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The Tal system is a star system on the edge of the Xi'an Empire, it is made up of seven planets orbiting a white dwarf and a single jump point to the Th.us'ūng system.[1]

Tal is one of the most iconic Xi'An systems. Designed to act as a Production System, each planet has been meticulously zoned to handle a different type of business. The intricate planning even includes assigning a specific color for each planet to use in its architecture. Four of Tal's seven-planets are habitable and open to Human visitors. The Xi'An strongly discourage Humans from venturing past Rhiorr (Tal V), the last inhabited planet in the system.

–ARK Starmap

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Y.ōm'e

This small planet sits too close to the system’s sun to maintain life. It is pockmarked with craters from probes and mining missions that sought resources to be used by the rest of the system. As far as we know, nothing valuable was ever found and the Xi’an left Tal I to bake eternally in the sun. All the heat radiating off the rocky planet makes it appear to shimmer and glow.

Oli'xa

Upon visiting Tal II, famed musician Sindo Guerrero took inspiration from all the buildings being accented in yellow to write his record-breaking, chart-topping hit, “Sun Kissed.”

Home to large-scale space fabrications, Tal II is the technology hub of the system. The planet’s factories pump out some of the most advanced ship parts in the ’verse. This mixture of industrial fabrication and high-end technology makes Tal II the system’s busiest planet. The constant hum of machinery and the non-stop flow of workers hustling in and out of yellow buildings has earned Tall-II the nickname “The Hive” among Human visitors.

It is not uncommon to see Humans living on Tal II, though to do so, one must have a valid work permit. Human corporations have also begun to seek out more stable opportunities in the system, with MISC having recently established a small branch office here that facilitates their agreement with the Xi’an; it was the central development site of the cutting-edge avionics software used in their new Reliant line.

Finally, do not forget to bring your sunglasses to help with the strong glare from the yellow-tinged architecture, but remember, please remove your sunglasses before interacting with the Xi’an. In their culture, it is considered disrespectful to hide one’s eyes when speaking.

Lūng'xyi

If you are a first-time visitor to the Tal System, begin your visit on Tal III. Considered the cultural hub of the system, the residents are used to Human visitors and are very welcoming of tourists, more so than the typical Xi’an world. In fact, many find the planet to be a perfect metaphor for the Xi’an themselves. With most of the lush landscape covered in neat farms, the cities create a stark contrast to their natural surroundings, with their appointed color-scheme of violet popping brightly upon approach.

As a major manufacturer of food for the system, and possibly their entire empire, Lūng’xyi is a must-stop for Xi’an food enthusiasts. For those who have never tried the cuisine, be prepared for a sensation unlike any other. Some Xi’an dishes uses flavorful spices that cause minor muscle spasms in the Human mouth. It is definitely not dangerous, but will just as definitely surprise those who are not expecting it. Humans may find the sensation weird and off-putting, but many believe it actually enhances the flavor of the food. Most restaurants will adjust the strength of the spices to the Human palette. Do not be afraid to politely inquire about the spice level of the food if the waiter does not bring it up. Just remember to do so before they begin preparing your dish.

Meanwhile, the beautiful and fragrant countryside of Lūng’xyi tempts Humans with a natural visual diversity that does not exists within its cities. Many visitors want to explore the countryside, but few actually do. The area is generally considered off-limits to foreigners unless one is given special permission and guided by a Xi’an. Do not forget the brief diplomatic spat that occurred in 2890 when Prime resident Shinji Shapiro was detained after being found wandering the fields of Tal IIIalone.

Tal III’s textile industry draws many of the UEE’s top designers to the planet. Patterns and fabrics discovered here quickly find their way to runways on Terra and Earth before creating trends across the entire Empire. Certain discerning buyers even schedule travel to Tal III while major fashion shows occur in the UEE so that they will be in place once the hot new trend has been determined, to purchase as much of the in-vogue fabric or pattern as they can. The qualities of Luk’Shi’s garment industry also have the fashionable flocking to the planet for custom-made clothes. Some shops have even begun to offer trained tailors that can modify Xi’an fashion to more flatteringly fit the Human form.

Lixāuu

Tal IV is the least visited habitable planet in the system, and for good reason. It is home to major processing facilities and refineries. Unless there is business to be had here, it is probably best to avoid it.

Even though Lixāuu’s building are lined in green, this is a blue-collar planet through and through, with haulers and refinery workers making up a majority of the population. While the upscale fare found on Lūng’xyi often gets the lion’s share of the praise from the culinary world, those who seek a more authentic experience say that it can be found in the working-class food stalls thickly stacked outside of almost all of the planet’s numerous processing plants. Almost as ubiquitous as the stalls themselves is the warm, thick fermented drink called yahlu that the workers consume before work.

A word of warning: Tal IV’s atmosphere does contain traces amounts of acid, but thankfully it is not enough to harm buildings, ships or residents wearing the proper attire. It was the main reason the Xi’an placed the more polluting plants here instead of industries that would draw more traffic. That said, if you find yourself on Tal IV in the midst of a rain storm, it is probably best to seek shelter sooner rather than later and to avoid getting the precipitation on your bare skin.

Ryōl

Never say that the Xi’an lack a sense of humor. Tal V, whose buildings prominently feature a burnt orange color, houses a high percentage of industrial complexes dedicated to the end-stage processing of arms and weapons. If the planet is approached in just the right light, the sun’s rays reflected off the burnt orange almost look like energy weapon blasts.

Many Humans have made their way to Ryōl in search of advanced weapons for their personal or ship armament. With the Xi’an still secretive over much of their technology, only certain parts of the planet are open to Human visitors. These areas feature a heavy Xi’an military presence, but do not let that dissuade you from stopping in to buy the latest blaster. Very little violence or crime has been reported by travelers. This is partially due to the prevalence of armed security but also because, in light of the peace treaty, the Xi’an government seems eager to avoid confrontation with Humans as much as possible.

Chuaiton

Deemed uninhabitable upon its discovery, this resource-rich rock was part of the reason the Xi’an based a Production System in Tal. Centuries of mining have reportedly stripped Tal VI of significant amounts resources, though it may be difficult to check if anything of value is left for yourself since the Xi’an military keeps a watchful eye over all traffic that nears the planet. This has led people to theorize that there is more going on in Tal VI than meets the eye. Even in the most open Xi’an system to Humans, secrets still abound.

Kyu'nao

Located in the farthest reaches of the Tal System, Tal VII is a prismatic gas giant that is said to be a reflection of the planets it watches over. This is because its four thick, colored bands of roiling clouds match the colors assigned to the inhabited worlds in the system. A wonderful example of the harmony and symmetry in which Xi’an culture places deep value, Tal VII is a fitting last stop for any visitor’s tour of the system.

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References[]

  1. robertsspaceindustries.com "Unlock: Tal System". Retrieved July 16, 2021.
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