Council of Thieves - Collins 2013
Outside of its borders, Cheliax is imagined by people across Golarion to be a place of twisted evil, its citizens cringing under the lash as devils torment them. The reality is more prosaic. None deny that House Thrune’s diabolic allies have had an effect on the kingdom, but Hell’s influence is subtler than popular caricature would have it. Most of its citizens never see a devil—or at least never know they’ve seen one. Life goes on, much as it usually does, and if one has to be more careful when speaking his mind, or finds his neighbors disappearing at night while other neighbors become richer for speaking out against them—well, it’s a small price to pay to beat back the dark hordes beyond the borders, isn’t it? Chelish patriotism—or rather, nationalism—is loud and then louder; no citizens want to be noticed as being less vocal about their love of their country than their fellows, because that brings the eye of the Inquisitors.
The word to describe most Chelaxians is “ambitious.” The lower classes yearn to better themselves so that they can lift themselves from the muck of the ghettos and slums and live the life of the wealthy, free from care or want. The wealthy want to be wealthier; to acquire more power, more land, and more holdings. They want more responsibility, and they want to be seen, to make their mark on history and let the world know that they have trod upon its surface. This ambition requires an outlet, and House Thrune grants it to them. Whether it’s status-seeking, religious zealotry, vices, or blood, one can find it in Cheliax. (See Recreation and Entertainment for more information.)