Controllers so that they may be accompanied by Gun, Shield and Marker Drones. Their purpose is simply, to lead the Fire Warriors, Pathfinders and Auxiliary forces from the front and show them the path to victory. They guide their brethren and make every shot count, so a Hunter Cadre Fireblade accompanied by several squads can unleash a hail of plasma fire to shower the enemy in white hot death. There was even one time when a Hunter Cadre Fireblade joined the Council of Four, becoming a Shas'O Commander. This individual, known as Shas'O Vior'la Cal'Elan, made these Tau realize the importance of infantry on the battlefield and the fact that close-quarters-combat is unavoidable.
Vespid Neutron Cannon
There are thriving colonies of Vespid traveling with Ar'Cyr'Ru Flotillas and they learned how to fend for themselves in a harsh and brutal Galaxy. To aid them in protecting their colonies, the Vespid can constructed (with the assistance of Tau Earth Caste engineers) a large weapon platform, equipped with a volatile Neutron Destructor. These cannons are crewed by Vespid Wingless Strains (as the name suggests, they are Vespid without wings, who usually work as laborers, mining for crystals and feeding the colony). Although the Neutron Cannon is powerful and acts as a mighty weapon platform, it also comes with a risk. Ordinary Neutron Blasters need the buzzing of Vespid wings to work properly, but Wingless Vespid do not have them, so the Cannon relies on advanced technology that emits a sound-wave tuned to keep the crystals in the Cannon stable, which does not always work. Nonetheless, the Vespid Neutron Cannon became a welcome addition to the Ar'Cyr'RU Tau Fire Caste Cadres.
There have been reports of Demiurg Bastion and Stronghold Class Commerce Vessels following the Ar'Cyr'Ru Flotillas, acting as trade partners and even helping the Tau warriors when a contract is signed (with a share of the payment promised to them). The standard Demiurg rarely come to fight on foot, preferring to use their battleships to hammer their enemies from space or low orbit, but there are times when these Xenos take up arms and deploy directly into the midst of battle. These Demiurg warriors often carry modified mining tools as weapons and use their equipment (such as a Survey Glass for an Auspex) for war. To this reason, Demiurg warriors are called "Miners", but they are not to be underestimated, for they are tough, stubborn and as resilient in close combat as they are devastating from range.
These elite Fire Warriors had earned the respect of a great war hero or have been given the honor of shielding a notable individual (such as Water Caste Diplomat or an Air Caste Captain). It is their duty to protect these individuals with their very lives, for such higher up members of a Flotilla are essential for the Fleet as a whole to operate. When a proud Cadre Fireblade or an Earth Caste Combat Engineer go forth to lead the mercenaries from the front, guiding them to fulfill their contracts, the Shas'Ui Bodyguards follow them closely. The Bodyguards are armed with all the wargear a regular Fire Warrior can take and several more, including a Drop-In Teleporter that enables them (along with the person they are protecting) to teleport directly into the battlefield and enter the fray, or reposition to a more defensible location.
"Whaleshark" Drone Harbinger
Another new and experimental peace of Tau technology that was taken by the Ar'Cyr'Ru Fleet. This variation of the Devilfish APC comes with only a pair of Gun Drones attached to it and a Twin-Linked Markerlight. It can be upgraded with a variety of armaments to improve its chances in the war-zone, but combat is not its purpose. The Whaleshark comes with an integrated Drone factory within its chassis that produces and repairs Gun Drones in the middle of battle. It is a support vehicle that spawns a seemingly endless wave of Gun Drones towards its enemies, drowning them in white-hot plasma fire and nano-crystalline metal. The Whaleshark can be used to overwhelm enemy positions or to hold of an assault, using the Gun Drones as expendable weapons whose wreckage can be collected afterwords and recycled to produce more.
This heavy vehicle has the chassis of a Hammerhead Gunship with a few differences. Firstly, it has additional armor plates which make the vehicle generally bulkier and tougher, allowing it to withstand blows from heavy armaments. Secondly, it has an integrated shield generator inside which forms an electronic field that blocks small arms fire and dampens larger shots. And thirdly, instead of a pair of Gun Drones, Burst Cannons or Smart Missile Systems, the Swordfish has a pair of Railguns that are linked together and function as a Twin-linked weapon. In addition to this, the Swordfish has a nose-mounted Burst Cannon and a third Railgun on top of it. The Swordfish Gunship was made by the Tau Mercenaries to deal with Titans, gargantuan monsters and other heavy vehicles which these Tau started to encounter. The concentrated fire of a squadron of these skimmers can topple Stompas, Baneblades and even Warhound Scout Titans. But there are only a bare few of them per Flotilla so the Swordfish are used sparingly.
In many ways similar to the Swordfish, the Malo Gunship is a vehicle made to stop entire armies in their tracks and push them back. It has a turret-mounted twin-linked Railgun, a nose-mounted Burst Cannon and a pair of Missile Pods attached to its sides and two large jet engines that propel it forwards at shocking speeds. The Malo Gunship is a brute that can make a rampant Ork WAAAGH! grind to a halt if placed and used correctly. The sheer firepower it possesses can turn a small squadron of battle tanks into molten slag within moments. However, the weapons are not the Malo's best trait, it is the awkwardly large propulsion engines that sit at its sides. With them, the Malo Gunship can move at high speeds, allowing it to catch its targets or escape a pursuer in a flash. Sadly, like its Swordfish counterpart, the Malo Gunship is a rarity in the entire Ar'Cyr'Ru Fleet.
- "Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win."
- —Shas'El Dal'yth Kais'Tol
As a space-borne faction the Ar'Cyr'Ru Fleet made many encounters with a multitude of different peoples throughout their three centuries of voyaging the stars. Normally, like all Tau, they try to settle things diplomatically when possible (they would not indulge the likes of Chaos or Dark Eldar with such formalities) usually beginning negotiations by offering exotic goods they found on their journeys or by offering their services as mercenaries. Either way, the Tau of Ar'Cyr'Ru always leave a strong impression on whoever they meet.
The Ar'Cyr'Ru Fleet found it to be impossible to return to their homes after being called renegades by the Ethereal Caste. From time to time Ar'Cyr'Ru Flotillas skirt the borders of the Empire's space, curious to see what is going on within their homeland. Occasionally the Flotillas might uncover a call for aid and they will respond with all haste in order to assist their brethren. But most notably the Ar'Cyr'Ru Fleet made a lasting alliance with the Farsight Enclaves, due to the fact that both are exiled factions who broke off from the Tau Empire in order to pursue their own agendas.
Imperium of Man
As the largest and most widespread nation in the Milky Way Galaxy, the Ar'Cyr'Ru come across Imperial Humans on a regular basis. Although the Imperium at large is xenophobic to the extreme, the Tau discovered that Planetary Governors assigned to frontier worlds are more often than naught willing to work with Xenos if it would benefit them. Ar'Cyr'Ru Flotillas are also known to work closely with Rogue Traders or Radical Inquisitors whenever their interests met. These Tau were known to work with Imperial Guardsmen or even Space Marines when a "greater evil" was presented. But there are also parts of the Imperium which are nigh impossible to establish relations with, most notably the religious parts. The Adeptus Mechacnicus views Xeno technology as a hideous parody of their own "Machine God" while the Ecclesiarchy follows the teachings of the Lectitio Divinatus to the letter and foster a deep hatred to all things alien.
The Eldar who ply the cosmos aboard their immense Craftworlds which dwarf even the largest of Imperial Battle Barges made themselves acquainted with the Tau. Being a race on the verge of collapse the Eldar are known to coax other "inferior" races into doing their bidding. The Ar'Cyr'Ru are no exceptions but they do not seem to particularly mind so much since they are used to being treated as tools by their supposed allies. This does not mean that the Ar'Cyr'Ru Tau do the Eldar's dirty work free of charge. These Tau mercenaries always make sure that they get their payment, and anyone who ever tried to cheat them of their just reward usually pay the price in blood. Most notably, the Ar'Cyr'Ru Flotillas were known to cooperate with Eldar Corsairs as they sail the stars in search of glory and accolades. However, the Ar'Cyr'Ru Fleet knows very well to never trust the Dark Eldar who hail from the city of Commoragh. There were times when Tau worked alongside the Dark Eldar in times of direst need, but these Tau know well enough that trying to establish relations with the fallen kin of the Eldar race will bring nothing but dark omens upon them.
The greenskins were always a menace to the Tau Empire, even in its fledgling days. The Tau people saw that it was futile to try and negotiate with these savage brutes and have given up diplomacy all together. But as the Ar'Cyr'Ru Fleet journeyed through space they found out more about the Orks and their true nature. Orks seek war because it is in their nature to fight, therefore one only needs to promise them a good fight and they might be willing to talk business. Most notably the Ar'Cyr'Ru Tau noticed that an Ork Clan known as the Blood Axes who have adopted many tactics from Humanity, such as utilizing camouflage and retreating when they're loosing. Their exposure to Human culture made them very easy to communicate with, seeing how both parties are Xenos who trade with others for better equipment and work as mercenaries. Some Ar'Cyr'Ru Fire Warriors even grew to respect Orks of the Blood Axes Clan.
On many planets throughout the Galaxy the Necrons began awakening from their sepulchers and began reconquering the lands they lost millions of years ago. Some Necrons are single minded and merely slaughter any living being that crosses their path, other Necrons retain some of their intelligence and seek to better their interests. Some of these Necrons are even known to accept the work of mercenaries if it would help their Dynasties continue their expansions. When encountering such Necrons the Ar'Cyr'Ru tend to keep their distance, for they know how terrifyingly powerful Necron technology can be, and how merciless or manipulative they can get.
Forces of Chaos
Synonymous with the Mont'au, the terror of Tau history before the Ethereals enlightened them, the Ruinous Powers have never truly been a great threat to the Tau race. The reason for this is because Tau have a very faint and negligible presence in the Warp, which makes it difficult for Daemons to take a hold over them. But the Ar'Cyr'Ru Fleet is fully aware of how horrible and hideous the presence of Chaos truly is. They had the misfortune of encountering the mortal followers of the Chaos Gods, the traitorous and maniacal Chaos Space Marines and the Daemons which act as heralds to havoc and hysteria. The Ar'Cyr'Ru Flotillas try their best to avoid Warp Storms and Daemon Worlds because they fear what the taint might do if it was allowed to spread throughout the Fleet.
- "Negotiations are simple: feign inferiority and allow their arrogance to grow. The moment they no longer see you as a threat is when you may reap victory. "
- —Por'O Dal'yth Na'Qan
746.M41: The Ethereal Caste decided that they must discover more about the Galaxy which they inhabit, lest they repeat the tragedy of the Damocles Gulf Crusade. Aun'El Dal'yth Na'Geka was chosen to lead an exploratory fleet whose sole mission is interstellar reconnaissance and he christened it "Ar'Cyr'Ru" (a.k.a. "the High Tide").
758.M41: The Ar'Cyr'Ru Fleet stopped at the Jungle World called "Nimue" by the native Gue'la. As the Fleet was repairing ships and resupplying their food caches they were suddenly attacked by a splinter of Hive Fleet Behemoth. Every Ethereal who was assigned to the Fleet, including Aun'El Na'Geka, was killed. Shas'O Dal'yth Su'Nan'Ol organized the retreat of the defeated Tau forces, suffering heavy casualties along the way. The Ar'Cyr'Ru fleet managed to escape, albeit with only a fraction of their original numbers. Ever since that tragic event the planet was referred to as "Na'Geka'Muort" by the Tau.
759.M41: Under the leadership of Shas'O Dal'yth Su'Nan'Ol the Ar'Cyr'Ru Fleet decided to forge onward and resume with the mission their Empire entrusted them with. Su'Nan'Ol knew that without any Ethereals to share their wisdom the Tau would be lost, so he proposed the idea of a council made up of representatives of each Caste. Although the more democratic system brought by the Council of Four proved effective in keeping the Ar'Cyr'Ru Fleet from falling apart, it also created a generation of Tau which were never influenced by the Ethereals and their teachings of the so called "Greater Good", which is probably why they were not adverse to the idea of working as mercenaries.
760.M41: Despite being branded as renegades by the Ethereal Caste which prohibited them from ever returning home, the Ar'Cyr'Ru Fleet remained unshaken in their resolve. However, they knew that the Ethereals might decide to send the Kor'Vattra to hunt them down, so they divided the large Fleet into many flotillas which scattered into the astral winds, making it nearly impossible to track the movements of the Ar'Cyr'Ru Tau.
766.M41: After several years of skirting the territories of the Tau Empire the Ar'Cyr'Ru Flotillas decided to contact what might be the only faction that would aid them. Flotillas of the Ar'Cyr'Ru established contact with the Farisght Enclaves and managed to work out a deal. The Ar'Cyr'Ru Fleet would share anything useful they might find in their journeys with the Enclaves and in turn the fleet-based Tau were given their first Harbor, Ka'Ra'Tio, the City of Exiles.
827-835.M41: An Ar'Cyr'Ru Flotilla was hired by Governor Sean Becket of the Imperial Hive World Irwyn to act as a punitive force against the rebelling mobs of factory workers. The Tau did their jobs without complaint and put down many revolts using Pathfinders to single out mob leaders and swiftly take them out in order to demoralize the masses. After the five year contract the Tau signed with the Governor expired they left Irwyn, despite the Governor offering them more personal and better paying positions as his bodyguards. The next year the Hive World was raided by Eldar Corsairs, and the same Tau who used to work for the Governor were now putting down his men and breaking into his holdings. The Xenos regularly raided the planet for two years before the Governor was killed and his treasuries were emptied. Some believe that the Tau brought the Eldar with them, but who can truly know what goes on in a Xeno's mind?
843.M41: A Planetary Governor of an Imperial planet called Turilia contacted a small Ar'Cyr'Ru Flotilla and hired their Fire Warriors as mercenaries. The Governor thought that the local pirates were planning to overthrow him and that they were instigating a rebellion among the civilian population. The Tau met up with two Imperial Guard Regiments, the Akoni 3rd Drop Infantry as well as the Blackwater Rifles in order to deal with the uprising. The Guardsmen seemed to have been willing to cooperate at first and despite the atmosphere of distrust it did not seem there would be problems. But suddenly, as the preparations for the upcoming battle were underway, one of the Guardsmen threw a grenade at a group of Gue'Vesa which accompanied the Tau, killing several of them in the initial explosion. The Tau retaliated and killed the man on the spot and an all-out confrontation ensued. The fighting was brief but intense enough for the Akoni gunships and Blackwater Ogryns to be fielded. Both the Imperial and Tau leaders called for a ceasefire in order to retrieve the dead and the dying while trying to understand how this incident occurred. The truth was revealed that the Guardsman who threw the first grenade was acting on his own accord and that neither faction really wanted to continue with the needless killing. Despite the turbulent tensions the Tau mercenaries stayed to fulfill their contract, but relocated their troops to avoid the threat of infighting. It turned out that Turilia's Governor was paranoid and the so called revolt numbered in only 500 poorly armed farmers. The two Guardsmen Regiments had no problem dealing with them on their own, so the Tau sent their Stealthsuits to infiltrate their headquarters and steal enough of their equipment to make up for the "collateral damages" which were done prior to the battle. With the uprising rooted out and the contract complete, the Tau left the planet before the Guardsmen realized that some of their wargear was missing.
852-874.M41: The Tau mercenaries were sighted alongside Ork Freebooters who were pirating in the Sagittarius Arm. The infamous "Blackeye" Pirates, under the leadership of "Kaptin Punchbelly" got some of these Tau to help them with raiding Tau worlds. For many years, the Tau of Ar'Cyr'Ru assisted in boarding the Empire's merchant vessels and supply convoys for over two decades before the Freebooters got enough guns and "shiny bitz" to make any Mekboy squeal in delight. Kaptin Punchbelly decided that he was feeling bold enough to attack the Empire and get some of "dem flyin' Dreadz". But during his first invasion of Demlok'Nars, a small Tau mining world, the Fusion Blaster the Kaptin received from the Tau he worked with overheated, exploding in his face and killing him. The Tau mercenaries' betrayal was sudden but swiftly carried out, as Stealthsuits started to cull the disoriented Orks. The inhabitants of Demlok'Nars were grateful and wished to celebrate the victory of the Ar'Cyr'Ru warriors. After the celebration was done the war heroes went on their way, but not before retrieving every peace of equipment the Orks left behind, including the gear that they helped steal from the Empire. There was no indication that the mercenaries ever returned the stolen goods to their rightful owners.
884.M41: As two Ar'Cyr'Ru Flotillas came together to exchange resources and information, they noticed how a particular Dark Eldar Kabal made frequent "visits" to a set of planets in the Kabouros Sub-Sector. The Serpent Fang Kabal frequented three particular planets: Zenthir, a tropic Death World, J'Maer, an Imperial Paradise World, and Omiton, a Civilized World with a very high Human population. Upon landing on J'Maer to learn more, the Tau noticed how the Humans there welcomed them with open arms. Although not adverse to the gesture, the Ar'Cyr'Ru didn't exactly grow accustom to it, at least not from Imperial Humans. They later found out that the people of J'Maer were used to non-confrontational Xeno visits. The Tau learned that the Dark Eldar often brought with them many exotic goods which they traded with the Humans. The bolder Humans even accepted their offers to join them in banquets, which they returned from alive and healthy. Upon visiting Omiton they heard a similar story, the Dark Eldar came to visit them from time to time and they shared their goods and cuisine with the Humans, although in Omiton they held public pit fights, where the vicious animals from Zenthir were forced to fight to the death. The Tau of the combined Flotilla were curious and genuinely interested in making contact with these non-aggressive Dark Eldar. Eventually they arrived, a group from the Serpent Fang Kabal came to visit J'Maer and they presented themselves to the Tau in a non-threatening manner. The Tau were invited to a banquet and they agreed, but erring on the side of caution they smuggled scanning equipment with them before boarding the Dark Eldar vessel. As the Humans that also came with them enjoyed the exquisitely prepared meat, the Tau were eager to sample some, but once the scanning was done they realized the terrible truth. The meat was Human and was also coated with chemicals which would make anyone who regularly ingests it addicted to it. Considering that most of the people participating in the banquet were people of importance, including the Planetary Governors of J'maer and Omiton, the scene became severely ominous. The Tau were unsure of what to do, so they withdrew from the disgusting feast. But the Dark Eldar caught on to their ploy and attacked the ships of the flotilla while the banquet was taking place. Many Tau lost their lives during the first scant moments of the slaughter, and the Dark Eldar were craving to see what blue-blooded flesh looks like. The Tau tried to push the marauders away, but the Dark Eldar sunk their fangs deep into their weak spots and spread their warriors like venom through veins. No Tau escaped alive, and the Human populations of the Kabouros Sub-Sector remained ignorant of it all. In fact, they were delighted to see that a new dish was on the menu.
921.M41: A Tau Cadre under the command of Shas'El Bork'An Naga'Myr was fighting a splinter of Hive Fleet Kraken on the frontier planet Kan'Ka'Mesa. The Tau Fire Warriors fought bravely and made a stand against the seemingly unending number of assailants. They sent a distress call earlier that year but they thought that nobody would answer, that their signal was too faint. Fortunately for them, an Ar'Cyr'Ru Flotilla was following the splinter, waiting to see where the Bio-ship was headed. The Tau flotilla of three Cruisers struck the single Hive Ship and destroyed it, leaving the Tyranid organisms on the ground prone to areal bombardment. The Ar'Cyr'Ru deployed Battlesuits from the sky and landed where the Synapse creatures were. The surgical implementation of shock-and-awe tactics severed the numerous Gaunts and other non-synaptic Tyranids from the Hive Mind. The scurrying beasts were not difficult to put down and the Ar'Cyr'Ru claimed victory. Although this was a very small splinter, the Tyranids were able to cause heavy damage and Naga'Myr's Cadre suffered heavy casualties. The Tau of Ar'Cyr'Ru offered Naga'Myr and the others to join them, and although some accepted Naga'Myr did not, but he gave the exiles his thanks. After garrisoning some fresh recruits into their fold and restocking their arsenals, the Ar'Cyr'Ru flotilla left the system. Later on, ShasEl Naga'Myr was congratulated on his exemplary leadership during the Tyranid invasion and was promoted to Shas'O. The intervention of the Ar'Cyr'Ru Tau was never mentioned in official records.
952. M41: The Gal'leath Class Battleship, the Nem'Sha, found its way to the infamous Exile Sector and began doing business with the local Humans. Many Imperials saw the usefulness of fielding Xenos as expendable guns for hire and thus the Tau mercenaries found themselves embroiled in many different conflicts across the Sector. These Tau worked alongside many Great Houses, Rogue Traders and military leaders, earning a minuscule amount of respect due to the fact that they follow their contracts to the letter. The commanding Fire Caste officer who leads the Tau mercenaries in the Exile Sector is Shas'El Dak'e'shi, a former soldier originating from the Vior'la Sept who deserted his post and joined the Ar'Cyr'Ru fleet. Dak'e'shi guided his subordinates through the Exile Sector, establishing connections with the likes of Great House Vichy, Rogue Trader House Pantegrul and even the Space Marines of the Lightbringers Chapter. These Tau even earned a small swath of land on the planet Kyberia to use as an embassy, which they converted into the Kir'Retha Harbor. With the Harbor established in the Sector, the collective Ar'Cyr'Ru Fleet gradually increased their presence, with more and more business opportunities now available to them. For many years, Shas'El Dak'e'shi remained the acting commander of all Ar'Cyr'Ru activity in the Exile Sector, granting him a significant amount of power. Currently, Dak'e'shi's Nem'Sha Flotilla is the second largest in the Ar'Cyr'Ru, dwarfed only by the Counselor Flotilla, if only slightly.
966-969.M41: After hearing about the exploits of the Tau who worked as guns for hire, the Ordo Xenos Inquisitor Rommulus Nero made contact with an Ar'Cyr'Ru Flotilla which was sighted in the Eastern Fringe. He got the Tau to work as sentries for the remote Imperial system called Cybius. Although this was the pretext, what Inquisitor Nero really wanted was for the Tau to infiltrate the System's underground and uncover any Xenos influence. The Tau sold their Pulse weapons on the black market and garnered the attention of several Hive Gangs. Not suspecting that the Tau were payed by an Inquisitor, the Tau were able to uncover many secrets of Cybius. The most heinous was that there was a thriving colony of Hrud living in the underhives. They "adopted" many Humans and got them to do lots of dirty work in order to sustain their colony. Upon learning about this Inquisitor Nero organized his retinue and purged Cybius of all Hrud, as they were influencing Human populations and were in a position to spread plague to neighboring systems.
972.M41: Upon entering the Mordant Zone, the Ar'Cyr'Ru Tau realized that many Humans in the area were very difficult to negotiate with due to their ironclad faith in the God-Emperor. They realized that this was because a Space Marine Chapter known as the Crimson Dragoons made sure that all Imperial citizens in the region had undying devotion to their lord and master, and in turn keep the morale of normal Humans as high as possible. The Tau inevitably met with the Crimson Dragoons, but surprisingly, they were not planning to mercilessly kill them on the spot. The Space Marines gave the Tau a fair warning, advising them to not interfere with the lives of Imperial citizens, lest they feel the Chapter's scorn. The Tau replied by saying that they were merely travelers who survived by trading and doing mercenary work when necessary and that they were willing to cooperate. Chapter Master Nigel Durant responded by meeting the Tau Flotilla and talking about a truce. This was shocking to both the Tau and Nigel's subordinates, seeing as how the Crimson Dragoons had very close ties with the Eccelsiarchy, which despises the Xeno. Chapter Master Nigel said that he was willing to sign a contract with the Xenos for the benefit of the Chapter. After the Everchosen's invasion of Augustine, the Chapter had its hands full with restoration work, therefore hiring expendable Xeno mercenaries who were willing to die for their contracts seemed like the best idea at the time. After Nigel signed the contract with Shas'El Aloh'Lasa, the Crimson Dragoons had a shaky alliance with the Ar'Cyr'Ru Tau, but so far there were no noteworthy incidents between the two.
993.M41: In the Segmentum Tempestus, near the Veiled Region, the Necron Dynasty of Ta-Seth began to rise from their million years of slumber. The Crimson Dragoons notified the Ar'Cyr'Ru Fleet about their activities and the atrocities they commit. Their Overlord, known only as Jorren Reptos, was afflicted with the "Destroyer Syndrome" as he perceives all organic life as pests that must be eradicated. He began his "Systematic Purge" and his entire Dynasty began slaughtering the populations of entire planets in the most cold, calculated and efficient way possible. They even experimented with a chemical weapon which the Imperium called "the Prion Plague". The weapon is actually a special type of nano-technology where microscopic machines act like a virus that enters their victim and begin rebuilding them from the inside out. Those afflicted will see their skin tear, their nails fall off and their eyes bleed before they succumb to the immense pain and become crazed mutants whose flesh became metallic and their blood turned to acid. These "Prion mutants" are used by Necrons as expendable cannon-fodder as they mindlessly tear apart all organic life before them, uncaring of the wounds they are inflicted for they are already in immense pain. The Ar'Cyr'Ru Flotilla tried their best to repel the Ta-Seth Necrons, but all they could do was stall for time as they helped evacuate civilians at a great cost to their own. Earth Caste scientists wanted to experiment on Prion nanotechnology, but the Council decided otherwise, seeing as how the risk of the Plague spreading throughout the Fleet was simply too high.
992-999.M41: After the Crimson Dragoons reported that a new Tyranid Hive Fleet, dubbed "Cerberus", was spotted in Segmentum Pacificus and that it was headed towards the Sabbat Worlds, the Ar'Cyr'Ru Fleet was hesitant to respond. Shas'O Mont're was insisting that the Tau join the fray and honor the contract, while the other three Counselors rebuked his argument by saying that they would not be able to contribute much to a full-scale Hive Fleet and that they would serve much better as a defensive force in the Mordant Zone. Shas'El D'verl volunteered to lead a Cadre into the Sabbat Worlds and assist the Crimson Dragoons in the counter-offensive. By doing so he would only risk the lives of himself and those who choose to follow him while simultaneously reinforcing their allies of convenience. The Council decided to allow Shas'El D'verl to go, for they knew that as one of the Three Braves he would do his duty well.
999.M41: Shasl'El D'verl and his Flotilla encountered Tyranids attacking the Knight World of Knyaz and joined in the battle. The Knight House of Black Peter fought valiantly against the tide of teeth, claws and chitin, but were overwhelmed not by sheer numbers in general, but by the astonishingly large number of monstrous creatures the Hive fielded, such as Carnifexes, Tervigons, Hive Guards, Haruspexes, Exocrines and other alien abominations. It seemed as if Cerberus "preferred" the use of larger, more elite organisms as opposed to just fielding innumerable 'Gaunts and 'Gants. The Tau attacked the Hive Fleet from space, but quickly realized that the bio-ships of Cerberus were covered with stubbornly hard exoskeletons which resisted plasma fire. As the massacre was escalating in volume and ferocity, the Tau mercenaries realized that the bio-ships encircled them, essentially cutting off any escape. Expecting death, Shas'El D'verl sent out a final message, broadcasting it all frequencies, alerting anyone in the local system about the Tyranid threat and where it was headed. That was the last the Ar'Cyr'Ru Fleet heard from Shas'El Dal'yth D'verl.
- "Everything flows, just as the rivers pour into the sea, so do all stars move along the Galaxy's axis. One cannot master the flow, one can only move with ebb and become one with it. All life is motion, that which does not move does not live. "
- —Fio'O Dal'yth T'Sho
I have already implemented enough quotes to the Ar'Cyr'Ru Mercenary Fleet throughout this page, so if anyone wants to add their own quotes aimed towards these Tau, you may add them to this section.
- "Chaos is not so different from your own fledgling Empire, Tau, those who join the faith are welcome, and those who do not are slain. In Tau, your society breeds strength, in chaos, conflict weeds out weakness. Your greater good, and the Primordial Truth, are not as different as you think. Imagine what the powers of the Dark gods could grant those whoa re willing to receive them."
- —Valkyura Warpschild
- "While the act of employing Xenos filth goes against not only the Imperiums laws, but any loyalist code of honour, there is something undoubtedly amusing about sending Xenos filth to slaughter Xenos filth."
- —Eulitus Ephrain of the Wings of Salvaxes
- "Ah good, the blueskins are here. Listen here, I want this place cleared out by the time I'm done with this bottle of Syprian wine, understood? House Pantegrul has little time for idle warfare."
- —Markus Pantegrul ordering a unit of Tau Mercenaries to clear out a xenos infested settlement on a long lost fronteer world
- "Mind if I hitch a ride? The Inquisition just pulverized my last not-so-safe house via orbital bombardment, leaving me understandably housebroken for the time being. You guys take digital payments, right?"
- —Echo, attempting to barter passage with the Fleet