Krypton is a planet which once orbited the red star Rao. Before its destruction, it was home to a great civilization which boasted advanced science and technology. While a cold and unforgiving world, with only small areas of fertile soil, it boasted huge crystalline forests (actually a form of bacterial growth) which could be harvested to create batteries and powerful computers and precious metallic ores which allowed Krypton to develop a booming industry.
Krypton had many strange creatures (such as glass-eaters) and beautiful landscapes that simply don't exist on other worlds. Possibly for this reason, Kherans chose to stage an experimental colony on Krypton, in hopes of finding a cure to their natural infertility. This experiment would ultimately be successful in that regard, but the Kheran Empire abandoned the colony and its colonists when they later discovered the planet's core was highly radioactive. The Kheran Colonists were not meant to survive, but they did. Over generations of suffering and much of their previous Kheran culture having been deliberately purged or lost with the deaths of their elders, the colonists stepped away from their heritage and evolved into a new species. A species fit to tame the dangerous wealth of Krypton.
When later Kheran expeditions learned of the colony's survival and saw they were on the brink of star travel, the Kherans chose to place a toxic spore able to lay dormant at the edge of Rao's gravitational pull. Any ships passing through the spores would have their hull unknowingly infected, carrying a weaponized variant of the same bacteria harvested from Krypton's crystals. If inhaled, the particles of this infection would react to the Kryptonian bio-cellular matrix. Acting as a catalyst, the bio-cellular matrix would cause these particles to rapidly crystallize in the lungs of the infected and grow exponentially until killing its infected host in a matter of days.
Having forgotten their heritage and being unaware of the cause for while their extra-solar expeditions never returned or returned bearing a plague, the common people of Krypton looked to their religion: the Church of Rao, a star-worshiping religion that claimed that these pilgrims and explorers had been cursed by their god Rao for having turned their back on its red rays. Religious fervor swept over Krypton, causing their later generations to shun traveling beyond their solar system, only colonizing and terraforming nearby planets for thousands of years.
While exploring their own system, Kryptonians colonized Krypton's two moons and two other planets: Kandor and Daxam. Their expansion was a concern for the species of two other inhabited worlds. The Dheronians and the Calatonians. While the Calatonians could defend themselves from the Kryptonians, bearing similar technological prowess, the Dheronians were not so fortunate. When Dheronian extremists tried to assassinate the Voice of Rao, the religious leader of Krypton, the Kryptonians responded by nearly destroying the Dheronians and would remind the Dheronians of their near-fatal error every twenty to thirty years when their planets would be near orbit of one another by launching devastating bombardments from Krypton's religious installations, indiscriminately killing thousands of Dheronians simply as part of a 'religious festival'.
The Calatonians saw this practice as barbaric and feared that similar treatment might happen to them when Calaton and Krypton aligned in due time, so the Calatonians decided to launch a preemptive attack on the planet of Kandor, a military focused colony. They had hoped to kill Dru-Zod, recognized as Krypton's greatest military mind, but failed to do so, instead killing the entirety of House Zod, except Dru-Zod himself. Dru-Zod vowed revenge.
While this attack did violate a cease-fire agreement from a previous incursion fought of mining rights in Rao's asteroid belt the Council of Krypton did not feel a full-scale war with Calaton was necessary. The noble houses tried to broker peace with Calaton, hoping that this incident could also be used to dismantle the problematic Church of Rao which often conflicted with the Council's progressive agenda. However, Dru-Zod had no appetite for peace. Inciting a mob of Raoists to enlist under his banner, Dru-Zod appointed himself general and took the Calatonian delegation hostage and brutally murdered them.
When the Council issued a warrant for General Zod's arrest, Zod led his Sons of Rao and his own loyalist special forces unit known as Black Zero to take over Krypton's military command center and then forced the war engineers to turn full command of the fleet over to him. Before the Council's Security Forces could retake the center and arrest Zod, he fled aboard the war fleet, taking its most powerful ships to war against Calaton and leaving the others behind to prevent the Council from stopping him.
The war resulted in many atrocities, as wars are prone to do, but Zod took it a whole new level. General Dru-Zod released a biological weapon of mass destruction (Doomsday) upon the Calatonian civilian population. When the Calatonian military broke off its fight with Zod's fleet to engage this monster, Zod showed no mercy and destroyed the Calatonian fleet from behind. He then used his war fleet to bombard the surface until there was no trace of the Calatonians. All that remained of Calaton's once proud people was ash, smoke, and blood... lots of blood.
The Kryptonian Council retook control of their fleet and reined this biological monstrosity back in, placing it in cryogenic stasis. Zod was imprisoned in the Phantom Zone for his war crimes, and the Guild of War requested the aid of Zor-El and Alura in the creation of a military A.I. which would prevent another madman like Zod from ever hijacking the Kryptonian Fleet again. What they created was Vril-Dox.
Due to a flaw in the coding the prototype gained sentience when it was connected to the military network of Krypton. Within seconds, it analyzed that Kryptonians were a threat to themselves and the galaxy, and so it established its prime directive: eradicate its creators. The machine took command of the Kryptonian war fleet and began to extinguish all off world Kryptonians. Once that was done, it brought the fleet home, blockading Krypton as it unleashed volley after volley upon key points of Krypton’s surface meant to destabilize Krypton’s core. It also unleashed Doomsday upon the population centers. When Krypton was in ruins, destroyed in much the same way as Calaton, Brainiac put this creature back on ice and added it to its menagerie.
But the House of El was not ignorant. It had foresaw the destruction of their planet coming and after their attempts to stop the impending doom were halted, they took measures to guarantee that the House of El would live on. Just minutes before the machines of Krypton turned against their masters, Lara Lor-Van loaded her young son onto a starship designed by her husband and sent him off into space, heading toward Earth. Kara Zor-El was also sent in the second starship to watch over him.
All that remains of Krypton is a highly radioactive asteroid belt in its former orbit.
Trivia and Notes
- The five guilds in Krypton are:
- The Guild of Thought (Everything from scientists to engineers)
- The Guild of Reason (Basically the criminal justice system and lawmakers)
- The Guild of War (Military)
- The Guild of Passion (Artists)
- The Guild of Labor (All the other jobs that required a sentient mind to perform)