The Four-Sword Campaigns
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Ultimately, however, the strongest voices came from Tel'Oshi. For eight Tau'cyr the world had stood vigil, its warriors waiting, its ships hung at anchor, anticipating the encroachment of the Y'he; the Tyranids.
For eight Tau'cyr they had waited, and now with the venerable O'Sun'yi recovered and willing to lead them, talk of expansion to the galactic east was voiced with even greater strength. As Shas'El Shi'Ka was quoted to say "For too long we have sat idle, for too long we have been a wall against which our enemies have broken. Now we want vengeance, now we want blood!"
Ultimately, the Tau'Ar'Tol conceeded. Tel'Oshi's military were prepped, and dispatched for war.
Some voiced concern at the traditions and rituals that had developed within the Sept, such as their Lakor'Yhe, the "Messengers of Death". However, such concerns were dismissed; given the horrors they had faced, some eccentricity was acceptable.
Whilst Tel'Oshi began its eastern assault, pressing deep into Ork territories, another expansion began on the southern edge of Aun'Va's planned expansion. This assault was led by Shas-Monat Vior'La Erra'myr, and the nature of it was kept secret for many Tau'cyr. Many Shas had turned rogue since the defection of Farsight, and the Aun feared that some malign influence had taken hold. Erra'myr was charged with hunting down these renegades, and learning the nature of their defection. He served in many theatres, both alone and as part of a larger force, though none ever knew his true mission. His current whereabouts are unknown; all contact with the Shas-Monat has ceased.
A rising concern within the Empire has been the emergence of the Draqui. When initially discovered the race seemed content to join the Tau'va, but recently forces have been engaged by Draqui armies in ever-growing strengths and numbers. Those Draqui loyal to the Empire can offer little by way of explanation, save that their race is divided in its motives and loyalties.
The aggressors seem to favour piratical actions; stealing technology and raw materials rather than conquering worlds. They rarely leave dead behind; either theirs or their enemy's, which has led the Shas'Ar'Tol to conclude they are either slavers, or they have some dire motive for looting the corpses of the slain. Two attempts thus far have been made to capture an Aun, the second with Eldar assistance. As these engagements emerged, O'Sun'yi was requested to join the South-western theatres, leaving the western expansion in the hands of O'Bentu.
Not all encounters with alien races have been aggressive, however. The Mal'kor, or "Vespid" in the Gue'la tongue, have proven to be loyal allies of the Empire. Readily embracing the Tau'va ideal, Vespid warriors known as "Stingwings" have swarmed to the cause of the Shas, joining our Hunter-Cadres on the field of battle. Their value is undesputed by those they serve with, as their Neutron Blasters can defeat even the mighty Gue'Or'es'la warriors with relative ease.
For a time, the Empire has known peace with the Imperium. However, the peace is fickle, breaking and reforging constantly. Despite the alliance that occured during the Final Hour campaign, the Imperium has shown little desire to maintain the peace. It seems that, rather than acting as a unified whole, Imperial Commanders are free to choose whether to treat the Tau as allies, or enemies. The Por believe this could be turned to the Empire's advantage...
Perhaps more pressing is the nature of the Empire's involvement with the Craftworld of Ko'shanniah. Despite a shakey introduction, the Craftworld has retained loose ties with the Empire, trading with them via an Eldar subcast known as "Eldritch Raiders". However, in the past two years trade has all but ceased, and hostilities have increased exponentially. Over a dozen colonies have been obliterated overnight, the inhabitants slaughtered and the buildings razed, with no sign of the attackers, or where they came from. It is only through our Bentu'sin allies, who seem extremely reluctant to involve themselves at all, that we know the attacks to be of Eldar origin. It seems the Bentu'sin are eager to bring this emerging war to a close before it can start, though many fear it will fail.
In preparation, Shas'O Au'taal Nan'cova has been ordered to assemble an army, and stand ready. The so-called "Scorpion Worlds" where the Eldar attacks have occured are the subject of must contestation, and the Empire wishes to show the Eldar they are not going to surrender them without a fight.
Thus it is that the Empire faces four great Campaigns; the War of Expansion led by O'Shaserra, the War of Vengeance led by O'Bentu, the War of Division led by O'Sun'yi, and the War of Defiance led by O'Nan'cova. This massive military undertaking has become known as the "Four-Sword Campaigns", and many believe it could mark the birth of a new and grand era for the Empire. With O'Shaserra and her forces closing swiftly on the Imperial world "Medusa V", and O'Nan'cova preparing his fleet to close on the Eldar-named world of Yl'nirroath, the stage is set for the Tau to begin their Ascendancy...
...or their fall into extinction.