|This article is about the T'au Commander; for the other uses of Farsight, see Farsight (disambiguation).
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.
Early Life and Career
Even before he was known as Shovah, the young Vior'lan absorbed and memorized every facet of the Vior'la Fire Warrior training academy. He spent much time in the Mont'yr Battle Dome war simulations and quickly became able to memorize the Code of Fire from end to end. He even deciphered the combat codes and signals used by his superiors, taking advantage of his knowledge to monitor their communiques. Despite being several years younger than most Tau within the Mont'yr Battle Dome, Shoh quickly outperformed his classmates. During Shoh's graduation from the academy, the legendary Commander Puretide was there to inspect the ceremony.[4c]
Immediately after graduation and induction as a Shas'la, Shoh and his graduating class were immediately deployed to a warzone, combating the Arachen incursion of the Western Veil. Shas'la Shoh made a great impact on the spirit of the Fire Caste troops stationed in the Veil, and was closely observed by his old teachers that saw great potential in the young warrior. Other former instructors had become disgusted with his arrogance. As a result, instructors such as Sha'kan'thas made sure Shoh was assigned on the frontline in every deployment on the Western veil. If he was a prodigy born for glory he would rise to the challenge, if not then a troublesome student would be out of the way. Despite these challenges, Shoh preformed well against the Arachen for the next four years as a Shas'la trooper.[4d]
By the end of his tenure as a Fire Warrior, it was Shoh's suggestions that determined the vast majority of his unit's battle plans against the Arachen. His superior, the Cadre Fireblade, was eager to test his mettle in the Trial by Fire. The Trial proved to be a traumatic experience for Shoh, with many of the instructors wishing to finally teach him a lesson. As a result he was put into a near-hopeless live-fire war dome exercise and died in the simulation saving a teammate. Nonetheless when he awoke from the simulation, he was informed that only Shas'la who died in the exercise would be promoted to Shas'ui. As a result, Shoh could finally pilot a Battlesuit.[4d]
Shoh was initially assigned to a Broadside Battlesuit team and sent back to the Arachen War front. During the days he learned the basics of Battlesuit command from the veteran pilot Shas'vre Ob'lotai. Shoh saw combat for the first time in a Crisis Battlesuit during the final action of the war, as Commander Dawnstone led the warriors of Vior'la into a final push. The extremely bloody battle that followed saw Shoh lose most of his left leg. Nonetheless he preformed well in the battle and was promoted to Saz'nami and led the assault that killed the ruling Arachen council, Arachen Trinity. The assassination proved to be the final straw that broke the Arachen hold on the Western Veil, and the Tau emerged victorious after the long war. However tragedy struck during a boarding operation of an Arachen cocoon ship led personally by Dawnstone. During the boarding the Tau team came up attack from a swarm of Arachen Skitterlings, and Shoh sacrificed himself to save Commander Dawnstone.[4e]
Shoh nonetheless soon awoke in a med-bay, where Dawnstone revealed the entire operation had just been a simulation, another Trial by Fire. Shoh's performance during the simulation was so impressive that he was made a disciple of the legendary Commander Puretide alongside Kais and Shaserra. The subsequent training under Puretide on Da'lyth was gruelling, and alongside Kais and Shaserra was forced to survive the brutal conditions on Mount Kan'ji. However under Puretide, Shoh was able to master every aspect of the Tau art of war.[4e] He even made a point of following every presentation made by the Earth Caste on military equipment that he could, to the point of risking being labelled vash'ya (between spheres), a state of mind forbidden by the Ethereals.
Farsight's first and greatest victories were won in the Arkunasha War.[2c] When the Tau colony there was threatened by Waaagh! Dok under Warboss Toofjaw, he led the Fire Warriors in a masterful defence against many times their own numbers. Using the immense canyons and gullies 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. O'shovah has become the renown master of the Mont'ka — aggressive tactic of the Tau forces.
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. He was a major morale booster during the campaign, and after nearly being killed in combat against then-Assault Marines Cato Sicarius and Jorus Numitor pledged revenge against them. After the Imperial forces withdrew he lead one of several reclamation fleets to recapture Tau worlds lost to the Imperium eliminating Imperial deserters and abandoned guardsmen then Farsight continued his explorations well beyond the known Tau space.[Needs Citation]
While a young commander in the Damocles Crusade, the Tau came under attack by Farsight's old enemy, the Scar Lords Space Marines under acting Chapter Master Caelos. The Space Marines were able to reach Vior'los, but were ultimately bested and annihilated by Farsight. 90% of the Chapter was lost in the failed invasion.
Following the Damocles Crusade, Aun'va recommended an expedition to rekindle hope and spirit in the empire, which had been dwindling since the bloody war against the Imperium. In the ensuing Farsight Expedition, Farsight led an enormous Tau fleet across the Damocles Gulf, going into frozen stasis to avoid aging during the long trip.[4f] In the ensuing campaign on the far side of the Damocles Gulf, Farsight was initially beaten at every turn by Grog Ironteef, the Ork Warchief of Alsanta. A frustrated O'Shovah nonetheless eventually was able to defeat Grog, and pursued scattered Ork forces to the world of Arthas Moloch. There, Farsight encountered a terrifying new enemy in the form of Chaos Daemons which emerged from a mysterious portal erected on a great Dais. During the battle, all of Farsights accompany Ethereals were killed by gruesome creatures, and Farsight was only able to attain victory thanks to discovering a mysterious blade he used to close the portal, though he was briefly overcome by extreme bloodlust. The experience of battling these foes and gazing into their sinister portal rattled O'Shovah, who realized there were far greater threats than the Ethereal's were telling him.[4g]
Break with the Ethereals
After the incident on Arthas Moloch, Farsight returned to his established holdings on the far side of the Damocles Gulf. Farsight began to secretly become highly distrustful of the Ethereal Caste, coming to suspect that they may be controlling the Tau by more than simple charisma and wisdom, perhaps employing more sinister methods. In the aftermath of his victory, Farsight 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 realization that the Ethereals as a caste knew something of this but had kept it from the Tau.[4b] At first he merely thought their leadership was flawed, that the other castes would be better off seeking harmony with each other without their 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 their guidance had seemed at the time both wise and necessary seemed now deplorable and wrong.[4b] In addition, Farsight began to live far beyond the normal life span of a Tau.[4h]
The inevitable conclusion that the Ethereals' control extended beyond simple logic and loyalty to something darker drove him to sickening panic. Heresies began filling Farsight's mind, and not even he truly knew why. The truth he held could dissolve 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. [4b]
Meanwhile in the Tau Empire, Ethereal Supreme Aun'va had discovered the death of the Ethereals on Arthas Moloch and the establishment of a seemingly independent Tau enclave under Farsight. Furious, he ordered O'Shovah return to the Empire to explain what exactly had transpired. Instead of returning to the Tau Empire, however, Farsight established a series of fortified strongholds along the Damocles Gulf. Contact was severed between the Farsight Enclaves and the Ethereals and it was finally confirmed that O'Shovah had turned his back on the Tau Empire.[4h]
Exile and Return
Shortly after setting the foundations of the Farsight Enclaves, O'Shovah announced his intention to leave its Elemental Council and go into a self-imposed exile. Judging himself as unworthy and having seen too much during the experience on Arthas Moloch, Farsight left administration of the Enclaves to The Eight and left to wander the wastelands of Vior'los. He abandoned his Battlesuit and the Dawnblade, which were both kept to be studied by O'Vesa. Farsight's decision to exile himself is what ultimately saved him from corruption by the Chaos Gods Khorne and Tzeentch, which had begun their ploy to corrupt his soul on Arthas Moloch.
Farsight apparently returned to once again lead the Enclaves when it was threatened by the Tyranids of Hive Fleet Kraken. During the battle, he led eighty Battlesuits to drive the Xenos back.[3a] He next appeared during the Second Agrellan Campaign, sending in the full might of his forces alongside his former ally Commander Shadowsun. Together, the two managed an effective but ultimately doomed resistance against the Imperium. After the battle, O'Shovah disappeared and made course for T'lasa to rescue the planet from Hive Fleet Leviathan. Despite his aid to the Empire the Ethereal Council ordered Shadowsun to immediately capture him, something she secretly leaked to the exiled commander to try and help him get a headstart.
Arks of Omen
After the Agrellan Campaign, Farsight was again frustrated by constant Ork attacks on his Enclaves in the renewed War of Dakka. The Orks were now led by the infamous Nazdreg, forcing Farsight to attack his world Dregrokk despite its proximity to Arthas Moloch. While Farsight was successful in seemingly killing Nazdreg (who disappeared into a Warp Portal), Chaos forces under Ughalax arrived immediately afterwards in the Ark of Omen Unhallowed seeking a Key-Fragment on Arthas Moloch.[14a] Farsight was forced to return to the blighted world in a fighting retreat, seeking to have the Orks and Chaos armies destroy one another. However the Tau took heavy losses, and during the fighting Brightsword was killed while Bravestorm and Ob'lotai were badly injured. These proved to frustrate Farsight, who began to apparently succumb to Khornate influence. The situation grew worse when Aun'va personally rebuked his offer for aid, stating that he and his people were condemned for turning their backs on the Greater Good.[14b]
The war on Arthas Moloch came to its head at the Great Star Dais, where a vengeful Farsight activated its portal with enemy blood and unleashed Daemons upon the Ork and Chaos armies. For a moment, Farsight gave into the fury of Khorne and became an avatar of the Blood God, his Battlesuit transformed into a Titan-sized axe-wielding monstrosity covered in the skulls of the Ethereals he now hated. Farsight began to see himself as an army of one, and that any of his warriors that were too weak to survive on their own deserved their fate. The horror of this thought creeping into his mind drew Farsight back to sanity, and he shook off the corruption. Upon regaining his senses, he immediately ordered a fighting retreat from Arthas Moloch and sought to save his warriors above any other objective. Farsight later returned to the world to examine the Great Dais, and was pleased to find it was inactive and that organic life was returning to the world.[14c]
Farsight pilots an XV86 Battlesuit with a number of improvements, including an advanced Hazard Suite developed during the Arkunasha War and armed with a Plasma Rifle. Since his experience on Arthas Moloch, he wields the mysterious Dawn Blade of unknown origin.[4g]
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 suit, 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.[4i]
Farsight (9th Edition)
- 1: Codex: Tau (3rd Edition)
- 2: Codex: Tau Empire (4th Edition)
- 3: Codex: Tau Empire (6th Edition), pg. 56
- 3a: pg. 29
- 4: Farsight Enclaves - A Codex: Tau Empire Supplement
- 5: War Zone Damocles: Mont'ka, pgs. 105–110
- 6: Codex: Tau Empire (7th Edition), Commander Farsight, Mont'ka - The Killing Blow
- 7: Blades of Damocles (Novel), Chapter Two
- 8: Warhammer Community: Commander Farsight Returns With a Stylish New Battlesuit, an Arks of Omen Book, and a Boarding Patrol (posted 4/3/2023) (last accessed 4/3/2023)
- 9: Warhammer Community: Ethereals Hate Him – This T’au Commander Discovered One Weird Trick to Becoming a Legend (posted 7/3/2023) (last accessed 7/3/2023)
- 10: Farsight: Crisis of Faith (Novel), Chapters 18-19
- 11: Shadowsun: The Patient Hunter (Novel) - Chapter 9
- 12: Farsight: Empire of Lies (Novel) - Chapter 27 & Epilogue
- 13: Codex: Orks (8th Edition) pg. 30
- 14: Arks of Omen: Farsight
|Tau Empire Forces
|Ethereal • Tau Commander • Fireblade
|Fire Warrior Team (Strike Team • Breacher Team) • Pathfinder Team • Stealthsuit Team • Drone Squadron
|XV8 Crisis (XV8 • XV8-02 • XV81 • XV84 • XV85 • XV86 • XV89) • XV15 Stealth • XV22 Stealth • XV25 Stealth • XV95 Ghostkeel • XV88 Broadside • XV9 Hazard
XV46 Vanguard • XV104 Riptide • XV107 R'varna • XV109 Y'vahra • KV128 Stormsurge • KX139 Ta'unar
|Devilfish • Drone Harbinger • Hammerhead • Piranha • Sky Ray • Tetra • Swordfish
|Barracuda • Manta • Orca • Sun Shark • Razorshark • Tiger Shark • Remora
|Kroot Shaper • Kroot Carnivore Squad • Kroot Hound • Krootox • Knarloc • Great Knarloc • Vespid Stingwing • Gue'vesa
|Aun'va • Aun'shi • Shadowsun • Farsight • Darkstrider • Longstrike