Takshendal is a city characterized by the contrast between its traditions and its hectic political landscape. Ultimate authority in the city resides in the head of the nobility, currently the Grand Duke of Takshendal; Ranulph IV in whose heraldry the city militia patrols. The Grand Duke is thus the closest thing to a 'head of state' Takshendal has, but his authority, whilst absolute in theory is in practice limited by the Grand Council of the City whose original stated purpose was to administer the Kings orders. Since there is no longer any king of Takshendal (nor has there been for over ten generations) the Grand Council has gradually become the city's real government and as head of the Grand Council, the Lord High Mayor is the real ruler of the city circumventing the Grand Duke by means of influence. Since the Grand Duke commands the militia however, he cannot simply be ignored, thus a strange balance of power exists in the politics of the city.
To further complicate matters, the Grand Council is itself dominated by several factions and city guilds vying for influence. Currently the most powerful of these by far is the Merchants Guild whose combined wealth is greater than any others and whose high standing members control the Grand Council. This set of affairs has been the status quo for several generations and subsequently, there are naturally competing factions within the Merchants Guild also.
Currently, the most influential faction in power is the House of Wormpole , the head of which is the aging matriarch Adriana Arabella Wormpole.