Iær (/i'ɛər/ ee-AIR; oʀᴛʜoᴅox: r) is a terrestrial planet with physical characteristics fairly similar to those of Earth. While the characteristic variations between the two planets are relatively minute, these variations propagate others as time passes (especially in social development), causing the planets to be vastly different in many ways.
Iær has two large continents—Ëana and Seragasi, and while Iær has a smaller surface area (about 88.8% of Earth's), its greater land-to-water ratio results in about 17.5% more land area than Earth. The continents are roughly equivalent in size, and are both approximately twice the size of Asia.
Iær receives slightly less energy from its Sun than Earth does from its Sun; this results in slightly less extreme equatorial temperatures and slightly more extreme polar temperatures. Its oceans are also slightly more saline than Earth's, owing to the mineral composition of its crust; this contributes to Iær having no permanent ice at either pole, and little to no continental shelving.
As opposed to Earth's system however, the Iær system has two moons, Talas and Luca, and they have a profound impact on the politics, culture, and religion of the population. Many of the differences in sociological development between Iær and Earth stem from this key contrast; some of the physical differences can also be attributed to Iær's second moon, such as much more complicated high and low tide calculation.
Another seemingly minor difference with major implications is that while Earth has seasons caused by its axial tilt, Iær's axial tilt is so minute as to be negligible; the result is a lack of seasons on Iær, and a much greater general familiarity with astronomy (to support navigation and timekeeping).
Iær's political, social, and technological development have followed a different course than Earth's. Its 43 states' borders have remained unchanged for many centuries (ranging from Nimriande—an island about the size of the British Isles, to Callandria—an empire about twice the size of Canada). War has become a very rarely-used means of resolving conflicts and disputes between states, and technology has reached a plateau without fossil fuel availability or steam power discovery.
The Iæran calendar year consists of fifteen months with 24 days each; months are further divided into three weeks of eight days each. As Iær completes a full orbit of its Sun in about 360.32 days, this results in a leap day being added every three or four years. The origins of the calendar's eight-day week and 24-day month are rooted in Luca's synodic period, which is very slightly more than eight days long.
Without seasons, weather and temperature are fairly consistent in most places. This has a profound impact on agriculture, as two harvests are yielded per annum. The ripple effects of this burgeoning abundance are vast: Hunger is a virtual non-issue in most places, leading to less conflict and greater cooperation among the people. This in turn has led in many areas to a greater culture of openness and willingness to share resources, lesser resistance to other cultures, a fair degree of ethnic diversity, and ultimately a widespread common language (although the prevalence of The Sanctum's teachings significantly contributed to language as well).
These building blocks are supported by The Conclave—a decennial gathering in the month of Minose, with representatives from all states (except Iisan) meeting in Parrania to discuss and debate issues for the betterment of the faith and the world.
Despite having existed for many centuries in a Late Middle Ages-style society, the population is much closer to that of the Earth of 500 BC (about 72 million), and has remained relatively steady for centuries—the predominance of the Sanctum Lunar Orison faith, with Talas and Luca its central focus, lends many families to strive to have precisely two children in kind.
Nearly all of the population subscribe to one of the two major religions, Sanctum Lunar Orison and Nabi Kii, with an overwhelming majority following the traditions of The Sanctum. A very small amount of the population (about 3%) don't identify with a particular faith, and the remaining populace (<1%) hold various non-traditional beliefs.
Both of the major religions glorify Talas and Luca, and the most important tenets of both belief systems incorporate the moons in some way. Teachings of the Sanctum have a nearly worldwide reach, including about 95% of the population, while Nabi Kii is only prevalent in Iisan (although it does have a small presence in many urban places).
While Iisani and non-Iisani hold different beliefs (often times contradictory), both religions hold that it is unlawful for one to try to force another to have the same beliefs as oneself. The Sanctum has not always subscribed to this notion, however it incorporated the principle as a measure of maintaining peace and order—but not until after Sanctum Lunar Orison had become prevalent nearly everywhere.
The available recorded history in Iær is limited to the Current Era, which began after the end of the Last Era with First Conclave. While history had been recorded for at least eleven centuries prior, the early Lunarchs of the Current Era prioritized gathering and collecing any record from Last Era as a part of their campaign to spread their teachings throughout the world; there are no known surviving artifacts or writings from these times outside what the Magisterium keep in The Great Pharos at Parrania.
The standards, reforms, and agreements forged at First Conclave (supported by the ensuing Conclaves), brought about a time of cooperation and information sharing that led to significant global development, such as: The first full world maps; great advancements in agriculture, astronomy, mathematics, and navigation; and vastly more trade among nations.
There have been relatively few wars in the Current Era, with the majority being civil wars (such as the war that broke the Zina Empire into the states of Ziozin, Serazin, and Korazin in 1075, and the war that broke the kingdom of Stiria into the states of Nevrestir, Sirestir, and Norastir nearly 700 years later). Conflicts and disputes in modern times can usually be resolved with reparations, and with the mediation of the presiding Sanctum Justice(s).
Iær has prospered in a 'golden age' for some time, with no major conflicts in over ten centuries. While most societies everwhere follow some sort of two-class system, a balance has been attained in most places despite the financial inequalities; the powerful generally agree that maintaining the status quo is of much greater value in the long-term than the short-term profits that could be squeezed from the poor at the risk of jeopardizing their power.