In the Warhammer 40k novel Crisis of Faith by Phil Kelly, O'Shoh (aka Commander Farsight), the main character, is asked why he painted his battlesuit red. He replies, "It is to honour the Arkunashan dead. Their blood is on my hands, and I will not forget it." (The Arkunashan dead are fallen Tau soldiers.)

Under this assumption, red would be an appropriate color for a human who is seeking to avenge his fallen comrades, but according to the Tau Codex, Tau Lexicanum, and RPG-SE, Tau blood is actually blue. Meaning that Farsight's hands were (figuratively speaking) stained with blue blood.

Why is it then that he paints his modified Crisis Battlesuit in red, and not blue. Do any of the Warhammer 40k supplements or general lore explain this discrepancy, or is this just an honest mistake? Note that GW depicts Commander Farsight in a red Crisis Suit.

For now I'm assuming its an honest oversight of the novel. Still, I haven't been able to find a single reference to why Farsight and his enclave wear red. According to the Tau Lexicon, the fire caste wars armour the same color as their sept's (home/main planet's) surface. But I don't believe all septs in the Farsight enclave are red. Fluff/lore -wise, there must be something behind it. Or did GW just choose red at random?

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    You might be able to get a better answer on sci-fi stack exchange, since this is a very specific question that focuses on the game/novels/multimedia setting rather than the minis or game rules per se. I'm not voting to close, but I suggest migration.
    – Alex P
    Jun 1, 2017 at 19:02
  • @AlexP We first had this question on Role-playing Games, and we recommended it for Science Fiction & Fantasy and someone also mentioned that since this was about painting figurines for the tabletop game it might also be relevant for this site. Jun 1, 2017 at 21:22
  • Looks like we've gotten a good (well researched & accepted) answer in scifi
    – hexparrot
    Jun 5, 2017 at 18:12
  • @hexparrot Not really. They migrated the question from RPG-SE, and things got somehow messed up. The question over there was: "Is Tau blood blue or red?", and the answer is "Blue". But it does not answer why farsight's armor is red. Jun 5, 2017 at 18:44
  • Ah, I figured from "From the Xenology book, published by Games Workshop, we have a dissected (female) tau and an audiolog describing their physiology that says that the specimen's blood is a blue fluid, and that its skin is grey/blue." (as well as the other details) suggested that it was just an oversight in the Crisis of Faith novel. In other words, numerous places say cyan/blue is the blood color, but only one single quote (perhaps mistakenly) suggests it's red?
    – hexparrot
    Jun 5, 2017 at 18:48

1 Answer 1


In a recent article on the Warhammer Community page author Phil Kelly puts a footnote to the effect that T'au blood has always been red.

It’s been red from the first ever account of the sacred ta’lissera blood bond. We tried different coloured blood for our alien races – Orks had green blood at one point – but it just didn’t look right on the miniatures, nor in the art.

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    But this contradicts the Tau Empire Codex, which started to state sinceramente the third edition (or was it the second?) that Tau blood is cyan. Still your answer is completely letigimate Jul 16, 2017 at 15:44

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