The Parliament of Hours
Estes is one of the oldest districts in Montmarais, but it was by no means as active as Nordes and Ouestes in the foundation of the city. Indeed, very few people lived there up until the revolutionary period, when the eastern side of the Mariage was industrialised and built upon.
During the years after Montmarais’ founding, the district that would come to be known as Estes was utilised by a group of men and women who dissented with the way in which the frontier town was being run: the dissenters believed that the people who were considered the city’s founders were working purely to further their own ends and to gain the upper hand over one another, and were shocked at the amount of backstabbing and butchery that went on in the town when trade routes became established. In opposition, these dissenters built a bridge over the Mariage, pulling together in a demonstration that the best plans are made when every member co-operates, and founded their own self-sufficient “colony” on the other side of the river – L’Ermitage was one of the principal buildings in this colony, and it was there that most of the group lived. The dissenters’ refused to help to build upon the city thereafter, until more fair and ethical practices were put in place.
Unfortunately, no such practices were undertaken, and, while small satellite communities grew up around L’Ermitage, the area was largely ignored for decades. The colony strongly policed their chosen zone, and took great pains to ensure that they would not succumb to the temptation of greed and betrayal that Montmarais had. As the city expanded, however, entrepreneurs settled in the Est island and began setting up new businesses, building better housing, and generally taking away the livelihood of the colonial settlement. Eventually, during a series of violent battles between these entrepreneurs and the denizens of L’Ermitage, the dissenters were eliminated, and the area, now free of their influence, became a part of Montmarais proper, and flourished.
When the revolution on the runup to A600 was underway, the district was one of the fastest-developing zones in Montmarais, and the other Est districts followed suit by expanding, and became heavily industrialised. The district nowadays is still very much a center for industry, and is considered the gateway for the trade-businesses in the further Est districts.
Estes is a largely commercial district, though it carries far less of Montmarais’ economy than Nordes, or even the ports of La Chatte. The area has the most first- and second-sector businesses of any district in Montmarais.
Estes is controlled by The Armitage, a former mercenary guild. Their policy towards trespass is an aggressive re-route. Their principal holding in the district is L’Ermitage, the building after which they get their name.