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O'Shovah

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Farsight in his personal Battlesuit[3]

Shas'O Vior'la Shovah Kais Mont'yr aka O'Shovah or Commander Farsight is alleged to still be leading the Farsight Enclaves, although this would mean that he has lived for at least three centuries, considerably beyond the ordinary lifespan of Tau Fire Caste members. It may be that another has taken up his mantle, or that the real Commander is extending his lifespan through some technological process. One thing that is certain is that the breakaway Farsight Enclave maintains a strongly martial tradition closely based on the Vior'la Sept (lit: "hot-blooded"), O'Shovah's birthplace.

Military career

O'Shovah holding the Dawn Blade

Farsight's first and greatest victories were won in the Arkunasha War and Farsight Expedition [2c]. When the Tau colony there was threatened, he led the Fire Warriors in a masterful defence against many times their own numbers. Using the immense canyons and gulleys criss-crossing the desert to maximum effect, O'Shovah set the Ork invaders to chase shadows, constantly boxing off and destroying isolated elements wherever they turned at bay, earning him the famous title "farsight" for his actions[2c]. Possibly because of his ongoing battles against Ork forces, O'Shovah believes that close combat is a vital part of warfare, unlike most other Tau. As the Orks were falling back, O'Shovah's Ethereals were systematically killed by an unknown force during battles on Arthas Moloch[3], and he came upon the Dawn Blade. It is true that towards the end of the war O'Shovah was in turn surrounded and besieged by massive numbers of Ork forces in the natural fortress of the Argap Highlands, but even then his Fire Warriors held the mountains for months until the last remnants were evacuated. Some believe that the Commander was embittered by the bloodshed of siege and blamed others for failing to break through the encirclement. Instead the Ork forces were allowed to batter themselves to a standstill against O'Shovah's defences before being easily scattered the following year.

O'shovah was again called upon to defend the Tau Empire during the incursion of Tau space by the Imperium of Man in what the Imperium called the Damocles Crusade. After the Imperial forces withdrew he lead one of several reclamation fleets to recapture tau worlds lost to the Imperium eliminating Imperial deseters and abandend guardsmen then Farsight continued his explorations well beyond the known Tau space. Instead of returning to the Tau Empire, however, he established a series of fortified strongholds along the Damocles Gulf, a region of space forbidden to the Tau. Contact was severed between the Farsight Enclaves and the mainstream Tau Empire, and it was finally confirmed that O'Shovah had turned his back on the Tau Empire.

Defying the Ethereals

The root of Farsight's defiance was the battle on Arthas Moloch[4]. The bloodshed during the purge of the worlds Orks opened a warp portal starting a chaos incursion. With the aid of recovered alien artefacts the warp rift was sealed but not before the expeditions Ethereals where killed. During that battle Farsight had a vision of the Eye of Terror and in the aftermath of his victory came to realise the threat of Chaos and the fact the universe was not the orderly rational place described in Tau philosophy. He also came to the realisation that the Ethereals as a caste knew something of this but had kept it from the Tau.[4a] The more he thought on the Etherals the more terrible heresies poured through his mind. At first he merely thought there leadership was flawed, that the other castes would be better off seeking harmony with each other without there oversight. But the more he though on the instances where obedience to the Etherals had been taken to illogical and foolish extremes. Worse, many of the actions taken under there guidance, had seemed at the time both wise and necessary seemed now deplorable and wrong. [4a] The inevitable conclusion, that the Etherals control extended beyond simple logic and loyalty to something darker, drove him to sickening panic. The truth he held could dissolved the Empire and drive the Tau back to the Mont'au a fate far worse than the Ethereals rule. Unable to tell anyone this truth, but unwilling to pretend or forget Farsight chose Exile over obedience. [4a]

The Eight

Farsight does not leader a conventional bodyguard, instead he draws from a band of warriors known as The Eight The eight is notable for having a number of Shas'o in its ranks, rather than the normal shas'vre of a bodyguard. It also includes an AI controlling a Broadside, a tau warrior sealed in his suite as a life support aide in the fashion of an imperial dreadnought and even a member of the Earth caste piloting a modified Riptide.

Speculation

There has been speculation that Farsight found out some terrible secret of the Tau. This causing him to separate from the Tau Empire and fight for the Tau as a race rather than for the Ethereals.

Other rumours suggest that he may be possessed or working for the foul creatures of Chaos, the result of the (supposedly) Daemonic blade he wields in combat. This would also explain his long life. Indeed, a report filed by Inquisitor Artelles of the Ordo Malleus states that Arthas Moloch once housed a large population of heretics and mutants, ruled over by the Alpha Legion. The planet was cleansed by the Scythes of the Emperor. According to the Scythes history, there were non-human structures to be found on the planet as well, before the cleansing. This could put the C'tan in the role as Farsight's new masters.

The more reserved think that the powerful fire warriors grew tired of the Ethereals' control and that the name Farsight is simply passed on from Commander to Commander over the decades.

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Sources

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