|This article is about the planet Tanith; for the Imperial Guard Regiment, see Tanith First and Only.|
|Map||Basic Data||Planetary Image|
|Affiliation:||Unknown, formerly Imperium[1d]|
|Class:||Dead World[1d], Frontier World[3a], former Forest World[1d], former Feudal World[6b]|
Tanith was a Forest World of the Imperium[1d] located in the Sabbat Worlds cluster of Segmentum Pacificus[3a], which was destroyed by the forces of Chaos.[1d][3a] It is most notable for being the homeworld of the Tanith First and Only regiment of the Astra Militarum.[1a][1d][3a]
Prior to the planet's destruction, Tanith had a spotless record for supplying its Imperial Tithe. However, there were rumours that, being so close to the Edge meant that the planet was touched by Chaos.[3a]
The Old Days
At one point, Tanith was a Feudal World ruled over by the Huhlhwch Dynasty. The Huhlhwch were overthrown, however, and replaced with a system of democratically-run city-states. The planet's ancient legends attribute this to a sect of wood-warriors known as the Nalsheen.[6b]
Research indicated that the initial settlers of Tanith belonged to a human gene-stock branch called the Magmeta, an ethnic strand with multiple genomic markers suggesting it originated from the Terra regions of Albia and Europa.
The Fall of Tanith
On his deathbed, Warmaster Slaydo, commander of the Sabbat Worlds Crusade, bestowed upon Ibram Gaunt — a commissar who had fought with distinction at Balhaut — the rank of Colonel-Commissar and dispatched him to Tanith to raise three regiments for the Crusade.[1d][3a] Gaunt himself initially regarded Tanith as an excellent world for this new raising, having dutifully paid its Tithes over the years and lacking any sort of complicated martial traditions.
However, in the wake of their defeat at Balhaut, a splinter fleet of Chaos slipped past the picket set up by the Imperial Navy, thanks to the newly-appointed Warmaster Macaroth's change of tactics.[1d][3a] This small fleet attacked and conquered six systems before being defeated, one of which was Tanith.[3a]
On the day of the Founding, the Chaos armada bombarded Tanith from orbit, and deployed ground troops to kill vital Imperial personnel before burning Tanith and its forests with the fleet's firepower. Colonel-Commissar Ibram Gaunt was one of the last people to leave the planet before its demise, and was saved by a youth called Brin Milo, whom he took with him in gratitude.[1b][3a] Milo later confirms that he was the only civilian to leave Tanith alive, being too young to join the Guard.[3f]
In all, only around 3,500 people survived the evacuation.[3a] The remaining Tanith themselves referred to the destruction of their homeworld as The Loss. Nonetheless, the survivors knew their duty - they had, after all, enlisted with the Astra Militarum - and joined the Imperial forces fighting in the Sabbat Worlds Crusade.[1d]
Tanith was a heavily forested world, famous for its forests of nalwood trees. Nalwood trees were capable of uprooting and moving, with entire forests migrating to get better access to sunlight or water. This made blazing trails through the forests useless, as any trails were erased by the movement of the trees. As a result of this, Tanith's native inhabitants have an unerring sense of direction, developed in the ever-changing woodlands, and unmatched stealth skills which became renowned during the Sabbat Worlds Crusade.[1d]
The capital city of Tanith - surrounded by a giant wall, presumably to keep the nalwood trees from moving into the city - was Tanith Magna. The world was governed by the Elector of Tanith, and the main governmental building was the Assembly.[3a] The planet was split up into counties, and each city raised a militia, from which a number of Imperial Guardsmen were recruited.[Needs Citation]
- Tanith Attica[1h][3a]
- Tanith Dale[3g]
- Tanith Longshore — Coastal settlement.[3d]
- Tanith Magna[1f][3a]
- Tanith Steeple — Mountain settlement.[3e]
- Tanith Ultima — Shrine-city.[1g]
Other Geographic Features
- Larisel — Small rodents hunted by woodsmen for their pelts.[3c]
- Shoggy — Small amphibian creatures with bulging eyes[5b] that dwelled by woodland pools in Tanith's forests.[6b]
Most Tanith men (and youths) were tattooed with blue and green ink.[1a] These tattoos could have various meanings - it is known, for example, that there were specific markings to indicate a betrothal in addition to more general family markings.[5a] Some of these were common shapes like loops, whorls, spirals and stars[3a] whereas others resembled animals (including dragons[1b][3a], snakes[3a] and fish[3a]) or plants. Earrings and studs were also commonplace.
Some of the Tanith people believed in various types of spirit, including the drud-fellad (which watch over the forests) and nyrsis (which protect streams and rivers). In addition, some believed in benevolent spirits of order and protection known as anroth, which supposedly watched over Tanith homes (however others dismissed the stories of anroth as tales for children).[1e]
Tanith Pipes are a traditional musical instrument of Tanith,[1c] described as a small clutch of spidery reeds attached to a bellows bag which is squeezed rhythmically under the arm. [Needs Citation] Their initial use on Tanith was to guide off-worlders through the shifting nalwood forests, but in the Tanith First they were used to rally the men and spook the enemy (although they have a similar effect on the Tanith's allies).[3b]
According to Scout Trooper Bonin, most old Tanith families (his own included) would baptise and officially name their children at the age of eight, as naming children at birth was considered premature and it was believed that a child would "grow into" the names he or she would need. Bonin, however, remarked that this tradition wasn't observed much in Tanith's final years.[6a]
Tanith was supposedly home to the legendary Nalsheen wood warriors, a brotherhood of Tanith who used the martial art cwlwhl (pronounced kil-wil[Needs Citation]), using blade-tipped staffs to fight off multiple foes. The Nalsheen were responsible for overthrowing the corrupt Huhlhwch Dynasty and ushering in the free modern era of Tanith.[6b] Guardsman Mkvenner is the only remaining Tanith to have been trained in cwlwhl[6b], but has reluctantly admitted that he never completed his training.[Needs Citation]
Known Words & Phrases
- Anroth — A type of spirit.[1e]
- Chulan — Pronounced "Koo-lun". Outsider, unknown person, foreigner/off-worlder.[1e]
- Cwlwhl — A martial art.[6b]
- The county names are closely similar to those of real-life Ireland and Scotland.
- Many Tanith names begin with "Mk", a variant of "Mc" or "Mac" used by the Irish and Scottish, from whom inspiration for the Tanith appears to have been drawn.
- There are also elements of Welsh in their language.
- Tanith pipes are described as a similar in appearance and sound to Uilleann pipes.
- 1: First and Only (Novel) — The Founding (Omnibus)
- 2: Of Their Lives in the Ruins of Their Cities (Short Story) — The Founding (Omnibus)
- 3: Ghostmaker (Novel) — The Founding (Omnibus)
- 4: In Remembrance (Short Story) — The Founding (Omnibus)
- 5: Honour Guard (Novel) — The Saint (Omnibus)
- 6: The Guns of Tanith (Novel) — The Saint (Omnibus)
- 7: The Vincula Insurgency (Novel), Chapter Six