In 2256, a young Thomas Payne was looking to find his fortune. In those days, Erie was a lawless, desolate place, only inhabited by raiders and a few mutants. Along with several others, they worked to purge Erie of its old inhabitants. These men would become the Crimson Dawn Company, one of the two major mercenary companies in Erie.
After a while, with the assistance of other local groups, they managed to clean up most of the city. Now, it was livable, and the Company, now officially formed, began renting themselves out as guns for hire. For years, the Company found themselves the leading group of mercenaries in the region, and were becoming increasingly prestigious. Around them, the city grew larger as more and more people moved there. With the growing population came a growing crime rate, as well. As far as governments go, the Company was the closest thing they had.
Keeping the town free of danger was never their goal. However, it was not uncommon to see their operators stepping in to lend a hand every once in a while, and generally keeping the population in line. The large trading companies that sprung up in and around Erie paid lots of caps to hire Crimson Dawn operators as guards, and were rarely attacked.
Over time, the Company became more and more of a government organization, having a hand in most of the goings-ons of Erie. They began to split into smaller branches, such as the Sentries, Footmen, and Overseers. The Sentries were the Company's equivalent of a police force. The Footmen were hired out to private individuals and companies as high-priced mercenaries, and the Overseers wrote the laws and regulations of the company, and commanded the other branches.
In 2268, a sect of the Crimson Dawn Company split off, unhappy with how it was being run. They went on to form the Blood Fang Mercantile Guild, who became the leading mercenary organization in the city. The two companies were often at ends, and sometimes fought against one another in small skirmishes in the streets. This went on for several years before a pact was made between the two companies, which created an uneasy truce between the two. Since then, the city has been divided almost down the middle, with the Crimson Dawn in the West side, and the Blood Fangs in the East.