The City Council are the rulers of Acryn, charged by the laws established in the wake of the revolution with protecting the best interests of both the city itself and all of its citizens. The instruments of central governance, notably the City watch and the civil service, are under its direct control, giving it the power to make and enforce the city's laws.
The Council is made up of thirty individuals, holding session three times per week in chambers deep within the City Hall (formerly the royal palace), with meetings usually lasting the majority of the day (though in times of crisis, often into the night). The bureaucrats and clerks who enact the council's declarations occupy many more rooms within the Hall, and since the Upheaval activity within has been essentially continuous, with some crisis always needing the attention of those skilled at negotiating them.
The Council contains a mixture of dedicated seats and floating ones. The former are filled by appointed figures from major organisations within Acryn, while the latter are filled for two year terms by individuals elected by the current members of the council. Generally, when an elected seat comes free the council invites any within the city who wish to serve to put themselves forward, then decides from amongst these by majority vote. In principal, this allows anyone to serve on the council - in practice, the elected seats are dominated by the nobility, high-ups from the colleges andthe richer of the mercantile classes, as the existing members tend to vote for those from similar backgrounds to themselves. On occasion, the council will invite someone who has done a particularly notable deed on behalf of the city to serve a term when a seat next comes free.
The following appointed seats exist upon the council:
In the ten years leading up to the Upheaval, the Council pursued policies largely devoted to maintaining peace and enabling and encouraging the flow of trade. With relations with nearby cities at an all-time high, and the lingering threat of Serradic expansionism silent for many years, there had been little in the way of crisis or challenge facing the city, and the council had come to be particularly dominated by the merchant houses, and policy tended towards keeping taxation at the lower end of the spectrum and keeping the city watch at sufficient force to ensure peace on the streets. Public projects were generally undertaken in collaboration with one or more of the merchant or noble houses, generally handed out as a sop to a particular group of councillors. In the two years directly before the Upheaval, popular opinion had begun to gather against the obvious scent of vested interest and back-scratching emanating out, but the streets were clean enough and insufficient numbers of people were actually starving for this to have boiled over. Some claim that rumours abounding in the city of renewed Serradic expansionism shortly before the Upheaval were manufactured by the council in order to distract the populace.
There has been substantial turnover in the ranks of the Council since the Upheaval. Having to deal with one of the greatest crises the city has ever faced was simply too much for some of its members - largely pampered merchants who could not handle the daily, nigh neverending emergency sessions they were asked to attend, and four councillors resigned their seats. A couple of high-profile assassinations freed up two more, leading to a rushed search for suitable replacements alongside the urgent matter of dealing with the food shortages, refugee crisis and civil unrest. Four of the six replacements came from the noble families, including two who had fought in the Junnes war, and the other two from near the top of the ranks of the city watch, all of whom brought a more practical and hard-line attitude to proceedings. With major assistance from the churches of both the Tender and Warrior, the council was able to mobilise the watch and its resources to narrowly prevent the city reaching a boiling point. Since then, further assistance from these groups and the Wayfinder's guild have allowed control to be established. The watch remains at high strength keeping a look out for any hint of unrest, and levies are still being made upon certain imports (and embargoes on some exports), but the city is stable. What the council should do next is a matter debated extensively within its halls, amidst the smoky rooms occupied by the wealthy and amongst the man on the street.