On the Archcanon's Secret Service
Much of society in Belluna is driven by family relationships, whether patriarchal or matriarchal. Families are where most of Belluna’s citizens find employment, lodging, protection, and comfort. Large or small, affluent or impoverished, by birth or by marriage or by choice, families are the foundation of life in Belluna and respected as institutions. Outsiders who move to the city generally attach themselves to a family with whom they form a relationship. Those without familial attachment, the straniero, generally receive the treatment of second-class citizens. Belluna is a welcoming city, but harsh on those who fail to observe its customs.
Not all family concerns are legitimate, however. Crime families thrive in the shadows between the great houses and prey on the small ones. The houses with their hands in government sometimes rewrite the laws to favor themselves. Even families whose trade may be legal and honorable may succumb to the temptation of a bribe or the urge to take a moral shortcut every now and then. The worst are those in positions of legitimate power who are outright corrupt, enjoying both the fruits of their standing and the perks of their venality. Belluna’s history is rife with cruel archcanons, crooked guardia, and brutal gabellotti as much as it is with beatific santi, skilled artisans, and noble cavalieri.