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On one side of Nil'wo is a frozen wasteland, uninhabitable by most living organisms (save for some microbes), while the other side of the planet is a molten surface of lava and rock. Inbetween these two sides is a "twilight zone", which is perfectly habitable by most creatures as long as they bare a protective carapace. This middle area is a warm land, primarily covered by hives run by the local sentient species, the Sh'nahl. Outside these hives is a sandy, yet beautiful, habitat for primarily shelled creatures; Those that are not shelled live in tunnel systems underground.
As said above, most species survive on Nil'wo through the use of carapaces. Among these lifeforms are the sentient Sh'nahl, as well as several different species of crustaceans, insects, and other shelled creatures. Underground are several different tunnel systems, inhabited by several different creatures unprotected by carapaces, including reptiles and small mammals. Living on the frozen side of the planet are different microbes.
Not much is known exactly how Nil'wo was formed or how long ago this occured. The Sh'nahl, however, believe it was forged by the combined power of their gods several million years ago (this, of course, being likely false). The Sh'nahl have since developed into a technologically advanced species and have spread their hives across the habitable "twilight zone." Today, very little of its habitable area has been touched by the Sh'nahl, though not everywhere has been built upon.
Nil'wo's moon, Pal'thras (meaning "Moon" in the Sh'nahl language) was formed during a massive impact with Nil'wo. Pal'thras, unlike Nil'wo, is not tidally locked, in that it rotates. Pal'thras, much like Earth's moon, is gray and crater-filled. It seems to be completely lifeless, save for possible microbes.