Kairula is the second planet from its sun in its solar system. The core is composed of piezoelectric crystal (crystal that generates electricity under force). The surface, on the other hand, is covered with jungle where there is no ocean. The jungle is very dense, and the underbrush is near impassable. The humidity in this jungle is also extremely high.
Because of these jungle conditions with excessively high humidity and temperatures, an insectoid race has evolved to be dominant. The Odonata had ancestors not unlike the Terran damselflies. The Odonata, however, are of two different breeds: the Shalen and the Junas. They are as different as can be.
The Shalen: The Shalen (the “tree-bound”) are a green, gossamer-winged breed of Odonata that lives in nests suspended above the jungle undergrowth. They stress harmony with nature, believing that Sha, the sun spirit, had told their race that enlightenment can only be achieved with this harmony.
The Junas: The Junas (the “Warriors”) are a large, red breed of Odanata that lives in grounded, organic Mounds that are connected with tunnels. Unlike the Shalen, they believe that they must shape the land in any way necessary for them to survive.
Another race of insectoids is also important to Kairula. These are the Gnil, firefly-like creatures that are bred by the Junas for light. They are also sentient, however, possessing faculties of self-awareness, language, and tool-making. The Shalen see the Junas’s breeding as a violation of nature and free the Gnil whenever possible.