Hi guys and welcome back to another Bridgetown world-building article. This is a continuation of the series that explains how the town grew from a concept, all the way up to a fully-fledged cesspit of greed and corruption. Now, Bridgetown wouldn’t be the town it is without bridges, they are a fundamental and important part of both the setting and the story. So, in this article, I will explain their humble beginnings and how they came to be so important.
Now, when the concept was in its fledgeling stages, I had sewers, a river with the town bifurcated by the river. It made sense for both sides to be connected by bridges, although I did toy with the idea of having them entirely separate, maybe even in a constant state of siege warfare as the mayor on one side, and the mayor on the other went to constant war with each other. I let go of this idea in the end because, one, The Mayor would quite easily kill off any rivals, and two, because it would be a very different story. So, with bridges in mind I created the one-way bridge, and then eventually, the other-way bridge, because let’s face it, my humour isn’t hideously complex.
Two bridges were originally all that existed, but somewhere along the line I got the number nine in my head as a number. There were several reasons for this. Firstly, I wanted an odd number, because that meant that people crossing in one direction, would have more room to cross than people going the other way (yay conflict). My brain instantly went to eleven (which is a running joke in my social group) but that seemed too many, and seven was overused as a mystical number in fantasy. Nine is a very fun number mathematically, and so I grabbed onto the idea and before I knew it there were nine bridges spanning the river.
Now, with the bridges crossing the river you then had carriageways piercing through the town to reach them, dividing up the town into individual segments. With traffic flow near constant, that gave each segment, or district as they became known, a very insular feel, and although each one is still connected I kept the insulation as a theme. With that in mind, each district is a little bit different, influenced by the buildings that exist there, and other forces below. There is also a divide between the sides of the river, with the east side being the richer while the west is stuck the poorer. Allegiances between the same district on either side of the river are fluctuating, depending mostly on how useful one can be to the other.
Now I mentioned other forces below when talking about the districts, and it’s high time I talked about the most fantastical elements of this town, The Demons of Down Below. If you travel down through the sewers of the town, past the bedrock that it’s built upon, you will eventually come to a cavern system lit by softly glowing rock. Below each district, bound to each Bridge, is a demon, risen from the depths of hell. They are the reason people swarm to Bridgetown, clamouring for their greatest dreams to come true. It’s only after their wish is granted, and they find it to be hollow, that they realise the town doesn’t let go of fresh meat so easily. The demons, of which there are nine, one for each bridge, are bound tightly to the town and when you read the survival guide you will see their influence everywhere if you know how to look.
That’s it for this week but I will be back the following Thursday with more information about the world-building of Bridgetown. I am thoroughly enjoying this topic so I think next I will focus on the people of the town who like to think of themselves as creative entrepreneurs.