Commander Brightsword in his T'au Battlesuit

Shas'o Tash'var Ol'nan B'kak, often referred to as O'var, which translated from the Tau Lexicon into Low Gothic means Commander Brightsword, was a T'au military officer and a student of Commander Farsight and the commander of the T'au outpost world of Es'tau.

Later, the title would be passed down to six other T'au warriors, who all served Commander Farsight and his renegade Farsight Enclaves in one capacity or another over the centuries.


Brightsword first served alongside Commander Farsight in the Arkunasha War against the Ork WAAAGH! Dok led by Warboss Toofjaw.

During the Second Sphere Expansion of the T'au Empire, Brightsword led the T'au forces against the Imperial troops defending the Civilised World of Nimbosa. During the initial assault, he annihilated the IX Vostroyan Firstborn Regiment at the battle for the factory city of Polia. When the Imperium counterattacked, Brightsword wiped out the attackers at a battle remembered amongst Imperials as the Koloth Gorge Massacre. There Brightsword ordered his troops to take no prisoners and the human forces were wiped out to the last trooper.

As a result of these unusually brutal tactics in contravention of the Greater Good, he was recalled back to the T'au homeworld of T'au and the world of Nimbosa was eventually reconquered by the Imperium during the Nimbosa Crusade.

Brightsword was assassinated by the 13th Penal Legion with the help of some members of the T'au Water Caste who feared his aggression would spark an unnecessary full-scale war with the Imperium of Man.

Following O'var's death, many T'au Commanders subsequently took up the name and identity of Brightsword, seven in total so far. All served under the command of Farsight from the time of the Damocles Crusade and the defence of the Sept world of Dal'yth, through the subsequent Farsight Expedition and even for many centuries after the founding of the renegade T'au Farsight Enclaves.

The latest warrior of the Fire Caste to bear the name of Commander Brightsword is part of Farsight's elite Battlesuit strike team and war council known as "The Eight." Though half a dozen T'au generations separate him from the original warrior to bear his name, this Brightsword has inherited all of that lineage's legendary ferocity and tactical accumen, and like the Brightswords before him, he has pledged his life to the service of Commander Farsight and the Enclaves.

The dark truth behind the lineage of the Brightswords is that each bearer of the title is not actually a separate T'au warrior who volunteers to give up his own identity for that of the Brightsword, but a clone of the original O'var created by O'Vesa, a member of The Eight who was not a warrior but a scientist of the Earth Caste who served Commander Farsight.


  • Blades of Damocles (Novel) by Phil Kelly, Ch. 17
  • Cities of Death (4th Edition), pp. 56-57
  • Farsight Enclaves - A Codex: Tau Empire Supplement (6th Edition) (Digital Edition), pp. 12-16, 23, 35, 63, 72, 80-83
  • Codex: Tau Empire (4th Edition), pp. 14-15
  • Kill Team (Novel) by Gav Thorpe
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.