The Ruling Council of Magistrates was the governing body in the city of Li Heng. Its official name was the Hall of Prudence and Conscientious Guidance, but it was more commonly known as the "Palace of Puckering and Spluttering". It consisted of a group of twelve magistrates: seven old men and five old women.
The magistrates met in a windowless circular room where they could look down from a raised galley over the petitioners below. They sat at a single continuous pink marble table with their servants and scribes behind them.