Phala began as a colony of the Ikaron Kingdom. Founded in 239 PCC (Post-Continental Conquest), Phala quickly became an important trading center, as it gave merchant ships a perfect place to resupply before continuing across the ocean. 10 years later, the citizens forced the creation of the Phala government that is now in effect, adding an aspect of democratization.
Because of Phala's location and purpose, it frequently has important and powerful figures passing through, and as such, it is a relatively diversified, wealthy town. Although the island has a small population, the small geographical footprint means that it has a relatively dense population - most of it being concentrated in the town of Clemens.
Phala's distance from Ikaron means that it functions mostly autonomously, and the town has also developed its own culture that is distinct from Ikaron. The people of Phala mainly enjoy seafood, with the addition of locally farmed vegetables, although ranching and the associated meats are becoming more prominent.
Phala has two important periods: the Sailing Season and the Slack Season. The Sailing Season lasts from spring until late fall. Slack Season lasts from late fall until late spring. During the sailing season, winds and currents are favorable to the sailing of ships; however, during Slack Season, the winds and currents become unfavorable for sailing. During the Slack Season, people will frequently celebrate and share in festivities, awaiting the return of business and contact with the Ikaron mainland.
Along with the shipping business, Phala also has important mining operations. Because of the wide range of business in Phala, there is no majority employer/industry.
Phala's government is based on a Mayor-council system, albeit, with some modifications. The council consists of five members who are elected by all of Phala's citizens. The mayor, rather than being directly elected, is instead appointed directly by the Minister of Internal Affairs on the mainland of Eturia.
This system of Mayor-council governance is a "strong-mayor" form, meaning the mayor is essentially the "President", while the council is a unicameral house. The council creates legislation, which the mayor can approve, veto, or send back; however, a standard 2/3 majority will override a veto. The mayor creates the cities budget and has executive power over the administration of the city, such as the operation of the "police" forces (guards) and other armed branches within the region. The council must approve the mayor's budget for it to go into effect, and the council controls the city's coffers.
Each member of the council is up for election every 3 years, while the mayor can be appointed at any time by the Ministry of Internal Affairs on the mainland.
Phala's government was unique in its development. While the original intent had been to have a simple executive mayor, the people quickly realized that their isolation from the mainland and importance to trade gave them enough leverage to force the creation of a council to balance the government's power. Left without much choice, the council was approved, granting Phala relatively democratic representation and say in their government.