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Aquilia


The Gai'kal Sept (Gai'kal Dialect: i/ɡeɪ.xæl/, Galactic Standard Tau Lexicon: /ɡeɪ.kɑːl/) is an isolated Tau Sept straddled far from well-charted routes upon what was once the southernmost limits of the Tau Empire.

Built from the ruins of a failed military operation, and contaminated by Rust over two decades following, the sept was cut off from the greater Tau Empire in a one hundred and sixty year era known as the Great Isolation, falling victim to authoritarian ethereal rule as it faded into technological and social stagnation. Suffering from numerous civil wars across the later half of the isolation and narrowly escaping the full force of a tyranid splinter fleet, the planet at last suffered at the hands of an invasion from what was once perceived as friendly forces - the Tash'var Sept - seeking to purge the world of upstart and rebellious caste factions in response to Ethereal caste distress signals heard for the first time in centuries.

Amidst the bloodied mess of ensuing war, a new Ethereal rose on the side of the workers who were but crushed on both sides, turning the tide of the war, changing the minds of the invading offworld faction, and instigating what would become known as the Four Castes revolution in a fire caste coup d'etat, shattering and rebuilding the world from the ground up as a fully democratic worker's state.

Having suffered multiple re-conversion attempts from the Greater Empire since its refounding, the modern Gai'kal exists as an anomaly. Existing partially as a fully fledged militaristically capable sept run soley by the Ethereal Caste in official documents, in practice much of the world is and has shown for quite some time to be firmly within the reigns of its people, existing in a simultaneous state of chaos and control as power constantly reaffirms itself in the hands of the majority who simply cannot all at once be mentally duped by self-interested Ethereal elites.

However, in the century since the revolution, amidst the ruins of the once near-constant invasion of reactionary armies sent by many septs throughout the rest of the Tau Empire, much of Gai'kal's original population has been dispersed throughout the empire and beyond, with the world itself suffering from repopulation attempts by the rest of the empire as an attempt to drown out and dilute the revolutionary spirit of its population. As for the state itself, it has slipped away from pure decentralised democracy involving the entire population of all Tau to become a centralised "social democracy" run by elected delegates, birthed from an embryonic parliament once initially intended to exist for the sole purpose to keep away the prying eyes of non-Gai'kal Ethereals. This parliament has subsequently been granted more and more power by both the strike action of misguided Tau both native and immigrant, and through the subtle manipulation of any Ethereals and other caste elite still aware of the political nature of the Sept.

With a gradual but promising success of soft power measures, the time of true freedom seems to be only limited before the Greater Empire sees through the carefully constructed governance in name only of its Ethereal Caste and calls a commencement of a final purge and re-establishment as a fully loyal colony of the Tau Empire.

History

Operation Vral'y'he

The Gai'kal system was colonised during some of the final days of the second expansion in 701.M41 by a joint operation between the Tash'var and Hwo'kye Septs in an effort to lure and destroy a splinter fleet of Hive Fleet Erebus that had entered the local region of Tau space, an effort a little less than fifty years prior to the arrival of the full force of the present Tyranid threat. Initially operating as a life-rich world hung before the approaching fleet as little but bait for a cast trap, the world would soon become the theatre of a vast war of attrition at the hands of an inimical miscalculation.

Confident in its strength, and perhaps ignorant in the alien strength and adaptability of the Y'he, Hwo'kye had devoted a wealth of Kor'vattra fleets to flank the approaching tyranid spacecraft within several fractional solar units, accompanied by a planetbound ground force of almost nine hundred thousand Fire Warriors with associated crafts and weaponry. This force was combined with a sizeable deployment of Earth caste engineers assigned in the repair of weapons, battlesuits, and vehicles, and to assemble run'al and cadre fortifications.

Having been deployed far later than anticipated due to delayed interstellar transit, the teams of Nicassar psykers employed by the Tau forces to detect the size and direction of the splinter fleet found it incredibly difficult to make such predictions. By the time psychic beacons of a strong enough volume were constructed with what limited aid deployed Earth caste engineers could provide, the psychic shadow of Erebus had descended upon the world. A backdrop of terror in the face of such irrefutable and narrowly favourable statistics struck the coalition command, halted only from rampant spread throughout the entire force by rigid information containment in all mediums, and partially through the cooling words, seemingly vehement in their objectivity and logic to leading factions, of leading Ethereal caste clerics to the very commanders themselves.

When the fleet finally hit in full force, the twin-sept army was prepared for a fight unto death, as a rigid but knowingly temporary shield guarding the Tau worlds that lay beyond it. The battle consumed the world in a swarm of black amidst flecks of ice blue and yellow, a sight akin to an spectral fire committing vampirism upon the world's biomass. Within two months of ceaseless warfare, a tide of bloodshed, and constant ramshackle regroupings, re-diversion of supply lines and reassertion of strategic high grounds in defiance of an infinite re-breaking of fortified lines, the tau force sustained 1.4 million casualties on the ground and over 3/4 of its Air Caste orbital fleet before the numbers of Tyranids managed to wither to a point where it saw it unsustainable to battle much longer for what fractional biomass remained, initiating a tactical retreat and exiting the system upon what few hive ships remained.

The Va Lhyo'au

Following a brief twenty seven Terran years of construction and development, Gai'kal was forcefully segregated off from the Tau Empire in 728.M41 after it succumbed to an aggressive outbreak of Rust, which soon spread planet-wide and succeeded in killing off three billion native Tau before containment and euthanisation of all infected hosts formerly eradicated the virus. The cause of the outbreak was pinned on the Tyranid invasion, for the disease, in many ways similar to the Tyranid threat itself, had never before been seen within the Empire.

For one hundred and sixty three years the sept had willingly isolated itself from the rest of the Tau empire on the direction of the then lead Ethereal Aun'O D'yanoi Hwa'ran, founding an era which would come to be known as Va Lhyo'au, or the Great Isolation. Remaining in embargo long after the disease was contained and eradicated, the sept's native castes to develop a unique set of technology, tactical skills, culture, philosophy and dialect. Over the course of its isolation, a dynasty of ethereals descended from Hwa'ran ruled the planet with a controlling grasp, fear-mongering the population into submission and industrial overdrive with the artificial threat of a rust epidemic re-emerging.

The sept was declared quarantined by the Greater Empire indefinitely, with its low strategic importance outweighing any need for the Rust epidemic to be dealt with, already believed to have completely consumed the Sept. The frighteningly unpredictable, terrifying and dangerous nature of the virus also added great weight in the diplomatic rulings, with many Gai'kal sympathisers of the present era claiming it to be an overreaction. The loss of life was given recognition through a day of mourning on nearby Septs, and was observed by some others through various outlets, specifically Por'hui.

Blue Caste

  • Geheimpolizei von die Tau Demokratischen Republik: Blauen Kaste
  • Probably gender inequality. Piecemeal forcing of female tau to procure more children through propaganda, social and legal restrictions to grow the workforce.
  • Shit this is assuming tau reproduction is anything like human reproduction
  • Subliminal caste racism to prevent them from unifying, specifically a sense of hwo'kye nationalism within water caste (i.e. "traditional Tau water caste values" "the hwo'kye way was better" "lineage of centuries of Hwo'kye administration experience" and other wonderful bullshit. Gai'kal may even grant the water caste a "national ethnic minority" status to them), who were all sent directly from Hwo'kye and had nothing to do with Operation Vral'y'he.
  • Also unions are stupid and cost us billions of money to fix issues individual one on one interviews between workers and bosses can fix, didn't you hear.
  • Go so far as to instigate controlled outbreaks of rust in regions to continually scare people into submission. Maybe a leakage of information detailing it is what adds fuel to the revolution.
  • etc

A Splinter's Return

880.M41

Rebellion

884.M41. Three Castes Revolution. Improvement of economy and technology in a post-war boom occurs, however living standards and wages stagnate. The rising confidence in the population creates social hostility and a sense of entitlement, as the cracks of the system begin to show. Society is taken into the hands of Tau workers.

To combat exploitation, inequality, starvation and etc, preceding the revolution in a gradual and generally uneven process/warfare of loss and gain, workplaces, schools, farms and communities are organised into councils basically similar in operation to Russian-revolution-era Soviets. These are called Sin'retha (Peoples' Councils). Uash'sin'retha (Regional Peoples' Councils) are organised on regional levels to orchestrate smaller Sin'retha, and in time an embryonic Sin'tau'retha is organised; an international council of delegates.

Workplace overseers and administrators that did not actively support the class interest of the vast majority of the workers (pretty much the vast majority of these high-paid leeches) were thrown out of power, locked out of their factories, or even murdered. Workplaces were organised from the bottom up; the Tau who worked the machines, drove the vehicles and plowed the fields where the ones who dictated their production. In cases where the bosses could not be thrown out, workers instead organised around them. Unequal pay was combatted by the pooling and equal re-distribution of pay, new workers were instead hired by the Sin'retha without any consultation by the administrators, workers fired by their bosses were re-hired and paid by the sin-retha.

Communal kitchens, schools, laundries and other services were set up to help those suffering from starvation, those without adequate clothes, the illiterate, and so fourth. Hiring practices were made communal, so Tau of all castes could work in any profession.

Gradually through the agitation of the vanguard of the most radical Tau workers combined with the material conditions set economically and through the atrocious decisions of the ruling class, a first revolution occurs.

However the lack of solidarity between castes amongst other things cause it to fail. But, the revolution teaches the class conscious Tau and those with potential to be enlightened the absolute effectiveness of the Sin'retha system, instilling confidence (and re-sharpening the already vastly potent wits of the radical workers on the vanguard) in their ability to dictate their own future never before seen within the working class.

Rekindling

With economy and societal development having greatly ossified past a century of isolation, by the reign of the last of the so-called Hwa'ran dynasty, Aun'O Gai'kal Kai'ba, the native population of castes saw through the gradually thinning walls of por'sral (lit. propaganda) and a poisonous and deliberately terrifying ethereal caste cult of personality.

By the dusk of 890.M41, growing tremors anti-state hostility had frothed and bubbled to the point where the united Tau workers, diplomats, pilots and soldiers had given up all hope on reunification with the empire and potential stepping-down of the Hwa'ran elite. An initial strike of thousands of earth caste manufacturers soon spread across entire cities and continents of the planet, motivating their entire caste to leave their factories as well as the air caste to dock and abandon their crafts, the water caste to cease bureaucratic communication, and lastly the fire caste itself, once intended to police the workers back into submission, to rise up and threaten the ruling ethereal caste with resignation or death. What was once sparks of hostility effectively became a fire caste coup d'etat backed by the voice of a billion united Tau citizens, disposing a dynasty of terror with a fully democratic government, and at last reunifying the Sept with the greater Tau Empire.

Reaction

Due to their isolation on a single industrially backwards and economically weak world, the revolution simply couldn't survive. Reactionary war lasts many long years and causes many Tau revolutionaries to give up and flee the sept rather than risk starving to death, freezing to death, dying from disease, or being shot. Many of those who remained on the planet gave up and joined the other side simply so they could stop suffering. Only a marginal few of the original revolutionaries survived the entire war.

Of those who fled and survived:

  • ~61% fled to the Farsight Enclaves
  • ~20% fled the Tau Empire altogether
  • ~13% fled to other Septs, with the majority of this number simply doing so to avoid prosecution.
  • ~6% fled to abandoned and/or desolate regions of Tau space to form their own hippie communes final bastions of resistance.

A New Future

  • ...of conquering things for an imperialist power. Oh the price of freedom.
  • Does the ultramarine approach to conquering worlds.

Taking of Assuwa VI

906.M41

  • some conquest of an imperial civilised world that secures local gue'vesa within an odd and paranoid sense of comfort in the reigns of the unusually cooperative and socially respective Gai'kal sept. They become a liability to the sept's secrecy.
    • Up against a detachment of the Blazing Claws and Assuwa VI Imperial Guard Regiments
    • Blazing Claws there to scare off Eldar of an unidentified craftworld. Gai'kal allies with craftworld due to both teams having similar interests within the region. Eldar notice the odd behaviour of the Tau of this particular Sept
    • Results in "victory". Really the claws make a tactical retreat, knowing any active part in the conflict would be a strategically unsound application of their resources. Give no fucks about the Astra Militarum being butchered in their place. Make log of the world and forces involved for potential subsequent re-invasion.
  • World rebuilt and rehabilitated to exceptional standards, with citizens given an unusual degree of freedom by the sept.

Climate and Topography

The core world of the Gai'kal Sept, Gai'kal, is located in a single-star system, completing an elliptical orbit every 1.4 Tau'cyr, which equates to approximately 1.1 Terran Years. Due to its axial tilt, the planet experiences some moderate seasonal change between temperate summers and cold winters. Gai'kal is a small world with gravity heaver than T'au and more similar to Vior'la, resulting in the native Tau to develop slightly shorter, stronger builds and thicker bone densities. These evolutionary traits are largely absent in the Air Caste inhabitants of Gai'kal's orbital cities.

Geographically, the world varies widely between vast shallow oceans, many of which are a foot deep, forested regions and spinifex strewn savannahs, with swamp regions occurring commonly around the equator. The soil of the world is rich in organic matter and mineral densities comprised commonly of magnesium, nickel, carbon in the form of graphite, oxygen and silicon in the form of quartz deposits, and vast amounts of iron which give the world's soil a characteristic oxidised warm rusted red/brown colour. Approximately 72 percent of the world is covered by water, with 57% of this consisting of oceans deeper than several hundred metres. The odd topographical structure and thickness of the planet's crust allows many regions of the ocean to reach up to 8-11km deep, with shallow foot-deep regions disappearing off into vast undersea cliffs. According to current Earth Caste studies, the vast majority of all marine life appears to have been purged by aquatic tyranid rippers and undersea capillary towers during 701.M41, with only plankton, micro-organisms and aquatic insects remaining in self-sustaining populations. Terrestrial animal populations largely dwindled after the first and second tyranid invasions, with most populations of beasts, typically four-footed herbivorous mammals, rodents, insects and arachnids, and a vast diversity of amphibious creatures, having been reintroduced from domestic Tau populations and conservation programs.

Regardless of these conservation efforts, much of the land still bears visible wounds from its brushes with tyranid forces. The entire eastern hemisphere of the planet for the most part remains a barren wasteland, with many of the shallow oceans that once covered it having been drained, and has in the past century following the invasion been replanted with vast fields of spinifex and some tree types by local Tau to prevent the accumulation of dust storms. Across this hemisphere (and in many regards regions of the western hemisphere) hundreds of thousands of bleached, corrided, capillary tower husks continually dot the landscapes, with many sections of the towers that once reached beyond the mid to upper levels of the atmosphere having partially crumbled and fallen to the ground under their own weight.

The weather of the planet on average features heavy cloud cover and rain for often over 1/2 of the year, resulting in most animal life and even the skin colour of its Tau inhabitants to develop pale grey complexions. Plant life is awash in dull, olive green colours, with most wood bearing grey or black-mottled white barks with heartwood and sapwood of reddish and orange colourations. Atmospheric composition of the planet consists of 71% nitrogen, 28% oxygen, 0.94% argon, 0.031% carbon dioxide, and approximately 1% water vapour, which is climate variable.

Force Characteristics

Toi'san School of Warfare

See section on language for meaning

(pronunciation: /tœɪʔçæn/) The most dominant tactic used by the sept since the launching of the Third Sphere expansion and its subsequent participation, Toi'san is a contemporary school of warfare that has roots in the deeply-steeped traditions of Gai'kal Kauyon. The blending in of Mont'ka has proven to provide a useful antidote to the rigidity of static trap-orientated Kauyon warfare in circumstances where it proves unfeasible.

In practice, Toi'san focuses on luring an enemy into a mobile, heavily organised and resilient trap that has in its capability enough mobility, defence or defensive firepower to avoid danger in circumstances where its placing and position in regards to the greater trap formation of the entire army has been compromised. The mobility of the trapping units often aids in spurring within the enemy confusion or incorrect assumptions about the unit's tactical plans and position.

GaikalFirecasteranks

Chart showing rank and delegate position colouration used by the Gai'kal Fire Caste

The school places a heavy reliance on the self-sufficiency of troops and units, allowing room for maximum self-dependance in situations where supporting units have been lost or shot down. Common examples includes a heavy self employment of markerlights complex and varied enough to display sufficient target location and information to better the accuracy and placement of shots of fire warriors and battlesuits even without the usage of further networking with pathfinder teams. Battle formations are also organised to be all purpose as appose to employment of strict specialisation. Often a team of Fire Warriors equipped with standard pulse weaponry is aided by a team of XV8 Battlesuits equipped with plasma rifles and flamers to allow it to become equally effective against hordes of lightly armoured opponents and to heavily armoured opponents alike. The high mobility of the XV8s allows for flanking formations to be employed, most notably in instances where the team of Fire Warriors is subjected to a charging close combat orientated enemy. Battlesuits are normally always accompanied by missile drones and shield drones to provide additional punching power in regards to light tanks or heavy infantry and resilience against weapons with high armour piercing capabilities.

The concept of a Gai'kal ethereal going into combat has been practically unheard of. Rather than a sign of utter adoration for the Ethereal caste's safety, the very structure of the sept's military heirarchy omits all ability for members of a ruling caste to even be recognised, let alone to be able to go to war accompanied by a vast retinue of costly drones and elite bodyguards. In recent history this legislation has been softened through piecemeal lobbying by vocal "Ethereal traditionalists".

Notable Individuals

Shas'O Gai'kal Me'tsu'shan

Shas'el T'olku Dan'gi

Uniforms and Colouration

The Fire Caste of Gai'kal primarily go to war wearing basic field camouflage with coloration adherent to the world's geography. Sept stripes are optional, however they are typically painted over for missions requiring larger amounts of infiltration. Vehicles are typically painted with considerably detailed patterns and are equipped with camouflage netting, allowing them to (with the aid of local materials such as branches, vines, mud, snow, etc) be capable of stationary infiltration. A common example of this technique is used in concealing grounded Hammerhead batteries.

Battlesuits are often adorned with ceremonial camouflage, however they are generally painted in basic patterns due to being deployed for lightning-speed engagements. There has been recorded usage of aircraft-type camouflage used for teams utilising aerial and air-to-ground combat.

XV15 and XV25 Stealthsuits teams and Pathfinder teams utilise the utmost detailed of camouflage, allowing for further infiltration, and in the case of stealth teams the ability to continually infiltrate in any circumstance where their stealth fields fail or are sabotaged.

Wargear

Below is an insert taken from the Gai'kal Fire Caste Shas'la handbook (Edition 3-12) detailing the default wargear that is expected for a Shas'la (and in the majority of regards ground troop Shas'ui) to be issued and to maintain.

Pulse Rifle GKF.PR Model 8.82 "Assuwa" (or later)
Complete with replacement Recoil Shock Dampener, replacement Thermal Scope lense and cleaning & maintenance kit. Identical to standard pulse weaponry used Empire-wide in projectile type, firing mechanism and particle acceleration technology, the GKF.PR 8.82 is renowned for its very rigid and sturdy frame. Its minimal usage of moving parts including a motionless pressure-sensitive electric trigger, similar in concept to the majority of contemporary pulse weaponry, allows it to suffer considerable external shock without risk of internal damage. Its fire selector has three settings, safe, single twin-shot, and rapid fire with alternating-barrel, with the alternating system being standard Empire-wide to avoid the weapon overheating. The rifle is rail-mounted markerlight compatible, and can be synced with markerlight webs. Scope allows standard and thermal infrared vision, and features inbuilt zoom lenses.

Interchangeable with a GKF.PC Model 10.2 Pulse Carbine or later with underslung Photon Grenade launcher.

Sleeping Bag

Ration Pack
Typically provides sustenance for 1-2 weeks.

Essentials Kit
Includes mess kit, grooming kit, basic medical gear and water canteen

Nanocrystaline Plate Body Armour GKF.BA Default Make

Combat Helmet GKF.CH 5 (Default Make)
Protects the wearer's face and head from most standard weaponry, including glancing hits from from standard bolter slugs. Its faceplate features a twin-lens thermal camera which transmits visual information to a frontal LCD display on the inside of the helmet. The camera is positioned on the left side of the helmet to prevent interference from the weapon-mounted thermal scope, which is typically held on the frontal right of the face. The scope can be synced with the internal LCD display visual information directly from its perspective.

The helmet facilitates standard and infrared vision, however does not feature a blacksun filter (a standard issue feature on all battlesuits). It also provides via head-up display markerlight information (i.e. projected outlines of hidden targets, predicted structural weak points in armour and light vehicles, relays team firing points, etc), displays basic information of nearby allied Tau (typically rank, name and squad role), displays available ammunition and power cartridge charge levels, displays cardinal directions and field maps (either preloaded or via available satellite feed), displays information relating to predicted levels of noxious gases, radiation or airborne acids, and displays weather and temperature in environments where such information is required for survival.

Sensor Vane
Connected via pin-socket located on the (user's) right of the Combat helmet. Facilitates external radio communications, peer-to-peer comm link, and networked markerlights.

Nanocular Thread Fatigues

Plasma Core Power Pack
Facilitates recharging of two power cartriges. Back compartment houses Emergency Survival Pack and Compact Pulse Pistol

Emergency Suvival Pack
Provides basic 24 hour rations, basic medical gear and a flare pellet magazine, which can be fired from the Pulse Pistol.

Compact Pulse Pistol
Powered via connector chord to Plasma Core Power Pack. Accepts standard drum magazine. Low-output flare setting allows usage of flare pellet magazine.

3x Pulse Rifle/Carbine Power Cartriges
Powers 32 shots before recharging is required.

Silicon Ferrite Slug Drum Magazine
300-450 rounds. Additional magazines may be carried on belt, however operations rarely exceed round capacity.

2x Photon Grenades

1x Electromagnetic Pulse Grenade

Technology

Throughout a 160-year isolation, the engineers and manufacturers of the Gai'kal earth caste progressed upon a strikingly independent path of development utterly uninfluenced by the progression of Tau interplanetary technologies post 728.M41. Progressions appeared to focus strongly on kauyon tactics with a development of hardy, resilient and efficient battlesuits, leading to lengthy research and experimentation of alternative power sources, atomic metallic engineering, energy-efficient weapons, stability, resource sustainability and advanced sensory capabilities.

XV8-10 Upsurge Battlesuit

The XV8-10 Upsurge Battlesuit, known in Tau Lexicon as the Her'ex'vre Or'es'vral, found its roots in several blueprints of thickly designed, bulky pre-XV8 battlesuit designs that existed before conventional high-mobility technology in battlesuit armour technology and mechanical limb and sensory development was made available to the public. With in-field tests showing the XV8's to operate brilliantly in conjunction with Mont'ka tactics of high-mobility and maximum firepower in contrast to its limited success in static trap-orientated Kauyon tactics, plans were funded by Earth caste administrators to see fourth the development of battlesuits that sacrificed mobility and flexibility in favour of armour, sensory capability, payload and energy efficiency. Years of tactical and structural analysis both simulated and in-field gradually phased out the need for the battlesuit to require a fully-swivelling head and functional hands, with head sinking into the reinforced frame of the battlesuit to become immobile and hands disappearing from usage altogether. In final versions, the back and shoulders of the battlesuit evolved to become comparatively hunched to support larger supplies of ammunition within the abdomen of the suit, with finished designs resembling the designs of the XV25 Stealthuit and the later XV107 R'varna.

Twin-linked weapons became standard issue for the XV8-10 Upsurge battlesuit, mirroring the XV9 Hazard close support suit that would not see development within the greater Tau Empire until the Third Sphere expansion. The suit was further fixed with ground-to-suit sensory nodes across its entire surface, with particular emphasis on the rear of the vehicle's structure, programmed to map the suit's position against the ground to gain more detailed bearings on its surroundings and furthermore providing the pilot with a simulated 360˚ view of his or her surroundings on top of the approximate 180˚ view provided by the head-mounted multi-spectrum camera relay. Initial prototypes quickly denied usage of a full deployment of cameras across the entire suit to reduce engineering and supply costs.

The nano-crystalline alloy which provided the basis structure for the armour of all battlesuits later saw heavily-funded development in the fields of Earth Caste nanotechnology and chemistry. The lattice structure of the alloy was reconfigured through synthesis attempts into a near purely face-centred cubic structure similar to that of diamond. Whilst tests showed positive results, production costs for fully-restructured armour plating were predicted to be unsustainable en masse due to the sept's isolation. Regardless of this, on commission of an Ethereal youth of the Hwa'ran dynasty around 52 production models of the XV8-10 Upsurge Battlesuit and a further 400 XV8 Crisis Battlesuits selected for testing did demonstrate some capacity for sustainable usage of thin (<10mm) surface level re-plating with of the restructured material. These commissioned suits proved fairly effective in resisting larger payloads of standard Imperial-grade ranged fire, yet procured only a 16% success ratio in resisting lascannon and melta fire. Projected results estimated an increase to an approximate >46% success ratio for fully-restructured armour, however these tests appeared noticeably extrapolated from optimistically skewed figures.

To pan out and optimise what limited resources were available, since testing, the four hundred upgraded crisis suits were since phased into standard service within the Gai'kal fire caste. Whilst knowledge of the upgrades were kept strictly away from public eyes, information still managed to be leaked on the back of a soon widespread rumour, giving birth to a cult of superstition amongst Shas'ui to bet upon their assigned battlesuit's slim - but still nevertheless existing - potential to be fielding the restructured armour plating. The culprit for the leakage was never identified.

Since reunification with the Tau Empire, the Upsurge battlesuit has generally been phased out of widespread usage within the sept, with the make officially being classed in imperial designations classifications as the XV8-10 Upsurge Battlesuit upon seeing contact with Imperial forces for the first time. The make still sees active service in siege warfare and pure-minded usage of Kauyon defensive warfare by Gai'kal commanders.

XV93 Regency Battlesuit

Building upon the success of the XV8-10, stability, armour capability and energy efficiency saw rapid developments.

  • Graphene used in circuitry and armour

XV94 Fusillade Battlesuit

With the successful development and commercialisation of antimatter technology,

XV10-13 Cascade Battlesuit

Culture

Symbology

The modern Gai'kal Sept Symbol is representative of the world and the barriers that have separated it from the greater Tau Empire during the Great Isolation, and perhaps with regards to distance, continually onto this day. The planet is depicted as the a circle on the left of the symbol, whilst the three lines in the centre represent the three historical barriers: isolation, disease and ethereal oppression. The standard dress uniform of the sept's fire caste is olive green, reflecting the flora of their homeworld. The origin of the bright yellow-green sept stripe is disputed, as records indicate an original sept stripe colour of carbon blue. A dominant legend attributes it to the bright green pollen of the native Ey'dl flower, which became a symbol of ethereal resistance during the latter half of the Great Isolation.

Hwo'kye Nationalism Dispute

  • "They need a Hwo'kye nation to respect their history and heritage. The native Tau of the region are terrorists" - Ethereal Caste

Language

Due to the Sept's isolation the dialect of Tau Lexicon spoken by natives of Gai'kal differs somewhat significantly from standard Tau Lexicon. The dialect's roots predate the Great Isolation, however the isolation itself noticeably accelerated its development.

In conjunction with differing pronunciations for many letters and sounds, including unique spellings, there exists a distinctive slang focussed intensely on poetic elements and effects, which is in many regards a sharp contrast to the largely efficient and mathematical standard Tau language. In the most cultured and isolated of regions upon the planet, many words and pronunciations are so altered that a standard Tau water caste envoy, an off-world immigrant, or even a drone with pre-installed voice recognition software can have great difficulty understanding the language.

Amongst the wide variety of varying slang words, some notable examples include the following:

  • In'nae tu Gai'gye ko Tau-Fio'shas'va

A common expression and official motto for the sept. Its literal translation is "We shall not rest today for only (our) indomitable spirit will achieve greater-of all tau worker warriors-good!". To Imperial xeno-scholars and pan-empire Water Caste scholars alike this phrase is heavily disjointed and difficult to translate, as it is heavily reliant on native Gai'kal dialect and poetic tradition in favour of standard Tau diction. In'nae is the simplest word of the expression, directly meaning "we shall not". Tu is an unclear indication of a day unconstrained by length (in contrast to the Tau Rotaa). Gai'gye is combined from the words "indomitable" and "spirit", the latter of which can also mean "life work", "livelihood" or "lifeblood". Lastly is an unusual combination of Tau'va, meaning The Greater Good, and Fio'shas, meaning Worker Warrior. In Gai'kal dialect, fio'shas is used liberally in a similar fashion of space marines using "Brother", intended to be all-encompassing of all the five castes. When combined with "Tau'va", the word means something similar to "the greater good of all tau worker warriors", however its odd arrangement suggests that the Greater Good and the success or good actioned by worker warriors as being the same entity.

  • Toi'san

A term generally used to describe the fusion of traditional Gai'kal Kauyon tactics cultivated during the Great Isolation with contemporary Mont'ka. The word is a mutated form of Tui'san, which has a literal translation of "morphing trap" in standard Tau. In Gai'kal dialect, the usage and connotations of the noun have long overshadowed its literal meaning and interpretation.

  • Eui'am

A word used to describe a cooperative, controlled and decisive channeling of the desire to wage war and to actualise the Greater Good through offensive, aggressive means, translating in essence to "Collective, channelled, burning desire". The word can in many ways function as an emotive synonym of "strategy". In standard Tau the word is rendered as "Eui'ta'am", with the Gai'kal dialect having over time dropped the collective "ta" (i.e. meaning we, us, or in some contexts soul), and is commonly pronounced as a two-syllable word with no observance of the glottal stop (') in the middle of the word.

  • Sm'oi Ta

Translates roughly to "struggle is what defines us so". Often used for reassurance from Tau to Tau.

  • Tsi'ko'ua

A common phrase used by Gai'kal fire warriors and commanders alike as an expression of determination and faith in the future. Translates roughly to "the goal I strive for is within reach/approaches", however it is presented in a timeless tense, which may imply the goal is anywhere from seconds away to a lifetime away from being completed. The phrase itself is grammatically unusual for the Tau language as the first person pronoun and action are swapped, resulting in an odd phrase which can in one way be translated as "My goal that I strive for approaches/is within reach", which evokes stronger personal connotations.

Phonology

Standard letter-sounds
Letter Imperial equivalent Standard pronunciation Gai'kal dialect pronunciation Example
TauletterA A ɑː, palm æ, pad Aloh
TauletterB B b, block " Bork'an
TauletterC C k, cool " (interchangable with k)
TauletterD D d, dye (or) t, tide (final d) d, dye D'yanoi
TauletterE E ɛ, get " Eur'ii
TauletterF F f, fast " Fio
TauletterG G ɟ, gyoza " Gue'la
TauletterH H h, high " Ho'or
TauletterI I ɪ, will (or) iː, fleece " Il'fannor
TauletterJ J dʒ, John ʒ, treasure J'karra
TauletterK K k, cool x, loch Kass'l
TauletterL L l, all " La
TauletterM M m, smile " Mesme
TauletterN N ŋ, strong n, snide M'yen
TauletterO O ɒ, lot œ, turn Or'es
TauletterP P p, pool " Por
TauletterR R r, rock ɾ, like R, but with tongue tapping just behind the teeth imitating a D Run'al
TauletterS S s, snake ç, like hue but with more emphasis on a "sh" sound Sept
TauletterT T tj, Like "ty", i.e. "forget you" but with a subtle y t, pot Tau'va
TauletterU U uː, battlesuit ʊ, foot Ui
TauletterV V v, have " Vre
TauletterW W w, swine " -Wer'na
TauletterX X ks, fox " Xai'sha
TauletterY Y ɪ, will (or) iː, fleece (or) j, yes ɪ, will (or) ʌ, under Y'he
Tauletterʔ ' ʔ, like the pause in "uh_oh". Length of glottal stop is often arbitrary " -'it
Double letter and diphtong letter-sounds
Letters Imperial equivalent Standard pronunciation Gai'kal dialect pronunciation Example
TauletterATauletterA aa ɑːː, father (long a) aɪ, flail Saal
TauletterATauletterI ai eɪː.iː, Like "eye-ee" (or) eɪ, Like "eye" aɪː.i, Like "ay-ee" (or) eɪ, Like "eye" Shas'o Kais
TauletterUTauletterI ui wiː, Weed øiː, Gooey Shas'ui
TauletterUTauletterE ue wɛː, Wear uː, Battlesuit Gue'la
TauletterATauletterU au ɔː, Yawn (or) aʊ, Town ø, Like "uuh" with rounded lips (or) aʊ, Town Aun'va
TauletterOTauletterI oi ɔɪ, boy œɪ, U in turn combined with the I in lid D'yanoi
TauletterGTauletterYTauletterE gye ɟjɛ, Like "get" with y added between the g and e ɟœɪ, G in gyoza followed by U in turn combined with the I in lid Gai'gye

Tau standard dialect modelled off Tau voices in Dawn of War: Dark Crusade and Dawn of War: Soulstorm.

Quotes

By

"Cova'm'monat'elan'gu'cha! Tol'tor'sin'retha! B'nim! M'mont!"
—Once such demand made by the united Tau strikes before the Fire Caste coup d'etat during the first years of the Four Castes revolution, roughly translating to "Break the framework of unfreedom! (in specific reference to the caste system amongst all forms of oppression) All power to the communes! Bread! Peace!
"The revolution's only chance of permanency will rise once we remove all the ethereal's power of pheromone mind control! We must stun them into comatose and cut the organs from their foreheads whilst they sleep!"
—Kor'ui Shoh'kunas, soldier and revolutionary, c.892 M41
"Ethereals are biologically born to rule. To deny otherwise through the obscene and caste-intolerant cutting of foreheads goes against the many eras of Tau evolution."
—Aun'la He'kaara, making a remark on the once widely accepted (generally revolution-era) practice of rendering Ethereals incapable of pheromone enabled mind control, c.942 M41
"Calling forehead cutting caste-intolerant is but a reactionary and historically ignorant attempt of whitewashing away the centuries of oppression and restriction of freedom and suffering the caste system has achieved far beyond whatever merits it claims."
—Fio'el B'bap'al, a Sin'tau'retha politician, in direct response to Aun'he'kaara's comment, c.942 M41
"The caste system has shown its effectiveness for thousands of years throughout the greater Tau Empire. To dissolve the barriers between castes by offering all careers to all walks of life only fades the generations of fine-cut skill that a caste preserves, and weakens the industry and effectiveness of a Sept's economy."
—Por'el Si'sya T'kais, leading member of the Water Caste house of representatives during a speech commemorating the reinstatement of the Caste System, c.991 M41

About

Feel free to add your own

"Used to be a great place to unload blankets."
Douchard Bagge
"To put it realistically, there's little to expect from these stagnant, backward highlanders. Their culture is regressed, their tactical abilities dated, and they fail to relinquish their painfully naïve perception of the Greater Good."
—Water Caste diplomat from the Kar'das Sept after an unnecessarily long conference with Gai'kal water caste administrators


Gai'kal Sept
TemplateCog
Notable Tau
Revolutionaries/Modern day Aun'vre Mir'si · Shas'O Me'tsu'shan
Old Regime Aun'O Kai'ba
History
Conflicts Operation Vral'y'he · Three Castes Revolution · Four Castes Revolution
Related Septs
Current Tash'var Sept · Ke'tsai Sept
Former Hwo'kye Sept

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