The Farsight Enclaves, known as the "Forbidden Zone" in the T'au Empire, are a series of heavily-fortified T'au colony worlds that are independent and indeed opposed to the rule of the T'au Empire and its Ethereals. They are ruled by the legendary Fire Caste Shas'O Vior'la Shovah Kais Mont'yr, known to the Imperium as Commander Farsight, and lie on the far side of the Damocles Gulf region of the Segmentum Ultima in the Eastern Fringe of the Milky Way Galaxy.
The T'au Empire launches many probes towards what the T'au have named the "Forbidden Zone," the cluster of star systems beyond the far side of the Damocles Gulf in the Eastern Fringe, although few have ever returned. The strange eddies and unreadable energies that drift in that region doubtlessly damage or reroute a portion of those lost probes, but many more are destroyed by the Farsight Enclaves' orbital defence stations that blockade all entry, save only for their own voidships.
Beyond that formidable ring of floating fortresses are the Farsight Enclaves themselves. Scans from those few T'au probes to successfully beam back signals reveal a string of heavily built-up worlds with large populations, including nodal cities expanded from colony domes and entire moonbases converted to manufacturing.
When last seen trailing the Orks who were the target of his original military expedition into the wilds of the Damocles Gulf Terran centuries ago, Farsight's Coalition bore the symbols of their original Septs -- predominately Vior'la, but also Sa'cea, Tau'n and several others. When sighted generations later, these forces and fleets bore markings similar in design to those used by the T'au Empire, but in colours and patterns never sanctioned by the Ethereal High Council.
Like any distant colony, much of the wargear, armour and other technology used by those within the Farsight Enclaves is slightly dated compared to present-day Fire Caste armouries -- the equipment most prevalent at the time of Farsight's disappearance. There has been, however, unsettling evidence of classified technology and recent T'au prototypes present within the Enclaves. Time will tell whether this is the result of spycraft, theft or traitors to the Greater Good who have been aiding those within Farsight's domain.
In the aftermath of the Imperium of Man's abortive Damocles Gulf Crusade in 742.M41, a T'au Fire Caste Commander, Shas'o Viorla Shovah Kais Montyr, usually shortened to O'Shovah, and better known to Imperials as Commander Farsight, led a T'au expeditionary force which broke away from the main T'au Empire and established a series of fortified T'au colonies at the far side of the Damocles Gulf.
The underlying reason for the split has intrigued certain (admittedly obscure) scholar-adepts in the Imperium for many Terran centuries. As more information has come to light, the actions of Commander Farsight have become the source of grave concern for certain members of the Inquisition who perceive a distinct threat to the divine rule of the Emperor of Mankind in the actions of the T'au.
Despite the T'au Empire's efforts to rewrite history -- either avoiding mention of the fallen hero or painting him as a cowardly deserter -- there is still support for Farsight amongst the existing Septs. Many in the Fire Caste, especially those from Vior'la, maintain the image of O'Shovah as a trailblazer, although none dare show such dissent openly in the presence of an Ethereal.
The Ethereal High Council has forbidden all travel and communications by T'au to that sector of the galactic west. Special councils, composed of Ethereals and auxiliary guards, are despatched to question any who are rumoured to have contacts or sympathies with the Farsight Enclaves. Few who are questioned are seen again.
On the rare occasions when warriors bearing the distinctive red armour and markings from the Farsight Enclaves are seen within the T'au Empire, the Ethereal High Council has issued high mobilisation orders, although there have yet to be any confrontations.
In 997.M41, the Farsight Enclaves were assaulted by a splinter fleet of the Tyranids' Hive Fleet Kraken. Farsight himself led eighty XV8 Crisis Battlesuit Teams to drive the alien invaders back and protect the Enclaves from the predations of the Great Devourer.
In the Era Indomitus, after the birth of the Great Rift, the Farsight Enclaves were besieged by a large Ork WAAAGH! led by the infamous Bad Moons Warlord Nazdreg Ug Urdgrub in an attempt to prove that his Boyz are "shootier than 'sum shifty bunch of pirate gitz." In addition, the Warlord has heard of the KV128 Stormsurge and is intent on building one into a Stompa.
- Damocles Crusade (742.M41) - The T'au Empire comes under attack by an armada of the Imperium's warships on an Imperial Crusade to reclaim their long-neglected territory. It was a bloody campaign, and the Emperor's forces were finally stymied at Dal'yth Prime. The retreat of Imperial forces marked the end of the T'au Empire's Second Sphere Expansion.
- Rogue Commander (760.M41) - Following the Damocles Crusade, Commander Farsight recaptured much of the lost territory for the T'au Empire. However, the famed commander defied orders to return to T'au space, instead establishing a string of fortified planets known as the Farsight Enclaves that are independent of the control of the T'au Ethereals.
- Defence of the Farsight Enclaves (525.997.M41) - With his spearhead of eighty XV8 Crisis Battlesuit Teams, Commander Farsight led a counterattack against a tendril of Hive Fleet Kraken that entered his territory.
Notable Worlds of the Farsight Enclaves
- Lub'grahl - Lub'grahl is a world of drab earthen spires, whose interior is woven with countless Terran miles of shining white and silver tunnels laced with cutting edge technology. The Earth Caste are most numerous upon Lub'grahl, and they never, ever, stop building. Not a cycle goes by in which they don't add to the facilities filling its honeycomb tunnels with observatories, research centres, weapons testing vaults, mag-trains, quartermaster nodes and prototype development labs. On Lub'grahl's surface, however, the polar caps are punctuated only by hundreds of thousands of clean white ovals, each a memorial to one of the warriors lost under Farsight's command. None shall be forgotten, for O'Shovah sees martyrdom as the ultimate expression of the Greater Good, and strives to recognise such sacrifice wherever it occurs.
- Salash'hei - Salash'hei is not as much a planet as a collection of giant, viscous globes of liquid, each the size of a small moon. These massive spheroids orbit the nearby sun, Emon'hai, as a group. Each time a meteor or asteroid passes into one of the spheres, the liquid parts with stately slowness into smaller groups of globes; each time the forces of the void throw one or more globes together, they meld with a burst of meniscus that sets the skies dancing with multicoloured lights. Within Salash'hei, the Water Caste of O'Shovah's great collective meditate on what the fluid nature of the oceanic cloud can teach them about the universe and the other intelligent races within it. They are only too pleased to elaborate on the topic whenever the opportunity arises, for they love nothing more than to educate and enlighten those they deem to be further from truth.
- Gue'vesa'rio - Gue'vesa'rio is a world in the same star system as Salash'hei. As its name implies, it is home to the Gue'vesa population of the Enclaves, those humans who for various reasons have turned their back upon the Imperium of Man and pledged themselves to the service of the Greater Good.
- Tinek'la - The planet-sized crystal polygon known as Tinek'la is especially pleasing to the aesthetically-minded Air Caste who live in the floating hab-pods and orbital stations above it. The planet is a giant mineral structure so close to true transparency it seems to glow with lambent starlight. Unable to resist the challenge, Lub'grahl Earth Caste used planar sonics to shear the thin, meteor-cracked crust of Tinek'la away, leaving behind only a geometrically perfect surface. In doing so, they have transformed it into a shimmering polygonal testament to the power of the T'au. The world's orbital stations are fashioned in shapes similar to Tinek'la itself, revolving around their beautiful core world like electrons around some titanic nucleus.
- Vior'los - Vio'los is the capital of the Farsight Enclaves and the home of Commander Farsight and the majority of his military forces.The warriors of the Fire Caste like to say that the planet of Vior'los has a raging core to rival Farsight's own. The amount of geothermic energy that the Earth Caste has managed to harness from Vior'los' capped volcano chains make it the most potent of all the Farsight Enclaves' strategic assets. It has been speculated that the planet's innate power is what drew O'Shovah to make his home there. Though Vior'los boasts a warm saline ocean teeming with life, the planet's contiguous landmass is both its principal training ground and its most stunning natural resource. The many tectonic borders are dotted with volcano chains, each of which harbours a training academy. It is said in the Enclaves that Vior'los, whose name loosely translates as "Son of Vior'la," can boast just as many warriors as its parent planet, if not more.
Farsight Enclaves Unit Appearance
- Farsight Enclaves Markings: Bone White
- Uniform Variations: Dark red, black
- Codex: Tau (3rd Edition), pp. 50-51
- Codex: Tau Empire (4th Edition), pp. 10, 13-14
- Codex: Tau Empire (6th Edition), pp. 29, 57
- Codex: Tau Empire (7th Edition), "The Farsight Rebellion"
- Farsight Enclaves - A Codex: Tau Empire Supplement (6th Edition)
- Codex: Orks (8th Edition), pg. 30