- "The honored Shas'O is a... troubled individual. He has done much in the name of the Greater Good. All of it pleasant? Unfortunately, no. All of it necessary? Without a doubt. But, that is the nature of the honored Shas'O, he is a being of principle. He is meant to stand when beings of peace, such as myself, fail to instill reason into those... unfortunate enough to... misunderstand the urgency of the Greater Good."
- —Por'O Wae'bo Dau'sah Kuvar
The history of the Tau Sept of Wae'bo is one of grim determination and bloody conquest, an ongoing saga of sacrifice in the name of the Tau'va. First in the bloody wars against the greenskins that poisoned what would become Tau space, and then against the might of the Imperium's fanatic slave soldiers, killing machines, and genetically enhanced warriors.
But Wae'bo weathered these threats, and now wages an ongoing war to both expand and defend the Tau Empire's borders. In this endeavor they have met great success at the cost of countless lives, and have made a number of unsavory alliances, all in the name of the Greater Good.
Birth of Wae'bo
In the waning days of 2nd Sphere Expansion, there was a young Shas'O by the name of Ku'tako Dau'sho or Commander Fireheart. He was a veteran of the many great wars against the Greenskins, and the forces of the Imperium of Man but only came into his own as a commander during the final phase of the expansion.
Though Commander Fireheart longed for glory, to win great gains for the Tau Empire and the Greater Good, he had been stuck for years holding the fringe desert world known only as Wae'bo. He had graciously accepted his appointment to the then new Sept he and his men had helped build under the guidance of the Aun, but had begun to anxiously anticipate the next great call to battle, honing his skills on the occasional Feral Ork uprising or hostile incursion of pirates.
For many years, Dau'sho led the armed forces of the Wae'bo Sept with a severity and hunger that few would ever fully understand. To even his most adamant supporters, Commander Fireheart always seemed to be fighting a war against his own contentedness, never satisfied that the Septs borders were safe, never satisfied with the rigorous training and drilling his Fire Warriors received. Dau'sho even (with the initial approval of the Aun of course) began an effort in what he termed "Integration Reform", reorganizing the populous Ogryns that were scattered across the Sept worlds of Har'chou, Por'che, and the moons of Wae'bo itself into what he termed "The Gue'va'garro" or "Greater Human Guard" or simply "Great Guard". Inspired by the Ogryn Auxiliaries of the Imperium of Man that he and his Fire Warriors had faced, the eccentric Commander Fireheart attempted to form the massive Abhumans into a considerable fighting force, with the intent being to utilize these powerful new auxiliaries in a manner very similar to their Imperial counterparts. This was a contraversial idea at the time, and the Ethereals of the Sept had only approved it under the pretense that the Ogryns military training was purely for militia purposes, as the Etheral and Water Cast representatives considered the "Gue'va" (Greater Humans) too primitive and dim witted to serve in any reliable capacity within the Septs armed forces, fearing that the savage beasts would be unreliable. Regardless, Commander Fireheart continued on with his reforms, hoping to one day see these mighty beings on the fields of war as opposed to being mere labor. As part of his reforms, the Commander attempted to steep the Gue'vesa'va in the warrior code and culture of the Fire Cast, to refine their basic understanding of the Greater Good. Though success was slow, the reforms were taking hold on the various Ogryn populations of the Sept, and in a short amount of time the first Gue'va'garro were ready to take up arms in the name of the Tau'va.
However, Commander Fireheart's visions hulking, heavily armored Ogryns fighting their former masters alongside the hardened Fire Warriors of the Wae'bo Sept were swiftly put to rest by the then increasingly disgruntled Aun'O Fau'toph Kuu'lo, who began to take issue with the increasingly unorthodox nature of the ever enthusiastic Shas'O. Thus, Fireheart's "Greater Human Guard" languished as nothing more but a homeguard, their training and "Tauifying" of their arsenals and culture complete, but their ingratiation into the greater war machine of the Sept stopped dead in its tracks. What was to become the Great Guard was merely returned to their homeworlds, retaining their old Imperial Regimental standards and icons, but still changed at their core into a supremely capable fighting force armed with all the equipment expected of a true Fire Warrior.
The Bleak War
It seemed to many that the Shas'O's endless preparations for a war that was unlikely to come in his lifetime were finally at an end. Many within the Sept's high command, especially
The great armies of the Gue'la smashed into the Sept suddenly and without much in the way of warning. Tides of murderous Imperial Guard, spearheaded by the merciless Equalizers Space Marine Chapter, took full measure of Wae'bo's meager holdings, sewing devastation. The Sept's forces were caught flatfooted on several of its controlled worlds,
Throughout this disastrous campaign, Commander Fireheart was at the fore of every engagement he could manage to take part in,
The Rise of Surestrike
With the untimely death of Commander Fireheart, the rising star, then a Shas'el, Res'shi, rose to take his place.
Rally the Gue'va!
Tre'ka and Sho'las
- "Many poets speak of the glory of the sword, of its precision and grace. However, there is always something to be said of the versatility of the humble cudgel."
- —Shas'O Ku'tako Dau'sho
Known in Low Gothic as the Great Guard, the Gue'va'garro are a result of the late Commander Fireheart's various radical military reforms. (One of the few that remained following his heroic demise) Considered one of the more unorthodox organizations within the Sept's armed forces, the Gue'va'garro are essentially Ogryn Auxiliaries, created to take advantage of the unusually high concentration of Ogryns within the Sept's borders. Though controversial at its inception, during the desperate days of the Bleak War, the Gue'va'garro were set to march against the forces of the invading Imperium of Man. Trained and armed to the exacting standards of the late Commander Fireheart (to the limitations of the Ogryn mind) these hulking Abhumans were a resounding success during their first deployment and are one of the factors that made the difference in driving back the forces of the Imperium.
Striding into battle clad in exceptionally thick combat armor designed by the artificers of the Earth Cast and armed with a wide and devastating array of both ranged and melee weaponry, the Gue'va'garro is often the vanguard of Wae'bo's brutal assaults. Most are outfitted in a manner not unlike the Imperiums Bullgryns, bearing massive slab shields, Power Mauls, and bucklers into battle. Some of these heavily armored units are also outfitted with arm mounted Ogryn-Proof Burst Cannons, laying down a withering hail of supressive fire for advancing Fire Warriors.
However, there is a wide variety of wargear compositions within the Gue'va'garro, from mighty two-handed Power Weapons to humongous anti-tank and infantry guns, all designed to be utilized as a blunt weapon when the need inevitably comes.
Traditionally, those few Ogryns promoted to the rank of Gue'va'ui are given bio-mechanical enhancements to their intelligence in a process reverse engineered from the original Imperial B.O.N.E enhancement. However, the Tau augments are much sleeker and achieve the enhancement with slightly less invasive means. These enhancements are deliberately preformed in such a way that the Ogryn remains only slightly more intelligent than his comrades, lest they being to question their superiors.
- "They clad themselves in the old suits to intimidate their enemies, to strike in the old armor of those since long dead? How... how simply barbaric!"
- —Shas'vre Lau'un Var'las
An extremely controversial and technically unofficial unit of warriors clad in old XV15 Stealthsuits, the Pho'keh'loh, or "Ghosts in the Darkness" in Low Gothic, are an elite force of Tau commandos specifically trained to carry out campaigns of terror, sabotage, assassination, and reconnaissance. Recruited only from "orphaned" Fire Warriors who are the sole survivors of their bonded squads, the Pho'keh'loh are few in number but as with all Tau are ferociously dedicated to their often grim and oft disdainful duty. Each member of the Pho'keh'loh harbors a deep, vindictive hatred of their enemies, more often than not specifically the forces of the Imperial Guard or Adeptus Astartes for both the personal losses the individual Fire Warrior has suffered and the atrocities committed against against the Sept.
Noted for their highly aggressive maneuvers and grizzly proficiency in eliminating key targets, the Pho'keh'loh widely feared and reviled by both their unfortunate foes and many of their fellow Fire Warriors. (though the negative sentiment usually comes from other Septs who do not understand the expansionist and ruthless nature of the Wae'bo Sept) Many have gone so far as to label the Pho'keh'loh little more than a primitive band of murderous cutthroats, a disgraceful throwback to the times before the Ethereals united the Casts in the glory of the Tau'va. However, within their own Sept, the Pho'keh'loh are hailed as tragic heroes, Tau who have had all but their duty taken from them, their murderous purpose serving the Greater Good in ways that others simply could not.
The Pho'keh'loh tends to remain at about four La'ruas, or squads of six, as the attrition rate the unit suffers keeps their numbers low. The Pho'keh'loh are led by the infamous individual known only by the enemies of the Tau Empire as "The Shadowfire" Shas'vre Wae'bo Eul'na, a grim and stoic commander whose cold hatred of the Gue'ron and fanatical elements of the Imperial Guard combined with his remarkable combat prowess make him easily one of the most dangerous Tau within the whole of the Sept's forces.
The Ashen Kindred
- "It is disappointing but unsurprising that the Shas'la of Wae'bo would identify so closely with their Kroot comrades."
- —Taken from the memoirs of Aun'la Kov'ol Hun'shes
The Kau'ton Beachead Massacre
The Tau that would become the now infamous Commander Surestrike fought for the Greater Good for the first time in what would be simultaneously the most wretched defeat Wae'bo had ever suffered and yet the greatest turning point in the young Sept's brutal history. Then Shas'la Res'shi and his Cadre, along with several Battlesuit and Kroot auxiliary units, had been deployed among the thousands of atolls that dotted the ocean world of Kau'ton. Kau'ton was a valuable and resource rich world, aquaculture taken from its various shallow warm seas feeding much of the Sept's holdings. Res'shi was deployed to one of the larger atolls, known as the Ku'lun'fio Islands, which housed one of the larger processing plants and was host to a garrison fortress. By the time Res'shi and his Cadre leapt from their Devilfishes and onto the debris strewn beaches, the largest island of the atoll had long been under Imperial control, the garrison forces utterly obliterated by an as of yet unknown force.
The Imperials had taken full measure of the coastline, and combined artillery fire and heavy weapons emplacements had ground the entire assault down. But Res'shi's Cadre was struck the hardest. He had seen his Shas'ui struck down first, and then his cadre members picked off shortly thereafter. One by one each fell to monstrous weapons that tore the body apart, leaving nothing but gore. The Battlesuits rushed forward, into the dense foliage that bordered the mainland from the beaches. Their screams echoed over the battle net and the great plumes of smoke from their destroyed suits could be seen from the beaches. Then the Devilfishes and Hammerheads were next, the fire coming from the dense treeline ripping them asunder with great arcs of blazing red energy and missiles. Eventually the din of bolterfire intermingled with wild pulse rifle fire died down. Soon all the young Shas'la heard the distant sounds of battle, carried on the ocean winds; accompanied by the dull roar of the tide and his own pounding heart.
He sat motionless, back to a palisade, face to the ocean, whose shore had begun to turn dark blue with Tau blood. Then he heard them, the loud, thundering footfalls. He gripped tight his Pulse Rifle, freshly issued, the blood of his Cadre mates starting to stain where it had splattered. As the young Shas'la leapt from cover, pulse rifle at the ready, he was determined to take at least one of his assailants with him. How ambitious that intent felt when he stared down his foe. A great, hulking figure, clad in a black cloak and blue power armor, stood before him, its great rifle leveled, finger on the trigger. Res'shi held his breath, and readied himself. It was then that the Space Marine was struck down by a great burst of light. As the young Fire Warrior turned from the smoldering remains of the Space Marine, he saw the great form of a XV88 Broadside Battlesuit, bearing the markings of the great Shas'O Ku'tako Dau'sho, or "Commander Fireheart".
Shas'O Wae'bo Res'shi
- "At long last, Gue'ron, it is just you and me. Make no mistake, I will have your corpse stuffed and mounted like the animal you are."
- —Surestrike faces down the Equalizers Space Marine Captain responsible for the Beachead Massacre and Har'chou Genocide
Also known by his title, Commander Surestrike, the honored, if not somewhat maligned, Shas'O Res'shi is considered one of the finest military commanders within the Third Sphere. However, the Shas'O sees himself as a simple Fire Warrior doing what he must, for the Greater Good. Born on the harsh but wealthy desert colony of Wae'bo, Res'shi learned from an early age what it truly meant to be a Fire Warrior. He was but a lowly Shas'la when he first witnessed the full wrath of the Imperium of Man.
He was forged by this first bitter taste of combat during the Beachead Massacre, watching his blood bonded brothers and sisters be cut down by ruthless sniper fire, the Shas'ui's head torn from his body, the transports obliterated by sustained artillery bombardment. It was in those moments that Res'shi learned that he harbored an ability that many had long thought bred from the Fire Cast. He felt the truest hate in his heart on that day, as he saw the sea turn with the color of his comrades blood. He wanted revenge, in the name of the Tau'va and all who died so senselessly upon this infernal beach. Only the timely arrival of the second wave, led by the legendary Shas'O himself, Ku'tako Dau'sho, snapped Res'shi from his stupor of hate.
Shas'la Res'shi stormed the jungles alongside the Shas'O, taking up a Markerlight to assist in the Broadside squads long range devastation of the enemy as they sallied forth. It was then he learned the name of his hated foe in the tongue of their own, Space Marines. Though the honored Shas'O would fall in battle alongside Res'shi, the final actions of Commander Fireheart stoked within the young Fire Warrior a drive that will now never be sated.
Promoted to the office of Shas'O in a most unorthodox manner following the Beachead Massacre, Shas'O Res'shi was unpopular with both the remains of the Septs Ethereal court and members of the Fire Cast who would have preferred a more traditional solution to the death of their high commander. Regardless, Shas'O Dau'sho's dying wish was upheld in light of Res'shi's proven ability and eagerness to adopt the wisdom of his more experienced underlings.
Though it was many long years before the
Shas'nel Wae'bo Phe'tan
- "Hold men! Let the Gue'va go first, they are certain to flush out any Be'gel that remain."
- —Shas'nel Phe'tan, a.k.a "Captain Truesword" or "The Angler"
- "Da El wants dis burg fer da Greata Gud, take it fast den lads!"
- —Bobo leads his fellow Gue'va into battle during the Siege of Kurl'nat Pass
A ranking officer within the Gue'va'garro and so-called "Hero of the Sept", the hulking Ogryn known as Bobo is nothing less than a war hero and a living success story of the Great Guard. Originally a chieftain to a very large Ogryn tribe upon the forest moon of Tre'ka (Dodum to the local Ogryns) which orbits the world of Wae'bo, Bobo and his kinsmen were some of the first Ogryn to be introduced to Shas'O Dau'sho's reforms. Being chief of the tribe, Bobo was already a natural leader, and took to the "Little Blue's" teachings rather well. Bobo and his fellow Ogryns were steeped in the ways of the Tau'va, for while the Greater Good had been taught to them in a general sense when the forces of the Tau Empire colonized their worlds, the ideology had not been pressed seriously too them as most of the Septs leadership considered them too stupid to make any real use of the Greater Good's ideology and were simply content to leave the Ogryns be to live in their primitive hunter-gatherer societies. The teachings of the Fire Cast molded Bobo and his kinsmen into a ritualistic warrior-society, fanatically adherent to the Greater Good and as a result their Tau masters. Every mature male of the tribe was trained in the use of various forms of Tau wargear to the best of their ability, and disciplined in the ways of Mont'ka.
However, not long after the Gue'va'garro became no more than an abandoned pet project
Shas'vre Wae'bo Eul'na
- "You cannot hide, ui't, you are already dead."
- —Shas'Vre Eul'na, a.k.a "The Shadowfire"
Commander of the elite, highly unorthodox, Pho'keh'loh (roughly translated into Low Gothic as "The Ghosts in the Darkness") Shas'vre Eul'na is considered nothing less than a barbarian and disgrace to the Fire Cast by many of those outside of the Sept, however, his sheer combat prowess and success against the enemies of the Tau'va have made him somewhat indispensable, not to mention his closeness to the Shas'O.
Leading his elite black operations unit of XV15 Stealthsuits, the Shas'vre fearfully referred to by Imperial forces as "The Shadowfire" stalks the battlefields of the 41st Millennium, launching audacious terror attacks and ruthless ambushes both at the front and behind enemy lines. Eul'na and his men are considered Wae'bo's foremost experts when it comes to psychological warfare and Gue'ron hunting, understanding and studying the aspects of the various Imperial regiments and Astartes Chapters thus encountered by the Sept and coordinating their strikes to inflict the maximum amount of insult to injury.
Though considered barbaric and dishonorable by most, Eul'na's thirst for vengeance against the Gue'ron who slaughtered his people upon the islands of Kau'ton leaves him little room to care about how others view his methods. As his sentiments are shared by Commander Surestrike, Eul'na finds his unit heavily favored for both their utility and their sheer edge in psychological warfare.
The Shadowfire stalks the battlefield clad in his signature battered and worn XV15 Stealthsuit, armed with a Burst Cannon mounted with an integral Markerlight which makes savagely short work of his enemies. Shas'vre Eul'na has also taken to wielding a particularly large black Bonding Knife forged of an as of yet unknown material that is more than capable of slicing through Power Armor. He also wields a hip holster containing a Pulse Pistol as a weapon of last resort.
Gue'vesa'vre Fredric Barron
- "Traitor, heretic, xenos-loving sycophant, you've called me a lot of things today Inquisitor. You think me some kind of betrayer to my species. However, as you are now there, about to be Kroot fodder, and I am here, high commander of the Gue'vesa Auxiliaries, methinks I made the right choice. "
- —Former 2nd Lieutenant of the Dornian (now Shors'fio'layian) 47th Sword Sworn, now Gue'vesa'vre Fredric Barron