Once upon a time, the entire continent was made up of one kingdom with a single monarch. This kingdom included a formal military force and centralized systems to keep tabs on the safety and health of its scattered territories. However, the events of the kingdom’s fall are beyond anyone’s memory. All that’s left are crumbled ruins scattered across the Between and a land made up of city-states, each with their own governing bodies. 

Most of the cities are run by committee or council, but those ruling councils are generally made up of only the most wealthy in the region. Information about each city’s governments can be found on the individual pages for each city.

The closest thing to a formal governing body that the land has is the Merchants’ Guild, which is a loosely tied organization that purports to guarantee quality and fair treatment and pricing among its members. Most major business owners will not buy from unlicensed merchants: people who have not paid the large fee and provided professional references in order to join the prestigious group.

Also of note are the Alchemist Houses, places where less established alchemists can live and work for a small percentage of their earnings. While they lack a formal structure that spans multiple cities, there is an informal agreement between the houses that, in general, the students and practitioners from other cities’ Alchemist Houses are welcome to ask for assistance or temporary lodging. All of the cities have one, and many larger towns do as well.

While they have no actual governing power, it is worth mentioning the Temples of the Bell Priests here: Across the continent there are many temples which are home to the Bell Priests, some located in or near cities, and some in far-flung or isolated areas of the Between.