The City of Bigany is over 400 years old. It was founded by an organised band of highwaymen, who fortfied the central island and strted charging a toll from passing ships and barges. There was, even then, a steady stream of traffic even then coming from the Eastern farmlands.
This band of highwaymen, and their progeny after them, eventually accumulated the wealth and the trappings of nobility. They are the ancestors of "The Five Families": The Torcs, The Vecs, The Forcs, The Momes and The Kinnets.
The Kinnets are interconnected to all the other families through marriage and are the most influential.
The Momes are the least influential and are considered by all but themselves as a minor almost fringe family.