The City of Sed is home to more factories, manufacturing plants, and production facilities than any other city in the nation. From orb-lights to motorcarts, almost anything you use in your daily life was made somewhere within the city. Though the city once produced goods for areas nearby, the rise of motorcarts and raillines meant the factories in Sed could provide goods to people throughout the nation and the rest of the world. Hundreds of years ago the city was a mix of industrial and residential buildings, with locals working the shops they owned. Today, the entire city is a commercial center. Some of the larger office buildings or manufacturing plants include a suite of living quarters, though they are few and far between. For the most part the people who work in Sed City commute by motorcart or railline from the outlying suburbs. While it has always been known for being an industrial leader, even one century ago the scope of its services was much smaller.
Prior to the advent of motorcarts and raillines the manufacturing facilities throughout Sed primarily served the farmers of Arodil and the people of Floran. Farm equipment and construction materials have always been in high demand, and the people of Sed were always willing to oblige. But the area also produced steel that was used to construct buildings, bridges, equipment, and other goods used throughout the country.
Sed became the capital city of the province because of the region’s infamy. Prior to the unification of Atla the working conditions throughout the city were deplorable at best. Men and women worked 14 hour shifts 6 days a week and received barely enough mig to provide for themselves. Children were also forced to work in the mills and plants to help provide for their families. Sed, much like the plains of Arodil, is almost entirely flat and full of, as the locals put it, “a lot of nothing”. Owners of growing corporations built their businesses in Sed because the land was cheap, easy to build on, and located near major ports and cities. As a result, the corporations built most of the housing in the region, developing worker communities—neighborhoods of poorly built houses where the employees could live. But given that the corporations owned the housing as well as the companies, they effectively controlled the lives of those who lived and worked for them, providing wages that barely covered the cost of housing. While the owners of the corporations profited and became among the wealthiest people in the world, the workers living in and around the region were destitute and impoverished. Many of the workers, fed up with the living conditions and wages, migrated to Floran, Arodil, or Alpine. But the sad reality was most people didn’t have enough money for extra food or clothing that could sustain them on their way to another city. The corporations did not allow any transportation services near the factories or housing which further isolated the people who worked there. Without transportation or supplies, the people really were at the mercy of the business owners.
Before 50 PM Sed was a busy albeit smaller city, one known for small shops and facilities run by families or half a dozen people. Blacksmiths and masons were among the most common tradesmen and women and they employed, as apprentices or assistants, most of the people who lived in the area. During and after the War of the World when the demand for metal increased the first major corporations moved into the area. From that time forward the locals were mostly displaced, some moving to Floran or Alpine, others taking jobs in the region. For 50 or more years the situation devolved into the nightmare it was when Atla became a unified nation.
The Grand Council knew, even during the drafting of the constitution, that the situation in Sed would need to be regulated and controlled. One of the first initiatives of the new government was to enforce the then-new labor regulations the people of Atla agreed to. As a way of enforcing the new rules and in a show of power, the Grand Council placed the provincial capital in the heart of Sed, constructing a building that was both grand in size and appearance. The building took two years to construct and was completed in 2 EM, with the provincial representatives operated out of smaller temporary offices during its construction. At once they enforced the new labor laws that shortened work days, banned child labor, and created a minimum wage for workers throughout the nation.
Many of the corporations were forced to close their doors and abandon their buildings. Their profit models depended on almost nonexistent labor costs and, when the new rules were applied, they could not sustain their businesses. Others adapted to the change with little problem. Those that were eager to comply received funding from the government to offset some of the costs associated with bringing their buildings and policies in line with the new standards. There were, however, some corporations who resisted the change, eventually resorting to violence to prove their point.
The violence began in the spring of 1 EM when a group of executives from half a dozen corporations burned a portion of the provincial capital building’s foundation. They also destroyed building equipment, supplies, and anything else they could get their hands on.
While the GC was able to repair the damage quickly, the attacks continued. And over the months the violence escalated. By the end of 1 EM a few of the corporations had gathered what the GC called a corporate-militia, a group of roughly 700 men armed with swords, bows, and early arm cannons surrounded the nearly-complete provincial capital and trapped workers inside while preventing anyone else from entering. The siege lasted for two weeks before troops from the nearest military base in the southern region of Arodil arrived. A quick but bloody battle ensued. 650 of the corporate-militiamen were killed and 50 more were captured. 12 members of the Atlan military were killed in the battle and a dozen more were injured. After the battle all of the corporations who had refused to comply were seized by the military. The hundreds of employees in the plants and corporate offices were given the opportunity to comply immediately or be incarcerated while their companies became official property of the Atlan government. There were a few violent outbursts and assaults in the process, but for the most part the employees agreed to the terms. Four companies were forced to shut their doors due to their unwillingness to comply and several dozen executives were arrested and incarcerated after a thorough investigation.
The provincial capital building was completed shortly after what became known as the One Day War and within 10 years the city was larger, more productive, and safer than ever. And now that raillines cross the country and make transporting goods across the nation both quick and easy, Sed’s importance has only grown.