Council of Nine
The Council of Nine is the governing body of Palisade and surrounding holdings. The nine members are elected from the merchant aristocracy, technically by anyone in Palisade with a badge of citizenship, but in practise by the ruling families (from which they tend to hail, although occasionally through history, commoners of various races and backgrounds have found their way into the council). The nine each have their own area of expertise and are responsible for presenting suggestions for new laws regarding their area for vote in the council. Once a law is approved and written up by the council it goes to the Harbour Master for final approval. The nine are elected “for life until infirmity”, as the law of election states, but changes in the council tends to happen primarily via scandals, political intrigues, the occasional poisoning or imprisonment.