Hlath is a port city on the Vilhon Reach, an offshoot of the Sea of Fallen Stars. The city is ostensibly run by the Council of Lords led by Lord Darvis Shennelm, the High Councilor. However, the city is overrun with corruption. The lords, guards, and most of the priests even are in the pocket of one of the many organized crime groups based in Hlath.
The largest organization is the Kings run by the Tallstag family. They primarily make their money through their control of the merchant’s and builder’s guilds. They provide “protection” for a fee to merchants trying to sell in Hlath. They control the means of construction in Hlath so nothing gets built unless the Kings get a part of the action.
The second largest criminal organization in Hlath is a religious order that worships the Smiling God. They believe that the Smiling God takes the form of a living light in Raurin the Dust Desert. These disciples raise tribute for their deity through theft and assassination and serve as Hlath’s thief’s and assassin’s guilds.
The Council of Lords are made of five local lords and ladies of influential families in Hlath. High Councilor Shennelm is thought to be on the payroll of both the Kings and the followers of the Smiling God. Lord Philew Morley is in the pocket of the Kings as is Lord Giles Bexley. Lady Sabel Righte is privately a devout follower of the Smiling God. She downplays her connection to the organization, but is a useful ally on the council. Finally, Lady Jane Tory has proven to be incorruptible. She is one of the few politicians who haven’t given in to the pressure of the gangs. She tirelessly works to clean up the streets from her position of power, but to no avail out she is consistently outvoted by the rest of the council.