Although it’s rumored that the Spadros Family has always engaged in criminal activity of one sort of another, wide-scale organized crime in the city of Bridges didn’t exist until the early 1700’s AC (After the Catastrophe).
After fifteen years of confused governance followed by twenty years of deepening recession due to excessive taxation, it became clear that the government was not going to do the simplest things, such as enforce law or fix infrastructure. Those who could make sure that a person might be able to walk the streets safely (for example) began to command top dollar for their services. In exchange, the purchaser would swear to notify their Family of any unusual activity and refrain from involving the police.
By the 1750’s, organized crime seemed to be the best way to get things done. Over eighty small crime families had carved out their respective niches, each claiming a neighborhood or three as their own. If you wanted a home built, you contacted your local Family – they smuggled in the materials, bribed the officials to get them there, and you paid as you could – or else.
But so many crime families (and the smaller gangs which sprang up in the gaps between neighborhoods) led to warfare, disruption of the peace, and ultimately, chaos. The Bloody Year (1864) was one of the worst examples of this, with whole families being slaughtered in revenge for some slight or another.
Now that the Four Families are in control and at a cease-fire, life is stable and the city is tranquil, as it should be.
Also see: A Short History of Bridges
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