The commonwealth of Alabama facilitates the third seat in any basic wasteland economy. Ask any children playing around and they’ll explain to you the simplest principle. Some kids get to play the raiders, some kids get to play the lawmen, and some kids get to play the traders. The commonwealth finds itself holding the position of the mercantile. To explain fully though, one has to look at the commonwealth as a whole. Half government and half merchant organization, the commonwealth started as nothing more then a trade alliance between multiple small city states dotted across Alabama. As is often the case in the wasteland, survivors find themselves clinging to whatever key recourses they can, and that often leaves little room for variety. Of course, when settlements do eventually start to find each other, trade is almost always quick to follow.
In this case, as the separate settlements became more and more dependent on each other, the trade agreements that secured these dependencies gradually became more powerful and important. With time, separate towns began to shift even more focus on the various trade alliances, and before long, the wealth generated, and law needed, in inter-town trade surpassed that of the towns themselves. It wasn’t long before the settlements started working from the trade network out rather then from their towns in, and soon what is now known as the Commonwealth of Alabama was formed.
Being run by a rough conglomeration of businesses, merchants, and caravaneers has its ups, which tend to be seen mainly through shrewd transactions and a commitment to ‘hands off’ business practices. Commonwealth agents are seen almost exclusively through trade as merchants, although they are less commonly seen as caravan guards and other such patrols in the interest of trade.