Under the Steel Web
Within the Steel Web, all the five major houses are represented, though to varying degrees. The planet is technically dominated by House al Malik, represented by Count Ariman who rules over the al Malik Quarter. They remain perhaps the strongest single house in the city, but are not strong enough to simply rule. Instead, they rely on an alliance with House Decados, ruled by their Countess Louisa, who holds sway over the Decados Quarter. Together, they are able to resist the Lord Mayor and his more universal government, which includes the three other houses, to one degree or another. His firmest backers are House Hazat, who are few in number and are governed by a Baronet, Antonnilla, from the Hazat Quarter. House Li Halan under their Baron and Baroness are also strong supporters but mainly because the Church backs the Lord Mayor. They have enlightened rule over the Li Halan Quarter. Finally, House Hawkwood is a reluctant partners of the Lord Mayor, disregarded and isolated in their crumbling Hawkwood Estate.
All five noble houses, and some smaller, local groups, meet in the Council of Nobility, where they attempt to set forth an agenda to be pursued by all of noble blood. However, no agreement has ever been possible as to what this means, and ususally lesser members of the houses attend the irregular meetings. The Decados have long boycotted them, insisting that the Hawkwoods no longer merit right of attendance, but this matter has not yet been allowed to come to a vote.