Palaven is the turian homeworld, and centre of the Turian Hierarchy. Its native life is based on dextro-amino acids, making turians one of only two dextro-based sapient species in the known galaxy (quarians being the other). Palaven's weak magnetic field provides substantially less protection from radiation than most habitable worlds; native lifeforms have evolved various countermeasures, most often forms of metallic exoskeleton.
The Reapers, aware of their enemy's reputation, brought overwhelming force to Palaven and didn't hesitate to bombard cities that resisted - and all of them resisted. The Reapers paid dearly for their attack, but so did Palaven. Almost all of the planet is now in ruins, entire cities and battlefields leveled by weapons of mass destruction - wielded both by the Reapers and the turians themselves. The turian martial spirit prevailed, however, complemented by the single-minded strength of new ally the krogan, and reconstruction continues at a brisk pace, helped along by strong community drives to collect scrap and renovate ruined buildings, though time estimates on planetary recovery are pessimistic. Predictably, Palaven houses one of the largest post-war military training grounds in the galaxy, where divisions of humans, krogans, and turians participate in joint training operations.
Mostly untouched since the Iron Age, the ancient city of Gariea is traditionally divided into two halves: the “new city”, where most of the business and industries are located, and the older, walled, historical core. Turian law keeps the latter perfectly preserved - new construction is required to match the existing architecture using stone from the local quarries (one of Gariea's important exports). As a consequence of such strict urban control, real estate prices have risen to ridiculous levels, with some of the inhabitants blaming the volus for the phenomenon.
The Hellax Complex is the oldest known grouping of free standing structures on Palaven, with an estimated age over 13,000 years old, located on the Hellax plateau. The Complex consists of eight structures, seven of which are ranged around a central piece that is commonly referred to as The Hellax Lodge. Not much is known about the structures but there are signs of habitation in some of them, including the lodge. Other structures are suspected to have been used as storage rooms. Both DNA evidence and soil analysis would suggest that the second largest structure was used as a stable, but no other evidence outside of this would suggest that turians of the time were versed in animal husbandry, or even agriculture in general. The subject still sparks contention and speculation among historians.
New CirilisSituated on the Sikar river, New Cirilis was a centre of trade and industry during Palaven's age of sail, and retained its status as one of the world's great classical cities even after innovations in transport technology overtook the importance of the river as a trade route. Following the development of mass effect cargo transport New Cirilis's riverside shipping facilities were closed and the river turned over entirely to recreational use - among other attractions, becoming the starting line for the prestigious Sikar/Port Raem single-mast sail race.
New Cirilis was almost entirely destroyed during the Reaper War, although the city's local garrison were mobilised in time to save much of their fighting capability, and a significant portion of the population, from the heaviest bombardments. At present the redevelopment of the city's site is not a high priority, although a small population has returned to less-ravaged areas of the riverbanks.
Practis is a relatively new and prospering city, located on top of an oasis, in the middle of the Pardavox desert. It is notable for being one of the most commercialized cities on Palaven (mostly due to the work of wealthy businessmen like Jarar and Thanala Mallenis). A big spike in commercial development was first noted about 60 years ago and hasn't reaches a hiatus yet. Practis has also a thriving spaceport and is the crosspoint of many transcontinental highways that criss-cross Palaven. The city's skyline is a prime example of "new age" turian architecture and it's infrastructure is one of the best on Palaven. Urban development is mostly limited, in the meantime, though more and more suburban quarters are created annually on the small clay hills surrounding the city as more and more families move to Practis for a new life. The elcor embassy on Palaven is located here along with a human, salarian, asari and volus consulate.
When colonists from the nearby Lakramen Grasslands first founded Practis, on top of the Practis oasis, they slightly modified the Lakramese tattoo pattern to distant themselves from home. Today, many mistake Practisians for Lakramese people.
In Practisian tradition, living space is viewed as an almost sacred area. A home's spirit is a kind gift-giver that pours out of the individual spirits of each of the inhabitants. The home spirit caters to all of the inhabitant's needs, be that sleep, sustenance, or entertainment. Although Practis is regarded as one of the most artistic cities on all of Palaven, not much thought is put into decorating the average Practisian home; decorations are believed to be burdening the home spirit with useless redundancies that obstruct it from caring for its inhabitants. There is one very common tradition that can be counted as decorating though - the interior of an average home is coated with wood (only artificial planks in the recent centuries). Any free wood-covered wall is carved with inscriptions of turian calligraphy. Fonts, sizes and content vary greatly. Since homes are usually passed from generation to generation, the inscriptions can be memoirs or messages from ancestors that once inhabited the house. It can also prayers, dedications, song lyrics, poems, etc. It's believed that each generation should leave its mark on the wall.
Remdius City is a old city on Palaven notable as an administrative center and for its beautiful parks. Remdius is also a primary center for treatment of mental illnesses and rehabilitation. It is notable for its mental health professionals. It was the favored city of Primarch Gallos, who has a psychiatric hospital named in his memory. Since the border between the disturbed and the criminal are often blurred, it also contains within its borders a maximum security prison/stockade, where volatile prisoners are held.
Flora and Fauna
Tesenter: a notoriously dangerous predator.
Hyvrin: Large reptilians.
Lukara beasts, which give their name to a traditional festival. A week-long celebration held every ten years, Lukara encourages participants to spend time contemplating their place in their community, and what they can do to better serve their fellow turians. During the evening hours, participants gather with friends and family to engage in singing, dancing, and feasting. The biggest celebration takes place on Palaven’s largest northern continent, where participants gather to watch the lukara beasts begin a difficult, cross-continent migration that is undertaken once a decade.
Birds are found on Palaven; formally among them, the audax, a large, majestic raptor with a gigantic wingspan, popularly ascribed such noble qualities as strength, fortitude and courage.
Generally speaking, Palaven enjoys the same reputation among other turians that the species at large finds attributed to itself in the wider galaxy. Palavenian turians are supposedly second helpings of all the quintessential turian virtues (discipline, courage, honour, unflappability) and shortcomings (general lack of imagination, sticks up the bum, no minds of their own, enjoy pissing on peoples’ fireworks etc.).
- 'New Cirilis' image credited to coverphotobox.com
General Withdrawal: As the Reaper War nears its climax, CDN responds to news that the Hierarchy is withdrawing its fleets from Palaven.