Mont'au translates roughly as "the terror" or "death age". It refers to the dark and violent time before the Ethereals arose in Tau society on their homeworld of T'au. The era began when various Tribes of Tau (such as the Tau of the plains, the Tau of the hills, and the Tau of the Air) began battling one another over trade routes and concern over rival alliances. Soon, vast inter-tribal wars ravaged the main continent, with Tau tribes battling one another with primitive firearms. The fighting dragged on for many years, with thousands dying on each side. Squalid conditions caused by the fighting allowed plague to spread until more Tau were dying of disease than war. It seemed as if the Tau would destroy themselves from the inside out.
However strange lights appeared in the sky, and many believed that these were the sign of the last days. However on the mountain plateau of Fio'taun, an alliance of plain dwellers and airborne tau laid siege to the mightiest fortress of the builder mountain Tau. For five long seasons the cannons of Fio'taun held back the attackers, but supplies were low and disease rampant. The situation changed dramatically when a Tau of unusual appearance walked into the besiegers camp, asking to see the army commander. Softly spoken yet exhibiting an aura of undeniable authority, the camp guards felt compelled to escort him to their leader. At the same time, within the walls of Fio'taun, a similar individual presented himself to the guards and also met with the cities leader. Within an hour of the meetings, the fortress gates were opened and the strangers guided the leaders of the besiegers and besieged to a joint meeting.
At the summit, the newcomers who called themselves Ethereals began to speak, explaining that the skills of each tribe were unique and should be harnessed. Speaking of a Greater Good that could be achieved only if they would put aside their old ways, the two strangers talked through the night and by morning, a truce was agreed upon between the two factions.
But Fio'taun was just the beginning. Soon, more Ethereals appeared across T'au and this process repeated itself again and again. The philosophy and order of the Ethereals spread quickly, and by 791.M36 the Mont'au came to an end in the new era of the Greater Good and implementation of the Caste System.
- 1: Codex: Tau (3rd Edition), [Needs Citation]
- 2: Codex: Tau Empire (6th Edition) pg.9
- 3: Codex: Tau Empire (7th Edition), The Castes