Infinite City: A Brief History of Gorgon’s Alley

[The below is a selection pulled from the Macmilliamous-McGrood history textbook. It is featured in courses taught from 6th to 8th grade levels across all citywide public schools, and has been of much debate lately in the news.]

“Stretching for almost half the inner cheek of Hemlock Bay, across six different city wards, sits the city’s oldest, most significant piece of real estate: Gorgon’s Alley. For almost twenty miles the ever-expanding bay-front property holds some of the most historic buildings, as well as headquarters for most of the legacy companies that established the city as a center of commerce for the nation: Rindgegessen Shipping, Sangrar Corp., Wesstersson, Fratolish&Hiang&Perpeshk, Dudoso Companies, to name a few. More importantly, it represents for many dwellers the essence of the city.

The origins of Gorgon’s Alley started at the delta of the Mond where the river splits into three tributaries that pour out to the bay. It was in the fertile banks between these three streams that Gorgon’s Alley begins. Originally a location for the indigenous Chinnemuuk and Othahathaway tribes-people gathered seasonally for ritual dances, games, and political meetings, the land was mostly underutilized until the infamous German pirates Ludwig von Küssenass and Hans-Johanns Schmudieb sailed through the inlet of Hemlock Bay and laid anchor at the mouth of the Mond River.

Fleeing from the Spaniards fresh on their tails, the legend proceeds that the pirates thought they could lose the armada in the bay. Because of the mist that falls from nearby King Thelonious Mountains and masks the bay, it provides the perfect concealment for nefarious sea-fairing vessels. As the pirates and their crew sailed across the black bay, they came upon the opening of the river. At first, because of the thick vegetation and size of the three off-shooting streams, the two swashbucklers thought they had found three distinct rivers, not one. They planned to lose the armada by sailing up one of the three—seeing as their boat was crafted for sailing across great distances, through shallow and deep waters.

When they learned, however, that the tributaries were all part of one great river, bottle-necking at the point of the dovetail, they decided to use this knowledge to their advantage. They sailed back out of the river and lured three of the Spanish ships into the northern leg where they then managed to destroy the leading vessel and trap the other two. They then sailed around and fired at will upon the other ships, defenseless as they did not have rear cannons, or the ability to turn their ships around. In hindsight, the Spaniards acknowledged it was a mistake to follow the pirates up the river. It is known to them as: ‘El Error Náutico.’

With the utter destruction of three vessels in a matter of a few hours, and the other man-o-wars being too large to traverse the river—risking a broach—the armada retreated from the bay, leaving the pirates with their victory. Fearing the Spanish were waiting to ambush them the moment they fled, though, the Germans decided to lay anchor and camp on (what is now) North Eye island.From that point forward marked the beginning of European involvement, and the founding of the city.

[Fun Fact Attack! Originally referred to as ‘Norden Ei,’ and ‘Suden Ei’ by the German pirate/explorers, ‘Ei’ in German means ‘egg.’ Phonetically, though, the word ‘Ei’ sounds like the English: ‘eye,’ which is where we get the names today.]

It was not long after settling both North and South Eye islands that the leaders von Küssenass and Schmudieb were able to turn the small merchant port into a bustling city of commerce —free from the long reach of royal arms in Europe—starting at the heart of the Mund’s delta, and slowly sprawling out from there.

[Fun Fact Attack! Fans of Greek myth, the pirates/explorer/entrepreneurs nicknamed the tributaries: Stheno, Euryale, and Medusa: hence ‘Gorgon’s Alley.’]”