This article collects all statements made by, or concerning, the Tau,. The quotes themselves are organized in alphabetical order using the speaker's name.
N.B. Tau names follow different rules: 1st = Caste; 2nd = Rank; 3rd = Home planet; 4th = cognomen (i.e., the true name as we understand it). Because it is possible for two Tau individuals to share the same cognomen, they can be distinguished most easily by their other names, such as their home planets.
Some Tau individuals already appear with a translated name (e.g. O'Shovah = Commander Farsight, and O'Shaserra = Commander Shadowsun).
Unattributed quotes are at the end of the list.
|Private Wouldrin Adevitr,
59th Brontian Longknives,
|They say they'll eat anything. Me, I haven't asked 'em. Don't want to find out too late that they've got a taste for Guardsmen who ask questions.||Only War: Enemies of the Imperium, p. 98|
|Shas'o Arra'kon||Some say that perfection is the enemy of the good. They speak nonsense. Such apathetic thinking is what turns that which is good into bad. We should never cease our striving for greatness, never halt our purpose of bettering ourselves. Anything else is nothing but stagnation, and I have seen enough of the galaxy to know that to stagnate is to wither and die in shameful ignominy.||Psychic Awakening: The Greater Good, p. 66|
|Aun'Cho, Tau Ethereal||Beneath the protective umbrella of the shield relay, we are all but untouchable. Once more, our science and enlightenment makes brings us closer to our ultimate aims.||Strategy Cards for Planetary Empires expansion game, card "Energy Shield Relay Point - Minor Stratagem", (saved archive page, dated February 2011, last accessed 5 October 2015)|
|Aun'el Shi'Ores||Soldiers of the Fire Caste! Kroot and Vespid allies! Today, we stand as a bulwark against the selfish, the soulless, and the mad! Today, we must drive back our enemies from our city and from our world! Today, more than ever before, we fight for the Greater Good! And we will triumph!
|Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War - Dark Crusade, Tau stronghold introduction|
|Aun'el T'au Shoh Ko'vash||The Nem'yar Atoll is ours for the taking. It is by a strange twist of science that we now dwell here, and it is a testament to our adaptability and surety of purpose that we thrive in doing so. Some say that this has been among our race's greatest tests - if they are right, I do not hesitate to say that the T'au'va has pass even beyond our highest expectations.||Psychic Awakening: The Greater Good, p. 40|
|Aun'ko'vash||Even when broken, a sword may still cut.||Fire Warrior (Novel), p. 170|
|Aun'shi of the Tau Empire||How ironic it is that as fast as we spread progress and hope throughout the galaxy, the Tyranids spread death and despair. Only united can we hope to stand against them.||Codex: Tyranids (4th Edition), p. 43|
|I have taken great pains not to laugh at the actions of aliens, nor to weep at them or to hate them, but to understand them.
|Codex: Tau (3rd Edition), p. 52|
|Aun'Va, Master of the Undying Spirit||It burns so briefly, the light of my children, so briefly. But, by the Greater Good, it burns so bright!||Codex: Tau Empire (4th Edition), p. 42|
|It saddens me greatly that we must take arms against the peoples of the galaxy. By their deaths, they deny themselves the liberation that is only to be found in total surrender to the Greater Good.||Codex: Tau Empire (4th Edition), p. 66|
|Let none doubt that the Tau Empire will bring unity to all – let none doubt that now is our time. Forward, for the Greater Good!
-addressing the Fire caste cadres from a top the ruins of the Agrellan Hive
|Codex: Tau Empire (7th Edition), In Unity, Strength|
|Our Conquest is inevitable, our ascension a matter of time. Let none who are wise deny our destiny.||Codex: Tau Empire (7th Edition), The Tau Empire|
|Guardsman, Cauley, 25th Graian Rifles||Our tanks were useless. As soon as we broke cover, their battlesuits' heavy guns were locked on to us. I swear it was as though they had someone nearby aiming for them before they shot. And when they did shoot...Emperor's mercy! Their guns punched through our armour like it was paper. all I could see were trails of fire where the projectiles had ignited the air.||Codex: Tau (3rd Edition), p. 30|
|Shaper Lok Ch'kreen of the Oathbreakers Kindred||The galaxy is large, and full of many strong creatures. We admire their strength. We honour that strength as we consume their meat. You humans are not so strong, but you are tenacious, and your meat is more palatable than Orkflesh.||Only War: Enemies of the Imperium, p. 95|
|Por'vre Tau'n Ch'koras||There is no victory without unity, no peace when there's conflict. In this dark time, we can only forget our differences and fight the darkness together.||[Needs Citation]|
|Por'vre Tau Cho, Water caste envoy||They are fierce indeed these Kroot, and savage. I look upon them and tremble at their ferocity. I can only hope that when the enemy sees them they tremble as I do.
- to Sy'l’kell prior to the ambush of the 17th Brimlock Dragoons
|Codex: Tau (3rd Edition), p. 29;|
Codex: Tau Empire (4th Edition), p. 17
|Eldrad Ulthran, Farseer of Ulthwé Craftworld||I have followed the myriad potential futures of the Tau with great interest. Though barely even striplings compared to us, I feel a strange protectiveness towards them. In time I believe they will exceed even our greatest feats and master the darkness within their souls.||Codex: Tau (3rd Edition), p. 61|
|Commander Farsight||Each must find their own way. If those in our heartland had witnessed the savageries of the void as have we they would know this. The hand of each of the starfarers is turned against the other; none will join their strength together just to see their ancient enemies prosper. Neither should we.
- attributed, 765.M41
|Codex: Tau Empire (4th Edition), p. 44|
|Gorok, Kroot Shaper||Go carefully, commissar. And feed on your enemies. May we have no cause for conflict.
-to Ciaphas Cain, on Gravalax
|For the Emperor (Novel) by Sandy Mitchell, Chapter Three|
|Captain Torvus Grymm,
14th Synford Armoured Brigade,
concerning Great Knarlocs
|It's easy to dismiss such beasts as just that, little more than pests, when you're sitting in the turret of a battle tank. At least until you've seen one rip the turret off a Leman Russ and eat its crew.||Only War: Enemies of the Imperium, p. 104|
|Rogue Trader Guarnerius||It is well that they are known as the Water caste. One might as well try to nail the sea to the wall as pin them down with a straight answer. They flow around your words until they wear you down, like the trickle of water that over time will split the rock.||Codex: Tau (3rd Edition), p. 25|
Codex: Tau Empire (4th Edition), p. 11
|Shas'o Vior'la Kais, Fire Warrior commander||A thousand fibres connect each of us with our fellow Tau and along those fibres our deeds run as causes which come back to us as effects. Everything we must do must be in furtherance of the Greater Good lest we return to the Mont’au, the Terror.||Codex: Tau (3rd Edition), p. 26|
Codex: Tau Empire (4th Edition), p. 5
|A mightier shoal of predators I have never seen; all grace and measured fury.||Apocalypse, pg. 160|
|Major Kane, Mordant 607th Heavy Armoured Regiment||One of their light walkers carried a weapon of lethal effect. It fired a form of ultra-high velocity projectile. I saw one of our tanks after having been hit by it. There was a small hole punched in either flank - one the projectile's entry point, the other its exit. The tiny munition had passed through the vehicle with such speed that everything within the hull not welded down had been sucked out through the exit hole. Including the crew. We never identified their bodies, for all that remained of them was a red stain upon the ground, extending some twenty metres from the wreck.||Codex: Tau Empire (4th Edition), p. 14|
|Chal'ka Nok, Kroot Mercenary||You humans do not understand. You feed upon weak things, because you think you are strong enough, because you feed only to sustain yourselves. We feed upon the strong, because we know that no strength is truly sufficient, because we desire to make our children stronger.||Rogue Trader: Edge of the Abyss, p. 66 - "The Kroot"|
|O'Mau'tel||The alien is not intrinsically evil.
Do not hate him. Pity him his ignorance.
Seek to understand his differences
And acquaint him with his inadequacies.
Only then will he accept his place
in the Greater Good.
|Fire Warrior (Novel), p. 74|
|Shas'el Sa'cea Or'es, Fire caste commander||It is not our technology that will enable us to prevail in this galaxy. It is our shared sense of honour and commonality of cause that unites us and will give us the power to defeat our enemies.||Codex: Tau (3rd Edition), p. 32|
Codex: Tau Empire (4th Edition), p. 8
|O’Sharrek, Commander Darkwind||See the Gue’la, how they arrogantly stride into our trap. We will punish their belligerence, their ignorant lack of foresight.||Strategy Cards for Planetary Empires expansion game, card "Ambush - Minor Stratagem", (saved archive page, dated February 2011, last accessed 7 October 2015)|
|O'Shovah||Learn to shorten your reach! If your foe can come close enough to negate your striking power, all stratagem is lost and when all stratagem is lost, the battle is lost.
- attributed, 757.M41
|Codex: Tau (3rd Edition), p. 22|
|Commander Puretide||The question of the timing of the commencement of hostilities is one upon which you must meditate most deeply. Once your decision is arrived at, it must be pursued with the utmost energy.
- The Thirty Seventh Meditation on the Way of the Warrior
|Codex: Tau Empire (4th Edition), p. 40|
|The strength of your force may be calculated by multiplying its weight by its velocity. Strive always to maximize both and victory shall be yours.
- The Forty Second Meditation on the Way of the Warrior
|Codex: Tau Empire (4th Edition), p. 16|
|Those with superior reach can dictate the terms of battle and impose their will upon their foe. Remember, the first step on the path to victory is often the most important.||Codex: Tau Empire (7th Edition), pg. 100|
|There are certain things in war of which the Fire Caste Commander alone comprehends the importance. It is not his right, but rather his responsibility to send thousands to their deaths if millions will prevail. That is the heaviest burden of command, and it must be shouldered, alone.
- The Ninety Nineth Meditation on the Way of the Commander
|Apocalypse, pg. 156|
|Shas'O R'th||What are secrets with no-one to know them?||GW - Medusa V Campaign (saved archive page, dated March 2007, last accessed 7 August 2019)|
|Commander Shadowsun||To follow any path other than the Tau’va is to doom us all. Only together and with courage and discipline shall we stand victorious. Fight with fire and courage and nothing can stand against us.||Codex: Tau Empire (4th Edition), p. 46|
|The feeling of power a warrior gains from the mastery of his battlesuit can be intoxicating. Remember your duty.||Apocalypse, pg. 161|
|Shas'O T'au Shi'ur||No expansion without equilibrium.
No conquest without control.
Pursue success in serenity.
|Fire Warrior (Novel),[Needs Citation]|
|Warlord Skamork, the Great Despoiler||They got ded big shooty guns dat'll kill tons of boyz, but if yer can get near em den you've got a chance. Just gotta make sure you bring loads of boyz, coz you ain't gonna have a whole lot left when you get close enough ta crump em.||Codex: Tau (3rd Edition), p. 30|
|Aun'el T'au Tam'ya, Ethereal caste||It is as we join with others, in a way that only the Tau can, in shared engagement to the Greater Good, that we find ourselves able to fully realize our true potential. And that is the final source of our hopes and intentions.||Codex: Tau (3rd Edition), p. 27|
Codex: Tau Empire (4th Edition), p. 15
|Shas'O Sa'cea Dre'koran Ta'ar||I do not fear death. Death fears ME!
- replying to the Ultramarines' ultimatum prior to the annihilation of the Tau colony on Nimbosa
|Por'el Tau'n Ukos, Water caste negotiator||I have received your messages, acquainting me that these worlds belong to your Emperor, your master. In return I am to inform you that the said worlds belong to his Ethereal Majesty, Aun'O Bork'an Vral, my master, by right of settlement. Should you wish to gain similar rights you must submit yourselves to his wisdom as members of the Tau empire.||Codex: Tau (3rd Edition), p. 25|
Codex: Tau Empire (4th Edition), p. 39
|Por'ui Dal'yth Ukos, water caste envoy||There are two kinds of conduct the Ethereals will not countenance. The first is a failure to reflect upon what is for the Greater Good of the Tau race. The second is the deliberate refusal to follow the path of the Greater Good when it is clear what it must be.||Codex: Tau (3rd Edition), p. 24|
|Kor'O Tau'n Viel||It appears to me that, lacking the sense of unity that might inform them of their insignificance, these Gue’la have come to think that they might own the stars themselves, even the spaces in between them. Only by our presence, I think, might we now convince them otherwise.||To Unite the Stars PDF (accessed 2007.03.19)|
|Shas'el Vorcah of Kel’shan about Tyranids||Never have I faced a tide of foes that can alter both strategy and flesh to hasten our downfall. Swift as these beasts adapt, we must be swifter, for if we fail, the Tau Empire will drown in its own blood.||FFG Teaser of The Great Devourer - Conquest Expansion (last accessed 29 June 2015)|
|Shas'O Vorsheem||Our earth-caste brothers have provided us with the means to destroy our foe, utilize the sensor array and rain death on the greenskin invaders.
|Strategy Cards for Planetary Empires expansion game, card "Sensor Array - Minor Stratagem", (saved archive page, dated February 2011, last accessed 6 October 2015)|
|Por'O Dal'yth V'Rok greets the Thurm Brotherhood during first contact with the Demiurg||You misunderstand, this is Tau space, despite what the Gue’la may claim, and you are welcomed to it as friend. We too have suffered difficulty with the Or’es’la, since it seems they wish no unity. We would be honoured to have you fight alongside us against this common enemy. You will find it to the benefit of both our peoples. You will find it, I have no doubt, to be for the greater good.||To Unite the Stars PDF (accessed 2007.03.19)|
|Transcript from alien probe discovered in the Koath System 696.M41||Stranger, I bid you greetings in the name of the Tau.
If you are reading this then you will have encountered one of our messengers drones and are therefore a spacefaring race. Soon you will see more evidence of us, this is no cause for alarm.
When you encounter one of our ships or outposts then welcome it. We have much to offer a faithful friend. We are five castes, one people. The earth caste build and manufacture, the air caste pilot and navigate, the water caste liase and arbitrate, the fire caste guard our holdings and defeat our enemies. All are bound to the dream of bringing a new way to the universe.
I hope you will choose to share the culture, technology and protection of the Tau empire.
The one constant in the universe is change, the wise adapt.
Believe in our destiny.
|Codex: Tau (3rd Edition), p. 66|
|The Air Caste Petition ahead of the Tau’n Campaign||Ours is to be an empire of worlds, not merely of castes or nations, or races or peoples. To simply control the worlds which we claim as our own will not be enough – we must control the paths between them also, or be divided, and so fail.||To Unite the Stars PDF (accessed 2007.03.19)|
|Sio't meditation 12, lesson 4||A well-maintained warrior, is an effective warrior.||Fire Warrior (Novel), p. 130|
|Unknown meditation shortly interrupted by a comm call||A single blade of grass will bend and falter in the lightest wind. But where grass grows in pasture, in field or savannah; each blade feels but a fraction of the wind’s full force. It prospers due to the common purpose of its fe—||Fire Warrior (Novel), p. 130|
|Unknown Academy Instructor giving a lesson on hand to hand combat||The first rule of unarmed combat is: don’t be unarmed.||Fire Warrior (Novel), p. 165|
|Bitter Tau remark||Living armour happens.
- Likened to the human saying "Grox dung happens."
|Fire Caste Maxim||A good warrior strikes fast, but retreats faster.||[Needs Citation]|
|Air Caste Philosophy||We do not belong on the ground. Our home is the sky. As the enemies of the Tau Empire know to their cost.||Apocalypse, pg. 158|