Village council

The village council is the group of individuals who effectively run a village. Often termed elders, gentlefolk, notables or another term of respect. The Council may exist formally, may be the village chief / squire / knight and retainers, or may simply be the people to whom the villagers turn to for aid when faced with something beyond their own skill or power.
In a typical village the council will include the titular head of the village, the local priest, the head of the militia, perhaps the best hunter/wealthiest farmer, a retired hero or two, and some of the wealthier crafts-folk such as the blacksmith. While these people rarely have formal power they are likely to be listened to with respect by other villagers, and in case of dispute their word will tend to be taken at face value while an opponent (such as a hero proclaiming their innocence of some crime) will face considerable skepticism.

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