Forgotten Realms: Splendors & Shadow
The Council of Lords (or Open Lords) is made up of the representatives of Waterdeep’s Noble Houses, who determine the criminal and civil law of the city, as well as the privileges and responsibilities of the noble class.
The Council of Urbans is made up of the representatives of the city’s chartered guilds and merchant houses, who determine trade laws and tariffs, and handle much of the city’s upkeep by virtue of legislating over the guilds that do the work.
The Ecumenical Council consists of representatives of the city’s officially-recognized churches and religions, who determine what faiths may build temples and preach within the city, and how they should conduct themselves.
The Council of Judges (or unofficially, the Masked Lords) is made up of the remnants of the mysterious Lords of Waterdeep, the anonymous group that once ruled (and some say, still do) the city; the interpret and enforce the (often muddled and contradictory) laws of the other three Councils.