Orlean was never so much a nation as a loose confederation of fiercely independent city-states, brought together by a common desire to pursue profit and autonomy without any meddling from outsiders. Long known as a haven for smuggling, sin, and corruption, people flock to Orlean from far and wide to indulge their desires or flee authority, hence the common saying “Half of Orlean is looking for something, and the other half is hiding something.” Even the most honest Orleanian citizen generally has their finger in a few shady dealings, out of necessity if not anything else.
Aside from the Provincial Governor, the most powerful figures in Orleanian society tend to be the wealthiest merchants and the most powerful crime lords (who are often, though not always, one and the same). Beyond that, there is very little fixed societal structure in Orlean. Gamblers, con men, thieves, courtesans, hired blades, and pirates constantly jockey for position, their fortunes rising or falling with the roll of the dice or the twist of of the knife or a word whispered discreetly behind a fan. The only positions of relative stability are innkeepers, protected as they are by the Protocol.
The Protocol is another tradition unique to Orlean. A sort of codified honor among thieves, the Protocol is the only thing that keeps the whole merry dance of vice and violence from crashing down around itself. There are rules for stealing, rules for killing, rules for how much you should tip your innkeeper and where you should dump the bodies. The majority of Orleanians recognize the necessity of the Protocol in maintaining their chosen lifestyle, and those who violate it are dealt with swiftly and harshly by their fellow cutthroats.
While those who picture Orlean picture bars and brothels in rickety wooden cities, there is another side to the nation deep within the marsh. The Sauvage, or Swampfolk, live off the land in their own floating cities hidden within the mist, coming into contact with outsiders only to barter their wares. They have their own language, their own customs, and their own dark magic that even the most hardened of Orleanians fear. While some outsiders have been welcomed among the Sauvage, and some Sauvage have left behind their people to live out in the wider world, both have remained completely closed-lipped about what they saw among the Swampfolk, regardless of the rewards or threats that were promised.
Wiley: Whether living in the deep bayou or in the criminal underbelly of Harahan, Orleanians cultivate street smarts and an eye for danger, and start with +2 WISDOM.
Viper’s Blood: You can try to poison an Orleanian, but somebody’s probably tried before. Orleanians have advantage on any saving throws against poison or disease.
Orleanian Adventurers: Whether outlaws seeking new hunting grounds or honest citizens looking to escape the violence and corruption of their homeland, Orleanians can often be found adventuring beyond their own port of call. They often find that they have to overcome the prejudices of foreigners, who imagine all Orleanians to be pirates and charlatans. While this is almost always true, Oreleanians still take offense to it.