Since its conquest of Orlean, Bretony has been the undisputed center of civilization for hundreds of leagues in every direction. By the grace of the Divine Consort, its people have benefited from this elevated status. Bretony has instituted a widespread system of public education, and every citizen receives schooling until the age of sixteen. This is followed by a decade of mandatory enlistment in the Royal Navy or the Royal Marines, after which citizens are free to pursue a trade with the money and skills they’ve earned during their service. Bretonian citizens are proud, disciplined, and patriotic, able to hold their own fighting on the battlefield or debating in the dinner parlor.
Compared to neighboring nations, there is relatively little social stratification in Bretony. The wealthiest and most powerful members of society are the provincial governors and high-ranking members of the military, who are the closest thing Bretony has to nobility. Slightly below them are the career officers as well as merchants and artisans. The majority of Bretonians fall into the lowest acknowledged class, made up of enlisted men, career sailors, and laborers, but even they are relatively well-off compared to the peasant classes in other places.
Despite the idyllic picture of Bretony that the Divine Consort would have outsiders believe, there is an underbelly to Bretonian society. Deserters, objectors, and other malcontents are dealt with harshly, jailed for years before being released back onto the streets with no money and no prospects. Those with disabilities preventing them from serving are similarly cast aside, and while the Crown encourages veterans to pursue gainful employment after they are discharged, some are too scarred by the things they have seen, and all-too-quickly piss away their wages on drink and company. These dregs of society flock to crime and piracy as their only means of survival. Bretony’s criminal underbelly is relatively small, but it is organized and ruthless, with many pirates possessing extensive military training and a deep-seated hatred for the law and order of the Crown.
Public Education: Bretony offers an education to every one of its citizens, regardless of social standing. Bretonian characters start with +2 INT.
Queen’s Grace: The Divine Consort’s protection extends over all of her citizens. Bretonian characters have advantage on saving throws against mind-effecting magic.
There are two types of adventurers in Bretony: those on the right side of the Queen’s justice, and those on the wrong side. Those on the right side are generally in the employ of the Royal Navy, working as licensed privateers, or serving as merchant marines aboard commercial vessels. They were drawn to serve by a strong sense of loyalty and patriotism, and will always come to the aid of a fellow Breton in distress. Those on the wrong side are the smugglers, pirates, and cutthroats who move in the shadows of the great nation, always looking over their shoulders for fear of the Queen’s pirate-hunters. While many pirates have started out in Bretony, they tend to gravitate to the provinces where the work is more lucrative and the threat of execution less immediate.