by Isaac Stewart
|Featured In||The Stormlight Archive|
Bridge Four is the name of a bridge crew belonging to Highprince Sadeas's army, which is used to transport bridges so that soldiers could cross the chasms of the Shattered Plains. Infamous for being the worst crew, it does not have a stable leader until Kaladin Stormblessed is transferred into the unit.
Under Kaladin's leadership, Bridge Four transfers to the control of Highprince Dalinar Kholin, where it becomes a military unit, but chooses to retain the name of Bridge Four as an homage to its past. In this capacity, Bridge Four acts as the personal guard of Highprince Kholin, royal guard to King Elhokar Kholin, premier spearman platoon of the bridge crews, and headquarters platoon for the bridge crew battalion.
Their insignia, designed by Kaladin, is made up of the glyph vev (meaning the number four) suspended above the glyph gesheh (meaning bridge), stylized as a bridge spanning a chasm.[Citation needed]
A transfer to Bridge Four was often used as a punishment for bridgemen, and the existence of a group worse off than themselves was a mental control used by Sadeas' men on the rest of the bridge crews. As a result of this, the bridgemen in bridge four knew that nothing worse could be done to them, and put no effort into anything. They didn't tell each other their names or anything else about themselves.
Upon arrival at the bridge yard in Sadeas' war camp Kaladin managed to earn the immediate enmity of Gaz, the bridge sergeant in charge of the bridge crews, who then placed him in Bridge Four. They will still face resistance to turn their luck, for example, Sadeas has ordered the wounded men of Bridge Four to not receive food or pay for the duration of time they can't run bridges.
Changes under Kaladin
Kaladin spent several weeks in the bridge crew before deciding to give leading and protecting one more try. Once the decision had been made he quickly turned Bridge Four around, and through his efforts it became the best of the bridge crews, taking the fewest casualties, treating its wounded and training for escape.
The Battle of the Tower
During the Battle of the Tower Bridge Four rescued Highprince Dalinar Kholin resulting in Dalinar buying the freedom of all the bridge crews, placing Kaladin in command of all bridgemen that choose to become soldiers, and requesting Bridge Four as personal bodyguards.
Bridge four, even as bodyguards, remain very proud of their bridge. Their tattoos that they get to cover up their slave brands say 'freedom bridge four', to show that they were freed by bridge four.
”It appeared that he'd been wrong. There had been something more they could do to him. One final torment the world had reserved just for Kaladin. And it was called Bridge Four.— Kaladin's thoughts after his first Bridge Run
”Kaladin had not been assigned to Bridge Four by chance. Out of all the bridge crews, Bridge Four had the highest casualty rate. That was particularly notable, considering that average bridge crews often lost one-third to one-half of their number on a single run.— 
”As they hefted their bridge, a spontaneous round of cheering rose up from the other crews. "That's new," ... "Guess they finally realized what we are," Kaladin said. "And what's that?" ... "We're their champions. Bridge forward!"— Kaladin to Teft on the marching off for the Battle of the Tower
- The Way of Kings chapter 6
- Words of Radiance chapter 2
- The Way of Kings chapter 73
- Isaac told us
— 17th Shard forums - 2014-04-13#
- The Way of Kings chapter 9
- The Way of Kings chapter 11
- The Way of Kings chapter 30
- The Way of Kings chapter 17
- The Way of Kings chapter 27
- The Way of Kings chapter 67
- The Way of Kings chapter 68
- The Way of Kings chapter 69
- The Way of Kings chapter 64