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T'au Sept

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The Tau empire, centred upon the world of T'au.

A Sept, also known as a realm, is a star system, or a series of star systems, colonised by the T'au Empire; this includes all colonised planets, moons, and holdings such as orbital stations, and void structures within the system.[10a][10b]


Each Sept is named after its Sept World, also known as Prime Planet or Capital Planet, from which the Sept is governed and is denoted by a different Sept Symbol and colour for each, often related to the unique culture of each Sept.[10b][11]

Tau Septs are managed by an Elemental Council. This includes representatives from the five Tau Castes (Ethereal, Fire, Air, Water, and Earth) as well as a 6th observer seat that goes to a prominent member of an Auxiliary race for an "outside perspective". However final word on the Council ultimately goes to the Ethereal representative.[22]


  • T'au, homeworld of the Tau. Capital and spiritual, political, cultural, and administrative centre of the Tau empire. Its citizens are considered especially learned and wise.
  • Isla'su, homeworld of the Greet.
  • Pech, homeworld of the Kroot.
  • Sha'galudd, homeworld of the Nagi.
  • Vespid, homeworld of the Vespid.

First Phase Expansion

The Tau homeworld and the First phase colonies are of major importance and form the hub of the empire.

  • T'au'n, first offworld colony, Tau from this world are considered to be pioneers.[7a]
  • D'yanoi, having been isolated for a time from the empire, its inhabitants are considered somewhat rustic and backwards.[7a]
  • Bork'an, centre of learning and academia.[7a]
  • Dal'yth, cosmopolitan and trader-friendly.[7a]
  • Fal'shia, centre of technological development, Tau from here are considered great problem solvers.[7a]
  • Vior'la, a major military centre of the empire, its Fire warriors are considered especially aggressive and skilled.[7a]
  • Sa'cea, another military centre, this sept has a very high proportion of very disciplined and honourable Fire Warriors.[7a]

Second Phase Expansion

The Second Phase Expansion began shortly after the end of the Damocles Crusade (742.M41). Of note is the command of Commander Farsight during this period.

  • Au'taal, a beautiful sept, whose citizens are considered easygoing and often lazy.[7b]
  • N'dras was abandoned for unclear reasons. Its remaining inhabitants are regarded as untrustworthy, quick-tempered, and of brooding countenance.[7b]
  • Ke'lshan has suffered several raids by several alien races. Tau from this sept have grown mistrustful, solemn, taciturn, unfriendly and sometimes openly hostile to alien races. Ke'lshan was invaded by Hive Fleet Gorgon and played an essential role in stopping it.[6][7b]
  • Elsy'eir is known for its poetry and artwork. Its citizens are considered intellectuals and well-respected for their creativity.[7b]
  • Tash'var was raided several times by Orks and pirates. Its people are regarded as tenacious, hardy, practical and courageous.[7b]
  • Vash'ya seems to be primarily inhabited by members of the Air caste.[7b]
  • T'olku or Tol'ku is known for the skill of its Ethereal diplomats.[7b]

Third Phase Expansion

The Third Phase Expansion was convened on 977.997.M41 on the word of Aun'va.[1][2][3] Commander Shadowsun was placed in command, and secured at three new septs for the Tau Empire. During the Zeist Campaign of 999.M41, Space Marines forces counterattacked against the expanding Third Sphere, drawing the Third Sphere to a temporary halt. The three septs formed from the Third Sphere Expansion are:

  • Ksi'm'yen's colonists seem to be associated with luck, subtlety and opportunistic subterfuge.[7c]
  • Fi'rios whose pioneers are recognised for a tenacious refusal to accept defeat, tempered by a stoic acceptance of the price all must pay in the furtherance of the Greater Good.[7c]
  • Mu'gulath Bay, previously known as the Imperial Hive World of Agrellan. (Destroyed)[7c]

Fifth Phase Expansions

After the ill-fated Fourth Sphere of Expansion reestablished contact with the Tau Empire after decades of being thought lost, a new campaign was immediately launched through a wormhole known as the Startide Nexus. Rapidly, worlds on the other side of the rifts have been colonized.

Known Fifth Sphere septs include:

Other Septs

These are Septs that are not credited to a specific phase of expansion; some have been formed individually, through opportunity or a smaller-scale invasion. Some may not even be Septs, but rather a splinter of another Sept.

Tau Colonies

Besides the populous septs, there are also sparsely populated colonies. Only a few names are known. Locations of unstated status are put here as well.

Non-Tau Worlds

During the First phase expansion, the homeworlds and colonies of the Kroot and the Vespid were also incorporated into the Tau empire. Notice that these star systems are not considered septs. In addition, there are an unknown number of former Imperial worlds in the Tau Empire, such as T'ros. Some or all of which might still have a Human population.

Artefact worlds

Three Artefact worlds are located within the borders of the Tau empire. As the name indicates, ancient artefacts of unknown origin have been discovered there. It is not known if these worlds have Tau colonies at all.

See Also

Related Articles



Tau Empire
Allied Races
Notable Characters