Bitter Bridge, officially the Commonwealth of Bitter Bridge, is a country in northern Southfield. Located on the Bitter Peninsula, it is flanked by New Harlow to the south, unclaimed lands to the north, the Western Bay to the east coast, and the Northern Pass to the west. Its capital and largest city is Golden Grove. The people of Bitter Bridge are a diverse people, with many different ethnicity's intermingling together. The official language has been named the Common Tongue, along with Harlownian.
For centuries, the southwestern shores of the Northern Continent were inhabited by various tribes. In the 100's, the Bitter Peninsula was united by King Harren I, the King of the Peninsula, and the first unified state in that area of the region, the Kingdom of Bitter Shore, was created on 1st January 107. During the 2nd century, the Grand Duchy of Bitter Shore was the largest country in Southfield; present-day Bitter Bridge, New Harlow, and the unclaimed lands to the north and east were the territories of the Grand Duchy. With the Golden Union of 390, Bitter Bridge and New Harlow formed a voluntary two-state union, the Bitter Bridge–Harlownian Commonwealth. The Commonwealth lasted more than two centuries, until the Southerton conquerors systematically dismantled it from 567–95, during the period known as the Southfield expansionist period. As the Conquest War neared its end, Bitter Bridge's Act of Independence was signed on 16 February 608, declaring the establishment of a sovereign State of Bitter Bridge. Starting in 614, New Harlow was occupied by New Harlow and then by Aesope. As the War of the North neared its end in 623, and the Aesopean's retreated, New Harlow reoccupied Bitter Bridge. On 12 March 625, a year before the formal dissolution of all New Harlownian colonies, Bitter Bridge became the first colony of New Harlow to declare itself independent, resulting in the restoration of an independent State of Bitter Bridge.
Bitter Bridge is a member of the Southfield Economic Union, and a full member of the Weller Agreement. The World Assembly Development Meter lists Bitter Bridge as a "very high human development" country. Bitter Bridge has been among the fastest growing economies in the Southfield Economic Union, but recently numbers have fallen.
The nation of Bitter Bridge is an elongated state, stretching up and down the majority of the Bitter Peninsula. The nation is bordered by the Unclaimed Lands to the north, the Western Bay to the east, the Northern Pass to the west, and New Harlow to the south. Bitter Bridge is mostly flat land and rocky beaches, with the highest point being just 12 km above sea level. The northern part of the country is mainly used in agriculture, growing wheat and barley, and other cereal grain. However, there are also cities in the northern part of the country: in such towns like Ashford, Summer Hall, and Tumbleton. These cities hold 3/4 of the north's population. The south holds the capital, Golden Creek, and the major cities of Newtown, New Hyrell, and Stony Shore. The south is considered by many experts to be the main economic center of the country. The nation has many ports in the aforementioned southern cities. There is one major river, named The Rainwood, that runs up and down the nation, taking the supplies from the ports in the south to the farms and cities in the north, via barge.
The people of Bitter Bridge are a more progressive type. They have always had very liberal social policies, even in the days of the tribes and kingdoms. The law of the Kingdoms claimed that the heirs to the throne were allowed to marry the same gender, so long as at least one of the kings produced an heir. The people of Bitter Bridge also allowed women to sit the throne, so long as she was the eldest true born heir. The people of Bitter Bridge are also known for their saddening folktales, such as stories like "The boy and the rose" or "The begging sister".
The people of Bitter Bridge worship the gods the Southerton's brought with them when they conquered the land. The "Religion of the South" it is called. It claims there are two gods: The Maiden and The Grim. The faith claims that the maiden is a fair girl and is depicted dressed in white with long black hair and pale white skin. She is meant to represent all things good and healthy. The second god is a cloaked and hooded figure, usually depicted carrying a staff. The cloak and hood are usually depicted as black. He is meant to represent all things unknown and feared. The faithful gather in the Temps to worship. The Temp is a cylinder building, with no seats, but two alters: one with a statue of The Maiden, and one with The Grim. The faithful leave candle's beneath the statues when they prey.
The people of Bitter Bridge are known for their light brown hair, pasty skin, and green or hazel eyes. They often appear to have a short height, with the average man being 5'5 and the average woman being 5'4. They mixed with the Harlownian settlers in the ancient times and have been known to carry their blue eyes at times.
The nation of Bitter Bridge is officially a commonwealth. The people elect their Prime Minister and National Assembly members on a scheduled basis. The right to vote was made universal by the ruling of the Superior Court. Currently, the Prime Minister is Harry McKinney of the Democratic Left Party. During his run on the campaign trail, McKinney promised to raise civil rights in Bitter Bridge if he was elected. He also promised to strengthen relationships between the Commonwealth and other nations in the region. He has also said he would prioritize the economy during his term in office. His critics claim his promise on strengthening ties with other nations has not been too successful, and he should focus more on securing Bitter Bridge's place in the region. The nation has four political parties, but the Democratic Left Party has the majority of the people in Bitter Bridge in their party.
Bitter Bridge is a very centrist nation when it comes to international politics and relations. It has maintained a code of neutrality, saying that if any domestic regional conflict should arise, Bitter Bridge would stay out of the war. Bitter Bridge is a member of the Southfield Economic Union, which is responsible for giving financial aid to other, more impoverished nations, and regulating trade between member nations.