Most human cities are citystates ruled by an Oligarchy where a handful of wealthy and powerful individuals control the city. The most notable exceptions are the free city of Sea Haven that calls itself a “democracy” and the Kingdom of Grandiil (also called The Last Kingdom, which holds the largest landmass of any human nation). The major human citystates often form loose confederations to bolster their strength in trade and share mutual protection against the greater powers. The only cities not part of a confederation are the free city of Sea Haven and the cities within Grandiil.
Dwarven civilization is far more traditional. Their mountain homes were impacted far less by the rising sea level and as such have had little reason to change. Their cities haven’t expanded as much as the human cities and they spend more time producing raw resources than manufacturing goods. They still have strong ties with most human governments as the massive trade between the two has made both massively rich. Dwarven clerics are highly sought after in human cities as they have stuck to the old ways of religion and offer many services human clerics can’t.
The major confederations are The Coalition of Northern Traders (consisting of 7 major cities and the small empire of Gull Makt), The Mining Federation (which consists of only 2 human cities, but also 2 dwarven kingdoms), The Hurricane Archipelago (consists of 5 cities within the same archipelago and 2 cities outside that joined), and The Sea Trade Union (4 cities that inhabit lowlands encroached upon by sea, 3 cities in the region who joined anyway, and the only merfolk city to participate in global trade). Beyond these organizations there is the kingdom of Grandiil (that stands alone as the largest and oldest human civilization), the kingdom of Rhangdan (by far the largest in terms of landmass and resource export), the Smiths Union (the only non-traditional dwarven nation, decently large landmass and export), and the Sea Dwarves (dwarves mutated long ago to live in water filled caves. The smallest but exports rare materials no one else can access).
Only the free city of Sea Haven stands alone. Beset on all sides by various interests, Sea Haven is in the center of several major trade routes making it very wealthy. As a free city it serves as a safe harbor for all sorts of scum (especially pirates) and many of these criminal elements have come to the city’s defense when was attacked. Sea Haven is a city where anyone is welcome so long as you have the coin and the determination. It is a city where the strong flourish and the meek are exploited at every opportunity. A thin veneer of order is maintained by the “constabulary” who are basically hired goons paid to keep the peace and gang wars to a minimum.