The Battle of Castobel
The Velk'han Sept
The Velk’Han Sept is the empire ruled by the Tau and the primary objective of the Imperial Crusade in the Canis Salient. It consists of several dozen populated worlds. While several worlds are properly colonized Tau worlds, many others are mostly human-populated and are ruled by proxy through sympathetic human leaders. The Sept capital world, Tsua’Malor, acts as the central seat of Tau governance and rule. The Sept’s humans (referred to by the Tau as ‘Gue’la’) adhere not to the Imperial Creed, but to the Tau ideal of the Greater Good. The Tau teach that the perfect society, one modelled after the Tau themselves, has a place for every creature; with every creature in that place, fulfilling their assigned roles without question, for the good of the Sept as a whole.
Imperial religion is prohibited and the Tau Water Caste run education (and re-education) programs that instill an understanding and love of the Greater Good into the sometimes reluctant gue’la minds. Populations are regularly sterilised to prevent population growth outstretching Tau methods of control. Human transgressors against the Greater Good are not publicly executed, as is the Imperial way, for the Tau see no need to publicise the fates of those who oppose them. Instead, such gue’la simply disappear, and it is the way of the Greater Good to convince oneself that they never existed at all.
The Mal’caor Shi, the Tau taskforce that rules and defends the Sept, has at its disposal several contingents of Tau military units and spacecraft. The Tau force contains many veteran forces of Fire Warriors and Air Caste pilots, and its leaders are highly motivated to add the Reach to the expansion of the Tau Empire. It also commands many auxiliary forces drawn from species that have joined the Tau in the pursuit of the Greater Good. The most numerous xenos auxiliaries are the Kroot, with substantial numbers of insectoid Vespid and smaller units of other, more specialised xenos warriors. The Tau also make use of human troops, but they never arm or direct them in person. Instead, the wishes of the Tau are passed on to the leaders of human worlds who then equip and command their own planetary forces. The Imperial Guard fighting on the fringes of the Sept in the Greyhell Front find themselves fighting these human forces as much as xenos foes.
The Tau face constant challenges in their fight to keep the Velk’Han Sept viable. The Tyranids and the Imperial Crusade force them to commit huge numbers of auxiliaries. Even before the Crusade hit the Canis Salient, however, the Sept had its problems. Chief among these was the baleful influence of the ruins found in the Black Reef and on many humansettled worlds. These ruins, the remnants of a xenos species long dead, are without exception inimical to life, and seem to defend themselves by infecting human and Tau alike with madness. Imperial aggression forced the Tau to abandon their efforts to understand these ruins, and their secrets remain hidden under the soil of Sept’s worlds.