The Parliament of Hours
The Cien-Tet are one of the gangs of Montmarais, occupying the eastern part of the city (Upper Marcage, Central Marcage, and Lower Marcage) and to some extent the Fens. They are made up of gnolls, elves and other residents of the Fens, but tend not to become involved in gang politics.
The Cien-Tet did not begin as a gang resident in the city, and in fact came in quite late to the gang-turf scheme. They were largely ignored up until the expansion of Montmarais from a frontier town to a city; the denizens of the Fens were referred to as the “Chien” (‘dogs’), in reference to the gnolls who lived there. Over time, the epithet grew to include the other residents of the marsh – primarily, the elves that lived there, as well as some residents of the city who escaped to the Fens to live amongst them – and became the “Cien-Tet”—“the dog-headed people”, or “the people led by hounds”.
When the city’s boundaries eventually met the tree-line of the Fens, the Cien-Tet became more well-known, as border skirmishes were fought between the Fens’ residents and Montmarais’ citizens. This stopped when the large city perimeter wall was built, seperating the city from the marsh. The Cien-Tet attempted forays into the city via the Boujere rivers flowing into Montmarais, but these strategies resulted in failure, and for a time, the Cien-Tet faded from the city’s memory, living on only as weird tales swapped in taverns and in stories intended to frighten children into obedience.
However, over time, the eastern part of the city wall became unstable—the ground that the wall was built on shifted during the seasons, owing to the flooding and recession of the Fens. A few decades later, the wall had become a series of disparate, derelict stone mounds, and there was free passage to and from the Fens once again.
The Cien-Tet rose to public awareness quickly, and seized the turf closest to the walls – a measure largely successful due to the fact that the area had been abandoned and declared condemned due to the unstable ground. They have kept the area up until the present day, although it is debatable as to whether this is because of their defensive capabilities, or if other gangs simply don’t want the abandoned, run-down districts.
The Cien-Tet occupy a strange role in the gang scheme, as the majority of the gang’s members are not residents of the city itself—primarily, the gang is made up of gnolls and elves from within the Fens, and a minority of assorted humanoids who have felt it their calling to live in the marsh instead of the city: they are said to be “lead away by the hounds”. The Cien-Tet are broken into smaller tribes with complex interrelations, but when it comes to interacting with the other gangs of Montmarais, they consider themselves to be a unified whole.
The gang tends to occupy the derelict buildings within the abandoned Upper, Central and Lower Marcages, as well as living in slum-like dwellings within the fens themselves. The clothing they use is generally pragmatic for life within the semi-aquatic fens.
Their goals are largely assumed to be purely to keep the residents of the city from entering the Fens, although rumours are abound that the Cien-Tet raid nearby districts for food or sport. They do not usually seek conflict or intrigue with the other gangs, and seem to be neutral if left alone.
The Cien-Tet control three districts within Montmarais – the Upper Marcage, the Central Marcage, and the Lower Marcage. However, the majority of their “holdings” actually lie within the Fens themselves; their official headquarters – if indeed they have any – most likely lies some way into the marsh. These three districts are run-down and shabby, owing to the fact that the buildings there were built on unsuitable ground, and were abandoned long before the Cien-Tet took control of them – nowadays, the Fen’s ecology has slowly begun to encroach upon the urban territory as trees, plants and bushes sprout out amongst the deserted buildings, resulting in the area resembling an eerie admixture of machinery and natural growth.
The Cien-Tet hold no Alliances, and are similarly not at War with any of the other gangs. Their turf is largely abandoned and worthless, so they are not often challenged or involved in border skirmishes. However, occasionally, nearby gangs will declare a personal crusade on the Cien-Tet, often on the grounds of them having kidnapped people from other districts, or else for generally being outsiders who should be forced back into the Fens. Very little comes from these hysteric raids, although bad blood often remains between the gangs involved.