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Trial By Fire

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The Trial by Fire is an ancient ritual of the Tau Empire, undertaken by the Fire Caste to determine rank promotion.[1]

When a Fire Warrior is old enough, he or she enters service as a Shas'la, or line trooper. After four years 'on the line', each Fire Warrior then undertakes the Trial by Fire. If they pass this ancient ritual (which varies depending on sept), they are fit to become a Shas'ui, who are able to pilot Battlesuits. After serving a further four years, a Shas'ui can take a second Trial, and success means advance to the rank of Shas'vre, a title considered to be the mark of a true hero by the Tau. A Shas'vre who survives another four years becomes eligible to take a third Trial. If he is still alive at the end, he will become a Tau Commander in-training, or Shas'el. Those who excel in this leading role are then promoted to Shas'o, a full Tau Commander. Only Commanders are allowed to retire from service, where they frequently become advisers and play a greater part in Tau politics. Other then death, this is the only way to leave the Tau military.[1]