The Fire Caste are the military caste of the Tau Empire. The Tau of this caste are tall and have relatively stronger and more muscular frames than their counterparts in the other Tau castes. This comes from the Fire Caste's origin on the plains of T'au, the Tau homeworld, where they were predators and warriors.
Ranks within the Fire Caste are determined by a rite of passage known as a Trial by Fire, which can be anything from a gladiatorial combat to superior performance in a real battle. The first Trial by Fire can be undertaken after a Tau warrior of the Fire Caste has served for 4 Terran years of active combat duty. If the Shas'la survives his first Trial by Fire, he is promoted to the rank of Shas'ui, or Veteran. For every consecutive four Terran years of service thereafter, the Fire Warrior undergoes another Trial by Fire.
The higher one's rank within the Fire Caste, the more likely one is to be selected and trained to become a Tau Battlesuit pilot. Upon attaining the rank of Shas'o, a member of the Fire Caste may be allowed to retire peacefully, although more often than not he or she will become an advisor to the Tau military's high command, the Shas'ar'tol. Other than death, this is the only way to honourably leave active service in the Tau military caste.
The Tau Fire Caste are a military forces that specialises in the use of ranged weapons and tactics. They prefer to fire upon their enemy with their pulse rifles at a distance rather than to close and engage in melee combat. They maximise their ranged capability by using two tactics. The Montka ("Killing Blow") is a well-planned strike at the enemy. The Kauyon ("Patient Hunter") is the name for the tactic by which the Tau lure their enemy into an ambush, slaughtering them in pre-planned kill zones.
Notable Fire Caste MembersEdit
- Shas'O Vior'la Shovah Kais Mont'yr, O'Shovah (Commander Farsight) - Commander Farsight (known as O'Shovah in the Tau Lexicon) was the military and political leader of the renegade Tau of the Farsight Enclaves located in the Damocles Gulf.
- Shas'o Tash'var Ol'nan B'kak, O'var (Commander Brightsword) - Commander Brightsword was a Tau military officer and an ardent student of Commander Farsight. He served as the commander of the Tau outpost world of Es'tau.
- O'Shaserra (Commander Shadowsun) - Commander Shadowsun was the commander of the Tau Fire Caste's military campaign that carried out the Tau Empire's Third Sphere Expansion. After the alleged betrayal of Commander Farsight, the Tau Empire's ruling Ethereal Aun'Va selected Commander Shadowsun as a more-steadfast replacement to conduct the Third Sphere Expansion of the Tau Empire.
- Shas'la T'au Kais, La'Kais - Shas'la Kais was a young and inexperienced Tau Fire Warrior who played a significant role in the rescue of the Ethereal Aun'el Ko'vash from the Astartes of the Ultramarines Chapter and the defeat of the Chaos-corrupted Imperial Planetary Governor Meyloch Severus of Dromus IV. Sha'la Kais was the main character of the PC game Fire Warrior.
- Codex: Tau (4th Edition), pp. 9, 32, 34, 40, 44-47
- Codex: Tau (3rd Edition), pp. 8-9, 16, 22, 24, 26, 30, 50-51, 61
- Deathwatch: Mark of the Xenos (RPG), pp. 6-9
- Imperial Armour Volume Three - The Taros Campaign, pp. 283-284
- Fire Warrior (Novel) by Simon Spurrier
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