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Fire Caste

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Targetdrone.gif This article is about the Tau Caste; for the Novel, see Fire Caste (Novel).
Fire Caste symbol[1a]

The Fire Caste (or Shas) is one of the five Castes of Tau Society, structured around war.[1]


Members of the Fire Caste are the warriors of the Tau Empire, and as such are most often seen on the field of battle. They have been bred to be the strongest and most aggressive Tau, and weak strains are quickly weeded out. These traits come from the Fire Caste's origin on the plains of T'au, where they were hunters and warriors. Fire Warriors, as soldiers of the Fire Caste are known, spend their entire lifetimes in battle or preparing for it, constantly honing their tactics and working to improve their skills. The strongest of the strong are those Tau from the world of Vior'la, who have slightly greater muscle mass because of the stronger gravity of that planet.[1a] The Fire Caste is guided by the Code of Fire — a doctrine of loyalty, martial arts, and merciless war, tempered by wisdom.[1a][2a]

Provided the warrior survives four years of active duty, he undergoes the first Trial by Fire, which can be anything from mere gladiatorial affairs to trial by constant combat. 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 years of service, the Fire Warrior undergoes another Trial. The higher one's rank within the Fire Caste, the more likely one is to become a Battlesuit pilot. Only those Fire Warriors who prove themselves in battle and pass their first Trial by Fire are eligible to don the Her'ex'evre or Mantle of Heroes and pilot the battlesuit. Upon attaining the rank of "O", a member of the Fire Caste may be allowed to retire from active duty and become an advisor to the Tau military's command, the Shas'ar'tol. Other than death, this is the only way to leave the Tau military.[1b]

Fire Caste Fire Warrior[6]


The Fire Caste ranks, from lowest to highest, are:[2]

Rank Translation
Shas'saal[3] Underling
Shas'la Warrior
Shas'ui Veteran
Shas'vre Hero
Shas'el Noble/Knight
Shas'O Commander

Notable Members of the Fire Caste