Iscandar's landmasses were mostly covered in a layer of permafrost, or covered with snow altogether. Most vegetation could not survive in this climate, although some exotic species of plants managed to survive and even thrive in the hard ground, drawing on the frost and ice for water nutrients. Furry bi- and quadripeds existed in the warmer areas, alongside rarer snowfield species and the native, sentient Iscali. A variety of burrowing species also existed underground. The two poles were the coldest spots on the world, reaching temperatures so low as to be lethal to weaker species in a matter of minutes.
The water on Iscandar was mostly frozen over, though some liquid lakes did exist. A vast ecology developed under the ice, with complex food chains of fish species. A very few amphibious species existed in the lakes.
Society and culture
Iscandar was ruled by the Iscali, who built the majority of their settlements in gorges, canyons, and dense cave networks to shield themselves from frigid winds. Despite their environmental disadvantages, the Iscali built a highly technological society. They had both the instruments to mine caves, digging their society in ever deeper, and the technology to turn located mineral deposits and metals into weapons, heating systems, and even starships. Large spacedocks were built in some more open gorges, though craft were stored underground whenever possible to protect them from the elements.
The Iscali raised farms of the furred creatures of Iscandar's surface, along with large fish farms. They also cultivated the various flora of the planet, taking some underground to large greenhouses and nurturing them with ultraviolet light and water. In this way, some entirely new planet species were developed over the centuries.
The Iscali were one of the few known examples of a species developing hyperdrive technology apart from any demonstrable influence from the Core or the Rakata. By roughly 900 BBY, they had developed manned spaceflight to a sufficient level to allow exploration of the entire Iscal system with ease, and had built outposts on all four of Iscandar's moons. In 503 BBY, they colonized the planet Tershin. Over the following centuries, they would also develop a flourishing (and remarkably peaceful) trade with Yin and Keliso, with many Iscali settling on both worlds. Iscali explorers also charted several nearby uninhabited systems.
In 94 ABY, Iscali explorers encountered the Prime Fleet of the Golden Empire and met with the Empire's Queen, Rin Sakaros. Invited to parley with the world's Premier, Rin persuaded Iscandar to join the Golden Empire, bringing Tershin along with it. Iscandar's navigational charts, along with its relatively central location to several nearby systems, made it ideal as a hub for the Empire's continued expansion throughout the sector. Iscandar itself became home to some more hardy species from other member worlds of the Empire, and the Iscali willingly brought in alien scientists to expand their own knowledge.