Council members are strictly advisors to Gethamane's Master and have no direct power in their own right. However, recognized spokesmens of their particular factions gives them great influence and prestige.
The Council meets regularly three times a month in a large chamber in the Garden district, adorned with portraits of past Masters and Mistresses, though the Mistress can call for special sessions. While the situation of Master and Council could seem a possible recipe for tyranny, the actual realities of life mean the Master usually pays attention to what the Council has to say and acts more as a mediator than an autocrat.
A shrewd Mistress knows she must keep the five factions happy, and treat her Council with respect. Mistress Katrin often acts more as a mediator between the delegates than as an autocrat (some past Masters and Mistresses became virtual puppets of powerful Councils).
Council members hold their posts until they die, resign or are fired by the city’s Mistress. When a faction loses a member, senior faction members offer the Mistress a list of possible replacements. Council Vacancies result in a frenzy of politicking from the faction in question, from other Council members seeking the appointment of allies and from the Guild.
Should an entire faction fall vacant, the Mistress can appoint new delegates without consultation, as the city likely faces an immediate crisis. Current notable Council members include:
- Mienna of the Dulsheft family (Farmer); a stiff-backed woman in her 60's who needs a cane to walk and requires regular medical treatment for her arthritis; wants to shut Gethamane away and seal all the entrances if the Bull of the North comes anywhere near the city.
- Her acknowledged heir is her niece Lessa of the same family, a young woman who appars all that could be desired in terms of ability, manners and respect for her elders. She is also a member of the farmers cult and recently, she has been contacted by a whispering voice that offers her sorcery and power in return for more blood and human sacrifices.
- Hanzyon of the Loshan family (Guard); wants to increase Guard numbers and forcibly conscript the Janissary Vault under military discipline
- Solace of the Genthrax family (Merchants) - adopted from traveling merchants at the age of 4; wants to promote increased Guild ties and the establishment of a Guild mercenary outpost to aid Gethamane’s defense;
- Luthin of the Doment family (Hunter-Gather); wants to bring in sorcerer-engineers to establish farms and orchards on the slopes outside the city;
- Tammeth of the Sochire family (Artisan); wants to tax Guild imports to protect his family’s interests.