The Patrician of Ankh-Morpork in Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels.

The Patrician rules Ankh-Morpork by force of character and political manipulations instead of by any reliance on heriditary rule or force of arms. City leaders such as high priests and guild leaders quake in fear at the Patrician's every questioning look and meaningful silence.

The Patrician was responsible for the creation of the Ankh-Morpork guild system as it exists today. Before the creation of the Thieves' Guild, theft and murder were out of control in Ankh-Morpork. The Patrician arranged a meeting of the leaders in the thieves' community, and gave them a guild building and immunity from the city guards, requiring only that they pay city taxes and conduct thefts in a more civilized manner. The thieves accepted Vetinari's gifts and went home snickering into their sleeves. A short while later, the Patrician called them together for another meeting and said,
Oh yes, and I forgot to mention..
I know where you live. I know where your wives and families live. I know the schools attended by your children, they must be what, seven or eight by now, how they've grown.

The thieves were remarkably eager to comply with Vetinari's guidelines for the guild. This positive example of a working guild lead to the creation of many of the currently existing guilds of Ankh-Morpork.

The Patrician has several eccentricities. He can not stand mimes. Any street performer practicing the silent arts will quickly find themselves hanging upside down in a scorpion pit with a sign saying "Learn the words." He dresses entirely in black clothing - not the flashy black of a villian trying to impress but the drab black of a man who doesn't want to spend time deciding what to wear in the morning. The Patrician has no vices that his enemies could discover; while guild leaders enjoy meals of roasted pheasant in rich sauces the Patrician considers a piece of bread and boiled water an elegant sufficiency.

Among the Patrician's allies are the genius Leonard of Quirm, and Commander Vimes of the City Watch.