Tarsis System

The Tarsis System


The Tarsis System is a system almost overcrowded with planets, hosting even more than Sol. Eleven of them, and several have their moon moons, large and small. Four planets are habitable, with Tarsis IV the most prominent among them. Most of the uninhabitable planets are unnamed, and the inhabitable ones have been unimaginably named Tarsis I, II, III and IV for the time being.


The Tarsis system was scouted out in the early eighth millennium, but was, at that time, of no real consequence or strategic value. Just another medium-large system in the largely empty border territories, with low mineral wealth and relatively planets, and was pretty much overlooked for the next one and a half thousand years, even as the borders spread beyond it, then pulled back to set it quite close to a three way border between the empires. Of all the planets, only Tarsis IV was human habitable without terraforming.

Its first colonists, who arrived about halfway through the ninth millennium, were a group of Independents with a luddite philosophy, fleeing the “evils” of technology which permeated the terra league, who settled with a small community and built a relatively successful agrarian nation on Tarsis IV, the most hospitable world. Then, a group of silvers saw the planet, and decided to have some fun. Over the next four years, the community was haunted by ghosts, marauding werewolves, trolls and every other fantasy creature you can think of, while the silvers, sitting in their biofactory on the other side of the planet, watched and laughed until they’d slaughtered every last one of them. Then, they left, leaving wreckage and death behind, along with a menagerie of mythical monsters they couldn’t be bothered to care for. It is thought they all died in the following half millennia.

In the gap between that abortive effort and the current Protectorate colonization scheme, the only events of note was a temporary trade station being set up for four months, then dismantled, during the foundation of the now prosperous trade route through three adjacent special sectors, and a brief period where pirate attacks were common. These were dealt with by a Quetz protocol, although that brought with it its own problems.

The recent colonization effort was spurred on by the recent loss of Allanis, a previously secure system, to an anomalous and catastrophic implosion of its star. The Protectorate was quick to blame Silver terrorists, but without any proof there was little they could do. Instead, it was announced a wave of new worlds and systems was required to make up the loss, and Tarsis was chosen as a candidate for new colonization.

The initial exploratory expedition found all the planets in the same condition recorded in the early surveys, save for IV, where they found both the remains of the settlers and the beasts which had killed them. They performed strategic orbital bombardment on the areas thought contaminated, and then proceeded with the initial stages of ecoforming.

Planets of the Tarsis System

Tarsis I: Tarsis I is a small, watery world, fourth planet from its sun, the preceding three all rendered uninhabitable by the heat. Its surface is over 80% water, although roughly 40% of this is made up of incredibly shallow seas, the waters never more than ten meters deep. The available land is rocky and mountainous, although depending on the area it can be skirted by forest, desert or tundra. However, the most interesting aspect of this planet is its amphibious forests. On the low, flat seas, trees were formulated which grow up from the sea bed. It was not foreseen that these trees would spread to the deeper waters, but now this has occurred. Most of the wildlife lives in the twisted boughs of the trees, from chimps and lizards to birds and even some species of big cat, the largest of which is the Tarsi Leaper, a bull sized monster with a very high level of intelligence and prehensile claws.

Progress report- Disregarding the land save for a single island, where a decapped mountain serves as a landing platform, there are now between twelve and seventeen settlements among the worlds treetops. An accurate figure is difficult to calculate, as they are apparently quasi-nomadic, and seemingly flow together and apart seamlessly. The settlers are doing well, according to their own reports, with abundance of food and space making life easy. Several groups of youths report having tamed the Tarsi Leaper, and using them to hunt the giant tree lizards for food.

Tarsis II: Tarsis II is a twin of Tarsis I, inhabiting a very similar orbit, just a few thousand kilometers further out, and with a relatively similar mass. However, the landmass of Tarsis II is close to 80%, making it almost opposite of I. It has no seas, but instead is crisscrossed by a network of rivers and streams, the majority of which are apparently underground. The area of its surface has a good mix of terrain, with forests, mountains, deserts etc all showing some representation. The mountains have fairly average mineral wealth, but a recent discovery was that the waters of the rivers were incredibly healthy, improving upon the already strong Martian physique of all who drank from them. Further research is being made. The animal and plant life on the planet is fairly standard, save for a single common alteration- all can swim, or at least float. This is usually an escape mechanism, jumping into a fast flowing stream and being carried away rapidly if attacked. This, in turn, means that the planetary gene pool is relatively unified, as species are never truly alone.

Progress report- After selecting a large island, with a temperate climate, settlement has gone on very well, with the main town thriving and smaller holds being formed on three of the closer segments of land. Agriculture has begun, although how to keep herds from swimming away while at the same time letting them drink surprised a few early herders. Youths seem to be finding great joy in gaining aquatic mutations and exploring the vast underground caverns and seas. The possibility of colonizing these too is being analyzed

Tarsis III: Tarsis III is the ice moon of a larger gas giant with a very odd structure. It is surrounded by a sphere of frozen ice, but beneath this is a cold but liquid sea, with islands dotting it and strange fish swimming its seas. On the islands, plants grow and animals run, but most of the life is in the oceans, where a vibrant and fascinating ecosystem has emerged. Even deeper down, in the ice caves of the core, live still exists, in myriad species of worm and jellyfish.

Progress Report: A small start up settlement has been formed on the largest island, with heated living quarters and food stores set up. Population are currently undergoing mutation for the weather and climate, and expect to begin sailing, fishing and mining. Certain ambitious youths have taken to glacier climbing, a dangerous but invigorating sport.

Tarsis IV: Tarsis IV is the largest and most well developed world in Tarsis, with one large city and a network of smaller ones already established. It has three large ring shaped continents, one ringing its north pole, the other its south, and the final one its equator. This is thought not to be a natural formation, suggesting the silvers altered more than just beasts while on this world. The northern and southern continents are cold to temperate, while the central is temperate at the edges and tropical or desert in the center. The abundance of forests on all continents has lead to vibrant arboreal ecosystems, with wolves being the dominant predators all over the world, preying on every continent.

Progress Report: The first colonies are on the south edge of the north continent and north edge of the center, where the two coastlines are relatively close. The towns have already begun trading and making use of resources from all aspects of the world. On an island between the two coasts, the Great Cathedral of Tarsis is being built. If it is completed on schedule, the Pope of Mars will make a personal visit to consecrate it.

Tarsis V: Tarsis V is a rugged moon of the outer gas giant, with a low average temperature and very fractured terrain, studded with mountain ranges. The ranges themselves are mostly hollow, hiding huge underground grotto’s, which house lots of life due to the relative warmth and safety. It is dominated by insect life within the mountains, and polar-type mammals, with foxes, bears and wolves all existing together on the outside, preying on various slow herd animals. The worlds mostly frozen seas have relatively safe environs beneath, and many fish species dwell within.

Progress Report: The first few colonies have been started in its extensive cave systems within the mountains, with underground trade routes already in action. The largest settlement is within a coastal mountain, and has already begun a lively fishing trade with the more inland settlements, who in turn seem to have begun enthusiastically hunting for pelts.

Tarsis VI: Tarsis VI is an odd world, so far out it should be cold, but kept warm by its highly active core and its highly active volcanic moon. Its surface is relatively standard, 60% water and mostly flat land in one large, twisted continent, but it is scarred by huge burns from lunar eruptions. However, orbit and eruption patterns have been predicted by watching the lifeforms deployed to the planet. The precision with which they migrate allowed patterns to be easily estimated and calculated, ensuring safety. The lifeforms have a single odd quirk of oversized ears and eyes, being very sensitive to slight movements or noises that could herald earthquakes or eruptions

Progress Report: The initial settlement is being founded in a small, safe valley in the northern section of the continent, where no eruption debris has come in recorded history. The colonists seem excited, and either reckless or worried about the rather dangerous nature of the world being assigned to them.

Note: To those unaware of colony protocol, the exploits of the current generation of colonists may seem trivial and strange. However, it is policy to allow them relative freedom during the first few generations to establish a unique identity and culture, which includes at least a little indulging of primal tastes in the individual planetary environment. Large scale productivity and usefulness will follow in time.

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