Before the Cataclysm, the Takhmotar had developed space flight, and dropped in on the trolls of Apsei. This had bad effects.
The passing of the black hole that originally threw the two worlds into each other’s grasp had had the effect of blocking travel across the oceans for some 75,000 years, as the planets adjusted to each other’s gravity, and oceans returned to their beds (On Apsei, the dust had to settle,
aquifers had to rebuild once broken, etc.) There was time for significant speciation to occur
on Takhmo, giving rise to humans, elves, dwarves, halflings and the like on the various continents and large islands. On Apsei no oceans barred travel, so there was only one sophont
species, the trolls. On both worlds, grimly holding on was the best that could be done.
The psychological effect of Apsei on the Takhmot peoples was literally huge: as it rose, larger by far than our Moon, and cloud-bright, one could believe that it was a demon out to swallow the world. Most religions on Takhmo held that view well into the technological age.
Eventually cultures grew into civilizations once more. The subspecies on Takhmo developed,among other things, psionic technologies, which helped them to master the now more difficult art of ocean travel and to understand their cousins on the other continents, so that genocidal confrontations never occurred anywhere. It became obvious that they were “cousins”—anatomy, language structures, DNA, all pointed to that conclusion, and eventually they figured out what had happened long ago. Delight in their diversity was tempered by a realization of the unique event that had brought them into being.
The trolls on Apsei of course had no such buffer, and when the Takhmotar developed spaceflight and dropped in on them, the effect was devastating. Their parochial xenophobia (“not-us=food!”—remember, the trolls are literally omnivorous), coupled with a psychic residue from the “demon Apsei” era on the Takhmot side, lead inevitably to conflicts, even as colonization occurred on both worlds (the trolls learned fast: the desertified environment had winnowed their stock, even as the oceans had winnowed the Takhmotar.)
At length the Takhmotar won the war, dumping a number of ice planetoids on Apsei and programming more to bomb the world for millenia to come, so that the trolls would never again be a threat. Guilt over this act eventually led to repercussions in the psychic fabric of Takhmot civilization, which soon enough fell completely apart. And perhaps the Goddess of Takhmo was angry at what Her creatures had done to Her sister…
There followed a Dark Age: history became legend, tales became myths. Untended psionic devices ran wild. Some grew very powerful and attracted propitiation, even worship.
Now, some sixteen hundred years later, new civilizations are arising on Takhmo, and presumably on Apsei under its perpetual and augmented cloud-deck. They are at a Bronze to Iron Age level. Magic works: practitioners can contact astral devices built long ago, or petition the gods, or wield mana all by themselves.\-30\-