[PET-air-ah] Adjective: Peteran
Existing primarily along the coasts of the arid and rocky Peteran Peninsula, Petera is disconnected both geologically and culturally from the mainland nations. To the East, it is bordered by The Ulan, while the dangerous shoals of Heretic Bay protect it from Mainland invasion. Despite this, Petera has been intermittently at war with one or more mainland nations for almost its entire existence, usually fought over strategic objectives, as long term battles inevitably resulted in stalemate.
Most likely founded originally by refugees who refused to bow down the the demi-pantheon, the pre-Alexandrian Peterans for most of their history harbored a fierce and reflexive mistrust of divine magic, pledging fealty to a monotheistic godhead above morality and mortal concerns. Their lack of divine magic hampered them in early conflicts with the expanding Ubrekti Empire until the development of gunpowder and firearms, with which they established and maintained their autonomy.
The Petran relationship with this absentee godhead fundamentally changed with the arrival of Alexandria and the assumption of the Omnity. Influenced heavily by the Testimonial of Sayid, and pointing to the Prophecies of Alabar Tremaline, Peteran Alexandrianism (or, on the mainland, the Peteran Heresy) teaches, essentially, that Alexandria was a mortal savior sent by a higher power rather than a mortal who seized, and continues to wield, godly power herself. The Peteran variant of Alexandrianism is highly nationalistic/ethnocentric, and folk belief tells that Alexandria was as a Petaran child lost in a shipwreck on the shores of the mainland, where she lived in some form of misery until her late-life adoption. The theology surrounding such beliefs is generally that it was necessary for a Peteran to learn the ways of the usurper-demigods in order to finally slay them. (Unlike Alexandrian Orthodoxy, the Peteran Heresy sees little difference between the demi-pantheon and the Dark Lord) The most significant change brought on by Alexandria's influence, however, has been the introduction and legitimization of divine magic among the Peterans, and the wielders of divine magic have become significant powers in the intervening centuries.
It is a highly mercantile nation that, for thousands of years, has supported a powerful middle class, a refined educational system, and a secular government, although that last has been reduced a great deal since the arrival of Petran Alexandrianism. While it is technically a monarchy, the priest class has a great deal of political power, and vast sectors of the economy are in the hands of wealthy families, many of which achieved their success through business ventures and intrigue rather than noble inheritance, and familial merchant clans rise and fall with some regularity.