The Free Commons is a 2 square mile region of the Golden Gate duchy that is used by House Fiona as something of a pressure valve. Here, free commoners are allowed to live in peace, so long as the Escheat is followed. House Scathach has been granted a freehold of their own here by the duchy and considered responsible for maintaining law and order. The Commons, contains the entire Ashbury-Haight neighborhood, some outlying streets with two additional freeholds and the eastern tip of Golden Gate Park.
The Free Council serves as semi-democratically elected leadership; seven kithain (generally grumps) meet every Monday evening from 7-10 pm at The Gate to discuss the state of affairs within the Free Commons. Following parlimentary procedure with a board-elected chairman, the Free Council is the most democratic body within Southern Pacifica. Belligerants, however, cynically point out that Sir Garland ap Scathach and his cronies control most of seats on the Council and dismiss it as nothing but "lapdogs and lip service" instead of a truly democratic institution.