|Current status:||Prospering under new management|
A settlement in the ruins of the town of the same name, Mobridge is an emerging trading power in the region, under the influence of Custer's American Army but officially run by the Mobridge Merchants Guild.
Mobridge was founded in 1906 on land that had been taken from the Lakota Sioux tribe of the region. It would see some growth as a trade port on the Missouri, but the spread of railroads marginalized any potential for further growth. It would find its feet as a factory town, producing frames for pontoon boats. By 2077 it would have a population of 4,000 preparing for Halloween.
The town was passed over for targeting, but would still feel the effects of the radioactive fallout, as well the concentrated radiation washing through the Missouri River. The town would try to stick together, but bad blood and mass hysteria would see it degenerate into riots and chaos.
The town's population would be halved following the bombs, either from radiation, crime or seeking relatives or somewhere safer. What was left of the municipal government tried to rally the survivors, but they would be ignored, the police looting as much as anyone else. By the turn of the next century, the town would be filled with various families, groups, gangs, and scavengers, all of whom would fight each other often. The town would be almost abandoned by 2130 with only a handful of people huddling together near the river.
They only reason for staying was to trade scavenge with Rafters going up and down the Missouri. The community would grow larger in the winter, as the river often froze for brief periods. One of the scavengers noticed this and thought of a way to take advantage. He cleared one of the storage yards of rats and started dragging mattresses into the containers. Putting a table in front of it, he opened the first inn the settlement would see. It would quickly prove popular with those seeking a solid roof above their heads, and that would cause the resident to start brewing alcohol, boiling fermented Mutfruit. he would refine his craft until MoonBrew was perfected in 2141. By this time Mobridge had become known as a rafter friendly port, with most residents catering to them in some function.
The growing population would elect a city council of three in 2146, after it was shown that they couldn't directly vote efficiently. For the next eight years, Mobridge had a golden age; raiders were rare; they would get trade from the south, and skilled individuals moved to the town. That would change in 2155 with a drought that lowered the river, as well devastated crops. Barely able to feed itself, Mobridge went from boom to bust within months. When the spring rains came and the river rose, rafters would find a town of scavengers and exorbitantly priced goods. Seeing a good way to turn a profit, one enterprising captain would base himself out of the town, opening the Mobridge Rafter Company.
The MRC would import food from the south and sell it near cost, earning the affections of the town as well as undercutting their competition. They would soon be the major importer in town, as well as the largest employer. The town would benefit from the construction of a chem lab in the nearby ruins, with the city council voting to add it to the settlement in 2157. From that point on, the town would see a boost in visitors and merchants, as well as a few raider bands. The rest of the century would see Mobridge grow into a budding trade power on the river.
The stability of the town attracted much more families than Timber Lake, allowing for a small population boom going into 2210, bringing the town to five hundred twenty-one souls. The town factory was again operational, proving a wise investment for the rafters, who now had sound boats to move cargo on. The town would weather two sieges in the early to mid-2200s, one in 2220 and the other in 2241, beating back a large raider force both times. The town's prosperity would also attract the view of Theodore Rosenburg, a wealthy merchant from outside the Refuge.
Educated in pre-war economics and rich from his trade of clothes, Rosenburg saw plenty of potential in the organizations of Mobridge. He moved to the town in 2253, and began courting the MRC. He talked of huge profits as well as a say in the affairs of the town, something that resonated with most of the merchants in Mobridge. Proposing the groundwork for the Merchants Guild, Rosenburg invited all shop owners in town to join and found most would. With the first half of his plan under way, he kicked back and waited for the elections that year. The merchants and their employees easily picked the next council, legitimizing their newfound power in the town.
Many citizens would protest for the next month, leading the Guild to deploy their guards and mercenaries, forcing the protesters out of town, a fate shared by any dissenters. Now under the control of the Guild, Mobridge would stagnate for a bit until the Guild organized caravans, trading their surplus with the wastes. They would see an increase in raider attacks at the same time, however, with one band even taking BurnBridge in 2279. Despite this, the guards still keep the city safe, though a firefight on the outskirts isn't uncommon.
The economy of Mobridge is controlled completely by the Mobridge Merchant Guild, each member responsible for one facet of their operations. Outsiders with intentions to open a business or trade is initially offered to join the Guild. If they refuse they will usually be visited by a pair of toughs who say they should leave. Should that fail, the Guild will drop all pretenses and force them out of town, usually ending up in BurnBridge. Trade is usually conducted by Rafters connected with the Guild, being able to sell their goods far cheaper than by land. They do have a land-based caravan but it limits itS route to a few nearby settlements, taking a wide path around BurnBridge.
The town of Mobridge is 'run' by the Mobridge City Council, all of whom are voted in by the Guild. The Council are just mouthpieces, however, the Guild using them to announce plans they had decided days ago. The merchants are careful to not show too much collusion with the council members, cautious of the growing unrest of the populace.
On the surface, Mobridge is the image of safety and contentedness it claims to be. Children play without care, the streets are fairly clean, and all can work without fear of raiders or mutants. In the basements and back parlors of several houses, however, there are meetings and plans, the people chaffing until the near total control of a handful of individuals. Besides the conspiracies the people enjoy fishing the river, drinking in one of the several bars or listening to one of the radio stations. a sub-section of the population has taken to listening to 112.5 South Dakota Jive, despite the frowns their neighbors give them. The people try not to think of BurnBridge often, many having relatives there who they haven't seen in years.