This one is a little author saving throw for me concerning how Serpent’s End is run.

On some occasions in the past I talked about how Master Peck is just fully and officially both the (Mages’) Guild Master and the mayor of the city – and on other occasions it sounded more like his power over anything other than guild business is more of a real, but unofficial thing.

So this page now tells how I decided it to be: his control of the city is official, but shared with a council of wealthy citizens. And more importantly it is meant to be temporary, until a new “real” mayor is found and approved both by the city council and the Guild Master, in this case Peck.

Of course … being able to veto any candidate on his own gives him considerable power, and the Guild Master not having a term limit or being able to get voted out of office by the council … it is fair to say that the political system in Serpent’s End is indeed quite skewed in favor of the mages.

↓ Transcript
Halen: Gregor ... you know that by our city charter the LEADER OF THE GUILD and the MAYOR OF THE CITY are supposed to be TWO DIFFERENT PEOPLE. You've been deputiy mayor for FIVE YEARS now, isn't it time -
Master Peck: Don't lecture me about the LAW, Halen! The charter ALSO says that I, as the guild leader can VETO any of the council's candidates! And in all of those five years there was NOT A SINGLE ONE I could have trusted the city to! Not in good conscience! And they KNOW that!
Master Peck: This is all LADY VIOLET'S doing. She obviously has BOUGHT Ech'eta's and Harnicky's support and Lady Ilviam probably owes her for all that stuff with the MINER'S GUILD last month.
Halen: She ... PROBABLY somehow has her fingers in all of this, yes.
Halen: But I think some of their concerns are genuinely -
Master Peck: They are all PAWNS, Halen! DON'T try to defend them! Whose side are you on?!
Halen: I ... I'm on YOUR side, Gregor! I will ALWAYS be on your side! How can you even QUESTION that? But I'm starting to get WORRIED!
Halen: WHen you told me that you and Lady Violet would WORK TOGETHER for this expedition I thought it'd be a sign that you two would finally GET ALONG ... but it's just getting WORSE!
Master Peck: PAH! I'd rather KILL MYSELF than "get along" with that hag!