Ganador, or "The Resplendent Island City of Ganador, Eternal Maiden in the Heart of the World" as it likes to be called in full, is one of the most important places in the world I'm currently developing for my fantasy cycle. It is the major economic powerhouse dominating much of the known world, although it never seems to have had any military or political aspirations - at least not formally.
Officially, Ganador is but the capital of a backwater province of a barely independent nation that is the result of a failed rebellion. But it is also the seat of one of the most powerful organisations on the face of the Earth, the Ganadorian Hansa, which has factories in hundreds of ports all over the known world, and physically owns tens of thousands of miles of overland trade roads - along with the halting posts, fortresses, wells and other facilities that go with it. It also has a formidable navy that can protect its merchant fleets in the most pirate-infested waters.
Strong as it may be, the Hansa's most powerful asset is not its humongous wealth, not its military prowess, but its crippling grip it has on other peoples debt. The Hanse has made a business in buying up debts from the strongest, most powerful players in the political world, and they always collect it. Kings and Cardinals have been bankrupted and overthrown before, and have learned to fear the might of the Ganadorian Hansa.