Ta-Lo, also called Daluo Tian (the Great Canopy Heaven), was one of the God Realms, among the Inner Planes, and a small "pocket" dimension adjacent to Earth, and the home dimension of the Xian. The highest of the 36 heavens of the Chinese gods.
Interdimensional nexuses between Earth and Ta-Lo exist at each of the Five Great Mountains: Hua Shan in the West, Tai Shan in the East, Nan Heng Shan in the South, Bei Heng Shan in the North, and Song Shan in the center. An additional interdimensional nexus between Earth and Ta-Lo in the form of an ancient stone gateway (paifang) exists on Qilin Island, a remote island in the East China Sea hidden away by powerful magic.
In addition to the Xian, other beings inhabit Ta-Lo and its associated heavens, including celestial dragons, phoenix-like fenghuang, the hoofed qilin beasts, the canine-like haetae, the vulpine-like jiuweihu, and the winged dijiang.
Although the immortal Xian constitute most of Ta-Lo's population, the dimension is also home to a few communities of mortal humanoids. One such community is the Qilin Riders, who long ago were appointed by the Xian to serve as the guardians of the ancient stone gateway connecting Ta-Lo to the Earth realm on Qilin Island. The Qilin Riders have been sworn to safeguard the Five Sets of Heavenly Weapons of the Xian, treasures hidden away within Ta-Lo, from any would-be thieves.
In the past, Zheng Zu attempted to invade Ta-Lo to claim its Heavenly Weapons for the Five Weapons Society. After meeting and falling in love with Jiang Li on Qilin Island, Zu abandoned his plans. However a few years later, Zu resumed his plans and constructed a makeshift portal to Ta-Lo, which was destroyed during a confrontation between him, Jiang Li and Chieftain Xin.
In modern times, after nearly all of the Asgardian gods were killed by the Fourth Host of Celestials, Thor traveled to Ta-Lo to obtain the life energies needed to resurrect his fellow Asgardians, which the Xian skyfather Yu Huang readily gave him.
When Chieftain Xin kidnapped Jiang Li and summoned several Taotie from Ta-Lo to destroy anyone within Zheng Zu's lineage, Shang-Chi and his siblings traveled to Ta-Lo to rescue his mother and to stop his grandfather. Shortly after arriving, they were confronted by several of Yu Huang's soldiers for trespassing. Shang-Chi attempted to explain Xin's villainy but was rebuked due to the Qilin Riders being the only mortals deemed worthy by the Xian, prompting the guards to attack him and his siblings. Yu Huang arrived shortly after and used the Ten Rings to restrain the outsiders. Disturbed by the mortals' unlawful presence and the accusation against Xin, Yu Huang summoned Xin to his throne room for answers. Yu Huang lambasted Xin for breaking his oath to protect gateway between Earth and Ta Lo and ordered him to be imprisoned within his dungeon. Instead, Xin put on a Taotie Mask, allowing him to overpower the guards and the Jade Emperor himself. Xin made his way to the dungeon holding Shang-Chi and his siblings to destroy the Zheng lineage once and for all. Guided by his father's spirit, Shang-Chi traveled to the Emperor's vault containing the Ten Rings and donned them to stop his grandfather's rampage.
Points of Interest
- Yujing Shan [玉京山] ("The Jade Capital") - The capital of Ta-Lo, from where the Xian skyfather Yu Huang rules.
- The Jade Court - Yu Huang's court at Yujing Shan, where he and his official viziers (such as Shou-Hsing) administer the heavens.
- The Jade Palace - Yu Huang's personal residence, which also holds his throne room and a dungeon. There is also a vault containing the Five Sets of Heavenly Weapons, including the Ten Rings, that Yu Huang keeps away from his throne room due to their destructive power.
- Gardens of Xi Wangmu - Area where the Xian goddess of immortality and Queen Mother of the West, Xi Wangmu, grows the P'an-t'ao [蟠桃] ("Peaches of Immortality"), which are then bestowed upon mortals deemed worthy to ascend to godhood.
- Qilin Rider Encampment - The main headquarters of the Qilin Riders
- Fenghuang (phoenix-like creatures)
- Celestial Dragons
- Haetae (canine creatures)
- Qilin Riders
- Interdimensional nexuses between Ta-Lo and Earth exist at each of the Five Great Mountains: Tai Shan (East), Hua Shan (West), Bei Heng Shan (North), Nan Heng Shan (South), and Song Shan (center). An additional interdimensional nexus between Earth and Ta-Lo in the form of an ancient stone gateway (paifang) exists on Qilin Island, a remote island in the East China Sea hidden away by powerful magic.
- Although the Xian and the 36 Taoist heavens share many characteristics with the extradimensional K'un-Lun, the other Seven Capital Cities of Heaven, and their inhabitants, any connection between the Xian and the Seven Capital Cities of Heaven has yet to be revealed. It has been theorized that the inhabitants of K’un-Lun and the Seven Capital Cities of Heaven have posed as the Xian at various point throughout history.
Links and References
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