Bastion of civilization in the Salt Flats and trade hub, Nitre thrives on its salt mines and the “pickers,” those ratfolk and humans who scrounge the flats and the Ash for old salvage. Some are afforded the chance for better life by gaining access to pick through the old salt mines, and then down into the Deeps beneath Nitre. This access, simply called a Pass, is given by Governor Ardric Salzo.
Nitre was established long ago, and is not the first city to rest in that current place. Evidence of other cities in the Deeps attest to the proto Nitre being a thriving port town. As magic evolved, various salts became useful as alchemical reagents, and salt, beyond its use as a preservative and ingredient, became a trade good for the bowl. Nitre itself was established as the company town for The Salty Scourge Caravan Company. As the caravan business became quite cutthroat, the company took over more and more of the Salt Flat. Eventually the Caravan master became a de facto leader over the flats. When Nakir finally fell and the Governorships were established, the Caravan Master became the obvious choice for governor.
Molik Salzo essentially turned the governorship into a semi-hereditary position, usually with the best heir chosen by caravan leaders. The power structure in Nitre and the Salt Flats essentially consists of the caravan master of the Salty Scourge Caravan Company, who governs over his sheriffs, who are caravan leaders. Every five years, when the Company divvies up profits based on trading quotas and commissions, the sheriffs also elect a governor, typically re-electing the governor, or confirming his chosen heir. Most law enforcement is carried out by private contractors, hired specifically by sheriffs.
Exploration and exploitation of the various ancient resources around the Salt Flats requires strict legal permission from the Company. To move goods requires a permit, which can be given by a governor or a sheriff. A Pass, which allows for entrance to the salt mines and the Deeps, is given only by the governor. Beneath Nitre is the salt mines and the Deeps, while other towns may have their own, smaller ruins that require sheriff-bestowed passes. Ratfolk are the vast majority of Passholders, and quite a few have made their fortune with one successful delve.