Hi guys and welcome back to another Bridgetown world-building article, this is the latest article in a series that attempts to explain how Bridgetown grew from a spark of an idea to a town like no other. I have discussed the initial spark, in the form of the sewers that run beneath the streets, and talked about the bridges that gave the town its name. Now, it’s time to talk about the people that live in the town, and keep it’s rotten heart beating.
In a city where gold is constantly flowing into its coffers, you would think that everyone would be rich, yet it always seems to land in the same few pockets, leaving everyone else to find clever little ways to get by. Young children polish shoes for the impatient, pushing them along on a wheeled platform so they can keep moving through the streets while their shoes are being cleaned. With the docks in disrepair, the fishermen put their nets to use, hanging them either side of the river so the goods can be catapulted safely ashore. Tappers constantly repair and maintain the skyways, and there’s not a soul brave enough to cross without a tip, just in case the tappers decided not to do their job. The city is full of ingenuity, each idea squeezing just a little gold out of the full pockets of the town’s many misers.
The guilds are one of the biggest sources of income for the people living in the town, outside of their entrepreneurial habits. From the baking guild of the ninth district to the banking guild of the sixth and all the way down to the tourists guild in the second district, there are guilds of every stripe to be found. Membership is a cut-throat business, especially in the fearsome barbers guild, and only the most cunning, devious and determined members of the town make it. The rest find themselves as lackeys, easily replaceable, and will often find themselves worked to the bone to help the guild flourish. Although the Bridge-masters are the rulers of the town, with The Mayor at their head, the guilds are quietly building their own influence, and tension is building between both sides.
Bridgetown wouldn’t be itself without criminals, but it might surprise you to learn that they are an endangered species, their kind hunted down by The Mayor. They are a hard lot, constantly hunted by the current master of the third district, forced into hiding underground in the sewers. They survive by stealing what little they can, food, water, and clothing and stay hidden from the rest of the town. Whatever profit they make goes towards buying their youngest a way out of the city, safe passage and somewhere to live in one of the nearby towns. They are the people that have lost everything to the town, unable to leave they take back what little they can, and for those who haven’t lost their spirit, they plot revenge.
That’s it for the entrepreneurs of Bridgetown, and with the third article wrapped up, I am looking to the fourth. In the next article, I will explain the surrounding areas, and how Bridgetown came to be so affluent. It has a lot to do with where the town is built, and I will show you why exactly in the next article.