2) Solar System

-6B; The Milky Way absorbs several small nearby clusters. The infalling material triggers a burst of star formation which continues for the next two billion years.

-5B; Birth of the sun, and formation of the solar system.

-4.5B; Earth approaches it’s present size. The nebular coalescence period draws to an end, as the inner solar system is swept clean of dust and gas. A glancing collision with Theia results in the formation of the Moon.

-4.3B; Earth’s magnetic, mana, and other non-biological planetary fields are fully developed.

-4.2B; Planetary crusts solidify, although some bombardment continues and volcanic activity is high. Spaceborne spores colonize the earth and mars. Due to it’s smaller size, mars cools more quickly, and life takes hold there much earlier.

-4.1B; Overenthusiastic tinkering by “youthful” Firstborn results in a thriving ecosystem on Earth and Mars. While Earth is continuously swept by 1000-foot tides thanks to the proximity of its massive new moon, Mars actually develops a sentient species by -3.8B, just in time for;

-3.9B; Destruction of Minerva, a protoplanet in the outer solar system, by glancing collision with Neptune. A sizable fraction of Minerva’s mass is redirected into the inner solar system.

-3.8B; The Bombardment Era. The earliest known rocks date from this period. Amatoqwan assists the Skorel of Mars in retreating to one of the Hundred Realms. Formation of the moon.

-3.5B; The Bombardment Era draws to an end. The last known “planet killer” impacts on earth. The surface is scoured clear of life to depths of more then 300 feet. Only a few pockets of thermophyllic bacteria survive.

-3.2B; The Earth once again supports a thriving ecosystem, albeit of simple bacterial colonies and mats. Unfortunately, the planet’s thermal balance is unstable; the lower luminosity of a younger sun is partially counterbalanced by the higher flow of heat from the planet’s interior, but not quite. As the Earth cools, the glaciers reach the equator. Despite the occasional warmer epochs when volcanic action dumps greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, life has no room to advance for the next 2 billion years and remains clustered around geothermal vents. The Arith Vaya arrive in the solar system.

-2.1B; The Nygoth Empire falls to the corruption of the Elder Ones. More than a dozen races are extensively corrupted before the Firstborn and their allies uncover the extend of the infiltration. The empire is purged. Unfortunately, thanks to the sheer scale of an interstellar empire, numerous creatures of the darkness escape across time, space, and dimensions to cause trouble elsewhere.

-1.2B; The suns gradually-increasing luminosity thaws the equatorial oceans. Sadly, photosynthesis proves dangerous; Not only does it contaminate the atmosphere with toxic oxygen, it reduces the level of carbon dioxide – shifting the planetary thermal balance back towards glaciation. Still, over the next few hundred million years, the slowly-warming sun drives each cycle of ice a little further back towards the poles.

-700M; Rising oxygen levels alter the chemistry of the oceans; shells, skeletons, and similar hard structures can be grown without prohibitive energy costs. Great mineral beds are gradually formed as newly-oxidized elements settle out of the ocean.

-580M; With the gradual “rusting of the oceans” nearly complete, oxygen levels rise sharply again. With oxygen and thus metabolic energy more abundant, lifeforms suddenly rise in complexity. This will later be recognized as the “Cambrian Explosion”.

-545M; The supercontinent Rodinia breaks up, greatly increasing the available niches for specialized life forms.

-530M; Amphibious animals begin to explore the fringes of the land.

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