Excilior

There are no exiles when everyone is a refugee

A
lthough it's understood that Excilior exists in a broader universe where other societies - maybe even, other evolved-and-intelligent species - exist and thrive, the planet's history is only experienced through the limited lens available to its inhabitants, known colloquially as casterways. In a practical sense, this means that its history is, essentially, not understood at all.

Refugees From Above
T
he largest constant throughout Excilior's history is excilation. This process of transporting humans to the planet's surface has continued, unabated for thousands of years. Cognoscenti have no knowledge of the planet's status before excilation began. And to this day, they still don't completely comprehend just what excilation is. The prevailing theory is that those sent on the one-way trip to Excilior were criminals in the broader universe. But even this conclusion is debated and there are competing explanations for the nature of the strange ritual of jettisoning people to this jungle world, which continues to this very day.   Because all new arrivals suffer significant - and permanent - memory loss, there is no solid picture about the broader society that sent them here - the Absents. Any technological skill they might have possessed in their prior lives is gone, leaving the whole of casterway civilization to advance at a stunted pace. That pace undoubtedly leaves it in a backward and primitive state in comparison to Absent civilization.

A Brutal Environment
W
hile Excilior's environment is wildly conducive to all manner of plant and animal life, it is exceptionally difficult for the establishment of human societies. This has led to rates of population growth and advancement that would presumably fall far short of that on other established worlds. Disease spreads easily through the thousands of biting/stinging/burrowing insect species that thrive throughout the island continents. Food production is challenging in a world where a cleared patch of farmland is nearly-overgrown within a season or two. Construction - and broader technological advancements - are challenged by the dearth of core natural resources, like iron ore or crude oil. Annual weather patterns routinely deliver apocalyptic storms that can lay waste to thousands of square kilometers in a single day. And most puzzling of all, the ages-long condition known as the Plague of Men constrains the inhabitants' ability to maintain a growing population.   Even when casterway civilization seems to be purring along, the Trials of Syrus can lay waste to entire nations. The 17-year drought happens on a predictable, 247-year cycle. But even when it's understood that a Trial is on the horizon, the sheer severity and duration of the tragedy is such that it still tends to topple human institutions and "reset" the world's political board.

Geography

T
he planet's known landmasses are all south of the equator (except for Dinaisia - tiny piece of its northern tip barely extends into the northern hemisphere), and they span an area that occupies roughly one quarter of the planet's surface. Those landmasses consist of three separate continents - Isleprimoton to the west, Islegantuan to the east, and Islemanoton in the middle. The planet's dominating feature - the Aequin Ocean - surrounds all three continents. This drives weather patterns that deliver excessive levels of rain and, on frequent occasions, storm systems of frightening strength. The constant precipitation creates massive river systems. Although many landmasses feature modest elevation, the rivers carve the hillsides into steep ravines and thickly-forested gorges. The biomes range from dense jungle in the north (near the equator) to temperate rain forests in the south, although vast grasslands dominate central Islegantuan and parts of Isleprimoton.   While most of the planet is considered to be relatively "flat", the Hammerhorn Mountains in western Isleprimoton span for more than 600 kilometers and they contain peaks as high as 8,000 meters. Further south on the Leung Peninsula, the forested highlands reach altitudes of 2,600 meters.   All of the planet's landmasses are buttressed by an epic cave network, fostered by the preponderance of limestone underneath the forest floors. If followed deep enough below the surface, those caves lead to a unique, and seemingly global phenomenon: the Ontorseia. This ubiquitous body of dense salt water seems to lie far below all of the continents (leading some cognoscenti to even theorize that it is, in fact, a single, contiguous body of water). The extreme salinity in this underwater ocean stifles all life, but it also has strange preservative powers that are poorly understood.

Fauna & Flora

E
xcilior supports a mind-blowing diversity of plants and animals. This includes oceans and rivers that team with marine life, an inordinate number of avian species, and all manner of mammals, reptiles, and amphibians. While the land species are numerous, this is nothing compared to the bounty of life that is found in the water. This has created a system of apex marine predators that are so large, and so aggressive, that they challenge the viability of travel and commerce. During times of crisis, countries have been known to launch two ships for every one that they desperately need to arrive at the destination port.   Trees dominate most of the landscapes. The favorable conditions have led to several competing species of megaflora. For example, Islegantuan features the canopeia tree, whose canopy can extend beyond 100 meters and its trunk can grow to be more than 12 meters in diameter.   Mosses have branched out in ways not seen on any other planet. They are harvested regularly by the population because many of them have unique medicinal, industrial, or commercial properties. They are so ubiquitous that some societies have used them as live coverings for their walls and floors.   The jungle vine systems also challenge the evolutionary norms seen on other planets. Some species can grow so dense that, over time, they will raise the forest floor, as one colony of aspiring vines simply "builds" atop an older, less agile colony. Over time, these ancient root systems can create extended labyrinths that humans have leveraged for travel or shelter.

Natural Resources

E
xcilior orbits a star, known as Syrus, with a particularly orange hue.


Whether it's from the shade of Syrus's light, or some other natural phenomenon, all of the planet's great bodies of saltwater display a distinct hint of purple. Some believe that the extent of this purple hue correlates to the relativity salinity of the water. The largest body - the Aequin Ocean - has a saline concentration lower than some smaller, more-isolated seas, and its purple shades come across as just a shimmering lining when looking out over the horizon. This is in contrast to the Crucible Seia, which often appears downright plum-colored around dawn or dusk.   Conversely, Excilior's freshwater bodies skew distinctly green. Although the observations are anecdotal, there appears to be some correlation between a lake's latitude and its particular shade of green. Those in northern climes, nearer the equator, are reported as being a darker forest green. Those at the southern-most edges of the continents, nearer the pole, are associated with a brilliant emerald hue.

Maps

  • Map of Excilior
Area 13.1M km2
Cities 1045
Countries 80
Population 175M
Pronunciation egg-ZILL-ee-orr
Alternative Name(s)
Planet Exile
Type
Planet

Articles under Excilior


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