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Bowerstone: Past and Present

Enodoc August 13, 2011 User blog:Enodoc

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Bowerstone, the capital of Albion, has appeared in all Fable games to date. However, it has changed drastically in the 600-odd years that have passed. Here are my theories on how Bowerstone came to be what it is today, and where the districts may be in relation to each other.

In Fable I, you would exit the Guild, and turn right at the top of the rise in Lookout Point, and cross the east-west river into Bowerstone South. You could then continue through Bowerstone North and leave the town by crossing another east-west waterway outside Bowerstone Jail. An initial issue with this is that 500 years later, Bowerstone had no east-west river to its south side at all. The river you cross as you enter Bowerstone Market is a south-north river, which – logic suggests – turns into the east-west river you cross as you leave Bowerstone Old Town. Perhaps then, to accomodate the development of Bowerstone, the initial east-west river was diverted to the north to join with the existing waterway north of the town.

Another theory is that the area that was Bowerstone Quay, which is on a north-south/south-north stretch of water, became Bowerstone Market. This may be more likely geographically as it coincides correctly with a south-north waterway. However, this creates an inconsistency with Bowerstone North; it has been stated that the Castle was built on the site of Bowerstone Manor. The Manor is northeast of the Quay, but the castle is northwest of Market.

If the castle was indeed built on the site of the manor, then that would place the rest of Fable I's Bowerstone much further to the west than the river. Bowerstone Quay, which would then be southwest of the future castle site, would also be on the coast, rather than on a river as it actually appears to be. The location further west would match appropriately with the distance travelled west of Bower Lake to get there in Fable II, but does not explain why you go north to get there from the Guild in Fable I. The only way I can see of explaining that is to retcon it and say that the distance from the Guild Exit to Lookout Point is actually much longer that it seemed in Fable I, or alternatively that the Guild Exit in Lookout Point is actually a long way west of the main Guild buildings, and is a door into Guild grounds rather than the Guild itself.

Essentially, I am unable to completely solve the inconsistencies between Fable and Fable II, due to the numerous issues that arise when taking one point over another.

Fable II's Bowerstone to Fable III's Bowerstone is less of an issue, but there is one district in Fable III that just doesn't work at all – Old Quarter. First of all however, it is necessary to orient the Castle, as it can be seen from most districts of Bowerstone in both games. Lucien's tower (for want of a better name) sticks out of the castle in an east-north-east direction, if the orientation of the maps in Fable II is to be believed. (And it may as well be, as they appear to be logical consistent with each other.)

Old Quarter, then. If you look towards the castle from Old Quarter, the angle of the tower puts you northeast of the castle. However, if you stand at the back of the Castle gardens and look down, all you can see is Industrial. Also, you leave Market going south to get to Old Quarter, and going west to get to the castle. This would suggest that Old Quarter was southwest of the castle; but from this angle, you wouldn't see the tower at the castle at all.

Old Quarter and Industrial also appear to be quite close together, considering the relative distance between those two and the distance between each of them and the castle. In addition, as you leave Old Quarter and head towards Industrial, you can see Industrial's buildings relatively closely.

If you place Old Quarter north of the castle, a possible reason for leaving Market in a southerly direction is so that you can drop down to a lower level of the city and pass underneath the Market-Castle road.

The next issue regards Fable II's Old Town and Fable III's Industrial. In Fable II, you leave Market on a north-bound path from the town square to get to Old Town. Old Town also appears to be by the coast, as if you stand on the bridge at the north end, you can see the sea past the city walls. Industrial is also on the coast, and initially I thought perhaps it was just further round to the southwest than Old Town. However, that idea hits a snag – to get to Industrial from Market, you follow the river to the north. The river, however, is east of the path to Old Town. I think then the most likely scenario is that Old Town has become Industrial. The general course of the river supports this theory, as there is an obvious kink in the path of the river outside Old Town, and there is also a kink in the river between the factories in Industrial. The relative orientation and positioning of the coastline and the castle also support this idea.

The final region is the cemetery. There is no particular reason to believe it no longer exists in Bowerstone, as there is a lot of city that just doesn't get visited. The only issue is where it may be in relation to Industrial and Old Quarter. The first possibility is that it lies on the hill between them, but the encroachment of the industrial buildings at the edge of Old Quarter may render this unlikely. The second possibility is that it lies on the hillside past Old Quarter, and the third is that it can be found somewhere between Old Quarter and the castle. An issue with the third idea is that it wouldn't easily match its direction from Industrial comparative to its direction from Old Town if they are indeed the same place.

Maps

Eno Bowerstone P&P F1
Fable I map of Bowerstone

Eno Bowerstone P&P F2
Eno Bowerstone P&P F3


Fable II map of Bowerstone, showing relative locations of the districts. Faded sections show possible connecting paths and the projected flow of the river. The maps are not to scale, but the cemetery map is probably decidedly less so. The cemetery could probably be placed further in land, but I've put it there so it connects better to the Old Town path.
Fable III map of Bowerstone, showing most likely positions of the districts based on the reasoning above. Faded parts show projected paths, rivers and coastlines. Bottom left is the southwest alternative location for Old Quarter, which coincides with the direction you leave Market and the fact you can't see it from the castle. However, there is no obvious way to connect the paths to Industrial, so I didn't bother. The more likely location of Old Quarter is shown between the Castle and Industrial, and I have shown the projected path between Market and Old Quarter passing under the Market-Castle road. Also shown is the projected line of the coast around Bowerstone, taking into account the coastline shown on the Fable II map of Fairfax Gardens (another reason to believe Old Quarter is not down there). The circles show the possible locations for Bowerstone Cemetery in relation to the Fable III districts.



Part of the Albion Series

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