In the Dust of This Planet
Palython is a moderately small planet orbiting the star Nisys, and is the native home of an incredible number of intelligent species. It is named for the goddess Palyth, who it is said sacrificed herself to instill its inhabitants with divine wisdom.
Moons of Palython
Palython originally had three moons: Tempus, Talus, and Timaeus. Timaeus vanished from Palython’s sky under mysterious circumstances in LY327; while no direct evidence has ever been found, it is assumed the event is tied to the Tiefling Curse. Talus, too, left Palythonian orbit under considerably more dramatic circumstances, falling from the sky during the Sundering.
The Golden Age
Due to the small size of the planet, it was (relative to other homeworlds) quickly unified under a single governing body. The Lonic Republic, named for the legendary warrior Lonus of Tarn, brought thirteen civilized species under the banner of a ruling Senate. For nearly a thousand years, Palython (but not all Palythonians) enjoyed peace and prosperity.
The Great War
A half-Orc miner named Mugdul chafed under the Senate’s imposed caste system and published a treatise on the ills of Functionalism, The Illusion of Progress, in LE987. The book quickly spread through the lower classes, and Lonic elites began to worry of revolution. Citadel authorities arrested Mugdul on questionable charges; his brief but brutal stay in prison disillusioned him with the way of peaceful dissent and left him with a new and violent vision of freedom.
A week later, on what would come to be called Declaration Day, Mugdul and his men burst into a full Senate session and murdered all present. Mugdul declared the foundation of the Circean Empire and flew the Masked Banner over the Citadel.
For nearly three thousand years, control of Palython and its moons changed hands countless times; by the time of the Sundering, it was almost entirely under Lonic rule, with scattered pockets of Circean fighters holding out in ruined cities and on the ice moon Talus.
The Sundering and the Gathering
In LY3942, the goddess Circe made her presence known on Palython. She called out across the Void to all those fighting in her name to join her at Talus for one final battle. Circean forces poured into the system, and millions of soldiers gathered on the moon in preparation. As dawn broke over the planet below, she appeared in corporeal form to the crowd and spoke ten words:
You dare to speak for a god? You decieve yourselves.
Without warning, she dropped the moon from orbit onto the planet below, killing an estimated three billion Palythonians and rendering most of the planet an uninhabitable waste.
Survivors of the attack and those lucky enough to be offworld at the time collected in the ruins of the capitol to regroup. A small band of Circean fighters under the de facto command of Stanos surrendered to Bira and her men at the steps of the former Citadel. As the agreement was signed, the voice of Palyth rang out in the minds of every being born of Palythonian blood:
The war is over. All the children of Palyth may return home.
Within days, the skies over Palython began to fill with ships — from all across the galaxy, men and women descended from Palythonians who had fled the war three thousand years ago answered the call of their homeworld.
In the weeks following the Sundering, it became clear that Palython was growing more and more uninhabitable. Ash rained from the sky, blotting out the sun and stars. Crops failed and animals starved. A council of wizards convened by Bira developed a plan to stop the decay: a planet-wide restoration spell, the largest of its kind ever attempted. Acting quickly, they employed the aid of every caster they could find; mages, druids, and healers worked in unison, and a warm glow enveloped the world.
But something went wrong — Palython had been restored, but to a primordial state. Reports of prehistoric monsters began pouring in from the outskirts of the city.