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Darkstrider

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Pathfinder Darkstrider

Sub-Commander Darkstrider

Sub-Commander Darkstrider, also known as El’Myamoto is an unconventional Tau Pathfinder officer who has refused several promotions in order to remain with his Pathfinder comrades, Darkstrider excels in attacking from unexpected angles and using every element of the battlefield to his advantage. Though unpopular with many Tau Commanders for his borderline insubordination – a trait unthinkable amid the traditionalist ranks of the Fire Caste – Darkstrider always gets results. From Gal’yth and Nep’tan to the bloody fields of the Zeist campaign, he has led his warriors into the most deadly situations, always bringing them back alive and victorious. No matter the foe, Darkstrider uses his structural analyser and vast battlefield experience to spot their hidden weaknesses, then coordinates an audacious strike that will exterminate them wholesale. It is this talent for observation and improvisation, coupled with Darkstrider’s obvious courage, that has made him a favourite of O’Shaserra herself.

HistoryEdit

It began when Myamoto, a shas'ui born on T'au, passed his Trial by Fire. Scorning the honour of donning a battlesuit to join the Crisis Teams, he was next offered the opportunity to join the Stealth Teams - a formation noted for its unorthodox methods. This choice too, Myamoto derided, preferring to return to the Pathfinder Teams with which he had first served. Time and again, Myamoto led his team into the most deadly of situations, but always escaped, bringing glory to his cadre. It was he that shut down the strange mechanisms of the Necrons on the moons of Gal'yth, and he who hunted down the tri-headed beast that terrorised the mining colonies of Nep'tan. During the Great Wars of Confederation, when the grim leader earned the name Darkstrider, he infiltrated Ork camps and used markerlights to pick out components of Gargants under construction.

It was his team that set the homing beacon on Warlord Gruzzguts' mechanical armour. Yet for all his heroics, Darkstrider always spurned offers to command, preferring instead to lead raiding missions and terror attacks behind enemy lines.

Tradition is everything to the Fire caste, and their adherence to the Code of Fire demands, above all things, respect for Ethereals, military rank and more experienced warriors. Through declined promotions and subtle inflections when speaking to his superiors, Myamoto regularly walks the fine line near insubordination - nearly unheard of in the Fire caste. Some Commanders refuse to work with Darkstrider, claiming that he refuses council. Yet others, most notably Shadowsun herself, value the sly tactics and obvious bravery of Darkstrider. Gifted with a prototype structural analyser, Darkstrider has recently returned from his successes against the Space Marines in the Zeist Campaign. His is not the way of the armoured battlesuit, but his ability to tie up more valuable forces and then slip away has contributed to a string of victories that none can deny.

The War for Mu’gulath BayEdit

Sub-Commander Darkstrider took great part in the War for Mu’gulath Bay during the Third Sphere of Expansion. He was instrumental in locating and eliminating an Imperial Vindicare Assassin whose mission was to kill Commander Farsight, yet Darkstrider's deed was not an easy one.

Several miles away from the assassin's position, but closing steadily, trackers were on the Vindicare’s trail. Sub-Commander El’Myamoto motioned for his Pathfinders to follow. A few days previously, something had flashed up on the periphery of his prototype structural analyser, something altogether disquieting. On a hunch, Darkstrider had followed the trail, tracking the unique signature. Doubts that he and his Pathfinders were chasing phantoms were put to rest when they came across the first victims – another team of Pathfinders, all slain with fully charged pulse carbines. They had not fired a single shot as they were slain. More dead marked the trail. This foe had penetrated the Tau defence lines with ease and displayed marksmanship beyond that which the Tau could achieve even with their superlative AI targeting assistance. That the path had led him straight towards the Farsight Enclaves made Darkstrider suspicious. Was this enemy an Imperial agent, or could it be a Tau from amongst the traitorous exiles who had abandoned the Greater Good?

Darkstrider and his Pathfinder team wove through the ruins of the old refinery. Twice, they ran afoul of the ongoing battles, once using their markerlights to aid Crisis Teams in destroying a squad of White Scars on roaring bikes. Now, the ghost signal was close, but the structural analyser could not pinpoint the exact position. Sweeping the ruins with his gaze, Darkstrider marked the tallest structure. That was where he would position himself. With hand signals, he set his team in motion.

Even from his perch far up in the ruins, the Vindicare felt the air rush of the landing Orca dropship. Within moments, the red-armoured battlesuits began appearing. When his mission target was sighted, the Vindicare fired two swift shots. The first was with shieldbreaker ammunition – a shot that passed through Farsight’s force field and destroyed his shield generator, the device imploding with a flash. Without that protection, the second shot would penetrate the Tau Commander’s armour, exploding his head.

The Battle of Gargoyle SpireEdit

Darkstider vs Vindicare Hitman

Darkstrider confronts the Vindicare assassin

Since a bodyguard had intercepted his second shot on his mission target, the master sniper had been under siege. With uplifted shield generator, Commander Bravestorm had covered Farsight, while the rest of the Eight formed a crimson wall before their esteemed leader. The remaining Tau returned fire upon the sniper. Calmly, the Vindicare Assassin loosed killing shot after killing shot into the red-armoured Tau swarming below. A Strike Team of Fire Warriors attempted to run to cover, each dropping dead so quickly it looked like some macabre chain reaction. Next, an XV8 Crisis Team were shot as they blasted upwards, the full thrust jump jets sending the dead careening wildly. While incoming fire cracked around him, the Vindicare squeezed the trigger, shifted aim, and squeezed again. A Riptide fell to its knees and did not move again. As soon as the Vindicare calculated that he would not get another shot on his true target, he was running. He leapt, tumbling in a diving roll upon another rooftop. His mid-jump volley caused both pilots of a swooping Piranha to slump, their hovercraft spinning to a fiery death below.

Seeing an escape path, the Vindicare moved over rooftops, killing as he went. Darkstrider’s ambush was fast – his perfectly positioned Pathfinders sent out a hail of pulse fire. With AI guidance, the shot patterns anticipated the lightning-quick Vindicare. Struck multiple times, the Assassin’s long rifle was blasted out of his hands. It wasn’t the wounds that disoriented the Vindicare, but Darkstrider’s perfectly timed photon grenade. The multi-spectrum light explosion erupted as the Vindicare drew and fired his Exitus pistol. Six Pathfinders dropped, but Darkstrider was only wounded. Firing his own pulse carbine from the hip, the Tau seared holes in his foe, advancing until he was blasting away at point blank range. He didn’t stop shooting for a long time.

WargearEdit

SourcesEdit

  • Codex: Tau Empire (7th Edition), pg. 82
  • Codex: Tau Empire (6th Edition), pg. 63
  • War Zone Damocles: Mont'ka, pp. 253-257

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