A list of (nearly) all Tau Quotes published by Games Workshop. Ordered roughly by topic.

Please let me know of any quotes I may have missed, and their source.

The Greater Good/Ideals/Future

"United, our will is greater than other force. We shall inherit the stars, even if we must first cleanse them in blood."
—Attributed to Commander Farsight
"We act as one, and united we cannot fall."
—Attributed to Commander Shadowsun
"It is not our technology that will enable us to prevail in this galaxy. It is our shared sense of honour and commonality that unites us and will give us the power to defeat our enemies."
—Shas’el Sa’cea Or’es, Fire Caste Tau Commander
"It is as we join with others, in a way that only Tau can, in shared engagement to the Greater Good, that we find ourselves able to fully realise our true potential. And that is the final source of our hopes and inspirations."
—Aun’el T’au Tam’ya, Ethereal Caste
"It burns so briefly, the light of my children, so briefly. But, by the Greater Good, it burns so bright!"
"To follow any other path than the Tau’va is to doom us all. Only together and with courage and discipline shall we stand victorious. Fight with fire and courage and nothing shall stand against us."
Commander Shadowsun
"Our conquest is inevitable, our ascension a matter of time. Let none who are wise deny our destiny."
Aun’Va, Ethereal Supreme
"Let none doubt that the Tau Empire will bring unity to all – let none doubt that now is our time. Forward, for the Greater Good!"
Aun’Va, addressing the Fire Caste cadres from atop the ruins of Agrellan Hive
"Faith is a powerful force indeed, it is true. We have our own faith – not in one of our number raised to godhood, but in a mutual destiny that cannot be denied."
Commander Farsight
"Wherever we have cast our gaze in this galaxy, we have seen only the dead and the dying, and those intent only upon casting themselves into burnings pyres of their own making. That is why we shall ultimately prevail, for we are different. We are united, we are determined, and we cannot fail but embrace the manifest destiny into which we are born."
—Aun Talusi, Tau Ethereal and philosopher
"The Greater Good is more than a theory. It is more than a creed or a philosophy. It is a universal truth, and to deny it is as arrogant, foolhardy and ultimately futile as to deny the pull of gravity or the passage of time."
Commander Flamewing to the Second Emissary Council
"It saddens me greatly that we must take arms against the peoples of the galaxy. By their deaths, they deny themselves the liberation that is only to be found in total surrender to the Greater Good."
Aun'Va, Master of the Undying Spirit
"Those whose time is brief must surely strive all the harder, that the universe shall remember their deeds."
—Aun O’Quva, Tau Ethereal
"Ours is the destiny of all races to find peace and harmony amongst the stars against the reckless aggression of ancient and fearful empires. We are the new life of the galaxy, a tiny sapling from which a mighty tree will grow, and we will not be denied our right to thrive!"
—Por’O Volescur, Tau Water Caste
"With each voyage we undertake, each species we contact, each world we settle, we see the absolute necessity of our mission."
—Por’O Volescur, Tau Water Caste
"Though I stride across strange stars, I trust that my actions are for the Greater Good."
—Orm'shen, a Tau explorer
"Ours is to be an empire of worlds, not merely of castes or nations, or races or peoples. To simply control the worlds which we claim as our own will not be enough – we must control the paths between them also, or be divided, and so fail."
—The Air Caste Petition ahead of the Tau’n Campaign
"Control of space is the control of power. Control of power is the essence of the Greater Good."
—Kor’O Y’Eldi
"A thousand fibres connect each of us with our fellow Tau and along these fibres our deeds run as causes which come back to us as effects. Everything we do must be in the furtherance of the Greater Good lest we return to the Mon’tau, the Terror."
—Shas’O Vior’la Kais, Fire Caste Tau Commander
"There are two kinds of conduct the Ethereals will not countenance. The first is failure to reflect upon what is for the Greater Good of the Tau race. The second is the deliberate refusal to follow the path of the Greater Good when it is clear it must be."
—Por’ui Dal’yth Likos, Water Caste Envoy
"I have taken great pains not to laugh at the actions of aliens, nor to weep at them or to hate them, but to understand them."
—Attributed to Aun’shi
"Each must find their own way. If those in our heartland had witnessed the savageries of the void as we have they should know this. The hand of each of the great starfarers is turned against each other; none will join their strength together to see their ancient enemies prosper. Neither should we."
—Attributed to Commander Farsight, 765.M41
"Vior’los once burned, to eradicate the spoor of the Ork. It was reborn, brought back to life with honest toil. Today our planet has died again, consumed by a new threat. Yet in the process the glutton-beasts have been consumed in their turn by the fires of our defiance. Let those same flames grow fierce in your hearts, my people. With them we shall bring light and warmth to the cold stars of a new horizon."
Commander Farsight
"The Imperium wields might without mercy and influence without temperance. Only by following the way of the Greater Good will they ever learn the error of their ways and know order, wisdom and unity."
—Aun’O Tsualal, Ethereal Caste
"The Imperium seeks first to destroy what they cannot accept. We must force them to accept that they cannot destroy us, and then the Greater Good shall prevail."
—Por’O Ssalo’yen, senior Water Caste Envoy
"Your people are plagued by the terrors we call the Mont’au, as we once were. Too easily, your kind falls to savagery and barbarism, and too readily you embrace such things as good and necessary. We offer another path—a path free of the discordant brutality that haunts you. Our way is unity, peace, reason, and progress, and we offer it to all who crave it, whether they know it or not."
—Por’O Tsua’Malor Ta’cha Shi’nesh Kunas’ro, Water Caste
"It appears to me that, lacking the sense of unity that might inform them of their insignificance, these Gue’la have come to think that they might own the stars themselves, even the spaces in between them. Only by our presence, I think, might we now convince them otherwise."
—Kor’o Tau’n Viel, Air Caste
"Stranger, I bid you greetings in the name of the Tau. If you are reading this, then you will have encountered one of our messenger drones and are therefore a spacefaring race. You will soon see more evidence of us; this is no cause for alarm. When you encounter one of our ships or outposts, then welcome it. We have much to offer a faithful friend. We are five castes, One people. All are bound to the dream of bringing a new and better way to the universe. All are working towards the Greater Good. I hope you will choose to share the culture, technology and protection of the Tau Empire. The wise learn to adapt to change. Believe in our destiny."
—Transcript from alien probe discovered in the Koath system, 696.M41
"You misunderstand, this is Tau space, despite what the Gue’la may claim, and you are welcomed to it as friend. We too have suffered difficulty with the Or’es’la, since it seems they wish no unity. We would be honoured to have you fight alongside us against this common enemy. You will find it to the benefit of both our peoples, You will find it, I have no doubt, to be for the greater good."
—Por’O Dal’yth V’Rok greets the Thurm Brotherhood during first contact with the Demiurg
"The Greater Good demands that no obstacles stand in the way of the Tau. If we must, we will force your compliance at the point of a gun."
Shas’O R’alai to the defenders of Malanthar VII
"Our paths are one, Gue'la. I shall lend my strength to yours, until such a time as you no longer serve the Greater Good."
—Shas'O Boh'mha, addressing a Rogue Trader
"The humble drone is the greatest symbol of our growing dominion. They follow orders without question, work tirelessly and sacrifice themselves without hesitation when called upon. Truly, much can be learned from such devotion."
Ethereal Aun'vre of the Tau Empire


"The question of timing of the commencement of hostilities is one upon which you must meditate most deeply. Once your decision is arrived at, it must be pursued with utmost energy."
Commander Puretide – The Thirty Seventh Meditation on the Way of the Warrior
"The strength of your force may be calculated by multiplying its weight by its velocity. Strive always to maximise both and victory shall be yours."
Commander Puretide – The Forty Second Meditation on the Way of the Warrior
"There are certain things in war in which the Fire Caste Commander alone comprehends the importance. It is not his right, but rather his responsibility to send thousands to their deaths if millions will prevail. That is the heaviest burden of command, and it must be shouldered, alone."
Commander Puretide – The Ninety-Ninth Meditation on the Way of the Commander
"When to stay back and command and when to lead from the front, at the highest levels, these are the things a leader cannot be taught, but each must find his own way. In the end, the final arbiter is victory. Yet I stress, to triumph with the least amount of risk must always be the goal."
Commander Puretide
"Those with superior reach can dictate the terms of battle and impose their will upon their foe. Remember, the first step on the path to victory is often the most important."
Commander Puretide
"Launch an ambush not to slay, but rather to seize the initiative and thereby win the war."
Commander Puretide
"To secure victory, the wise must adapt."
Commander Puretide
"A wise leader must learn when and where to use his every asset to its best ability."
Commander Puretide
"Even the most rampant horde attack can be broken through the application of firepower."
Commander Puretide
"The mind that directs the sword is more dangerous than the blade."
Commander Puretide
"Technology is more than merely the means by which weapons are forged, my student, it is proof that we shall prevail. There is no challenge we cannot overcome, no wisdom we cannot master, no opposition we cannot defeat. One by one, the secrets of the galaxy will become ours, and all the worlds touched by the light of our star will know the joy of the Greater Good. Progress shall be ours, so long as we have the will to seek it."
Commander Puretide
"Only by supporting our comrades can we defeat the superior numbers of our foes."
Fire Caste academy teaching
"He who defends everything, defends nothing!"
Shas’O R’myr
"Learn to shorten your reach! If your foe can come close enough to negate your striking power, all stratagem is lost and when all stratagem is lost, the battle is lost."
—Attributed to Commander Farsight, 757.M41
"To strike! That is the distillation of purpose into a single perfect moment. Be the first to strike."
—Unknown Tau Commander
"Strive always to place yourself where your enemy cannot attack and to attack where your enemy cannot defend."
—The Tau Doctrine of War
"Your strike should land before your quarry realises that it has been launched. Kill your foe before he knows you exist and he can never pose a threat to you."
—Shas'O Haid'ur (Commander Blindside)
"An enemy that stands divided is an enemy easily conquered."
—Unknown Tau Commander
"The one constant in the universe is change. The wise adapt."
—Unknown Tau
"The fully-armoured humans first, then the heraldic vehicles, then the common tanks. Then, and only then, may you engage the common infantry."
Commander Farsight’s firing protocol for the Battle for Via’Mesh’La Gate
"Cadres 211, 261 and 272; hostile incursion in sector 74; an immediate response has been mandated by Shas’O Tsua’Malor Aloh’shas Elan’nan and ratified by Aun’ui Tau’n Len’ra. Form up as a contingent under Shas’el Tash’var D’ka Cha’ro. Air support is being allocated to you now, Shas’el. Tau’va!"
Fire Caste Strategic Command of D’Shas’Ka
"A mightier shoal of predators I have never seen; all grace and measured fury."
—Shas’ui Kais of the Fire Caste, referring to an Armoured Interdiction Cadre
"The feeling of power a warrior gains from the mastery of his battlesuit can be intoxicating. Remember your duty."
Commander Shadowsun
"We make war because we must; they make war because they know no other existence."
—Shas’O M’yen, Fire Caste Tau Commander
"I am the tip of the Spear."
Pathfinder Shas'ui Moh're
"I guide the Empire's fury."
—Firesight Marksman Tahm'eo
"You should go back to your Emperor and tell him what you have seen here. Tell him of all the people that will die in his name, and ask him if it is worth such a price to stand in our way. "
—Aun’O T’olku K’yna, Ethereal
"Such mindless hatred these humans hold that they must call a “Crusade” to protect themselves from imagined enemies. I did not choose to war with them, but if they so wish it, I shall deliver them to the emperor-god they so adore."
—Shas’Ui Han’to Tamino, Veteran Fire Warrior
"Your training will be harsh. It will last a lifetime. It will be rigorous, meticulous, and all-encompassing. You will learn the lessons of the greatest minds the Fire Caste has produced, but also how and when to use them. All of this will be so you can fight for the Greater Good, and likely perish in the process, but it will be an endeavour you will willingly embark on. And you will not be alone. You will ride into battle together, and you will die together. But you will be bonded Fire Warriors for life."
—Commander Blindside to new initiates prior to their Ta'lissera ritual
"You show great progress, warrior of the Greater Good."
—Aun'kor, Ethereal Caste
"Long ago, when I was a Shas’la, I fought at the Scouring of Nomolos. My squad was pinned, and our numbers badly diminished. It seemed as though the time of our final sacrifice had come, and we stood before the horde of gue’la, ready for our end. Defeat was certain, and we intended to die well for the Greater Good. But then, I looked up and saw the Commander, blazing by like a crimson meteor, his weapons alight. He plunged into the enemy ranks, one warrior against an army, and yet he fought with the utmost certainty of his victory. A cheer went up through the ranks, and it became a roar as we surged forward for the glory of the Fire Caste and the Tau Empire."
—Sub-commander Starspear, on the Seonn Expedition
"Target is lit. Marker pulse pattern is recognised. For the Greater Good, seeker missiles are go."
—Skyray Pilot
"We Pathfinders are called upon to put down our lives for the Greater Good, and we shall do so gladly."
— Pathfinder Shi O'res

Tau Caste Specific

"We do not belong on the ground. Our home is the sky. As the enemies of the Tau Empire know to their cost."
—Tau Air Caste philosophy
"It is well that they are known as the Water Caste. One might as well try to nail the sea to a wall as pin them down with a straight answer. The flow around your words until they wear you down, like the trickle of water over time that will split rock."
Rogue Trader Guarnerius

Tau Empire Allies

"They are fierce indeed these Kroot, and savage. I look upon them and tremble at their ferocity. I can only hope that when the enemy sees them they tremble as I do."
—Por’vre T’au Cho, Water Caste Envoy to Sy’i’kell prior to the ambush of the 17th Brimlock Dragons
"The Tribe of Seven Wings welcomes your offering. Let the warriors feast, and let the future take shape…"
—Unnamed Kroot Shaper soon before the total defeat of the 309th Landrian Light Infantry
"At least in space they cannot eat their enemies."
—Kor’el Dal’yth Dasthui on the usefulness of the Kroot

The Alien Perspective

"Yes…I remember the battle for the Heights… The Xenos filth slashed through our Russ like a sabre through rancid fat. When the Rex’s reactor went critical, the burn-flash took my eyes and the shame of our defeat was the last thing I ever saw…"
—Penitent-Confessor Diyarbakir, Former Sergeant of the Tallarn 12 Armoured Regiment; referring to Battle of Pyhrra Heights during the Taros Campaign when a Broadside Destructor Phalanx destroyed the Baneblade Draco Rex
"One of their light walkers carried a weapon of lethal effect. It fired a form of ultra-high velocity projectile. I saw one of our tanks after having been hit by it. There was a small hole punched in either flank - one the projectile's entry point, the other its exit. The tiny munition had passed through the vehicle with such speed that everything within the hull not welded down had been sucked out through the exit hole. Including the crew. We never identified their bodies, for all that remained of them was a red stain upon the ground extending some twenty metres from the wreck."
— Major Kane, Mordian 607th Heavy Armoured Regiment, witness the effects of a Railgun
"Our tanks were useless. As soon as we broke cover, their Battlesuits' heavy guns were locked on to us. I swear it was as though they had someone nearby aiming for them before they shot. And when they did shoot... Emperor's mercy! Their guns punched through our armour like it was paper. All I could see were trails of fire where the projectiles had ignited the air."
— Guardsman Cauley, 25th Graian Rifles
"Sarge wasn’t so much shot, as he was pulled apart by hundreds of buzzing lights. I didn’t even have time to pray to the Emperor, and there was nothin’ left but his boots."
—Leon 'Lucky' Cadmion, after an ambush by a Stealth Team during the Damocles Gulf Crusade
"Recon gamma three reports contact with Tau Pathfinders, single squad. That means we can expect company. Operations? I want all companies deployed and ready within the hour or we’re all dead!"
—Lord Colonel Silvestri, 9th Scintillan Heavy Infantry prior to the Battle of Loath
"When facing Krootox I have three main weapons of choice. Autocannon, autocannon, or autocannon."
—Gunnery Corporal Vatis Jan, 76th Gathalamor Heavy Grenadiers fire support company
"Let me tell you son, when you hear that sound, you’ve got three seconds to grab your lasgun and then they’re on you."
—Corporal Hahnsen of the 45th Scintilla Guard referring to a Vespid attack
"Repeat your transmission lieutenant! Do you report your objective secure or not? Lieutenant? Damn it..."
—Unidentified Imperial Captain to a (unbeknownst to him) recently deceased lieutenant at the Dal’yth Counter Attack
"Recon Lead in position, Kroot encampment in sight. Recon Two, commence infiltration, over. Recon Two? Recon Two, report status, over…"
—Scout Captain Khorvah, Volg 91st Light Infantry, to a recently deceased squad
"Merchantmen, you say? Perhaps you can explain how merhcantmen came to destroy fifteen of the Emperor’s frigates!"
—Captain Antonder at the Conference of Dalyth
"Give me Tyranids, Orks or heretics; simple hateful foes that will face me with a scream on their lips and bloodlust in their eyes. These blue-skinned devils are just far too reasonable for their own good."
—Edens Haltorenium, Former Planetary Governor of Braanos V
"Uh Boss? What’s da red dots on da side of da wagon? They don’t clean easy."
—Unknown Ork Boy (deceased) after being pinpointed by Pathfinder Marker Lights
"They got ded big shooty guns dat’ll kill tons of boyz, but if yer can get near em den you’ve got a chance. Just gotta make sure you bring loads of boyz, coz you ain’t gonna have a whole lot left when you get close enough to crump em."
—Warlord Skarmork, the Great Despoiler
"I have followed the myriad potential futures of the Tau with great interest. Though barely striplings compared to us, I feel a strange protectiveness towards them. In time I believe they will exceed even our greatest feats and master the darkness within their souls."
Eldrad Ulthran, Eldar Farseer of the Uthwé Craftworld
"As I scry far across the skein of time to where the mists of the distant future cloud any certainty, the one revelation that over and again asserts itself is the eventuality of conflict between our two races. However, the journey toward that distant end is one replete with the gossamer caress of hope and promise, a faint glimmer in an otherwise frigidly dark and unforgiving universe the likes of which has not been glimpsed since the Fall…"
—Glébriwyn Tithrändil, Eldar Farseer of the Alaitoc Craftworld
"The Tau are young, yet their fire burns hot enough to reduce the stone hearts of ancient empires to ash. To underestimate them is to invite the cold grasp of death."
—Irolac Dawnslayer of Craftworld Ulthwé
"The Greater Good, you say? Greater for who, exactly?"
—Rogue Trader Kalos Norne


"By the Greater Good, these gue’la have a lot of tanks…"
—Shas’gra, the Siege of Rala’tas
"Never have I faced a tide of foes that can alter both strategy and flesh to hasten our downfall. Swift as these beasts adapt, we must be swifter, for if we fail, the Tau Empire will drown in its own blood."
—Shas’el Vorcah of Ke'lshan

[[quote|How ironic it is that as fast as we spread progress and hope throughout the galaxy, the Tyranids spread death and despair. Only united can we hope to stand against them.|Aun'shi}}

"I have received your messages acquainting me that these worlds belong to your Emperor, your master. In return I am to inform you that the said worlds belong to his Ethereal majesty, Aun’O Bork’an Vral, my master, by right of settlement. Should you wish to gain similar rights, you must submit yourselves to his wisdom as members of the Tau Empire."
—Por’el Tau’n Ukos, Water Caste Negotiator
"This is a message to the peoples of the Imperium, and to the honourable Emperor of that realm. We offer you peace should you join us, and war should you prefer it. We await your response, for we recognise in your race beings of honour and courage."
—Last known transmission of Por’el Tau’n Ukos, Water Caste Negotiator.
"I’ve seen things you wouldn’t believe – entire worlds in flames, chains of supernovas on the edge of nothingness, the great hole in space. I am changed, and outcast now…"
—Personal recordings of Commander Farsight


  • Apocalypse (4th Edition), pp. 156, 158, 160, 161
  • Apocalypse Reload, pp. 44, 68
  • Battle Missions, pg. 80
  • Codex: Tau (3rd Edition), pp. 22, 24-27, 30, 52, 61
  • Codex: Tau Empire (4th Edition), pp. 5, 8, 11, 14-17, 39-40, 42, 44, 46
  • Codex: Tau Empire (6th Edition), pp. 6, 7, 19, 22, 34, 37, 41, 43, 46, 50, 57
  • Codex: Tyranids (4th Edition), pg. 43
  • Codex: Tyranids (6th Edition) (Digital Edition), pg. 44
  • Deathwatch: Core Rulebook (RPG), pp. 366, 369
  • Deathwatch: Mark of the Xenos (RPG), pp. 9, 14, 17, 20, 24, 29-30, 32
  • Deathwatch: The Achilus Assault (RPG), pp. 110, 112, 114, 118-119, 123, 127
  • Deathwatch: The Jericho Reach (RPG), pp. 57, 70, 99
  • Farsight Enclaves, A Codex: Tau Empire Supplement, pp. 111, 125, 131, 191, 225, 338, 346
  • Imperial Armour Apocalypse 2, pg. 81
  • Imperial Armour Apocalypse (2013), pp. 123, 126
  • Imperial Armour Aeronautica, pp. 61, 64
  • Imperial Armour Volume Three – The Taros Campaign, pg. 74
  • Mirage Long Range Infiltration Unit – Apocalypse Datasheet
  • Rogue Trader - Tau Character Guide (RPG), pp. 4, 7, 9, 12, 18, 20, 22, 24, 26, 30
  • Warhammer 40,000: Conquest (Card Game)
  • Warhammer 40,000: Dataslate - Firebase Support Cadre (Digital Edition)
  • Warhammer 40,000: Munitorum - Burst Cannons (Digital Edition)
  • Warhammer 40,000: Munitorum - Rail Rifles (Digital Edition)
  • 'Games Workshop Web Archive

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