Gatchtik Clan of Darkcrest

The most (in)famous gnollish clan on the whole moon is that of Gatchtik, based in Darkcrest. From a minor tribe several centuries ago, the Gatchtik clan has used traits rare among those of their race—foresight and cunning—to absorb rival clans into their hierarchy. Some even say that the Gatchtik oversee a breeding program in their clan ranks, sweeping the cleverest members of other clans to be consorts in an attempt to solidify their intellectual and cultural dominance. Casting themselves as the mouthpieces of the demons gnolls are known to worship, they have accrued power through bonds of blood loyalty and debt among less agile gnollish clans. In essence, the Gatchtik have at their beck and call what might be one of the largest armies on the Death Side if mustered at once in one place. Of course, given their many contracts and entanglements, the Gatchtik could never accomplish such a mustering under the eye of Darkcrest’s vampire clans in their present state.

At the same time they have consolidated their power over their brethren, the Gatchtik have insinuated themselves into the power structures of the sprawling city, adopting the manners of polite company when needed to smooth over relationships with members of the human ruling cabal and other races. The result of these maneuvers is that the Gatchtik and the workers, mercenaries, and resources they control are technically in the hire of nearly every prominent house in Darkcrest. With these connections, however, come bonds: Gatchtik loans at usurious rates, tributes from conquered territory to Gatchtik potentates, and the constant nagging reminder that, in terms of collective strength, the nominally “outsider” Gatchtik could match some of Darkcrest’s noble houses. (Though most vampires think little of this matter, it rankles some, who try to quietly counter anything that could threaten gnollish subordination.) In terms of potential savagery in battle, however, they surpass them all, and would prove formidable to defeat.

On the other claw, the Gatchtik know better than others the peril of Death Side life and where their next meal comes from: their clients. Further, it is only through relatively friendly relations that the Gatchtik have had access to much technology and magic, though they have founded their own industries and magical academies, though currently small. And they will never admit that they gain some power from Darkcrest’s willingness to delegate gnoll affairs to them alone. Thus, only when they know that their subjects will still get their bones—or when they, but not others, know there aren’t enough bones to go around—have the Gatchtik mobilized anything approaching their full strength.

The Gatchtik clan is currently led by the Lady Igrezki XIII. (An unknown number have lost their heads for addressing her as “lord,” misled by their eyes.) Such was the reputation of her eponymous predecessors—a reputation which she shares—that “tea with Igrezki” came to mean “a necessary evil” in the jargon of the noble houses of Darkcrest.

See Gnolls of Jenoa and Halkya.