The Orian Republic is ruled by those who hold the power, and coin is power.
Noble leaders are only as powerful as the power they can enact onto others. This is done in several ways including charitable means such as providing protection, food, and housing to those in need, or by force such as hiring an oppressive military force to oversee the area, they choose to control. The locals can choose to obey the rules set by the ones who claim ownership, move to a location more suited to their liking, or challenge the leadership in a militaristic means. This will either lead to a war or single one-on-one combat of champions who represent each leader. The victor can claim dominion over the chosen area until challenged again, which can be as immediate as the very next day. These challenges are bouts to the death.
The typical martial protector is hired by a noble, or wealthy merchant to watch over a designated area. this can be as small as a shopping district of a small village, or over an entire group of towns who all pay the single noble figure for their protection.
These fighters are as loyal, trained, and skilled as their pay allows. the most loyal, and stilled protectors are often paid top coin for their services, and eventually, hold prestigious positions of their own as they grow in years. A talented instructor can be worth more than most noble figures in an area and influence more than the ones in charge. This often makes them targets as their influence grows.
The primary race among the Republic of Orian consists of Human, Halfling, Gnome, and many Half Races such as Half-Orc and Tiefling. They trade with any who will trade with them, curious about the world at large, and always seeks the weaknesses of their neighbors in order to exploit them in the future. Coin drives all in the Orion Republic, with the law being created by every lord who oversees the area, they will do anything to prevent a single “Ruler” over their land, including banding together in times of great strife to ensure they retain the power they feel they have earned.
It does not take much to become powerful in the Republic, but it does take heart. The devoted few, with the means to rise to power, are just part of what it takes. Often your friends are the ones standing in your way, and in the game of politics, you must have countless friends, while fearing none of them.