The following is an article I wrote about a fictional planet and it's developing inhabitants. It's not linked in with Sins, however, rather set in an entirely different multiverse (all explained in both my Stardock threads and my MRP threads). Anyway...
A picture of the old Saiv homeworld, Ravion, before it became an ecumenopolis (a city-planet) and was eventually abandoned.
Ravion is an example of what modern scientists refer to as a carbon planet. Carbon planets are a theoretical form of planet, and it's believed that such a planet is formed in an oxygen-poor but carbon-rich star system. It can be classed as a terran planet in that such a planet is capable of supporting life, but metabolism would be reversed; oxygen is consumed by fauna in order to respire in the carbon-rich atmosphere. The microbe ancestors of the Saiv were to eventually evolve on the carbon monoxide-rich surface of Ravion.
Ravion is about the same distance from it's star, also named Ravion, as Venus is to Sol. It's annual temperature changes with seasons, but Ravion is dominated by a humid subtropical climate. Ravion's surface is dominated by fertile plains, arid deserts and the occasional water body, but many large regions are covered by mountainous terrain. Surface temperatures are too high for water to naturally exist as ice, so there are no ice caps at the poles.
Saiv 'civilisation' first appeared here around 192,000 A.B. (After the Bang) with the founding of Ravion City at the start of the Saiv ancient era. However, this is not civilisation as we know it; Saiv society did not in fact exist at all up to and including this date. Ravion City was built only out of necessity for a place of rest and worship. There were, however, a few technological breakthroughs - sorcerers discovered how to make EHD (Extreme High Density) stone and power one-man planes. The Saiv are and always have been a warrior people, and no-one lived in groups, naturally choosing instead to roam on their own, holding loyalty to no-one (except the Emperor, but that's complicated) and killing anyone who stands in their way. Though all Saiv follow the Emperor's creed and authority, they were to all others completely divided in purpose. Couples only met when necessary, and children were left to survive in the wild at the first profitable opportunity. The creation of some of the most ancient and priceless Saiv relics can be traced back to this era. The ancient era would eventually end with the reforms of Grand Priest Demiel the Darkening in 200,529 A.B. (yeah, he's pretty old), marking the beginning of the medieval era and the Saiv Empire in antiquity.
The political reforms of Demiel the Darkening in 200,476 A.B. were major milestones in the creation of a proper and unified Saiv society on Ravion. The leadership of Ravion City was changed from a despotic priesthood into an organised imperialist parliament, and so became possible the first ever military bodies. Ravion City was no longer a 'resting place' for wandering warriors; it had evolved into a permanent settlement. Professional armies rendered lone warriors totally obselete, pillaging the housing of hermits and adding the gained wealth to the victor. Indeed, the Ancient Era ended completely in 200,529 A.B. when lone warriors became extinct.
The Medieval Era saw significant leaps forward in both technological understanding and cultural evolution. The important discovery of EHD metals rendered EHD stone obselete and, combined with other rudimentary technology, allowed for the Saiv race's first transolar foray into space. The refining and empowering of flight crystals caused aircraft to become larger and more robust, and in some cases commercial production of aircraft started. On Ravion, the newly christened Empire entered a phase of aggressive expansion and colonialisation. In space, large numbers of early astronauts estabilished a web of as yet unconnected artifical sattelites, while colonists radiated out into space only to be floundered by a lack of terraforming technology. They soon found they didn't have the equipment to make it back. Though efforts to spread culture throughout space failed, culture on Ravion was thriving, and a European/Far East fusion architectural style appeared within the walls of Ravion City. Within the government however, Demiel was struggling to hold together the ambitious heirs of his large family, and many sons were to leave to create their own nations far from the Saiv Empire.
This family breakdown shook the foundations of the Saiv Empire to the very core. Rogue nations led by the heirs of Demiel were to begin a savage war against the now politically fragile Empire, and after great regret, Demiel decreed total war against his children. A complex network of alliances dominated the politics of the rogue nations during the conflict; some of them dedicated but others dastardly and manipulative. Such a war saw the development of frightening, radical and sometimes desperate weapons by both the Empire and these splinter nations, but it was not enough, and it was evident that the Empire's armies were too powerful to oppose in the field. Political defeat followed military defeat as alliances collapsed and betrayed one another - normally in the bedroom. Demiel himself was to deal the fatal blow, using his maturing powers to systematically obliterate and/or enslave his descendants' nations. The victory was pyhrric however, as the resulting weather alterations from such devestation were to have lasting and horrifying effects across the planet's populace. After realising what he had done, Demiel apparently commits suicide, breaking the Empire apart and throwing the Saiv into the first Dark Age.
The Dark Age lasted for centuries. Many factions emerged from the ruins of the Old Empire, led by vicious warlords with only personal profit at heart. It would last until 201,500 A.B. when, having defeated all other adversity, a warlord held up the millennia-old Sword of the Vengeful and declared to his people that he had recieved the Mandate of Heofon*. The warlord was indeed Demiel re-emerging from the ashes of the past, ready to lead the Saiv way past the echelons they had reached hundreds of years ago. For Demiel, the recovery of the Empire was a momentous challenge. Old enemies were starting to reappear right in front of his eyes, and there were still many in his proto-Empire who wanted a return to the warring past. To solve these national concerns, he invited his parliament to a a feast at his palace, then slaughtered them. With no-one left to oppose him, he began his rebuilding of the Imperial estabilishment, and the formation of a more competent government to last the ages: a kritarchy.
Under the custodian arms of the early Chaplain-Court, the Early Modern Era (or Clockwork Revolution, as sometimes termed) saw an explosion of technological recovery and vibrant culture. An unmistakably mainstream driving force for this change was the introduction of intricate clockwork mechanisms, a technology which was then seen in every single facet of Saiv industry. Such mechanical understanding birthed discoveries such as optics technology, automatic weaponry, atomic timekeeping, neural mapping and even AI. Aerospatular flight entered a dynamic commercial age as craft became hugely sophisticated and, for the first time, minor terraforming became possible. Sorcerers became obselete with the advent of clockwork weaponry, but were to eventually be revived with the advent of techno-magical Wizargineers. 'Nano-clockwork', a medical technology capable of destroying pathogens on a microbe level, revolutionized a previously immature industry and eradicated most common diseases from Ravion. In space, the Saiv were to leave their solar system and become intergalactic explorers, merchants and geologists, trading with distant races and returning with both cultural and commercial wealth. The Golden Age had begun.
The heart of the Renaissance Era was truly a time of astronomical discovery and cosmological realisation for the Saiv Empire. On the barren and haunted planet of Ðezinag, Saiv explorers became aqainted with the half-living avatar of their godly Emperor, Sav Sabiel, seated eternally on the angular and freezing Cold Throne. He ordered the creation of exactly eight-million eight-hundred thousand eighty-thousand eight-thousand eight-hundred and eighty-eight humanoid clockwork bodyguards that stand vigilant to this day. On the beautiful terrestrial planet of Helatan, massive clockwork cities were built to hover above the ground utilising early propulsion mechanisms, protected from the oxygen-heavy atmosphere by basic biospheres and populated with edifices of the Chaplain-Court's honor and martial prowess. On Ravion, the planet is finally totally unified under the glory of Demiel's rule, leaving no-one to oppose him and the judicial constitutions he fights to uphold. To accomodate the Emperor, a skyscraping tower-palace was constructed in the mathematically exact center of Ravion City's architecture and growth pattern. Ravion was now the most industrially and commercially developed planet in the entire eastern half of the universe.
*Mandate of Heaven: a spiritual quality possessed by orient leaders that was claimed to grant them divine right of rule.