Iskander is the first planet in the Macedon system, located deep in the spinward Terran Periphery, some 10,200 lightyears away from Sol.
An Earth-sized world situated 49 AU away from its parent star, within the habitable zone of a red giant, Iskander is afflicted with conditions just on the margins of flourishing. Its environment is mostly semi-arid, with rainforests embroidering its supercontinent's coastline; with negligible axial tilt, it lacks significant seasonal variations. Erosion and a largely dormant volcanism has erased most of its mountains, replacing them with a slowly-sloping plateau and rocky highlands, which only poorly breaks up cloud cover. Instead, the planet sees highly mobile but mild rainfall that turns the southern lowlands into fertile scrub, and keeps the northern upland a harsh and rocky desert. Despite this, it has a rich native ecology, especially in its single vast, shallow sea.
Despite these harsh conditions, Iskander is rich in mineral wealth, which drove considerable mining exploitation from the 2380s and strong population growth as a "boomtown" comparable to Keystone. However, after three centuries, these resources were depleted and as much as half of the population emigrated in the 2600s. Being located deep in the Terran Periphery, its defense assets were reassigned to more dangerous worlds, and after 2682 it was devolved its own autonomous government, reducing federal involvement. Mining, logging, petroleum, and agricultural sectors dominate its economy, and it has failed to grow and diversify like the oft-compared Keystone, though it has been no less renowned for local political corruption. Banditry is commonplace in the frontier, but it has never risen to be enough of a threat to require military intervention. Colonial police struggle to keep the peace in the rural badlands, often requiring local government to cooperate with organized bandit gangs.
Rail networks and air freight connect the major cities, but much of the frontier is underdeveloped and low-tech by comparison, with some remote regions depending on pack animals rather than motor vehicles due to reduced . Only one major spaceport exists on the surface, at Phillipolis, with a handful of orbital docking facilities to service it.
Its current population is 84 million, widely dispersed across rural towns, port cities, cattle stations, and plantation villages. Its early population growth encouraged alien investment and migration, and despite the overall change in the Terran sphere of influence towards human supremacist policy and alien exclusionism, some wealthy aliens were allowed to retain their business interests and landholdings in backwater colonies like Iskander.