I've been working on a world where the origin of the magic system is a catastrophic event that ripped the surface of the planet apart allowing magical energy from beneath the crust to escape to the surface, but minor enough to allow pockets of life to survive. I've been slogging through research the best I can and have come up with a handful of options, but the most appealing one at the moment is that this catastrophe occured because the planet captured a new moon. However, I've been struggling to figure out what this process would look like, and how I can justify my civilization surviving. I thought that perhaps if this was a binary planet instead of a single planet the competing gravity of the two bodies against the third might help to sheild the habitable planet from becoming completely uninhabitable, as well as slow the new body down enough to be captured in a stable orbit. I'm no scientist though and I'm struggling to figure out how this could work
Habitability: In my mind Planet A was habitable before the event and home to an advanced human race. The scientists on Planet A were able to predict the event and took several actions to try surviving it, including underground bunkers, technologically shielded cities and a group that went to hide on Planet B (or maybe another smaller moon) to wait out the destruction of Planet A. Exactly how destructive would this be for both planets? Is it safe to assume that if Planet A and Planet B are tidally locked the faces locked towards each would be the most stable?
Timeframe: How long should I expect it to take for Planet A to stabilize and become more habitable? Should I be thinking of this in terms of hundreds of years, or more like 100,000?
I honestly have a million more questions but I don't even know where to start haha. Again, I'm no scientist, but I hope this is enough to at least give you an idea of where I'm trying to go.