Archives of Nethys

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Deities | Systems & Settlements


The Lantern World

Source Starfinder #16: The Blind City pg. 62
Location The Vast
Diameter x1/2; Mass x1/8; Gravity x1/2
Atmosphere Normal
Day 27 hours; Year 902 days

The planet Astevint shines brightly in the Vast, orbiting a dying orange sun. The stones of Astevint are charged with a strange energy, causing them to radiate photons without emitting heat or other energy. As a result, the entire planet shines like a dim star. Only the planet’s natural stone glows, including any particulates like gravel or sand, causing anything else to cast strange shadows. Although Astevint rotates as most other planets do, it doesn’t have a typical day/night cycle—the planet is perpetually illuminated.

Plant life is abundant on Astevint, particularly clover and a form of massive, broad-leafed fern. Plants here draw sustenance from the soil, but also gain energy from the ground’s illumination rather than from the light of Astevint’s distant sun. Such plants grow most densely in areas of rocky soil rather than in deep loam, and bear leaves that are low to the ground and inverted. As such, the low-lying ferns and shrubs are the lushest and healthiest, while those with leaves on tall stalks must subsist on illumination refracted through the atmosphere and are usually stunted and twisted. A rare few petrified “beacon trees” radiate Astevint’s shining energy from their tall trunks, providing eerie radiance even when the ground cover is too dense for any of the planet’s light to shine upward.

Stone removed from Astevint quickly loses its illumination, although very dense stones shed light for as long as a month, and transplanted beacon trees glow for up to a year if fed and watered. Physicists specializing in the obscure field of esoteric optics maintain research bases on the planet to study the planet’s peculiar illumination. These bases are usually located near groves of beacon trees, where physicists and botanists work together. What originally turned Astevint into a planet-lantern is a mystery, but scientists posit that some ancient calamity—perhaps caused by the builders of the eons-old brass ruins that dot the planet’s coastlines— permanently altered the world long ago. A few roving packs of violent bryrvaths, glutted on Astevint’s illumination, appear to be the planet’s only other intelligent life-forms. Whether these creatures are descended from the planet’s original inhabitants or are later arrivals remains a mystery, as the bryrvaths are perpetually addled and entirely uncommunicative.