Surrounded by canals, the Palace Island contains four wings of the royal Nefian palace: East, West, North, South. The palaces are not only traditional home to the extended royal family and harem of the king, but also the functionaries and offices of an elaborate Nefian government bureaucracy.
From "The Scrolls of Nef" (Spellbinder, Book One, chapter 8)
"After that I often visited [Uncle Mordec] up at the top of the far North tower of the palace, surrounded by his terrace gardens. On three sides of the tower, overlooking the city, his wide gardens looked out on the blue and white harbor below, and the distant blue cliffs enclosing the straits of the bay. On the Western terrace was a long jasmine pavilion such as I had never seen, with bright blue pillars and steps carved from the local stone and made part of the structure of the building. The entire North Tower, in fact, was part of the "old" palace, built half into the cliff side, and separated from the more splendid marble 'Edifice of the King' by an open-lattice bridge above a canal——as far as possible, Uncle Mordec liked to murmur in my ear in his conspiratorial way—— from the smell of pretentiousness, by which he meant our relatives at court, his nephew Galoe, the new king, and 'The Great Vortex of Distraction and Contempt,' as he liked to recite, that was the Noble Court of Nef."